Monday, February 18, 2008

Orion's using last year's harness, he's grown a bit since then.
This may have been the first time Simonson drew Orion, well before his series.
I'm working on a longer post for Strikeback! so just a few odds today.

The above page is from Armageddon: Inferno #1, (written by John Ostrander, main sequence art by Luke McDonnell) DC's sequel to the 1991 Annuals. The Armageddon in the title would be used a couple more times, and sets a precedent for all those 52/Countdown spin-offs and offshoots. Um, yay?

After saving his future from Monarch/Hawk, Waverider probably shouldn't exist anymore, but he's still surfing the timestream. Following a disturbance, he finds a motley batch of devil-worshippers poking a hole in reality and releasing this series' big bad, Abraxis. He gives his followers power, and sets in motion a plan to "grow four different ages that I may then possess." Waverider has to gather up a batch of heroes to fight in different times; and in a nod to DC's history, powered heroes aren't allowed to fight in World War II: a nod to the Spear of Destiny, the in-story reason the Spectre or Dr. Fate didn't kick Hitler's ass.

The series rotates artists for each different team: Simonson gets the group with the dinosaurs; Art Adams gets the future group with Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Martian Manhunter, and Donna Troy; Mike Netzer draws the WWII Sgt. Rock, Losers, and Hawkworld era Hawkman and Hawkwoman; and Tom Mandrake takes the present with Batman, Ultra Boy, the Creeper, and classic Firestorm.

Waverider is more of a time-traveling plot point than a character, but he deserved better than to be eaten by Skeets/Mr. Mind in 52. And three-quarters of the way through the series, with the heroes getting beat by no-names in four different time zones, Waverider pulls the classic Justice Society of America out of the loop of Ragnarok they had been trapped in since Last Days of the Justice Society of America in 1986. Of course, that story would have been a better end than they got when they were taken out again, in 1994's Zero Hour...until the next revival, the current JSA started in 1999. DC seems to have finally hit on a JSA formula that can keep working for a while, since they haven't kicked them to the curb again yet. Anyway, Waverider saves the JSA from having to return to their never-ending battle in limbo, by replacing them with Abraxis' no-name henchmen.

Actually, I'm wrong there: the henchmen insist on introducing and giving themselves a crappy alias, even if they barely appear for a panel. For example: "Once these hands molded clay to create art, but James Wictowicz was never better than mediocre. Now, as Zhazor, I fashion death. My talent has improved tenfold." Ugh. Still, I'm not sure I'd leave these guys in charge of fighting Ragnarok and postponing the end of the universe, and Waverider doesn't seem to give them a choice in the matter, either, which doesn't seem right even though they're all evil, boring douchebags. Meh. Everyone's so happy to have the JSA back, they let it slide.

I know I picked this up when it first came out, but long since gave it away or lost it. A buck to replace it out of those ever-generous quarterboxes, and a nice afternoon's read.

24 panels, but I don't know how many hours it took on the pictures.
I slapped this together the other day, since I wanted to try some of the other page templates for this Planetwide Comic Book Creator. It had this twenty-four panel layout, but no nine-panel Keith Giffen grid. The hell!

And this seems like as good a place as any to mention Poe Ghostal's Caption the Pic contest over at his blog! Enter by this Friday and you could win a Savage Dragon action figure. I have to remember to give the Youngest a chance at entering, too.

Guff, that ended up a helluva lot longer than I would've thought...

1 comment:

SallyP said...

Hmmm...this does sound vaguely familiar. Guess it's time to go browsing through my long boxes.

Oh, and Orion has indeed grown a bit. Snicker.