Silver Age Hal Jordan Edition
Reprinted in the new Giant-Size Marvel trade.
That’s all I’ve got to say, but here’s a picture of a kitty I found on Flickr that should make this post appear to be more robust than it is. As the commenter says, all he wants is some sharks with frickin’ laser beams.
Ignoring Don Simpson’s specious assertion that the American comics business consists entirely of Art Comix and Superhero Slugfests1, Oni Press put out Antony Johnston and Matthex Loux’s romantic comedy F-Stop this week and it is a fun, spry slip of a thing that I’m pretty sure I’m going to forget I own in a few weeks, but that’s perfectly fine – I can rediscover it sometime, just like how much I enjoy When Harry Met Sally slips my mind until I catch a few minutes on TBS and I cackle along with all the inspired bits that make it stand out of the rest of the genre. Johnson’s scripting in this story of a photographer who becomes the next big thing and the model who comes to love him is natural and zips right along and while Loux’s art may take a minute or two to get used to, he’s got real storytelling chops and even the model montages (which would normally make me toss this book into the incinerator and then go read Naomi Wolf) are beautifully handled. The only thing I take real exception to is the $15 price point, which seems a tad on the high side; $12 or $13 may well have gotten unnoticed by me, but something about those extra couple of bucks made me raise my eyebrow. Still, if you get a discount at your LCS or order it on Amazon, it comes in at a perfectly acceptable price. Something to consider adding to your next order to qualify for that fancy “Super Saver Shipping” crap.
In completely unrelated news, I know I’ve been crapping a lot on John Byrne of late, but I found this on the internets yesterday and thought to myself “Self, this is pretty freaking neat.” So, in a snark-free manner, I present to you…
I don’t want to go all Dave’s Long Box on you people, but I was introduced to the sweetest supervillain of all motherfucking time today at the shop by Mike. I want you to close your eyes…ok, shit, open them and read and then close them and imagine the awesomeness that can only come from…
I am shitting you not – this most awesome of villain concepts first premiered in issue #14 of that most 70s of Marvel superteam titles, The Champions. Fritz Von Meyer had escaped to South American and started experimenting with bees, as all Nazis can do is perform experiments horribly wrong. In this case, he figured stinging insects + radiation from an unknown meteor = world domination or something, I guess and was proven horribly wrong when the transmogrified bugs go and get superintelligent (for bees, I suppose) and more savage just before stinging him and consuming his flesh to the point where he was devoured down to a skeleton and it was only the fact that he grabbed the queen bee and somehow seized control of the hive that he was able to become…SWARM.
What good is hellfire against fascist bees, really?
Swarm goes and attacks the LA-based Champions, who it should be noted had the weirdest lineup in comics: Black Widow, Iceman, Hercules, Angel, and Ghost Rider, as you can see right there. Talk about a team that had to be created as some kind of sick bar bet between Bill Mantlo and the most esteemed Archie Goodwin, awesome editor type. “Hey, Arch! If I drink these three shots in under 20 seconds, I get to sleep with your wife. If I don’t, I’ll write whatever superteam you can pull out of your ass!” Anyway, Swarm gets defeated after the team manages to…um…toss the queen bee very far away from him. I’d call that a rather embarrassing end for…A Goddamn Nazi Made Of Bees.
Nothing keeps a hard-working German down for long, though, and when scientist at Peter Parker’s then-college, Empire State University decide to expose Von Meyer’s skeleton to a bee hive because there’s a rule that if somebody isn’t performing some completely stupid science experiment within 10 miles of Spider-Man at all times, a busload of orphans get tossed into a furnace every ten minutes.
Hope you brought your Deep Woods Off!™, web slinger!
Of course Spider-Man kicks his Nazi Bee ass over the next two issues because that’s what our hero does, right? You can read a comprehensive-as-hell summary over at this superdisco nerd fan site, which also points out that Ben Reilly (oh, god, him) faced down Swarm in an issue of Sensational Spider Man. Sadly, our featured villain has not graced us with his Fascist Insect Presence of late, but I am sure that deep in the wilds of Portland, Bendis is feverishly plotting to use Ultimate Swarm in the near future. At least he somehow got onto Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends in the 80s. No, I can’t figure out how that worked, either.
Buzz, mutterficken, buzz!
Linking is fun, linking is serious. (Hi, Ed!)
Ren pointed me to a reason to get an iPod. Sounds like how I’d roll, even if the writer is stupidly embarrassed to like the Pet Shop Boys. (Major respect for The Rezzillos getting some love, though.)
This open letter to the Kansas School Board is screamingly funny, and not in the way that Cory Doctorow over at BoingBoing seems to think a picture of Mickey Mouse winking at Donald Duck is.
You know, normally, Don Simpson can go right to hell in my opinion for comments like this:
There are two groups of readers served by American comic books: the ages of 10-15 and the ages of 17-22. The genres that serve these two age groups are known as superheroes and so-called alternative or art comics, respectively. Both genres, needless to say, are predominantly male-oriented.
In other words, there are comics for boys who live in their parentsï¿½ basements, and comics for guys who live in basement apartments.
You can read on from that link, he gets downright insulting and dismissive of indie publishers who are doing things that aren’t at extreme ends of a spectrum – he states that there’s basically Superman or Eightball and that’s it, ignoring publishers I like and respect for the sake of making a nebulous point. Anyway, Ed (Hi, again!) pointed me to this essay where he makes some perfectly good points and saves him from being tossed against the wall when the revolution comes.
The question, ultimately, is not whether one learns to tell comic book stories from other comic books (or Swiss proto-comics) or from movies, but rather, why is it so difficult for comics to acknowledge a debt to another artform, any other art formï¿½in this case, one so obviously dominant and ubiquitous in our culture? Who cares where one has learned his craft, as long as it has been learned?
I think of good writing or art in comics1 or film as being akin to jazz – if you’ve got the skills and can play well, how you got where you got isn’t nearly as important. I do think that one can get a better understanding of how things work when they educate themselves a bit, but if the raw talent is is there, go for it and play catch up with us pseudo-intellectuals later, for Grodd’s sake!
I came across this old title on the GCD and thought…well…it deserves a broader audience than it would find while buried deep in their archives. I present to you two covers from Cynthia Doyle: Retarded Nurse In Love.
I don’t think that’s going to dissuade him, Cynthia Doyle: Crazy-Ass Bitch.
I’ve written a bit too much over the last few days to get really enthused this morning, so instead I’m going to show a picture. Kristin made this hat for my pal Josh’s new daughter and as I’m the proud pseudo-uncle to Svea and boyfriend to the knitter, I decided to put it here. Everyone loves cute babies. I’m going to start Babybattle.com to compete with Kittenwar.com soon. You’ll note the nice blanket, which was also made by Kristin. She’s really good at this knitting stuff.
Dark Horse Solicitations For August 2005 Are Go!
Right off the bat: Aeon Flux?!? Double-ya tee eff, eh? I mean, of all the oddball properties with a cult audience to resurrect, this just comes screaming out of leftfield and sits on your chest, licking your face and making you feel dirty. There’s nothing particularly offensive about an Aeon Flux comic, but if this keeps up, I expect to see Charles Burns’s Dogboy get re-released along with a new Beavis And Butt-head comic. Liquid Television was an alright bit of late-night fare, you know? I’m surprised they’re deviating from the show’s look so much, though, as Peter Chung’s design is what sold it to most people, I’m quite sure. Even with the live-action movie (I smell bomb!) coming out, you’d think they’d want to appeal to the core audience who will be the ones who’ll buy this book, not your Charlize Theron fans needing spaffing material.
It’s sort of strange that they’re doing a trade of The American, but at 360 pages for $15, that’s a heck of a bargain if you like that sort of thing. I think I was a bit too young when I first read it, so I may not have understood the ironicalness (heh) of the piece, if there is any.
My pal Peter (seriously, click) plays with custom figures quite a bit, so I may point him in the direction of Steve Kiwus’s Babes, Beasts, And Brawn. He seems to be devoting himself to Lego customs of late, though, which may well mean that he needs to wait for Teeny Tiny Babes, Beasts, and Brawn.
Oh, hey, a new BPRD series that I’m sure to enjoy the hell out of – Guy Davis doing a regular book again is something that makes me squeal like a little girl. The trade for BPRD: The Dead comes out in September and I have to say that I found the longer story format much more compelling than the shorter one-shot works.
I wish I liked Conan more. He’s not bad, and I’ve enjoyed the short stories that Howard wrote, but the second he crosses the 20 pages mark, I get bored rapidly, even with the comics. I know, I’m a heathen. Still, Busiek’s one of the best guys in comics and Cary Nord draws the shit out of this stuff.
A second trade collecting Chadwick’s Concrete comes out and even if I don’t like the cover that much, I have to say that this is pretty much a must-have for me. Concretewas one of those comics that really opened my eyes when I was a certain age. I still have that first series beaten up and bruised badly from near-weekly readings around here somewhere and I can’t praise it enough.
Blah blah blah hey there’s Doctor Solar, oh shit it’s fifty bucks, blah blah, done with Jingle Belle, even if it’s not bad, really, blah blah blah. Hey, Lady Snowblood! I’ve seen two of the films, actually, but never read the comic. Not quite the same, slightly too-small-for-my-tastes, size as the Lone Wolf And Cub series, which makes it a little more interesting to me. Blah blah blah why are they pushing The Last Temptation again?
I read the first issue of The Man With The Screaming Brain and found it nearly mindless, ludicrous, and absolutely worth every penny. You know what you’re getting from Bruce Campbell, really, and getting Hilary Barta’s art is always pretty freakin’ nice. The final issue comes out in August, so expect a trade around Christmas. It’ll look great sitting next to How To Make Love The Bruce Campbell Way.
The solicitation for New Recruits is very self-congratulatory, isn’t it, with a slight hint of condescension towards the potential customer? It matches other companies’ “Great Place To Jump On Board With This New Story Arc!” with the Perfect for readers interested in finding NEW stories and seeing what’s new in the comics market, and a Aspiring creators who want to see what a “winning” submission looks like will pay attention to this book. No, this is what a winning submission to Dark Horse looks like, and let’s face it – Dark Horse isn’t putting out very much in the way of new material of late, instead opting to go with manga, licensing, and reprinting older material. I’d be much more interested in seeing a book like this from AIT or Slave Labor.
Mind you, just under New Recruits is a the first issue of a brand new title called Revelations that may be new, but seems to be depending on The DaVinci Code for its inspiration. If that wasn’t enough to dissuade me, it’s written by Paul Jenkins, who I used to enjoy quite a lot but seems to be in a real slump of late with an artist who makes me want to gouge my eyes out and drop-ship them to Zimbabwe, Humberto Ramos.
However, my point is not lost! We follow up with a comic based on Serenity, the bigscreen adventure of the people from Firefly, three Star wars comics (a light month, really, for these,) and Super Manga Blast! At least Stan Sakai’s magnum opus, Usagi Yojimbo recovers Dark Horse from the proving-my-goddamn-point tailspin. And hey, just in time for a month before Halloween we get some Zombieworld in trade paperback.
There. All four major publishers covered. This shit is exhausting. Daddy’s going to go make a special adult beverage with his amber juice while you watch TV now.
Graeme over at Fanboy Rampage covered the Marvel solicits so I don’t have to. He’s a saint for doing that and I love him as if he sprang from the same loins as myself.
For the most part, the stuff they’re pimping this time around is so very not-at-all interesting to me outside of the Ultimates annual (love me some Steve Dillon), the final Daredevil story arc, and the Giffen/DeMatteis Defenders. That Englehart Avengers: Vision And The Scarlet Witch trade was tempting until I saw the artist – Don Heck. Bah. Maybe I can wince my way through it and enjoy the story well enough, just to affirm my love of 70s Marvel. At least we’ll get Englehart/Perez on that Serpent Crown trade that’s going to be out in September.
Oh, and there’s fucking Daredevil: Father #2. Nice way to show that you’re committed to comic books, Quesada. 18 months between issues on a four-part miniseries? Jackhole.
(Check out that gorgeous DD cover by Billy The Sink up there. We are, of course, fans of Sienkiewicz here at BeaucoupKevin Plaza and recommend that you click on it to see it all explodo and big.)
1. Total amount of music files on your computer:
24.4GB at work, 13GB at home. Since the last time I’ve done this, I’ve realized that it’s OK to stuff the work computer full of music as most of our files related to work are hosted on the server. I have one playlist called BeaucoupRadio that is all single, unmixed tracks that totals up 21.55GB and has ten days, twenty hours of music. The home collection is mostly jazz, and Mal knows why. Sometime soon, I’m going to get a new printer or just go into Kinkos and print out the liner notes for that set.
2. The last CD you bought was:
I hit Newbury a couple of weeks ago and picked up three CDs. In A Safe Place by The Album Leaf, Brian Eno and Robert Fripp’s The Equatorial Stars, and Isn’t Anything by My Bloody Valentine because somebody absconded with this and the recently-replaced Loveless a while back. Oh, and I picked up the domestic single for New Order’s “Krafty” because there were three different mixes from the UK release. Yes, I am like that. This was supposed to be a short answer, wasn’t it?
3. What is the song you last listened to before reading this message?
“Twister” by Spacetime Continuum, from the sublime tech-jazz album Emit Ecaps. Funky, bumpy oddball electronic music that always surprises me, even years after the fact.
4. Write down 5 songs you often listen to or that mean a lot to you.
“Miracles.” by Pet Shop Boys.
“My Favorite Things” by John Coltrane.
“Jumbo” by Underworld.
“Eleanor Rigby” by The Beatles.
“I Feel Love” by Donna Summer.
However, it should be noted that my iTunes playlist at work has been insisting that I listen to a lot of NWA, in particular “Just Don’t Bite It.” Yaz’s “Only You” has also gotten more “random” plays for some strange reason – 9 times in the last week, versus a huge chunk songs getting none. I reshuffle my list too often and I think that makes the computer decide to fuck with me a bit by making sure I pay respect to Mr. Vincent Clarke.
5. Who are you going to pass this stick to? (3 persons) and why?
Nah. I’ll let others spread the love.
Tom in my comments: I’ll do the Dark Horse solicits just for you tomorrow. That’s the kind of guy I am. I may also attempt to sit down with the next Previews and give a shout out to things what you people may like.
Image’s solicitations went up while I wasn’t looking1, and I figure I’ll tell you to pick up Stupid Comics #3, as it’s Mahfood doing what he does best and features an awesome Hunter S Thompson homage for its cover. Speaking of covers, The Pact (a comic I don’t particularly feel the need to care about at all) does a fine job putting word balloons on its cover, and the recently-praised-heavily-by-moi Jonathan Luna does PVP in the style of old romance comics.
Random bits in no particular order:
Does anyone like Body Bags? I’d really love to meet a representative of this title’s target audience and get my doctoral thesis in criminal psychology wrapped up quickly.
I’d be more interested in Dusty Star if I’d not recently read Daisy Kutter and enjoyed it thoroughly. Ferro City also smacks a little bit of Mister X and Terminal City, but I’ll give the hard-boiled detective what shoots bad people in the head while holding the key to robot liberty in his hands a fair shake.
Could The Faceless want to look like Mike Oeming any more?
Was anyone demanding that Coyote collection? I mean, cool that they’re doing it, but…it’s not very good stuff, is it? I guess that since Sable and Why is this coming out while there’s not a definitive Nexus reprint, anyway?
While I may have issues with Howard Shum’s almost maniacal dedication to objectifying the female form, Gun-Fu is a hell of a lot of fun and I’ll be getting the trade.
Why the fuck aren’t you reading The Amazing Joy Buzzers? Really.
That is one awful cover on Case Files: Sam And Twitch, a book I generally enjoy quite a bit despite the fairly abysmal art on the current arc. Has anyone shopping for comics actually said “Wow, this new story arc looks like it makes a great entry point for me, the new reader?” Just make it a series of OGNs, people.
I wish I could say I was superenthusiastic about Gødland, but the Kirby Pastiche As Basis For A Series just makes me sad.
Quoted directly from the solicits: ALSO AVAILABLE: SPAWN/BATMAN BY FRANK MILLER & TODD McFARLANE! Fuck you.
Girls looks mighty pretty and hey, those Luna cats again. You’ll note that they make sure to mention you can get Ultra: Seven Days if you’ve not gone and bought it at my behest.
That Grounded is another comic that sure does look easy on the eyes, isn’t it? I’ll give it a gander, even if it smacks of something that should be an OGN. Yes, I’m harping on the OGN thing quite a bit today.
Two notes about Top Cow:
I’m sure that Wanted trade paperback is going to sell fairly well, and I’m sorta torqued the issues go for so little on eBay, as I was a fool and a sucker.
FELON #1-#4 set
Writer Greg Rucka and artist Matthew Clark (Adventures of Superman) bring to life the tale of Cassiday, a beautiful woman just released from prison. Cassiday was set up, and is looking to get revenge on the men who sent her to the big house-and looking to get $300,000 in stolen loot. The entire Felon mini-series is available here, priced below original cover price!
Four comics $9.99
Wasn’t this either left unfinished or canceled or something? I remember liking the setup, but disliking the actual comic. It’s been like 3 years, too; they must have a ton of them in the warehouse still.
Remember a couple of years ago when the big rumor (OK, it was more of a pipe dream on the part of one lonely fanboy that spun out of control) was that Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons were going to do Fantastic Four? This was playing on my mind this morning on the subway and I’ve decided that I need to take over the comics industry just so I can make the following Comic Book Dream Teams happen.
I’m still mulling over my thoughts concerning this title, but this conversation sums up a huge portion of why I’m not quite sure I like it:
BeaucoupKevin: OH YOU KNOW WHAT I READ LAST NIGHT?
BeaucoupKevin: I READ SUPREME POWER LAST NIGHT.
InternetFriend: And it made you shouty?
BeaucoupKevin: 12 ISSUES AND THEY JUST FORM THEIR LITTLE TEAM?????
InternetFriend: Yeah, but it’s not your standard decompression. I dunno. I like it.
BeaucoupKevin: Yeah. But…I was just acutely reminded of what Watchmen accomplished in that time.
InternetFriend: What about LOVE & ROCKETS, though, huh? How many goddamn years has that thing been running and THE SUPER-TEAM IS STILL NOT TOGETHER.
I get what J Michael Straczynski is doing with Supreme Power, I really do, and there’s lots in it that I like quite a lot, but I can not imagine having the patience to read this month to month, as a lot more stuff seems to happen than story. Does that make sense to anyone else? There’s an attention to detail that’s admirable and yes, maybe it’s time somebody took the “realistic superhero” meme in this direction, but it seems much more clinical than compelling and the by-the-numbers pacing leaves you holding the first hardcover and wondering when the meat of the story is going to show up. Major respect, though, to Gary Frank’s art – he does a superlative job and has clearly stepped away from the shadow of Steve Dillon that was being cast over his work previously.
DC Solicits for August are up and as a Comics Blogger, it is my solemn duty to act like I care enough for anything that is not a freaking awesome reprint collection featuring a fucktonne of “imaginary stories,” Gotham Central, Seven Soldiers-related, or Stuart Moore’s Firestorm. Well, let’s see, shall we, doing this week-by-week style? I thought so.
The week of August 3rd shows the aforementioned Firestorm and Gotham Central having their regular pamphlets issued, along with Part 3 of DC Special: The Return Of Donna Troy? I don’t care if Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and George Perez are drawing this shit; I dunno Donna Troy from a gloryhole and I don’t really need to, do I? I’m sure she’ll just get raped and murdered (again) in a future series – probably Teen Titans or Super Tweenager Cuddlebunch or some other book that they should be flinging at children instead of sad, middle-aged fucks who think that Hawkman should be grim and gritty treatment but they won’t buy a comic that is actually mature if it doesn’t involve spandexed violence junkies.
Did I mention that there’s a freaking awesome reprint collection featuring a fucktonne of “imaginary stories” from the Silver Age coming out this week? There is. You should get that, because it will be totally sweet and you will weep at the awesomeness therein. The fourth Man Of Steel trade collecting the 80s post-reboot issues also hits shelved and I gotta say that the Superboy “Pocket Universe” story collected herein is worth your spending some shekels on in a back-issue bin, if not in trade format. Nice Ordway cover, mind.
Vertigo and Wildstorm are putting out precisely zero books I have any interest in this week. Despite thinking The Intimates had potential and wanting it to be good, it failed to grab me at all after four issues, so I dropped it. I know it’s got an audience, but I guess I ain’t it. J. Scott Campbell’s homage to Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers has its first “real” issue, but you aren’t going to buy that, right? Right.
August 10th sees a lot of stuff getting released and only a very few things are of real interest. There’s the trade paperback for the recent Adam Strange miniseries that gave a lot of people their required amounts of fun and explodo. While I’m not too happy that one has to read The Rann-Thanagar War to know what happens next, it’s still a good read. Superman fans get to bite their lower lips and close their eyes to experience the second Azz/Lee For Tomorrow hardcover, which is a mere $25 for six issues of story. As I mentioned a couple of entries ago, this does exactly nothing for me, despite some decent art.
Ian Churchill’s going to fuck your eyeballs with his pencils on the first issue of the new Supergirl series, with our titular heroine now featuring additional abdominal muscles and an elongated torso to accommodate them. Alternate cover by Michael Turner, apparently including the new EZ-wipe system for those of you who like extra cheekbones and improbable breasts. (There’s also an issue 0 coming out the same week, but you probably have the Superman/Batman #19 reprinted therein already, don’t you, person who would buy this series?)
If I had stupid money to toss at reprint collections, I would buy the World’s Finest Archives in a heartbeat. I do not have stupid money, sadly.
Vertigo sees the penultimate chapter in the pretty-darn-good-so-far Mnemovore and the latest issue of 100 Bullets while I’m going to be canceling Wildstorm’s Tom Strong tout suite to avoid seeing Paul Gulacy screw up the art. Nice Cover by Chris Sprouse, mind. The second Terra Obscura series gets a paperback, and I may or may not pick that up as I can’t tell you what happened in the first story.
August 17th, the day before my birthday for those of you who care, features something from Grant Morrison, this time having Klaron The Witch Boy running from bad people in modern-day Manhattan. Yet Another Goddamn Batman Miniseries Explores The Formative Years Of The Dark Knight, and I don’t care that it’s Andy Helfer – I’m going to avoid this like it had a giant biohazard sticker slapped on the front.
Did you like Earth X? Did you understand what the fuck was going on in Earth X past issue four? Then you’ll be so very happy to see that Justice from Jim Krueger, Alex Ross, and Doug Braithwaite is coming out. I’m sure Wizard is preparing to praise the living shit out of this, but I’m about as interested in this as I am contracting chlamydia from a Malaysian transexual hooker.
Warren Ellis writes the adventures of a left-wing bastard who shoots people, which I’m sure I’ll pick up out to see if he shoots somebody like Hawkman in the head while espousing the importance of spreading wealth and making sure that health care is available to all. Let’s quote Ellis talking about the title from his Bad Signal email newsletter! “Jack Cross plays with the notion that “liberals” are cuddly recycling owl-fanciers. The first three stories — they’re all four-issue arcs, play with three of the usual thriller genres — the spy/counter-terrorism story, the police procedural and the bodyguard story.” Sign me up.
Vertigo has jack except for something that some freak named Sterling will enjoy, while we get the first issue a second Top Ten series, written by someone whose name is Not Alan Moore while Jerry Ordway makes with the art. I will, at the least, give it a gander for the pretty, pretty pictures alone.
The only thing on sale the week of August 24th that I feel compelled to get from the “main” DC line is the last of the “good” (IE, not featuring art by Paul “I Made Selina Kyle Freakin’ Ugly And Kinda Scary” Gulacy) Catwoman issues from Ed Brubaker’s run in convenient trade format.
I didn’t much like Pi or Requieum For A Dream (despite a high level of craft in both movies,) so my interest in Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain from Vertigo is minimal at best, outside of the hyperbolic phrase “a story so grand, one medium couldn’t contain it” to tell people to expect a movie based on the same story Real Soon Now. Wildstorm has the next-to-last chunk of Chaykin’s City Of Tomorrow as well as the trade collection of Brubaker’s Authority: Revolution (is that any good?) and the third issue of the Alan Moore-plotted-but-not-scriped Albion, which I will be giving the butcher’s.
The last day of August has three things coming out that are of superior interest for me. Warren Ellis’s other long-in-the-can DC project, his JLA Classified run, gets a second issue and despite the awful computer-generated covers, the interiors by Jackson (Butch) Guice were pretty enough in the preview to give me hope. Even with sub-par writers like Chuck Dixon and the continues-to-disappoint Joe Kelly, the art in Jordi Benet’s issue of Solo is going to give me enough eye candy to probably not care one bit. Finally, there’s the last issue of Seven Soldiers: Shining Knight and I am eager to see what Morrison and Bianchi come up with, as the first two issues have been my favorites so far (Guardian being a close, close second,) despite my complete disinterest in most fantasy.
Talk about bizarre: The Robin Archives?!? Don’t get me wrong, I like the Boy Wonder just fine and all, but his getting his own Archives is just surreal. I can see a trade paperback, but not a $50 hardcover collection, really. (No Fourth World Archives yet, you fucks?)
The last week of the month’s offerings from Vertigo and Wildstorm fail to interest me at all, which is sort of disappointing, but will save my wallet a bit of strife, I suppose, as long as no publishers I like follow the same policies. Larry Young, this is the week you release The Absolute Scurvy Dogs, isn’t it?
Jesus fuck, I need another cup of coffee after this and I’m sure Marvel’s going to “have a leak” that means I have to act “Fair and Balanced” and give them the same treatment when, in fact, I’d prefer a dark alley and ten minutes with a baseball bat.
Another post? What fresh hell is this?
What can I say? I’ve got a lot to say today and I keep wanting to ping the Comic Weblog Updates thingie as much as possible. See also: Red Bull + Coffee + Allergy Medicine has turned me into a typing fool, slaughtering my work at a fair clip and I keep a window open to jot things down into, which leads to ranting. You all like ranting, right?
This week’s Diamond shipping list is now complete and robust, with a slight vanilla undertone. It’ll go well with bitter greens and hearty meat dishes.
Let’s start out with this week’s “Shit That’s Killing Comics” List, shall we?
MAR050357 BATMAN BEGINS BATMAN ON ROOFTOP STATUE $89.99
MAR050354 BATMAN BEGINS BATMOBILE REPLICA $195.00
You’d think they had a movie coming out or something. I don’t remember any $200 doodads related to the first Keaton Batman flick and I’m quite sure that if anyone did spend that kind of money on a movie product, they’d feel like an ass a couple of years later when trying to stick it up on eBay or sell it back to their comics shop for credit.
MAR051886 TOXIN #2 (OF 6) $2.99
That’s right, Marvel – you get Peter Milligan and Darrick Robertson to work for you and instead of managing to do something new and different, we get a Venom and Carnage spinoff.
MAR052877 DF MARVEL KNIGHTS SPIDER-MAN #13 SGN $19.99
MAR052870 DF PHOENIX ENDSONG #2 SGN $29.99
JAN052718 DF ULTIMATE SECRET #1 MCNIVEN SGN (RES) $29.99
JAN052719 DF ULTIMATE SECRET #2 MORALES SGN $19.99
JAN052703 DFE DARKNESS & TOMB RAIDER B&W FOIL CVR #1 $14.95
MAR052843 DFE HUNTER KILLER EBAS ALT CVR #2 $14.95
MAR052842 DFE HUNTER KILLER GLOW CVR #2 $14.99
JAN052697 DFE HUNTER KILLER LINSNER RED FOIL CVR #2 $14.99
JAN052700 DFE WITCHBLADE & TOMB RAIDER B&W FOIL CVR #1 $14.95
Dynamic Forces should sign an exclusive with QVC or something so I don’t have to see this bullshit. Did anyone else see that Hunter Killer cover by Linsner? Talk about pandering.
MAR053070 MIRACLEMAN #17 PLATINUM ARCHIVE SIGNED ED $99.95
MAR053069 MIRACLEMAN #17 SIGNED ED $18.95
MAR053071 MIRACLEMAN #22 SIGNED ED $12.95
MAR053072 MIRACLEMAN 3D #1 PLATINUM ARCHIVE SIGNED ED $99.95
MAR053068 MIRACLEMAN APOCRYPHA #1 SIGNED ED $14.95
I love Miracleman pretty unreservedly. I hate this kind of crap in much the same adverbial manner. A motherfucking “Platinum Archive Signed Edition” version of a fifteen year old comic? I hope it comes with a life for the sad fucker who’s purchasing it.
JAN053660 TRANSFORMERS CYCLONUS BUST $49.95
I just wanted to point out that they’ve officially hit the bottom of the Transformers barrel by making a statue of this lame, lame robot. Jason will, of course, tell me that there’s some story I’m not aware of that establishes Cyclonus as a great mastermind of some sort.
Wow, that’s pissed me off so much that I am tempted to not even mention that the second issue of the Seven Soldiers Guardian series is coming out, along with the latest (surprisingly effective) issue of Giffen and DeMatteis’s Justice League Classified arc and the first Justice League Unlimited manga-format trade, which has some quite good JLU action that’s not terribly kiddified. I’ve also read Dark Detective #2 and declare it still worthy, even if I’m not crazy about Rogers’s current art. There’s a maturity to the whole thing that struck me as being much more resonant than the fanboy wank that’s aimed at middle-aged men looking to feel justified in their purchases.
Marvel’s Livewires continues to impress the holy hell out of me, as it’s basically an Adam Warren project run amok. We also get a new issue of Daredevil and two trades of note. The first is, of course, Essential Thor Volume 2, which is when Kirby really took off on the title. If you can ignore Coletta’s erasure of entire crowds and cities, this really shows Jack’s artistic evolution kicking into high gear with some epic stories and Stan Lee dialoguing everybody like they stepped out of Hamlet. We also get Giant Sized Marvel, a collection of quite a few “Giant Size” issues from the 70s, one of those things I’ve actually been actively wanting of late. While I may question the need to reprint Giant-Size X-Men #1 yet again, the rest of this book justifies the $25 price tag pretty easily.
I also note that there’s some kind of “Deluxe Edition” of Chaykin’s filthy and gorgeous Black Kiss. I’ve got the first trade from back in the day, which is printed on the back of Shoney’s napkins. I wonder if I should have ordered that. A comic whose name, at least, made me slightly interested in the contents was Crimson Gash Vs Hitler. As I have just realized that it’s a porno book, my interest is now much more intense. I really hope that her tight, wet Jewish vagina makes Hitler see the error of his ways.
…and I’m back.
There’s a new issue of Bongo’s Simpsons Comics, too, which I’m glad to see. Apparently, they’re selling like hotcakes to kids at Comicazi’s new Arlington store, along with various manga titles. As I know next to nothing about manga (much like superhero titles, most of it blends into a vague grey paste that I just prefer to not sift through to find the good stuff, waiting for somebody who knows my tastes to recommend something to me), I suppose this is a good thing as long as they’re not picking up Happy Monkey Mighty Penis Warrior Princess Suck Suck or the like. Anyway, I recommend the Simpsons comics pretty wholeheartedly, as they usually make me smile a few times and can be handed off to a kid without any worry.
Speaking of kids and cartoons, I have to say that the 7-or-8 year old who seemed to know his way around Family Guy a little too well in the shop on Sunday might have to worry about Child Protective Services saving him from his tobacco-and-booze enriched mother. I’m quite sure that, in a few years, he’s going to be knocking over gas stations and huffing butane behind the 7-11 on Winter Hill.
What’s that? You’d like to read an interview with the Pet Shop Boys? I’m glad to help you with that.
“There’s always that problem with electronic music, what’s live and what isn’t,” says Tennant. “What’s the point of being there? Sometimes Chris just stands around.” Lowe agrees – and exclaims, “Why am I playing this? It’s all in the computer. There’s literally no need for me to be here.” “Because they’re paying to see you do it,” Tennant answers. “People think the music gets into the computer by some weird system that doesn’t involve you playing it, when of course you put it in yourself. It’s just recorded and then you fiddle around with it. People say Kraftwerk sound great live and of course they do, because there’s no live elements.”
I love that bit. I do not love, however, how long it’s going to take for their entry in the Back To Mine series to get a domestic release – Amazon.com says it’s July 12. If I had more cash, I’d order the import from Amazon.co.uk, but after shipping, I have to procure some high quality water-based lubricant for my anus, which is completely unprepared for the “bad” touch1.
Oh, speaking of Pet Shop Boys, I’ve added Hey, Jenny Slater to the blogroll finally after reading his stuff for the last couple months. He’s a southern Democrat who likes the Pets and Underworld – my spiritual brother, even if he doesn’t know it yet.
What’s on my shuffle play at the moment? Glad you asked – here’s the first twenty songs on my iTunes BeaucoupRadio playlist:
I am so white.
1Many people do not think of it as a “bad” touch. I support these people wholeheartedly and wish them the absolute best of luck in their exhaust-port endeavors. I, however, seize up like Pat Robertson at Gay Freaknik when anyone who is not me gets involved in that general region.
Look, it pains me to say this, but once you get past the godawful cover on the latest issue of Action Comics, John Byrne’s art looks splendid on the inside. This is, of course, because of the surnamed-only inker, Nelson. There’s a lot of subtle details and even the Six Standard Byrne Shots are looking a bit more spry. Seeing Byrne’s work not inked in Sharpie reminded me that, hey, he’s not Liefeld. Simone does a decent enough job, excluding one overly-cute bit between Lois and Superman, and I will be reading the next issue.
When I was a lad in England, the original MarvelMan was one of the comics I read, and one of my “favorite” characters. (“Favorite” for me in those days being defined as “what I am reading right this instant”.) In fact, when I first saw Captain Marvel, knowing no better at the time, I thought he was a copy of MarvelMan.
Anyway, to answer your question, with fond memories of MarvelMan behind me, I did not much care for Moore’s take on the character. The “everything you know is a lie” approach is a card that should be played with great caution, and usually works best as a story arc, with all things restored at the end, rather than as a “big reveal”.
So, I guess I can just write in “…and then Kal-El woke up” on the last page of Man Of Steel? What about that new Doom Patrol? The Grant Morrison stuff happened, right? I mean, that’s how it has to be or else everything I knew was a lie! There’s some additional faffing about by his usual minions, all of whom I’ve trained myself to ignore completely thanks to their use of “Meh” to indicate displeasure with something1 and avatars like this:
Somebody brought a complete run of NthMan: The Ultimate Ninja into the shop and I leapt upon it like each page was dipped in platinum. Expect a special series retrospective edition of The Fanboy Within soon enough. (Something about this cover cracks me up. Either it’s the complete lack of excitement in the word balloon or the fact that Marvel trademarked Sasha’s name. No, seriously – it’s not that visible in the scan, but it’s there.)
Sometime soon, I have to review some kinda indie comic or you people are going to start thinking I am some sort of capes fetishist.
1The fact that “Meh” is usually backed up with the most half-assed parody of “critical commentary” only adds to my hatred of this LiveJournal spawned phoneme.
2For real. The big S insults Equus’s appearance and then threatens to scorch the planet completely free of life to keep some pesky Earth Elementals in line. That’s not my Superman.
One of the first comics I had. I love the clear demarcation
of hero and villain, even to non-readers, plus the use of powers.
Atari Force wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been.
Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, bitches!
This would have improved No Man’s Land and that far-too-long
War Games series immensely. Plus, there’d be a whole
Giant Batman / Talia slash fiction newsgroup within moments.
Luke’s expression is priceless.
You know, if you ever want to make a comic that’s designed to annoy the everliving shit out of me, it’s dead simple: have me try to have any sort of sympathy or interest in the adventures of a bunch of rich white fuckers who go and shit on anyone who can’t meet their minimum income rule. This is, of course, the central conceit of Joe Simon and Jerry Grandenetti’s 1975 masterpiece of neoconservative wank fiction, The Green Team, as appearing in the second issue of First Issue Special. How much do I hate this comic? The Batman Versus The Mummy Hostess Pie Ad (coincidentally, the first in the now-popularized-by-the-internet series) is the only bit of sequential art in this issue I didn’t want to see tossed in a gasoline salad and set aflame.
So, The Green Team themselves are a bunch of young white millionaires looking for special projects and adventures that they can throw a million dollars into. The Commodore is a shipping Tycoon who buys a small Oregon town just to blow it up with his toy boat that happens to fire missles. J.P. Houston is an oil magnate – George W Bush as young adventurer, basically, which made me want to rip his head right off to save our country from the morass we’ve found ourselves in. Finally, the last of the original three members of The Green Team is Hollywood magnate Cecil Sunbeam, who’s in the middle of directing or producing or whatevering an “urban” version of The Merchant Of Venice, for which we are supposed to laugh at him. Hey, Simon and Grandenetti – Baz Luhrmann is mocking you two from his bed that is stuffed with hundred-dollar bills. He really doesn’t care that one of you co-created Captain America and the other drew a ton of pretty decent war comics, and with comics like this to show off your collaboration with, I don’t blame him.
You see that kid there? He looks like a decent sort, doesn’t he? Guess what – the Green Team doesn’t want jack shit to do with him because he’s poor (read: not a fellow rich white brat,) but they’ll let him shine their shoes at their meetings. Thankfully, Abdul’s bank makes a fateful mistake and he soon qualifies for their billionaire boy’s club, and boy, he Uncle Toms so fast, I swear that Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr were both about to claw out of their respective graves and get on flights to New York City. If my financial institution went and made an error like that after that trio of rich white assholes had told me I was only fit to be their Rochester, I’d hire three pipe-wielding fuckers to meet them on the helipad and then score some coke to hoover off Marilyn Lange’s (Playmate of the Year, 1975) chest.
The “plot” of this comic is that the Green Team is looking for a new project to finance and some crazy-ass fucker’s come up with The Great American Pleasure Machine, which is a seven-day psychedelic fantasia experience that is going to blow every other form of entertainment out of the water. This, of course, causes entertainment icons like John Wayne and Superman (seriously) to riot, led by the terribly-monikered Broadway producer David D. Merritt. (Get it…David D. Merritt – Demerit? The fuck? They paid Simon for this shit and still cancelled all the Fourth World titles?)
Now, Merritt’s going to stop all the hate if the Green Team hands him over $50,000 (A paltry sum, says me. I’d have those fuckers shaking out their couch cushions, given the chance.) There’s some general faffing about that’s the sort of stuff that makes Escape To Witch Mountain and The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes look like the first two Godfather films while they’re avoiding DDM’s hordes, generally by tossing large sums of money out of the window. Eventually, they manage to strap Merritt into the Great American Pleasure Machine and he goes insane from the sheer amount of awesomeness that has been dumped into his cerebral cortex.
So, what do we, the modern comics readers, learn from this piece of tripe?
God, I hated every moment of this comic and no amount of nostalgia can keep me from shoving it back into the 50-cent bin from whence it was retrived.