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 Posted:   May 19, 2017 - 9:38 AM   
 By:   Michael Scorefan   (Member)

I recently dug this book out of my collection to reread.



I am a sucker for late 19th century stories, and this book was a lot of fun. A nice mashup of Batman and Jack the Ripper. Fantastic art by Mike Mignola and P. Craig Russell

 
 Posted:   May 19, 2017 - 9:51 AM   
 By:   drop_forge   (Member)

I have a ton of reading to do, comics and not, so my ordering has had to come to a grinding halt.

As for Wonder Woman, I am on a self-imposed media blackout--didn't even watch the 3rd trailer-- until after I've seen the film, which I anxiously await! smile


I'm avoiding the third trailer, too...I've seen more than enough, and I can't wait. Tweets rolled out from numerous critics as soon as the social media embargo lifted, and they're over 90% positive! Two more weeks!

 
 Posted:   May 20, 2017 - 5:44 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

That Mignola-Russell art is hugely nostalgic for me, though I've never read that story! Maybe the look of it reminds me of late '80s, early '90s Batman comics. Love it!

 
 Posted:   May 20, 2017 - 7:28 AM   
 By:   Michael Scorefan   (Member)

That Mignola-Russell art is hugely nostalgic for me, though I've never read that story! Maybe the look of it reminds me of late '80s, early '90s Batman comics. Love it!

The book came out in 1989. I believe it was the first book in the Elseworlds imprint, which reimagined various DC characters in non-continuity stories. As a whole, books from the Elseworlds imprint were more miss than hit, but most were fun to read.

DC published a followup to Gotham by Gaslight called "Master of the Future" which was written by same writer, Brian Augustyn, and featured art be Eduardo Barreto. The followup is good, but it doesn't hold a candle to Gotham by Gaslight, which has a better story, and, much as I love Barreto's art, it just can't compete with Mignola's and Russell's work.

 
 Posted:   May 20, 2017 - 10:46 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

The lone Elseworlds story I read was "The Nail", which I stupidly sold off some years ago. I'm really good when it comes to purging but I only sold off some of my comics once--ten years ago-- and I've deeply regretted it ever since. I never, ever sell anything of mine that's comics related.

 
 Posted:   May 22, 2017 - 7:39 PM   
 By:   drop_forge   (Member)

Very sad news: Zack Snyder's daughter Autumn passed away in March. The news is just now being made public. He's stepping down from the postproduction process of Justice League. Joss Whedon will film some additional scenes that will complete the film.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/zack-snyder-steps-down-justice-league-deal-family-tragedy-1006455

 
 Posted:   May 23, 2017 - 8:45 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

I was going to post this magnificent Alex Ross Legion of Doom painting over in the JUSTICE LEAGUE thread on the other side since a couple of posters were behaving like they belonged in the Legion.

However, since no one outside of these comic threads is likely to appreciate it, I thought I'd post it here instead:



The only DC character Ross paints that I don't care for is Superman. Imo Ross gives him too much of a George Reeves look for my taste. He does a damned fine Bizarro (and damn-near everybody else), though.

 
 Posted:   Jun 3, 2017 - 4:40 PM   
 By:   drop_forge   (Member)

In case anyone has yet to see it, I'll just say Wonder Woman is awesome!

And the SCORE is great, too!

 
 Posted:   Jun 8, 2017 - 5:19 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

In case anyone has yet to see it, I'll just say Wonder Woman is awesome!

And the SCORE is great, too!


Saw it. (and heard it) Loved it.

 
 Posted:   Jun 9, 2017 - 1:11 AM   
 By:   Michael Scorefan   (Member)

In case anyone has yet to see it, I'll just say Wonder Woman is awesome!

And the SCORE is great, too!


Saw it. (and heard it) Loved it.


Yep, great film. I hope to see it again before it leaves the theater. I like the score, but it hasn't quite grabbed me yet apart from her main theme originally from BvS. I am going to give it a few more listens before I decide what I think of it.

 
 Posted:   Jun 9, 2017 - 4:58 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

As unpopular and insane as it may be to say so, IMO WW is no better or worse than BvS; I thoroughly enjoyed both movies. The villains in WW weren't particularly memorable, and the FSM WW piece Dursin chap misspelled "Ares" (god of war) as "Aries." (Astrological sign).

Also, Chris Pine did fine in the film though his dialogue sounded more 2017 than 1917.

Other than those small reservations, I loved the movie.

 
 Posted:   Jun 10, 2017 - 2:27 AM   
 By:   Michael Scorefan   (Member)

Hey Jim: My copy of the Phantom Zone miniseries finally arrived. Once I finish the book I am currently reading I will dive into the story. I flipped through the book a little, and it looks great. Looking forward to reading it!

 
 Posted:   Jun 10, 2017 - 4:04 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Hey Jim: My copy of the Phantom Zone miniseries finally arrived. Once I finish the book I am currently reading I will dive into the story. I flipped through the book a little, and it looks great. Looking forward to reading it!

I was impressed with the entire series. It's all the more so for me because I had no idea it even existed until recently! I ordered it as soon as I vecame aware of it, though. Apparently it's fairly well known(?). It came out at a strange time, don't you think? Right after Superman II. Or maybe not such a strange time as they wanted to capitalize--or improve upon--the way the Zone was portrayed in the film.

My reviews--turgid observations, really-- of each issue are at the ready though I'd rather chat "live" after reading your thoughts on the mini series.

As for Wonder Woman, I mentioned before that I refused to watch the third trailer for the film (and apparently the second one, too) and boy am I glad I did since it reveals nearly every damned kick-ass moment! I would have been enraged at having seen that stuff ahead of time! I am SO relieved I abstained from watching the third (and second) trailer.

 
 Posted:   Jun 10, 2017 - 8:50 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Looking forward to starting The Krypton Companion book this weekend:



Dubbed “A Historical Exploration of Superman Comics Books of 1958-1986,” the companion features indexes, articles, interviews, and other features about those who worked under the tenure of Editors Mort Weisinger and Julius Schwartz. An absolute must for fans of Superman and of Silver Age comic books in general, presented in the usual detailed format as other TwoMorrows Publications.

 
 Posted:   Jun 10, 2017 - 10:42 AM   
 By:   drop_forge   (Member)

^TwoMorrows puts out FANTASTIC stuff. They did a really nice book on Bernie Wrightson, and another one on all the "swamp" characters (Swamp Thing, Man-Thing, Heap, etc.!).

 
 Posted:   Jun 10, 2017 - 11:59 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

^TwoMorrows puts out FANTASTIC stuff. They did a really nice book on Bernie Wrightson, and another one on all the "swamp" characters (Swamp Thing, Man-Thing, Heap, etc.!).

I purchased a few of their BACK ISSUE PDFs--plugged earlier in this thread--as they've produced some quality retrospectives on Bronze Age Batman and Superman as well as Jonah Hex, another of my favorite DC characters.

 
 Posted:   Jun 13, 2017 - 3:11 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

^TwoMorrows puts out FANTASTIC stuff. They did a really nice book on Bernie Wrightson, and another one on all the "swamp" characters (Swamp Thing, Man-Thing, Heap, etc.!).


I've only had a chance to scan through this promising Man of Steel reference book, the aforementioned Krypton Companion, and here are my initial thoughts. I hope to have the whole thing read by the end of the week:

First let me say that no comic book reference or retrospective can compete with the two-volume X-Men Companion which was published by Fantagraphics Books in 1982, which was a comic reference with the most in-depth interviews I will ever most likely read about a comic book's creators and their creative concepts and reminiscences. The X-Men Companion is the gold standard by which all other comic reference books shall be measured, and they will all come up short.

Maybe it's because I am more familiar or comfortable with Marvel and its staff, but DC doesn't give me the same feeling of "cosey" I had with the Claremont-Byrne era of X-Men.

Having said that, The Krypton Companion (TKC) is a solid and enjoyable effort, and is much better than an X-Men book I actually threw away, the stiff and perfunctory Comic Creators on X-Men.

Okay, enough with the comparisons. On to The Krypton Companion. smile

There's less about the memorable stories and more about the working relationships and conditions at DC during the Silver and Bronze Ages. DC was more "one and done" and had far fewer extended story arcs than Marvel. I would have liked more than just the listing of DC Comics Presents.

The Cary Bates interview felt like the longtime Superman scribe was guarded in his replies, which I thought was odd considering how he is, in my view, the definitive Superman writer of the 1970s and early '80s.

Neal Adams gives a lengthy, enthusiastic, and informative interview. Adams frankly discusses his working relationship with notoriously grouchy Superman editor Mort Weinsinger, whom Adams believed had a soft side that Weinsinger seldom revealed.

Another prolific 1970s-era Superman writer, Elliot S! Maggin, also gives a quality interview and with much more depth and recall than the rather disappointing Cary Bates conversation.

Martin Pasko, the third 1970s-era Superman writer whose work I have read, also has an interview and it too looks to be of a high quality.

Looking forward to Phantom Zone miniseries writer Steve Gerber's interview, as he was such an intelligent and well-informed personality.

 
 Posted:   Jun 17, 2017 - 2:56 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Okay, it's June, so Michael Scorefan should have his TPB by now.

My issue-by-issue review of the Phantom Zone miniseries. Beginning, appropriately, with issue #1:

(October 1981) "The Haunting of Charlie Kweskill!" The Phantom Zone prisoners use their telepathic talents on Charlie Kweskill, a Daily Planet employee and hypnotize him into breaking into hi-tech labs in his sleep, stealing valuable components, and using them to assemble a Phantom Zone Projector. Writer: Steve Gerber; Art: Gene Colan, Tony DeZuniga.

Somehow, I'd never known about this 1981-82 miniseries until a few weeks ago. A lot of 1981-85 DC is unknown to me and this series feels like it's completely forgotten, though it was republished in 2013.

This first issue is outstanding. Gerber, like Gerry Conway, tosses in social commentary in his stories, as a few of Charlie Kweskill’s remarks about Kryptonian society are applicable to the United States. I'm sure Gerber’s social criticisms were more obvious in Howard the Duck--but he's more subtle than Conway, which surprised me. Gerber excels at keeping the the narrative moving along.

Issue one sets up the Phantom Zone's origin and each of the nasty Kryptonians gets a page chronicling the evil deeds they committed in order to become imprisoned there; Faora-Ul is particularly gruesome in her sadism. Superman himself only appears towards the end of the issue, but you really won't miss him since Gerber and the stellar, moodily surreal and appropriate art by Gene Colan and Tony DeZuniga is magnificent.

The off-kilter panel layouts for the Phantom Zone scenes are impressive, something the reader will notice all the more when the story moves back to Earth. This issue ends on a cliffhanger, with Supes in deep, deep trouble. Can't wait for the second issue.

This story would have held my interest as a ten-year-old back in 1981 even though it's pretty deep and involved and Superman is barely in it. I wouldn't have had any issue with the art team, either.

As a kid, I was fascinated by the Phantom Zone. I would have been all the more fascinated by it had I known about this miniseries.

 
 Posted:   Jun 19, 2017 - 7:55 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

The Phantom Zone #2

These might read as summaries, but I am actually just pointing out the occurrences in the story that caught my attention visually or conceptually. When reading the series for yourself (selves?), my observations are the things of whch you want to take note.

(November 1981) "Earth Under Siege!" With Superman still trapped in the Phantom Zone, the escaped Kryptonians wreak havoc on Earth and battle the JLA. Writer: Steve Gerber; Art: Gene Colan, Tony DeZuniga.

What an action-packed issue! This is the “villains kicking ass” issue of the miniseries, as Zod and company take the Earth by surprise. I’m unfamiliar with a lot of DC’s admittedly inconsistent history, but I want to know more about the DC Comics of my childhood era. I’m uncertain as to which of these Phantom Zone Kryptonians were introduced in this miniseries, but there are quite a few names to remember. Luckily, issue #1 recaps their origin.

With Superman out of the way, the Phantom Zone criminals do the following:

Use the giant key as a battering ram to smash a hole into the Fortress of Solitude. Once inside, they use their heat vision to destroy Superman’s Phantom Zone projector. Zod will use the Fortress as his base now.

The aptly-named Kru-El, evil cousin of Jor-El, hurls the JLA Satellite across the solar system, with Flash, Zatanna, Black Canary, Elongated Man, Red Tornado, and Hawkman with it.

Colan’s art as the villains approach the satellite in the blackness of space reminds me of the moon scene in Superman II, when Zod, Non, and Ursa attack the astronauts.

Speaking of bad-ass Kryptonian women, Faora-Ul elbows General Zod in the gut after he makes an unwanted advance on her. She tells him to lick his wounds and Zod mutters that before long, Faora will be licking his boots.

Supergirl and the major JLA players tangle with the escaped Kryptonians and it’s pretty damned awesome stuff. I don’t know how often DC heroes have dealt with Superman’s foes, but I love seeing the likes of Wonder Woman and Green Lantern interact with these villains.

Green Lantern’s ring is nearly out of power, but when he returns home to recharge it, he sees his place trashed and the villains escaping with his lantern. GL nearly gets killed by the giant Jax-Ur, but uses his now-powerless ring to reflect the Kryptonian’s heat vision back at himself.

Colan draws a cool panel with GL being tackled in mid air by Jax-Ur and crashes into the ground below. GL gets a bloody gash after he’s clocked with the lantern. The villains leave and when some civilians ask if he’s alright, GL requests a lift to the nearest doctor!

Supergirl and Wonder Woman save the Earth from nuclear holocaust as they intercept and disarm the US and Soviet ICBMs. The sight of Wonder Woman standing atop her Invisible Jet with her magic lasso around an ICBM is a thing of Basic Adventure Beauty.

Wonder Woman has a Frankenstein’s Monster-type interaction with the deformed and crazed Nam-Ek which of course culminates in a violent battle.

Batman fractures the jaw of a switchblade-wielding thug when Supergirl arrives to enlist The Dark Knight Detective in finding the missing Superman, whom she refers to as “My cousin and your best friend.” I love stuff like this that reiterates the close kinship these DC heroes have with one another.

There’s a brief but funny sequence between Perry White and Jimmy Olsen, with Perry shouting his famous “...and don’t call me chief!” expression.

Back at the Fortress of Solitude, a cool fight right out of The Man of Steel between Supergirl, Kru-El, and Jax-Ur blasts out the main computer room wall and Superman’s alien zoo. Jax-Ur has his boot atop Supergirl’s face.

Superman, with the knowledge provided by the Phantom Zone’s permanent and voluntary resident, the terminally-ill Mon-El, find a barrier at the “back” of the Phantom Zone that will eventually lead out of the place. Mon-El says that Jor-El only discovered the Phantom Zone, but didn’t know everything about it. Issue two ends with Superman and Charlie Kweskill making the leap into the next, unknown part of the Phantom Zone...

 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2017 - 1:58 AM   
 By:   Michael Scorefan   (Member)

Okay, it's June, so Michael Scorefan should have his TPB by now.

My issue-by-issue review of the Phantom Zone miniseries. Beginning, appropriately, with issue #1:

(October 1981) The Phantom Zone prisoners use their telepathic talents on Charlie Kweskill, a Daily Planet employee and hypnotize him into breaking into hi-tech labs in his sleep, stealing valuable components, and using them to assemble a Phantom Zone Projector. Writer: Steve Gerber; Art: Gene Colan, Tony DeZuniga.

Somehow, I'd never known about this 1981-82 miniseries until a few weeks ago. A lot of 1981-85 DC is unknown to me and this series feels like it's completely forgotten, though it was republished in 2013.

This first issue is outstanding. Gerber, like Gerry Conway, tosses in social commentary in his stories, as a few of Charlie Kweskill’s remarks about Kryptonian society are applicable to the United States. I'm sure Gerber’s social criticisms were more obvious in Howard the Duck--but he's more subtle than Conway, which surprised me. Gerber excels at keeping the the narrative moving along.

Issue one sets up the Phantom Zone's origin and each of the nasty Kryptonians gets a page chronicling the evil deeds they committed in order to become imprisoned there; Faora-Ul is particularly gruesome in her sadism. Superman himself only appears towards the end of the issue, but you really won't miss him since Gerber and the stellar, moodily surreal and appropriate art by Gene Colan and Tony DeZuniga is magnificent.

The off-kilter panel layouts for the Phantom Zone scenes are impressive, something the reader will notice all the more when the story moves back to Earth. This issue ends on a cliffhanger, with Supes in deep, deep trouble. Can't wait for the second issue.

This story would have held my interest as a ten-year-old back in 1981 even though it's pretty deep and involved and Superman is barely in it. I wouldn't have had any issue with the art team, either.

As a kid, I was fascinated by the Phantom Zone. I would have been all the more fascinated by it had I known about this miniseries.


Okay, so I finished the first issue, and I agree with your review. A great background of the Phantom Zone and some of its inmates. I don't know that much about pre-Crisis Superman, but was Gerber the first writer to suggest that the Phantom Zone isn't the most humane way of dealing with criminals? I imagine that this story provided some inspiration to Alan Moore when he wrote "For the Man Who has Everything", which had protestors on Krypton demanding the elimination of the Phantom Zone as a means of punishment throughout Superman's hallucination brought on by black mercy.

I liked the various backgrounds of the inmates, as well as some great character moments from Superman's supporting cast. The first couple of pages really sums up Perry White's persona of being someone who demands the most from his employees, but who also hasn't lost his humanity. J. Jonah Jameson could learn a lot from him regarding how to treat his people!

The method the criminals used to escape the Phantom Zone was very clever, and what a cliffhanger! I start the second issue tomorrow. But one issue in, and I am very impressed. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention: great art from Gene Colan. His style is perfect for this type of story.

One part of this era of Superman that seems odd is having Clark Kent be a broadcast journalist. I get that it was likely an attempt to modernize the book a bit, but are people really that dense not connecting the dots that Clark is Superman? It is one thing if most people see a tiny head shot of Clark at the beginning of one of his articles, but when he is on your tv every night? And probably more often than not covering a Superman story! Especially in an era of three channels plus PBS. This isn't a dig against Gerber, since he was using the status quo that was handed to him. Still, it amuses me all the same.

 
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