Monday, June 29, 2009

Landmark Comicbook Superhero Run's Part 3

Drive by post for just a few more observations

You have creators who have had such a impact on a character in its initial run, and has never again been repeated decades later. You also have creators who's impact on a character not only will never be ret-con'ed away, but was ripped off by other creators to try to save a title. Wonder Woman hasn't really been a member of the DC trinity since her creator William Moulton Marston stopped writing her stories. Marston who lived in a happy triad with his wife, and their girlfriend -didn't want a woman character as good as any man. He wanted a woman character that was better than any man, not to mention really working that Amazonian angle, and the bondage covers to help sales. Since Marston's death, and the end of the Golden Age no writer has been able able to tap into that former level of popularity again. Not Denny O'Neil's male feminist gone wrong view that the way to empower Wonder Woman would be to take away her powers. I call progressive to the point of stupidity on that one, but O'Neil later admitted his mistake. George PĂ©rez brought back the mythology with some excellent art, but no not really that great. Buy the Wonder Woman archives that's all you need to read to really know the character.

Alan Moore turned the Man-thing brother from a different mother in the elemental force of nature Swamp Thing. Horror stores, superhero stories, sci-fi stories all with a number of smart twists and turns. Too damn many over wrought text boxes, but very worth reading. It would have such a impact Firestorm got turned into a fire elemental by John Ostrander to try to save that volume of the title. Rip-off lighting just doesn't have the same shock value.

The Captain America writer is Mark Gruenwald and people need to read, read, READ, the stories that he wrote. The whole U.S.Agent replaces him as Captain America saga, Streets of Poison, the Scourge's killing spree. It didn't get near enough acclaim at the time, and I don't think it does now.

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby did a cool job with Thor, but Walt Simonson's run surpassed them, and set the new standard. Which no one since has lived up to, but Michael Avon Oeming tried. Beta ray Bill, Thor as a frog, but what really set the stage was his respectful 'more than a cartoon' treatment of Asgard and the real legends of the vikings, not to mention Surtur and Ragnarok.

I loved the Hulk before he went stupid again, and ended up having as many different versions as their was kryptonite in the Silver Age of comics. Peter David put Banner, gray, and green Hulk's together to form one of the best written comics of the 90's. It is so rare to see a bulky hero who isn't of average intelligence or less, it was a nice change of pace. Also the only thing Peter David has written I've ever really liked. Betty Ross died, Hulk went stupid again, -thank you Marvel geniuses-, David left the title, and it all went to hell. Bruce Jones was a way bigger fan of the TV show than I ever was. David came back to write a tale about the stupid Hulk, the magic was gone though.

1 comment:

  1. You know I've only read bits and pieces of the Greunwald run on Cap (The Bloodstone graphic novel...) but I really enjoyed what I read. It seems to me that there is another trade of his run out there I should pick up. - I think in general Gruenwald forgotten as a lynchpin of Marvel during his tenure there. His Squadron Supreme was a great series.