Just like in 2013, I did another comics purge. Sorta.
By sorta, I mean that while I pulled a bunch of musty older series out of my twenty some odd longboxes, I knew the chances I would keep all of them was fairly high.
Very fairly high.
My first almost-not-quite-purge comic was a 1990’s throwback from Marvel, the Star Trek X Men crossover one shot. Now apparently some fans were upset with this even existing (I know, fans upset by something? Shocking!) but really this feels like a natural to me. Basically 1990’s X Men by way of a rift or something end up on Kirk’s original five year mission Enterprise. And they team up to fight a duel menace from both franchises. This one is fun and cool and Geeky and everything between these two different concepts fit really well together. Def a keeper. Now I just gotta find the Star Trek The Next Generation X Men one shot.
Next up is another Marvel Star Trek one shot from the 1990’s, this one being a great story fans have been waiting forever for. Well, ever since the Star Trek The Next Generation season one ender. Star Trek Operation Assimilation is the tale of how the Borg discovered the Romulans, an event they always alluded to as the reason these old enemies of the Federation withdrew from sight for decades and decades. This is the story of one unlucky and disgruntled Romulan commander who has the misfortune of making first contact and futlily fighting these immensely powerful villains. Yes it ends like you imagine it would, and sets the stage for one heckuva battle royalle. Def a keeper.
The third Marvel Star Trek from the 1990’s that I consumed was Star Trek Voyager Splashdown four issue miniseries. Now Marvel got this license and went wild with series, but very early on it was obvious most of it was drek. Multiple titles launched and a year or so later all gone. The Voyager series fit into the drek mold, and Splashdown was going to be part of that comic, but was made into a miniseries towards the end. Which is unfortunate because by this point the creative teams finally got a grip on the material.
Splashdown recaps where this fits into the continuity, which is shortly after Seven joins, and has Voyager of course low on energy. An attack by multiple drones damages the ship and the end result is them crashing and sinking on a planet of mostly water. Now imagine the flooding from the hull breaches. This very tense tale is great for keeping it moving and dire and showing the characters thinking through the problems. The only drawback is the tangent involving the how and why of the drones, which I believe none of the readers care about. Def a keeper.
Now for something completely different.
Jumping back to the 1980’s and DC Comics and yet another attempt to get females into comics, something both companies threw themselves at massively and only started figuring it out with Sandman. DC gave us Angel Love by writer/artist Barbara Slate, which ran for eight issues and a special. Angel Love is the title character, a twenty something woman cartoonist trying to make a live for herself in New York City, have a dating life, and hanging with her friends. Along the way Angel deals with all sorts of real world problems, such as a boyfriend on drugs, a friend getting pregnant, and her mom getting sick. All this is told in a very very cartoony style that gives all this seriousness a goofy edge. This approach can be jarring, especially when the roaches give colour commentary, and yes you read that right, which might have affected the lack of success of this series. Fan mail was definitely divided on this point as the letters pages show. I can tell Slate had a long term plan for Angel, as the unresolved storylines will attest, so maybe this would have become more cohesive and sensical by issue twelve. Def purge.
Now for something not so completely different.
Around the same time of the mid 1980’s at DC Comics, artist Stephen DeStephano and writer Bob Rozakis gave us ‘Mazing Man. This cartoony humour book with slight adult undertones is all about a short dogooder in New York who is called ‘Mazing Man and how he spends his days just helping people out. Like old ladies crossing the street or picking up litter or giving out food. All while constantly wearing a costume with a really cool helmet, and hanging with really cool friends. Each issue features more than one tale, sometimes with little plot and very sitcomy. But this is done on purpose, since ‘Mazing Man is majorly about the characters. Slapstick humour, often exaggerated, is treaded throughout, along with movie references and whatnot. The high point for virtually every fan of ‘Mazing Man, and where the series to me found its stride, was Brenda’s Story in issue six, which is also when the Eisner influence starts to be most noticeable. Unfortunately good old ‘Maze only made it to twelve issues, the last having a Frank Miller cover, and continued into an issue of Secret Origins and three specials. The last appearance of ‘Mazing Man was in an animated short for the Batman Brave and the Bold cartoon series a few years back. Def a kepper.
So not a very successful purge at all, but at least I got some Geek stuff read, which is a minor miracle for moi.
…is currently reading Kingdom Come the novel by Elliot S. Maggin, based on the comics by Mark Waid and Alex Ross, published by DC Comics.