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Review: Superman: The Man Of Steel Vol. 1

Superman: The Man Of Steel Vol. 1

I’ve heard for so many years how great John Byrne’s Superman work was. He took over post-Crisis and redefined the character for the (then) modern age. Not an easy book to collect, with various out-of-print volumes. DC Comics has finally released a hardcover collecting the first part of Byrne’s work in Superman: The Man Of Steel Vol. 1. I hold his X-Men, Fantastic Four and even his Alpha Flight stuff in pretty high regard. I’m not a huge Superman fan or DC fan. Would I feel the same way with Supes?

The story is one we’re all familiar with: A scientist on a doomed planet sends his only son across the universe to an alien planet in an attempt to save his life and to spare him from his home world’s destruction. Upon crash-landing on Earth, he’s found by your typical Earth couple who adopt him and raise him as their own and in doing so, he discovers his amazing abilities and decides to use those to help do the right thing and save others. From there, tales with Braniac, Darkseid, the Phantom Stranger and others round out the volume.

John Byrne’s Superman work ends up being pretty stellar to someone like me, who gets to read it for the first time so many decades later. For one, I feel that for one who doesn’t love the decompression of storytelling that everyone has embraced, the pacing is quite enjoyable. The Man Of Steel mini-series would take well over a year by the new standard if done today. I felt like Byrne understood the characters. He wrote a truly amazing Superman and put him through the ringer, so to speak.  And in saying that, Superman comes off truly relevant to the world he exists in. Art-wise, I have always enjoyed John Byrne’s pencils/art and so I knew what I was getting into with this. I knew that part would not disappoint.

Any problems? Mostly that I’m not a huge Superman fan. It feels odd to like this as much as I do. I’m sure a more traveled Superman/DC Comics fan could pick this apart but from what I know, this is one of the most sought-after comic book runs to get collected again. For me, it’s great to know that something that I’ve heard be so enjoyable actually held up over time, at least for me. This first volume maintains its look by having the art being done by Byrne and by Jerry Ordway in some spots. Terry Austin is one of the inkers involved with this and he’s probably the best inker Byrne worked with. The Adventures Of Superman issues are written by Marv Wolfman and also included. It’s great to see the other books of this era included.

Superman: The Man Of Steel Vol. 1 ends up collecting Byrne’s Man Of Steel mini-series, Superman 1-4, Adventures Of Superman 424-428, and Action Comics 584 through 587. Some extras included are some Who’s Who ‘87 entries. It has a cover price of $49.99 and feels totally worth the price. Also, if DC Comics had released this a few years ago, it would most-likely just have a plain hardcover design underneath the dust jacket. This collection has a very nice art-on-book cover under the DJ. DC Comics has started to put some real quality on the collected editions that get released. If you are a Supes fan, this is one for you.

Story: John Byrne, Marv Wolfman, Jerry Ordway Art: John Byrne, Jerry Ordway
Ink: Dick Giordano, Terry Austin, Jerry Ordway, Mike Machlan, Karl Kesel
Color: Tom Ziuko Letterer: John Costanza, Albert DeGuzman
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: A definite read


Purchase: Amazon KindlecomiXology

Review: X-Men Classic: The Complete Collection Vol. 2

Classic X-Men were reprints of the original X-Men comics… with new material!? These collections collect that new material with some depth as to the history of it all.

X-Men Classic: The Complete Collection Vol. 2 collects Classic X-Men #24-44 and material from Marvel Fanfare #60.

Story: Chris Claremont, Ann Nocenti, Tom Orzechowski, Daryl Edelman, Fabian Nicieza, John Byrne
Art: John Bolton, June Brigman, Mark Bright, Rick Leonardi, Kyle Baker, Jim Lee, Jim Fern, Mike Collins, Kieron Dwyer, Dave Ross, John Byrne
Ink: John Bolton, Ro Richardson, Josef Rubinstein, Bob McLeod, Kyle Baker, Hilary Barta, Terry Austin, Ricardo Villamonte
Color: Glynis Oliver, John Bolton, Christie Scheele, Petra Scotese, Mike Rockwitz, Gregory Wright, Bob Sharen
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski, Joe Rosen, Jim Novak, Bill Oakley, Michael Heisler, Lois Buhalis, John Costanza, Diana Albers

Get your copy in comic shops now and on book shops on December 10! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon
Kindle/comiXology
TFAW

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: X-Men Milestones: X-Cutioner’s Song

Cable has assassinated Professor X! Wait, what!? This “X-Men Milestones” collects the classic story that helped define the 90s X-Men.

X-Men Milestones: X-Cutioner’s Song collects Uncanny X-Men (1991) #294-297, X-Factor (1986) #84-86, X-Men (1991) #14-16, X-Force (1991) #16-18, and Stryfe’s Stryke File.

Story: Peter David, Scott Lobdell, Fabian Nicieza
Art: Greg Capullo, Andy Kubert, Jae Lee, Brandon Peterson, Larry Stroman
Ink: Terry Austin, Harry Candelario, Andy Kubert, Al Milgrom, Jimmy Palmiotti, Dan Panosian, Mark Pennington
Color: Steve Buccellato, Marie Javins, Glynis Oliver, Joe Rosas, Mike Thomas, Brad Vancata
Letterer: Steve Dutro, Chris Eliopoulos, Richard Starkings

Get your copy in comic shops now and in bookstores on November 5! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon
Kindle/comiXology
TFAW

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

The Art of Comic Book Inking Gets an Expanded Edition in May 2019

The Art of Comic-Book Inking is the industry-standard manual for aspiring comic book inkers and industry professionals alike. Now, Dark Horse presents an expanded edition with new art and text by Gary Martin and a bonus chapter on digital inking by artist Leo Vitalis. Along with pen, brush, and stylus, no inking tool is more useful than The Art of Comic-Book Inking

Gain insights into the techniques, tools, and approaches of some of the finest ink artists in comics, including Terry Austin, Mark Farmer, Scott Williams, Alex Garner, and many more. Also included are eight full-sized blue-lined art boards featuring pencil art by top comics illustrators Steve Rude, Terry Dodson, Jack Kirby, Adam Warren, and others to use for practice or as samples to show editors and publishers.

The Art of Comic-Book Inking TPB goes on sale May 29, 2019.

The Art of Comic-Book Inking TPB

Preview: Further Adventures of Red Sonja Vol.1

Further Adventures of Red Sonja Vol.1

writer: Roy Thomas, Dann Thomas, Doug Moench, Clair Noto, Frank Thorne, Christie Marx, Charles Dixon, James Owsley, Bruce Jones, Peter B. Gillis, Jim Valentino, Sue Flaxman, Marie Javins, Steve Buccellato
artists: Frank Thorne, E.R. Cruz, Estaban Maroto, Howard Chaykin, Dick Giordano, Terry Austin, John Buscema, Pablo Marcos, Tony DeZuniga, Barry Smith, Ernie Chan, Neal Adams, Geof Isherwood, Luke McDonnell, Armando Gil, Bruce Jones, Steven Carr, Gary Kwapisz, Josef Rubinstein, Gavin Curtis, Keith Williams, Alfredo Alcala, Del Barras, Reggie Jones, Kirk Etienne, Howard Simpson, Rober Quijano
cover: Frank Thorne
FC | 200+ pages | $19.99 | Teen+

Featuring a collection of issues from the original Marvel Comics series “The Savage Sword of Conan,” with each page painstakingly re-mastered for this volume! Plus, Sonja Tales from Kull and the Barbarians, as well as pin-ups!

Preview: John Byrne’s X-Men Artifact Edition

John Byrne’s X-Men Artifact Edition

Chris Claremont (w) • John Byrne (a & c) • Terry Austin, Various (inks)

John Byrne’s run on the X-Men began with issue #108 and lasted until #143. The team of Claremont, Byrne, and Austin made the X-Men (which was already a hit series under Dave Cockrum) soar to the top of the charts in comics sales. They introduced Alpha Flight, and then  created the near mythical storylines “The Dark Phoenix Saga” and “Days of Future Past.” These and the rest of their stories remain burned into the memories of collective fandom to this day, and have been the basis for several X-Men films.

This Artifact Edition will include more than 100 pages of X-Men covers, splashes, and pages from Byrne’s X-Men run. All have been meticulously scanned from the original art and reproduced to the exacting Artist’s Edition standards that have won IDW Publishing five highly coveted Eisner Awards (to date)!

HC • BW • $125.00 • 144 pages • 12” x 17” • ISBN: 978-1-68405-394-0

Review: The Adventures of Captain America

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got Captain America!

The Adventures of Captain America collects issues #1-4 and Captain America: The 1940s Newspaper Strips #1-3 by Fabian Nicieza, Kevin Maguire, Kevin West, Steve Carr, Josef Rubenstein, Terry Austin, Tom Christopher, Paul Mounts, Richard Starkings, Barry Dutter, Mike Rockwitz, Karl Kesel, Ben Dimagmaliw, Jared K. Fletcher, Butch Guice, Rachel Pinnelas, Lauren Sankovitch, Bill Rosemann, Tom Brevoort, Tim Smith 3, Harry Go, and John Cerilli.

Get your copy in comic shops today and in book stores March 13. To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFW

 

Marvel​ provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Flashback Friday Review: Batman #500

There’s a couple of comic events that stick out from my childhood. The death of Superman is the big one along with the hype and media circus surrounding it. The other is Batman’s back being broken by the hands of Bane, a character that felt like an unstoppable force, much like Doomsday.

With a copy as part of my Comic of the Month Club, I thought it’d be interesting to go back and see how well this comic stood up almost twenty-five years later (the comic came out in October 1993).

Batman #500 was the culmination of the “Knightfall” storyline that featured Jean-Paul Valley really stepping into the role of Batman and making it unique along with his confrontation with Bane.

The story itself is interesting in just how it’s told. I don’t remember it being the style of the time, but could have bee, but writer Doug Moench uses the captions in an almost third person sort of way. There’s a prose aspect to it all that’s interesting and going back, feels rather stilted. Better suited for a prose novel, the caption text at times has a poetic feel about it all and falls too often in the telling not showing side of things. Oh how times have changed when it comes to comic narratives. I can’t see anyone today doing a similar thing.

The story itself has a lot packed in. There’s two confrontations with Bane. There’s the development of the new Batman costume. There’s issues with the GCPD and how they’re handling Batman. And there’s the relationship between Valley, Tim Drake, and the snubbing of Nightwing as Batman. A lot is touched upon and there’s varying depth in how much is focused on each. The battles with Bane lack a certain brutality about them. The interactions with Valley and Drake lack emotional impact. It’s the interaction between Drake and Grayson as they discuss the new Batman that really stands out as having some depth to it.

The story as a whole holds up better in the mind than it does revisiting it.

Art duties are held by Jim Aparo, Terry Austin, and Mike Manley, who split the issue into two parts. The different artists is not noticeable and when it comes to that, things flow nicely. The style too hasn’t had issues aging. It’s absolutely of a different time with a bit more static visuals but generally if you just updated it a bit, the art would hold up today. The one thing, like the story itself, I never get the feeling Bane is physically imposing compared to Batman. It’s a big difference than what is presented today by many artists where he’s a giant brute.

Some times it’s best to let your positive memories linger and not revisit the past. This is an example of that with a comic that doesn’t hold up over the years. The narrative itself is a very different style compared to today and the concept of the new Batman’s confrontation is a better set up than the actual meeting. Like a summer blockbuster, the visuals feel better than the narrative with a lack of depth or exploration of what’s set up.

Story: Doug Moench Art: Jim Aparo, Terry Austin, Mike Manley
Story: 6.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.75 Recommendation: Pass

Preview: Sonic the Hedgehog #290

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #290

Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Tracy Yardley, Terry Austin, Gabriel Cassata & John Workman
Cover: Patrick Spaziante
Variant Cover: Tracy Yardley
On Sale Date: 12/28
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

The Super Sonic Warrior returns in “Genesis of a Hero” Part Three: The 25th anniversary celebration continues with another blast to the past!  Which is also to the future, and the past, and back again!  When Sonic goes to see the annual return of Little Planet, he’s surprised to find it chained to a mountain!  Join us for the exciting adventures of Sonic CD! Featuring cover art by the legendary Patrick Spaziante plus a “Cosmic Eternity” variant by Mr. Sonic comics himself, Tracy Yardley!

sonicthehedgehog_290-0

Preview: Sonic the Hedgehog #289

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #289

Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Tracy Yardley, Terry Austin, John Workman, Gabriel Cassata
Cover: Patrick Spaziante
Variant Cover: Jamal Peppers, Jim Amash, Matt Herms
On Sale Date: 11/30
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

The SUPER DUPER DUO of SONIC and TAILS unite in “Genesis of a Hero” Part Two: The 25th Anniversary celebration of Sonic the Hedgehog continues in this retro-action adventure!  Sonic has chased Dr. Eggman clear across Westside Island, and now into the skies! Can Sonic and Tails survive a head-on assault of the Wing Fortress? And what sinister secrets lurk beyond the clouds? Featuring cover art by veteran Sonic comic artist Patrick “Spaz” Spaziante and a “High Flying Variant” by jammin’ Jamal Peppers!

sonicthehedgehog_289-0v

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