Monthly Archives: June 2014

Extremis Looking For New Fan Writers

Come Join Us!

Come Join Us!

Hey, Extremites, you’ve probably noticed a drop off in posts recently.

There’s a few reasons for this. I have been busy with my non-blog life, doing some new contracts around Canada and I am gearing up for a big move to the UK, aside from some health difficulties in the last month.

Anyway, all this means that Extremis needs some new writers. If you are interested in joining our roster, note our mandate is write literate articles about fan related topics.

If interested in joining send me a 500 word article about what you’d like to write  for us and we’ll go from there.

Send it to, julianrmunds@gmail.com in word, PDF or pages format.

My best, Extremites,

Julian Munds – Editor-in-Chief for the Extremis Review.

 

Giving Up on the Hulk: Investigating Stan Lee’s Desperate Retconn of Big Green

Journey Into Marvel – Part 52

Even the sense of humour is off!

Even the sense of humour is off!

Extremites, when I opened up Big Green’s fourth issue all I could see was the desperate machinations at work behind the panels. It’s clear Stan Lee uses this issue to rework a title that is failing.

In 1962, The Incredible Hulk’s four issues had proven to be startlingly unpopular. Lee went into panic mode and tried to figure out why the concept was disliked. He decided that it must be a character problem. Hulk was far too villainous. In this issue he created a failsafe to take some of the Hyde out of the ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ concept that defined the series. Hulk becomes more of a power, a skill, rather than a malady or, indeed, separate character from Bruce Banner. While this makes sense it also has the pathetic affect of removing all the edge out of the character.

Read the rest of this entry

Why Batman Was the Answer to the Great Depression

12836_700xBatman is truly a diverse character. Throughout the years, he’s been campy, serious, happy, depressed, angry, and tortured. So how did he get his start? What was he like in the beginning? After all, the campy TV series and movie of the 1960s didn’t come until twenty years after Batman had been established.
That’s why I wanted to take a look at Detective Comics #27. I was intrigued. I wanted to know what he looked like in 1939. I wanted to get a grasp for what kind of cultural impact he Read the rest of this entry

Unravelling the Mystery of El Diablo: Plunging Into Azzarello and Zezelj’s El Diablo 

Decoding DC – Part 14

El Diablo (Zezelj)

El Diablo (Zezelj)

Extremites, this article is the first article of Decoding DC that does not concern Jonah Hex. It concerns one of the other characters that was born in the Weird Western renaissance of the late 70s: Lazarus Lane or El Diablo.

Lazarus Lane is a mild mannered bank teller until one day he is attacked by a gang of thieves and put into a coma by a lightning strike. A Native American shaman revived Lane and from then on he spent his life chasing criminals under the name ‘El Diablo.’

During the Weird Western period of the early 80s, ‘El Diablo’ ceased being a pseudonym and became an actual vengeful demon that possessed Lane. Perhaps, DC was inspired by success of Marvel’s Ghost Rider?

Like Ghost Rider Lazarus Lane disappeared into the ether, but also like Johnny Blaze, around the turn of the millennium El Diablo received a renaissance.

In 2001, Vertigo had become less a separate line, and more of an underbelly of the wholesome mainstream lines. Experimentalism was still embraced here. Relative unknowns like Brian Azarello and the Balkan import, artist Danijel Zezelj, were free to go wild and show readers a new way to read supernatural westerns.

Azzarello’s arc is by no means a rehash of El Diablo’s origin story. In fact, El Diablo only figures in a few short panels. The story instead focuses on a bounty hunter turned sherif named Moses Stone. There’s a brutal gun attack that destroys the town. Moses, through a series of events, finds himself returning to his home town in pursuit of El Diablo.

El Diablo remains a mystery throughout this issue.

It’s a simple story but there is enough action and character development to keep any reader interested.

I am impressed.

This is exactly how a beginning issue should be. It should offer a conflict that is attractive enough to wet the appetite of a reader; enough to get them turning the pages and ordering the next issue. It should not, as was so often the case with the Lansdale and Truman Hex, spell out a run of the mill story with two-dimensional characters going through the motions of story to fill an issue quota.

As much as I enjoy the richness of Azzarello’s story ,I don’t enjoy Zezelj’s art. It is scrappy, foggy and unfocused. It also lacks the detail that have come to expect in the DC modern age. Each face is not discernible from the next. The fogginess maybe intentional for there is a subtext throughout this story that seems ready to burst through at any moment. Perhaps, Zezelj’s art is intentional in its enigmatic quality.

I feel at a disadvantage in this article.

I want to have a loftier discussion as I do with most these articles but, the issue presented is so perfect in its simplicity that I don’t have much to digest. This simplicity feels ominous. I get a sense that as this arc progresses the world presented will not be as it seems.

I cannot wait to unravel this.

Until next time, Extremites, I remain: Julian Munds.

Story I Read: “El Diablo Part 1″ (El Diablo #1 Mar. 2001)

Rating: 4 out of 5

Pros: The simplicity, the fully fleshed characters and the lush dialogue.

Cons: The art is foggy and tough to discern.

Previous Review:Part Three: Final Shadows” (Jonah Hex: Shadows West #3 Apr. 1999)

Upcoming Review:El Diablo Part 2” (El Diablo #2 Apr. 2001)

 

 

 

Batman V. Superman: Batfleck and DC’s Big Mistake

Batman-v-Superman-Dawn-of-Justice-LogoIt wasn’t long after the closing credits for The Avengers had ended that I found myself saying “We need a Justice League movie.” There’s really no excuse for there not being one already. With the success of Marvel’s cross-over films, I had to ask myself, “Why hasn’t DC started doing this?”

Well, now they are. Except they’ve decided to skip character development altogether. Instead of doing things the smart way, giving Batman his own movie, Wonder Woman her own movie (which is long overdue, considering we’ve yet to have a standalone female superhero film), and the others their own movies, they’ve opted for a backdoor Justice League film in place of the Man of Steel sequel. Read the rest of this entry

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