Reviews May 2012 week three

It’s full-colour comedy in which our Jeff captures the contrariness of childhood to perfection along with its nagging and needs, while Darth dotes on his darling boy like any other proud father.

 – Stephen on Jeffrey Brown’s Darth Vader And Son.

Folly, The Consequences Of Indiscretion s/c (£13-99, Fantagraphics) by Hans Rickheit…

I mean this in the nicest possible way but self-confessed obscurist Hans Rickheit is clearly not all there in the head. Stephen is often fond of describing reading Jim Woodring (WEATHERCRAFT, CONGRESS OF THE ANIMALS) as the closest thing to taking mind-bending drugs without actually doing so. If that is so then reading Hans Rickheit is certainly also of that ilk, but most definitely of the having-a-bad-trip variety. Unlike his previously published work, THE SQUIRREL MACHINE, this material is a collection of shorts from over the years, frequently featuring the same characters, in particular identical twins Cochlea & Eustachia, who inevitably get themselves into all sorts of unpleasant bother.

Definitely the type of read to make you wary of opening doors when you’re not entirely sure what’s on the other side, as Hans frequently surprises his characters, and us readers, by taking you somewhere you’d never expect, nor probably want to go to. It’s not just doors that characters have a habit of passing through / emerging from either… The closest analogy in terms of weird narrative I can make would probably be Charles Burns’ X’ED OUT I think, or David Cronenberg’s cinematic adaptation of William Burroughs’ The Naked Lunch. I would be genuinely intrigued to know what his inspirations were for some of these stories.


Buy Folly, The Consequences Of Indiscretion s/c and read the Page 45 review here

Darth Vader And Son h/c (£9-99, Chronicle Books) by Jeffrey Brown.

“Luke, do you need to go potty?”
“Well, you’re kind of doing a little dance.”
“I don’t have to go.”

He really has to go!

This is too, too funny. From the creator CLUMSY, FUNNY MISSHAPEN BODY, the two INCREDIBLE CHANGE-BOTS books and so much more, this comes in much the same format as Jeffrey’s CATS ARE WEIRD… and CAT GETTING OUT OF A BAG. It’s full colour comedy in which our Jeff captures the contrariness of childhood to perfection along with its nagging and needs, while Darth dotes on his darling boy like any other proud father. It’s the humour of incongruity, the joke being that the dastardly Darth isn’t really renowned for his kindness and compassion, or wearing bright orange, red-dotted ties. “Thank you, my son,” he rasps after unwrapping the proudly presented gift. (“I can’t wear this,” he keeps to himself. I think he’ll have to at home for a while.)

The recognition factor will keep you chuckling throughout: Darth with a dead arm, cradling a slumbering son he doesn’t want to disturb; puddle-splashing; tittle-tattle; that same, irritatingly twee album played over and over again.

“Luke, let’s listen to something else for a while… Maybe –“
“Are you sure? How about –“
“No, Ewoks!”

There are a lot of long car journeys, aren’t there?

But it’s just as funny seeing the evil emperor attempting to wrap a small present of his own in those enormous, cumbersome black gauntlets, and getting sticking plaster everywhere. It’s more of a mess than mine! Also: some highly unorthodox uses for the Force, but you just know that you would if you could. You need know nothing about Star Wars to yuk-yuk it up here – I don’t. Still, it does make you wonder about nature and nurture.

“Luke, pick up your toys right this instant.
“Luke, I am your father.
“Do you want a time-out?”

Such a rebellious child.


Buy Darth Vader And Son h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Megalex h/c (£22-50, Humanoids) by Alexandro Jodorowsky & Fred Beltran…

Before we get into discussing the book itself I must mention the excellent foreword by the artist, Ferd Beltran, where he primarily discusses how his interest in producing ‘3D’ computer generated art arose, and the challenges involved in rendering such worlds and characters. I should add he doesn’t mean 3D in the literal comedy-coloured glasses sense, just the sense of depth and realism that can be achieved by smooth, computer-rendered art when done well. He also talks about working with Alexandro Jodorowsky and I must confess I had forgotten that Fred Beltran was also involved with THE TECHOPRIESTS books, having wrongly assumed for some time that it was virtually entirely the art of Zoran Janjetov, but obviously not.

Anyway, apparently this work is set in the same universe as THE INCAL and THE TECHNOPRIESTS , though I didn’t see any overt connections as such, this seems entirely stand alone to me, but it certainly has much more in common with the latter than the former, and people who enjoyed THE TECHNOPRIESTS material should certainly take a look at this. This work has an entertaining, fairly typical, metaphysical commentary on society and the individual story from Jodorowsky, but it is indeed the art that really makes it come to life, and I frequently found myself stopping to admire Beltran’s skill.


“Megalex is Death!Megalex is Death!” screams the flock of white parrots as it dive-bombs the military base. And it’s hard to disagree with them. It certainly isn’t “Life”.

Almost all of that has been consigned to history and buried under the planetary-wide city that isMegalex. Mountains have been levelled to form one homogenous sphere of grey, metal complexes – think The Death Star, only larger – and the final elements of resistance from the Dead Ocean and Chem Forest are brutally repelled. Governed from the Gubernatorial Palace, built out of unbreakable glass, by Queen Mother Marea and Princess Kavatah and the mummified remains of King Yod (“who has lost none of his wisdom”), the military machine is served by thousands upon thousands of identical clones with 400-day life-spans to avoid a potential contamination of dissent, after which they are slaughtered in vast meat plants and ground up like offal so that their constituent parts may be reused. The process – explicitly depicted in all its revolting “glory” – is overseen by drugged-up supervisors so that there are no anomalies. But on a chance distraction during another attack, one anomaly, a much larger humanoid, escapes their attention and finds unexpected help on hand to facilitate his escape.

As Jonathan says, the art is generated on computer, but doesn’t suffer from the typical clinical forms and/or gaudy colours. It’s actually very impressive. And, in the process mentioned earlier, quite revolting. More nudity – it’s European.


Buy Megalex h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Skeleton Key Colour Special (£2-75, Dark Horse) by Andi Watson.

And what beautiful colours there are on this smooth, silky stock! It showcases Andi’s exuberant cartooning to perfection: my favourite pale blues in the world!

Three introductory short stories, then, from the creator of GUM GIRL, GLISTER and so much more as schoolgirl Tamsin, fox spirit Kitsune and Mr. Raccoon continue in their quest to find a way home using the transdimensional Skeleton Key which can pick any lock, letting them in and out of family tombs, filing cupboards and even petty cash tins if necessary. It’s often a tight squeeze, and it’s usually very funny seeing them extricate themselves.

It’s all a bit Doctor Who if the Tardis’ chameleon circuit were only working. For each time they find themselves faced with something already suspect or about to go disastrously wrong.

Here they encounter the New Necromantics: a trio dressed like David Bowie in ‘Ashes To Ashes’, Adam Ant in ‘Prince Charming’ and Alannah Currie from the Thompson Twins circa ‘Sister Of Mercy’ trying to train drained zombies to dance in their latest pop promo:

“No, no, no! It’s step, step, shimmy, step. Not shuffle, shuffle, drool.”

Next it’s a question of questionable Room Service at a hotel haunted by a former occupant who found its mini-bar nuts. Best of all, though, is their misstep into theMuseumOfThe Lostwhere their current condition immediately qualifies them as prize exhibits – along with Amelia Earheart’s Lockheed Electra, passports and homework. Also, presumably: the never-present dog who ate it. Very funny word-play.

My favourite panel was the ghost administering the Heimlich Manoeuvre to Mr. Raccoon, for the cartooning involved in Mr. Raccoon is exceptional. On the surface he is a flat-faced, square-head, but here you see best the invisible, three-dimensional contours which always exist due to the impeccable colouring but which never break the facial rectangle. I don’t know how well I’ve explained that. Ask me for a quick show-and-tell on the shop floor. It’s subtle but brilliant!

SKELETON KEY original series books ONE, Three and FIVE still available. Just. You don’t need them for this, but you’ll want them for sure and immediately afterwards.

Skeleton Key Colour Special


Tokyo On Foot: Travels In The City’s Most Colourful Neighbourhoods (£15-99, Tuttle) by Florent Chavouet ~

There is an honesty in wonder, truth in bewilderment. To visit a new place and soak it all in line by line must take a keen sense of the absurd. This isn’t really a CARNET DE VOYAGE in the strictest sense as Florent stayed for six months, taking the opportunity to explore the different districts of the sprawling capital while his partner interned. Instead what we have here is a personal, unofficial guidebook to the city. It’s an unapologetic love letter appreciating its dingiest dives to its most beautiful moments. Through the eyes of a westerner,Tokyo seems overwhelming at times; Florent softens the neon strips and gaudy consumerism with his crayon-coloured illustrations and photo montages. It’s clear when you read the book this is all sequential art, but only occasionally will he break a page down into a standard comic sequence, like when he’s arrested and interrogated byTokyo’s notoriously zealous police. And as harsh as that experience sounds, he remains a resolute outsider observing the unfolding pantomime with a keen eye.

In this way he reminds me of Nicholas (Momus) Currie’s ongoing adventures in Osaka. Although Nicholas, ever the chameleon-alien, actively participates in the pantomime, complete with dress sense, revelling in its absurd beauty. Through Florent’s you will see a city quite foreign and in its reflection a West equally as alien on every level. Wonderful.


Buy Tokyo On Foot: Travels In The City’s Most Colourful Neighbourhoods and read the Page 45 review here

NonNonBa (£19-99, D&Q) by Shigeru Mizuki…

Enchanting autobiographical work from the creator of the scathing anti-war satire ONWARD TOWARDS OUR NOBLE DEATHS, which details his relatively austere, and at times quite poignant childhood, his developing interest in illustration, and also looks at his early fascination, partly fuelled by his grandmother, the titular NonNonBa, with the Japanese spirit world and the monsters, or yokai, who inhabit it. It’s clearly something that’s developed into a bit of an obsession as apparently he’s “travelled to over sixty countries to engage in fieldwork based on spirit folklore” whatever that may mean!

This work was actually the first manga ever to win the prestigious Best Album prize at Angoulême, and it’s easy to see why as it rewards the reader on many levels, especially narratively. Even though I loved this work I possibly just prefer ONWARD TOWARDS OUR NOBLE DEATHS, though again that too was a prize winner at Angoulême! Amusingly enough it has just occurred to me that Mizuki’s own fascination with war may well have begun in the pitched battles he and his friends seemed to be endlessly fighting with other kids from nearby neighbourhoods, and which seem to have been fought with a ferocity the Bash Street Kids would have been proud of! He draws a particularly amusing lumpy bruised head!

This would definitely be an interesting read for someone who has worked his way through the Tezuka and Taniguchi canons and is now looking for another true manga master to discover. Highly recommended.


Buy NonNonBa and read the Page 45 review here

Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland h/c (£16-50, Top Shelf) by Harvey Pekar & Joseph Remnant.

From the writer – and star – of AMERICAN SPLENDOUR, with an introduction by Alan Moore, this is Harvey’s last pronouncement on those around him and the city he and they inhabited. Harvey Pekar and Cleveland were inseparable, and this is part-autobiography, part-history. Some of the finest art ever to grace a Pekar project: incredible detail and a real spirit of place, vital for a project like this. Which is a relief, because some of the artists Pekar’s worked with over the years have been awful.

This is a place-holder review. More when it manages to stay in stock.


Buy Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Mastering Comics (£25-99, FirstSecond) by Jessica Abel, Matt Madden.

The sequel to DRAWING WORDS AND WRITING PICTURES which I wrote about extensively. Rigorous instructions from two of comics’ finest creators responsible, separately, for LA PERDIDA, LIFE SUCKS, 99 WAYS TO TELL A STORY and BLACK CANDY.


Buy Mastering Comics and read the Page 45 review here

FLCL: The Complete Omnibus (£14-99, Dark Horse) by Gainax & Hajime Ueda ~

Takkun thought he had problems. His town is being smothered by the giant factory, his family are serial perverts and his brother’s slightly slow ex is trying to get in his pants. Then the mysterious Vespa girl thwacks Takkun with her guitar. And large robots pop from his forehead like bad spots. His brain disappears and the void left in its wakes leads to the belly of a robot cat intent on taking over the universe. No really. Pronounced “Fooly Cooly” or “Furi Kuri” and sometimes “eF eL see eL”. But now we’re getting silly.


Buy FLCL: The Complete Omnibus and read the Page 45 review here

Frankenstein: Alive, Alive! #1 (£2-99, IDW) by Steve Niles & Bernie Wrightson.

The return of comics’ definitive FRANKENSTEIN h/c artist and classic collaborator on Len Wein’s ROOTS OF THE SWAMP THING in a mini-series written by 30 DAYS OF NIGHT’s Steve Niles.

The much maligned monster has finally found a home and companionship in a travelling Freak Show but, oh, the things he had to endure to get there! The tortured soul casts his mind back to the frozen, desolate wastes he’d once thought his Arctic tomb only to be revived in the thaw and tormented once more by the ghost of his callous creator.

Let’s be clear: you’re here for the art, and even if it isn’t quite the same insane detail of Wrightson’s original FRANKENSTEIN h/c which inclined me to compare it to Gustav Doré via Franklin Booth, it is still amongst the very best Bernie’s ever bestowed upon us, with exceptional modelling and breath-taking landscapes. Rarely do I link off our site during reviews but you have got to experience Bernie Wrightson’s FRANKENSTEIN: ALIVE ALIVE interior art for yourself. Also: classy matt black cover with shiny silver ink framing a full-colour oval portrait.

Extras include an extensive interview of Wrightson by Steve Niles himself about his earliest encounters with the Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee incarnations with much more to follow, hopefully including Bernie’s own experiencing crafting the FRANKENSTEIN h/c. How much do I love that book? I have a signed, full-colour print hanging above the fireplace in my study.

Buy Frankenstein: Alive, Alive by lurching to the counter, fumbling on the phone or hamfistedly hitting

The Clock Strikes #1 (£3-50, Kult) by John A. Short & Vincent Danks.

Are you reading HARKER? You should be! Contemporary British crime comic riddled with mischief. Two books so far: HARKER VOL1 set in London and HARKER VOL 2 up in Whitby , with a third, original graphic novel to follow shortly from Titan. From Titan, not on Titan – that’d be quite the departure.

Anyway, its artist is the same Vince Danks, here illustrating a one-off pulp piece in ridiculously lavish detail under a cover worthy of Brian Bolland. This man’s architecture – exterior and interior – is an absolute joy and he’s really gone to town on the tone. A police Lieutenant investigates rumours of a supposed faceless vigilante tearing into organised crime and destroying their dope factories. Unfortunately he’s ticking off all the wrong people, and they’re tocking it all to heart.

“That’s awful, Stephen!” I’ve written worse. “We know!”



Chime in with an order for The Clock Strikes by phoning 0115 9508045 or make with the clicky on

Higher Earth #1 (80 pence, Boom! Studios) by Sam Humphries & Francesco Biagini.

“Always be proud of where you come from. Even if it is made out of trash.”

From the writer of the fiercely funny pansexual comedy OUR LOVE IS REAL (copies still in stock @ £2-99), an 80 pence introduction to his new sci-fi series which asks a lot of questions which the surly sword-wielding protagonist seems keen to avoid answering.

Why has young Heidi grown up on one Earth used as landfill by another? Why has the chap with the crow come to reclaim her? Who is after the chap with the crow? And why does this all look so much like the old X-FORCE series only featuring Cable and Hope with Shatterstar thrown in for bad measure? See, Biagini looks a lot like Ron Garney on the surface, but the visual storytelling could use a lot more clarity. I shouldn’t have to check what’s happening; I should see it immediately.

Still, I wouldn’t bother typing this if I wasn’t intrigued. You’ll note there was no review of DIAL H FOR HERO. Grant Morrison, it wasn’t.


Buy Higher Earth #1 by recycling this into an email using the portal or dumping your demands down 0115 9508045.

Batman vol 1: The Court Of Owls h/c (£18-99, DC) by Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion…

“My point is, sometimes we become so concerned with little dangers that we don’t see the big one, right beneath our feet. That’s all. Bruce?”
“I’m sorry,Lincoln. I have to go. I’m going to have my own people watch your room. They’re the best. Get some sleep.”
“But, Bruce, if they’re watching me… who’s watching you?”

Ahh… methinks the battle for the post-Morrison* quill is over, and Scott Snyder is the hands-down victor as this easily is the finest Batman title I’ve read since Morrison’s extended run.

This is exactly what Batman should be all about, with mystery and misdirection teased and tormented out over several issues as elaborate, nay labyrinthian (you’ll see what I mean), games are played, and masterplans deviously plotted and callously executed. It’s just that here it’s Batman and indeed Bruce Wayne who find themselves, initially at least, being manoeuvred round the board, seemingly at will by players unknown, the faceless and until now presumed mythical Court Of Owls.  

Exceptional storytelling here from BATMAN: THE BLACK MIRROR’s Scott Snyder as he creates a brand new set of Bat-adversaries, which have apparently been around since the founding of Gotham (more on that possibly in the ALL-STAR WESTERN part of the Court Of Owl crossover currently ongoing), yet which everyone believes to have no more reality than a children’s nursery rhyme. In fact the Court Of Owls referenced in said rhyme is something a very young Bruce Wayne tried once to investigate, in the distraught aftermath of his parents’ deaths, as he desperately searched for a deeper reason for their murder than the simple mindless thuggery of a single robber. He didn’t find anything then however, and hasn’t since on the rare occasions Batman has heard very vague rumours, leading him to conclude it really is nothing more than a fairy tale. Except now, for reasons yet unknown, it seems that the Court is ready to make a very public statement by killing Bruce Wayne, and yet Batman still isn’t convinced that they really exist.

“The man who tried to kill me made a comment about how much he loved killing Waynes.”
“No Wayne in the last fifty years has died suspiciously to my knowledge… other than your parents, of course.”
“I know that. But whoever he is, this man wants me to believe that he isn’t just a killer, but that he’s The Talon.”
“The Talon? From the Court of Owls folksong?”
“Except that he wants me to believe that the Court isn’t a fairytale… that in reality some secret group of men has actually been ruling Gotham from the shadows since colonial times. So I’m assuming the Wayne killing he’s referring to involves some incident from the past. Something to give credibility to the bedtime story. So again Alfred, what do you know about owls?”
“Just common trivia… they’re carnivorous, masters of camouflage… they’re natural predators of bats…”

Snyder is creating an epic storyline here, something that really sinks its roots deep, very deep into Bat-history, and producing something which will, I suspect, have profound implications for Bruce and for Batman for some time to come. Not a page or panel is wasted; every single bit of space is used to lay out an incredibly complex, dense tale. Anyone who thinks writing a Bat-comic would be child’s play would be well advised to read this and think again. There’s one superb sequence (out of many) which I don’t want to spoil, which oh so cleverly puts a completely different spin on one of the most pivotal parts of Bat folklore that had me absolutely gasping in admiration, and no, it’s not the death of Bruce’s parents. Snyder has put some serious thought into this, so just sit back and enjoy.

The art, from Greg Capullo, is of an equally high standard with some wonderful conceits employed liberally throughout which artfully (no pun intended just for once) match exactly what is happening on the page at that moment. He’s clearly read Gary Spencer Millidge’s brilliant COMIC BOOK DESIGN: THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO DESIGNING COMICS! Simply magnificent stuff, and if Snyder and Capullo can maintain this standard, I’ve every reason to believe this storyline will be added to the relatively short list of modern Bat-classics which we at Page 45 are happy to recommend to people who ask which are worth reading.

*Yes Bat-pedants, I know Morrison is coming back to finish things off with the new monthly BATMAN INC. title but I quite liked the BATTLE FOR THE COWL pun once I’d thought of it and I didn’t want to waste it, so there!


Buy Batman vol 1: The Court Of Owls h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Captain America vol 2 h/c (£14-99, Marvel) by Ed Brubaker & Alan Davis.

Sharon Carter is Agent 13, and about to do something stupid.

“Computer, shut down all wireless commnetworks onboard.”
“No communication traffic in or out of the Quincarrier. And lock all systems. No changes authorised without my command.”
“If I don’t reauthorise by 0800 hours… activate self-destruct sequence one. And then contact the Avengers… tell them I’m sorry.”

Alan Davis is always a sight for sore eyes: it’s like bathing them in artistic Optrex. In addition, there are some lovely little nods to classic Captain America artist Mike Zeck. Take a look at the seventh page of #8: unmistakeable, that bottom panel.

Floating over a stormy ocean on the Hydra Flying Island, Baron Zemo and Queen Hydra are playing a long game. The Queen’s husband, Codename: Bravo has been captured and incarcerated, but she’s far from concerned. It’s time for phase two: new, improved Madbombs which once nearly started a race war inHarlem. Once detonated all hell breaks loose in the form of bloodthirsty riots, and at each critical juncture Steve Rogers finds himself reverting to his former, impotent self, pre-Supersoldier Serum.

The Machinesmith managed to deactivate the Serum in STEVE ROGERS. SUPERSOLDIER, while Bravo managed the same thing in Captain America vol 1. Worse still, it happened once before: a psychosomatic effect of a crisis in confidence. Is that’s what’s happening now?

Both Stark and the Beast fail to find anything clinically wrong with Rogers, so that the seeds of self-doubt sown in the last volume now germinate, take root, dig in and grow, spawning a second crisis of confidence. Is that was this is all about? Clue: I’d check those two former reviews. A clever one, our new Queen Hydra. Guest-stars Hawkeye and the Falcon.


Buy Captain America vol 2 h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Avengers vol 3 h/c (£22-50, Marvel) by Brian Michael Bendis & Daniel Acuna, Renato Guedes, Brandon Peterson.

It’s no secret I’ve been devoted to Bendis’ AVENGERS in its many incarnations ever since AVENGERS: DISASSEMBLED, and the whole Osborn saga culminated beautifully in SIEGE. Why, then did we need another, weaker iteration of what went before?

Osborn is back and giving the Avengers P.R. hell, accusing them of being traitors to their country and detaining him without trial. Which is a bit like the Burmese government accusing Aung San Suu Kyi of being a despot. Incredibly the American people are lapping it up. And I do mean “incredibly”. Given Osborn’s reputation it’s just not credible.Meanwhile the Avengers are lured to his lair, newly populated with another set of Dark Avengers, ex-H.A.M.M.E.R. agents and Hydra.

Excuse me, I’ve just dozed off. By the time Renato Guedes took over as penciller I wasn’t even recognising this as written by Bendis. Both were so lacklustre. I’m beginning to see the corporate strings and the puppeteer become puppet: Storm joining the team just so she can leave in a huff for AVENGERS Vs. X-MEN…? Transparent. The only bit that really had me going was the Vision being resurrected and then having to learn exactly how he came to be in two pieces. Not just who tore him apart, but who made her do it: who tore the whole team apart in AVENGERS: DISASSEMBLED. His wife, yes.


Buy Avengers vol 3 h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Silver Surfer: Parable h/c (£18-99, Marvel) by Stan Lee & Moebius, Keith Pollard…

Wonderful to see this work back in print following the sad passing of one of the true greats of the comics industry. Don’t get excited, I’m not referring to Stan Lee, who’s still excelsiorising his own furrow in ever-decreasing circles, but of course Jean Giraud, better known as Moebius. Here isn’t really the place to eulogise the man, but suffice to say he was uniquely talented, which in some ways make him a logical choice to illustrate one of the great enigmas of the Marvel Universe, the Silver Surfer. Enigma, primarily in the sense that he’s never managed to sustain a series for very long, usually because he’s written so two-dimensionally, which is odd considering there are practically no constraints on where the character can go or what he can do.

Sadly, this non-continuity collaboration isn’t really any different in terms of the writing, as Galactus arrives on Earth, declares himself ruler, abolishes all laws, and then sits back to wait for mankind to destroy itself, thus neatly obviating the promise he made to the Surfer not to destroy humanity. He never said anything about not eating the leftovers though, did he?!

It isn’t, in all honesty, Moebius’ finest work either, and certainly not his most consistent. I did feel extremely guilty thinking that about the great man’s work as I went along, as he can usually do no wrong in my eyes whatsoever. But I then felt completely exonerated (and somewhat relieved, frankly) when reading the fascinating afterword to see Moebius felt exactly the same about this work himself, even going so far as try and get to the bottom of precisely why. No need to explain, Jean Giraud: if your heart’s not in it, mate, your heart’s just not in it. With that said there are some panels and pages – many, many of them in fact – where you just have to stop and admire a peerless master at work, and those alone are easily worth the price of the book.

And, along with the honest dissection of his own artwork, there are some other excellent extras, including a series of promo posters of various Marvel characters he did, including Daredevil, Elektra, Punisher, Spider-Man, The Thing, Wolverine and, probably my favourite one, Iron Man. Makes you think what might have been, or perhaps it’s best if some things always remain a… What If?

Sorry, that really was some pandemonius punnery worthy of Stan himself there.

Actually, in what might be a first for the Page 45 website, I think, I have actually added some interior art for a superhero book, so you can see for yourselves, and happy days, I came across an image of the Iron Man poster in question too! Wouldn’t it have been amazing to have a full Iron Man story in that art style? Preferably not penned by Stan.

For some reason, however, Marvel didn’t think all that by itself would tempt you, and so have included another non-continuity story, again penned by Smilin’ Stan and illustrated by Keith Pollard. Nicely illustrated, for sure, in fairly typical superhero style for the time, but frankly another appalling hokum plot and, for me, it doesn’t add anything whatsoever at all.


Buy Silver Surfer: Parable h/c and read the Page 45 review here


Arrived, Online & Ready To Buy

Reviews already online if they’re new formats of previous books. Otherwise the most interesting will come under the microscope next week, while the rest will remain with their Diamond previews acting in lieu of reviews.


Deadenders (£22-50, Vertigo) by Ed Brubaker & Warren Pleece

The Art Of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist h/c (£24-99, Abrams) by Daniel Clowes, edited by Alvin Buenaventura

Fables vol 1: Legends In Exile (New Ed’n) (£9-99, Vertigo) by Bill Willingham & LanMedina

Cerebus The Barbarian Messiah: Essays (£29-99) by various, edited by Eric Hoffman

Red Mass For Mars (£10-99, Image) byJonathan Hickman & Ryan Bodenheim

Green Lantern: Brightest Day s/c (£14-99, DC) by Geoff Johns & Doug Mahnke

Catwoman vol 1: The Game s/c (£10-99, DC) by Judd Winick & Guillem March

Green Lantern vol 1: Sinestro h/c (£16-99, DC) by Geoff Johns & Doug Mahnke

Batman: Bruce Wayne: The Road Home s/c (£13-50, DC) by Fabian Nicieza, Mike W. Barr, Bryan Q. Miller, Derek Fridolfs, Adam Beechen, Marc Andreyko & Cliff Richards, Ramon Bachs, John Lucas, Javier Saltares, Rebecca Buchman, Walden Wong, Pere Perez, Peter Nguyen, Ryan Winn, Szymon Kudranski, Agustin Padilla, Scott McDaniel, Andy Owens

New Avengers vol 3 h/c (£18-99, Marvel) by Brian Michael Bendis & Mike Deodato, Neal Adams

Moon Knight vol 2 h/c (£18-99, Marvel) by Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev

Generation Hope: The End Of A Generation (£11-99, Marvel) by James Asmus & Ibraim Roberson, Tim Green II

Tenjo Tenge 2-in-1 Edition vol 6 (£10-99, Viz) by Oh!Great

Saturn Apartments vol 5 (£9-99, Viz) by Hisae Iwaoka

Starry Sky vol 1 (£9-99, DMP) by Hal Minagawa & honeybee

The Flowers Of Evil vol 1 (£8-50, Vertical) by Shuzo Oshimi

Maoh: Juvenile Remix vol 10 (£6-99, Viz) by Kotaro Isaka &Megumi Osuga

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