Sunday, March 12, 2006

My Collection - HARDWARE [1993 Series]

Hardware [1993 series]
34 issues [1993 - 1995]
1 - 34

Another of the four series that launched the Milestone line back in 1993, this is the one I was most interested in initially, since my curiosity about the line was mostly due to Denys Cowan's earlier work on THE QUESTION, and this is the book he drew for most of the first year (and returned to for a few key later issues, #25 and #32). Dwayne McDuffie wrote most of the issues up to #32. It continued a while after I dropped it, up to #50.

My initial reaction to the book was a bit mixed. Cowan's art was good, the best I'd seen it since THE QUESTION, and the writing was mostly good, but it was pretty violent, and the main character was more than a bit of a jerk. Intentionally so, as it turned out, and both the violence and jerkness fit in a lot better when you have the context of the whole series to judge.

I still got sick of that damn parakeet, though...

Anyway, the series as a whole is a lot about change, with the status quo shifting a few times throughout as we see the events that effect the life of Curtis Metcalf, genius inventor who feels unappreciated by his boss, Edwin Alva, and reacts as we all would if we were capable, by building a suit of high-tech armour.

I generally think of this as the weakest of the core Milestone books, but that's mostly because of the relatively high volume of fill-ins and treading water issues in the second half. If you pare it down to the important issues (#1-#8, #15-#16, a few scenes in #17-#18, #25, parts of #29-#31 and #32) it's a really solid, cohesive work, with some interesting things going on in both theme and structure, a lot of which I missed the first time around with all the surrounding issues.

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