Monday, November 07, 2005

A perfect jewel

Inbetween writing a novel (that NaNoWriMo meme got me too) this month and playing City of Villains I've had time to read the odd comic, and I'm taking time out from this crushing schedule to tell you if you only read one comic this month, make it Solo #7. If you buy two comics this month, get Polly and the Pirates too. I could go on just to see how far I'd get before I reached a Crisis tie-in, but let's not go there.

Solo is a perfect jewel of a comic, containing five, count that, five complete in this issue stories. The Teen Titans/Doom Patrol crossover is worth the cover price alone, and I tend to agree with the points made in the Batman story (drawn in the unlikely style of the 1960's TV show) comparing the silver age fun with the depressing misery that passes for realism in comics today.

The whole comic is a loving homage to the silver age of DC, and not at all in the sense of redrawing old covers due to a poverty of original thinking. This is all that was good about the silver age celebrated by a writer/artist who really knows how to make these characters live.

The only possible criticism is aimed at those spoilsports in marketing who wouldn't let Allred use the cover he created for this comic, but insisted on keeping to the established Solo cover format (which I'm sure is all very sophisticated, or something). Even so, Allred's compromise cover of silver age Wonder Girl doing the batusi is pretty cool.

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Blogger Brian Cronin said...

I'll have you know that yesterday, I purchased Polly and the Pirates, just because of you!!

As for Solo, I liked it a lot as well, but man, that Batman story was soooooooo preachy.

11/07/2005 05:46:00 PM  
Anonymous RAB said...

Hmmm...I read complaints about that Batman story being preachy before I had a chance to read the story itself. Perhaps that's why it didn't bother me so much. Or perhaps that TT/DP story was just so much fun that I was more inclined to forgive a bit of lecturing. Or perhaps preaching goes down easier when you like the preacher and it's a sermon that needs to be heard. I dunno!

11/07/2005 06:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Eli said...

I cannot second this post enthusiastically enough. I had been dying for some Allred being Allred in a non-Book-of-Mormon setting, and Solo was just great. The preachiness of the Batman story didn't bother me that much, partly because that kind of ham-handed, hammer-over-the-head philosophizing was so often part of Madman and the Atomics, too - so much so, that I grew to accept its presence as sort of a simple fact of the world - stones sink, birds fly, and superheroes learn lessons in Allredland, damn it.

Polly and the Pirates is good, but I almost feel manipulated by Naifeh's mastery of the "tiny hands plus big head equals cuteness" formula. Polly could be reciting from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and I'm still not 100% sure it wouldn't seem adorable.

11/07/2005 06:08:00 PM  
Anonymous thekamisama said...

Solo was comic book perfection. I was looking for the Batman cover from Previews and got so disappointed that it was changed. I read about some of the licensing disputes that were involved and it is sad that the company that owns Batman cannot use the direct lok of the 60's show without having to pay out royalties and getting involved in rights disputes.
Oh yeah..was I supposed to get the implication in 'Comic Book Club' that those kids were the Allred brothers?

11/07/2005 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

I would say so, yes, thekamisama

11/07/2005 06:42:00 PM  
Blogger Matt Brady said...

That was the Allred brothers in the last story, and what's more, they are walking on the streets of Roseburg, Oregon, which is where Mike Allred is from. The reason I know this is that I am also from Roseburg. It was very cool to see some local landmarks in this comic.

11/08/2005 05:52:00 PM  
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