Luke Cage, keeping it realer than most

March 12th, 2014 Posted by david brothers

Richard Corben - Cage - fence

Richard Corben, Brian Azzarello, Jose Villarubia. CAGE, 2002.

I re-read this one the other week. It’s one of the comics I got way back when I was getting back into comics, and was probably one of my first Corben comics, too. I hadn’t read it in years, and I’ve been thinking about it a lot since I re-read it. It looks like the last edition debuted in 2002, and the series hasn’t been re-packaged since, which is a shame. The intro to the hardcover, written by Darius Jones, is called “Straight-up Real Nigga,” something I can’t imagine Marvel ever associating with Cage in the here-and-now, but also an idea I’d love to see the character actually be able to deal with in the comics themselves.

Corben and colorist Villarubia put in work on this page, and it’s probably my favorite image of the character. There’s no tiara, no yellow shirt, nothing that screams “This is Luke Cage!”, but it’s still signifying nonetheless. You get the sense that he’s dangerous, he’s mad, and he’s invincible. You can hurt him, you can knock him down, but you don’t get to win. That background Villarubia threw behind him in panel 4 is great, a bloody sunset that follows in Cage’s wake.

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On Emma Rios and Osborn

April 11th, 2011 Posted by david brothers

From Osborn 3, words by Kelly Sue DeConnick, art by Emma Rios, color art by José Villarubia:

There’s a lot to like here. Rios’s art is looser, messier than it was on Hexed and Strange. Villarubia’s colors really work, too, with that orange and purple putting me in mind of Frazer Irving and early ’90s X-Men comics simultaneously.

What’s crucial for me is how she’s showing speed and, to a lesser extent maybe, impacts. Those thick, chunky lines are nice, but I like how she’s restricting the speed lines to certain parts of the body–blondie’s arms and body are a blur of lines and motion, while his face is fairly still in comparison. His tattoos are distinct, but look at his waist. All blur.

And again on page 2, where Norman Osborn delivers what’s basically a 2011-era Kirby Punch. Blondie’s gone flying, dominating the panel, but he’s still in motion. Osborn’s the one with the blur now.

This is nice work. Love that pose on Osborn on page 3, too. Here’s a preview of Hexed.

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