Thursday, January 07, 2010

More books I read in 2010

When Alan Moore writes superhero comics, he goes one of two ways -- either the deconstructionist route a la Watchmen, which shows the tragic or ridiculous consequences of taking superheroes seriously. Or he writes a love letter to the Silver Age. He's a genius and I'll follow him anywhere he goes, but I prefer the love letters. Here he takes a two-bit Superman-ripoff created by the worst artist in comics -- Rob Liefeld -- and brings him alive. He's still a Superman rip-off, but it's great to see Alan Moore's take on such super-subjects as Lex Luthor, Lana Lang, Supergirl, the Legion of Super-Heroes, Kryptonite and Krypto the Super Dog.
This book is also a history of American comic books as in flashbacks we watch Supreme from the dawn of the Superheroes in the 1930's, through the EC age in the 50's and then the glorious, goofy silver age and on to some slams at the psychotic violence fests so many have become today. This book is marred by some pretty crappy artwork, but that's because it's from the 1990's when suddenly you didn't have to be able to draw or have any grasp of human anatomy to get a job as a comic book artist. (The flashbacks by Rick Veitch are great though.) And it doesn't matter, Alan Moore doesn't a great artist to make his work magnificent.

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