Sunday, February 22, 2004

Cover to Cover (Part 2)

Chapter Five: Fun City

First of all, I'm an idiot, Chapter Six isn't in this book, so looks like this'll only be a two parter. Lucky You.

This chapter opens with shots of the Vegas nightlife, peppered with a boxing commentators words. We see a billboard announcing the fight which the man is speaking about. Typical stuff. Until you turn the page.

The image of (presumably) Cassius Clay knocking the Wildcat (yes, that Wildcat) to the canvas is simply stunning. Like I said, Cookes art is very fluid, but this is just unbelievable. We see Ted fall, only to be saved by the bell. Then, in the next round he comes out swinging. He KO's Clay in one punch. In his own words: "I'm Ted friggin Wildcat Grant. This is my fight. These are my people. And tonigh, for one last time, I am their champion." The images are just sunning, especially Ted standing victorious in the middle or the ring.

Now, during that we're treated to a small conversation between Bruce, Selina, Dinah, and Ollie. It's fairly obvious who they are, even for an unknowledgable person like myself. After the fight it gets more interesting. At the after party we get Hal Jordan, Rick Flagg, and Lois Lane, as well as the others. There's also brief mention of Grants JSA buddies, along with Superman.

The next parts are straight, classic super hero moments. Barry Allen's chatting it up with his girl Iris, who happens to be attending the party. Captain Cold crashes said party and we get to see the Flash race to the scene. Now, above anything I've seen in the two issues published, Cooke's Flash is amazing. He captures the motion, the brashness, the quick thinking, the wittines, everything that the original Flash was, and everything he should have been. If his Superman is spot-on, then his Flash is perfection perfected. On top of that he manages to make Captain Cold look menacing in a time before people even knew what a "revamp" was. Not only doesFlash save the day, but he makes it snow in Las Vegas. Like I said, classic super hero stuff, and I mean classic.

The final pages are a closer examination into Hal Jordan's life. Honestly, nothing that I didn't already know, and nothing that wasn't fairly obvious. Pappy (someone else I'm not familiar with) revealing that he'd set Hal up with a job at Ferris Aircraft seemed pretty important, and my guess would be that it's leading up to the origins of the Green Lantern (duh!) The second part of the issue moved much faster than the first, amazingly enough, but the art seemed more complex, like there was more to take in. The two shots of Wildcat I mentioned were amazing, as was Flash's race to Vegas, and his fight with Capt. Cold. The parts discussing the "polotics" of the time period were very interesting, but much too short in my opinion.

I think where the first issue's story really blew me away, the art is what made this one so great. Funny, because I thought the art would end up being the only thing I liked about the series. Now, here Cooke has drawn me into the story, and then dazzled me with his ability to tell that story with pictures.

This will be one of the best series ever to see print, period. If you're not reading it you're missing out on perhaps the truest super hero story to come along in years, not to mention the most beautiful. Am I over analzying it? Perhaps. Am I not analyzing it enough? I'd say definitely, but I plan on coming back to this again, and again, and again.

It's not Watchmen, but in my opinion, it's shaping up to be one of the few stories since then that can, and will stand the test of time.


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