I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got two new comics plus two new hard cover collections:

  • StormWatch Post Human Division – 12 (Last Issue).
  • Brawl – 1 (of 3) (Some Billy Dogma comics by Dean Haspiel).
  • “Short Comings” by Adrian Tomine (A story originally serialized in “Optic Nerve”).
  • James Sturm’s “America: God Gold and Golems” (I’ve never read any of Sturm’s stuff but I’ve read good reviews of it).
  • And now for some reviews of things I’ve read this week.

  • Marvel Westerns Hardcover Collection
  • This oversized HC collection reprints five issues of one shot western themed comics that Marvel published in 2006. You get a bunch of new stories plus some 1960’s reprints of stories by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Don Heck, Dick Ayers, and Paul Reinman.

    As far as the new stories go it’s a mixed bag. That’s what you’d expect from an anthology and that’s what you get here. There was only one truly unreadable story and the rest ranged from okay to pretty good. The art was generally nice across the board.

    All the old 1960’s were excellent as you would expect because the editors had the luxury of choice. Obviously they weren’t going to reprint a story that they thought was a stinker. The writing wasn’t as sophisticated as we’re use to today but the storytelling was better. That is one of the problems with the book. The modern stories are so much more clunky, confusing, and cluttered than the old ones.

    I’m not an “old comics are better than new ones” guy. But the new guys in this book are competing with Jack Kirby working in a genre with which he was a master. That’s a tall task. I think most of the new guys did nice jobs but the clarity of Stan and Jack’s storytelling stands out. Especially in contrast. Stan and Jack could also create a sense of wonder that’s hard to match.

    A couple of notes: Marshall Rogers drew and colored the first story and though I didn’t like his coloring and I think he had lost a bit of his drawing ability by this time his storytelling was excellent. It was one of those times where I flipped through the art and went “eh” but when I actually started reading the story I was hooked in. Nice Job. And the Don Heck story from the early Sixties is possibly the best artwork I’ve seen of his. I really like it.

    I’ve always been a fan of westerns and it was actually the old Sixties stuff that got me to buy this book but overall the new stories were pretty good. If you like westerns give it a read.