Pressed for time this evening, so I thought I’d just rattle off a few short blurbs on X-Mas comics I’ve enjoyed, through the years… (You may have noted, however, that my take on these comics is different from my usual spiel, and, obviously, that’s because these issues are almost always self-contained, out-of-continuity, and lacking a letters pages, and without that stuff, well, there isn’t much left for me to love, unfortunately… The Deadman story holds up very well on its’ own, as does the Levitz-Legion tale, (and, again, Morrison’s “Ghosts of Stone”–does anyone agree with me on that one?) but most of the rest of them–well, if they weren’t Yule, I’m afraid they’d be void, as far as I’m concerned…
There are a few exceptions:
1. Englehart & Tuska’s Hero For Hire #7–which is the subject of today’s Steve Chung X-Mas Post at the Pulse. I also wrote about it when I reaquired it, a couple of months ago, so I’ll just refer you to that post for my thoughts on this one…
2.Doctor Strange #180 is a fantastic piece of work by Thomas, Colan, and Palmer–still my favourite Doc team! It’s actually a New Years story, and that makes it quite different (Christmas is about beginnings, New Year’s, despite the “new”, is about endings–which you know I hate!). New Year’s is an apocalyptic event, in the Melvillean tradition of “longing for catastrophe”, as opposed to the Hawthornean tradition, which foregoes conclusions in favour of endless, cyclical meditation…
Nevertheless, this Doc story is very good, and I wanted to talk about it–so here it is! It’s got that great off-kilter cityscape cover, an appearance by Tom Wolfe (Thomas Wolfe would’ve been more to my liking–you know, Doc speaks to the deceased author, listens to his lament about the posthumous editorial hackjob on The Web and The Rock), and several brilliant Colan splashes (including one two-page sequence in which a determined pterodactyl flies straight into a clock in Times Square–the end of Time!! that’s what apocalypse is all about… By the way, I’ve never really been to New York, but when I picture it in my mind’s eye, I always see the image of the Allied Chemical Building from page ten of this issue). Doc actually gets to chill out a little bit at the beginning of this tale–he drinks some tea and discusses snow with the beauteous Clea–but Nightmare barges in and spoils all of the fun…Although there are some nice eyes-and-hands-aswirl-in-power-auras Kirby hommages in there.. Also–in the letters page, some guy named Wayne Dallas claims that, based on what he could make of the writing on a (premature) Strange gravestone, the Master’s birthday is November 18th, 1924!! The editor refused to corroborate this statement, and maybe that’s all for the best, because, if it were true, the Doc’s next series (if there ever is one) would have to be called The New Ancient One, or something… On a wistful note–all of the correspondents are blissfully unaware that the first of Stephen’s many title-cancellations was only a few months away… but we know, right Neil?!
3.One more–Nick Fury #10 See Steve Chung’s article here. Ol’ Nick has lots of fun with Sinatra records, the Hate-Monger, and a young lady named Laura… I don’t actually own this one anymore (yes–it was–sniff!–stolen), but I remember it fondly, especially the cover and beautiful black, red, green and white splash page by Springer and Craig… Which reminds me–when are those guys over at The Marvel Silver Age Cover Index gonna do a Splash Page Index? They really should, don’t you think?
Good Night Friends!