Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sunday Snapshots

Before heading off to other things on this sunny Sunday, I thought I'd share a few glimpses of the collection which have floated to the surface during the continuing organization.

First is this issue above. Although the cover title is "Firestorm the Nuclear Man", this is actually The Fury of Firestorm #54, from December of 1986. I've always been a fan of Firestorm--he was one of the first new heroes to show up on the scene once I'd really begun to explore the DC Multiverse, and he was the first new member to join the Justice League during my reading tenure. This is a fun, but silly, done-in-one issue in which Ronnie and the Professor (the two personalities fused together to form the Nuclear Man at the time) work together against a sort of punk-era Maestro named Trash, who's controlling young people with his mesmerizing music.

"We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life rounded with a sleep."

Next up on the tour is The Sandman #75, from March 1996, the grand finale of Neil Gaiman's brilliant run on the series. This issue really deserves more attention than I'll give it here just now, due to the day's format, but it numbers among the finest in a run that was all top-notch.

In the early pages of Gaiman's masterful storyline, Dream of the Endless overhears a young Will Shakespeare telling Kit Marlowe that he'd "give anything to give men dreams that would live on long after I'm dead." and strikes a bargain with him: in exchange, the Bard will craft two plays during his career for Dream, commission works. The first we'd long ago seen, a gift to Titania of The Mid-Summernight's Dream, and in this issue, we see an aged Will write the last, The Tempest, as he reflects on his career and his life and eventually is brought to the Dreaming for a farewell visit with his patron.

Truly great stuff here!!

A few years earlier, Gaiman had ridden the success of The Sandman onto other projects, such as the four-issue miniseries, The Books of Magic (the cover of #4 presented here)in 1991. In the series, the "Trenchcoat Brigade" (The Phantom Stranger, John Constantine, Doctor Occult and Mister E) lead the young Tim Hunter on a tour of the magical world of the DC Universe, so that he may choose a way of magic or not.

Finally, with the recent return of Captain Carrot and his pals (please, DC, be sure to put this mini-series in trade!!) I'm happy to feature this fourth cover, of Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew #7, as the Captain, Rubber Duck, Yankee Poodle, Alley Cat-abra, Fastbak and Pig Iron face the menace of Bow-zar the Barkbarian!! Woo hoo!!

Great news that they are "in continuity" now that there are 52 Universes to play with. Oh, please, oh please, let them all survive the Final Crisis!!

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