Home > Top Cow > Common Grounds #5

Common Grounds #5

August 28, 2011

Title: Where Monsters Dwell & Lovelife

Writer: Troy Hickman
Pencils:
Angel Medina, Dan Jurgens
Inks:
Jon Holdredge, Al Vey
Colorist:
John Starr, Beth Sotelo, Guy Major
Letterer:
Robin Spehar, Mark Rosian, Dennis Heisler
Cover Artist:
Rodolfo Migliari
Editor:
Scott Tucker
Publisher:
Image Comics/Top Cow

I’ve mentioned before my love for Troy Hickman’s series Common Grounds, but it’s time for me to do it again. Back in 2004, Top Cow released this six-issue miniseries, featuring a coffee shop chain where superheroes and villains alike could come in under a banner of truce, have a cruller and a cuppa joe, and let a little steam off. Inside this concept, which is a little silly at its core, Hickman managed to tell stories of love, loss, courage, redemption, and utter terror at any given moment. It was a bravura piece of storytelling, and this issue was no different. In “Where Monsters Dine,” Hickman does a loving tribute to the silly giant monster comics Marvel turned out in the late 50s and early 60s, before Superheroes took over the company again. What does a monster do when his time is over? How does he get by in a world that’s so small? The story is funny as hell, and a little sad at the same time. In “Lovelife,” we meet the Eternal Flame. This immortal hero saves a suicide and brings him in for a heart-to-heart talk about what’s really important. This story has a humorous bent to it, but the message is far more poignant – if you’re immortal, if you watch everybody you care about grow old and die, why would you bother with love? There’s actually an answer, and it’s a good one. Hickman took all the classic superhero tropes and, in this series, used them to tell strong stories that run deep. I don’t know if he – or Top Cow – would ever return to this series, but if they did, I’d sure as hell read it.

Rating: 9/10

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