Daniel's Comic Book Column #7, May 2002
by Daniel P. Dern (ddern@world.std.com)

It having been and continuing to be one of those months, it's time for a potpourri rather than any one main topic.

Spider-Man, The Movie: Worth Seeing

I wanted to see the Spider-Man movie before doing this month's column, even though it meant being a few days late on the deadline (Thanks, Ernest!), so I could include (brief) comments.

My short, non-spoiler opinion: I liked it a lot. 

I'm not sure yet if I loved it -- but I certainly liked it well enough, enjoyed it, and don't have any criticisms.  My SO, who's neither a comic fan nor familiar with Spidey, was able to follow it, although I'm pretty sure I enjoyed the movie more.

The changes and compressions versus how things went down in Spidey's comic book incarnation were all, in my (and other people's) opinion, reasonable, and certainly made sense in terms of doing a movie version. Relative to the savagery done to Superman, Batman and the X-Men, Spider-Man probably ranks as the best movie of a (well known) comic book both in terms of faithfulness and being a good movie.

Since I'd presented some other people's thoughts about the movie in last month's column, I thought I'd poll them now that they've seen it.

Keith R.A. DeCandido (www.decandido.net) said, "I absolutely adored it. I have no complaints about it at all, which is rare for me."
(In fact, SFRevu asked Keith, to review the movie for us...since he knows more about Spider-Man than almost anyone else alive. See Keith's Spider-Man Review.)

Interestingly and gratifyingly, the Ultimate Spider-Man #1 (FCBD edition)comic that was given away on Free Comic Book Day(discussed in last month's column was quite good.  If you missed the May 4 event, poke your head in your local comic shop and see if they have any left.


Grant Morrison fans are in for a treat in months to come -- DC's finally doing another trade reprint or two of Grant Morrison's mind-boggling issues of Animal Man and Doom Patrol.  (There's currently one collection of each: his first nine issues of Animal Man, and "Crawling Through The Wreckage" which began his run on Doom Patrol.)

Animal Man: Origin of the Species, trade paperback, $19.95, 224 pages, contains Animal Man 10-17 plus the story from Secret Origins #39.

It's due out in July.  Hard to describe - a mix of deconstructionist, absurdist, Illuminati, hallucinogenic -- and damned good.  If you missed these the first time around (during the past decade or whatever), here's your chance.

I dunno when the Doom Patrol collection(s?) is/are out.


Since, despite the many recommendations I keep making, one premise of this column is, "what's worth buying without spending more than about ten bucks a month?" I thought I'd start a "a comic per week" short list.  More precisely, four a month, five in months with five Wednesdays (since new comics arrive on Wednesdays).  (This avoids conflicts if two recommendations arrive the same week.)

My recommendations for May are:

  • Justice Society of America (DC)

  • The Amazing Spider-Man (Marvel)

  • X-Men (Marvel) (Grant Morrison)

  •  Hawkman (DC)

  • Justice League of America (DC)

I'm ambivalent about my fifth choice -- JLA's been slipping lately.  It would be easy to suggest Incredible Hulk, or one of the Superman or Batman titles, or Flash.

Comic(s) to Watch for:  (Not yet out and I haven't read them yet)

The Filth, Grant Morrison DC, 32 pg. (1 of 13) $2.95.  I dunno what this will be like, but Morrison's been worth betting on so far. For a preview, see http://www.dccomics.com/bnw/Jun_02/filth/a.html

See you next month!

Daniel P. Dern is a free-lance technology writer. He was previously Executive Editor of Byte.com. He can be reached at:  ddern@world.std.com /(www.dern.com)

2002 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu