01/21/12

Avengers # 1 Comic Book Review and Analysis

Avengers #1 (1963)

Review and Analysis

Avengers # 1 Cover 

Avengers # Cover Art

 

Avengers Vol. 1, #1

Title: “The Coming of the Avengers”

Writer: Stan Lee

Artist: Jack Kirby

Cover Art: Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers

Inks: Dick Ayers

Lettering: Sam Rosen

Characters:

Superheroes: Thor, Iron Man, the Hulk, Ant-Man, Wasp (The Avengers), the Fantastic Four (Cameo), Odin (Cameo)

Super-Villains: Loki and his ally, a Troll of the Isle of Silence

Supporting Characters: Rick Jones and the Teen Brigade, Jane Foster (Cameo)

1st Appearances:

The Avengers (as a team)

The Troll of the Isle of Silence

Significance of Avengers #1:

–This issue featured the origin and first appearance of the Avengers as a superhero team

–Rick Jones plays a hand in the formation of the Avengers. He will play a significant role in the history of the Avengers, as well as of the Hulk, Captain America, and Captain Marvel

–Loki appears as the first Avengers villian

 

 

Avengers # 1 Story Synopsis:

Loki in Avengers #1

Loki Plots Revenge from the Isle of Silence in the splash page from Avengers # 1

Loki, the evil half-brother of Thor, previously exiled to the Isle of Silence by Thor, wiles away his imprisonment devising plots with which to get revenge on the God of Thunder. Using his powers….Read the rest of the Synopsis and the Analysis of Avengers #1 HERE

10/5/11

ComicsHistory Review: Last of the Greats

 

The Last of the Greats

The Last of the Greats

Review: The Last of the Greats

 

Writer Joshua Hale Fialkov and artist Brent Peeples combined to create a different sort of superhero comic in “The Last of the Greats.” This is a look at what happens if superpowered beings actually were to appear on an Earth that has no history of superheroes or supervillains. When the “Greats,” appear (one per continent, except Antarctica), the world is at first thankful, as these powerful beings act as saviors to mankind. They end war, poverty, disease, and all of the usual negative and deadly human character traits. In doing so, they impose some restrictions, such as taking control of the worst weapons, and telling the human race that we can’t hurt each other anymore. Eventually, the human race rejects these six saviors, killing them off, until Earth is seemingly free of them.

 

However, when a large fleet of seemingly hostile aliens approaches Earth, representatives are sent to Antarctica to plead with the last surviving Great to intervene and, in effect, to become humanity’s savior. However, unlike his six siblings, the Last of the Greats holds humanity in utmost contempt, and refuses to provide aid. The end of the first book in this new series from Image Comics is a definite surprise, and I will not spoil it by describing the story further. I recommend that you…(Read the full review at http://www.historyguy.com/comicshistory/review_last_of_the_greats_1.htm)

 

09/25/11

Happy Birthday Aquaman: The King of Atlantis is 70 Years Old!

 
Aquaman  

Aquaman– (Arthur Curry) –1st appearance: More Fun Comics #73 (Nov. 1941)  (Note: While the official publication date of Aquaman’s first appearance is November of 1941, the actual date More Fun Comics #73 hit newstands is October 25, 1941.)Aquaman is a human/Atlantean hybrid who first appeared in More Fun Comics #73 in November of 1941. As with many of the heroes who debuted in the early 1940s, Aquaman spent a large amount of time battling Axis villians. Nazi U-Boat (submarine) commanders were a favorite target of the King of the Seas… Read More at: http://www.historyguy.com/comicshistory/aquaman.htm

09/24/11

Jet City Comic Show 2011 Review

The Jet City Comic Show is the annual comic book show held in Seattle, Washington every year in September. This year’s comic show featured creators Dustin Nguyen and Nick Dragotta, while the primary media guest was William Katt, who played the Greatest American Hero in the television show of the same name in the early 1980s. The Jet City Show was held again this year atThe Seattle Center.
Randy Emberlin

This was the second annual Jet City Comic Show, and this year’s show was (in my humble opinion), better attended and better organized than the inaugural show last year. The vendors seemed like they were selling more comics and other geek accessories than last year, and this year several top guests were booked to appear at the show, and most of them made it to Seattle. Jet City put a lot of social media (facebook, twitter, etc.) effort into promoting the appearance of William Katt, the actor from the Greatest American Hero.

 

Jet City bills itself as Seattle’s only one-day comic show, setting it apart from its big sister, the Emerald City Comicon, held in March. Emerald City is more like a mini-San Diego Comicon, which is to say it is as much a pop culture show as a comic show. Jet City is still a Comic Show, first and foremost. It serves as a good place for comic dealers and comic buyers to meet and engage in the original intent for the comic show concept: the buying and selling of the source code of comic pop culture, the Comic Book! 

The staff of the show were friendly and professional, the facility was clean and well-suited for hosting the show, and it looked like a LOT of comics and other related items exchanged hands. One table in particular bears mentioning. In October, Seattle will see the first Geek Girl Con, which bills itself as “promoting awareness of and celebrating the contribution and involvement of women in all aspects of the sciences, science fiction, comics, gaming and related Geek culture through conventions and events that emphasize both the historic and ongoing contribution and influence of women in this culture.” The ladies at the Geek Girl table showed a lot of enthusiam and have made a very good showing at using social media to attract folks to their con, which runs October 8 and 9 in Seattle.

Read the full review of the Jet City Comic Show here…

 

09/18/11

Action Comics #1 Review

ComicsHistory Review: Action Comics #1:  The New 52 Take on Superman as an  Homage to the Original Action Comics

 

Grant Morrison’s “New 52” take on the Man of Steel in this rebooted Action Comics #1 hearkens in many ways back to those glorious days of yesteryear when Superman was literally the newest (and only) tights-wearing superhero on the block.

 

I had read some background info on this new version of Superman, and read an interview Grant Morrison granted (and I cannot recall where that article is on the web; sorry), in which he discussed how he literally wanted to take the Superman character back to his roots in the late 1930s, in the original Action Comics #1 and other issues, in which Superman was more of a crusader against injustice and corruption.  Many of us grew up with either comic book, movie, or television versions of Superman in which he is saving the planet, or facing down nasty aliens, or doomsday monsters.  And that is not what the “original” Man of Steel fought against.  He battled corruption, military dictators, illegal arms manufacturers, and other “real life” villains.  Morrison said he wanted to take this new version of Superman back to those roots.

 

After reading his Action Comics #1 (with very good art by Rags Morales), I can see what he meant.  Having read the original Action Comics #1 story (no, I am not rich enough to own that book—I wish!), I detect the original flavor of the character in both the story and in the art.  This Superman operates outside of the law (just as Batman does in the “New 52” Justice League), and his focus is bringing corrupt officials, mob bosses, and their ilk to justice.  And if he breaks a few laws and defies orders from the police in the process, then so be it.

 

NOTE:  MAJOR SPOILERS LURK BELOW THIS LINE—BEWARE!

 

This Superman has attitude!  He basically heckles the police to shoot at him, knowing that the bullets will just bounce off his tough hide.  Apparently the public and the government don’t really know much about this super-powered vigilante.  He wars blue jeans, thick combat or construction work boots, a rather short red cape, and a short-sleeved Superman “S” t-shirt.  His face, in several close-up panels, is quite young, in his early-to-mid-twenties perhaps. The authorities, aided by an expensive consultant named Luthor (of course), have laid a trap to catch Superman.  In conversation between Luthor and General Lane (yes, you-know-who’s daddy), we learn that Superman had appeared on the scene only six months earlier, his powers are increasing with time, and that at least Luthor believes that Superman in really a non-human, being most likely an alien from another world.  Hmmm…think Luthor may be on to something?

 

Without giving away too much of the story, let’s just say that the end is something of a cliffhanger, and that the reference to a “speeding bullet” comes to mind.

 

In terms of the illustrations, penciller Rags Morales serves up great visual impression of the new Superman and his intensity is clearly evident on the facial close-ups. I especially liked the homage paid to the original Action Comics art as several panels of the new Action Comics depict Superman in poses that look a LOT like what you would see in the old 1938 and 1939 issues of Action Comics. Another way this Action is similar to the original, is that there is no attempt at an origin story.  No memories of the farm in Smallville, or conversations with the ghost of Jor-El.  Just the introduction of a super-vigilante out to clean up a corrupt Metropolis.

 

Action Comics #1

Action Comics #1

This story obviously takes place before the events in Justice League #1, since the costumes worn by Supes are radically different in the two books.  While I originally was not really crazy about the whole reboot of the DC Universe, I must say I like what I have seen so far in these two books.  Next up is a review of Detective Comics #1 in a day or so.  Stay tuned!