Friday, July 18, 2014

Quasar #18

Quasar #18, "The Bearable Lightness of Being," Cover Date January 1991
Written by Mark Gruenwald, Penciled by Greg Capullo, Inked by Keith Williams

Quasar 18 Cover

One of the traps of writing about a decade of comics is to reduce a huge amount of work to a specific set of common tropes, and to make exceptions for "everything else" that doesn't fit into that narrative of what defines a decade. In reality, 10 years in most any media is a long time that sees more than one trend, and for comics in particular it was a time of rapid change. For Marvel in 1991, they were putting out more books than they ever had, but unlike their expansion later in the decade, there was such a huge new talent pool that Marvel was putting out some legitimately great books, and quite a few more that at the very least had a very talented artist working on them. In late 1990, you had Art Adams penciling Simonson scripts on a classic run of Fantastic Four, Jim Lee working with Claremont on X-Men, Todd McFarlane drawing long, flowing Hobgoblin capes on Spider-Man and Erik Larsen doing his best Steve Ditko impression on Amazing Spider-Man, while on Marvel's "second tier" of sellers you still had newcomer Mark Bagley working on New Warriors, JRJR penciling Iron Man (a natural fit since he didn't have to draw as many faces), Jim Valentino on Guardians of the Galaxy, a young Brian Hitch on Sensational She-Hulk, and Ron Frentz doing great work on Thor. In short, there was actually so much artistic talent that it didn't seem like such a bad idea to have 50 books a month being published. Unfortunately, within 2 years we'd see even more new titles as many of these artists abandoned Marvel to head for Image.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Review: Backlash #1

Backlash #1, "Issue Number One," Cover Date November 1994
Written by Sean Ruffner, Jeff Mariotte, and Brett Booth, Penciled by Brett Booth, Inked by four people with an assist from a fifth

Backlash 1 Cover

Backlash is a spin-off character of Stormwatch, one of the earliest outputs from Jim Lee's Wildstorm Universe. Very briefly, Backlash is a three thousand year old alien-human hybrid who is a martial arts master and has various other super powers, and served as a sort of drill sergeant for Stormwatch, Wildstorm's Justice League (their base was an orbiting space station called Skywatch). After almost 20 issues of the "core" title, which was able to meet deadlines in part because Jim Lee stopped doing even covers for the book almost immediately, Backlash got his own book, which would run 32 issues.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Review: Static #10

Static #10, "Mystery Date," Cover Date March 1994
Written by Robert L. Washington III, Pencilled by Brian O'Connell, Inked by Shawn Martinbrough

Static 10 Cover