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Absolute Crisis on Infinite Earths (Review/Retrospective)

This January, I’m going to take a look at some of DC’s biggest “events.” This week I’ll be taking at the event that started it all, Marv Wolfman and George Pérez’s Crisis on Infinite Earths, reprinted in DC’s oversized and slipcased Absolute line.

It’s interesting to reflect on Crisis on Infinite Earths, more than a quarter of a century after the twelve-issue maxi-series was published. In the time since, it seems like the editorial purpose driving the event – the desire to “simplify” DC’s tangled and messed continuity into one single and unified history by abolishing the myriad of alternate continuities – has been somewhat undone with the return of the multiverse in 52 and Final Crisis, but this arguably allows Wolfman and Pérez’s epic to be considered on its own merit. Although the series might not be as important as it once was in explaining the sometimes bizarre way that all of DC’s published line fit together, I think you can still see a huge influence of this crossover in the stories that the authors at DC are telling, and how they approach them.

Holding out for some heroes...

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Wednesday Comics: Kamandi

Earlier this week I reviewed Wednesday Comics, a rather spanking anthology from DC Comics. I kinda figured, however, it might be worth my while to break out some of those fifteen stories on their own (but not all of them) and discuss them, as it’s easy to lose sight of a particular writer/artist’s work in an anthology. I thought I’d turn my attention to one of the conspicuously non-superhero titles in the anthology, an adaptation of the classic Kirby comic, Kamandi.

Although Kamandi only debuted in 1972, there’s an argument to be made that the character is better suited to this particular format and style of storytelling than the DC superheroes which otherwise populate the collection. Created by the legendary Jack Kirby, Kamandi is the story of the last boy on earth, attempting to survive in a post-apocalyptic future ruled by hyper-evolved talking animals (rats, cats and – most viciously – apes). The character has a lasting cult appeal, but was never necessarily the most popular property at the publisher, but it’s nice that they dusted him off for this project. I have to admit being a bit surprised at the creative team – Dave Gibbons is regarded as an author, but made his name as an artist, so it’s strange to see him writing this – but it works, it really comes together and suits the unique format of the project perfectly.

Gibbons successfully apes the adventure comics of yore...

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Wednesday Comics

Hawkman unsheathes his knife and crawls into the gasping T-Rex’s jaws, thinking “Sadly, this is not the craziest thing I’ve ever done.”

– Hawkman

Wednesday Comics is an amazing little experiment, a bit of comic book nostalgia delivered by some of the most talented people in the business with a smile on their face and a skip in their step. For those who don’t know, DC Comics – always the more boldly experimental of the two major companies – ran a twelve-week collection of newspaper comic strips. Fifteen strips bundled together, the reader was offered one page of a given comic at a time on a super-sized newspaper sheet, with a full story told week-on-week. It was a bold little experiment and while the whole is almost certainly greater than the sum of its parts, there’s much to love here.

There in a Flash...

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