As with much of the Marvel Universe, the seeds of its cosmic sphere can be traced back to the collaborations of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, specifically the pages of Fantastic Four. While not the earliest of the First Family’s encounters with extra-terrestrials (that honor goes to #2’s tale of Skrulls), the most iconic is The Coming of Galactus. This three party story (#48-50, 1966) not only introduced many important characters (Galactus, Silver Surfer, The Watcher) it also laid a groundwork for the tone of Marvel sci-fi. Its narrative focused not simply on action, but, character, anchoring heroism in a sense of humanity. In the next decade Jim Starlin would build on these elements when crafting his philosophical, surreal journeys through the cosmic realm. This initial phase of Marvel’s cosmic story ended with Starlin’s original graphic novel The Death of Captain Marvel (1982). In the 90s though, Starlin returned to Marvel’s cosmic characters, scripting Infinity Gauntlet which ushered in a higher level of visibility for this corner of the Marvel Universe. Starlin worked on multiple projects during this period, many revolving around a pair of characters who had come to be synonymous with his Marvel work: Adam Warlock and Thanos. The final comic Starlin wrote during this second phase of his Marvel career was a Thanos series. Starlin produced the first six issues before departing, replaced by writer Keith Giffen. After wrapping up the Thanos series, Giffen would proceed to inaugurate the third era of cosmic Marvel with a Drax the Destroyer limited series.
Previously I discussed the short-lived, though fascinating career of the pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths Ragman. For several years after Crisis reshaped the DC Universe, Ragman was absent from comic book pages. Given his failure to ever gain much traction with fans, this was hardly surprising. However, in 1991 DC decided the time was right to revisit Rory Regan, handing the assignment to a pair of established writers: Keith Giffen and Robert Loren Fleming. Together they would radically rework aspects of co-creators Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert’s original concept, broadening the scope of who Ragman is without losing Ragman’s essence as the avenger of the least fortunate.
Nothing But Comics has hit our three year mark and in observance of the site’s anniversary, every Tuesday from now until we finish, one of our staff members will list off their favorite comics creators all time. Last week was Patrick, this week is Cosmo’s. Continue reading Tuesday Top Fifteen: Our Favorite Creators Creighton
Before Grant Morrison led readers on a trip across DC’s Multiversity, before he guided Animal Man through the wastelands of Character Limbo, before DC hit the reset button of Crisis on Infinite Earths in the first place, there was Ambush Bug. In 1985, DC published a four issue mini-series starring the absurd hero of the same name co-written by Keith Giffen and Robert Loren Fleming and illustrated by Giffen. The series is a wacky, almost surreal dance through the current state of DC continuity. Along the way, Giffen and Fleming find plenty of targets for ridicule, while at the same time celebrating the silliness that is superhero comics. Does some of it get too silly? Perhaps, yet, in the same spirit of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, there is an anarchic spirit which enlivens the books, rendering nearly every page of it inspired fun.
During the DC All Access Panel At Emerald City Comic Con, the publisher announced the Kamandi Challenge, where several creators will attempt to make their best Kamandi stories. These creators include Walt Simonson, Neal Adams, Gail Simone, Tom King, Bill Willingham, Steve Orlando, Marguerite Bennett, Keith Giffen, Greg Pak, Dan Abnett & more. Details at CBR. Every time I see the title I always want to scream it out like Charles Barkley does “GINOBLI!!!”