Monday, March 31, 2014

Review # 105: "Kingdom Come"

There is no better artist than Alex Ross when it comes to depicting larger-than-life superheroes and supervillains as interpreted by the normal human. A few people may criticize his style of painting over photo-referencing, but he clearly gets the job done. Two of my favourite drawings of all time come from Ross' work on "Marvels" where he shows Giant Man towering over photographer Phil Sheldon, then later as Phil looks up to witness the arrival of Galactus on earth. That shot of Galactus is scary as hell based on sheer magnitude. Definitive Fantastic Four artists Jack Kirby and John Byrne were taken to school by that page.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Review # 104: "Madrox: Multiple Choice"

After bidding farewell to X-Factor Investigations, going back to before the beginning to read "Madrox: Multiple Choice" is a weird trip. It's apt to call this finally re-released story something like an "un-aired pilot." The concept of what would become X-Factor is there, but some elements were changed heading into production of the main line. Ultimately, this mini paved the way for the X-Factor relaunch and - like a pilot - it needed approval to go ahead. In this case, though, it wasn't a bunch of network suits: it was the fans who snapped up every single copy available of the first two issues upon release that were responsible for that decision.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Review # 103: "X-Men - Road to Onslaught Vol. 1"

A funny thing happened to the Lobdell/Nicieza/Harras-era X-Men franchise in the mid-90s: it got pretty darn good. While I personally find "The Age of Apocalypse" to be overrated, it's still excellent and I would argue as a counter that what immediately preceded and followed it was underrated as a whole.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Review # 102: "Daredevil - The Man Without Fear"

I have no idea who to attribute the quote to, but when someone said that Frank Miller gained great success from turning Daredevil into a psychotic version of Batman before moving on to turn Batman into a psychotic version of Batman, that person was bang on. What Miller did for Bats in "The Dark Knight Returns," he did for Daredevil first in "The Elektra Saga" and "Born Again." Unfortunately, by the time "Batman: Year One" came out it was almost as if Miller's run on Daredevil never happened. He's credited always as "Frank Miller, author of 'Sin City,' '300' and 'Batman: The Dark Knight Returns,'" omitting the title where he arguably did his best work.