Archive | Comics 101

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Comics 101 In Focus: A Shocking Development

It’s all about perspective, really. If you’ve been reading SPIDER-MAN comics any time for the last few years, you know who the major villains are and who the small fry are, and odds are that the Shocker probably isn’t going to make the first list. However, when Li’l Scott was reading Spidey at the tender […]

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Dead Man Walking

You know, some superheroes have it better than others when it comes to origins. Spider-Man was bitten by a radioactive spider; irritating, but hardly traumatic. Superman’s rocketship ride to Earth from Krypton? Maybe crippling emotionally, but hey, he was young – he adjusted. When it come to origins, nobody had it worse than the Spectre, […]

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Cap Flies Air Gangster

I love comics. And specifically, I love old comics. And even more specifically, I love old comics I’ve never read before, because you absolutely never know what you’re gonna find. Case in point: this year at the San Diego Comic Con, I found myself trying to put together a full set of Jack Kirby’s 1970s […]

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Going Abroad: Justice League of America, Part XIII

For Those Who Came In Late: We’ve been exploring the history of the Keith Giffen/J.M. DeMatteis-helmed iteration of the JUSTICE LEAGUE, most remembered for its wacky hijinks and razor-sharp dialogue, despite the fact that there was a fair amount of drama and characterization being offered in those pages. And as comics readers of the time […]

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Lightening the Mood: Justice League of America, Part XI

Previously in COMICS 101: Last time, we began our discussion of the Giffen/DeMatteis era of JUSTICE LEAGUE, in which the Justice League reorganized following the events of the DC summer miniseries LEGENDS, with a membership consisting of many of the company’s biggest stars. Complicating matters for team leader Batman is the involvement of the mysterious […]

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Never a Bridesmaid, Always a Bride

A few years back, it was big news all around when Clark Kent and Lois Lane finally tied the knot, an editorial decision DC stuck with for a decade or so, before kicking over their universe and starting again with the New 52. What no one seemed to make much mention of was that this […]

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Too Many Earths

With the CW DC television series embarking on a giant CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS crossover this season, I’ve been getting a lot of CRISIS-related questions lately. Which makes it the perfect time for a refresher course… “What’s the difference between the Justice League and the Justice Society? Who came first?” “If Superman and Batman were […]

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In Focus: Killers Come in All Sizes

When you’re a little kid, it’s hard to predict what’s going to scare you. I could read horror comics all the time, and they never did much for me one way or the other. But what scared the dickens out of Li’l Scott back in 1976? This issue of WORLD’S FINEST, for one thing. In […]

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In Focus: The Jury of Super-Enemies

I think I’ve mentioned in these pages before that one of my favorite things about the San Diego Comic-Con is the annual back-issue crawl that fellow C101 columnist Chris Ryall and I make on Sunday afternoon. Quickly filing through aisles and aisles of quarter and dollar longboxes, it’s the most prime example of comic-book Darwinism. […]

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Remembering Dave Stevens

This column first appeared March 19, 2008. This is a tough one. Not only is Dave Stevens’ creation THE ROCKETEER such a longtime favorite of mine, but I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with Dave many times over the last 20 years or so, and he was just a hell of a nice […]

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Welcoming the Future, Treasuring the Past.