Monday, August 17, 2009


Age of the Sentry/Freedom Collective

Age of the Sentry

That the comics put out by Marvel in the '60s were incredibly influential is pretty obvious, not just for the fact that they're still in print, that the characters are still around, that people still talk about the character, but also because people are still parodying/homaging the style.

First off the covers of both these comics: words words words. They are covered in words. And things happening. And "Approved by the Cosmic/Kremlin Code Authority" boxes in the corner. I was amused.

Anyway anyway. The Sentry. I heard the character sucked. I heard his first miniseries and this one were good. I didn't know. I don't read New Avengers (well, I read an issue in Malaysia once). This was a dollar, so I bought it.

The first page kind of just confuses me as to its existence. It's a kid asking his dad to tell him a story about the Sentry. In comic book style. It's drawn/coloured much more modernly than the rest of the comic, and I don't really get the point.

Then there's the first story. Written by Jeff Parker, who I usually like and I should really read the Interman some day, and drawn by Nick Dragotta, who did some X-Statix stuff? I think. The story is ridiculous, but it's supposed to be. The Sentry works for an encyclopedia company? Whatever.

It's the Sentry's origin story, and I have no idea if this meshes with his previous one (does he even have a previous one?) and there's a big pink monster thing, and a guy with three brains, and it's cute and all, but I sort of feel it's trying too hard. What I really enjoy is that the colourist, Val Staples, has made the colouring intentionally shitty. Like the various colours don't quite match the lines on every page. It's good. I like that.

The second story is by Paul Tobin, who has written something I've read I'm sure... Oh, he wrote Banana Sunday! That was excellent. Go read that instead of either this comic or this blog. His story does have beatnik Mad Thinker though, which is fun.

The Freedom Collective

The Freedom Collective is the idea of what comics the Soviet Union would have produced if Stan Lee and Jack Kirby lived there. It doesn't quite live up to it's potential. At least part of that due to the fact that it's in black and white, and as much as I love the Essentials Marvel puts out, a project like this would have benefited from colour. Especially at $5.95 Canadian (while the US price is only $3.95). What the fuck Rough Cut Comics? Have you ever looked at a currency converter? They are _free_ on the _internet_. That price should be about $4.50 or whatever. Thankfully I only paid a buck. Still.

Soviet pop culture is something I'm interested in, and if I had continued studying Russia/Russian I probably would have ended up writing essays on Soviet spy movies and comic books (I just met someone who said their friend had written a thesis on Russian comics, I should find out about that). And while this works to some extent, it's still written by westerners, and is still sort of poking fun at the Soviets. I'm curious as to how much research they actually did for it.

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