Tag Archives: Great Pages in Comic Book History

Great Pages In Comic Book History: Marvel Boy #4

Marvel Boy #4, p. 5. By Grant Morrison, J.G. Jones, Avalon Studios, Matt Milla, Richard Starkings & Wes Abbott.

Marvel Boy #4 features what is probably a more well known sequence, just a few pages after this one. Marvel Boy and Oubliette chase each other up a building in a phenomenal two pages made up of 12 Panel Grids. It’s truly fantastic, no doubt, but something about Page 5 resonates just a little bit more with me.

First of all, you’ve got the first two panels, which are just a textbook example of fantastic action sequential storytelling. Jones knows precisely where to place Marvel Boy in the frame in both panels to convey the perfect and proper level of momentum. I could just go back and forth between those two panels for a few minutes, and just study them.

Artist J.G. Jones also does some amazing things with the subway flare that makes Oubliette’s position, slamming out of a subway on a motorcycle (RIGHT?!?), so dynamic.

Avalon Studios and Mr. Milla also take a fantastic little chance in panel two with the color shift. I’m not a hundred percent sure what exactly in that Subway Station is causing it, nor do I really care. Green is certainly a predominant color throughout the series. Marvel Boy’s only surviving pal, Plex, is a green blob, his own costume is mostly green, there’s a lot of green all around. By bathing the whole panel in the color, it almost gives at a kind of strobe effect, as if an alternative to the Impact Burst you might find at that moment in the panel of a more traditional comic.

And then the last two tiers give us that great tumble and final pose that’s not just static, not a moment of Ex taking a breather, but one where she immediately fires at Marvel Boy.

There’s not a moment of pause in the action on the entire page.

Also of note, this issue is lettered in one of my favorite Comicraft fonts, Cutthroat. I first fell in love with it in the pages of Grant’s New X-Men, before that painful edict was handed down, and lowercase letters joined uppercase letters in a horrifying and completely un-comic-book-like combination.

So congratulations Page 5 of Marvel Boy #4. You are officially one of the Great Pages In Comics History.

Great Pages In Comic Book History: The Punisher #13

In what will be an ongoing feature on this site, I’m going to take a rather in depth look at some of my favorite and most inspirational individual pages throughout the great pantheon of my lazily-strewn-about-my-office comics collection.

From The Punisher #13 by Rick Remender,  Tony Moore, Mike Hawthorne,  Dan Brown, and Joe Caramagna

In a medium that gets its fair share of bad raps, the latest storyline in The Punisher gets its own volatile breed of bad rapsterism from many fans.  Write Rick Remender had the audacity to kill Frank Castle, gritty urban vigilante, and turn him into a Frankenstein’s Monster.  Remender had been tasked with integrating Castle into the Marvel Universe proper, which is the same where a family of weirdos has the biggest building in the city and keeps like four or five black holes in its sub-basement. This particular issue has Frank defending an underground city of monsters from an elite team of samurai monster killers.

I chose this page for reasons that should probably be pretty obvious.  What probably catches the eye first is the fantastic line art of Tony Moore and Mike Hawthorne.  Detailed, expressive, and in no way afraid to be completely and luxuriously exaggerated, it’s a fantastic style.  And Dan Brown’s colors simply enhance it.  Dig a little deeper, though (as I am frequently wont to do), and you notice the simple but wildly effective rhythm of the panel to panel storytelling.  Each image is a perfect segment of an even, 4/4 beat of action and sound (aided by the often overlooked art of lettering, here by Joe Caramagna). Thus, Remender is almost unfairly aided in the delivery of this incredibly stark but snappy bon mot from Frank Castle.

Yes, there’s a huge explosion on the following page, and yes, it is awesome.  But I like to linger on this one sequence, this one moment.  Frozen in amber, the joke can often carry as much weight, or even more, than the punchline itself.

And those are just a few of the reasons why these four panels, in sequence, form one of the Great Pages In Comic Book History.