Suspended Animation Suspended Animation
by Michael Vance & Dr. Jon Suter

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December 1, 1999

Green Lantern - Grendel: devil child 
The Black Pearl 
- The Warrior of Waverly Street


Green Lantern

            One comic book essential to understanding the history of the universe created by DC Comics is Green Lantern.

            In addition to the ongoing title, there are three recent series that will interest collectors. The first appeared in 1998 in three issues, Green Lantern and Sentinel, and is becoming difficult to find. Prices are going up. Even if it were not scarce, the Ron Mart script and Paul Pellitier art would make this a desirable set.

            The second set, Green Lantern: the New Corps, appeared in 1999 in two issues at a cost of $4.95 each. They seem to be readily available.

            Chuck Dixon's plot and Scott Eaten's art are commendable. The ending was a surprise, but a rereading of the set reveals that Dixon played fair with readers.

            Some of the characters introduced in this story will probably reappear. Particularly appealing is a Russian cosmonaut lost in space since 1964. Her plight reminds me of Marvel's Captain America and even more of Ripley the heroine of the Alien films, who hibernated for decades at a time.

            The third series, five issues of Day of Judgment, is a major disappointment. It had the potential to be a major epic. Geoff Johns' script is interesting, but the crude art dilutes its impact.

            The basic concept was the rehabilitation of both Hal Jordon, the second of DC's Green Lanterns, and the Spectre. It is difficult to recognize this rendition of the Spectre as the same character handled so memorably by Tom Mandrake and John Ostrander.

            The first two series get high A's for story and art. Day of Judgment gets a B or the script and a D- for the art. Since this plot will probably affect many DC titles for some time to come, it will be worth keeping as a reference. If there is a new Spectre series looming, let us hope for drastic improvements.

            Review by Dr. Jon Suter


Grendel: devil child

            Published by Dark Horse. Contains nudity, profanity, violence and nihilism. Not recommended for anyone.

            Michael Vance


The Black Pearl 

            You must crawl before you walk, and walk before you run.

            The Black Pearl walks.

            This new crime series is the first step for actor Mark "Star Wars" Hamill and his cousin as comic book writers. Their simple, stated premise is to pen a realistic superhero story.

            Sorry, guys.

            Their actual premise is that there are no heroes.

            Strippers and prostitutes are treated with the same 'respect' as are the police and The Black Pearl, who is a meek little peeping Tom reluctantly caught up in a web of murder and crime.

            His portrayed 'sin' that makes him real is that he has invaded the privacy of a stripper.

            His sin, never mentioned by these authors, is actually an all pervading lust.

            I'm tired of anti-heroes and of worlds where no one is good, decent or moral.

            This world and this hero are no more real than Superman and the X-Men. This nihilism diminishes what is otherwise a well written, interesting and entertaining Black Pearl.

            I'm also tired of 'extreme' art in which everyone is layered with too much muscle (men) or too much flesh (women), where story telling is secondary to silly poses, jumping, teeth gnashing and clenched fists.

            You won't find most of that in this. Story and art are well wed, the art is a traditional mix of half-realism and half-abstraction, and the men look normal.

            The naked truth, however is that there is a lot of unnecessary nudity and every woman looks like the centerfold from a 'men's' magazine.

            So, should you buy the gem?

            If you're an adult, crawl to your comics shop.

            Just don"t expect a jewel.


The Warrior of Waverly Street

            A cute, fuzzy alien crawls inside a robot to save his race from alien invasion in a comic for very young readers that awkwardly ends in mid-story.


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