Sunday, March 28, 2010

Rest peacefully Dick Giordano!

One of the greats of the industry passed away at the age of 77 on Saturday.

Newsarama has a nice article about Giordano, and CBR has one as well.

Personally, I never had the pleasure to meet Mr. Giordano, but he sure made an impression on the comics I grew up enjoying, whether it was as a writer, inker, or editor.

Rest in peace Dick Giordano, and thanks for all the great comics!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Red Tornado in June

Let's take a brief detour away from memory lane to look at what Red Tornado-centric stuff is on tap for the month of June.

Comic Book Resources (among other sites) posted up DC's June Solicitations yesterday, so I'll save you the trouble of figuring out what Red Tornadoish stuff might be blowing our way in June.

Here we go:

First up is the collected edition of the Red Tornado mini series that just recently concluded.

On sale JULY 14
144 pg, FC, $17.99 US
The Justice League of America’s android hero discovers his strange family of super powered androids in this tale from the six-issue miniseries. But will it cost him the love of his adopted, human family?

OK, so it actually releases in July, but it is listed with the June solicits. I encourage you to support your LCS, but if you're looking for a deal, this TPB is available over at Amazon for a few bucks less. Is it worth it? In my opinion - as a Red Tornado fan - no. This was a rather disappointing story all told, but if you're looking to learn about Red Tornado, this mini was conceived to establish a new status quo for the sometimes-elemental android.

I'm a little unclear as to whether or not Red Tornado will be making appearances in JLA in months to come, but I'd say it's a 50-50 bet, especially given that Cyborg was making BFFs with Reddy in one of Robinson's early issues.

On sale JUNE 30 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US
BRIGHTEST DAY continues with the start of an all-new, 5-part JLA/JSA crossover! The return of one hero heralds the release of the powerful Starheart that empowers Green Lantern Alan Scott. Now this chaotic force is unleashed on Earth, causing magic to go wild – and new metahumans to emerge! It’s more than one super-team can handle, but can even the combined efforts of the Justice League and the Justice Society contain the light and dark power wielded by one of their own? Witness the transformation of the moon and a journey into the Shadow Lands that will corrupt a hero!Continued in next month’s JSA #41, this epic event features a 5-part connected cover spotlighting both teams in glorious action illustrated by Mark Bagley with inks by Jesus Merino!

A JSA-JLA crossover would almost certainly include some Tornado action, right?

The only other remotely tangential Red Tornado related piece is JSA All-Stars #7 where the heir apparent of the Tornado legacy - Cyclone - makes her regular home.

On sale JUNE 2 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US
Written by MATTHEW STURGES Co-feature written by JEN VAN METER Art and cover by FREDDIE WILLIAMS II Co-feature art by TRAVIS MOORE & DAN GREEN
Following Damage’s untimely death in BLACKEST NIGHT, the All-Stars gather to pay their respects to their fallen comrade.In the co-feature, their powers and abilities may not be enough to help the unusual team of Liberty Belle, Hourman, Tigress and Icicle when they face various death traps left on their trail to finding the Staff of Life!

Not a lot of Red Tornado coming your way this June, but maybe there will be a surprise or two.

Justice League of America # 192 Part 3

The JLA fights back against Reddy, with the Flash disassembling Red Tornado at super-speed. Once he's got the android apart, however, Red Tornado appears to self-destruct. Taking the brunt of the explosion, Flash is knocked out. Superman decides to take Flash down to the infirmary, where Wonder Woman is taking Batman who has a dislocated shoulder.

That leaves Green Lantern, Aquaman, and Firestorm to discuss what is happening and try to figure out why Red Tornado would attack them so violently.

Unfortunately for them, the self-destructed android apparently wasn't THE Red Tornado.

George Pérez's art will never, ever cease to amaze me. To say that man is gifted is a tremendous understatement, as you can plainly see from this page here.

For those of you reading this for the first time, there are five pages that occur between what I previously posted about JLA #192 and this post.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Justice League of America # 192 Part 2

So after buying the comic, I began walking home with my brother, my pace slowed dramatically by the gravitas of the situation unfolding before my eyes.
The Super Friends were in space! For real?!
I knew almost all of these characters, and some of the ones they were talking about from the Super Friends cartoon. I didn't know that guy with the flaming head, but face it, with a visual like that, I was going to remember him for a long time to come.
Just like that, this Red Tornado - who I had never met - took out the Super Friends - er, Justice League of America. Bam. I was hooked.
Real heroes are never truly defeated though. After all, we're talking about Superman here. . .

I had read comics before this - Spider-Man, Marvel Team-Up, Fantastic Four, Batman, Detective, and of course some Archies. This one 50¢ comic forever changed how I viewed the four-color medium though. It wasn't just a comic. It was art. It was entertainment. It was escapism, and Red Tornado was leading the charge.

Written by Gerry Conway, and stunningly drawn by George Pérez with John Beatty on inks, this book did me in. The characters were awesome, the story was intense, and this issue was shortly after Firestorm had joined (although I didn't know that at the time). Firestorm provided the perfect gateway for an impressionable nine-year-old to learn about comics and superheroes the DC way.

Firestorm, Red Tornado, and I became lifelong pals with this issue. I know, at this point, Red Tornado doesn't seem too friendly, but he eases up. You'll see. . .

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Justice League of America # 192

At the ripe young age of nine, my life was changed forever one Friday evening when my brother and I went up to the local convenience store with our allowance.

We each had 50¢. That's right, a Kennedy half-dollar-sized hole was burning through my hand the entire walk of the short side of a Toledo city block.

All the way there I had visions of jawbreakers, Slim Jims and Dina-Sour Eggs in my head, but when I got there, like any impressionable youth, I decided to see what was going on in the comics. What was Spider-Man up to? Who was Batman fighting.

The I saw this:

. . . and nothing was ever the same. Of course it was in much better condition when I bought it, but this is the first comic I ever bought with my own money. It took my entire allowance that week, but damn, it was so worth it.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tornado Sketch Collection 01

Dan Schoening - aka Dapper Dan - artist extraordinaire and sole proprietor of Dapper Dan's Pomade drew this awesome Red Tornado for me when I bought a sketchbook from him back in 2007. Dan asked who I wanted a sketch of, and like Ralphie in A Christmas Story when he finally got up to see Santa, I blanked.

I went with Red Tornado.

Reddy's always been a fave, but not THE character for me. That's Firestorm. I guess Reddy could be more of a Favorite v 1.5, especially since he and Firestorm were introduced to me at close to the same time. More on that later this week.

Dan's art is one of a kind, mixing Don Bluth sensibilities, Bruce Timm dynamics and a modern flair. This guy does some phenomenal stuff. Be sure to check out his site when you get a moment or two of free time. It is a prescription of pure awesomeness for your eyes.
Dan's done work for LeapFrog and DC among other clients (sorry, Dan, those are the two I remember the most!). Speaking of DC, I just now - as in right now as I'm typing this found another blog from Mr. Schoening - Dapper Dan's DC Moleskin(e)! After doing a little happy dance, I've linked it right here.

That said, I'm darn glad I went with Red Tornado. I've struggled for years to find a "theme" or "special character" to get a collection of sketches around. I went to Chicago in 2006 and got Justice League Detroit (or Motor City Justice League) sketches. At Mid-Ohio that same year I got some Animal Man sketches. But Barry Kitson knocked it out of the park with a Firestorm sketch that borders on masterpiece as opposed to sketch. While waiting in line for the gracious Mr. Kitson, I got to chatting with some fellow line-waiters and noticed some of those folks had multiple sketchbooks. No longer would I have to settle on one character.

To that end, I've got a Firestorm (and friends) sketchbook and a Doom Patrol sketchbook. This con season will also see the binding broken on a legacy of the Red Tornado sketchbook. Not sure what con will launch it, but look for the results right here.