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Terminal City Paperback – November 1, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics (November 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563893916
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563893919
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.4 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,153,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
Kind of noirish, kind of retro-futurish (think Art Deco and Streamline design), Terminal City is loose but entertaining story of aging daredevils and a mysterious briefcase. The city is a vividly reimagined New York (complete with Coney Island) with beautiful lines, a monorail, zeppelins, and all manner of lovely to look at decay-here, flyers and newspapers are always billowing in the wind at the edges of panels. The plot is a zany half-baked affair involving a crooked mayor, crooked industrialist, land schemes, a mysterious cases, missing legendary crown jewels, a naive newcomer to town, an old boxer, and too many others to mention. While the hero is nominally Cosmo Quinn, former "Human Fly" daredevil turned window washer, the Grand Hotel-like plot jumps between multiple stories and people. Readers will catch references and homages to Kiss Me Deadly (the pinnacle of noir film), Fawlty Towers (John Cleese's hilarious post-Python British screwball comedy), Tintin (the European comic series), Abbott and Costello, Orwell and Huxley (although this futurist vision is much more benign than theirs), Casablanca, and many others. The art is straightforward and easy to look at, while the colors and vivid and expressive, a very fun experience overall-although the punning gets too cutesy at times.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By James Williams on March 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
Termial City is an award nominated series which is, strangly enough, set in the advanced East Coast US metropolis "Terminal City". This comic revolves around a group of modern day Daredevils, primarily Cosmo Quinn, "the Human Fly" who scales the tallest of buildings as well as living a double life cleaning the windows of such glass towers. The Streamline styling harks back to the thirties, the sky filled with enormous zepplins captained by German aviators, high speed trains cross the Atlantic with the greatest of ease whilst surly dome topped robots keep things running smoothly and on the other hand cause total havoc. This is an another excellent book from Vertigo, very well written and researched as well as paying homage to great authors such as George Orwell and Aldous Huxley.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By OAKSHAMAN VINE VOICE on June 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is an odd sort of graphic novel- you certainly shouldn't expect super-heroes or classic golden age Mystery Men. That's just it, the only thing really bigger than life is the great City that the novel is named for. It is a magnificent, colossal art-deco Metropolis that looks like the futuristic vision of all the great World's Fairs of the 1930's lumped together. There are monorails, zeppelins, flying wings- even streamlined robots and flying cars. But it is a sterile city- stagnant. There has been no new construction for years. It dwarfs and oppresses the spirit of its human inhabitants dwelling in the shadows. It makes them seem small and insignificant. Every character seems like a stock stereotype from the 30's. There is no originality here. Everything is frozen into dead forms. In the absence of vitality and optimism, the rule of the jungle reigns.
Even the main character, Cosmo Quinn, doesn't come across as much of a hero. In true film noir style he is presented as an everyman (who just happens to be the most famous daredevil in the world) who is caught up in dark machinations out of his control. In fact, just about every daredevil, adventurer, and would be hero-symbol in the city has mysteriously died, disappeared, or been framed and smeared over the years. Most of the story deals with Quinn and his friends slowly (and I mean SLOWLY) uncovering the hidden corruption in the great city.
The one great saving scene in the whole overlong epic is when the disgraced world-champion boxer Kid Gloves fights his way back to the top against a collection of subhuman apes and missing links- and finally a robot.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Arturo Ruiz on November 9, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dean Motter has a masterpiece here.

The art is nostalgic and moody and it reminds you of film noir.

So does the story. And this was going on a bit before Sin City.

I really liked this book and fully recommend it.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful By André Ming on January 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
''Terminal City'' is probably not an original novel under any possible perspective, but besides being highly entertaining, it brings the literary tradiction of big-city-novels to the comic book world. No, I'm not comparing Motter to Joyce, Dublin or Dos Passos, but it's a rare fact among this specific sort of literature that the city itself represents its most important character. All the rest are secondary acts - the characters have no charisma at all, the argument is nothing special, but the metropolis in front of it all is what makes this novel enjoyable. It's a cold, futurist-retro environment (imagine something like Truffault's take on Bradbury's ''Fahrenheit 451''), with robots interacting with humans in some kind of (Hannah-Barbera's) The Jetsons style, where everything that happens is just surreal. Criticism on the cruelty of modern society and life in big cities are obviously unoriginal. There's someone running from criminals here with a briefcase attached to his arm with no explanation given, but it still doesn't generate any aprehension (no, this guy is no Kafka's K.). Anti-heroes and 'loser heroes' all over, it's so full of cliches that it's hard to believe it can be at the same time so special among comic books for grown up kids. The experience is indeed enjoyable, and won't hurt you at all. 2,5 stars.
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