This was mostly comic gold. Comic gold, I tell you. Yes, lots of set up throughout but it was amazing to see how much I actually missed thought balloons and caption boxes describing the story. These may seem like things that are no longer useful in telling a comic book story but I completely disagree. They don't pull me out of a story-- they actually draw me in.
But enough about me getting on a soapbox complaining about how comics today suffer from denying their comicbookness, let's keep on target and discuss this thing. It's not all peaches and cream. There are some losers in here. Hawkman just sort of sits there. Wonder Woman is all over the place. Everything has beautiful, beautiful art but the stories vary widely in quality. The Kubert's effort doesn't really get us anywhere and seems like it could have included more story by shrinking up some of them panels.
Winners, at least in my book, are Flash Kamandi, Metamorpho, and Superman. They get more to the essence of whatever story their telling and give us great moments to get to know the characters. The Superman one gave me a better view of Superman than most of todays comics come close to... and the art was incredible. My favorite turned out to be Flash because we got two stories that both drew you in.
The challenge here is obviously to use the page wisely and give us a good story in only 12 oversized pages (if I'm getting the length of this series) and that means nothing can really be decompressed. They have to use that space and employ some old tricks to get the story done. I sort of miss that in my modern comics. You don't always have to spend 3 issues explaining Dr. Doom's latest plan to kill the Fantastic Four. It would be nice to see some of these techniques escape back into today's comics.
Or, maybe, I'm seeing what I want to see. It's possible that the next 11 issues will be all filler building to a finale and comics like Sgt. Rock and Hawkman certainly weren't dense stories. Heck, even one of my favorites, Superman, wasn't dense. It just really captured Supes' essence to me.
The only real trouble I have with this series is that the format doesn't really lead to a lot of repeat reading. The newsprint is already weak around the folds and it's almost intended to be disposable. I hope they find some way to collect these tales... possibly in some oversized book because I can see wanting to read a few of them over and over again... which would totally ruin the newspaper style comic I've got right now.
Wednesday Comics, you get a 9
. I just wish you weren't so damn recyclable.