Len Wein

Before Watchmen: Dollar Bill 1 (March 2013)

It’s Steve Rude doing forties superheroes, so Dollar Bill always looks phenomenal. But it’s Len Wein writing and apparently he had a bunch of homophobic statements he wanted to make so he gave them to this forties superhero so he could get away with them. Lots of anachronisms–oh, and some good, old fashioned Jewish banker […]

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Before Watchmen: Comedian 2 (September 2012)

Yeah, Azzarello definitely enjoys writing Comedian. There’s a lot of Vietnam War history here, a little American political history and almost no Watchmen connection. The Comedian could just be anyone. Azzarello never gives him anything superhero specific. So, as a comic, it’s good, but–and I can’t believe I’m saying it–it fails as a Before Watchmen […]

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Before Watchmen: Rorschach 1 (October 2012)

Wait, am I really supposed to take Rorschach seriously? Brian Azzarello’s writing of the narration suggests he’s never even seen the Watchmen movie, much less read the comic. It’s like he heard there was crazy narration and did a terrible job approximating it. The series is set in 1977, in New York City. Taxi Driver […]

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Before Watchmen: Ozymandias 6 (April 2013)

So Adrian has constant video surveillance of Dr. Manhattan but he gets important news from the newspaper? Shouldn’t he have agents or spies or… own a newspaper? I’m being too kind. I mean, if one assumes the finished scripts represent edited versions of Wein’s original draftings–assuming this situation might be a stretch, given the terrible […]

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Before Watchmen: Ozymandias 5 (March 2013)

A few issues ago, Wein did a bunch of foreshadowing of the eventual reveal in Watchmen–Adrian’s master plan. This issue he has Adrian trying to figure out that master plan, which means all the obvious details from before were just for the reader’s benefit. Wein never can figure out how or when to make Adrian […]

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Before Watchmen: Ozymandias 3 (November 2012)

Len Wein has been writing comics for decades. He’s definitely an adult. Why does he write dialogue Yogi Bear would find infantile? Except the stuff with the Comedian making gay jokes about Adrian. Those comments read a little meta given Wein’s awkward handling of Adrian’s sex life. Though Wein does write Eddie’s double entendres like […]

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Before Watchmen: Ozymandias 2 (October 2012)

Wein seems to think giving Adrian very purple narration suggests intelligence. It doesn’t. Adrian’s of “sleek” as an adjective is laughable. Then there’s the problem of the thugs oscillating between ostentatious dialogue and traditional moronic thug dialogue. Wein is trying really hard; it kills any chance the series has–which isn’t much, given Lee’s painfully static […]

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Before Watchmen: Ozymandias 1 (September 2012)

I don’t know what’s more amusing in Len Wein’s wordy exposé of Ozymandias–the idea of majoring in Alexander the Great in post-graduate work (seriously, did no editor explain to Wein how higher education functions) or Adrian being ashamed of his homosexual dalliances. Wein has Adrian recording his memoirs during the final events of the original […]

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Before Watchmen: Nite Owl 2 (October 2012)

Why didn’t they just combine this series with the Rorschach one? Straczynski probably gives Rorschach a third of the issue anyway. He’s juxtaposing Dan and Rorschach’s differing Mommy complexes, which would work for a combined book. But for one called Nite Owl? Doesn’t make any sense. There’s not a lot of callbacks to the original […]

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Before Watchmen: Nite Owl 1 (August 2012)

Given the problems, Nite Owl is a lot better than it should be. Straczynski writes Rorschach and Nite Owl well together. The humor of a gentler Rorschach helps it. Now for the problems. It’s trite and obvious; no surprise from Straczynski. He’s got Dan blathering about his fate with Laurie. Then there’s a line to […]

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Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre 2 (September 2012)

Cooke and Conner set up Laurie as a hippie superhero; it’s kind of cool and definitely a decent look at sixties San Francisco. What’s interesting–and something I don’t think the original series ever established–is Laurie goes the “with great power” route. She turns into Silk Spectre because she can help people if she does. It […]

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Before Watchmen: Minutemen 2 (September 2012)

And now I’m not sure with where Cooke takes things. He turns Minutemen, in its conclusion this issue, into a really tough, uncomfortable book. It’s like I can’t decide if it’s homophobic, if Cooke’s just using the material or if he’s just being straightforward about it. There’s probably no comfortable way to handle it. I’m […]

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Before Watchmen: Minutemen 1 (August 2012)

I’m a little surprised, but I only have one problem with Minutemen (at least the Darwyn Cooke material). Who the hell is Hollis Mason talking to? He’s basically summarizing his book, right? It doesn’t make any sense. The only surprises are Silk Spectre and the Comedian–she’s a model faking being an adventurer and he’s already […]

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The Untold Legend of the Batman 3 (September 1980)

Untold Legend limps across the finish line. Aparo’s art doesn’t even maintain interest (his “handsome man” standard is really boring and in this one a lot). But it’s mostly because Wein doesn’t have any interesting flashbacks this issue. There’s Commissioner Gordon, which should be more interesting–it briefly recounts Gordon’s time spent hunting Batman–but Wein doesn’t […]

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The Untold Legend of the Batman 2 (August 1980)

With Byrne gone–and Aparo taking all the art duties–Untold Legend actually becomes visually distinctive. While Aparo’s faces aren’t compelling, he does a lot of nice work this issue. Wein’s script covers a lot of events and Aparo has a particularly nice time with Alfred’s flashback. The war panels are excellent. This issue, Wein covers Robin […]

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Swamp Thing 33 (February 1985)

So while Swamp Thing has his adventure in “Pog,” Abby has her own one here. Except she’s mostly just in a framing sequence, not quite an adventure. For whatever reason, Moore brought the original appearance of Swamp Thing into continuity with this issue. So there’s a few pages of Abby with Cain and Abel–Moore’s starting […]

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Detective Comics 514 (May 1982)

What a weak issue. I mean… it’s really weak. It’s competent in a way someone spending sixty cents might not complain, but it’s not good at all. The feature is a Maxie Zeus story. Batman’s hunting him through a snow storm. There’s a scene where Dick and Alfred talk about worrying about him. It’s like […]

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Batman 255 (March-April 1974)

Batman fighting a werewolf with Neal Adams on art. It’s incredibly great looking. I don’t even remember the last time I read an Adams illustrated comic, so everything was a joy. His panel layouts here are just fantastic. It’s both action and horror (at the beginning) oriented and it’s simply masterful. Len Wein’s script is […]

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Detective Comics 500 (March 1981)

For issue 500, DC went with something rather celebratory for Detective Comics–it’s very oversized (84 pages) and has many Detective Comics regulars–back to Slam Bradley–making appearances. The opening Batman story, from Alan Brennert and Dick Giordano, is fantastic one about Batman going Earth-3 to save his parents. It’s a great, touching story. I love it. […]

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