Thursday, February 3, 2011

Shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic? NO WAY!

Well, I may have just stepped in it! Here I am, a week into my blog on comics and science-fiction and all of the sudden I check one of my favourite comic-related websites and see this.

What can I tell you? Still, I'm going to keep going! Why not, right? Over the past week I've become excited about this project and frankly, its helped me keep my sanity as I plow through a law degree. One of the things I'm really looking forward to is writing reviews about some of the comics I read and hopefully these reviews will keep people coming back.

Because I'm mostly a Silver and Bronze age collector, I'll likely focus on titles ranging between the late 60s and the mid 80s. I'll go through a couple new titles too, of course, but that's an expensive prospect for a student and the older books seem to be cheaper (with a couple exceptions -- I'm looking at you Fantastic Four #48!). You'll probably see some re-occurring themes, as I'm a huge fan John Byrne's run with the Fantastic Four, Thor from the 1970s and the original run of a fellow Canadian named Wolverine. But I'll try to mix it up. I planning on naming my reviews in a very "Stan's Soapbox" style and have decided on titling these columns "Awesome Annuals" and "Random Reviews." I'll also tackle other comic and sci-fi issues as they come up.

Before I begin that however, I'd like to share with you the title I'm reading now. This isn't a review per say, just a few sentences about an interesting comic book. It's the hardcover trade paperback of Jack "The King" Kirby's OMAC: One Man Army Corps #'s 1-8 (1974) published by DC. As a big Kirby fan, I've always loved his distinctive art work, it's larger than life feel and, all-engrossing quality. I suspect this is why its always lent itself so well to characters such as the Fantastic Four, Galactus, the X-Men, et al.

Well, OMAC doesn't disappoint. Admittedly, this "Captain America in the future's" Mohawk hair looked a little cheesy at first -- and it has 60s-70s-style dialogue that takes time getting used to. But these initial reactions were quickly overcome, and it soon turned into a really clever and insightful piece about a future Jack Kirby envisioned from the mid 1970s. For instance, in OMAC #1 the pre-OMAC subject, Buddy Blank (okay, that name MIGHT have been a bit obvious!) is relentlessly chasing a woman who turns out to be a manufactured "Build-A-Friend" straight out of a Phillip K. Dick story. In #2, as OMAC descends into hostile territory run by "Marshal Kafka", he's attacked by "Smart bombs!" which are "guided by television". It probably didn't take a clairvoyant to see artificial people or smart weapons (and I know "Do Androids Dream..." pre-dates this title), but what I've always liked about Kirby's creations is how he integrated serious topics like these into the comic books he wrote and never took his readers for fools.

Anyways, I've been enjoying the read (between legal cases, classes and articles) and thought I'd share that with you. Thanks for reading, and the words of the immortal Martin Prince: "Keep watching the Stars!!!"

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