Daily Archives: August 24, 2014

Flea Market Finds: Superman v.2 #35

Superman v.2 #35
“Visions of Grandeur” & “the Racer’s Edge”
Writer: Jerry Ordway
Pencils: Curt Swan & Kerry Gammill
Inks: Dennis Janke
Colors: Glenn Whitmore
Letters: John Costanza
Cover artists: Gammill & Janke
Editor: Mike Carlin
Price: 75 cents US/95 cents CAN

Those original 1989 prices listed above may seem like an incredible bargain by today’s standards, but I got this quirky, quarter-century-old (!) comic book at a local flea market along with three other 1980s books for a mere two bucks. Money well spent. This particular post-Crisis comic is noteworthy for a number of reasons. First of all, there’s the participation of the late, legendary Curt Swan, whose work in the 1960s to the early ’80s defined the look of the Man of Steel for a couple of generations. But more interesting is the unconventional, divided approach to the storytelling. Jerry Ordway has crafted two tales here, one occupying the top half of each page and the other, the bottom. Each is illustrated by a different penciller and focuses on a different character, but what’s so novel about it is how the two stories and their visuals mirror on another.

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When You Get Your Name In Lights

When it comes to other-media adaptations of comic-book properties, I think it’s safe to say we’re something of a Golden Age of quality entertainment, unrivalled and unseen since the days of the many movie serials of the 1940s. Technology has caught up with the imaginations of the men and women who crafted super-hero adventures for years, and movie producers have realized that not only is there a thirst for good super-hero adaptations, but they’re looking at comics for projects other than that genre for which the medium is best known (at least in Western markets).

The biggest movie blockbuster of the summer is the supremely entertaining Guardians of the Galaxy. The most watched show on television is The Walking Dead. Marvel owns super-hero genre adaptations on the big screen, while this fall, DC Entertainment is poised to reign supreme with a full slate of shows — Arrow, The Flash, Constantine and Gotham — on various networks. Fans who grew up with comics in the 20th century could never have imagined such an embarrassment of riches when it comes to seeing beloved characters brought to life.

But speaking of embarrassment and riches, this seemingly unyielding trend of comics adaptations has stoked the flames of controversy, at least among followers of the comic-book industry: respect (or a lack thereof) for the people who actually crafted the characters and concepts that Hollywood is using to harvest big bucks.

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