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THOUGHTS AT THREE A.M.
by editor I forgot my name

What a GREAT month to be reading comics!

"She's only MOSTLY dead!"

Mark Waid has restored Adam Strange to his former glory, undoing the "permanent" changes wrought in the disappointing Adam Strange mini-series. JLA #20 and 21 restored Alanna to life with a very simple explanation: the doctor diagnosing her as dead wasn't familiar with her physiology. Then, to restore the other half of Adam Strange's old lifestyle, Adam's Mega-Zeta energy was drained away and he once again has to hitch a ride on a Zeta Beam to see his wife (and now, his child).

Unfortunately, it's not a perfect story. Adam keeps talking about "years" that have passed since the events of the mini-series…but his kid is barely talking yet, and it hasn't been very long according to the Zero Hour timeline.

I did find it a little odd that the En'tarans couldn't see all of the slow plotting which Steel did, considering that the previous month the characters were trying to act in micro-seconds or they'd get electrocuted.

Plus, zeta beams travel at the speed of light. (That's an essential part of the mythology of Adam Strange; Sardath sent the beams to Earth 4 years earlier) So, either these En'tarans live within a lightyear of Rann…which wouldn't make much sense…or the zeta beams have been improved.

And on that subject, it's gonna be four years before Adam can return to Rann! Sardath stopped sending zeta beams after he sent the mega-zeta. That makes the ending of your story especially sad!

Ummm…okay, there were a few errors. You know what? I DON'T CARE! It's a beautiful story and it's brought back a great character. I LOVED the last page. If you haven't read it, pick up issue #21 (which is far better than issue #20).

BUY Chase #7 and 8, even if it's just for Batman!

It just gets going and it's gone! After reading Chase #7, I CANNOT believe the way DC is ditching this excellent title in its infancy!
Chase #7
Pencils by J.H. Williams III
Inks by Mick Gray
Colors/Separations by Lee Loughridge
™ DC Comics

First of all, artist JH Williams' take on Batman is different from the standard gargantuan gargoyle with a 50 foot cape. In fact, it reminds me of Miller's "Batman: Year One"; Batman is portrayed as a human being of standard proportions in a costume. The artwork in this issue is some of the best stuff yet (I can tell Williams will be tapped for work on other titles ASAP).

As for the story itself, this is a great jumping-off point for new readers; this could be an issue of Detective Comics, really, as you don't need to know any backstory to appreciate it. I'm sure that's what D.C. Johnson intended, hoping that issue 7 would draw in a lot of Bat-fans and trying to make it as accessible as possible; too bad DC already passed the decision before this issue came out.
And I won't say anything about the shocker ending, but it's an aspect of the DCU's government that I've wondered about for a long time!
People, I've made no attempts to hide the fact that I love this book, so I hope you won't think I'm just rah-rah rooting for it…but I'd be very happy if everyone would check this story out before the book goes bye-bye. DC never changes its mind once it publicly announces the cancelation of a title…but wouldn't it be great if issues 7 and 8 sold beyond all expectations? That'd teach 'em to give a book a year before pulling the plug!

Now THIS is the JLA!
Alan Davis' The Nail is beyond reproach. It's not Kingdom Come (at least, not yet!), but it's the first prestige format comic in a long time that was a bargain for the price! I'm not going to say any more about it, because there is simply no reason NOT to buy it!

And while we're talking about prestige format…
"Superman For All Seasons" is not worth the money, stylish though the art may be. The background art, the attention to detail, the coloring, the period Kansas setting is all terrific…but Clark Kent looks like a shaved giant sloth! I mean, I cannot stand to look at any page showing him! It's the most inhumanly disproportionate Superman since the infamous Bogdanove first set pencil to paper in Superman: The Man of Steel. One of the finer points to Superman's musculature is that it must be reasonable enough that putting on a suit and glasses can completely hide who he is. Storywise, this first issue doesn't reveal much additional information, although I do like the laid-back, conversational narrative style as it relates things we already know. Numerous times, it also revises or contradicts Byrne's Man of Steel which does not require any revision!


In other news, this magazine is really wearing me out! I'm going to be taking a vacation in September and it won't be here soon enough.

I occasionally see this thing called summer out of my window and wonder what it's like.

This column is © July, 1998 Michael Hutchison.

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