I'm bound and determined to get the most out of my Marvel Unlimited membership. When looking for something to review, I looked at the 1980s Defenders that got rid of the "non-team" status of the membership. I also looked at the Marvel magazines of the early 1980s. I took a look at the full list of Marvel titles available on Marvel Unlimited and saw Legion of Monsters catch my eye. That's where I got to here. I didn't know that there was a Legion of Monsters comic. The only memory that I have of the "group" was in a single issue of Marvel Premiere. Actually, it was Marvel Premiere #28 that featured the Legion of Monsters. That sparked me to try and give some of the horror characters that the title gave tryouts. It turns out that aside from the Legion of Monsters, Satana was the only original horror-themed character that got a chance in Marvel Premiere. However, looking at the issues available, the first couple featuring Adam Warlock came to my attention, due to the cover obviously by Gil Kane.
Comic Book Inking is an artform in and of itself. If you don't believe me look at the Machine Man limited series that Barry Windsor-Smith inked and any other comic that Herb Trimpe ever drew. Inkers have long fought for recognition as the artists they are ever since Jason Lee's character was called "a tracer" in Chasing Amy. Inkers can make a bad artist look good and a great artist look bad. The Inkwell Awards take an opportunity every year to educate fans about the art of comic book inking.
Giant Days is quickly becoming one of my favorite regular series. Of course, I still have a little trouble keeping the names of all the characters straight, but reading every issue has become a treat. I was a little late to review the previous issue, which was really good. However, I've managed to get to this one right as it arrived to my inbox.
It's amazing whenever you see Batman go into cosmic or science fiction stories. That's not to say that it's necessarily bad, because sometimes it's really good. It shows the strengths of the character. In the Justice League, we often see Batman in situations that he should not be suited for. Somehow, he manages to show himself to be very adaptable. With Batman and the Outsiders, Batman gave up the more fantastic adventures for those that were more grounded. There were still threats that should have been outside of his skill set. Writer Mike W. Barr proved how adaptable Batman is. Even in the more grounded 1980s, Batman could be taken into space and fight other-dimensional beings. With issue #22, we also saw an artist join that would excel at telling these stories, Alan Davis. It was in that issue we got to see more than the team facing a cosmic threat illustrated by a new artist. We saw the beginnings of the rift between Batman and the Outsiders.
In the 1990s, there was a trend of "bad girls." These were female characters that were usually violent and almost always had costumes that showed more skin than they covered. Lady Death (and most of Chaos! Comics' female characters), Razor, Shi, Glory, and Witchblade were just some of the characters that were the prime examples of this disturbing trend. There may not have been a publisher of super-hero comics in the 1990s that didn't try to ride this trend. Topps Comics, short-lived as it was, even got into the act with Lady Rawhide, spinning off the character into her own title. There were different degrees of the bad girl trend and Lady Rawhide was definitely on the tamer end of the spectrum. However, right there on the cover of her first appearance, Topps looks tobe trying to get in on the trend.
I've had a rough couple of weeks. The thing is that comic book creators have given me some lessons that help me cope with rough times like this. A professional might take issue (no pun intended) with some of these lessons, but they're what gets me to the next stage of dealing with rough patches. Legion of Super-Heroes is one of those titles that has always been something that I come back to over and over. One run that I really enjoy is referred to as the Five Years Late Legion, specifically the first 38 issues, shaped primarily by Keith Giffen and Tom and Mary Bierbaum. It was extremely dark in that the Earth had been covertly conquered by the Dominators. The Legion had disbanded, In almost every issue, there was some level of death and destruction. It'sonly fitting that this story should end with the destruction of Earth, even after it had been liberated with the help of two Legions.
I'm trying something new for wrapping up 2018. Rather than try to cram in one article near the end of the year, I'm going to put them out little by little over the next few weeks. Some of these will not surprise you, especially if you've been following along. Some of these may be a huge surprise because they may cover things I haven't had the opportunity to write about. Nevertheless, in an effort to give the best of 2018 the attention that they truly deserve, each will get it's own article and attention, rather than a bullet point in a longer article that will be lost in a few months.
I can't believe that I haven't reviewed this book before. I remember first getting this comic, and being amazed at the way the acetate cover was used to give a gorgeous, full-bleed cover free of the cover elements. This wasn't my first painted comic, Books of Magic probably came first for me, but this was the one that changed something for me. This one had the feel of a traditional comic book, and felt like a big deal. Books of Magic felt like a story, and introduction at the most. It was also split between four artists, and this was one artist who seemed to make the characters in the comics feel real.
Dynamite is launching a new Bettie Page series this week. Given that Dynamite has had a history of doing some rather exploitative comics and covers with their female characters, I was skeptical. Bettie Page is one of those characters whose legend is built upon her sexuality. Past comics featuring her have leaned heavily on it. Of those, the only one in the past that I have found entertaining is Jim Silke's Queen Of The Nile. Of course, the subsequent stories have so turned me off to comics featuring the legendary pin-up queen. Why, then, did I give this issue a reading? To be honest, I don't recall why I chose it over Mars Attacks #2 or Project Superpowers #4. Dejah Thoris #10? I know why I didn't read that one. All those things given, am I at least happy I read the first issue of a new Bettie Page series?
I can here you now, “You’re reviewing an eight page preview comic? You’re getting really lazy. You just hate writing synopses.” First, kudos to you for knowing that “synopses” is the correct plural of synopsis. Second, yes writing the synopsis for a Review of Old Comics is the hardest part of writing this column. That
Stan Lee died on November 12, 2018 at the age of 95. Across the internet and in the entertainment industry, everyone is remembering him for his contribution to not only the comic book industry, but also pop culture. Some remembrances are acknowledging the controversial nature of Stan Lee's level of collaboration with artists in creating characters like Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, and the X-Men. Now is not the time for pondering those parts of the man's life. Now is the time to mourn and ponder the effect his life had on ours.
When last we covered the Legion of Super-Heroes that hooked me in the 1980's, Karate Kid heroically sacrificed himself to try to stop the Legion of Super-Villains. In this issue, we finally see how that went. However, given that Orando, the home world of his wife, Projectra, has been taken to a limbo between universes by the Villains, it might have been in vain. Of course, I didn't read this until several months, maybe years afterwards. I lived in a little town in western North Carolina at the time that didn't have a direct market comic shop. All of my comics were bought from the newsstand, most often a little convenience store called The Colonel's Pantry because of its proximity to a Kentucky Fried Chicken.