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So it turns out one of my followers on Twitter (and I follow him as well) worked on Supreme #1 doing coloring and background work. This is awesome news. His name is Kevin Broden and he has a blog over here- http://kevinpsbroden.blogspot.com/2010/09/secret-origin-of-masked-ghost.html (Which he kindly mentions the site and the review, thanks again.)
Now for the reason of the follow-up is to correct something. In the review I stated something along the lines of “If Bloodstrike can get a solo title before you then something is wrong” This is in reference to the team Heavy Mettle. Well Kevin pointed out to me that Heavy mettle was created by Brian Murphy in hopes in getting a spin-off but never did. Why it never got one wasn’t explained but I just wanted to correct my citation in that Brian Murphy created Heavy Mettle (and Kevin did the backstory work on it too) and not Rob Liefeld.
In other news- I plan on releasing a special Field Guide next week in place of Superman #123. The Superman review is actually finished (just needs editing and picture placement) but the review I am working on is something I’ve been meaning to tackle for a while and it should be fun. So expect special review next week, then Superman #123 the following week. I do have an order in my mind on how I want to release these things and any overall themes. I can say I plan for October to be a Halloween themed month and that’s about it. Not really comfortable putting out a schedule and not being able to meet it again. So I am effectively winging it. Also I am taking suggestions and recommendations for Field Guide entries. Now the only stipulation for it to qualify as a Field Guide is for it to be something you found in a Bargain Bin or anything before the year 2000. Just shoot me an email at email@example.com
“Accept no imitations…Image Comics”
-Rob Liefeld, Supreme #1
Yeah but what do we do when your character is an imitation of another famous character? Do we not accept it? Just some musings I have when I read these comics.
Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of the “Field Guide To The Comic Book Bargain Bin.” Today I am going to take a look at, what I consider, to be the Best Liefeld creation to date. That is Supreme. What makes Supreme so great to me? I don’t know really. Nothing about him is particularly special. He is just a derivative of Superman. That might be it. See unlike some Superman derivatives (Captain Marvel, Marvel Man, Sentry, etc. ) Liefeld is pretty upfront about Supreme’s origin. It gets even better when Alan Moore takes over the book and runs with the Superman derivative idea to make the one of the best Non-superman Superman story to date. Though I am not here today to talk about Moore’s run. I am here to talk about Supreme #1.
Just taking a second to dissect the cover, the scans just don’t do it justice. The cover does use the foil embossed letters and it’s amazing because, as you can see, the fists of Supreme overlap the letters. “So what?” you may ask but the fists don’t are on another level. It just feels great. The cover itself is pretty nice and it actually shows what sorta happens on the inside. Overall I like the cover. Another quick note, the “volume two” thing you see on the cover is never explained. I can’t find what the deal is as there was never another Supreme series before hand. Maybe it was some weird print error.
As for the character of Supreme the character design is rather simple and it works. It breaks the mold of Liefeld’s designs. Gone are the pouches, the weird facemask things, and even the guns. Not a single bandolier or even a belt for that matter. There are some shoulder pads but those are rather small and symmetrical unlike the bulky lineman pads that other Liefeld characters have done. Also they quickly fade away in later issues in favor of your normal cape. The wrist bands break up the costume and the small use of red makes it pop. The only complaint I have is the sleeveless look of the costume. It just looks dumb but I can take it compared to other costume traits from this era.
Here is some background on Supreme before diving into the plot of this issue. The character has a weird origin. It was totally redone and adapted by Alan Moore to take on a meta-deconstruction of the Superman character. Before that though, Supreme was more like a Superman character who left earth after World War 2. He comes back to Earth to find the world has changed and the new crop of heroes has taken up the job protecting the Earth. The world he finds is led by money and genetic engineering. This leads to his motivation thinking he is better than everyone. He does have an ego and will flaunt it. Even taking on the Liefeld-verse Thor and beating the tar out of him. So in a weird way you have Kingdom Come Superman but handled with a little more tact. Knowing this we can dive into the plot of the book.
Supreme #1 follows Supreme as he returns to earth after being in space, doing space things, for around 50 years. We really don’t get much back story to why he left or why he has returned but he has and we are just going to roll with it. When he enters Earth’s atmosphere, the joint-government agency mobilizes Team Youngblood (The global team) to confront Supreme before he can reach populated areas.
This makes sense as they don’t know who this guy is and why he is speeding towards earth at an alarming rate. Youngblood and Supreme’s first meeting is like any super hero first meeting, they have a brawl. But this time it is in Space. Supreme defeats, what is meant to be, the greatest super-powered team without breaking so much a sweat (worf-effect?). In midst a startling defeat Youngblood basically surrenders to the strange visitor (They are really banking on he’s the real Supreme and not some alien imposter.)
They take Supreme to their leader (I’m not kidding) and he is highly suspicious of Supreme but lacks evidence to prove otherwise. See, the scientists try their damndest to get a reading on him and they just can’t get one. Turns out, Supreme’s physique is impossible to actually take any sort of measurements off of him. His skin is too thick for the instruments to read, his mass, density and weight is in a state of flux (honestly you just have to say Mass is in flux and it works), but the maturity data matches the previous models.
Using what is basically a hunch, the leader decides to believe Supreme’s story and Youngblood even offers him a contract to work for the team. Supreme takes off without accepting or denying the offer to join Youngblood. It is then revealed that the leader of the agency plans to have Supreme lead a team called Heavy Mettle (Suicide Squad type force, I think). The issue ends with Supreme flying in the upper atmosphere and crying while the leader states, in caption boxes, that with all that great power has a great weakness.
Not much happens in the first issue but it does setup a few things- It shows Supreme’s conflict of the past and the present (A running theme early in the series) and establishes the power level of Supreme. He is the end all beat all of Superheroes in the Liefeld universe. This also becomes a reoccurring theme in the comic series over the next few issues. It also introduces the team Heavy Mettle, which is probably the only team created by Liefeld not to get their own title. Think about this real quick, even Bloodstrike got a team book and this team didn’t. That has to say something about the team and how much faith Rob had in them.
Now, this is the part of the review where I have to ask the three questions: “What is this comic is trying to do?” “Does it succeed?” and “Was it worthwhile?”
What Supreme #1 tries to do:
It tries to establish the Supreme mythos and make the character to be the strongest in the word. They try to play up his attitudes towards the modern world and how he has a mighty than thou attitude to everything. The comic shows this at one point when in response to being called Mr. Supreme several times, the character states “Supreme. Just Supreme”
Basically they try to establish Supreme as a jerk with Superpowers. Also they try to establish he has a weakness of some sort with the whole crying in space.
Does it succeed?
Yes and no. Yeah it hits all the points it needs to in order to make this story flow along but it doesn’t do it the best way possible. In trying to show his dislike with the modern world Supreme asks, “How long have you been genetically Engineering Super-humans?”
Yeah, cause Genetic engineering is totally synonymous with modern society. I know this was the 90’s and the hot topic of the day was genetic engineering heck half of Youngblood was genetically engineered to be super-soldiers. It still doesn’t make any sense to have that be his out of touch moment or his dislike of the present (take your pick on that one).
As for the attitude moment it was a way for them to make Supreme seem real, but honestly he was a jerk. Yeah I know the whole premise for Supreme is what if Superman was real and this character is one of the earliest versions of the Real Superman archetype. That is my main problem with this character overall really. The guy isn’t that likeable. Know they do try to establish a flaw but they really don’t explain why he is flawed. I am certain they explain it in the second issue, but I haven’t read that one and this review is about this comic. So based on this issue Supreme is very much a Gary Stu. Even more so than Superman because Superman’s weakness is well known and he is a likeable character.
Was it worthwhile?
Despite all the crap I gave this comic, I enjoyed it. It is probably my favorite Liefeld comic I own and the character itself improves with later issues. I read those later issues thanks to this comic so it hooked me. Still I think your mileage may vary on this one. The main reason behind this is Liefeld’s writing. As I’ve stated in the Prophet #5 review, Liefeld is no wordsmith. His dialogue is clunky and comes off as stale. The words don’t flow like they should and he honestly has no rhythm to his words. See when you write a comic you need to find a rhythm of some sort. The dialog should follow a cadence and read like a normal conversation would. Instead we get what feels more like statements and less like dialog. I bet if I remove a side of the dialog you really wouldn’t notice.
The art itself is actually solid in this comic. Unlike other Liefeld comics the artist doesn’t follow the Studio style that many of the other artists did. That artist is Brian Murray. He draws the figure relatively correct in proportion but still unique enough not to look bland. There are moments where he screws up the continuity, especially in the beginning. Supreme changes positions on re-entry 2 times.
Also the coloring at times is screwed up. There are moments where Supreme looks like he is wearing white long sleeves instead of short. My only guess to why they kept such an obvious screw up was the costume changed before the comic was finished and they ran with the screw up. That or the colorist messed up and no one fixed it. I like to think it was the sleeves idea because I really like the idea of sleeves on this costume.
Other than that I can’t think of any serious problems with comic. Honestly if you can get pass the lame dialog you will find an enjoyable comic to read. Supreme is easily my favorite Liefeld creation and that‘s in large part due to my love for the Superman archetype and how the character acts. Yeah he’s a jerk but he grows on you. He’s a jerk in a more quipping type way and less in an Achilles type way. This brings me today’s lesson
Lesson #3- Not all Liefeld comics are bad. Most are but the guy was so prolific you are bound to find a series you will enjoy. Be it Youngbloods, Bloodstrike, Brigade, Supreme, etc there is something for you to enjoy. So I suggest if you are going to go bin diving for Image comics check out a Liefeld comic. Who knows you might end up liking it. I’ve found fans of Prophet, afterall.
“Maybe one day I will get a whole bunch of courage up and put words in their mouth. I think they will probably ruin the picture as a whole…If I had to be the guy to put the words in their mouth to talk and speak it would be gibberish” Rob Liefeld- Stan Lee Presents: Comic Book Greats.
No truer words have been spoken.
Welcome everyone to A Field Guide to the Comic Book Bargain Bin! Your handy source of all your bargain bin diving needs. Have you ever wonder what you get if you put John Rambo, The Ultimate Warrior, and overtly Christian overtones into a blender? No? Well you will get Jonathan Taylor Prophet star of the Image Comic: Prophet. For those who are unaware of Prophet I will provide a touch of back story. Prophet, from what I can gather, is a twist on the archetype of an experimental super-solider frozen in time (IE Captain America). He is foretold to stop the war that will bring the end of man, if he doesn’t cause it first! Prophet comes from the mind of Rob Liefeld and it shows. The character is the definition of EXTREME! Just look at his costume
Big gun: Check.
Random Bandoliers: Check.
Shoulder Pads: Check.
Is it on just on one shoulder?: Check
The weird facemask thing: Check
Yeah this guy was the definition of awesome back in the 90’s.
Now today I am tackling the confusing mess that is Prophet #5. The comic that contains elements of Rambo, The Matrix, an acid dream, and a painfully obvious Jack Kirby homage in addition to some of the worst interior art this side of a Bluewater Bio Comic.
Let me explain to you the plot (if you can call it that) for this comic. Prophet hasbeen captured by the evil organization Ragnarock (you know they are evil due to the name synonymous with Armageddon) which is led by the villain, Omen (seriously, Rob, were you even trying). Omen has put Prophet into a VR simulation to get into his mind to better understand the super-solider and why he is the way he is. This sends Prophet to WW2 Germany fighting Nazis whilst proclaiming they killed his father.
Through his rage and violence he sends himself to the jungles of Vietnam where the book takes a very Rambo turn with Prophet killing several dozen Viet Con with extreme prejudice. This is till he kills a pregnant woman in his blind fury. Feeling guilty an image of his father (or his Father, not sure really) comes in and tells him that he is damned in Heaven and Earth for his action of taking the unborn infant’s life (Apparently God is cool with Viet Con being slaughtered). This sends Prophet in a berserker Rage in the real world and he savagely cuts a swath through the compound. He eventually escapes and this sends Omen into a panic. He decides to let Prophet’s only friend, Jackson Kirby (yes. He is an obvious Jack Kirby homage.), to go and stop Prophet at all costs.
Now where should I start with this mess? I guess with this: There are the three questions a critic must consider when looking at a piece of work. What is it trying to accomplish? Did it succeed? And was it worthwhile? With all that I can gather from this confusing comic is that this issue was meant to serve as a jumping on point for new readers or at least that’s what I think it tries to be. Just look at the first page
With all that text we are told who Prophet is, his location, why he is there, and his mission in life. You’d figure with that you think this should be the jumping on point for new readers, but you’d be wrong. The comic struggles to get its narrative across amidst an ocean of confusing caption trees, circular dialogue, and mindless action scenes. When I first read this comic my knowledge of Prophet was low and afterwards this comic left me even more puzzled. I wasn’t certain what the point of this comic was unless it was to tell me Prophet is crazy and likes to do nothing but kill. If that’s the point then the comic pass, I guess, but in reality it failed. I am assuming this comic was a jumping on point and it failed to provide any sort of real information on the character and why they are there. Like why is this organization so interested in Prophet, knowing that if they do replicate him or whatever they will bring the End of Days? Also why is the FBI involved and heck why do they let the simulation go on long enough to cause Prophet to go all Savage Hulk on everyone? So yeah to answer the two first questions: What is this comic trying to do? Be a jumping on point for new readers and provide information for old. Did it succeed? NO. It left more questions than answers and I still know nothing about Prophet.
As for the third question, “Was it worthwhile?” I have to answer, no. It was a mess of a comic. It was horrible to look at and each page I struggled to follow the action. The comic used a lot of close up shots (on hands mainly) and it really ruined the flow of the comic. Each page of comic should have at least one panel to establish the area. Show where everything is spatially and give us a sense of the kinetics of the fight. Yet this comic didn’t do that very often and when it did the page was so grotesque it didn’t make any sense whatsoever to me. This comic suffered some of the worst art by Stephen Pratt. Well not really him. His pencils were just bad artistically and sequentially but his inker and colorist are more to blame for this mess. They kept in all the unnecessary lines and detailing that just detracted from the comic. I will admit some of the pages were actually cool. I am a sucker for some of these 90’s character models and poses some pages are just awesome. There was also a nice use of the two page spread to present a more cinematic storytelling. It was over-used a bit (and on the talking head scenes mostly) but when it was used properly it added an extra layer to the story. Those few things though don’t save this comic from having some of the worst art I’ve ever witnessed.
The other flaw to this comic is Liefeld’s writing. Liefeld is not the greatest dialog man in the industry. This is a fact. His plot work, at times, is all right and even some character concepts are well done, but the man can’t write dialog. The comic has a bad case of the narration bug that seems to be plaguing Frank Miller to this day. The comic is 90percent caption. Some of that is dialog caption but the rest is all internal monologs by Prophet, who by the way speaks like the Warrior. The dialog at times just goes in circles, as does the narration. It all goes nowhere slowly. The writing just gets in the way of what was okay action (if ugly). You know how action flicks have those talking scenes to cool down for a minute and get to the next fight scene or whatever? In a good action movie they provide moments of growth and development for the characters and set up the scenes properly, but in a bad one they just disrupt the rhythm of the movie and you just want to get to the next scene. This is how this comic works. Instead of it being First Blood, it’s Rambo 3.
Now these are some flaws of the comic that really get on my nerve but don’t detract from the experience just going to state them:
The Dialog boxes are colored to help the flow but the characters don’t keep the same color meaning you will think X character is saying dialog A but in reality its Y character. Very frustrating but can be figured out.
This is a biggie for me and that’s the pointless Religious overtones. Liefeld is known for including Christian symbolism and overtones into his works. At most they are tolerable (nothing against them just sometimes they are forced) but in this case they don’t serve a purpose. Prophet isn’t a prophet. He didn’t receive the Word of God and is trying to share it. He’s a Rambo-style killer. The random priest in the comic and the fact the cover itself has the words Holy Bible in bold is just screaming “Hey we are symbols but poorly used and are misrepresented in this comic.” Unnecessary Christian (or any religion) symbolism is a pet peeve of mine and this comic is full of it.
Now an awesome highlight- Prophet wears a suit of dead Viet Con to kill more Viet Con.
Seriously it’s awesome. Only Liefeld would have a character use a dead body pile as camouflage. Well maybe him and Garth Ennis.
So to wrap things up-
Lesson #2- Beware all Rob Liefeld Comics. They are just plain bad. When Liefeld does pencils you get some of the worst art ever put out in the mainstream, and whenever he writes. God help us. The man just can’t plain write. So as a general rule- All Liefeld comics are bad. Right?
For my birthday this year my amazing girlfriend got me the new B.o.B CD. You may know B.o.B for his songs- Beautiful Girls, Airplanes (very overplayed by the way) and Magic but the whole CD has an obvious comic book feel to it. From the title (B.o.B Presents The Adventures of Bobby Ray) to the cover art and even the song titles (5th Dimension). The album contains numerous songs with subtle comic book references (Beautiful Girls has the line- “Your my Wonder Woman. Call me Mr. Fantastic.”) and today’s Comic Book Tunes is one of them.
Past My Shades is about ignoring haters by wearing sunglasses (wow I feel really white saying that.) but it can obviously be turned into an anthem for the greatest X-man of them all, Cyclops. I am obviously cheating as Scott Summers name is dropped in the last verse but the whole song feels like it could be a song about good ol’ Slim. So check out Past my Shades by B.o.B featuring the ever talented Lupe Fiasco:
I did a guest spot on the podcast Nerd on the rocks- We talked about Scott Pilgrim, Video Games, and random articles including one about Chaos War. Check it out!
Every generation of kids has a show they can latch on to, a Show that defines that generation, a show that acts as the common ground between other members of their generation. The 90’s had Power Rangers, Reboot, Batman, Superman, and the Marvel cartoons. Today I am addressing the show that influenced me the most as a kid: The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. To be fair the seasons that really influenced me were Zeo and Turbo, but Mighty Morphin’ was there for the earliest parts of my child hood and I am truly nostalgic for it. That’s what lead me to buy today’s comic and to put as the first part of The Field Guide to the Comic Book Bargain Bin. Today’s comic is Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers #1.
Now while doing the research about this comic I came across a few things. First there has been multiple Power Ranger comic series. A few of the series were actually published by a small company called Hamiliton comics. Not much information is available about the company, but it seemed to have focused on licensed characters. The first series from Hamilton was simply titled Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers vol.1 and it ran for 6 issues. From what I can tell the series covers the second season of the show and this series is where today’s comic comes from, actually. The second series released by Hamilton was MMPR vol. 2. This series only ran for 3 issues and I have no clue what season it covers. You would assume it would cover season 3, since it is the second volume but the release dates I find online shows it’s more along the lines of season 2. Not really sure why it had 2 volumes for the same season, but my money is on low sells. Hamilton also released what I believe to be a mini-series called Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Saga. That only ran for three issues. Marvel would acquire the license and run two series congruent of each other. Guess there was too much story for one series. Eventually Image would get the license and only release one issue of Zeo before it was canceled. Typical Image.
So if the sales mean anything, Power Rangers and comics didn’t really go well together. You’d think that kids would buy this stuff up. I mean it’s the 90’s and it’s the Power Rangers. This should have been a license to print money. Or least that’s what I thought. My mind quickly changed when I took the comic home and read it. It’s hard to believe that they could screw up something as simple as a Power Rangers comic, but they managed to do that with this abomination.
Where to start? Well I guess I should give a synopsis of the plot. Billy enters a science fair and his experiment gets turned evil by Lord Zedd. His experiment was a caterpillar. What that has to do with the scientific method is beyond me, but hey who cares. Well the giant Caterpillar (no not a monster, just a giant caterpillar) beats the Rangers without much trouble. A couple of the Rangers are forced to randomly go to this spider’s lair to get the McGuffin juice to save their friends from the Caterpillar’s evil cocoons. They get the McGuffin juice, save their friends and save the day from the giant caterpillar turned moth all in time to get back to the science fair. It’s not that much really, but I don’t expect that from Power Rangers. Really the plot is your basic Power Rangers plot. Monster of the week shows up, Rangers fight it for a bit, Monster grows, Rangers summon zords and kick some major tail, and all within the same afternoon. Nothing is wrong with that. It is fundamentally the Power Rangers. The writing itself is laughable, but nothing worse than what you would find on the tv show. I can’t really state anything of note with the writing other than that the writer managed to screw some things up when compared to the show, but more on that later. First, I need to discuss the reason this comic is horrible: The art.
The art is easily some of the worst I’ve seen in a comic book to date. The characters look NOTHING like the actors. I am not asking for realism, but there is no excuse for that. I mean just look at this page.
All the characters look like 50 year olds in this comic, not teenagers with attitude. Oh and Jason’s face in the fourth panel is hilarious by the way. He has this dumb look like he is finding what Bulk is saying is the funniest thing ever, or the sexiest. Not sure.
We also have Zordon looking like a weird mix between a puddle and a smiley face one moment and this weird shadow laden figure the next. It’s almost like the artist didn’t know how to add depth to the Zordon’s face and suddenly towards the end of the comic he figured it out, sort of. I would rather went with Puddle face instead of shadowy Zordon.
Somehow the art actually manages to get worse as the issue progresses. Part of me thinks that it only does that because the artist probably doesn’t give a flying flip and is just doing it for the money. Honestly I don’t blame him. I have a feeling that Hamilton comics probably didn’t pay the poor sap enough to make it worth the effort.
It may come as no surprise but not one member of the creative staff is listed in the comic. It’s like no writer or artist wanted their name associated with this mess of a comic. That’s pretty insane. Imagine telling a major publisher you’ve had work published before but you can’t prove it. Actually you know what, it’s probably better that they didn’t have their names on this project. If they did I can guarantee they wouldn’t get work from any publisher.
Now a lot of the complaints I have about the comic comes from me being a fan of the original series. Stuff like Zedd’s use of the telescope, the comic relief Babboo and Squat actually doing something, Zedd throwing his staff to make the monster grow, and Zedd actually saying he has a headache after being defeated tells me the writers either didn’t watch the show or they did this comic before Zedd made his debut so they had him do all the things Rita would’ve done. I also love how they actually manage to write off the green ranger in the comic. The original reason why they kept writing the Green Ranger off in the original series was they had little Sentai footage of the character and were forced to limit using him, but this is a comic they aren’t limited by original manga art work (though that would be funny). They can draw the guy if they wanted to do so. This raises a bigger question of why wouldn’t they add the character to the comic anyway? The Green Ranger is the single most popular character from the show and pushed a lot of merchandise. They should have him on every cover of this comic, but they don’t. The only time the Green Ranger is in the comic seems to be in a Power Rangers Saga comic. The failure to add him to the comic really damns this book in my opinion as a Green Ranger fan. I wanted to read about the Green Ranger when I picked up this comic and they failed to deliver.
Now this book does have some odd little quirks in it that could redeem or damn it depending on your perspective. The first quirk is the morphing sequence. It’s just odd. It’s a little silly. You know what, just look at it.
It’s cheesy and I am not entirely sure if it’s horrible or so bad it’s good. The other quirk is that they actually try to include the Theme song in the comic. They add sound effect captions to the battle scene that has the lyrics to the theme song. I can’t help but to laugh every single time I see it. It’s hilarious.
Now I do have to ask, why didn’t bulk and skull get their own sound effect caption that emulated their theme? That would have made this comic awesome, but they didn’t. I guess it’s hard to describe their bizarre theme music in words.
In summary, this comic sucked. It was horrible from beginning to end and nothing redeemable about it outside of some unintentionally funny. I wasn’t expecting much. Actually I was expecting something so cheesy, it’s good but what I found was something that was just…bad. It lacked the charm of the show and failed to capture any of the action the show. I expected fan service, but instead all I got was fan disservice. Avoid this comic like the plague.
So what to put down in the field guide. How about this:
Lesson #1 of Bin Diving: Beware of All Nostalgia TV Comics.
Sure you might find a gem with some of the Transformers or TMNT comics, but almost all of these nostalgic tv based comics aren’t worth your time. If you want to relive the nostalgic show instead of getting the comic based on it look the show up online or get a DVD of it. It will certainly be more worthwhile compared to the comics.
Hello, I’m Jordan Jennings. You might know me as that guy who did those slightly humorous “In Defense Of” articles and other comic reviews. Well I am here today to announce a new project that will be coming out soon. That project is simply titled A Field Guide To The Comic Book Bargain Bin. It’s primarily about me and my passion for the comic book bargain bin. It’s weird I know, but the bargain bin is a wonderful place where you can find some of the best comics ever made, but you can also find some of the worst pieces of so-called “sequential art” that has ever been conceived there as well. I know popular reviewers out there tend to pick on bargain bin fodder, namely Linkara (Normally I wouldn’t mention him but it’s the elephant in the room and the material may have some overlap. So I rather address it now instead of later in the comment sections.), but I will try not to do the same comics they cover unless I feel I can offer a new stance on the material or if for some reason I get a request for a certain comic a reviewer may have covered in the past. Instead I want to focus on the unsung comics that I find or stuff that sticks out to me.
Now over the past couple years I have amassed an impressive collection of bargain bin comics through either person bin diving or from my friend’s donations to me. So for the first batch of articles/reviews I will probably focus on them as I have a ton of them. It’s my goal to make each article interesting to everyone by adding some background to each review ie: the story behind the comic, the story of how I got the comic, or the comics lasting impact. This should be a fun ride and maybe you will learn something. I want this to act like a field guide to the act of Bin diving (Like the title states.). Something you can read before heading to the comic shop and know what to do or what to look for while bin diving.
I will be devoting a few articles to focus just on some major era’s and companies contributions to the bargain bin. I will go ahead and say the 90’s is the largest era of bargain bin fodder and certain companies (Valiant Comics) have a larger presence than others when it comes to the bin. So in a way you can view this series as a history lesson of comics as well as something that is enjoyable.
That’s it for this introductory article and I hope you have enjoyed it. Join me next time when I will be covering my first bargain bin comic. What will it be? Not sure just yet, though I am leaning to a certain Power Rangers comic.
Yeah I figured I would explain where I’ve been and why I haven’t been reviewing and what not. First let me say I just finished school for the semester so you will likely see something here on the site every now and then. No promises, but depending on my schedule I would like to have something out soon. Well something that’s a review. I have been busy creating. Just not reviews or videos. Instead I’ve been working on comics. Remember when I left Multiversity Comics one of the things I said I was going to do was work on my art? Well I did. I worked overtime. I made an art blog a while back (http://jordan-jennings.blogspot.com/) to showcase some material and I just made a Webcomic, that’s right a webcomic, about two comic book nerds living in a world of superheroes. The comic is called Mere Mortals and you can find it here- http://meremortals.thecomicseries.com/. So check it out and I will try to have something in the near future.
Dr. Strangefate #1 has been on my list of “comics to look out for while bin diving” (wordy list title, I know.) for some time now. Actually all the Amalgam comics are on my immediate buy list and so far I have amassed a decent amount of them, but I never could find an issue of Strangefate in the bins. That’s the draw back of Bargain Bins, you don’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you get what you…Sorry get into Stone mode sometimes. Back to the point, you don’t always find what you are looking for but you sometimes find something better. This was not that case. I was needing this comic to kick off a series of reviews. See, Dr. Strangefate #1 is the key comic in the Amalgam Universe and the most important in the grand scheme of things and to kick off a series of reviews without it would be foolish and impossible. So I did what any desperate nerd does, I turned to the internet. To my look I found an issue of Dr. Strangefate on ebay for a cheap price (a dollar) and I promptly ordered it. Well now it’s here and I am holding in my hands.
When will the review come out? Lord only knows. I am in no rush to do these things and I rather take my time with them, but whenever it comes out you will be pleased. I just wanted to share this random news and some insight into the world of Bin Diving.
Hard to believe the first Major Green Lantern-centered event since Zero Hour (I’m talking company crossovers not Green Lantern Events) is coming to an end this week. It’s been nearly a year since Blackest Night began with Blackest Night #0 and it’s finally wrapping up. In this age of Event Fatigue and general dislike of the event process it is a relief to see an event juggernaut finally lay down to rest. Blackest Night had a great run and was one of the more enjoyable events in the past 5 years or so, but it’s just taxing on the readers to keep up with a book that has the scope of Blackest Night. Blackest Night had a grand total of 67 tie-in issues. Here is a break down of those 67:
38 tie-ins were in 12 ongoing series. 18 of those 38 issues came from the two Green Lantern titles alone. The other 10 ongoings make up for the other 20 issues.
8 tie-ins were apart of the resurrected dead titles promotion. I counted these separate from the ongoings because, well, they are just glorified one-shots.
The last 21 tie-ins are from the 7 mini-series. 6 of the miniseries focused on characters and teams that were already tied up in their own ongoing story lines to be included in their respective ongoings.
That’s a whole lot of comics. Almost an entire long box full. Of course it has nothing on Secret Invasion’s 84 tie-ins, but still 67 issues is a lot to ask of your readers. Most of the 67 issues were in the $3.99 category of comics making this thing cost a small comic fortune and I am not even counting the main series which ran for 9 issues (counting Issue #0). I love that DC threw full support behind this event and gave it more recognition than Final Crisis (which hurt that event), but this is a little overkill. I do know that only a handful of these issues are actually important to the main storyline, but a majority of comic readers will buy everything and anything with the Event’s banner slapped on it.
Heck I’m guilty of it (only when I have the extra funds though). I think there needs to be a balance in tie-ins. Too many tie-ins results in Event Fatigue, but too little shows you don’t support the event. I think the magic number should be around 20 tie-ins. Sounds like too little right? Not really when you consider that I think summer event comics should stick to Summer only. That’s right, May-September only. I am a little tired of events going on for nearly a year when the event could be condensed to 5 issues or less. Take Secret Invasion for example. The comic ran for 8 months. During that 8 month span, NOTHING HAPPENED! Okay stuff happened but at a snail’s pace. It would feel much tighter to shorten it down to 5 issues or so. If you have a story that takes 9 issues to 10 issues to tell, then tell them in 10 issues, but if you have a story that only takes 4 issues to tell, you best not drag it out for a year.
Summer events are no longer Summer Events. They are Summer-Fall-Winter-Early Spring event and frankly that just grinds my gears.
EDIT: The numbers for Blackest Night and Secret Invasion has me thinking about the other events and their tie-ins. I am going to post sometime in the next few days the break down for the past Major events starting with Secret Wars and Crisis on Infinite Earths.