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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 75

Here is the latest cool comic book moment in our year-long look at one cool comic book moment a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we look at a great scene from Seven Soldiers #1!


The discussion of Seven Soldiers in the “DC Reboot” entry made me think back about how awesome Seven Soldiers was, so I figured I’d share a moment from the finale.

The Manhattan Guardian (who has, for whatever silly reason, been ignored since his mini-series – to the point where DC even went to the effort of introducing a NEW Guardian rather than just using the Manhattan Guardian) had the following shtick – he was a superhero who worked for a newspaper, so as he did his superhero thing, he would also be finding stories and the Newsboy Legion would follow him and report on the stories.

It’s a clever shtick, and in Seven Soldiers #1, an issue where artist J. H. Williams III just went absolutely NUTS in terms of clever designs, Williams decided to tell the story (which also involved Guardian’s estranged wife and mother-in-law coming to try to find him) THROUGH a newspaper!

Click on the following pages to enlarge…

If I had to pick ONE “moment,” I guess it would be when he finally bursts out of the pages of the newspaper.

Later in the issue, he and his wife finally meet up again, also in classic fashion…

Man, Williams rocked this issue so freakin’ hard.


“That’s ok, baby. I’ll get to them when we’re done kissing.”

Bad. Ass.

Yeah, maybe THAT should be “the” moment.

I only didn’t count it because it was so far away from the other pages, but perhaps I should!

that llittle bit having it be a newspaper page is interesting. even though never read that version of seven soliders and loved the will deal with them after we kiss talk about romantic and hard core

Yeah, I was just gonna say that line was the moment for me too.

Hard. Core.

Williams decided to tell the story (which also involved Guardian’s estranged wife and mother-in-law coming to try to find him) THROUGH a newspaper!

Morrison told him to do this. In fact, if you look at the script excerpt they reprint in the back of Seven Soldiers Vol 4 TPB, you’ll find that Morrison actually wrote in MORE stuff for Williams to draw that never made it to the page. For example, the script calls for maybe a dozen additional things in that already jam-packed first panel. So really it’s Morrison who went NUTS and Williams (who did a fantastic job, this is no slam on him) sort of struggling to box his insanity within the page.

Oh sure, I didn’t mean to imply that the page designs were of Williams’ own initiative. They had to have been dictated by Morrison.

Ahh, this sequence is the business. I also loved how Morrison, for want of space, just threw in some plot point wrap-ups in the form of sidebars and crossword puzzle answers the reader had to deduce on their own. And, of course, Williams is a genius, as the whole comic proved.

I loved the Manhattan Guardian, and we need to see more of him.


Did you ever solve the cryptic crossword?

I wish we would see more of this Guardian in the DCU.

As nicely as those newspaper pages are designed, I thought telling the story of the Battle of Manhattan via them felt like a cop-out. I would’ve wanted to see the battle as an actual comic story, now it felt like Morrison did the newspaper thing because he didn’t have enough pages to tell the story properly. And because Manhattan Guardian’s part in the final issue was condensed like that, to me it was kinda unclear what exactly was his role (as one of the Seven Soldiers) in defeating the Sheeda? Okay, the newspaper show him leading folks to battle the Sheeda, but would they have actually lost to Sheeda without him? Didn’t Frankenstein alredy take care of most of Sheeda’s invading forces?

To be honest though, most of SS #1 felt a bit too condensed. They should’ve given Morrison 96 pages or something to get everything resolved in a proper manner. Now it felt like he was rushing through things to give all of the Seven Soldiers at least some sort of closure. (Except for poor Frankie, who got none.)

Frank took care of his business in his own mini, which explains short shrift in SS #1. But hey, he was the most prominent Soldier in Final Crisis.

No thanks to the battle scene. If there’s anything I don’t want to see more of, it’s textless battle scenes that stretch on for pages. Good on Morrison/Williams for compressing that into the newspaper page quite nicely.

It was such a cool project. All of the artists that worked on the various mini series were fantastic, but Williams proved with the final issue that he is one of the best in the business. I can’t wait for Detective Comics. Pity Morrison isn’t writing it. (No disrespect to Rucka. He’ll do just fine.)

While that sequence is all kinds of kickass, I loved the WIndsor McKay style pages between Klarion and Zee’s apprentice. Captured the style beautifully… heck, every page JH Williams did was gorgeous. Can you put up all the pages for this issue as Cool Comic Book Moments?

Although 7 Soldiers 1 left me cold after reading it the first time, I still loved that sequence. After reading the whole project in one fell swoop, 7S1 made for a much better conclusion. More pages would have been nice, but at least it made more sense.

Seven Soldiers #1 proved once and for all the J.H. Williams is the best artist currently working in comics right now. In fact, I would go so far as to say that he is the best artist ever. (NOTE: Kirby and Ditko were brilliant conceptualizers and very good artists, but as artists alone they weren’t as godly as most people thing.) I had to make sure after I read it that all those pages were him. The way he used multiple styles simultaneously like that shows an unprecedented versatility.


March 17, 2009 at 4:57 pm

Manhattan Guardian was my fave of all the mini’s – such a cool character.

It saddens me that he’s been ignored since, and even replaced.

Who replaced him?
And why?
Was there such an outcry from fans for The Guardian that they had to replace this with one with someone (presumably) closer to the original?
Or is it just a sad comment on the fear most writers have of following Morrison – surely someone else is willing to take a stab at coming up with something cool like Subway Pirates or ‘It’s A Small World’ exhibitions gone wild!

Screw DC for dumping the Manhattan Guardian.

There’s a new Guardian; he’s a clone of the old Guardian, and he’s in the Superman comics right now. He’s a character Kirby created in the 1970s and honestly I can’t believe they traded Morrison’s character for this one.

On the other hand, Robinson would probably write a terrible Manhattan Guardian anyway. The only DC writer other than Morrison himself who could do a good job with the character is Simone, I think. Everyone else has their head too far up their ass with the whole “comics r serious” thing.

Here’s hoping none of the monsters kill him and wife while he doing all that macho kissing.

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