Friday, August 25, 2006

COMICS - "Stan Lee Meets..."

A couple of years, ago, DC Comics (a Warner Bros. subsidiary and publisher of Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman comics) got Stan Lee, the godfather of comicdom, to reimagine their characters. It was the first or some of the first new work "The Man" had done in quite a while, I believe.

After seeing how cool DC's prior re-imagining went (see Tangent Comics) and considering my fondness for Stan Lee, I was really looking forward to seeing Stan take a stab at it. They called it "Just Imagine, Stan Lee's...'

The result was, in a word, "blech."

The stories were rather weak, as were the character origins. The one that sticks out the most, Batman, was particularly bad in that it looked like somebody took Spider-Man's origin and aimed the Bat-signal at it. (I won't even get into how ugly the designs and rendering were.)

Here's another word: "uninspired."

Before I scooped up those high-priced, but barely-interesting issues, I remember thinking how embarrassing it must be for Marvel Comics (publishers of Spider-Man, Hulk, and X-Men comics), that DC gave Stan the kind of spotlight that he probably should've gotten (first) "at home."

Well, according to CBR, Marvel's giving Stan just such a spotlight, soon. Despite the bad taste Stan's DC work left in my mouth, I'm actually excited about this news. Maybe it's the fact that I'm still a Stan fan or maybe it's the fact that, according to "The Man," it'll be a humorous endeavor as opposed to being purely action-packed.

The Alan Davis art doesn't hurt, either. Sheesh. That man can make Dr. Strange, a character that barely interests me, at all, look cool as hell!


I've got my fingers crossed. If the issues look good, I'll try to scoop up the collected volume that's likely to follow.

11 comments:

Raiden said...

I'm sure Stan was the man back in his day but his recent projects have been less than spectacular. In fact they border on stupid. I appreciate all he has done for the comic industry but if he wants the industry to grow into a healthier stronger medium he should quit writing and focus on being an ambassador. His voice and name has been synonymous with comics for generations. He could do so much more in that capacity than he could creating horrible comics, bad websites, and stupid reality shows. I get the impression he's kind of chasing the cash at this stage. He really has nothing left to say from an artistic stand point.

Ragnell said...

I did like the Incan Wonder woman idea, actually. Just.. old style dialogue. Someone else should have scripted.

princessdominique said...

Sounds like something to at least peruse if nothing else.

West said...

raiden: I'm hoping the humorous tone will be more palatable.

ragnell: I wish I remembered'em better. I remember being okay with some aspects of'em, but my overall impression was poor.
The WW book was pretty (thanks, Jim Lee), but I don't recall much else. I'm sure you're right about the dialogue, though.

princessdominique: I'd expect it to be full of "inside jokes," but it'd be interested to see if someone "from the outside" dug it and found it accessible.

Michael May said...

I've been disillusioned with Stan's work since Ravage 2099. Cool concept, but like Ragnell said about WW, the dialogue was too outdated.

I'll look forward to your review of this try though. Maybe the humor aspect will make it better.

West said...

*fingers crossed* @ Michael

Luke Cage said...

Heck West. I know it's television but I watched one episode of that "Who wants to be a Superhero" and it is S.O.R.R.Y. man. I've got to agree with one of the earlier commenters though.

Having paved the way for so many of the great scribes and superheroes we have today, (X-Men, Fantastic Four, Spider-man, the Hulk & the Avengers) pop culture superheroic icons who stand at the forefront of comicbook entertainment, his concepts are for yesteryear.

He had a decent collabo with Jim Lee a few years ago when they worked on amalgam stories of crossing over the most popular heroes from both DC & Marvel to recreate origins, but at best it was okay. Although Stan's best concepts and days are long behind him, he'll always be "The Man". Just retire gracefully Stan. No one would hate'cha for it..

West said...

re: Luke Cage's "He had a decent collabo with Jim Lee a few years ago when they worked on amalgam stories of crossing over the most popular heroes from both DC & Marvel to recreate origins, but at best it was okay."

They did Amalgam stories, together? I didn't even think Wildstorm had been acquired by DC, at that point, and I definitely don't remember any Jim Lee art wrapped around Stan Lee's scripts.

You must tell me more. MORE, I say!

Luke Cage said...

Here you go man. I think I flubbed up and put and "s" on stories.. actually, Jim and Stan only did the Wonder Woman book. For some reason I thought the BATMAN black -n- white had Jim and Stan involved on it. My bad.

But Stan collaborated with several other artists to redo some of our favorite icons with new origins. That one I got right. Just not with Jim Lee.. Go to the following links below:

http://www.thefourthrail.com/reviews/snapjudgments/081301/justimaginestanlee2.shtml

http://www.popmatters.com/comics/just-imagine-stan-lee.shtml

West said...

I knew about the "Just Imagine" stuff, Cage. That's what this blog entry was mostly about.

I thought you said that they did Amalgam stuff, which combined DC and Marvel characters. I remember those stories, but I don't recall any written by Stan or drawn by Jim.

West said...

I knew about the "Just Imagine" stuff, Cage. That's what this blog entry was mostly about.

I thought you said that they did Amalgam stuff, which combined DC and Marvel characters. I remember those stories, but I don't recall any written by Stan or drawn by Jim.