Steve Bissette is second to none when it comes to well-sourced, exhaustively thorough and stimulatingly thoughtful writings on culture, so his new book TEEN ANGELS & NEW MUTANTS should be quite the read. It’s a 400-page look at BRAT PACK, the great GN by Rick Veitch that is criminally underrated. Along the way, Bissette “offers a crash-course on teen pop culture and superhero sidekick history, provides fresh analysis of Dr. Fredric Wertham’s seminal books, ponders real-world “new mutants” like Michael Jackson, The Olsen Twins, and Justin Bieber, and charts the 1980s comicbook explosion and 1990s implosion–and more.”
Amazingly, while EW’s comics coverage has been spotty of late, here’s an awesome interview with Bissette in Shelf Life:
Brat Pack is not a graphic novel that tends to get mentioned in the same breath as, say, Watchmen or The Dark Knight Returns, when people talk about all-time great comics. Do you think it’s of a comparable quality?
I think so. It was, if you will, the underground answer to Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns. I would also say that Kevin O’Neill’s Marshal Law is another of that same breed, same time period. Does it get as much attention? Of course not. It’s under the radar for most people. And that was another reason for seeing through this book project, to be honest. I think Brat Pack does deserve the attention.
BTW, I agree COMPLETELY on this. BRAT PACK is a searing, brutal take on the genre that completes the triumvirate of superhero deconstructionism. So there!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.