Friday, July 25, 2008

Back From The Dead.

Holy shnikees! Blogger brought us back! More later.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Labor Intensive Set-Up For A Joke That's Not All That Funny

Question: In the two-and-a-half year history of this blog, have I ever given any sort of indication that I can read or speak Chinese?

Answer: Fuck, and No.

So, Anonymous Chinese Comment Spammer, what exactly is being accomplished by leaving dense piles of undecipherable, completely unintelligible text everywhere?

I suppose this is how it feels to be an X-Men reader.


(Thank you! I'll be here all week! Try the veal!)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

RIP, Heath Ledger

Well, shit.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Great Googly Moogly!

So, I check the new releases this week --- as is my wont (as the olde timey authores used to say) on Wednesdays, and two great big surprises are waiting for me.

1) Fell #9! Fell is back! Ye Gods, I never thought I'd see another issue! Oh, Fell, how I've missed you!

2) The Marvel Premier hardcover version of Madrox: Multiple Choice, the limited series PAD used as a reboot to the X-Factor franchise. You'll recall me going on and on about the awesomeness of it, and hell yeah I'll shell out the $20 for the hardcover.

Anyway. Reviews on Friday, but really --- my week's already been made.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Death, Taxes, and Crossovers

Ha! Ha! See what I did there? I referenced the three things I'm posting about here, just a quick thought since I stayed home today to do battle with the IRS while caught in the throes of the Sumatran Death Flu.

Anyway, I was reading some blogs around DC's upcoming Final Crisis and wondering: has it gotten to the point where the only reason to read a comics event is to find out who dies? Seriously --- that seems to be the only question at this point.

Well, that and whether Grant Morrison's going to turn the DCU into a sentient amoeba. My money says yes.

Monday, January 14, 2008

2007 Year In Review: Marvel Edition

Right, so, Marvel? Weird, weird company.

2007 began badly. First we had the shit-tastic ending to Civil War which went out with a whimper, not a bang. (Cap finally deciding to give up? Really?) This was immediately followed by a flood of new books, Initiative and Avenger-related, the vast majority of which I ignored.

Then, we got the final issue of Nextwave, and seeing that title end made me so very, very sad. It was a postmodern four-color love letter to the crazy, stupid, irrational joy of superheroes

(Side Note: Nextwave was also notable because Warren Ellis seemed like he finally learned that it was OK to mock superhero comics and have fun at the same time, instead of trashing them in a bitter, vengeful kind of way.)

Following that, Cap died. This, as you might have heard, was regarded as something of a big deal, and rightfully so. While I can't deny that it was well-written and set off an interesting chain of events, I feel like Bucky, Falcon, and co. have been treading water ever since, and I'm running out of "faith in Brubaker" cards to play. We'll see how CapBucky works out this year.

Things started turning around with the smashy yumminess of World War Hulk, a beautifully drawn slugfest that stood up just fine without reading any of the tie-in/spinoff/whatevers.

Annihilation:Conquest also began, and while it's too soon to tell whether it's going to pay off or not, it's been okay thus far despite lackluster miniseries prologues.

(Side Note: The ending to What If Annihilation Had Reached Earth? Was. Awesome. And a much better way to end Civil War... and Annihilation, for that matter. Been said before, but it bears repeating.)

More importantly (to me), Iron Man started his long road to creative rehabilitation. Between the outstanding Iron Man: Hypervelocity miniseries from Adam Warren, the joyous Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin miniseries from Joe Casey and 2GBC fave Eric Canete, Christos Gage's Iron Man Annual, and the wow-there's-actually-a-Brubakeresque-long-range-plan-here surprising goodness of the Knaufs' work on the regular Iron Man series, Tony Stark is becoming somebody you'd actually want to read about again. Who'da thunkit?

(Side Note: Of course, after having been characterized as "fascist assclown" for the majority of 2006, anything was bound to have been better.)

And hey, howzabout the return of Thor this year? Strazcynski's been much better than I expected despite one or two bad storytelling choices (Thor v. Darfur, anyone? No? Good.) , and added three or four legitimately interesting twists on bringing back Asgard and Company. Can't say I have much love for Coipel's art, but I certainly can't say it's bad, and that's good.

As for other Marvel books --- well, Moon Knight kind of died on the vine erupted in flaming vomit.

And then there's Spidey. I don't regularly read Spider-Man, and an editorially-mandated deus ex Mephisto divorce story sure as shit wasn't going to make me start. Since I didn't actually read it, I can't comment on the quality of the storytelling (though it certainly smells pungent from where I'm sitting), but I will say this: I don't know anyone that was reading Spider-Man for the marital drama. I don't know anyone that will read Spider-Man for the insight into the singles scene.

I guess what I'm trying to say is there's bad, and then there's unnecessarily bad. "Fixing" something that wasn't "broken" in the first place except in the mind of a relentlessly-poor-judge-of-story Editor-in-Chief is forgivable if it's done as an honest piece of work; doing it because you shot your wad for cheap press and shock value in Civil War #2 and have to backtrack is insulting.

X-Factor has been hijacked with the God-damned Messiah Complex crossover for... well, I think it's been 4 months, but it seems like forever. Please, I beg you, stop the madness.

Oh, and the confusingly-titled Marvel DCU launched this year; anyone out there using the digital model now instead of the paper kind? Let us know how that's working out for you.

(Side Note: when I first saw Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited abbreviated as "Marvel DCU", I immediately went into 3rd degree respiratory failure as every shitty Amalgam comic came rushing back into my brain. And yes, I read far too many of those.)

So yeah; lots of ups and downs for Marvel this year. Like I said, weird company. I guess my hopes for 2008 on the Marvel side boil down to 2 things:

1) Stay true to your characters. Someone wants a fresh take or re-imagining? Fine. Slap an Ultimate label on it. Don't mess with the 616 unless a good great story demands it.

2) Let's get the band back together. At this point, the only Big Event series I want to see is Captain America + Every Marvel Hero Ever banding together to fight off the super-army of Dr. Doom + Every Marvel Villain Ever. Give me 5 issues of that, good vs. evil, good guys v. bad guys, throwing down in a super-sized bar fight, and I will be one happy reader. Christ, at this point, I'll take Secret Wars III.

Is that asking too much?


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

2007 Year In Review: DC Edition

This isn't going to take much time, mainly because, frankly, I didn't read a whole hell of a lot of DC comics this year --- at least, nothing that I hadn't been reading the year before.

So, what will I think of when I look back on DC in 2007?

1) Weekly series infecting the monthly books. Look, I don't know if 52 Countdowns To Crisis Infinity Finals has been successful or not (based on the fact that they're still making them, I'll say yes), but they've almost completely turned me off trying anything new in the DCU. I guess I'm just one of those weirdos who don't want a weekly series, particularly one that, by most accounts, treads water for a good deal of the time.

2) For the most part, I stayed with only a few titles all year from DC and completely ignored the "events". Green Lantern Corps, Jonah Hex, Detective Comics, Atom, and Checkmate continued to be my mainstays... and looking at that list, I realize that I probably have the most boring-looking pull list of any DC customer ever.

3) I did discover two wonderful additions this year, though --- Birds of Prey, both with and without Simone, and Flash, which (was) back and better than ever with Mark Waid back on the book.

4) I continued to lament the lack of a solo Hawkman book, but I think at this point I just need to get over it.

5) Wonder Woman's off to a good start, too.

So, my hope for DC in 2008?

Give me a reason to read your books. Make me want to read Superman, JLA, and all the rest, except for Teen Titans.

Drop the high-concept stuff --- just for a little while --- and let folks who can't tell Earth-43 from Earth-12 into your rich, dynamic universe.

Keep it simple, and don't be afraid to crack a smile now and then. You've got an incredible stable of writers, let them write.

And don't let Grant Morrison get his way too often around there --- that way lies madness.