Sunday, March 04, 2007

Books I've read in 2007, part 11

When I was 12 years old, I bought every single Marvel comic that came out every week -- not just the big ones like Spider-Man, Avengers and Captain America, but also Millie the Model, Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandoes, Two-Gun Kid, hell, I even bought Iron Man.
I was able to do this with an allowance of one dollar a week.
I make a little more than that now, but I don't think I could afford to buy every Marvel comic book even if I wanted to. Fortunately, I don't want to. Nowadays, I don't follow any character (primarily because Marvel has just about succeeded in ruining all those characters I loved so much) but I still love going to the comic shop on Wednesday and becoming a carefree kid again for a few
minutes, looking at all the cool comics on the shelves. But I only buy Marvel or DC comics when there's a great artist and writer combination on a title (as with Joss Whedon and John Cassaday on "Astonishing X-Men") or a writer who is good enough to make me overlook the artist's shortcomings (like the great Dan Slott's "She-Hulk", where Marvel consistently sticks him with absolute bottom-of-the-barrel artists and he rises above it). (And by the way, there is no artist goood enough to make me overlook crappy writing.) I've been reading "Black Panther" because of the first reason. Reginald Hudlin and Scot Eaton made a great writer-artist team and together they've made me care about this character for the first time in a long time. But I'm afraid I might have to give it up soon, because Eaton is gone, the new artist sucks, and Hudlin is good, but he's not quite Slott-Whedon good.
Too bad cuz this book is top-notch. They bring in just about every 1970's ethnic character Marvel had, including Luke Cage, (the hero for hire that inspired Nicolas Cage to change his name) Shang-Chi, the Master of Kung-Fu, the Falcon, Blade the vampire hunter and even Brother Voodoo, and throws them up against ninjas, Fu Manchu (although they can't use his name anymore since Marvel has lost the rights to that character and it's amusing to see how they get around it) cajun vampires and Hurricane Katrina reconstruction.

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