Things I’m Reading, Things I’m Thinking About with Comics. I should talk about this stuff more.
X-Men-Those “Asgardian Wars” issues
The X-Men/Alpha Flight Mini w/Paul Smith and Those two Annuals w/Art Adams. Bubble gum superhero comics, the art is slick and sexy, the jokes crackle, and the plot takes a back seat to episodic vignettes that put the characters into moral binds that are weighty and interesting, melodramatic and not morose. These issues are the last bright spots of Chris Claremont’s run before veering off on that cool dark experimental path that ends with Jim Lee five years later. Some of my favorite stuff of that era of X-Men.
Legion of Super-Heroes-The Great Darkness Saga
Only three issues into this so far and I’m really digging it for the small things. It’s fabulously unselfconscious about its sunshine future-it’s the future 1000 years from 1982 for sure if you know what I mean? I haven’t gotten to the Giffen issues yet so I don’t know if it’s Pat Broderick or inker Bruce D. Patterson who is riffing Ditko (check the hands!) Early on there is barb where one of the girl character’s tells Dream Girl she’d love to be on a Legion of 25 guys and her. It stuck out because I remember reading on-I think Comics Alliance?-this old magazine article they had dug out that had Jim Shooter’s character synopsis’ of the Legionaries. Dream Girl’s being, to be succinct, that she was the Legion Clubhouse’s doorknob. I figured that was some weird subtext that Shooter was feeling but shit–25 guys and her. The Legion as gonzo gangbang porn. That is funny/gross to me. I’ll come back to this on here when I’ve finished reading it.
Amazing Spider-Man #648-650
Spider-Man will never be as odd or special as the Lee/Ditko run again. But you know what it really hasn’t tried to be for a long time is the superhero/romance book of the Romita Sr era, especially between, like, issue 40 to late 6o-something. That’s no slight at Dan Slott here whose doing some fine Gerry Conway/post-Stern Tom Defalco or DeMatteis minus the angry bummer aspect that was prevalent in his stuff sometimes–which is a compliment. They did solid Spider-Man which is, really, a godsend after the shitty Spidey of 1988-2007…I think I’m losing my point here. Did I have one? That it’s been a long time since the book has strived to be what its second best remembered for? That’s kind of a shit thing to say isn’t it? I’m really not trying to be mean.
-Daniel Von Egidy, 2010