DC News & Views

The Passage of a Legend: Remembering Eisner

As I am sure you are all aware that Will Eisner, the writer of Contract with God, The Spirit, and countless other comics, as well as the man for whom the most recognized award in comics are named, passed away due to complications arising from heart surgery. I hesitate to eulogize him because I never had the good fortune to meet and speak to the man. However, this is a large enough moment that I wouldn’t feel right just letting it slip by.

As I said, Eisner and I never interacted on any personal level. I was lucky enough to hear him speak in San Diego this past year and have read some of his work. Through that, I have come to the conclusion that the respect and praise is well deserved. He is not overrated. He deserves every kudos, every kind word. His work was excellent, blazing the trail of comics are literature, and his love for his work and the medium in general was obvious.

From my colleagues:

“I had the honor of meeting Eisner, shaking his hand, and even sharing a drink with him a few years back. He should be remembered as a man who, without, we might not be able to talk about legends like Kane and Kirby. If they’re the fathers of the modern comic, then Eisner is the Godfather.

He will be missed immensely.”

-James Hatton

“Will Eisner’s impact on the industry is clear and far reaching. His art style is timeless and he was an industry forerunner when there really was no real industry to speak of. His innovative spirit is the mark of his greatness. He will be missed, but his influence remains. God bless Will Eisner and his family at this most difficult time.”

-John Babos

The list below is several links to news articles and tribute pieces. Read a few or read them all, but please take the time to at least take a look at one.

http://www.comicon.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=36&t=003304
http://www.comicon.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=36&t=003299
http://www.comicon.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=37&t=003852
http://www.comicon.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=36&t=003292
http://www.comicon.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=36&t=003280
http://www.comicon.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=36&t=003279
http://newsarama.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=24616
http://www.silverbulletcomicbooks.com/effect/
http://www.silverbulletcomicbooks.com/masters/
http://www.silverbulletcomicbooks.com/fool/
http://newsarama.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=24589
http://newsarama.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=24567
http://www.newsarama.com/pages/Eisner.htm


Superman Movie News

I don’t tend to cover the DC movies in this column just because it is a comic column and I try to maintain that exclusive focus as much as possible. With the circus of producers, actors, writers, directors, etc that have been rumored to be connected with a Warner Bros/DC film, I thought it would just require too much damn attention, thus distracting from the rest.

However, with the latest news, I’ve just got to do a little jig. Spacey as Luthor? Genius.


GOTHAM’S NEWEST RESIDENTS

Confirmed: Miller Returns to Crime Alley

Confirming rumors that started on writer Geoff Johns’ message board, The New York Times reported that Frank Miller will write the previously announced All-Star Batman and Robin, which will join All-Star Superman by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely.

The series will mark Miller’s first return to Batman since The Dark Knight Strikes Again in 2001, and his first take on a more mainstream Batman since 1987’s “Batman: Year One,” which originally ran in DC’s regular Batman series. The creator pairing also marks the first time Lee will work with Miller.

Feel the grit, smell the despair of Miller’s Gotham at Newsarama

Lee on Miller, Batman

With July’s All-Star Batman and Robin from DC, Jim Lee makes his return to Gotham City and the bat-mythology…but does he? Already having tackled the Dark Knight in the monster-selling Batman: Hush storyline, written by Jeph Loeb, Lee moved to (and is currently finishing) “For Tomorrow,” a 12-part storyline in Superman, written by Brian Azarello.

Stand in the audience as Lee gives Miller the key to the city at Newsarama

Well, you have to hand it to Rich Johnston…when the man is right, he’s right. I shrugged off this rumor when I first heard in part because it seemed so unlikely and I didn’t want to get my hopes up. Now, about a week after the announcement, I am still finding the whole thing difficult to believe.

Anyone who has read any of my stuff in this column or elsewhere long enough can probably tell you that I am a big Daredevil freak. I have everything from Vol. 1 #134 to the present issue. A big part of my interest began with reading the last issue of Frank Miller’s Born Again arc over a friend’s house. He didn’t really care about the issue one way or another, but I was enthralled and he let me have it. To this day, I think the description of Captain America, “having a voice that could command the gods…and does,” is one of the best, most powerful summaries of who Cap is. So, yeah, the idea of Miller on one of my favorite DC characters does make my heart go pitter patter.

I know a lot of people are pointing to the Dark Knight Strikes Back as a reason to be apprehensive about this, but I don’t expect we’ll be seeing the same sort of Frank Miller story in this case. The way I look at it, the All-Star Batman could not have less in common with the DRSB Batman and I believe the storytelling will reflect. Particularly in the way that All-Stars will be enjoyable to read and worth the money you spend on it.


The Old Gang’s Back in Town

Frank Miller and Jim Lee aren’t the only acclaimed Batman creators coming back to the character in 2005. As Steve Englehart announced via an e-mail newsletter, together with Marshall Rogers, Terry Austin and John Workman, he will return to Batman, writing Batman: Dark Detective, a six-issue, biweekly miniseries.

Witness the thuggery of the Quartet of Doom roughing up your wallet in some dark alley at Newsarama

What’s struck me as most interesting is that this incredibly well regarded team was really only together, in its entirety, for 6 issues. To have that much of an impact and be that well regarded all these years for only 6 issues is definitely worth noting.

I’m also very impressed to see that the new art still looks as good as the old art. After all these years, you might expect some slipping in quality, but I don’t see it here.


As He Once Guided One Cousin, Now He Must the Other

When Jeph Loeb reintroduced the one, true Supergirl to the DC Universe in the pages of “Superman/Batman,” fans sat up and took notice. She made her first appearance in “Superman/Batman” #8, but truly wowed fans when she made her first appearance in costume with issue #13. In typical Loeb fashion, Supergirl’s return to the DCU left many questions unanswered. Loeb will be addressing many of those questions and providing new ones in the pages of a new, ongoing “Supergirl” series with artist Ian Churchill, tentatively scheduled to debut this July from DC Comics. CBR News caught up with Loeb to get the low-down on his plans for Kara Zor-El.

Watch Loeb play guardian at the local rec center we call Comic Book Resources

I really like when Loeb writes Batman. I also have really liked some of his Superman stuff. He really likes the new Supergirl. Which makes sense; he did create her after all. If he didn’t like her, I think it would be sort of weird. However, even with my like for Loeb and his like for Supergirl, I have no interest in this new Supergirl. Thus, the logic property of transference does not apply here. That is A=>B and B=>C therefore A=>C. Sadly, I appear to be a living embodiment of anti-logic. I wish I could say I was surprised.


Some New Bowslingers

All good things must come to an end and after a long run on Green Arrow, Phil Hester and Ande Parks bid the Emerald Archer adieu with issue # 45. “Phil and Ande have had a hell of a run and they’ve created, I think, a real, lasting image of GA that will (should) go down with Adams and Grell as definitive,” enthused new series penciler Tom Fowler. The artist is hoping to stick with this series for as long as possible and “draw my little heart out.” Find out what else he’s looking forward to in the world of GA and why he doesn’t mind being called an “idiot” – at least by some people.

Aim at the target and let fly at The Pulse

I like the Fowler sketch art that they have with this article. It isn’t Hester and Parks, but I think that is a good thing. Their work was so distinctive on the title that I think it would be a doing a disservice to them and the artists that followed them if the next team just turned in a mimicry of the Hester/Parks style.

I’m not sure if I am sold on the new art yet, but the preview here will certainly encourage me to give it a roll.


Hawkman Has Take Roost

As the year 2004 came to a close, readers found the DC Universe at a precipitous point in its “life.” Although the events that transpired in Identity Crisis were on one hand startling, they also wove together the diverse characters as part of a bigger picture. Not only do they exist, but they co-exist, with each other as characters and in their titles.

As part of a concerted effort of everyone at DC, 2005 will show a tighter scene of community and cohesive continuity between the various titles that inhabit the DC universe. Writers Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti are taking part of this as they continue documenting the monthly adventures of Hawkman & Hawkgirl in the issues of Hawkman.

This column has become Hawkman’s home away from home. To visit another nest of his, glide on over to Newsarama

See, I mentioned this last week. Hawkman has been getting a serious publicity push as of late, one that seems out of step with its sales. So the question is: Why?

By the way, the new art team looks great.


Igle at Ground Zero

Things have come full circle for Jamal Igle. The artist turned down the opportunity to draw Firestorm originally and said it seemed as if fate were the reason he accepted the penciler job now. Firestorm was a hot character Igle wanted to get his pencil on for many reasons. The key reason being: “I can relate to Jason, not just because he’s a young black male, but also because he and I come from very similar backgrounds.”

Feel the heat of a star going nova at The Pulse

I read a review this past week on the most recent issue of Firestorm that declared that Igle did a great job of drawing superheroes. His people, however, were more problematic.

I get what the reviewer is saying. His people are weaker than his superheroes. The thing is, Igle’s superhero action is so strong that his people stuff is not really disappointing; it’s only disappointing when compared with what else he is doing in the same book.

Personally, I think he is doing a nice job coming into his own. Inheriting a book from Criss Cross is an intimidating thing and I believe Igle has been handling the task well. I expect over the course of the next two or three issues, a lot of the problems people have with his work on “civilians” will be smoothed out.


Gage Dodges Bullets

Deadshot’s second issue (in a five-part miniseries from DC) went on sale today, the perfect time to catch up with writer Christos N. Gage. In a comic book market saturated with convoluted continuity, Gage’s main focus for this miniseries is refreshingly straightforward: “Deadshot fights to make a crime-infested neighborhood safe for his daughter and her mom.” SBC thanks Gage for the interview and DC’s Adam Philips for facilitating it.

Run through the Triangle at top speed and throw Floyd a quick wave at Silver Bullet Comic Books

I am digging Gage’s take on Deadshot so far. The thing is though, even if I weren’t, I’d say I was. Us Gage folk gotta stick together.

But I am serious when I say I like it. He really gets the character of Floyd and I think the mini is evolving nicely.


Welcome a New Artist to the Fold

Al Barrionuevo, artist of BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHTS, has signed a 2-year exclusive contract with DC Comics.

Get it “new”, Barrionuevo? Brilliant, no? It would also be brilliant if you clicked on The Pulse right now.

I was not a big fun of the arc that Barrionuevo illustrated, but I really liked his work on it. I think DC got a good pick up here.


Sales Figures!

DC Comics takes four out of the Top Five books in the November chart, by way of their notorious champions SUPERMAN/ BATMAN by Jeph Loeb, Michael Turner and Carlos Pacheco, IDENTITY CRISIS by Brad Meltzer and Rags Morales, and Brian Azzarello and Jim Lee’s SUPERMAN. With GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH, by Geoff Johns and Ethan van Sciver, and the new anthology series JLA: CLASSIFIED, debuting with a story by Grant Morrison and Ed McGuinness, DC has two more titles in the November Top 20.

Take a gander at those numbers and percent symbols at The Pulse

Well, that’s it for me. Sorry the column is so brief today, but I am tired and unpleasant; thus, a brief column. Next week, I’ll write so much you’ll wish all my fingers were broken. I promise.

Take care.

Un Gajje is too tired to be witty. And yes, witty is what he calls it.

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