Trade paperback reviews for books on sale Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Posted August 7, 2007 10:20 AM
ALAN MOORE: THE COMPLETE WILDC.A.T.S
Writer: Alan Moore
THE BASICS: Legendary writer Alan Moore brings his trademark genius to WildStorm’s premier team. Proving that he’s equally adept at playing in an established universe as he is at building his own, Moore works with top artists such as Travis Charest, Kevin Maguire, Ryan Benjamin, Kevin Nowlan and Jim Lee to tell a tale of two distinct WildC.A.T. teams: The original, more familiar group of Spartan, Zealot, Voodoo, Maul, Warblade, Void and Emp travel to their homeworld of Khera, while Majestic and Savant recruit newbies T.A.O., Ladytron and Condition Red to keep Earth safe. Of course, in true Moore fashion, nothing goes as planned.
THE EXTRAS: In addition to collecting WildC.A.T.s volume 1 #21-#34, which encompasses Moore’s entire run on the book, WildStorm also includes a short story he did for #50 which reunites some of Savant’s team for the opportunity to join the WildC.A.T.S reserve team.
THE HIGHLIGHTS: Moore took what was essentially an artists’ book, incorporated elements from the previous 20 issues, and brought his own brand of magic to create a story that both pays homage to what came before it and also stands perfectly well on its own paws.
Prepare to have your mind blown by the fight scenes and the designs for the alien planet of Khera, whether it’s watching Spartan rumble with a group of fellow robotic Spartan warriors or Warblade master the Murder Tree stance. But the real excitement comes after the C.A.T.s learn some truly disheartening news: The war with the Daemonites that they’d been fighting on Earth has been over for hundreds of years, a fact that causes a radical shift in direction for the entire series: What do you do next when your reason for fighting has become nothing but a memory?
Moore lets his fertile imagination run wild, and it shows in all of the twists and turns that the story takes. He keeps the action scenes paced perfectly and develops the brand-new characters into familiar, but unique individuals that you can’t wait to learn more about. Like the rest of Moore’s body of work, there’s so much going on, even in-between panels, that you’ve got to read these stories multiple times to get the full effect.
THE LOWLIGHTS: Really, the only downside to this collection is that it doesn’t contain Moore’s Voodoo miniseries. Though that series doesn’t have strong ties to the WildC.A.T.s mythos, it would be nice to have all of his WildC.A.T.s work collected in one place.
THE BOTTOM LINE: What’s not to like? You’ve got Alan Moore writing, some of the most amazing artists in the business, betrayal, revelations, reunions, love, sex and a dual-locale storyline that culminates in a huge battle between superheroes and villains. Moore picked up existing characters, added his own, put them through their trials by fire and left everyone changed—for better and worse. Putting a personal stamp on a comic like that seems a rarity in comics these days.
Reviewed by: TJ Dietsch
It's Alan Moore writing Image superheroes! Seems like it's good, with not too many lowlights. Personally, I'm a fan of Moore's NON-superhero stuff...and the Wildcats never really did it for me even if they were a Jim Lee creation.
This following TPB sort of interests me though:
ESSENTIAL DAZZLER VOL. 1
BEHIND THE SCENES: Marvel mainstay John Romita Jr. must have clocked some serious time at Studio 54 in order to nab this plum assignment—designing Dazzler!
“[Marvel] came up to me and said, ‘Let’s do a character that’s a night club girl and a dancer and a disco queen.’ The first person I thought of was Grace Jones,” recounts Romita Jr. “Then Bo Derek did ‘10’ and they suddenly said we’ve got to do Bo Derek because she’s the typical American white chick. It really ticked me off—I was hot for Grace Jones, you know?”
Unfortunately for Romita Jr., he didn’t have quite the “juice” as a creator, and he was overruled by the powers that be: “I said, ‘You’re the whitest people on the face of the Earth.’ Every club I went to, it was half black, half Spanish and half white. In New York, I didn’t think of a white chick at a nightclub as the first thing I thought. I thought of a black chick with roller skates on with legs that were taller than me!”
Still, Romita Jr. was content with the final result, as disco diva Allison Blaire went from bit player to series lead. “[She] was revived in the X-Men and done very well, I must say,” Romita Jr. conceded.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Marvel caught a bad case of disco fever back in the early ’80s, but the results were oh so good. Dazzler’s story of rebellion, hard work, tragedy and cosmic adventure reads like the bizarre mutant offspring of Spider-Man and “American Idol.” Collecting the Marvel pop-star mutant’s first appearance from Uncanny X-Men #130-#131, Amazing Spider-Man #203, and the first 21 issues of her solo series, Essential Dazzler, Vol. 1 is a veritable safari through the Marvel Universe, featuring life-changing altercations between Dazzler and everyone from the Enchantress to the Hulk and Galactus. This volume will chiefly appeal to those with a fondness for the thriving continuity web of the Marvel Universe in the early ’80s, and those with an appreciation for the emotionally charged glitz of the disco scene. For all those indifferent to the above, merely gaze upon the grandeur of the greatest, sexiest roller skate-equipped superheroine costume of all time, and you too will know the fever of Dazzler fandom.
Reviewed by: Brian Warmouth
I mean, come on! It's Dazzler! Yes, she wasn't the most powerful X-Man or the most memorable. But who can go past her 80s disco ensemble costume? And she DID play a somewhat major role in Marvel Zombies/Army of Darkness. And John Romita Jr art. What's there not to love?
I read somewhere before that in her own comic series (and it looks like they're reprint that story in this TPB) she actually defeated GALACTUS all by her lonesome. Yes, she defeated the planet eater. How the hell did she do it, I wonder? By flashing her enormous titties at him?