Thursday, August 22, 2013

My Reading Pile: February, 1993

I was 20 years old, trying to survive a frigid Montreal winter in my second year as an undergrad. I did not have a ton of money, but I still managed to get mys hands on a few funnybooks every month. Here's a scattering of what I bought that month.

Justice Society of America #8 - Ever since I was a little kid, I have been a big fan of the JSA. One of my main concerns coming out of Crisis was that DC would put the Earth-Two characters out to pasture. At times, it seems like that might actually happen but the early 90s revival gave me hope that there was a place in the DCU for Rex Tyler, Charles McNider and the rest of the gang. This is not a particularly notable issue but for the fact that, like all of them, it features amazing artwork by Mike Parobeck. It still makes me feel unbelievably sad that Parobeck passed away at such a young age.

Green Arrow: The Wonder Year #3 - As I may have mentioned a hundred times or so, I am a big Green Arrow fan. I could not get enough of the regular series, so it was a real treat to have some extra Ollie stories to read for a few months. This was Mike Grell's attempt at a Year One. While this was not at Miller's level, it is still a pretty solid read and Gray Morrow inking Grell's pencils is a sight to behold.

Flash #75 - I will fully admit that the whole Return of Barry Allen storyline had me hook, line and sinker. Like Wally, my jaw dropped when he showed up. It might have something to do with the fact that I grew up admiring Barry much in the same way Wally did. This was one of the first times I remember noting Mark Waid's name. Barry's erratic behaviour had me a bit worried but, like Wally, I was in deep denial. A fun, charming cover by Ty Templeton.

The Spectre #5 - I was a fan of this series from the get-go. Sure, the glow in the dark covers were cool, but what really got me was the characterization of The Spectre. John Ostrander took much of what was good about the Doug Moench series and added a whole new layer to it. The characters were more fully fleshed out and the storyline were much more memorable. All in all, it just resonated with me. This issue is a good example of the mixture of occult and crime fighting offered by the series.

The only thing I regret missing that month was the initial issue of Sandman Mystery Theatre. It would take me a few months to get caught up on that series, which was my favourite of the decade.

1 comment:

Four-Color Kid said...

WOw. We sure had similar comic book tastes!

The only book on that list I didn't buy was SPECTRE. Never was big Spectre fan, although I did buy Doug Moench's run. I usually dug John Ostrander (I have a soft spot for his long SUICIDE SQUAD run), and covers on this (then) new series were beautiful, reviewers seems unanimously in favor of it, but I could never stand looking at Tom Mandrake's art.... Yech! No structure, no proportions, sketchy art... I know, I know, I probably missed a classic run...

On the opposite end of the spectrum of Mandrake's dark style was the bright, fun, clean line of Mike Parobeck. I still miss his work. Just when he finally started to get some recognition on animated Batman, Fate proved she was a cruel bitch once again. Anyway, I was really into Parobeck clean & fun style way before he did Batman. His JSA was such a cool and fresh read, especially during an era called by some the 'Dark Age' of comics, for it's dark themes, violence, where every hero seem to dress in spiky black leather. Parobeck was a breath of fresh air, at a time where we needed him the most.

I loved Mike Grell's run GREEN ARROW run. It seemed to be written with the same love for the character that he manifested for his own Jon Sable series. I never did get that same feeling by all other writers that followed him on the Emerald Archer.

I usually stayed away from post CRISIS/LEGENDS Flash. Barry Allen was always the Flash for me. But when that young new writer Mark Waid started to make a name for himself on the Flash, I tried out the first issue of the Return of Barry Allen storyline. And I too was hooked, and added Mark Waid on my 'must-read' list. To this day, because of that storyline, I will, at the very least, tryout every new title by Mark Waid. I don't always like everything he does, but I will give him a chance on every new thing he does.