Tag Archives: Justin Gray

The Last Resort Nears the Last Straw

https://i0.wp.com/www.panelsonpages.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/the-last-resort-cover.jpg

Cleverly disguised by Darwyn Cooke

The Last Resort is a cliche zombie movie on paper. It’s not an adaptation of any movie that I know of (it has nothing to do with the show called The Last Resort), but it feels like this is one of those comic-book-as-a-movie-pitch titles that come out all the time. The story is simplistic: a plane lands in a beach resort that has been taken over by zombies, but nothing interesting ever comes out of it. The multitude of characters are paper thin, stereotypical, and uninteresting. Most of the dialogue simply moves the plot along without any deep character moments or even the feeling that these people matter. They don’t.

As a zombie movie imitation, it acts exactly like a zombie movie would. We get bits and pieces of character moments, and then they’re slowly but surely whittled down until the last few survivors remain. Except a movie can actually make these moments short and sweet. It takes longer to read a scene from a movie than it does for it to actually take place and that’s where the problem lies: This is the wrong format for this story. It should have been a crappy zombie movie, but instead we get a crappy zombie comic book.

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Whatever Happened to the Comic Book Creator?

This title, that you didn’t buy, is cancelled with issue #8

Creator owned comics are dead. Literally. But maybe it’s more than that. Maybe no one wants to buy anything new anymore and with that reality the industry dies a little more. New characters have always had a hard time finding an audience. Everyone wants a new #1, but no one wants to buy a comic about someone they don’t already know. On top of that, the recent trends within mainstream comics has moved towards stifling creative endeavors in favor of proven successes. All this is leading comic book creators to shy away from creating new concepts for mainstream comics, but their independent creative owned books never find the sales for success. In essence we’re being robbed of so much potential.

The sudden cancellation of a comic book NAMED Creator-Owned Heroes tells a lot about what comic book fans are looking for. A book starring characters created by the likes of Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, Steve Niles, Phil Noto, Darwyn Cooke and others is a big deal, and yet people weren’t buying it. Sales were in the 5,000 range and they were asking for only a little bit more than that. Palmiotti and Gray have a loyal following from writing Jonah Hex and now All-Star Western, Steve Niles created 30 Days of Night and so many other things, Phil Noto is a popular cover artist at Marvel and DC, and Darwyn Cooke is the type of creator that you follow religiously. It was thought that all these creators’ fans would come together in order to support the book. Apparently not. Creator-owned concepts don’t always make it at Image Comics, but what about Marvel or DC, the companies that everyone wants to read and make the most money.

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Get into Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters

Freedom Fighters (1976) #1-15
Crisis Aftermath: The Battle for Bludhaven (2006) #1-6
Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters (2006) #1-8
Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters: Brave New World (2007) #1-8
Freedom Fighters (2010) #1-9

The Freedom Fighters charge into action

It might be a hokey name, but Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters is supposed to be fun. It is the story of Uncle Sam, the spirit of America brought into corporeal form, bringing America’s heroes together to fight villainy. In recent years Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray took to revitalizing these characters to become the flag bearers of DC Comics’ patriotic superheroes. They also work for the government, making for an interesting juxtaposition of political intrigue and spandex clad super heroics.

The characters who make up the Freedom Fighters were originally owned by Quality Comics, a competitor to DC Comics’ predecessor, National Publications. After going out of business in the 1950s, Quality Comics’ properties were bought by National Publications, who eventually reintroduced some of their new characters as the Freedom Fighters. The team was placed on an alternate Earth, Earth-X, where the Nazis had won World War II. This meant the war time characters could continue their war time adventures indefiniately. It wasn’t until the 1985 Crisis on Infinite Earths, where DC Comics consolidated all their alternate Earths into one streamlined continuity. The Freedom Fighters were now free to interact with Superman, Batman and the Justice League.

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