TBT: Peter’s Comic Page: Reading List

Continuing through the pages of my old 2002 AOL homepage on comics. Today’s page features those comics on my reading list as of August 2002. Thoughts following the image. And ignore any spelling errors. Heh.



I thoroughly enjoyed Power Company by Kurt Busiek and Tom Grummett (and the rest of the creative team) for its short run. It played with the corporate super-hero team concept and used the DC Universe and its unique elements in smart ways: S.T.A.R. Labs, Firestorm, the Manhunter clones, Golden Age characters like the Black Dragon Society, even creating new legacy characters such as Lieutenant Jen Stuart, granddaughter to Jeb Stuart who acts as her spirit guide, much the same way he was guided during World War II by Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart. I’ve long since sold those issues, but I’d be willing to back issue dive to reread the series once more in the future.

Damn – I still need to finish Promethea some day. It’s only been twelve years. Ha.

Before there was Saga, there was a book called Reign of the Zodiac by Keith Giffen and Colleen Doran (I only knew it as Zodiac at this point). It only lasted 8 issues but I dug that book. It was wide in scope but just wasn’t around long enough to really push any of its storylines beyond initial stages. Big ensemble books are a favorite of mine – and then you mix in space opera and I’m sold. Before Reign of the Zodiac, books like the Five Years Later Legion run and Asimov’s Foundation series had often informed my own thoughts on a similar type of grand space opera epic. But then Reign of the Zodiac echoed ideas I had on using the Zodiac as a backdrop to tell the larger story (leftover from my love of the Amethyst series no doubt). Add to that how perfect a title Saga is – and I mean exactly that: the title itself, it’s so obvious and so spot on – and all those old ideas feel derivative now. Ah well – it’s not like those titles invented the wheel. Back to the point, it wasn’t on everyone’s reading list, but Giffen’s Reign of the Zodiac could have been the start of something great. I’ll take Giffen’s canceled series over longer, less interesting titles any day.

PS/ The homepage main image for this post is a picture from my old record book featuring a look at those comics purchased around August 2002. Interesting to notice that Hawkman #6 was the 6900th comic I purchased (yes, I used to keep count). Also, “Out of Time” is the long since closed Philadelphia comic store I used to frequent when I lived in Center City. The front of the store was mostly merchandise – and in the back were racks of comics with several months worth of a title at cover price. I don’t believe they had back issue bins. There were other stores, but this one was close enough to visit often. For those familiar with Philly, it was located near the corner of Broad and Chestnut by the Prince Theatre.


2 thoughts on “TBT: Peter’s Comic Page: Reading List

  1. Reign of the Zodiac was set to be something special. It’s too bad it didn’t get a chance. Too ambitious maybe? (I see/hear similar things to challenging television shows, notably from Kyle Killen, who’s a recent TV creator to move into my sights and who also wrote one of the online Adventures of Superman stories that I thoroughly enjoyed [#14, maybe, with Pia Guerra doing art I believe]) Anyway, I actually came to this series the other way, through an interview/profile of Colleen Doran’s “new work.” I’ve loved her stuff since I picked up issue #3 of A Distant Soil and try to follow her to whatever she is working on, and for the most part I have enjoyed everything of hers I’ve read – and this was no exception.
    Thanks, as always, for posting and churning up some good memories.


    1. Too ambitious and too “not mainline DC”. Since it was under the DC brand, it was bound to get ignored since it wasn’t in the DC lore. Lots of side titles like that suffer – even when they had loose ties. I think of Monolith and Bloodhound and even Young Heroes in Love and many others. Readers didn’t try them in enough numbers and retailers didn’t order them in high enough quantities. Think of how awesome RotZodiac could’ve been in large format hardcovers.

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