Comic-Con Trailers: The Best of the Best, Ranked
Not every story has a hero, and not every moral is a good one. One side of a conflict can be wrong without their opponents being right. In situations like that, even if all of the parties come to an agreement, the results are bound to be bittersweet at best. I don’t know for sure that Mike Carlin set out to write a story in which everyone (and I do mean everyone) came across as one shade of villain or another, but that’s certainly what he accomplished in this three-issue arc. By the end of the story, a solution has been reached that is probably the best possible option for the problem at hand, but it’s still a resolution that makes me uneasy. It’s very much a lesser of two evils situation, a compelling and difficult philosophical question with no good answers. Continue Reading »
I do these fairly haphazardly, don’t I? Oh well – that’s the way it is!
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The Spectre #1-9 (DC) by Doug Moench, Gene Colan (#1-6), Cam Kennedy (#7-8), Gray Morrow (#9), Steve Mitchell (#1-6), Adrienne Roy (#1-6, 9), Michele Wolfman (#7-8), John Costanza (1-5), Agustin Mas (#6-9), Robert Greenberger
The Spectre is kind of a jerk, but that’s ok, because so is Jim Corrigan, the man who serves as the his human host. They’re jerky in different ways, which causes a lot of friction between them, and also makes them quite the entertaining pair to follow as a reader. Their relationship is kind of a mixed-up buddy cop thing; the Spectre is in some ways the loose cannon character, because Corrigan never knows what he’ll do next and can’t really trust him not to overreact to any given situation. Yet the Spectre is also the more serious of the pair, and all of his actions are motivated by the demands of a higher authority. Meanwhile, Corrigan is a wise-cracking rogue and anti-authority in general, yet wants to reign in the Spectre and stop him from always being so severe in his treatment of the various villains they face. So neither one of them fits neatly into a recognizable character mold, yet as a duo, they have a very familiar dynamic, one partner trying to keep the other in check as they work toward common goals with very different methods. And all the while, they are both largely unlikable as people, yet interesting as characters, and because they’re always fighting against much worse people than themselves, I’m on their side even when they’re being aggressively pigheaded and annoying. The Spectre does a fantastic job of making compelling figures out of its two miserable leads by pitting them against each other morally despite the fact that they are ostensibly on the same side. They’re both good guys, technically, but neither of them are necessarily all that good at being good. Instead, they make each other better, while simultaneously making one another feel worse, a conflicted team bound together against their wills who only barely make their partnership work. Continue Reading »
I have sort of a weird relationship with Wild Dog. Unlike most of the comics I review for this column, this is one I’ve read before. Multiple times, in fact. But I don’t revisit this series because it’s one of my favorites; on the contrary, I find it mostly disappointing, with too much wasted potential, mostly flimsy characters, and a glorification of violence that’s extreme even for a superhero comicbook. Wild Dog is arguably not a superhero title since the main character has no powers, but if you put on a mask and have a fake name, you’re a superhero in my mind. If Batman and Green Arrow count, Wild Dog certainly does. Anyway, my original point is that I’m not a very big fan of this comic, but even after all this time, I want to be a fan. I wish this book was better, meatier, more worthwhile. It seems like it wants to do a lot of things that I would really enjoy, but it never quite gets there, too trapped in its own weird structure and mixed-up priorities. Continue Reading »
Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Erik Larsen, and the issues are Doom Patrol #8 and 13, which were published by DC and are cover dated May and October 1988. Enjoy!
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Today: Classic creators! But will it result in a classic comic? You be the judge!
(Or, Today: A comic that Greg Hatcher probably loves. Not that there’s anything wrong with that!)
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