Monday, May 22, 2017

Back Issue Week Monday

This is a continuing feature here, giving a number of comics to enact a search for, and to recommend them as being worthy of the time, the effort, and money to find and purchase. 

Published by Gold Key 

I do not know who was the writer and I have no idea if I could find the name of the artist or not.  The stories are exciting, very well done, interesting, and were perfect for me, who as a kid, loved dinosaurs, was often the "Indian" to my brother the "Cowboy" in play, and loved the world of comics.  I cannot tell you that all of the comics are solid, but I have never, ever, read one I didn't enjoy.  I don't know how common it is to find these, but I know I've seen them go for insane amounts on ebay, and for as little as a buck a book at conventions.  For me 3 bucks on down would be a steal for any of them in reasonable condition.

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents
Published by Tower Comics
Written by Len Brown
Art by Wally Wood

The series T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents and other series from Tower were amazing for their day.  Each possessed amazing art, new, interesting characters, and no overarching continuity from dozens of years past that gave you shortcuts to the stories.  Each was complete in itself, being dependent not, upon the previous works, but succeeding only if the story at hand worked.  The art on various issues, with Steve Ditko, Wally Wood, Reed Crandell and others, was beautiful.  I was not aware of these as a child, nor even as a teen.  My first encounter was in the late 1980s, when I said, what the hell are these.  They have become collector pursuits, but I am not saying buy them to speculate and make money.  I think, for their day, were rare gems in the vast world of common and old super hero stories.

Published by Comico and First Comics
Written by: Chuck Dixon
Art by: Judith Hunt, Jim Balent and others

Every now and then you meet a comic that has a great concept, quality work by the talents on board, interesting characters, and a setting that is perfect.  If you find it, then you are going to have to find every issue.  Because if the concept is great, it doesn't mean the comic will be.  If the writing and art is great, it doesn't mean the comic is great.  Some characters, like Spawn are flawed in their concept, but there are issues of it that are brilliant. 

Evangeline as a concept was rather different.  The art and writing in it were amazing.  And the setting?  The 23rd Century earth, after the world was a wastleland in areas, deserts, but also, areas of remnant modernity, and areas of wild life that is new, different, and very very ancient.

The character?  Oh she was very different.  Not by today's standards, no, but the world has changed in 30 years.  It has changed a great deal.  Evangeline was vigilante nun, who was also willing to be sexy as the situation needed, and deadly, taking her orders directly from her boss, Cardinal Szn.  In the 23rd century various powers, such as major churches, groups of people with similar outlooks, and remnant powerful nation states with dangerous technology, scarce now in the changed, wild world.

The writing was my first introduction to Chuck Dixon's work.  It was brilliant.  And the initial artist Judith Hunt took great care to depict the heroine.  I loved the series, and wonder, why can't there be a tpb collecting it?  Oh well, at least this series is relatively inexpensive, and whether through Ebay or at a local comic shop or convention, you can pay as little as 2 bucks a book and collect the whole series.

I sure would like a collected edition, though.

Published by Marvel Comics
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Jae Lee

Grant Morrison is my favorite comic book writer.  I liked his DC work more than most anything else by anyone else.  But I chose this series because it is relatively easy to find, inexpensive to buy, and a very fun to read.  I might not be a hard core super hero team buyer and reader.  I used to be, but my tastes have changed, evolved, matured, over time.  But I always liked the Fantastic Four.  For me their stories were different than other teams, and the reason was : as a team they were truly a family, and, their adventures were, indeed, adventures.  While they saved the world, and were heroic, they were more about learning new things, meeting new people, and traveling across the universe.

Grant Morrison often challenges conventions, and all of his work is different in ways of content, conventions of the industry, and expectations the reader might have going in.  In this clever work he goes back to the early days of the FF becoming a team, when Prince Namor, the Sub-mariner challenged Reed Richards over the romantic interest of Sue Storm.  It isn't a retelling, but the story harkens back to the days of that time, and, the art fully translates the lust and love going on.

This is an awesome comic, and one I enjoyed, first read, and many more reads thereafter.

No comments: