Wednesday, March 4, 2015

What if Wes Anderson directed X-Men?

Wanted TPB: The Jack of Hearts

Writer: Bill Mantlo
Artist: George Freeman
Publisher: Marvel Comics (1984)
Includes: The Jack of Hearts #1-4 

Clipped from The Mask Bookwyrm's D.K. Latta's review: Jack of Hearts was a super hero who contained vast energy-powers, but could only keep them under control via his costume. Knocking around for a few years as a perennial guest star, he finally landed his own mini-series. A morose Jack is kept confined as people (S.H.I.E.L.D., actually) try to figure out ways to prevent his ever escalating powers from destroying the world. But then he learns startling things about his origins -- like that his dead mother was actually from another planet, and said planet is in desperate need of a new energy source. Jack decides to leave for this new world with ex-girlfriend (and Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man supporting character) Marcy Kane, who reveals she's more than he knew. However, there are some Shakespearian-like agendas and betrayals being pursued by various factions on the planet in question, building to a cosmic -- but downbeat -- resolution.

Ultimately, thanks to Mantlo's seeming conviction, and Freeman's atmospheric art, Jack of Hearts is a pretty good read. Although the story was maybe intended to be a finale for the character, I think he's still around in Marvel continuity.

He actually is not around anymore...he died not just once, but twice! However, with the trend that is comics today, he will probably die several more times. I think Marvel missed an opportunity when he died those two times in Avengers #491 and #500 (as a Zombie) to reprint this mini-series as a TPB.

Image Blitz Dork Style


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Rob's Room: Neonardo


Marshall Rogers Batman Portfolio + More

History: With writer Steve Englehart, Rogers penciled an acclaimed run on the character Batman in Detective Comics #471-476 (Aug. 1977 - April 1978), providing one of the definitive interpretations that influenced the 1989 movie Batman and be adapted for the 1990s animated series. The Englehart and Rogers pairing, was described in 2009 by comics writer and historian Robert Greenberger as "one of the greatest" creative teams to work on the Batman character. DC Comics writer and executive Paul Levitz noted in 2010 that "Arguably fans' best-loved version of Batman in the mid-1970s, writer Steve Englehart and penciller Rogers's Detective run featured an unambiguously homicidal noirish, moodily rendered stories that evoked the classic Kane-Robinson era." In their story "The Laughing Fish", the Joker is brazen enough to disfigure fish with a rictus grin, then expects to be granted a federal trademark on them, only to start killing bureaucrats who try to explain that obtaining such a claim on a natural resource is legally impossible. Rogers also penciled the origin story of the Golden Age Batman in Secret Origins #6 (Sept. 1986) with writer Roy Thomas and inker Terry Austin.