Friday, August 11, 2017

On The Shelf: Celebrating a legend, while another gets another makeover

August 28 would've been Jack Kirby's 100th birthday. To mark the occasion, Marvel & DC are both honoring Kirby with special projects. DC is doing a series of 1-shots of some of Kirby's 1970's creations, including The New Gods, and launching a Mister Miracle maxi-series. Over at Marvel, some of Kirby's Silver & Bronze Age work is being revisited in reprint form.

Under the True Believers umbrella, Marvel is reprinting issues of Journey Into Mystery, The Avengers, and the 1970's Black Panther series that followed on the heels of T'Challa's acclaimed run as the star of Jungle Action. With the exception of Black Panther, these reprints have been done a number of times over the last few decades, almost to the point where you can say they were done to death. That being said, it shan't surprise anyone that in the next 2-3 weeks, we'll see reprints of two more Kirby series from the 70's, those being The Eternals (Kirby's Marvel analogue for the New Gods, or so it'd seem) and his adaptation of the movie, "2001: A Space Odyssey", which later spun off Machine Man into his own series.

The earliest appearances of Thor in Journey Into Mystery have the Thunder God speaking modern English, largely because at the time, the idea was that it was still Dr. Donald Blake's mind in Thor's body. That would soon change, of course, and we'd soon get the "thees" and "thous" you'd otherwise find in your King James Bibles.

Meantime, it sure seems as though Jane Foster's time as Thor is nearing its end, if my suspicions are to be proven with Marvel's Legacy initiative, starting in a few weeks. After all, when the decision was made to pass Mjolnir to Jane, she had been stricken with cancer. Do the math, kids.
Did you see "Valerian" last month? What you might not know is that this was adapted from a series of European graphic novels that were first published back in 2003. Accompanying the film's release is a reprint preview of Valerian & Lauraline: Ambassador of the Shadows, which certainly plays out better than the movie seemed to, since Luc Besson's latest apparently laid an egg at the box office.

Rating: B.
The 2nd wave of DC's Hanna-Barbera line will commence next week with the launch of Future Quest Presents, which picks up where the previous maxi-series left off. Should be fun. Ruff & Reddy will get their own miniseries, written & drawn by Howard Chaykin, and Dastardly & Muttley will get their long rumored series underway. October & September, respectively. I believe November brings The Snagglepuss Chronicles, which continues the narrative from earlier this year, when it was broadly implied that Snag is gay. As I wrote before, I'm not sure if that was the original intent when Snag bowed in the Silver Age. The Jetsons will follow in due course.

Now, all they need is to lower the cover price.
Archie is giving Betty & Veronica another alternate look, beginning in November with the debut of B & V: Vixens, which they're saying will be an ongoing series. Considering that Adam Hughes' take on the iconic teens lasted just 3 issues over a 1 year period, it'd be a relief to get more than 3 issues out of this. Jughead: The Hunger becomes the 3rd ongoing Horror line title, thankfully not written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, else it'd never see the light of day. With so many alternate continuities, you'd need a road map to get everything straight.

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