Daily Archives: August 21, 2008

The Tangled Web They Weave

Amazing Spider-Man #568
“New Ways to Die, Part One: Back With Vengeance”
Writer: Dan Slott
Pencils: John Romita Jr.
Inks: Klaus Janson
Colors: Dean White
“Fifth Stage”
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Adi Granov

Letters: Virtual Calligraphy
Cover artists: John Romita Jr./Alex Ross (regular covers) and John Romita Sr. (variant)
Editor: Stephen Wacker
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Price: $3.99 US/$4.05 CAN

I checked out the first issue of the new thrice-monthly Amazing Spider-Man in January, and I didn’t find it strong enough to lure me to read further issues in the new direction and format. However, with the debut of a new storyline and the addition of a couple of strong creators (John Romita Jr. and Mark Waid) to the creative team with this issue, I decided to give it another look. I’m glad I did. While the creators haven’t reinvented the wheel or anything, I can’t deny that I was entertained by and interested in the story. This is a solid super-hero story that stays true to the traditions of the title character, but what really held my attention was the shakeup in the status quo of newspaper scene in Spidey’s New York.

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Jonah Hex’s Good Luck

Jonah Hex #33I recently had the pleasure of reading a great short story in DC’s Jonah Hex. What drew me to the story — an intense tale of survival in the Canadian wilderness, penned by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray — was the art by Darwyn Cooke. Cooke is, of course, a superstar in the industry these days, and I always keep an eye out for new work from him.

Shortly thereafter, I discovered that J.H. Williams III, the stalwart artistic talent from such books as Promethea and Batman: The Black Glove, has contributed art to be featured in the 35th issue of Hex, on sale Sept. 3. Those familiar with the series are also well aware of the frequent contributions from legendary Spanish comics artist Jordi Bernet. Seeing his work in North American comics has been a rare occurrence in recent years, and he’s provided some amazing visuals for the DC western title.

It occurred to me… what’s attracting these high-profile artists to this little series? Jonah Hex is far from one of DC’s top performers; it doesn’t even make it into the Diamond Comic Distributors Top 100 on any given month. So why is talent of this caliber — artists who would pick and choose whatever project they choose, including any Top 10-selling title — contributing to what seems like the runt of the DC Universe litter? Eye on Comics talked to a couple of the creators to find out what’s going on.

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