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Sunday, January 1 1995

Marvel Boy

Comic books have seen dramatic changes since the Marvel Comics Group hit the scene in the '60s. We've seen the growth of the adult comic book audience as well as the amazing influx of international comics.


The Extended Dream of Mr. D

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The Golem’s Mighty Swing

. . . offers a revisionist, realistic view of baseball's past -- and that of the nation as a whole . . . equating baseball and America is the kind of thing that's commonly found in nostalgic writing about baseball, but Sturm's novel goes deeper to reveal the divisions in America circa the 1920s.


Soundtrack: Short Stories 1989-1996

Abel proves that the storytelling is alive and well in comics.


Rising Stars

This makes 'Rising Stars' a deeply flawed super-hero landmark. But there is hope for the future. After all, the comic has been optioned for movie development and we might just get to see 'Rising Stars' done right -- or at least that much closer to Straczynski's visualization. Well, it certainly cannot get much worse.


New X-Men #114-117

The real danger, Grant Morrison seems to be warning us, is that the side fighting for freedom could become possessed by hatred, by the very evil, that it was trying to fight -- and in the process become a more dangerous threat to our deepest, most fundamental values than the original attack could have ever been.


Sin City

Continuity. It's as minor an everyday problem as watching a Cheers rerun one night where Woody Boyd is slinging drinks and the next night where his deceased predecessor Coach is alive, not giving a log about anybody named Woody.


Justice League Adventures #1-3

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Features and Reviews

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Blanche Goes to Paris

'Blanche' owes much of its genesis to the society novels of the early 1920s, following much of the same formula: girl travels to strange foreign place, has adventures (usually of the bohemian, artistic type) and then escapes to safety or marriage.


Planetary

There is a particular sub-genre of science fiction -- Let's call it Riddle. In Riddle, the protagonists are simultaneously fulfilling a quest and seeking the nature of the quest.


Comics

PopMatters Comics Feature by Stefan Economou - When Charles Schulz announced that he was retiring Peanuts after almost 50 years, the tone of the media reportage was as if a distinguished and now-doddering senator had shuffled out of his chambers for the last time; i.e. a respectful salute to the end of an institution.


Murder Me Dead

American comics have become so closely associated with the super-hero, it is difficult to imagine an American comic which does not feature a muscle-bound protagonist clad in spandex and tights.


Berlin: City of Stones, Book One

It seems as though Lutes seeks to restore individuality to the citizenry of Germany, to show them as humans trapped in a bizarre time rather than just recurrent global villains. He wants to display the 'truth' about Germany, regardless of 'fact'.


The Authority

That theme of loss and heartache echoes throughout the issue.


The House on the Borderland

For far too long has the work of William Hope Hodgson lain dormant, forgotten by all but a few devoted horror literature students. His work spanned the gamut of the imagination with stories of nightmare futures, shipwrecked sailors on islands of terror, and demons of the sea rising through ocean-choking seaweed.


JSA

Even primitive man was aware that the universe moved in cycles. The sun rose and set. The seasons came and went and then came back again. Animals migrated and returned at regular intervals. So too moves the human consciousness. Styles come and go and, should you wait long enough, they come back. So perhaps it's not that unusual for old superheroes to be popular again.


Odds Off

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Green Arrow

With many superhero comics, it is senseless to look for any depth or meaning beneath the blood and thunder because it's usually not there. With some books, there is an exploration of what it means to be a superhero in today's world and our own search for the lost meaning of heroes. Kevin Smith's 'Green Arrow' is not a magnum opus, but it does do something that is very difficult these days: entertain while making the reader think at the same time.


PopMatters Comic Book Interview

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