Today, an era comes to an end.
Since 2004, with the first publication of the mini-series, Green Lantern: Rebirth, writer Geoff Johns has been synonymous with the interstellar titular hero and his awesome green power ring. Johns, along with a slew of top-industry artists, revitalized both the character and the lore surrounding him within the pages of the monthly Green Lantern series, rescuing him from b-level superhero status and turning him into, arguably, the most popular of DC comic book heroes. Indeed, he’s a bigger draw than Wonder Woman, Superman and, sometimes, even Batman!
But today, that era comes to a shimmering, emerald-coloured end. After almost ten straight years writing Hal Jordan and the main Green Lantern title, Geoff Johns is leaving the series.
Find out more after the jump!
Who doesn’t like a good “possession” story?
Yep, those sorts of ghost/demon/entity tales wherein a strange force takes over the body of a living host are where it’s at. I mean, The Exorcist, written by William Peter Blatty and directed by William Friedkin, is one of my favourite films. “Wolf in the Fold”, written by acclaimed horror author, Robert Bloch, is one of my favourite episodes of the original 1960’s Star Trek series. At their essence, those types of stories remind us that we’re not always in control of our actions; that human beings can still revert to their base, most wild forms.
But what happens when the ghost/demon/entity takes over the human host and turns him into a superhero…that kills villains?
That’s the intriguing question that today’s release of Dream Thief asks.
A sly, feline hand slips into the back pocket of an unsuspecting businessman, gently pulling, in an unnoticeable fashion, at a black leather wallet.
A small pill made of unknown chemical substances is quickly and reprehensibly dropped into the hot cup of coffee of an oblivious newspaper reader.
A fry cook and a waitress antagonistically raise spatula and bagel knife against one another, the comedic scene betrayed by tempers raised amid overcooked hash.
These are the crimes, or perceived crimes, that exist on the front cover of Red Handed: The Fine Art of Strange Crimes, a promise to the even stranger wrongdoings found within the inside pages, not to mention the back cover. Strange crimes, indeed.
Got your attention? Good. With crime, not all is as it seems.
Let me take you back for a brief moment:
It’s 1983 or 1984 and I’m into reading science fiction and fantasy stories. I start picking up Epic Illustrated, an SF&F magazine imprint of Marvel Comics. The publication often premiered burgeoning North American and European talent such as Jim Starlin, John Bolton, Kent Williams and J.G. Jones and I had no business, at such a young age, leafing through pages of mature storylines and (oh my God!) drawings of naked women!
It’s there that I first came across Dean Motter and Ken Stacy’s The Sacred & The Profane, a story about the Catholic church and its’ interstellar mission to spread the good word. No, I didn’t understand it back then, but I started paying attention to Dean Motter.
At better comic book shops, I noticed the incredibly striking imagery of his Mister X series, released by Vortex Comics. I was floored by his take on The Prisoner mini-series, published by DC Comics, a sequel to the cult-classic television show. It was absolutely brilliant. Everyone should read it. And then came Terminal City followed by a return to Mister X.
Ok. Enough of the walk down memory lane.
2013 marks the 30th year anniversary of Mister X, one of the most acclaimed and highly regarded comic book series’ to see print. Celebrate it by picking up the first issue release of a new mini-series, Mister X: Eviction #1.
Here’s why you should:
Ah, the 1980’s: a decade of consumerism, no-so-great music and bad, bad hair. Well, some of the music was quite good but teased and/or poofed up hair was a horrible mistake! A horrible one!
Still, it was a good decade for comics. Stories and art became more sophisticated forms of literature, the graphic novel format came to the fore, and the medium became legit in eyes of the mainstream press. Sure, there was a lot of negativity to be passed around too. Superheroes became too dour, for one, and comic books themselves became altogether too violent, too graphic.
In 1987, you’d think that all of that negative press was due to one little comic book mini-series: Marshall Law.
I’m calling it. It’s only April and 2013 is definitely Marvel’s year.
As a furtive and ardent reader that has historically sat squarely on the DC Comics side of the comic book ledger, even I have begun to slide my way over to the “House of Ideas”. And why? Cool storytelling with a sci-fi bent!
I haven’t been this excited by a space odyssey since the “Sinestro Corps War” storyline in the pages of DC’s Green Lantern. That was in 2007. But Marvel Comics, specifically writer Jonathan Hickman, has grabbed my attention with his current run on Avengers, New Avengers and the promise of his upcoming universe-shaping mega-story, Infinity, due later this summer and fall.
That last publication will co-star the villain known as Thanos. And Thanos Rising, the first issue of which is released today, is that evil entity’s origin. And it’s a must-read.
The science fiction genre teaches you many things, but if there’s one specific lesson it reminds you of again and again, it’s that time is circular. Whether it’s a memorable episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation or a great read by Phillip K. Dick, events, we’re told, are meant to be repeated.
The same is true in comics.
Back in 1979-1980, DC Comics published the five-issue sci-fi anthology series, Time Warp. Today, the title comes back with a more sophisticated slant, courtesy of top industry writers and artists and published under the Vertigo Comics banner.
And boy! Is there a lot to look forward to here!