100 All-Time Greatest Comics… Improved: Part XII

I suppose, given the upcoming cinematic releases, there’s only one comic I can pick on today…

Civil War

It feeds the rich, and it buries the poor

Remember what I said about this “bookazine” (that word will never stop being stupid to me) recommending comics purely because they had/will have a movie? Well, this is the prime example. The thing about Civil War the comic is that it had a lot of interesting ideas, but it never really made any of them gel together into a good narrative.

Why did The New Warriors, a team with plenty of experience, charge in with no plan? To move the story along. Why did characters who had previously denounced the idea of superhero registration suddenly go along with the idea now? To move the story along. Why did thousands upon thousands of American civilians decide to back something so unconstitutional? To move the story along… well, that, and because Marvel civilians are always complete morons. But that goes without saying.

Your power hungry selling soldiers

Honestly, you’re better off reading MightyGodKing’s version.

Now, just in case anybody is reading these in order and has come to the conclusion that I don’t like Mark Millar very much. That’s not true; I do enjoy his work… just not all of it, and certainly not the majority of his work that was included in 100 All-Time Greatest Comics (that said, I do like his Ultimates miniseries) and I don’t see the point in recommending something just because it’s popular.

I’m sure that Captain America: Civil War will do what most good comic book adaptations do: throw away anything that doesn’t really work, pare everything down into a reasonable time and tie everything into the cinematic universe, because apparently everything has to have a cinematic universe these days. And speaking of great movie adaptations…

The replacement… The Complete Flash Gordon Library: On The Planet Mongo

flash-1-on-the-planet-mongo

Let’s just get this out of the way; Flash Gordon (the movie) is one of the best sci-fi movies of the 1980’s… but Flash Gordon (the comic strip) is one of the greatest comics ever made. Alex Raymond helped redefine science fiction as a genre, and it’s not hard to see why.

The movie takes the bulk of Raymond’s story, but cut out a lot of the really interesting stuff, i.e. The Tournament of Death, but thankfully they removed what I can only call the “old-timey racism” – Ming the Merciless was actually yellow, and was referred to at least once as a “yellow devil”. Yes, really.

To their credit, none of the publishers who’ve reprinted Flash’s adventures have shied away from such things, but acknowledged that times have changed and such things are no longer acceptable – the best thing one can do in this kind of situation, hence why I mention it here.

In any case, such regrettable aspects can be easily ignored, as the whole thing’s so damn beautiful. Raymond’s artwork is utterly entrancing, making the reader completely believe in Mongo as a real place, turning what could’ve been an absurd tale into a 20th Century epic.

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