Comic-book TPBS (#SFWApro)

The Shade was a minor Flash villain for years until James Robinson turned him into a major supporting character in his Starman book a couple of decades back. THE SHADE by Robinson with multiple artists, was a 12-issue spinoff series in which the Shade, now a reluctant super-hero of sorts, finds his new case brings him, inevitably, into contact with relatives from his mortal life along with relatives-by-choice such as the Spanish vampire super-hero La Sangra. Laid-back and meandering, but very entertaining, particularly the Shade’s snide, snarky personality.
PLASTIC MAN ARCHIVES, Vol 8 is to date DC’s final collection of Jack Cole’s work on his elastic, shape-shifting super-hero (though at this point a fair amount of the work was ghosted by his studio). This definitely isn’t Cole’s best, either in humorous storyline or visual comedy (nobody mined stretching for humor the way Cole did) though it still has some gems, such as a forger who’s figured out a way to sell forged collectible stamps legally (only it turns out he’s forging the forgeries …).
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BPRD HELL ON EARTH: The Return of the Master by Mike Mignola, John Arcudi and Tyler Crook has things going from bad to worse for the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense as an occultist takes over Scotland, the monsters introduced a few issues back kick into gear, the sinister Black Flame returns and Nazi and Russian occultists have their own agenda. Not actually a complete plotline (the perennial problem with reading in TPBs is that when they’re not stand alone I feel disappointed) but building up to something very bad. And it’s also nice to see the demon Varvara again (cover art: Mike Mignola, all rights with current holder)
HELLBOY: Seed of Destruction by Mike Mignola and John Byrne was the original series in which Hellboy investigates the mysterious expedition that got his foster-father Prof. Bruttenholm killed and we meet not only Hellboy himself but Abe Sapiens and Liz Sherman. Entertaining in its own right, also of interest to see what changed later: Hellboy’s secret origin, which doesn’t care about here, would eventually play a much bigger role and Abe Sapiens is much less mysterious (as he’s a public figure in earlier stories, I don’t see why he’d be wearing a disguise here). And yes, this is now included in my Hellboy Chronology.
I gave up on Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern work several years ago, worn out by the endless series of Big Events (Sinestro Corps War, Blackest Night, Brightest Day, etc., etc., etc.). That said, GREEN LANTERN: The End by Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke turned out to be a very entertaining final arc for Johns’ work on the character. The Guardians of the Universe decide to make the cosmos easier to manage by eliminating all emotion; the malevolent entity Volthoom tries to stop them (emotion makes it easier for him to hurt people); and with Hal Jordan and Sinestro dead, Hal’s ring passes to Simon Baz, a Muslim petty crook falsely accused of terrorism. It’s a lively mix, though the finish isn’t as big a reset as I expected (Johns fabricates a new line of non-corrupt Guardians to take over the Corps so it’s really less of a shakeup than the post-Crisis on Infinite Earth set-up in the 1980s.
SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN: My Own Worst Enemy by Dan Slott, Ryan Stegman and Giuseppe Camuncoli kicks off the current status quo for the web-slinger’s book: Peter’s dead, Dr. Octopus’ mind is running his body and Octopus is attempting to redeem himself by becoming a better hero than Peter ever was. This is fun, though I can see why it bugs some fans that Otto Octavius really does seem to be superior to Peter; another issue several readers have raised is that his attempts to seduce Mary Jane are played for romantic comedy rather than stalkery creepiness (given that he’s seducing her by pretending to be the man she loves).

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Filed under Comics, Reading

3 responses to “Comic-book TPBS (#SFWApro)

  1. Pingback: Comic books (#SFWApro) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  2. Pingback: Graphic Novels and TPBs (#SFWApro) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  3. Pingback: And also comics! (#SFWApro) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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