Saturday, April 28, 2007

The History of the DC Universe…In Gettysburg

Denied by circumstances to attend this weekend’s Pittsburgh Comicon and with Mrs. FanBoyWonder out of town and thus without a “honey-do” list of things to do from Mrs. FBW, FanBoyWonder found ourselves taking a drive up to Gettysburg, PA—a short distance from our Maryland world headquarters—for the heck of it.

It was while in Gettysburg on Baltimore Street that we discovered a new retail location—a modest-looking but promising comic book store called S&M Comics run by a very nice guy whose name we forgot to commit to memory.

It was at S&M that we found and purchased a 2002 trade paperback copy of the 1986 sleeper classic History of the DC Universe by Marv Wolfman and George Perez.

Fresh from destroying the DC Multiverse during the previous year’s CRISIS on Infinite Earths, Wolfman and Perez followed up the CRISIS with by chronicling the new post-CRISIS history of the DCU after the very many pre-CRISIS parallel earths and the heroes therein were combined into a single universe.

The 2002 TBP with a beautiful cover by Alex Ross (pictured above) wonderfully complements Perez’s meticulously detailed breakdowns and pencils. Inker Karl Kesel fully complements Perez and proves why he was one DC’s best inkers of the 1980s.

Unfortunately both for writer Wolfman and for the reader, his definitive history became obsolete from just about the time it came out back in 1986 and chronology looks hopelessly quaint two decades later. Don’t blame Wolfman but rather DC’s liaise faire dealings with story continuity.

Yet if you find this in a fine comic book store like S&M or even at a Border’s near you, the text provides at least a broad outline of the DCU but it’s worth the $9.95 cover price just to see the visuals of Perez.


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