Thursday, February 18, 2010

Wednesday Is Any Day For All I Care #56

Ed Hannigan: Covered
Green Lantern #51 (2010)
Nation X #1
Silver Streak Comics #24 (The Next Issue Project)

Ed Hannigan: Covered (Marvel, 2010, $5.99)
Some people might define "irony" as "a libertarian ex-comic book artist needing help with medical bills through a charitable foundation." Those people learned "irony" from Alanis Morissette, and should match their donation to this HERO Initiative benefit comic at their local second hand bookstore to buy a fucking dictionary.

Anyway, this special has a one page Hannigan biography, two pages of introduction by the artist, and thirty-three pages of mostly really rough color sketches accompanied by small reproductions of the finished art and quotes from industry pros. For the most part, I preferred the text to the art, though I generally like Hannigan's stuff. It's just that you can only look at so many familiar '80s Marvel covers before it wears thin.

Afterward, there's a one page text piece by Klaus Janson, and a seven page tribute gallery by forgotten old pros that'll probably need their own benefit books before long. I'd say I liked Jim Valentino's Marvelized swipe of Ed's cover design for DC Sampler #2 best, though nostalgia surely played a part there. Jim Salicrup offered a page long afterward.

All in all, it was alright, and for a good cause, if a bit of a disappointment. I think I'd have been happier with full page virgin cover reproductions, but them's the breaks.

Green Lantern #51 (DC, 2010, $2.99)
I enjoyed the anniversary issue okay, but it looks like they should have made that an extra long issue with an additional chapter by another artist, because fuck all happens here. There's a decent couple pages between Orange Lantern Lex Luthor and Larfleeze, a whole bunch of fightin', some more team switching amongst the Corpsmen, and a set-up for a later story with Parallax. Wheels, they were a-spinnin'. Also, Doug Mahnke inked himself this time, and obviously in a rush. The result is a weird halfway place between his old, intentionally crude but energetic style and his more refined modern look, hurting both in the compromise.

Nation X #1 (Marvel, 2010, $3.99)
Boy, I put this one off long enough and hey, shouldn't it be "Nation M." It's actually Asteroid M, after all, and man, the X-books can't stand to let any trivial bit of bullshit go to waste for long, can they? Under a nice cover is an anthology book. The initial obligatory Magneto tale works, while a Wolverine & Nightcrawler road trip story doesn't quite, though the Mike Allred art is nice. An Iceman solo story is about as good as one could expect from such a limited character, but the book closes out with a lame, maudlin Colossus piece. You could do better than all this, but you could also do a whole lot worse, so shut up and take it.

Silver Streak Comics #24 (Image, 2010, $3.99)
I waited nearly two years for this? I gave Fantastic Comics #24, the first edition of Erik Larsen's "The Next Issue Project" of Golden Age series revisitations a very positive review back in March of 2008. That was a more balanced book. This one is essentially four post-modern satirical bits. Larsen's been using Daredevil regularly in The Savage Dragon, so there's no novelty in his appearance here as part of an eight page gag. Paul Grist's Silver Streak beats home the point that the hero is really fast in a time when that was uncommon, but now isn't that time, so it ends up irrelevant and repetitive. A one page "Kelly the Cop" strip tries to channel Chris Ware, but gets his voice mail instead. Michael T. Gilbert's "The Claw... In the 21st Century" is the best of the bunch, but group with similar nudge/wink material, it loses some shine. Captain Battle is the only semi-straight heroic offering, but it seems to rely on a working knowledge and emotional investment towards the lead character I (and most anyone born since the Baby Boom) lack. Aside from art by the always awesome Alan Weiss, it's a dud.

I guess with this publishing schedule and its still seeming more timely that Project Superpowers, I'll keep up with the Next Issue Project for another few years. I just hope the 2012 issue is closer to 2008's quality.

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