A Christmas Miscellany

Just a short entry to share some gems of Christmas 2013.

docsavageDoc Savage – Man of Bronze #1 (Dynamite Comics)
Dynamite continues its trend of bringing classic pulp and adventure heroes to modern comics with modern comic art. The result is a triumph. I’m not a huge Doc Savage fan. I’ve read a couple of the books, and actually watched the entire movie with Ron Ely. On second thought, maybe I am a huge fan. Who else would sit through that movie? For the uninitiated, Doc is a genius and a superb athlete, one of a team of heroic geniuses who’ve pledged themselves to help those in need. All of them are engineers or scientists, all are capable of discovering the solution to a complex technical problem and thus saving the day. They’re idealists, too. Doc believes that criminal behavior is merely a disease and can be cured. It’s a very American concept. They’re both intellectuals and jocks (celebrating the American worship of both sports figures and men and women of science), their headquarters is on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building (celebrating both capitalism and technological advancements) and they have a healthy dislike of involving the legal authorities when solving problems (celebrating the American spirit of independence, even from American government.) The artwork is beautiful, and the writing crisp and entertaining. This is a promising series that I intend to keep following. Continue reading

REVIEW – Dynamite Entertainment’s Dark Shadows

I mentioned recently that I’ve been reading comic books since 1974.  I mostly preferred super-hero comics, and I’m not entirely sure why, although it’s clear that most readers do.  I think, for me it’s because they allow an escape from reality, they generally allow for exciting, colorful imagery, and they have that sense of romantic heroism that is lacking in, say, sword and sorcery stories.  I’ll probably explore what I mean by “romantic heroism” in a totally separate article.  Suffice to say here that I use it to mean that the characters in the story have a sense of right and wrong, are working toward a just goal, and portray an ideal of people as they should be, not merely as they are.  Superman is a person as we’d like to believe people could be.  Conan the Barbarian, on the other hand, has little to advertise him as a hero.  He can get away with running around in a loin cloth and he wields a mean sword.  That’s true of lots of real people, so Conan did nothing for me.  (Red Sonja, on the other hand…  Pretty girls need no excuse.  I’m sexist that way.  Sue me.)