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The Nail

Old 07-04-20, 11:45 AM
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The Nail

So one of the 20 titles I got from the DC/Eaglemoss UK collection was The Nail.

I had just stopped buying comics months earlier when this came out in 1998, and I was in my anti-DC mode at the time, anyway, so I had never heard of it. But the description sounded good. An alternate universe where Jonathan and Martha Kent don't discover little baby Kal-El, and the superhuman world doesn't know of a Superman.

The story (overall) and art are fantastic. Great dialogue, great plot - I mean, it's really well done. I disliked Alan Davis' art on Batman and the Outsiders (it was really quirky, especially the faces), but for this series, with Mark Farmer inking, his art looked great!

It's a pretty brutal story at times, too. But there is a point at which it just becomes a longer What If? story - near the end when...

...Jimmy Olsen is revealed to be the secret Big Bad.

That took it down a notch from how great it could have been. It's still very good, but that twist at the end took it a bridge too far.

Even so, I give it high marks, overall.

Old 07-04-20, 11:47 AM
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Re: The Nail

I blind-bought this on sale and like reading your review!
Old 07-04-20, 12:32 PM
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Re: The Nail

I also thought Davis drew faces weird. Now hes one of my favorite artists.

I agree on the twist. Just making it the most unlikely person just because thats unexpected and no other real reason. I suppose the part where Jimmy finally meets Superman works a bit. He says something like we could have been friends.

But its a very fun story and gives off X-Men vibes.
Old 07-04-20, 01:21 PM
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Re: The Nail

I just read Another Nail, and I actually liked that one even more. Davis and Farmer really hit that one out of the park. It's a much larger scale story (by design), but he didn't lose sight of the individual characters and their stories among the galaxy wide plot. It's a great follow up.

The art is just as good, and I'd go so far as to say that Davis got even better at plotting in the 6 years between mini-series.

I especially liked how Superman is trying to come to terms with who and what he is, given his past and the beliefs that his parents gave him. But there were a lot of great individual stories there, too. Batman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Black Canary - in a story with a ton of characters Davis did the improbable - he managed to give each one of them a chance to shine and grow.

Good stuff.

Old 07-04-20, 05:02 PM
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Re: The Nail

It's one of the very best Elseworlds books. DC calls their What-If stories "Elseworlds". Agree on the art, it's some of Alan Davis' best work. I haven't read them in years.
Old 07-04-20, 06:02 PM
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Re: The Nail

^ Actually, Marvel called their Imaginary Stories "What If?" Then DC went the "Elseworlds" route. Marvel switched it up with their "Alterniverse" label. More recently, DC revamped the concept with their "Tales from the Dark Multiverse."

Last edited by The Valeyard; 07-04-20 at 09:50 PM.
Old 07-04-20, 06:30 PM
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Re: The Nail

Nail and Another Nail are 2 of my favorite elseworld takes.

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