Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Spectre (Vol.3) #16 - March 1994

"Call for Blood" by John Ostrander, Jim Aparo, and Kelley Jones.

This issue features art by the unusual team of Jim Aparo and Kelley Jones(!), a combination that to my eye doesn't really mesh too well.

That said, it's always nice see Jim Aparo drawing The Phantom Stranger, so here the entirety of the Stranger's appearance in the issue, as he, Dr. Fate, and The Demon come to Zatanna for help
...this was the last time Aparo would draw The Phantom Stranger. Nice to see the combo one last time!

To be continued!

Update: Oops! I spoke--er, typed--too soon. Commenter MWGallagher is correct in correcting me: this is not the last time Jim Aparo drew The Phantom Stranger. There's one more appearance to come, which we'll get to in a little while. My apologies, and thanks for the correction MWG!


Unknown said...

Total agreement with the Aparo/Jones art "team", Rob. I remember reading about this issue and being excited about Aparo drawing 2 of "his" characters (PS & the Spectre). And then this issue came out and I was horrified. I'm not a fan of Kelley Jones' art and this didn't help. I honestly had no idea that was Zatanna until until The Stranger says her name. What a shame.

Bribaby said...

Ugh, this story took a sharp left turn into unappealingville with this issue. I don't recognize Aparo OR Jones in this stuff. It comes off looking like Richard Case from Doom Patrol. And I bet Zatanna keeps the photos from this period of her career safely tucked away in the back of a closet somewhere. Who thought it was a good idea to rob her of her signature gimmicks? I know I'm in the minority when I say that I always thought the Playboy Bunnified magician getup was more silly than sexy, but I'd take it any day over this. 'Ffun dais.
Liked the cover, though.

MWGallaher said...

Happily, this was *not* the last time Aparo drew the Stranger. He had one more opportunity, which you'll be getting to in a dozen or few more postings...and that time, he got to draw him back in his vintage look (by the way, I asked somebody involved in this issue--maybe John Ostrander?--why they didn't just let Jim draw the old "uniform". I was told that they had tried, but editorial wanted to adhere to the then-current Guy Davis-designed updated look. Seems to me that 1994 was probably about the last time that house style guides were being enforced. After that, it seemed like every artist was allowed to put his own touches on the designs.)

rob! said...

Oops, my bad. Duly corrected, and thanks!

Garnet said...

Wow, Aparo is often poorly served by inkers, huh? I remember seeing him with Bill Sinkiewicz on Batman ... bleh. No wonder he always liked to do it himself.

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