Ray’s Relationship with DC Comics: A One-Act Play
On my left middle finger, I wear a ring with the year 1915 wrought in 14k gold. I know that Rose, my great-grandmother on my mother’s side, originally owned it, but don’t know what occasion led to her memorializing the time. The famous World’s Fairs where visitors brought back jewelry as souvenirs came decades later. Her husband, a Jewish-Polish immigrant, was old-fashioned and did not believe in engagement rings. When did she graduate high school? Beats me.
We all have that comic title where the artist’s work has us moan, hiss, pace, and scream “WHY SO TALENT?” at the pages. Today, in honor of the release of Midnighter Vol.1: Out (written by Steve Orlando, colored by Romulo Fajardo, Jr., and pencilled by ACO, Alec Morgan, and Stephen Mooney) I am showcasing one moment from each chapter that made me physically react as I read. Of course, although I worked to keep them to a minimum, spoilers fromMidnighter: Out appear from this point forth.
You are cordially invited to celebrate #MidnighterWeek, an event all about one of DC Comics’ best queer superheroes.
For any reader who has never picked up a superhero story before, the genre seems flush with interesting characters, motifs, and tidbits. Even taking into account that superhero stories for adults weren’t widespread until 1986’s Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns, 76 years of literature seems endless. New readers have it better than any other. The best of the best waits for them, from beloved classics going as far back as Superman’s debut inAction Comics #1 to more recently embraced additions like Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern run.
Ray Sonne: In the beginning of everything, we have creation stories. The Judeo-Christian tradition has Genesis with the God who creates the Earth in 7 days. The Greeks have the Titans, who conceive the rebellious children that defeat them and create the Pantheon. In the Americas, we have the Iroquois and the Navajo who both tell of two worlds–the sky above and the waters below. The Aboriginal tale present in Planetary #15 also tells of two worlds, which includes the sky and its Skypeople and the Earth below with its soil-formed Ancients.
Ray Sonne: Sandman: Brief Lives stands as one of the strongest arcs in the Sandman series for a number of reasons. By a number, I mean two because Jill Thompson and Vince Locke are two people and, while previous Sandman arcs bear the strengths and weaknesses of Gaiman’s wordy style, no other artist on the series carries a story the way Thompson and Locke do.
Ray Sonne: So, now that the relevant bit of what made Elijah Snow start The Planetary Guide is all said and done last chapter, Ellis and Cassaday move onto closing up the gap where readers wondered how Dowling got his hands on Elijah’s brain. In Planetary #14, Elijah visits a scientist friend of his who shows him a radioactive stick which, when struck on the ground, turns into a steampunk-styled hammer. Obviously, this hammer is in reference to Thor of the Marvel 616 Universe hammer and its discovery has Elijah fall down a path to finding the world it came from, now used as a weapons warehouse for The Four.
For many, New York City is a cold place to live. No city in the world prior to its founding was built on a grid. Its long, neat rows ensure accessibility, but they are also aesthetically unappealing and rigid in their structure. When everything sits in the right place, the potential for surprise is curbed.
Ray Sonne: With Ellis and Cassaday’s exploration of film, 1980s Vertigo comics, early 20th century pulp novels, and other media, it was only a matter of time before they visited 19th century literature where most of the previous genres have their roots. The 19th century still has many indelible marks on Western pop culture. In general, the invention of the modern novel (by Jane Austen in 1808’s Pride and Prejudice), but more specific to Planetary #13, the bringing to popular culture the myth of the vampire (Dracula remains the most enduring example, although, contrary to widespread belief, he was far from the first vampire) and the creation of the detective story (by Edgar Allan Poe in The Murders in the Rue Morgue).