Axel-In-Charge: Facing the 'Divided' Marvel NOW! Future
A column in which Matt Derman (Comics Matter) reads & reviews comics from 1987, because that’s the year he was born.
Strange 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 »
Brunch? Hah! The semi-new format begins here, as a full meal of links, musings, reviews, and unwitty witticisms awaits you beneath the cut on this Easter Sunday.
QUESTION(S) OF THE WEEK: With the new Twilight graphic novel selling heavily despite being blindingly awful, it’s got me thinking: Should comics adapt prose works? Which novels would make for good comic book adaptations?
Open your refrigerator, and watch the internet fall out. Links of interest, beneath the cut!
In talking to my American comic book reading friends, I’m beginning to see that my experience of comic books is pretty different from theirs. While they grew up watching superhero cartoons on TV and buying the superhero comics that went along with them, I didn’t have much access to either of those mediums so I took another route. Continue Reading »
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