Saturday, February 09, 2008

Double Articulation Digest #8

There was a cornucopia of DC news today, but most exciting was the announcement of its new Superman/Batman/Wonder Woman weekly, Trinity. The format of the new series (12 pages of continuous story each week by Kurt Busiek and Mark Bagley, plus backups written by Busiek and Fabian Nicieza and drawn by various artists) and the promise that it can be read relatively independently of the rest of the line at least show that DC has learned from the creative and logistical stumbles of Countdown. A weekly twelve page lead is enough to scratch the serial itch, and a related ten-page back-up by different artists should add a nice touch of surprise to each issue. A bonus, as the interview with Busiek at CBR reminded me, is that this is the same crew who were responsible, at various times, for two of Marvel’s best series from the 1990s: Thunderbolts and New Warriors. This is obviously a perfect gig for Bagley, and even though I’ve never been a “fan” of his art, per se, I love its energy. There’s something bracing about speedy, robust pencils in the current era of “star” artists who produce exquisite pages at a glacial pace. Very excited about this.

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The announcement of two other forthcoming DC events—Rann/Thanagar: Holy War and Reign in Hell—is somewhat intriguing, though I’m not completely sold on either one yet. Countdown to Adventure has been okay, but nothing to write home about, and I’ve passed—perhaps mistakenly—on Countdown to Mystery (I’ve heard that the Doctor Fate story has been good). Will these new forays into DC’s science fiction and magic territories be any better? I really like DC’s space characters, but another Holy War? Ugh. I’m also inclined to agree with the Newsarama poster who said that Starlin and Lim are perhaps too predictable a pair as the creative force behind this type of story. And then there’s the notion of a war in DC’s version of Hell. Again, ugh. I hate Neron—a lot. In fact, I pretty much hate all comic book attempts to turn God and Satan into characters—the effect is invariably shabby and lame. We’ll see.
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I’ve never been a Ghost Rider reader, not even back in the 1970s. But I would occasionally leaf through those old seventies issues at the cigar store in Grant Park mall with curiosity. I mean, what ten year old imagination isn’t compelled by a biker with a flaming skull? I realize now that my flicker of attraction to the comic back then was rooted in the fact that it looked more like a horror book than a superhero title—the same thing that attracted me to Swamp Thing, Night Force, House of Mystery, and even The New Teen Titans (I began reading in earnest during the horror-tinged Brother Blood issues). That’s why this item at CBR gave me a little feeling of nostalgia for a book I never read and a character I know little about. Jason Aaron’s intention to take Ghost Rider back to his horror roots certainly sounds appealing. In fact, his plans for the series recall the picaresque structure of Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing. Roland Boschi’s art looks suitably moody. Worth a try?


RAB said...

If I'd had any clue before now that you weren't already reading Steve Gerber's Dr. Fate, I would have subjected you to public humiliation long ago. I mean, yeesh! What's your problem?

Jim Roeg said...

Haha--I know, RAB. There's no defending this kind of behaviour. One of many lapses in judgement around here lately, I'm afraid. Some people, huh?

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