Saturday, November 12, 2011

Comics Stuff

:: Marvel stuff: Okay, I like the idea of Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, but this book has been seriously oversold. I know it makes liberals and hipsters feel awesome that a new Spider-Man could be black (not in the real Marvel Universe, I guess, but whatever), but it's not like the book has anything to say about the black experience. It can't, it's written by Brian Michael Bendis, the whitest writer in comics. As it is, it's an okay book with semi-decent art and interesting characters that, typical of Bendis, goes absolutely nowhere. The characters talk and talk and talk and talk and talk, but in Bendis' usual meandering-to-the-point style. Just once I would like to see a comic book come out that actually manages to tell one story. Bendis does in one issue what Jack Kirby used to do in two pages.

Elsewhere in Marvel, which I read very little of anymore, I dug the first issue of Incredible Hulk. I don't know what's going on in Hulk continuity anymore and I don't much care--I'm sure it's overly-complicated gimmickry, like the Marvel Universe always is--but I liked what we get in this issue, with a heroic barbarian Hulk (very much like the character in Planet Hulk, which I loved) and a separated, semi-insane, Dr. Moreau-style Bruce Banner. This is a book I'll keep reading until it gets, you know, stupid.

I've also been enjoying old issues of My Girl Pearl by Stan Lee and Dan DeCarlo. Silly as all hell, but funny and self-contained. It's like reading comic strip collections.

I can't read Wolverine and the X-Men. I don't know what the hell's going on in X-Men continuity anymore, and I don't want to spend the time to unravel it. Looked at the issue, got lost, didn't bother. Won't pick up another one, or any X-book for that matter.

:: In nu-52 stuff: still liking most of the Green Lantern stuff, especially the main book, but mostly because I find Sinestro a much more interesting character than Hal Jordan. New Guardians is leaving me a little cold at the moment; I don't care about Kyle Rayner or the Skittles Corps. Still loving Demon Knights, The Flash (great art; Francis Manipul knows how to compress his pages, unlike everyone else, and I like seeing Barry use how to learn his powers), and Aquaman (even if Geoff Johns is laying it on a bit too hard that everyone thinks Aquaman sucks, but he doesn't).

I've given up on Teen Titans and Superboy. I lost my interest in reading Superboy after reading the godawful second issue of Teen Titans. Oh, and Wonder Woman is just shitty and hostile. Yet again, we're getting all of this stuff about what Wonder Woman represents and how apparently hard it is for DC to justify a woman superhero. You can lay it on with all of the terrible writing and Greek mythology you want, it's still awful. It's like reading Neil Gaiman's Sandman adapted for what Spike TV viewers think women are like.

Feminism! Now back to chicks in their underwear beating the crap out of each other.

Batwoman continues to baffle me. Seriously, if they government really wants to figure out who Batwoman is, just look for the only woman in Gotham with icy pale blue skin. Not my favorite art choice, although the art is lovely, and frankly the only reason I read this in the first place.

I tried to read the first issue of James Robinson's The Shade miniseries, hoping it would bring back that spark from Robinson's Starman, one of my favorite comic book series ever. It really didn't. Also, now I have to ask all kinds of questions about where it fits in nu-52 continuity at all, thanks do Dan DiDiot.

Oh, and Justice League. Honestly, I liked the second issue much more than the first. Now that the characters are being set up a little more clearly, I'm starting to get where the dynamic is. Also, the friendship between Flash and Green Lantern does a lot to offset Batman being such a dick and Superman being so holier-than-thou. I'm not a fan of arrogant Superman, really, but now that the Flash is on the scene, I'm happy. I'm interested to see how they work Wonder Woman and Aquaman into it. God, I hope Johns' take on Wonder Woman isn't as awful as Brian Azzarello's...

:: I tried to get into Roger Langridge's Snarked, but I just couldn't. I've had my fill of seeing Wonderland re-imagined, even by someone as talented as Langridge. I wish Marvel and Disney would figure out where the licensing is and just get Langridge to do more Muppet Show comics. Or at least finally release his final story arc. I need my damn Muppet comics back!

:: I found the Game of Thrones adaptation from Dynamite Entertainment very disappointing. I don't care much for the way comics look anymore. I feel bad kicking someone's art style just because I don't like it, but the story needs someone less cartoonish and with a larger style. It was just sort of functional and easy to dismiss.

:: IDW's ongoing new Star Trek comic is kind of bizarre. It takes place in continuity with JJ Abrams' remade Trek universe, but the first two issues were just a rehash of "Where No Man Has Gone Before." So is the whole point of this just doing the old stories and fitting them in with new continuity, or something? Because that's not only kind of a waste, it's not very interesting storytelling. I already know what happens to Gary Mitchell. I get how it affected Kirk. I liked some of the stuff at the very end of the second issue, where we see how what happened makes Kirk and Spock closer and sets them on the path of eventual friendship. But, is this all we're doing?

:: The best comic I've read lately, though, is Superman vs. Spider-Man. It's from 1976, sure, but it's just so perfectly made. Written by Gerry Conway, art by Ross Andru and Dick Giordano.

The art is gorgeous; it's thoughtfully laid out and doesn't sacrifice clarity or story momentum for poses. Its grasp of anatomy is believable, which you don't see often enough today, either. It's just a perfect comic.

Frankly, comic books from the 1970s make today's comics look like the afterthoughts they too often are.

1 comment:

Daskaea said...

"Feminism! Now back to chicks in their underwear beating the crap out of each other."
Favorite way to start my Wednesday by reading the brilliance that is Samuraifrog.