Day 25 (30 Day Comic Book Challenge)

A book you plan on reading.

75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking

720 pages! 16 pounds! It comes in its own carrying case! I got this Christmas 2010 and have only looked through it once. This year I will start to read it. :)

Day 24 (30 Day Comic Book Challenge)

Dream character team up.

Batgirls from Batgirl #24. This was part of a dream sequence (See? It fits on that level too!) for the final issue of the Bryan Q. Miller run, and it could have been a story he told if DC hadn’t relaunched and put Barbara Gordon back in the suit.

Or, Batgirls from All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold #13. I’m not cheating by presenting two options because it’s still a Batgirl team-up. :) Here, if the Robins throughout time had failed in their mission to save Batman, Madame Xanadu was poised to send in the Batgirls from across time to save the Bat’s butt. If I wasn’t such a Robin fan, I would have preferred this story.

Day 23 (30 Day Comic Book Challenge)

Your favorite artist.

Ever since I saw Alex Ross’s work on Kingdom Come, I have been a huge fan of his work. I went back and bought the Marvels trade when I found out he did the art on that book, the oversized books that he did with Paul Dini, his Mythology book, and others. A Ross Justice League poster hangs in my office and I’ve had many different wallpapers of his work on my computer screen as well. I would love to have an original art piece, and am very jealous of you East coasters who got see the exhibit of his work at the Andy Warhol Museum. I just love the way he paints superheroes in a more realistic fashion, and his Kingdom Come Superman is my absolute favorite (I especially love the simplified S shield).

Day 22 (30 Day Comic Book Challenge)

A comic book second volume which disappointed you.

Fallen Angel, though there have been many second volumes that have disappointed.

I missed out on the first volume as it was being published, but when I finally got around to reading the first trade, I liked it so much that I went out and bought all of the issues DC had printed. Then I heard that Peter David was taking his character elsewhere to be published (IDW), and I eagerly awaited the return of Lee and her home base of Bette Noir and its cast of characters. The series started out fine enough, but quickly devolved from there. The story became more about Lee’s son than her, and I just lost interest. The magic was gone.

Day 21 (30 Day Comic Book Challenge)

Favorite writer.

I have a lot of favorite comic book writers since what’s important to me in any piece of fiction is character–art styles can change, but the core of the character should not (at least not without a good reason told in a compelling way). I have loved the work of Marv Wolfman, Neil Gaiman, Brian Michael Bendis, Warren Ellis, Mike Carey, Paul Levitz, Grant Morrison, Mark Waid, and more recently Bryan Q. Miller, but for now, this day, I will go with Geoff Johns.

While I read his work first on JSA (1999), it wasn’t until 2003’s Teen Titans relaunch that I became aware of his work. In Johns, I found a worthy successor to Wolfman and Pérez regarding my beloved Titans. He just seemed to get it–the characters and their relationships and where they fit in to the DCU.

Then came the title that I think launched Johns’ career at DC: Green Lantern: Rebirth. Johns was able to explain and fix all of the problems that DC created in turning Hal Jordan into a crazed villain and, later, avenging spirit, all while laying the groundwork which would become one of DC’s best event stories four years later: Blackest Night. In between that, he would relaunch Green Lantern and try to build up Hal to be one of the Big 4. I don’t know how successful that was (although, a major motion picture was made featuring Hal, regardless of what you may think about the film), but I can certainly see the effort.

I should also mention Johns’ efforts in fixing Hawkman’s convoluted history and creating an interesting character in Carter Hall in the pages of JSA and later in Hawkman. It is this ability to rethink the past in new ways and tie all that history together that cemented to me John’s skills as a comic book writer. DC has recognized that talent as well, making him its Chief Creative Officer and most recently as the writer on its flagship book, Justice League (2011), which is currently my favorite book of the new 52.

On a personal note, I really appreciated Johns as a guy who respects and is just nice to his fans. During his visit to the 2010 Emerald City Comicon, he was signing some comics for me while my wife stood back taking pictures (she was chronicling some of my brief conversations with creators, often times unbeknownst to me), and when he noticed, Johns asked if I wanted a photo with him, despite the long line behind me. So, not only is he a very good writer, but he’s a nice guy to boot.