Thursday, February 26, 2009

New Comics Friday! Plus various and sundry items I thought noteworthy.

Yes, it's been two weeks already, and I'm due to get a new box from my friends at DCBS. And here be the contents, with any luck. Titles marked with an * were purchased on Wednesday from the Great Escape in Bowling Green, KY, the first time I've visited my comics shop on New Comics Day in at least 2 years!

BLUE BEETLE #36: Here we are, the end of the road, the grande finale for this likable character and his cast. The character, I'm sure we'll see again. The cast, I'm not so sure. And often the cast was the most interesting part of the book.

DIANA PRINCE WONDER WOMAN TP VOL 04: I was remiss when writing about the last collection, only partly out of ignorance; Vol. 3 saw the final issue of Mike Sekowsky's tenure on the Wondy revamp, which I did not realize (didn't own the originals, remember). The stories in this collection are all courtesy of Denny O'Neil, Don Heck, Dick Giordano, and in another Brave & Bold reprint, the dynamic duo of Bob Haney and Jim Aparo. One of the issues collected herein was the waters-testing appearance of Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, currently appearing under pseudonyms as magical zombies in Fables, but in 1972 were seen as a possible challenge to Marvel's increasingly popular Conan the Barbarian comic. After that, we got five issues of a title named Sword of Sorcery, which came and went in 1973. Conan ran for at least another decade or two, and then again courtesy of Dark Horse. Yet, I'd rather read one Faf & the Mouser story than five Conans, even though I do love those old Howard pulp stories. Go figure.

HELLBLAZER #252: More scab-picking.

*INCREDIBLE HERCULES #126: About a dozen pages for about a dollar more, and it's also designed as one of those "jumping on spots" we all hear so much about. In story one, we get an origin for Herc that I don't think Stan and Jack had in mind but does hew closely to the Greek myths, and in story two, we find out what happened to Amadeus Cho's coyote pup, which I had wondered about. It's not quite Old Yeller territory, but it does tentatively tug on the old heart strings a bit. Shit, I'm writing reviews, aren't I?

MADAME XANADU #8: Spiffy cover--->

*MISTER X: CONDEMNED #3: More from Dean Motter. Nobody's really paying much attention to this, which is further proof, if any is needed, that it ain't 1983 anymore.

*THUNDERBOLTS #129: Norman Osborne continues to kiss up to Barack Obama. Yelena appears at the end.

UMBRELLA ACADEMY: DALLAS #4: I like the cover to this one, too.

UNKNOWN SOLDIER #5: I'm getting this one, and the next one, then my tour of duty is done.

That's it!

In other things, as I think of them:

Happy Blogaversary to the Incomparable Neilalien, who's been at this for nine years and is still going strong. He's the Cal Ripken of the Comics Blogosphereiverse.

And indirctly speaking of Neilalien, whose Doc Strange love knows no equal, Tom Spurgeon posted an absolutely accurate and very convincing list of seven reasons why Marvel should put out a Doc Strange movie sooner rather than later. I wholeheartedly concur with all of his points.

Hey! Did you hear? The Watchmen movie will premiere in a little over a week! I've seen one early review from a source that I don't exactly equate with Roger Ebert or Mike Clark which was a pan, but hey- lots of great movies, whether or not a box office success, were panned somewhat. The clips I've seen, and I haven't exactly been feverishly lapping them all up as they come out, look like they're sanding off a lot of the edges and missing a lot of nuance- but that's to be expected. Looking at this, I still see respect for the source material, and that's all I ever ask from my comic book movie adaptations. Just don't give me the impression that you're trying to tell people that you're too smart, hip and cool to take a comic book series seriously, and we'll be OK. I'm not so sure that it's possible, in the constraints of a 2 plus hour movie, to capture everything that Moore and Gibbons squeezed into the source material. I decided to reread the singles the other day, and while it's too early for me to really have anything intelligent to say about them (not that I would anyway), I will note that I was very amused by the inner monologues that Moore wrote for Rorschach; having recently reread some of Ditko's old Charlton Question stories (I had forgotten the absolute tone Ditko gave Vic Sage's own inner thoughts), Moore was clearly taking the piss, as our friends from across the big pond say. Or so Vertigo comics writers tell us anyway.

Saying Jog writes excellent reviews is tres redundant, and today's was no exception; he spotlights a book of which I was unaware and which looks like it could be a lot of fun: Supermen! The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes 1936-1941, out "very soon" from Fantagraphics. It's basically a collection of pre-WWII superhero stories, done by such luminaries as Jack Cole and Basil Wolverton.

I posted a few page scans from the Helfer/Baker Shadow that I'm always going on about to scans_daily a night or two ago, got a decent reaction (Deppey even linked to it! Bet he didn't notice I had posted them...) and I might post more eventually. Check 'em!

And while I'm talking about me, it seems I won the voting in the Friday Night Fights last week, for reposting that Gil Kane GL/Atom panel. I am truly honored! That said, I haven't found anything to post for this week's round yet. Stay tuned, my reign might be a short one!

Hm. Thought I had more bookmarked than that. Oh well. You want links, go visit Deppey or Spurgeon or Heidi or any of the twenty-three gazillion comics news websites. As Dave Fiore so often says, good night friends!

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