Thursday, June 1, 2017

Golden Powers!

This is going to be a month of pure gold, specially the "Golden Age" of comic books. This time period is a fertile period of creative energy which produced some of the mighty oaks which have since become centerpieces for major entertainment empires -- Superman, Batman, Captain America and more.

It also wrought a host of lesser creations, some intriguing, some poorly crafted and some just poorly conceived.  To begin I want to take a look at the Fantagraphics collection of an infamous Golden Age artist Turn Loose Your Death Rays and Kill Them All: The Complete Works of Fletcher Hanks. Hanks under an avalanche of pseudonyms gave us the utterly bizarre characters Stardust and Fantomah among others.

Also on tap this month is a look at the very first Joe Simon and Jack Kirby team effort, the character Blue Bolt who appeared in very early Golden Age comics of that very name. You Blue Bolt and the Green Empress above in the Verotik edition. I also have those adventures on hand in the handsome Titan volume of Kirby's sci-fi work for a little comparison and contrast. These are energetic science opera adventures in the spirit of Flash Gordon and such.

And I've just ordered and gotten in some of the Simon and Kirby classics from DC, so if all goes right you might see some Newsboy Legion and maybe even Boy Commandos as the month progresses.

And perhaps even some Newsboy Legion action from a later era, when the next generation of the Legion fought alongside Superman's Best Pal, Jimmy Olsen when Jack "King" Kirby took the reins of that classic comic.

I'd also like to dabble inside one of the more handsome Marvel collections in recent years, the Marvel Firsts: World War II Super Heroes volume which offers up of Timely's most famous and infamous and bizzare features from an era long gone by, but hardly forgotten.

So not forgotten that they get raised up and dusted and put into new stories. The Twelve was the comic series which nearly a decade ago now made me pretty much swear off new comics. The utter failure of the creators to hit their deadlines made the book just one more strong starter that sputtered out and would take years to conclude. It finally did, but I was too annoyed to bother reading the end. Now I've gotten over that and will take another look at this handsome revival.

And to get ready for the Wonder Woman movie which hits theaters any time, I have been prowling through the pages of the Bronze Age collection Wonder Woman: The Twelve Labors which showcased her return to classic form after the fondly remembered Sekowsky era.

And all month long too will the relentless "100 Days of the King Feature" each and very day leading to the celebration of Jack"King" Kirby's centennial later this summer.

Finally the "Favorite Covers" feature will showcase some of the best from Simon and Kirby for a host of publishers in those halcyon 1940's days. All of that whatever else I can cram into what should be a very rich summer month long excursion. Jump aboard for some pure uncut gold.

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  1. I really want to get the Twelve Labors.

    1. It's a fun collection, full of Silvery Bronze Age storytelling. I have the review (of sorts) coming up tomorrow.

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