A Good Day For Browsing

In addition to all the Pogo talk that’s out there today – and I won’t link to anything in particular, because everybody’s chattering about it, but – hooray, Pogo! – I also came across something really interesting for anyone who like me is a fan of the Gerry Conway/Ross Andru Spider-Man…this post, discussing my favourite oversized Treasury of all time, Superman vs. Spider-Man, which turns out to have been even more complicated in the making than I thought it was. It’s practically the King James Bible, it seems: proof that too many cooks don’t always spoil the broth after all.

For those of you who’ve never had the pleasure of encountering Event Comics that actually live up to expectations, you should go out and find this. And especially, for those of you who’ve never gotten a really good look at Ross Andru’s incredibly gifted composition (especially for aerial scenes), this is an awfully good first impression to get.

Also, if you’re interested with what’s on display in this article, you could do worse than to supplement your reading with Immortality by Milan Kundera, The God Who May Be by Richard Kearney, and Greg Egan’s short story “The Walk”, collected in his book Axiomatic.

Somewhere in all that, I think, there’s a pretty good philosophy for our current age.

But if you have to pick between Superman vs. Spider-Man and all that stuff, pick the comic. No, wait! I think I can Kevin-Baconize all this for you: together with Supes vs. Spidey, read Geoff Klock’s How To Read Superhero Comics, And Why (with special attention to the section on the origins of the Authority and the crossover with the Alien franchise), and then go watch the Christopher Reeve Superman movie again…then move on to the Lethem and the Kearney and the Kundera and the Egan. Um, maybe put the Kearney last, though – it’s a bit dense, even if rewarding, and if you don’t care for that kind of lingo you’ll be better off if already primed to spot the connections…

You know, I think I may have the beginnings of a syllabus, here! See, comics blogs aren’t all about wasting time…

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7 responses to “A Good Day For Browsing

  1. That’s ’cause it isn’t on here: it’s just that Jonathan Lethem is doing the “new” Omega, which RAB is pissed off at (if possible) even more than you and I are. Lethem’s article looks a little more chilling if you read it as apology for that sort of thing…

    Anyway, is “plagiarism” really the same thing as “influence”, and is it all just another way of saying “copying”? I’d say no: no way. It’s an interesting article, though.

  2. Right, the “Omega” thing! That had completely slipped my mind. I just remembered, and came back here to go “Argh, Omega! I totally forgot!” and saw that you had already answered.

  3. Ah. Steve Gerber and Mary Skrenes wrote a comic for Marvel in the Seventies called “Omega The Unknown”, which was cancelled before it finished its story, and then lamely wrapped up much later in an issue of Defenders. Jonathan Lethem was going to resurrect the character for Marvel — actually haven’t heard if he did. But, it isn’t quite that cut-and-dried, because no one but Gerber and Skrenes ever knew what Omega was about, and it was a typically Gerberesque unfollowable act anyway, like Howard The Duck…RAB discusses this at some length in a post I have linked on my “Seven Soldiers of Steve” sidebar as “The Final Disconnect”. Worth reading!

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