giantman

A Marvelous Debut

Even today’s casual comic-book readers are familiar with the work of painter Alex Ross. Between his yearly treasury-sized DC books with writer Paul Dini and the numerous series he’s created for Marvel and DC, not to mention the hundreds of covers, paintings and prints he’s produced, the Alex Ross style has become an easily recognized […]

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fightingnazis

Splitting the Atoms

The original Justice Society of America was a pretty formidable group. You’ve got guys like Hourman, who can throw cars around like luggage, and the Flash, whose blinding speed makes him practically untouchable. Then there are folks like Green Lantern and Dr. Fate, who possess unthinkable power at their very fingertips. As if that wasn’t […]

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Beetlemania

It looks as though the upcoming BLUE BEETLE film has managed to survive the budget slashings at the now-tumultuous Warner Brothers/Discovery Studio, so it looks like we’ll be seeing the Jaime Reyes version of Blue Beetle making its way to the big screen in some form. Personally, I’ve always been a huge Beetle fan, but […]

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Winging It, Part III

ENDANGERED SPECIES – HAWKMAN, PART III For those who came in late:In previous installments of Comics 101 , we’ve explored the origins of the 1940s Hawkman character, as well as his 1960s counterpart. When last we convened, the question was: How would Hawkman fare in the wake of DC Comics’ sweeping editorial restructuring of their […]

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Winging It, Part II

Julius Schwartz had found a formula, and he was not letting go of it. The DC Comics editor had spearheaded a revival of the publisher’s line of superhero comics, which by the mid ‘50s had dwindled to Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, with second-stringers like Aquaman and Green Arrow hanging on as backup features. Starting […]

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crossbow

Winging It

The enormous feathered wings. The bare chest with the crossed straps. The freakish-looking beaked mask. “He fights the evils of the present with the weapons of the past.” There’s no two ways about it. In its purest, most visceral form, Hawkman is just plain cool. How then did DC Comics manage to screw up this […]

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allstar4

Strength in Numbers

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that comics, like everything else, don’t exist in a vacuum. Everything that comic-book readers think of as conventions, as benchmarks, even as clichés of the genre, had to appear somewhere first. Even something as basic as, say, the team-up. Before 1941, despite the fact that the newsstands were positively overflowing […]

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tunnel

Under Pressure

He’s a water-breathing strongman from the ocean’s depths, he’s the rightful king of Atlantis, and he’s often been allied with some of Earth’s most powerful superheroes. And he’s not Aquaman. DC’s Aquaman may get better publicity, but the original, accept-no-substitutes undersea hero is Marvel Comics’ Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner, who first appeared a full two […]

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past

A Star(Man) Is Born: Exit Jack Knight

Previously in Comics 101: As our mammoth coverage of James Robinson’s STARMAN series winds down, we find Jack Knight in an unexpected place: with the help of his friends, he’s saved Opal City, and even found the son he’d thought lost forever, but at a heavy price: the death of his father, Ted Knight, the […]

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A Star(Man) Is Born: Enter Jack Knight: Part IX

For Those Who Came In Late: We continue our STARMAN discussion where we left off last week: after a lengthy sojourn through space, followed by a speedy induction into the revived Justice Society of America, Jack Knight has returned to his beloved hometown Opal City, which despite the prediction of its destruction in a previous […]

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stars

A Star(Man) Is Born: Enter Jack Knight: Part VII

For Those Who Came In Late: As our marathon STARMAN coverage continues, Jack Knight has just taken off into deep space in an antique starship powered by his Cosmic Rod, in search of Will Payton, a predecessor in the role of Starman and more significantly the brother of Jack’s girlfriend Sadie. This has left both […]

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space

A Star(Man) Is Born: Enter Jack Knight: Part VI

Previously, in Comics 101: When we left off in our look at the brief but brilliant superhero career of Jack “Starman” Knight, the gentle giant Solomon Grundy had sacrificed his life to save Jack’s and repay the debt incurred by his accidental killing of the Star-Spangled Kid, and Jack had met and fallen in love […]

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Welcoming the Future, Treasuring the Past.