Sunday, May 06, 2012

A Stranger on Free Comic Book Day

Free Comic Book Day is a great idea! The above photo is from the FCBD website; I visit that page every year so I know ahead of time what titles will be available before I set foot in the comic store.

This year I went to Rick's One Stop Comics in Chicago. I was impressed how Rick had cleared off the racks where he usually displays the new comics of the week so the FCBD comics could roost in that kingly location. (I've been visiting Rick's various locations since 1988 when his store was the only spot where I could find Fantagraphics' Prime Cuts.)

One of the free comics I partook of was the DC Comics New 52 Special Edition. Quite a mouthful! I wish the comic could have been all story pages and no house ads, but writer Geoff Johns was in fine form. At long last the Phantom Stranger gets a sort-of origin story. (I suppose some youngsters don't realize that the Stranger had a 1970s series with wonderful Jim Aparo artwork, and maybe even some oldsters don't know that the same Stranger had a 1950s series with just-as-wonderful Carmine Infantino artwork.) I am grateful to Rich Johnston of Bleeding Cool for pointing out a significant detail that had escaped me in the new story; how characteristic of Geoff Johns to retrofit this detail into an aspect of the Stranger's garb to which nobody had ever previously assigned any significance!


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