Archive for Steve Gerber

Farewell to a Master


Countdown to Mystery #8

In our first story, Eclipso is defeated by the Spectre in a fairly neat fashion — Crispus Allen, the Spectre’s host, convinces Bruce Gordon, Eclipso’s host, to surrender. But listen, no one really cares about that one, nice though it is. The big news is the Dr. Fate story. The previous chapters were written by the late Steve Gerber. It looks like he didn’t finish the script, so instead, DC asked Mark Waid, Mark Evanier, Gail Simone, and Adam Beechen to each write the final chapter the way they thought Gerber would have finished it up. They’re all pretty good, but I think I prefer Simone’s ending.

Verdict: Thumbs up. The Dr. Fate story really does end up being excellent, but I would’ve loved to see what Gerber had planned for the finale.


Pigeons from Hell #2

Second issue of this wonderfully creepy adaptation by Texan Joe R. Lansdale of a classic horror tale by Texan Robert E. Howard. I recommended y’all read the story last month, and I’m gonna go ahead and recommend it again — it’s good ghoulish fun. In this issue, the stranded friends have to spend the night in the creepy old mansion, but when one of them goes upstairs to check on some noises… Well, let’s just say when he comes back downstairs, he’s not right in the head. All that, plus creepy ghosts, a horrific murder, and more blood and gore than you’ll be able to believe.

Verdict: Thumbs up. A great writer adapting a story by a great writer. And the art, which I was a bit iffy on last month, is really hitting its stride now. I’m very enthusiastic about this comic now.

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Flies on the Wall


House of Mystery #1

DC looks to be trying to recreate one of their classic horror anthologies, with a few twists. In this first issue, we discover that someone has somehow stolen Cain’s House of Mystery from out of the Dreaming itself. Much later, there are a bunch of people living in it — actually, they have no choice but to live in it. In fact, they never get to leave, except for rarely, when a strange coach arrives and whisks one of the tenants away, never to be seen again. We get into this issue’s setpiece after that, the odd life story of a girl named Hungry Sally.

Listen, if you don’t like disturbing, creepy, gory stuff, Hungry Sally’s story is gonna put you off your lunch. If you do like disturbing, creepy, gory stuff, it’s still likely to be unlike anything you’ve read in a comic book before. It involves pregnancy. And flies. I don’t think I can tell more than that without spoiling it. Viewer discretion is advised.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Yow, very squishy. I’m certainly willing to give this another shot. With any luck, the involvement of Cain and Abel from the “Sandman” series could mean we’ll eventually see a story or two from Neil Gaiman himself. Well, that’s what I’ve got my fingers crossed for.


Hulk #3

Most of this issue is devoted to the red Hulk, still a man of mystery, fighting the new blue Abomination — the former Rick Jones, now calling himself A-Bomb. Their battle ends up freeing Bruce Banner and turning him back into the familiar green Hulk. And aside from all that, there’s Iron Man, She-Hulk, and S.H.I.E.L.D. trying to figure out who the new Hulk is.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I’m pretty sure I’ve figured out who the red Hulk is. Does that make me smarter than Tony Stark yet?


Countdown to Mystery #7

Bruce Gordon manages to free Plastic Man, the Creeper, and Dove from Eclipso’s influence, but a bunch of Eclipso worshippers manage to make Gordon turn into the villainous vengeance demon and merge him with a giant black diamond, vastly increasing his power. The only being who can stop him now is the Spectre, but the thousands of souls who he’s damned over the centuries are back and ready to take their own revenge. Elsewhere, the Helmet of Fate gets taken by someone who just ain’t ready for it, and it looks like a lot of people are going to pay a terrible price for her arrogance.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Let’s be honest, the only thing anyone should be caring about is the Dr. Fate story. This issue is basically the last story by the late Steve Gerber. The next issue is the last one for the series — it’ll be interesting to see how DC will resolve the story without Gerber guiding it.

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Steve Gerber, Rest in Peace


Ladies and gentlemen, hats off for Steve Gerber.

Legendary comics writer Steve Gerber passed away on Sunday, February 10, 2008, due to complications from pulmonary fibrosis. He was 60-years-old.

Best known for his creation Howard the Duck, Gerber was responsible for many of the memorable characters of the 1970s including Omega the Unknown, Man-Thing and Shanna the She-Devil. In the last two decades, Gerber authored celebrated Marvel Comics stories including runs on “Sub-Mariner,” “Daredevil” and  “Defenders.” DC Comics published Gerber’s creator-owned works “Nevada” and “Hard Time,” both of which were met with considerable critical acclaim.

Without a doubt, one of the best and most audaciously imaginative storytellers in comics.

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