Daily Archives: January 22, 2012

I Wonder If Norman Osborn’s Middle Initial Is Dubya

Ever since Norman Osborn, AKA the villainous Green Goblin, emerged as an American “hero” in the climax of Secret Invasion in 2008, some comics fans and pundits have considered what or Osborn was meant to represent. Many speculated he and a darker tone in the Marvel Universe represented George W. Bush’s U.S. presidency. Marvel writer Matt Fraction confirmed the analogy outright in an interview about his work on Invincible Iron Man (in which Osborn figured prominently for a time), but the last word really ought to be with writer Brian Michael Bendis, who seems to have used Osborn as a corrupt political and law-enforcement official in his various Avengers comics and events more than anyone else.

Bendis is at it again with his latest storylines in Avengers and New Avengers, bringing back Osborn and his “Dark Avengers” to oust the legitimate heroes. And in New Avengers v.2 #20 earlier this month, he and artist Mike Deodato seem to take a step closer to confirming the analogy.

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Turning a Prophet

Prophet #21
Writer: Brandon Graham
Artist: Simon Roy
Colors: Richard Ballermann
Letters: Ed Brisson
Cover artists: Marian Churchland (regular)/Rob Liefeld & Andy Troy (variant)
Editor: Eric Stephenson
Publisher: Image Comics
Price: $2.99 US

I never even thumbed through a single issue of the previous volumes of this Rob Liefeld-created comic title in the 1990s. His work and that of other artists who worked on the book, including Stephen Platt, just didn’t boast styles that appealed to me at the time. Furthermore, nothing about the concept made me want to take note of it either. When it was announced Liefeld was resurrecting the property more than a decade into the 21st century, one wouldn’t have thought I’d have any interest either, but it’s clear this isn’t the same comic it was 15-20 years ago. Tapping King City writer/artist Brandon Graham to helm this new take on the title character got me excited. I’ll read anything Graham touches, it’s a policy that’s never steered me wrong. I’m also thrilled to see Simon Roy illustrating Graham’s story. Roy made a real impression on me with his graphic novella Jan’s Atomic Heart, and it was fun to see him back in action. His and Graham’s styles definitely complement each other, and the two Canadian creators have brought a distinctly European sensibility to this once bombastic and wholly American property.

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