by Michael Vance & Dr. Jon Suter
August 4, 1999
Reviews in this issue:
Ghost/Hellboy Special #1
A Writer's Guide To The Business of Comics
pages, priced at $2.50, from Dark Horse Comics. Written by Mike Mignola, art by
Scott Benefiel. Sold in comics shops and by mail.
years of mob war over gambling, prostitution, drugs, whatever. A century of
thugs killing each other in the street with way too many innocent people getting
caught in the middle.
does all that blood go?"
It goes into
the premise of the Ghost/Hellboy Special, and this comic kicks.
It kicks the
city of Arcadia to its knees. Ghost is slain and raining death on the thugs of
Arcadia. Hellboy is hunting Ghost for the Bureau for Paranormal Research and
Defense, and for the added sales from two popular characters in one title.
The result is a
dark, violent tale of shadows.
some will find its violence excessive, either ignoring or overlooking its proper
purpose in a story, forgetting that even the Bible is violent.
correctly paints violence as ugly sin, and its only justified use as defense.
some will find the writing exceptional. Ugly, hard, cold, it sets the tone both
for the decadence of Arcadia and its citizens. Tight, fast and pointed, it turns
the second rate character of Ghost into a first rate player by making her The
Shadow (another famous vigilante), in a dress.
the art is outstanding. Its balance of action and a claustrophobic fatalism is
intriguing. It knows when to visually talk and when to say nothing in background
detail. It implies more violence than is actually shown.
this violence is acceptable, and the Ghost/Hellboy Special is highly
recommended for unabashed comics fans.
Writer's Guide To The Business of Comics
Press, written by Lurene Haines.
A comprehensive but slightly padded book on everything from comics contracts to bookkeeping for novice comics writers.
would happen if Beast (of "Beauty and the Beast") lived in "The
House of Usher" with Dracula as its landlord. Above average gothic horror.
Superman is the
most durable of comic book heroes, and has survived lethal foes from Toyman to
Luthor to Doomsday.
In the long
run, his most dangerous enemies could be the artists and writers who chronicle
his adventures. No one seems able to maintain the level of intensity needed to
keep the character interesting.
Just when it
seems nothing new can be extracted from Superman, along comes something
different. Three current titles are worth consideration.
The first, an
oversized volume, appeared in late 1998, Peace on Earth. Fans of Alex
Ross's paintings of Superman and other heroes will want this. Others will be
intrigued by the plot's attempt to answer the old question, "Why does a
world with Superman still endure war, poverty, etc.?" For $9.95, this is a
oversized volume, Superman/Fantastic Four, is a collaboration between DC
and Marvel Comics in which Superman teams up with the Fantastic Four to battle
the planet devourer Galactus. This is a least as good as the two Superman
crossovers with Marvel's Spiderman several years ago.
script and art are good. His rendition of The Thing is as good as any of Jack
Kirby's. Some panels seem a bit rushed, but may be due to the inking rather than
The one missing
ingredient is Marvel's Silver Surfer, a character closely associated with
Galactus. Since Superman becomes a herald for Galactus, some reference to the
Surfer seems appropriate. For fans of crossover stories, this is another good
buy at $9.95.
The third and
best item is a four-issue series entitled Generations. John Byrne uses
DC's Elseworld format to follow the careers of Superman and Batman from 1929 to
1999. I've always admired Byrne and this is one of the most satisfying stories
he's ever written.
The plot is
based on the natural aging of the characters. There is enough tragedy to satisfy
anyone, but there is also an optimism rarely seen these days.
Give this an
Reviewed by Dr.
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