For reviews, essays and interviews with comic creators, check out my website at The Vault.
It's hardly a secret that something is badly wrong with me. - Dan B. in the Underworld
I am ... a condescending prick sometimes. But I usually mean to be. - Paradox
I'm not infallible. I just act like it. - Me
#9. The Inferior Five 1-12
I bought a couple of these issues off the stands when I was a kid. The title was edited by Joe Orlando with stories by E. Nelson Bridwell and art by Orlando, Mike Sekowsky and Win Mortimer. In the original try out in Showcase the Inferior Five met the Liberty Brigade which was a satire on the JLA. Issues 11 and 12 came out in the early 70s with reprints of the Showcase stories. The GCD lists this as two separate titles. Inferior Five 1-10 and Inferior 5 11-12.
Rehab is for Quitters
All-Star Western, Casanova, Criminal, Daredevil, Dark Horse Presents, Funnies, Hellboy/BPRD, King City, Orc Stain, Snarked, Unwritten, Usagi Yojimbo
9. Hollywood Superstars #1-5 by Mark Evanier and Dan Spiegle, 1990-1991
There's an obligatory joke that one is required to make when mentioning enjoying Hollywood Superstars:
"Yes, I'm the other person that bought it."
It may have had unfortunately low sales, but the real losers were those who skipped over this gem. Those who read this team's magnificent Crossfire have a good idea of what to expect: adventure stories, set around the Hollywood show business scene, with plenty of heart, wit, character, and fun. Our stars, Jerry, Leo, and Melody, live in a Hollywood brought to vivid life by Evanier's obviously-authentic showbiz foundations and Spiegle's topnotch artwork. I love both these creators, and would buy almost anything they created with or without each other, but when they come together in this setting, they're both at their best. Spiegle deserves special praise for his skill at rendering "character actors" (which he gets far more opportunity to do here than most comics artists ever get) and at his "set design." His lush pages are so rich with detail and genuineness. Alas, the comic is somewhat marred by coloring via a technology that hadn't quite been mastered in 1990, but that's overlooked easily enough when the work is this good.
And as an extra treat, each issue featured a long "Show Business" essay by Evanier. Never has a comic had text pages as compellingly readable as these!
You can read this comic by buying back issues. I don't think a collection is likely.
Last edited by MWGallaher; 12-16-2012 at 12:09 PM.
"We're Santa's elves, and we're here to tell you about ourselves!"--Summer and Eve
Twisted Tales #1-10
A horror anthology with multiple contributors, Richard Corben being the star of the show in my opinion. That being said, it's an all around good title with all the stories being enjoyable. And all the covers, regardless of whjo illustrated it, sell me hook, line, and sinker every time I see them. You just want to pick it up and read it after seeing the horrifying images on the covers.
The interior art does not disappoint either
(link only because very large scan)
The stories and dialogue were reminiscent of the old Warren mags, which is a plus for me. They weren't groundbreaking for their time, but instead a homage to the best of an earlier time.
The Copper Age is my Golden Age
My 2014 1000 comic progress
Justice Society of America 10 issues Aug. 92 - May 93
I'm willing to bet the farm this one will show up again. But how could I not include probably my favorite incarnation of the great Justice Society of America. This one hit all the right notes. Nice combination of heroics and humor, age and youth (Jessie Custer), fun stories and absolutely gorgeous artwork.
Unfortunately this one was a victim of the dreaded editorial decision. I'm sure it wasn't doing gangbuster sales, but it's clear from the letters columns that this one just didn't "fit" the direction that DC wanted to take their funnybooks. There's no place for elder statesmen who are having a bit of fun being actual heroes.
Still...for ten issues this was probably my favorite comic at the time.
#9 - The Black Dragon #1-6 by Chris Claremont and John Bolton (Marvel/Epic, 1985)
In 1985 Chris Claremont stepped away from his legendary Uncanny X-Men run to write up a tale of epic fantasy set within Medieval Europe titled, The Black Dragon. Dark times enthrall the British Isles, as Christianity fights to displace the old religions. Our hero is James Lord Dunreith, Duke of Ca'rynth, who was banned from the kingdom on accusations of using the Devil's arts. Many years have passed, and after King Henry's death the Duke attempts to return. He is mortally wounded in doing so, and as his soul begins it's journey into the netherworlds he is saved by the Eldritch Fire of the Black Dragon.
Lord Dunreith is given a chance to redeem himself, and is tasked with investigating the rumors of rebellion and heresy in the west country, led by his old friend Edmund De Valere. From there we learn that De Valere is using Black Magic to claim the realm, and with the help of some magical allies, it's up to James to stop him.
Assessment of this series in Part 2.
Last edited by B.A.L.; 12-16-2012 at 12:52 PM.
Part 2: #9 - The Black Dragon #1-6 by Chris Claremont and John Bolton (Marvel/Epic, 1985)
The artwork by John Bolton is incredible in this series, and reminds me a lot of Prince Valiant or Ivanhoe. And the way Claremont weaves Old English mythology into his tale is simply masterful. He surprises us with all kinds of historical icons of the period, from Robin Hood and Brian Griffon, to Eamonn the Faerie King and Morgan le Fey.
One of my favorite moments is when James is pulled deep under the ground by the undead. All hope is lost, and James must summon the power of the Eldritch Fire to escape. It's a purely epic sequence that defines the series as a whole.
I have no idea why The Black Dragon hasn't been given more credit. I know some of the knocks have been that there were too many "word bubbles" in the panels, but it didn't bother me. The story is intelligent and complex and the artwork is beautiful and rich. Claremont himself considers this one of his best works, and I have to agree.
The Black Dragon ends up as the best series I've ever had the pleasure of reading out of the Epic Comics' line. It's also in TPB form with a nice introduction by Anne McCaffrey but that one's in B&W, so I would get the six individual issues instead. Can't recommend this underrated classic enough!
Last edited by B.A.L.; 12-16-2012 at 12:56 PM.
Angel and the Ape and Inferior 5 were both on my short list, but ended up getting bumped. In retrospect, I probably should have kept at least one of them.
Glad to see others nominating Wanted...it's not a title I hear discussed much, so it's nice to know others remember it as fondly as I do.
Glorianna - Barbarian adventure! New page every Friday!
30 cent variant set finally finished!