Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Just finished both of these...

Spider-Man: Death of the Stacys (Marvel Premiere Classic) Spider-Man: Death of the Stacys by Stan Lee

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was an impulse pick up at the library yesterday as I stocked up for the long Thanksgiving weekend. A good collection of two "important" story-lines that I had never read.

The deaths of Captain John Stacy and his daughter, Gwen, as well as the Green Goblin, are cited as a major turning point in Spider-man's character development and in comic books in general. I can see why.

While dated in its storytelling, art and writing, there are themes here that transcend pigeonholing. These are good stories told in a good way. I read somewhere that originally Spider-man's uncle was killed in a page or so. Tight writing, not a lot of superfluous material. When his origin was retold recently, it was stretched out over 5 entire issues. This collection is definitely in line with the former, as these 6 issues are so packed with detail but paced nicely, almost breathtakingly fast.

And whereas comics "back in the day" relied on thought bubbles and over explanation by the characters (for the benefit of the reader) today's comics script out every pause and aside, again these stories lean toward the former but not distractingly so.

Basically, if you like comic books in general, and Spider-man in particular, you would benefit from familiarizing yourself with these stories.

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Batman: The Black Glove Batman: The Black Glove by Grant Morrison

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I understand the desire of some comic book readers to skip the monthlies and move to these sort of collected trades so that they can have a larger chunk of the story at one time.

That mentality helps this collection get a second star, otherwise it would have gotten just the one. The opening story (not sure how many parts it was, this is one jumbled mess of a collection) attempts to bring some of the goofier Batman stories of the 50s and 60s and bring them into modern day Batman continuity. It works to a degree and provides a decent mystery.

However, Grant Morrison is out of his mind and the narrative is difficult to follow and the remaining stories are just a jumbled mess.

Some comic book fans laud Morrison and his story telling. I admit I liked his X-Men run and it was that run that had me buying some comics again after an 8 year absence, but man oh man is this collection just not my cup of tea.

While pretty to look at, some of the "chapters" seem to be odd just for the sake of being odd. And unless you are a comic book "historian" (which I often read that Morrison is, hence is use of bizarre and random older issues of Batman as launching points for some of these stories) and "hepped up on the goofballs", good luck following this mess.

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1 comment:

  1. That Black Glove story is what got me excited about comics again after a long hiatus. But I agree that Morrison is an acquired taste. Or maybe it's genetic, like Schizophrenia. 'Cuz he is crazy.

    I like crazy ;)

    I haven't read the stories collected in that Spider-Man book either, I need to check it out.


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