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Snark Free Corner for 2/11

Welcome to the latest installment of your breath of snark free air!

Steve Gerber commemorative edition.



I was going to write some lovely things here about how awesome Steve Gerber was as a comic creator, but then I recalled that Greg Hatcher did a piece on the blog about Gerber that even Steve Gerber himself was touched by, so I figure it makes more sense to link you to Greg’s words.

Here is Greg on Steve, “Trapped In A Friday He Never Made!”

For myself, I will just add that Gerber’s legacy, to me, was as a writer who always sought out the weirdness of the universe, but only as an expression of human nature itself, and the strange complexities that make up humanity, so that a comic about a talking duck could be one of the most human stories ever told in comics.

Steve Gerber will be missed.


As always, here is the game. I show three covers. They all have something in common, whether it be a character, a trait all three characters share, locale, creator, SOMEthing. And it isn’t something obvious like “They all have prices!” “They all have logos!” “They all feature a man!” etc.

In addition, please note that you must have some familiarity with comic book history to correctly guess these comics. You cannot guess the connective theme just by looking at the covers solely, you must have some knowledge beyond just the covers.

A cool point to the first person to figure it out!

Good luck!








What is Steve Gerber’s greatest comic creation?


Here are some covers of classic Gerber comic runs, to show you how versatile the man was, and how much of an impact he had on comics….





























A nice thing about the comic blogosphere is that Steve Gerber really seemed to get his due when the blogosphere came about. Before then, it seemed like Gerber was short changed a bit, in the credit department.

Perhaps the most significant tribute to Gerber came from plok’s multi-blogger tribute to Steve Gerber, “Seven Soldiers of Steve.”

Here are links to each of the pieces…

* I. Manifesto…More Or Less

* II. The Final Disconnect

* III. Location, Location, Location

* IV. YJ’s Progress

* V. Epilogue Part One

* VI. Epilogue: The Sequels

* VII. Matt Is Not Coming Back

* VIII. Two Earth-Clotted Hands

* IX. The Astronauts’ Tale

* X. Oneiric Orphans And Overmen

* XI. Goodbye To All That

* XII. Recognition

* XIII. Something Like Democracy

* XIV. Kill This Duck

* XV. Unconclusion

* XVI. The Supercontext

A great tribute to a great writer.

That’s it for this installment of Snark Free Corner.

RIP, Steve Gerber.


Gerber’s greatest creation?

I’d say Howard the Duck.

If not, then, Void Indigo, and Nevada.

I do so hope Marvel feels like a chump for the way they treated him in the past over Howard the Duck.

The best of those SSoS links is undoubtedly VIII. “Two Earth-Clotted Hands”, by Jim Roeg. I think all my co-contributors would agree on that. Although I very much enjoy II, V, VI, VII, and X, as well.

Of my own contributions, I sort of mostly like III.

It’s a damn shame, isn’t it, Brian?

James-Michael Starling
Richard Rory

Cover Theme Game-

All these issues were written by Steve Gerber. It’s true, but is that too obvious?

Yeah, Jim really did an amazing job on his piece. But the rest of the pieces were quite good, too!!

It’s true, but is that too obvious?

For a Gerber commemorative edition, yeah, it is a bit too obvious. ;) There’s another, less obvious, connection.

I retract my statement anyway on the basis that Defenders 65 seems to have been written by David Kraft. Whoops.

Probably too late but for the cover challenge are they all characters Steve Gerber created?
Foolkiller, Red Guardian, and the replacement Dr. Fate?

I don’t read the countdown stuff so I’m guessing.

Cover theme: Dr. Fate, Red Guardian, and Foolkiller are all at least the third character to use those names, and these versions were all created by Steve Gerber.

OH! It just clicked! They are all created by Steve Gerber but they are all different versions of a previous existing character.
Replacement Dr. Fate, there was a male Red Guardian before Starlight/Red Guardian, and that’s like the third Foolkiller.

Those Phantom Zone comics were so so good. Certainly much better than you might expect, but they were great. Peopl should track theses down and read them.

Well, thanks!

Hmph, I was going for “fin on helmet”…

When you mention Steve Gerber, the first thing I think of, is of course, Howard the Duck. I was smart enough and young enough at the time, to be lucky enough to get a whole bunch of those when they first came out.

However, lately, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the Countdown to Mystery issues with the new Dr. Fate. He was an excellent writer, funny as heck, and I’m so sorry that he’s gone.

you have to go with Howard as Steve Gerber’s greatest creation but frankly, almost everything the man wrote was pure gold. Knowing the Howard Omnibus is just around the corner , I’m very interested to see how well its received now. As a single run on 1 title it is amongst the most creative and billiant things I’ve ever read, including the dreaded deadline doom issue which grows in my affections over time.
I’m also pleased to find out that there are Gerber series that I’ve never heard of before like that A.Bizarro one.

Brian, this is one of my favourite snark corners ever. good work!

I just got done reading the original Howard the Duck. Honestly, I don’t understand why anyone liked it then. There was no: storyline, steady supportive cast, or character development. The most recent Howard mini- was a LOT better. It had a STORY! Yes, I know the original HTD was a social commentary. I’m only saying that I don’t understand why it has this cult following. Oh well – to each their own.

Omega, on the other hand, was captivating. It never really developed around the title character, but it was interesting enough with the “supporting cast” and how the boy connected to Omega that I wanted to continue reading. In stark contrast, HTD was a chore to finish.

Foolkiller was NEVER used well. Only in the LS Gerber himself wrote was he done well. Go figure, huh. That LS is one of my favorite stories in comics.

Void Indigo was a tragic abortion. I’d really like to have seen how it would have gone. By today’s standards, it wouldn’t get blinked at, but in the 80’s, it was horribly shocking. The tranny hooker freaked me out!

Absolute favourite Gerber creation?

A line from Howard:

“I’m not negative. I’m ANGRY!”

Steve Gerber wrote the Phantom Zone mini? Wow, that explains a lot. It made a huge impression when I read it as a kid, but that was before I really knew who Gerber was. It wasn’t until a few years later that I started getting heavy into Howard and the Man-Thing.

With that in mind, favorite Steve Gerber creation . . . probably Howard, honestly, but I really want to say Bessie the Hellcow.

I absolutely loved his Phantom Zone mini series. it was the first Superman story that truly had an impact on me.

I have to agree that Howard the Duck was probably his finest creation though he has many to choose from.
Curiously, did he write the Howard the Duck newspaper strip too? I always wanted to see a collection of those come out. I was quite fond of those for the brief time they ran in my paper in the 70’s.

Those Phantom Zone comics were so so good. Certainly much better than you might expect, but they were great. Peopl should track theses down and read them.

Speaking as someone who recently did track down and read those comics (replacing my long-lost and well-worn copies), I couldn’t agree more.
The Phantom Zone is my absolute favorite pre-Crisis, non-Alan Moore Superman story of all time, and remains one of my overall favorites.
And Howard is easily Steve Gerber’s greatest creation.

His greatest creation was probably Howard, since that’s the one most fondly remembered, and no other writers can seem to touch as well as Mr. Gerber.

My personal favorite would be Starhawk probably, or Korvac. His Guardians of the Galaxy was much more to my 70s interests than any of the rest of his work.


February 12, 2008 at 12:02 pm

My favorite Gerber creation? (not to be confused with BEST Gerber creation):

DAWG (from Man-Thing [1st series; # 9 & 10])

OK, not so much a character, per se, but his character TRAITS were beautiful (faithful, brave, steadfast, easygoing, a little mopey – well, he WAS a hound-dog living in a shack in the Everglades)

I always choke up a bit when I re-read his issues.
He gave his life for love.

What better can you ask?

I’m also partial to:
– Wundarr
(later; Aquarian – although I don’t know for sure if Steve made that transition or if it was another writer)

– Doctor Bong

– Dakihm the Enchanter

– Richard Rory (I REALLY like this one, he speaks of the human condition – especially the condition of hard-luck, weirdo, freak-magnets like myself)

– Bev (totally accepting wonder-girl with a heart of gold – by far the best girlfriend in comics)

I’m sure there are more.


Cover theme: Dr. Fate, Red Guardian, and Foolkiller are all at least the third character to use those names, and these versions were all created by Steve Gerber.


I love everything that I’ve read by the man, but that gave me a great deal of perspective as to how much I have left to track down and enjoy.

You really helped kick-start my back-issue shopping list for the year.

I think Hard Time was vastly underrated. I hope DC will collect all the issues into Trades or a DC Steve Gerber omnibus orsomething.

From DC, I also liked his Dr. Fate in the recent countdown to Mystery.

I will have to look for the phantom zone issues and check out Omega the Unknown as I have heard alot of good stuff about these over the years.

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