Sad news just in -- please see below. Today's scheduled post follows.
From Comic Book Resources (http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=32956):
"Writer Clifford Meth shares the sad news that comics legend Gene Colan has died. He was 84. Colan was in poor health for some time and passed away following a broken hip and complications from liver disease.
Colan is considered one of the premier Silver Age Marvel artists, illustrating some of the best known comics characters of all time including Captain America, Doctor Strange and the characters he's most associated with, Daredevil, as well as Blade, a character he co-created with writer Marv Wolfman. Colan also contributed work at DC Comics, with the majority of it seen in the pages of “Batman” and “Detective Comics.” Colan's last major achievement came in 2009, contributing to "Captain America" #601 with Ed Brubaker, which was awarded the Eisner Award for Best Single Issue.
CBR will have a full remembrance of Colan on Friday by columnist George Khoury. In the meantime, those looking to learn more about this major artistic talent should read this panel report from 2009’s Comic-Con International, our interview with Colan from 2009 or this extensive interview that looks back on Colan’s career conducted in 2000.
The staff of CBR would like to offer their condolences to Colan’s family and friends. Comics has truly lost one of its greatest artists."
Now, on to today's regularly scheduled post:
Doug: Wrap-up time, kids! Today's sixth installment features the conclusion of my essay on Dr. Henry Pym. It may seem dated, given some of the revelations Jim Shooter has released on his own blog. Here's my ending, and as this begins I'm speaking of my pursuit of a complete run of The Avengers:
I accomplished that feat in the early 1990’s when I purchased a VG copy of Avengers #1. What a satisfying conclusion to a fan’s dream project! Yet to this day I’ve not read the issues where Hank finally broke down, betrayed his fellows, beat his wife, and then seemingly redeemed himself. I’ve read all of his subsequent appearances, but not those issues. My excuse at the time was that the art was too bad (and I still feel that way); but as I’ve matured and as I’ve seen different writers come and go, some embellishing and other (recent) authors desecrating the team’s mythos I’ve decided I just don’t want to see Hank in that state. As I alluded to at the beginning of this essay, Hank Pym has always been one of my favorite Avengers. And even though I’ve been led to believe that he redeemed himself by single-handedly defeating the Masters of Evil, writers just won’t let the guy have any peace. I’ve read his time in the West Coast Avengers as Dr. Pym; I’ve seen his return as Giant-Man in the pages of The Avengers volumes I and III. But writers never take him seriously today. The baggage is as large as his Goliath-sized boots – those few issues where he was shown as weak, perhaps mentally ill yet at the least mentally disturbed, have dogged him for 25 years. When Mark Millar had a tabula rasa in the pages of The Ultimates, it was formulaic-Hank who took after Jan with an aerosol can of bug spray. I was so disappointed, and so depressed. When Millar had the opportunity to correct, or at least amend, the character assassination of the early 1980’s, he went the easy route. Give ‘em the old, familiar Hank. The producers of the Ultimate Avengers animated movies have perpetrated a similar injustice, characterizing Hank as a loudmouth jerk. It seems to me they were writing for Hawkeye; trouble was, ol’ Hawk wasn’t in the flicks.
I don’t begrudge Jim Shooter for that last bout of madness, at least the bout that I knew. I only wish he’d cared enough in the midst of his very good term as writer to bring back Hank’s honor, reestablishing him as a founding member to be revered and not reviled. A new love interest, the occasion to prove himself to his team with a fresh start, perhaps even another costume or name change… anything to have given one of my heroes his just due. A guy with the stature of a giant, but not that of a bug most people just step on…