Tag Archives: Jon Bogdanove

Relive the X-Men’s Biggest Events with X-Men Milestones

They are the tales of triumph and tragedy that changed Marvel’s mutants forever…and now, fans everywhere can relive these stories in a new series of trade paperbacks designed to form one complete library of X-Men events!

To start, dive into history with the tragic Jean Grey story that rocked the X-Men and the Marvel Universe in Dark Phoenix Saga by Chris Claremont and John Byrne! Brace yourself as the specter of death looms over three X-teams in Fall of the Mutants by Claremont, Louise Simonson, Marc Silvestri, Bret Blevins and Walter Simonson! And charge into the epic battle between the Morlocks and the Marauders in Mutant Massacre by Claremont, Louise Simonson, Walter Simonson, Ann Nocenti, John Romita Jr., Blevins, Rick Leonardi, Alan Davis, Barry Windsor-Smith, Terry Shoemaker, Butch Guice, Sal Buscema and Jon Bogdanove!

With this new collection, relive the X-Men’s best and the biggest storylines as their adventures remind you why the X-Men have been a cornerstone of the Marvel Universe for decades!

What other earth-shattering events will follow? Stay tuned to Marvel for more…

X-MEN MILESTONES: DARK PHOENIX SAGA

By Chris Claremont and John Byrne

X-MEN MILESTONES: FALL OF THE MUTANTS

By Chris Claremont, Louise Simonson, Marc Silvestri, Bret Blevins and Walter Simonson

X-MEN MILESTONES: MUTANT MASSACRE

By Chris Claremont, Louise Simonson, Walter Simonson, Ann Nocenti, John Romita Jr., Blevins, Rick Leonardi, Alan Davis, Barry Windsor-Smith, Terry Shoemaker, Butch Guice, Sal Buscema and Jon Bogdanove!

Review : The Sandman Special #1

At this point, there have been way more comic book “Sandmen” than a person can rightly count, and while the most popular remains the Neil Gaiman iteration, it owes a heavy debt — and over the course of its run makes references both tangential and concrete — to the version of the character introduced by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon in 1974. Simon and Kirby had collaborated on another “Sandman” altogether around three decades previously, but the ’70s version, while short-lived, remains beloved by fans and creators alike, and so when DC announced its series of specials in celebration of The King Of Comics’ centenary, it was certain he’d be making a return appearance — and so he has.

The Sandman Special #1 is neatly divided into three distinct sections — the first story, written by consistently-busy veteran Dan Jurgens and illustrated by nowhere-near-as-consistently-busy veteran Jon Bogdanove, sees the land of dreams’ sworn protector, along with colorful and loquacious sidekicks Brute and Glob, working overtime to try to contain the extra-powerful imaginings of a precocious little boy; the second, scripted by Steve Orlando with pencils by Rick Leonardi and inks by Dan Green, sees a now-grown version of Jed, who figured prominently in both the Simon/Kirby and Gaiman series during earlier phases of his “life,” trying to make amends with his past after the death of his grandfather; and the final third is a collection of “Strange Tales Of The D.N.A. Project” back-up strips by Kirby himself that originally ran in the pages of Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen. That’s the particulars out of the way, then.

You already don’t need me to tell you that the final section of this $4.99 book is the best one and worth the price of admission alone (that is if you haven’t read all these short, two-page strips already), so let’s talk about the new material : the Jurgens/Bogdanove yarn is definitely the stronger of the two, and while it’s entirely predictable, that’s also the source of its strength and charm — you know who the over-active little dreamer is from the get-go (or at least you know who you want him to be), and events play out precisely as expected. Jurgens’ script is simple and efficient, and really just gets out of the way and lets Bogdanove, who treats us to some sumptuous double-page spreads (including an amazing Kirby-esque collage) have all the fun. That’s as it should be. The art style is pure homage all the way, yet delivered in a manner free of the curse that is intentional irony, thereby allowing it all to look and feel as entirely respectful as it is. Nobody’s re-inventing the wheel here or anything, but I defy you not to have an ear-to-ear grin on your face by the time it’s all said and done.

Somewhat less successful, but still not too shabby, is the Orlando/Leonardi/Green strip — it’s great to see Jed again, don’t get me wrong, but having his grandfather be a physical doppleganger for Kirby feels like a clunkier and more forced tribute than the more seamlessly-woven one delivered just a handful of pages previously. It’s okay enough in its own right, but only that — okay. Again, the art is basically what we’ll call an extended, and entirely polite, tip of the hat to The King.

On the whole, then, I admit that I had plenty of fun reading this book, and a supremely cool cover by the great Paul Pope provides the icing on the cake for this birthday tribute celebration. I paid for this comic out of pocket and didn’t feel ripped-off in the least, and I’ll look forward to reading it again when I go through all these specials in a single sitting once they’ve all been released. Of the three that have come out so far, I’d rank this one in the middle of the pack, just a notch behind Howard Chaykin‘s The Newsboy Legion And The Boy Commandos Special, but well ahead of the dull and unimaginative travesty that was Shane Davis‘ New Gods Special.

Okay, fair enough, the greatest tribute one could pay to Jack Kirby would probably be to create new and innovative characters and concepts that actually push the medium forward, but if you’re bound and determined to play the “nostalgia card,” you could do it a whole lot worse than it’s done in these pages.

Story : Dan Jugens and Steve Orlando  Art : Jon Bogdanove, Rick Leonardi, and Dan Green

Story : 7  Art : 8  Overall : 7.5  Recommendation : Buy

 

 

Preview: The Sandman Special #1

The Sandman Special #1

(W) Dan Jurgens, Steve Orlando (A) Jon Bogdanove, Rick Leonardi (CA) Paul Pope
In Shops: Aug 16, 2017
SRP: $4.99

Don’t miss two new tales starring Jack Kirby’s costumed Master of Nightmares from the 1970s. Sandman, Brute and Glob battle an onslaught of dreams so powerful that they are invading the dreams of other people! Then, a grown-up Jed Walker returns to his childhood home, only to find himself haunted by dreams from the past. This issue also includes “Strange Tales from the D.N.A. Project” from SUPERMAN’S PAL, JIMMY OLSEN #142-144, 146 and 148, written and pencilled by Jack Kirby and “Turn on the Heat,” starring the Newsboy Legion, from STAR SPANGLED COMICS #27, written and illustrated by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby.

Review: The Sandman Special #1

SandmanSpecialCoverBetween the Sandman with the gas mask and gun and the Gothic, critically acclaimed one, there was the red and yellow superhero suit wearing Sandman created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby in 1974. In a pair of stories, DC Comics creators both old and new show the imaginative potential of this superhero and his unwilling, monstrous assistants Brute and Glob. First, Dan Jurgens, Jon Bogdanove, and Madpencil tell a heartwarming story with a great twist ending about a young boy whose vivid dreams of monsters and superheroes threaten to break out of the dream world and into reality. Then, there is Steve Orlando, Rick Leonardi, Dan Green, and Steve Buccelato’s slightly wilder tale of the now adult Jed Walker, a supporting character in Sandman, battling his childhood nightmares with a cameo from basically the Grim Reaper. The comic is rounded out by a collection of two page “Strange Stories of the DNA Project” from Jack Kirby’s Fourth World stories.

What initially drew me to The Sandman Special was Jon Bogdanove’s uncanny ability to make his art look like Jack Kirby’s while using modern techniques like photo collages to show the surrealness of the young boy’s dream world.  I wish DC Comics put him on more projects. There is weight to Sandman’s throws and punches, and Madpencil cooks up an old school color palette straight out of the 1970s, like a smooth orange take on the classic Kirby krackle. Even though it has banter, punching, a sick team-up move from Sandman and Brute, and a tentacle monster that gets handily defeated, Jurgens and Bogdanove’s story is more metafictional than a straight up superhero adventure ending in a final panel that may make you cry.

Sandmaninterior

Through action and a couple heart rending Jurgens monologues towards the end, The Sandman Special looks at the important of embracing our fears and weaknesses through the dream monsters and then facing and defeating them as symbolized by the young boy’s superhero, who is an amalgamation of Kirby’s takes on Thor, Orion, and a little bit of Captain America. The battle between Sandman and the young boy’s nightmare monsters is also a wonderful tribute to Jack Kirby’s career where he would switch from drawing superheroes to monsters and vice versa from his first work at DC and Marvel in the early 1940s to his later work in the 1970s and 1980s. And sometimes monsters could be heroes, like the ever loving blue eyed Thing, which is why it’s nice to see Bogdanove homage Fantastic Four #1 in one of his panels and have the monster that Sandman fights talk and have feelings.

Unlike the lead story, which quickly establishes Sandman’s kooky status quo with a double page spread, Orlando, Leonardi, and Green rely on previous knowledge of the character of Jed Walker and his grandfather Ezra from Kirby’s Sandman. I vaguely remember Jed from the “Game of You” arc from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, but luckily the story kicks up a notch when Sandman, Brute, and Glob end up fighting the angel of death in cowboy form Psychopomp on train while looking for a dream about Jed’s grandfather to scare away his now adult nightmares.

Orlando doesn’t really establish Jed as a character except his constant nightmares and that he left his unwelcoming hometown and only returned for his grandfather’s funeral so the big emotional moment isn’t as powerful as it could be. But he does make a human connection to Jed’s nightmares, which are about the fact that he didn’t spend enough time with his grandfather while he was alive. On a more fun note, the banter between Sandman, Brute, and Glob keeps the story from getting too doom and gloom as they sneak and mess around with Psychopomp. Also, I liked that Dan Green used a grittier, inking style for Jed in the “real world” and his feelings of guilt and a cleaner one for Sandman and his more traditional punching and magic whistle blowing heroism. The design for Psychopomp is also a perfect bridge from Jack Kirby’s Sandman to Neil Gaiman’s.

The second story leans too much on previous reader knowledge, but Sandman Special is a fantastic tribute to the well-designed (Both Madpencil and Steve Buccelato make that red and yellow costume pop), filled to the brim with imagination Sandman of the 1970s. It also shows the literal power of dreams to craft limitless opportunities for storytelling

Story: Dan Jurgens, Steve Orlando Art: Jon Bogdanove, Rick Leonardi with Dan Green
Colors: Madpencil, Steve Buccelato

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review