Feb 20, 2018

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 1091: Nightcrawler #9, October 2005

https://www.comics.org/issue/291297/

One of the things I really appreciate about Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is that he appears to love Man-Thing as much as I do.

I kind of just want to leave it at that.

Of course, what I mean is that poor old Ted Sallis shows up in this issue, which means next issue should be even stranger than the last couple, and that these issues are potentially going to have to be relocated to my Man-Thing collection. Man-Thing is one of those characters who has only had sporadic ongoing series since his creation, but has appeared in a vast amount of titles. Usually he acts as a proxy for the hand of the universe in guiding heroes, which is how, in his own title under Steve Gerber, he always functioned best. I'd always thought it might be cool to read Ted Sallis's long, strange career through those guest appearances, and get an idea of what kind of "ongoing" adventures he's been through.

I'll be adding this issue, and presumably tomorrow's, of Nightcrawler to the list.

To be continued.

Feb 19, 2018

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 1090: Nightcrawler #8, September 2005

https://www.comics.org/issue/291296/

These last couple of issues have been strange, but not for the reasons you might think. Yes, there's some hallucinatory madness in the prior issue, and this one is dotted with flashbacks, but it's the actual context for the story that's strange. And not even really the context, but our exposure to it. Nightcrawler is attacked and made ill by Vermin, a particularly gruesome creature. We come in after the attack, during Kurt's delirium and, in today's issue, as he travels to Germany to uncover something hidden about his past. With Christine Palmer and Wolverine in tow. It's strange that we don't see the battle that pushed the hero on this kind of journey. It's a relatively common superhero trope - the hidden history, but we're often given the context of a battle in which the secret is teased to the hero. Here, instead, we skip the battle because Kurt comes upon the secret in the aftermath.

Let me put this to you, as it's just occurred to me:

The second book of Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene features a character known as the Palmer, a guide and companion to Guyon, the knight who emblematizes temperance. Kurt, here, is accompanied by a woman whose last name is Palmer and a man who isn't encased in metal, but who has metal inside rather than out. Are Aguirre-Sacasa and Robertson riffing on The Faerie Queene? Or am I an ex-Grad student who misses analyzing texts?

You Decide!

To be continued.

Feb 18, 2018

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 1089: Nightcrawler #7, August 2005

https://www.comics.org/issue/291295/

Sorry I've been dropping the ball so many times. Life is a bit weird at the moment.

A surreal trip through Kurt's mind, X-Men via David Lynch, perhaps? I'm excited to return to the Aguirre-Sacasa/Robertson Nightcrawler. This is a great series.

To be continued.

Feb 17, 2018

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 1088: Fantastic Force #12, October 1995

https://www.comics.org/issue/57835/

Tonight is the night of our annual Death by Chocolate party, and I'm typing this five minutes after the ostensible start time because I forgot to do it any earlier. I make no excuses. Also, our friends never show up on time.

No idea what's going on in this issue, though there are echoes (or reverberations) of this stuff in Hickman's Fantastic Four. What it does do is hearken to that early Image stuff I've been looking at lately. Johnny Storm has the build of an Extreme Studios super hero here. All that's lacking are pouches strapped around everyone's legs.

To be continued.

Feb 16, 2018

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 1087: Deathmate Black, September 1993

https://www.comics.org/issue/53684/

Why is it that in crossovers like this one, the heroes always end up dying horrifically somehow? Does the restoration of their reality mean all of them have to die?

Also, Voodoo's costume in this issue is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever seen.

Wrists are still sore. Sorry for the short post.

To be continued.

Feb 15, 2018

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 1086: Vext #6, August 1999

https://www.comics.org/issue/258243/

So, having spent 20 years or so searching for Vext, what is my final verdict?

It was, of course, worth the wait.

There's the obvious comedy of a deity who is Murphy's Law personified. But so much more comes of Vext's obliviousness to humanity. He doesn't know how to human, so to speak. Unlike many of his divine cohorts in the DCU, Vext appears to have spent little or no time in the human world. And rightly so - it's hard to imagine anyone worshipping a god of misfortune. What would a rite even look like? Successful only if it didn't go according to plan, perhaps?

There are, of course, the obligatory jokes about the series' cancellation being inevitable, and this raises for me an interesting idea: perhaps the series was only ever intended to run 6 issues, and all of the cancellation talk was merely set dressing. It wouldn't be the weirdest thing Keith Giffen has done. Regardless, Vext is well worth your time if you can track it down.

To be continued.

Feb 14, 2018

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 1085: Vext #5, July 1999

https://www.comics.org/issue/258242/

This is the one that I couldn't find, and now I've found it! Colleen finds out that Vext is a displaced god...just in time for the title to be cancelled next issue.

One of the great injustices of 90s DC, really.

To be continued.