Monday, March 11, 2013
NO GREATER SIN
on what’s inside Sweethearts #106 [December 1951]. From the Grand
Comics Database and Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928-1999, I
can list some of the artists who contributed to issues around this
period - Vic Dowd, George Evans, Bob Powell, Mike Sekowsky and Marc
Swayze - but I have nothing specific on this issue.
Fawcett published 54 issues of Sweethearts from October 1948 to May
1953. The Sweethearts numbering started with #68, continuing from
Captain Midnight #1-67. The GCD also reports that Charlton bought
this title and the numbering continued as Sweethearts #122, V2 #23
Sweethearts does hold one spot in the record book. The GCD says it
was “the first monthly romance title, and the fourth romance title
on the stands, following Crestwood's Young Romance, Timely/Marvel's
My Romance and Fox Feature Syndicate's My Life.
Keep reading this bloggy thing for more vintage comic-book covers
from the month of my birth [December 1951}. As always, additional
information on these comics is most welcome and will be shared with
my bloggy thing readers.
One of my readers asked me how I could possibly enjoy any current
Marvel super-hero comics. Here’s my answer:
“Enjoy” doesn’t mean I think they are necessarily better than what
Marvel has published in the past...and that statement doesn’t mean
they are necessarily worse either. What they are...are different
from what has been published in the past.
I no longer consider any new Marvel super-hero to be in continuity
with the Marvels of the past. I don’t think Marvel still has any
kind of logical continuity, what with many characters appearing in
multiple books. There are not enough hours in the day for them to
be doing all that they do in all those titles.
When I read current Marvel titles, I simply consider them all to be
taking place in different “What If” universes. Like, for example,
“What If Doctor Octopus Killed Spider-Man and Took Over His Life?”
It’s an outrageous premise, but, by separating it from the Marvel
continuity I grew up with, wrote stories in and enjoyed for years
after I left Marvel, I can enjoy it on its own merits.
I recently read Amazing Spider-Man #700 - the mathematics of that
numbering are beyond me - Avenging Spider-Man #15.1 - oy vey with
the weird numbers - and Avenging Spider-Man #16. They didn’t suck.
Dan Slott’s story for Amazing Spider-Man #700 was well-written and
engaging. I prefer stories where the heroes win, but I recognize
that’s not the current fashion. I also prefer stories that aren’t
just grudge matches between heroes and villains, also not remotely
the current fashion. But, even with Octopus winning what appears
to be the ultimate victory, Peter Parker still managed to put some
respectable points on the scoreboard and, in doing so, gave Slott
and other writers a good underlying theme for future stories with
Christopher Yost did a good job following up on the events of that
“finale” in Avenging Spider-Man. The Spider-Octopus’ personality
adds a different and thus far entertaining to these new Spider-Man
adventures. It’s not the real Spider-Man, but, what with tens of
thousands of Spider-Man stories having been published, how many of
them can truly be called the “real” Spider-Man? It’s not something
I worry about anymore.
Steve Rogers has been trapped in a strange dimension for months and
protecting a young child in Captain America #1-3 by Rick Remender,
John Romita Jr and Klaus Janson. I’m pretty sure the good Captain
is also appearing in various Avengers comics at the same time and,
bottom line, I just don’t care. I’m enjoying this odd series as if
it were the only Captain America series being published today. I
don’t require it to fit into some vast continuity chart as long as
it entertains me.
Regular bloggy thing readers know I grew tired of the increasingly
dark Daredevil comics - before Mark Waid - and how dark Daredevil
himself became in those comics. Which doesn’t stop me from being
intrigued by Daredevil: End of Days by Brian Michael Bendis, David
Mack, Klaus Janson and Bill Sienkiewicz. It’s well-written, it’s
well-drawn and it has an emotional edge to it. I’m also enjoying
Sienkiewicz’s work on the series in particular. As far as I care,
this series revolves around a Daredevil and not the Daredevil. It
works for me on that basis.
The difference between the Marvel super-hero titles and DC’s “New
52" super-hero titles is that the Marvel titles are almost always
better written and better drawn than their DC counterparts. DC’s
comics rarely have an individual writer’s voice, which is something
I look for in comic books. DC’s art and storytelling, which some
notable exceptions, strikes me as cluttered and over-rendered. It
doesn’t draw me into the stories.
So that’s why I can still read and enjoy Marvel super-hero comics.
Because, while they might not feature the “real” versions of great
characters I have followed for decades, many are well-written and
well-drawn. Despite my being a comics fossil, I have very little
difficulty dealing with one, two or a dozen different versions of
Spider-Man, Daredevil and others. For me, they each exist in their
own universes and that’s just fine with me.
I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.
© 2013 Tony Isabella