Only one of my regulars was in this week but I picked up a first issue too:

  • Usagi Yojimbo 101
  • Guy Ritchie’s Game Keeper 1
  • I also grabbed the latest issue of Roy Thomas’ Alter Ego (a mag dedicated to Golden Age comics) which features artist Bob Powell. I don’t know much about Powell and am looking forward to reading about him and his his art.

    So last week I got the collected version of “Edgar Allan Poe’s Haunt of Horror” from Marvel’s Max line. It’s pretty good but limited. It is a collection of stories drawn by Richard Corben that were inspired by Poe’s poems and short stories. The original poems and stories are also printed for comparison. The problem is all of the stories are really short and that doesn’t leave much room for a lot of tale to tell. Many of Poe’s short poems aren’t even narratives so there is a completely different narrative going on in the art. I guess it’s supposed to capture the flavor of the poem but it fails as often as it succeeds making an uneven read. Corben’s storytelling is always on target though so that is a plus but sometimes it seems that the Poe inspired words are superfluous. The whole book, while well done, almost seems like an exercise. For Corben fans only.

    Week Fourteen of my reviews of recent DC Comics.

    Justice Society Vol 2 TPB – This books surprised the hell out of me with how much I liked it. It had so many strikes against it in my mind that I never even expected to pick it up and read it. It reprints some late 70’s JSA stories by Paul Levitz and Joe Staton. That was four strikes right there.

    Late 70’s DC Comics are not my favorites. I didn’t like them when I was 12 (born in ’66) and I don’t like them much now. Strike one.

    I never liked the JSA. Not being a DC Comics fan as a kid they were never relevant to me. They were old fashioned, more boring versions of the Justice League. I mostly read JSA stories in those long winded Roy Thomas written comics from the early eighties so that could be where my JSA bias comes from. Strike two.

    I haven’t read anything written by Paul Levitz in years. I remember him being a solid if unspectacular writer in the early eighties. He’s been the head dude at DC but I haven’t heard one positive word about his writing in twenty years. Not many negative words either. His writing has just been forgotten or cast aside. Strike Three.

    I like some of Joe Staton’s work but this doesn’t look like his best stuff. A lot of the drawing is really wonky. Strike four. Or so I thought.

    I picked up the book and started reading it a bit and I was captured. Nostalgia had nothing to do with it because I have no nostalgia for late 70’s DC books. Marvel yes. DC no.

    It had to do with the stories being told really well. The plots were clear and concise while constantly moving forward at a rapid pace. Staton’s artwork had some awkward drawing but the storytelling was excellent. I was hooked.

    All of the characters were well defined and acted consistently as the large cast moved in and out of the story from issue to issue. Sure there was the internal logic of 70’s DC comics that today’s fans of super hero “realism” might find quaint but that logic was handled in finely crafted way. It is a fun and entertaining volume full of well told tales. Give it a read.