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Murder, Most Foul

Brian Hibbs

I’m in hell.

We’re coming up on the… fourth? week of the “Divisadero Streetscape Improvements“, where they’re completely gutting the street to replace sewer lines, and then, eventually, to give us a wider media with trees and stuff, and while I’m sure that, in the end, it will be very pleasant and wonderful, it’s horrific right now — deafening destruction (I can barely hear the phone ring during most of our business hours), an utter lack of parking in about a three block radius, and shutting off at least half of the four lanes on Divis most of the time.

Business STINKS because of it — we’re down by nearly a third. Yay for “stimulus”!

It’s funny, if PG&E shuts loses power for even a few hours, there’s forms one can fill out to get reimbursed for your business losses. As near as I can tell there’s nothing remotely the same for when the Government catastrophically annihilates your business…

(If there is something that I don’t know about, please feel free to let me know, because I’m bleeding thousands of dollars a month, yay!!)

Anyway, that’s one of the reasons I’m barely writing the last few weeks — I can barely hear myself think, let alone string two sentences together.

Plus, we’ve got buckets of rain falling now, which is always welcome in a paper-based economy — and getting the new comics to the store is going to be funfunfun in this weather and street closures world.

Anyway, I’m in a lousy mood, so what a perfect time to try and write something about something…

RED TORNADO #2: It seems to me this comic was based on a throw-away line in, I think, 52, by, I think, Grant Morrison. Morrison is an awesome idea machine, tossing off little that-sounds-cool continuity gifts left and right. Thing is: they’re not always really worthy of having entire stories based around them.

The tossed off idea here is that Professor T.O. Morrow didn’t only build Reddy, but he also made other androids like The Red Torpedo, and The Red Inferno. This could be a somewhat interesting b- or c-story plot in a group book like JLA, but it is, in no way, an a-level plot capable of carrying its own mini-series.

This is not a terrible comic or anything — but it’s not something that anyone without money falling out of their butts is going to be willing to spend $3 a throw on. It’s not quite EH, so the Savage Critic scale insists that it must be AWFUL.

DOCTOR VOODOO AVENGER OF THE SUPERNATURAL #1: My, that’s a long title! It sounds like one cooked up by marketing, to me — to try and work “Avenger” into the title, since that’s now Marvel’s strongest franchise. Can you imagine trying to convince some one in 1997 that The Avengers would be Marvel’s tentpole in the early days of c21? Nah, me neither. ‘course they kind of screw the pooch by having “avenger” being in teensey tiny letters, and covered up (on the first issue, no less!) by the figure on the cover.

Here’s the thing I don’t get, however. “Brother” Voodoo could never ever sustain an ongoing title. And Dr. Strange has largely proven over the decades that he can’t either. So why does anyone think that this one can possibly work as an ongoing? It might be one thing as a mini-series, but this is clearly an unsustainable project that will be lucky to make it to issue #13. Especially with a $4 launch.

Here’s the thing, though: this isn’t shitty. Far from it, in fact — up until hitting the non-ending of the ending, I was basically enjoying it just fine. This is perfectly OK comics — but you need to be WAY better than “OK” to 1) be a monthly ongoing in this climate, and 2) To charge $4 for a story that just suddenly stops in a pretty ambiguous place.

GRANDVILLE HC: Yeah, very tasty material — I really like all of the nice worldbuilding going on here, and I’d like to see more of these characters. VERY GOOD.

PLANETARY #27: Great ending. Telegraphed a lot, but great nonetheless. Would been even better if it had come out four years ago, but I was very happy with this: VERY GOOD.

BATMAN & ROBIN #5: The art continues to annoy me, but the story and the characterization is top notch. I’d be perfectly fine if Jason Todd did die, however. GOOD.

OK, my head hurts too much from the concrete saws outside to keep going on… but I’m going to try to do an “old style” SC column by Friday, if I can (though me and the boy are in Disneyland on Thursday [father & Son trip for his Birthday, FTW!], so we’ll see…)

What did YOU think?


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