Archive for October, 2003

The Silver Age Teen Titans Archives Vol. 1

October 27, 2003 | Trades

The Silver Age Teen Titans Archives Vol. 1 Bob Haney, Nick Cardy, Bruno Premiani DC Comics $82.95/$49.95 US (Hardcover) *** ½ (out of five) Nobody dies in The Silver Age Teen Titans Archives. Nobody really even gets hurt, other than the occasional bonk on the head. And this team of youthful super-heroes, made up of Robin (of Batman and), Kid Flash, Aqualad and Wonder Girl, doesn’t even save the world. These stories, originally published from 1964-66, tried something relatively new to comics at the time: writing teens as teens. Titans took the classic heroes and turned them into “The Man”. All of the member’s adult counterparts treat them like kids and don’t expect them to do the smart thing. Of course the Titans go out and prove them wrong. At any point in comics history, the my-parents-just-don’t-understand theme is a perfect one. The kids and teens who would’ve read these stories when they were new 40 years ago, especially in the turbulent 60s, would easily identify with our protagonists. Batman is a square, spouting lines like: “Robin, isn’t there anything but that noise on the TV?” when the Boy Wonder is watching hip, swingin’ teen group, The Fabs. On adventures that see them helping small town American kids with their problems, dealing with ignorant adults and, of course, super-villains, the Titans hang with the surfer crowd, the hipsters and even join the Peace Corps. This collected edition is a really nice break from the harshness and reality that often clouds modern comics. It is bright, clean and beautifully illustrated by artist Nick Cardy, who also provides a rather peculiar forward to the book, in which he confesses “there is not much that stands out to me about working on the title.” This book is ideal for fans of both silver age comics and for those who just miss nice, clean, fun books.

The Sandman: Endless Nights

October 6, 2003 | Comics

The Sandman: Endless Nights Neil Gaiman, Glen Fabry, Milo Manara, Miguelanxo Prado, Frank Quitely, P. Craig Russell, Bill Sienkiewicz, Barron Storey Vertigo/DC Comics $37.95 (Hardcover) **** 1/2 (out of five) Sometimes a picture is truly worth a thousand words. Neil Gaiman’s new hardcover graphic novel The Sandman: Endless Nights, is worth a million. Endless Nights builds on The Sandman mythos, based on Gaiman’s comic series launched by DC Comics in 1989 and now collected in 10 trade paperbacks that have sold millions of copies worldwide and drawn a huge cult following. Gaiman, the lauded author of best-selling novels American Gods, Coraline and Neverwhere, teams with some of the most talented artists in the comic book genre, including P. Craig Russell, Frank Quitely and Bill Sienkiewicz to bring to life seven short stories. Each story examines a member of The Sandman’s family — The Endless: Death, Desire, Despair, Delirium, Destruction, Destiny and Dream. Russell and Gaiman craft a delicate and beautifully paced tale of a man whose love of Death draws him back to Venice to follow a childhood memory. Italian artist Milo Manara draws a story of Desire that is so lovely to look at that even the eventual blood and gore can’t take your eyes off it. And Gaiman and Barron Storey’s 15 Portraits of Despair is a gripping and sometimes horrifying look into sadness and hopelessness. For those who have never taken a chance on illustrated books for adults, and this book is most definitely for mature readers, Endless Nights would be a perfect jump on point. It is smart, dark, elegant and ethereal. Gaiman’s first foray back into The Sandman’s world in seven years was certainly worth the wait.