Saturday, December 31, 2011

DC/WS DreamWar #6 (November, 2008)

Mr. Majestic relished almost being killed by a beast as "magnificent" as Doomsday. Superman kept being a "boy scout" while Apollo and Midnighter kept cursing, being homicidal, and ribbing the Man of Steel.

Chimera birthed a Sun-Eater within the moon, as detected by Green Lantern Hal Jordan and relayed telepathically by the Martian Manhunter. All the DC and Wildstorm heroes gathered in one room like you're supposed to for Crisis events to be badly drawn in cramped quarters before being deployed. There was arguing, reminders that there's a gay couple in the room, and that Grifter managed to shoot Dr. Fate to death with silly looking guns. Brainiac 5 was irritable and patronizing. Most everybody ended up on the moon.

The Doctor went onto the dream plain to try to convince Chimera to stop being a genocidal jerk, but he was a "petulant brat" who put his own hurt feelings above the welfare of billions.

Midnighter and Raven had a suspicion, and returning to the Larkin, Arkansas trailer, found it defended by the Shadow Thief (who made an unfortunate reference to rapey Dr. Light.) Defeating him, they learned the Atom's size-altering belt had been removed from his trampled body and used to conceal Chimera's sleeping nerdboy form. The Engineer was able to detect and reveal him. From the moon, Superman convinced Jenny Quarx to order Chimera to be woken up.

Everybody involved on the Wildstorm end woke up from "one bad damn dream."

The Doctor visited Morgana at the Athenaeum to return the DC book. It lifted light, as pages were still missing. At least Chimera would not be a problem, as the Doctor made it so that he could never sleep again.

DC/Wildstorm: Dreamwar part six, "...Perchance to Dream" was by Keith Giffen, Lee Garbett and Trevor Scott. It was an ugly, painful thing to endure, and to no real end besides a series of cover commissions pairing up two universes' characters for a fight.

DCnÜ Year's Wildstormin' Eve

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Direct Currents: End of 2011

The 50 Greatest Moments In Comics: #20-11

The 50 Greatest Moments In Comics: #1-10

Bu. Wah. Hah. Ha.

'Wonder Woman': The Best Modernized Superhero Pantheon

If you've tried and failed to love Wonder Woman before, give this book a shot...

Happy Hanukkah from Jewish Superheroes (and Jon Morris) [Art]

Every Major Batman Costume in One Convenient Infographic [Art]

Kevin Wada Takes the X-Men and More into the World of High-Fashion [Art]

George Kambadais Cuts Loose With Redesigned Superhero Costumes [Art]

Third Rail Design Lab Celebrates Superheroines With Pin-Up Series [Art]

Best Cosplay Ever (This Week) - 12.19.11

Best Cosplay Ever (This Week) - 12.26.11

Best Art Ever (This Week) - Holiday Edition 2011


The Absorbascon's JLA FORTNIGHT
Black (Canary) Widow
Race war to the stars!

The Aquaman Shrine
Plastic Man Special Ad - 1979
Aquaman During The Crisis
Brave and the Bold Kite
Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #12 - Oct. 1959
Young Justice #10 - Jan. 2012
The DC Vault
Aquaman Art Gallery: Yildiray Cinar

DC Fifty-TOO!
COMPOSITE SUPERMAN #1 by Matthew Allison
FLASH #1 by Adam Limbert
LOBO INC #1 by Kyle Strahm
WEIRD WAR TALES #1 by Jake Ekiss

Diana Prince: Wonder Woman
JLA 100 Project charity art by Alex Ross
2008 Mark Texeira Wonder Woman Commission

The Dork Review
Alex Toth's Wonder Woman Sketch
Cool Artist: Michael Dooney
Custom Justice League Unlimited

Every Day Is Like Wednesday
New Watchmen comics I'd be totally okay with

Firestorm Fan
Jenette Kahn talks about Firestorm’s creation
Holiday Comics on FIRE AND WATER Episode 9

Girls Gone Geek
2011 Memorable Moment: A Scandalous Threesome and the Venomous Six

The Idol-Head of Diabolu
JLA 100 Project: Martian Manhunter by Jeff Lemerie
The Vile Menagerie: THE LIZARD MEN

Justice League Detroit
2010 Vixen Sketch Card by Manuel Hernandez
JLA 100 Project Zatanna charity art by Chrissy Zullo

Power of the Atom
JLA 100 Project The Atom & Aquaman charity art by Mark Buckingham

The Quality Companion Companion
Plastic Man and Blackhawk Foldees (1966)
Quality Comics: Further Reading

Ralph Dibny, the World-Famous Elongated Man
Busterella strikes again!: Pokemon JLI
Justice League International: The Movie

Supergirl Comic Box Commentary
Sales Review: November 2011
2011 In Review: Part One - What Might Have Been
2011 Year In Review Part Two: Top Supergirl Moments: Honorable Mentions
2011 Year In Review Part Three: Wrap-Up And Top Ten Supergirl Moments
Happy Holidays And Merry Christmas
Review: Legion Lost #4
Review: Supergirl #4

Tower of Fate
History of Dr. Fate Pt. 1
Dr. Fate Fan Film on Youtube
History of Dr. Fate Pt. 2

Review Section

Best Shots Comic Reviews: The BEST of 2011!

Comics shop comics: December 21 by J. Caleb Mozzocco

Wednesday Is New 52-2 For All I Care #129 by Diabolu Frank

The Buy Pile by Hannibal Tabu

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Showcase '93 #12 featuring The Creeper (December, 1993)

Is it still Christmas Eve at 3 A.M.? That's how the story goes, with the Creeper sitting on a payphone in Boston in the snow, talking to a phone sex operator. "I just don't believe anyone called Paula Passion would spend her Christmas talkin' dirty to guys like me! ...So... where exactly do you stand on abortion? Foreign aid? Infrastructure investments? Saxophones? You into sax, Paula?" She hung up on him. "And I thought a democratic administration would make a difference! Ha ha ha... guess not!"

The Giggling Ghoul made his way to a bar with a friendly tender named Chalky, where he announced, "The road to enlightenment is pitted with moist orifices!" The Creeper was invited to partake of the cheap karaoke set-up, on which he tortured the Tom Jones hit "Delilah." Chalky asked him to give it a rest, especially in light of the hostage situation on the news.

Dave was an unbalanced religious nut with a gun pointed at his wife and infant child while voices in his head told him to kill. Snipers on adjacent rooftops were just waiting for a clear shot. The Creeper shimmied down an air vent to the apartment's basement, then worked his way upstairs while singing the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive."

The Leaping Looney leaped loonily through Dave's wooden door, and was mistaken for the Demon. "Hey, I resent that! I'm much better looking!" A beating later, Dave was subdued, and his wife plead with the Creeper not to hurt him. "Don't worry. My strict moral code won't let me kill him!" The Macabre Manhunter then pushed the wife and child out to the hallway to keep them safe around the undoubtedly jumpy snipers outside. The Creeper poked fun at her perfume and outfit while making a racket within the apartment.

The Creeper explained to Dave that all the cops outside were all wound up, and he feared they might take that pressure home with them and abuse their loved ones. "You're going to relieve that tension-- Good luck, guy!" The Giggling Ghoul had bound Dave to a makeshift wooden dolly with his gun hand extended. Then, the Creeper hoisted Dave up from his feet, and the snipers did the rest. As his wife screamed, the Creeper explained, "Honey, he was a maniac. He was going to kill you. By his own strict code, it was his duty to die! Christmas? Sheesh! Who'd have it?

The Warbling Weirdo returned to his bar, where he sang "Dirty Water" by the Standells.

"A Cold Night in Hell" was A Tale of a Happier Holiday Time by Keith Giffen (Plot/Breakdowns,) Alan Grant (Dialog,) and Ted McKeever (Art/Colors)

Friday, December 23, 2011

2006 Superman Convention Sketch by Jae Lee

Click To Enlarge

I dug this Shusteresque piece, and decided to share.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

DC/Wildstorm DreamWar #1-5 (2008)

Like Captain Atom: Armageddon, this was a series I started covering earlier this year, only to abandon due to lack of interest from all parties (myself included.) I guess the main problem was all those tedious links involving poorly used characters, plus I was trying to concurrently write character-specific coverage of the same insipid stories for other blogs. Unlike Armageddon, I hadn't realized that I only needed to cover one more issue, which I had not yet written (whereas Armageddon has sat completed in the can since December of 2010,) plus I didn't even need a bunch of new scans (as I chose to do for Captain Atom.) It's been so long, and I want to link to the final two Captain Atom issues, so I decided to "reissue" coverage on this mini-series prior to the concluding chapter.

DC/WS DreamWar #1 (June, 2008)

Happy Harbor, Rhode Island was rocked by a tsunami. The Silver Age Justice League of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Martian Manhunter, Green Arrow and the Atom looked on from the cave entrance to their Secret Sanctuary.

The Carrier trawled "the edge of existence" known as The Bleed, a space that flowed between realities in the Wildstorm multiverse. Aboard, The Authority viewed a number of anomalous entries into their universe: a T-shaped tower on top of Riker's Island Prison... a rocket ship in Siberia ("as envisioned by a grade school kid.")

Mr. Majestic investigated the former, and was taken down by The New Teen Titans. He recovered just after Spartan came to his aid. A scuffle ensued, and the Titans escaped. That is, except for Cyborg, possession of whom came into dispute when the Authority hit on the scene.

In Tranquility, Oregon, Alan Scott, Jay Garrick and Ted Grant looked into a retirement home.

In Siberia, Stormwatch argued with local authorities over access to the crash site. Invisible Kid and Chameleon Boy spied on both parties.

In a Larkin, Arkansas trailer park, a fat man with a slit throat sat in a chair. A younger, heavyset man lay in bed. Superman looked in on him as he slept and smiled. "Kf... Never again."

DC/Wildstorm: Dreamwar part one, "Chimera Rising," was by Keith Giffen, Lee Garbett and Trevor Scott.

DC/WS DreamWar #2 (July, 2008)

In New York City, Wonder Girl and Starfire attacked Gen13.

Within their rocket ship headquarters, the Legion of Super-Heroes considered how they were going to move against their foes. "Chimera Lad wants us focused on Stormwatch. The Justice League will see to The Authority."

During an interrogation aboard The Carrier, Cyborg told members of The Authority and the WildC.A.T.s that the heroes of the DCU had come to bring down all the crumb bums of the Wildstorm Universe. To illustrate the point, the Justice League of America teleported onto the ship and started busting heads. Martian Manhunter and Green Arrow gravitated toward the Carrier's power source, while Green Lantern, the Flash, Superman and Batman addressed Cyborg's captors. Jenny Quarx, The Engineer and Jack Hawksmoor escaped the ship through a teleportational door, but most of their cohorts were taken down. However, Green Arrow was killed in the confrontation.

Meanwhile, the Justice Society of America began systematically destroying Tranquility, Oregon.

DC/Wildstorm: Dreamwar part two, "First Strike," was by Keith Giffen, Lee Garbett and Trevor Scott.

DC/WS DreamWar #3 (August, 2008)

In Siberia, Stormwatch and the Legion of Super-Heroes had a brutal confrontation.

The Amazons of Themyscira launched an attack on the vampire nation from Wetworks.

The Justice Society of America continued their assault on Tranquility, Oregon. Grifter gunned down Dr. Fate.

Batman, Superman and Green Lantern launched an attack on the WildC.A.T.s headquarters. After a lengthy battle with Zealot, the Dark Knight died by her sword. This shook Superman to the core, as he realized something was very wrong when Green Lantern never mourned the death of his own best friend, Green Arrow. Kal-El reached out to Martian Manhunter's telepathy, only to have the Alien Atlas again assert that Chimera wanted the Wildstorm heroes dead. "Tell me who Chimera is, J'Onn. J'Onn?"

DC/Wildstorm: Dreamwar part three, "Mettle!" was by Keith Giffen, Lee Garbett and Trevor Scott.

DC/WS DreamWar #4 (September, 2008)

Back at the Carrier, Superman helped the Justice League of America remember who they were, then began working with the Wildstorm protagonists to help wrangle the other murderous DC super-teams. The Doctor (with telepathic tag along Martian
Manhunter) metaphysically learned from his predecessors that Chimera was the trailer park kid from WS Earth that could add to reality from his imagination and a volume stolen from the "mother of all libraries," the Athenaeum.

Gen13 was attacked by Raven and Changeling from The New Teen Titans. The Atom was sent to rein them in, but was knocked out before he could reveal himself.

Deathblow, the WildC.A.T.s and Stormwatch fought a war with the Legion of Super-Heroes. Only Bouncing Boy seemed to recall the Legion's prohibitions against killing, and with the help of the Flash (and only after having been stabbed by Warblade,) honor finally prevailed.

The Doctor spoke with Chimera on another plane, learning his stepfather had killed his mother and made him do... "stuff." The kid murdered the man, and figured out a way to "piggy-back" so he could watch the s.o.b. go to Hell. En route, he found his way to the Athenaeum, and stole the DC Comics volume from the library. However, Chimera had used heroes to do the work of villains, which wouldn't stand once their realization in the Wildstorm reality was complete. After all, they were heroes. Chimera recognized his error.

Apollo and Midnighter were waiting outside of "Chimera's" trailer in Arkansas when Doomsday burst out of it. "I knew we shoulda wasted the little #&@% when we had the chance!

DC/Wildstorm: Dreamwar part four, "Resurrection!" was by Keith Giffen, Lee Garbett and Trevor Scott.

DC/WS DreamWar #5 (October, 2008)

Doomsday was rampaging, and Mr. Majestic vouched for the man this "Superman" was supposed to be, so the pair flew off to help Apollo and Midnighter.

In Tranquility, Oregon, a whole host of DC super-villains fought the assembled heroes. Among them were the Golden Age Cheetah, Mano, Blockbuster, Solomon Grundy, Captain Cold and the Royal Flush Gang. Golden Age Flash Jay Garrick convinced a skeptical and justifiably hostile Grifter that the assembled heroes needed a field commander with military experience. "We're outnumbered and on the defensive. That's how these things are lost... Tactics, son. Organization. Looks like you're just the man for the job..."

In Siberia, Stormwatch and the Legion of Super-Heroes battled Validus and the Thunderers of Qward.

Back in Larkin, Arkansas, Midnighter let the Superman tackle Doomsday while he ran into the trailer in hopes of gutting the sleeping Chimera and ending this mess. He was halted by an armed Joker. "Batman Lite, I presume."

WildC.A.T.s headquarters was being torn apart by Giganta, with help from Dr. Light, the Iron Age Cheetah, the Weather Wizard, Firefly, Charaxes, Dreamslayer and more. Martian Manhunter, Jack Hawksmoor and Zealot emerged from a door to help.

The Aegean was dominated by Starro the Conquerer, whose possession of various Amazons, Coda warriors and followers of Kobra troubled Wonder Woman and Wetworks. One had trouble with the term "Super-villains?! And said with a straight face?" Diana replied, "I'm glad you find this so amusing." The Amazing Amazon was just about to take the battle directly to Starro when it fell from the sky dead from indigestion related to a Wildstorm character.

The Carrier continued traveling the Bleed and observing the situations from afar. The Doctor explained to Jenny Quarx that Chimera hadn't recognized the intrinsic heroism of his first constructs, and was retaliating against their betrayal of his goals with the second batch. The Doctor could affect Chimera on his home turf, so other avenues had to be pursued.

In Tranquility, the Flash helped relay Grifter's orders to the troops. Vampires joined the other warriors in the Aegean, who easily routed Kobra to secure the Aegean. Siberia was still in play overnight, as the Legion refused to use lethal force, which gave Stormwatch fits. Cyborg managed to talk down the New Teen Titans and Gen13, but not before the Atom was confirmed as "squished." The Halo Corporate headquarters was wrecked, with casualties in the triple digits. Martian Manhunter was shown confronting Charaxes.

In Arkansas, Midnighter dodged gunfire until Apollo blasted the Clown Prince of Crime in half with eyebeams. Unfortunately, Superman prevented the killing of Chimera, giving him time to find an even more dangerous threat from out of his volume from the Athenaeum...

DC/Wildstorm: Dreamwar part five, "Bad To The Bone" was by Keith Giffen, Lee Garbett and Trevor Scott.

New 52's Day featuring Wildstorm

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Direct Currents: Sunday, December 18, 2011

Oi vey! Seriously, how long can I keep this up? I was going to call this the Hanukkah edition, but despite running two days later than planned, I didn't quite reach that point...

Joe Simon (1913-2011) and Ed Barreto (1954-2011)

Joe Simon, one of the most influential figures of the Golden Age of Comic Books, has passed away, according to multiple reports later confirmed by Marvel Comics. He was 98.
Eduardo Barreto, the artist best known for his work on DC Comics' "New Teen Titans" in the '80s and, more recently, the "Judge Parker" newspaper strip, has passed away. He was 57.

Steve Pugh Back On Animal Man At DC Comics

Other changes for March at DC that we may not have known about before include...

DC To Publish Batman: Black And White Sequel

The collections have become perennial best sellers, while providing material that appears in other collections such as Killing Joke.

Obsolete Inking

I doubt your average comic book reader can tell the difference between digitally produced work and traditional work, nor would they care. I certainly wouldn’t want to lose traditional inking, but I could see it happening in most but a few cases.

Wonder Woman, She-Hulk, Storm and Catwoman for Breast Cancer Prevention

Mozambique Fashion Week's breast cancer campaign is a collaboration with the office of first lady Maria da Luz Dai Guebuza.

Comicvine's The 50 Greatest Moments In Comics: #20-11

Not awful selections for a top list... of a hundred or two... towards the back end...

Whatever Happened To… The 1988 Death Of Superman?

If you go back and look at stories between 1988 and 1992, you find several story situations that kept pointing at the Sand Superman door.

LBFA Presents: What's Your Greatest Christmas Wish? [Original Comic]

Man on the street reporter Clark Kent is back to ask the question of the season: What's your greatest Christmas wish?

Daniel James Cox Paints With Blockbuster Style [Art]

DC Comics In Cardboard Form

We showed off Ryan Hall‘s Doctor Who cardboard display at Orbital Comics in London. He also has a display of DC superhero and supervillains right next to it. £25 a piece, aren’t they just adorable?

Best Cosplay Ever (This Week) - 12.12.11

Awesome Art Picks: Captain America, Iron Man, Psylocke & More

Best Art Ever (This Week) - 12.15.11


The Absorbascon
JLA HQ: Split-leveling the scene!
JLA HQ: The Origin of Happy Harbor
JLA HQ FORTNIGHT: A Tornado is a disaster, by the way

The Aquaman Shrine
Justice League of America #200 30th Birthday!
Young Justice #9 - Dec 2011
Multi-Tasking: The Work of Bill Walko
An SNL Digital Short: "Batman"
General Mills: Justice League #4
Aquaman Art Gallery: Dustin Nguyen
Aquaman Shrine Interview with Joshua Williamson
Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #29 - Nov. 1961
Young Justice - "Revelation"
"Thrifty" Mego Ad - 1973
Aquaman Light-Switches

Armagideon Time
Nobody Else’s Favorites: Hourman
Nobody Else’s Favorites: Young Heroes in Love

Being Carter Hall
Gentleman Ghost Temporary Tattoos!
Funko POP Vinyl Hawkman

Brian Bolland's Blog
unused idea for an Invisibles cover

DC Fifty-TOO!
CLAYFACE #1 by Alex Cox
DIAL H FOR HERO #1 by Bill Walko
POLICE COMICS #1 by Eric Schock
PREZ #1 by Jake Ekiss
THE SPECTRE #1 by Tait Howard

Diana Prince: Wonder Woman
The Top 20 Wonder Woman Covers of the 1980s
Fetal League of Utero

Diversions of the Groovy Kind
"The Ice Age Cometh!" from Justice League of America #139 (Thanksgiving 1976)
Batman in "Death-Kiss" from Detective Comics #456 (Thanksgiving 1975)
Seven Soldiers of Victory by Samachson, Dillin, Chaykin, Elias, and Grell
Seven Soldiers of Victory by Samachson, Chua, Garcia Lopez, and Dillin
"The Captain Marvel of 7,000 B.C." from World's Finest #262 (January 1980)

The Dork Review
Green Arrows Arsenal and Car
1988 Super Powers Calendar
Superman's Supermobile
Frank Miller's Superman
Copycat Cover: Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson's Batman and Robin
Cool Pin-Up: Carmine Infantino's Flash Family
Superman VS Flash Race
The Mystery of the Human Thunderbolt Part 1
Legion of Super-Heroes Model Sheet
Jack Kirby's Super Monster Model Sheet

Every Day Is Like Wednesday
Reveiw: Batman: Birth of The Demon

Firestorm Fan
November Comic Sales Figures
Unusual Suspects: Darkseid versus Firestorm

Firestorm Fan's Pozhar Week
Mikhail Denisovitch Arkadin
Mikhail’s Fashion Show
Supporting Cast
When Mikhail Met Jason
The New 52

Four-Color Shadows
500th Post!--Batman-Jerry Robinson, et al-1942

Giant-Size Geek
Berni Wrightson Wraparound Swamp Thing Covers
Mike Grell Legion of Super-Heroes Treasury Covers, Re-mastered
SHAZAM! A Galley of Captain Marvel Pin-Ups by Wieringo, Aparo, Newton, Hembeck and Stevens
Amazing Heroes: Crisis on Infinite Earths covers by George Perez
Amazing Heroes: Post-Crisis Superman cover by John Byrne
Amazing Heroes: Post-Crisis Batman Year-One Cover by David Mazzucchelli
George Perez: Post-Crisis Wonder Woman cover from Amazing Heroes
1970s era Neal Adams poster featuring Batman, Deadman, The Spectre & Green Arrow!
Superman Gallery 1993 Wraparound Cover by Walt Simonson
Brian Bolland Wonder Woman cover from Amazing Heroes 197
George Perez: Teen Titans Poster, Amazing Heroes, Newsletter covers

Girls Gone Geek
2011 Memorable Moment: Damian Goes Dark

The Idol-Head of Diabolu
The Top 10 Martian Manhunter Covers of the 1980s
2010-2011 The Justice League of America 100 Project charity art by George Pérez
2011 "Martian Babe" by Jeremy Sorrell

Justice League Detroit
The Top 10 Aquaman Covers of the 1980s
2009 The Vixen art by Marcio Pazin

Kevin Nowlan
Golden Age Star Sapphire vs. Alan & Jay
One more DC card: The Joker
Batman and Solomon Grundy: Wrightson pencils, Nowlan inks

Power of the Atom
The Top 10 Atom Covers of the 1980s

The Quality Companion Companion
Paul Gustavson Stamps from Finland
Mark Evanier discusses Blackhawk and Plastic Man

Ralph Dibny, the World-Famous Elongated Man
Mystery of the unidentified Dibny pics (help needed!)
The Case of the Elongated Thing
Ralph Dibny, the Elongated Man: Personality Profile

Silver Age Comics
Tomahawk #81

Subject : THE SUICIDE SQUAD (Task Force X)
To all the belly aching Harley Quinn fans, when words aren't enough it's time for some specialized fan art

Supergirl Comic Box Commentary
Review: Action Comics #4 Steel Back-Up
Review: Hawk & Dove #4
More From Jamal Igle's Blog
Review: Superboy #4

Review Section

Comics shop comics: December 14 by J. Caleb Mozzocco

The Buy Pile by Hannibal Tabu

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Comic Reader Résumé: Summer, 1982

ré·su·mé [rez-oo-mey, rez-oo-mey]
1. a summing up; summary.
2. a brief written account of personal, educational, and professional qualifications and experience, as that prepared by an applicant for a job.

You would think a kid set loose for the summer would be all over comic books, but these were pretty much dead months to me. In June, I only picked up Weird War Tales #115, around the time the Creature Commandos feature merged with G.I. Robot. Robert Kanigher and Fred Carrillo crafted the affecting tale "You Can't Pin a Medal on a Robot," which impressed me with its stoicism and depressed me with its pathos. Those poor disabled soldiers, fighting for countries that dubbed them freaks and sent them off on suicide missions.

My one new comic for July was Batman Annual #8, which I pulled off a spinner rack at Gemco. I was fascinated by "The Messiah of the Crimson Sun" by Mike W. Barr and Trevor Von Eeden. I had never seen art or coloring like that before, the latter provided by Lynn Varley of eventual The Dark Knight Returns fame. It was beautiful, striking, and had scope of apocalyptic magnitude, up to and including the appearance of a Christlike figure. It was my first Rā's al Ghūl story, who remains one of my favorite villains, Batman or otherwise. Of course, any time I read a Rā's story of less grandeur or with art inferior to the high standards set here, I feel the creators are just plain doing it wrong. I still have my original copy, sans cover and some early pages, plus a complete reading copy. This was the first "graphic novel" I ever read in terms of feel and quality, despite it simply being an annual. Has DC ever collected all the '80s Barr Ra's stories in a trade paperback? I'd much prefer to see something like this in a hardcover than the umpteenth repackaging of Alan Moore stories. I guess that I was so bowled over, I skipped August entirely.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Direct Currents: Saturday, December 10, 2011

I suspect that this will be the final Direct Current, at least of this scale, for 2011. We'll see...

R.I.P. Jerry Robinson, Creator of The Joker

Jerry Robinson was an innovator, a pioneer in storytelling.

JG Jones To Draw The Comedian In Watchmen 2

The Ethics Of Watchmen 2

Whoever is involved, whenever it is scheduled, DC Comics do seem to be continuing with the production of a series of Watchmen prequel comics by a variety of talented writers and artists. But should they?

Gail Simone off The Fury Of Firestorm, EVS on art

Ethan being joined by Joe Harris.

Paul Cornell Off Stormwatch After Issue 6

Body Bags Artist Jason Pearson Posts Suicide Note to Facebook

Yesterday, comic artist Jason Pearson sent chills through the comic book community...

A Chat With Michael Uslan

Michael Uslan has to be one of the world's most powerful comics fans. Meet a Comics Movie Producer.

The 50 Greatest Moments In Comics: #40-31

Last time was okay with one exception. This one indicates some sort of developmental challenge on at minimum a third of the options.

The 50 Greatest Moments in Comics: #30-21

Seriously, Comicvine should be seen and not heard. This list is pure bimbo. Ke$ha is on this list's soundtrack.

Holiday Gift Guide: The Batman Kitchen Collection

Best Cosplay Ever (This Week) - 12.05.11

30 DC Comics Characters Drawn In The Best Single File Line Ever [Art]

Awesome Art Picks: Aquaman, Iron Man, Judge Dredd & More

Best Art Ever (This Week) - 12.02.11

Best Art Ever (This Week) - 12.09.11


The Absorbascon
Green Lantern Filmation: Sirena's Final Hissy
Grim and Forbidding Haiku

The Aquaman Shrine
Aquaman Shrine Interview with James Tucker
Super Friends Storyboards by Alex Toth
Aquaman (Vol.8) #3 - Jan. 2012
"The Greatest Aquaman Stories Ever Told"
Ideal Super Queens Ad - 1967
Black Manta Lead Figurine
A is for Atheist, A is for Aquaman

Being Carter Hall
Read: Hawkman v.2:no.5
Imaginext Hawkman... Just Out Of Reach!

DC Fifty-TOO!
AZRAEL #1 by Paul Lavallée
BATMAN BEYOND #1 by Andrew Huerta
BLACK ORCHID #1 by Kat Roberts
POWER GIRLS #1 by Caanan Grall
LEGION OF SUPER-PETS #1 by Brodie Brockie

Diana Prince: Wonder Woman
1991 Wizard Magazine #9 Unused Wonder Woman cover art by Bart Sears

Diversions of the Groovy Kind

The Dork Review
1978 DC Calendar of Super-Spectacular Disasters
Alan Davis's Speedster Poster
F'ed Up Super Friends & Space Ghost by Cho
Legion of Super-Heroes #1-35
1976 Super DC Calendar
Wanted TPB: Bruce "Superman" Wayne
Wanted TPB: Post-Kirby Pre-Byrne OMAC

El Jacone's Comic Book Bunker
Captain Cold Makes a Comeback!
Everybody's Linking For The Weekend

Firestorm Fan
Fan Art by Thuddleston and AlexMax
Firebird of Soyuz
OFFICIAL: Joe Harris replaces Gail Simone; Van Sciver draws two issues

Four-Color Shadows
The Mad Planet-Virgil Finlay-1954
Sticky Mitt Stimson-Russell Cole-1938
Superboy--John Sikela/George Roussos--1946
Captain Marvel-Pete Costanza-1944

Giant-Size Geek
Gabriel Hardman Gallery of Weird DC Comics Heroes
Introducing the NEW Wonder Woman
George Perez Commissions: Superman, Wonder Woman, and 1970s Avengers
April Fools Day 2011 with Major Bummer by Arcudi and Mahnke

Girls Gone Geek
Isis by J.G. Jones
Lightning by Cafu

The Idol-Head of Diabolu
Manhunter from Mars #201 (April, 1981)
The Others: DAL'EN
2010-2011 The Justice League of America 100 Project charity art by Walt Simonson
DCnÜ: What We Know 3 Months In...
Previews Vol. VI, No. 9 JLA Cover (September 1996)
The Greenwashing of M'gann M'orzz
CSBG's "The Greatest Martian Manhunter Stories Ever Told"

Jim Shooter
Jerry Robinson

Justice League Detroit
Justice League of America 100 Project: Black Canary & Vixen by John McCrea

Kevin Nowlan
Solomon Grundy
Old Man-Bat & Batman commission

Power of the Atom
2010-2011 The Justice League of America 100 Project charity art by Andy Smith

The Quality Companion Companion
The Spirit: First Appearance on ebay
Dick Giordano's Cover Art
Blackhawk: The 1970s

Ralph Dibny, the World-Famous Elongated Man
Darwyn Cooke's Spirit
Ralph Dibny, the World yadda, yadda blog on The Fire and Water Podcast
Art for Absolute Identity Crisis: BOO-YAH!!
Art for Absolute Identity Crisis: BOO-YAH!!

Silver Age Comics
The Flash's Final Fling--Twice

Subject : THE SUICIDE SQUAD (Task Force X)
Beautiful mixed media rendering of Nightshade

Supergirl Comic Box Commentary
Back Issue Box: The Brave And The Bold #160
Rejected Supergirl The Movie Posters
Mike Maihack Supergirl/Batgirl Web Comic
Review: Action Comics #4

Review Section

Comics Of The Weak: Just Saving Myself Til I Get Raped by Tucker Stone

Comics shop comics: Nov. 30th by J. Caleb Mozzocco

Wednesday Is Old New 52 For All I Care #128 by Diabolu Frank

The Buy Pile by Hannibal Tabu

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Top 10 Doom Patrol Covers

It would have been easy to do a top 25 Doom Patrol cover countdown. Hell, 50. Something like 75% of the covers to Doom Patrol volume 2 aren't just among the best of the 1990s, but could be validly held up as museum quality works of art. Someone could devote an entire blog just to critiquing individual covers in depth. Beyond the avant guard Vertigo material, the DP has inspired some truly remarkable covers for the super-hero genre, and have rarely bothered with outright bad pieces. Trying to sort through it all seems a harrowing proposition, and given my limited exposure to the material between the covers, I don't feel qualified for that level of analysis. For the sake of my sanity and to make a point, I decided to stick to ten of the most eye-catching and best representative images of the team itself, with commentary on why out of all possibilities, I selected these options.

Dishonorable Mentions

Doom Patrol #3 (October, 2004)

Despite his professed love for the team, John Byrne projected lighthearted Silver Age sweetness and Bronze Age hokey melodrama at a team that seemed to be bitter, queer and creepy from its earliest days. This cover represents a complete rejection of anything Vertigo-tinged and the embrace of the appearance of the most blandly off-brand of super-teams. This looks like one of those covers Byrne did for small press operations during the black and white boom, cannily incorporating a lack of interior color into the crumby costume design. I especially dislike Nudge's "edgy" fishnet stockings, Negative Man's gnarly skeleton form and the big dumb grin on Rita's face. At least characters like Grunt and Vortex were comparably awful to prior team additions. Byrne did offer a couple of fun cover spins over his run though, #8 and #13.

Doom Patrol #8 (May, 1988)

What kind of person looks at a team or art of this caliber and says, "mmm, gimme some of that?" Friggin' hideous, and Erik Larsen drew several more like it.

Honorary Mentions

Secret Origins Annual #1 (1987)

I feel bad for slagging on Byrne earlier, as he's a fine artist who in his prime offered several lovely team covers, like 1986's Official Doom Patrol Index #1 and #2. Have you ever seen such well kept graveyards or specters so clearly prepared for hand holding and a few rounds of "Kumbaya?" This is of course exactly the problem, since a "Doom Patrol" should never seem so well adjusted and clean cut.

My Greatest Adventure #80 (June, 1963)

Not their greatest cover, but certainly their first!

Doom Patrol #1 (December, 2001)

Reflecting the new team in Robotman's dome and his dire assessment of the group from jump was novel. The final cover of this volume did a Maguire riff, duplicating the basic image with Robotman confirming the title's predicted doom. The run also did a nice job of recalling the Vertigo years on #3, plus a soft jab at revisionism with #13.

10) The New Teen Titans #13 (November, 1981)

George Perez is one of the most gorgeous, shiniest artists in comic book history. Therefore, he is one of the worst possible fits for the Doom Patrol. Check his slick cover for 1982's DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest #19 and tell me that isn't Anyteam, U.S.A. Perez is swell at soap opera, but the DP are a troubled lot with a disconcerting quality that Perez is too pleasant to convey. However, this was a key issue in returning the DP to readers' minds, and Robotman's dangling body warding off snoopy kids is a previously unseen variation on the DP grim tableau.

9) Doom Patrol #89 (August, 1964)

The debut of the Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man, the kind of bizarre menace that defined the DP and set the standard for the demented threats to come.

8) Doom Patrol #5 (February, 1988)

Steve Lightle is a favorite cover artist of mine, and the first five issues of this series featured rare interior art by the man. However, the book was clearly intended to treat the team like an X-Men knock-off when DC was already knee deep in the same. Lightle was a perfect choice for the book at a time when he was forced to draw hideously gaudy New Mutants rejects, and even his wraparound cover for the debut issue made a silk purse out of a generic battle scene. I feel the graveyard is where the DP's heart really lies.

7) Doom Patrol #86 (March, 1964)

The first issued comic book bearing the Doom Patrol title, and the first appearance of Monsieur Mallah and the Brain. Does any cover better represent '50s B-movie mad science than a French guerrilla gorilla and a brain in a jar? Only if you threw in a gigantic insect of some kind, and maybe a flesh-eating animated inanimate object. Simon Bisley did a cool ape, as well.

6) Doom Patrol #120 (August, 1968)

This one loses points for being a tad forced and sappy, but your teammates/family turning their backs on you after you've literally fallen to pieces is messed up. That one enlarged eye and Cliff's anguished cries earn points back.

5) My Greatest Adventure #82 (September, 1963)

There are lots of covers with Robotman in some state of disrepair, but the implied ultimate sacrifice and the degree to which he's melted put this image over the top. That one crimson eye staring at the reader and a skull so deeply caved in that Cliff's brain must be boiling in its pan are deliciously gut-wrenching.

4) Doom Patrol #13 (October, 2010)

Matthew Clark produced a couple dozen attractive covers for volume 1, 2, 3, 4 5(?), but this was the only one to sneak into the top ten. #1 and #7 are relatively conventional but still slightly askew team shots, but #18 is Byrnesque in its commercialization. On the other hand, this fractured image of Rita Farr's face foreshadows the revelations within, and prove that she's psychologically and physiologically damaged enough to reside with the freaks out of more than just pity, but instead true kinship.

3) Challengers of the Unknown #48 (March, 1966)

There are whole host of covers in which the DP interacts with other super-heroes/teams, such as the wedding of Rita and Steve Dayton in #104 or battling the JLA at various points. That's typical group activity in comics. Becoming a "grim burial squad" for the Challengers, complete with a setting son and a robot seemingly on the verge of (non-emo Red Tornado) tears, is so DP. Also, the Challengers are about the only DC team with a comparable mortality/casualty rate, making it extra apropos.

2) Showcase #94 (September, 1977)

This works on multiple levels. It's a new Doom Patrol debuting in a different anthology title. The original DP was as much a product of the '60s visually as these guys were in the '70s. There's Robotman carrying his own rusted husk to the mass grave of the original team. While on the surface more conventional, the new DP was doomed to even greater failure and far more permanent deaths than the first team. Finally, this cover set the standard for DP launches opening on a dour, pessimistic note. There is no trumpeting the arrival of a glorious new incarnation, but instead a second wave stepping over the corpses of the first with similarly dim odds of survival.

1) Doom Patrol #121 (October, 1968)

This is how you end a series. Whenever someone points to Jean Grey as the first major death in comics, they need to be reminded that an entire super-team was snuffed out twelve years earlier, with Rita Farr staying dead about seven times longer than Phoenix, and the readers themselves were to blame.

Their Top Covers of the 1980s

Monday, December 5, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

Direct Currents: Friday, December 2, 2011

Andy Kubert To Draw Watchmen 2 (UPDATE)

Other people previously named include Darwyn Cooke (as the equivalent of mini-series showrunner), JMS, John Higgins and JG Jones. Oh, and Dave Gibbons.

Comic Vine's The 50 Greatest Moments in Comics: #50-41

Animated Comic Covers of Spidey, Demon in a Bottle, Dark Knight Returns

We've seen some pretty impressive Silver Age-themed art from ComicsAlliance favorite (and occasional contributor) Kerry Callen, but now he's decided to try his hand at something a little different: animated comic book covers! Watch the thunder crash on the front of Dark Knight Returns, see Tony Stark get the shakes in "Demon in a Bottle," and observe the Justice League spinning endlessly on the terrible Wheel of Misfortune!

5 Things Wrong With DC’s New 52 Comics Reboot

Is DC really serious about The New 52? Or do their actions run counter to the stated message?

Diesel DC Boxer Short Licence Is Hilarious

So here’s what’s happening. There has been superhero underwear around for ages. You know, for kids. Then they started making them in larger sizes. For big kids. But they still looked the same.

For the fan who has everything: generic superhero Snuggies!

If the rapid approach of the holidays has pushed you into panic mode, just relax, because you’ve already found the perfect gift for the superhero-comics fan in your life (or, y’know, yourself): a superhero Snuggie, or as the trademark sticklers prefer to call it, a “Comfy Throw Blanket With Sleeves”!

Impressive Fan Made Poster For Live Action Justice League Movie

Directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Henry Cavill, Christian Bale, Ryan Reynolds, Bradley Cooper, Bridget Regan, Doug Jones and Justin Hartley, check out this impressive fan made Justice League theatrical poster for a live action movie.

Awesome Art: Wonder Woman by Jeff Chapman

Jeff Chapman does fantastic photorealistic art, and he has a real flair for comic book women. Check out his portrayal of classic, pre-'New 52' Wonder Woman, along with Queen Hippolyta, Artemis, and villains Red Panzer and Baroness Von Gunther.

Andre De Freitas Illustrates the Dead and the Beautiful [Art]

Andre De Freitas paints portraits that will stare holes straight through your head-and that goes doubly for the ones with flaky zombie flesh and holes in their own heads. De Freitas has zombified a couple of normally unassuming fellows with his Tintin, Waldo and Iron Man studies, and his living subjects are just as impressive.

LBFA Presents: What Are Superheroes Thankful For? [Original Comic]

Best Art Ever (This Week) - 11.25.11

Best Cosplay Ever (This Week) - 11.28.11

Awesome Art Picks: Batgirl, Aquaman, Catwoman & More


1980 S W Studios Masquerade Make-Up Kits ad

The Absorbascon
Green Lantern Filmation: The Guardians Order Take-Out!

The Aquaman Shrine
My Morning Aqua-Jacket
Aquaman vs. Sharktopus!
The Argyle Sweater - 10/21/11
Thatababy - 11/14/11
Justice League #3 - Dec. 2011
Young Justice - "Alpha Male"
Brave and the Bold: "Mitefall!

Armagideon Time
Nobody’s Favorites: Sonic Disruptors

Being Carter Hall
Read: Hawkman v.3:no.6

DC Fifty-TOO!
HAYWIRE #1 by Kiel West
SHOWCASE Featuring MANHUNTER 2070 #1 by Buster Moody
SUPERGIRL #1 by Eric Johnston
WARLORD #1 by Steve Seeley
WILDCATS #1 by Paul Milligan

Diana Prince: Wonder Woman
2010-2011 The Justice League of America 100 Project Donna Troy by Gene Ha

Diversions of the Groovy Kind
Batman in "The Warrior in a Wheel-Chair" from Brave and the Bold #100 (November 1971)
Groove's Countdown: Top 5 DC Reboots of the Groovy Age
"The Ultimate Weapon" from Weird War Tales #15 (April 1973)
Hawkman in "The Invisible thief of Bleakhill Manor!" from Detective Comics #428 (July 1972)
"The Glory Boys!" from Our Army at War #235 (June 1971)
"Check the J.C. Demon Catalogue Under...Death!" from House of Mystery #245 (July 1976)
"The Hole in Reality's Heart"! from Time Warp #4 (January 1980)

The Dork Review
Davis Covers for Batman Year 2 - European Editions
Marvel Family Model Sheets by Mike Kunkle
Legion of Super-Heroes Five Year Gap
DC-verse Spanking!
1980's DC Marketing Message

The Factual Opinion
The Comics Journal Thirty-Eight

Firestorm Fan
Another Yildiray Cinar Brightest Day Firestorm Sketch
Happy Thanksgiving from FIRESTORM FAN!

Four-Color Shadows
Johnny Thunder-Stan Aschmeier-1945
Oscar the Gumshoe-Bob Kane-1939
Federal Men-Siegel and Shuster-1936
Inferior man-Al Stahl-1943
Rockhead McWizzard-Jack Farr-1949

Giant-Size Geek
Legion of Super-Heroes commissions by George Perez, Part 1
Legion of Super-Heroes commissions by George Perez, Part 2
The 1960s era Batmobile in Pleasanton, California for FCBD 2011
Green Lantern in San Francisco
Gene Colan Commissions: Flash, Wonder Woman, Silver Surfer, Shazam vs Dracula, Howard the Duck
Reboots, Deaths, and Rebirths Are Getting Me Off the Monthly Comics Grind

Girls Gone Geek
Silver Banshee by Candra
G3 Gift Guide: Part E.
G3 Gift Guide: Part V.

Gone and Forgotten
The Sword of Superman

The Idol-Head of Diabolu
The Commander Blanx Exhibit
Martian Manhunter #1 in 2012?
Comics Should Be Good’s Top 100 DC and Marvel Characters 2011
The Vile Menagerie: MALEFIC
2011 Martian Manhunter I-Con pencil commission by Samuel Clarke Hawbaker
How DC Comics has Failed the Martian Manhunter
The Vile Menagerie: MONGUL (Bronze Age)

Justice League Detroit
2011 Mari McCabe Sweater Post by Hanie Mohd

Kevin Nowlan
Adam Strange origin for "52" page 1
Adam Strange origin for "52" page 2
Action #795 cover art step-by-step

Mars Will Send No More
Animal Man 5: The Coyote Gospel!
Animal Man 7: The Death of the Red Mask!

Once Upon A Geek
Doctor Fate Fan Art by Thuddleston and AlexMax

Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine
Blackhawk #97, from 1956

Power of the Atom
2006 "The JLA" painting by Rhiannon Owens

The Quality Companion Companion
The Quality Implosion

Ralph Dibny, the World-Famous Elongated Man
The Elongated Man Action Figures!
An ear -- In the Fireplace!: Reviewing "Ten Miles to Nowhere!"
The Elongated Man and Wife: Embargoed?!
Elongated Art: The Elongated Man Vs. Darkseid!

Silver Age Comics
Lois Lane #36
Lois Lane, Foreign Correspondent

Supergirl Comic Box Commentary
Brian Bolland Supergirl
Sara Richard Commission
Who's Who Matrix
Review: Superman #3
Fan Submitted Supergirl Costumes

Review Section

The Buy Pile by Hannibal Tabu

Comic shop comics: Nov. 23 by J. Caleb Mozzocco

Wednesday Is Any Day For All I Care #127 by Diabolu Frank