Comics Splurge

James Henry‘s ruminations on Saturday morning entertainment got me thinking. (ABC Warriors and Nemesis the Warlock would be so coool. And Strontium Dog. And M.A.C.H. One.) (Okay, maybe not M.A.C.H. One.)

Late last year, I finally discovered where they hid the comics at the local library. Giddy with the find, I was adventurous with my choices: X-Men/Phoenix – Endsong, X-Men/Black Panther – Wild Kingdom, Invincible: Perfect Strangers, Batman and the Monster Men, and Hicksville.

Once at home, I tore through them. It was – to those of you who know their comics – a mixed bag.

Even back in The Day, X-Men never really turned my dial. Its exclamation-mark-laden dialogue, descriptions-for-dummies, and the artists’ renditions of breasts that defied gravity and biological reality were quickly tiresome. Almost two decades on,… the dialogue’s more realistic, the minimal description borders on curt – but the breasts, ohhh the breasts. Large juicy breasts encased in spandex, mysteriously free of nipples but full of teen wish-fulfilment. Nope, still not my thing.1

Robert Kirkman and Cory Walker‘s Invincible is a variation on a Superman-like alien protecting the Earth – and proof there’s still life (and fun to be had) in tights and superpowers yet2.

Batman and the Monster Men was a disappointing pulpy homage by writer/artist Matt Wagner. Wagner’s critically acclaimed creations, Grendel, which never made much sense to me, and Mage, of which I’ve had but one unforgettable taste, may be his most well-known but it was his brilliant jumpstart of Sandman Mystery Theatre that inspired me most.

And Dylan HorrocksHicksville. This title really made me reevaluate my attitude to New Zealand comics. An instant favourite – one I’ll have to buy and add to my collection. Fired by the positive experience, I tried Maui: Legends of the Outcast; my comics cultural cringe has blinded me to homegrown comics for too long. I’m collecting Horrocks’ Atlas now, and am following DMC‘s New Ground with interest.

As The Goddess never tires of saying: thank gosh for libraries.

Just between you and me? I thank The Goddess.

1 – I was always more a DC man than a Marvel boy. But I quite enjoyed Ultimate Spider-Man: Silver Sable – due largely to Brian Michael Bendis‘ writing (Bendis being half the creative duo behind the magnificent Powers series, another recent and belated ‘discovery’). Confirmation that when I follow a writer I’ve enjoyed from one title to another, I’m unlikely to be disappointed.

2 – Update: Mark Waid‘s Superman: Birthright was an unexpected gem for 2007. (Why, I might even try Superman Returns now….)<p

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