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Albert de Guzman Archives - Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book Resources

1987 And All That: The Question #1-4

A column in which Matt Derman (Comics Matter) reads & reviews comics from 1987, because that’s the year he was born. Click here for an archive of all the previous posts in the series.

Question1The Question #1-4 (DC) by Dennis O’Neil, Denys Cowan, Rick Magyar, Tatjana Wood, Gaspar (#1, 3-4), Albert de Guzman (#2), Mike Gold

At the level of the most basic concept and plot, the opening few issues of 1987’s The Question seem almost too simple to work. A guy who wants to improve his hometown accomplishes it by creating a superhero persona for himself, not based on any special powers or skills he has, nor even really because of any personal vendetta, but simply because with a mask and a codename he can get away with stuff that would be harder to pull off otherwise. His opponents are agents of the corrupt local government, which is officially run by a drunk and inept mayor, though in reality the mayor himself is controlled from the shadows by an insane reverend. None of this is inherently bad, but it doesn’t scream originality, either, at least not on the surface. The creative team behind The Question uses the series’ core simplicity to their advantage, though, producing something rich and nuanced despite the relatively straightforward foundation. Every villain, including several of the smalltime minions, has a full and distinct personality. The titular hero has a fascinating, somewhat tormented, and often contradictory internal life, so following his thought processes is always an interesting experience. The action sequences are gorgeous and well-choreographed, easy to follow but still visually gripping and unique. And all of this is made possible by the clean, clear narrative—because the larger story isn’t all that complex, all of the players and individual scenes can be. It makes for some mighty fine reading, the sort of comic where every line of text and every new image pulls you in all over again. The ultimate destination of the narrative might be obvious up front, but the route it takes to get there, and the stops made along the way, are as surprising and exciting as anything I’ve read, from 1987 or any year. Continue Reading »

Year of the Artist, Day 204: Adam Hughes, Part 3 – Elementals #12 and Justice League America #39

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Adam Hughes, and the issues are Elementals (volume 2) #12 and Justice League America #39, the first of which was published by Comico and is cover dated February 1990 and the second of which was published by DC and is cover dated June 1990. Enjoy!
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1987 And All That: Detective Comics #580-581

A column in which Matt Derman (Comics Matter) reads & reviews comics from 1987, because that’s the year he was born.

DetCom1Detective Comics #580-581 (DC) by Mike W. Barr, Jim Baikie, Pablo Marcos (#581), Adrienne Roy, Annie Halfacree (#580), Albert De Guzman (#581), and Denny O’Neil

I’m going to try as hard as I can not to use the word “two” too often in this column. That may be tricky, since it’s about a two-part story where there are two Two-Faces running around, and it features the version of Two-Face who is so obsessed with the number two that all his crimes are themed around it and most of his dialogue is chock full of two-based puns. But I will genuinely try. Because easily the most aggravating part of reading these issues of Detective Comics is how often the word “two” is used, along with “double” and “couple” and anything else that can be turned into a forced bit of not-so-clever wordplay. It’s lightweight comedy at best, and repetitive, uninspired filler at worst. And while this ineffective humor may be a low point, it’s not all that’s wrong with these comics. Continue Reading »

Year of the Artist, Day 137: Bill Willingham, Part 4 – Green Lantern #48

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Bill Willingham, and the issue is Green Lantern #48, which was published by DC and is cover dated January 1994. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 23: Jim Aparo, Part 3 – The Outsiders #25

11-12-2013 04;46;49PM (2)

Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Jim Aparo, and the issue is The Outsiders #25, which was published by DC and is cover dated November 1987. Enjoy!
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Comics You Should Own – Shade, the Changing Man

07-15-2013 06;36;03PM

Peter Milligan’s (and, to a certain extent, Chris Bachalo’s) masterpiece gets the spotlight!
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Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 239: Detective Comics #610

Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. This month I will be looking at four writer/artist duos, as voted on by you, the readers! This week features Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle! Today’s page is from Detective Comics #610, which was published by DC and is cover dated January 1990. Enjoy!
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Into the back issue box #56

Oh, Jim Balent – what life must have been like for you before you found your true calling!!!!
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Comics You Should Own flashback – Detective #583-594; 601-614

When I first wrote this, I questioned whether this featured the best Batman artist ever. Boy howdy, that was a fun thing to bring up! So I present the evidence!
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