Archive for the 'classic superheroes' Category

21
Jan
09

Batman #684

If you were on the fence about buying this issue of Batman after two years of non-stop LSD-induced Grant Morrison fun, just take a look at the cover, enjoy it and buy something else. It’s not really worth reading this last part of a two part story trying to wrap things up while extending them at the same time.

Dennis O’Neil was the editor of Batman for something like 15 years through the eighties and nineties(in fact the batman trade I’m reading right now is edited by him) and did a good amount of work writing the book back in the 1970’s before Frank Miller showed up and turned everything on it’s head. I’ve found his 70’s work, which is being reprinted in full this winter in hardcover, to be okay. Not good, not bad, but just…that’ll do, pig. This time around it’s just a step down. Nothing horrible but certainly not really worth your 15 minutes either.

There’s apparently an alternative cover. I liked it more just for the great Nightwing thinks Batman is dead shot.

I can’t decide if it’s O’Neil’s fault or not. The basic idea is to make everyone real sad because post RIP batman might be dead or he might not be. But everyone is sad and lonely and kind of afraid of the future. So in this issue you get the cops being bummed out that they actually have to do their jobs and you get nightwing sulking around, which is a shame because lately I think I’m the only person who sees the amazing potential in Nightwing becoming an astounding interesting character. I think we have one issue of Batman left before all of the bat books go on hiatus until battle for the cowl(which I am very doubtful of) begins. Then we’ll get Andy Kubert and Neil Gaiman on a two part Batman story ripping the title off of an Alan Moore Superman story from the 80’s. I’ll keep buying Batman because I love the character and I’m excited about reading “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader” and seeing Gaiman write something that isn’t a derivative children’s book that’s actually for high school goth girls.

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21
Sep
08

shameless self-promotion

hey, I’m selling stuff on Ebay to try to pay my rent and generally be more economically powerful.

if you know some emo kids who don’t know that emo means electric guitars, I’m selling 15 Bright Eyes CDs.

Right Here

If you like Cosmic Police enforcing the universe and sometimes getting to sit back and have a beer, I’m selling 3 Green Lantern books

All three Green Lantern Corps trade paperbacks

If you like zombies, bad ass suspense writing and really good characterization, I’m selling five Walking Dead trade paperbacks

The first 30 issues collected in five trades

If you like Joss Whedon or Brian K. Vaughan, I’m selling Whedon’s entire run and some of Vaughan’s work on Runaways

Runaways Volume 2 issues 19-30

if you like the Justice League or Brad Meltzer(whose book I was pimping just last month), I’m selling a whole bunch of Justice League comics by him and Dwayne McDuffie and right now it’s dirt cheap.

JLA comics are good for you

or if you like Warren Ellis, fucked up science fiction or horror comics, I’m selling two Strange Killings books

9 issues collected in two books

Feel free to pass that info on to anyone you know who is a nerd.  The auctions end around midnight tomorrow and I’m trying to bank enough money off of ebay sellings to pay this month’s rent.

10
Sep
08

Supergirl 32 & 33

You know, I’d never thought of buying Supergirl until Previews solicited issue #34 a few months ago, announcing that Supergirl was going to be directly tied into the massive Superman event that begins unfolding in October, tying Action, Superman, Supergirl and a whole bunch of specials along with JSA together.  Then, after knowing that I was going to be reading the book soon, I decided to pick up issue #32, which was a good sort of space adventure, then I picked up #33 which was slightly better and the art was quite respectable on both issues.  Kelly Pucket did a good job of introducing the character to me, who I didn’t really know anything about.  That first issue lead me to picking up the incredibly cheaply priced Superman/Batman – Supergirl trade paperback, which reintroduces her to the DCU and sets up her origin.  It was written by Jeph Loeb and drawn by the now dead Michael Turner.  It was fantastic.  A paranoid Batman, a way too trustworthy and Kryptonian Pride Superman, a lost girl scared on a planet she didn’t understand with memories of the home Clark never knew.  Plus, Darkseid breaks shit.

I’m in.

10
Sep
08

Ebay Flux Capacitor Adventures in Variated Timelines

Today some stuff showed up from the internet.  I usually buy some impulse comics in addition to looking for deals on various things that would fill in the enormous collection/library that I one day hope to share with many friends that I might someday attain.  This means that, barring a miracle that the USPS takes a break from their intense douche-baggery, I get old stuff every week.  This is kind of like show and tell.

I didn’t read DC or any independents in the 1990s when I was a teenager.  In fact, I didn’t really read anything that wasn’t x-men related.  I have a short year or so of Spider-man comics from around 1992, when they did the Clone Saga thing, but that threw me off of Spider-Man and I have yet to come back aboard 16 years later.  I was entirely unaware that independent comics were happening, that Dark Horse was doing all these great licensed property comics and developing their own universe, or that Image and Wildstorm were essentially creating massive story lines with great art.  I’ve yet to be able to determine why, but after the X-Men cartoon came out, I was never aware of anything but X-Men from 1992-1998 when I stopped reading comics due to an expensive obsession with music and CD collecting.  When I came back to comics in 2004, mostly due to Joss Whedon’s X-Men relaunch, it took me about six months to discover guys like Ben Templesmith, Steve Niles, Warren Ellis, Grant Morrison and a huge group of English writers had been doing tons of work that I had missed out on.  This was, of course, in addition to the horrifying revelation that DC had done a ton of great content in the nineties that I had missed out on.  Some of this work was the Tangent line, an attempt to create an entire new universe using classic character names but infusing them with new abilities, personalities and settings.  This was all done through the use of one-shots, each featuring a different character.  A few of these showed up today.

the Green Lantern issue was why I really bought this lot of four issues, which also included Secret Six, The Superman and the Joker.  It was interesting and not at all related to the cosmic ideas that the Lantern comics in mainline DC continuity that has drawn me in, but it was more of a mystical revenge story written by James Robinson of Starman fame.  Along with the other issues, the art was better than the writing of this particular issue, in this case being done by J.H. Williams III, but this isn’t to say Robinson’s outing into the unknown was bad, it was just really out there without anything to fall back on.  I found it refreshing and unappealing at the same time, though I ultimately liked it.  I intend to buy the three trades that have all of these one-shots bound together, hoping that reading them in that format will tell a story that assumes some semblance of continuity and sense, not just vignettes of the unknown.

I also managed to win Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess’ Stardust softcover for about five dollars, which is a deal considering it’s a $20 book.  I’ve been trying to go around and buy up Gaiman’s relatively small amount of DC work from the 80’s to the 90’s and this trade will make four Vertigo books of his that I now have for my graphic novel library if you don’t count the three massive Absolute Sandman books I’ve been buying as they come out. There are so many versions of this book – the trade, the mass market novelization, the big $40 hardcover illustrated, there’s even a damned movie and at some point they put it out in single issue format, but this is the only version I really need, though a few years ago I got the MMTPB for X-mas and have yet to take a peek at it.  I’m excited to dig into it.

And finally, as a continuation of my absence from DC Comics in the 1990’s, I managed to find Zero Hour: Crisis in Time, the entire mini-series that acted as both a sequel to and bridge between Crisis on Infinite Earths and Infinite Crisis.  The books essentially try to tie up loose ends and establish a solid time line and continuity throughout the whole of the DC Universe.  Jerry Ordway and Dan Jurgens do an excellent job plotting this out and the art is classic 90’s superhero art.  Great Stuff.

10
Sep
08

no swearing in Gotham

Rich Johnston seems to have gathered the proper scans of why the newest All-Star Batman and Robin has been recalled and any copies have been destroyed per DC’s request. language that hurts boring people and retards who think that MURDERERS AND CRIMINALS don’t swear like the rest of us.

Where my opinion differs is that this is a depiction of realistic dialogue, I’ve heard harsher things thrown at a clerk who didn’t have a douche bag’s specific cigarette brand. I think this book could be considerably better and perhaps sell more copies if they’d just slap a vertigo logo on there and tell the boring vanilla people to leave it on the goddamned shelf and buy Paul Dini’s Detective. Bitches.

29
Aug
08

Wolverine #68: Old Man Logan Part 3 of 8

Written by Mark Millar

Art by Steve McNiven

Reuniting the Civil War creative team, this eight issue run on Wolverine has been so good that I’m actually willing to buy an X-Men spin-off book and not only like it, but rant about it, pass it out among friends and generally try to pimp it to all decent human beings(sorry John McCain).  Taking place 50 years in the future when, by undisclosed events, a small handful of supervillains have conquered earth, killed all of the superheroes and essentially displaced humanity into small regions across the glob, a pacifist Wolverine and a supposedly blind Hawkeye run drugs across the country to pay the Hulk’s offspring the rent they owe them for living on their land.  But it’s so much bigger than that.

“No one knows what happened on the night the heroes fell. All we know is that they disappeared and evil triumphed and the bad guys have been calling the shots ever since. What happened to Wolverine is the biggest mystery of them all. Some say they hurt him like no one ever hurt before. Others say he just grew tired of all the fighting and retired to a simpler life. Either way he hasn’t raised his voice or popped his claws in fifty years. His old friends would barely recognize him now.”

Millar, a crazy Scottish bastard, is a top form here and in only three issues has created a new, unexplored landscape and small cast of characters so fascinating that it’s impossible to put down.  Millar has done for Wolverine what the Kirkman achieves in Walking Dead; making the monthly wait for a new issue painfully suspenseful.  Something that’s interesting is that, although the current journey across America with the two main characters talking and having short form adventures, what’s truly interesting is watching the past 50 years unfold as the days slowly proceed into the future.  For anyone craving dystopia, this is exactly where you want to be.

The idea here is that you have this pacifist who loves his family and doesn’t want to fight and his best friend is dragging him into a situation where ultimately he’ll have to fight, to pop his claws and kill some people.  Through the story Millar also creates a mythology that the X-Men comics of the 1990’s did a great job of capturing, building on the reverse formula that Chris Claremont used, which was to tell a story set in a possible future where everything has gone wrong.  Millar turns the tables and sets up a future where everything is already wrong but we don’t know why, we have to hang on and watch the situations unfold, situations that are not inherently based in the past, but slowly elude to them, crafting a past we never knew.  With this method he is incredibly successful. The series is slowly building to either an early resolution followed by some kind of serious self-reflection and conflict situation or, the scenario I’d prefer – following in the footsteps of Garth Ennis’ Saint of Killers one-shot in which the violent man makes good, starts a family and loses his family.  And then he kills everything that ever breathes at him.

Also – an evil Spider-Girl beheading a blinged out 50 Cent version of the Kingpin, virtually every superhero is dead and you get the feeling nothing is going to work out.

29
Aug
08

X-Men Origins: Jean Grey One-Shot

 

Written by Sean McKeever

Art by Mike Mayhew

 

In the first of hopefully several(at least enough to spotlight the original 60’s line-up, which would make a half dozen or so issues, which would essentially quantify an average mini-series anyway, which would also collect quite nicely into a trade paperback or even perhaps a hardcover) card stock single issue stories recounting the initial discovery of a character’s manifestation of power, McKeever and Mayhew seriously deliver in a way that completely shocked me.

McKeever is a capable writer with a familiar name, though I cannot initially recall any of his previous work, I assume he’s been published by both of the majors and is likely to have assembled some mass of independent work.  I’ll certainly be looking for more from him because, when coupled with a talented artist like Mike Mayhew, he assembles one hell of a book.  Clocking around 40 pages of painted art and sequential story, the initial display of a young Jean Grey being shocked by her psionic manifestation, leading to mental problems and eventually an intervention and invitation to Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters by the man himself.  Though the script doesn’t defy any medium standards, he does a good job guiding the book along.  I feel bad for him though, because no matter how good he’s writing here, the literary aspect of the book is bound to be overshadowed by Mike Mayhew’s intensely beautiful brushes.  Hence:

The first three quarters of the book are a refreshing departure from the typical superhero antics commonly found in x-men comics; spandex clad action shots rife with explosions and typically unexciting action sequences.  It is here that Mayhew owns the page in it’s entirety with people who dress like people, actual human beings in pants and shirts and sweaters and from this very first page, the realism of the story is grounded immediately.  

 

I can’t help but compare this to Alex Ross’ work, though there are stark differences, I would rank this on par with him.  I’ve always been a huge Ross fan, as my constant pimping of Project Superpowers proves, but I can honestly say that this is the pay off of Ross’ contribution to sequential storytelling; influencing others to follow in his footsteps with high quality brushwork realism, showing artists that it’s possible to sell comics and produce high quality art at the same time.  For this, I hope this book sells a shitload.

These realistic physical portrayals set the tone for the book quite well, but they also lead up to the last few pages featuring the young x-men in costumes which, due to undersaturation(a serious rarity) you actually get excited when they break out the spandex and start destroying things.

I look forward with hungry eyes and great anticipation for more from this team.