jeudi 27 décembre 2007

Upcoming Marvel comics

Dec 28
Tomorow gets released the Daredevil Omnibus Frank Miller Companion. This is a must-buy. Actually it's way better than the original volume. As much as I enjoyed Miller and Janson, they're no match in the art department with Mazzuchelli, Sienkeiwicz, Romita Jr and Al Williamson (possibly the best inker in comics bar none) and I hope that Marvel will make an Omnibus (or even a Marvel Visionaries) of Nocenti, Romita Jr and Williamson fantastic run.

Battling Jack Murdock is collected. An above average series worth looking.

Marvel Masterworks: Human Torch 2. I'm not a fan of the Golden Age, which I find too crude for my taste but considering this volume has Human Torch vs Sub-Mariner, guest appearances by Ka-Zar, the Patriot and the Angel and the talents of Bill Everett, Mickey Spillane and Basil Wolverton and covers by master Alex Schomburg, it must be worth it.

Marvel Masterworks: Amazing Spider-Man vol 5. It's the second edition by Romita. I believe Romita was much better when he came back on the character after the Buscema and Kane runs. But still, it's a classic.

January
Essential Power and Iron Fist. A classic team-up book of the 70s. Only Cable and Deadpool has continued that tradition. The mix of two legacies was always interesting. With their membership in the Avengers and the success of Immortal Iron Fist by Fraction and Brubaker, this is truly an essential collection (plus early appearances by Sabretooth for his fans - Sabretooth started as an Iron Fist opponent).

Avengers West Coast: why this collection? John Byrne? It was not so good, nothing classic. Not bad either.

Essential Captain America vol 4. Most of these stories already exist in collected color volumes. This is where Steve Englehart wrote some of the most challenging stories of Captain America that have influenced the top writers of today like Alan Moore and Kurt Busiek. It's more than worthy material. And vol 1 is reprinted as well, a must-buy as well.

This is the month of the new Captain America. Everybody has been expecting the return of Steve Rogers but the brillaint part is that he will stay dead.

Nextwave: Agents of Hate vol 2. A must have. When most of today's comics are decompressed (telling in six issues what used to be told in one or two, a manga influence) this one is compressed like Dan Slott's She Hulk (and as funny). The humor makes it as great as the 60s Stan Lee Classics.

Essential Marvel Saga: it's always surprising to see Marvel reprinting all these reference books. They already publish reference books now: the Marvel Universe Handbook, the Marvel Spotlight issues, the (whatever big event) Files. But I guess that's part of their strategy to exploit every era of comics in order to interest every readership. They even made Handbooks of the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, which were enjoyable (not the 90s one). The previous Essential Handbooks were handbooks of the 80s so the handbook of the 80s was unnecessary. What about a handbook of the 40s, 50s?

Thunderbolts Faith in Monsters: a must-buy.

Hulk Visionaries Peter David Vol 5: a must-buy, especially as it's by Dale Keown.

Master Masterworks: Daring Mystery. Even if it contains characters appearing in the upcoming series the Twelve (starting that same month, good thinking), it's an unlikely buy. They don't even tell us who are the writers and artists.

There's a reprint of the Silver Surfer Masterworks vol 1. The best of Buscema and Lee.

Uncanny X-Men vol 6 Classic stuff by Claremont, Byrne, Cockrum.

Thor Visionaries Walt Simonson vol 5, the last one, ending with the fatal battle vs the Earth-Serpent, an accurate end to Simonson's run. (I enjoyed the De Falco/Frenz run that followed and think it deserves reprinting)

February
ClanDestine returns. Alan Davis is a modern master and always worthy as an artist. I don't like the concept as much though. The collection of earlier stories comes at the same time.

Fantastic Four: The Lost Adventure. A rejected story is now put together. Don't expect a masterpiece, just the last chance to see a Lee-Kirby-Sinnott FF story. Who would pass it up? We're lucky that Lee and Sinnott are still alive.

Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch start on the FF. To check.

The finale of Astonishing X-Men is here. This has been the best X-Men comic for the last years probably because it was outside the continuity of the other X-titles.

House of M Avengers ends that month. A very good series by Christos Gage which displays his knowledge and understanding of Marvel 70s characters.

By contrast, Joe Casey has failed so far in his retake of 60s Iron Man in Enter the Mandarin.

Essential Avengers vol 6. More Steve Englehart's greatness.

Marvel Fantare gets reprinted at last. Some very good stories.

Wolverine Origins vol 4 Our War; AT last a good story for this title. Granted this is more a Captain America and Bucky story with Nick Fury, Hydra and Strucker. Everybody who loves Captain America shoud own that one.

Masterworks Ant-Man/Giant-Man vol 2: considering that feature was cancelled, don't expect a masterpiece. But still better than many things published today. For Silver Age fans only.

Uncanny X-Men Masterworks vol 2: a must.

Punisher Max vol 4 collects issues #37-49. Not to be missed.

Franklin Richards: Collected Chaos. Inspired by Calvin and Hobbes and not as great but very enjoyable in itself.

Howard the Duck Omnibus. When Marvel released that Essential volume in 1997, who would believe these stories would be reprinted in color one day? That day has arrived. Incredible as that character is not the most popular. The recent miniseries was disappointing.

Atlas Heroes vol 2 is the second part of the unsuccessful revival of the three biggies of Marvel. Everett gave his definite incarnation of Sub-Mariner but John Romita looked very different on Cap than on his later Marvel work. Only for die-hard fans (I would gladly buy it for half-price)

March
A new Franklin Richards story: Yay! more humor in Marvel titles.

A story by Ennis and Chaykin about the Phantom Eagle. Well, it's the only chance to write a war story these days: using a Marvel or DC war character.

Iron Man: Demon in a Bottle gets reprinted, one of the few times when Iron man was great. By Michelinie, Romita Jr, Layton.

Captain America Masterworks vol 4. It has very good John Romita/Sal Buscema and Colan/Sinnott art. It's the period when the Falcon becomes a frequent guest start but the strip is mostly without direction.

Essential Marvel Handbook Master Edition. One wonders who buys all these various editions of the handbooks. At least it's an interesting view of the Marvel Universe at a given time for the historian.

Iron Man: Doomquest, more stories by Michelinie, Romita Jr, Layton.

Atlas Era Tales to Astonish vol 2: I really like these early tales by Kirby and Ditko.

Marvel Masterworks Silver Surfer vol 2 reprint: the second part of that undying classic run.

dimanche 23 décembre 2007

Super-Villain Team Up

I had fond memories of that title and I bought the Essential collection. As a European, I may be more interested in stories featuring villains than Americans. This is a long tradition in Europe: Fantomas, Arsene Lupin, Diabolik, The Spider. Even le Comte de Monte Cristo is ambiguous. Marvel had tried the potential of Dr. Doom for a long time: he was the feature of his own story in Fantastic Four Annual #2, then in Marvel Super-Heroes #20. His half-feature in Astonishing Tales has beautiful art by Wally Wood but uninspired script by Roy Thomas and Larry Lieber. There was an inspired story by Gerry Conway and Gene Colan in #8 that highlighted the tragic dimension of the character who wants to save the soul of his mother from hell but it was too late. Hos co-feature Ka-Zar had proved more successful, probably due to the revival of pulp stories heralded by Conan, and would take over the whole magazine.

In 1974, Roy Thomas would herefore launch a new concept. It was his job as head writer/editor to do so. The Sub-Mariner title had been cancelled (despite a change of costume) with dangling plot lines: all the Atlanteans were in suspended animation, some humans (including Betty Dean) had been turned amphibious against their will, and a beautiful alien called Tamara was stranded on Earth's oceans, the last of her species.

An alliance between Namor and Dr. Doom had been used as a plot ever since Lee and Kirby used it in the first super-villain team-up in FF #6. Roy Thomas had used it in Sub-Mariner #20 and Gerry Conway in #47-49. Roy Thomas had already been behind the use of Sub-Mariner in the Defenders, following from a crossover storyline created when Dr. Strange had been cancelled (after he changed his costume).

So Thomas launched Super-Villain Team-Up. The title would mostly follow the storylines from Sub-Mariner though elements from Astonishing Tales would show up too.

Yet the title's history would be marred with creative musical chairs. Writer/editor Thomas and John Buscema launched the first Giant-Size issue which was mostly made of a reprint of Sub-Mariner #20 (also by Thomas and Buscema) and Marvel Super-Heroes #20 (by Thomas and Larry Lieber). The second issue has horrible art by Mike Sekowsky.

Then the regular series starts with Tony Isabella under editor Len Wein, with a sequence pencilled by Tuska and Bill Everett plus a story by George Evans that probably came from the cancelled Sub-Mariner series (no Dr. Doom mention).

The second issue has pencilers Sal Buscema and Fred Kida as well as the death of Betty Dean. By then Dorma and captain Leonard McKenzie had died. Unfortunately the trend of killing Namor's supporting characters has continued, effectively destroying the character.

Issue 3 has a new writer Jim Shooter under a new editor Marv Wolman (until #7) and the return of penciler George Evans. Jim Shooter's writing has a hard edge to it uncommon in Marvel Comics of this time: Tamara is tortured, Doom murders people, Dr. Dorcas is crushed to death.

Issue 4 has a new writer, Bill Mantlo (who will be one of the most regular but not yet) and a new penciler, Herb Trimpe (who will also be one of the most regular) with inker Jim Mooney who had inked the Sub-Mariner series. There is a link with the Deathlok series and his is one of the most peculiar things of Marvel in the 70s: in spite of the musical chairs, there was a better continuity than in the 80s and later.

In issue 5 arrived new writer Steve Englehart who will stay until 8 (a record). Englehart gets rid of the new Sub-Mariner costume and introduced a Batman doppleganger (the Shroud) probably trying out for DC Comics (where he will indeed do a great Batman with Marshall Rogers).

In issue 6 Englehart introduced politics in that the US signs a non-agression pact with Latveria so that super-heroes can't intervene there. No writer will expand on Englehart's ideas until Alan Moore in Watchmen.

Issue 8 sees a new editor Archie Goodwin (until #14) and new penciler: Keith Giffen. Steve Englehart leaves which is probably why the title started to crossover with Avengers 154 and 155 (by Gerry Conway, George Perez and Pablo Marcos).

Issue 9 has Bill Mantlo as writer who will stay until issue 14 (a new record) and penciler Jim Shooter. Both are known (with Sal Buscema) for their ability to work very fast, which explains many things.

Avengers 156 is by writer Jim Shooter and artist Sal Buscema (with a plot by Conway) and is the end of that crossover.

With SVTU 10 we have new artist Bob Hall who will stay a regular until the end but little else will be regular. The story has the Red Skull and marks his prominence in the title since he is co-featured with Doom in 11 and 12 (Sub-Mariner is still there). 12 is the last appearance of the Shroud.

In 13 Sub-Mariner is back as a co-feature in a story penciled by guest artist and co-plotter Keith Giffen which marks the end of the Atlanteans in suspended animation subplot. They are revived and the story continues with Giffen in Defenders. This is the end of the alliance between Doom and Namor.

Issue 14 (by Mantlo and Hall) features Doom and Magneto and concludes in Champions 16 (same creative team). The title stops there with a reprint of Astonishing Tales 4-5 (Red Skull vs Doom).

It picks up one year later with the Red Skull and Hate-Monger in a two-part story tying up a lot of loose continuity.

This is the index of writers, pencilers and inkers for this collection. It shows there are mainstays in spite of the musical chairs.

Roy Thomas MSH 20, Sub 20, AT 1-2, GSVTU 1-2
Larry Lieber MSH 20 AT 3-6
Wally Wood AT 1-4
George Tuska AT 5-6, SVTU 1
Mike Esposito AT 5-6 Champions 16
Gene Colan AT 7-8
Gerry Conway AT 7-8, Av 154-156
Frank Giacoia MSH 20, AT 7
Tom Palmer AT 8
John Buscema GSVTU 1, Sub 20
Joe Sinnott GSVTU 1
Vince Colletta MSH 20
Mike Sekowky GSVTU 2
Sam Grainger GSVTU 2
Tony Isabella SVTU 1-2
Fred Kida SVTU 1-2
Bill Everett SVTU 1
George Evans SVTU 1,3
Frank Springer SVTU 1
Sal Buscema SVTU 2 Av 156
Jim Shooter SVTU 3,9 Av 156
Jack Abel SVTU 3,6
Bill Mantlo SVTU 4,9-14 Champions 16
Herb Trimpe SVTU 4
Jim Mooney SVTU 4
Steve Englehart SVTU 5-8
Don Perlin SVTU 5,10-14
Pablo Marcos SVTU 7, Av 154-156
Keith Giffen SVTU 8,13
George Perez Av 154-155
Sal Trapani SVTU 9
Bob Hall SVTU 10-12,14 Champions 16
Peter Gillis SVTU 16-17
Carmine Infantino SVTU 16
Bruce Patterson SVTU 16-17
Arvell Jones SVTU 17

Eternals

I bought the Eternals Omnibus. I didn't read it. I have vague memories of seeing it in Starnge before it was cancelled and then in Etranges Aventures in small black and white. What I can say is that the big size look is gorgeous and perfect for Kirby. I want to buy the Devil Dinosaur Omnibus next as well as the Kamandi Archives and I want a 2001 Omnibus. With the Captain America and Black Panther stories already reprinted, it seems Kirby enjoys more success now than he did on his comeback to Marvel in 1975-1978.

Persepolis

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi is part of a recent trend in comics: autobiography. It is full of humanity, little scenes of life. For sure she is not a typical character: growing in a progressive family in Iran, living by herself in Austria while a teenager are not common experiences. I wished my past was as colourful.

comics 20 dec

Deadpool is looking very much like Badger right now. I suppose most people are more familair with Deadpool than with Badger. Badger is a fantastic creation of Mike Baron that was published by First

Comics in the 80s, he suffers from a multiple personality disorder, is a martial artist in reg super-hero tights most of the time and teams up with a druid. So, to all those who would like more of

Deadpool I suggest they buy Badger, which Baron brought back just last month. It's the original zany character. And since Deadpool is about to be cancelled...

In Speak of the Devil, we see Gilbert Hernandez telling us a story about today's youth. It is
surreal. For some reason it reminds me of another middle-aged man, Jack Kirby, featuring youths in 1971's Forever People and New Gods.

Mighty Avengers continues in its experimental trend. Bendis is using thought balloons in a way closer to the way people think. There's the use of character logos appearing in the middle of the story and Frank Cho enjoys himself. His females are gorgeous and have very muscular thighs. This is the true Avengers title.

The Resurrection of Ra's al Ghul has been a failure. The bat-titles were very good before but I
expect this crossover to drive readers away. Plus Damian leaves the bat-family. I hope the editors give up on that old idea of making a crossover to increase sales.

I picked up Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin because I'm always interested in seeing classic stories reinterpreted but Joe Casey already messed up with the X-Men and the art is not up to it. Dave Stewart's palette is fine for Conan or Hellboy bot not for super-heroes.

Exiles ends with issue 100. Back in the 70s a few series were cancelled that had Claremont as their writer, a fact that most people don't think about when they consider th eman who created the New X-Men "franchise."

Wolverine Origins 20 concludes the flashback with Captain America and Bucky, the best run of this magazine so far. Daniel Way integrates without a hitch Brubaker's version of Cap and Bucky. To be held as a great Captain America stories.

Captain America: The Chosen has been disappointing. Certainly the art is good but Morrel's script wasn't. It's better this issue, though. We'll see next issue when it concludes.

Justice League 16. Sort of an in-between issue. Prologue to a Tangent crossover. This type of thing has been a tradition for Justice League, so I won't gripe.

Foolkiller 3 is starting the action after two issues of exposition. This is ultra-violence but some
humor would be welcome as well.

Immortal Iron Fist remains a top of the pile book. The flashbacks flesh out the backstory.

Hulk 112 features no Hulk but Amadeus Cho and Hercules on a rampage, with SHIELD, Ares and the Avengers on the pursuit. It seems Angel and Namora are out of the picture but Wonder Man and Black Widow are in. Not quite the Champions but a fun read that weaves mythology in the story.

Red Sonja: hard to believe this sells enough. I generally enjoy to see comics going back to the
themes of my youth (the 70s) but this no Roy Thomas, John Buscema or Frank Thorne. Same comment for Savage Tales.

Superman 671: the new dynamics of Superman with his wife and his son, with the reinroduction and modernization of the Silver Age greatness make it one of teh best superhero titles.

X-Men crossover Messiah Complex includes everything classic element: The Reavers, The Marauders, Reverend Stryker, Sentinels. I guess the feeling of deja vu comes from there.

In She-Hulk Peter David keeps the title interesting by doing a 180 turn. There is a skrull and she's not a spy, apparently. There are also a number of new supporting characters, 3 or 4, depending on who is supposed to come back and maybe one should wonder if one is a skrull.? Anyway, intelligent writing.

Army@love is one of the best comics currently published.

Spider-Man Family present two new stories in a carytoony style: one taken from Walt Simonson's run on Thor in the 80s and the second like a Marvel Team-up story from the 70s. There are then two reprints by Ross Andru, an Amazing Spider-Man story with the Green Goblin and a Christmas Marvel Team-Up story.

Doctor Who Classics present stories from 1979 by Pat Mills, John Wagner and Dave Gibbons. You know you will have quality with such a line-up.

The Twelve #0 previews the new comics series reviving twelved Golden Age heroes. I found JMS and Weston's thinking behind their redesign to be interesting. The Golden Age stories in issue #0 were more curiosities than anything else: the Basil Wolverton art. It was also interesting for Marvel to make use of the 40s hero in modern times. Since Captain America had had more than ten years in the recent era over at Marvel there wasn't much of a culture shock left. This culture shock is worth telling about: I know people who live in sects since the early 90s. They never used internet nor a mobile phone.

dimanche 16 décembre 2007

More comics

New Avengers 37. To be concluded hopefully in the coming annual.

Punisher War Journal. Vs Kraven. Now this is a good idea.

BPRD Killing Ground concludes this week. Great comics.

Lone Ranger, nothing remarkable.

Bat Lash: Needs to be seen just for the John Severin art, for a man at 86 his hand is as sure as ever. Beautiful. Sergio Aragones writes, Walt Simonson on covers.

Suicide Squad is really good. It's a pity DC didn't release the Showcase Presents volume. Ellis stole the idea for Thunderbolts (which is also really good).

Exterminators has reached 24 and it deserves it. With its satire and social commentary, this is an intelligent comics. Now, if they could make a TV series out of it as was originally intended...

Many years ago, DC previewed a new series in New Teen Titans: Captain Carrot and his Zoo Crew. This series lasted 20 issues, quite an achievement. The character comes back with original penciler Scott Shaw! and new writer Bill Morrison. However Morrison doesn't achieve the kind of success he had with Radioactive Man.

X-Men First Class 6 is offering new stories in the style of the 60s.

Batman and Robin 8 has Frank Miller playing loose with everything fans hold sacred. Where it's unusual is that Lee and Williams do not have the caritural style of Miller. We don't expect that kind of storytelling with Lee and Williams.

Garth ENNIS gives us a good start on Dan Dare.

Savaeg Dragon is probably the only super-hero book that reminds us of the solo writer/artist books of the 80s when Miller, Byrne, Chaykin, Grell or Simonson really took hold of a character and did a great job.

Superman Annual 13 has all one could expect from Superman: the humanity, the Krypton mythology.

Jungle Girl 3 is very entertaining. It doesn't take Frank Cho on the script and pencils to make this genre a success. Of course, I could have believed it was Cho doing it all.

The Twelve looks promising. The design work on the characters is very interesting in itself.

The last and best is Green Lantern 25, the 72-page conclusion to the Sinestro Corps War with great previews of things to come for the next two years. This kind of long planning is what makes this series so good. The epilogue comes along with it in Green Lantern Corps 19 as well as the Tales of Green Lantern Corps Special Ion.

samedi 15 décembre 2007

comics 15 Dec

Spider-Girl fete ses dix ans mais ce genre de numéro anniversaire surchargé n'a jamais été une bonne idée.

Wolverine 60 emmène Logan au Japon pour revisiter la série de Claremont et Miller. Chaykin est la bonne personne pour nous faire du style à la Miller (pour être juste c'est plus Miller qui a copié Chaykin).

X-Factor ne ressemble pas à un numéro de la série tant cet épisode est intégré dans le crossover. En tout cas Peter David écrit très bien les autres X-Men.

Claremont concludes his story in Die by the Sword 5. the best thing is the dedication to the Cockrums but even this is out of place as there are none of the characters he created.

What makes Annihilation Conquest so successful is that anything can happen. If any single of the characters had its own series the sort of turnabouts that we experience would not be possible. That said it is not as good as the Sinestro Corps War to which it has been compared.

Foolkiller 2 shows Omega the Unknown and Man-Thing the two Steve Gerber series from the 70s that created the Foolkiller but otherwise there is none of Gerber's quirks to be found (well, very little).

Dans Love and Rockets 20 on apprend que trois personnages sont morts: Gato, Sergio et Doralis. Seul gilbert Hernandez fait des choses pareilles. Quant à Jaime il nous livre une histoire qui nous ramène à Mechanics ainsi qu'une histoire de Maggie quand elle était enfant.

The Spirit 11 has zombies. This doesn't fit well with the Spirit. Maybe the author is trying to tell us something.

lundi 10 décembre 2007

comics 10 déc

My last post was lost (sigh). So instead of trying to make one post a week, I'll make shorter ones.

Usagi Yojimbo 107 is putting together a number of characters and earlier threads. We also see a one-page bonus: Usagi vs Groo with a clear winner.

In Foolkiller 2, we learn the origin of the main character. We also get to see issues of Man-Thing and Omega the Unknown, the two series in which Steve Gerber introduced the Foolkiller.

dimanche 9 décembre 2007

Je suis en retard cette semaine, alors je vais devoir faire court.
JLA 15, McDuffie profite (enfin?) du style de Benes pour inclure tout un tas d'allusions sexuelles. Et il ajoute un autre noir à l'équipe, ce qui établit un record, je pense, du nombre de noirs dans une équipe traditionnels (4).

Justice Society of America 11 : encore un chef-d'oeuvre de Geoff Johns, qui a cette capacité rare de recréer des personnages. Il suffit de voir ce qu'il fait avec le nouveau Judomaster. Et dans le prochain numéro le nouveau Mister America. Mais c'est le Superman de Kingdom Come avec toute sa dimension tragique qui donne sa profondeur à la série.

Omega the Unknown 3: cet hommage au héros décalé de Gerber commence à prendre ses marques par rapport au matériel d'origine mais le style de dessin n'a pas le réalisme de Jim Mooney.

The Initiative Annual 1: Cette série est nominée sur des forums pire nouvelle série de l'année (et aussi meilleure nouvelle série, allez comprendre). On apprend ici des détails sur l'invasion skrull que Bendis nous a pondu dans New Avengers. Rien de bien intéressant à l'origine mais là ça devient pire: il y aurait un skrull dans chaque équipe de The Initiative. Voilà qui rappelle une série chez DC où chaque série était infiltrée par un Manhunter. Bref du réchauffé en perspective.

Countdown s'éternise mais dans ce numéro on voit apparaitre des concepts de Jack Kirby créés dans OMAC et Kamandi.

Die by the Sword (aussi nominé comme pire nouvelle série) nous sert du réchauffé: Sir Jaspers et the Fury. C'est Claremont qui imite Alan Moore imitant Claremont. Dommage.

Dans Ms Marvel, Brian Reed copie Claremont. Claremont a guidé la destinée de Carol Danvers dans les années 70 quand il a repris la série, puis dans les années 80 quand il a introduit le personnage dans les X-Men. La couverture rend hommage aux différentes incarnations (mais pas à celle de l'agent introduit dans Captain Marvel en 1968 dont personne ne se souvient). En tout cas Reed réussira-t-il à égaler le record du nombre de numéros de la série précédente?

Vinyl Underground est une série Vertigo que je viens de découvrir. Ca fait très série télé.

Crossing Midnight is really good. With covers by J.H. Williams III and colors by Jose Villarrubia, we have some of the people behind Promethea. I missed issue 12 somehow.

House of M Avengers 2 est vraiment une bonne série. Christos Gage est la star montante de Marvel. N'étant ni un fan de House of M ni des Avengers, je n'attendais rien de cette série mais elle plonge dans les personnages des années 70 et les fait briller.

Dans World War Hulk Aftersmash Hercule empeche l'ile de Manhattan de se scinder en deux, une allusion à un épisode de Marvel Team-Up de 1974. (Ai-je lu trop de comics?)

vendredi 30 novembre 2007

Comics 30 nov

Here we are for the best comics of the week.

Sinestro Corps War part 10, Dave Gibbons has left Green Lantern Corps to be replaced by Peter Tomasi for issue 18. This is the big fight between the evil Superman Prime and Sodam Yat the ultimate Green Lantern. I won't reveal the outcome but given the result, one really wants to find out about the next part. When this started there was no indication there would be a dozen parts to this storyline (probably a score if one includes all the specials and tie-ins). In any event one keeps coming back.

Matt Wagner returns to his greatest creation: Grendel (an evil Batman). This series is mostly unpublished in France but this is one of these long-running creator-owned series that are so good. The story starts very strong. It is in black and white and red, a format the Wagner was the first to use (before Frank Miller started to use it in Sin City). A must-read.

American Virgin is one of the new Vertigo titles without fantastic elements. It's not either any of the classic genres like crime, war or western. I guess romance is the closest it comes to. In a way it's new for American comics although manga have already had comics of all kinds.

I'm not sure Death of the New Gods 3 should be part of this must-read list but I'll mention it until I make up my mind. I'm getting used to Starlin's new style and the mystery is interesting enough to want to find out what's coming next.

In Daredevil 102 Ed Brubaker presents a super-villains fight: the Enforcers vs the Wrecker and Razorfist. Fortunately, they don't wear spandex which would really not fit in the pulp style of Daredevil. Mr. Fear is becoming a fearsome character, trained in martial arts, which is a bit an off-characterisation but I guess it is part of exhuming old characters and making them interesting. New readers will certainly want to track pre-Miller issues of Daredevil now (and not just the Bullseye ones). I wonder if Brubaker has plans for the early villains like Killgrave, the Owl, the Masker Marauder, the Jester. He has already used the Matador, the Fellowship of Fear (Mr. Fear and Enforcers), the Gladiator.

vendredi 23 novembre 2007

Amazon et Panini

J'ai commandé l'album Deluxe Eternels de Jack Kirby et le Spider-Man comic strips de Stan Lee et Romita Jr. Deux magnifiques albums mais qui me sont arrivés défectueux d'Amazon. Le Spider-Man avait une jaquette abimée et les Eternels avait une erreur d'impression, un feuillet en double qui fait que les épisodes 6 et 7 sont imprimés deux fois tandis que le 2 est tronqué et les 3,4,5 absents. Je recommande ces albums mais se méfier, une autre personne a reçu d'Amazon un album défectueux.

jeudi 22 novembre 2007

comics 22 nov

Captain America 32: it's getting too long.

Shadowpact 19: the bizarre cast makes this the closest thing to Top Ten on the market.

Brian Augustyn returns in the Gotham by Gaslight (the first Eleworld) in Countdown Presents byt Greg Tochini is no Mike Mignola though he puts a good effort. This type of crossover is doomed anyway from the start.

Shanna the She-Devil 4 is a waste of time. Pick Cho's Jungle Girl instead.

Conan 46 is the last part of the siege of Venarium, shortly before Conan leaves Cimmeria. Kurt Busiek evokes with great eloquence this defining moment.

Captain America the Chosen 4 has the problem common to alternate stories: no involvement in them.

Franklin Richards Son of a Genius, is a Marvelian take on Calvin and Hobbes without Hobbes and Wihout Watterson's commentary on society.

Invincible is not as creative as it used to be.

Metamorpho Year One 4 loses a lot from Dan Jurgens' departure as a penciler. This series had been created as a parody of 60s Marvel, reflecting on how strange Marvel Comics looked then to regular readers of DC Comics and other companies. To be successful again it would require many allusions and references to popular culture, playing more on the quirks of the supporting, a Vertigo treatment, except Vertigo doesn't invest anymore in transforming former DC characters.

In Brave and the Bold 8, Waid and Perez continue to mix modern heroes with Silver Age. The Gothic elements of the Doom Patrol were cleverly used. Perez is still an amazing penciler. Few penciler have managed to remain favourites for 30 years.

Army@love 9 delivers great satire month after month.

Countdown to Mystery marks the return of Steve Gerber to US comics. Gerber is an underappreciated genius of comics. His new Dr. Fate strip seems to be an emotional and psychological trip dressed as magic. In issue 3, he introduces a charming character, Maddy (based on Neil Gaiman's daughter?). The Eclipso feature by Matt Sturges is intriguing.

In Action Comics 859, Geoff Johns continues to present us the classic Legion of Super-Heroes (pre-Crisis). It's great as I stopped caring about them after the reboot.

The Walking Dead remains Kirkman's best work, month after month. Adlard delivers great art.

In She-Hulk 23, Peter David doesn't disappoint for his second issue. I'll keep reading that title, the shark Absorbing Man was a great visual.

Hulk 111: The title looked better when Gary Frank was doing it but he's penciling Action Comics now. It seems the Hulk has become a secondary character since the start of World War Hulk and that the Renegades is the new feature. Apparently this is a marketing strategy to get us to keep buying this title and buy the new Hulk titles as well. It's intriguing enough to keep me looking if this is going somewhere.

Heroes for Hire stop at 15. This started as a spin-off from Daughters of the Dragon, which was a fun 70s/Tarantino B-movie flick but this evolved in the wrong direction.

Wolverine Origins 19 is a great Captain America and Bucky story. Daniel Way is making good use of Brubaker's Bucky. It's about the only time that title has not disappointed.

For a rather new writer, Chris Gage brings good characterisation. Warren Ellis' Thunderbolts already has spin-offs, such as Penance and the one-shot Breaking Point that acts as a fill-in while the regular title catches up.

While I like Gulacy as an artist, I have found the Penance limited series to be uninspired.

samedi 17 novembre 2007

Comics 16 Nov (more)

Je recommande Amazing Spider-Girl, X-Men Die by the Sword, Booster Gold, Punisher

Comics 16 Nov

In Wolverine 59 we get to see many versions of Wolverine. Though Chaykin very particular style detracts from the original look he's supposed to emulate, he som, etimes manages to bring a novel look to some of them. I think of his original costume from Incredible Hulk 180-182 that Chaykin manages to make good-looking.

In Thor 4, we see the return of the Warriors Three, some of the most memorable Kirby creations that owe more to Shakespeare's Falstaff and to Errol Flynn than to Nordic mythology. JMS and Coipel do an interesting story in Africa dealing with this troubled continent. JMS should have made the human altrer ego of Fandral Australian rather than British. As for Hogun, I would have seen him more Middle Eastern than San Franciscan.

vendredi 16 novembre 2007

comics 15 nov

Suicide Squad 3. I expected an 8-issue series. It still is but the first storyline completed so I guess it's a regular series that stops at 8. Great cover by JK Snyder.
Guy Davis is very strong in BPRD but I'd like him to do something else for a change or something more personal. I guess BPRD is a good breadwinner (it deserves it too).
The Skrull invasion in New Avengers is already old before it started.
Garth Ennis keeps turning out the best Punisher stories, even though he's been at it for several years (seven? eight?). An incredible achievement. After defining him as the man who lost his family, he brings up a baby daughter.
In Booster Gold Geoff Johns and Dan Jurgens have a very entertaining series with lots of guest stars and alternate timelines. At times Jurgens' art is reminiscent fo Starlin's. A very fun comic series (and Batgirl looks fabulous).

Dan Didio (DC's editor in chief) talks of growing in the 70s and loving titles like Secret Society of Super-Villains, where two villains battle for total supremacy. Indeed this was a typical 70s book (Marvel also had series featuring villains as well as villains war in regular titles) and a great concept. Since Didio is announcing Salvation Run and describes it as that kind of book, I will check it. There's a lot of 70s influence comics these days. Actually there are influences from many different periods, a way to please several generations of readers.

I had given up the Initiative with issue 2 or 3, thinking Dan Slott was miscast. I checked issue 7 since it features Peter Parker and the Scarlet Spider. Since Slott is about to write Amazing Spider-Man, I didn't want to miss it. It's a very good story. I still don't like the penciling (which is nevertheless better than at the beginning) and the coloring.

Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely dazzle in All Star Superman and the Curse of the Replacement Supermen. With Action Comics and Superman in the hands of Busiek and Johns, the Superman comics had not been so good since the glorious 1958-63 period that Moore pais homage to in Supreme.

World War Hulk concludes with an impressive battle vs the Sentry, an old tradition harking back to the fights of Hulk vs the Thing or vs Thor. It's well made for what it is. The future looks intriguing with three developments: Hercules, Red Hulk, Son of Skaar.

dimanche 11 novembre 2007

comics 11 nov

Dans Superman, Busiek conclut the Third Kryptonian. Le scénario est toujours aussi intéressant avec son amalgame de tous les âges de Superman mais le dessin de Leonardi est bâclé.
Y The Last Man approche de la fin, les différents personnages ont convergé. Il existe un bébé mâle (et un bébé femelle).
Astonioshing X-Men aussi touche à sa fin. La meilleure série X-Men nous offre encore une fois des dessins et des couleurs de toute beauté. Le scénario est bon mais toutes les séries X-Men marquent l'épuisement du concept. Trop de séries. Après vingt ans de surexploitation, il est temps de réduire le nombre de séries. Avec les films, les dessins animés, les jeux vidéo et j'en passe, il existe trop de versions de la même chose.
Immortal Iron Fist est toujours excellent.

samedi 3 novembre 2007

comics 1 nov (more)

Dans Superman Confidential, on revisite la premiere rencontrre de Superman avec les Forever People. Une mauvaise idée, quel besoin y a-t-il de refaire ce que Kirby a fait? De plus, les auteurs placent cette rencontre après le combat contre Victor Volcanum qui avait eu lieu à la fin de Jimmy Olsen, c'est-à-dire à la fin des histoires de Kirby sur le Fourth World.

Dans Batman 670, Grant Morrison nous livre une autre fantastique aventure. Les héros de DC connaissent un véritable âge d'or (certains parlent de renaissance de l'âge d'argent ou de "neo silver age"). Le prétendu âge d'or des années 40 l'étaient surtout pour les éditeurs qui s'en mettaient plein les poches mais les histoires sont extrêmement mauvaises. Ce n'est pas juste une question d'époque : les EC Comics, les meilleurs Marvel Comics des années 60, ceux de la nouvelle génération de scénaristes des années 70, etc., sont toujours aussi agréables à lire. Autant je peux comprendre que Matt Wagner réinterprète les premières histoires de Batman, autant je ne vois pas l'intérêt de réinterpréter les classiques des années 60 ou 70.

Je ne sais pas où va aller Death of the New Gods (j'aimerais bien que Starlin arrête de dessiner sur une table plate) mais ce n'est pas mauvais.

American Virgin est toujours aussi réussi. Un autre titre incontournable de Vertigo. Ce titre est bien loin des premiers titres Vertigo, il n'y a aucun élément fantastique. On peut parler d'influence européenne ou japonaise pour expliquer l'élargissement des genres aux Etats-Unis qui a lieu depuis 20 ans (depuis 37 ans si on inclut le Bronze Age mais les innovations du Bronze Age n'ont pas duré chez les grands éditeurs).

jeudi 1 novembre 2007

comics review 1 Nov (more)

Jim Starlin writes an entertaining story with Death of the New Gods but should stop working on a flat table: it distorts figures.

American Virgin continues its exploration of sex: mixed marriage, circumcision, lesbianism are subjects debated in this issue.

comics review 2

Starlin continues to entertain in Death of the New Gods but he should really stop working on a flat table.

American Virgin continues its exploration of everything sexual: mixed marriage, virginity, circumcision, foreskin expansion, lesbianism are the subjects debated.

comics review 1 Nov

La semaine dernière Peter David reprenait She-Hulk. Il décrit lui-même la difficulté à suivre dans les pas de Dan Slott. Son premier numéro est prometteur : Crusher Creel brise le cou de Jennifer Walters et on apprend que She-Hulk existe indépendamment de Walters qui n'est pas morte.

Le nouveau Foolkiller n'a rien du personnage de Gerber. C'était à prévoir puisque le scénariste, en admirateur du Punisher de Garth Ennis, ne cherchait qu'un personnage qu'il jugeait similaire. Je regarderai le deuxième numéro pour voir si le scénariste est capable de trouver quelque chose à dire.

Ultimate Spider-Man : Immonen est très doué mais je regrette Bagley. De plus Bendis est soit à court d'idées, soit a trop de séries en même temps car on se dit qu'il étend ses histoires plus que nécessaire. Le retour à des histoires complètes en un ou deux numéros serait le bienvenu. Ou alors autant arrêter de lire les magazines et attendre le trade paperback. Tant New Avengers, Mighty Avengers que Ultimate Spider-Man manquent de punch.

Après la réintroduction du monde de Bizarro (qui s'est terminée la semaine dernière), Geoff Johns reprend dans Action Comics le thème qu'il a commencé dans le crossover Justice Society/Justice League : le retour de la Légion des Super-Héros d'avant la Crise. Gary Frank a justement un style qui convient bien. Les couleurs ne sont pas trop appuyées, à la différence de Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes où le coloriste rend le dessin illisible.

Dans Justice Society, Johns et Alex Ross ramènent le Superman de Kingdom Come. La présence d'un Superman plus âgé apporte un plus à la Justice Society.

Dans Ultimate Power 8, Jeph Loeb s'amuse avec deux versions du Supreme Squadron et les Ultimates. Le dessin de Greg Land relève l'intérêt. Pour les amateurs de bataille.

Savage Dragon 133 is still a good read. The book has that singular quality that writer/artist books have. And writer/artist books are the ones Erik Larsen admires: he mentions Frank Miller's Daredevil, Simonson's Thor, Chaykin's American Flagg as well as Byrne, Mignola and Kirby. His book has indeed that raw quality look that is found on Miller/Janson, Simonson or Chaykin. It is a breath or fresh air when most modern books are overcrowded with color and finished art that obscure the pencils as if seeing a thick black line was a sin. No wonder the best-loved books have a good and clear line art: Kirby's, Asterix, Tintin, Hernandez Brothers, Charles Burns'.

The Daredevil Annual is far from being as good as the regular title.

lundi 29 octobre 2007

comics 25 oct

La Sinestro Corps War reste à l'honneur avec Green Lantern Corps et un numéro spécial consacré à Superman-Prime qui explique son alliance improbable avec Anti-Monitor qui a détruit son univers. Les passages de Jerry Ordway sont magnifiques.

Walking Dead est toujours aussi incontournable après 43 numéros. Avec Y The Last Man, ces séries auront marqué le grand retour du thème post-apocalyptique. A cet égard on s'interrogera sur les circonstances parallèles entre l'Amérique d'aujourd'hui et celle des années Kamandi, Killraven, Deathlok, Hercules Unbound, Omac, c'est-à-dire les années 70. La Chine, l'Iran et la Colombie ont remplacé la Russie comme adversaires économiques et/ou idéologiques des USA, l'Irak est l'équivalent de la guerre du Viet-Nam tandis que le 11 septembre est le pendant des assassinats des frères Kennedy et de Martin Luther King.

Dans Thunderbolts Warren Ellis continue son exploration des monstres. Même Doc Samson semble singulièrement dérangé. Cette série qui fait régulièrement briller des personnages secondaires mérite le détour.

Ed Brubaker continue son travail de virtuose dans Daredevil. Il utilise le riche passé de la série, cette fois avec Turk, personnage développé par Miller mais existant depuis les années 60. The Hood, le récent adversaire des Vengeurs créé? par Bendis apparait aussi et le prochain numéro annonce le retour des Enforcer (sans Montana, jugé trop ridicule?)

Busiek et Johns continuent de nous donner le meilleur Superman depuis des années. Ce n'est pas un hasard si leurs histoires puisent dans la mythologie d'avant Crisis (Bizarro, Kryptoniens et space opera)

Dans Black Panther, les nouveaux Fantastic Four affrontent Psycho-Man et se retrouvent sur la planète de l'arène de combat des Skrulls qui affectionnent les années 30.

Charlie Hudson termine son passage sur Moon Knight. Il aura réussi à rendre le personnage viable.

dimanche 21 octobre 2007

Index de Palomar

Chelo's Burden

Chelo

Vicente

Jesus Angel

Israel Diaz

Sakahaftewa « Satch » Garcia

Pipo Jimenez (13)

Manuel

Soledad Marquez


Heartbreak soup

Tipin Tipin

Zomba

Gato

Carmen « Jimenez » (adopted)

Augustin Jimenez

Lucia Jimenez

Pipo Jimenez (14)

Chelo

Gordo Martinez

Vicente

Satch

Heraclio Calderon

Jesus

Toco (dies)

Israel

Manuel

Arturo

Soledad

Guero

Luba

Ofelia

Maricela

Sheriff Borro

Pintor's ghost


part 2

Tipin Tipin

Gato (all his family introduced)

Carmen

Augustin

Lucia

Pipo Jimenez (14; last name revealed; gets pregnant)

Chelo (34)

Vicente

Satch

Heraclio

Jesus

Toco (fb)

Israel

Manuel (26; dies)

Soledad Marquez (last name revealed)

Luba (gets pregnant)

Ofelia

Maricela

Sheriff Borro

Juan Cobos (first)

Doctor (first)

Padre Paco (first)

Tonantsin Carolongas (first)

Pintor's ghost


Une petite histoire

Pipo

Vicente

Satch

Jesus

Israel

Martin el Loco (first appearance; mentioned earlier)

Chelo

Tipin Tipin

Sherif Borro (last name given; unseen)


Note: occurs before Heartbreak Soup


« Toco »

Toco

Pipo

Vicente

Jesus


Note: occurs before Heartbreak Soup


Acte de contrition

Padre Paco

Martin el Loco

Chelo

Luba (also in fb at 16 « 12 or 13 years ago » before HS)

Ofelia

Maricela

Archie Ruiz (first; also in fb « 12 or 13 years ago » and as a kid)

Doralis (first)

Guadalupe (first; Heraclio's daughter)

Casimira (first)

Israel

Vicente

Satch (unseen)


The flashback in Calentura occurs 12 or 13 years ago per Archie; 16 years ago per Luba


L'arbre qui murmurait

Doralis

Guadalupe

Ofelia


Le Kyste mystérieux

Heraclio

Pepo (first)

Lali (first)

Carmen (wife of Heraclio)

Tonansin


Ecce Homo

Le Soleil moqueur

Diana Villasenor (first)

Tonanzin Villasenor (was Jesus' lover)

Jesus (was Tonantsin's lover)

Chelo

Carmen

Laura (first)

Heraclio

Satch

Israel

Vicente

Juan Cobos mentioned only

Note: 10 years after the end of Heartbreak Soup


flashback 1: Pipo, Vicente, Jesus, Chelo (earliest chronological appearance; the kids are about 6)

flashback 2: Pintor, Manuel, Jesus, Satch, Toco, Soledad

flashback 3: Jesus, Heraclio, Gato, Luba

flashback 4: Jesus, Israel, Laura (bts)


Sur la plage d'Isiro

Casimira

Guadalupe

Luba

Doralis

Maricela

Tipin

Isidro Rivas (first)


Ecce Homo

Heraclio

Carmen

Tonantzin

Luba

Maggie and Hopey, Penny, Rand, Izzy, etc.

Satch

Israel

Vicente

Maricela

Guadalupe

Martin el Loco

Pipo (married to Gato)

Sergio (first)

Isidro Rivas

Augustin

Lucia

Tipin Tipin

Diana

Borro

Chelo

Casimira

Gato

Archie

Ofelia


Un Américain à Palomar

Le Coeur réticent

Heraclio (25)

Carmen

Luba

Guadalupe (10)

Doralis

Tonantzin

Diana

Theo (first)

Chelo


flashback: Heraclio, Jesus (18), Vicente, Satch, Israel, Luba

flashback: Heraclio (15), Luba, Ofelia, Maricela,

flashback: Heraclio, Luba, Guadalupe, Doralis,


Les Limaces

Diana (less than 18)

Tonantzin (more than 18)

Theo

Chelo (bacame sheriff 10 years ago)

flashback: Heraclio, Carmen, Tonantzin (preparing food for earthquake relief few years earlier)

flashback: Chelo, Tonantzin (when Chelo sent Tonantzin, 18, to wear a coat as her skirt was too short)


Un Américain à Palomar

Augustin

Tonantzin

Carmen

Chelo

Luba

Howard Miller (first)

Isidro

Diana

Théo

Doralis

Casimira

Ofelia

Guadalupe

Maricela

Pipo

Vicente (photo only)


Les mecs seront toujours des mecs

Heraclio

Pepo

Anacleto (first)

Luba

Diana

Chelo

Carmen

Tonantzin

Zomba (mentioned only)

Doralis


Les Suçons

Vacances au soleil

Jesus

note: 12 years after Luba's arrival

flashback: Jesus, Tonantzin (lovers 1 or 2 years before he goes to prison)

flashback: Laura (to the quarrel)


Les Suçons

Heraclio

Carmen

Gloria (first)

Luba (32)

Archie

Diana

Carmen

Tonantzin

Tipin Tipin

Martin el Loco

Ofelia

Guadalupe

Maricela


Au train où vont les choses

Vicente

Gato

Luba

Doralis


Pour l'amour de Carmen

Carmen

Heraclio (27; many flashbacks; arrived in Palomar 13 years ago)

flashback: Heraclio (14), Vicente, Israel, Satch, Jesus, Toco, Carmen (11), Augustin, Lucia, Pipo, Manuel, Luba, Tonantzin (earliest chronological appearance); Laura Gomez, Sergio, Howard Miller, Tipin, Chelo

flashbacks: Heraclio arrives in Palomar and makes friends; has sex wih Luba; goes to high school, to college, comes back to Palomar, attends Jesus mariage (which lasted 3 years) where he meets Carmen again; meets Pipo (with Sergio); asks Carmen in marriage (Augustin and Lucia); earliest appearances of Carmen and Pipo; tells Luba never to tell about them; marries at 23; Carmen and Tonantzin; Carmen and Israel lovers one year ago; Howard Miller and Tonantzin; Israel, Luba, Doralis talk together about Miller; Carmen throw fish on Luba and Heraclio in spite of Chelo; Vicente leaves for the US; Satch and family; Pipo back in Palomar divorcing from Gato; Carmen pregnant.


Palomar volume II

Pieds palmés 1986 12 pages (Luba is stuck in a hole, kids steal the skull from a bruja's baby, Roberto gets killed fleeing Chelo after killing his grandfather)

Chelo (+ flashback)

Roberto Reyna (first; dies, last name confirmed in Human Diastrophism)

Roberto's grand-father

Gato (Roberto's brother)

Pipo

Sergio

Casimira

Guadalupe

Luba

Ofelia

Xiohmara

Heraclio

Carmen

Maricela

Tonantzin

Boots

Lorraina

Doralis

Theo

Bruja (witch)

Miguel (prisoner and lover of Chelo)


partie deux 16 pages (The village is sick, Tonantzin is deputy sheriff, Geraldo wants to avenge Roberto)

Tonantzin

Bruja

Diana

Martin

Ofelia

Doralis

Guadalupe

Maricela

Geraldo (cousin de Roberto)

Miguel

Errata Stigmata

flashback 1: Guadalupe, Luba, Doralis, Casimira

flashback 2: Archie, Luba, Guadalupe

flashback 3: Luba, Guadalupe, Doralis, Casimira, ?

flashback 4: Luba, Guadalupe

Boots

Theo

Tomaso (first)


Le vieux, 20 pages (Jesus tries desperately to find his lost sister, he has many lovers)

flashback: Pipo, Toco, Satch, Israel, Aurora Diaz (Israel's sister, disappeared), Vicente, Jesus (as children)

Gato Reyna (last name given)

Marcos (first, travestite)

Satch

Tonantzin

Le vieux (first; Israel's lover)

Vicente

Pipo (leaves Gato)

Sofia (first; Israel's lover)

Jesus

Karla (first, Israel's lover)

Israel Diaz

Sergio (11, not seen)

Saturnino (Vicente's friend, not seen)

Marta (first; Satch's wife)

flashback: Israel, Manuel?, Jesus, Vicente, Tonantzin (as teenagers, Israel has first sex)

Jorge and Mimi (two male lovers)


Sugar n' Spikes, 1988, 3 pages

flashback: Vicente, Pipo (as children), Pipo's family, Toco, Jesus, Manuel?, Israel


Dans les étoiles, dec 1985, 4 pages

Theo,

Guadalupe,

Maricela

Luba,

Ofelia

Doralis

Casimira


Le fardeau d'Heraclio, 1989, 2 pages

flashback (just after Heartbreak Soup): Heraclio (youth), Tonantzin, Diana (as children), Luba, Pipo, Sergio (baby), Guadalupe (baby), Maricela


Diastrophisme humain, 1987/1988, 105 pages

Luba (34)

Maricela,

Guadalupe (10)

Doralis

flashback: Luba, Peter, Antonino (father of Maricela?), Heraclio (as an adult), Carmen, Khamo (first; Doralis' and Casimira's father), Ofelia (at the birth of a baby),

Archie

Tonantzin (dies)

Diana

Alcalde Jesus Bernal (mayor; killed)

Marlena Bernal (dead)

Chelo

Humberto (teenager who draws)

Augustin

Boots

Lorraina

Ofelia Beltran (last name given)

Chango Valdes (first, Ofelia's lover, excavation worker)

Concha

Riri

Casimira

Pipo (divorced)

Carmen (pregnant)

Geraldo Mejia (Pequeca Jones)

two white teenagers

Martin

Chancla Garcia (first; Martin's girlfriend, nearly killed by Tomaso)

Tomaso (excavation worker)

Khamo (excavation worker, burned)

Tipin Tipin

Theo

Aldo Munkres (dead)

Sven Anderson (archeologist, killed)

flashback: Tomaso (as a small kid, boy, young man)

Debbie (Sven's girlfriend)

La Li (barman)

Chuy and Marlena (killed)

Padre

Borro

Miguel Ramos (last name given)

flashbacks: Luba and Heraclio in bed; Luba pregnant with Guadalupe, Heraclio, Chelo; Luba, Heraclio, Maricela, Guadalupe; Heraclio, Guadalupe

Xiohmara

flashback: Manuel, Pipo;

flashback: Pipo Sergio (3) Luba Guadalupe (3) Ofelia, Maricela

Tipin Tipin

Tito Phoebus Apollo Calderon (born)

Howard Miller

Cathy (his girlfriend)


Be Bop A Lula 1992, 1 page

Heraclio, Carmen, Tito (kid), Calderon twins, Khamo, Ofelia, Luba's unnamed daughter (Socorro), Joselito, Concepcion (Luba's seventh child),


Adieu mon Palomar, part 1, 1993, 5 pages (Pipo, Sergio, Diana, Guadalupe leave for US)

Jesus Angel

Marcos

flashback: Luba, Jesus, Israel, Vicente, Heraclio, Satch, Ofelia, Maricela, Guadalupe (baby), Pipo, Sergio (baby), Carmen, Gato

Israel

Satch

Satch's daughter


part 2, 3 pages

Jesus

Satch's daughter

flashback: Chelo, Diana, Tonantzin, Jesus, Pipo, Gato, Sergio (boy), Carmen , Heraclio, Luba, Maricela, Guadalupe, Doralis, Casimira (baby), Laura, Vicente,

part 3, 5 pages

Luba

Guadalupe (14)

Carmen

Pipo (29)

Ofelia

Heraclio

Joselito

Tito

Socorro (Luba's daughter)

Concepcion

Diana

Chelo

Jesus

Vicente

Vicente's wife

Sergio (ca 14)

Khamo

Concepcion

Calderon twins

Casimira

Tipin


part 4, 3 pages

Gato

Vicente

Jesus

white teenager

Pipo

Guadalupe

flashback: Tonantzin, Jesus

Khamo

Casimira


L'inconscient joue des tours, 1993-95, 19 pages

Tomaso Marin (last name revealed)

flashback: Tomaso and Luba in bath and after

Chester

Doralis (14, married to Chester)

Ofelia

Casimira

Joselito

Bruno Goyas

Socorro (Luba's daughter name revealed)

Sergio Jimenez Reyna

Inez Perez

Pipo

Guadalupe (pregnant)

Maricela

Winona (first; Maricela's girlfriend)

Chelo

Jesus

Gato

Heraclio

Carmen

Twins

Tito

Luba

Khamo

Pipo's boss

Alphonso

Diana

Concepcion

Gregory (Diana's husband)

Diana's daughter

Riri (pregnant)

Tipin Tipin

flashforward: Joselito, Concepcion, Socorro


Comment ça s'est passé, 1996, 1 page

Chelo

Vicente

Jesus

Gato

Luba


Pipo, 1993, 4 pages

Pipo (14 when Sergio is born)


Carmen, 1994, 1 page

Carmen

Chelo

Diana

Tipin

Vicente

Pipo

Tito

Twins


Un autre arbre mystérieux, 1993, 3 pages

Gorgo (1927)

Papa Pito

Tipin, Tipin (boy, 1943)

Chelo (girl, 1943)


Gorgo

Maria

Luba


Luba conquiert le monde 1993-95, 16 pages

Maria (22 when gives birth to Luba, 26 goes to US, 38 Petra born, 40 Fritz born, dies 62)

Gorgo, Luba (20 years ago, before meeting Ofelia)

Gorgo

Ofelia

Theo

Boots

Luba

Petra

Fritz

Inez Perez

Pipo

Alphonso

Guadalupe

her son (Jaime)

Sofronio

Doralis

Ofelia

Casimira

Joselito

Socorro

Concepcion

Gato

Jesus

Errata Stigmata

Tipin Tipin

Tita (first)

Maricela

Khamo

flashback: Maria, Luba (baby)


Epilogue: Chelo's Burden, 1995-1996, 24 pages (Palomar leveled by an earthquake)

photos: Heraclio, Tonantzin, Luba, Maricela

Maricela

Jaime (name revealed)

Chelo

Boots

Howard Miller

Theo

Diana

Martin

Heraclio

Carmen

Pipo

Luba

Archie

Khamo

Ofelia

Petra

Socorro

Fritz

Petra's father

Gato

Guadalupe

Venus

Vicente

Jesus

Satch

Casimira

Gorgo

Doralis

Joselito

Augustin

Carmen

Lucia

Mrs Jimenez

Humberto

Dr Ramirez (killed)

Israel

Marcos

Tito

Twins

Tipin Tipin

Xiohmara

Sergio

Isabel Ortiz


New Love #1

Letters from Venus 1995-1996, 6 pages

Venus

Petra Vasquez

Yoshio

Tonya

Fritz

Mr. Vasquez

Carlos (bookstore clerk)


Nevermind, 1996

Fritz


New Love #2

Life on Mars 1996

Venus

Fritz

Petra

Carlos

Mr. Vasquez

his other two children


Palomar volume 2

Palomar regroupe les aventures des personnages créés par Gilbert Hernandez dans Love and Rockets. Sa production (et celle de son frère Jaime) a déjà été publiée dans une vingtaine de volumes mais Palomar est une compilation différente. Elle ne regroupe que les histoires concernant Luba et sa famille et les habitants de Palomar (y compris ceux qui émigrent aux USA) à partir du moment où Luba s'installe à Palomar (à la fin des années 60 ou au début des années 70) et jusqu'au moment où elle décide de quitter la ville. Poison River, la saga qui révèle la jeunesse de Luba, ne fait pas partie de la collection. Publiée en deux volumes (contre un seul dans l'édition originale), cette immense saga couvre donc 25 à 30 ans d'histoire.
Les personnages vieillissent au même rythme que le monde réel et Luba, de jeune fille devient grand-mère. Les grandes compagnies font aussi vieillir leurs personnages, mais bien plus lentement que le temps réel.

Robin, de jeune garçon est devenu un adolescent puis un adulte. Spider-Man qui avait quinze ans la première fois que nous l'avons vu en a maintenant 30 (même si Marvel préfère faire régner le flou et a même essayé de faire marche arrière en 1999 en prétendant qu'il n'avait que 20 ans alors même que Jessica Jones avait vieilli de quinze ans). Les enfants introduits dans les années 60 sont devenus des adolescents (à l'exception du fils de Curtis Connors qui souffre sans doute d'un retard de développement ou d'une maladie congénitale), les bébés nés après les débuts de l'ère Marvel sont des enfants (tels Franklin Richards, né en 1968 et d'âge scolaire) Ainsi Julie Power dit avoir 18 ans (elle n'en avait que 11 à sa création en 1984 et semble donc avoir gagné 1 an tous les 3 ans alors que les autres personnages Marvel n'ont gagné qu'un an tous les quatre ou cinq ans au cours de la même période). Curieusement Julie Power a vieilli d'autant d'années depuis 1984 que Franklin depuis 1968.

Alors quechez Marvel et DC le vieillissement de leurs personnages est parfois en porte à faux avec le fait que les personnages n'évoluent guère (sauf Dick Grayson qui semble rattraper l'âge de Bruce Wayne) Gilbert Hernandez transforme parfois radicalent ses personnages. Il ne les fait pas vieillir graduellement mais par à-coups. Guadalupe n'est pas née dans la première histoire, puis elle est enfant, puis adolescente, puis mère. D'autres personnages se transforment complètement (Khamo, Tonantzin). C'est d'ailleurs dans sa capacité à recréer ses personnages , dans ce renouvellement périodique de la donne, que Hernandez parvient à maintenir l'intérêt. Il a un ensemble de pas moins d'une vingtaine de personnages dont il raconte la vie mais qui tourne autour de Luba et il sera intéressant de voir comment il choisira de traiter le moment inéluctable où il devra faire mourir Luba qui reste son personnage central. En choisissant justement de raconter des histoires du vieux Palomar, il pourrait institutionnaliser l'emploi du flashback qui est une constante de son oeuvre. Si cela venait à se faire au détriment de l'évolution actuelle, ce serait regrettable. Beaucoup d'auteurs qui au début faisaient vieillir leurs personnages sont revenus sur leur politique (Stan Lee, Lynn Johnston)

Un défaut du recueil est que les histoires ne sont pas toujours dans l'ordre chronologique, ni de leur création ni des personnages.

Batgirl Year One

Cette série de 2002-2003 est un petit bijou. Inspiré de Batman Year One, elle l'est aussi de Batman Adventures, le style de Marcos Martin est à mi-chemin entre David Mazzuchelli et le dessin animé. Le scénario de Scott Beatty et Chuck Dixon montre la joie manifeste qu'ils ont eu à travailler sur cette série. Killer Moth, Firefly gagnent en profondeur tandis que Jason Bard acquiert une nouvelle origine. Le héros créé en 1969 ne peut plus être un vétéran blessé au Viet-nam, il est donc un policier. On aurait pu en faire un vétéran d'Afghanistan.

Les dessins et les couleurs rendent bien la joie que procure l'activité de justicier à Robin et Batgirl. Les motivations de Barbara Gordon sont bien exposées. Le flirt de Robin (qui doit bien avoir quatre ans de moins que Barbara si on considère la chronologie d'origine) avec Barbara souligne l'idée qu'on a là des adolescents qui ont besoin de faire les quatre cents coups.

Les auteurs rendent hommage aux auteurs passés de Batman avec des noms comme Infantino, o'Neil et Adams qui apparaissent comme enseigne ou comme noms de rue.

samedi 20 octobre 2007

Showcase Presents Batgirl

Batgirl was created in 1966 at the time of the Batman TV series. She was a better conceived character than the earlier Batgirl but the stories were rather silly. DC Stories of that time period are not a match for Marvel stories. Batgirl didn't have her own series so what we get is a series of guest appearances and a few back-up features. The sampling of DC titles where she appears include Detective Comics, Batman, World's Finest, Justice League of America, Brave and the Bold and Adventure Comics. Only Neal Adams is a cut above the rest. Gil Kane and Murphy Anderson are a dynamic team, Irv Novick is a solid craftsman. From 1969, the silly plots and super-villains disappear for the most part while we get crime stories.
Pour la prochaine fois je parlera de Batgirl Year One, la série de 2003.

vendredi 19 octobre 2007

Comics 17 oct

Marvel et DC ont annoncé leurs parutions de janvier. J'ai regardé ce qui allait sortir dans les collections de réimpressions. Marvel annonce Essential Captain America 4, ce qui veut dire que la quasi-totalité de la série jusqu'au 214 est disponible (les épisodes 193 à 214 par Jack Kirby ont été édités en couleurs, tout comme deux volumes de Englehart). Les épisodes qui suivent, pourtant par Gerber, sont de piètre qualité. Marvel prévoit aussi Marvel Saga, une série des années 80 qui se contentait de présenter les débuts de l'univers Marvel dans l'ordre chronologique. De peu d'intérêt, alors qu'il existe encore tant de joyaux à redécouvrir. A quand le Black Panther de McGregor? Ou même les séries de guerre comme Sergent Fury and his Howling Commandos ou les westerns?

Justement DC prévoit la parution d'Enemy Ace, ce qui sera au moins le cinquième volume de guerre dans la collection Showcase Presents. Les volumes Aquaman, Robin et Superman Family me laissent froid.

Dwayne McDuffie continue avec Unlimited dans Justice League (allusion au dessin animé Justice League Unlimited dont il était scénariste). Même alors que toute la League est hors jeu, il reste un personnage noir (Black Lightning) et Superman. D'une part je peux comprendre que McDuffie écrive des personnages noirs (et comme Black Lightning est un prof dans son identité civile, il est sans doute le personnage dont McDuffie se sent le plus proche) mais c'est
un peu trop évident dans ses séries. Pourquoi ne pas inclure des super-vilains noirs et explorer leur psychologie?

Paul Gulacy est avec son ami Steve Rude l'un des rares dessinateurs que je suis. Son travail sur Penance, bien que de bonne facture, me fait regretter l'encrage de Jimmy Palmiotti qui avait donné un coup de jeune au style de Gulacy. Pourtant, la collaboration semble être étroite entre Gulacy et son coloriste. Le scénario de Paul Jenkins est moyen. Le personnage est peu sympathique et n'a plus rien à voir avec ce qu'il était. Qui a jamais vu une personne enthousiaste devenir masochiste à cause d'une unique tragédie, aussi dramatique soit-elle? Une mauvaise idée de Civil War (on doit aussi à Jenkins une autre des pires idées de Marvel: Sentry)

ABC Warriors s'interrompt dans 2000AD. Les peintures de Clint Langley valent le détour tout autant que les scénarios de Mills. C'est la seule série intéressante de 2000AD. Même Button Man est décevant. Il faut plus de bizarrerie et d'humour noir dans Dredd. Ont-ils perdu la formule?

Jim Starlin commence Death of the New Gods. cela fait curieux de voir ces personnages se faire décimer, notamment celui qui meurt à la fin du premier numéro qui est sans doute mon préféré. Le concept est le même que les séries "The End" de Marvel. Tant Scott Free que Darkseid possèdent l'équation anti-vie et les Forever People font partie du mystère. Le style de Starlin a évolué. Parfois les personnages semblent allongés, avec des cous trop longs.

Ennis et Robertson semblent usés dans The Boys. Le coloriste fait disparaître les dessins comme le font hélas beaucoup des jeunes coloristes.

Brubaker continue de nous tenir en haleine dans Captain America et le costume du futur Captain America par Alex Ross a été révélé.

Claremont termine New Excalibur et lance X-Men: Die by the Sword qui combine ses deux séries du moment: New Excalibur et Exiles. L'occasion pour Claremont d'avoir plus d'X-Men avec Psylocke et Longshot qui retrouvent Dazzler tandis que Nocturne retrouve ses camarades d'Exiles. Claremont écrit bien mais il lui manque un dessinateur imaginatif qui participe à la création de l'histoire comme pouvaient le faire Dave Cockrum, John Byrne ou Alan Davis.

Waid et Perez sont formidables dans Brave and the Bold. Waid semble déterminer à accorder une place aux héros du Silver Age.

Marvel Zombies 2 est arrivé. Les auteurs sont égaux à eux-mêmes. L'idée a fait son chemin.

Je pense que Bendis n'a plus grand-chose à apporter mais il essaie. Dans Mighty Avengers il continue avec les ballons de pensée qui avaient disparu des comics depuis pas mal d'années. Cela dit, il semble arriver à court d'idées. Le dialogue avec Ares capte l'attention.

vendredi 12 octobre 2007

Comics 11 oct

Exterminators is the kind of comics which is so unusual on the American market and not so by foreign standards. It remains a fun read. I would have thought Darick Robertson an ideal penciler after his work on Transmetropolitan, Fury and Punisher Born. Yet it is not so. A part of any standout comics is the novelty in the art. One doesn't have to be a new one. Many pencilers changed their style many years after they became professional: Miller, Chaykin, Byrne, Simonson.

Green Lantern is always as good as ever. The Sinestro War should be the story of the year at the next awards. This time Geoff Johns threatens to level Coast City again. He's like a musician playing familiar riffs in new combinations.

He's applying the same the same technique in Booster Gold, but this is not so successful.

Rick Leonardi has proved surprisingly good on Superman, proof that an old warhorse from the eighties can still shine.

Suicide Squad suffers from the lack of a team and the no-holds barred fights between mortal enemies. I doubt this series will incite enough interest for a follow-up.

Spider-Man: One More Day part 2 is much better than part I (with Iron Man). Dr. Strange is one of the few Marvel heroes that fits well with Spidey, no doubt due to their common original penciller Steve Ditko.