Friday, 24 June 2011

DC Versus Marvel Comics

At last - a proper On The Ration bargain! This book is currently out of print, and the cheapest you can find it on Amazon is about £9 (including p&p). I picked up my copy a few weeks ago from eBay for £1.99 plus £1.30 p&p. I think I got it so cheap as nobody else bid - probably because the seller listed it as just "graphic novel" rather than giving the title of the book anywhere in the listing.

Anyway... was it worth £3.29?

Not really. Considering the unlimited potential of crossing over the two biggest comics universes and pitting their greatest heroes against one another, this was actually woefully bad. Then again, it was released in the 90s, the absolute nadir of comic book publishing.

Where do I begin? The utter bollocks plot involving two giant Shogun Warrior style mystic/extraterrestrial sibling badguys, a glowing cardboard box in an alleyway, and a half-hearted rehash of Marvel's Contest Of The Champions mini series from the early 80s?

Or how about the lazy writing (obviously by committee, despite the credits going to just two writers, Ron Marz and the usually reliable Peter David) which imagines we'll all be happy enough just to see Superman and the Hulk or Wolverine and Lobo on the same page... we won't need any actual characterisation, action (beyond the obvious punch-ups), plot twists, drama or humour? (The best example of this is the opening 3 page confrontation between Spider-Man and the Joker - potentially the two funniest characters in comics - which doesn't even raise a titter.) Added to that, in many cases these aren't even the classic versions of the characters - Spider-Man is the Ben Reilly clone and Green Lantern is the even-more-rubbish-than-Hal-Jordan Kyle Rayner.

Or what about the phoned-in artwork by Dan Jurgens and Claudio Castellini (though to be fair, given this is the 90s, I suppose that could have been much worse)? Don't even start me on the hair... why did everybody have such ridiculous hairdos in 90s comics? Superman has a mullet, Wonder Woman looks like Medusa, Thor looks like a WWE wrestler, and Wolverine... god, Wolverine looks like his fingers have been stuck permanently in an electrical socket.

Needless to say, this book will be going straight back on eBay. If I had any sense, I'd tell you it was brilliant and direct you to the link. Instead, I'll say that if you do want to see the great superheroes of two different universes go head to head, check out the far superior JLA / Avengers book by Kurt Busiek and George Perez. That's out of print too (since Marvel and DC don't seem to be getting on too well at the moment), and while it's hardly a classic, it is a hell of a lot more interesting than the waste of paper and ink I've just reviewed.

No comments:

Post a Comment