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Author Topic: Steve Englehart's Coyote returns to print  (Read 9503 times)
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Super Monkey
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« on: September 17, 2005, 01:29:44 AM »

The long out of print series will return this August when the first of five trade paperbacks collecting "Coyote" is released by Image Comics. The collections will follow the conclusion of the "Dark Detective" series at DC. CBR News spoke with writer Steve Englehart to bring new fans up to speed on the character and what the future holds for "Coyote."

"'Coyote' was something I first did in the early '80s for Eclipse. I did it with Marshal Rogers," Englehart told CBR News from his Oakland, CA home Monday afternoon. "I wrote a 60 page graphic album, the origin of Coyote, which Marshall then took and divided somehow into seven parts, which ran in Eclipse Monthly magazine and was later collected. It had a fairly small print run in its original form."

Read more here: http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=5314
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2005, 03:12:16 AM »

YES!

Ha ha!

Ever listen to the radio, and you would switch to the middle of this utterly fantastic song that made you almost forget to keep your eyes on the road when you're driving? But then, the song ends and since you don't know who sang the song or the song's name, you have this terrible feeling that you'll never hear that song, ever again?

This comparison is inexact; everyone knows the title and creators of COYOTE. But it is so hard to find in issue form, and so expensive, too, that it might as well be a song you never hear again.

I am so mad at myself for getting rid of my Epic-comics version of COYOTE (my first exposure to the character). In fact, I'm so mad I could KICK myself for getting rid of my COYOTEs.
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« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2005, 03:33:23 AM »

It's for pre-order at Amazon, so you should be able to find it now. I placed it in my wish list for later Smiley They have it for $10.36

Book Description
Hot on the heels of their successful reuniting for DC's Dark Detective, Englehart & Rogers present more of their classic, groundbreaking work. This collection includes the rare 60-page origin story of Coyote, unseen for 20 years - plus the three-part origin series of Scorpio Rose. Yes, three-part... because we're throwing in the legendary unpublished third issue, in the synopsis and layout form it reached before vanishing like a gypsy witch.


This whole thread was made with you in mind. Smiley So you better buy it Wink
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« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2005, 06:23:04 AM »

Quote from: "Super Monkey"
This whole thread was made with you in mind.  So you better buy it.


I don't deserve a moderator like you, SuperMonkey.  Cheesy You're one classy guy.
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« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2005, 07:37:40 AM »

More for Julian:

Today's/yesterday's Comics Reporter has a link to an article by Joe Casey on Englehart's Avengers:

http://www.comicsreporter.com/index.php/joe_casey_talks_steve_englehart1/

Tom Spurgeon inroduces the link like this:

Quote
This is the run where Pat Harrington lookalike Swordsman shows up at headquarters with his hooker girlfriend, some dead people are fought, some pyramids are visited, some time-traveling is done, and eventually someone ends up marrying a sentient plant so that a new Jesus can be born.

Englehart was one of the more interesting mainstream writers of that period, mostly because he was so straightforward -- I can't imagine anyone mining his comics for their oddball potential (like you could do with Gerber or Wein). What you saw was pretty much what you got. Any weirdness to Englehart's comics seemed to come from the general strangeness of the time, and, well, the times were pretty darn strange. My guess is you could extend Casey's point about the superhero=everyman aspect to Marvel's silly cosmic epics to the fact that a lot of the material was written by decidedly non-out there figures.


Actual article:
http://www.godlandonline.com/genre/001/englehart01.html
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« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2005, 05:09:51 AM »

Thanks for the article, Telle.

The writer of it was absolutely right about several points. The first is that Steve Englehart didn't go for oddity or weirdness for the sake of weirdness; he took the Marvel Universe seriously, and this showed in how real he developed the people and places to be, and how intelligently his characters behaved. He did not talk down to his audience; he did not have things that were "just for kids."

It really stinks when in a movie or comic you can outhink the characters in the film. Not with "Celestial Madonna." Every character action makes sense. They suspect they're up against the Kree - so they consider calling Captain Marvel, for instance.

"The superhero as everyman to a weird world" point applies to some characters. For instance, Hawkeye was clearly Englehart's favorite character, and by far the most down to earth of the Avengers; he is the mouthpiece for many views one can imagine Englehart saying himself, as when he sprays the Titanium Man with a concussion arrow, saying "Man, stateside everybody's trying to get me with their politics, and now you're trying to hit me up with YOUR politics! Frankly - I'm bored!" Hawkeye's comical responses and honest bewilderment to the Mantis's change into aetherialness made him - though he was only a supporting character - the guy who stole the show in "Celestial Madonna."

A fellow Englehart fan told me that "this story would have been improved with Captain America." I disagreed; I said that this story would not have been what it was without Hawkeye. It was more important to recognize the development that was going on in Cap's comic - the Nomad storyline - than have him be a fifth wheel in "Celestial Madonna" just for old times' sake.

That said, I think the writer of this article missed the point of "Celestial Madonna" in several ways.

A lot of emphasis is paid to the huge, cosmic scope in "Celestial Madonna," yes, but the reason "Celestial Madonna" worked was because it was intensely personal. It was about what the characters were feeling and thinking. The cosmic events, while brilliantly conceived (Kang being two men at once, the Space Phantom, the intelligent plants of the Cotati), are almost an afterthought meant to frame the story. There are, as near as I can discover, four stories with one theme in "Celestial Madonna:"

1) Kang's Story, which is a quest for redemption. What an amazing concept - the idea that a villain can be redeemed! Not by a hackneyed "scared straight" plot right out of an afterschool special, but one honest to Kang and his motivation: conquest, which drives Kang's existence, is inherently empty. Rama-Tut seeks to undo the greatest and most pointless evil he did as Kang, the quest for the Celestial Madonna, aiding the Avengers. Nonetheless, Rama-Tut was powerless to aid the Avengers in one key way: he was terrified to see the events happen just the way he remembered them, down to the death of the Swordsman.

2) The Swordsman's story, which also is a quest for redemption, which finished halfway through. Here was a character made sympathetic because he's a loser; you're instantly on his side because the poor Swordsman can't do anything right. Finally, in the end, rejected by the woman that didn't love him as much as he loved her, the Swordsman throws himself in front of a beam meant for her. In the end, Swordsman's sacrifice redeems himself, though he never knew it. His last words were "I'm just one of those guys that just don't count." Followed by the last panel: "Every Avenger counts, Swordsman. Every one." Truer words were never spoken.

3) Mantis's story. Wow, was Mantis ever a character! Proud, vain, selfish, pleasure-seeking, envious - a credit to Englehart is that he made her likeable BECAUSE of how imperfect she was. Her redemption was achieved by uniting with the Cotati, who completed her.

4) The origin of the Vision. This one was, by far, the best part of "Celestial Madonna." It too, is a story of redemption, but redemption in the form of the Vision discovering his soul, his humanity by learning of his heritage and his past, and learning that his quest for humanity is not futile. There also is redemption for his creator, Horton as well; he regrets his selfishness and realizes his follies.

It does credit to how tightly "Celestial Madonna" was plotted that Englehart could unite the origin of the Vision with the other tales at least thematically.

Notice that of all the characters that were restored to life in AVENGERS #131, two of them are conspicuously out of place: Frankenstein's Monster and the Human Torch. Why them? Steve never does anything without a reason.

The reason for the Human Torch is obvious - to pass on the important plot point that the Vision and the Human Torch are one. Why Frankenstein, though? He was there to be compared to the Vision. Witness this quote by the Human Torch in the Vision's body:

    "Is this Hell? Has my pseudo-life so offended the Lord that I'm damned to be reborn and die until the end  of time?" [/list]

    Frankenstein never put it better.

    But ultimately, the Vision's quest for humanity is saved by his creator's own humanity pouring into him at the last moment. Horton refuses to remove the Vision's memory. There again, is redemption for the selfish, greedy Horton too:  

      "I conceived him myself with no one's AID! And though I had only the basest motives, I find I poured what little soul I possessed into HIM! I HATED myself when I realized what a HYPOCRITE I'd been - let other hate me - but I LOVE him! He's the HIGH POINT OF ALL MY DAYS ON EARTH!"[/list]

      Can you not help but get choked up at the power of those words? If not, you should die of no-heart disease.

      Most of all, one thing that made Celestial Madonna work that the writer omitted was the fact that the characters were different before and after this story; as a result of their actions, they grow and change. The fact that Steve took his characters this seriously instead of like static, frozen characters mired in the status quo is a credit to how much he loved superheroes and considered them real people. If Englehart wrote Peanuts, he would have Charlie Brown kick that football (at least once). The Vision, as a result of this story, found that he couldn't live without Wanda; her being away from him made his life barren. He asked the Scarlet Witch to marry him.

      I never get tired of reading "Celestial Madonna." It is the greatest superhero comic ever written. The characters are so multifaceted that every time I read it, some new meaning can be ascribed to a line, some new aspect of a character I didn't notice is present.
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      « Reply #6 on: October 04, 2005, 10:19:26 AM »

      Quote from: "JulianPerez"

      I never get tired of reading "Celestial Madonna." It is the greatest superhero comic ever written. The characters are so multifaceted that every time I read it, some new meaning can be ascribed to a line, some new aspect of a character I didn't notice is present.


      Words of praise indeed.  Y'know, you almost make me want to reread the thing.  Almost.
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      « Reply #7 on: October 04, 2005, 05:32:39 PM »

      Quote from: "TELLE"
      Words of praise indeed.  Y'know, you almost make me want to reread the thing.  Almost.


      You've said many times you're more a fan of the artist than the writers. What did you think of the art in the story? It had at least four artists with very different styles: old AVENGERS warhorse Don Heck (who admittedly, did not do his best work here; Ultron looks like a guy wearing a cardboard robot costume, and Dormammu's fire-head looks like a beard - I cannot believe this is the same guy that created the incredible design for Attuma's tanks in AVENGERS #27), Dave Cockrum, whose Martial Arts sequences - particularly the Mantis vs. Midnight, made the battles in Avengers #131 particularly vivid (when Mantis Judo-throws him, Midnight looks absolutely weightless), in addition to George Tuska, and the Kirby-like Sal Buscema.
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