The Wednesday Run – March 30, 2011

Every Wednesday, JP makes the after-work run to his local downtown comic book shop. Comics arrive on Wednesdays you see and JP, fearful that the latest issue will sell out, rushes out to purchase his copy. This regular, weekly column will highlight a particularly interesting release, written in short order, of course, because JP has to get his – before someone else does!

Strange Tales II
Written by: Various
Illustrated by: Various
Published by: Marvel Comics

I must have been blind. I must not have been paying attention.

Our lovable Editor-In-Chief, Andy B and I get into these conversations all the time: Marvel is better than DC at this and that or DC is better than Marvel at that and this. He’s a whole lotta Marvel, you know, and I’m a whole lotta DC. (I bet he privately pronounces “tomato” “tomatoe” too!)

All the while, amidst the verbal rationalizations of our favourite comic book universes, so intent was I on DC Comics and their Batman, Green Lantern and Flash franchises, I missed that Marvel had been publishing a second instalment mini-series of amazing sequential art from some of comicdom’s unsung indie heroes and rising stars.

So it’s time to ‘fess up and eat a little crow. Marvel knocked this new Stange Tales hardcover collection out of the park. They gave up the keys to the Marvel Universe and handed over heroes like Captain America, Spider-Man, Thor, Wolverine and the Hulk to a great cast of highly acclaimed if somewhat under-the-radar, writers and artists. And the best part is: Marvel editorial told them not to change their styles.

So, we get creators like Terry Moore (Strangers in Paradise), Gilbert and Jamie Hernandez (Love and Rockets), Dean Haspiel (The Quitter), Harvey Pekar (American Splendor), Rafael Grampa (5), and Canadians Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth), Kate Beaton (Hark! A Vagrant) as well as ever-present Ty Templeton (Bigg Time) along with a host of other astounding creative folk, working in the most mainstream of comics in the most artistic way they know how.

It makes for great comic book storytelling.

Ok. So I missed both of Marvel’s Strange Tales I and II the first time around. Really, I should have known about them but truth be told, Andy B, resident Marvel fan, didn’t point this new collection out to me either. Maybe he lost a DC vs. Marvel argument and this omission was a form of revenge.

I’ve heard that revenge is a dish best served cold. Well, how about revenge served as a dish of a great hardcover comic book?

Enjoy your indie-flavoured Wednesday run. Revenge is indeed tasty this week.

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