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odessasteps
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I ended up re-reading Concrete: Think Like a Mountain. This was the mini-series where Concrete got involved in an eco-war. I believe it was also a time when Chadwick got heavily into the environmental movement. In terms of Chadwick's craftsmanship, his work was starting to reach new peaks, but the story kept bugging me. Then it kept bugging me that the story was bugging me, like I must be some kind of anti-environmentalist if the story bothers me, or that Chadwick was telling me things I didn't want to hear. I still haven't figured out what to make of it. 

Another comic I want to talk about is Mister X. This comic completely fell off a cliff once the Hernandez Brothers left. I have never read a comic of this ilk (touted indy comic) that crash dived so quickly after such a promising start. There may have been a few that were cancelled, but never one that crashed and burned like Mister X. Others may not agree, but I was shocked. 

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Been reading a lot of Wildstorm lately and really enjoying it.  Only been a very casual fan since the mid-90's and never made much an effort to keep up with Marvel/DC much less anything else, so a lot of older classic books are new to me.  Reading Planetary, Authority, the Ultimate line, etc. for the first time and really enjoying all of it.  It helps that i can mostly just cherrypick the best books from the past 35 years and don't have to take a flier on a bad book from a writer you otherwise like or a book with so-so art.

Anyway, big surprise lately is Alan Moore.  I read most all of Moore's DC work when I was into comics more and also some of his early stuff, plus Miracleman. From Hell, etc.  Basic opinion was that he was a gifted writer with a weird depressing outlook.  i found (and still find) Watchmen, Swamp Thing, V for Vendetta, etc. to be well-written series that didn't pull me in because the characters tend to be varying degrees of unsympathetic or morose.  I won't be going back to any of Moore's DC work anytime soon.

I have been reading his Awesome Entertainment/America's Best Comics stuff and really loving it.  Promethea is rather interesting and JH Williams art is lovely.  1963 and Supreme are very silly and a lot of fun (Moore says Supreme is basically his apology for his dark, depressing DC wotk).  Tom Strong and Top 10 were great, etc.  So, yeah, have done a major turnaround on Moore lately and highly recommend Supreme and his ABC books (1963 is fun, but not as easy a recommendation.  It's Moore, Rick Veitch, and Steve Bissette aping the golden age style and the result is more copy than homage or sendup.  I kept thinking it would have been better if Alan Moore had just wrote like Alan Moore and Rick Veitch had just drawn like Rick Veitch.  Plus, the project never got finished due to yet another Alan Moore spat with fellow creators).

Wildhorse and it's various imprints did a lot of great stuff.  I also have a lot of Astro City to catch up on.  Really enjoyed the early stuff, but drifted away from it during V2 or the Dark Age. so....

Starting Mage later this week.  Was a huge fan of Grendel and Mage: The Hero Discovered back in the day, so curious to see how both hold up.  Did read Mage: The Hero Defined about ten years ago.  Only realized last week that Wagner finally got Mage: The Hero Denied published.  There's also a Hunter Rose mini from Dark Horse that i was unaware of until last week.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Picked up Leave it to Chance earlier this week.  Thanks.

Does anyone know why the first Image tpb collection of Mage: Hero Denied seems to be completely unavailable?  Image re-released all of Matt Wagner's Mage titles a couple of years ago and gave them matching formats and numbering.  Basically, they re-released the entire series in six paperback collections and called Hero Discovered book one, Hero Discovered book two, and Hero Denied book three.  They also numbered each volume consecutively.  It's confusing.  The first part of Mage: Hero Denied collects issues 0-7 and is titled "Mage Book Three: The Hero Denied - Part One(Volume 5)"

Anyway, five of the tpbs are readily available and can be bought for cover price.  The fifth volume - covering Hero Denied issues 0-7 is out of print and only available digitally.  No copies on Amazon, ebay, any of the used book services, Barnes and Noble, several dozen comic and graphic novel websites, etc.  I spent more than an hour last night trying to find a copy and the book seems the have completely vanished.  I'm used to being able to buy almost anything on eBay as long as I feel like paying a markup, so this seems weird.  There definitely was a retail tpb but no one seems to have it at any price.  The single issues and the other Image tpbs aren't hard to get at all.

Any idea why this is?  I'm really curious now. 

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just finished reading the entirety of the 1980s MLJ revival of the Archie superheroes. the Shield, the Fly, the Web, Black Hood, etc.

let's just say that i was largely unimpressed. If you want character growth and compelling storylines, this doesn't offer anything close. If you want tight continuity and stories that build upon each other, keep looking. Hell, the lack of continuity might be it's most glaring flaw. There's only about 50 issues total for all of this, and they can't keep anything straight. In "The Fly", our hero regains his powers after years without them. His fiance, Fly-Girl, wants no part of this and subsequently breaks up with him. Or does she? Sometimes they're still together, despite her saying point blank "there's another man". But in the Mighty Crusaders, she's still superheroing as Fly-Girl and she is referred to as his wife. what? Lancelot Strong, the other Shield, dies in his solo book. Nobody mourns him and he just doesn't get mentioned again. Speaking of him, his third solo issue retells what happened in the first. But they change a number of things, including character motivations and how it ends. IT'S BEEN THREE ISSUES!

"the Original Shield" was easily the best of the lot. It's main character is the golden age patriotic hero who has been frozen as a statue for decades, and was recently returned to vitality. "Star-Spangled Man out of Time" is obviously not a new concept, but it still works here. He is treated with reverence and his stories flow pretty well.

the other series that piqued my interest was the flagship title, the Mighty Crusaders. It is the team-up book. It starts solid, if unremarkable, and keeps that up for the first 10 issues or so. After that, it drops to filler. There's very little character development here. One of the few female characters, Fly-Girl, is little more than a third-tier member (despite being one of the most popular heroes of this line's previous revival). The other female, the newly-created Darkling, is unceremoniously mindwiped and left floating in limbo. Speaking of treating your minority characters poorly, the only black member of the team (also created for this run) is Dr. Malcolm Reeves. He doesn't have superpowers, but is quickly killed and then cremated and never mentioned again. Yay diversity?

The worst of the lot is easily Steel Sterling. This is a man whose skin is strong as steel. He spends all his time working out. All 3 of the women in his story want to be with him. He has a gang of kids ("the Steelers") that worship him. He lands a big part as leading man in a movie. And yet, he does nothing of any consequence in any of his appearances. He comes off as a dunce with nothing but the most basic of thought processes. Just utter dreck. 

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Are there any Hellboy fans here? I re-read the original mini-series, and the DHP serial that followed. I don't want to judge it too harshly since Byrne scripted the first series, and the serial was Mignola's first crack at doing the writing, but is there a point where Hellboy comes into its own?

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Agreed.

Just personal preference: my favorite arcs of Hellboy are the ones where Mignola handles both the writing and art himself. For example, I know Richard Corben did some arcs and I've seen high praise for him, I think it's just that Mignola's art is more to my taste. The final stories of the main Hellboy arc where Duncan Fegredo takes over the art duties are fine, it just still doesn't feel quite right. 

But...it has been a few years since I've revisited it all, so I'm probably due. I love Hellboy the character, right? I've spent forever collecting BPRD and the extended Mignolaverse stuff, just need to finally get around to reading it all.

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On 4/1/2022 at 7:07 PM, ohtani's jacket said:

Are there any Hellboy fans here? I re-read the original mini-series, and the DHP serial that followed. I don't want to judge it too harshly since Byrne scripted the first series, and the serial was Mignola's first crack at doing the writing, but is there a point where Hellboy comes into its own?

Yeah it eventually gets really fucking good, imo.

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20 years late on this, but i'm currently reading Alan Moore's Promethea. I'm up through issue 12, and this is SO FUCKING GOOD. i'm hot off a read of Tom Strong, which i really enjoyed, but this is on a whole 'nother level.

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Stan Sakai's run at Mirage was nowhere near as good as his stuff at Fantagraphics. I prefer Usagi in black and white much like I prefer samurai films in black and white to color. The stories didn't seem to resonate as much, either. They were easy reads, but didn't have the same energy. I believe things pick up again with his Dark Horse work.

The Aardvark-Vanaheim/Renegade Press Flaming Carrot Comics were a lot of fun. I really enjoy Bob Burden's sense of humour. His ideas didn't always stick, but he was the master of absurd situations and quirky one-liners. I'm interested to see how well Flaming Carrot transitions into the 90s.

Edited by ohtani's jacket
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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I finished the first arc of Strangers in Paradise. I was surprised by how violent it was. I was expecting some sort of slice-of-life relationship drama like Maggie and Hopey, but instead there was a crime fiction element to the story. It had its moments, but I wasn't a fan of the poetry and prose, and I thought the final chapter was weak. 

I also finished Tyrant. I really loved that book. Just a fascinating and brilliant concept. It's a crying shame that Bissette couldn't finish it. Apparently, it's somewhat outdated in what paleontologists think dinosaur life was truly like, but I thought it was a riveting piece of work. 

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so i'm finishing my big read of America's Best Comics. Essentially Alan Moore's personal line of Super Science Hero comics from 1999-2000ish. And i gotta say, it was pretty awesome. 

Tom Strong-  a "modern" take on a "traditional" superhero. I had always heard this was good, but i found it exceptional. The way Moore would craft these stories, and then find an unexpected solution was pure beauty. He somehow found a way to introduce a plethora of characters and make them all feel familiar and comfortable without relying on the same tropes that are so prevalent. This was 30+ issues of joy. 

Promethea- i covered this in a post a few weeks back, but this was awesome in a whole other way. Jumping head first into spiritualism, sexuality, tarot, belief systems, the afterlife, good/evil, and so much other heady stuff, i was sucked in and didn't let go until the conclusion. Can't praise this enough.

Top 10- a police procedural, set in a town that is exclusively supers. a cool take, and well executed. the setting gave me "Gotham Central" vibes, while the stories were not like that at all. Wish it would have lasted longer to get deeper into some of the characters. Only 12 issues so it's easy to recommend.

Tomorrow Stories- the last of the "big 4", and IMO the least of them. each book has 3-4 short stories covering a few recurring characters. A good chunk of this is done in a comedic manner, whether that be a tongue-in-cheek look at the comic industry (Splash Brannigan), a superhero spoof (First American), or some wacky science ideas (Jack B. Quick). There's also a Spirit analogue (Greyshirt) and an homage to '40s superheroine pin-up girls (Cobweb). i enjoyed the latter two the most, although Cobweb could be hit-or-miss. Most of the others ranged from good but forgettable, to clever setup with waning results, to "is it over yet?" 

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Posted (edited)

I really enjoyed Terra Obscura.  Moore plotted the book with Peter Hogan, but Hogan did the scripting.  Writing was fine and Yanick Paquette’s art is phenomenal.  
 

@twiztoryou do know Moore and Ha came back a few years later for a sequel, right?  Top 10: The Forty-Niners was released as an ogn (original graphic novel) in 2005.  pretty good. I wish they’d collect the original 12-issue run along the The Forty-Niners.

 

(edit: Top 10 was a prequel, not a sequel)

 

Edited by Tarheel Moneghetti
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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, odessasteps said:

You might enjoy some of the spin-offs too. I might be biased since Zander is a pal of mine, but the Smax mini was fun.

i agree, it was a good fun adventure. I did read all of the ABC output, just wanted to touch on the main books so my post wasn't its own novel.

Just now, Tarheel Moneghetti said:

I really enjoyed Terra Obscura.  Moore plotted the book with Peter Hogan, but Hogan did the scripting.  Writing was fine and Yanick Paquette’s art is phenomenal.  
 

@twiztoryou do know Moore and Ha came back a few years later for a sequel, right?  Top 10: The Forty-Niners was released as an ogn (original graphic novel) in 2005.  pretty good. I wish they’d collect the original 12-issue run along the The Forty-Niners.

yeah, Terra Obscura was a fun couple of minis. i enjoyed them both quite a bit. wasn't expecting much but was pleasantly surprised.

the 49ers was a very good self contained prequel. i liked reading how the city came to be and the different reactions (and prejudices) that played into the 'current' stuff.

 

 

Edited by twiztor
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  • 4 weeks later...
On 6/1/2022 at 4:15 PM, odessasteps said:

 

I like the new trade dress,  I am pretty notorious about collecting and recollecting the Matt Wagner materials.  I have a ton of the Mage Reprints as well as the hardcover.

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