Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Four-Color Fiend Rambling


The GRIM GHOST was created by Michael Fleisher for the short-lived Atas/Seaboard Comics back in the mid-'70s. That incarnation only lasted three issues before it, like most of the rest of the line, ceased publication. All three issues featured art by Ernie Colon, itself a reason to seek out the books and helped them stand out among the rest of the Atlas line, since most didn't seem able to keep an artist or writer for their entire run. The third and final issue of GG was written by Marvel & DC scribe Tony Isabella.

Jump ahead to 2011 and we find Atlas and the Ghost once again back in shops. The company is slowly, this time, bringing back many of the characters that starred in those earlier titles. With no reference to earlier continuity (as far as I can tell), the new GG starts fresh with his origin slightly changed and the stories taking place in a strange shadow world neither Heaven nor Hell. Not fighting criminals, whom he dispatched to Hell for their deeds as he did in the old stories, here he rescues those who arrive in the City saving them from creatures who would take their souls. Tony Isabella returns to this character, remaking him, along with the aid of artist Kelley Jones into much more than a costumed crime-fighter with ulterior motives.

GG is not a light book, and Isabella is obviously keeping some things underwraps. Each of the first two issues end with a nice splash page revealing not so much a cliff-hanger but just a hint of something to keep the reader interested enough to come back for the next issue. The first ended with a creepy hint of things to come and the second with a 'OMG!' moment that completely surprised me. I've got my fingers crossed that this new incarnation of Atlas and the GRIM GHOST will be around for a much longer time. Recommended!

If you haven't been a long time reader of Mike Mignola's HELLBOY and B.P.R.D. WHY THE HELL NOT?!?!? Seriously, Mignola's creations, which include the above and other similar books loosely tied into one 'universe', provide good creepy fun and some spectacular art. Along with Mignola's own art you can also find books done by the likes of John Severin, Richard Corben, Guy Davis and others. Things are not looking good in the world as depicted by Mignola & company. Supernatural forces are at war, humans may be on the way out and a new world of darkness may be very close. Having left the B.P.R.D. years before to find out more about himself and his legacy, Hellboy may be about to find his way home. Changes have taken place in the Bureau since he left and it's pretty likely he won't be too happy to discover many of them. Check out the Hellboy Zone on the Dark Horse website and see what you have been missing.

If you have watched my last video I mention that I probably won't be picking up many of the 52 "new" titles that DC will be publishing in September. First off, I think starting all those books again probably isn't the wisest thing to do to begin with, but dumping them (and that seems to be what they are doing) at once on shops and fans just seems a bad mood. Are fans expected to pick up all these books because they are all Number Ones? How are shops supposed to order these if there is little or no track record for some of them? I know a few of the people who work in comics, so I hate to diss the hard work that they put in, but on the other hand...I really would like to see this blow up in DCs face and they find themselves facing an angry fandom that just isn't going to sit around through this.

I am hoping to get to San Diego, at least one day this year, if I can pick up one of the resale passes when they become available. It will be interesting to see what the word on the floor is like about all this.
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