SOUL TREKKING
WITH 

PASTOR STEVE

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


PASTOR STEVE'S 
COMIC BOOK PAGE
 

I'm a fan of comic books from 
the Silver Age to the present.

In the future, I hope to write lots of opinionated lists, reviews, trivia tests, and other goodies.

Check back often!!!


 
 

Page last updated 08-28-2008. 
See What's New for details.


 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

CURRENT COMIC BOOK REVIEWS

 

 BLASTS FROM THE PAST

 

THE BEST OF TODAY

 

Reviews of FREE Comic Book Releases of 2004 

 

ESSAY - 
"Super Heroes: A Reflection of Supernatural Truth"

 

ESSAY - "One Parent's Opinion"

 

ESSAY- "The Superhero Who Could Be You!"

 

Read my reviews of the 
X-Men and X2:X-Men United movies.

Also,
Spider-Man,
Daredevil,
HULK, and Hellboy movies!!!

 

COMIC BOOK REVIEWS FROM 2004

 

CHRISTIAN COMICS IN REVIEW

 

LINKS TO OTHER COMIC BOOK SITES

 

Special Reviews: 

DK2


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Reviews of Free! Comic Book Releases 
For 2004:

Marvel Age Spider-Man #1

I approached this issue at a disadvantage.  I've read the classic Stan Lee/Steve Ditko story this modernized and simplified version is based on.  And the new material suffers by comparison.  I'm not sure it will win over any converts to comic books either.
Rating: * * 1/2

Teen Titans, Go! #1

This book knows what its target audience is (pre-teens and young teens) and gives them and fans of their TV show exactly what they want.  Here is adventure and humor and puzzles and riddles and a feeling of being in on something cool.
Rating: * * * * 

Uncle Scrooge/Mickey Mouse

Classic Disney/Carl Barks comic book stories are reprinted.  The Uncle Scrooge story is not only a clever cartoon universe tale, but it also introduces the readers to some concepts about life in Africa fairly painlessly.
Rating: * * * 1/2

The Legend of Sleeping Beauty #1

This black-and-white book sets the story of Sleeping Beauty in the mythical American West using American Indian magic to cast the spell and a Clint Eastwood The Outlaw Josie Wales/Man With No Name type as the hero.  Intriguing, but I don't know if I'm intrigued enough to pay for the next issue.
Rating: * * *

Image Summer Special

The rating is for the Savage Dragon story which was a fun and interesting superhero tale that makes me want to check out SD next time I'm at a comic book store.  The other stories, including the Witchblade/Lara Croft one with its nearly centerfold, nearly soft porn art, didn't do a thing for me. 
Rating: * * *

Archie

The absolute best of the free books this year!!!  New readers are not only introduced to the world of Archie, but the world of comic books as well.  Long time comic book fans will appreciate all the spoofs and homages and references to Archie comics of the past, while new readers won't be put off by them in the slightest.  Everyone will enjoy seeing Archie and company appearing as Thor, Sonic The Hedgehog, anime characters, members of "The Infestation of Super-Heroes," horror hosts and more.  And the marvelous thing is that all of this creativity takes place during a good, regular Archie story set in his regular universe.  Different artists worked on the book and that wasn't distracting at all and served to demonstrate what kind of art a new reader would find in the Archie family of comics (and others) today.  And several artists showed themselves to be more than capable of carrying out the Archie tradition of Good Girl Art.  Some readers may find fault with the blatant "Rah! Rah! Comic Books!" theme, but if you can't "Rah! Rah! Rah! Comic Books" on Free Comic Book Day, when pray tell can you "Rah! Rah! Comic Books!!?!"  Take a bow, Archie Comics Publications Inc.!  This is EXACTLY what a free comic book should be. 
Rating: * * * * (I wish my system allowed me to rate it even higher.)


 
 
 
 


CURRENT COMIC BOOK REVIEWS

 

Fantastic Four #520

A bit of a letdown this time as the issue contains two huge plot holes: since when can Reed switch the powers of the FF; Why can't the aliens detect that the power is still present and now in Johnny?  Still, Galactus was suitably cold, ruthless, and utterly aloof, as he should be.
Rating: * * 1/2

New X-Men: Academy X #6

The New Mutants face off agains the Hellions and their time 
Rating: * * * *

Conan #9

This issue spotlights Conan as a thief, strategist, brawler, and one who doesn't take kindly to insults.  Conan is a much more complex character under Busiek than I even thought he was.  And several mysterious individuals are now taking an interest in him.  Superb artword, too!
Rating: * * * *

Daredevil #66

A story spanning several decades deals with the man who was the Kingpin before Fisk.  Though there are superheroes in the tale, it's more like a film noir crime drama and more concerned with that wonderful New York City atmosphere than it is with derring do. 
Rating: * * * *

Astonishing X-Men #6

A little too talky for my tastes, but Whedon does write funny dialog.  And there is a spectacular action sequence guaranteed to make any long-time X-Men fan stand up and cheer.  Some intriguing subplots are either introduced or expanded upon.
Rating: * * * 1/4

Uncanny X-Men #451

The conclusion of the X23 tale is filled with superpowered action, teamwork, and both shocking and cool moments.  It's hard to see how a comic book fan could ask for anything more.
Rating: * * * *

Uncanny X-Men #452

I got a little confused at points while reading this issue.  It took me a couple of minutes to figure out that Emma and Rachel somehow got separated from the rest of the team and that they then fought on a mental/astral plane.  And I guess Storm and the rest were teleported somehow to a sewer under Paris.  It was still a decent issue, though.
Rating: * * *

Excalibur #6

The dialog between the two trolls alone would be enough to make this issue a keeper, but the story and art are also good.  Then there's a surprising guest appearance at the end.
Rating: * * * 1/4

Plastic Man #11

Plaz, Morgan, and Woozy get mixed up in one of President Lex Luthor's schemes.  Conservatives, liberals, Democrats, Republicans, and George W. Bush all get spoofed, along with sci-fi cliches and the Superman universe.  And I like it that Morgan is sort of assuming the role of Penny from the old cartoon series, namely Plaz's girlfriend that the villains hit on.
Rating * * * *

Plastic Man #12

A fill-in issue which left me cold.  Absurdity and silliness without much real satire.
Rating

JLA #107

I lost interest in the JLA awhile ago and this issue did nothing to rekindle it.  Here, the JLA don't really do much of anything except mimic the Fantastic Four with Flash taking on the Johnny Storm role as in the Justice League animated series. 
Rating: * 1/2

JLA:Classified #1

Grant Morrison's writing is always somewhat incomprehensible, but at least it's usually entertaining.  Here, though, it's just mainly incomprehensible and the confusing artwork doesn't help matters.  Plus, Batman has a flying saucer, can open space conduits, and regularly travels to Pluto?  And this is the same guy who has trouble putting away the Joker in his own comic books?
Rating:*

NOTE: Ratings go from BOMB! to ****, meaning excellent.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Special Reviews: DK2

Some Thoughts On DK2: 
The Dark Knight Strikes Again

In General:  Miller seems to be more interested in playing in and with the DC Universe this time around than he is in exploring Bruce's troubled psyche and the psyches of his foes.  Yet Bruce is still the same obsessed, maybe semi-mad with a glorious insanity individual that he was in "The Dark Knight Returns."  And, boy, does he hate Superman!! I have to wonder, since Bruce realizes that the only reason Flash stayed trapped and under the thumbs of Luthor and Brainiac was because they held Iris, why doesn't he realize that they also hold Kandor?  If he freed Iris, why not free Kandor?  Why does Bruce act as if Clark is willingly aiding and abetting the enemy?  Why grant that the Hawkgirl was innocently wronged and deserves retribution, but not Superman?  Of any hero, Bruce knows what it's like to lose family and feel responsible.  Why then doesn't he sympathize with Superman?  I suppose it could be that Bruce is in the dark about Kandor.  That would make for an interesting plot twist.  Or maybe he still feels that Superman's obedience to authority is what permitted the world to fall into the dictators' hands in the first place. 

And this time around, Miller is following current trends rather than setting them.  Many books today use Silver Age-type plots and science, injecting them with 2002 sensibilities and characterizations.  That's essentially what Miller has done here.  Still, these are mighty fine comic books.

A WORD OF WARNING: These books, like Miller's original "The Dark Knight Returns" mini-series, contain coarse language, sex, and graphic violence.  Consider them the equivalent of an R-rated movie.

DK2 *1 - Miller hits the ground running in a story with plenty of action.  The Atom and Flash have both been long-time favorites of mine, so it was great to see Miller's interpretation of them and to find out why they had been missing in action.  Luthor and Brainiac are suitably ruthless, though I wonder what they really get out of being in control of the world. I love the interaction between all the heroes, particularly as they make some comments about Batman and his methods.  And Bruce defeats Superman using strategy.  The issue definitely left me aching to see what would happen next. 

Rating: * * * * 
 
 

DK2 #2 - Okay, so Britney Spears, J-Lo, and Destiny's Child....er, I mean The Superchix are going to spearhead the revolution!?!?  Well, it's
certainly a novel concept!  I got a kick out of Batman saying that he loved his job and that striking terror was the best part.  There was a nice nod to continuity with Bruce leaving the mark of "Z" on the Luthor's face.  Plastic Man's madness was an interesting turn and totally within his character.  Wonder Woman certainly had a novel way to revitalize Superman.  I liked their relationship and the fact that they had a daughter. But I was a bit confused that after the point was made that the villains must be kept in the dark about Lara's existence, it was obvious that Brainiac already knew about her.  Maybe he and Luthor were just waiting for her to mature before they took control of her.  I think they will find that they waited too long.  I don't really see how the "new Joker" fits into the story or why he was necessary, but I guess time will tell. 

Rating: * * * 1/4

DK2:#3 - A good comic book story that, aside from the future setting, the harsh language, the political/social satire/commentary (which I enjoyed), and the lethal ruthlessness of the heroes (which was understandable- wars demand extreme measures), could have been told in the regular JLA comic book.  After all, how many times have we seen
there Batman coming up with brilliant strategies, involving other heroes, to outwit the badguys?  In this issue, I especially liked Atom's role in the liberation of Kandor.  It's interesting that it takes
Batman, the off-beat (some would say, "crazy"), obsessed character to save humanity, along with forces outside ourselves - Superman and his
daughter finally accepting that they are more than human and acting accordingly, the evolved Green Lantern, and the Kandorians being unleashed.  Is Miller saying that dedicated visionaries and break-ins from "the gods" are the only things that can save our world from the mess it's become, or am I just reading the story with my "Christian glasses" on?  An enjoyable book, if not the earth-shaking event that Miller's original Dark Knight mini-series was.  In fact, I get the impression that Frank would be happy writing an on-going mainstream book again.  He certainly enjoys playing with, tweaking, and defining established characters.
Rating: ***1/2

 


 
 
 

THE BEST! OF TODAY

Here are my choices for the best on-going series being published today, 
in no particular order:

 

Fantastic Four

Mark Waid understands the characters we know and love and takes them where they've never gone before, in the process exploring some modern themes and emotions without sacrificing action, suspense, humor, human drama, and superhero coolness.  This is the best the FF has been since Stan and Jack and John Byrne!  These issues will go down in Comic Book History as being all-time classics.  Run, don't walk, to snatch them up!

Daredevil

The creators aren't turning out issues of a superhero comic.  They produce chapters in a graphic novel about inner city life, legal and criminal intrigue, moral complexities and ambiguities, explorations into the minds and hearts of very human characters, and what it is like day-by-day, minute-by-minute to be Matt Murdock.  The dialog and plots are extremely well-crafted and the atmospheric, evocative, photo-like art compliments the writing perfectly.  Though definitely for older teens and adults this is not just a classic comic book - it's classic literature.

Conan

It's hard to imagine a better sword-and-sorcery comic book than this.  Conan is here in all of his blood-soaked glory.  He's ruled by passions, yes, but he's not stupid.  A superb characterization and a great depiction of Howard's universe.

Plastic Man

More Mad Magazine and Warner Brothers Looney Tune than superhero saga, this book spoofs everyone and everything in sight and every comic book convention you can think of.  You won't believe all the ways Plaz uses his powers.  Comics are fun again!

New X-Men:Academy X

Harry Potter meets Marvel mutant superheroes in this coming of age book about students at Xavier's academy.  Always intriguing and surprising with characters and situations the reader cares about.  And it's appropriate for just about all ages except the very young.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

BLAST FROM THE PAST

The reprint collections are currently on sale at your local comic book store.

 

Fantastic Four 235-#294

John Byrne's run on the FF took them back to basics, exploring what it means to be a super-powered family - how a family deals with tragedy; an alienated member leaves home; new people are incorporated into the family unit. Plus: The FF visit strange new worlds, seeking our new life and new civilizations! Two of the greatest Dr. Doom stories of all time! The Marvel Heroes finally defeat Galactus!! Reed finds his father!! Sue becomes a force to be reckoned with!! The feeling of excitement and fun that comics are supposed to give you emanates from nearly every page!!! What are you waiting for!?!?

Justice League Of America #200

Everything an anniversary issue should be - a menace from the team's past returns with a threat rooted in the JLA's history, old team members and new fight and unite, super powers are being used right and left.

Thor #154-
#157

Thor and Asgard fight the unbeatable foe, Mangog. At stake? Only The Continued Existence Of All That Is!!! Although Odin does save the day, victory would not have been possible without the Thunder God's strategy. And that's how it should be. Also, The Recorder returns and Thor confronts hippies. Pulse-Pounding Jack Kirby art.

 

Superman In The Sixties

Contains stories from the days when DC Comics were aimed at a less sophisticated audience, Jimmy Olsen would mutate into a giant turtle or travel through time, epic storylines with tons of guest stars could be introduced, explored, and concluded in the space of one issue, Lois Lane was forever trying to trick Superman into marrying her, and, amid some silliness and naive plots, the truly tragic nature of Superman's life would be examined.  This was before John Byrne made Krypton a cold, dangerous place that we're better off without and tried to give Clark Kent a "normal" life.  Instead, Krypton was paradise and Jor-El and Lara were warm, loving parents.  And Superman's duties precluded the possibility that he would ever settle down in a house with a picket fence.  Because of these factors, Superman was slightly more messianic than he is today and was often a man of sorrows along with being the wink-at-the-readers Man Of Steel.  The text pieces in this volume are good.  The stories chosen are imaginative and entertaining, but, I have stories in my comic book collection that I would have picked instead of some that are included.  (I suppose I'm like any fan in this regard.)  Still, I recommend this volume because, let's face it, I love the Silver Age Superman!!!

Marvel Masterworks:
Thor

A beautiful, hardcover edition offering color reprints of the Thor stories from Journey Into Mystery #83-100 on glossy, high quality paper.  A "coffee table book" in the best sense of the term.  And the stories reprinted are almost impossible to find (or afford!!) elsewhere.  This is an entertaining volume and one worth having, but I need to offer a few qualifications.  The Thor in these stories is not quite yet the God Of Thunder we know and love.  He speaks standard English, fights primarily earth-based, early 1960's style comic book villains, doesn't yet know the connection between Don Blake and Asgaard, has some powers that were later dropped, and is overly reliant on his hammer.  In fact, his hammer often seems like the animated Popeye's spinach in that it's the magical answer to all problems and without it, the hero is helpless.  Still, it's interesting to see the crude beginnings of one of my all-time favorite comic book characters and, by the end of the book, he's starting to evolve into the true Son Of Odin.

The Essential Fantastic Four Volumes 1 & 2

Issues from the earliest days of FF reprinted in affordable black-and-white paperback books.  Face a cold, hard fact - this is probably the only way you're ever going to be able to own these stories without getting a second mortgage, winning big money on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire," or selling yourself into slavery.  Volume 1 reprints issues 1-20 and Annual 1.  Here you can see the seeds of the greatness to come and enjoy the diamonds in the rough even though in Ben's earliest appearances he's missing his leavening sense of humor, Johnny can alternately do absolutely anything and be put out of commission by a glass of water, Sue wonders, "Oh, Reed Darling, how can we ever defeat these horrible, scary creatures when it all seems so hopeless and I'm just a dumb old girl," and Stan and Jack sometimes seem more in love with the villains they create than with the FF.  Volume 2 reprints issues 21-40 and Annual 2.  Stan and Jack here are hitting their stride and Fantastic Four is becoming in fact, as well as in name, "The World's Greatest Comic Magazine."  Their imaginations go wild, with each issue topping the one before it.  Ben, Johnny, and Reed are all at their best (Sue would have to wait until Roy Thomas, John Byrne, and Chris Claremont wrote her).  One of the greatest (maybe THE greatest) Thing vs. Hulk battles of all time, guest-appearances by Nick Fury, The Avengers, and the early X-Men, and the all-time classic two-parter in FF #39 & 40, "A Blind Man Shall Lead Them" and "The Battle Of The Baxter Building," featuring Daredevil and a clash between an utterly heroic Ben and Doctor Doom in which, against overwhelming odds, the everlovin', blue-eyed Thing single-handedly defeats Marvel's greatest villain, makes this volume a must have.  Run, don't walk to your local comic shop and buy it TODAY!!!

X-Factor #43 - #46, #48 - #50

Back in the days when the team featured Xavier's original X-Men, Louise Simonson chronicled the "Judgment Wars," in which our heroes are separated on a planet where the entire populace are super-powered mutants, factions are intent on destroying each other, and the watchful Celestials are about to give the whole thing a "thumbs up" or a "thumb's down."  Some of the names of the factions and characters are a little goofy, but overlook it.  And some sci-fi clichés are used, but they are used well.  This is a solid story with action, discovery, surprise, and solid characterizations.  The story arc feels like an old Star Trek or Dr. Who adventure where the heroes must figure out an alien culture.  It's interesting to watch the X-Men get caught up in the same kinds of fear, bigotry, and hatred that they had fought against for so long.  The Celestials even exercise mercy of a sort.  Maybe they've taken a few lessons from the real God.  To Ms. Simonson's credit, she can write a "team book" where each member is pretty much on his or her own for five issues and not make us feel cheated at all!

The Inferior Five

I got into this comic book series during my Jr. High and High School years because it did what I was doing - making fun of the superheroes and pop culture I loved.  I still fondly remember my character, Cider-Man, a meek student who accidentally drinks hard cider at a party and suddenly is climbing the walls and swinging from the rafters.  But, back to the Inferior Five.  They were an inept team of would-be do-gooders: Merry Man, thin, dour defender of justice; Awkwardman (I love that name!), super strong amphibian who falls down all the time and inadvertently breaks things; White Feather, cowardly archer; The Blimp, fat man who flies very slowly, using the gas produced from the food he eats to keep him aloft; Dumb Bunny, beautiful blonde (Hey, every team had to have one!), Wonder Woman wannabe who was said to be "stronger than an ox and almost as intelligent."  The group participated in satiric, Mad magazine-type, superhero adventures, sometimes featuring spoofs of popular characters from DC's competitor (ex. Cobweb Kid, Iron Pants, a Thor who said things like, "Yumpin' Yimminy!  You bane de bad one now, Loki!")  At times, the book even took on an educational tone, of sorts.  Issue #4 featured a fairly accurate introduction to Norse Mythology and I don't know how the kiddies would have understood issue #5 if they hadn't first read "A Tale Of Two Cities" and "The Scarlet Pimpernel" (or at least seen the movies).  Today, collectors enjoy the small chuckles and smiles each issue calls forth, the fact that each issue fairly screams "60s" and "70s," and the Good Girl Art, especially when Winslow Mortimer and Tex Blaisdell did the pencils and inks for issues #7- #10.  Their Dumb Bunny in #9 is one of the prettiest characters to ever appear in a comic book.  My favorite line from the series comes from a bad guy who gleefully says, "A chance to shoot a woman in the back!  What villain could resist such a temptation?"  I also liked the fact that the parodied Marvel heroes worked for, and lived in fear of, a comic book editor named "Stanley."  Get it?


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


CHRISTIAN COMICS IN REVIEW

Soldier Of God #2 is an interesting book created by Christians who are also comics' fans.  Therefore, although it does quote scripture and deals with religious themes, it doesn't come across as a tract (like so many attempts at Christian comics do), but as a superhero saga.

This particular superhero, Creed, has an original power.  When he quotes scripture, he can gain the abilities mentioned in the verses or the characteristics of animals and things named.  Creed is a very literal example of someone who draws strength from the Bible.  In this issue, he gets some "real life" help from a member of the pioneer Christian heavy-metal group Stryper.  Not being a fan of that music, the guest appearance didn't do all that much for me but the target audience the book is aimed at should appreciate it.

Add in a formidable villain and decent art and Soldier Of God adds up to a good attempt to get the comic book buying segment of the population thinking about the Gospel.  A real plus is that it shows that you don't have to be a wimp to follow Jesus, but that a commitment to the Lord is exciting, dynamic, and requires strength of character in order to be lived out.

I'd like to read other issues.  And I can't always say that about Christian comics.

If you'd like more info, go to the Soldier Of God website for a character sketch, art samples, and more.

(And if you'd like me to review another Christian comic,email me and I'll give you the address where you can send a sample issue.)


 
 
 
 
 
 
 

ESSAYS

THE SUPERHERO WHO COULD BE YOU

Did you ever ask your friends when you were growing up, "If you could have the powers of any superhero at all, whose powers would you choose?" With my friends, while we all wished we could fly like Superman, the character we most wanted to be was Spider-Man. There was, and is, just something cool about the thought of swinging around the skyscrapers of New York City, walking up walls, hanging from the ceiling, and leaping across the room.

Part of the appeal of superheroes is imagining "what if." What if I could be better, faster, stronger than I am now? What if I could have powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal man? What if I could somehow be more than merely human?

And this is what Christianity promises. Not that I'll be able to see through walls if I believe in Jesus, but that I will be something more than merely human. I'll have the Holy Spirit living within me and therefore have the power to conquer sin and temptation, the ability to understand God's messages to me, and the strength to hold on to the faith and carry out God's plan in spite of difficulties and great odds. I'll be able to live a different kind of life than those around me.

Maybe calling Christians "more than merely human" isn't really accurate. It's more like Christians are "fully human." We're becoming all that God had intended men and women to be.

There was one superhero that my friends and I felt we COULD actually become if we took the time to undergo a rigorous training regiment over a period of many years. The Batman wasn't granted powers through a nuclear accident or by virtue of being born on another planet. In fact, the Batman had no powers at all, but he worked on becoming all a human could be. Spiritually the Christian has the potential to become all a human can be. You are called to work at it. Want to be a superhero?
 
 

SUPER HEROES: A REFLECTION OF SUPERNATURAL TRUTH

 Super heroes have been around since antiquity, when stories circulated about demi-gods like Heracles (or Hercules, as the Romans later called him) who used power beyond that which was available to mere mortals to accomplish astonishing deeds.  Throughout history, humans have been fascinated by the legends of such characters as Beowulf, King Arthur, Merlin, and even Paul Bunyon.  In the 1930s, the super heroes invaded the comic books and comic pages, after figures like Doc Savage and The Shadow had proved popular in the pulp magazines.  Then later, Superman, Batman, The Green Hornet and company rode the radio waves into our homes.  TV and the movies added to their popularity.

We seem to have a need to dream about men and women who can do more than we ever could, who can handle any challenges and solve every problem.  And many times these mythological figures gain their powers from sources outside of themselves (ex. Popeye's Spinach, Superman's dependence on the Earth's low gravity and yellow sun), or are in touch with spiritual forces or beings that most people don't have access to (ex. Dr. Strange, The Spectre, Wonder Woman) or are divine themselves (ex. Thor, Orion).

Where does this need come from?  Could it be an echo of Eden?  After all, we were created to be God's agents, managing the world for him, relying on his power, guidance, and communion with us.  And there wasn't supposed to be anything we couldn't handle as a result.  But since humanity's  fall, haven't we needed to rely on extraordinarily God-powered people like Moses, the prophets, and even The Divine One, Christ himself, to do for us what we can no longer do for ourselves?  Note, too, that even after the fall, God says at the Tower Of Babel that nothing humanity sets out to do will be beyond its grasp.  Certainly we see in the science of today concepts and inventions that would have only been considered to be fantasy or science fiction decades ago. And isn't the message of the New Testament that, when the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us, we can stand up to such truly superhuman villains as the world, the flesh, and the devil and his henchmen? 

Critics of comic books say that they are products of adolescent male power fantasies.  But I think the super heroes instead are products of humanity's collective soul, remembering what reality was and what it can be again.
 
 

ONE PARENT'S OPINION

Having read glowing, fawning reviews of Paul Dini's "Jingle Belle" holiday specials, and being a fan of Mr. Dini's work on the Warner Brothers' animated Batman and Superman series, and reading an interview in which Mr. Dini fondly remembered the annual comic books that helped make the holidays special for kids when he was growing up (like DC's "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" and the Archie Christmas specials, presumably) and expressing a wish to give kids something to look forward to today, I ordered "Jingle Belle: Naughty And Nice" and "Jingle Belle's All-Star Holiday Hullabaloo," thinking I could share the adventures of Santa Claus' daughter with my own daughter.  However, I was "treated" to a lead character who steals, shoplifts, swears and uses crude language, acts like she hates her parents, and does a striptease act for a group of ogling teenage boys, ending up topless on full display before them.  Add to this Frank Cho's sexpot cover and some more "adult humor" ("sophomoric" would be a more proper term), and I have to wonder exactly which "kids" Mr. Dini was trying to reach.  I'm presuming these comics ARE supposed to be aimed at kids - after all, Mr. Dini said they were and they were solicited in "Previews" and "The Mile High Comics N.I.C.E. Newsletter" WITHOUT a "For Mature Readers Only" warning.  Well, I know one young girl who will never read them.

I realize that modern cartoon shows for kids base much of their humor on vomit, bathroom, and bodily functions and odors (my daughter won't be watching those either) and that practically "anything goes" today, but that doesn't mean I have to like it or wolf down the swill that the powers that be try to force feed me.  And when will it end?  Bugs Bunny switching Yosemite Sam's hemorrhoid cream with a tube of silver polish? Mutley foregoing the "Rassin', Frassin', Cassin'," to use four-letter words against Dick Dastardly?  An ad proclaiming: Now on sale - what you've been waiting decades for - the "Betty And Veronica Centerfold Special?"

A comic book that does a much better job of reaching kids is Trina Robbins' "GoGirl!" with a heroine who is hip, funny, and caring, and who has a good relationship with her mother.  In general, it's a fresh, lighthearted read with bonus features like paper dolls. Even so, I have to cross out the occasional "Bite me!" or use of the Lord's name in vain before I give the issues to my daughter. 

Before you scream, "Censorship!" let me remind you that censorship is part of a parent's job.  If more parents would do their jobs, maybe the market for the kinds of things I'm railing against would dry up.  Understand that I'm not denying Mr. Dini and his "All-Star" friends the right to express themselves however they choose.  I'm just exercising my right to express myself by dumping "Jingle Belle" in the trash and closing my wallet to Mr. Dini forever.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

OTHER COMIC BOOK LINKS

DC Comics

The corporate web site.

Marvel Comics

The corporate web site.

Archie Comics

The corporate web site. Interesting history and lots of activities for kids.

The FF Web Project

All about the Fantastic Four.

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!

The home page for "Earth's Mightiest Heroes."

Comic Book Resources

Seemingly everything you need to know about comics.

Comics Continuum

News page about comic books and animation.

Confessions Of A Superman Fan

A great fan site dedicated to the adventures of the Man Of Steel.

www.the-cartoonist.com

Rich Diesslin retells the Gospel using funny and imaginative "Far-Side"-like, "editorial" style cartoons.

ANY COMMENTS?  EMAIL ME!

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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SOUL-TREKKING WITH PASTOR STEVE

My home page with links to my Buffy, Popeye, Olive Oyl, Beliefs, and other pages. 

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This page was created using Corel Word Perfect Suite 8 and Netscape Navigator Composer. All characters and images are legal properties of their respective companies and are used here without permission for entertainment, review, and informational purposes only. All other material is copyright 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 by Steve R. Bierly.