Comics Ate My Brain

September 9, 2007

Sunday Soliloquy

Filed under: blue devil, phantom stranger, sunday soliloquy — Tom Bondurant @ 6:40 pm
The Phantom Stranger gets no respect. First Madame Xanadu won’t let him protect Jack “The Creeper” Ryder from Man-Bat…


… and then Blue Devil and Etrigan have the gall to fight while he’s trying to soliloquize!

[From “The Day All Hell Broke Loose,” Blue Devil Annual #1, 1985. Written by Gary Cohn and Dan Mishkin, pencilled by Paris Cullins, inked by Gary Martin and Bill Collins.]

September 5, 2007

Busy and busier

Filed under: 52, blue devil, countdown — Tom Bondurant @ 3:22 am
I’m going out of town for a few days, back to Kentucky for a seminar. Should have a new Sunday Soliloquy up, along with some thoughts on new comics.

I finally completed my Blue Devil collection, though, and spent much of my free time this past weekend reading those. I like the book more today than I did then, and I got it faithfully almost from start to finish (it ran 31 issues and an Annual) when it first came out. Alan Kupperberg took over as penciller after Paris Cullins drew the first several issues, and I remember preferring Cullins, but Kupperberg doesn’t suffer by comparison as much now.

Back then, too, I was a lot less plugged-into the immediate pre- and post-Crisis DC lineup (hard to believe, I know). Today, I can appreciate more of what writers Dan Mishkin and Gary Cohn were trying to do. In large part, they succeeded at placing a new character in the context of the then-current DC Earth (Earth-1, specifically). I daresay you almost have to spend more time … evoking, for lack of a better word, the standard DC “playing field,” in order to ground readers. 52 did this very well, of course, and I’ve said before (I think) that Countdown kinda doesn’t.

Anyway, if you see Blue Devil in the back-issue bins, give it some attention. I especially liked the Annual, which saw Paris Cullins return as penciller and featured a host of familiar mystical guest-stars. Besides, BD is now part of Shadowpact (a book I don’t read) and his sidekick is a Teen Titan (a book I just started getting again). Both have gone through some pretty radical changes since their happy-go-lucky ’80s days, so I’ll be interested in hearing what you think if you come at the old series from a different perspective.

Meanwhile, check out this BD/Amazons Attack-related post from Blog@Newsarama, and a new Grumpy Old Fan should pop on Thursday through the magic of the Internet.

Talk to you soon.

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