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October 19, 1999


Musings of a Comic Book Reading Man

by Chuck Miller

Lots to say this week. I missed the last issue because of certain problems -- memory deficiencies, etc. Not to mention being just plain lazy and sorry. But that's neither here nor there. What's important is what's going on in the wonderful world of comic books.


Everybody who cares -- and we all should -- probably knows by now that Hal Jordan is the new Spectre. This could be a good thing. It could be a bad thing. Only time and the new Spectre series will tell. It will be written by J.M. DeMatteis, so you can take that for whatever it's worth to you. Some people like him, some don't. I think he's done some good work. I think he's also done some bad work. So, for now, let's give him the benefit of the doubt. He wrote the latest issue of JLA, which sort of introduced the Hal-Spectre, and it didn't make me gag... so we'll see.....

Of course, the whole Hal-Spectre deal was introduced in this summer's big DC crossover event, "Day of Judgment," which was written by Geoff Johns, who also writes "Stars and STRIPE." "Stars" is a wonderful book, one which I think I have recommended before, and am doing again. And will continue to do, whenever the opportunity arises.

As for "Day of Judgment," it wasn't too bad, as far as these crossover things go. There is one minor character death, the formation of a new super-team (the Sentinels of Magic), and maybe a brand-new character, Faust, son of old-time Justice league baddie Felix Faust. I guess he's new -- I haven't seen him before, but then I don't read EVERYTHING that comes out....

I just have one thing I HAVE to say, and I hope Geoff Johns won't be too offended, and I also hope that the praise I've given him here and in other columns will mitigate this somewhat -- but Etrigan the Demon had some of the WORST rhymes in "DoJ" that I've ever read. I know it must be difficult to write a character who speaks in verse -- I'm sure I couldn't do any better -- but she....


Ah, Xena. I love Xenix. I like her friend, Gabrielle, too. I sometimes dream that I'm alone with them on an island somewhere near Greece, and... Well, I'll save that one for "Penthouse Letters." What I wanted to talk about was the new Dark Horse Xenix comic. It's good. I mean, really good. If you were put off by the generally low quality of Topps' now-defunct Xenix series, your worries are over. The Warrior Princess is in good hands.


I'm afraid just about everything Marvel does still sucks. The "new" Spider-Man books are beyond the pale. John Byrne's "new" Hulk is beyond whatever's beyond the pale. "Spider-Girl," on the other hand, isn't too bad. I can recommend it, with a few reservations. Buy it at a discount store, if you can.

"Earth X" isn't too bad, either.


Alan Grant, who used to write "Shadow of the Bat" and "Anarky" for DC, is one of the coolest guys in the business, without a doubt. He is extremely generous with his time and always willing to listen to his fans. Let me tell ya what he did.

Lately, I've been dabbling in "fanfic." For those not in the know, that is where you write a story of your own, based on a favorite TV or comic book or movie character and post it somewhere on the web. There are thousands of sites, devoted to just about any character you can think of.

So, anyhow, a few months ago, I wrote a piece, for my own amusement mainly, in which Mulder and Scully from "The X-Files" meet Batman. Captain Comics was kind enough to post it on his site (, I got some positive feedback from it, so I wrote a sequel. On a whim, I sent a copy of that to Mr. Grant. Well, imagine how I felt when, not two weeks later, he wrote me back! He had actually sat down, read the story and taken the time to comment on it! What a cool guy! Not only that, but he gave me some suggestions as to what I might do with it (No, not THAT!!). I don't want to say too much about that for fear of jinxing myself, but I'll let you know if anything develops.

Anyway, if you're interested, my first story "Gotham X" can still be seen on the Captain's website, though it will probably soon be replaced with the sequel, "Don't Fear the Pusher." "Gotham X" will still be available at the Gossamer Archive, an X-Philes site.

The Harbinger