It’s the penultimate stop in our trip backwards through time to find all of the Marvel runs most in need of Omnibus treatment.
Why? For fun. For accumulating rainy-day reading. And, to fuel our 2017 Most Wanted Marvel Omnibus Secret Ballot votes!
Marvel in the 1980s is really a tale of two different Marvels. The first half of the decade featured many continuing 70s series, a handful of limited series, and relatively few new ongoing titles – most of which were direct spinoffs of characters from other books.
However, after Secret Wars II in 1986 the line got a serious shake-up, with many titles outside of what I think of as “The Big 9” and their satellite books getting cancelled or rebooted, plus tons of new ongoing and limited series and a whole new line of comics with New Universe!
(“The Big 9” are all of the lines of books that made it from the Silver Age to 2005 while being published continuously, even if that meant being restarted along the way – , Avengers, Captain America, Daredevil, Iron Man, Fantastic Four, Hulk, Spider-Man, Thor, and X-Men. After 2005, Thor went on hiatus, and Fantastic Four has been on hiatus since 2015.)
(In a totally weird turn of events, we can now probably add Deadpool to that list of evergreen lines.)
Marvel released a lot of comics in the 1980s, so what should Marvel prioritize getting into omnibuses? I’ve already covered all of the X-Men runs from this period, and I’m not touching Spider-Man or Fantastic Four mapping at the moment. Plus, many key 80s runs are on the survey already, like Peter David’s Hulk, Iron Man by by Michelinie & Layton Ann Nocenti’s Daredevil – but that still leaves a ton of potential runs to cover! [Read more…] about 10 Marvel runs from the 80s that ought to be omnibuses – 1981 to 1989
The Detective Comics comic books definitive issue-by-issue collecting guide and trade reading order for omnibus, hardcover, and trade paperback collections. Part of Crushing Krisis’s Crushing Comics and The Definitive Guide to Collecting Batman Comics. Last updated January 2017 with titles scheduled for release through July 2017.
Post-Crisis Detective Comics: #568 (Nov 1986) – Present
Many of DC’s heroes saw their comics relaunched in the wake of Crisis on Infinite Earths to delineate where their new continuity began. That was not the case with Batman, whose Detective Comics and Batman continued their runs uninterrupted.
Detective Comics #568 is chosen as the demarcation of Batman’s changeover from pre- to post-Crisis for three reasons.
First, it was a chapter in the Legends event, which was DC’s first linewide event after the conclusion of Crisis – necessitating all characters appearing therein were in their post-Crisis iterations.
Second, the creative team mentions the changes in the letters column of this issue!
And, finally, it’s the end of a run by and outgoing writer, Joey Cavalieri, so it makes a natural change-over point.
[Read more…] about Collecting Detective Comics comic books (#568 – Present, post Crisis on Infinite Earths)
[Patreon-Nov16-Post-Bug][/Patreon-Nov16-Post-Bug]This month of reading WildStorm from the beginning has frequently defied my expectations, with my enjoyment of the contents nearly reversed from what I expected.
Team 7: Objective hell tops that list of unexpected outcomes. It’s a riveting, gorgeous, well-written book that merges military themes with superhero powers. There are a few tiny nods to the future of these characters, particularly for Slayton/Backlash, but otherwise this series hardly acknowledges the wider WildStorm Universe and the future it holds in store.
Chuck Dixon shines here even more than on the original limited series. Past needing to introduce his massive cast and take them through multiple missions, this series has both more action and better character moments. No one gets the sort of monologue or grandstanding they did in the first series. It’s all tiny beats that tell us more about the team – particularly Slayton’s temper and the babyfaced Cash’s rise to leadership before an eventual fall from their graces.
Every page of this book looks damned great. The covers truly don’t do justice to the interior pages.
Chris Warner spares no detail in illustrating the jungle environs of Nicaragua and Cambodia. A gang of multiple inkers introduce some variation but fill every page with plenty of contrast for colorist Monica Bennett to make pop with rich greens, golden flesh tones, and Team 7’s red war paint.
The long-haired, well-muscled men of Team 7 have a certain mercurial hint of motion that’s reminiscent of issue #1’s cover artist, the legendary Barry Windsor Smith. The members who we don’t know in the present day stand out the most, with Caitlin Fairchild’s father clearly modeled on Iggy Pop and Grunge’s father Chang drawn more distinctly as an Asian than on the prior outing.
The inspiration for this story seems near to that of The Divine, an OGN I reviewed last year. The difference is that while The Divine was about child soldiers in an eternal war, Objective Hell is about a small bubble of peace that Team 7 is forced to disrupt for the greater good.
Was a greater good achieved? There’s no question that removing low-yield nukes from the grasping Khmer Rouge is a positive, but the open psychic warfare between US and Russian forces signaled a new front of the Cold War that Team 7 found themselves alone to defend. While they escape with only one serious casualty this time, it helps to frame their later choice to splinter and become mercenaries. As long as the specter of their reassembling as a team exists in the world, the US Government will find some threat that demands their intervention … but does their existence also escalate the seriousness of the threats?
Team 7: Objective Hell doesn’t hold those answers or very many keys to the big questions we’ve been asking about Backlash, Grifter, Dane, Lynch, and Cray, but it is a superior WildStorm offering that makes me wish we had an ongoing comic to add more past missions to Team 7’s published history.
Want a recap? Keep reading for a summary of how these soldiers became super. Here’s the schedule for the rest of this month’s WildStorm re-read. Tomorrow is the main event! WildStorm Rising! Let’s get ready to cross over, baby!
Need the issues? This series has not been collected, so you’ll need to grab the singles – try eBay or Amazon. Since further series hit these same issue numbers, be sure to match your purchase to the cover images in this post. [Read more…] about From The Beginning: WildStorm Universe – Team 7: Objective: Hell (1995) #1-3
[Patreon-Nov16-Post-Bug][/Patreon-Nov16-Post-Bug]In 1994 there were just a handful of comics writers you would pursue if you wanted to read a terrific war comic. Chuck Dixon was likely at the top of that list (along with Larry Hama).
Thus, after two years of WildStorm when it was finally time to expose the Team 7 connective tissue shared by almost all of WildStorm’s books, it was Chuck Dixon who Jim Lee and Brandon Choi tapped to pen it.
The original Team 7 operated in the 70s consisted of this list of eleven largely familiar names:
- Team Leader John “Topkick” Lynch
- Stephen “Wraparound” Callahan (whose death we saw on the first pages of Gen13)
- Cole “Dead Eye” Cash (AKA Grifter)
- Phillip “Bulleteer” Chang (father of Gen13’s Grunge)
- Michael “Deathblow” Cray
- Jackson “Arclight” Dane (of Wetworks)
- Alexander “Slaphammer” Fairchild (father of Gen13’s Caitlin Fairchild)
- Andrew Johnson
- Richard “Boloround” MacNamara
- Marc “Backlash” Slayton
Team 7 was a vastly different comic book from WildStorm’s norm up to this point. No heroes, no brightly-colored spandex, no supernatural threats.The mini-series is part war story, part psychological thriller as the elite team is subject to experiments against their will, pushed to the very limits of survival, and pitted against each other in a series of psychological tortures. In fact, though it includes super-powers, they ease their way into the story and are treated as an extension of interpersonal conflicts rather than weapons to be casually wielded.
Penciler Aaron Wiesenfeld starts off with the gritty realism that marked Dixon’s run on Marvel’s ‘Nam, but by the final issue he is channeling Barry Windsor-Smith in a series of dynamic full-pages and broad faces. Seriously, issue #4 is so darn pretty that my review could just be posting its pages in their entirety. Check out this marvelous opening sequence of Deathblow’s mutiny told in four full-page splashes:
Aside from Deathblow’s familiar wide face, it’s nearly impossible to tell apart the team of white men (even the one Chinese man is drawn Caucasian) until you’ve committed their various facial hair and face paint symbols to memory. That’s not a weakness, but a subtlety – just as is Craven being drawn to resemble our modern day John Lynch while Lynch’s own face gradually morphs into that shape.
As a standalone story, Team 7 would be marginal – a bunch of stooge soldiers get set up again and again as their team shrinks from attrition. In the scope of what we already know about so much of the cast, it’s fascinating – explaining relationships and filling in detail that had only been implied. For me, this is the reason to read this (and other) Team 7 miniseries in order of its release rather than in order of continuity.
Without knowing the future story of these characters, all you’d get is that Cash is the golden boy and Lynch is under Craven’s thumb, while missing Dane’s early killthrill that must eventually transform into the cool-headed company man, Slayton’s deadly quiet under pressure (his best characterization yet), and Chang’s easy-going nature (presaging his way chill son).
Dixon and Wiesenfeld perfectly shoulder that burden, aside from the team stumbling headfirst into four traps will stretch your disbelief to the max, burden. They keep the book readable while only deepening the mysteries of Craven’s intent and how the team eventually splinters into the heroes we know and the dead men we don’t.
Want the play-by-play? Keep reading for a summary of how these soldiers became super. Here’s the schedule for the rest of this month’s WildStorm re-read. Tomorrow I’ll get my first taste of WildCATs without Jim Lee, and it’ll be a big bite – issues #15-19. After that, the second arc of Wetworks, Warblade’s miniseries and a Grifter one-shot!), and then finally back to Stormwatch!
Need the issues? This series was collected in a 1994 TPB (eBay), or you can grab the singles – try eBay or Amazon. Since further series hit these same issue numbers, be sure to match your purchase to the images in this post.
And now, onto the story! [Read more…] about From The Beginning: WildStorm Universe – Team 7 (1994) #1-4