Friday, 31 May 2019

The Avengers: Your Young Men Shall Slay Visions

Ok, firstly, that's a great title for a story.
Apparently there's a bit of kerfuffle around the ol' interweb involving some people insisting that comics shouldn't be political, which I take to mean, they shouldn't try to say anything.
I'm not sure where these people have been for the last 40 years. To quote Skunk Anansie: Yes, it's f**kin' political. Everything's political.
I'm sure Steve Englehart & Bob Brown would agree.
For instance herein, Wanda & Vision openly declare their love for each other to the world, and the world reacts in various ways. Some good, some very bad.
It's the little details that make this one, like the fact that the threatening note Cap opens up is obviously written by an illiterate, a small but telling point. As is Cap's reaction, and Wanda's line about hate for that matter.
It's also a classic pulp set-up, as The Avengers fight to stop the bad guys getting into the operating room where Viz lies at death's door.
Ok, considering they're The Avengers, they seem to have an inordinate amount of trouble fending off a few non-powered thugs with guns, but we'll let that one go.

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

The Kids From Rec. Road In Kids Of The Stones Pt. 18 And... How Have Things Changed?

Yes, cartoon me. Look! At this week's extraordinary episode of Kids Of The Stones, where it actually looks like we might heading for a rollickin' resolution to the saga any time this decade.
While over at:

We ask: How have things changed for us comic fans? Since the movies came along, and everybody in the world suddenly became card carrying Marvelites, have people actually stopped saying things like: 'You like comics?? But comics are for little kids!!'
Did we, as Marv Wolfman once suggested, actually WIN?
Join us over at and tell us your experiences, good or bad, then and now...

Sunday, 26 May 2019

The Incredible Hulk: Between Hammer & Anvil!

Herb Trimpe was born today, so allow me to apologise for hating his work as a kid, by posting one of my fave Hulk's.
I could've gone for the obvious 1st appearance of Wolverine, but let's do the next issue instead, where Ol' Greenskin finds himself a friend, travellin' man Crackajack Jackson ( who seems to have wandered in from a Ray Bradbury story ).
You also have a couple of great villains in Hammer & Anvil, and even if how they got their powers has to be the most shoe-horned in thing Len Wein ever wrote, well, somebody was gonna come up with these two at some point in the history of comics.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Samuel Delany & Howard Chaykin's Empire

You might want to set yourself some time aside today, as here we go with Byron Preiss, Samuel Delany & Howard Chaykin's epic sci-fi graphic novel Empire.
As I've said before, Preiss was the publisher who spent most of the Bronze Age trying to create the graphic novel, and his productions are always fascinating, if flawed experiments.
He was generally keen to stay as far away from traditional comic book storytelling as possible, meaning that his books never 100% carry their ideas off, being neither fish nor fowl, and Empire does have it's flaws.
Delany tries to meld Star Wars style space opera with more 'serious' sci-fi ideas, and the result is slightly clunky, while Chaykin restricts himself ( or was restricted by Preiss ) into a three panel grid format that can't help but get a little repetitive.
But, it's a good yarn, with interesting characters, and it's Howard in his fully painted era, throwing out amazing design work like it's going out of fashion.
I bought Empire when it came out, in 1978, and have read it a lot in the decades since. It's a flawed masterpiece, I think. See what you think.