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“Hey, Title that Post, Hibbs!” — stuff from 7/20

Brian Hibbs

Two Comics, and a Film!Let’s start with the film, shall we?


CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER: I thought this was a fun and charming little movie, largely living up to the promise of the trailer. Cap, himself, is somewhat one-dimensional — he doesn’t have the drunken insouciance of Iron Man, or the charming arrogance of Thor, just a lot of earnestness — but Chris Evans plays Cap with all of his heart, and sells it well.

(If you know nothing whatsoever about Cap the character, then there might be SPOILERS below, but I’m going to assume you know the basics?)

Like THOR before it, as long as you don’t go in expecting more than popcorn fun, you’ll get it, and this time leavened with a direct moral message of how important it is to stand up to bullies.

While the move from Nazis to Hydra was slightly disappointing from a purist POV, it did allow us to get Big! Mad! Science! everywhere. It’s hecka revisionistic, but it yielded a fun movie, so all is well.

The script has a few problems: I really had a hard time understanding why Steve was staying in costume in the field, after the first time (and, heh, that scene of “early costume” Cap sneaking into the Hydra base was rendered pretty funny with that giant flag strapped to his back), and I thought they did a really bad handling the transition from ’40s to c21 — Ben turned to me immediately and asked me “What do they mean, ‘you’ve been asleep for 70 years’?” “Well, Ben, he got frozen in a block of ice for all of that time” “How, daddy?” And, yeah, it sure ain’t on the screen.

Also, as long as I’m complaining, the staggeringly multi-culti Howling Commandos kind of freaked me out, in the same way THOR’s Warriors Three did… plus, historical accuracy and Sam Jackson’s race aside, Nick Fury really should be leading them, damn it! And, uh, was Jim Morita talking into a modern operator’s headset in that scene?

But then there were the swell and fun easter eggs — did you spot the Human Torch on display at the World’s Fair? How about the Red Skull’s translation to Bifrost? That brilliant first, foreshadowing, shot of Arnim Zola? The filmmakers know their Marvel comics, and it shows.

I’m also kind of crazy excited for AVENGERS, now, which is maybe a terrible idea knowing that low expectations is one of the reasons I have dug THOR and CAP so much. Ben loved CAP, too — gave it his usual “10 out of 10!”, though he rates them: THOR, IRON MAN, CAP. I think I vote for IRON MAN, CAP, THOR, though.

Anyway, liked it a lot: VERY GOOD.


DAREDEVIL #1: Let me get one thing out of the way first: Marvel pretty much ruined Matt Murdock with “Shadowland”, and it would take a lot of hard work, time, and redemption to get him back to anything resembling a sympathetic protagonist again.

Or you could just “pull a DC” and basically just ignore all of that, and then make it such a fun and entertaining story than cynical old farts like me have their Charm Barrier broken, so we grumble and say “OK, you get away with it… this time!” (rassen frassen Mark Waid!)

A lot of the credit really needs to be given to Paolo Rivera and Marco Martin, two dynamic artists with such strong individual styles, yet who flow well from one to the other.

I’ll tell you something else, as well — I’m usually leery about letting Ben reading my current comics, there’s a ton of content that he’s just not ready for in modern comics, but when he asked if DD was appropriate for him, I assented pretty quickly. And he was ENRAPTURED by the book, reading it very closely for quite some time. Then he went downstairs and told mom all about it “…So, see, he’s BLIND, but he’s got this wicked RADAR SENSE…”)

Yeah, that was an EXCELLENT comic book.


INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #506: You know when I read the scene with Stark’s sacrifice in FEAR ITSELF, I thought “Wow, that’s a great moment”, but this issue’s fully-fleshed out version really kind of wore on me — I found the foul-mouthed dwarves to be really overdone (and that thing about “content that I wouldn’t want my son to see yet” from up above? Yeah), and then when the issue ends the way it ends, well, I just thought it was too easy. I also was really troubled with not having Tony deal with the aftermath of Paris personally. I don’t know, I kind of realized that I haven’t really liked this book at all in months (since #500, I guess?) I’ll go with a very low EH.


That’s me, this week: what did YOU think?



14 Responses to “ “Hey, Title that Post, Hibbs!” — stuff from 7/20 ”

  1. I also loved the new Daredevil comic. It was lots of fun.

    So was Cap.

  2. Another Easter Egg in Cap – when Shmidt first gets his hands on the cube in Norway, and mutter: “And the fuhrer digs for trinkets in the desert!” And Tommy Lee Jones Col. Philips needs to be retconned into Cap history stat!

    I agree that there is a key scene missing in the modern day where they find Cap in suspended animation, though how he would go from sitting in the pilot’s chair to being frozen is hard to see. Maybe best to just wave it away.

    DD # 1 was indeed Excellent. I hope this team stays on the title for a good long time.

    One thing I liked about Iron Man was that it provided a valid motivation for Tony’s sacrifice at the end of the last Fear Itself. I would have liked a little more intel on what they were doing, though perhaps one can’t tell too much of the main story outside of the main (FI) title.

  3. Yeah, DD #1 was great– I loved the visuals for his radar, especially with the Spot. (Not to mention a great use of The Spot, for that matter. I love those bad Spider-Man villains, Spot, Slyde, Typeface…)

    Just curious- did anyone read daredevil Reborn? Did that go any way towards redeeming the character after Shadowland?

  4. Actually the Howling Commandos have been multicultural since the late 1960s: Jim Morita, the Nisei soldier from “Fresno,” debuted in 1967, and Gabe Jones goes all the way back to the team’s debut in 1963.

    I agree with you on the overall VERY GOOD rating and was particularly surprised that they went with the downbeat last line.

    DAREDEVIL #1 is probably my single favorite mainstream superhero comic this year.

  5. Agreed re: Iron Man. I haven’t felt it for awhile. What happened to Matt Fraction?

    Hope to agree re: Daredevil. Can’t wait to read it.

  6. Fraction’s work seems to vary a lot depending on who he’s working for. At Marvel I really enjoyed his run with Brubaker on Iron Fist, but that’s been about it. Still have really high hopes for the newest volume of Casanova and any other creator owned work that he puts out.

    Happy to see all the positive reviews for the new Daredevil book. Haven’t gotten a chance to pick it up yet, but am very much looking forward to it.

  7. Having had the good sense to avoid reading “Shadowland” (I gave up after the first issue) I have no beef with Daredevil/Matt Murdock’s current situation. I can legitimately pretend “Shadowland” never happened, because in my world, it didn’t. So it totally worked for me. A thoroughly entertaining read. Excellent!

    The foul mouthed dwarves in “Iron Man” were extremely obnoxious and all their censored swearing made the comic practically unreadable for me. Once I felt compelled to fill in the censored bits to figure out what swear words they were actually saying, I gave up and tossed the book in the trash. I don’t buy comics to read about intoxicated, bickering, and bawdy dwarves. What was Fraction thinking? As the dwarves themselves would say: Crap!

  8. Fraction lost me in the three issue long face off between Tony Stark and Doc Ock. It seemed extremely padded at the time. 20 years ago this would have been a done in one for a third of the price of one current issue. Poor value for money.

  9. The reaction to Daredevil I’ve seen on the internet is interesting. I don’t remember the reaction to the Karl Kesel / Cary Nord (Nord? I think) run to have been quite so positive, despite having a similar “back to classic formula” approach. I don’t really see how the context of the two is especially different either but… Is it just an Internet thing?

  10. Fraction has completely lost me. Casanova, sure.

    Looks like DD is having a Brand New Day. I don’t know what it was about Shadowland and Reborn, because I haven’t been so bored by Diggle’s work prior, but there is a palpable sense of facility? excellence? elegance? about DD #1.

    The Wackerverse seems to house some of the best stuff.

  11. Abhay: I think its an “Wow, this is a really f***ing good comic” thing, with the bright colors as an added bonus!

  12. I think one main difference, Abhay, is that when Kesel/Nord came around, Marvel wasn’t in the practice of relaunching books yet. So it probably flew under the radar for a lot of people.

    At the same time, the Kesel/Nord (and Kelly/Colan) run is consistently brought up by DD fans even though it is 15 years (!) old and lasted basically 8 months (and then Kelly for the rest of the book’s volume, he filled in Kesel’s shoes admirably).

    I’ve always found it strange that Kesel didn’t get more writing assignments, he’s obviously quite talented. Didn’t he introduce Rosalind Sharp? Talk about a great character :) I was immediately hooked by his run, it felt like it was firmly building on the past and at the same time wanting to go in fresh directions.

    I just hope Waid will use the lawyer angle well, it’s the one thing that truly sets DD apart and is woefully underused. Have him defend the villains he brings in during his vigilante hours! Justice for all and all that :) Plus then writers have to come up with decent defenses for supervillains ;)

  13. I enjoyed Captain America, but still rank the Iron Man movies as being the best of the Marvel flicks. Yes, that includes the second one, which people seem to enjoy retroactively hating.
    The ranking I use, with the top being best and ones at the same level being a tie is:
    Iron Man (5 Stars)
    Iron Man 2 (4.5 out of 5 stars)
    Thor and Captain America (4 out of 5 stars)
    and down quite a bit


    even lower

    The Incredible Hulk (3 out of 5 stars)
    Yeah, I still think it was above-average, but barely. It beats the other Hulk film, at least.

  14. The Kesel/Nord run is one I’ve seen brought up a lot since I got back in to comics and started following them on the internet in 2001, much in the same way that people talk up things like Chase and Aztek from DC. “Man, that sure was a good comic while it lasted!”

    I liked Invincible Iron Man well enough. The dwarves didn’t bug me that much, although they’ll be trying my patience if they’re all over the next issue. I haven’t really been in on the Fraction backlash, even on something I’m not 100% in to like Thor, or Fear Itself, which I’ve liked a lot even if I can see how other people are not that in to it.

    Totally agree with you on Cap and DD #1, just for thoroughness’ sake. I had a lot of fun with both. Helped make a week without my LCS (they went to San Diego) more bearable.

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