Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Y'know, there was a time when I would go through the monthly new comics solicitations for DC, Marvel, Image, and others, and devote a long post to them, even posting cover images and everything. I'm finding that as with so many other things, I'm just not finding a whole lot of time, desire, or energy to do that anymore. Combine that with the predominant apathy I feel towards much of DC, Marvel, and others' published output, with about $50 worth of monthly exceptions, and that explains a great deal. To my satisfaction, anyway.

However, finding myself with a modicum of all three tonight, I did notice a few things as I scrolled through January's DC offerings...and they are as follows:

First and most notable to me is the DIANA PRINCE: WONDER WOMAN VOL. 1 TP, something I never ever thought I'd see, Hell, I figured they'd put out a Thriller collection before they'd reprint these late 60's-early 70's stories, in which they let Mike Sekowsky (with DC 70's MVP Dennis O'Neil scripting) totally revamp the Amazon Princess into something more like the Avengers' Emma Peel, played with aplomb by Diana Rigg. As I'm sure most of you know, she lost her superpowers, depended on martial arts skills instead, mentored by an elderly blind Asian man who went by the sobriquet "I Ching". She was also given an assortment of Emma Peel-esque groovy 60's outfits to wear. Wonder Woman fans, the ones who have actually read them that is, are mixed in their opinions about this relatively brief period in the characters' history. Me? Well...I'll be honest here, I've never read any of them in their entirety. Well, that's not exactly true- I used to own a copy of #202, the penultimate Diana Prince... issue, and that was because it featured Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, whom I had discovered a few months after this one hit the stands in 1972. I picked it up in the back issue bin. That said, I have read a few pages here and there via such sources as the scans_daily LJ community, Wonder Woman-devoted websites and so forth, and have always been fascinated by them.

Now, I should add here that I am not particularly a fan of the established Wonder Woman character; when I was a kid growing up, I did have an issue or two as I recall, and did enjoy her in the Justice League stories of the day...but she never grabbed me as hard as many of the other DC/Marvel superheroes, male or female, did. Many of those wild-ass Kanigher/Andru/Esposito stories were just too childishly weird for my childishly weird tastes. Since I wasn't really a fan of the character, I didn't care much when they altered her so drastically (coincidentally, if you clicked the last link above, you'll notice that one issue I owned as an 8-year-old was the last issue before the change) but neither did I want to read about a de-powered superhero (even though I loved watching The Avengers, strangely enough)...so I didn't buy a single issue of the entire Diana Prince run. Don't really even remember seeing them on the spinner racks, come to think of it. As I got older, despite some sweet Nick Cardy covers, the 1970's and most of the 80's were made up of a ton of bland, uninspired comics, a real waste of trees like so many of DC and Marvel's main licensed properties were in that long-lost decade. Perez and Byrne in the 80's and 90's left me cold. I loved the Bolland and Hughes covers, and Joe Kelly and Doug Mahnke's take in JLA in the mid-late 90's and Aughts. And that's about it. But I've always been fascinated by that 20-something issue run that I barely saw, that took what has always been (sorry, everybody) an uninteresting and somewhat silly character IN MY OPINION, (and don't get me started about that costume) for the most part and reimagined her in a radical way. Of course, O'Neil was golden in the 70's and I've always enjoyed Sekowsky's...unique...take on anatomy and action depiction. Problem is, back issues are hard to find, and expensive when you can find them on eBay or wherever.

So what I'm trying to work my way up to is that I am delighted to see this is scheduled to come out, all in one place for easy readin', (well, a good chunk of the run, anyway, up to issue #184- tempers my excitement a bit- I wish it was more but I couldn't afford it if it was) and I am going to drop coin on this as soon as possible.

Other stuff I'm amazed to see is that Bob Haney-scripted TEEN TITANS: THE LOST ANNUAL that DC did their best to bury a year or two ago. Too bad that Bob won't be around to see it come out, although I don't really think he gave a shit one way or the other by the time he passed on, from what I remember reading. Even so, this looks very cool.

BAT LASH #2 is solicited; I recently reread all of his 60's appearances, and am apprehensively awaiting this one. It is my carefully considered opinion that no one has managed to find the right tone for the character since O'Neil stopped doing him in the 60's- the great Sergio Aragones is on hand, true, but the strength of those originals was never in the plotting alone, but in the synergy between Sergio's plots and O'Neil's dialogue style. No one else has even come close, and I hold out no hope for "acclaimed Western novelist" Peter Brandvold. I keep threatening (in my mind) to scan pages from all nine original issues, and post a few pages from each along with an overview...the spirit is willing but the flesh is soft and spongy, or something like that.

Sorry to see that AMERICAN VIRGIN is shitcanned with #23; I almost dropped it twice, but it has been pretty good lately, for the most part. I hope that it will get a satisfying resolution of some sort, and that Seagle will pick a tone before he's done.

That's about it for DC. Oh, and dear Mr. Unidentified Solicitation Copy Writer: THANKS for spoiling major events in the text for FABLES #69. Punk.

On the Marvel side, I'll be getting Daredevil and Iron Fist, as usual, and not much else catches my eye. Oh- Iron Man-Enter the Mandarin #5, because I like the art. I'm undecided about Omega, but I may get that too.

And, that's about it!

Now playing: T. Rex - The Time Of Love Is Now
via FoxyTunes

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