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January 19, 1999

Comix

by Chuck Miller

A VISIT WITH THE OLD COMICS CURMUDGEON

Howdy! It's been a while since we had the chance to sit down and talk funny books, ain't it? Well, sit down, make yourself comfortable. Help yourself to a can of Ensure. There's lots to discuss today.

So, did Santa Claus bring you a whole bunch of swell comic mags? Or were you like me-- got a bunch of socks and underwear and had to buy your own dang comics?

Y'know, back when I was a little shaver, comic books didn't cost but 20 cents each. That's right, and we had to walk 10 miles through the snow to get them, too!

Things are different now. You're lucky if you can find a funny book for under $2.50. And nowadays they're all full of cussin' and nekkid women and such. In my day, all we had was nice, wholesome all-American violence. And, heck, some of 'em run ya five bucks or more!

But, hey, who wants to sit and count pennies when there's so much "groovy" stuff out there to buy and read? Ain't that what you kids say these days when you mean "keen"?

Here, make yourself comfortable and take a look at some of the cool stuff I've bought over the last few weeks...

Here's "The Kingdom," from DC. It's a sort of sequel to 1996's "Kingdom Come," which was written by Mark Waid and painted by Alex Ross. Ross is not around for this latest deal, but Waid wrote it. What we got here is seven funny books, "Kingdom" #1 and #2, and five tie-ins. The tie-ins are the best of the bunch. We got one about Batman's boy, one about Plastic Man's son, the Flash's daughter and other superhumans of the near future whom we met in "KC." I like "The Kingdom." The story wasn't too hot, I guess, and the art on #2 (by Mike Zeck of all people) just plain sucked. But we find out that all the alternate realities supposedly destroyed during the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" so many years ago still exist in something called "hypertime." What is "hypertime?" Who knows? Who cares? Just so long as we may once again see things like the original "imaginary" Superman Red and Superman Blue. Yep, "hypertime" not only includes the stuff wiped out in the Crisis, but it also holds all the imaginary stories and all the "Elseworlds" tales and everything else you can imagine. We will find out more about "hypertime" in upcoming issues of "Superboy." Now there's a book I've never much cared about, but they're gonna rope me into buying it anyhow. Clever little rascals, ain't they?

Right there under your foot you got "Jay and Silent Bob's Holiday Special" from Oni Press. That was a real scream. That Kevin Smith is an amusing feller. He makes those funny movies and he writes these funny comics. He's also writing "Daredevil" from Marvel and "Green Arrow" from DC.

Lord, why can't I have a life like his?

Well, we might as well not get into that right now...

Marvel Comics durn near went out of business last year. They was all hung up in bankruptcy court and everything. But some fellers from the Toy Biz company bought 'em and bailed 'em out of trouble I guess -- fired a whole slew of corporate types... But Marvel is still around. They may not be "Mighty" Marvel right now, but at least they ain't quite belly-up. That "Daredevil" I mentioned before is pretty good. The "new" Spider-Man titles are so-so. But considering that I expected them to really truly stink, I guess I came out ahead on that deal. They're worth reading, but only just.

Let's look at some more of these DCs. They're really the only ones worth getting worked up over right now. "Starman" is lookin' pretty good. In issue #51, him and his buddies take a little trip through time and meet Superman's daddy, Jor-El, back on Krypton before it exploded. Turns out it was Starman and friends who drew Jor-El's attention to earth in the first place-- even gave him a roadmap to our planet! Ain't that a hoot!

"JLA" is still coming on strong. Grant Morrison, though, is talking about leaving in a year or so. Of course, he's a foreigner -- Scottish I believe-- and you know how flighty them people can be. But he promises all kinds of slam-bang action before he takes off, including an invasion from the Fifth Dimension. Not the singing group, the home of Superman's old nemesis, Mr. Mxyzptlk. And then there's the coming of Maggeddon, which promises to be one hell of a pickle for the world's greatest superheroes. It seems this Maggeddon is... Well, I really ain't got time to go into it now. Let's just say he (or it) is one bad mother....

Oops! Wouldja look how late it's gettin'! I got to take my medicine and then it'll be time for "Matlock." You better head on home. I think I hear yer mama callin' for ya. Now, mind you don't step in my flowerbed on your way out. That's right. Okay, see ya later.

Durn kids....


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