Sunday, December 10, 2017

365 Days of Defiance, Day 263: Oppor-tuna-ty knocks for Aquaman

Aquaman's mad as halibut...

Panels from Aquaman #23 (Late July 2017), script by Dan Abnett, pencils by Scot Eaton, inks by Wayne Faucher, colors by Gabe Eltaeb, letters by Pat Brosseau

...he's not gonna take it any moray!

Panels from Aquaman #24 (Early August 2017); script by Dan Abnett; pencils by Scot Eaton and Philippe Briones; inks by Wayne Faucher, Philippe Briones, and Scott Hanna; colors by Gabe Eltaeb, letters by Pat Brosseau

Walleye'm outta here.

365 Days of Defiance, Day 262: Well, I think I'm going out of my head

The ("All-New," but they're the same ones that're in the movie, so shut up Marvel) Guardians of the Galaxy are "borrowing" something (that's trash panda language for "stealing") from the base of Taneleer Tivan, the Collector (hey, Benicio del Toro! Let's all give him a big hand! Here' you can have one of Thanos's.) Unfortunately for them, the Collector protects his preciousssss items by using the William Conrad Fridge Alert an alien race called "Ghosts" who corkscrew into your brain, psychically link their victims together, and then turn up their personal terror dial to eleven. Hey, judging from how bad Groot looks here, possibly up to twelve.

Panels from All-New Guardians of the Galaxy #2 (July 2017), script by Gerry Duggan, pencils by Aaron Kuder, inks by Aaron Kuder, colors by Ive Svorcina, letters by Cory Petit

So who do you think is the Guardian with teh mist willpower and the darkest secrets inside their brain who can resist the Ghosts? That's right...Mantis! I mean Drax.

Whatever's inside there, that's a secret that Drax ain't gonna share with these a-holes. Aw, I bet it's that he's a big fan of embroidery. DEATH-EMBROIDERY.

365 Days of Defiance, Day 261: *Striking Hypervillains In an Expanded, Lumped-together Dimension

Panels from Bruce Wayne, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.* #1 (April 1996), script by Chuck Dixon, pencils by Cary Nord, inks by Mark Pennington, colors by Steve Buccellato, color separations by Malibu, letters by Richard Starkings

365 Days of Defiance, Day 260: He's told us not to blow it 'cause he knows it's all worthwhile

Panels from 1st Issue Special [Starman III] #12 (March 1976), script by Gerry Conway, pencils by Mike Vosburg, inks by Mike Royer

And then we didn't see Mikaal again for nineteen years, so let's just assume he kept on keepin' on defying all that time. Okay?

Panels from Starman (1994 series) #3 (January 1995), script by James Robinson, pencils by Tony Harris, inks by Wade Von Grawbadger, colors by Gregory Wright, letters by John Workman

Oh. Oh, crap.

Does Starman-Blue get better? Does he live once more to fight and defy again?

Panels from Starman (1994 series) #8 (June 1995), script by James Robinson, pencils by Tony Harris, inks by Wade Von Grawbadger, colors by Gregory Wright, letters by John Workman

Why, of course. Yes, he did.

Shine on, you crazy blue diamond!

365 Days of Defiance, Day 259: She dresses incorrectly, no-one told her how / Seventeen, she not keen on being like anyone else

Jubilee (one of my favorite good guys!) has been captured by Bastion (boo, hiss! He's a bad guy). He's torturing her psychologically: working to convince her the X-Men are dead or captured.

Panels from Generation X (1994 series) #27 (May 1997), script by Scott Lobdell, pencils by Chris Bachalo and Pop Mhan, inks by Al Vey and Scott Hanna, colors by Marie Javins and Dr. Martin, letters by Richard Starkings

Does Jubes crack and break? Well, what do you think? She's an X-Man.

Gosh, I love this girl.

Also in this issue: Jubilee makes pancakes, but that's not important right now.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

365 Days of Defiance, Day 258: Arthur Dent: Who He Is and How he Came to Be

Panels from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1 (DC, 1993); original story by Douglas Adams, script adaptation by John Carnell; pencils by Steve Leialoha; inks by Steve Baskerville, Art Nichols, and Steve Leialoha; colors by Lovern Kindzierski; letters by Todd Klein

365 Days of Defiance, Day 257: Marvels

Panels from Generations: Captain Marvel & Captain Mar-Vell one-shot (November 2017), script by Margaret Stohl, pencils and inks by Brent Schoonover, colors by Jordan Boyd, letters by Joe Caramagna

365 Days of Defiance, Day 256: A Never-Ending Battle for Truth, Justice, and the American Way

Wouldja believe that some people objected to these panels of Superman saving illegal immigrants from being shot?

Panels from Action Comics #987 (Early November 2017), script by Dan Jurgens, pencils by Viktor Bogdanovic, inks by Jonathan Glapion and Jay Leisten, colors by Mike Spicer, letters by Rob Leigh

This is just to remind you: those people are wrong.

365 Days of Defiance, Day 255: Quién es más macho? Batman es más macho.

Batman's always been pretty awesome, but I pinpoint his current "absolute master of strategy" portrayal as debuting in early issues of Grant Morrison's JLA, where Bruce Wayne proves exactly how worthy he is to stand along his super-powered Justice League teammates by taking out a group of SPOILER without breaking a sweat.

Panels from JLA #3 (March 1997), script by Grant Morrison, pencils by Howard Porter, inks by John Dell, colors by Pat Garrahy (?), color separations by Heroic Age, letters by Ken Lopez

The cover of this issue asks the musical question: WHO CAN SAVE YOU NOW?

Panels from JLA #3 (March 1997), pencils by Howard Porter, inks by John Dell, colors by Pat Garrahy (?)

And the answer is of course

na na na na na na na na Batman

365 Days of Defiance, Day 254: He's kinda like Ghost Rider, but he's evil and racist, so let's punch him

In this issue of Marvel Premiere, the Black Panther is not only fighting the Ku Klux Klan, but the Klan's supernatural villain, the Soul Strangler.

Panels from Marvel Premiere #53 (April 1980), script by Ed Hannigan, pencils by Jerry Bingham, inks by Al Gordon, colors by Bob Sharen, letters by Diana Albers

Ooh, this doesn't look good...

...for the Klan.

365 Days of Defiance, Day 253: Deep underwater is where I left my love

Where are Batman and Robin this week? Gotham City? Blüdhaven? It's Markovia, right? I bet it's Markovia.

Panels from "Atlantis Goes to War!" in Batman (1940 series) #19 (October-November 1943), script by Don Cameron, pencils and inks by Dick Sprang, letters by George Roussos

AW HECK NO it's Atlantis! So you just know that Batman's gonna meet Aquaman. Or maybe Sub-Mariner. Wouldja believe Mark Harris?

But actually no! With his usual Batluck, he's meeting Nazis! Hey, have you ever seen Batman do a double-take? Study this panel carefully!

And hey, it turns out that the Prince is a double of Robin! Yes, this is the story where Robin dies and the Prince of Atlantis takes his place for the next 40 years! Naw, I'm jus' foolin' ya. But this is a Prince and the Pauper riff. With Nazis!

Robin strikes back against Atlantian Centurions! (Hey, why doesn't that armor rust?) Also: a face-off with his double! This is the scene where he and the Prince fight and Batman has to decide which one of them to shoot.

Dick knocks out the Prince and impersonates him in order to save Batman, who's about to be executed. But the Nazis prove to be treacherous scum. (Of course.)

Batman is freed and Atlantis shakes off the duplictious Nazis thanks to the decrees of the Atlantean Princess, with whom Dick Grayson has fallen in love!

Aw, don't mope, Dick. I'm sure there'll be another princess for you to fall in love with coming along in a dec ade or four.

Anyway! Punch Nazis, on the ground and under water.

365 Days of Defiance, Day 252: Don't waste your time/ Don't waste a minute / Listen here / Don't waste your time

Panels from Cyborg (2016 series) #7 (February 2017), script by John Semper Jr., pencils by Paul Pelletier, inks by Tony Kordos, colors by Guy Major, letters by Rob Leigh

365 Days of Defiance, Day 251: When do you think it will all become clear / 'Cause I'm being taken over by the fear

I always like it when Batman finally listens to — and learns from — one of his partners. (There's a reason we call it "The Batman Family.")

Panels from Batman (2016 series) #24 (Early August 2017), script by Tom King, pencils and inks by Clay Mann, colors by Jordie Bellaire, letters byDeron Bennett

Tom King has been hitting it out of the park this year with Batman. May these good stories run for many more months!

365 Days of Defiance, Day 250: And you don't mess around with Kal

Well, whaddaya know: against all expectations, I actually liked this series this year. Here's a favorite moment.

Panels from Dark Knight III: The Master Race #9 (July 2017), story by Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello, pencils by Andy Kubert, inks by Klaus Janson, colors by Brad Anderson, letters by Clem Robins

365 Days of Defiance, Day 249: Crooks Can Be Patriots, Part 2

Panels from Batman/Captain America one-shot (December 1996); script, pencils, inks, and letters by John Byrne; colors by Patricia Mulvihill; color separations by Jamison

365 Days of Defiance, Day 248: Crooks Can Be Patriots, Part 1

Panels from "Satan's Son Sells Out!" in Police Comics #9 (May 1942); script, pencils, inks, and letters by Jack Cole

365 Days of Defiance, Day 247: Ask any Nazi who knows esoterica / Who's the best hero? Captain America!

Panels from Captain America (1968 series) #195 (March 1976), script and pencils by Jack Kirby, inks and letters by D. Bruce Berry, colors by Janice Cohen

365 Days of Defiance, Day 246: Bombs Away

Cover of DC Comics Bombshells #7 (February 2016), art by Ant Lucia

We definitely live in a modern golden age of graphic design, and yet for inspiration and fervor, the patriotic and inspirational posters of World War II still have a strong hold and influence on us. Subtract the racism of the 1940s and add sisterhood, power, and feminism and you wind up with today's perfect updating of the Golden Age ideal: the DC Comics Bombshells.

Cover art for DC Comics Bombshells #5 (January 2016), art by Ant Lucia

Bombshells, a DC digital-first series, reimagines the heroines (and a few villainesses too!) as women fighting the Second World War. Tho' the concept debuted in 2015, long past the Elseworlds publication history, its concept is virtually the exact definition of Elseworlds: In Elseworlds, super-heroes are taken from their usual settings and put into strange times and places — some that have existed, and others that can't, couldn't or shouldn't exist. The result is stories that make characters who are as familiar as yesterday seem as fresh as tomorrow.

Cover art for DC Comics Bombshells #8 (March 2016), art by Ant Lucia

What's most remarkable is that the initial design for this series sprang from single creative mind, artist Ant Lucia, whose good-girl pin-up art of DC heroines was used to create a line of statues for DC Collectibles, and later, the visual aesthetic and covers for the comics. (Read more about the debut of the statues here.) Later that year, comics written by Marguerite Bennett and illustrated by a wide range of women artists (Marguerite Sauvage, Laura Braga, Bilquis Evely, Ming Doyle, Maria-Laura Sanapo, and many more) have filled in the mythic background and the thrilling adventures of these characters in DC Comics Bombshells, and later in the Bombshells United series. The cover art for much of the first series is by Ant Lucia. (See the covers for Bombshells and Bombshells United.)

Variant Bombshells cover art for Justice League of America (2015 series) #3 (October 2015), pencils by Terry Dodson, inks by Rachel Dodson

Bombshells variant covers appeared on a handful of regular DC Universe titles in 2014...

Variant Bombshells cover art for Superman/Wonder Woman #9 (August 2014), art by Emanuela Lupacchino and Ant Lucia

...and were popular enough that nearly all DC books with the cover month October 2015 were published with variant Bombshells covers. You may call it cheesecake, we call it sideways promotional integration!

Variant Bombshells cover art for Superman (2011 series) #43 (October 2015), art by Des Taylor

I've been reading Bombshells since the beginning and enjoying it immensely. Each digital and floppy issue is imaginative, female- and gay-friendly, fun, and most of all, inspiring.

Variant Bombshells cover art for Batman/Superman #23 (October 2015), art by Des Taylor

The design and artwork harkens back to the Golden Age of Comics and the Dark Days of World War II, and gives us a cadre of never-say-die woman warriors to look up to and thrill to their exploits.

Variant Bombshells cover art for Superman/Wonder Woman #20 (October 2015), pencils by Terry Dodson, inks by Rachel Dodson

Good girl art merged with intelligent and entertaining stories? Count me in!

Variant Bombshells cover art for Justice League (2011 series) #43 (October 2015), art by Emanuela Lupacchino

In comics, the saga of the DC Bombshells isn't over yet, but with powerhouses like this, the War may just end early and victorious for the Allies. Keep 'em flying, girls, and keep inspiring us to resist and defy the evil in the world!

Two-page cover spread art for DC Comics Bombshells #11-12 (June-July 2016); art by Ant Lucia
(Click picture to Fat Girl-size)

So, always remember:

Variant Bombshells cover for Wonder Woman #32 (October 2015), art by Ant Lucia

PS: I heartily recommend the gorgeous The Art of DC Comics Bombshells coffee-table book!