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Newspaper comics meet comic books

June 30, 2010
By Amy Phelps

Last summer, DC Comics started a 12-issue event printing stories of their heroes in weekly comics format — unbound color newsprint on broadsheets.

Each issue focused on 15 different continuing stories of such heroes as Batman, Hawkman, Superman, Green Lantern, Metal Men, Supergirl, Kamandi, Flash, Metamorpho, Deadman, Wonder Woman, Sgt. Rock, Cat Woman, Adam Strange and the Teen Titans.

Recently, DC has collected the adventures into one hardback broadsheet book, “Wednesday Comics,” with stories collected by character.

This is an impressive book visually, from its unique size — definitely more of a coffee table book than something you’re going to put on a bookshelf — to the bright colors and the one-page stories.

The Batman story, written by Brian Azzarello with art by Eduardo Risso, follows the story of a wealthy man’s murder. When Bruce Wayne saves the life of the deceased’s much younger wife, Luna, the Batman begins an investigation of his own and finds a wealth of murder and greed. But while Batman’s keeping his wits about him, can the same be said of Bruce Wayne around Luna?

It’s a classic detective story with a dame in trouble — who’s also more than a bit of trouble herself.

“Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth,” is a post-apocalyptic story of a young boy surrounded by mutant animal people in a war not of his own making. The story by Dave Gibbons, artist of the famed Watchmen, with art by Ryan Sook, is a science-fiction fantasy about a boy who finds he might not be the last of his kind after all.

A chance encounter with an alien leaves Superman rethinking his life in the story by John Arcudi with art by Lee Bermejo. After talking with Batman and even visiting Ma and Pa Kent, Superman still doesn’t feel like he belongs anywhere on Earth. But when the action starts heating up, Superman learns there may be a reason behind his sudden soul searching.

Hal Jordan is the Green Lantern in the retro story by Kurt Busiek with art by Joe Quinones. As Green Lantern fights off Volga Jetmen from stealing America’s atomic secrets, his friends wonder where Hal Jordan is. But as he turns up late to the party, on television a famous astronaut and former friend of Hal’s has a horrific transformation. 

It’s up to Hal as the Green Lantern to save his friend before it’s too late.

Newberry award winner and New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman teams up with Mike Allred for a story of Metamorpho, the Element Man.

The swinging ‘60s-type dialogue and artwork is a bit befuddling at first (there’s an ‘extra’ comic going on along the bottom of one issue explaining the character’s origin) but the story is a tongue-in-cheek look at those stories as the characters explore a hidden Antarctic temple in search of a treasure.

There’s a cute and kid-friendly story about Supergirl by Jimmy Palmiotti with art by Amanda Conner. In this fun story, Supergirl chases after Super pets Krypto and Streaky, who are causing chaos by chasing planes and tearing up the downtown area. Supergirl needs some expert help — and goes to see the person who can talk to animals, Aquaman, whose more than a little busy dealing with oil spills and disgruntled mackerel on his “shellphone” and doesn’t have experience with the four-legged variety of animals.

He sends her to Dr. Midnite, who finds that her problem just might be solar flares aliens are kicking up. So it’s a jaunt to space for Supergirl, ending in a very funny final scene.

There’s lots more, including Adam and Joe Kubert teaming up for a dramatic World War II story with Sgt. Rock and Easy Co. and Cat Woman finding the hook-up from hell in a story featuring Jason Blood, also known as the Demon in a story by Walter Simonson and art by Brian Stelfreeze.

This is a great collector’s item for any comic book aficionado and full of great stories with fabulous art.

Contact Amy at letters@graffitiwv.com

 
 

 

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