I shall die by my own evil review! Or...A milestone!
Milestone because this is my 50th CV-review! WUUUUUUUUHUUUUUUUUU!!!!!
I knew that for this rev, I had to pick something special. So, I decided to pick up this book, which is the second one in a two part series, collecting all of Fletcher Hanks comics (Which feels great. After all, you can`t have all of Len Weins stories in one book. Made of paper. Yet.).
"All? Really?" You`re possibly asking. Yes indeed. You see, even if Mr. Hanks produced about 50 comics, they were all less than ten pages long. Usually six or seven.
I like short stories (which sounds redundant if you`ve read all of my previous reviews, which you haven`t done, most likely), no matter if alot happens in them...Or doesn`t. These stories aren`t among the latter ones though, because almost each damn story is self contained! Even the ones that aren`t (a multi parter Space Smith and Dianna-story) are very self contained. The reason being that these are 40`s comics.
That feel remarkably little like 40`s comics. They feel timeless. Many have described them as underground-works, many have said that the are not (they aren`t). They simply feel like them. You could say, that Hanks made underground-comics (without meaning to) before it was cool.
And these comics...THESE COMICS...they`re fantastic. They`ve got it all (which is hyperbole, and actually means that there`s damn many great things about this). Action, suspense, realism, imagination, cool characters, straightforward plots, humor, magnificent colors, unique stuff ( less unique after dozens of years, but still unique ), awesome art...BTW, let me show you some of it...
Yes...great, ain`t it? Whut? You don`t like it...Well, I sure as hell do! Do you know how different this is from some of the more fancy and "fancy" art that I see all the time? Buttloads! Not that I wouldn`t like those styles (well, most of them)...but...I also like diversity!
His art`s amateurish and without too many details ( because he had to meet a deadline, and you can`t put that many details in to small panels if you`re a regular sized human ). It`s intense. The characters keep looking the same form panel to panel ( sometimes identical ). Before there was Photoshop. It`s...like it`s drawn by a talented kid. I love it. Partly because it`s a kinda unique sight in comics published by adults.
Also unique is the way he uses words. Or more like extreme. Remember that dialogue that Stan Lee/Stan Lieberman and Jack Kirby/Jacob Kurtzberg used? As much hyperbole.
Oh, and the characters are awesome too.
The heroes are nigh unbeatable. Two of them are as powerful as Silver age Superman ( Fantomah and Stardust. Stardust`s my faf Hanks character, with Big Red McClane taking the second prize. ). They`re as stiff as iron poles.
The villains are broken down individuals with terrible plans, and means to convey them.
So, Hanks contribution to this book is spectacular (he didn`t knowingly contribute to a graphic novel/collection of comics, though). Especially `cause he did almost everything about them himself. Maybe even the colors. But I`m not sure.
But what about the guy who collected the stuff, Paul Karasik? Well, he did an excellent job too. He found all the stories that weren`t already collected to the first book. He restored the comics quality (or someone else). He made a foreword which tells us more about Hanks, and the fact that he was an alcoholic and mentally unstable person.
Wait, is that great? After all, he wrote the truth about the creator of the stories...Well, it`s not his fault that F. H. didn`t act morally, all the time.
But, after reading the foreword...you don`t wanna read rest of the stories. Right? It`s just common sense.
Well, since humans don`t act according to common sense that much, I DID want to read the stories. After all, what Hanks did to his own family (rest assured, he didn`t kill them), feels so distant to me. I care about the stories. Not what the man himself was like. Besides, he got what was coming to him. Spent years in the gutter. That`s a good thing , right? Not sure. I didn`t know him myself. If I had, I couldn`t enjoy these stories, I reckon.
But, of course I can`t enjoy them 100 %. The material is aged. Alot of it has been seen, for decades already. But the stories...They were years ahead of their time. That`s always a good thing for the stories. They feel more fresh. Especially if the topics are ageless.
That`s not the only not-that-good thing. There`s a few unconcluded, and undone stories. Maybe they were done in the previous volume, but I doubt it. Oh, well...Whatcha gonna do?
I know perfectly well what. I`m gonna make them myself. But, I digress.
What else is there to note? Well...this. I think that you should read this. Then buy it.
Thank you for reading this. If you DID read it.