Fantastic Four Visionaries
Reprinting Fantastic Four Vol. 1 issues #232 - #240
by John Byrne
Paperback - 224 pages
Believe me, when Marvel started the Visionaries
line I wasn’t very impressed. Kevin Smith is an alright comic book writer but the first Daredevil
Visionaries should have not been him. And X-Men
Visionaries: Joe Madureira? Please, more like a
peyote vision. What the hell was Bob Harras smokin’!
When I heard that Marvel was going to be releasing a Fantastic
Four Visionaries: John Byrne "best of" I
was pretty upset. Frank Miller’s work on Daredevil
was comprehensively reprinted in three volumes. I
felt that they weren’t giving Byrne’s run on FF
as much respect as they gave Miller’s run on Daredevil.
But Marvel came through and has started the first
reprint volume of Byrne’s
run on Fantastic Four. These stories hold up
just as well, if not better, than when they first appeared in
the early 1980’s. About the only things out of date
are the hairstyles and when someone mentions “those
new solar powered calculators.”
I only had a smattering of issues from Byrne’s run
so this book is great for people like me and even
better for people who have those issues and don’t
want to ruin them in anticipation of the upcoming Fantastic
Four movie. For the first time I get to read
stories I only read about in flashback or in Marvel
Universe. Stuff like how the Inhumans moved to the
moon, when Frankie Raye (Nova) first burst into flames
and, this is the coolest one, Byrne started
experimenting with the Invisible Girl’s powers and
she was able to travel on her shield. Awesome.
The book has just a few problems. Like the coloring
should have been rendered again, perhaps on computer. Also, every trade paperback from every company should be
accompanied by an introduction. I don’t care if it's by Byrne himself, Terry Austin or even Joe Quesada
talking about what an impact these books had on people
that influenced him. But since Marvel’s
trade paperbacks keep going up in price, give us a
Horrible, Horrible Cartoons
Paperback - 96 pages
Did you ever read The Family Circus? Don’t worry,
Ivan Brunetti did. Probably
just everyday for 25 years and it screwed him up big
time. Haw! is subtitled, "Horrible, Horrible Cartoons" and believe me these
cartoons are everything
sick could possibly be. From misogyny to castration to
every God dies on the very first page.
As I wrote above, if Alan Moore had gotten the rights
to revamp Family
Circus and Peanuts instead of changing the names of
the Charlton characters, it would be Haw!
But it's funny and even I was offended but offended in
that funny way. Like
if my girlfriend saw me laughing at it, I would hide
the book, but if some
artsy stranger in a downtown coffee shop saw me
reading it while they were
sipping their damn latte I would show it to them just
so they would walk
Brunetti is obviously a fan of the Marquis de Sade. It
was always rumored
that de Sade’s The 120 Days of Sodom wasn’t an actuality but a fantasy done
by a brilliant satirist ripping the seams of an
uptight society. I would say
nearly the same statement about Haw!
It wouldn’t be right just to pigeonhole Brunetti as
comic strip. On the back of it he proves by having a
quote by Arhur Schopenhauer, one of the
more influential philosophers of the 20th century. The
quote is, “The world is itself the last judgment on
it.” Reading into it,
every single one of the events that takes place could
have happened in real
life and Brunetti is holding up that classic mirror to
society. But it's also
Brunetti tries in both in the first and last page of
the book to play this
book and his role in it down. In the first page he
says that these are jokes
he thought of a long time ago. Still, I have the feeling he came up with them
a week before being published and still finds them
just as funny as always.
And in the last page he calls himself impotent. And
with all the anger
spewed out on these pages……..this I believe.
Metabarons: Book 2
Reprinting issues 6 - 10
Alexandro Jodorowsky and Juan Giminez
As Warren Ellis has stated in the past, this book defies
description. Jodorowsky has created some of the most
visually unique films
of all time like the cult film El Topo and more
recently 1989’s Santa Sangre. But with the
Metabarons he may have created his most
beautiful work and
compelling work yet.
Years before David Lynch did his film version of Dune,
Jodorowsky was set to
do his. He had hired Moebius (before The Airtight
Garage) and had met with
SFX wizard Douglas Trumbull. But as we all know it was
not met to be.
Metabarons may well be a form of revenge. The
series is more
multi-layered than anything
Lynch or anyone else has ever has done with the
science fiction form.
Jodorowsky has created a fascinating lineage within
this world. The
Metabarons are a long line of powerful warriors who
must be killed by their
sons who thus become the new Metabaron in their stead.
The Metabarons are
super-strong, fast, and when one unhooks from his
robotic feet he can fly
due to an accident of birth.
The story is fascinating; my only complaint is
that the story is
told in flashback by this extremely annoying robot to
a more “naïve” robot.
Perhaps this humorous aspect of the story is lost in
the translation from
French to English.
But though the story is brilliant, and would perhaps
still be brilliant if
Scott Adams of Dilbert fame were drawing it, artist
and frequent Jodorowsky
collaborator Juan Gimenez brings it to a level that
would even drop Terry
Gilliam’s jaw in awe. Each page has something new
and wonderful to look at. It
is an insane book. And I have never enjoyed comic book
space sagas (or movie
ones for that matter). If the Wachowski brothers (creators of
The Matrix films) subjugate a comic book, this
will probably be it.
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