The two series I've been the most interested in pursuing as a result of these threads thus far have been Prez and Shade: The Changing Man. I'm sure I'll eventually seek out many of the others that have been mentioned, as well.
Check out all of My Classic Comic Review Threads!
10. Marvel Boy (6 issues, August 2000-March 2001)
I'm pretty sure this was the first Grant Morrison comic I ever read. I'm not a Morrison fanatic by any means, as some of his work leaves me cold, but I was pretty blown away by Marvel Boy.
The whole thing feels like an updating of the classic Marvel teen hero. Marvel Boy (Noh-Varr) is not just an alien Kree. He's from an alternate dimension to boot. I'm almost thirty, but I'm pretty sure that that's what being a teenager felt like: alien from another dimension.
Noh-Varr suffers the Marvel hero loss as his ship is shot down by a multi-trillionaire obsessed with getting superpowers. He's the only survivor. Whereas Spider-Man quickly took up responsibility, Noh-Varr, a true millenial, only wants revenge. His villains are the 21st century megarich, a living corporation, and the military industrial complex. Spider-Man fought old men. Marvel Boy fights the system that the old men built.
All-Star Western, Casanova, Criminal, Daredevil, Dark Horse Presents, Funnies, Hellboy/BPRD, King City, Orc Stain, Snarked, Unwritten, Usagi Yojimbo
I'm glad no one has already picked my #10.
Before the name evoked a series about sparkling bloodsuckers, there was a DC comic re-imagining, for the sake of a three issue miniseries, the cosmic heroes of the line. That series' name?
The script by Howard Chaykin had all the qualities usually associated with the man: strong characters (especially female ones), sex and violence presented as more than eye candy or power fantasies, politics, religion, and a lot of acerbic and tongue-in-cheek dialogue.
The tone is kind of bleak, in the vein of the Five Years Later storyline from Legion of super heroes. But there's so much fun picking up all the details and finding all the easter eggs in there that this is a trip really worth making. For example, in a scene where Star Hawkins barges in a robotic brothel, he's using a hand-held device that's used to smash robots with one's fist. The device is called a Magnus, and when you strike with it it makes the sound "SPA-FON!". A guy who gets magnussed in that scene is called Kapek (although we don't learn if his given name was Karel). A pair of space rangers are called Broome and Fox. And so on.
The story involves plenty of DC space heroes, although none of them is as pure and innocent as in the 60s. Tommy Tomorrow, The Planeteers, the knights of the galaxy, Manhunter 2070, Star Hawkins, the star rovers, Iron Wolf... all that's missing is Adam Strange, but as he had also been reinterpreted a short while before, perhaps DC didn't feel it was appropriate to see him here. (Besides, Strange isn't from the future). The art, by superstar Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, is even better than in his classic "Atari Force"; it is rich, vivid and highly detailed.
I just re-read the first issue, and it has aged quite well! We find echoes of American Flagg!!! in Chaykin's comments of society and culture, and all in all this feels like the kind of funnybook we'd give to an adult who usually doesn't care about funnybooks.
Talk about different perspectives ... 2 straight picks (Marvel Boy & Twilight) that I found too poor to finish.
Which is why they have horse races, or however the saying goes.
I tend to split superhero comics fans into "People who like Krypto" and "People who don't like Krypto."
Basically, if you miss the wonder of a dog flying around in a little Superman cape, you're in the wrong hobby.
The sword & sorcery genre started in Marvel Comics in the late 60s. There were hints of s&s in a couple of stories by Roy Thomas and John Buscema - the Serpent Crown saga in Sub-Mariner and the Arkon story in Avengers. Then Thomas and Barry Smith did "Starr the Slayer" in one of Marvel's anthologies. Conan the Barbarian started in 1970, and when it became a breakout hit, the years 1971-73 saw a mini-Golden Age of sword & sorcery comics. In those years we saw Conan in color and black & white, drawn by Barry Smith, Gil Kane and John Buscema; and Kull by Berni(e) Wrightson, Ross Andru inked by Wally Wood, the Severins, and Mike Ploog. We'll be seeing one of those runs later in my list. But today's entry is DC's contribution to the sword & sorcery Golden Age:
Sword of Sorcery by Denny O'Neil and Howard Chaykin
Denny was an old pro by this time - well, maybe not "old", but not a kid anymore. Chaykin was in his first year in the industry. Going by the GCD, this was his seventh published story. This is before Ironwolf, before Cody Starbuck, before Dominic Fortune, before The Scorpion. This was his breakthrough. It was a great sword & sorcery comic with an identity of its own - it was like Conan, but different. It inspired me to buy the original Fritz Leiber stories at the first opportunity. I still don't understand why the comic didn't sell, and so lasted only five issues. I'd still like to create a Grey Mouser costume for myself if I can ever convince Bill Walton to dress as Fafhrd.
The other comic that showed up in this category in my original list was Weird Worlds, but the disappointment of losing the Burroughs material in the middle of the run made me drop it.
I also liked the Thomas/Kane Ring series, but I read it shortly after reading the P. Craig Russell version. Craig had a lot more pages to work with, so when I got to the Thomas/Kane version, they seemed to me to be rushing to cram the story into too few pages.
Last edited by Rob Allen; 12-15-2012 at 11:55 AM.
On the the third day of Christmas I give unto thee this obscure little gem....
Roland: Days of Wrath #1-4 (July-October 1999) from Terra Major
A 1999 Xeric grant winner and the first time I encountered the artwork of Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon who alternated issues, this 4 issue series retells the story of the Song of Roland. It also featured the coloring artistry of Steve Oliff. Amaya cleaves to the oral tradition of the chanson de geste by tailoring the tale to the audience in his adaptation, and his scripting has a rhythm to it that is reminiscent of reading epic poetry. The art by Ba and Moon is raw and visceral, with a slight cartoonish bent, but beautiful to behold. It has the scale needed for an epic but captures the uniqueness and emotional state of the characters. As someone who has spent a good portion of my life devoted to medieval studies (achieving a Masters but not continuing to PhD work), I have encountered the Song of Roland in many forms and translations, and this ranks as one of the most enjoyable versions. Amaya and his collaborators are unashamedly producing a comic book, and the art and telling reflect the medium chosen, but the heart and soul of this work remain true to its source material. However that source material can be problematic to modern sensibilities with its bias and portrayals of the conflicts between Christendom and the Islamic world in the medieval period. The tone of the comic reflects that of the original epic, which might ruffle a few reader’s feathers in the contemporary world.
Cover #1 by Fabio Moon
and cover to #2 by Gabriel Ba
There are also black and white ashcans for each issue that were given to retailers as incentives for orders.
Follow Your Bliss!
Wow some great stuff so far today. The Thomas/Kane Ring cycle got consideration, but ultimately I like the version P. Craig Russell did for Dark Horse better, but it was a series of 4 issue mini-series and I couldn't pick just one, so I left it off my list.
Red Wolf and Combat Kelly are books that I have only 1-2 issues of, so I didn't consider them, but I like what I have read of them.
Solomon Kane, Wolverine and Sword of Sorcery all got strong consideration for my list, and Rima is a series I have been eyeing for a while but never got around to getting. Twilight by Chaykin and Garcia-Lopez looks interesting as well.
This is my first 12 Days of Christmas thread here, so it is interesting to get a peak into everybody's comic tastes.
Follow Your Bliss!
I'm holding onto SWORDS OF SORCERY as one of my fall-backs, in case another pick gets disqualified or I just happen to change my mind at the last minute--I read their debut in WONDER WOMAN and a couple issues of SOS, back in the day--but I just managed to fill in the whole run a few months ago.
#10. Nocturnals 1-6
Take some horror,mix it with crime, throw in some supernatural threats,add some outstanding artwork by Daniel Brereton and you have the Nocturnals. It follows the exploits of Doc Horror and his crew of freaks and outcasts. Oh and daughter who's got some scary powers. I don't want to spoil too much but this comic would make a lot of lists if only more people read it.
My third entry is Elfquest: Kings Of The Broken Wheel #1-9
Published by WaRP Graphics, written and illustrated by Wendi Pini and co-authored by Richard Pini.
I wasn't sure if I would choose this series or Siege At Blue Mountain, but in the end Kings won my favor. In my opinion it's the peak of Wendy's illustration skills and the last series I really liked before all the changes with multiple titles, multiple creative teams, multiple timelines, color interiors, and so on, that I thought were a negative impact on the series. So this was the last stand alone linear black and white story in the same spirit as the original that was so renowned and the second series which was my first introduction to Elfquest. I eagerly bought each issue of Kings as it came out in the early 90's, blown away at the drastic changes made to the characters and major events unfolding in the story along the way. One of the last comic series I was truly excited to see like that before I quit reading them for over a decade. I wanted Elfquest to be on my list and wanted to narrow it down to one example.
The Copper Age is my Golden Age
My 2013 1000 comic progress
10. Marvel Presents 1-12 1975
I have to admit that I am a rabid fan of the original GOTG and that more than anything is why this is on my list. The first few issues featured Bloodstone which was more of a monster-themed series. However, the other ten issues were pure GOTG action! This series also introduced us to Nikki and had the origin of Starhawk. Needless to say I got these right off the spinner rack back in the mid-seventies.
The art was pedestrian (Milgrom) but the writing was better (Gerber then Stern), although it was the characters that really attracted me to this group. Most were the last of their kind and all came together for a common cause… I am a sucker for that kind of dynamic. My favorite story was the “asylum planet” in #5 with all the weird looking aliens and the struggle to buy a part in an electronics shop for the GOTG ship and get the heck out of this crazy place. This whole series was classic space adventure and some of the best GOTG stories out there!
Last edited by METAROG; 12-16-2012 at 04:57 AM.
30 cent variant set finally finished!
30 cent variant set finally finished!
by Chris Claremont, Frank Miller, and Josef Rubinstein
I see I am not the first person to think this would be a good day 3 entry. Ah well. I guess I will continue to walk in shaxper's shadow.
The introduction to the trade paperback I reread in preparation for this entry describes Claremont and Miller's vision of Wolverine as a "failed samurai. That vision comes through eloquently in this tale of a man at odds with himself. In the face of lost love and betrayal, Wolverine struggles for his honor and his humanity.
Miller's knack for action and excellent use of silhouettes carries us through Logan's journey, and the faces of the characters in closeups give the story its heart.
Wolverine is a character not liked by many in comics circles. This seems to derive from the fact that he is too popular in some other comics circles. His earliest appearances didn't quite know who he was yet. His later appearances settled into a stereotypical image of who he was--the guy who kills-- which seemed to satisfy throngs of fans. But there is a good character there, or at least there was for a brief shining moment. This was that moment.
formerly coke & comics
Sleepwalker is Sandman done right. ~Tadhg
AZTEK: THE ULTIMATE MAN
1-10 (DC Comics) 1996-97
I'm a huge Grant Morrison fan, nay a Whorrison for the man's work. His fertile imagination was thing that was needed to re-introduce the Justice League to the 90s market, with mindblowing adventures. He also created some cool characters during that run, particuarly Zauriel. When Morrison and Mark Millar presented Aztek to the readers in 1996, he was 10 years ahead of the curve when it came to superheroes. A man created by a super-secret organization to better the world, who doesn't know who he is, just his mission. N. Steven Harris' pencils worked well for these 10 issues, it felt more like a Vertigo hero than a regular DCU hero. I loved the whole use of the Mesoamerican mythos of Quetzalcoatl, which something Morrison has used over in lots of his works, I got a cool and definitely unique hero. Shame it only last 10 issues and then him perishing 3 months later in a JLA book to save the world.
Buy the trade on Amazon
"If you live among wolves you have to act like a wolf."