by Michael Vance & Dr. Jon Suter
September 22, 1999
Reviews in this issue:
Comics Legend - Archie Goodwin - DC Reprints
Comics Legend - Archie Goodwin
"One of the nice things about what I do and probably one of the reasons I'm
attracted to it is that, in real life, I'm a relatively quiet, sometimes
introspective person. And I like losing myself in the fantasy of comics."
Without question, millions of readers have lost themselves in the fantasy of
Archie Goodwin's comics. As an editor and writer, he is unsurpassed in the
history of the art from, and remains one of the nicest, most respected
professionals in the industry.
Although most famous as an editor on Warren publishing's Creepy, Eerie,
Blazing Combat and Vampirella titles ('65-'70) and Marvel's Epic
Illustrated magazine, Goodwin's writing is held in great esteem.
His first work appeared in Alarming Tales, a supernatural title from
In 1957, he landed a job as assistant to newspaper cartoonist Leonard Starr who
drew On Stage.
"Leonard was just great to work with, although almost nothing I wrote ever
made it into the strip," said Goodwin. "Leonard used me to make all
the mistakes for him."
Modesty is more representative of Goodwin than mistakes, as is his love of
"I guess it's the interaction between the words and pictures. I think it's
a way that people are still exploring and playing with (it)."
At different times, Archie wrote comic strips including On Stage, Secret
Agent Corrigan, Capt. Kate and Star Wars, but he is best known for
his comic book work.
This includes Hermit (Harvey,'62), Flash Gordon, Secret Agent X-9
(King, '66-'67), Iron Man, Sgt. Fury, Rawhide Kid, Hulk, Fantastic Four,
Capt. Marvel (Marvel), Batman, Manhunter, Haunted Tank (DC-to
present) and several movie adaptations for various publishers.
Archie Goodwin's work as an editor, writer or artist is highly recommended.
Archie Goodwin as a man deserves the highest recommendation possible.
Published over many years, some titles may be difficult to locate. A price guide
or comics dealer will help. Comic book shops, mail order companies, trade
journals and comics conventions are best sources.
Prices vary widely; shop around.
Reviewed by Michael Vance
Several reprinted DC comics have arrived in bookstores, but not all are of
recent vintage. DC's Hitman is a curious blend of crime, horror, and
science fiction. The title character first appeared as a victim of alien
invaders in the 1993 plotline "Bloodlines" and resurfaced in his own
series and the Batman series "Contagion."
There are obvious similarities to Marvel's character, Punisher, but Tommy
Monaghan has powers never known to Punisher; Monaghan operates in the
gangster-haunted alleys of Gotham City but also deals With walking corpses,
Etrigan the Demon, and other bizarre characters.
Garth Ennis and John McCrea make this odd mixture work surprisingly well
although the violence is often graphic.
The "Contagion" chapter is reprinted out of sequence and does not
appear in the "Contagion" Paperback reviewed here recently. Hitman
made an appearance in DC's Justice League #5.
Less violent than Hitman is Justice League: A Midsummer's Nightmare,"
a reprint of a mini-series in which the Justice League of America, a superhero
team, is reformed. This incarnation is very close to the Schwartz-Fox-Sekowsky
creative team version of the JLA of 1960.
The villain first appears to be Dr. Destiny, but writers Mark Waid and Fabian
Nicieza manage a few surprises. I personally find the art rather weak; the lack
of detail may appeal to some, but the JLA needs a more dynamic quality.
The best part of the story is that dealing with the superhero, Martian Manhunter.
The best of the trio is the surprisingly durable Batman: The Killing Joke.
This graphic novel first appeared in 1988. Alan Moore's script and Brian
Bolland's art combine for one of the best character analyses of the Joker I have
The Joker's wanton crippling of Barbara "Batgirl" Gordon and the
assault on her father's sanity always struck me as more reprehensible and better
told than the Joker's later murder of Robin.
The miracle is that this book still sells for $3.95 while the others described
sell for $9.95 and $8.95 respectively.
Reviewed by Dr. Jon Suter
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