What's Actually Good (In Comics)

What's Actually Good (In Comics)
What's Actually Good (In Comics) #3

Dominic Davies | 31 Jan 2008 17:00
What's Actually Good (In Comics) - RSS 2.0

Welcome to What's Actually Good (In Comics), the column where I look at what's currently out and what soon to hit the shelves, as well as a bit of news on the side to push up the word count. In this issue, I manage to spell J. Michael Straczynski's name right in a review of his newest book, The Twelve, and rant about David Lapham's brilliant indie work instead of the book I am supposed to be looking at. What the hell am I talking about? Stick around, heroes, and find out!

J. Michael Straczynski has been producing comics off and on for 20 years now, writing for Marvel most recently. Some of you might recognize his name from shows like Babylon 5 (he created it) as well as choice episodes of The New Twilight Zone, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, as well as the best detective TV show in history, Murder, She Wrote (oh, yes). I have been enjoying his work in both mediums for over a decade, so I was a little uneasy when I found out he was leaving Amazing Spider-Man, top-selling, inglorious and clusterfuckish as the final arc was.

He's leaving Spidey to create a new book called The Twelve, published by Marvel. The first hit stores just a few weeks ago.

The story goes that during World War II, 12 Golden Age heroes are tricked and suspended in time by Nazis and are now revived in our modern age. If this sounds familiar that's because more or less the exact same thing happened to Captain America except, we have cryogenic chambers in lieu of nuclear rockets and the arctic. It seems the American government did a wonderful job misplacing their heroes during the second Great War.

Each character is from the Golden Age, and most were originally published by Marvel when they were actually known as Timely Comics. The characters themselves are all fairly unique - some have super powers, others don't - and while we haven't been given the chance to see much character development, what been there seems like it could be fun, as each character has begun conforming to a different classic stereotype (i.e. the mysterious one, the heroic one, the smart one, the strong one and so on). The Phantom Reporter, an un-powered member of the group, narrates each issue.

Chris Weston does a great job on pencils. He captures the heroes' different features and characteristics perfectly, and his art develops the characters as much as the dialogue. The larger splash pages are particularly striking, and it will be interesting to see the heroes once he has added his modern touch to their costumes. The cover from Kaare Andrews mimics an early pulp magazine and again fits perfectly with the book's tone.

Comments on