RIP Adrienne Roy

DC Comics colorist Adrienne Roy passed away Dec 14, apparently after a lengthy battle with ovarian cancer.

In an era when 'four color comics' did not define a type of traditional superheroic comic book action so much as the literal limitations the medium placed on adding color to the illustrated action, Roy was a master; she brought flash, vibrancy and style to George Perez' inspired work on New Teen Titans...but for me it was the sense of mood and atmosphere she added--with an extremely limited palette, and for a variety of different artists--to literally hundreds of Batman family comics I will remember most.

The Batman then did not need deconstructionist writers variously breaking his back, destroying his city, killing him, zombifying him and/or painting him as hopelessly psychotic to make his world seem dark and shadowy. He had Adrienne Roy.

Thank you for your work, and rest in peace.

Christopher Allen
Dallas, TX

Enter--the Helicarrier!

Sometimes something gets made that one just must have. That thing for our household this holiday season is a toy I never expected anyone to make, despite it's unalloyed coolness: the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier! A fixture in the Marvel Universe from it's first appearance in Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's uniquely-Marvel answer to the sixties spy craze, Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.*, the Helicarrier rose to greatest prominence in the late-seventies 24-issue Marvel Godzilla comic book, as it and various of Nick's supporting agents pursued the great Toho monster across the Marvel universe:

Like so many supporting elements of that comic book universe, however--the Warriors Three, Zabu the sabertooth from the prehistoric Savage Land, Stegron the Dinosaur Man, the Prowler--it's charms always seemed appreciated by too small an audience to ever expect to see it brought to any kind of three-dimensional life. The success of the 'deformed' Super Hero Squad mini action figures line, however, has led to an animated TV series starring same...and a centerpiece therein is their 'flying headquarters,' which has been incarnated as a centerpiece toy for the Christmas season. And though it's name may have changed, and it's design been 'kiddified' consistent with the source--make no mistake that under the garish colours and superdeformed proportions is...the greatness of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier!

Fortunately, this household happens to have an eight-year-old boy who loves his superdeformed superheroes, who will be profiting from his father's decades-long Helicarrier mania this Christmas.

*--and S.H.I.E.L.D. stands for Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law Enforcement Division, no matter what irremediably more idiotic and less memorable moniker current deconstructionist Marvel talent insists on rebranding upon it; Stan Lee said that's what S.H.I.E.L.D. means, and that's the end of the conversation, for me.