Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Back Issue Week Wednesday

DEADMAN: Love after Death
DEADMAN: Exorcism
collected as a TPB as DEADMAN: Lost Souls
Published by DC
Written by Mike Baron
Art by Kelley Jones 

I really enjoyed these books. The ability of Baron to take a tumor and make it burn and hurt, i.e. the undead existence of Deadman is brilliant.  The story asked questions like, if you can never die, can you love, can you have ideas, what is it like to live an existence that others can never understand or perceive.

Something that people might like or hate, is, the art.  I think that the previous version of Deadman, being a dead guy is rather limited by the look of the character.  He is a dead guy who is muscular and such.  Kelley Jones the artist made the DEAD part of the Deadman feel, look, and BE dead.  This new depiction adds a layer of metafiction without forcing it down the readers throat.  Additionally, the stories shift from "super heroey" to metaphysical and cosmic.

Published by Malibu Comics
Story by Chris Ulm and Barry Windsor Smith

Some might think that RUNE is an unpleasant comic.  The protagonist is evil, alien to humans and unlovable.  He was an alien humanoid in the Ultraverse, until acquiring magical artifacts that made him ultra powerful, and nearly immortal.  He became stranded on Earth, and much like the Alien Astronaut theory, his great power and unbridled malice made him worshipped as a god and reviled as a demon by humans.  This character is dark, and I never found myself liking him.  I found myself enjoying the stories, because a great villain brings out the greatness in heroes.

These back issues are unlikely to be hugely expensive.  They were not, to my knowledge, ever collected in TPB form. 

Story by Brian K. Vaughan
Art by Kyle Hotz

Created by writer Brian K. Vaughan and artists Kyle Hotz and Eric Powell, The Hood first appeared in his own self-titled MAX limited series in 2002, which featured his origin, as a character who possesses a cloak and boots stolen from a Nisanti demon, which grant him invisibility and limited levitation ability, respectively.

This work is dark, with a story that features a criminal, using his new found powers for reasons that are less than good.  The art is amazing because it allows depth of the darkness to prevail.

I thought, when this came out, that it was a B+ on a grade scale, but now I think differently.  Much higher.

Story: Mindy Newell
Art: J.J. Birch & Michael Bair

This was follow up series to the Batman Year One series by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli.  The first year of Batman's career, followed up by the first year of Catwoman's career as a theif, adventurer, and defender of her world.

I liked the art a great deal, and the story worked well, evoking the atmosphere created by Mazzucchelli and Miller's Gotham.  But more, this work felt like it belonged in the Batman world.

By Matt Wagner
and friends

I know friends who abjectly hate Grendel, and others who think it is sublime, perfect and undoubtedly the best comic ever.  I am of the opinion that you need to be aware that Grendel is a demon, who has inhabited many cloaks of flesh.  As such, his goals are not that of a happy camper.  He is not moral.  He might well have a code he lives by, but it is not the one that most people would have.

But, all that said, his stories are wildly dark and entertaining.  I never picked up a tpb or graphic novel and ended up being disappointed. 

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