Pssst, CBR. Your coverage of this panel sucked. Really, really terribly--were you perhaps half-drunk when this was written out?
Here's a good example of how to do it well. Good show, Newsarama!
Anyhow, there's a lot of interesting things afoot--and a LOT of them sound pretty terrific.
- See Blackest Night for some Aquaman stuff?
- Superman and Company sound like they're getting revved up a bit--I especially appreciate the inclusion of Supergirl's book into the universe-proper. Thanks. The new team for her sounds promising.
- Shut up McKeever.
- No. Really.
- More Elseworlds!!
- Seriously. Stop talking.
- Dick Grayson would make an emo permanent Batman, dammit. That cowl is far, far too broody for our circus boy. Give it to the thug.
So! Holy my crapola, Marvel, did any trees survive the Secret Invasion? Really, none?
Hey, at least Bush doesn't need to destroy that pesky forest for oil, even though we totally don't need them if SOMETHING could get the proper resources! Oh, like all the money we're wasting on oil! Just a thought. /politico.
Onto the comics. I promise.
Trinity #4: I think it's been well-established by now that Busiek writes the why of the trinity perfectly at this point--I'm going to repeat this exact sentence later, because it's so, so true. No matter what else you might want to say about this book, the three of them are down so pat it's something kind of beautiful.
Through the eyes and dialogue of the Peepers, we can see why they're the best crime-fighting trio ever. Superman the Savior, Wonder Woman the Inspiration and Batman the Sneaky Ninja Brains (also, he scares the hell out of people). There's a cool fight, more Batman Love which I'm finding hilarious and generally really excellent, solid dialogue.
And I realized what my big problem is--it isn't the pacing of it or the writing or the art, it's the conflict. Which is really . . . kind of flat so far. Not the Peepers--them I'm enjoying immensely. Really.
Here's what I would've enjoyed more: A longer set-up. Smaller battles, just them being them and slowly stumbling onto something that wouldn't demand explaining right away. Busiek writes them just being them so goddamn well--their interactions and the whys of how they're the trinity perfectly. So maybe something that just tied in slowly, so we could get Wonder Woman and Batman and Superman being supremely awesome in their own right with now pressure. Think Monster of the Week that slowly progresses into Awesomeness.
The Joss Theory.
Recommendation: It's still not striking as hot with me as I wish, considering I really love the team on this book and over-all it's done awesomely--something I'm attributing to both Weekly Burnout and Not Great Insta-Conflict. I don't like Insta-Conflict anyways. I can see big, big fans with a bit of disposable income picking this one up and riding out the beginner bumps, but if that's not you, perhaps you can pick up the trade to this when it's out and there's a slow comics week.
"Tut. Such admiration in your voice once again. He is a man, Enigma. Dressed in silk and leather, armed with . . . tricks and toys."
Enigma is totally running his one-man fanboy operations for Batman in the DCU. Love it.
Ms. Marvel #28: Brian Reed's writing this one and Adriana Melo is on pencils. I've found Ms. Marvel to be kind of a joke for . . . oh, maybe ever. But this issue I picked up because I like to have some faith and it was a tie-in and the last two issues have grabbed my interest a bit.
Um. She's . . . totally bad-ass in this. I'm already bored with the gratuitous body shots, but other than that, the pencils were gorgeous and the writing . . . well, Jesus. She kicks ASS in this issue. I actually reread it twice, just because I enjoyed the hell out of watching her punch people and really enjoyed her thoughts.
The plot synopsis is such a simple formula: There's a lot of Skrulls that need Carol to beat the hell out of them. So she does. But along the way, she reflects and rediscovers and connects with herself in such a basic, honest way that I'm intensely impressed by.
Recommendation: Grab it, even if you have no idea what the hell's going on, it's really self-explanatory and a great, great Girls Solidly and Cleverly Kicking Ass read. I love it when a chick's got some muscle and uses it.
"I punch until my knuckles hurt, and then I hit a little harder"
Young Avengers Presents: Hawkeye: Matt Fraction writing, Alan Davis pencils.
So, hey, if anyone happens to talk to Matt at the upcoming con (he's headed to one, right?), how about mentioning how purely fucking awesome this comic was? And, oh, ask if I'm hallucinating the not-right-chemistry between the Hawkeyes. Thanks.
This was gold--I enjoyed the other Presents, but this is the one that I found completely excellent. Kate's terrific, I think she's how Cassie over in DC should've been and the story told is so true to that, true to the conflicts of a teenage superhero in a world that has gone beyond screwed up, with no real heroes to look up to anymore and it's just . . . just go get it. I could spend a good chunk of this post discussing spoilers, but I don't think I will. Just go grab it and enjoy the too-short great of this shot.
I have to say too, that Davis' pencils purely reflected the writing and it was just . . . a nice little symphony. Marvel, I am SHOCKED. Two in a row.
Recommendation: You're really not paying attention if you need this filled.
"Who says two buds can't just cruise in a horse-drawn carriage? Me and my boys do it all the time.
Allllllll the time.
This is how we roll."
Poor teen-aged boy.
Huntress #4: Oh, hey, another awesome Huntress issue. The plot continues--there's a great fight scene, an interesting conversation while an arrow punctures a palm, the best conversation so far in this book, a funeral and a haircut and then Helena gets let back to Gotham.
The best conversation? Her and Barbara. Totally. I would like to frame those pages for some excellent posterity--for Barbara's attempts at making a foreign friend alone, is this comic awesome. Good thing it's got a whole bunch of other awesome stuff in it.
Also featured: The Bat Family being creepy in their own home. Excellent!
Recommendation: Pick it up already!
"Can't say my name. And what would I talk about with her? That I'm increasingly favoring kevlar and body armor? I'm sure we'd have a lot in common."
Batman: Gotham After Midnight #2: Steve Niles and Kelley Jones again and God, this is extremely delicious. Batman's cape remains to be completely epic--I think Robin's trapped up in there somewhere, attempting some desperate acrobatics to get free.
The story continues from Batman being seemingly dead and the thugs cheering contentedly around his body. And then they have to go ruin Batman's plan by being stupid and trying to axe him. Literally, actually, and in comes some supremely fine Batman inner-dialogue, because we all know the crazy bastard likes to talk to himself. There's some fine punching here, as well as a nice double-page splash that shamelessly exploits his cape some more (no little green boots sighted, Robin must've shifted).
We get villain reveal (kind of) who looks nice and creepy. We get more of his normal villains acting quite strangely and more from the detective lady and more of Niles' clever writing.
Lots more and Jones' art is as much a treat. Especially that cape. Good Gods, the cape.
Recommendation: This is a complete treat that should turn into a classic Batman story in time. It isn't overly heavy or intensely-laden with an over-reaching continuity that would otherwise bog the story down. So, Batman fans, this one's for you. And fans of Steve Niles. And really great crime story fans (because hey, Niles remembered Batman's a detective--something that tends to get pushed to the side in a few other books that have him constantly punching stuff). And fans of beating people up.
And Epic Cape Fans. Definitely those.
"One thing you can always rely on with criminals is that sooner or later they will do something stupid . . ."
Runaways #30: Alright. Well, let's start this off on a great note: The cover is completely beautiful and I would really love a poster version of this. Nico's gorgeous and I think I'll dress like her for Halloween. Only, you know, I'm not a teenager--but I still can still PASS so long as people are assuming I'm a babysitter instead of a mother. It's only been . . . not even ten years yet. Shut up!
I'm segueing here, because discussing Joss Whedon being such an epic let down feels a wee bit sacrilegious. I went into this issue so exasperated with his entire run, but still expecting . . . Joss Worthy Stuff. He's delivered before and even though I didn't want to, my little fangirl heart held her breath and hoped.
And I got the two-trick pony ride, courtesy Ringmaster Joss. Also, the little fangirl heart passed out.
Here's what I'm tired of: The constant failure of relationships on an epic, heartbreaking level. Pssst, Joss: WE GET IT! FIND A NEW POINT!
I promise, the symbolism isn't lost on us! We get the rarity of a perfect relationship! We get that The World Is Fucked and finding a perfect relationship is a near impossibility! We're also starting to get that maybe-maybe you've got one card up your sleeve and it ain't the Queen of Hearts.
There was no reason for Lillie to stay in the past(present). Really. None. Here's a clue: Sixteen year-old girls to stupid, scary things for boys they're in lurve with all the time. Just look at MySpace! And sixteen year-old girls would do especially stupid, scary things for really yummy boys that adore them. Especially a girl that seems to have no real male role model (remember, this is one of your favorite things to do to all your characters)! They tend to seek stability, you know, and things that are sturdy and anchor-shaped and if it comes in a really delicious Adores Her package, you can bet your Buffy that she'll take the jump.
Really, Joss, I thought you were better than this--do you really remember nothing from Buffy? I mean . . . where's the mojo gone? 'Cause I'm looking and I'm seeing . . .
A reprint of Astonishing. Bleh.
This issue was Not Awesome and I am Disappointed. I am completely underwhelmed by the wrap-up, completely underwhelmed by the character development over all, completely tired of the Same Old Conflicts and the Same Old Heartbreaks and really, all of this has me shouting, "NO MORE!" with feeling.
Reccomendation: Man, I can't believe I'm saying this: Forget about it. Wait for Terry Moore. I'm going to go drown my sorrow in some Jaynestown now.
Final Crisis #2: Solid. Awesome. I liked very much--I also think that unless something supremely epic happens, I'm saving my review for the next eight months and weighing in when all is said and done. (Note: OMG LAST PAGE IS AWESOME. ::cough:: That's all.)
Also I purchased, brace yourselves, 47 comic books and 9 trades. While Brian was ringing me up Friday demanded commission, then she removed all the money from my bank account and tore out my still beating heart for good measure, Brian simply had cartoon cash register eyes. So needless to say I used my Economic Stimulus Check to stimulate the hell out of The Stop's economy.
-The Maimed Man, recounting his visit to The Stop yesterday. I cannot stop laughing. Because it is so very true.
I love retail. Especially on Wednesdays. It is the complete truth that I tell people, "Thanks for giving us your money!" after I ring them out.
This is why I am so. Tired. Of. People.
Really? Really? We're still worrying about this? We have an American ambassador covering up illegal Chinese arms, we have fear mongering in our elections, people being screwed out of their lives again and our country is going well past broke on a ridiculous 'war' that troops are dying in, nevermind the children--but hey, kids, violence is down! Fundfundfund! Fearfearfear!
And you're writing letters about a commercial and intruding your values on who you think should marry? Do I lobby for laws against stupid people breeding? No. And you idiots should be thankful.
Also: Dude. Pirates.
This post is courtesy Dr. Zoltar, who threw my inbox a most excellent link to a local story.
Komo News reports that drivers impeding the flow of traffic in the left lane are now being pulled over and can be ticketed for $124. "The State Patrol said several recent collisions caused by slow vehicles in the passing lane have prompted increased enforcement of the law along area interstates."
So, to every stupid asshole that gives me that "oh, you're SUCH an asshole, I'm just following the LAW" idiotic pious expression when I lay on my horn and give them elaborate, 'shove it up your ASS' hand signals: HA. Fuck you and your little cell phone too.
Next stop: Ticketing the HOV lane.
This week is looking rather small. Unless you count the EIGHTY GABILLION MARVEL TITLES.
Sweet Jesus on a pogo stick.
DC's preview blurb: "The Batman has been ambushed by a gang of thugs who want only one thing: the death of the Dark Knight Detective. But there is more to this nefarious plan than it seems. For at the stroke of midnight, the mysterious monster behind this gang wants to strike fear into the hearts of all the citizens of Gotham City!"
I'm very much on board with this and really hoping to see some excellent creepy sliding throughout the story. I really prefer it when Batman titles stick to the shadows of the DCU, so to speak, and demonstrate how well he blends into the nighttime atmosphere of a battered Gotham.
Also, if Niles would thumb his nose at the whiners and toss a Bat!jet pack in, I'd be more than supremely golden. I liked the jet pack, dammit.
But Morrison does a very good job on making it accessible to the everyman. You don't need to know who Kamandi is to enjoy it. You don't need to know who the hell anyone is to get the gist of it. Sure, sure, knowing adds flavor--gives you the illusion of an inside track, but I don't honestly believe Final Crisis is excluding comic book fans. If a fan is that upset, all they really need to do is reacquaint themselves with Jack Kirby and maybe get a little high while contemplating the symbolism. Morrison's reach may not be as widely encompassing as Geoff Johns', for example, but it isn't exclusive to those who enjoy heavy craziness.
I'm recommending again, that everyone reread Final Crisis after the last one comes out and can guarantee it'll all make a gorgeous amount of sense straight-through. This isn't to say it doesn't make sense now--but this is one of the dangers of running a Big Event monthly. Secret Invasion is suffering the same problems for me that is solely based on my patience levels.
I'll cut myself off there before this turns into a rant. Here's the blurb:
"Meet Japan's number one pop culture heroes, the Super Young Team and their languid leader, Most Excellent Superbat! Join legendary wrestler Sonny Sumo and super escape artist Mister Miracle as they team to face the offspring of the Anti-Life Equation! See Earth's superheroes mourn one of their oldest allies! Witness costumed criminals sinking to new depths of cowardice and depravity as Libra takes things too far! Uncover the doomsday secrets of the poisoned city of Blüdhaven! Learn the shocking identity of the prime suspect in the murder of a god! And read on if you dare as Batman becomes the first of Earth's champions to face the Fallen of Apokolips. All this and a spectacular return from the dead..."
There's been some definite negative reaction from some fans regarding the nature of the Japanese pop culture heroes, but I don't care. (Oh, hey, there's my headache talking). I'm super-curious and very, very excited to see everything in this issue. DUDE, the Anti-Life Equation is going to ENSLAVE everyone! How is that not awesome?
Green Lantern #32
Moving on! It's Sinestro and all of his awesomeness and more of the Hal Jordan background that we all know and love and while some have grown tired of (or perhaps just impatient for the next storyline) the rehash, I'm still enjoying it.
"SECRET ORIGIN PART 4! Sinestro has been sent to Earth on a sacred mission, one that this new rookie Hal Jordan is getting in the way with. Plus, one of Hal Jordan's first enemies is born as a bizarre experiment backfires and another is unknowingly stalked for his connection to the Blackest Night! "
This week, she heads back to Gotham and meets Bruce Wayne for this first time--an encounter which, at the very least, will be funny. My question is this: I totally forget where Dick was around this time. Will we be seeing Dick meeting Helena with Bruce? Because that'd be rock.
Anyway, the answer'll be inside and . . . I really, really can't bring myself to grab it. I'm breaking my super-awesome collected run of Teen Titans because I can't take McKeever anymore.
So someone stronger than I am, please comment at some point and fill me in on the cover.
Collecting issues #1-9, Frank Miller and Jim Lee are retelling Dick Grayson's origin in the best possible way imaginable and if you haven't been reading this, now is the absolute perfect time to do yourself a huge favor and start. I think I'm going to kick my husband out of bed tonight and snuggle with this trade instead. The probability that it will hog the covers and kick me in the back? Nil.
Oh, what's this? Something that explores the villains in the Sinestro Corps storyline? How excellent for me. Here's a must to put on your bookshelf if you're collecting the Sinestro Corps War in trade (you DID grab Vol 2 last week, didn't you?).
. . . I'm not the only one reading this, right?
The first one was so great and I continue to be utterly owned and impressed by the art as previewed by CBR here. The story too, though, I've been loving as well. Warren's such a shit, I love it. Reading the genesis of his mutant abilities is interesting too and I'm getting heavily reminded why I like this character so much.
Moving on: Yawn. Finally. I have no idea what the hell is going on, because I haven't read this in . . . oh, half a year? Longer? But I'm sure it'll be a perfect ending to a perfectly disastrous run on a book that I think is so insanely rife with potential.
Here's lookin' at you, Terry Moore. See you in August!
I think that's it--I really feel like I've missed a title in here somewhere though. Stupid Monday.
Hurm, I think I have two chapters finished and another four outlined. This is very clearly an error of some sort. I'm either hallucinating or have just written many words of pure shit that will make me cry upon reread tomorrow.
I'm hoping for hallucination as opposed to the alternative--sobbing over a flaming notebook has always struck me as a wee bit melodramatic.
In alternative, more interesting news, the DC Nation panel at Heroes Con sounded a little interesting. Newsarama's where I'm snagging my info.
Things I found especially interesting:
- No Spoiler mini? Really? I'm beyond shocked. (note: there is a sarcasm puddle beneath this sentence)
- Oh, Jason Todd was booed again. Fans continue to be unsupportive of an obnoxious character that kills people. And yet, the obnoxious non-murderers get cheered! Go figure! Witness the status quo and be depressed.
- FINALLY a Batwoman discussion and solid history. Hasn't it been dangling over us for two years now? Lord.
- BARTBARTBARTBARTBART. I don't know if it's because I found him absolutely obnoxiously adorable or if I'm a sick, sick chick and REALLY enjoyed watching a technically-six-year-old (or so) have relations with a GROWN ASS WOMAN. Too funny and endless fodder.
- Palmiotti says "no comment" and stirs up the gossip-mongers and naysayers and . . . insert whatever here. We'll see.
- Freddy Freeman!
- More Black Adam!! My tiny little heart thrills and cheers and hopes for heads getting ripped off. Delicious.
- And Aquaman!
- Winick's off Green Arrow/Black Canary! Next stop: Titans.
- Mary Marvel again? Will she be wearing that muffin-cup skirt nonsense? Gosh, I really missed the exciting, deep and fascinating character she'd become in Countdown. Here's to hoping!!
- Dick Grayson > Batman
- Azrael = Awesome Batman
- Tim Drake = Very Short Batman
- Jason Todd = Very Awesome Batman
- Linda Danvers? Hmmm . . .
Aaaand I should sleep, as it is two in the morning and I'm certain there'll be someone desiring my attention in about four hours.
Well, not so much my attention as breakfast, but hey.
Okay, I also watched the trailer for Babylon A.D. and . . . listen, I'm not going to be ashamed. Vin Diesel's voice alone makes my poor little stomach flip and my heart kick into serious overdrive. And he's smoking goddamn hot, plays D&D and is a geek, so I will go see it just because it'll be an hour and so of him being terrific. The movie, though, does look pretty good.
Take this with a grain of salt, I adored Pitch Black and Chronicles of Riddick probably far, far too much--in fact, I rewatched them TODAY. Go figure!
Don't judge me.
I have a blessed two hours completely to myself and what do I waste my first half hour on? Not writing! Not reworking OLD writing! Not wrestling Maya around into something that makes sense! Not doing anything that could ever resemble anything productive for my wallet!
I spend it traveling around TWITTER and laughing at Ben Templesmith.
My time-floundering skills are fucking epic.
Let's try this again.
I was partially underwhelmed, irritated and completely satisfied this week--it feels like every week for the past month has been a big week and this one . . . pretty much wasn't. As ever, there's probably spoilers about.
Birds of Prey #119, with Tony Bedard writing and Nicola Scott on pencils was a good, solid issue. Stuff actually happened while a bigger storyline got set up. Go figure. 119 opened with Huntress helping out the citizens as ever, only to find that she's as appreciated by the public and police as her ridiculous bad guy, Carface. Which is actually really cool to see--it's so usual now to have the public immediately accepting, it's kind of nice to see some vigilantes get a little shit. Even if it looks like it's a big plot--speaking of which, Chaudry is a doomed, doomed chump.
There was a page in this where Helena and Zinda are talking about what happened with Killer Shark and Helena's wondering why Zinda isn't more fuckered up about it. Zinda replies, "Killer Shark slipped me a mickey. I broke his face. That's all the "therapy" I need."
And I kinda love that. Probably a lot, because I can identify with that sort of attitude to screwed up things--maybe it's 'deal or not deal, there is no therapy'. (This isn't to say, of course, that therapy can't be perfectly suitable for you. Consult your doctor before divulging secrets.) It's nice, though, to see that issue get addressed and explained. Too often we're left never having the character say anything about a recent event. Charlie got to discuss the Black Alice revelation a little bit with Babs as well--she's wavering on where to go with it and I'm just missing Black Alice. Dammit.
I'm interested in seeing how the Calculator situation is going to play out with Babs and reserving some judgement until we get a little further down--maybe next issue I'll have a solid feel on it.
Tony Bedard and Nicola Scott should get the Green Arrow/Black Canary book. In just one page with Mia and Ollie, they prove they've got those two down better than the current disaster writing it. And Black Canary is, as ever, awesome (I heard a rumor that she's a leader of some big team, you know, not that we've seen that much evidence on it, but more on that later) and pissed off and her and Manhunter square off and size each other up in a way that might have annoyed me if Nicola Scott hadn't been doing the pencilling.
Seriously, can every other artist out there please stop drawing Canary in an almost-thong? I'm sorry to ruin the fantasy here guys, but high-kicks in an almost-thong are immensely uncomfortable. Trust me, there's twisting and bunching up in areas that don't need to be bunched. And gluing underwear to your ass is never as glamorous as it sounds. Get a clue.
Recommendation: This might be a decent jumping on point if you're not already enjoying this series. Come on, a female ass-kicking team? Super-duper.
The Flash #241. Tom Peyer doing the writing and Freddie E. Williams on art and this book . . . okay, well, I guess there's some people out there not enjoying the Flash. Those people, clearly, have no taste. Eat it.
I, for one, am enjoying this book immensely. Beyond immensely, actually, and perhaps it's because I'm a parent and this current arc is something that I can easily identify with and don't have to do any real mental stretches to get there. Not that my kids are growing up at lightning speed (well, metaphorically they are, but literally . . . thank gods not so much), but what Wally's facing is somehting that I'm so right there with.
I think his kids are awesome--between Jai and his fears of scaring his sister and letting his dad down and Iris, who is so damned clever and already on the issue of why growing up too fast could be deadly in their cases . . .
Agh. I really love the scene where Wally is dealing with Iris' newest age jump, his thoughts and his fears and how he tables it all, like every parent has to, to give her the recognition and pleasure of it. I flailed, actually, and almost hugged the book.
That's not weird, right?
But this issue really peaked with Wally standing next to Inertia. His fury and God, where he's just debating letting Inertia burn for it and the lines, "The feeling that parenthood itself is some kind of "I don't know what to emergency" and "I don't know what to do with you, you little piece of trash" are just epic and perfect. And he doesn't let him burn, but not out of a sense of higher justice, just because he knows it isn't the retribution he wants.
Letting Inertia suffer is just . . . delicious. Wally's intense fury here is so completely edible.
Recommendation: Peyer is knocking it out of the park here for me and this book remains easily on my top faves for the year so far. Find the beginning of this storyline and check it out if you're not already in it.
Teen Titans: Year One, with Amy Wolfram writing and Karl Kerschl on pencils has been such a guilty-secret series for me. I'm probably enjoying it far, far too much for my own good and should attribute it to my inner thirteen year-old, but it's so not. This series is just adorable adorableness and I want to squish every one of them and have this be an ongoing.
Couldn't that be justified?
Really, this has just been a sweet run picking this up at any issue number isn't a loss.
Favorite scene? Batman visiting their HQ, Aqualad calling him Mr. Batman and then Batman telling them to clean the place up. Super-love.
Recommendation: If you like silly adorableness, this is a good pair with Tiny Titans.
Trinity #3. Kurt Busiek and Mark Bagley handle the main story and . . . god DAMMIT. Can they please be consistent? Kurt, stop WOOING me with lines like, "Ahh, Enigma, you are swift to protest when your beloved Batman is slighted" so I'll ignore the inconsistent moods/tempo of the series thus far! I'm easily defeated by a man-crush, dammit.
This one isn't terrible, but it didn't live up to last week's issue. I'm not sure how I feel about it and the second story completely lost my interest.
Actually, I'm getting kind of sick of the second story--this is a series that maybe needs to be every other week so we can get 22 pages. The whole project is super-ambitious as it is and at this point, scaling it back to give Busiek and Bagley a chance to deliver on the awesomeness I know is lurking here wouldn't be a terrible thing. In fact, it'd probably be the best thing someone could do for this book.
Anyone at DC paying attention here?
Recommendation: I AM SO CONFLICTED.
JLA #22. Mm. I'm getting really, really fed up with Black Canary being pseudo-JLA leader. I completely understand that The Big Three will always over-shadow anyone leading the JLA. That's natural, they're them. What I'm consistently not okay with is Black Canary not getting written where they're not interfering. Even if she shuts them all down this issue in regards to what's going on with Vixen. Which I feel she handled really, really well. On a boss level, she did what needed to be done with a situation that volatile and unknown and dangerous and then on a personal level, she opened the door to her friend and said, "Jerk, you should've known better. Let's figure this out."
But as for the rest . . . meh. I don't know, I'm terribly lost as far as JLA is concerned right now and unsure if this is my terrible reading skills, too many books I'm reading or what. But for the whole, this book just hasn't grabbed my attention or focus.
Recommendation: Conflicted again. I know there's people who're enjoying this, so if you could drop a comment and let me know why, I'd appreciate it. Otherwise, I'm living in lost-ville.
I'm finishing off the week with my absolute favorite title. I picked up other books, but none of them . . . well. I just didn't like most of the books this week. Including Batman and The Outsiders. Not even Batgirl could save the book for me.
Gemini #2. Goddamn Jay Faerber and Jon Sommariva. Didn't Faerber just suck me into Dynamo Five (Volume Two of the trade is out, by the way, and I'd recommend you pick it up, but Faerber might destroy you too)? Hasn't he taken enough from me between that and Noble Causes? And what's this damned Urban Myths business I'm hearing about? I'm not sure if I'm glad Gemini is only five issues or if I'm going to be heart-broken that this is only five issues. I'm not sure if I'm happy for Jay Faerber, or plotting to steal his talent via a brain-sucker-gun. (Anyone have one of those I can borrow?)
The art here is awesome. This is one of my favorite styles of all time, it's so dynamic and engaging on the pages and the colors (FCO Plascencia) are beautiful and it's really just . . . it's really just too awesome. Astonishingly so.
And goddamn them all. This story is great. The pacing is so on and they utilize their twenty-two pages really well. A lot happens and story is actually told and are other certain writers paying attention here? The story is actually told. Go figure. Maybe more books need to be chopped down to a mini so they're good, because I feel like when a number limit is given, the writer uses the pages so much better.
So, the story. There's this guy, Average Joe Dan Johnson who has absolutely no clue that he's a superhero, Gemini. And Gemini, in turn, has no idea he's Dan Johnson. An agency uses triggers to activate and control them and . . . and that's totally all I'm saying, actually, because you should pick this one and #1 up from The Stop or your local store. Assuredly. Really, I mean it. Now.
Go on, I'll still be here when you get back.
. . .
Isn't the fight between Gemini, Luna and Lynx delicious? Could anyone make me a Lynx plush? Isn't the dialogue funny and great and annoyingly Just. Right? Isn't the art excellent?
Seriously, where's that brain gun? Faerber must be stopped.
Before I do my reviews of this week's comics--later today, thanks to Diamond's late shipping of one of our boxes here at The Stop, I'm going to Pimp A Podcast or . . . PAP! Hm. That's not nearly as epic an acronym as I was hoping.
I like podcasts, because I usually spend an amount of time in my car that most people consider insane, and I consider my Zen Me Time. So for me, podcasts are important--especially good ones that'll keep me from ramming my Honda into the idiot in front of me.
First try podcasts should be bumpy. They should be a little bit clumsy and maybe a bit disorganized and the podcasters should be a little rough around the edges. And stuttering--there should definitely be some stuttering or stumbling. Also, tinny music.
Evie and husband Aaron over at Awesomed By Comics completely ignore the First Time Podcast Creed and turn out an awesome hour-or-so that has none of the first time blues. The Awesomed By Comics Podcast (ABC Podcast) is an awards show format for the week's comics--Marvel and DC, though I think we should throw some Image at them--that is intensely entertaining and fun to listen to as well as informative.
Even if methinks they don't share the Morrison love I do. They do get a pass for being The Most Adorable Geek Couple.
They have intro music and category openers, for God's sake! They each have their reviews, they have best/worst categories, they have best panels and more. The whole episode flows so well, their conversations and topics and opinions are informed and fun and interesting.
This kept me interested and content and laughing through heavy crappy I-5 traffic, which is no small joke around here.
So congrats to Evie and Aaron, for being complete over-achievers who set a high, high bar for themselves and shamed lots of seasoned podcasts this week by putting out a completely awesome newbie one.
Seriously, someone drop them a memo about the need to start low and slowly raise standards. Or just download it or subscribe to the feed and then tell them how completely Awesomed you got. I insist.
Excellent Geeking, you two.
To date, Thinking Caps has brought in the most comments--so congratulations goofballs for being plenty awesome, strange and hilarious.
With no further ado, I'd like to present:
Best Entry That Possibly Predicts My Doom:
Palindrome: Raccoons Injure Puyallupian
I have my suspicions that he is training them as I write this.
Best Entry Involving Elderly:
Doctor Smoke with: Rolling Irate Pensioner
Best Entry Involving Pickles:
I would like to note here that they are the Hulk's favorite, and if anyone would know what tasted best with Rage, it would be him. Also, picture is a link to the t-shirt.
Best Morrison-Despising Entries:
From Darth, for he has eaten of the tree of bitter and went back for seconds:
Nevermore, with: Righteous Inevitable Pork!
I am so happy that I got an actual hit on my Google Image search for "superhero pig". Note: Picture is a link to John Kricfalusi's blog.
Best Entry Regarding Bodily Functions:
Kyle: Regis I'm Peeing
Note: There were far more entries regarding bodily functions than expected. I'm not certain how I feel about this.
And, the best of the best, the creme de la creme and . . . [insert other phrases here] is . . .
Thanks to everyone for participating.
I'm absolutely certain that I should feel ashamed while I watch this, but I absolutely do not. Instead, I am thrilled, pleased and completely lost in a giggle fit that will last for hours.
DANNY IS SO CUTE.
There's a fascinating article up at CBR, Friday's Editorial Conference by Greg Hatcher that deals with the snafu DC is dealing with--or rather, not dealing with at all--in regards to the continuity that was shoved aside by Morrison, the departure of Dixon and a reflection on editors and their jobs.
The article itself is fascinating and wonderfully written. Dixon himself is commenting in the comments section, saying some interesting little things about not-named-at-all-but-totally Didio and the way he's running DC right now. Hmmm. Someone does sound like he's eaten plenty of Bitter Bars for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but I somehow don't think he's too far off his statements.
My take is this: Didio is dropping the ball in very, very large ways by not letting his people do the jobs they were hired for.
When a writer is hired and told that they will have the run of their characters/story line/whatever, that writer is going to write it. Dixon and Morrison have both done that. Morrison had Final Crisis #1 finished(ish) sometime in November and rumors say that Dixon had scripted out the Robin storyline for months and months and months in advance, as we all know he is wont to do with everything (productive bastard) and that R.I.P. fuckered with the entire thing of it. A good clue as to why there might have been a butting of heads in DC Central, though I'm still not certain why that would lead to Dixon Not Quitting. Unless he had nothing to write.
I smell a Robin In Pieces. Or something of the sort, considering we didn't get a sneak peek in the September solits.
It's all very botched and it should all reflect on Editor In Chief rather than the editors of each individual book--when hands are tied, after all, there's only so much stretching someone can do before their shoulder pops out of joint. And is thusly useless.
It's a shame to see Dixon go--politics aside--there's a definite home in the Batverse for someone who built Tim Drake up into the excellent character we see now and who has contributed so very, very much to all of those characters.
It's more of a shame, however, to see a possible collapse in the DC staffing. Wait, no, not possible. The evidence is right there--Countdown was a complete fiasco, to no one's fault but Didio's.
If you're going to tell a 52 issue story, make it good. Make it important. Don't make it fodder for joke cannons and irritated blog posts about how clearly DC's right hand isn't paying attention to what the left hand is doing. And when you have a massively big event planned for the summer and already know what is going to occur in the fall, make the 52 issue story reflect it. Enhance it. Set it up. Don't kill Orion in three different goddamn books. Don't piss off your readers and when one of your prominent, popular writers opens his mouth on a massive comic book news site and says "Oh, hey, by the way, forget everything that Countdown told you and all those stupid tie-ins" do us all a favor and have the editors do some damage control.
Hey Didio, it's alright to be wrong. Really. We're a sort of forgiving sort. Well, the ones that have moved out of their mother's basements are a forgiving sort. And Didio, you know, it's also okay to screw up and then admit it. For definitely. It's comic books! They're supposed to be fun!
Oh and hey, how about having all the editors for the Batverse books pop into a chat room to fill each other in on everything before the writers get insulted by being told, belatedly, that what they wanted to do and what they were hired to do isn't what they're going to be doing anymore.
My weekend was hijacked by writing, which is why there wasn't a properly written up Rest Of on Friday.
Well, that and reviewing Sky Doll #2 keeps getting away from me and becoming intensely long. There's a lot of really, really great things to be said about this series. I'm pretty sure Kirk Warren reviews it best here. It's a fascinating read, one that's got some of the best art out there and absolutely fascinating themes lacing throughout the entire story. I'd review it, but Kirk already beat me to it with an excellent one.
Recommendation: Pick this up, definitely. And like I said last time, I'm pretty sure I'll be suckered into getting the trade for this as well as the monthlies.
Locke and Key #5 is another great issue in a series that's really knocking it out of the park for me. I've found the art to be solid and immensely enjoyable--as well as perfectly colored--and it enhances the mood of the story tenfold. The writing is poignant and in turns funny, terribly sad and immensely creepy.
The writer, Joe Hill (who I have belatedly discovered is Stephen King's son), balances the mystical aspects perfectly with horror in a story that should be more of a cliche than it is. The characters are typical archetype--older brother = guardian, middle sister = little mother to the brothers and youngest brother = too-curious-for-own good and a mother who is completely falling apart after the murder of her husband. These should be cliche--they are, goddammit, they are--but Hill has used this simplicity to snap together dynamics between them that are deep and unfolded a story that isn't just creepy, but significant.
One of the best tells of a truly good writer is how well they wield simplicity and Hill has been demonstrating the point astonishingly well so far.
Recommendation: You SHOULD have been picking this up. And now that you want to, you can't, because this has been the sleeper hit that I told everyone about, dammit, when the first issue hit the stands. And it's all sold out. Now you're going to have to wait for the trade.
I'm replacing Huntress #3 with Trinity #2 (lie, I was going to do both, but now I'm not. Nyah.)
So, Trinity #2. Alright, dammit, this issue grabbed me. From the title that had me snickering, "Personal Best At Robot Smashing" to the line "I do not swoon over costumed acrobats", I really enjoyed this issue. It was fun, dammit, in a way that Countdown never could have been and 52 definitely shouldn't have been. It's been a lot of fun reading these guys over the last two weeks.
Superman moves a solar system, Wonder Woman has a playdate with robots and Batman dissipates a mystic city with his willpower.
And this week, the second story was hysterical. I want a little Graak for myself. At the very least, I think I'll be making myself a Graak banner for something or another.
Over all? I felt this nailed it. I think that the story is progressing along a little slowly, but it's because Busiek is spending time on the characters instead, not twiddling his thumbs and wasting panels. And whenever a writer wants to over-compensate on character attention, I'm pretty much behind it.
Recommendation: It's fun. And funny. And a solid read that will help you remember why Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are fun. I'll be picking it up next week and am really, really pleased to be doing so. And as a side note, Busiek should win an award for coming up with two of the funniest titles I've read in a while. Too many writers (or editors, maybe?) forget the small joys of having a funny one.
But curse you, Final Fantasy VII!
I'm attempting to research the Sephiroth for my book and am running into Problems. The Kabbalah discusses, quite intensely, ten of the Sephiroth that God manifested in his creation of the universe. These Holy Sephiroth issued from his right hand. However, there are also stories of the ten Unholy Sephiroth, of which I am mightily interested in gaining information about.
It is, in a word, Difficult. So far, I've only been able to locate an absent mention of them, but nothing that I can for sure rely on.
In being completely unable to locate a book discussing these in any small way, I have turned to Google, with the phrase "unholy Sephiroth" in a desperate attempt to find some small speck of reliable information.
Aaaand I get Final Fantasy finds. Excellently unhelpful. Even when I exclude the phrase "final fantasy", I'm getting nonsensicals. Or fanatics. Teeeeeriffic.
I think I'm going to have to track down an expert here in Seattle and attempt to pick his/her brain.
Any Sephiroth experts in the Blogosphere House?
Edit: La la la. Qliphoth was what I should have been looking for. I am immensely pleased. And still open to any Sephiroth and/or Qliphoth experts to sound in on various things.
Also, I love how every religion on our world runs on the theory of balance. It makes my world such a contented place.
And that's all I need to say about that.
Random note while I'm taking a quick break from
weeding in the sunshine, I mean writing the rest of the reviews, wait-- cooking dinner and folding the laundryignoring everything I should be doing to terrorize my helpless, slow-moving spawnlings with a water gun.
I've decided to test drive this blog roll thing, which you now see lurking like a beast to your left.
Sound off about it like you've got
a pairan opinion. I'm thinking perhaps three columns might be nice, at this juncture. Not that anyone actually scrolls all the way ass down to look at my tweets or history or tag list, but still!
Generally, this was a decent week in comics.
Here's a note: If, for some ungodly and strange reason, you want to hear my thoughts in my Books That Look Good (or not) post, but didn't end up reviewing for whatever reason, comment and I'll do so.
Let's kick off with Burn #2, created by Camilla D'Errico, written by Scott Sanders with art by Camilla d'Errico.
Issue #1 was something of a disappointment for me, with the clunky writing and slow build, but #2 found its groove and pulled it together to slide into an interesting story. I enjoy Camilla's sketchy art, but more than that, I am really enjoying the concept and plot of the story, which presented itself fully in this issue.
Very creepy mecha here and I'm enjoying the mental merging between Burn and Shoftiel (I believe that's its name). Scott's writing is definitely smoothing out and hit some great lines that enhanced the pictures instead of, as in #1, weighing them down. Very nice over all, I'm looking forward to #3.
Recommendation? If you like mecha and manga, this is a great comic book. Also, if you like the extreme misery of little boys.
Charlatan Ball #1. This ultimate crackness is brought to us by Joe Casey and Andy Suriano.
This is a story about a guy and his bunny. The guy, Chuck Amok, is a magician (think more Copperfield, less Zatanna) whose clientèle isn't exactly affectionate. Really, they're there to see all the strippers, not Amokacadabra, so it's hardly their fault. The bunny, Caesar, is a wonderfully predatory little friend who is also good for prop work.
Then there's this other dimension, where Amokacadabra is very badly needed for some distraction business and the rest is . . . well. The rest is doomful for our heroes and looking to be an excellent, alternative story. Highly entertaining and some solid writing is paired with visually stimulating, fun art.
If this book doesn't hit at least a cult classic by the time it hits trades, I'll make someone eat their hat.
Recommendation: Give it a try, this is a promising break for normalcy.
Angel #8 already? Really? It feels like it shouldn't be eight months old, but alright. Brian Lynch and Franco Urru--WAIT! What's this?! Distinguishable characters? Good art? Dear GOD, this isn't Urru! None of it is! Three stories, by three different artists. Enjoyable, yes. Yes, yes.
Let's have a moment of silence, for the IDW
GodsEditors have heard our screams of agony.
. . .
Excellent. I say thank you, thank you, thank you. So, anyway, the first story "Gwen" was written by Lynch and the art was done by the Greatly Welcomed Fabio Mantovani. I liked this one, the constant doom all Angel characters suffer freezes what's left of the bright part of my soul. Which tickles, really, and is quite enjoyable. Gwen gets completely screwed and realizes she should've left L.A. about three minutes too late to get out of Dodge. Which sucks for her, but I like that this little piece was given to her and I hope to see more of our Electric Maiden soon.
"Civilians" was written by, again, Lynch and the art was done by Kevyn Schmidt, whose style slowly grew on me. He captured the subtleties of facial expressions quite well, which was one of the highlights of this story. Aside from just the simple awesomeness of this crazy guy, who we've all walked by and very secretly hoped wasn't right.
Haven't you always had that moment of doubt upon seeing a crazy person toting around an 'The End Is Near' sign? And then to see him later with a sword . . . I absolutely love it, Whedon/Lynch. Bonus points.
Very sweet and ultimately sad story that I enjoyed immensely.
Annnnnd then there's "Gunn"-written by Brian Lynch and Scott Tipton (lucky bastard), art by Mirco Pierfederici. The thing about Gunn, the really excellently wonderfully and terribly funny thing about Gunn is that this is a guy who, above everyone else, was always waiting to get screwed. Always. I have to love him for it, because he looked at the odds, put on some muscle, grabbed and trained a crew and said "Screw it, I'm in.". And never, ever expected to make it out alive. You've gotta love that in a guy.
Anyhow, this story is a complete gem. From Gunn's thoughts to what's going on to his realization and resolution of this is just completely great. Awesome, and so very Gunn, so terrible, I love it.
Recommendation: Well, not a good jumping on point, but IMO, this issue straightens up from the messiness we've seen before and tells three fantastically good stories. Hopefully the next issue grants us this as well and then we'll have three in a row.
Action Comics #866, written by Geoff Johns and pencils by Gary Frank, was a great part 1. Brainiac was creepy, the flashbacks were creepy and Clark Kent, Jealous Boyfriend is adorable. I really, really enjoyed the page between Catherine Grant, Clark and the Donut. Quite funny.
Recommendation: Pick it up, definitely, this is going to be One Of Those Arcs.
Green Lantern Corps #25 with Tomasi and Gleason was good. Really good, actually, but it was just another layer onto the cake that's being made and so it wasn't so much distinguishable (save for some truly funny Guy stuff) as maintaining the good ship lollipop. Which is perfectly fine, but I do hope there's an over-all climax before the end of the year. Know what I mean?
Hmmm, sleepy and distracted by Rocky Horror Picture Show. More tomorrow--most importantly, Sky Doll #2, Huntress #3 and Locke and Key #5.
Also, I'll be compiling a list of the Best Of What The Hell Is "R.I.P.", because you crazy wretches came up with too many that had me snickering myself stupid today.
I've been meaning to pose this question to everyone for . . . shamingly long, really, and keep forgetting. Excellent!
Possible suggestions for what R.I.P. could stand for, if not for Rest In Peace? (Edit: Oh brain. You're not so old that you can misspell 'peace' and take three hours to realize you did. Highway 167 is like my Highway of Stupid Realizations)
Robin In Pieces?
Robin In Pants?
Rorschach Is Pretty?
Sound off. The more obscure, the better. I'll take funny as well.
Oh look, it's that time again! Books I'm either into or will be checking out this week:
Action Comics #866 -I'm curious, that's all. I really want to see where this is headed and I think I'll give it one issue to let me know.
Booster Gold #10
Gotham Underground #9 -Only because it's the last one. And I was stupid and read all the others. And maybe there'll be a pay-off. Or maybe I'll just learn my lesson that Penguin is never awesome. Either or.
Green Lantern Corps #25
The Huntress: Year One #3
The Lost Boys: Reign of Frogs #2
Salvation Run #7 -Same situation as Gotham Underground, only I believe this book has been better. Or I'm just biased for Lex and Joker. At any rate, this book is a solid example of why DC rushed itself into Final Crisis and why they really, really needed to stop making so many tie-ins a year ago. More on this later.
Simon Dark #9 -I've been very, very strongly enjoying this series.
Tiny Titans #5 -The Book That Adorable Built.
Trinity #2 -If it doesn't slam it out this week, it's going to get a flip through next week.
Young Liars #4
Captain Britain and MI: 13 2 #2
Eternals #1 -I've been looking forward to this, so here's to hoping.
Genext #2 -Really liked #1, so definitely snagging this again. Interesting read and a fun concept in the midst of all the other stuff going on. It's a good side title.
Mighty Avengers #13
New Avengers #40
New Exiles #7
NewUniversal: Shockfront #2
Secret Invasion: Who Do You Trust #2
Skaar: Son Of Hulk #1
Sky Doll #2 -The series built of awesome. Awesome awesomeness abounds. Really.
Charlatan Ball #1 -I have been looking forward to this series too, the previews of it look excellent. I encourage an intent flip-through at your LCS.
Dark Horse (gets no cool pic)
Absolute Sandman Vol 3
Vinyl Underground #1
Marvel Zombies 2
Silver Surfer: In Thy Name
Ultimate X-Men #8
Wolverine: Enemy of the State Ultimate Collection
The Joker: Greatest Stories Ever Told
The Question: The Five Books Of Blood
Will Eisner's The Spirit Archives Vol 24
Crawl Space XXXombies Vol 1
The Amazing Joy Buzzards Vol 1: Here Come The Spiders
Aaaand (you knew it was coming) Here's what I'm avoiding:
Titans #3 -Oh, hey, it's the cover that Crap built. Why does Nightwing look like he's regurgitating food to Baby Bird!Starfire? And why does Cyborg look so. freaking. ridiculous? And why are they still putting this book out? With a blurb like this:
what's going on with Nightwing, Starfire,
Flash, Beast Boy, Raven, Donna and Red Arrow?
Can this team get their act together
before their mysterious
foes reveal themselves?
Green Arrow/Black Canary -This keeps making my brain hurt in not very delicious ways. While there are some amusing moments, over all the story is just bad and the small gems scattered throughout aren't worth the agony for me. Avoiding like the plague and biding my time until they're all cool again.
Note: Birthday parties for children? Exhausting. But it was chock full of awesomeness--and totally sunny for the duration of the party. I was shocked and certain that I was going to have to entertain twenty plus people in my house and am now supremely pleased that I got to throw them into my backyard. Excellent. Even if it was all Spider-Man, all the time. Seriously, the kid got ten Spider-Man presents. Everyone I know took this opportunity as a moment for revenge.
Fine, at least he likes comic books.