Author Archive | D. Jason Cooper

Sandman and Sandy

Jack Kirby and The Kid

  Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko are the comic-book artists best known for “other” worlds. But where Steve Ditko’s “other” was strange (pun intended), Kirby’s was overwhelming. Ditko’s Eternity was ethereal, literally a doorway in humanoid form. By contrast, Kirby’s Galactus is overwhelming, almost a burden on the page. But Kirby had a polar opposite […]

Continue Reading

Thor and the Mighty Thor

In Melbourne there was a nursing home which was the premier residence for holocaust survivors. The home understood their issues, these people who feared their nightmares: not the ones they had but the ones they had lived through. They feared the sound of train whistles and as dementia took some of them, they feared the […]

Continue Reading

The Magicians, Part II

In the 1940s comics had established certain patterns.  If a writer and artist were told to come up with a stage-magician crime fighter, as opposed to a costumed crime fighter, as opposed to a hard-boiled detective magical crime fighter, they pretty well knew what to do.  Like magical characters, generally, there were three main sources […]

Continue Reading

The Magicians

Once upon a time they were numerous, and popular, and had significance in the history of comic books.  Then, presto, they were all but gone, sucked into the black hole of the comic book Dark Ages.  Outside of nostalgia pieces, only one remains and DC is trying to change even that. Yes, categories of heroes […]

Continue Reading

Eyes of the Gorgon

WWWWW? That is, What’s Wrong With Wonder Woman? She has the most unfulfilled potential of any superhero in the DC or Marvel universes. Put that in corporate terms: there is no other character that could rake in a larger increase in money than Wonder Woman if she were handled right. According to DC, Wonder Woman […]

Continue Reading

The Batman Serials

Two Saturday-morning theatrical serials of Batman were produced in the 1940s, and it’s hard to overestimate the influence they had on the character. After all, Hugh Hefner showed these serials at the Playboy mansion and crowd response led to ABC putting on the Batman television show. Not only that, it was the 1943 movie serial, […]

Continue Reading

Wolverine: Legacies

Wolverine first appeared near the end of 1974. Children who read that comic would be past middle age before his background would be fully sketched in (assuming the job’s done). It is easy to forget, now, but originally the Wolverine was a mystery man, even to himself. Neither he nor we knew who he was. […]

Continue Reading

Green Arrow: The Bronze Age

When they published Superman, the Golden Age began. When they redesigned the Flash and Green Lantern, the Silver Age began. But the Bronze Age is defined by a hash of ideas, a revival of attitudes, and a few assumptions no one wants to talk about. Generally, the Bronze Age is taken as being from 1970 […]

Continue Reading

Space Western Comics

After all is said and done, and let’s face it, all has been said and done, you wonder why Charlton did it. They took a cowboy and put him into space. Of course science fiction and westerns can never quite leave each other alone. Star Trek was sold to the network as Wagon Train in […]

Continue Reading

Welcoming the Future, Treasuring the Past.