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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 258

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 cool bit from Steve Niles’ neat mini-series, Strange Cases…

Steve Niles came up with the idea of Strange Cases, about a group of paranormal experts, and the actual book itself was written by Dan Wickline and drawn by David Hartman.

In this issue, one of the team, Ivy, investigates a series of disappearances of dockworkers and homeless people. She befriends a down-on-his-luck fellow named Pete, who informs her that vans have been picking up dockworkers and making them fight in brutal boxing matches for rich people, but once the fights are over, they’re given the opportunity to move on to a new city with some actual cash in their pockets. Pete has been passed over because he was not in particularly good shape – too scrawny.

Well, Ivy investigates further, and discovers that the “fights” are being held at an Abbatoir, and after sneaking in, she discovers that a new batch of “fighters” have been delivered, including Pete. Of course, at this point, we discover that obviously the “fighters” are really just dinner for a pack of werewolves. They don’t have time to escape, so Ivy gives the men weapons and tell them to make sure not to be bitten or scratched by the werewolves.

Sadly, the other two bums are killed, but at least Ivy is able to protect herself and Pete (Ivy’s weapons are a series of silver maces, so she could kill without drawing attention of the other werewolves who are certainly on the premises somewhere else)…

Good stuff for the ending.

40 Comments

Why does Ivy walk around with her shirt almost open and her boobs showing? Looks silly.

Why does Ivy walk around with her shirt almost open and her boobs showing? Looks silly.

It was part of a ruse earlier in the issue to allow her to sneak into the Abbatoir.

I agree – I liked this, but I was very distracted by thinking “why is she walking around like that?”

ahh. Now I see.. Thanks Brian.

Even if it was a ruse, why didn’t she button her shirt once they got in? Stuff like this one of the reasons I find it hard to introduce many good comics to my female friends. Even if the plot is brilliant, it’s kinda hard to justify the gratuitious ass’n'titties.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

September 16, 2009 at 7:04 am

This is generally excellent, but the whole “silver hurts the virus” thing is interesting; like most psuedoscience efforts at explaining pseudofolklore,* it makes no sense.

What it’s there to do is announce that this is a pseudoscience universe, not an arbitrarily supernatural one. That it does tremendously well, and it’s one of the better dialogue bits of its kind that I’ve seen.

*i.e., Universal Monsters lore taken for longstanding oral tradition.

Even if it was a ruse, why didn’t she button her shirt once they got in? Stuff like this one of the reasons I find it hard to introduce many good comics to my female friends. Even if the plot is brilliant, it’s kinda hard to justify the gratuitious ass’n'titties.

Ah, I see the confusion – I thought the question was just why she was wearing a tiny skirt and a shirt with a lot of cleavage. That was the ruse.

Her bra being exposed happened during the fight (as you can see, her shirt has been damaged from the fight). So she couldn’t button it back up (not that fixing her shirt was exactly the most pressing matter on her mind, being surrounded by werewolves and all)

Not a whole lot of dramatic tension when the final boss werewolf is shot without so much as throwing a punch. Also, I don’t know the rules for werewolves in that setting, but isn’t killing the guy just because he’s infected a little bit harsh? She couldn’t try to cure the guy, or help him manage the curse somehow? I mean, I guess it’s a dramatic closer and all, but that doesn’t quite sit well with me.

Also, I don’t know the rules for werewolves in that setting, but isn’t killing the guy just because he’s infected a little bit harsh? She couldn’t try to cure the guy, or help him manage the curse somehow?

Her being the werewolf expert and all, the answer is a pretty clear no, or else she wouldn’t have killed her friend.

Man, at least no one is complaining that it would be better if the JLA showed up to kill the werewolves.

Perhaps it’s just missing the context, but this appears to be the weakest cool moment so far (just an opinion!). She doesn’t appear to regret killing the guy… if she doesn’t care about him, why should we? It seems lacking in emotional impact, that’s all. (Sorry to be a downer… this series has largely been enjoyable.)

Also, I don’t know the rules for werewolves in that setting, but isn’t killing the guy just because he’s infected a little bit harsh? She couldn’t try to cure the guy, or help him manage the curse somehow?

This is why I explain that she was friends with the guy, to specifically counter any “she doesn’t seem to care about killing the guy” complaints, but I get them anyways.

Just yesterday, someone complained about me featuring too many superhero moments, and this is exactly why, if I do a superhero moment I don’t have to fill everyone in on the context, here, since you don’t know the characters, even filling in people on the context apparently doesn’t work.

So fine, all Batman and Spider-Man moments from now on (being facetious, but not by much)!

“So fine, all Batman and Spider-Man moments from now on (being facetious, but not by much)!”

You haven’t really touched Maus, yet. And there hasn’t been a webcomic on the list either.

A little off topic, but your Killer of Demons moment convinced me to pick up the trade and man what that awesome. I especially loved to script to scene bonus.

You haven’t really touched Maus, yet. And there hasn’t been a webcomic on the list either.

Maus isn’t very “cool,” making it kind of inappropriate for this list.

I’ve specifically looked at it in the past for inclusion, but it just doesn’t have moments I’d feel comfortable with pointing out as “cool.” There’s a lady being forced to kill her friend because he’s infected with a werewolf virus and then there’s people being exterminated in concentration camps, ya know?

Yeah, that series was great! Glad you dug it, Matt!

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

September 16, 2009 at 7:47 am

Don’t let the superhero-exclusivists bring ya down, Brian! I wanna see Tintin, and Prince of Tennis, and Scott Pilgrim, and Corto Maltese, and Persepolis, and…..

Yeah, Tintin and Corto Maltese alone have enough cool moments to last for a year.

Huh? When did I say anything about being a superhero exclusivist? I prefer independent stuff for the most part. I just didn’t think that scene was particularly well-written. I mean, if we knew that A. the werewolf virus made you an irredeemable monster, or B. that homeless guy was about to be a threat to her, or C. that maybe he asked her to do it out of mercy, then I could buy her killing him. Instead, he’s just some clueless shlub who gets shot for reasons that seem arbitrary at best. I guess you could argue I’m somehow an idiot who needs things spelled out for him if you like, but I think the scene is just failing to achieve what it’s trying to.

I don’t think you’re a superhero exclusivist, Jesse.

“So fine, all Batman and Spider-Man moments from now on (being facetious, but not by much)!”

I’ve been following all year, and I can’t remember if you’ve done anything from Stan Sakai’s “Usagi Yojimbo”. In the twenty plus year’s he’s been writing/drawing/inking/lettering that book, he hasn’t skipped a beat. My favourite moment from the series was the end to volume 19 “Fathers and Sons.”

I understand your stance on Maus, but I have to disagree on your definition of “cool”. To me, a Cool Comic Book Moment ™ doesn’t have to be totally radical to the max. Maus, like mostwork on the Holocaust, tears at your soul through simple and painfully recreated facts of historically significant proportions. But the small moments in Vladek’s life, like his amazing wit and set of skills that allow him to survive, make him a “cool” character. The parts that focus on his determination and ingenuity are downright inspiring.

One part of the book that has always stuck with me was when Art found the picture portrait of his father, and put it (non-mouseified) into the comic. That was a touching, powerful and, dare I say it, cool moment.

Hey, it’s your list and your criteria, and I’m as big of a fan of superheroes/monsters/explosions as the next comic book guy, but there are three and a half months left in the year; why not expand the definition of Cool Comic Book Moment to include inspirational ones?

Brian,

I thought this was a very “cool moment”… glad you posted it!

What we need here is Moebius’ BLUEBERRY. Tons of cool western moments there.

I’d second some Tintin moments, like the ball lightning scene as referenced on the cover of The Seven Crystal Balls:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tintin_cover_-_The_Seven_Crystal_Balls.jpg

Or the traitor’s sacrifice at the end of Destination Moon, or any of a large number of other cool moments in the series.

So yes, I liked this one and wouldn’t mind more non-superhero moments.

I was able to get that she liked the guy and regretted killing him from the dialogue and the last panel. But I didn’t care, because, as with all of Steve Niles’s writing, this underwhelmed me.

I thought the last panel captured that moment of regret, tinged with termination, perfectly. While leaving open the possibility that she still hasn’t managed to button up her shirt. Comics gold.

re: Maus – the part where Spiegelman draws himself wearing a Maus mask while drawing stands out for me. It’s also a very comic-specific image.

I thought it was a cool moment, and I personally thought she looked like she cared in the scene where she pulled the gun on the guy. The artwork is nice (and yes I normally dislike the excessive T&A in comics because I just hate the proportions on women of massive acrobatic talents, here it’s a nice bit of cheesecake)

I am a superhero exclusivest(sp) but still like the non-super hero stuff when it’s easily understandable, which this one was and I do think it’s funny when people worry too much about the setting of the scene that was probably explained earlier in the story. I would love to see a Usagi Yojimbo, TMNT, Lone Wolf and Cub etc moments. (doubt that there is an actual cool moment in Love and Rockets or other titles of that ilk)

Everything about this moment was cool except the horrendously bad pseudoscience bit at the beginning. If she had just left off with the fact that silver changes the virus, it could have passed the strained credulity filter (though it would have left a big hole in its wake).

A decent “cool moment.” Ideally the writer and artist would’ve compressed it into 4-5 pages, not spread it over six.

“Her bra being exposed happened during the fight (as you can see, her shirt has been damaged from the fight). So she couldn’t button it back up (not that fixing her shirt was exactly the most pressing matter on her mind, being surrounded by werewolves and all).”

In other words, this comic is one of 10,000 aimed at men, not one of 10 aimed at women. Good business model…not.

If Ivy is the only expert on werewolves in this universe, there’s no reason to look for the intervention of the JLA or other heroes. Which isn’t the case in the shared DC Universe, of course.

I have to disagree with you Brian. For me, my favorite moment was the “No sense being subtle anymore”.

And it would have been better had the Avengers shown up. ;)

If you’re looking for truly “cool” moments from an indie book, you must feature some SCUD The Disposable Assassins. I quote that book when I’m talking to myself. There are also some awesome moments from Nexus and Concrete, as well as stalwarts like V for Vendetta or Master of Kung Fu – not indie, but far removed from the usual superhero mold.

You should put some Lone on here
So much good moments from such a short series

Hey Brian, I don’t think you should take people’s complaints to heart. I mean, look, obviously tons of people are reading this every day (there are always like 30+ comments every day), so you must be doing something right.

i would agree that something is being done right here with all th ecomments. as for the moment one can see ivy really did not want to kill pete but she warned him not to get bit or scratched so in her mind she helped her friend avoid a bad fate as a werewolf.

@ Brian Cronin:

Man, at least no one is complaining that it would be better if the JLA showed up to kill the werewolves.

Dude, I was totally distracted wondering why the JLA didn’t just show up and take care of the problem. Batman would have made her button her shirt.

Well … before he had sex with her, because Bruce Wayne is totally like Bond and women all love bad boys. :-)

All kidding aside. This is a nice moment. The monster hunter killing her partner is clever inversion of the usual “everything appeared to be over until …” cliche.

The school girl outfit with the open shirt is less sexist than about half of the last TRANSFORMERS movie, so I think the concerns are a little over-stated.

Hey, a neat non-superhero moment about a series I knew nothing about. Thanks Brian!

Of course the ironic thing is put her in an unbuttoned shirt, and what jumps out at you (no pun intended) is the cleavage. Whereas if she’d been wearing a starfire type outfit, which would probably display even more skin, it wouldn’t look out of place at all. And I guess if Doc Savage can carry off the ripped shirt look then why can’t ivy. (within reason). Thanks Brian for another several cool moments, and no it wasn’t the ripped shirt despite the attention its getting. ‘I’ll manage’ was certainly up there.

Sorry, bit late to add this on, but I just wanted to say that I did really like this, thought it was a great cool moment, and that I really enjoy finding new / old comics through this feature on the blog that I wouldn’t otherwise. I just thought the shirt thing was a bit gratuitous.

Good point by Shane though, but I think it was precisely because there was so much effort being made to put the story in a pseudo-realistic setting (silver killing the werewolf virus, not using guns because stealth was important, killing the infected friend, no JLA turning up ;-) etc etc) that this seemingly unrealistic feature stood out (no pun intended).

So, let me see if I follow you here. Her shirt was damaged in the fight, so she couldn’t button it back up.

I’m a little confused, because after the first two pages, where the shoulder of her shirt is damaged on her right arm, on the third page, it magically sows itself back up, but I guess her buttons got lost….

I know it’s a coloring snafu, but I wanted to play devil’s advocate… Also, nobody else seemed to notice…

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