So I was reading Fantastic Four #357-358 (reprinted in the Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four TPB), the issues that reveal Lyja, the Skrull who replaced Alicia Masters and married Johnny. And something I noticed about the comics...
With I think one or two exceptions, every sentence in both issues ends in either an exclamation point or a question mark (or both). Every. Sentence. And remember, these were from the more exposition-heavy scripting days, so there are a LOT of sentences. I find myself wondering if it's a Tom DeFalco thing, or if that's something about comics writing that I just never really noticed before now...
(I also read the second Wolverine: First Class TPB today, which was very fun; it reprinted issues 6-9, the Wolverine and Power Pack one-shot, and — although I didn't actually read these, as I've read them before — Uncanny X-Men #139-140.)
There was a comics tradition for a while that printing processes were so bad that it would be difficult to discern a period, and they were rarely used. Some people carried on that tradition longer than others, and I'm not surprised that Tom DeFalco was one of them. In fact, given his back-to-the-silver-age style, he might have adopted that pattern as a stylistic choice, rather than out of any concern for legibility.
I enjoyed the ones by Ditko. Mind you I was about 9 the last time I read them. For years I thought Machine Man was Ditko's creation and only recently did I find out that Kirby created him as an offshoot of his 2001 series.
I vaguely wondered why he was dug up every now and again, but him being a Kirby character means that new writers will always be toying with him, to associate themselves with our friend Jack.
I've always liked Machine Man as a D-list character. He's right in there as a machine that wants to be human, somewhere between Pinoochio and Data.
You might like the Machine Man limited series by BWS and Herb Tripme, or, for a more irreverent look at the character, try Next Wave. I did a rather in-depth look at "Jack Kirby's Marchine Man" on the old board which you may like peruse while these issues are still fresh in your mind. I went beyond the Kirby/Ditko issue, and finally petered out a couple of issues into the X-51 series.
I'll definitely look that thread up. I had the MM mini when it first came out, remember liking it okay. Maybe I'll buy a new set and re-read it. I did read some Next Wave, but like most Marvel "humor" I found it too heavy-handed and juvenile for my tastes.
STAR TREK: ROMULANS: SCHISM: John Byrne has been turning out some pretty damn good Star Trek comics lately, interweaving his own story tightly with the continuity established in TOS. This issue takes place probably during the fourth year of Kirk’s first five year mission aboard the Enterprise, but it doesn’t feature that well-known crew. Instead it focuses on Captain Pike’s Number One, now a Commodore in command of the Yorktown.
X-MEN vs. AGENTS of ATLAS #1: Dagwan scolded me a couple of weeks ago when I announced I had dropped the monthly AoA in favor of tradewaiting, so I bought this one to assuage my guilt. Besides, I like to look in on the X-Men from time to time, and I haven’t since Joss Whedon stopped writing Astonishing. This one is written by Jeff Parker and reads very much like an issue of the regular AoA series. I have no idea what that “retro” back-up feature is supposed to be, though. I imagine it takes place in Parker’s own little out-of-continuity (as far as I am concerned) corner of the MU.
WARLORD #7: If you’ve been thinking about giving this series a look, this is the issue to try as series writer (and Warlord creator) Mike Grell supplies art as well. If you haven’t read the first six issues, don’t worry: Morgan has amnesia so you won’t be any worse off than he is. First of two parts.
GRIMJACK: MANX CAT #3: If you’re not reading this series already, why not?
The first two issues in Unknown Soldier Vol. 1: Haunted House. This is intense stuff, even given the Ugandan setting. And the first two issues in The Invisibles Vol. 1: Say You Want A Revolution, which obligates me to visit the Grant Morrison thread later to post my impressions.
Dark Reign: The List: Secret Warriors- This was good. A must read if you are already following Secret Warriors. It answers question sort of, as to why Fury has called John Garrett back into active duty. It also sets up a potential new mystery villain. There's some good moments between Fury and Osborne. The art is good but I would have preferred Stefano Casselli's art on this one-shot.
Two more issues of Unknown Soldier. I'm still not entirely convinced by the title character's transformation from nonviolent doctor to killing machine. I'm hoping more explanation about the mysterious voice in his head will make things clearer. And three more issues of The Invisibles, so I'll be visiting the Grant Morrison thread later.