Friday, September 15, 2017

Just in time for Halloween TPBs that ought to be

Alan Grant writer
Val Semeiks art

Despite the quality of both writing and art, Demon gets no love.  Despite the story telling that is modern in aesthetics and humorous, it gets no love from the publisher.  DC Comics was about to create the Vertigo imprint, and Demon would have fit in, but, for whatever reasons, it never became a work for that imprint.  The early run of Demon has been ignored, but there were two late series collections, written by the more sexy name, Garth Ennis.  And however good that was, the work that preceded it was better.   It ought to be captured in tpb.  It is criminal that it is not.

Doug Moench writer

Gene Colan   art

The Tom Mandrake John Ostrander run of Spectre was beyond good, and it has been collected little by little.  This version was not at all bad, and I enjoyed it.  It was not the same work as the previously mentioned version.  But, whatever the differences, this version was both well written, thought provoking, and lovely to look at.  I say this despite my not being a great fan of Gene Colan's art, but this comic required a dark moody presentation, and Colan did succeed in doing that.  The tone of this version of The Spectre was somewhere between the cosmic and the superhero.  The stories were interesting, if not nearly as deep as the Ostrander/Mandrake version.  I say all this and recommend that it be collected, because there are plenty of crap books out there, why not reprint the many good ones?

Rafael Nieves, Len Kaminski writing
Michael Bair, Peter Gross art

I am sorry to include this one.  Not because it doesn't deserve collecting, I think it does, but because I believe that it could have been so much better.  The Son of Satan was given a regular series and the comic shows how he is divided between his desire to be fearsome, and powerful, but somehow become more than his lineage/father.  He isn't a hero, but isn't quite a villain.  This work is often times exciting but it does not reach the depths of darkness possible, due, partly I think, to the limits of the audience and limits of expression.  Still, it is interesting, well drawn with writing that was good despite the desires to keep the stories within a certain boundary of taste or expression.

The advent of the TPB helped many readers sit in one take a comic released, originally, serially.  It allowed a less disjointed experience... and thereby some comics with subtle building of plot lines and story ideas could become better by the experience of a single read of the entire run in question.  This book would read much better in tpb form, and eventually readers were entertained by Warren Ellis's take on the character.  But, Marvel needed a Vertigo section of the publisher so the power of expression could be unleashed.  I enjoyed it, but always wanted more. 

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