Thoughts about #1.
Last issue saw writer James Robinson and artist Greg Hinkle go on a massive bender to try to work out what to do with their proposed revamp of the Golden Age character Airboy, so after an heroic amount of drinking, drugs and fucking they end up the next morning being confronted by Airboy himself made real. The only real sensible response to something like this is to run but Airboy manages to find them.
The pair decide to go with what they both still think is a drug induced hallucination but as time drags on they notice other people are seeing Airboy, and that Airboy himself is noticing the world he’s been dropped in.
Faced with an Airboy struggling to get to grips with 21st century culture, dress, architecture and music in the shape of Motorhead, Robinson does what any comic book writer would do. He explains the multiverse to him and that he, Airboy, is just another comic book character.
There then follows an explanation of why Airboy fell into public domain and a short potted history of aviation heroes before Airboy eats a hash brownie and gets stoned for the first time. Robinson and Hinkle then take him to the only logical place: a bar, or in this case a bar used by transvestites and transsexuals, but while Airboy is experiencing this sort of place for the first time, Robinson has a little bit of honesty about his work at DC Comics.
But it seems Airboy is starting to adapt to his surroundings.
Airboy isn’t quite prepared for transsexuals, and when asked to return the favour, he loses the plot with Robinson and Hinkle who he now thinks are a pair of deviants so he pulls them from the page of the comic we’re reading and drops them in the world of Airboy.That means World War 2, Nazis, flying machines galore and of course, big Nazi robots.
There’s something quite special going on here in Robinson and Hinkle’s Airboy. Not only is Robinson saying stuff that were it in an interview would probably barely register online, but in this way he’s spilling his guts about his career and work in a possibly more effective way than usual. Of course the problem for others is that this sort of thing can’t be easily copied without an enormous amount of honestly, sincerity and self awareness.I can’t imagine say, Grant Morrison or Brian Bendis doing anything this honest, or having the self-depreciation needed to do something like this. It of course remains to be seen if this restarts Robinson’s career, but it’s by far one of the best comics produced this decade and that’s something for Robinson to be proud of.