The Daily Rios 331: Mini/Maxi Series: DC pt 4

On November 16, 2015 by Peter

Wrapping up a year by year look back at DC’s mini/maxi-series from the ’80s ending on 1988 and 1989. (18:18)

peter@thedailyrios.com

One Response to “The Daily Rios 331: Mini/Maxi Series: DC pt 4”

  • Oh, man. So much good stuff here. By ’88, I’d been collecting comics for four years, had finally gotten past those large numbers on the DC/Marvel superhero stories, and discovered Westfield Comics, allowing me to order anything and everything that was offered (as compared to the relatively good selection at my local bookstore). And I was buying a lot. Here goes:

    Cinder & Ashe: This a book I was aware of for a long time. I remember distinctly the house ads for the series, but for some reason I never picked it up until a few years ago. First time I started reading it, the Cajun accent Conway utilizes completely turned me off, stopped me dead every time I had to read a piece of dialogue that way. But I picked it up again last year and pushed my way through. I don’t remember much of the story, but the art is gorgeous. Wondering if the TPB has updated coloring. that would definitely be an improvement.

    Martian Manhunter: bought this when it came out, and only read it the one time. I don’t even think I still have it in my collection. Which is a longish way of saying I don’t remember much of it. But the Mark Badger image of that first cover is burned into my memory. His work was so different and distinct. I wish he was doing more work.

    Batman – the Cult: This is one of my favorite Batman stories. Wrightson’s art matches perfectly the chilling tale Starlin is writing here. And the color palette was definitely something that stood out for me, when I first read it, as well as in subsequent readings. This book stood out as one of the better (or more enjoyable) prestige format books to come out at the time.

    V for Vendetta: Alan Moore is my guy. And this is one of my favorites. I bought this in single issues (getting #3 at the first comic store I discovered, in Fredericton, NB, where the shop owner had to get my Dad’s permission to sell it to me, likening the content to a typical episode of Miami Vice), and it was, and is, great. No ads. Moody art from David Lloyd, with a dark, smoky, painterly color palette applied by Lloyd. I love this book. The revelations Moore teases out, the machinations of the government, the way V brings it all down, and the final mystery of who he was under that mask (so beautifully handled, I fell), it all works on a level most comics fail to achieve, which is no slight to those other books. This is just “other-level” storytelling—in my humble opinion.

    Hawk & Dove: I still really enjoy this book, having re-read it within the past year or so. Karl Kesel’s inks tighten up Rob Liefeld’s pencils to create some dynamic characters and scenes. Really enjoyable superhero fun, with some over the top characterizations that add to the whole enjoyment.

    Cosmic Odyssey: Another prestige book that felt important. I remember a reviewer mocking some of the plot points (specifically Batman calling someone on a payphone to be ready to help out against Darkseid), but this was a good book. Again, the distinctness of the art, from Mike Mignola, is the big selling point for me. Having a talented artist who doesn’t work in a house style is always something that will attract me as a reader.

    Deadshot: Suicide Squad was my favorite comic for much of its run. And getting a solo Deadshot series was icing on the proverbial cake. And with the main creative team. This is a harsh story, as you stated, and it would have repercussions in the main book, if I remember right. Ostrander, Yale, McDonnell — that was a winning team for me. Great stuff.

    The Prisoner: I had no concept of the Prisoner, when this was published. but it was PRESTIGE FORMAT, so I had to have it. And I enjoyed it, even if I didn’t understand much of it. The mysteries were intriguing because of that, and — again — the distinctness of Dean Motter’s artwork really sold me on this book.

    Unknown Soldier: Another book I remember fondly, though I can recall no details of it (except for the cover to that first issue, with the soldier running “toward the camera” his bandages threatening to unravel off his face, two guns in hand, iirc). Knowing this was written by Christopher Priest, I think I’ll have to go back and revisit it at some point.

    Invasion: Loved it. It was another big crossover, where nothing would ever be the same. the art from McFarlane was enjoyable, and I felt the transition to Bart Sears worked pretty well — though their line-styles are decidedly different, but they have a hyper-realistic approach that meshes well together.

    Black Orchid: I didn’t know who Neil Gaiman or Dave McKean were. But when I saw the cover image for the first issue in the Westfield catalog, I had to check it out. One of the most beautiful comics ever created. McKean’s art is gorgeous — from the moody, black and white (and red) drawing of Lex Luthor to the lush greens and yellows and reds and oranges of the amazon rainforest, every page is amazing. And the story wasn’t too bad, either. From here on out, I was a fan of both creators, and have rarely been (too) disappointed.

    Gilgamesh II: Jim Starlin writing and art. Really enjoyable trippy, scientifictional, fun story. Worth reading.

    Hawkworld: Of all the prestige books, including Dark Knight, this one has always been my favorite. there was definitely something in the dark, moody, noirish atmosphere that spoke to me. A rethinking of Hawkman that I felt worked incredibly well. I re-read this every few years, and it never disappoints. Love it.

    Deadman – Love After Death: Back when we had a real comic shop owner up here in the Bangor, Maine area, he started up an annual convention that, after five years, got pretty damn big (sadly, he had to get out of the comic business around that time). In the second year, he had Kelley Jones as a special guest. Jones shared art from his (then)-upcoming book, Deadman, with Mike Baron. This, along with his Sandman work, made me a fan of Jones. I love his insane anatomy and over-the-top visuals. I think I may need to re-read this soon, too.

    Thanks again for these episodes, Peter. Fun stuff. I love churning through memories of when I was first reading comics. “Talk” with you soon.

    -chris

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