Axel-In-Charge: "Secret Wars" Jam Session Talking "A-Force," "Ultimate End" and More
Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. This month I will be doing theme weeks (more or less), with each week devoted to a single writer. This pseudo-week: Steve Gerber. Today’s page is from Vertigo: Winter’s Edge #2 and Gerber’s story called “New Year’s Demolition,” which was published by DC and is cover dated January 1999. Enjoy!
No, good readers, not only do I not own Howard the Duck or Man-Thing, two early Gerber works, but I don’t even own Nevada, his DC spin-off of a Marvel comic. Woe is me! I do own Winter’s Edge #2, though, which features a story starring Nevada and Bolero, her ostrich, and that’s what we see here!
Gerber has to get a lot of information on this page because this story is only 8 pages long, and he does his level best. We know the place, the date, and what’s happening – the hotel in the background is being demolished. We don’t know the girl’s name, but we do know the ostrich’s name. Nevada is an entertainer, obviously, but she’s not having a good night. That’s pretty much all we’re getting from this page, but that’s not bad.
Phil Winslade does a nice job with the artwork. The long shot establishes the place fairly well, and Chris Chuckry’s colors do a nice job showing how the night is banished by the harsh lights of the stage, as the darker purple at the edges of the panel attest. Winslade gives us a good close-in shot, too: The numbers are prominent for a reason (the story involves Nevada having to go into the soon-to-be-demolished hotel), Bolero is suitably odd, and the sight of Nevada being sexy while wearing a white beard indicates that this story is going to be a bit off the beaten path (if the presence of the ostrich didn’t clue us in). Winslade gives us some weird people in the crowd, too – the dude with the Bill Clinton mask is freaky, while the devil underneath the caption box in the center is a subtle hint about the “villain” of the piece. For a part of the drawing that Winslade had to know was going to be covered by the initial panel, caption boxes, and the credits, it’s remarkably detailed.
I suppose the first page of this story doesn’t really have to lure people in – this is an anthology book starring a bunch of established Vertigo characters, so if you bought it, you’re probably going to read this story – but Gerber tries to give us some information to lead us into the rest of it. That’s all we can ask for, I guess!
Next: The final great series of Gerber’s life! What can it be? It hasn’t yet shown up in the archives, I’ll tell you that much!
Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.