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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Read Superman & Batman: Generations 2, also by John Byrne. More of the same as the above. OK, but perhaps not quite as good as the first one. I know there's a third one, but I'm blessed if I can find my copy of it.

Read JSA- The Liberty File, by Dan Jolley, Tony Harris and Ray Snyder.  This is a two-volume "Elseworlds" in which variants on Batman, Hourman, and Doctor Mid-Nite called "The Bat", "The Clock" and "The Owl" investigate reports of a Nazi super-weapon. We're set up to believe that it's a Superman variant, but it turns out to be J'Onn J'Onzz". (The US does have a Superman of their own, but he doesn't see any action in this story.  It's an interesting spin on these characters.

Cull or Keep?:  Keep.

I also read the sequel, JSA- The Unholy 3, by the same team. Another two-volume story, this sees more JSA variants hunting down another super-weapon , only to have one of their own turn traitor. the big reveal at the end of the first volume is when we see that Superman is not Kal-El, but Zod! Entertaining stuff.

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

Read Speed Racer & Racer X: The Origins Collection, which contains "origin" stories for Speed (Done by Tommy Yune alone) and his brother (Yune with Jo Chen).    Entertaining stuff. Obviously, Yune knows the series well, and did a good job here.  Probably more fun for fans of the show, but still enjoyable.

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

Read Jack Staff - Everything Used To Be Black and White and Jack Staff - Soldiers, both by Paul Grist. Another tribute to old British comics, probably more understandable if you're familiar with the characters being "homaged".  My particular favorite is "Becky Burdock, Vampire Reporter.

Cull or Keep?: Keep, for both.

Oh, those are a ton of fun. I keep falling off the Jack Staff/Paul Grist bandwagon since he publishes so erratically, but I really love his work when I do get a chance to read it. Particularly Kane.

The home guards in the WWII sequence where the crypt is opened and bats come out are the characters from the much-loved British sitcom Dad's Army, and in another sequence Smith meets the Spider. But much of the homage is to Marvel comics; they used to be reprinted in anthology titles in Britain. Hurricane is probably based on the Hulk, Jack Staff and the vampire storyline derive from Union Jack and Baron Blood. (There is also a 1944 movie called Return of the Vampire about the release of a vampire during the Blitz, but I don't know if Grist might have had that in mind.) Tom Tom might be based on Robot Archie, but I took him to be a homage to Iron Man.

I figured Hurricane was based on Captain Hurricane, what with the reference to a "ragin' fury", and "Maggot " Malone.

I couldn't hope to spot a reference to him, due to lack of knowledge of the character. Perhaps he's a combination of the two.

Last night I bought and read Asterix and the Picts, which appears to be the first one created by the new writer/artist team of Jean-Yves Ferri and Didier Conrad.  The art is certainly good - Conrad captures Uderzo's style pretty well. The story is OK - it follows one of the standard Asterix plots, "Asterix and Obelix go to another place and help set right some wrong there". The writing is not brilliant, but acceptable. It's not as good as the best Asterix books, but it's not bad. At least, one doesn't want to run into the night screaming "Fraud!" or anything. Worth a look, especially if you're an Asterix fan.

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

Read Superman and Spider-Man, by Jim Shooter, John Buscema and Joe Sinnott. This was the second team-up between the two, pitting them against Doctor Doom and the Parasite, with guest appearances by Wonder Woman and the Hulk. (I'd forgotten it was Shooter that wrote this.) Overall, this is pretty good. It's one of my favorite DC/Marvel crossovers. Reading it really brings back my memories of those days. I particularly the juxtaposition of Peter working at the Planet while Clark works for the Bugle.


Cull or Keep?: Keep.


Also read Superman & Batman: Generations III, by John Byrne. This one's OK, but not quite as good as the first two. I'm not generally a big fan of stories where the resolution is "And then a thing happened and everything was all magically re-set so none of it ever happeend."  The art's real nice, though.


Cull or Keep?: Keep, if only for the art.

I never saw the point in stories nobody remembers afterwards but us. It's like the writer got stuck for an ending.

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