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Louise Simonson Archives - Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book Resources

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 »

Year of the Artist, Day 193: Rob Liefeld, Part 2 – Uncanny X-Men #245 and New Mutants #88

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Rob Liefeld, and the issues are Uncanny X-Men #245 and New Mutants #88, both of which was published by Marvel and are cover dated June 1989 and April 1990. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 132: Walter Simonson, Part 4 – Alien: The Illustrated Story

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Walter Simonson, and the comic is Alien: The Illustrated Story, which was published by Heavy Metal and is cover dated 1979. These scans are from the re-issue, which was published by Titan Comics in May 2012. 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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She Has No Head! – Wonder Woman #600: A Lot Of Promise, Not Enough Delivery

WONDER WOMAN #600. Gail Simone, Amanda Conner, Louise Simonson, Geoff Johns, and J. Wonder Woman 600 coverMichael Straczynski  (writers).  George Perez, Amanda Conner, Eduardo Pansica, Scott Kolins, Don Kramer (art).  Scott Koblish, Bob Wiacek, and Michael Babinski (inks).  Hi-Fi, Paul Mounts, Pete Pantazis, Michael Atiyeh, and Alex Sinclair (colors).  Adam Hughes, Nicola Scott & Jason Wright, Ivan Reis, Oclair Albert, Rod Reis, Gullem March, Greg Horn, Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato, Phil Jimenez & Hi-Fi, Jock, Shane Davis, Jamie Mendoza, Nei Ruffino (pin ups). Lynda Carter (introduction).  DC.  56 pages.  $4.99.

All right, let’s jut talk about the costume briefly and get it out of the way since we’ve kind of beat this horse dead already.

No, I don’t like the new costume.  But it’s not just because I don’t like the look of it (though I don’t).  It’s because it simply doesn’t feel like Wonder Woman.  I don’t like the way it looks, but that’s fine, everyone has different tastes and we’re never ALL going to agree so it’s a fools errand anyway.  Yes, I would prefer if the costume was more “fashion forward”, more modern and clean-lined rather than feeling like a fussy design throwback to 80’s fashion and 90’s comics.  And while we’re here I’ll flat out say that I think this Jamie McKelvie design comes really close without even trying.

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