Monday, August 13, 2007

Comic musings for 8 August

It was a fairly large stack of comics this week, made that much more weighty after a number of purchases based on a panel at Comic-con. Basically, the Kirby tribute panel got my head to reeling and I decided I just had to go find more Kirby than the scraps and leavings I already have. So I went to the local comic store (Foundation's Edge, if you're in the Triangle) and placed a special order. This week, I received, on top of my usual weekly comics, Eternals by Neil Gaiman and John Romita Jr., and the Kamandi Archive and The Fourth World Omnibus, Volume 1 by Jack Kirby. I've barely cracked open the Eternals and am looking forward to real Kirby I got, but it's going ot hav eto wiat a while.

Perhaps I can do a little reviewing of them when I get through them, but work things, home things, and a little side-project I am working on are going to be taking up a lot of time in the next two weeks. The side-project? I'm writing a book...well, doing a series of interviews with Mark Schultz, creator of Xenozoic Tales and publishing them in the Modern Master series from Two Morrows. I found out over San Diego that my deadlines got smooshed in by a month and I really need to finish the transcription and first edits in the next week or ten days. "Week" would be better I think. So, we'll see how the blogging goes in that time.

So, for some reviews of last week's comics:

Spoilers ho!

Green Lantern 22 - You know? Not much happens. There's a pause in the "Sinestro Corps War" amd a lot of plot points made. We look in on the new head of the Manhunters, Cyborg Superman, and his...mentor the Anti-Monitor. Parallax shows all of his teeth; I mean that literally. We get to see the rows and rows of teeth he has. Superboy Prime says "Heh." And Hal and his team make it to the keeper of the Book of Parallax, who we have seen in Green Lantern Corps in a back-up series of late. But really, nothing of real imortance happens; the plot doesn't get moved along and we just count off another issue in the as-yet undetermined length of the War. Maybe in a few months we'll look back on this issue as the one where we were given big hints about what was to come, but I doubt it.

Batman 667 - If you haven't picked up on this perception yet, I'm a geek. I actually catalogued and then bought every appearance of the International Club of Heroes. I think I had a fondness for the Knight and Squire, although the Gaucho was pretty cool too. And now Grant Morrison has brought them back, aged and cynical (except for the irrepressible Squire). Batman, of course, steals the limelight of the murder mystery that takes place instead of the expected meeting, but that's only because J.H. Williams III just kicks butt and takes names with his art and layouts for this issue. And unlike the last issue of Batman, this one is surprisingly coherent and a joy to read, especially if you are a fan of the old ICH. There's a heck of a cliff-hanger too, though I swear the antagonist looks very very familiar in profile. And if it is who I think it is, I'll not be happy.

JLA Classified 41 - The end of the "Kid Amazo" arc, and it just stank. The JLA figures out that not only has Kid Amazo duplicated their powers but that he has also duplicated their personalities. On the one hand, that would seem to me to just lead to multiple-personality disorder rather than any sort of coherent being. On the other hand, I'm not sure why the JLA showing their internal conflicts would cause Kid Amazo to embody those conflicts to the point of his own destruction. If there were inherent conflicts, they should have begun maifesting far sooner than they did, and we should have probably seen some indications that such was the case before now. And then there was the whole scene when Kid Amazo discovers this his former girlfriend is also the genetic basis for his human half. I have no idea how this revelation advances the plot, but it is very Oedipal and really just distracting to the point of the story. And it didn't work as a sad counterpoint on the last page of the comic either. All in all, a really disappointing conclusion to a story that had a lot of potential.

Black Adam 1 - That Black Adam, he sure is a lout. Peter Tomasi is writing this post-52 story with Black Adam acting as he did before Isis arrived in his life. No minion is too small to be sacrificed to Teth-Adam's greater good, but also as before, his plans are not so single-minded as they appear. He is not just bent on death and destruction, but he has a plan, involving a Lazarus pit. But you have to wonder if he has thought this cunning plan all the way through--does he really think the person he raises from the Lazarus pit is going to be very happy with the methods used to *reach* the Lazarus pit? Well, we have five more issues to find out. Doug Mahnke's art really works for me in this issue, and I usually struggle to appreciate the work he is doing. I'm going to keep reading this even though we already have a pretty good idea how this is going to turn out based on the recent events in Countdown. I guess the fun is going to be in how we get there.


Not much to say here except that Newsarama has been running a series of character synopses of old-time Timely character that are going to be used in an upcoming minieries from Marvel. I suppose a lot of the heroes from that time were pretty stupid, but I am having trouble with these guys. They're just ridiculously stupid. The Laughing Mask? The Blue Blade--a guy in a pair of blue shorts, a blue cape and a blue hat (waving around a big blade (yes, I intentionally left out the shirt and I am not the only one apparently)? Czptain Wonder and his long sleeved shirt and attached cowl...and Speedos? Does that machine gun he carries meant to make up for his deficiencies elsewhere? I can't believe they are going to try to make a series out of thiese folks. I honestly hope that most of them are unhappy about their chosen career paths and costumes. I suspect when all is said and done, Marvel's own recent Agents of Atlas will be remembered far more fondly than this disaster waiting to happen.

If you have not seen, Mike Wieringo passed away this past weekend, tragically and far too young. From eveything I have heard and seen, he was a good gentle man. The comics community has been diminished with his loss.

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