Ryan's Reviews > I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets!

I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets! by Fletcher Hanks
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Jun 05, 07


Fletcher Hanks has a genuinely odd sensibility, and I can see how his work, to the extent that it's known at all, tends to polarize people.

His drawings are crude and stiff at times, his plots are predictable and ludicrous, and his superheroes are...I mean, they have "super superiority rays," shit like that.

But. There's also a stark beauty to the work. I love the way Hanks will fill up a panel of tiny human bodies being flung around by explosions or suspension rays or whatever.

And while his superheroes don't make a lot of sense, they are genuinely unique. Like Fantomah, a blonde bombshell who protects the jungle by transforming into a female version of Skeletor. Also, she wears a negligee.

All of Hanks's work is completely surreal and reading it is a complete immersion into a world that has very little bearing on reality (ie even the Golden Age Superman was influenced by global events, often fighting Hitler and Stalin). Here, I felt as if I was locked in Hanks's drunkass head.

Which apparently he was, most of the time. The afterword to this collection is a heartbreaker.
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