Thursday, June 9, 2011
Trip Down Comic Book Lane Part 4
Well after the death of the Scarlet Spider I felt that I was done with comics. I got back into wrestling and then sometime around 2001, I just gave up on all the crap that was going in pro wrestling. One day walking with my cousin we came to a small shop that sold newspapers and would you believe comics? I picked up a copy of the relaunched Amazing Spider-Man #20 and from that point on I was back in the game. The book was once again written by Howard Mackie and drawn by John Romita Jr. The stories that they were telling sure weren't the best, but because it was Spidey I stuck with it. Also I was so into comics that I started reading Wizard magazine. (Yeah, remember when that was printed.) To be honest Wizard used to be a very fun magazine to read. I learned that some goober named Joe Quesada was taking over the top spot at Marvel from Bob Harris. One of the things that changed was that Howard Mackie would be off Amazing and that new writer J. Michael Straczynski would take over the book. I remember the day when JMS first issue hit the stands ( issue #30) I ran to my local comic book shop Fortress of Solitude only to find out that the book had been sold out. I was very upset. I had been buying the title every month for over ten months and now all these other goobers jumped on the train when JMS came into town. Thank heaven that Big Dave (R.I.P.) who worked at the Fortress told me if I came in next week he'd hold me a copy. I came in next week and true to his word he saved me a copy. I will always be thankful that Big Dave went out of his way to do that for me.
Another Book that I picked up was Peter Parker Spider-Man. It was by the team of Paul Jenkins and Mark Buckingham ( I never tire of saying his name). I think Paul had a way better handle on Peter Parker and his huge cast. The stories that Paul Jenkins wrote had a great deal of heart to them. Hell, sometimes Spidey didn't even show up. In the Jenkins run Spidey battled a guy who had all the powers of every hero and villian in the Marvel U. Helped an inner city youth beat the ghetto and just had shown how down right tragic it really can be to be born a mutant. But also there was a three part Doc Ock story that stands head and shoulders above the rest. It's a shame that Marvel has not collected this in some sort of omnibus form.
I tried to branch out for the first time in my life and read other comics that didn't star the web head. I picked up the Jeph Loeb Fantastic Four. I really liked looking at the art, but the story didn't really pull me in. Then one winter day I picked up a Batman comic and I was hooked on the Dark Knight. If I recall the book was by Ed Brubaker and Scott McDaniel. I really enjoyed the crime noir style that Brubaker wrote in. Scott McDaniel's art made me sit on my couch for hours on end looking at each and every issue of Batman that he drew.
The last book that I really remember just loving was Hellblazer. Yeah, that book turned out to be a family thing. I was heading from the beach and felt like I should stop at a Barnes and Noble and I picked out the Hellblazer Hard Time trade. This was a big hit with me. I really loved John Constantine and this was my first time reading an adult theme comic. It didn't have a super hero anywhere to be found in it's pages. Even my grandmother read the book and to this day has a huge chunk of the Garth Ennis and Brian Azzarello run's in her drawer. I guess if it's good for a 60 year old woman, it's great reading for me.