Posted by: Brian Hibbs on July 13, 2005
So, you all know about the Class Action suit against Marvel, right? And how we have a settlement that both parties agreed to? Well, or we did until the dumb-ass Judge in the case decided that, despite have both sides agreeing, despite having notified the Class, and having a opt-out rate of something like 0.5%, despite, might I add, adjusting the plan to deal with the Judge’s specific demands, Judge Ramos decided that he wanted the whole process started over again from scratch, turning the “opt out” (which automagically includes everyone) to “opt in” (which would likely mean some people would misunderstand and not be included). Clearly, the man went insane.
So, as I’m sure you also know, we appealed the Judge, and the Appellate Court overturned his crazy ass, and ordered him to sign the settlement within 30 days. Hurray, Justice!
But guess what happened? I got the call today that Judge Ramos has recused himself from the case, and so won’t be signing. Um, doubleyou-tea-eff?!?!?
Crazy, unethical, asshat of a Judge.
Apparently this will only mean a “short” delay as we get a new Judge assigned, and, supposedly, it is all formalities from here on out – 2-3 days to a new Judge, a week or so for him to read everything and sign it, then 30 days until we all receive our rightful settlement monies, but, man, can you fucking believe that shit?
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Lessee, it’s 12:30, and the books should be here within 90 minutes, so let’s see what reviews we can do by then, while I’m helping customers in the middle.
NOT going to San Diego, btw – I hadn’t had a lick of FUN at the con the last2-3 I attended, and I’d rather not be away from Ben in order to do Comics Death March on the 4 football fields worth of “pop culture”
Fuck that Hollywood shit, y’know?
Anyway, comics. I’m going to skip Alphabetical, and just type things out as I feel like:
HOUSE OF M #3: I almost feel sorry for Bendis and the Marvel Marketing department, because, really, how could ANYthing stand up to “crack the internet in half”. But only a little sorry.
Here’s the thing: regardless of what the story turns out how, what’s been PUBLISHED so far is “just” a WHAT IF…? story. There’s nothing between the covers that suggests any permanence or meaning. Look, this is a storyline that shows Uncle Ben (poster child for “dead is dead”) *and* Gwen Stacey happily alive and kicking, so what’s the big deal with Hawkeye, at all? Not much, really.
In fact, I’ll go so far to say even LESS is compelling about this because it makes Clint’s death, the capping denouement to the “Disassembled” storyline, a death that was cheap and stupid and awkward to begin with, have even less meaning. Clearly, Bendis (& co.) *must* have known this was coming, in that timeframe, which reduces it to even more of a sensationalistic stunt without any base value.
“Don’t cheat the audience” is the Prime Rule in storytelling, and Hawkeye is a big-ass cheat from top to bottom.
As Lester observed in the store (and most likely in his reviews a few inches down), this issue could have been a sensational first issue – there’s a mystery, there’s action, there’s natural conflict. But because it was preceded by 2 issues of soft plushy padded padding, and because of the apparent WHAT IF…? nature of this story, the audience is mellllllting away.
We ordered 150 of issue #1. Sold 100. 66% sell through means I lost money.
We ordered 125 copies of #2. Sold 84 copies so far. Slightly better at 67%, but still a solid money loser.
We ordered 100 copies of #3, and our first week sales are only 63 copies. With any luck I’ll get to 85 sold by week #4, though I’m not much holding my breath, but at least that would edge that issue up closer to profitability.
Since #3 didn’t have any cracking in it, I suspect #4 will drop to 75 copies or lower, a massive failure for THE big “Summer tentpole event”. I’m going to be chasing those numbers down down dowwwwwn, and hopefully when the dust settles, I won’t have lost my shirt too badly.
In last week’s BOOK OF THE WEEK, Don Rosa’s LIFE AND TIMES OF SCROOGE McDUCK, there are several text pieces when Rosa describes his editor THROWING OUT at least 2 fully laid out and written segments of the book, because they weren’t strong enough.
Would that Marvel editors had the personal will and responsibility to the characters they caretake, and the customers who trust them, to do the same.
Seriously, what do American comics editors DO? Traffic Manage? Is that it?
Mm, and “first appearance of Layla Miller” or whatever? Who? What? Maybe that chick who was getting mugged in the alley? Maybe? Hardly an auspicious debut to a “major new character”, really.
Bottom line: The art was spiff, the writing was strong enough, and, on it’s own merits, this was prolly a low “Good” or a high “OK”, but as 3/7ths of a major event, with promised major ramifications, this was AWFUL.
IRON MAN: HOUSE OF M #1: was pretty EH, but does anyone actually like Pat Lee’s art, or is he coasting on once being “hot” because the TRANSFORMER license was hot once? I don’t know, but I can’t stand his art.
FANTASTIC FOUR HOUSE OF M #1: Doesn’t actually have the FF in it, so there’s a big strike against it. Meh, I can’t see anything coming out of this branch of the story at all, so AWFUL.
HULK #83: I swear this is why PAD stopped working at Marvel in the first place? That’s how I recall it, anyway. And, is it just me, or did this blow the plot of the Scorpion in AMAZING FANTASY? And was that “Machine Teen” in there as well? Meh to dictated crossovers. I liked the thoughts behind the aboriginal plot bits though, so I can go with OK.
UNCANNY X-MEN #462: Made less sense than something senseless indeed, but damn if this wasn’t pretty as all fuck, and, possibly, my favorite art job of Alan Davis of any of his UNCANNY run. So for that, and only that, since this was incomprehensible nonsense, I’ll go with OK.
SUPERMAN #219: Speaking of incomprehensible nonsense… If that had anything to do with OMAC, it was pretty impossible to tell from these 22 pages (Besides, wasn’t he at his desk? Or supposed to be in space looking for the satellites? What happened to that?), 22 pages of “let’s act out of character, and pretend that no one notices”. I’m also getting super-fucking-sick of this “Superman as badass” shit – Superman DOESN’T KILL, period, so any story predicated on “He does, this time” is pure CRAP.
DC SPECIAL RETURN OF DONNA TROY #2: Uh, what? I have no idea what’s going on, or how she “returned” or why I should give a rat’s ass.
Huh, and here come the comics, that’s all I have time for this week. See you in 7 or under with more…
What did YOU think?