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In recent years, we’ve seen a boatload of comic books and graphic novels make their way to the silver screen, from Big Two stalwarts like Spider-Man and Batman to independent titles like Scott Pilgrim and 30 Days Of Night. Leading the charge as one of the top comic creators today with a best-selling history tracing itself back to early 90s is Jim Lee.
After spiraling up the ranks at Marvel from Alpha Flight to Punisher, Lee broke through to the top tier of comics with his work on Uncanny X-Men with Chris Claremont. The 1991 launch of X-Men #1 put Lee in rarefied air as the artist and co-writer of the best-selling comic book of all time, certified by Guinness themselves. Since then, Lee went on to co-found Image Comics and his own personal company Wildstorm, knocking out a bevy of characters, teams and concepts. When DC bought out Wildstorm in 1998, Lee became a company man, doing runs on Batman, Superman and All-Star Batman & Robin The Boy Wonder. In his Wildstorm years, Lee created a impressive slate of characters that stood out in the crowded 1990s marketplace. WildC.A.T.S. and Gen13 were both licensed as animated series, but neither captured the magic of what Lee and his collaborators did on the comics page.
Maybe now with Jim Lee sitting as co-publisher of DC Comics and being looked to as an icon by comics readers and Hollywood types, some consideration can be given to some of these great concepts.
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy on Wednesday based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on what we call our “Splurge” item.
This week’s a big week for me, so with only $15 I’d have to leave a lot of things back and make some hard choices. My five under $15 would start with Joe The Barbarian #8 (DC/Vertigo, $3.99) by Grant Morrison and Sean Murphy. I’m a big fan of both guys, but I have to admit the story went over my head the same way The Filth did in serialization. Be that as it may, I’ve kept buying the issues just to amaze myself with Murphy’s art. Now that the complete series is out, I’ll re-read it all in one sitting and hope for the best. Second would be the fourth issue of Incognito: Bad Influences (Marvel/Icon, $3.50) because, well, Brubaker and Phillips can do no wrong. After that I’d get Secret Warriors #25 (Marvel, $3.99) because Hickman’s writing here plays up to all the things I like — espionage, secrets, and overly-complicated story arcs. Over on the DC side I would pick up Brightest Day #21 (DC, $2.99). This series has ebbed and flowed for me, depending on which story arcs are brought to the fore in each issue… but I’m excited to see what happens and that’s what it should be about, right? My last pick is a cheat — I only have some change left, but thankfully the Fear Itself Sketchbook (Marvel) coming out is a free promotional item. I’ll take Stuart Immonen sketches any day!