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.


Super-Duper ToyBox said...

Fun Post! I like the Creature Commandos w/GI Robot- new to me! Yes, it sounds depressing doesn't it, probably great though!

Diabolu Frank said...

Well, they're not mutually exclusive. Tons of great war movies have downer endings, but you still feel good about the experience.