Going Through My Graphic Novels: Cull or Keep? (SPOILERS)

I've got rather alot of graphic novels, most of which sit on my bookshelves or in boxes in my closets from one year to the next, never being looked at. So, I've decided to go through them all, re-reading each one and deciding whether to keep it or to cull it. Culls will be donated to the local public library.


As I re-read each one, I'm going to try to present my impression of each one, and then announce the verdict: Cull or Keep?


There will be spoilers here, so beware. I most likely won't read one every day, but I 'm going to try to keep up a steady pace.


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One of the artists at Image started that idea. Did anyone ever identify who was "Name Withheld"?


ClarkKent_DC said:

The Baron said:

I think we just reached a point with these inter-company crossovers where they just became too commonplace. After about the twentieth one, they just weren't that special anymore.

I disagree; I think the problem was that they weren't being treated as events that commanded first-rate talent working at their peak. Not that George Perez isn't a first-rate talent, but his strength IS drawing and not writing. (By the way, Perez wrote and drew the post-Crisis Wonder Woman series. Don't you remember?)

I knew Perez was drawing Wonder Woman around that time.  I hadn't remembered that he was writing it, however. Can't recall if I read much of that book at the time or not

Today I read Doctor Who - The Girl Who Loved Doctor Who, by Paul Cornell and Jimmy Broxton.  This was the last IDW Doctor Who book, featuring a story in which  the Eleventh Doctor traveling  to "our" universe, where he befriends a young Doctor Who fan, attends a convention, and meets Matt Smith. I'm not usually a big Cornell fan, I think he's vastly overrated as a writer, but this is an amusing little love letter to the show, filled with lots of little in-jokes, and obvious affection for the program.

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

Next I read The Infinity Gauntlet, by Jim Starlin, George Perez, Ron Lim, Josef Rubinstein, Bruce  N. Solotoff, Tom Christopher and Mike Witherby.This is an odd one -I don't remember buying it, but as far as I can tell, no one bought it for me.  The art in it is quite good, but the story leaves me a bit cold. For something so cosmic that involves life and death on a universal scale, it's all kind of tedious. It's almost impressive, to be able to take such "epic" subject matter and make it uninteresting.

Cul or Keep?: Cull.

You know you didn't enjoy something when you don't remember you even had it. It was all that Infinity this and Infinity that and Infinity the other thing that drove me away from Marvel. Seemed like every comic I bought would do a crossover with one of those things every two or three months. The titles' own storylines kept stopping dead to accomodate them.

Bart Simpson on Hamlet: "I can't believe a story where everybody got killed could be so boring!"

"Name Withheld" was Erik Larsen.

Ron M. said:

One of the artists at Image started that idea. Did anyone ever identify who was "Name Withheld"?


I remember when the backlash from that letter started that one of the Image founders quickly stated in print that it wasn't him.

Larsen's depiction on this cover is a reference to him being "Name Withheld":

Next up I read the four volumes of Batman: The Dark Knight, by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson: The Dark Knight ReturnsDark Knight TriumphantHunt the Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Falls. Funny to think this story is 28 years old now. God, I was only 23 years old! I still had hope for the future in those days. At the time, I didn't pick up on any political attitudes it may have reflected. I just thought it was a good story. I still think it's a good story, although it's a little creaky in parts, and it's a bit more obvious to me that some characters are straw men, set up to be knocked down.

Cull or Keep?: Keep. 

What's the deal with Superman? It looked like he was dying in one scene, he cried out for help, was healed, and some "You are so generous." Who was he talking to?

The Earth.  The idea was that the detonation of the Soviet nuke had cut him off from the rays of the Sun, thus cancelling out his powers. He was able to restore his powers by drawing on the solar energy stored i the plants on the ground around him. He was thanking the Earth for the sacrifice of the plants.  I personally thought that Superman's powers didn't work that way but I believe that's what was meant.

Was that explained somewhere?

That would mean he could heal himself by killing people and absorbing their life essences.

I never saw him do that particular trick outside of that story, so I don't think so.  I just put it down to a random quirk, like how on the old Superman TV show, they did episodes where he could walk through walls or split in two, but then those powers were never mentioned again.

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