Thursday, July 19, 2012

Project Superpowers: Chapter One

How many times will the Watchmen be attempted again?  Granted, Dynamite's go at it here is more than 30 years later, but if you're not bringing something really new to the table I'm hard pressed to say why I should be interested.  But, I didn't have to be.  Lee was, or someone before him for all I know, and now it's arrived on my doorstep.

Like Watchmen, we have a bunch of old timey heroes that no one remembers.  Actually, these guys are probably even less known than the cast of Watchmen's foundational characters.  Our cast consists of The Fighting Yank, Samson, The Target, Mr Face, Masquerade, The Flame, The Death Defying Devil, Pyroman, The Black Terror, V-Man, Hydro, The Green Lama, The Scarab, and The Arrow.  The only female in the bunch is Masquerade.

And lest we get into any of our recent controversy about spoilers in material that's 4 years old, I'm going to talk about the plot of the book, ok?  If you're saving up to read this sometime down the road and have a particular fondness for surprises in plotting, stop now.

Not that there's anything much that's surprising here.  Part of it is that I never felt like I had a feel for who the characters were the way I did with Watchmen.  By the end of those twelve issues I knew what kind of people they were, what motivated them, and what their weaknesses where.  Here there's a larger cast and only 8 issues worth of story.  Really, more like 7 1/2, as the collection is issues 0-7, and 0 was just a teaser thing.

So, here's the gist.  The Fightining Yank is the center of the story.  He and all but The Scarab were heroes fighting the Nazis in World War II.  Once the Germans surrendered they went to Japan.  In fact, their last mission in the war was to try to get the Japanese to surrender before the second atomic bomb was dropped on August 9, 1945.  They did manage to stop the dropping of the bomb on the first target but the plane just continued on to Nagasaki instead.  Samson was blinded in trying to stop the bomb and The Flame disappeared, apparently killed by his own flames that he couldn't control.

What was really going on was that The Fighting Yank, at the direction of the ghost of an ancestor who had fought with George Washington during the Revolutionary War, was trapping his teammates in Pandora's Urn (not a box) so that they, representing hope, would cause the evils of the world to return to the urn and leave the Earth.  When he proposed this idea to the team they refused, but he surruptiously started taking them out while on missions, starting with The Flame.  He manages to get them all except Samson and The Green Lama, who's a mystic sort who has returned to whatever mystic province he inhabits.

The story really starts in the present, on a world not much like our own.  It's run by Dynamic Man and his family of dynamic beings.  They're all actually robots  but people don't generally know that.  They don't directly run the world but have a major corporation that essentially has a large influence on the US, at least.  They're running wars for the US that no longer involved Americans dying.  See, they just take the dead bodies of soldiers who died in previous conflicts and reanimate them, using them to fight instead.  They mostly look like the stereotypical Frankenstein's monster, with the flat top and black hair.  Each time they're knocked out of commission they're sent to a hospital that revives them, so long as they can be cobbled back together.  Obsessions of the moment being what they are, they're mostly fighting in the Middle East over oil.

The Dynamic Family has the urn and doesn't want the missing heroes returned but The Fighting Yank, now elderly, gets it and breaks it, returning the heroes to the world from the dimension they had been all this time.  Some are changed by their stay in this other dimension.  The Face, for instance, who wore a demon mask, now finds it permanently attached to his face. 

There are number of things going on, few of which are resovled in this arc.  The Fighting Yank's ancester turns out to be a demon trapped in Hell who had thought that getting the heroes trapped in the urn would somehow atone for his betrayal of George Washington during the Revolution, freeing him from Hell.  That's really the only arc that has some resolution, as that plot fails. 

There's more with Dynamic Man trying to get a seat on some secret cabal that's actually directing him, and which turns out to have The Scarab as a member.  The Scarab was operating under the radar in the Middle East, not letting anyone see him, even in costume.  The Black Terror's sidekick hasn't reappeared from the urn's diminsion, though he was taken into it at the same time as The Black Terror.  The fact that they showed up at different points on the globe and not in NYC where the urn was broken is never explained.  I don't think they returned to the places they originally disappeared because The Flame returned in LA and disappeared in Japan. 

Clearly this is an ongoing series, as is clear by the end of this volume, not to mention in the name - Chapter One.  What this is bringing to reading enjoyment is nostalgia for an era.  There's not much in the way of nostalgia for these largely unknown characters, but plenty for the World War II era and the heroes spawned in comics at that time.  There's far too little development of the characters and far too much hopping around the globe chasing various conspiracy threads.  At the back of the book are pages and pages of Golden Age characters drawn by Alex Ross, many of whom are not even in this volume.  I don't know if this means they'll show up in some future stories (now past, I suppose, as I write this 4 years later), but more than anything this line up shows how often the characters were redundant of one another.  That and some really awful names.  Martin The Marvel Man?  Professor Supermind & Son?  Yank & Doodle?  Really?  Did even pre-puscent kids think these were great?  I think my favorite is Jack.  How's that a nom du guerre?  It's just a version of John.

The credits say Alex Ross and Jim Krueger were behind the story, with Krueger doing the scripting.  The original covers were by Ross but the interior art was mostly Carlos Paul, who did 1-7, with Douglas Klauba doing 0.  It's a pretty piece of work, even without Ross doing any interiors. 

I think the strength of The Watchmen is that it told one story limited to 12 issues.  It was a large story with a lot of elements, but it had a huge amount of character development in those 12 issues and kept focused on the getting from point A of the Comedian's death to point B of Veidt's plan to unite the world.  Oh, and that's a spoiler about The Watchmen, in case you haven't read it in the last 30 years.

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Real Vacation

Howdy everyone!  Lee here for a quick update.

The crew at ComicsAnd..., Jim, Gwen, Thomm, Matthew, and myself have managed to post something new every single day for the past five years.  It's been lots of fun but it's time.  Time for a vacation.  Time to just read books without worrying about reviewing them.  Time to read the previews not worrying about which books to pick.  Time to relax and enjoy the sun.

This is not an ending, just a short break.  It is the summer and if I learned anything from the French last year it's that everyone needs a vacation.


There may be sporadic posts during the next month but nothing on a regular basis. 

We shall return with our regularly scheduled program Aug 13 just in time for school to start.

See ya soon.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Comic Covers Sunday: Vacation!

If you have to sum up the summer in one word, it has to be, "vacation."  So this week it's all about the vacation cover.  Also this week, because it's vacation we have guest commentary by Boy. 

Bugs Bunny Vacation Funnies #1, July 1951.
It doesn't get much more classic than this.  When you talk about vacations, nothing says it more than Bugs Bunny.
Boy:  Doesn't look like a modern day cover but I still like it.




Below the break... more classic covers!



Saturday, July 14, 2012

Matthew: Year One (1977): Whale Tale


The Advertisement for the movie ORCA appeared on the back cover of Marvel Comics dated Sept and Oct 1977 (that’s June and July in the real world…I think).  I thought for sure it had run more than two months, because I remember seeing it so often.  Well, when comics are only thirty-cents each, you tend to get a lot of them (with your Slurpees) and when you’re a kid falling in love with the genre you re-read your books over and over again.  So, I guess I did see the Ad dozens of times.  The movie on the other hand, I just watched recently on Netflix, satisfying my curiosity thirty-five years later.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Another Sale - Toys, books, and original art

This is becoming a regular occurance!  Anyway, It's all about the books this time.  Large... huge stacks of books at rock bottom prices.  Seriously rock bottom starting at 50 cents a book.

They are:
Alpha Flight 1-60 
That's half the series in one chunk.  This is Byrne's complete run plus Jim Lee's first published work in later issues.

Excalibur 1-30 + specials, and Excalibur 42-67 plus specials
These are actually 2 separate auctions but they comprise most everything Alan Davis ever did on the title.  Great art and good stories.

Punisher 1-68 plus annuals
This is a huge run of the first continuous Punisher series.  Not as violent as the Max version but there's still a high body count to satisfy the most blood thirsty amoung you.

There's even a couple of hardcovers,
Stuck Rubber Baby and Any Empire


















ALSO, there some art too.
I have portfolios by Frazetta and Williamson, Starlin, Redondo, and more!  They were all published in the late 70's/early 80's and are really cool.













And, finally, if you have a little extra cash....
An Alan Davis original from Adventures of the Outsiders.
It ain't cheap but it's really cool.

Or, more reasonable priced,  a Joyce Chin full page splash.

 
That's all!  Go here and bid high, bid often!


Thanks for all your support.



Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Preview: Halloween Eve

Check out Amy Reeder's new project! I'm definitely looking forward to this!!

Some odds and ends From Lee

Some odds and ends that Lee sent me recently.  This is Thomm, by the way.  A recently blog difficulty ended up with this being posted under Lee's name.

Higher Earth 1 from Boom! Studios is by Sam Humphries and Francesco Biagini. Strangely enough, I got the last issue of Incorruptible after getting this issue from Lee, and there’s a preview for it in the back of Incorruptible. Seems a bit of the cart before the horse to have a preview when the issue is already out. This book is a future sci-fi story with a lot of explosions and constant fighting. There’s a Sliders sort of thing going on with travel between parallel Earths, but that’s about all I got out of it. There’s not much in the way of character development so far.

G.I. Combat 1 from DC has work by J.T. Krul, Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Ariel Olivetti, and Dan Panosian. The front end story is The War that Time Forgot by Krul and Olivetti. It’s very pretty but makes no sense so far. On physics alone I couldn’t figure out some things. For one, how is a pterodactyl flying in from above on a helicopter and not being torn to pieces by the rotor? The second story is another version of The Unknown Soldier. This one’s in Afghanistan when he’s “created”. Unlike the original character, we’re getting a back story to know who he is right away. I don’t know if that’s going to work. Some of what was great about the original was that he was a cypher. In the more recent Vertigo version in Uganda it was an entirely different sort of story, too, with the only similarity to this one being that we knew who the soldier is. Gray and Palmiotti, with Panosian on art, may get this moving into something interesting, but it’s not there yet.

Spider 1 from Dynamite is by David Liss and Colton Worley. It and The Shadow 1 & 2 by Garth Ennis and Aaron Campbell, also from Dynamite, have the same theme going. Bas ically, a largely forgotten old character, and the Spider is more unknown than The Shadow, is revived as a Punisheresque killing machine. I don’t know why I’m supposed to like these characters, as a reader. They’re angry. They’re unrelenting. They’re indiscriminate. They’re also uninteresting. I can go around shooting people who offend me. Doesn’t make me interesting to read about or worthy of some sort of adulation. Not my cup of tea, either of them.

Finally, we had Point One, a one shot from Marvel. It reminds me of the old History of the DC Universe that was put out after Crisis on Infinite Earths so that readers could get up to speed on the status quo at DC, post all the big changes. This isn’t nearly as comprehensive, though. There are just little look-ins on various characters, via the deus ex machine of a couple of guys raiding The Watcher’s place while he’s doing some sort of download to his home planet. Nova, Age of Apocalypse, Scarlet Spider, Coldmoon & Dragonfire, Doctor Strange, and The Avengers are all visited. I know nothing about Scarlet Spider or Coldmoon & Dragonfire. The latter appeared interesting, if improbable. After seeing Scarlet Spider I have to wonder if there are any heroes in the Marvel U that don’t have some nefarious knock off running around, or at least who’s now being reformed into some sort of flawed hero, which is kind of funny, considering Marvel specialized in flawed heroes from the beginning.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Dark Horse Previews for September

Lee: And now for something completely different… I picked the books and Thomm is commenting first. So he has no idea why I picked them, or for that matter, why he would care. Oh well! On with the shhhhoooooowwwww!
Thomm: That’s not really different. I never know what’s going on inside your head, even when you write something.

GHOST #0
Kelly Sue DeConnick (W), Phil Noto (A), and Jenny Frison (Cover)
FC, 32 pages, $2.99, Miniseries
Former journalist Vaughn Barnes has been reduced to moonlighting as cameraman for the shoddy paranormal-investigation cable TV show Phantom Finders. But when a curious device summons the specter of a beautiful, translucent woman, Vaughn is plunged into a mystery of criminal intrigue that spans two worlds! Kelly Sue DeConnick and Phil Noto launch their exciting new take on one of Dark Horse’s most popular characters ever!
Thomm: I have read one installment of this in Dark Horse Presents. It looks good, but it’s too early for me to tell if it’s worth a long run. I’m gathering this is an existing character from an earlier era, but I don’t know those stories, either.
Lee: I can't help but think that Ghost would have been a long lost character if it weren't for Adam Hughes.  I am sure Noto's art looks wonderful but I am not sure the character has any appeal. 

Four more below the break.

Monday, July 09, 2012

The Week in Review – July 9



So I was away for almost a week, back in Baltimore for a poker game (great fun), a wedding (a beautiful ceremony) and a funeral for my 33 year old nephew (a horrible tragedy). An unbelievable roller coaster of emotions and a week that refocused my priorities in that the people in our lives are more important than anything else. This fact actually ended up making me take notice of something with comics this week that I knew, but had it re-emphasized.

Before Watchmen is producing some of the best super hero comics on the stands right now. I have always loved the cape and cowl stuff but have been driven away from most of the Marvel and DC stuff for reasons I have bored you with numerous times. This work is producing some great books and the reason became clear to me today while reading Nite Owl. The stories are about people. Minutemen is delving into who the people behind the masks are, Silk Spectre is opening up her story, the Comedian is about the man behind the mask as is Nite Owl. Even the independent stuff reflects that simple ideal, with Invincible being more about Mark Grayson and his growing up and learning then it is about the actual fights. Marvel and DC have almost totally forgotten about the private lives of the characters. At times they do some stuff with it, but it is minimal and we know how it ends. Matt Murdock and his girl friend eventually split up (did he ever get divorced last time?), Peter Parker’s girl friend gets retro-conned out, Johnny Storm grows up for two issues and then reverts to form, in DC it is worse because everyone has been de-aged and we have no clue what is there back story. The vast majority of the characters are the suit now and no longer anything else. From what I read of Superman, Clark Kent plays no role in the book, Bruce Wayne’s past comes back to haunt Batman, but Bruce does not really exist. Captain America is the character, Steve Rogers is just another name to call him. I can identify more with the man than I can the superman.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Comic Covers Sunday: Ms. Marvel


While we went without power it feel to me to entertain the kids.  Nothing delights children of all ages more than playing with action figures.  But, there was one complaint.  I didn't have enough female characters.  So, for my girls, I wanted to point out strong female leads in comics, so this week it's Ms. Marvel!

Ms. Marvel #1, January 1977.  Pencils John Romita, Inks Dick Giordano
The first issue of Ms. Marvel really is a classic of 1970's comicdom.  It has our heroine bursts off the pages, lots of little heads, and text all over the place to explain what we can plainly see.  It's perfect!

Below the break... more classic covers!

Saturday, July 07, 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man: An Untold PLOT From His Married Life (circa 1990)

You may have been expecting some sort of review of the new Amazing Spider-Man film, but I'll be on vacation when this posts and who knows when I'll actually get to see it, much less write about it.  However, to capitalize on all the inevitable buzz, I thought it was finally time to present my first (and only) comic book plot!  It's NEVER seen the light of day (or been rejected by Marvel), but when I rediscovered it a few months ago in an old spiral notebook, I thought it was worth sharing.  Now, you're going to have to work for it, because I scanned the pages directly from the notebook, which means you have to decipher my script-print handwriting.

The story was written back in 1990 and is set sometime in the David Michelinie and Todd McFarlane era, which means Peter IS still MARRIED to Mary Jane!  Now, I was single at the time I composed this, so my ideas about what I think marriage would be like might be interesting. : )

First up are my goals for the story, which I'm including so you can see if any of those themes survied in the actual plot.  I was shocked to see what I was even contemplating...


Still interested?  Then come back after the break.

Friday, July 06, 2012

QoTW: Rucka or Brubaker?

So, another week, another question.  Last week the question was fairly simple so y'all could understand who the folks at ComicsAnd... are and how we think.  Maybe not how we think but what at least what comics influenced us.  This week I wanted something a little bit trickier.  A real test of who people liked more... so this week it's
Greg Rucka, author of White Out, Queen and Country, Gotham Central

- OR -

Ed Brubaker, author of Batman, Sleeper, Captain America, Deadenders, Criminal.

Lee: Ooohhh, this is a tough one because both of these guys are great writers. My initial thought was to go with Rucka because I haven't been thrilled with Bru's Cap series. But, once you talk about Criminal, Sleeper and everything that isn't Cap I've absolutely loved it. Then again, I'm not sure I've read a bad Rucka story yet. I'm gonna go Brubaker because of volume. He's had a couple of misses but he's had so many hits that I have to give it to him.

Jim: This is a hard call especially as these writers have worked together on Gotham Central and both worked on Batman. Still Rucka has Stumptown coming out again and his work seems to be grounded more in reality. Add to that his contributions to the 52 weekly series and his Batwoman work and Greg tells slightly more compelling stories then Brubaker. Finally I think Greg has better pacing with his work then Brubaker. Neither writer is a slouch.

Matthew: I've really only read Brubaker's Captain America, so I have to vote for him. But, I'm not getting Brubaker's Captain America anymore, so I don't know what that means...

Thomm: I’m the opposite of Matthew (in so many ways), but I’ve only read Rucka, so he has to get my vote. The fact that I loved his Batwoman and Stumptown would likely get him the win anyway.

Gwen: Rucka, no contest. I really liked Brubaker's Criminal but with work like Stumptown and Whiteout Rucka has my vote. As a side note, did anyone besides Jim and I watch the Whiteout movie? It actually wasn't so bad but I feel that it wasn't marketed well.
Thomm: I don’t ever remember the movie existing.
Gwen: It had Kate Beckinsale in the lead
Thomm: That’s not helping my memory any. I guess that goes to your comment about the marketing.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

The List - June 2012

This is the rare instance where I find all the books I read in a month were good.  Oh, some were better than others, but there are no stinkers in the bunch.  Probably has something to do with not picking up any free stuff, but the three Before Watchmen books were unknowns, though their authors were not.  So, here we go.

1. Scalped 59 - Man, I can't wait for next month's final issue.  This penultimate issue has the best cliff hanger since The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.  I thought maybe Reservoir Dogs, but then I remembered how the big show down there made no sense.  The standoff at the end of this issue is not going to end well, though we could have predicted that with issue 1 five years ago.  This has been a largely testosterone fueled trip and it's ending with the kind of insanity that's so uniquely male.  But never mind all that.  Look at that cover.  That's phenomenal unto itself.  Look at the scale of that conflagration.  See the two tiny people down at the bottom?  Doesn't that just sum up how much larger events have become than the players in the drama?  Great work by Jock. 

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Happy Birthday U.S.A!!!

video
The Grand Finale of the free Fireworks show at River Valley Ranch on 2012-06-23. ENJOY!!!

Celebrate FREEDOM!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Image Previews for September

Thomm: What will Lee’s mysterious reasoning for picking books be this time? Or are we back to the totally random?
Gwen: We may never know since Lee's power is out.


HAPPY! #1 (of 4)
story Grant Morrison
art / cover Darick Robertson
32 Pages / FC / $2.99
Meet Nick Sax - a corrupt, intoxicated ex-cop turned hit-man, adrift in a stinking twilight world of casual murder, soulless sex, eczema and betrayal. With a hit gone wrong, a bullet in his side, the cops and the mob on his tail, and a monstrous child killer in a Santa suit on the loose, Nick and his world will be changed forever this Christmas. By a tiny blue horse called Happy...
Lee: I’m waiting for the trade on this one but Morrison uninhibited by any type of continuity is always a good thing.
Thomm: Or not. I’m not the Morrison fan that certain other writers on this blog are. Too much self-absorption for me.




GUARDING THE GLOBE #1
story Phil Hester
art / wraparound cover Todd Nauck - John Rauch
32 Pages / FC / $2.99
The Guardians of the Globe are BACK in an all-new, all-exciting ongoing series! Your favorite heroes – Brit, Outrun, Invincible, Robot, Yeti, Kaboomerang, and more –face new challenges of epic proportions in stories by the all-star team of Phil Hester - Todd Nauck!
Lee: Didn’t you read the last Guardians book? I can’t imagine there is that much demand for this but maybe the last series was that good. Thomm, it’s up to you to see this one.
Thomm: No, the last one was a major disappointment. This is a new creative team, so maybe it’ll go in a better direction, but from what I can tell we’re looking at the same villain lurking in the shadows, and he was the main disappointment with the last series. I’ll be skipping this.



THIEF OF THIEVES, VOL. 1 TP
story Robert Kirkman - Nick Spencer
art/cover Shawn Martinbrough - Felix Serrano
152 Pages / FC / $14.99
Conrad Paulson lives a secret double life as master thief Redmond. There is nothing he can't steal, nothing he can't have... except for the life he left behind. Now with a grown son he hardly knows, and an ex-wife he never stopped loving, Conrad must try to piece together what's left of his life, before the FBI finally catch up to him... but it appears they are the least of his worries. Collects Thief Of Thieves #1-7
Lee: 152 pgs for $15? Sign me up! I don’t think people have loved it as much as they thought they would, but that’s a whole lotta book for not that much money. It’s worth trying at this price.
Thomm: It’s been a good book so far. As of this writing it’s up to the 5th issue, so I’ll be able to say more on it once it hits 7 and has wrapped the first arc. I rather like the cop chasing the protagonist better than the protagonist in this book.


HAUNT, VOL. 4 TP
story Joe Casey
art Nathan Fox - John Lucas
cover Nathan Fox
140 Pages / FC / $14.99
In a bold new direction writer Joe Casey and artist Nathan Fox flip the Haunt series on its head. Still figuring out their newfound ability, brothers Daniel and Kurt Kilgore start experiencing the dark side of their powers, and no one is safe. Collects Haunt #19-25
Lee: Huh? Who? How come this is 7 issues for $15, just like Thief above but this is only 140 pgs? What’s the difference? Anyway, I really like Casey, and I really like Fox-Lucas and that may be enough to overcome my lack of caring about Haunt. Casey is so hit-miss that this will either be great or just plain awful.
Thomm: It can’t be worse than the original team. Not enough Kirkman and too much McFarlane, I think. No surprise there, considering how extended Kirkman is these days, but I gave away that entire run as soon as it ended.



THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS #7
story Jonathan Hickman
art Nick Pitarra - Jordie Bellaire
32 Pages / FC / $3.50
"Above And Beyond" At a top Secret meeting in Iceland, the Americans and Russians have a world-shattering encounter with the Science tyrants of the Manhattan Projects.
Lee: I think this is a good book, or at least rumor has that it’s a good book, but wow are these covers dull. The first one was unique but this is the third variation of the exact same thing. Dull dull dull.
Thomm: I wasn’t impressed with the previews I read and haven’t heard anything since it’s been ongoing. I’m not a big Hickman guy, either, so I can’t really say if this is worth getting.

Thomm: A lot of single issues or recently collected new series in the picking this month. I think Thief of Thieves is the best bet in the bunch.
Gwen: You can all thank me for the pictures!


Monday, July 02, 2012

Black Widow: Deadly Origin

I should really thank Lee for this one.  (Thomm writing here.  Blog issues caused this to go up under Lee's name.)

 It’s a wonderful reminder of why I don’t read Marvel anymore.
Black Widow: Deadly Origin by Paul Cornell, Tom Raney and John Paul Leon is more amusing than it has a right to be. It’s a strange attempt to clean up the history of a character who has been so manipulated and convoluted over the last 50 years that she’d have to spend the rest of her life in a maximum security mental facility if she were a real person. In fact, it’s the total removal from any semblance of reality that, in the end, makes this read so unsatisfying.

Granted, my experience with the Black Widow is largely limited to the Miller and Mazzucchelli era of Daredevil. Then she was a strong, well balanced individual. In fact, she was something of a touchstone of sanity for Matt Murdock during his first run of dark stories. I think I’ll hold onto those stories for my view of the character and leave this aside.

So, here’s the story. Someone’s trying to destroy the Black Widow through something called Icepick Protocol, which launched out of the remains of Russian security. The operation particularly targets her loved ones and close associates, past and present. The first to go is Ivan Petrovitch, a longtime colleague who she views as a father figure. And when I say a long time, I mean a really long time.

Jim has frequently mentioned that Marvel’s time line of stories seems to put the origin of characters 10-15 years in the past, regardless of where we are in the present, but, like Captain America who’s still supposed to be a veteran of WWII, the Black Widow is still supposed to have been born in 1928 in the Soviet Union. A Soviet version of the Super Soldier Formula has kept her and Ivan young, with her in her 30s to all appearances and Ivan in his 50s. The character’s first appearance was in 1964 so the Super Soldier Formula explains a lot for her but what about all the characters she met in the 1960s and onward who don’t have these life extending formulas?

See, that’s the thing with this story. It doesn’t reboot the character. It tries to explain all her various permutations since 1964 into one convoluted story of betrayals, institutionalizations, revivals of the program that created her to create others who sometimes substituted for her, and on and on. Hell, Bucky Barnes ends up in there at several points, and I still like it better when he was just dead all those years after WWII.

But if she’s been around as a Marvel character since 1964 and met many of the current characters a long time ago, she couldn’t have done so because they’ve only been around 10-15 years. It’s a time conundrum. I hate time conundrums.
But, even leaving that aside, the story’s not much. The villain is easy to see a mile away if you have any experience reading super hero and super spy works. His motivation as a spurned lover is unintentionally hilarious, too. At least I think it’s unintentional. Here’s this woman who’s had nothing but poorly pursued and badly ended relationships, and who’s made it clear she’s not romantically interested in him, but he’s sacrificing his own humanity and trying to kill everyone around her before killing her. It’s a Rube Goldberg revenge. I suppose it’s de rigueur for comic book super hero villains, but it just seems funnier than it’s supposed to be.

Ah, well. At least it looks nice. Raney does all the scenes in the present in a very clean style while Leon does the various flashbacks in a rougher edge. That part reminded me of the Miller years, which was nice.

I don’t think reaffirmation of why I avoid Marvel super hero comics is what they were going for, though.


Sunday, July 01, 2012

Comic Covers Sunday: 4th of July Version

In honor of the upcoming holiday, this week focuses on patriotic covers.  I would have gone with 4th of July covers but that turned out to be far more complicated that I would have liked.  So, these covers are all based on pictures of flags or the American Revolution.


Fight For Freedom, 1949.
Ok, I know nothing about this book.  It's a public service announcement about the 4th of July so it's the lead off book this week.



Below the break... more covers of books you have never seen!