Tales of the Beanworld has been on my to-read list for years. Sounds like it's time to kick it to the top and rectify this terrible oversight in my comic reading.
I love it so much - It really is like nothing else I've ever read, and itt's got such depth of theme, dealing with the nature of reality and spiritual existence 'an stuff... and at the same time it's totally accesable to bright six year olds.
Yeah, seriously. Like the blurb says, it's not just a book, it's an experience.
So... between the pre-Christmas rush at work, and the seasonal celebrations themselves... I appear to have fallen WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY behind. So without further ado (I'll save the ado for afterwards) I present to you...
T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #2 (January, 1966)
One thing I'm proud of is that I don't buy bad comics featuring characters I like anymore. The one exception is probably these guys. I'm so glad the planned Liefeld revival never came about because it would have tested me to my limits. The THUNDER Agents combine so many of my great loves - a somewhat off-kilter take on superheroes, 1960's superspy craziness, some truly compelling characters, and some of comics most justifiably acclaimed talent, spearheaded of course by the spectacularly gifted Wally Wood. THUNDER is one of the places where my 'old fart'ness kicks in when people talk about Warren Ellis in 'Stormwatch' or Mark Millar in 'The Ultimates' treat superheroes as government employees as somehow cutting edge, I can usually be heard grumbling "Yeah, I liked it better when it was called THUNDER Agents...". Similarly, when people talk about the rebellious teen antiheroes or 'bad girls' of the 90's, I'll usually sling a thumb at Andor or Rusty. In the most recent Previews, I read a comic where the big pitch is that a new recruit to a superhero team is a traitor sent to infiltrate the group. Ha! Not only that, but when people talk about the deaths of Jean Grey or Gwen Stacy in the 70's as ridiculously groundbreaking... I can't help but think that Woody and co. pulled BOTH those tricks with the ONE guy!
There's so much to love about the THUNDER Agents - the fact that America's greatest hero is a down-at-heel schlub who tries his best but isn't the sharpest tool in the shed, NoMan, who's one of the most compelling superheroes to this day, preceeding both the Vision and Red Tornado (but yeah, yeah, not Adam Link), the great characterisation on all the heroes and supporting cast...
But why #2, specifically? Well, for two reasons. One is the knock-down drag-out slugfest between Dynamo and Dynavac, which is just some great superhero fistfight action, and with Woody drawing it, not only is it some of the nicest-looking and most (ahem) dynamic fight sequences you'll ever see, but it really allows him to unleash his hatred of brick walls. Secondly, one of the most dramatic assault sequences EVER, as Dynamo starts with a Space-Age High Dive from near-orbit, and then a one-man beachhead against an Army of Bad Guys! That scene of the landing craft beaching itself and the massive door swinging open, only for a single man to rush out into the teeth of a high tech army is some SERIOUSLY stirring stuff.
And that's JUST the Dynamo stories! So yea, Tower Comics' THUNDER Agents #2 has a lot to answer for.
Last Edit: Dec 28, 2014 10:20:11 GMT -5 by Pól Rua
Saga of Swamp Thing #21 Feb 1984 “The Anatomy Lesson”
Alan Moore Steve Bissette John Totleben
This was different. At first I thought my reaction was related to what preceded it. I know Martin Pasko’s work on Swamp Thing is often considered his best. I was not a fan, essentially because I’ve never liked conspiracy stories and run-on stories; this was both. I kept reading because I liked the characters and, in those days, I still felt obligated to buy and read everything. Moore took over with #20 and even with having to clean up the remnants of Pasko’s story, I felt what Swamp Thing felt as he stomped through the marsh in search of Arcane’s body. And then came The Anatomy Lesson.
Moore now free to do his own thing, I think it’s safe to say that everything changed. Not just a character, not just a title, but the face of American comics. I knew it as it happened, and to this day I remember that feeling.
I never noticed the Premminger reference until now. Awesome.
Funny that it's the first time I notice the "Anatomy of a Murder" homage, too. Must be the effect of isolating that one panel.
This is a comic that transcends its limitations. It was published before I started collecting comics. I didn't read it until years after Alpha Flight was canceled. I knew who was going to die. It's not as if the members of Alpha Flight were long-running characters at that point. But the ending of this issue is so amazingly done that, in spite of that, it's very powerful. I think my draw dropped when reading it. I think my favorite Byrne art was when he was inking his own pencils on Alpha Flight and FF during this period.