Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Golden Age

James Robinson.

If you don't know the name, you're either one of those guys who reads the most spectacular medium in the world for the pictures (you poor, sad idiot) or you're a neophyte that has yet to develop a taste for the sensational stylings of a master. For me, the introduction to James Robinson came in the form of a limited series, turned trade paperback, known as The Golden Age.

As a reader fascinated by the thousands, and I do mean thousands, of mystery men who littler the history of the comic worlds, I was immediately captured by the promise of a tale encapsulating hundreds of them. I had no idea what I was in for, but like so many others, I expected that the climax would belong to the likes of Superman, Green Lantern or Wonder Woman. In many ways it did, but in one, very important way, it did not. It belonged also to characters too meaningless to mention, and one character who never quite became the legend he deserved. Except, perhaps, in The Golden Age. His name was Captain Comet.

Its exactly that sort of goofy, senseless name that speaks of a simpler time. A Golden Age of comics, when heroes were known as Mystery Men, and a World War threatened to unleash the venom of Fascism on the world. In a moden world that has no place for the likes of The Blue Beetle, Captain Comet or Booster Gold, it remains refreshing to see that great writers are not confined by the gritty desires of the modern market. Robinson rises above the crowd by ignoring the popular themes of modern comics and focusing on these long forgotten names.

The book struck me as wonderfully different from everything else. It opened my eyes to other Robinson works, including Starman (the greatest complete super-hero series in comic history), and the Justice Society of America which he helped to relaunch.

I'm gonna ditch the writing right now, but I'll have more to say on this series in a bit. Until it!