Friday, May 22, 2009

You've Been Warned: Silver Surfer Annual #5

Good grief! If this isn't the nadir of early 90s comic books, I don't know what is. I don't mean to pick on that particular decade, as there were many fine comics produced at the time (and I was actually a pretty big fan of the Surfer's series), but this one is beyond terrible. I'll admit that I haven't read the other chapter in the 'Return of the Defenders' saga, so maybe it all ties together beautifully - but I'm doubtful. It's a fairly typical convoluted Marvel crossover storyline that my 36-year old brain has trouble follow. I don't mean to complain too much about the story, as I wanted to reserve the balance of my venom for the artwork. Lots of artists doing the neo-Image through came through Marvel's revolving doors at the time, but I can't think of a worse effort than the one by Tom Morgan in these pages. In particular, there is one sequence involving Namor, sunglasses and a convertible that would be rejected by a fanzine. I don't want to get one of those Internet jerks who just bitches about everything - but this was a pricey book back in the day, and it's just ugly. Some nice pin-ups at the back manage to act as a salve. Avoid.

5 comments:

M W Gallaher said...

Holy cow, that cover looks like a parody of amateur art! Was that Morgan? I remember his name only from a Batman comic where he turned in a Jim Aparo impersonation (Jim was alive and available at the time, which made the assignment seem kind of pointless to me). It's always astonishing to me how some fairly decent artists tried hard to duplicate the weaknesses of other, more popular artists of the day.

Mickey Coalwell said...

There is arguably more stylistic variation in comics today than there was in the MarvelImage era, but I do note with some alarm that the slick Frank Cho Greg Land Ian Churchill school of porn pseudo-photorealism is ascendant. Thank goodness for originals like Eric Powell, Tony Moore, Jerome Opena, Gabriel Ba, Fabio Moon and Guy Davis. I feel sorry for the '90s guys like Tom Morgan who ended up conforming to a house style that buried whatever talents they had. Michi

GarBut said...

Just look at the Hulk in the bottom-right corner of the cover -- a shoddy aping of the (I believe) Dale Keown Hulk in the UPC-code box in the opposite corner. Hell, I don't even like the latter one that much, but here, it's a comparative masterpiece.

Scott M said...

The only thing I can add is that the art is far, far worse on the inside.

The Titan said...

Comparing Frank Cho to Greg Land is beyond ridiculous. Cho wrote and drew a weekly comic strip for years and has a unique and provocative style that is instantly recognizable. Whatever your complaints about his cheesecake, his deadlines, or his recent choice of collaborators, Cho is an undeniable talent.