an issue of this heartfelt summer tribute has gone by without
some startlingly good comics work. Much of it has been a
fond look back at the Silver Age, with direct acknowledgment
of Julie Schwartz' work, not just his influence, on comics.
week's book continues the high quality, paying tribute to
Schwartz' ethic of just making sure that a comic book makes
for a fine read.
addition, and almost too easy to overlook, this has brought
out the best in the contributors.
eleven tight pages, Stan Lee offers a Superman story you
can feel good about giving to your kids. It highlights the
big blue Boy Scout aspect of the character. With all the
hullabaloo over Superman this year, it's refreshing for
Stan Lee to remind us that Superman is simply a good
guy. While Just Imagine… made Lee seem like an out
of touch writer, keeping things short, simple and light
should remind younger readers why Stan is The Man.
also helps that DC teamed him with Cooke and Bone. The whole
thing looks like the best episode of a Superman animated
series from the sixties that never was, but should have
been. (Yes, there was a series then, but…)
book shifts from whimsical to melancholy while remaining
fantastical. This is, after all, about trying to justify
the cover image of a "phantom quarterback."
Giffen dials down his edginess, and with Paul Levitz gives
a dignity to a forgotten supporting player in the Superman
Saga: Steve Lombard. Clark Kent's 1970's nemesis gets recast
as an athlete struggling with aging and refusing to let
go of his pro career. He turns to steroids to regain his
edge, but since this is the DCU, the consequences are much
greater than a legal scandal.
by Al Milgrom, Giffen's art seems much less labored than
it has in a while. It relies a lot less on shadows than
usual, getting Giffen back to showing what a good actor
he is on pencils.
a side note, Levitz and Giffen also acknowledge that it
wasn't just Schwartz that kept the spirit of Superman alive.
The veteran editor commissioned these covers often as a
challenge to his creators, and many of those Silver Age
talents inhabit this story.
only thing missing from this DC Comics Presents run
is the actual original stories. It might be fun to see how
these new tributes compare. As it is, the books are proving
that some older talent not scoring on the Wizard
Top 10 still have a lot to offer. Somebody should give that
Stan Lee guy a book…