Posts Tagged ‘review’

The Silver Age of DC Comics: 1956-1970

Monday, July 15th, 2013
DC_Silver_Front.jpeg

Front Cover

As promised, here is a short review of Paul Levitz’s latest text on DC comics, The Silver Age of DC Comics: 1956-1970.  This book is of particular interest to me because of my research in the origins of Batwoman.  As I’ve mentioned before, Batwoman made her debut in 1956 in Detectives Comics #233 and continued off and on until 1979 when she was brutally murdered.  I had high hopes that this text might expand a bit on Batwoman and perhaps have further insight into her creation and the role she played in the new Bat Family.  I’m afraid I was extremely disappointed in that area, but here is what I found after looking through this text and once again comparing it to the behemoth 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Myth Making.

First, as in the text I reviewed earlier on Levitz’s The Golden Age of DC Comics, one thing that is completely new to this text is an interview conducted by Levitz’s.  This time, he interviews comics’ great Neal Adams.  I read this interview and enjoyed it, but I certainly would not have bought the book for that alone.  I then went through and compared the actual written text, essay if you will, dealing with the silver age of comics to that which is found in the 75 Years text.  As with The Golden Age text, I found little difference.  It is pretty much word for word what you’ll find in 75 Years.  

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Back Cover

I then randomly went through the rest of this text, which has only images and captions, and compared that to the larger 75 Year text.  Usually, just when I thought I had found a unique picture, I would flip a few pages one direction or the other and find the same picture in the other text, sometimes enlarged or sometimes reduced.  With that said, I do believe there are MANY additional silver age pictures in this text.  In 75 Years Levitz’s uses 192 pages to discuss and illustrate the silver age of comics.  But this newer text, The Silver Age of DC Comics, is a whopping 391 pages.  That’s nearly 200 pages more (if you take out the first 13 pages for the interview).  Those pages have to contain images that 75 Years does not.

Bottom line, if you love comics as much as I do, you’ll definitely enjoy Paul Levitz’s The Silver Age of DC Comics, even if you already own the 18 pound brick of 75 Years.  It’s well worth the money and a little easier to handle weight and size wise.

A Look at Batgirl #22 and A Fresh Start for an Old Superhero–Miss Fury #s 1-4

Friday, July 12th, 2013

Batgirl
Anyone interested in DC’s New 52 Batgirl, should head on over to DestroyTheCyborg (destroythecyb.org) and check out my review of Batgirl #22.  There are definitely some surprises in this issue, and it left me wondering what the future for Batgirl might hold.  I don’t want to spoil anything here, so check it out at your local comics store and be sure to read the review.

Miss FuryAlso, for anyone who harkens back to the Golden Age of comics, you might want to check out Dynamite’s take on an old superhero, Miss Fury.  We are now up to issue #4, and I attempt (struggle might be a better word) to review issues 1-4 over at DestroyTheCyborg.  I am impressed with the writer and illustrator’s apparent knowledge of the original Miss Fury who started her career in 1941 as the Black Fury before a name change and a promotion to comic book form a year later duped her Miss Fury.  The new creators try to capture it all in this thrilling, but often confusing retake.  Check it out.

Writing for DestroytheCyborg

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

I’m so excited to be working with the folks at DestroytheCyborg (destroythecyb.org), reviewing some of my favorite comics.  My first post was yesterday on Animal Man #21. My second review should appear today on Captain Marvel #13, one of my favorite comics right now.  I was so excited about doing these reviews yesterday that I didn’t even get the chance to read Batwoman #21.  That will be first on my list of things to do tonight.

Keep an eye open for my review of Paul Levitz’s Silver Age of DC Comics, 1956-1970 in the next few days.

Review: Golden Age of DC Comics, 1935-1956

Friday, June 14th, 2013

photo

Impressive cover, right? I was so excited when I saw this series on Amazon. I know Paul Levitz’s work and I hoped this would be everything I’ve come to expect from him. And in one way, it is. But only because I’ve read most of it before. Let me explain.

Lesson number one for me here is to ALWAYS click the “show more” in61fK6bDqf4L._SY300_ the book description. I read the first paragraph and was sold. The book arrived yesterday, and I anxiously tore into the package. The cover is, as mentioned, impressive. I opened the book and began eagerly scanning the pages, and that is when it hit me. These images seemed really, really familiar to me. At that moment I did not have time to investigate further because I needed to head out the door for an appointment, but as soon as I returned, I pulled up the coffee tabel, went to my “laptop” desk, and grabbed my copy (all 18 pounds of it) of 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking also by Paul Levitz. I placed both books on the coffee table (takes a fairly stable table to hold them both) and began a page by page comparison.

To be fair, The Golden Age of DC Comics, 1935-1956 has an awesome interview by Paul Levitz with Joe Kubert. Beyond that, however, the books are very, very similar. The text portion is often reduced somewhat from the 75 Years version, but most of the pictures are the same. To change things up a bit, they have taken smaller pictures from 75 Years and enlarged them in The Golden Age and vice versa. Had I clicked the “show more” under the description on Amazon, I would have read “Expanded from the Eisner Award–winning XL book, 75 Years of DC Comics . . . .” I probably still would have been sold because it states that it is expanded, and in one way, I guess it is because it does have the interview with Joe Kubert. Other than that, however, I’ve notice more reductions, at least in the text, than expansions.

I currently have the other two, The Silver Age of DC Comics and The Bronze Age of DC Comics, on pre-order. Whether or not I will keep them on pre-order is yet to be determined. There are several reasons a person might wish to order these books: 1) if they have not bought 75 Years of DC Comics, 2) you don’t wish to spend $130+ on the larger book, 3) you’re not sure how you would handle a 720 page book that weighs in just over 18 pounds and is 15.6 x 3.5 x 11.4 inches big. While The Golden Age is a large book at 400 pages, 5.5 pounds, and 12.8 x 1.7 x 9.4 inches large, it’s still a LOT more reasonable to handle than 75 Years. I’m also hoping that as I continue to look through the book, I’ll notice further additions of images not included in 75 Years. If I do, then yes, I’ll keep the other two on order. And even if I don’t, I have to admit that handling this book is much easier than trying to deal with 75 Years.

If you own 75 Years and decide to buy The Golden Age, please do not be disappointed that much of the content is the same. Go in knowing that and you’re sure to love The Golden Age as much as 75 Years.