Jun 22, 2017

The 40 Years of Comics Project - The Weekly Graphic Novel: Week 49 - Marvel Graphic Novel #11: Void Indigo, 1984

#40YearsofComics, 2000s, adult comics, Collecting, criticism, graphic novels, links, NBM Publishing, review, Spanish Fly, Tobalina

This week's graphic novel marks the beginning of one of the many Steve Gerber series that did not get a chance to have a proper ending. Gerber's tempestuous relationship with his publishers, most especially Marvel, probably had something to do with Void Indigo, the comic series that continues the story begun in the graphic novel, only lasting 2 issues. The given reason was controversy over the violence of the series (which I'll comment on in the next couple of days), but given that Gerber had recently quit Marvel, there's a good chance he wasn't given a fair shake.

I'm also fascinated by the fact that, apparently, this was meant to be a reboot of Hawkman (which makes sense with the reincarnated hero searching for his love), and I kind of wish it had happened. It would have incorporated both the alien and ancient prince versions of the character quite nicely, with the added advantage of Gerber's trademark wit to keep things from getting too serious.

But let's think about the graphic novel for a moment - I had mentioned last week in my review of an issue of Heavy Metal that a complete graphic novel in that publication, due to its use of European output, was a bit different from the North American understanding of the term. I argued that a North American graphic novel tends to have a bit more of a focused and satisfying story arc, one in which the reader feels they've experienced a complete narrative. Of course, a scant week later, Void Indigo disproves my point. Though there is some narrative completion here, this volume really serves as a set up for the comic series. In fact, there's a flyer attached in the binding advertising the coming series. This being the case, today's graphic novel is really issue number one of the series, rather than a novel in its own right. And while the definition of the term "novel" might be a bit unclear itself, the implication in publishing something under this name is that there will be a satisfying narrative to be experienced. Such is not quite the case of Void Indigo.

That said, I'm interested to read the two issues of the series, since they're written by Mr. Gerber, who can do no (or little, at least) wrong in my books.


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