I guess this was inevitable:
Picked up the Global Frequency: The Deluxe Edition in hardcover this morning. Didn’t even realize it was being released today, so nice surprise.
Have you read it before? It’s a personal favourite of that era’s comics
Yeah, it’s a great book. I got it digitally in a sale not long ago, but even then I’m tempted to get the OHC. It’s Ellis at his best, with some great artists.
I bagged it on the SpeedyHen 10% offer for a bargain price, not yet despatched.
Yes, I read the original WildStorm series when it was first published; however, my son “borrowed” them and hasn’t returned them yet, so the new HC is very timely.
I went by Cheltenham today and thought I’d return the library books I’ve got out there rather than at my local branch, and while there, see what comics they had. Last time I was there (which is a few years ago now) it was just the same old dozen DC trades and a few Dark Horse books no-one’s ever heard of. So I was quite surprised to find a display full of properly newly released trades, especially as none of them were listed on the library’s online database when I went through it the other week and given my local library doesn’t even have a section any more). Still, quite handy.
I’ve already got through Scarlet Spider volume 2, because it’s tiny. I really have to wonder what Marvel was thinking with this trade. It’s got only three issues of the series in it. The first is clearly the end of the previous arc (or an epilogue to it at best). The issue following deals with the jump from before to after Secret Empire, which seems like the obvious place to put a volume break. That and the final issue had Ben encountering Hornet and Ricochet from Slingers, to lead into the next volume (which is actually titled something about Slingers). So this entire volume is the end of the previous arc and the start of the next. It shouldn’t exist! (It also has Slingers #0 from the 90s at the back, but I’ve read that plenty of times, so skipped it).
As for the actual comic itself, it’s… fine. It reminds me a lot of the David/Sliney Spider-Man 2099, which I read the first volume of the other day, which is also just fine, I guess. I don’t know, neither David’s writing nor Sliney’s art is bad, it’s just a very empty feeling comic. I’m tempted to use the dread “decompressed” even. I read the three issues in this volume in about 15 minutes tops and while stuff does happen, it’s just not much. The set-up with Ben and Mercury feels really similar to Miguel and Liz from 2099 too (right down to unexpected kisses for the Spiders).
Personally, I think Sliney’s art is really off-putting. I love Peter David’s work. And I love Spider-man 2099. I dropped the book really early on because I hated the artwork. I was interested in Scarlet Spider with Bagley on art; I dropped it even before his run had finished when I found out Sliney was going to replace him.
I’m surprised you say that, because the worst I could say about Sliney’s art is that it’s a bit boring, rather than actively bad. His story-telling’s fine, his people look like people, costumes are always right, it’s just… uninspired. Reminds me of SL Gallant on the revived Hama GI Joe. Perfectly servicable artist but not one that’s really elevating the material or seemingly pushing the writer much.
I suppose it is a bit of an extreme reaction, and I can’t really justify it. But, similarly I can’t deny the effect it has on me. I suspect it’s his faces. They creep me out.
I’ve met Will a few times and can confirm he only has one face.
while I was at work, my cousin sent me a pic of it on my entryway. Gonna be about 4 more hours until I get to unbox it.
Don’t leave us in suspense Tom…
I was too tired to open it last night.
But I’ll do it when I get home later for sure.
Avengers: No Surrender is up for pre-order on Speedyhen, at £14.08:
Amazon UK have it for £15.58:
Well…it actually worked out.
After about a month this harrowing saga is finally over.
So, advice for anyone who got it off Amazon, get a refund and get it from InStockTrades while they’re still selling it at their discounted price.
…or 69p on Comixology.
Superboy v1 - Trouble In Paradise
This is the 90s Superboy series, reprinted (with minimal effort) by DC. There’s very much an assumption you know what’s been going on with the main Superman titles here, which is fair enough for the original series (well, largely) but for the trade paperback, it’s slightly obtuse to new readers. It’s not helped by an in medias res first issue that still doesn’t bother to really explain who half the supporting cast are and why Superboy’s hanging out with them.
That’s just the start of the trade paperback making no allowances for the ignorance of modern readers though. This volume has the first 10 issues of Superboy and the #0 from the Zero Hour event. They’ve all been cleaned up, the covers are in the right places, they’re in publication order (and, the library copy I read at least) didn’t have any production errors. However, it feels like no-one at DC bothered to actually read these issues while putting the collection together.
One issue ends on a cliffhanger of Superboy dying of a “clone plague”. “Don’t miss Superman # whatever for the shocking conclusion” the end of the issue proclaims. That issue is not included here. Nor is it summarised. The trade just goes straight onto the next issue of Superboy, which is part 3 of a big cross-over event with Milestone. There is no explanation of what’s happened in parts 1 & 2 nor who any of the Milestone characters are. Next issue is part 8 of the cross-over. Again, nothing to bridge the gap there. That issue ends with Superboy, Static and some other Milestone person killed by a reality warping villain, turned into their own gravestone! How does Superboy get out of that? No idea! Because the trade just goes onto Superboy #0, which, as you’ve probably guessed, gets not context for what the hell Zero Hour is, what’s going on and what happened to Superboy when he runs off into a cross-over at the end of the issue. Instead, it’s just onto the next issue, which doesn’t reference any of it. It’s pretty impressive that DC have put out a trade with all the issues of a series that is just as disorientating and disparate as their old trades that chopped things up and skipped issues liberally.
The other weird thing is the trade dress.
I don’t know where that logo’s from, but it’s not from the issues used here. It recurs through out the volume, used over highly zoomed-in cover images as filler pages (right where the recap pages could have gone). The turquoise grid background is nice enough, but has no visual connection to the material and the attempt to reflect Superboy’s colours in stripes on the back just feels odd rather than stylish.
As for the comics themselves, they’re alright. Kesel’s writing is fine - he nails the obnoxious teen elements of Superboy easily - and Tom Grummett’s art is decent. The last two issues are illustrated by Humberto Ramos, who doesn’t have the wild style he’s later known for, but still manages to produce vaguely unpleasant to look at work. There’s an attempt to place Superboy in Hawaii, after he stops there as part of a promotional world tour. It never proves to be as interesting as the prospect of him actually being on the road though, and isn’t helped by all the aforementioned cross-over issues, which trample all over the attempts to set-up a status quo. The Kid’s relationship with news reporter Tana Moon is questionable though. Not only is there the age difference of the adult Tana dating the eternally 16 Superboy (which the book acknowledges, but never really gets to grips with) but it’s too reminiscent of the Lois Lane dynamic.
Ultimately, there’s not enough here to draw me back for a second volume or actually buy a copy of this one to keep.
That’s a shame to hear about the collection.
This run on Superboy is without a doubt one of my all-time favorites. I recommend it to many friends who have enjoyed New Super-Man.