This week a living Legend died.
Everyone knew who Stan Lee was. Everyone! To some he was the creator of Marvel’s greatest comics; one of the most inspirational writers to work in the medium; friend; work colleague; and all round nice guy. To others he was just the old guy in every Marvel Movie.
To most he was more than one of those, and to a select few he was all of those.
I have been reading comics written by Stan Lee for most of my life and, even though I no longer read Marvel comics or even Superheroes comics as a general rule, most of the comics I read today owe a small part of their existence to the power house that was Stan Lee. The out pouring of memories and tributes on social media like Twitter and Facebook just emphasise his status in the world, not just the comic book world.
He will be missed by so many people and remembered by even more. No-one would dispute that he leaves a massive and impressive legacy behind and that he will forever remain a Legend.
Our current family goal in the Lego Marvel Superheroes game is to rescue all 50 Stan Lee’s throughout the game. We seem to have missed so many on the first play through. Even my children, who have yet to reach double figures, know who Stan Lee is.
When I told my son that Stan Lee had passed away, he looked up at me with sadness in his eyes and said,
I guess I still have some work to do there….
This week’s comics have aliens, voodoo, heavy metal and the whole entire ‘Verse.
My first pick of the new releases is the new entry into Joss Whedon’s Firefly universe.
Written by Greg Pak, illustrated by Dan McDaid, coloured by Marvelo Costa and lettered by Jim Campbell. Published by Boom! Studios.
The story see’s the crew of the Serenity limping through space until they are forced by an old War Ship to run and hide on a nearby moon. Desperate for repairs, and a growing need to get out of the local air space, Mal and Co search for a job to earn a penny or two.
The story has a wonderfully engaging opening which not only facilitates the story but re-introduces the characters just in case the reader has forgotten who is who. This opening also helps to set this series in relation to other stories, emphasising the time period of the piece.
Pak’s script is punchy, packed with humour. Each of the characters feels familiar and they each have their own voice, a voice that long time readers will now be used to.
I personally love Dan McDaid’s work, he has a vibrancy and energy that he injects into his work. The action sequences jump from the page and there is always a sense of danger hanging over the characters. Costa’s colour work is also superb in this first issue, contrasting the coldness of space and the threat of burning while the crew are stuck in the middle, coated in their colour faded clothes.
Firefly #1 is an enjoyable action comic with all of the idiosyncrasies that you have come to expect from a story set in the ‘Verse.
Cemetery Beach issue 3 hits the shelves this week. It has yet to reach the same level of admiration that I have for Trees but Warren Ellis and Jason Howard know how to produce a good comic. This is pretty much a chase movie on an alien world populated with unlikable characters and mutated beasties. The central characters cut a swath through a dystopian world as they head for their own personal salvations.
The script is succinct allowing the images to tell much of the story and when you have Jason Howard on art duties, this is exactly what you want. Howard's work boarders on the impressionistic at times with the colour work carrying a lot of the emotion. Some of the panels are made even more shocking thanks to the bright white centres and orange tinges which act like a sudden flash of light in the darkness.
The design work is also worth a mention. Not only are the city backgrounds beautifully rendered on each page and panel but the design of the Outerfamily is sublime and grotesque. These are real creatures of nightmare and worth the cover price itself.
Cemetery Beach #3 is out now, published by Image Comics, lettering by Fonografiks.
Other worthy mentions for today are Jook Joint #2 from Image comics. It’s not an enjoyable read in the same was as Firefly because of the subject matter. A Voodoo revenge story with a heart that beats 'Empowerment'. If it’s on the shelf pick it up, the writing and art are excellent and the story is definitely gripping.
I have Infinite Dark #2 to read. The first issue was a slow, space horror, similar in feel I thought to Steve Niles' Delta 13. Published by Top Cow and has the look of many of their titles, based on the first issue I am looking forward to the second, which is out now.
Finally, Murder Falcon #2. I love this comic. It is ridiculous, outrageous and does not take itself too seriously but despite all of that there are some especially moving moments within these 20 odd pages. My full review is over on Comiconverse.com here, check it out and definitely check out the comic itself. It’s very metal in all of the right ways.