Friday, January 2, 2009

Comic Book Ronin - The Return

Someone once told me that the worst way to find something is by looking for it. No truer words were ever said.

Earlier this week, I went looking for inspiration out there in a comic book wasteland. So, what exactly did I find?

Not as much as I would have liked but I found some things that sparked me up a bit.

Last year, I lamented the loss of the Catwoman series and in that review, I praised the consistently beautiful artwork form that series' artist, David Lopez. In his two-plus years on the book, he never missed an issue, the book consistently shipped on time and the quality of the art never suffered for it. Immediately, I wondered where DC Comics would place him.
Green Arrow/Black Canary? His art was sort of in the same "school" as outgoing artist Cliff Chiang.

Batman and The Outsiders needs a regular artist, why not David Lopez?

Heck, why not "graduate" him and move him over to Batman.

A few months went by and we find him doing...

A Marvel book. Avengers: The Reunion, featuring two of my favorite Marvel characters, Hawkeye and Mockingbird.

One of my favorite artists with two of my favorite characters along with Buffy The Vampire Slayer cover artist, Jo Chen? Easy sell, Marvel.

So yeah, kudos to them for being smart enough to know what to do with a good artist when they see one.

One of the more egregious errors in comics has been the handling of one of my favorite characters, Hawkman.

In 2008, we saw him get ANOTHER twist to his already convoluted origin(s). One so bad, I was literally warned off of it by good samaritans at my local comic shop. Hawkman was, again, subjected to the machinations of The DC Universe and thrust into a sequel to the awful Rann-Thanagar War.

What did these two "events" have in common. The man who, I kid you not, created a Facebook page for Hawkman (and I wonder why I'm alone) didn't even bother with either.

With no hope in sight, I saw something in the internet's distance and all I need to see was this:

Yes! That is Aquaman, riding a seahorse, in the jungle, fighting a dinosaur, alongside Hawkman.

That's comic book Viagra, right there, man.

All brought to you in a new 2009 Hawkman series from the man who brought you "Why I Hate Saturn" and the criminally under-rated Plastic Man series, Kyle Baker.

This is what excitement looks like.

Writer Marc Andreyko showed a powerful understanding of Bat-continuity in his 2006 Nightwing Annual. On the other hand...

How many times has Manhunter been cancelled? Three? Not his fault, at all. When it comes to writing? The man's a beast.

The problem and appeal of Manhunter has always been that it was essentially a Marvel book set in the DC Universe. That type of thing could do well, just somewhere else.

Well, here's hoping DC has plans for him, otherwise...

As Ed Brubaker found out, there's always Marvel.

Speaking of Brubaker, in 2008 he got my money, eight times over. In 2008, I bought 8 Captain America trades and re-discovered just how good superhero comics could be, again.

2009 has this...

Brubaker and his Criminal collaborator Sean Phillips return to "supervillains gone wild/noir-ish" awesomeness they touched upon in Sleeper with their new creator owned series, Incognito.

An admission. I have never bought an Archie comic in my life. Nope.

Never. Especially as a kid in the 80's, moreso now as an adult.

Why would I have done that when there so many awesome Batman to buy, many of them drawn by the man who, to this day, defines what Batman is to my mind's eye, Norm Breyfogle.

2009 will find me buying Archie comics as it's just been announced that Breyfogle will be providing art for a new series set outside of its regular continuity and rooted more in "reality."

I'd always wanted see Archie Comics do this and treat it as something more than a novelty project i.e. Punisher vs. Archie.

And last but certainly not least, the follow-up to the only comic I that ever had me jump up and clap my hands together over its conclusion...


So, there you have it, what I'm looking forward to for '09.

Each as different and as individual as the next but then again, isn't that what what our little hobby is supposed to be all about?


Nate said...

I'm sending you a bill for $1 for the use of my trademark in the title of this entry.

Graig Kent said...

The thumbnail intrigued me, then I clicked the image, and my eyes bulged. I used the scroll bar an there was a signature: "Kyle Baker". A tear came to my eye.