100 Issues Ago September 2012

Way back in the early 90s, for better or worse, Dark Horse Comics tried to launch their own superhero universe with new characters all crossing over with each other to establish that sense of community and continuity. GHOST was the only title of that push that I picked up so, in 2012, when it was relaunched by Kelly Sue DeConnick (about whom I’d heard good things) I thought it was worth a go. Thinking back on it, it wasn’t bad; it didn’t just retread old ground but tried to do something a little fresh while still holding on to enough of the original conceit that old fans like me felt as though it were being treated with respect. This issue was the first of a mini-series bringing the character back and, as I say, it did an okay job of it.

Elsewhere, the New 52 was celebrating its birthday with a bunch of #0 issues, some of which retold the characters origin, some introduced new characters, and some were the final issue of series that had launched at the start of the initiative a year before.

Notable for me was the premier issue of THE PHANTOM STRANGER; I’ve longed liked the character and admit to being intrigued by this new take in the New 52 and how he fitted in with Pandora and The Question as part of this Trinity of Sin…

Say what you like about Dan Didio as editor or chief creative officer or whatever else title he had while at DC, but my god he was a writer of terrible dialogue.

Tally this month was 21 issues from DC, and one a piece from Dark Horse (GHOST as mentioned above), Dynamite (THE BOYS), and Marvel (FURY MAX).

100 Issues Ago August 2012

Prior to the New 52, Palmiotti and Gray had had a good run with a couple of incarnations of the Freedom Fighters, with tales tying into and spinning out of INFINITE CRISIS to good effect. After the line-wide reboot, amongst other things, they started to play about with new versions of some of the characters they’d used in the Freedom Fighters team. THE RAY was followed by this series, PHANTOM LADY, and it wasn’t bad. Sadly, despite the cover, no Amanda Conner art, but from memory, Cat Staggs work was nice and clean and it was a good fun read, too.

Elsewhere in the New 52 (fast approaching it’s first anniversary next month) CAPTAIN ATOM, JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL, RESURRECTION MAN, and VOODOO were all preparing to finish their runs next month; SWAMP THING was about to start the boring Rotworld crossover with ANIMAL MAN; and BLUE BEETLE and TEEN TITANS were meandering, still trying to find something that worked.

There was some good stuff, too – Geoff Johns on GREEN LANTERN was still entertaining, and the other Lantern titles of GREEN LANTERN CORPS and GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS were still enjoyable, too. EARTH 2 introduced us to a new Hawkgirl, and FRANKENSTEIN was enjoying itself as well.

Outside of DC, it was still just THE BOYS, FURY MAX, and FATALE, the latter of which had lived up to the promise of the early issues.

100 Issues Ago July 2012

I came across this “100 Issues Ago” panel in an old JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA and thought I’d tidy it up and re-purpose it. If one month = one issue, what was I reading 100 Issues Ago?

Another month, like the last one, where I struggled to find an issue worth talking about.

The EARTH-2 series was pretty much a highlight this month, but even that was something of a stretch. With the introduction of a new Flash in the previous issue, this one brought in the new Alan Scott as Green Lantern, slowly building up to a world of heroes without Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. Robinson’s work wasn’t bad, and Nicola Scott’s art is always good, but (from memory) it was just a bit slow.

Elsewhere this month, things were something of a mess. JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL and STORMWATCH seemed all over the place, as were BLUE BEETLE and CAPTAIN ATOM. Even things like ALL-STAR WESTERN, DEMON KNIGHTS and FRANKENSTEIN were running on the spot a bit. As I said, hard to find something that, from my recollection, really stood out this month.

Outside of DC, it was still just THE BOYS, FATALE and FURY: MAX.

100 Issues Ago June 2012

I came across this “100 Issues Ago” panel in an old JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA and thought I’d tidy it up and re-purpose it. If one month = one issue, what was I reading 100 Issues Ago?

Man, really slim pickings this month as I looked for an issue to write about. EARTH 2 was speeding up with its #2 issue featuring the debut of the New 52’s Jay Garrick, and WORLDS’ FINEST second issue was struggling to deliver on the promise of artists George Perez and Kevin Maguire sharing the load, hampered as it was by the sluggish plotting of Paul Levitz. Outside of that, even consistently good series like ALL-STAR WESTERN and DEMON KNIGHTS were suffering, the first from a forced tie-in with the Court of Owls thing happening in the Bat-books, and the latter seeming to slow as it approached it’s first year anniversary.

BLUE BEETLE, CAPTAIN ATOM, TEEN TITANS, and even JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL all seemed to be floundering as the excitement of the New 52 experiment appeared to be wearing thin.

All of which leads me to VOODOO #10, the little title that could (at least for a while) but which never found the following. Writer Joshua Williamson would g on to write THE FLASH a couple of years later and apparently do a great job of it – I know him more from BIRTHRIGHT and NAILBITER at Image – but whether it was the character or the rough start it had, VOODOO never really took off, despite Williamson’s attempt to build suspense and a backstory.

A shame as the writing was complimented by the nice, clean art of Sami Basri whose work was always good.

Outside of the 19 DC titles this month, it was FATALE, THE BOYS, and FURY MAX.