Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Book Review: Project Superpowers hardcover

Project Superpowers is a great comic book series. Not only does it have great artwork, fine covers by Alex Ross, and an excellent story, it brings back all the heroes of yesteryear from all those defunct publishers that were competitors to DC Comics and were on the scene a bit longer than Marvel Comics was official using that name.

One of the heroes, the Death-Defying Devil, used to sell upwards of three MILLION comics a month. Nowadays, a comic is a hit if it sells 100,000 when you count all the multiple covers. Devil was known as Daredevil back then, a name that had to be changed for obvious reasons.  (The same thing happened to two Blue Beetles and Cat-man for this series, becoming Big Blue, the Scarab and Man-Cat.)

The Black Terror, the Flame, the Green Lama, the Arrow, the Target, Masquerade, the Fighting Yank, Power Nelson ... all names you may or not be familiar with in the 21st century, but in the forties and fifties there were on the newsstands and selling as many or more books than Superman, Batman and Captain America.

These are the characters your grandparents might've seen but probably don't remember. Alex Ross and Jim Krueger again team-up to revitalize some characters with some major heroic deconstruction, much like they did on Marvel's Earth X and Ross and Mark Waid did with DC's Kingdom Come. The focal point of this part of the story is the Fighting Yank, who had been tricked into, at the end of World War II, imprisoning most of the heroes of the era in an urn that was actually Pandora's Box of myth. Later, a much older Yank tries to salve his guilt by freeing those heroes, only to find everyone has been changed in some way by their stay inside the magical prison. There reappearance on the scene does not please the remaining super-powered characters who have secretly taken over most of the planet.

The artwork in this volume alone is worth the price, especially since it includes the various sketchbook and info pages on the main characters, and full-color design sheets on all the characters used in the series.

The hardcover just includes the first half of Chapter One of Project Superpowers. There are trade paperbacks reprinting most of the rest of the series (at the current time, Chapter Two has been completed, as well as several ancillary series starring the Devil, Black Terror and a Bring on the Bad Guys limited series to introduce some new characters).

This is one of those books that I heartily recommend. If you're not a golden-age fan, I think you'll still like this story.


by Rich Meyer

If you remember how much department store clerks cringed when they saw Jack Benny coming on Christmas or remember listening to Martians attacking New Jersey or worried about how Kitty Kelly was going to be exonerated of those murder charges this time, then The Golden Age of Radio Quiz Book: 1,001 Questions About Old-Time Radio is an e-book you will enjoy!

This e-book quiz book contains 1,001 trivia questions (and answers) on all aspects of old-time radio: The shows, the stars, the characters, the networks. The well-known and the very obscure are featured throughout this quiz book, which is easy to navigate and can be used by the neophyte fan and the seasoned listener alike. The shows in this quiz book cover the entire span of radio performances, from the very first in the 1920s to modern programs in the eighties and nineties, and from soap operas to musical programs to news shows and quiz programs.

Please note that this e-book contains material previously published in The Golden Age of Radio Quiz Book I & II. 

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