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CSBG Archive

Everybody’s Somebody’s Baby – Day Six

A day off for Memorial’s Day, but let us now continue with a look at some comic book runs that did not make the Top 158, but were loved by someone anyways!

Enjoy!

James Robinson and Travis Charest’s WildC.A.T.S. – 12 points (1 first place vote)

WildC.A.T.s: Covert Action Teams #15-20

James Robinson did some yeoman work in his transitionary work between Jim Lee and Brandon Choi and Alan Moore on WildC.A.T.S.

One of the major stories in this run was a spotlight on the Black Razors, some fairly minor characters that Robinson developed so well that years later, Micah Wright would choose to do a story on the Black Razor characters based almost entirely on that one story Robinson wrote years earlier.

And, of course, Travis Charest’s art is magnificent.

Here is reader Jeff on why this run was tops on his list!

So why did James Robinson and Travis Charest’s WildC.A.T.s #15-20 rank #1 on my top ten list?

Before the release of these issues, WildC.A.T.s was synonymous to its creator-artist Jim Lee. His presence was a very bold display of hyperstylized action, detail, and god-like supermodel pretty people accomplishing god-like acts of heroism.

Robinson/Charest’s work politely shakes hands with that interpretation. Then it takes a machine-gun-rapid crap on it.

Expectation, humiliation, the option of mercy nosediving against the fear of regret, and the pressure of having to scrape out a split-second go-with-your-gut decision while being painted into a corner by the people whom you thought were your friends: these are just a few of the ass nasty demons that Robinson and Charest juggle with within their run. Cool, casual in-your-face, it’s a mind-opener to read, watch, and listen to.

Bonus points: WildC.A.T.s #15-20 is also a melodic experience. Shoutouts to inker Troy Hubbs and colorist Joe Chiodo whose contributions help the story and art play music. I don’t know what exactly the creators were listening to, but these six issues visually capture some of the finer, spy-capable moods and tones from songs by The Cure, Joy Division, Bauhaus, and The Smiths. hell yes.

Thanks, Jeff!!

Another run tomorrow!!

6 Comments

Choirsoftheeye

May 28, 2008 at 5:06 am

Sweet!

This is in the wrong section, though.

Hmm, the music of the Smiths? Makes me curious to read this run. And James Robinson to top it off.

Sure sounds like a mopey adventure, if that’s the music it recalls.

I think I used this run as an example of what I felt was “90s good.”

At the time, it was just light years ahead of most other Image books, so it looked a lot better than it actually was. It is still a good run, but a lot of the stuff Robinson did there was unusual for the time, but not standard fare nowadays.

Awesome piece by that guy Jeff!

thanks Ariel.

“light years ahead of most other Image books”- true observation Brian.

also very recently, while doin a lil research thru Wikipedia, i found some intriguing info related to this run and the music i mentioned.

a few of the members from the bands that i mentioned (particularly Joy Division and The Smiths) come from or have very strong important punk historical ties to where James Robinson is from: Manchester.

“Manchester” also happens to be the last name of one of the WildC.A.T.s characters: Ladytron (her first name: Maxine, a cyberpunk debuting during Alan Moore’s run, which followed right after Robinson’s)

back in the mid-90s, when Maxine Manchester/Ladytron debuted in issue 21 of that series, her unusual appearance, rock attitude, and non-superhero name immediately made me think of Marilyn Manson. but now after just learning more about the Manchester music scene. wow. and also i noticed how there’s a character named Smith who appears later throughout Joe Casey’s Wildcats run. and if i remember correctly i think it was Robinson who wrote a character named Slaugherhouse Smith for a very short series called Team One: WildC.A.T.s.

coincidence? maybe, but i dont think so.

i feel like moron for just discovering these Manchester connections just now, over a decade later after this run. which only emphasizes Brian’s “light years ahead” comment.

rocking:)

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