Batman/Superman, Just a Pilgrim & Count Dracula

DC Hardcover Superman/Batman
Just a Pilgrim Miniseries
Marvel Comic Morbius Dracula

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies

This isn't new stuff, but it needs a bit of attention anyhow. Not that this modern comic masterpiece by Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness has been neglected by comic fans. DC Direct has sold enough action figures (based on McGuinness's amazing artwork) to fill a football stadium. "Public Enemies" needs talking about because it's brilliant. In many ways, it's the perfect comic.

When I first encountered McGuinness's artwork in the regular Superman run, I thought it was childish, cartoonish crap. Then along came "Public Enemies." I don't remember what compelled me to do so, but I bought the hardcover. And took it home. And read it in one sitting. And read it again. And again ...

What makes this six-issue story arc so good? Loeb, for sure, tells a hell of yarn. But it's McGuinness's art that makes "Public Enemies" a must-have for all comic fans. Ed McGuinness is the comic artist for the age of digital imagery. He creates panels that resemble images produced by a digital camera. In other words, everything is in perspective, and, despite the cartoonishness of his figures, rendered in sharp detail. Take a magnifying glass and run it over the surface of any page you choose, and you'll find that equal attention is given to foreground and background. This creates pages that are exceedingly rich in detail, and, subsequently, highly rereadable. If you haven't read it, read it. This ain't a Marvel vs DC thing; this is something for comic fans who appreciate top-notch work. If you don't own a copy, buy it, Believers True and Untrue!

The Trade Paperback Kid

Just a Pilgrim: The Good, The Bad and The Righteous

Garth Ennis is an extreme sadist. His stories almost invariably involve blood, broken bones, humiliation, and other juicy unpleasantries. The Preacher was grim, and Ennis's brilliant Punisher run is probably being used as source material for advanced students of torture.

Of course, Mr. Ennis has his own moral code, and his characters are capable of compassion and remorse. But let's be honest --- we read Garth Ennis comics for the masterfully-executed thrills he provides.

After wrapping up his long Preacher run for Vertigo, Ennis wrote Just a Pilgrim for Wizard magazine's Black Bull imprint. The story (a five-issue mini series that was later collected into a trade) is a science-fiction affair, set in the not-so-distant future. The sun flares up, the earth's oceans evaporate, and most of the humans and animals are either dead or mutated.

Out of the blue (or, in this case, the orange), a savior appears --- the Pilgrim. His only possession is a 12-gauge shotgun, he's got a cross over his left eye, and he walks around shooting bad guys and quoting scripture as he does so.

What is it about shotgun-toting, bible verse-quoting fanatics that drive comic fans wild?

Try to get your grubbly little hands on some of these Just a Pilgrim issues and find out for yourself!

The Trade Paperback Kid

Legion of Monsters - Morbius & Dracula

Marvel is testing and trying out more of their 1970s legacy with four one-shots under the trademarked Legion of Monsters logo. Werewolf by Night, Man-Thing and Satana were followed by the vampire double-feature Morbius plus Dracula! And what a return from the faded pages of the 70s it is!

Just when you thought it was safe to go out at night again David Finch scares the hell out of you with his breathtaking rendering of Marvel's favorite vampire. Enter the count looking scary as ever and absolutely Wolfman/Colan-worthy. The story has Dracula using his daughter Lilith to wipe out vampire-competition in order to strengthen his own position in the bloodsucker-organisation.

A truly worthy comeback that leaves you aching for more. More scary comics. More blood. For suckers for vampires. For Tomb of Dracula addicts!

Captain Collector

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