Friday, August 10, 2007

Best of DC Blue Ribbon Digest #56 - Jan. 1985

sgMore aliens! Man, does Supes look pissed on this cover(courtesy Pat Broderick)!

Stories include:
"The Island That Invaded The Earth!" by Len Wein, Curt Swan, and Murphy Anderson
"The Electronic Ghost of Metropolis" by Denny O'Neil, Swan, and Anderson
"The Menace Called 'It'!" by Leo Dorfman, Swan, and George Klein
"The Skyscraper That Screamed For Its Life" by Eliott S. Maggin, Swan, and Anderson
"Danger--Monster At Work!" by Wein, Swan, and Anderson
"Fury of the Energy-Eater" by Wein, Swan, and Anderson

This story features a particularly effective opening, when the bad guy in question(aka known as The Galactic Golem), walking a lonely road, comes across a "Metropolis: Home of Superman" billboard. In his rage, he smashes the sign to bits. He turns, and sees a little dog. He leans over the dog, gently pets its head, and walks off.

The entire two-page sequence is almost wordless, and its very moody and powerful. I'm not known for being a big Curt Swan fan, but this is one of the best Superman story openers I've ever read. If this were done nowadays, the bad guy would slaughter the dog, just so we get hit over the head of how evil he is.

Not a bad collection...hey, isn't Supes an alien?


Earth 2 Chris said...

Rob, I need to convert you over to the Swan-side. I know you were a little less than impressed when Swan took over Aquaman, but Swan's art has a quiet grace that few in comics have been able to achieve and still tell a compelling, action-packed story.

I recommend taking a look at Eddy Zeno's "Curt Swan: A LIfe in Comics. There are several examples of Swan's pencils in there, and I found myself thinking NO ONE EVER inked Swan right. His comic art was barely that. It's fully rendered illustrations, and his pencils have a kinetic energy that his inked worked never conveys.


Wich2 said...

Gotta second Chris, here...

Yes, Swan never went in for Kirby or Ditko style mind-bending layouts...

But most Pros give him high honors for consistently solid Storytelling - and especially, a real gift for rendering "Acting" in character's faces:

Curt's people really chuckle, grimace, cry, sneer, etc.; a finesse that eludes a lot of artists.

Great weekend, all!
-Craig W.

P.S.- And yep, one thing Chris touches on, where Swan WAS like Kirby: his pencils usually contain much more "finishing" than made it past his inkers! (Though I'd probably pick Murphy Anderson - no slouch penciler in his own right - as the best match.)I have a signed litho of Supes that Curt used to give out at personal appearances - really great, and needs no one else's touch!

rob! said...

>> Rob, I need to convert you over to the Swan-side.<<

probably not gonna happebn, Chris. while i do respect Mr.Swan for his long career, and obviously LOTS of people liked/like his stuff, it just reads so dull to me.

true, maybe he got a lot bad inkers(i never liked a lot of Kirby gorwing up, since i saw a lot of his stuff inked pretty badly), but i find Swan's layouts to be so. horribly. dull. plus all his people look the same--Luthor is Superman with no hair and Aquaman is Superman with blond hair.

but i'm willing to admit when he pleasntly surprises me, like he did in this issue!

Doug Slack said...

I'm with Rob. Swan's work looks better suited for instruction manuals.

megomuseum said...

I've always admired Swan's capabilities at rendering but found his story telling functional, not bad but not dynamic in any way either.