Hey, everybody! Welcome and thanks for joining me for another edition of “Four-Color Bullet!”
Okay, is everybody comfortable? Excellent. Let’s take a look at:
Our Story So Far
Writer: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Pencils: Leinil Francis Yu
Inkers: Gerry Alanguilan, Leinil Francis Yu
Color Artist: Sunny Gho
Letters: VC’S Joe Caramanga
“… Tired of supreme commanders and grand directors. Tired of shmidts and nukes. Tired of having to prove that no part of them is a part of me.”
Winter in America” continues with Cap thwarting an attempted massacre of 50 of the world’s mayors, facing off with “Thunderbolt” Ross, being told to stand down, and still not being trusted by America at large. When Hydra conquers the United States with a doppelganger of Steve Rogers, that kind of stuff can happen. And what does Steve have to do with the mysterious group called the Power Elite?
Ta-Nehisi Coates brings his amazing writing talents so prominent on the Black Panther titles to Captain America, and he’s got me buying more Marvel titles. Cap is going through a tremendously dark time in his life, and Coates manages not to make it feel maudlin or melodramatic. Steve and Sharon’s scenes together are touching and aren’t just fluff. The art team of Leinil Francis Yu and Gerry Alanguilan do an admirable job, though some facial expressions seem somewhat staid, regardless of the situation.
All in all, an enjoyable read!
Writer & Artist: Howard Chaykin
Colorist: Wil Quintana
Letterer: Ken Bruzenak
Cover: Don Cameron
Digital Effects: Calvin NyeAdditional Material: Jed Dougherty, Ramon Torrez & Ken Bruzenak
“…Guy used to work for me, way back when.”
“Did he ever work on ‘Powerhouse’?”
“Work on it? Him and his dead partner made the thing up.”
Those of you who have been reading F-CB since I took over know that I am a big fan of Howard Chaykin. His writing and art style, his humor, sarcasm, and flagrant skewering of societal norms and comic book tropes just bring a smile to my face. With a title like “Hey Kids! Comics!” I knew it had to be good.
I am more than happy to be right.
This book takes a harsh, realistic look at the publishers, creators, and artists of comics, bouncing around through time, from a comic book character’s premiere on Broadway, back to working in the bullpens during World War II, to the 21st Century passing of a creator, and so on. If you have any inkling of the industry people creating the books that we enjoy, I know you’ll recognize a lot of these people. Back in the old days there weren’t famous names like Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Brian Michael Bendis, Frank Miller. Siegel and Shuster were just a couple of kids who wanted to draw comics, maybe get published, maybe make a couple of bucks; it was decades before they were recognized as the creators of one of the most famous characters in the world. The characters we enjoy were created by journeymen artists. People just looking to keep a roof over their heads and food in their family’s stomachs. They dealt with a lot of abuse; for many years comic books and their creators were considered less than worthy. Chaykin takes a scathing look at these people and their circumstances over the decades.
Keep in mind: in spite of the title, this isn’t one for the young kids. Enjoy!
Script: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: Ivan Reis
Inks: Joe Prado & Oclair Albert (pp 1-5, 15-19)
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Letters: Josh Reed
“I’m not going to say, “This day sucks.” I refuse. I’m a professional, award-winning journalist, and I can come up with something describing the fact that the entire planet Earth has somehow been sucked into the nightmare dimension Krypton called The Phantom Zone that is more poetic and illustrative than ‘Suck.’”
Lois and Jonathan are still travelling through space with Superman’s father, Jor-El, and the Earth has been transported into the Phantom Zone, with increasingly disasterous results. We’re teased with more of Rogol Zaar’s backstory: his facing off with the Nuclear Man (remember the fusion-powered villian from Superman IV: The Quest for Peace? Yeah, THAT guy,) and battling alongside the Thanagarians against the Tamaraneans who, upon seeing Rogol Zaar leading the Thanagarians, order an immediate retreat.
I’m still on the fence about Superman’s new direction, to be honest. I’d like to see how this storyline, as well as the one in Action Comics, pans out. I’m not that familiar with Bendis’ work, and people I’ve talked to either really like him or really don’t. From a story pacing and art standpoint, it is pretty engaging, though.
Writers: Tito Faraci (1), Ottavio Panaro (2)
Artists: Giorgio Cavazzano (1), Ottavio Panaro (2)
Colors: Disney Italia
Letterer: Travis and Nicole Seitler
Translation and Dialogue: Joe Torcivia (1), David Gerstein (2)
Here we have two more international classic Disney comic style stories from Italy. The Longest Night” features Detective Casey, Peg-Leg Pete, and The Phantom Blot, originally published in Topolino 2147 (1997.) Keep your eyes open for a quickie Hitchcockesque appearance by a certain well-known mouse. The one-page High-Tech Lows” (Topolino 2896, 2011) features Goofy and Peg-Leg Pete. It’s nice to see these imports, though some of the humor is lessened in the Italian to English translation. Still very enjoyable and fun to read. Be sure to share this with the littles in your life. You might even get a break from watching Frozen” for the fifth time today.
AND CHECK OUT THESE OTHER TITLES ON THE RACKS:
NEXT TIME “FOUR-COLOR BULLET” REVIEWS:
- Batman #54
- DC Universe by Alan Moore Hardback
- Fantastic Four #1
- Supergirl #22
As always, I’d love to hear from YOU! Please drop me a line and let me know where you buy YOUR comics. I’d love to check it out (travel distance willing,) and maybe mention YOU and feature the store in a future column. Thanks!
Until next time…