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.
Since I decided to give Giant Days a try, I've been impressed enough to always give the world that John Allison has created a look whenever possible. The characters seem like real people. For a slice-of-life comic, that's a big achievement. Some of the most successful television series aren't able to master that. Where Women Glow and Men Plunder marks the first time since the comics' webcomic days that Allison has drawn a Giant Days story. From the preview sent by BOOM! Studios, the result is as magical as you would expect.
We're almost through the first half of Jodie Whitaker's first season as the Doctor. Not to spoil anything, but in my house, it's very enjoyable to see these new stories. As a comics fan, I'm left wondering where the comic books featuring the first female Doctor have been. On November 7, the first issue of the next series in the adventures of everyone's favorite Time Lord hits shops. Titan Comics has sent out preview pages and cover images in anticipation of the launch.
I decided to try and use my Marvel Unlimited Plus membership again for this column about an issue of New Mutants. I thought back to my (early) teenage years and the comics that I loved then. I already mentioned how important the mid-1980s were in comics, so I went to that era for this week's Review of Old Comics. Legion has gone from his first appearance to a minor supporting character in the X-Men titles, to the catalyst for a major X-Men event. From there he's gotten his own comic book series and a Fox television series now in its second season. Legion has become an important character, especially as an entry point for new readers drawn in by the television show. Legion first appeared in New Mutants #25, but his story first started in the very next issue. This is why we're reviewing New Mutants #26.
Autobiographical comics demand an intriguing bit of storytelling in order to be worth a reader's money. Sometimes, they can have broad appeal, and sometimes they are aimed at more of a niche market. In this day and age, publishers might be less willing to give one of these books a chance. Not so with BOOM! Studios which has made a habit not only of producing some great comics not trying for that share of the mainstream pie, but paradoxically appealing to a larger audience while looking like a niche product. I Moved To Los Angeles To Work In Animation by Natalie Nourigat is one of those books.
After doing two DC comics, and using the DC Universe service, I was inclined to make use of my Marvel Unlimited Plus membership. How did this get to me reviewing an issue of Spawn? I browsed the titles and among all of the comics from the past, I was tripping across a plethora of comics from the past few years. Of course, this was after discounting the first appearance of Doctor Bong, which I thought would be fun to read again. I was wrong. Among these comics came a few featuring Angela, retconned by Marvel as Thor's long, lost sister. Those issues are too recent for this feature, but her first appearances in Spawn are eligible to be revisited. In 1993, Todd McFarlane contracted four well-renowned writers to each do an issue of Spawn. In order, they were Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Dave Sim and Frank Miller. There was a lengthy court battle after McFarlane claimed sole ownership of Angela and the other characters Gaiman created for this issue. In the final settlement of the lawsuit, which also revolved around the actual ownership of Miracleman. The case was settled in 2012 with Gaiman taking full ownership of Angela, according to a statement McFarlane gave to Newsarama in 2013.
Marvel Comics has made real efforts to reflect the popularity of certain aspects of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it continues with Shuri, sister to the Black Panther. Hawkeye's costume adapted to reflect the character's appearance in the films. Jessica Jones' appearance began to resemble Kristen Ritter a little more. Thanos became more and more prominent in the comics. Now, Black Panther's little sister, a runaway favorite in the films, has gotten her own series by award-winning author Nnedi Okorafor. Check out the preview pages, because this looks like it just might be a fun ride.