06 July 2005

Comics Roundup 7/6 (CS)

This month J. Michael Straczynski gets a double dose of two thumbs up (which i guess translates to four thumbs) for his work on Amazing Spider-Man and Fantastic Four. In both books he manages to have a lot of elements in play and yet not overwhelm. He deals with the super-heroic and the personal and utilizes the entire central family within both books.

As for Fantastic Four, by all means start reading Straczynski's run and just avoid the invetible crap that will be the movie. Of course, my biggest gripe with the movie is its complete botch job of the character of Dr. Doom, my favorite villain. If you need your fix of the (literally) iron-fisted ruler of Latveria, check out Runaways #4 & 5, The Hurting's regular Dr Doom mailbag, the recently published trade of Neil Gaiman's 1602, or even this week's strip by Timothy Kreider.

Going back to Amazing Spider-Man, I enjoyed the mini-history lesson about Hitler rising to power on the back of the SA only to murder and replace them with the SS. It gets a bit of the ol' glossing over, but it's still interesting history and I'd recommend looking it up. I guess now that he's living in proximity to Captain America (being a New Avenger), Peter Parker has to deal with the specters of his uncle's generation. Along those same lines, this particular panel gave me pause:

I always struggle a little bit with this idea of "The Greatest Generation." It seems to me that we all too soon forget that this is largely the same generation that brought us overzealous parnoia that reared its ugly head through the persecution of good Americans through McCarthyism and a reactionary foreign policy that got us into trouble in Vietnam and set up the problems we are still dealing with today in the Middle East. By no means do I intend to demean my grandfather's generation. Their victories shall rightfully never be forgotten and if we are to picture the ideal of that generation (and i suppose Steve Rogers certainly qualifies) then we cannot help but be proud. However, I find it important that we not overglorify them so that we may learn from their mistakes as well as we do their triumphs and so we may not forget the often overlooked heroes of that generation who stood up in the face of fear at home as well as abroad.
And finally, just to lighten things up, here's a panel that, taken out of context and not knowing that this is supposed to be Peter Parker (and even if one does know that), should induce some giggles:


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