Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Time Flies By - 1996

Last time I did this, I looked back at what I was buying twenty years ago. I figured there'd be little point doing the same time frame again as it would just be the same titles but moved on a month or two so I chose the completely arbitrary date of 1996, fifteen years ago, to have a look at what I was picking up back then.

Extreme Justice #17
Oh man - anybody else remember this title? It was pretty much a mess from the get-go and here it is, wrapping up in its penultimate issue a year and a half after its launch. Did it do anything except confuse the Captain Atom/Monarch relationship?

Ghost / Hellboy Special #2
A two parter team up between Dark Horse's big supernatural characters which, while nothing brilliant, was good fun as I remember.

Ghost #15
Despite the cheesecake covers, Ghost was a good read although it could have done with a stable art team. Eric Luke was writer throughout the first series and did a fine job of working out who Ghost was, particularly after a whole host of cross overs and guest stars were forced on him in the early issues.

Green Arrow #109
Conner Hawke - a damn fine character with a huge amount of potential who carried his own title for three years and joined the Justice League for goodness sake! And where is he now? In limbo after being turned into an amnesiac, indestructible victim by Mr Winick. Grrrr . . .

Green Lantern #74
Kyle and the Darkstars go up against Grayven, son of Darkseid and it's not pretty. I really enjoyed Ron Marz's run on Green Lantern which was straightforward superheroics at its best.

Hitman #2
One of my all time favourite series, Hitman was an irreverent, violent and above all fun look at the dirtier side of the DCU. Much missed.

Inherit The Earth trade paperback
One of several comics companies that Jim Shooter dabbled in, Broadway's Fatale series traded on the buxom title character but actually managed to overcome the T'n'A aspect and provide a story which, while never going to win a Nobel prize, was a good mix of espionage and superheroics. Sadly the company folded before we ever got to learn what happened to Fatale. Oh, wait - she turned up in the DCU under a different name.

Justice League America #111
Another Justice League title that was winding down. For some reason, while Gerard Jones produced several years worth of cracking Green Lantern stories, his Justice League stuff (when writing solo) never really gelled and when it was bad (Power Girl's son, anybody?) it was really bad. It was probably best that this title was put to rest in a few issue's time.

Justice League Task Force #35
And the other JL title in the stable at the time was also heading for cancellation. Never brilliant but never that dreadful either, JLTF was supposed to be the Mission Impossible side of the League, able to recruit any hero to go on a mission. I remember reading an interview with writer Christopher Priest where he said that as no-one ever gave him a mission to go on, he went ahead and did his own thing.

Preacher #14
Everybody remember when Cassidy was still the loveable rogue instead of what he became? Preacher was an undeniably good book and still bears re-reading every once in a while.

The Spectre #42
On the whole, The Spectre was a bloody good series but its low point, for me at least, was the storyline around this issue - The Haunting of America. It just didn't work for me and seemed to drag on way too long but I stuck with it none the less.

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