Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Friday, November 03, 2006


I know, I know...graphic novels.

Fuck off, they're comic books, and I'm proud to read 'em. I've been a comic book dork ever since I first saw Captain America go undercover inside a prison as an inmate to unmask corruption there, and then go to England to help Captain Britain defeat his evil relative (I forget the relation, I was young) Baron Blood. Cap got the drop on the Baron when his vampire teeth couldn't get through the chainmail Cap wore under his costume. That comic is where I first learned that to really kill a vampire, you have to cut off the head, stuff the mouth full of garlic, burn the body and head separately and bury them in two separate graves, while never taking the stake out of the body. These things are important when you're in elementary school.

I got back into comics with the awesome imagery of Todd McFarlane's Spiderman comics, and followed that winding road through the entire Sandman series, about 37 different permutations of X-Men, picking up back issues of Hellblazer and Watchmen along the way. I dumped all my comics a few years ago, hanging onto my Hellblazer collection and my Sandman hardcovers, but letting everything else go.

But every once in a while I get a hankering to pick up a glossy, bright-colored fix, so I wander back into the "forgotten corner" of the Barnes & Noble, or even pop into a comic shop, and see what's going on in the Marvel or DC Universe.

WE INTERRUPT THIS FOR A RANDOM PHRASE FROM THE OTHER OFFICE - my project managers are in the other room talking about "seeping ass juice." I have no context, just a vile phrase. WE NOW RETURN YOU TO YOUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED NAVEL-GAZING

So this week I picked up the trade paperback (which is the only way I buy comics now, since I have neither the time nor the patience to keep up with a series) of a mini-series called Identity Crisis, from DC. Truly one of the best reads in years. I know to real geeks this is old news, but Identity Crisis takes some of the older Justice League of America characters like Elongated Man and makes them relevant and central again. It's full of love, loss and really well-written character pain. It talks about how heroes deal with their secret identities, what lengths they go to to protect those identities, and what happens when their real lives and real partners get caught up in their other world. I recommend it to anyone who likes a good story, whether you give a shit about comic books or not. And I dare you not to tear up, just a little, at the last page.

So go buy a comic book, and fuck the snobs who won't call them comic books.


Grinder said...

I think The Preacher was AWESOME!! If you have not read the entire series do it.

I was a Nexus fan. I finished the entire Bone series (it' is very good, don't judge it by the look of the leading character).

I read V for Vendetta when it came out! The Watchman when it first appeared.

I'm there dude!!! Always looking for more to read. I have FROM HELL in my office.

Slash Maruad was the best Sci Fi collection ever.

Always looking for more!!!

Grinder said...

BTW - thanks - I'll pick it up Identity Crisis this weekend.

Never read Hellblazer but never really looked at it.

Contact me - we can share our love for comics.... hmmmmm that didn;t sound right! LOL

Pokerwolf said...

If you like comics about superheroes, check out Evil, Inc..

HighOnPoker said...

I'm a comic book fan, and if you are looking for great reads involving Capt America, pick up the Ultimates TPBs. It's basically a re-imagining of the Avengers, but they do an amazing job of making it more real-world. For instance, Thor is a superhuman, but no one actually believes that he is a Norse god. They just think that he is crazy. They do a great job w/ Capt America dealiing with the changes in society since he was frozen during WWII. Stuff like that. It's highly recommended. Otherwise, I have about a dozen other recommendations. Hell, my tag line for my posts "Until next time, make mine poker!" is actually a ripoff of an old Marvel sign off, "Until next time, make mine Marvel!"

Oh, and definitely 100% check out the Civil War series. It's still happening, but once the TPB comes our, you've got to get it (skip the Civil War: Frontlines comics though).

Grinder said...

I learned to wait for the collections! If it is any good it'll get collected.

Cival War series?? hmmmm

Perhaps we should talk! I';ll have to make a list! LOL I don't trust most dealers as they are REAL geeks!

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