And Then I Read: WONDER WOMAN ANNUAL #1

Image © DC Entertainment.

There are four short stories in this comic. The lead story by Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott is the important one, as it features the first meeting (in current continuity) of Wonder Woman, Superman and Batman. As always, Rucka handles the characters well, playing to their strengths, and taking the opportunity to show the “boys” that Diana is very much in their league. The other three stories by other teams have Diana coming to the rescue of Aquaman villain King Shark, dealing with a noble warrior afflicted with a monstrous curse, and confronting a giant monster. All mild fun after the main course.

Recommended.

And Then I Read: MISTER MIRACLE #2

Image © DC Entertainment.

I’ve long felt that no one could handle Jack Kirby’s Fourth World characters as well as Kirby himself, but this book is proving me wrong. Writer Tom King and artist Mitch Gerads have come up with a version of Mister Miracle that is firmly anchored in the Kirby original, yet fresh and surprising. And they even do it with mostly nine-panel grid page layouts and standard comics storytelling, though there’s always a subtle feeling of oddness…is this really what’s happening to these characters, or is it some kind of dream or hallucination? Scott Free and Barda find themselves on the front lines of war on New Genesis against the forces of Darkseid, facing enemy forces again and again, relentlessly, becoming ever more weary. After they finally get a chance to rest, they’re called before Orion, the new High Father of New Genesis, who behaves in a troubling way, demanding formal courtesy and obeisance. He then sends the pair after Darkseid’s sub-commander Granny Goodness, once the mistress of Scott and Barda in their childhood, and things get even stranger.

I don’t know where this is going, but I’m intrigued. Recommended.

Pulled From My Files #70: HAWKWORLD, HAWKMAN

This and all images © DC Entertainment.

In 1989 I was asked by DC to design logos for a new series, HAWKWORLD, and a matching one for HAWKMAN. I took inspiration from the Ira Schnapp logo, above, that first appeared in the 1960s, not sure if that was completely my idea, or suggested by the editor. I love this logo, so it was fun to come up with a modern variation. Continue reading

Rereading: I DISCOVER COLUMBUS by Robert Lawson

I don’t know when people started denigrating Christopher Columbus and his “discovery” of America, but I don’t think anyone has done it as well and as humorously as Robert Lawson in this 1941 book. It’s told by Aurelio, a South American parrot who is caught in a massive storm in 1491 that blows him all the way to Spain. He lands in a monastery which is currently home to the penniless Don Cristóbal Colón, who teaches the bird Spanish. Before long, Aurelio has come up with a plan to get himself back home by helping Columbus get an audience with King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain to explain his grand plan of discovery. Isabella is the smart one, and Aurelio is soon conniving with her to get the Columbus expedition underway, but Chris seems very reluctant to actually take charge of the ships and crew he’s been given command of. Aurelio figures it out: he gets terribly seasick! With the help of the Queen and the actual ship captains, Chris is fooled into setting out with his three ships. After that, it’s Aurelio’s show all the way. When they do reach land in the Western Hemisphere, Columbus continues to get everything wrong. Only Aurelio can set things right.

A very entertaining read, and Lawson’s illustrations are as good as his writing. Recommended.

Incoming: STARSTRUCK, SUPER-HEROES

Image © Elaine Lee and Michael Wm. Kaluta.

After what seems like years of work, it’s finally here! The new Starstruck hardcover, sequel to the previous one, and built on stories that appeared mainly in the Epic (Marvel) version of Starstruck. Lots of new material has been added, the lettering has been heavily revised by me (I wasn’t the original letterer on the Marvel material. Some has been relettered, some has not). The colors by Lee Moyer are all new, and gorgeous. The printing and presentation are excellent. If you’ve never read Starstruck, you can certainly start here, though familiarity with the earlier material adds insight. Not sure when is is out from IDW, U.S. price is $39.99. There is a Kickstarter version also long in the works, not sure where that stands at present, but check the Kickstarter page.

Images © DC Entertainment.

Also just arrived is a new printing of the deluxe boxed hardcover edition of ABSOLUTE JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE WORLD’S GREATEST SUPER-HEROES. This collects six tabloid-size comics written by Paul Dini with amazing painted art by Alex Ross  that came out originally from 1998 to 2003. Four focus on individual characters: Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and Captain Marvel. The other two are about the Justice League as a group. This collection includes tons of extra material, and an eight-page foldout featuring every JLA character, which may be new for this printing. Not sure when it’s out, the U.S. price is $75.