Battle Hymn -- NO SPOILERS!

compound

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Just finished reading this Image mini-series, in one go.

Basically, it's a very Ultimates-esque take on the archetypal Invaders-style World War 2 hero team.

I understand it was plagued by severe delays, but reading it all at once, I must insist that Marvel ought to give B. Clay Moore a chance to write at least one Ultimates-related story.

Seriously, I'm relatively familiar with the whole canon of the cynical, "postmodern", superheroes-being-manipulated-by-the-government trope, but I honestly believe that Moore has a better grasp than most writers about how to expand on the theme in ALL areas, from inter-character dynamics, to how it affects battlefield strategies, and power relations, in the larger scale.

Okay, so Moore's got scheduling issues... So what? Ultimates readers are used to it.

Just hire the guy already! Read this, and you'll realize why I'm being so adamant. It's a bit formulaic, but it just works, and makes me grin like a big dorky kid on one page, before proceeding to another jaw-dropping oh-**** moment, on the next.

Of course, I realize that part of the reason he can get away with a lot of this stuff is because he's writing analogs of established characters, but he gives them enough unique personality quirks and individualized nueroses to care about them as original characters, in their own right. So when a major status quo change happens, it does feel like a big deal, and not another inconsequential what-if or Elseworlds scenario.

I'll post some covers and sample artwork here by Jerry Haun, in a few minutes. It's goregous stuff. Comparable to Hitch, or Ex Machina's Tony Harris. In the meantime...

Preview of the opening scenes of Battle Hymn #1 @ BrokenFrontier
http://www.brokenfrontier.com/headl...77&PHPSESSID=1af9cd382d47e985dffd168c4705c04a

Interview with writer B. Clay Moore about the premise of Battle Hymn
http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=3962

Review of Battle Hymn #1 @ TheFourthRail
http://www.thefourthrail.com/reviews/snapjudgments/022105/battlehymn1.shtml
 
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compound

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Okay, I really couldn't find any non-spoiler art that wasn't already linked in one of the features above.

I urge you to have a look at the preview. Seriously, just give this a chance.

The TPB is not yet out, but I'm fairly certain that it will have a good deal of context-setting extras, on top of what is already very solid superhero story-telling.

If you like Ultimates or Supreme Power, I'd whole-heartedly recommend this for you.
 
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ProjectX2

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Interesting. I'll try and remember to attain this in the future.
 

MoS

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Glad you liked this, I'm a big B. Clay Moore fan. Jeremy Haun's art is just amazing in this book.

Now try Hawaiian Dick, both the first trade the current series (on issue #3 of 4), about a sort of down-on-his-luck private detective in Hawaii in the 50s.

Expatriate, the "pop noir spy fi" series currently on issue #4, is also very good.
 

compound

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Rhyo said:
Glad you liked this, I'm a big B. Clay Moore fan. Jeremy Haun's art is just amazing in this book.

Now try Hawaiian Dick, both the first trade the current series (on issue #3 of 4), about a sort of down-on-his-luck private detective in Hawaii in the 50s.
I actually checked out Battle Hymn on the strength of the first Hawaiian Dick TPB.

I was somewhat annoyed by the odd pacing -- it felt like the story jumped too erratically from pound-the-pavement beat work, to white-knuckle car chases, to supernatural overtones just a bit too hapahazardly for my liking.

However, the characters were all so well-realized and smartly written that I didn't mind the jerky way that the events unfolded.

At first, Byrd felt like Bigby Wolf from Fables transplanted to 1950s Waikiki but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. And I like the way he's flawed, and maybe a little too rogueish for his own good, but still obviously skilled at what he does, without coming across like, say, a stock Warren Ellis detective.

And the two native supportive characters successfully walk the fine line between enjoyably familiar genre stereotypes and developed original creations, which is no small feat.

(It's almost the reverse of my assessment of Howard Shum's Gun Fu, which I loved in a visceral action-adventure movie kind of way, but was absolutely lacking in characterization and real sympathy for the characters.)

I bought the first issue of Last Resort, intrigued by the gang-war premise, and the exploration of the relationship between "development" and multi-cultural organized crime (I was a failed Economics major, but the social factors affecting the economic growth of cities and cultures, especially in the tropics, remains a pet topic of mine). But when I realized the extent of the delays, I resolved to just buy the collection. (Still waiting patiently, obviously!)

Rhyo said:
Expatriate, the "pop noir spy fi" series currently on issue #4, is also very good.
Likewise, I'll be getting this in TPB format. I'm very reassured by Image's prompt scheduling, based on how quickly the first volumes of Amazing Joy Buzzards and Girls were released.
 
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compound

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While on the subject of the awesomness that is B. Clay Moore, viddy this solicit. Looks extremely promising. Ships in January.

modernman.jpg



Note: please don't confuse it with that other, similarly-titled, zipotone-obsessed Steranko-rama pastische, Middle Man, published by Viper, and written by that Other Lost Guy Who Isn't Lindelhof (I never spell his name correctly, so you'll just have to look it up).
 
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ourchair

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compound said:
Note: please don't confuse it with that other, similarly-titled, zipotone-obsessed Steranko-rama pastische, Middle Man, published by Viper, and written by that Other Lost Guy Who Isn't Lindelhof (I never spell his name correctly, so you'll just have to look it up).
From hereonforward all Lost alumni shall be referred to as Lost Guy # 1 (lindelhof), Lost Guy # 2 (grillo-marxuach), et al.
 

compound

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ourchair said:
From hereonforward all Lost alumni shall be referred to as Lost Guy # 1 (lindelhof), Lost Guy # 2 (grillo-marxuach), et al.
You know what would be really funny? If the two Latino writers with the double-barreled surnames entered into a common-law gay marriage and adopted a kid. He'd be named something like Pedro Aguirre-Scacasa-Grillo-Marxuach.

Oh, just great. Now I've hijacked my own thread. Getting back on topic...
 
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compound

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ShaggyMarco picked the Invaders as the subject for the current round of The Ultimization Game. However, I can't help but feel like Battle Hymn already *is* the Ultimate Invaders, under a different name.

Look, I don't wanna give away too many spoilers because I absolutely loved this book. But if you wanna see the Invaders written with the cynicism of Ultimates, you need to get the TPB of this. (I believe the collection is titled Farewell to the Golden Age.)

Seriously, B. Clay Moore could be the next Brubaker or Matt Fraction (i.e. indie darling turned up-and-coming superstar writer), if one of the major publishers just gave him the opportunity to do so.

On a related note, though, I'm surprised at how many negative reviews there are for Battle Hymn. In the interest of fairness, if you'd like to read some opposing viewpoints to counter-balance my unbridled enthusiasm, then check out these links:

http://www.graphicnovelreview.com/?p=16

http://comics.ign.com/articles/699/699605p1.html

http://www.happyharborcomics.com/reviews/skewed-perspectives/page_battle_hymn_tp.htm

They *do* raise some vaild points; although I obviously enjoyed the series in spite of its faults.
 

E

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I mentioned in the WW Chicago thread that I picked this up at B. Clay More's table, and he and Jeremy Haun both signed it. It looked like a cool idea for a book, and I'm anxious to start it.

I've moved it up to next on my "to-read" list.
 

E

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Finally finished this...and I really enjoyed it!

Basically the story is about the government's first assemblage of super heroes during WW2. But there's a hidden agenda.

Compound was right in calling it "a very Ultimates-esque take on the archetypal Invaders-style World War 2 hero team" That's exactly what is is. The writing isn't as smooth but it doesn't need to be; it's not that kind of book.

Highly recommended. Here it is in the UC store: http://store.ultimatecentral.com/in...5654&x=Battle_Hymn_Farewell_To_The_Golden_Age
 

E

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So... Nobody else picked this up, then? :(

I did - see my post above yours.

I picked it up in Chicago last year. Jeremy Haun and B. Clay Moore signed it for me. They had a table there and I picked it up because I liked the art, and because Jeremy Haun was very cool and nice, talking to me about some of his Marvel work

It's funny you bumped this because I was looking at my bookshelf last night looking for something to re-read and I picked up Battle Hymn.
 

compound

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Whenever I reread this (twice now, since I first bought it), I start feeling disgruntled that Moore and Haun aren't doing Ultimates 3.

I realize they don't have a perfect track record for putting stuff out according to schedule, but I honestly doubt the lags would be significantly worse than Loebureira's.

And really, if Battle Hymn proves anything, it's that they know how to present sensational interpersonal drama among superheroes, AND government deception, AND high octane fight sequences AND.... *sigh*
 
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