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The Guide to the Guide to Comics – WIZARD #43 (March 1995)

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Howard Chaykin pays Chris Claremont what might be the greatest backhanded compliment of all time, Preacher quietly debuts, and Wizard runs what could be the best piece in the history of the magazine (honest).  All in this week’s Guide to the Guide to Comics!

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Flippin’ through Previews – February 2016

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Yes, it’s time for Previews #329, with more good stuff than you deserve!
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The Guide to the Guide to Comics – WIZARD #42 (February 1995)

 

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Alex Ross welcomes you to Wizard #42 with the greatest heroes and villains of the Marvel Universe…plus, Dark Horse Star Wars comics are still in canon, Marvel purchases Malibu, Keith Giffen reveals which of his creations he hates, and one of the magazine’s worst features finally says goodbye.  All in today’s Guide to the Guide to Comics!

 

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The Guide to the Guide to Comics – WIZARD #40 (December 1994)

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It’s true:  Marvel’s X-titles have been cancelled.  Also, Rob Liefeld debuts Maximum Press, Frank Miller and Neil Gaiman are interviewed, and one lucky fan wins dinner with a guy in an X-O Manowar suit.  All in today’s Guide to the Guide to Comics! Continue Reading »

The Guide to the Guide to Comics – WIZARD #38 (October 1994)

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What insane marketing hook did Marvel initially use for the Age of Apocalypse?  How did the average Person on the Street react to Wizard’s Bad Girls survey?  Why would anyone ask John Byrne about his breakfast?  Find out in this week’s Guide to the Guide to Comics!

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1987 And All That: D.P. 7 #3-14

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.

CoverD.P. 7 #3-14 (Marvel) by Mark Greunwald, Paul Ryan, Romeo Tanghal, Al Williamson, Danny Bulanadi, Paul Becton, Phil Felix

Realism in superhero comics is an interesting struggle. Because there is an inherently fantastical element to any story involving people with impossible powers, finding a way to keep them grounded is not always an easy or obvious task. Typically, these are narratives about grown men and women who make up secret names for themselves and throw on outlandish, bright, skintight costumes every time there’s someone evil to punch. This is not exactly a genre that lends itself to a believable narrative.  And it’s not that every superhero story needs realism, but those that do strive for it often go the “grim and gritty” route, seeing brutality and depression as the only means of bringing their demigod-like characters back down to Earth. To keep things exciting and intense without always relying on larger-than-life, city-block-devastating action, creators will turn to the ugliest, darkest aspects of human nature and heighten them to superheroic levels. And certainly many great things have come from this strategy, but more and more often it feels like current creators are piling on the darkness without any rhyme or reason, and the results are just as unrealistic as anything, only bleaker and more violent. D.P. 7 offers a different approach, realistic not because of any darkness in tone but because of its pacing, telling its story in as close to real time as it can. At its best, this tactic makes the series better and smarter than your average comic book by far. But at its worst, it’s incredibly boring. As boring as real life. Continue Reading »

The Guide to the Guide to Comics – WIZARD #37 (September 1994)

37-bannerYoungblood receives its first rebranding, Event Comics is still preparing to take over the comics industry, and Brute & Babe escape the pages of Wizard and star in their own comic.  All in today’s Guide to the Guide to Comics!

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The Guide to the Guide to Comics – WIZARD #36 (August 1994)

Can Wizard do a promo piece on the Spider-Clone storyline while keeping a straight face?  Will Event Comics change comics forever?  Can Zero Hour keep DC’s continuity straight for at least five years?  Find out in this week’s Guide to the Guide to Comics!

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Flippin’ through Previews – January 2016

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Whoo-hoo! Look at that date up there! It’s a brand new year, and a brand new Previews to go along with it! Let’s dive right in!
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The Guide to the Guide to Comics – WIZARD #34 (June 1994)

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Wizard celebrates women with another Jim Balent cover, TSR resolves the X-Men vs. Iron Man debate, and an anonymous Wizard copywriter makes J. Scott Campbell very angry.  All in today’s Guide to the Guide to Comics!

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What I bought – 23 December 2015

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It was that Citizen Kane represented, more than any other movie Joe had ever seen, the total blending of narration and image that was – didn’t Sammy see it? – the fundamental principle of comic book storytelling, and the irreducible nut of their partnership. Without the witty, potent dialogue and the puzzling shape of the story, the movie would have been merely an American version of the kind of brooding, shadow-filled Ufa-style expressionist stuff that Joe had grown up watching in Prague. Without the brooding shadows and bold adventurings of the camera, without the theatrical lighting and queasy angles, it would have been merely a clever movie about a rich bastard. It was more, much more, than any movie really needed to be. In this one crucial regard – its inextricable braiding of image and narrative – Citizen Kane was like a comic book. (Michael Chabon, from The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay)
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The Guide to the Guide to Comics – WIZARD #33 (May 1994)

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Can Wizard top its Camaro giveaway contest?  Will Jim Balent’s Catwoman corrupt the nation’s youth?  Also, which industry powerhouse was writing Wizard sidebar pieces in 1994?

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What I bought – 16 December 2015

When we were driving out of the town I said, “I hate the corpses of empires, they stink as nothing else. They stink so badly that I cannot believe that even in life they were healthy.” “I do not think you can convince mankind,” said my husband, “that there is not a certain magnificence about a great empire in being.” “Of course there is,” I admitted, “but the hideousness outweighs the beauty. You are not, I hope, going to tell me that they impose laws on lawless people. Empires live by the violation of law.” (Rebecca West, from Black Lamb and Grey Falcon)
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The Guide to the Guide to Comics – WIZARD #30 (February 1994)

 

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Is Marvel ready for Beavis and Butt-Head?  Which creators are sniping at each other in the letters column?  Why did Wizard have to run a public apology after Comicfest ’93?  Do any of the X-Men wedding issues match their original solicits?  Find out in the Guide to the Guide to Comics!

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What I bought – 9 December 2015

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“For the enemy to be recognized and feared, he has to be in your home or on your doorstep. Hence the Jews. Divine providence has given them to us, and so, by God, let us use them, and pray there’s always some Jew to fear and to hate. We need an enemy to give the people hope. Someone said that patriotism is the last refuge of cowards; those without moral principles usually wrap a flag around themselves, and the bastards always talk about the purity of the race. National identity is the last bastion of the dispossessed. But the meaning of identity is now based on hatred, on hatred for those who are not the same. Hatred has to be cultivated as a civic passion. The enemy is the friend of the people. You always want someone to hate in order to feel justified in your own misery. Hatred is the true primordial passion. It is love that’s abnormal. That is why Christ was killed: he spoke against nature. You don’t love someone for your whole life – that impossible hope is the source of adultery, matricide, betrayal of friends … But you can hate someone for your whole life, provided he’s always there to keep your hatred alive. Hatred warms the heart.” (Umberto Eco, from The Prague Cemetery)
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