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Bob Wiacek Archives - Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book Resources

Year of the Artist, Day 334: Mike Grell, Part 2 – Superboy #221

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Mike Grell, and the issue is Superboy #221, which was published by DC and is cover dated November 1976. Enjoy!
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1987 And All That: X-Factor #12-23

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.

XFactor1X-Factor #12-23 (Marvel) by Louise Simonson, Marc Silvestri (#12), Walter Simonson (#13-15, 17-19, 21, 23), David Mazzucchelli (#16), June Brigman (#20), Sal Buscema (#22), Bob Wiacek (#12, 14-15, 17-19, 21-23), Dan Green (#13), Joe Rubinstein (#16), Randy Emberlin (#20), Petra Scotese, Joe Rosen, Bob Harras

I tend to enjoy any comicbook that looks at the inescapable personal torments, damaged relationships, and psychological strains of the superhero lifestyle. Secret identities, an endless and self-feeding cycle of violence, taking on the impossible responsibility of keeping the rest of the world safe—it’s bound to take its toll on anyone, and it’s nice when a narrative acknowledges that. X-Factor #12-23 digs deep into these superhero problems and their consequences, then piles on several other whole sets of problems, too. There is, of course, the classic conundrum of humans fearing/hating mutants no matter what they do, which is amped up more than usual in this particular series because of its foundational concept of X-Factor pretending to be mutant hunters. Though less explicitly discussed, there’s also an argument embedded in these issues that the whole idea of gathering mutants together and training them to use their powers and fight evil mutants might be flawed, that Xavier did both harm and good with the original X-Men and now, as X-Factor, those same characters are repeating his mistakes with a new generation. Then again, there’s no better alternative offered here, because if not protected, nurtured, and taught control, the young mutants of the world could potentially do massive damage without even meaning to. So X-Factor presents a pretty dreary interpretation of the mutant-heavy reality of the 1980’s Marvel Universe, one where there may not be any truly good choices for mutantkind to make, especially because, in that world, superpowers almost always lead to superheroics (or supervillainy), which in turn lead to their own significant stresses, injuries, etc. Continue Reading »

1987 And All That: Strange Tales #1-7

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

StrangeTales_1Strange Tales #1-7 (Marvel) by Bill Mantlo (#1-6), Peter Gillis, Bret Blevins (#1-6), Chris Warner (#1-4), Larry Alexander (#5, 7), Terry Shoemaker (#6-7), Al Williamson (#3), Bob Wiacek (#6), Gerry Talaoc (#7), Randy Emberlin, Christie Scheele (#1, 3), Glynis Oliver (#2, 4-6), Paul Becton (#7), Bob Sharen, Ken Bruzenak, Jim Novak (#1-3), Janice Chiang (#4-5, 7), Ken Lopez (#6), Carl Potts

With a book like Strange Tales, where every issue is divided between two different narratives (or any number of narratives, but in this case it’s just the two), you always want some sort of connection to tie the stories together, something to bring unity to the title. Obviously the stories should work individually as well, but it’s nicer when there’s a bond between them, an identity to the series as a whole that fits with each section’s own goals and attitudes. Strange Tales is split evenly every issue between Cloak and Dagger and Dr. Strange, the two titles which it replaced. Because they’re both continuations of previously existing comics, it would be understandable if there wasn’t a ton of cohesion between their respective outlooks or aims. Whether through editorial design, creator collaboration, or sheer dumb luck, though, the two halves of Strange Tales find common ground almost immediately, and continue to examine the same core concept, though still in their own ways, right up through issue #7 where their narratives actually collide and briefly become the same. Both Cloak and Strange wrestle with remaining heroic while sometimes needing to act unheroically, and this struggle quickly becomes the center of Strange Tales. But the two men deal with their shared problem differently and end up in different places because of it, so their stories stand apart even as they come together, thematically and literally. Continue Reading »

Year of the Artist, Day 160: Paul Smith, Part 2 – Uncanny X-Men #173

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Paul Smith, and the issue is Uncanny X-Men #173, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated September 1983. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 104: Jae Lee, Part 1 – Namor the Sub-Mariner #26

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Jae Lee, and the issue is Namor the Sub-Mariner #26, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated May 1992. Enjoy!
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Review time! with Angel Falling

09-10-2013 01;33;18PM

Let’s see what’s what with this comic, shall we?
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Trade paperbacks, older editions, and miscellaneous for July 2013

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“Can you picture what will be / So limitless and free”
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Drawing Crazy Patterns – Captain America’s Unbreakable Shield Breaking

In this feature, I spotlight five scenes/moments from within comic book stories that fit under a specific theme (basically, stuff that happens frequently in comics). Here is an archive of all the patterns we’ve spotlighted so far.

This week, based on a suggestion from reader Stephane S., we take a look at five instances where Captain America’s unbreakable shield was broken…

Enjoy!

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Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 317: Alpha Flight #16

Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. Today’s page is from Alpha Flight #16, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated November 1984. Enjoy!
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Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 312: New Mutants #86

Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. Today’s page is from New Mutants #86, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated February 1990. Enjoy!
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Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 285: X-Men Annual #6

Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. This month I will be showing pages that are either scary or are part of “scary” issues (as scary as a comic can be, of course), because it’s October! Today’s page is from X-Men Annual #6, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated 1982. Enjoy!
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Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 224: Marvel Team-Up #68

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 Chris Claremont and John Byrne! Today’s page is from Marvel Team-Up #68, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated April 1978. Once again, I’d like to thank Mr. Brian Cronin for this scan – he didn’t even need a computer to send it, because his brain is a computer and he just thought about sending it to me, and it was there! Enjoy!
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Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 129: Generation X #66

Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. Today’s page is from Generation X #66, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated August 2000. Enjoy!
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Comics You Should Own – Namor, the Sub-Mariner #1-25

Handily enough, Marvel has just released the first part of this in trade, so it’s easy to pick up! How about that?
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