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Thread: Comics

  1. #41
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    Vertigo is coming back apparently...ugh can they go back to having Constantine go back to his regular # then?

  2. #42
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    Been quiet in here for a while, so I guess no one will mind if I hijack this a bit....

    Basically, I know next to nothing about comics, graphic novels, all that stuff, but I've got a professional interest in trying to understand it all a bit more, and how it fits into wider American culture. So if anyone is into this stuff and is willing to talk my through it at a massively introductory level, I'd appreciate the crash course. And when I say introductory, i mean as basic as you can get. I know a little bit, like I can name a few heroes and few of the more prominent villains and the like, but anything that requires any kind of specialist knowledge is beyond me. And I want to understand this stuff a bit more and to get why it's had the enduring place that it has in American, and more recently global culture.

  3. #43
    I've been a comic nerd since I was a kid. I still read them today, and have quite a collection of comic art on my walls at home. It's pretty hard to explain the fascination honestly, but I've always been a fan of the larger than life heroes that fight villains, in all simplicity. There are two major publishers of course, Marvel and DC. Marvel is your Avengers, Spider-Man, Captain America and DC is your Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman. I'm not a fan of one over the other as I read some of both. My favorite hero of all time is Green Lantern, who uses willpower through a Power Ring to generate constructs and police the universe. There are hundreds of them actually, a whole Corps. He's a DC guy.

    However my favorite character of all time is Jean Grey, or Marvel Girl, or Phoenix, or Dark Phoenix depending when you're reading. She's a mutant, an X-Man but got corrupted by an ancient power greater than she could control. It's a fascinating tale from one of my favorite stretches of comics of all time, X-Men 129-137. I think comics appeal to people, as well as the adjoining movies, because they're an escape to something that is somewhat unfathomable. To comics nerds, they're something we never thought would hit the big screen.

    It's just fun.

  4. #44
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    I get the escapism/fun part of it - I'm interested in the sort of things that the stories tap into. Things like the use of willpower by the Green Lantern. I mean, I knew about the ring, but I didn't know that was how it works and that's quite interesting to me. It's that kind of stuff I'd like to know more about - how individual characters work, what the key points of their history are, do they change over time in relation to production stuff, how they factor into things like different series of the same character and ideas like 'multiverse'.

    Basically, once you go beyond the names Marvel and D.C. and just listing a bunch of characters, then unless it's widely known in pop culture (Kryptonite levels of obviousness) I want to understand it all better. I think it'll make me better at my day job if I have a sense of where this all fits in with the other stuff I have to know about.

    I'm also interested in the idea of them being something you'd never think would hit the big screen. It's difficult for me to think of it in those terms because there were Superman and Batman movies before I was born, and the Michael Keaton Batman stuff came along by the time I was old enough to really get into watching movies. But I think I get where you're coming from - when you've got this strong connection to them you don't necessarily expect there to be enough mainstream appeal to for them to get the kind of validation that they have.

  5. #45
    OK, so let's delve deeper into the "Lantern" family. There are actually 7 different types of lanterns, based on the colors of the rainbow, and in their use, the emotional spectrum. Here's how it breaks down.

    Green- Willpower
    Yellow- Fear
    Red- Rage
    Blue- Hope
    Orange- Greed
    Violet- Love
    Indigo- Compassion

    There is also the White Lantern, who has the power to channel ALL of the emotional spectrum, and a Black Lantern who brings death.

    In their mythos, you have to be chosen worthy by the rings to wield the ring of a particular color, in essence being chosen based on your emotional output. The characters certainly do change over time for sure, and some of them tackle pretty heavy issues. The two newest Green Lanterns of the Earth Sector have some serious baggage. Jessica Cruz was a villain but overcame her evil side and was deemed worthy of wielding a Green Power Ring, however she's got a severe case of anxiety disorder and depression, never really thinking herself good enough. Simon Baz is of Arab descent and of course the character's skin color has played into many a storyline to date, especially in today's culture.

    Comics can be pretty deep if they choose to be, and never really shy away from social issues.

  6. #46
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    That's exactly the sort of thing I'm after, thanks Rob.

    Really interesting the way that they've mapped this onto the ROY G BIV scheme. So how do the different lanterns operate together? Do they work in some sort of hierarchy, or oppositions, or are they a bit more free than that? Is the Green Lantern the best because they are the star, thus presuambly emphasising willpower over the others, or is that a false conclusion to draw?

    I was familiar with the idea that comics could deal with social stuff just from my limited exposure to X-Men. Seems like that is always about something with real world parallels.

    Yeah, it might take me a little while to process stuff and think of an intelligent reply, but y'know, the more info you can give me like this, I'd be grateful.

  7. #47
    So the Red, Yellow and Orange lanterns have traditionally be bad. Rage/Fear/Greed, you get the idea. Interestingly there is only ONE Orange Lantern, because he's too greedy to share the power. Recently though the Green and Yellow Lanterns have started working together for good, in order to fight the next big bad that is coming their way. Green Lanterns are by default the MAIN Lanterns, the police force of the universe so to speak. Their power can be amplified however if near a Blue Lantern, as Hope and Willpower together are super strong. The Indigo Lanterns tend to keep to themselves, as they are compassionate, but at the same time stay solitary. Generally the bad powers work well together and the good work well together, each adding something a little extra to the other's power.

    Here's a pic of the Lanterns and some of the characters in them


  8. #48
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    It sounds like it's trying to do a similar job to a lot of 19th century books - there definitely sounds like there is a clear moral behind the whole hope/willpower combination. I notice, too, that this is very much a golden age creation and is DC, so is there much of a connection in tone (or even in the world) with DC heroes like Superman or Batman?

    Really great stuff, Rob. If you're willing, keep it coming.

  9. #49
    Always willing, love talking comics.

    Green Lantern has been around quite a long time. He was one of the original Justice League and is probably considered one of the top 5 DC heroes.

    So let's move onto another storyline. Recently, in Marvel comics, one of the most controversial storylines has been the revelation that Captain America, the pinnacle of American pride and the country's symbol of heroism, is actually an Agent of HYDRA, a villain organization firmly rooted in Nazi Germany. It caused quite the stir when Cap KILLED a fellow hero (C-List hero tho) then said "Hail Hydra" following it. It was so controversial that fans were clamoring for Marvel to issue an apology as there was such anger that they'd tie him into a former Nazi led organization. Well, as the story has played out, we found out that Cap has actually had his entire memory altered by Red Skull, his greatest villain, with the aid of something called the Cosmic Cube, a tool that can alter reality. The problem is, only the Skull know it, so to everyone else, Cap is a double agent, and is in the process of working towards a HYDRA takeover. The storyline played out for some time, and while I'm slightly behind in my reading it was a MAJOR event that crossed over into many comics, with other heroes actually SIDING with Cap.

    Again, dealing with some major issues.

  10. #50
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    That one was such a big deal even I heard of it. I doubtless didn't get all of the nuances of it but it is easy to see why it'd be provocative and timely. Is that story still running? I could actually be tempted to pick something up to take a look at that for myself.

  11. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Time View Post
    That one was such a big deal even I heard of it. I doubtless didn't get all of the nuances of it but it is easy to see why it'd be provocative and timely. Is that story still running? I could actually be tempted to pick something up to take a look at that for myself.
    I'm a little behind in my reading but I THINK it's wrapped up now.

    What else do you want to know about? I can do this all day.

  12. #52
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    I mean really its your choice, because I don't know enough to know what I'll find interesting, if that makes sense.

    One thing I'm curious about is that I know that comic book characters often have different iterations - Amazing Spiderman, Sensational Spiderman, that sort of thing. I know that sometimes the different iterations can have very different versions. I mean, I know enough about Batman to know that the Ivy Pepper I've just encountered on Gotham is going to be Poison Ivy, but that she's still going to be massively different to the Pamela Isley I'm familiar with.

    But you guys are also lumped in with us sci-fi nerds, where I know canon is everything, sometimes even to our own detriment. So I am interested in knowing more about how all that kind of stuff works.

    But y'know, you've had all hits so far, so feel free to just take this to places you think I'll find interesting.

  13. #53
    OK, cool. First let me tackle the issue of canon. Personally, I think it's kind of cool the way the movies and TV shows offer new twists on the original canon. Some of the different takes on the villains is quite cool. For example, in the Arrow TV show, Count Vertigo is basically a drug dealer, peddling a drug called Vertigo which causes the strange effects to its users, changing reality, etc. In the comics, he's actually developed those powers that do the same thing. The show made him a more street-level villain, all the while playing to the same effects. The film vs. print canon can be quite different and I think that's OK.

    When you talk about different "versions" of characters it can get quite complex. Both Marvel and DC have their own versions of multiverses; basically different versions of universes which can be traversed by various means. Recently, Marvel had a storyline where all the various earths were converging upon each other one by one, destroying each one until only one remained, and various versions of characters from other Earth's ended up on ours. DC has had similar storylines with Crisis on Infinite Earths, etc. It allows them to expand and condense their characters basically at will.

    In terms of Spider-Man, who you brought up, Marvel currently has two "Spider-Men", Peter Parker and Miles Morales. Miles is a black kid from an alternate Earth who took over when that Earth's Peter Parker died. There's also a Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew), Spider-Gwen (an alternate Earth's Gwen Stacy who inherited spider powers), Silk, and various others floating around. They recently had a storyline where hunters were traveling the various Earths (before they went kablooey) and taking out all the "spider family." Spider-Man's lineage, which at first seemed quite individual, is actually tied to something called the Great Web, which ties all spider characters together. Now, with all things settled down, Miles still exists in tandem with Peter, who is actually now the head of a multi-national tech company called Parker Industries. Miles handles the local crime while Peter's Spider-Man has gone global.

  14. #54
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    Yeah, I had heard about the new Spiderman. And I remember that there was a bit of a backlash against it in the States too. This is the kind of thing I mean - people seem quite happy to go with the free-floating approach to stories but every so often you'll get people dig their heels in and say 'no, that isn't spiderman' or whatever. It's a bit strange to me - though I can see the appeal for writers of being able to essentially retool characters whenever you want. And I guess it also stops you having to come up with new characters all the time.

  15. #55
    Right, and here's the thing, right now Marvel and DC are kind of having to go back to what worked in the past because people didn't embrace (for the most part) the new.

    DC did something called The New 52, where they basically took all the characters back like 10 years and essentially retold their stories differently. In some cases, like Batman it worked OK, but in others it was a complete disaster. Superman became an obnoxious prick for one. Now, they've reset everything once again, which they tend to do every few years, with DC Rebirth, where Batman has realized that someone messed with time and cost all the heroes 10 years. That someone apparently is Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen. That's another big thing they're doing as well. DC is bringing the Watchmen story into regular DC canon. That's something that's been met with much skepticism from fans because Watchmen is such a revered standalone story.

    On the Marvel side, they recently went younger and more ethnic with their heroes, and it has worked in some cases like Miles Morales, who eventually became quite popular as Spider-Man. Another hit has been the new Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan, Marvel's first hero of Middle Eastern heritage. But in other cases it's been a bit of a disaster. The Hulk is essentially dead (I think) as Bruce Banner was killed during Civil War II, but Amadeus Cho, an Asian-American genius developed a way to transform himself into a Hulk at will. I don't dig that at all. Also, Tony Stark has apparently ceased to exist (somewhat) after Civil War II and a young African American girl named Riri basically created her own Iron Man armor and is now taken the reigns of the character. Add to that Thor now being a woman, and Marvel has now gone all PC. They seem to be re-setting too after the whole "Captain America goes crazy" storyline so who knows who or what will continue on after it all shakes out.

    I guess ultimately, for the most part, comic fans are pretty die-hard. They like the old canon and it's very difficult to change it. It can work, but it's tough

  16. #56
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    Having a Hulk that turns at will seems like a bad idea. Kind of intrigued by a female Thor though.

    Based on the last post, I think the next thing I want to ask about is Watchmen, because that's outside my knowledge base. I know there's a film but I never saw it.

  17. #57
    So Watchmen is pretty deep stuff actually. It's written by Alan Moore and is actually on a list as one of the top 100 NOVELS of all time. So basically, it's quality stuff, very highly thought of.

    It originally existed outside of the standard DC Universe, in its own little bubble. It's about a group of (anti)heroes called the Watchmen, and the story starts with the investigation into the murder of one of them, The Comedian. The story has a lot of layers, but really comes down to the tag-line "Who watches the Watchmen?" or who controls what heroes do. It's a very adult story, with themes of drug use, sexual assault, mental disease (one of the Watchmen, Rorshach is basically a psychopath), etc. These are powerful beings who can basically do anything they want, and in one instance one of them believes that.

    Recently as I mentioned, DC wants to bring the Watchmen into the DC Universe, a move that's been met with some trepidation. Alan Moore, the original writer wants nothing to do with DC anymore, as he felt his story should be left alone. The movie version is good, but it's unlike any other super-hero movie out there. It's not super action-packed, but a character study into the minds of heroes.

    It's great stuff.

  18. #58
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    Absolutely love Watchmen the graphic novel. The film was a mixed bag but the source material stands up to the test of time. Big fan of Alan Moore in general, especially From Hell and LXG, both of which got very shitty film adaptations that did them no justice. Also a fan of V For Vendetta, though it's one of the few cases where I actually prefer the film by a slim margin.

  19. #59
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    So I've found that they have some stuff at my local library. I've no idea why I didn't realise that they would have, probably my own biases. But yeah, thinking of checking some stuff out and having a look for myself. I notice they stock things called DC Chronicles with classic bits from some of the big names, which might be a good place to start.

    Interesting stuff on watchmen, thanks.

    What was useful about the Green Lantern stuff above was that it was good detail about someone big enough that I'd heard of them, but not so big that I was already familiar with some of the story. Like, everyone knows a bit about Batman, Superman, Spiderman, even X-Men, but Green Lantern is a name that I know but was no more than that. Anything you can hit me with at a similar kind of level?

  20. #60
    So Netflix has made Daredevil pretty popular again. How's that sound?

  21. #61
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    Yeah, that's the kind of thing. Have heard of it but no clue what it all means.

  22. #62
    OK, so let's talk Daredevil. This is a Marvel character and has gotten a lot of buzz coming from the Netflix show.

    Daredevil, real name Matt Murdock. He was blinded as a child after pushing someone out of the way of an oncoming truck carrying hazardous materials, which ended up on him. Because of that he lost his sight, but his other senses became heightened and he also gained something akin to a "radar sense" where he could basically see without seeing. His hearing is super strong as well, able to pick up conversations from some distance away. In real life, he's a lawyer and a strict Catholic, something that has been a large factor in his story for years. His father was a boxer, and was killed when he wouldn't throw a fight. So in your typical revenge story, Matt became Daredevil to seek vengeance. Outside of his heightened radar sense, he really doesn't have any super powers. Eventually he learned martial arts from a guy named Stick, a blind fighter.

    Daredevil is basically a street level hero, fighting out of Hell's Kitchen. His main enemies are The Hand, a secret group of Ninjas who operate all over the world; Kingpin, one of the top mob bosses in Marvel; and Bullseye, a hitman who never misses. Some would also say that one of his biggest enemies is himself, as he constantly struggles with his own demons, fighting the right thing to do vs. the Catholic thing to do. He spends a lot of time in confession, atoning for sins he thinks he's committed.

    His love life has had its up and downs for sure. One of his girlfriends, Karen Page, eventually got into drugs and porn and sold Daredevil's secret identity to the Kingpin for drug money. Another of his girlfriend was a Hand assassin named Elektra. She's died, a couple of times in fact, and their relationship is always clouded by her dark side as a trained killer. It's kind of like the Batman/Catwoman romance but somewhat darker in its tone.

    Over the years Daredevil's secret identity has been revealed to the world, and it caused Matt to be unable to practice law, but recently he was able to "make people forget" who he was with the help of the Purple Children, offspring of the Purple Man, another one of his villains who has the ability to control people's will and do whatever he tells them to. Over the years he's had children who he's used to make himself stronger, but the kids revolted against him and using the machine he created to control the will of everyone in the world, they repaid Daredevil by using it one time only before destroying it. They used it to make people forget Matt Murdock was Daredevil and to only remember if he wanted them to.

    So Matt's identity is safe again, but his life is no less complex.

  23. #63
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    Rob teaching Pete everything about comics has become one of my favorite things on this site.

  24. #64
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    Mine too. The Catholic angle on that is really interesting, and leads me back to one of the thing that often comes up with this stuff, which is the moral side of things. Even the good guys are pretty much always doing something wrong, even when they aren't presented as being all that ambiguous. Even the classic white hats are, effectively, vigilantes outside the law. I know that there are very conservative ways of looking at things that excuse for it but that does, y'know, fly in the face of pretty much every Anglo-American institution, so I do wonder if there's much discomfort with that or if it's easily compartmentalised. Seeing it play out in the catholic stuff here makes me think that this might be the kind of story where some of those.... anxieties, let's say, that aren't brought to the surface in something like Superman, see the light of day. Kind of interested to find out how's she has died multiple times, too, though I guess anything is possible in this world. I think I'll check out the TV show on the back of this.


    Next!

  25. #65
    Yeah there is certainly a "morals" issue throughout a lot of comics, and in terms of Daredevil, it's a huge factor. You're talking about a strict Irish Catholic who has chosen to become the "Devil of Hell's Kitchen", taking on the role of what he was raised to believe as evil to be a force of good. It's quite the conflict.

    As for "deaths", they're nothing new in comics. Heroes die and come back all the time so much so that it's not even a thing anymore. Back in the day, with like "Death of Superman" people were all shocked by it, because it hadn't been done before. No publisher had ever killed a major character. But now it happens so frequently you know they're going to come back in some form or another. It used to be a event, now it's just the norm, and that's not actually a good thing.

    Let me think about where we go next. I've been bouncing back and forth between Marvel and DC, so that means we go back to the DC side.

  26. #66
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    Rob, you ever read any of the Astro City collections? Smaller self contained universe that uses a lot of familiar archetypes from super-culture in interesting and fresh ways. Definitely recommend checking it out if you haven't.

  27. #67
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    Let me think about where we go next. I've been bouncing back and forth between Marvel and DC, so that means we go back to the DC side.
    Yeah no hurry. Glad for the chat so just whenever you have a sense of what you want to bring up next.

  28. #68
    OK, so let's delve a little deeper into a character you know, Batman. But instead of him we'll take a look at the extended Batman "family" so to speak

    Obviously you know Robin, but there have actually been quite a few of them, 4 major ones in fact.

    Dick Grayson, the first Robin went on to grow up and become Nightwing. He moved to a town called Bludhaven, but actually took the role of Batman when Bruce Wayne went missing.

    Jason Todd, the second Robin was a bit troubled and violent. He was killed by The Joker but was resurrected in one of the Lazarus Pits. However, being as he was brought back POST death, he had some major issues. He's since gone on to become The Red Hood, a bit of a rogue member of the family but still doing work on the side of good, yet he often drifts into shades of grey

    Tim Drake, the third Robin is a bit of a boy genius, designing a lot of the computer tech that is used by both Batman and the Teen Titans. He's believed dead at this point, but readers of the series know that is not the case. He'll return at some point when plot devices call for it. After he gave up the Robin moniker, he adapted it and became Red Robin

    Damian Wayne, the current Robin, is Bruce Wayne's legitimate child with Ra's Al Ghul's daughter Talia. Damian was raised to be an a killer in the League of Assassins, but was sent to Bruce to learn the side of good as well. He has since decided to fight alongside his father, but he's a bit difficult as one would imagine being a trained killer at the age of 10.

    Barbara Gordon, the Original Batgirl was paralyzed by The Joker in The Killing Joke story. She went on to become Oracle, sort of a mysterious figure that worked behind the scenes with many heroes. After undergoing an experimental procedure, she was able to walk again and is back under the Batgirl cowl.

    Cassandra Cain, the second Batgirl, speaks very little. She is the daughter of assassins and was trained to use her actions over words. With Barbara Gordon once again able to be Batgirl, Cassandra now goes by the moniker of Orphan. She's trying to find her place in the world coming from a sheltered upbringing full of fighting and violence

    Kate Kane, Batwoman, is a relative of Bruce Wayne and the first openly gay character in the Batman family. She was kicked out of the military for being a lesbian and with the help of her father trained to help fight crime using the Batwoman alias. Unlike most of the Batman family, she did this without consulting Bruce first and had to earn his trust. She is now an integral member of the Batman family and most recently found out her father was on the wrong side of the law and had to take him down. She's been romantically linked to Renee Montoya and Maggie Sawyer, both members of law enforcement.

    Harper Row, known as Bluebird, creates high-tech weaponry, and prior to becoming part of the family figured out that Bruce Wayne was Batman. Not one to trust anyone, he didn't immediately bring her into the fold but made her basically prove herself. She's still a bit of a wildcard perhaps with the least amount of training. She also has become a friend to Orphan, who has latched onto Harper as a lifeline to the real world.

    Duke Thomas, now known as The Signal, was working as a protege of Batman's. He debuted during The Robin War storyline where normal guys and girls all took up the mantle of We Are Robin. Duke showed the most promise, but never officially became a Robin. He's training under Bruce and has since been given his new name, The Signal.

    Interestingly about all of this, is that most people think of Batman as a loner, but since the first Robin that's never really been the case. He's currently surrounded by more people than ever who help him keep not only Gotham but the world in its entirely safe.

    Bet you didn't know they all existed huh?

  29. #69
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    I didn't. I knew about Dick Grayson becoming a hero in his own right and the shift to Jason Todd. And I knew about there being more than one batgirl but could only name Barbara Gordon. So most is new to me.

    Do you know much about the transition between these, or when the new characters come in? When and why they felt the need to make a change?

  30. #70
    You know, the change always revolved around one of Batman's villains trying to find his weakness, and that was the people around him. Jason Todd was blown up, Barbara Gordon was shot, Tim Drake was killed, all because they were close to Batman and all by his villains. It was basically plot devices to cause Bruce Wayne more angst, as if he didn't have enough already, and his villains trying to break him mentally.

    So speaking of mental illness, let's shift back to Marvel and a character I find pretty interesting, and one that I'm sure is new to you- Moon Knight!

    Moon Knight has been talked about as a potential Netflix show in the next round of Marvel shows, but nothing concrete as of yet. I think he'd be quite interesting, because....well.....he's nuts.

    His real name is Marc Spector, and long story short he was a mercenary for hire after leaving the CIA. He already had some mental issues after his brother killed his girlfriend. Spector killed his brother and the history of mental breaks began. While working as a mercenary with his friend Frenchie, he didn't agree with the plans that were made from the guy they were working for, villain named Bushman. They were attempting to rob an archaeological site and Spector turned on his employer but was taken down and left for dead. Well, he was found near the tomb of Khonsu, dead. However he came back to life, believing he was resurrected by Khonsu to become his Moon Knight of vengeance.

    From there, his mental disorders continued, as he created two other personalities, Steven Grant and Jake Lockley. Grant was a millionaire playboy was Lockley was a cab driver. He went back to the states to fight crime, but the personalities he created to help him and his already established mental illness started to meld, and Spector often didn't know which person he really was. What started as cover stories became multiple personality disorder. In recent years he's tried to contact Khonsu, who he says he talks to regularly for guidance, to try and rid him of what he believes to be the God's curse. The interesting part of Spector's story is that while the reader sees Khonsu and Spector talk, you're never really sure what's in his head and what isn't, and the writers frequently leave that open to interpretation.

    Has Spector really been resurrected and cursed by the God of the Moon, or is he really just becoming more and more insane. The stories follow his fractured psyche, but there's certainly enough there to make you believe both sides of things. It's a very interesting take on a super hero.

  31. #71
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    Ah, so it's all storyline then? I wondered if the new versions might have had something to do with real world factors, like an attempt to modernise or reflect something current or something like that. Wouldn't know what because I don't know when they happen, but speculating.

    This Moon Knight is completely new to me, and a quick google of the art work suggests that it's going to look very different from the kind of stuff that I'm used to seeing. Looks like grey kind of dominates it and then there's black and white and just a hint of other colouration. I guess that's probably more common in more recent years. I know the movie Sin City, which I think comes from this kind of world (?) looked a bit similar.

    Interesting that insanity seems to come up a lot - quite a common trope across both marvel and DC. And interesting that here's it's an unstable hero rather than villain, seems a neat twist on an old idea.


    Incidentally, I did get some of the DC Chronicles out for a look myself. Got an early Batman and Superman and the 1st Green Lantern. I can't say I've turned into a massive fan overnight or anything like that but I quite like looking at some of the drawings, kind of cool in a retro sort of a way. Struggling a bit with Superman to be honest, but finding more to like in the other two. Surprising, too, because I like most of the Superman movies, but this just hasn't clicked with me at all. Batman's probably got the best dialogue of the lot. Green Lantern seems to be a bit simpler at the moment, possibly because it's newer and they're just familiarising everyone with the conceits at the heart of the character. It's amazing how in every one of these early stories he needs to affect a yellow thing that his power ring can't touch, for example.

  32. #72
    Moon Knight is certainly much different than your standard superhero stuff. At times the only person he's battling is himself. It's a real journey and keeps you guessing and questioning as I mentioned.

    Funny you mention Superman not clicking, because if there's on comic (or series of comics) that I just can't read, it's the Superman ones. I've never been a fan at all, except for maybe the Christopher Reeve Superman movies. I hated Man of Steel and I just find the character a bit of a snooze. Batman for sure has the most teeth to it that you can dig into to. Green Lantern grew over time to be more complex a character once the Guardians and all the other rings developed. His inability to affect the color yellow for example no longer exists. It is a title that I quite enjoyed the evolution of.

  33. #73
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    I mean I'm sure you're right, but at this point I don't know if it's as much about character for me. In these chronicles we're talking super early stuff, so it's like 1940s for Superman and Batman and then the very, very first Green Lantern stuff which I think is late 50s and 1960. So the character is pretty much the same in each of them. Alter ego is doing something, observes crime or something suspicious, ducks and out and changes into super hero, and then goes off to deal with it in pretty heroic fashion. Even Batman, there's no hint of the darker side to the character, even though the stories already do have more of a 'real criminal' tone to them. I know that'll come later, but here he's still very much a 'white meat babyface'.

    What's bothered me here is that in the one Superman story, which is only a few pages long, he's yo-yoed back and forth between Superman and Clark Kent about six times and when he does become Superman, the solution in every instance is always 'strength'. It's just kind of predictable. In the other cases there seems to have been a bit more variety to how the basic plot has been constructed. I'm going to look at the Superman stuff a bit more just to not make a snap judgement on it, but yeah, not impressed so far.

    I actually liked Man of Steel, but as you can tell I've obviously got a whole lot less invested in this stuff so you have to factor that in.

    Also, I know it's early days and all.... but I'm quietly starting to like The Green Lantern stuff. Just moved from the Showcase stuff to the actual names comics, and this seems to be opening it out to the more Interstellar police thing you referred to above. I'm not sure I fully expected to be a convert, but there's a strong sci-fi crossover and I'm kind of digging it a bit. Though I've heard too many bad things to try and watch the movie.


    OK, Rob - whenever you're ready, feel free to hit me up again.

  34. #74
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    Loving this thread recently!

    I've been reading a few comics regularly from a pull list from my local comic store (shout out to OK Comics in Leeds!). My favourite, and one I think I'll return to again and again, is the Wicked and the Divine. Helped by the fact that it's from my favourite team of creators (Kieron Gillen/Jamie McKelvie/Matt Wilson - those of you who know a bit about me will have seen my comic book sleeve which is from a previous comic of theirs, Phonogram: The Singles Club), it's about a group of Gods who inhabit human forms for 2 years every 90 years (the recurrence). By the end of the 2 year period they're all dead. It's about life, death, and (as expected with these guys) pop music, really. I don't want to go into too much detail here, but it's worth looking at if that sort of thing is your bag, and I'd certainly recommend grabbing the first arc (The Faust Act) for a taster if you're that way inclined. I love it a lot. It's also been optioned (is that the word) by Universal for a TV adaptation, which I'm really excited for.

    Other things I get - Ms Marvel is pretty much the only recurring Marvel or DC thing I've got on my list right now. I've never really been bothered with the big names on either publisher, outside of Wolverine and X-Men stuff, but Ms Marvel has really grabbed me with the current team and approach. Strangely, I think a lot of the comics stuff I like leans a little bit more towards that teenage/early-20s kind of finding yourself story arcs. Probably says something about me. I'll ask my therapist.

    Kill Or Be Killed (by the Brubaker/Phillips dream team) is developing into being quite something. It's about a guy who is haunted by a demon that forces him to kill people or else he himself will be killed, as the title might suggest. So rather than just random kills he tries to search for immoral people to target so it feels like he's at least doing some good. It's kind of spun away a bit from that premise into a more personal story about the protagonist in recent issues, but it's really working and I'm enjoying it a lot.

    The other two I pick up are Bitch Planet (about a future world where all women who are non-compliant are sent to a prison in space) and The Dying and The Dead (which had some real teething problems in 2015, got to three issues and then stopped for about 18 months before starting again, but is now moving along a bit more regularly. It's about a guy trying to save his daughter from cancer, and is shaping up to be quite a story).

  35. #75
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    For Superman, I really like "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?" and the "All Star Superman" series, and a couple scattered stories. But yeah, mostly Supes doesn't do it for me.

  36. #76
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    It's funny, I did persevere a bit and the next few stories were a bit more entertaining. I guess it's going to be up and down. One thing I'm enjoying is the window into the mind of the time that you get, because they are so old. The Green Lantern stuff I looked at it is very cold war so there's a lot of missiles clearly looming large in the consciousness. The Superman stuff is 1941, and he's just attacked a guy who is clearly meant to be Hitler.

    I think I'll get some more out when I take these back to the library. Will probably follow Rob's pattern and jump across to Marvel this time, though I don't know if they have something as 'introductory' as the DC Chronicles I've been looking at. Will see when I get there, I guess.

  37. #77
    OK- so let's go back to Marvel and hit you up with the other "street-level" heroes that are part of the Netflix series.

    Luke Cage- otherwise known as Power Man, Cage actually got his powers while in prison. He was subjected to some experiments being performed on inmates and while most of the inmates died, Cage actually survived and ended up with impenetrable skin and enhanced strength. He's always seemed to deflect the label of "super hero", instead just being a guy that tries to do right and make amends for his past wrongs. The Netflix show takes place in Harlem, and is really pretty good from a stand-alone series. He's been an Avenger through the years, as well as teamed up with another of the Netflix guys, Iron Fist. Together they were Heroes for Hire, actually kind of making a profit off their good deeds, but in the end diverting that money for something good in the neighborhoods, etc. In the comics, he actually ended up marrying, and subsequently divorcing Jessica Jones, the third of the Netflix heroes we'll talk about today. They had a bit of a strange relationship in the comics, as they were both a bit of a mess when they got together. Well, Jessica's a bit of a mess all the time, but we'll get to that....

    Right now!

    Jessica Jones- Like some other heroes, Jessica got her powers by accident. As a child she was in a car accident with her family when they ran into a military truck carrying radioactive chemicals (there seems to be a lot of those around huh?). Her entire family died, but she lived and when she awoke she had limited invulnerability, enhanced strength, and a somewhat ability to fly. She tried to be a hero, going by the name of Jewel, but well, she just wasn't very good at it. She never mastered flying, but got very good at falling and she just didn't like being a hero. She got jaded by the superhero game and became a private investigator, as well as a raging alcoholic. She uses her powers when necessary, but is kind of a bitch generally. As I mentioned, she ended up with Luke Cage, which differs from the Netflix shows. Their first date involved her getting totally trashed and having anal sex with Cage. Yes, this happened in the comics. She's gotten better over the years, but generally she's a bit of a nasty person.

    Iron Fist (Danny Rand)- So here's where the Netflix and comics differ the most in terms of character. In the Netflix series, Danny Rand is a major pain in the ass. In fact, he's the worst thing in the show, which is a big problem. He's a rich kid from a rich family who's parents die in a plane crash. He's found in the mountains by the monks of K'un Lun, a mysterious city fabled for years but never proven real. This is all correct in both canon, however the portrayal of the character is very different. In the comics, Danny is rich yeah, but he's more confident, and a bit of a smart-ass. In the show, he's just whiny as fuck. Very unlikable. Anyway, he's taught by the monks and eventually becomes the Legendary Iron Fist, protector of K'un Lun. He can channel his inner Chi and create amazing force through his fist, enough to level a building if necessary. It's a cool character, but the Netflix show did it no justice.

    So that's street-level Marvel/Netflix. I want to go into Hulk stuff next we get into Marvel because there's so much more than just The Hulk that you know.

  38. #78
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    I read the Walking Dead still every month. I think it's still great. A very major death a few months ago happened (an original who died in the show long ago unlike the comics). Negan is such a great character in the comics.

  39. #79
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    If I was to jump into some of the Marvel stuff on Netflix, is there a sensible order to go in or is it more of a free for all?

    Got the Marvel masterwork X-men first strips out of the library. Found it harder to suss out where to go with Marvel than DC though. May post their holdings at some point to get some advice.

    Pretty up for Hulk when the time comes.

    Sorry CN, not ignoring your post. I am sure someone who knows what they are talking about will be along soon. I am just here to learn.


    Btw, the anal bit goes Waaaay beyond what I expected to hear about in a Marvel comic. Sex, drugs, sure. Just not that level of specifics. Adult themes indeed.

  40. #80
    Yeah the Netflix stuff certainly has an order.

    Daredevil
    Jessica Jones
    Daredevil 2 or Luke Cage
    Iron Fist (without doubt the worst of the bunch)
    Defenders (brings them all together)

    Yeah you can certainly ask me what to check out, I'm all for that. My personal pick for classic X-Men tale is the Dark Phoenix saga, which is X-Men 129-137

    Marvel at times has dabbled in some more adult themes, and while the anal sex scene is never "specific" in its mention, it's pretty apparent what is going on. We'll get into the Hulk family next Marvel go. Headed back to DC next once I pick our next subject.

    ComfortablyNumb- honestly I've never read the Walking Dead comics actually but I've heard the show veers off in quite a few directions. I've thought about diving in at some point but I just don't have that much time with as many issues as there are. Keep popping into the thread dude, it's been fun.

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