Many of comics’ most popular heroes have been around for decades, and in the case of the big names from the publisher now known as DC Comics, some have been around for a sizable chunk of a century. As these characters passed through the different historical eras known in comics as the Golden Age (the late 1930s through the early 1950s), the Silver Age (the mid 1950s through the late 1960s), the Bronze Age (the early 1970s through the mid 1980s) and on into modern times, they have experienced considerable changes in tone and portrayal that reflect the zeitgeist of the time.
With this feature we’ll help you navigate the very best stories of DC Comics’ most beloved characters decade by decade. This week, we’re taking a look at the best Lex Luthor comics.
Tomb of Dracula came out of Marvel between 1972 and 1979: start date, one year after the CCA let up on vampires. This was a year after Hammer’s increasingly psychological Karnstein Trilogy wrapped up with Twins of Evil, and the same year (obviously) that the studio released Dracula AD 1972. While Christopher Lee grew ever more dissatisfied with what he saw as his Dracula’s creep towards absurdity, Gene Colan and Marv Wolfman (along with Gerry Conway, Archie Goodwin and Gardner Fox) created a Gothic masterpiece in the comics; a soap opera that doubled as a perfect and precise character study. Dracula’s got problems, and he’s at the root of every one.
You can’t keep a good Teen Titan down. On the screen, on the page, in and out of feathered disco unitards --- the public gobbles them up and asks for more. DC’s Convergence event will unite classic Titans writer Marv Wolfman with artists Nicola Scott and Marc Deering for a trip back to the 1980s in Convergence: New Teen Titans, a tale which promises to pit the adolescent do-gooders against the Tangent Universe’s Doom Patrol.
Will Robotman and Cyborg square off in a battle for riveted supremacy? Will Beast Boy’s history with the Patrol find him trapped between his past and present? Will Starfire’s legendary ultra-perm emerge from the chaos unscathed? With these issues in mind, ComicsAlliance sat down with the creative team to discuss the Titans’ various eras, their enduring appeal, and what the future holds for the classic super team.
Nightwing is comics' hottest male superhero. His superior hotness is a fact so indisputable that, when we compiled our list of the 50 Sexiest Guys In Comics a while back, there was never any serious doubt that he would come out on top. His appeal is not only recognized by fans, but also by creators and even by publisher DC, which has been known to pander to his fans on several occasions. In an industry that doesn't generally make time for the female gaze, Dick Grayson has emerged as one of the medium's few male sex symbols.
But what is it about Dick Grayson that sets him apart among the macho mannequins of superhero comics? Is it his personality? His history? His character design? His butt? ComicsAlliance spoke to Dick Grayson experts Tim Seeley and Devin Grayson, and several of the character's fans, and undertook an intense study of the source material, to get to the lovely bottom of this great question.
The Tangent universe is a recurring feature in the third week of titles for DC's spring 2015 Convergence event, cropping up by name in the solcitations for the Flash, Justice League of America, and New Teen Titans two-part minis -- and "tangent" seems like an apt term to describe DC's impenetrable two-month event that offers all the confusion and frustration of a reboot with none of the narrative consequence.
Besides the Tangent universe, the other unifying theme of the third wave of books is that dig into DC's pre-Crisis On Infinite Earths past, with writer Marv Wolfman returning to the New Teen Titans, Len Wein taking another swing at his own creation, Swamp Thing, Diana Prince back in her modish 1968 white jumpsuit, and the return of the mid-80s Detroit Justice League.
Around Halloween, there is nothing I like more than a comic where horror elements start to creep in when they clearly have no business being there. I mean, I'll gladly read eighty issues of Tomb of Dracula and I love plenty of comics that are just Hellboy grumping at werewolves, but if you give me a comic where all the spookums and haints show up out of nowhere and start hassling Spider-Man or somebody, I am delighted. That's why I was pretty interested when pal and occasional ComicsAlliance contributor Kevin Church suggested that I add Star Trek #4 to my annual scareathon, mostly because he sold me on it by telling me it was the comic where the starship Enterprise found a haunted house. In space.
He wasn't kidding: This is a Star Trek comic where the Enterprise finds a haunted house in space. And that's after Dracula shows up.
Q: I was reading your column about New Teen Titans where you said Crisis on Infinite Earths was a mess, but a topic for another time. Care to explain now? -- @jeremyliveshere
A: The one thing you can't say about Crisis on Infinite Earths is that it didn't deliver on its promise. In a time when "event" comics were still in their infancy, Crisis came out of the gate promising to be the biggest thing that had ever or would ever hit comics, and looking back on it from almost thirty years later, it's hard not to admit that even with a comic rolling out every six months like clockwork that promises to change everything forever, it's still the one that actually did it. Worlds did live, worlds did die, and nothing actually was the same again.
It just also happens to be a story that's a complete friggin' mess.
I know that we all love the Great Pumpkin, but if you ask me, Dracula is the Santa Claus of Halloween. I don't know what your family traditions are, but I always like to imagine the Lord of the Undead flying through the night of October 31, dragging bad children off to the depths of Castlevania and bringing the good children feasts of blood. It's... probably a good thing that I don't have children of my own.
Anyway, the point is that at this time of year, I'm even more into Dracula than usual, and I spend a pretty good amount of time diving back into comics featuring the King of All Vampires and looking for the best stories -- and there aren't a whole lot better than "Night of the Blood-Stalker."
Q: How much better is the original Teen Titans series than the New Teen Titans? -- @boxofmillipedes
A: You know, Millie, it's funny. New Teen Titans is a book that hits every single checkmark of something I should like. I love teenage superheroes, I'm a sucker for weird team-ups involving goofy combinations like half-demons, half-robots and full-on alien princesses, and Robin and Wally West are two of my all-time favorite characters. Throw those things together in a book by the dude who wrote Tomb of Dracula and the artist who would go on to draw my favorite run of Avengers? That oughtta be a slam dunk, but every single time I read it, it feels like homework.
Folks, it's been thirty years. Maybe it's time we all come together and just admit that New Teen Titans was not that great.
Halloween is right around the corner, boils and ghouls, and that means that my fascination with the stranger side of comics veers ever so slightly towards the macabre. And for my money, there is nothing more laden with terror (and truly awesome comics) than Comicdom's #1 Fear Magazine, The Tomb of Dracula! So what better way to celebrate Halloween than with the most terrifying tale ever told about the Lord of the Vampires?
You know, the one where he fights a guy from outer space who flies around on a surfboard. That's scary, right?This titanic tussle happened in the page
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