Monthly Archives: August 2013

… And Beyond

I can relate to the sentiment Iron Man expresses in the above image. It’s summer (well, summer’s almost over, actually), so it must be time for another Marvel crossover event. I haven’t had much interest in the publisher’s tentpole crossover titles in recent years and I’ve avoided plunking down my hard-earned cash for them as of late. But I shelled out five bucks (well, less, after discount and after I sold the included digital download code in this book) because I’m genuinely interested in writer Jonathan Hickman’s work. The good news: this is a crossover event for Hickman fans. The bad news: this is a crossover event for Hickman fans.

Variant coverInfinity #1
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Pencils: Jim Cheung
Inks: Mark Morales, John Livesay, David Meikis & Jim Cheung
Colors: Justin Ponsor
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos & Joe Caramagna
Cover artists: Adam Kubert (regular)/Arthur Adams, In-Hyuk Lee, Marko Djurdjevic, Skottie Young, Mark Brooks & Jerome Opena (variants)
Editors: Tom Brevoort & Lauren Sankovitch
Publisher: Marvel Entertainment
Price: $4.99 US

After reading this first issue, I was struck by a number of elements, both positive and negative. First of all, this is a pretty good value for $4.99; it’s an oversized comic that’s dense in its construction, both plot-wise and visually. That being said, some of the opening material reprints pages from Marvel’s Infinity offering from this year’s Free Comic Book Day. I also noted Marvel is finally capitalizing on the profile bump and interest in Thanos from the after-credits scene from the Marvel’s The Avengers movie from last year. That conscious decision to craft Thanos in the image of his big-screen counterpart includes the incorporation of the grotesque emissary/agent with whom Loki communicated in the flick. Infinity promises to be everything a big crossover event should be: universe-spanning, colorful and replete with a diverse array of super-hero characters. There’s just one element missing: accessibility.

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Whatever Happened to “Whatever Happened To…?”

When I scanned this week’s list of new releases in comics shops, an item I hadn’t expected caught my eye. Among DC’s offerings this week was Showcase Presents: DC Comics Presents Superman Team-Ups Volume 2, a softcover, black-and-white reprint of a lengthy run of stories from DC Comics Presents from the Bronze Age of comics. As regular readers of Eye on Comics know, I’m a huge fan of the classic DC and Marvel team-up titles from that era, and while I own quite a few of those comics, I planned on adding Superman Team-Ups Vol. 2 to my library.

I was pleased to find a copy of the book for sale at my local comic-book shop, as I hadn’t pre-ordered it. But when I picked it up off the shelf and thumbed through the pages, there was something I didn’t find: the entirety of the contents of each issue included in the book.

Beginning in #25, DC Comics Presents featured regular backup stories entitled “Whatever Happened To…?”, explaining what became of Golden Age and Silver Age characters that hadn’t been seen for years. Now, this development started with the first volume of this particular edition of Showcase Presents, as it included #s 25 and 26, but I didn’t clue into the omission until this second volume hit stands this week.

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Quick Critiques – Aug. 2, 2013

Variant coverCollider #1 (DC Comics/Vertigo imprint)
by Simon Oliver & Robbi Rodriguez

When Vertigo founder and editor Karen Berger left DC Comics, many feared what it would mean for the publisher’s mature-readers imprint. Recent evidence would seem to indicate Vertigo is in good hands with longtime editor Shelly Bond, as recent releases have offered entertaining, intelligent and exciting creator-owned stories. Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy’s The Wake as proven to be a bonafide hit for the imprint, and people who enjoy that title ought to give Collider a look. Similar in tone to The Wake, Collider reads a lot like a Warren Ellis comic. It should also appeal to readers who are into Image’s Nowhere Men and The Manhattan Projects, with its realistic take on super-sciences and the smart people who create/deal with it. Oliver’s hero, Adam, is almost too perfect; he’s living an idyllic life full of action (both on the job and socially), but the writer humanizes him by rooting him in his connection to his late/missing father. Oliver’s move to blend manipulative politics into a world of physics gone haywire makes the impossible notions in the plot easier to connect with socially and intellectually.

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Father Blows It Best

A User’s Guide to Neglectful Parenting softcover graphic novel
Writer/Artist/Cover artist: Guy Delisle
Translation: Helge Dascher
Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly
Price: $12.95 US/CAN

I’m almost ashamed to say this is my first exposure to Guy Delisle’s work. I’ve heard his name uttered in glowing terms often in recent years, and on top of that, he’s Canadian (though apparently now living in Europe). I wish I could say it was as a patriotic Canuck that I put my cash on the counter to buy this book, but in reality, it was the title alone that grabbed my attention. I can’t imagine there’s a parent of a baby, toddler or pre-teen that wouldn’t have his or her interest piqued at the title. Delisle’s sense of humor is thoroughly relatable, as are the scenarios he presents here of lazy or impatient parenting. I was entertained from start to finish when reading this book. My main problem with it, though, is how short-lived that entertainment was. As a father, I know real life offers no shortage of material on the subject of bumbling parenting, but this book struck me as surprisingly brief. I suppose in a way it’s a good thing. The book was fun enough that I didn’t want it to be over — they say always leaving them wanting more — but I was also left with the impression the digest didn’t merit the price on the back of the book.

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