Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Steve Ditko Cover of the Week: Out of This World #16

Have I discussed all of the Ditko covers from this series? It sure feels like it. They are hard to avoid discussing as they are just so unique and interesting. I think I've stated before that the great thing about Ditko's covers for Charlton, and this series in particular is that he was obviously allowed to do as he pleased. These covers are unlike anything else from that era. The abstract quality of the images and the sheer blackness of the background is a far cry from the clear design and clean lines that one would see on a House of Mystery cover. Both are great, but I am just so impressed that covers such as this one were showing up on spinner racks in the late 50s. It's too bad that tacky 'Free Prizes' banner interferes with the overall impact of this cover. It brings us all back to Earth, unwillingly.

Friday, May 09, 2014

I Loves Me Some Daredevil by Mark Waid

Let's be honest. I love just about anything Daredevil related. I love the Miller stuff, the Brubaker stuff and I even have a lot of love for the Mike Murdock saga. Why single out this recent stretch of stories by Mark Waid? Well, I don't tend to read too many new comics but this stuff came highly recommended and has sucked me in. Waid has always had a talent for characterization. His work on the Flash really established Wally West as an important member of the DCU and his entire supporting cast was nicely fleshed out. His characters seem strong yet flawed. I think the most appropriate word is 'human'. Much of the same takes place here. Matt and Foggy are clearly old friends, but there's a freshness to their relationship. One thing people often overlook during Frank Miller's tenure is the humour that was sprinkled throughout those stories. Waid brings back the humour, not in an overbearing way but in a way that allows Daredevil to be the swashbuckling hero he was in his early days. There is a bit of a revolving door in terms of the art teams, but that does not  detract too much from the impact of the stories. I've read through the first 3 TPBs and I am anxious to get my hands on more.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

You've Been Warned: Wolverine: Logan

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I like Wolverine, I really do. Hell, my son's name is Logan. The thing is, it takes a like of digging through Wolverine-centric crap before you find anything good. I'm sorry to report that this one falls into the category of crap. This three issue miniseries is pure style over substance. I really like the fact that they place Logan in Hiroshima in 1945. That's a great move and becomes an interesting part of his back story. The other parts of the story, however, fall flat. There is a love story here, but it develops at such a breakneck speed that it never allows the reader to feel an emotional attachment. The antagonist is also underdeveloped, with unbelievably coincidental powers and a desire to kill Logan that is not adequately explored. Of course, it all climaxes in an overlong showdown that is poorly executed. I wish people focused more on storytelling and less on posing. Boy, do I sound grumpy today! I know that some people really like Risso's artwork, but it does not do much for me here. Avoid.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Highlighting House Ads: Timely 1941

Here's a terrific ad from the early days of Timely Comics. It's not terribly interesting from a style point of view, but rather as a piece of history. First, note the announcement for the upcoming All-Aces Comics. Never heard of it? Well, nobody ever saw it. I believe that this was the original working title for All-Winners Squad. Also note the 'Imitators Beware' section, which is a stern warning to other publishers cranking out patriotic heroes. Timely is conveniently ignoring the fact that they ripped off MLJ's The Shield. Ain't history fun?