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The Watchtower - A thread for all comics


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I'd heard that Squirrel Girl comic was coming out, but I've only just learned that IT'S WRITTEN BY THE GUY WHO DOES DINOSAUR COMICS. :omg:

He's also had a wonderful run on the main Adventure Time series just come to a close. Well worth checking that out.

Enjoyed the first issue of Squirrel Girl. Got exactly what I was expecting.

Antman #1 was also good. Pretty much a continuation of Superior Foes-stlye Nick Spencer. The only Nick Spencer I've liked so far.

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I picked up the first of IDW's Corto Maltese volumes before Christmas in my LCS. It's fantastic. Seems like in the 80s and 90s creators and pundits would always put Hugo Pratt in their all-time top ten lists, but it was hard to get hold of translated strips (I only ever found one). IDW are now (hopefully) doing the whole lot, kicking off with Under the Sign of Capricorn:

rV1jfIC.jpg

The story is nothing especially stellar -it's a European intrigue / adventure plot, solid enough with some strong characters and plenty of action and humour. But the art, the style and the visual storytelling are superb - easy to see why Pratt continues to be revered. He's a proper artist, but in tune with the medium.

There's a (short) preview at http://bit.ly/1AYbWmy. This is going to be a wonderful series to collect and read, super recommended.

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Just noticed this on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1631403281/

IDW are releasing a new Artisan Edition series, which is basically the Artist's Edition series (high-quality full-size scans of strips from the original art) in paperback and at a regular size. This is excellent news because the Artist's Editions are beautiful books but very expensive and regularly scarce. I've got all the EC releases and the Daredevil: Born Again, and even at a smaller size I think these will be essential purchases. Hopefully they'll release the Eisner and Kirby volumes before too long.

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All-New Marvel.

They're still claiming its not a total reboot, as all previous storylines are still canon, they're just amalgamating all the 'universes'. I'd expect them all to get gradually eliminated during Secret Wars, so they can pick & choose what additional characters to keep around (probably heel Richards & Spider-Miles from Ultimate, and a new Wolverine). Seems like a good way to trim some of the fat from the 616 universe anyway.

Looking forward to seeing how it all plays out!!!!

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They can't all still be canon. Quite apart from the fact that DC tried that and proved it just doesn't work here are some choice quotes

We now know that the Marvel Universe, post-Secret Wars, will be an all new world combining elements not just of the Ultimate Universe and the mainstream Marvel Universe, but possibly bits and pieces of other worlds as well under the moniker of "All-New Marvel."

"The Marvel Universe will be Battleworld, and every single piece of those worlds will be building blocks for the universe," said Alonso, adding that all the universes represented in "Battleworld" will have "legs" moving forward.

“…We are taking the best and biggest pieces of [Marvel history] and seeing how easily they coexist with one another,” Alonso said in answer to a press question about this being a 'reboot.' “We don't expect all our moves to make everyone happy, but we think it will make for a really fascinating read through Secret Wars and beyond.”

Driving home the point that anything will be possible, Alonso also teased the possibility of bring back old characters during Secret Wars. "If we wanted to resurrect Gwen Stacy," he said with a smile, "this would be the place to do it."

You can see where they're going with this. It's exactly what DC have tried to do in the past

Everything that happened still happened. Oh except for the bits that didn't. And the bits that happened differently. But don't worry. We'll make it up as we go along and it will never feel right.

Personally I'm still really excited. I'm not as heavily invested in Marvel history as I was DC so this news is quite welcome. It'll be very interesting to see what titles get announced in the post Secret Wars solicitations

Hell guys. Can we ditch the spoiler tags? There's no way in hell anyone who frequents this thread and has the slightest interest in Marvel comics is going to avoid this for the next 4 months.

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"Marvel seems reluctant to use words such as “reset” or “reboot,” though Marvel Senior VP of Publishing Tom Brevoort says that “The Marvel Universe as you know it is done.” The language seems in conflict, just as Conway feel some fans may feel internally."

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I think it's a case of weasel words to get people reading. Here's what I think is going to happen

After secret wars the main marvel Earth gets recreated in a new form. The heroes that survived the initial destruction during the incursion that formed battleworld remember everything that happened previously. Anyone new to the Universe (Basically anyone outside of Manhattan at the time of the incursion) doesn't. That's how Marvel get to say "Everything that happened happened". It's the like the early days of the aftermath of the first DC crisis where some heroes remembered everything. And like DC Marvel will eventually scrap that and make the new new and nobody remember the old. I think they'll encounter the same problems as DC though. They'll try to have their cake and eat it. "This happened but this didn't". Previously Marvel fans knew essentially what happened in the past. It was one mostly unbroken timeline. Now unless they do a total right from the start reboot it'll all be as confusing as hell. They really need to make this a clean break and start absolutely everything from the start again. No "Oh except for Batman and Green Lantern". Cut the cord. Start again. It'll be amazing

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Oh, that's great news. There's a wealth of great Archie material out there - anything from the 50s to the 70s is likely to be worth a look. Dan DeCarlo's Archie work is priceless - a huge influence on the Hernandez brothers, and beautifully drawn and constructed comics in their own right.

I was introduced to Archie during a holiday in Germany when I was... eight, I guess. Late 70s. My uncle was in the Army and stationed at an American base, which - the delights of German culture and cuisine notwithstanding - had a fantastic collection of US comics and snacks. I was drawn to the Archie comics on the strength of Little Archie, which often featured supernatural or at least spooky storylines, and I was soon drawn into the whole Archie mythos. I grabbed all I was allowed to grab, including some earlier reprints in digest form and some of the Spire Christian comics they put out.

Anyway, let's see what's in the bundle. The two Best of Archie collections are where you're going to find the good stuff - I would imagine they include a lot of DeCarlo strips, as well as some Bob Bolling and Bob Montana. That'll all be classic stuff. While it's easy to view Archie comics as generic 'house style' efforts, this isn't true at all - the great Archie artists are all quite identifiable and distinct. I don't know if they include any Li'l Jinx strips - you often find little half- or one-pagers in the digest volumes, though they're not really core Archie material - but if so, that a definite bonus.

The later Archie stuff doesn't interest me as much - anything that tries to burst the eternal high school bubble leaves me cold, and I don't think the same craftsmanship is there, which I appreciate is a classic get-off-my-lawn comment, but that's how it is.

Afterlife With Archie I've read and that's interesting - it's a straight-faced Archie zombie story, but I think it only fully works if you're familiar with the universe and cast. It's well drawn, nicely stylised stuff, but maybe a little baffling if you're approaching it 'cold', as it were. I'm in it for the classics, ultimately. I think paying enough to get both 'Best of' collections will be money very well spent, and I'll definitely be going for it. Thanks for the heads up!


And here it is: https://www.humblebundle.com/books

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I think Afterlife still works pretty well even if you don't know the universe- my experiences of Archie were all from years and years ago and mostly forgotten but it was pretty easy to pick up on most of the relationships- Sabrina is a witch, Jughead is lazy and a bit thick, Betty and Veronica both want Archie... that's pretty much enough to get going with.

I hadn't a clue what the story was with that Jason guy and his sister though... I'm guessing that's the writer have some twisted fun at the expense of some brother-sister duo in the Archie universe..?

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Jason and Cheryl are 80s additions to the line-up and as such I shun them. Cheryl had some to-do whereby she was too sexy for the audience or something like that.

I expect Afterlife might work fine independent of the context - to be fair, I can't judge that. I think it looks nice, it occasionally seems like it's compensating a little too hard for its roots - loads of diary entries that are too po-faced and go on and on, for example. I don't follow the story too closely really - I probably wouldn't be aware of it at all if it wasn't Archie, and I'd rather have seen a zombie story done in the traditional Archie style (which would be close to the Little Archie strips I mentioned, some of which were pretty harrowing in places).

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Here's a reasonably typical supernatural Little Archie strip from the 70s. It doesn't represent the artistry of the great Archie strips but it's a good mix of gags and menace for kids. I love this stuff - if I can dig it out and make a good copy I'll post up the frankly terrifying Zborno Majesta story from one of my Archie digests.

And here's a Bob Bolling Little Archie from the 50s, which is a beautiful piece of cartooning by anyone's standards.

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Anyhoo I duly bought the bundle, and the two best of books are excellent - arranged by decade with fairly equal representation, so you get plenty of beautiful classic stories, including some wonderful Bob Montana newspaper strips. With the more modern stuff they try to focus on significant developments, like the introduction of Jason and Cheryl, or signs of the times - so even those are interesting in one way or another. They also preface each story with a comment by a comics pro or pundit on its merits.

Volume 2 seems to be a bundling of the individual 'Best of the 50s / 60s / etc.' books, while I think Vol 1 is a unique collection. Anyway, complete bargains for the price. The file sizes for the HQ editions are crazy - 2.4gb for Vol 1 - but the PDFs are much smaller and fine for tablets and screens. I haven't tried the HQ files yet but I expect they'll be pretty amazing for examining the art in the classic strips.

I also downloaded the Afterlife With Archie magazine, which was good - the first issue of AWA reprinted (which I was missing and is, I think, better than the later issues) and some other strips too. But this is just an added bonus, because the best ofs make this an essential purchase on their own.

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Kirby run, obviously. That's 1-102 and six annuals, no idea if they're on Unlimited. IMO these are the best superhero comics there are (and I'm not sure I even need to specify superhero there). Issues 48-51 are the go-to issues if you just want a taster, giving you the Galactus trilogy and This Man.. This Monster!, which are the definition of essential.

Apart from that, I'm only familiar with Grant Morrison's 1234 and Unstable Molecules by James Sturm. They're both good, and obviously there's a wealth of stuff aside from that (John Byrne's run is an obvious example), but regardless of whether you're looking to get into FF, you should still make a beeline for the Kirby issues as phenomenal and hugely important (and fun) comics in their own right.

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The Kirby/Stan run is all on Marvel U so I read a bunch of then this evening and they were wonderful. The panel layouts are beautiful, the characters are well written and the bad guys have a nice mix of pathos (Mole Man) and pure evil (Dr. Doom). They're also pretty funny, Johnny Storm dropped an amazing Rock Hudson joke at The Things expense that no one else appreciated.

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It's a dangerous game getting nostalgic for someone else's past, but just imagine being a kid in the 60s reading that stuff monthly as it came out, with nothing like it having existed before. And you've got Ditko's Spider-Man on the rack too. Beyond bananas, a surge of energy so powerful it's still propelling Marvel in all its forms, and a fair chunk of modern culture as a whole, half a century later.

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Kelly Sue DeConnick, writer of one of my favourite comics of recent years Pretty Deadly, has a new series out: Bitch Planet. And it is amazing.

It's a dystopian, exploitation sci-fi adventure based around a penal colony for 'non-conformist' women. Imagine 2000AD adapting The Handmaid's Tale. The story features naked women rioting and the letters page features photos of women sporting 'nc' tattoos and essays on intersectional feminism.

It's two issues in of a (planned) thirty issue run and I honestly haven't been this excited about getting the next issue of a comic since The Dinobots got to fight The Predacons.

I mean, look at it.

post-17274-0-99797000-1422655535_thumb.j

:wub: Penny Rolle

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Kelly Sue DeConnick, writer of one of my favourite comics of recent years Pretty Deadly, has a new series out: Bitch Planet. And it is amazing.

It's a dystopian, exploitation sci-fi adventure based around a penal colony for 'non-conformist' women. Imagine 2000AD adapting The Handmaid's Tale. The story features naked women rioting and the letters page features photos of women sporting 'nc' tattoos and essays on intersectional feminism.

It's two issues in of a (planned) thirty issue run and I honestly haven't been this excited about getting the next issue of a comic since The Dinobots got to fight The Predacons.

I mean, look at it.

attachicon.gifBP.jpg

:wub: Penny Rolle

I picked this up today on your recommendation, I look forward to reading it tonight.

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:blink: @ the upcoming Joker origin retcon...

He's immortal, through being exposed (as Vandal Savage was) to radiation from a meteorite.. a corrupt form of this rock makes up the chemicals found in the Lazarus Pits..

He was alive before Gotham existed..

Actual panels:

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LXi2Jak.jpg

ATWCWz1.jpg


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Yeah, or it might be all a bit trick he's pulled which will be explained later in massive chunks of text that show that Scott Snyder has been spending too much time on Wikipedia again.

There's no doubting he's a skilled writer, but time and time again people sidetrack conversations in order to drop in "fascinating facts" -

"His ID card stated his name was Adrian Ag. But Ag is also the chemical symbol for silver. It comes from the Latin word for silver, argentum. And Adrian is a derivative of the Latin Hadrian- most famous for giving it's title to the defensive wall that the Romans built across occupied England in AD 122... My God. Wall silver. The wall is made of silver..!"

edit: ha, didn't even notice he does that same kind of thing in the panels above...

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