Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
A column in which Matt Derman (Comics Matter) reads & reviews comics from 1987, because that’s the year he was born.
I was very excited to dig into this comic, because Zatanna is an awesome and often underused character, and the special is 64 pages, meaning I was in for a triple-sized treat of backwards magic greatness. Unfortunately, 64 pages ended up being far, far too few for the narrative told here, so instead of a dense punch of Zatanna awesome, I got a poorly-aimed slap. That’s not to discredit the book entirely, because there are some juicy ideas and lots of excellent artwork, but there’s also a jumbled rush to the pacing from top to bottom that greatly lessens the effects of any enjoyable bits.
Welcome to the four hundred and eighth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous four hundred and seven. This week, it is a special theme week! All about Batman’s sales in the 1960s! Did the 1960s Batman TV series really save the Batman comic book from cancellation? If not the TV series, then did Julie Schwartz and Carmine Infantino save it from cancellation a few years earlier? Finally, how did Batman’s popularity affect the introduction of Zatanna?
Everyone take a deep breath. Here we go!
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There’s been a lot of women in comics related chatter all over the internet the last week or so and most of it is at least a little frustrating. So I reached out to fellow a fellow blogger – creator of the crazy popular and yet fairly recent DC Women Kicking Ass Tumblr blog, Sue – for a chat. Sue has made a huge mark for herself in less than six months – becoming a serious resource for images, commentary, and information, especially as it relates to women and superheroes. As some of this week’s news related directly to Sue’s petition to DC regarding the ridiculous DC 75th Anniversary logo which bizarrely leaves out Wonder Woman, I thought Sue might have some thoughts on this week’s craziness and beyond. The following is an edited version of our two plus hour conversation on yahoo messenger…
Society had tamed the erratic fellow by co-opting him into the mainstream. For its largest threats, society reserves success. (Richard Powers, from Three Farmers on Their Way to a Dance)
“Concentration-camp existence … taught us that the whole world is really like a concentration camp,” wrote Tadeusz Borowski. “The weak work for the strong, and if they have no strength or will to work – then let them steal, or let them die. … There is no crime that a man will not commit in order to save himself. And, having saved himself, he will commit crimes for increasingly trivial reasons; he will commit them first out of duty, then from habit, and finally – for pleasure. … The world is ruled by neither justice nor morality; crime is not punished nor virtue rewarded, one is forgotten as quickly as the other. The world is ruled by power …” (Otto Friedrich, from The End of the World)
They hated Thomas for his courage, his brief moment as a bird. Everybody has dreams about flying. Thomas flew.
One of his dreams came true for just a second, just enough to make it real. (Sherman Alexie, from “This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona”)
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