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Justice Inc unites Shadow, Avenger, Doc, and more.

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  • #46
    I didn't find it confusing, I found it awesome. This is one of the best comics DE's ever put out, better than MASKS, even if MASKS #1 had Alex Ross on the art.
    It even has a continuity reference to another DE limited series (OK, they're written by the same guy. But really, how often do you see a DE story reference anything outside a previous issue of the same title?)
    And where the story starts on page 1, it could almost be a direct follow-up to Chris Roberson's DOC SAVAGE series. Plus you get a rare appearance here, by the real Lamont Cranston.

    Giovanni Timpano has been practicing; he's getting better. This issue had the best artwork I've seen from him. Really impressive in that one large panel at the top of the page where it's a head & shoulders profile of The Shadow. Timpano's work on the regular series was OK, but he rarely wowed me with his depictions of The Shadow himself.

    Did you notice the cameos by pulp writers (Kenneth) Robeson, (Paul) Ernst, and "Walter" (Gibson), cast in bit roles as the heavies trying to take control of Richard Benson's company? I LOVE that kinda stuff, and the appearances of real-life historical figures like Einstein, Enrico Fermi, H. G. Wells, and Howard Hughes. It was great to see another classic Shadow villain (and for a change, NOT Shiwan Khan) as the major antagonist behind the scenes (and exactly who was that man in the shadows he was talking to?). I like the way Uslan is re-writing The Avenger's origin story here, to work in Doc Savage and The Shadow's involvement.

    Man, this would have made a GREAT movie.

    (Loved the Twilight Zone references, too: the episodes given a nod to were "Twenty Two", "The Odyssey of Flight 33", and "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet")

    Can't wait for #2!

    See, this is where I may not be like most people, in that it doesn't bother me that they don't have a lot of ongoing series with the pulp characters. It's more important to me that they get a good story and a good creative team for whatever character(s) they're doing, and then just take as many issues as it takes to tell that story. I'd rather see that than an ongoing where the creative team keeps changing after a story arc or two. Especially for a smaller company like DE, they've got to strike a balance. You want to keep the same creative team on the entire series/story, and you want to allow them as much time as they need to deliver their best work. You try to plan it out ahead so that they'll have all the time they need, so that if they need to work ahead of when the first issue ships, things will line up down the line when the last issue is due to ship, and you can hit every deadline on time. Every creator is different in terms of their working methods, and some of these guys might need a little more time to do their BEST work than a strict monthly schedule allows, so you try to plan ahead for that. Of course, things can still happen. People can get sick, or have some kind of unforeseen crisis in their lives. Most small companies don't have deep enough pockets to pay a writer and artist so far ahead that every issue of the series is complete before the first one ships. (Might be possible if we're only talking about 3 or 4 issues.) So it's still a balancing act, and you HOPE nothing unplanned crops up. But it seems like a better chance of making sure you get the best quality work from people and hopefully everything goes according to plan and the dominoes fall into place. If all goes well, you can take a breather, regroup a little, and start planning the next series.
    Last edited by pulphero; 08-21-2014, 03:18 AM.

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    • #47
      Just finished Justice Inc. Very good. Not a lot action/fighting but enough to balance the mystery and set up. Doc's investment tips to Howard Hughes was nice. He gave him what he wanted but with no context it was pretty worthless.
      Always remember, Murphy was an optimist
      Munchkin 1, 2, 4, 7 Super Munchkin 1&2, Munchkin Bites 1&2, Munchkin Fu, Star Munchkin Deluxe and Star 2
      http://ghornet.deviantart.com/

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      • #48
        Originally posted by Ghornet2 View Post
        Doc's investment tips to Howard Hughes was nice. He gave him what he wanted but with no context it was pretty worthless.
        Short but funny scene. Also, even if he understood the context he'd be sitting around for the next 20 years before he could even begin to invest in the earliest of Doc tips (McDonald's). But he forgot Amazon and Google. "I should invest in a South American river? And the comic strip's funny, but is Barney Google really going to pay dividends?"

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        • #49
          I thought the new issue was good. What did you guys think?

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          • #50
            Originally posted by Lobster Johnson View Post
            I thought the new issue was good. What did you guys think?
            Really enjoyed it. I have to say that this is Giovanni Timpano's best art I've seen him do (and I've always thought he was good), and may be the best art I've seen in a Dynamite book. I'm really impressed by how good he is in this series so far.

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            • #51
              Issue #1 wasn't bad, but I wasn't all that thrilled with #2. This is a six-issue story, and we're still in the early part of an origin for The Avenger?

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              • #52
                Oh, and from the Top 300 Comic Books list for August 2014 (which is mostly based on Diamond distribution to comic book shops):
                * 165th - JUSTICE INC #1 - 12,020 copies

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by MajorHoy View Post
                  Oh, and from the Top 300 Comic Books list for August 2014 (which is mostly based on Diamond distribution to comic book shops):
                  * 165th - JUSTICE INC #1 - 12,020 copies
                  That's pretty good for a Dynamite title. Granted, it's no MASKS, but then #1 of that series was entirely painted by Alex Ross.
                  Last edited by pulphero; 10-03-2014, 01:31 AM.

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by MajorHoy View Post
                    This is a six-issue story, and we're still in the early part of an origin for The Avenger?

                    Well, yes. The entire 6-issue story is the Avenger's origin, reconfigured by Uslan to include the involvement of Doc Savage and the Shadow. In the first issue he's just Benson, and it's set up to explain how his business is involved with what's going on with Doc, and why his corrupt business associates are going to "arrange a little accident" for him. In the second issue, he suffers the shock that will turn his hair white and make his face an immobile mask capable of being molded like putty into the likeness of anyone. By the end of the story he'll be exactly at the place he was at the end of the first Avenger novel, "Justice, Inc." ...and thus the title of THIS series.

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                    • #55
                      I am enjoying this mini-series! I can definitely understand to the fear of losing one's family in a situation like Richard Benton (I love my family too and would probably go into shock greying hair and dead the nerves on the skin as well--I wonder if one could really manipulate ones dead skin into disguises?). The small changes incorporating Doc Savage and the Shadow into the origin is ok with me. I like the idea of these three crime-fighting organizations into a "team". I ordered the three special one-shots hoping there will be a connection to the mini. Any word if the series will be followed with another mini? Spin off minis? More specials?

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                      • #56
                        I'm keeping my fingers crossed for more Michael Uslan-written Street & Smith characters to follow, Blinky. I know he mentioned that he has some ideas, so it's up to Nick (and sales) as to whether or not they'll happen. I doubt the one-shot Specials will have any direct references to JUSTICE INC., since they're all written by different writers - and note the descriptions in the solicitations... the DOC SAVAGE Special is really a PAT SAVAGE Special, and the SHADOW Special is really an AGENTS OF THE SHADOW Special (Margo Lane, Harry Vincent, Clyde Burke, Moe Shrevnitz, Slade Farrow, Jericho Druke, Burbank, Claude Fellows, Rutledge Mann, Miles Crofton, Hawkeye, Cliff Marsland, Ming Dwan [alias Myra Reldon], Dr. Roy Tam, etc). Maybe that's what makes them "Special".

                        Regarding the agents, we don't usually get to see that much of them in the comics, compared to the pulp novels. When Walter Gibson was writing the novels, he wanted to retain the Shadow's sense of mystery, so we never really get inside the Shadow's head and know his thoughts - we can't really identify with him as a character (and as a side note, although the agents place their trust and lives in the Shadow's hands, they don't REALLY know him any better than the reader does). The agents were in the story to offset that, in particular Harry Vincent, a capable young man in his twenties, who could blend into a variety of situations to mingle. He was often the lead character in many of the Shadow stories, a "proxy hero", in writer's terms. Harry could get into all sorts of scrapes, and he was obviously more vulnerable than the Shadow. HE was the sort of character that was fully human and the reader could identify with, as opposed to the Shadow, who remained inscrutable, mysterious, and almost a force of nature in the stories. Gibson managed to get a good variety of character types into the agents' ranks, and of course the Shadow had his own colorful array of disguised aliases worked into the stories as well, to keep things interesting. We don't see the Shadow's alternate identities much in the comic stories, either. Part of that has to do with the nature of the comics stories being much shorter and less densely plotted than the novels, but I think there's a lot of room with multi-part story arcs in comic books now, to show more variety along those lines, and not have every scene be just about the Shadow, Margo, or Lamont/Shadow. I'd love to see DE let Michael Uslan cut loose on a longer (6 to 12 issue) pure Shadow story (without other pulp hero co-stars) in which there was some real space for meaty roles for some of the other agents besides Margo, and some of the Shadow's other aliases besides Cranston. So far, other than Margo, the Shadow's agents have only been seen in DE's comics in abbreviated walk-on roles. The Special is turning that idea on its head, and giving the agents the spotlight for the first time, with the Shadow in only a minor part (but I wonder if the Special might not try to show so many of the agents in a single story, that none of them gets much more screen time than usual). It would be a shame if that was the end of it, so I'm hoping that the Special serves as a way of re-introducing the agents, as a prelude to featuring some of them in bigger parts in upcoming Shadow stories. These guys should be included in Shadow stories the same way that you don't leave out Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Perry White in Superman stories or Mary Jane, May Parker, and Jonah Jameson in Spider-Man stories... they're part of the "supporting cast", and an important part.

                        Many of these agents were featured in ten years' worth of Shadow pulp novels (quite frankly, the best ten years of Shadow novels) before Margo Lane ever showed up (in a June 1941 issue). Margo only appeared in less than 60 of the 325 original Shadow novels - and some of THOSE were among the 15 Shadow stories penned by Bruce Elliot (after a pay rate dispute with S&S caused Gibson to quit writing the Shadow for 2 years) that many Shadow fans consider to be non-canonical. Although Margo had been invented by the radio scriptwriters, co-starring in the radio series since 1938 opposite Orson Welles' Lamont Cranston/Shadow in an imitation of the relationship of the popular THIN MAN film series characters Nick & Nora Charles, Gibson had balked at including her in the novels until pressure from his S&S editor to include her finally caused him to relent. Even then, in the novels she wasn't originally treated as an agent, but more of a clingy (if attractive) nuisance that the Shadow had to deal with, an acquaintance of the REAL Cranston that had attached herself to the Shadow's impersonation of Cranston. Many of the long-time magazine readers balked at her inclusion too, and wrote vociferous letters of complaint, but gradually they accepted her, as Gibson finally got a handle on her character, and it became clear to the readers that she wasn't going to be treated in the novels as the Shadow's "love interest"; eventually, Gibson made her a full-fledged agent. Of course, in comic books since the 1970s, she's long been an accepted part of the Shadow's canon, as virtually all of the comics versions of the Shadow have been, to one degree or another, a synthesis of the pulp and radio versions. I still miss the other agents, though.

                        Oh, and I mentioned the Shadow stories by Bruce Elliot that are considered non-canonical by many Shadow fans. It's not even so much that they're bad stories, per se, it's just that they aren't really Shadow stories. At the time they were published, the "pulp" style fiction of the 1930s was considered old hat, and Street & Smith was trying to take the Shadow into the direction of modern (by 1946-48 standards) "murder mysteries" in the Elliot Queen vein... here Lamont Cranston functions as an amateur sleuth, and the Shadow himself doesn't even really appear (except in the last one Bruce Elliot wrote). Kent Allard is never even mentioned. The third-to-last of those mystery stories that Elliot wrote was titled "The Television Murders". Oddly enough, the title of the story in THE AVENGER SPECIAL #1 is also... "The Television Murders". Connection... ???
                        Last edited by pulphero; 10-17-2014, 07:55 AM.

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                        • #57
                          Arrggh! I just read the synopsis of the solicitation for Justice Inc. #6 and it revealed that John Sunlight was one of the foes involved in what so far has been an excellent mini-series. Why does every comic book writer who writes Doc Savage think that John Sunlight must be the Joker-like arch-villain of Doc Savage, meaning that only he is the only recidivist arch-villain of Doc? One of the appeals of Doc is that with the exception of John Sunlight who appeared in two pulp stories, the villains only appear once against Doc Savage. All are either captured and turned over to the Crime College OR they die by some act of fate (even John Sunlight was chopped to bits by a tribe of Eskimos at the end of his second appearance). In comics, John Sunlight must have appeared several times and it is already getting old. Why not use that Skull villain from the golden age Doc Savage Comics if they need a recidivist villain for Doc to fight? According to Chris Roberson, "(Doc) encountered a problem, he fixed it and moved on. And I think that's largely because crime, for Doc, was not a social ill, but a disease that could be cured." (from the Comic Book Resources interview of Roberson about his Doc Savage mini-series). I was hoping DE would have avoided that comic book tradition in their portrayal of Doc.

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                          • #58
                            Not for nothing, Blinky... but thanks for sharing, and putting it IN THE FIRST SENTENCE so that it shows up when you click on "What's New?".

                            After all... it was spoiled for you, so why should anybody else not get to share your pain? Thanks ever so much for the timely heads-up.

                            Guess we can all just save our money on the rest of those issues now.
                            Last edited by pulphero; 10-26-2014, 02:35 PM.

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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by pulphero View Post
                              Not for nothing, Blinky... but thanks for sharing, and putting it IN THE FIRST SENTENCE so that it shows up when you click on "What's New?".

                              After all... it was spoiled for you, so why should anybody else not get to share your pain? Thanks ever so much for the timely heads-up.

                              Guess we can all just save our money on the rest of those issues now.

                              As a compleatist of all things Doc Savage, I will support DE in this mini-series. I want more Doc Savage. Hopefully, future Doc Savage/Justice Inc. minis and one-shots won't focus on John Sunlight (who in my world is still in pieces feeding seals back in the 1930s after his second appearance--maybe this will be revealed as his son/nephew seeking revenge?). I was just being frustrated by the idea that a writer as good as Michael U. would resort to such a cliched comic book plot element of teaming up major baddies of all the heroes who are teaming up. I guess I wanted some creativity. Sorry, I did not think I was leaking a spoiler when it was posted on the January solicitations as such. Would it be too much a spoiler that Richard Benson becomes the Avenger by the end of this mini-series? Or, that the good guys in comic books will eventually win? I will be more careful in the future of my postings!

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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Blinky McQuade View Post
                                As a compleatist of all things Doc Savage, I will support DE in this mini-series. I want more Doc Savage. Hopefully, future Doc Savage/Justice Inc. minis and one-shots won't focus on John Sunlight (who in my world is still in pieces feeding seals back in the 1930s after his second appearance--maybe this will be revealed as his son/nephew seeking revenge?). I was just being frustrated by the idea that a writer as good as Michael U. would resort to such a cliched comic book plot element of teaming up major baddies of all the heroes who are teaming up. I guess I wanted some creativity. Sorry, I did not think I was leaking a spoiler when it was posted on the January solicitations as such. Would it be too much a spoiler that Richard Benson becomes the Avenger by the end of this mini-series? Or, that the good guys in comic books will eventually win? I will be more careful in the future of my postings!
                                Don't worry, Blinky, --- the series was already ruined by the art of this series. The writing: not too bad.
                                The Art: really poorly executed. I'm about ready to say "Like many of DE's offerings."
                                The Ross covers: excellent.
                                But the faces of Doc-- terrible.
                                The Shadow's face: pretty good.
                                The Avenger's face: terrible.
                                See Issue 3, page four, first panel: Gestures of the characters: terrible.

                                The interior art -- from my point of view-- is really unacceptable.
                                I will buy the rest of the series (unfortunately) because of the writing and the Ross Covers. But it shouldn't be this way. The art should "capture" us and bring us along in the story.
                                It gets an "F" from me.

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