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A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 113

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!

Who else could we look at today but Doctor Thirteen’s adventures, by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang?

Enjoy!

The Doctor Thirteen story in the back-up pages of Tales of the Unexpected #1-8 (collected as the trade paperback Doctor Thirteen: Architecture and Morality) tells the story of Doctor Thirteen, a classic DC character whose position as a skeptic began to look pretty foolish when DC took him from his out-of-continuity back-up stories and began to have him interact with the rest of the fantastical DC Universe.

In this storyline, after the events of Infinite Crisis, Thirteen encounters a group of other characters who are currently “unwanted” by the current DC Universe (the heads of the DC Universe are represented as the Four Architects, a reference to the four writers of 52, Grant Morrison, Mark Waid, Geoff Johns and Greg Rucka). What I especially love about Azzarello’s take on the architects is that he clearly is not picking on these four guys or anything like that, but rather, just the idea of a universe having “architects,” as obviously, as soon as these guys leave the company, someone ELSE will be in charge and things that they did not want to have happen will happen (which we have seen over and over in comic history).

Well, while the Architects are willing to take Doctor Thirteen’s attractive, half-Asian teen daughter to be part of the DC Universe (which, amusingly enough, she is right now – the only one of the characters in this book to appear with any degree of regularity in the DC Universe), Thirteen (who spent a good part of the comic trying to come up with rational explanations for his companions – a Legion of Substitute Heroes member, a vampire, a Nazi gorilla, a ghost – who at that point was missing – and a little kid who is a genius and will solve any mystery for a dime) finally takes a stand, and it is really impressive….

There are so many cool moments by Azzarello and Chiang (who was SO good on art in this series) that I really have a hard time picking “the” cool moment. I guess I would go with him walking through the fire or the neat ending.

Hmmm…I think the ending is more memorable.

23 Comments

This is the best comic I own.

There, I said it.

Beautiful art! I’d like to see Chiang draw a creator owned series written by Brian K Vaughan.

Fantastic art. He reminds me of Steve Rude and Mike Allred.

The story was fun too – though very Morrison-esque. Yeah, the final panel is the one that does it for me. Christopher Priest (the real one) did a similar thing in his excellent novel, The Affirmation.

“Ged to the schoona!” Heh.

“The story was fun too – though very Morrison-esque. Yeah, the final panel is the one that does it for me. Christopher Priest (the real one) did a similar thing in his excellent novel, The Affirmation.”

To be fair, the last panel also recalls the classic Sesame Street book “The Monster at the end of this Book”.

Strangely, after Traci (who is a Blue Beetle/Teen Titans regular), the character with the next most appearances in recent times is Anthro (who appears in both Final Crisis and Booster Gold, where the latter involves Anthro time traveling.) Johns actually made a couple of references to this story (some stuff in the background in Booster Gold, and a comment about how Infectious Lass got thrown into the time stream during his first LOSH arc) and it feels like he made a vague attempt to sort of tie it in with the rest of DC.

loved how doc 13 starts to have a meltdown over the issue if their future exists then panics when they rest of the group go off in thier own star wars parody to rescue their teammate. only to have 13 freak out more. cool momemnt

In the “We musd save Fear!” panel, the vampire is posed like one of Art Adams’ oft-reprinted Wolverine pictures. He even has claws. That panel’s a parody of a super-team rushing off to the mission (with the other characters in other familiar poses), so it works. I wonder if the similar pose is deliberate.

This is the kind of book I wish to see DC going further into. But they are far and far between. Like Green Lantern: Mosaic, who begs for a Cool Comic Book Moment.

The ending is definitely THE moment.

The bit where he walks through the fire is Van Peebles levels of badassssssssssssssssssssssssssss.

I should really buy this comic.

“Johns actually made a couple of references to this story (some stuff in the background in Booster Gold, and a comment about how Infectious Lass got thrown into the time stream during his first LOSH arc) and it feels like he made a vague attempt to sort of tie it in with the rest of DC.”

Geoff Johns: Missing the frakking point since he broke into comics.

The bit where he walks through the fire is Van Peebles levels of badassssssssssssssssssssssssssss.

I should really buy this comic.

You really should, Bill. It’s fan-damn-tastic.

It’s great from start to finish, and Chiang is excellent throughout. Why he hasn’t landed a huge, high profile gig yet is a complete mystery.

The moment is when Doctor 13 passes the grieving heroes a tissue.

Chiang is so good!

Well, Chiang did do the first 8 (?) or so issues of Green Arrow/Black Canary, which was kinda big at the time because of the wedding thing.

Chiang did much less, just 4 issues or so. Norton did most of it.

I like how 13 leans on a “plot device.”

Thanks fro writing about this, Brian — brings a smile to my face!

@Mike Loughlin: Yeah, there are a bunch of homage panels where I try to reference iconic comic images throughout the story. That one’s a combo of Art Adams and Paul Smith, with Traci 13 in the Golden Age Wonder Woman running pose. There’s another one with Traci 13 that recalls Peter Parker tied up by the Goblin from ASM #39. I forget the others.
@Dan Felty: and it’s shaped like the old Phantom Zone projector, too. :)
@Ricardo: Yeah, I did 5 of the first 6 issues. The amazing Mike Norton’s done everything since then.

“Beautiful art! I’d like to see Chiang draw a creator owned series written by Brian K Vaughan.”

That’s would be a terrible mix. Vaughan’s work, as a rule, is too melodramatic and too self conscious. He only uses humor as a balance, not as an end in itself. Chiang’s work would probably just be stifled.

Chiang and Grant Morrison, though? Sold.

I stopped reading after “Vaughan’s work is too”, life is too short.

So was that the last page? I liked it, but didn’t quite get the ending…I mean, if that’s the last page, then yeah, I think I got it. So technically, we did kill off most of them, right?

And yeah, Cliff Chiang does some great stuff.

For proof that Azzarello and Chiang had it right (WONDER whatever happened to them?), that vampire with the Wolverine claws?

Is Andrew Bennett. Doesn’t mean the running “Oy, Vampire” gags in the series weren’t funny though. I just wish this sense of humor was showing up in their current work.

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