This Week in Panels: Week 38

June 13th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

Ah, what a world we live in where Booster Gold himself (well, Keith Giffen too, I guess) is the one carrying DC these days. Let’s get with the panels.

Avengers Academy #1
Christos Gage and Mike McKone

Batman #700
Grant Morrison, Tony Daniel, Frank Quitely, Scott Kolins, Andy Kubert and David Finch

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This Week in Panels: Week 29

April 11th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

I’m not sure who Oberon Sexton really is (he’s the Joker), but I bet he reads This Week in Panels every Sunday.

The A-Team: Shotgun Wedding #3
Joe Carnahan, Tom Waltz and Stephen Mooney

Avengers: The Origin #1
Joe Casey and Phil Noto

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On the Unlikely Whiteness of Imhotep

March 30th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

Last week, I wondered aloud about the skin tone of a character in Jonathan Hickman and Dustin Weaver’s upcoming time-spanning SHIELD. In short, Imhotep, Egyptian doctor and Agent of SHIELD (Officer of SHIELD?), was modern-day white, rather than ancient Egypt brown.

I emailed Dustin Weaver with a link to the post, and he wrote back pretty quickly. I’m paraphrasing, but essentially, it was a mistake in the production process. He’s done a lot of research on the book to try and make sure things make sense, and that’s something that slipped through the cracks when doing color tests. He’s gonna try to get them fixed in the trade, if Marvel’s amenable to it. He’s a pretty cool guy.

Just an update!

edit: I asked Dustin to quote a bit of his email and he agreed. In his own words:

Oh, man, you’re right! I’m embarrassed and shocked that I didn’t catch this mistake before it was finished. I’m surprised nobody caught this mistake.
The 2 page spread of the Egyptians fighting the Brood was the very first thing that got colored for this book and it was the testing page for the style of this whole series. I think it went through 4 different versions before we got something we liked. I think with all this back and forth with the style of the thing we missed the fact that they were white. I feel pretty stupid. I seriously did a lot of research to get a lot of the details right. To miss something so blatant is embarrassing.

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We made it cool to wear medallions and say “Hotep!”

March 24th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

Jonathan Hickman and Dustin Weaver, two very talented creators, are the creative team on Marvel’s new book SHIELD, which is easiest describe as historical fiction in the Marvel Universe. Here’s the pitch:

Leonardo Da Vinci was an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. So was Issac Newton. So were Imhotep and Zhang Heng and Galileo and many other geniuses throughout time. They were the first heroes to defeat Galactus and the Brood and turn Celestials back. They saved the world long before Captain America or Iron Man were ever born, but what does this mean to our heroes of today? What does this mean to Nick Fury? Do not miss this Marvel Comics masterpiece that fans will be talking about for decades to come. All the insanity is courtesy of JONATHAN HICKMAN (FANTASTIC FOUR, SECRET WARRIORS, Nightly News) and DUSTIN WEAVER (X-MEN).

It’s a neat idea, the sort of thing What Ifs are made of, and while I’m not super excited about it, I’m a little interested. Sort of thing you skim to see if you want it, or maybe just cop the hardcover a ways down the line. CBR recently posted an exclusive unlettered preview of the first issue, with nine story pages and one cover. We get a look at (and these are educated guesses going by the text above the issue) Zhang Heng staring down a Celestial (maybe Gammenon the Gatherer?), Da Vinci strapping on a flight harness, and Galileo getting ready to face Galactus and his herald. That leaves one guy facing down the Brood. He’s dressed in Egyptian garb, which makes him Imhotep. Here’s what he looks like:

Here is the problem with that image: he looks like a generic white guy. Imhotep, to my understanding, was worshiped in Greece in the form of a brown-skinned man. Much of the art I’ve seen, or books I’ve read (granted, this was years ago), supports that idea. I don’t know whether he was black or not, but I think it’s fair to say that he wasn’t white, either.

The subject of the race of ancient Egyptians is an intensely frustrating one, and one likely to not see any closure ever. I’m reasonably sure that everything I have read says that the Egyptians were not white, but they weren’t black (as we know the term), either. They were somewhere in-between, some flavor of brown.

The thing about the race of the ancient Egyptians is that the water is severely muddied by past racism. Egypt was essentially claimed by white scholars and separated from the rest of Africa, which served to further the idea that blacks were intellectually inferior to whites.

(Another similar instance of this is the story of Ham, Shem, and Japheth, the three sons of Noah. The three sons theoretically represent three races: African, Semitic, and European. As Ham was cursed in the story, and blacks were descended from him, they were also cursed. This is taught in black churches and is the worst kind of self-loathing there is. If you believe this, please, wake up. Don’t be ignorant of your own history.)

Later, Imhotep as a black man was fully embraced by afrocentrists, people desperate to rebuild a culture that had been stolen from them. Having the father of medicine and architecture be a black man is a huge boon to the self-esteem of an oppressed people.

You can see how this can get very complicated, and very touchy, very quickly.

I’m not here to say that Imhotep was blacker than the nighttime sky of Bed-Stuy in July. I don’t know, I can’t say, I’m not qualified for that. I do feel confident in saying that he was probably brown. He was definitely African. He was an amazingly smart man.

But, he wasn’t white. And the rest of the Egyptians on that page– they wouldn’t have been white, either.

I’d like to enjoy SHIELD. But honestly, stuff like this makes me a lot less likely to pick it up. Maybe that’s just me.

edit: I emailed Dustin Weaver to ask, and he said that the coloring is a mistake, something that just slipped through the cracks. Hopefully it’ll be fixed in the trade. Either way, Weaver is a cool dude, so I’m trying the first issue at the very least.

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This Week in Panels: Week 12

December 13th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

Absolutely massive set of comics this week. What If: World War Hulk is my pick of the week, even despite the crappy Thor story and the even worse comedy stuff at the end. The main story rocks.

Adventure Comics #5
Geoff Johns, Sterling Gates, Jerry Ordway and Francis Manapul

Batgirl #5
Bryan Q. Miller and Lee Garbett

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Ultimatum Edit Week 2: Day Two

December 28th, 2008 Posted by Gavok

Yesterday’s venture showed us Spider-Man and Hulk creating a bond of pure friendship.

Speaking of friendship, let’s give a look at what’s going on with Iron Man and Captain America.

While thanking co-writer ManiacClown goes without saying, a special thanks to Syrg and Gorilla Salad for their assistance.

Join us tomorrow to see Yellowjacket and Hawkeye play everyone’s favorite game: Where In the World Is Janet Van Dyne?

Day Three!
Day Four!
Day Five!
Day Six!
Day Seven!

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