§ October 28th, 2004 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on

First off, my condolences to the friends and family of Golden Apple’s Bill Liebowitz, who passed away Wednesday morning. I’ve met him only on a couple of occasions, when he had popped into our store to say hello, but he was always nice to me. Again, best wishes to his loved ones. Mark Evanier also has a nice tribute to the man, along with a fun photo that, as Mark says, Bill would have appreciated.

Now, to new comics day (SPOILERS may follow):

Okay, let’s deal with that elephant in the living room first…yes, Green Lantern Rebirth #1. (Ken, avert your eyes!) I feel sorry for anyone for whom this is their first comic (though, as pal Dorian told me earlier when I made this observation, this is no one’s first comic)…the sheer weight of continuity would be more than anyone (other than experienced fanboys like myself) could take.

Okay, I just deleted a whole long essay I was writing here about how all those years ago, they screwed up the transition of Green Lantern from Hal to Kyle Rayner (and how this sort of thing can be done well – see Barry Allen/Wally West), and how the writer of this mini-series Geoff Johns has a long way to go to get Jordan back to full hero status, untainted by the evil deeds of his (Jordan’s, not Johns’ — that I know of) past. But, really, it’s nothing you haven’t heard before. So, in short…while I appreciated how Johns dealt with the Silver/Modern age Hawkman’s screwed up continuity (solution – skip over that Hawkman entirely, bring back the Golden Age Hawkman), it looks like Johns is going to be going over Jordan’s history pretty thoroughly, knocking out the dents and polishing the chrome. He’s got a long way to go, though…this first issue is just setting up the pieces, so I don’t know where he’s going just yet. There is a nice confrontation between John Stewart and Batman regarding Stewart’s opinion on why Bats doesn’t like Hal…and there’s a good scene right near the beginning where Hal (who’s still the Spectre, remember) can’t get away from his Spectral duties even when he’s just briefly trying to relax at a ball game. And it all sure is done up purty, with art by Ethan Van Sciver.

And in case you’re wondering…yes, we sold out at our store (though granted, we probably didn’t order as many as well should have). Only one multiple copy sale that I know of (to a mail order customer, who regularly gets extra copies of some titles for friends of his, so that wasn’t unusual). If you didn’t get a copy, don’t worry…DC is reprinting, and those people who bought 10 or 20 copies (why???) will almost certainly be unloading them on the eBay right quick.

Other new arrivals:

At long last, The Complete Peanuts 1953-4 has arrived in our store, and it looks just as beautiful as the first volume. The characters are slowly transitioning into their more familiar forms, but still different enough to look slightly odd to those of us more accustomed to their modern appearances. I haven’t had much of a chance to do more than read a few pages…the introduction by Walter Cronkite is as well-done as you’d expect, and a note at the end of the book details some of the production difficulties in assembling strips for this volume (some source materials were less than optimal, which translates into a few strips being not as perfect and clear as others). Still, nicely done, and I’m sure I’ll be anxiously awaiting the next volume as soon as I’m finished with this one.

WE3 #2 – Morrison and Quitely’s tale of three cyborg-animal weapons looking for home is as grotesque as it is heartbreaking. Seeing what these animals can actually do once faced with a threat is downright terrifying. Seeing 1 say “GUD DOG” (and later, “BAD DOG”) is emotionally distressing. Certain superhero comics only wish they were this involving.

JLA #107 – if you’ve been avoiding this title for, oh, the last year — come back! It’s safe now! Kurt Busiek has taken over the writing, and it’s a promising start. J’onn J’onnz and the Flash are on duty in the JLA HQ, doing security checks, monitoring threats (not that there really are any), and tending to an old villain, the Construct. (If memory serves, Busiek also featured the Construct in an old Red Tornado mini-series…he must like that character!) The issue also follows up on situations from the JLA/Avengers mini-series, which makes that series officially a part of (at least) DC continuity. One thing about that cover, though…Batman’s huge!

Others: Demo #11 (good as usual, funny and depressing, as slackers realize slacking is not a good career option), Adam Strange #2 (goodness, this is a gorgeous book…Pascal Ferry is doing a great job, and writer Andy Diggle ain’t doing a half bad job either), Planetary #21 (another mind-bender), Hellblazer #201 (felt like an old Jaime Delano story…group of people get mixed up in magic they don’t understand, pay a terrible price — all remarkably understated, considering), and Flash #215 (Johns dips into late-70s/early-80s Flash continuity – maybe he can bring back Colonel Computron next!).

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