Related Articles

36 users responded in this post

Subscribe to this post comment rss or trackback url
mygif

I find it fascinating that the “Essentials” series seems to be all about discovering the characters and the histories while the “Showcase” series seems to be about revealing the fun side of comics and continuity be damned.

Also: the quick two-page parody of 90s comics and the two-page great American novel excerpt in the Ambush Bug Showcase are among the funniest things ever. Advantageous!

ReplyReply
mygif
Tom Galloway said on April 23rd, 2010 at 12:35 pm

No Superman Family? Reprints of the surreal Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane stories of the sixties, where Jimmy was an egomaniac who’d drink any random space serum Superman left lying around *and* had an international fan club, and Lois was constantly scheming how to marry Superman, only to be frequently taught lessons by him in a way that inspired the “Superman is a dick” site. The current latest volume ends with my favorite Jimmy story ever, which has him dressed up as a girl that multiple mobsters fall for, him approving of the killing of one of said mobsters since “he’d escaped from the death house, so really this just saved the state the trouble”, and showed that the Comics Code preferred bestiality over homosexuality (rather than be kissed by one of the mobsters, Jimmy gets him to kiss a chimp in the dark. The mobster exclaims how great the kissing is).

ReplyReply
mygif

Thanks for the list, I’ve been waffling about a bunch of these for ages.

ReplyReply
mygif

Superman Family wouldn’t make my list (if I had a list) because while it’s really weird, it’s also not that interesting and gets repetitive really fast in its weirdness.

Really, my only complaint with the list is including Hawkman over Doom Patrol. Because fuck Hawkman, that’s why.

ReplyReply
mygif

I don’t need any particular extra motivation to want to cockpunch Brad Meltzer.

ReplyReply
mygif

In defense of Brad Meltzer, his actual handling of Ralph himself was wonderful and humane (even though his Sue, from what little we saw of her, was thin and bland, not at all the wonderful snarky character she was).

And really, when it comes to the rape of Sue Dibny, there’s good reason to believe that Meltzer was just the hired gun to deliver an editorial edict:

http://occasionalsuperheroine.blogspot.com/2006/11/goodbye-to-comics-7-we-need-rape-my.html

ReplyReply
mygif
DistantFred said on April 23rd, 2010 at 2:07 pm

MGK: Are you saying that there’s a problem with having Jimmy Olsen turn into a werewolf three times over the course of one Showcase book?

ReplyReply
mygif

Bah, MGK! While I do think Doom Patrol should be on the list (because that shit is crazy, yo, way cooler than Ambush Bug), I have that first Hawkman volume, and it’s a riot. And John’s right, Katar and Shiera are incredibly fun together – it’s almost like watching a cool couple fight aliens is better than watching that couple have discreetly-drawn sex in a temple of their own memories.

And that Metamorpho volume is pure gold, too. The only thing that’s missing here in my eyes is Phantom Stranger, but House of Mystery is a fine substitute.

ReplyReply
mygif
Kid Kyoto said on April 23rd, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Some tough calls in there, glad that Ambush Bug made the cut. I’m kind of surprised Batman and the Outsiders even came close, it was pretty much the most generic 80s hero team ever.

I do need to get some Sgt Rock books, I still have a Sgt Rock digest I got in grade school that I treasure.

ReplyReply
mygif
Mary Warner said on April 23rd, 2010 at 3:23 pm

I only read horror books occasionally when I was a kid, but House Of Mystery was the one I liked best. Although it did really creep me out at times.
Jonah Hex creeped me out the one time I read it as well. I don’t remember the story; only that it was really disturbing. (I was only eight, though.)
The very first super-hero book I ever read was a Detective Comics with an Elongated Man back-up story. It had Ralph and Sue investigating some mystery at a movie studio or something, and if I remember correctly, I loved it more than the Batman story. I never read anything with him again, except for a few Justice League issues in which he didn’t do much, but still, Ralph was one of the very first super-heroes I ever encountered and he holds a place in my heart for that.

ReplyReply
mygif

Would have liked to have seen DOOM PATROL make the list, and I’d probably rank SUPERMAN higher – other than that, your list is spot-on. Glad to see the Legion get their due here – you’re absolutely right, those are some top notch comics awesome.

ReplyReply
mygif
Dan Coyle said on April 23rd, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Fuck absolving Meltzer. His other work proves the massive trust issues he’s got with women that make Identity Crsis more uncomfortable than it would have been written by someone else.

ReplyReply
mygif
Brian T. said on April 23rd, 2010 at 6:28 pm

Being reminded that Dan DiDio and at least one editor were involved in that decision just makes me want to cockpunch them too.

Additionally, I want to cockpunch all the “geniuses” behind 52 for the allegedly “brilliant” idea of having Ralph and Sue stuck together on earth as ghosts.

Just because Geoff Johns thinks something is cool, that isn’t a good enough reason to completely ruin a great character.

See also: anything involving Hawkman not being an alien cop with an origin you can explain without sounding like a total dork just for knowing that stuff.

ReplyReply
mygif

I’d rather have Ralph and Sue alive and well as they were pre-IC, but what on earth is wrong with RALPH AND SUE DIBNY: GHOST DETECTIVES? At least they’re back together in their full snarky glory, rather than having Ralph be alone and angsting all the time. Now if only someone would actually use them…

ReplyReply
mygif

I’ve got to throw in a meaningless vote for the two Brave And The Bold volumes. Classic Bob Kanigher 70s craziness with some top notch artwork.

ReplyReply
mygif

Just because Geoff Johns thinks something is cool, that isn’t a good enough reason to completely ruin a great character.

I know it’s fun to blame Johns for everything bad in comics, but Ralph and Sue as ghosts detectives was Waid and Morrison’s idea. (Waid specifically mentions that in his 52 Exit Interview on Newsarama.)

ReplyReply
mygif

I own way too many of these things, and was operating under a self-imposed moratorium until this week, when Dial H for Hero broke my resolve. Good call on Metamorpho, Legion and Elongated Man – all three are a joy. As are all the rest, of course.

I have to recommend the Phantom Stranger collection: it’s a terrific time on a number of levels, but by far the most entertaining is watching Dr thirteen get more and more angry at the phantom Stranger for being all supernatural until he just starts hitting him in the face as soon as he shows up.

ReplyReply
mygif
lance lunchmeat said on April 23rd, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Still waiting for a Rex showcase.

ReplyReply
mygif
Brian T. said on April 23rd, 2010 at 7:34 pm

“I know it’s fun to blame Johns for everything bad in comics, but Ralph and Sue as ghosts detectives was Waid and Morrison’s idea. (Waid specifically mentions that in his 52 Exit Interview on Newsarama.)”

I know. That’s one of the reasons why I have Waid and Morrison on my “Guys Who Need to Be Cockpunched” list.

I guess I was unclear. I’ve seen Johns rave in interviews about how awesome that idea is. And I was like, “We’re gonna have to agree to disagree on that one, bub.”

It’s fun to give him part of the blame anyway, because it seems like the number one rule for DC since Infinite Crisis has been: “It’s only in continuity if Geoff likes it.”

And since he likes the ghost detective thing, there goes my fanboyish hope that Deadman or somebody would resurrect them one day…

If it wasn’t for occasional comments like the one by Mr. Hefner, I would have completely dismissed the ghost detectives thing as something that the lunatics running DC’s asylum like more than the readers do.

For one thing, it’s a lame rip-off of the old movie Topper. For another thing, it dooms them to a pretty crappy afterlife. And it doesn’t really make up for all the ways they made Ralph suffer before he died.

The whole premise seems more like proof that you can get DiDio to approve just about anything if you get him drunk at a convention than a valid storytelling device.

Ralph was a guy who got his superpower from a bad tasting soft drink, for crying out loud. He was never supposed to be grim ‘n gritty. He wasn’t supposed to be Alec Baldwin’s character from Beetlejuice either.

ReplyReply
mygif
Dr. Creaux said on April 23rd, 2010 at 9:21 pm

I was hoping that Elongated Man would be on this list…because that’s the only one I have.

Actually, that’s not true, I think I got a Wonder Woman one for my wife….

ReplyReply
mygif

I dunno, I’ve got two shelves of the Showcase books, and I can see most of them finding new homes one of these days, but they’ll pry the Bat Lash book from my cold, dead fingers. Bat Lash is fantastic.

ReplyReply
mygif

I’m going to put in another vote for Brave and the Bold vol 1. It’s Batman and all, and I know there doesn’t need to be another reason to pick it up, but it has the most amazing transition of any series I’ve ever seen.

On issue you’re watching pure silver age nonsense (Wonder Woman and Batgirl competing to see who can give Batman the best birthday gift to win his love. Wonder Woman builds a solid-gold statue at super speed). The very next issue is Neil Adams drawing a murder in cold blood on page 1, and a Batman/Deadman team up to solve the murder. It. is. amazing.

ReplyReply
mygif

You’ve earned my undying respect for Elongated Man at #1, but still, I’m a comics fan, so I’m here to nitpick: No Doom Patrol or Brave and the Bold? For shame.

ReplyReply
mygif
Badficwriter said on April 23rd, 2010 at 11:39 pm

@Tom Galloway, your characterization of Jimmy Olsen has me on a tangent comparing Sentry to a composite Jimmy Olsen/Superman/Something Else.

ReplyReply
mygif

Damn it people put down the rose colored glasses. These comics are terrible.

ReplyReply
mygif

That’s right, stop fucking enjoying what you read! It’s more important that your opinions coincide with mine than that you derive happiness from your activities!

You! Right there! I saw you liking something I think is terrible! Stop it right now!

ReplyReply
mygif
Marionette said on April 24th, 2010 at 10:14 am

Personally, I love the dysfunctional relationships in the Superman titles. I’m also enjoying a lot of Green Lantern, except when written by Gardner Fox. Wonder Woman isn’t nearly as much fun as I’d expected, and Batgirl was pretty disposable, but I’m really enjoying Supergirl, and can’t wait for the next instalment.

ReplyReply
mygif

If anyone can say, with a straight face, that House of Mystery or Metamorpho are terrible comics, then maybe they just don’t like comics. Or they haven’t read those comics. Or they’re a robot programmed with misery and spite – is that close, MXM-194?

By the way, as much I adore Enemy Ace, that’s one that I think necessitates the DC Archives full color treatment. Holy God are those pages beautiful, and moody as hell.

ReplyReply
mygif

Add me to the voices that feel Doom Patrol should have made the cut.

The fact that Elongated Man and Metamorpho are on the list makes up for this. Almost. ;)

Suicide Squad is another one I’m looking forward too — assuming it still gets released (I seem to remember there might have been some problems with that). It wasn’t fun in the light-hearted way some of the other titles mentioned were, but it was a great read.

ReplyReply
mygif

The first sentence to the last paragraph should have ended “looking forward to.”

ReplyReply
mygif

Showcase Presents Dial H for Hero is demented in the most wonderful way.

ReplyReply
mygif
Mike Loughlin said on April 25th, 2010 at 7:15 pm

I own 3 Showcase volumes: Jonah Hex (are we ever getting vol. 2?), Bat-Lash (awesome, and I wish it could be twice as long), and Warlord. While I wouldn’t put Warlord on par with the material here that I’ve read, it’s a fun take on sword-&-sorcery. Grell made a genre I don’t seek out readable by remembering to put some humor into it.

While I like the Fox/ Kubert/ Anderson Hawkman comics, I still miss the Hawkworld version. Freakin’ continuity.

ReplyReply
mygif
stealthwise said on April 25th, 2010 at 9:59 pm

MDF, it sounded to me like Suicide Squad was going to get reprinted in full-colour trades, like Justice League International. I think they make more money that way.

ReplyReply
mygif

Hmmm. Well, I work in a library and one of my unofficial duties is to check all the manga/comics catalogues for potential acquisitions.

The last one I checked (which was pimping Blackest Night’s trade release on the cover said Suicide Squad Showcase 1) was coming out.

But having heard all these other things, that’s where all the confusion came from. It adds weight, but even catalogues have been wrong from time to time.

Doesn’t change that, black or white or colour, the Squad is still awesome.

ReplyReply
mygif

As someone who owns the first Archive Edition volume of Hawkman because I found it cheap, I can’t fathom why anyone would recommend his Silver Age series – and I say this as a guy with a general fondness for Hawkman.

The Kubert art is appealing, I can’t deny that, but the “love triangle” set up in the Hawks’ civilian guises just struck me as incredibly skeevy. “Oh, we can’t say we’re married to each other while we’re pretending to be earthlings, dear! People might realize we’re really Hawkman and Hawkgirl!” And then like a quarter of the stories revolve around this one woman who keeps trying to get into Katar’s hawk-pants, who he conveniently can’t tell to shove off because it might arouse suspicion. The whole scenario was unpleasant in a way to me that, say, Ray Palmer constantly proposing and being rejected by Jean Loring, Lady Lawyer was not.

(Unrelatedly, whenever I see Matter Master, I can’t but think of The Monarch from Venture Brothers.)

ReplyReply
mygif

[...] back at the beginning of my time on this site, I waxed rhapsodic about ‘The Elongated Man’, but I think it’s been long enough that it’s [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Please Note: Comment moderation may be active so there is no need to resubmit your comments