In writing about webcomics and the development of superhero characters through use, I had a weird flashback to 1976.
So we’re cuttin’ alllll the way back to my tween-teen transition and the siren call of a new title at Marvel: The Man Called Nova, by Marv Wolfman and John Buscema. I bought it, and if memory serves, stuck with it for about a year.
I’ve been thinking about when and how superheroes are “alive” in the culture. Swing a stick right now, and you’ll hit someone telling you that all is roses. Superheroes are in! They are arrived! They are (gasp) cool at last! … whereas all my little eye sees is that they are in the cage. They have “arrived” in the sense of at rest. They are tamed at last.
It’s the only unequivocally great villain protagonist book. And interestingly, he has no redeeming features at all: Dracula is a flat-out asshole, supremacist, bigot, casual serial murderer, and megalomaniac. Read the rest of this entry
In 1974 the big SF-media push was to “Go Ape!” I was so enamored of doing so at age 10 that I made it a point to imitate Roddy MacDowall’s ape-walk everywhere until brought to sanity by an unkind comment from my mom. Read the rest of this entry
In one of the letter columns in the late-80s Question, Denny O’Neil refers to Peter Parker as a schlep, and always having been one. That’s Yiddish, and a little confusing because that precise word is a verb meaning to lug something inconvenient, but here, and as I’ve often heard or used it, it’s short for schlepper, meaning an inept, stupid person.
Let’s begin with a serious observation: this is art by Carmine Infantino we’re talking about, and that is a woman’s body for a woman character – no “objectification,” no high heels, no prancing model-on-runway posture. Read the rest of this entry
What happens when the vigilant gaze falls upon vigilant actions? Wait, that’s supposed to be in Latin … In this post, Steve Long takes it away for the guy who’s maybe named a bit too literally for what he does.
I’d like to learn more about the ~1980 transfer of personnel from Marvel to DC, many of them returning. The one thing I’m certain of is that the breakout hit which put DC back on the map, The New Teen Titans by Marv Wolfman and George Perez, could only have been produced by people who’d thrown everything they had into mid-late 70s Marvel and formed very definite notions there. Read the rest of this entry
Ask any comics fan: over thataway is Marvel and it’s [insert string of fervent adjectives and loaded nouns], and over thisaway is DC and it’s [insert string of fervent adjectives and loaded nouns]. You choose your flag and you wave it. The rest are fringe. As my Brit Lit informed me, it’s “RCs to the right, Prods to the left, and fancy buggers in the middle.”
I’d been reading comics for about four years. I had read Origin of Marvel Comics, and Son of Origins, I’d struggled with The Steranko History of Comics volume 1, I had my issues of FOOM coming in the mail, and I had an envelope stuffed with Marvel Value Stamps. I was eleven, I was finally afforded an allowance that didn’t vanish with a single candy bar, and more than anything in the world, and as far as real life is concerned, considering I’d already met Leonard Nimoy, I wanted to be in on the ground floor of a new, world-beating, mighty Marvel comic magazine. Read the rest of this entry