causticlad: Matter-Eater Lad doing his cracky thing (Default)
[personal profile] causticlad


In American comics you've got your Jack Kirby and you've got your Steve Ditko. The number of artists who aren't influenced by them is infinitesimally small. But there has been, over the last thirty years, a slowly growing contingent of superhero artists who use another guy as their touchstone -- hero of FreedomFrench comics Jean Giraud or, to be more precise, Moebius, as he prefers to be known when talking about his SF and fantasy work. He only really came to prominence on this side of the Atlantic around 1978-9, when the English translations of Métal Hurlant began to take off in the States, but within a few years you could see his influence on the likes of Walt Simonson and Art Adams, an influence that has spread down to 2011 in the drawings of Frank Quitely, Geof Darrow, and others -- not least because his style seems to be a natural starting point for, bitte Gott hilf uns, imitators of Rob Liefeld to up their game. And let us not forget his international influence: Miyazaki's Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind manga is noticeably Moebius-like, though mixed with Miyazaki's own genius it's one of the few pieces of such work that can stand toe-to-toe with the Frenchman's best and not be knocked flat to the canvas.

But as much as I love his art, what drives me absolutely mental about Moebius is his taste in stories. While acknowledging that it is just a matter of taste, I can't stand the preciousness of, say, Alejandro Jodorowsky, and that's the sort of thing Moebius returns to again and again with all of his collaborators and in his own writing. It's maybe tilting at windmills in a genre that co-opts everything fantastic and turns it into stew, but I do prefer straightforward story-telling.

This brings me to Silver Surfer: Parable, for which Moebius supplies the art and Stan Lee provided the story. I don't think I'm going against the critical grain to say that Lee's muse had long since wandered away when this was printed in 1989. I can see that you'd have something interesting if this had been made twenty years prior to that (and preferably twenty-five), but Lee's writing had collapsed in a thick dust cloud of ponderousness and self-seriousness by the time this made it to print.

So I'm not going to try very hard to sum up the story here, particularly the second plot arc. It soberly informs us that religious leaders are often interested in their own power and people rely on religion to avoid thinking, which is bad, m'kay? And it does so with a singular lack of finesse. Instead I'll focus on the Surfer and Galactus and the A-Plot, which...

...brings a lot of the pretty )
proteus_lives: (Default)
[personal profile] proteus_lives
Greetings True Believers!

I can't express how much I love the current Thor titles. One of the things I love the most is the interesting human characters interacting with the Gods of Asgard.

One of those humans is Pastor Mike; according to Volstagg his full title is Pastor Mike the Wee, Small Friend of Jesus.

A small town preacher finds his destiny.

Bonus: Norrin Radd has no need for your primitive Earth-pants!

Enjoy!

Read more... )
causticlad: Matter-Eater Lad doing his cracky thing (Default)
[personal profile] causticlad


Marshall Rogers and Steve Englehart were in a select group of people that revitalized Batman in the 1970s. The pairing of Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams was first and probably more famous, but the artist Rogers and writer Englehart had a highly influential short run on Batman during the mid-70s that more or less defined how the character was written and drawn well into the 21st century.

Englehart and Rogers were something of a dynamic duo themselves, working together on a mid-70s revival of Miracle Man for a while, as well one of DC's earliest direct distribution comics (the one-shot Madam Xanadu) and on early indie comic Coyote for Eclipse. Their longest run together, however, was on a mid-80s revamping of the Silver Surfer.

From his first appearance in 1966 to the printing of this story in 1987 (Silver Surfer vol 3, #1), the Surfer had been trapped on Earth. Englehart had a penchant for cosmic-scale stories and spent issue one of the new series liberating Galactus' ex-herald so he could get down to writing some. After hearing that his ex-boss' new gofer, Nova, has been captured by the Skrulls in an attempt to weaponize the World-Eater by extorting him into eating the Kree Empire, the Surfer uses a temporary escape from Earth to negotiate his permanent release. Nova has been stashed in a facility with plotnecessitium vibranium walls that are primed to blow if damaged. Slow and ponderous as he is, Galactus will only kill Nova if he tries to rescue her. The Surfer is a different matter, though. If he gets Nova back, Galactus promises to stop acting like a spoiled child and will let him go on his way.

This leads to a virtuoso stretch of pencilling from Rogers, whose background before coming into comics was in architectural drawing. His sci-fi buildings always rather looked like real buildings, and for this he basically "plotted out" a Skrull facility for...well, look at it yourself:

Maybe if I take a run at it? )
sherkahn: (Comic Book Guy)
[personal profile] sherkahn
Courtesy of ComicBookResources we get a glimpse of issue #3 of Mighty Thor as the Odinson and the Herald of Galactus spar once more.

Something we haven't seen in a while, two of the Powers that Be of the Marvel universe begin to move to one another. It doesn't go well, but we do get this wonderful page. If Marvel is smart they will not put ANY writing on top of the art.

The Big G. )
icon_uk: (Default)
[personal profile] icon_uk
Found this news over on www.busiek.com




This is the blurb to go with it

A Marvel Masterpiece from deep inside the treasure vaults can now be told! The original team of Doctor Strange, The Hulk, Silver Surfer and Namor are together again for a hidden adventure! But why was this tale lost? What happens in other dimensions stays in other dimensions, so what unspeakable secrets of the The Defenders are to be revealed? Find out at last in these pages with the illustrious words of Kurt Busiek (THE DEFENDERS, MARVELS) and the incomparable artwork of artist Mark Bagley (ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN)!

And this is the story behind it...  )
stubbleupdate: (Default)
[personal profile] stubbleupdate
After Solve Everything and the Prime Elements arcs, Dale Eaglesham left Fantastic Four, passing Steve Epting as he moved on to some Captain America stuff. Now, Eaglesham's work on Fantastic Four was amazing. It was reminiscent of the Jack Kirby stuff in terms of figure work and the over-the-top style.

Wouldn't it be great if Eaglesham could draw a retro Fantastic Four book? It could be like Iron Man Legacy or Batman Confidential, but for Fantastic Four. I would buy loads of them.

But, Eaglesham sort of has drawn a retro Fantastic Four book, thanks to two staples of the Marvel Universe - Secret Origins ) and What If  )
badficwriter: scrapbook of Barry Allen and Hal Jordan (BarryFlash/Hal Jordan memories)
[personal profile] badficwriter
In the Clone Saga post, Ben and Matt bemoan the loss of the world's heroes during the Onslaught event. They weren't actually alone, but to average people nobody else really counted. The X-men, Hulk, and New Warriors were all pretty insular and often low profile. The strange result was that the two 'loner' heroes tended to show up together in crossovers. Read more... )
skalja: Ultimate Spider-Woman posing like a BAMF (spider-man: mj in red)
[personal profile] skalja
Silver Surfer: Requiem was a 2007 "What If?" style miniseries by JMS and Esad Ribic, in which the Surfer discovers he'is dying and sets about putting his affairs in order. I cannot recommend the full issue or entire series enough, whether or not you're a Silver Surfer fan.

In the second issue, Surfer is coming to terms with his death and mulling over one last good deed he might do for his adopted home of Earth before he goes back to Zenn-La to die. After running into Spider-Man, he asks him for his perspective as a human (telling him only that he's leaving Earth for good, not that he's dying). Spider-Man tries to brainstorm, but he can't think of any single deed that will have the kind of lasting beneficial impact Surfer is looking for, due to all of the political and economic factors, and the nature of human society itself. Stumped, he ends up in a discussion with Surfer about the way Surfer perceives the universe, and Surfer offers to give Spidey a temporary boost of the power cosmic and let him find out what it's like for himself. Spider-Man declines, but asks, "[W]ould you mind letting someone else experience this?"

"That would depend on who this someone else is." (7 pages tragically abbreviated from 23.) )

One perfect moment for the Silver Surfer's endless compassion; one perfect moment for Peter Parker's integrity and insight; one perfect moment for Mary Jane Watson, his inspiration.

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