Comic Book Goodies

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I have a few hobbies and interests I make the time to fully pursue some are immediate and require no effort, watching movies for example, and others require more effort and lead to, near, exhaustion, daily exercise for example, but my favourite hobby/interest is the reading of comic books especially those produced by DC and Marvel Comics.

Nipping into my local comic book shop and buying a bunch of collected editions brings me great joy I’m always a little disappointed if my weekly stash is small it seems pathetic making purchase of just one item. This week I was happy I had a pile of goodies featured in the image above.

I don’t often have the chance to speak directly to other people who love comic books, at work I try to keep quiet and keep myself to myself. At work I’ve found, through trial and error, that the less I have to do with work colleagues the happier I am. I don’t want to know people’s problems and dramas I’m of the opinion people should mind their own business.

With little outlet for my comic book musings I figured it would be easy to express an opinion based upon my musings here on my blog. So here goes:

DC Universe: Rebirth

When the DCU went from being epic, mythological, expansive to something new and seemingly small I’ll admit I was not amused it seemed inconsiderate and disrespectful to fans to destroy decades worth of history and okay it happened before with Crisis on Infinite Earths but at least that made some kind of sense and held on to most of the history that makes DC so damn good.

It seems strange the same people who decided to change the DCU seem to be changing it back but it is the best decision and opens up so much more potential in other mediums, movies naturally. I do kinda wish that DC head honchos had instead adopted Grant Morrison’s Multiversity as a means of recreating the DCU but the decision seems to have been made that the New 52 is still the pre-52 DCU only a mysterious entity, Doctor Manhattan, messed with the timeline deleting from existence a decade’s worth of comic book time.

The story opens during the aftermath of the death of Superman, unfortunately and this is merely my opinion his death wasn’t handled very well. There are two ways a writer can, again in my opinion, handle the death of Superman the first is from a very personal point of view making it tragic and heart breaking by having the incident be totally senseless, he dies of cancer or disease, surrounded by his loved ones and we the fans relive his greatest moments. The second way of writing Superman’s death is to make it epic with a threat to the Earth at hand. Destruction, death, devastation it should be Hollywood disaster movie massive, like Superman being punched through the Moon our lonely satellite breaking in two and falling towards the Earth saved at the last moment by the Justice League, pulling out all the stops, or by the Spectre catching the broken world in his hands and reshaping the Moon back into it’s original form.

Darkseid should have killed Superman, though I’m aware that would be impossible in the Nu52 DCU, Darkseid himself already dead.

Wally West, my favourite Flash, is the crux of this first rebirth issue, he’s stumbling through time lost and forgotten trying in vain to find an anchor in reality that will bring him back to life and he eventually finds that anchor just when it seems he’s fading out of existence forever.

The story references Crisis on Infinite Earths where The Flash, Barry Allen, made the ultimate sacrifice to save the entire universe and there’s a reference to Flashpoint where Barry Allen altered time and though it was all put back together a mysterious force intervened altering time forevermore. Well for five years at least.

My favourite moment of the story led to me holding my iPad (the device I read individual issues of comic books upon) above my head in victorious celebration because the Legion of Superheroes, my favourite super team, are back. THEY’RE BACK! Yes, about bloody time.

Overall I found DC Universe: Rebirth a revelation and the story made me happier than a pig in muck. I look forward to the rest of DC Comics Rebirth plans.

Legends 30th Anniversary Edition

What a book. This is what I want my DC superhero comic series to be like big bold characters expertly realised facing threats so diabolical it’s hard to see a way for the heroes to win.

Legends hit way back in 1986 and I loved every issue, every panel, every drawing, every piece of dialogue. The villain was the best villain ever created in superhero comic books the New God Darkseid the Destroyer. It sees the end of the JLA and the birth of The Justice League. It’s written brilliantly by John Ostrander and Len Wein and illustrated equally brilliantly by John Byrne and Karl Kesel and it features some of the most iconic costumed characters in comic book history Superman, Captain Marvel (Shazam), The Flash, a Green Lantern (Guy Gardner), The Batman and Wonder Woman.

If I were to write superhero comic books, the DCU especially, Legends is one of those books I’d use for inspiration, to see how to write superhero comic books correctly and I’d want John Byrne to illustrate my stories. Though Jack Kirby is my favourite comic book artist, and creator, of all time John Byrne comes a close second and was throughout the Eighties the one comic book guy whose work I’d buy regardless of character/s. No one illustrates DC, or Marvel, characters these days as well as John Byrne did back in the Eighties.

Before Watchmen: Minutemen:Silk Spectre

I ordered and made purchase of this book because it features a story written and illustrated by, the now late, Darwyn Cooke. We fans of comic books will never see his like again and so it’s important, or so I believe, to celebrate his life by buying and happily reading as much of his comic book work as possible.

I haven’t read the series/book yet but I will and I’m sure I’ll enjoy every page.

Graphic Ink

Another book that I bought to celebrate the work of Darwyn Cooke and having only had a quick flick through the collection I can accurately say it’s something beautiful. The front cover to the collection captures everything I want DC Comics to be full of fun, happiness, joy. Check out the image below:

Darwyn Cooke

It’s all kinds of wonderful.

Master of Kung-Fu Volume One

I’ve been looking forward to making the purchase of these omnibus editions from Marvel Comics immediately after discovering such items were springing into existence. I owned most of the single issues back in the good old days and I’m happy to say that the stories and the artwork haven’t diminished, for me, over time they’re still kung-fu- tastic.

I haven’t read the collected edition yet but it’s only been just over a year since I last read Master of Kung-Fu so I’m aware of the stories and direction the series takes. I look forward to burying my head inside this first omnibus edition and losing all track of time naturally such must happen on a day when I’m not at work otherwise I’ll end up in trouble when I arrive late or not at all.

Squadron Supreme

My final comic book purchase this week was a big volume featuring most stories featuring Squadron Supreme. Marvel Comics version of DC’s Justice League of America.

It’s a hefty tome and I figure the only books I own heftier are the collected editions of Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern, if Squadron Supreme is of a size heavy enough to kill a small child then the Green Lantern collections could, without much effort, be used as a weapon to kill a grown man. Or an army of men.

Finally

Comic books are such a pure form of entertainment anything can, and usually does, happen stories only restricted by imagination. I’m in agreement with Grant Morrison in his book Supergods: Our World In The Age Of The Superheroes these super heroic and villainous characters are modern day myth, or at least they should be, they’re larger than life, can do things supernormal in nature, they exist in fictional worlds with so much untapped potential and are currently eating up huge amounts of profits at the cinema. I love superhero comic books they’re the things in life that make it worth living and make me ME!

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