Archive for May, 2013

BATGIRL by Terry Moore

Terry, you are a fucking God.  Nobody draws as well as you.

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AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #53-56

doctor octopus meets aunt may

The first time Otto Octavius met Aunt May, it was to rent a room.

Later, of course, she’d move in with him as a maid.  Eventually, he’d try to marry the cougar.

Also in these issues: The first appearance of Captain Stacy, beginning one of the most complex relationships in comics.  Batman and Commissioner Gordon, at the time, were basically sources/working buddies.  But in Spider-Man, Peter dates Gwen, Spidey works with Gwen’s father, Peter has to constantly wonder if either/both his gal and his pal are hip to his secrets…

Very good stuff.  No wonder people hail these issues as some of the best comics of the silver age.

DAREDEVIL #63-64

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Matt searches for Karen, who left him because he couldn’t stop being Daredevil. What a tremendously cool comics. I’ve read the early issues of just about every Marvel book, and I’m pretty sure this the first example of such an artistic layout: Using the body as the panel separator, the obvious Christ pose…Brilliant.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #50-52

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #50: Spider-Man No More
An instant classic. Lots of folks think it was Ditko, but this was all Jazzy John Romita.  The “Spider-Man quits” idea was a great one in this issue, but it was so popular that it became a trope.  Every three or four issues the cover would blare “Spidey Quits!” or “Spidey chickens out!” or some variation thereof.

It did get a little tiring.
amazing spider-man #51
This is also the first time Spider-Man put his hands on The Kingpin.  Kingpin started as kind of a gimmicky foe–with a gas-blowing tie pin and silly purple pinstriped pants with a white blazer.  Apparently, he couldn’t even afford a matching three-piece suit.

But the 1st appearance of The Kingpin1st appearance of The Kingpin was in issue #50, the famous “Spider-Man no more” issue.  Of course, we saw his back.  And that’s really the essence of the character–he doesn’t even need to turn to face people, ’cause he’s so damn badass.

These issue mark the first appearances of JJJ’s editor in chief, Robbie Robertson, although he’s just an unnamed black dude who smokes a pipe instead of a cigar.

 

NORTHLANDERS: 5 Panels from a Great Comic

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Northlanders by Brian Wood ran under the Vertigo imprint for 50 issues. It was a collection of stories, some single-issue, some multi-issue, all of which took place during the Viking Age. Wood took pains to be historically accurate, and his writing is excellent, but some of the best surprises come from the various artists associated with the series. In issue #1, Davide Gianfelice captured the desolate Orkney Islands off of Northern Scotland, with a splash page that introduced readers to what would be a very different kind of comic.

In a very different kind of story, “Lindisframe,” Wood explored the effects of a colonizing religion…

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In another arc, he looked at life through the eyes of an old Viking warrior–with a story reminiscent of Frank Miller’s Dark Knight.

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And in my personal favorite arc, tells a Viking CSI story.  With art by Ryan Kelly, Northlanders #11-16, “The Cross + The Hammer” (collected in volume 2 of the trade), is somewhat like John Ford’s classic, “The Searchers.”  Much like John Wayne from that film, an older hunter stalks a noble savage through the wilderness and gets into the very mind of his prey.

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That’s from issue #12, but the story gets grittier and digs deeper with each issue until at the end, which you’ll see coming but won’t want to, we get a conclusion as thoughtful and complex as any you’ll find in a “real” book.

And much of the series is, of course, about man versus nature:

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I can’t recommend this book enough–with art by the likes of Becky Cloonan, Leandro Fernández, Matthew Woodson, Fiona Staples, and many others, it’s exactly the kind of well-crafted comic we should all expect from the man behind The Massive and DMZ.

spider-man live tv show

COSPLAY OF THE DAY

deadpool star wars r2d2

NICK FURY by Lee Weeks

nick fury lee weeks

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #48-49

amazing spider-man 48

Meet the new Vulture.  Younger than the old Vulture.

DAREDEVIL #62

daredevil vs nighthawk

This is a very interesting issue.  Nighthawk is an alternate Marvel Universe version of The Batman, created as part of the JLA spoof-team, Squadron Supreme.  In this issue, DD is searching the city for Karen Page and he comes across a movie theater, noting that criminals shouldn’t prey on people coming out of movie theaters.  Which is, of course, Batman’s origin.

Then he meets Nighthawk and there’s all kinds of fights.

Good stuff.

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