i loved image comics, warts and all.
i was in high school at that momentous time when basically all of my favorite artists of the day decided to pack up their sizable talents from the cozy confines of marvel, strike out on their own and create something fresh. i was just starting to take drawing seriously at the time and the pioneering spirit of mcfarlane, lee, liefeld, portacio, et al just electrified the passion for drawing which i still hold. say what you will about the early days of image (etched foil hologram covers) and their eventual contribution to the implosion of the industry, but it was still pretty cool to see all of those guys playing in their own, self-constructed sandbox.
it's no surprise, then, that i unabashedly awaited the arrival of image united in my local comic shop. the old gang was back together and playing together in that sandbox again! they were all drawing their own characters! in the same book! on the same page!
cozy and excited in my office chair, i began to read through the first issue a few days ago. and i was conflicted. alternately dazzled by some of the jam pages (an image hallmark) and deflated by any kind of interesting story (an image hallmark...c'mon kirkman!), i realized that this book is pretty much everything that it was advertised to be: a complete throwback to the early days of image. warts and all.
i don't know that the gimmick of everyone working on their character every time they appear is necessarily working. larsen's savage dragon in particluar looks rushed, but then again, i'm no fan of his work. mcfarlane's spawn characters don't look as tight as they did back in the day, despite how awesome the art jam that graces his haunt book's pages looks. liefeld is liefeld. he is what he is. and i still kind of dig that...maybe on a purely nostalgic level. silvestri looks like he can still deliver the goods. and portacio hasn't been given much to do yet, but his "fortess" character looks pretty cool...in an early 90's sort of way. i always felt valentino always image's weak link artistically, but props to him for suiting up again.
at any rate, when i finished the first issue, i wasn't so much disappointed as much as reminded of what those early days of image were like. i think i may still pick up the second issue, but if it's more of the same (as i suspect it will be), i'll neatly bag and file those two issues in my collection. it's not like there aren't 100 other image books in there that i can read when i need my fix of early 90's nostalgia.
and some of those even feature jim lee.
Listening to: skeletonwitch: beyond the permafrost
Reading: image united
Watching: masters of the universe: season one