A regular feature (with an awful name) wherein I post a few images from the Ghost Rider 2099 comic to show why it’s the greatest thing of all time*. These may not be the best bits in the comic, so you should go and discover the rest for yourselves? This week featuring the debut of Russell Brand 2099
BRASS SUN: THE WHEEL OF WORLDS
Written by Ian Edginton, Art by I.N.J. Culbard, lettering by Ellie De Ville
Out now! £25, published by Rebellion
Hello! This is a handsome 200+ page hardback collection of a comic originally serialised in 2000AD. The bare bones of the plot are: there’s a young girl called Wren, who hails from the fantasically-named world, ‘Hind Leg’. This planet is just one of many in a cosmic orrery. The ‘Brass Sun’ of the title is breaking down, adversely affecting the planets, and Wren embarks on a quest to repair it. There’s loads more to it, of course. Loads!
I had initial reservations before reading this, due to its ‘steampunk’ trappings. It’s a genre that feels rather moribund creatively, reduced as it has been to an uncritical celebration of Empire, featuring brown corsetry and goggles with extraneous cogs attached. I was unsure if Brass Sun would add anything new to the mix, or if it’d be just another generic science fiction story with some Cumberbatches jerking off to Tesla while a filigreed Derringer is removed from a garter.
It’d have to be a pretty neato comic to get past my petty genre snobbery, that’s for sure.
Cripes, it’s been a while, eh? Ever since Marvel announced Wolverine would be dying, I’ve just not had the stomach for comics. I mean, Wolvie, deceased? The Ol’ Chucklehead? Claws-n’-Baws? Howlin’ Jimmy Logan?
It was too much for me to bear, a final indignity in a world where Comics Promises seem to mean NOTHING. Sure, they can bring back Bucky and Jason Todd, they can put Ghost Rider in a car, but nope, no way, NO WAY I was going to tolerate them killing off my pal, the Hairy Sex-Badger himself, Wolverine. I can only assume it’s Disney’s fault. Since they took over? Let’s just say the House of Mouse would not be my Spouse (if I had to marry a corporate entity, y’know? And if I DID, it’d be Hexus the Living Corporation from Marvel Boy. I’m gonna want to marry something that’s alive, right? Not dead, like Wolvie? Who’s gonna marry Wolverine now? Deadman? THAT’S DC, NOT MARVEL, BOZO!). .
So, yeah, I stopped reading comics, cold turkey. One day, though, I was looking through my collection (looking but not reading. It’s a ‘respect for the dead’ thing), and I heard a ghostly ( masculine, not wispy) voice.
“Bub,” it said, “bub, I’m right here. Come on, get your hand in there, and open me up”
So, yeah, I dared to read some of the words on the cover of the issue in my hand, breaking my promise to myself of “NO MORE COMICS”, like Marvel broke their promise to keep me happy, no matter what, and there it was, the first American comic I’d ever bought, all those years ago, in Majorca: Wolverine #51 by Larry Hama and Andy Kubert (the one where Wolverine goes to a motel for sex, and Jubilee spies on him).
Opening it up, slowly at first, letting my eyes adjust, letting the words find purchase in my brain, I heard that reassuring, gruff voice again:
“That’s it, kid”, the Hallowed Relic in my hands growled, “looks like you found me”.
Wracked with pleasure the likes of which I hadn’t experienced since the first time I’d glimpsed these pages, I had realised something beyond my mildest dream:
Wolverine’s spirit was trapped in this comic, and only I knew about it.
We sat and chatted for a while, I put on my special gloves so as not to mark his divine pages, and he told me of how he’d been cursed to feel the pain of all his victims. That’s right, some vicious God or Comics Code-Approved Devil Analogue was making Wolverine experience as many comics of variable quality as Wolvie himself had inflicted on other people over the years.
Basically, he’s here to help me read and review the latest batch of cheapo comics back issues I’ve bought.
We’re here, we sneer, we’re gasping for a kir.
It was a simpler time, back in the heady days of 2008. You’d be able to pick up four comics for £1 at the Local Comics Proprieter, meaning you could skruk out some hard-earned dole money on all sorts of treats so magical you’d never, ever want to spend Real Funds on them. Treats such as Age of Apocalypse comics, Delano-era Animal Man, that Colossus minseries where it turns out he’s related to Rasputin the Sexy Monk…
You know, this kind of stuff.
These days, though, you go to the area where the dogshit comics that don’t sell are and accidentally end up spending £7 as they’re not 25p anymore, and are unpriced, and you’re too meek to say to the man behind the till, “No, I do not want to pay £3 for an issue of Nighstalkers, thank you”.
Seriously, but, comics shops: start organising and pricing things, please. I realise your stock-in-trade is ‘making money from the socially awkward’, but I dinnae like it. A boo hoo.
Hmmm, digression leads to complaint? Let’s get back on track, drifitng sideways through the nanomagick skin of Consensus Reality 4, to
a place of rememberance: it’s 2008, I’m buying a 25p comic from 1992, about comics that aren’t out yet, but at the time of writing, were out a long time ago.
See, reading an old comic is like travelling in time, which doesn’t matter anyway as all time happens at once in the Me-No-We-Us Crystal Dimensia of Absolute Post-Ego Subliminús.
But what does that mean to us, dearest browser, my luscious Fox of Fire, the ‘average joe’, who isn’t 90s enough to have the correct magickal time perception?
It pretty much means I’m about to write some stuff about a sampler comic from the beginning of DC Comics’ Vertigo line.
So, put on your best oversized Tripping Daisy tour jersey, round-framed shades, and a sneering look of unearned superiority, because things are about to get peachy keen!!!
A regular feature (with an awful name) wherein I post a few images from the Ghost Rider 2099 comic to show why it’s the greatest thing of all time*. These may not be the best bits in the comic, so you should go and discover the rest for yourselves
Ah, McKelvie, reliably supplying Britpop Face, while also perfectly capturing Harley Davis (MUCH BETTER NAME THAN HARLEEN FUCKING QUINZEL) and her “Oy oy saveloy! ‘Avin’ it, treacle!” persona (think Kira from This Life, seen through a nebulous scrolling beat-‘em-up ‘punk’ lens).
No’ like this hing, but:
Shiny, no-depth Larrocore with some hideous flag-waving, with fascistic overtones that are perhaps lost slightly on the American artist, Mark Brooks?
Ocht, if the Union Jack thing’s a problem for me, I really chose the wrong miniseries, eh?