Thursday, September 03, 2009

Strange Tales #1 – A Review

Strange Tales #1 (of 3)

Publisher Marvel Comics

Writers / Artists Various

Marvel and DC do seem to be distinct when it comes to certain things. DC has Paul Pope do a three part Batman: Year 100 series and while very different it was also well done and quite interesting. Paul Pope is doing the Adam Strange strip in Wednesday Comics. I have seen indy creators move into more mainstream work and it works many times at DC. So I thought Strange Tales from Marvel would be entertaining. I went in thinking I would not like some of it, but the entire book was pretty much a mess in my view.

The cover by Paul Pope was well done.

The frontispiece by Nick Bertozzi was such an easy joke as to not be funny.

The Inhuman story by Paul Pope was far from Paul’s best work and was as simplistic a story as possible.

The wedding of Jennifer Walters and John Jameson by John Leavitt and Molly Crabapple was meaningless, inane and not entertaining.

Junko Mizuno’s tale of Spider-Man and MJ moving into a town of Spiders was only kept from being total trash by the depiction of MJ which was enjoyable.

Dash Shaw’s Doctor Strange tale is when the entire issue was becoming unreadable.

After that I flipped through the pages to rush and “complete” the book and then e-mailed my retailer to take it off my to save me $10 for the next two issues and save him from having to order it.

I get the feeling instead of these creators coming to Marvel dying to do a short story about one of these characters, Marvel found some of the “named” indy creators and commissioned a four/six page story or whatever. I get the feeling for some of these guys a high dollar page rate was too hard to pass up. I mean if they are getting $250 / $400 a page for the story and art and they did four pages that’s a quick 1 to 2 grand almost in their pocket for what looks to be one to two days work maximum.

I was really hoping for a lot more from this and instead got what seems to be an almost half hearted attempt and what was a good idea. Not Brand Echh from years ago was a better product and actually deserves a reprint. This felt like Marvel trying to generate some street credit by showing how they are tuned into the indy scene and instead turned out to be grandpa trying to do a rap song.

Overall Grade F – This was a dismal failure on what could have been a really cool product. Maybe Marvel should have let DC produce this book for them.

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