With Marvel’s Secret Wars event wrapping up soon (hopefully), I thought I’d take some time to look at some of the spin off miniseries published during it. Secret Wars allowed for their stable of writers to really let loose and get to write some fun and interesting parallel universe stories revisiting fan favorite storylines while giving the readers a possible taste of things to come. With the majority of the regular monthly series on hold there was an insane amount of books that came out in the interim to replace them. I’m only going to focus on the four miniseries that I read in completion. For better or for worse here they are:
Let’s have a nice warm welcome for our newest contributor here at evilgeeks.com, Flaccid Snake.
You’d be a fool not to read the following review.
This is the first collection of the (2010) comic book series, American Vampire. I’m not typically a huge vampire fan, (True Blood was good until maybe the third season and was pretty much dog shit after that) but this story interested me because it takes place in a Western setting and features two great writers. This was Stephen King’s first real foray into comics.
I’ve been the Evil Geeks curator for all things pulp. It’s a genre that I find unwaveringly fascinating. I think what I like the most about it is the adventure element of that era. Jim Steranko’s Raiders Of The Lost Ark concept art sums up visually what it is about it that makes me love it so much. When I first stumbled upon the men’s adventure magazines of the 1950’s and 60’s it was like finding a time capsule full of everything that made the genre great.
The magazine covers are full of absurd art with many reoccurring themes. Rugged men battling animals, scantily clad women captured and ready to be sacrificed deep in the jungle, nazi mad men torturing anyone that can get their hands on, aloof cowboys, war scenes etc. It’s all a bit gonzo in the best possible way. The headlines and the titles of the magazines are another thing you can marvel at. Many of these publications are incredibly sexist and obviously targeted for the men of the era so you certainly have to take it all with a grain of salt.
It has since become a bit of a hobby for me to track down these covers. I just find them endlessly entertaining and the amount that exist is staggering. So strap yourself in and get ready to go back in time as I share some of my favorites with you.
The first arc of the new Image series Copperhead has come to a close. With a new trade out of the first five issues for $9.99 why wait?
Copperhead combines two genres that I love and are rarely seen together, Sci-Fi and Westerns. Although, Science Fiction in general seems to be blowing up right now in comics. Next time you’re at your local comic store look at all the Image series on the racks and you’ll find a heaping portion of outer space books, way more than a year or two ago. I adore Jonathan Hickman’s East Of West series which is another book that mixes those genres. Copperhead is different though. East Of West relies heavily on the Sci-Fi aspects but frames it as a Western where Copperhead feels very much like a Western in the truest sense that happens to have a background setting of space. The two series couldn’t be more different, but both of them are worth your time, energy and money. Hickman tends to deal in the complex and abstract and makes you work for it where Copperhead scribe Jay Faerber eases you and gets you comfortable immediately.
I had the privilege of seeing the seminal Western The Good, The Bad and The Ugly in a movie theatre not too long ago. As the movie began to play I realized the version we were watching was the extended cut. This was fine by me, as many times as I had seen the movie my old DVD copy predated it. As did the original way I use to watch it by renting two VHS tapes together from the local movie store because of its extensive running time.
This was a movie I hadn’t seen in a long time, I once thought of this as a masterpiece of the genre. While it is still an excellent movie, it always had problems with its pacing and length. The original Italian version of the movie (i.e. extended cut) was damn near 3 hours but was trimmed by 16 minutes to a total of 2 hours and 41 minutes for its international release which was the version everywhere outside of Italy had seen. When this footage was restored in 2002 Clint Eastwood and a very old Eli Wallach came back to overdub their lines (Lee Van Cleef sadly had already passed away).
There comes a moment in everyone’s life, mostly unexpected, when things align in such a way that they achieve a sort of clarity into their own hearts. Whether it be good or bad usually depends on the person, but sometimes, you just have no control over it. Such is the tale of Roland of Gilead. Such is the will of Ka. An undeniable force that dictates and wills our lives in a way that is near unchangeable, Ka is a rollercoaster that takes you where it wants you to go. You just better be sure you are ready to deal with what it throws in your way. I will also try and keep this as spoiler free as possible, but some things may need to be said to get my point across.
My journey with Roland and his Ka-Tet, who after a while became my Ka-Tet as well, started about 2 years ago, but did not hit full steam until about 6 months ago. I had read the Gunslinger, which I profiled for you guys here a while ago, but for some reason or another, I had not gotten the chance to pick up the second book. I think I was afraid to be honest. The Gunslinger was such a great book, and although some might have seen it as incomplete considering the way it ended, I did not. I thought if Sai King had decided to call it quits on the series there, I may have been fine with it. But something kept nagging me about it. Maybe it was my need to see how Roland would continue on with his unbendable quest to see the Tower…or maybe it was something else? I put the thought away for a while, and picked up some other books, mainly the Thrones series, and put my thoughts of Roland and that damned Tower away. Things like that have a way of hiding themselves, but never truly going away forever. That fucking Tower was always calling me.