Archive for January, 2013

LOOKS LIKE A DECENT YEAR AHEAD…

PUNISHERETTE by Tim Bradstreet

His work with Garth Ennis on Punisher MAX was wizard.

ANOTHER EPISODE OF A COLLECTION OF GREAT COMIC BOOK COVERS

SUPERMAN: FOR TOMORROW PART 9 (Superman #212)

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Superman follows the vanished into the Phantom Zone and meets Clark Kent.  We now begin to understand that Superman created a world within the PZ—and idealistic alternate reality—in which there was a Garden of Eden.  But the “Clark” that is here isn’t loved by the “real” Lois Lane who has now joined him.  She loves the “real” Clark Kent–from her own reality.  Or does Clark’s statement mean that she loves Superman and not Clark, that she loves the God and not the man?
This thread isn’t explored any further, really, which is too bad, but you can’t blame Brian Azzarello for that.  This storyline was so rich, and had so many opportunities for deep character development, that we can let this little comment slide.  I assume that if Azzarrello had stayed with the title after this storyline, he would have delved into this further.

VERY STRANGE COSPLAY OF THE DAY

FANTASTIC FOUR #215-216

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IMG_0781A two-parter featuring my favorite negative zone baddie: Blastaar The Living Bomb-Burst!
Historically, the story matters because Franklin again begins to manifest his powers.  The last time they handled this issue, Reed shot him with a coma-inducing blast and Reed and Sue broke up for a while.  This time, though, the seeds will be allowed to grow and blossom and we will get a truly decompressed, complete telling of the story.  This is Marv Wolfman’s swan song.

So long, Marv.  We’ll miss you.  You done good.  You can see the ratings for all the F4 creators’ runs here, and you’ll see I gave Marv’s term an A-.  It’s mostly very good, sometimes great, with the occasional pitfall.  If you like late 1970s Marvel Comics, this is definitely a series worth your time.

He also left the series in better shape than it was when he arrived: Franklin Richards now has a little bit more of a personality, and his powers seem both menacing and awesome.  Torch has had his heart broken and is beginning to be interested in growing up–going to school, etc.  Reed is still Reed–distracted and emotionless, but Susan isn’t as much of a lame hostage.  And her powers are becoming strongers.

I don’t know why Marv left, but I’ve read it was somewhat acrimonious.  This house ad does seem to be tip-toeing around something….

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Anyway, most of all, Marv left with a cliffhanger that would be resolved in the very next issue…

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AVENGERS #200

Avengers #200 is one of the most controversial issues of the entire series.  It’s the one where Ms. Marvel gives birth to and marries her son.

It sounds stupid, but I actually dug this book in a wild, weird way.  I know it’s sexist and gross and all, but I guess I just have poor taste.

I guess you had to be there.  Were you?

WONDER WOMAN AND CAPTAIN MARVEL by John Yandall

SUPERMAN: FOR TOMORROW PART 8 (Superman #211)

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Superman fights Wonder Woman, who is trying to stop him from using the “vanishing device” on himself.
It’s no big shocker that the device is the Phantom Zone projector, even though Azzarello hasn’t told us that yet.  It was pretty easy to recognize it as such.  Again, the “big reveals” in this story are neat and all, but the real meat is in the dialog and the big ideas.  Here, Wonder woman threatens to kill Superman before Superman can vanish himself: Humanity needs its God on Earth, and is willing to kill God to keep him.  You could probably teach several college philosophy courses on this idea alone.
And, of course, Jim Lee’s great pencil work.  He did this right after Batman: Hush, when he was at the peak of his powers.

SUPERMAN: FOR TOMORROW PARTS 6 and 7 (Superman #209-210)

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This is God-as-destroyer, and recalled, for me at least, Noah and the Great Flood.
An Earth-based God (the four elements) threatens to kill all humans, and Superman’s response is basically to say that he’d miss people, but he’d just go find another alien race to adopt as his own.  (I’ll see your genocide and raise you one global destruction.)
In other words, without Lois Lane, humans seem to mean much, much less to Superman.  This helps explain why he refuses to cure Father Leone’s cancer in #210…
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Superman “says” that he won’t cure cancer because, if he was able to, humans would expect too much of him.  But is that really what’s going on here?  I mean, if he can then why not do it?  He’s already stopped wars and saved the universe hundreds of times.  In fact, he was out saving another galaxy—a million miles away—when Lois was vanished.
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