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A Grab Bag of DC Comics
Suspended Animation Classic #508 Originally published September 13, 1998 (#36) (Dates are approximate)
A Grab Bag of DC Comics
By Dr. Jon Suter
It’s time for capsule reviews of recent DC comics. As usual, some are better than others.
After the young character Impulse was introduced in The Flash, I found him increasing uninteresting. Many comic dealers tell me that Impulse is one of their slowest sellers. Even so, DC has given him a major role in a new series, Young Justice.
That series has its roots in a two-volume series, “World Without Grown-ups”. A superteam of Impulse, Robin, and Superboy operates with Red Tornado as a nagging nanny. The humor is strained and the art crude. I don’t see young readers finding this attractive. C +.
DC’s 1998 annuals have the overall titles of Ghosts. Each title is independent except that the JLA annual connects and resolves all the stories.
If you are choosy about annuals, I would sest the Green Lantern and Superman entries.
The Martian Manhunter annual is similar to issue 0 of a new Manhunter series. Both the superheroes annual and issue 0 could be good investments despite shaky art in the annual.
Wonder Woman has appeared in two Elseworld stories. “Amazonia” puts her in a nightmarish late-Victorian setting. William Messner-Loeb’s script is interesting and Phil Winslode’s scratchy drawing is unusually effective. Patricia Malvihill’s coloring is also intriguing.
The other Elseworld story, “Justice Riders”, puts the Amazon in the Old West. Writer Chuck Dixon seems inspired by Madelaine Stowe’s character in the western movie Bad Girls. A or A-.
An Elseworld series, “Superman: The Dark Side”, examines the idea that the infant Kal-El (Superman) is raised on another world under villain Darkseid’s tutelage. This is very similar to the recent JLA: The Nail.
In the first of three issues, John Moore and Kieron Dwyer have maintained the traditions of artists Jack Kirby and John Byrne in their depiction of the worlds of the New Gods superteam. An A, but I do prefer JLA: The Nail.
Suspended Animation Classic #582 First published February 20, 2000 (#8) (Dates are approximate)
By Mark Allen
Trouble Magnet/DC Comics/four issue miniseries/22 pages at $2.50 each.
Unfortunately, there is very little SF published in comics today that is worth the paper it's printed on. That's why DC's recently released Trouble Magnet by Ryder Windham and Kilian Plunkett, is a breath of fresh air.
Whitlock is a member of a group called the Trouble Shooters, a science research team and group of adventurers. He is also a robot, and has a very serious problem; his memory bank (stored apart from him) has developed an identity of its own, along with a decidedly nasty habit of causing mayhem. The story deals with Whitlock's attempt to stop his memory bank, regain his memories, and deal with the physical and emotional damage done to those around him as a result of its running amok.
This book corners the market on imagination, and an honest attempt to do nothing more than entertain the reader. And it succeeds. There are no lags or "dry spots" in the story; the reader is not bored with too much dialogue. At the same time, there is no danger of overdosing on action, as it is all relevant and well-positioned in the storyline. The book is well-balanced, and a joy to read from start to finish.
Creative talents include Ryder Windham, writer, and artist Kilian Plunkett. As I have already praised Windham's handling of the story, I will move on to Plunkett’s artwork, which is amazing in its own right.
Plunkett is wonderfully adept at "tech” art (robots, weaponry, space- ships, etc), and also has a superior grasp of human form and expression comparable to the likes of Kevin Maguire and Arthur Adams. On fact, Adams fans should check Plunkett out; it almost seems as if one of them is influencing the other.) There is never doubt about what one of his characters is feeling; you just have to look at their faces.
From every angle, Trouble Magnet is a great investment in entertainment.
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