Monday, April 19, 2010

Mystery In Space

It was recently announced that Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy and Nova comics were going to go into hiatus in April- which sounds like a new way for saying they are cancelled - until they are possibly relaunched in the wake of some event comics extravaganza featuring Thanos. Sad, but I guess it’s not that surprising.

For some reason, the recent decade hasn’t been very kind to Cosmic Comics.  The success of Annihilation had me pumped that we might be entering a new era of galactic goodness, but it seems short lived. From start to finish the whole new era didn’t last but 4 years with this version of GotG only lasting 24 issues.

Whereas in the 90’s, Jim Valentino's Guardians the Galaxy ran for 62 issues and Silver Surfer ended its volume 2 run around 140 issues! Heck, even Adam Warlock got 42 issues out of the incredibly haphazard Infinity Watch. Over at DC, the 90’s brought us LEGION/REBELS and DarkStars - all of those titles respectable runs.

But in the last 10 years, we saw a rise in more grounded comics. Perhaps the earthy, street level stories of Brian Bendis and Ed Brubaker created a tonal storytelling dissonance that made Star-spanning sagas seem a little quaint.

Jim Starlin's Strange AdventuresNot that people didn’t try - we did see some Jim Starlin on some interesting cosmic comics over at DC, (Mystery in Space Vol 2, Death of the New Gods, Strange Adventures Vol. 2, ) - Perhaps the project with the most promise from Jim Starlin was his Thanos solo series which he left for reasons undetermined after two issues (check) Keith Giffen did a nice job taking over the comic, but it didn’t last long.

I don’t know - I guess some people would call Blackest Night a space comic as it features the Green Lantern Corps, but it doesn’t feel very spacey to me. It’s just a bunch of superheroes fighting each other - which is just fine if that’s what you want. I just think it would be nice to see a modern spin on Adam Strange or Space Cabbie. I don’t see that happening anytime soon though.

Maybe people are just disillusioned with the whole idea of space travel? We used to harbor hopes of traveling to far distant galaxies and visiting other worlds. Now? Not so much. NASA has to fight for budget money and every new space mission is surrounded with questions about how much does it cost and what are we really learning?

Anyway, enjoy these classic comics from a time when the stars were are destination - budgets be damned!

[ Space Adventures 41 ]

[ Space Adventures 44 ]


- Jim


Adrian said...

Thanks for the Space Adventures! I haven't seen these particular issues anywhere else. The Mercury Man's pretty interesting--visually, he resembles a(n even) dorkier Namor, but character-wise he's more of a cross between Silver Surfer and J'onn J'onnz.

cash_gorman said...

I wanted to like Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy and Starlin's outings at DC but I found the characterizations and new designs of the characters of the Marvel comics to be alien to the characters I knew (pun intended). Nova was made into being more of a Green Lantern book and then Darkhawk was made to be a Nova-lite character, taking both into areas that didn't interest me and seemed at odds with their original appeal. While Guardians was like Agents of Atlas in that interesting and colorful characters were made more mundane, dull and different than from who they were originally.

Starlin on the other hand just seems to be a parody of himself. All his space opera stuff seems to keep hammering at variations of the same notes that made his work on Captain Marvel and Adam Warlock so great and groundbreaking. But, the end result is more like hearing the elevator music version of a rock opera.


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