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Big and Bad: Hibbs 4/4’s

Brian Hibbs

I know you’d never know it from my Industry-driven posting (seriously? It’s what I DO), but I’ve actually been sick as a dog the last week, and have barely read any comics at all.

But I said “I’m back on the horse”, and, barring the two weeks where I couldn’t log on TO post here, I am , I am! So, here’s 3 (or maybe 4) books, below the cut.

AVENGERS VS X-MEN #1: Rich Johnston was right, I think, when he said this book is review proof. No one is going to buy or not buy this comic based upon anything I (or anyone else) says about it, and, because it’s purely an exercise in smashing the action figures together, I doubt anyone is really looking at this for an exceptional example of sequential storytelling, or anything.

Which is terrific, because it kind of sucked.

Sort of even to the point that I’m not even really sure where exactly to begin.

Well, let’s start with the talent. I like JR JR, I really do… but I like him on things that are gritty and “street” and dark — KICK ASS he’s suited for, shiny-Avengers-heroes? Not so much. Scott Hanna’s inks help a little, but overall, the effect here is of the absolutely wrong artist for the book.

Then you have the “Story” credit going to FIVE different people. Really? Reallly? I mean, I have to assume that something really change-up different is going to happen at some point here, because “The Avengers and the X-Men fight” hardly needs FIVE plotters. Damn, it don’t need one — even my eight year old can plot this. In fact, I asked him to tell me why they might fight, and he said, and I shall quote: “they’re superheroes, they just do”

Smart kid.

And, oh, oh, oh, the scripting. I don’t know if it’s that Bendis is just getting too frayed from working on too many comics, or that I’ve just “learned” his ear too well from reading too many of them, but his dialogue has descended into self-parody at this point. “What’s going on? Never Mind. Don’t care. Are we having an Avengers meeting or–?” “Guys — we got a thing here.”  Damn, they all have the same frickin’ voice. Even the single normal human being in the entire comic, who has a line after flying through the sky with the rubble of the Chrysler building, then is webbed safely by Spider-Man (wait, what? How?!?! 3/4 of those people should be corpses!) says “Wow. That’s It. I’m moving. I’m done.”

Gawd.

(Plus, like, destroying the Chrysler building? This is your signifier of “yeah, the stakes are real!”? Ugh)

(See, even *I* am doing the bendis voice! Man!)

I also really like that “scorecard” thing at the top of the issue that has like 20+ Avengers, including a bunch not even cameoing in the issue (War Machine?), while the X-Men side is all of 6 people.

I don’t, AT ALL, get Cyclops’ motivations here. I could maybe possibly understand him if it was “We don’t have enough power, we need more, we can’t let the humans have this”, but all of that bullshit he was spouting about rebirth and shit? Are you nuts? Scott should hate the Phoenix force more than almost any other human in the universe, given that it destroyed his first love, his child, his school, and now it is going after his grand daughter, who is “the future of the mutant race”. Given what happened to Jean, how could he POSSIBLY be ok with Hope getting anywhere near the force?

Also: Where the fuck is Rachel, anyway? Why would the thing WANT Hope in the first place? We’ve always always seen the Phoenix force go after TELEKINETIC TELEPATHS — what does it want with a girl whose powerset is *copying* other powers, and who, afaik, is utterly powerless without other mutants around?

Hell, maybe that’s what we need five plotters to explain?

So, nope, didn’t like it, not a bit… but it’s going to make a big pile of money regardless. I thought it was pretty AWFUL.

 

INFINITE COMICS #1: Free with the digital download of AvX #1 was the first of Marvel’s “Infinite Comics”, by Mark Waid and Stuart Immonen. I read this as well.

I have to say that I thought it was… adequate. Waid’s script is filled with some fun things about moving faster than the speed of light, but there’s not a single thing about the PERSON behind the suit (other than his liking hot dogs or whatever it was, but that was so generic, it literally could have been interchangeable between Spider-Man, the Human Torch, Speedball, or fifty other characters).

The art was fairly pretty (duh), but when it came to major, important things like, dunno, SMASHING THROUGH THE CHRYSLER BUILDING, it’s staged in such a way you can barely tell what’s going on.

As a “What happened between panels 5 & 6 on page 4″ (or whatever), it was perfectly adequate… maybe even fairly decent.

But as a technical achievement? Wow wow what a dog!

Maybe, I don’t know, but maybe possibly this is because I read it on an iPad 1 — but this, rather than the “Luther” proof-of-concept where elements fairly seamlessly “floated” into place, here each new element was on a seperate page of it’s own that I could LITERALLY *see* being served to me.

What this meant was that.

(tap)

What this meant was that as each page would come up on the screen.

(tap)

What this meant was that as each page would come up on the screen my eye automatically started to read.

(tap)

What this meant was that as each page would come up on the screen my eye automatically started to read from the left again.

(tap)

What this meant was that as each page would come up on the screen my eye automatically started to read from the left again until eventually the.

(LENS FLARE!)

What this meant was that as each page would come up on the screen my eye automatically started to read from the left again until eventually the whole page was finally rendered.

Oh. My. God! COMPLETELY unreadable.

I thought “Well, maybe it’s just the first iPad?” so I went to try and read it in-browser on my computer, which Marvel SAYS you can do. I followed the link PROVIDED ON THE “redeem” page. No. That takes you to a page full of press releases about previous free digital downloads. Then I spent at least 20 minutes reading through help pages on Marvel.com, and finally found a different link that the help pages insisted was direct to “all of your free-with-print digital downloads”, but THAT page redirected me instead to a four page preview of AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #1 that the only way it would let me escape was if I signed in to Marvel Digital Unlimited… which is not even close to the same thing, so I closed my browser in disgust and said “fuck it”.

I probably wouldn’t be so disgustipated if it wasn’t for the THREE (!!) pages that IC #1 had to serve me to proclaim that this was the “FUTURE OF COMICSSSSSSSSS!!!!!”

Seriously?

If that’s the “future” of comics, comics can go fuck themselves. As much as I didn’t like the “hey we’re showing off by taking control of your reading experience for you!” that “Luther” did, it was a BILLION times worse in the one-page-at-a-time slideshow on the iPad. It made me want to choke to death on someone else’s vomit.

The CONTENT of INFINITE COMICS #1? EH. The EXECUTION?: Pure, stinking ASS.

 

THE BOYS #65:  While there are 3 (4? 5?) more issues left of the series, this is really the big moment everything has been pointing to since that first issue, and there’s a clear Ennis-ian Nelson-style “Haw haw!” in here as everything everyone thinks is going on is flipped on it’s side before the gory gory gory gory climax of it all. I liked the twist, I thought it was “fair”, but this issue really REALLY suffered, I thought by being drawn by two artists, neither of whom is Darick Robertson. Russ Brown and John McCrea are just fine, but neither is the co-creator of the series, and I kept recasting every page if DR had drawn it. The version in my head is better. Still? Solidly GOOD.

 

SUPREME #63:  It’s been like ten years since the last chapter, has it? I guess that explains why I sold less than a third of what I thought I might of this unseen Alan Moore Script? What’s weird is that, as a silver age pastiche, it really kind of read as if I had just read the previous issue last month. I miss the hell out of this book. I can’t believe this really was to be Moore’s LAST script, though, because there’s clearly 1 or 2 more issues to go along this whole thought.

I quite liked Erik Larsen’s art here, though — made me think he was channeling Kev O’Neill, especially on those Suprema pages. The blurbs seem to indicate that the next issue is abandoning the silver age stuff and going back to 90s-style Rob Liefeld Supreme, and while they’re earned one more issue from me for that, my instincts say I’d rather be forced to read INFINITE COMICS again.

Anyway, does this mean we can hope for a proper reprint book of Moore’s runs that isn’t scanned at the wrong resolution or whatever the hell the problem was with those Checker editions?

 

 

Right, that’s it for me this week, see you in a day or two with the next batch of reviews!!

 

As always: what did YOU think?

 

-B

47 Responses to “ Big and Bad: Hibbs 4/4’s ”

  1. The version of the infinite comic that comes with AvX #1 is ass. The version you can buy on its own is better. The new caption boxes just appear in succession without the refresh or the page turn animation.

    Still, it’s a big gaffe on Marvel’s part.

  2. Careful, Brian… pointing out Bendis’ glaring shortcomings will label you as a “hater” in some circles.

  3. There are only two comics-related things in life better than Jaffa Cakes and a cup of hot black tea:

    1) “New” Alan Moore comics! I think the SUPREME issue was supposed to set up a new direction for the incoming writer to follow up on and through directly, which may be why it seems like it should continue next ish? I haven’t read it yet though so I don’t know. Ask Erik Larsen, he shops with you doesn’t he? Maybe he could take some time out from chiefing Jeff out to tell you? Is Radar The Hound Supreme in it?

    2) Reading Mr. Brian Hibbs turn puce as he struggles to comprehend the fact that The Big Two only pretend to give a rat’s ass about continuity and are just playing pick’n’mix because otherwise this writing lark’s a bit too much like real work. Sorry, I mean they are making it “new-reader-friendly” because they are so super-awesome at that! I can’t move in here for all those new readers! Welcome, everyone!

    Also: Your textual representation of the annoyances of the AR thing were totally post-mod! You are like Mark Z. Danielewski but crossed with a sweary bear!

    I have read none of these comics but I read your reviews and I still think I made out like a bandit. Glad you’re feeling better, Cheers!

  4. The version in AvX #1 is the same.

    You just need to double-tap the screen to enter Guided View and it acts just as the separate 99c version.

  5. I’ll try that when I go home tonight, Matt, but that’s NOT what the instructions for the comic say, so that’s pretty fucked up.

    What’s that they say about “one chance to make a first impression”?

    -B

  6. What I can’t understand is why on EARTH Alan Moore’s run of Supreme wasn’t reprinted *before* this issue came out? If the issue itself is trying to trade on the cachet of being “Alan Moore’s unprinted finale”, wouldn’t you want to make sure the rest of the story is available in the first place??

    As a result, our sales of the first issue TANKED. Not the best sign for an intended ongoing….

  7. As I understood it, Moore was supposed to have one more issue after this one, which wasn’t written. He began with #41, and the “Story of the Year” ended with the two-part #52 (which should have been a single silver-age style 80-page giant), so the second year would end with #64, which I’d assume, in typical Moore symmetry, that was also going to be an extra-long issue. So instead Larsen will write that conclusion, and then take the book in whatever direction he wants.

  8. All chemicals from all possible future printings of Supreme were condensed and used up when they made the Checker Books versions. Just pulled mine off the shelf to see if they were still extra pungent … yep.

  9. The Infinite book is intended for the Guided View format, like Reilly Brown’s POWER PLAY, the idea being that it uses the dissolve effect between pages to do limited animation. It ought to be going to Guided View automatically, and it certainly does if you buy the standalone version. I thought it read pretty well, actually, though having you tap to bring up each caption box is something they need to use sparingly.

  10. I read the book on my ipad, too, and had the same problem that you did Brian. I was less than impressed. Somehow I stumbled on the “guided view” solution and the story looks and reads, much better that way.

    I agree, though, it would have helped if the instructions to use guided view had been included somewhere on that page where they gave you the rest of the instructions and information about settings. That would have been a sensible place to put that kind of information.

  11. It took me a bunch of tapping, but eventually I got the “guided view” working, and, yes, that was much smoother…. except when it dropped back out of GV in the middle of my second read for some reason, and I just got sick of the whole thing and gave up.

    Paper doesn’t need fancy and fidgety hand movements to read.

    -B

  12. It’s funny how those comic pundits who tend to be most blithely dismissive of superhero comics and their fans (how they are ruining creator-owned comics with their narrow parochial tastes, pissing on the corpse of Jack Kirby by buying content based on his creations, etc.) are simultaneously also the ones who bitch endlessly about wankish, irrelevant continuity porn. Where’s Rachel Summers? Well Kieron Gillen said he’ll explain what’s up with her in his book, but even if he didn’t WHO GIVES A FUCK. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE STORY, and I don’t care a whit how beholden AvX is to past Phoenix continuity, because I don’t actively look for things to complain about. It has no bearing on the story being told. Many of your other “criticisms” amount to little more than a typical message board whine: so it has five writers, that again has no bearing on the issue at hand (maybe if it appeared that the book was suffering because it was being written by committee, but there’s no way we can tell that from a single issue). Was that a problem with 52? So it bothers you that the Avengers outnumber the X-Men on the frickin’ recap page? This has to be the most insignificant complaint in the history of comics criticism. This selective outrage in comics punditry is the most hypocritical form of nerd rage out there–you pretend you’re above it, lamenting that Marvel and DC drive out smaller, more independent-minded talents, yet at the same time you are more concerned with poking holes in minor continuity discrepancies than evaluating the stories for what they are.

    I couldn’t care less if something is critic-proof, I don’t care about hype, I’m actually reading this because I enjoy all the writers in question and I’m interested in seeing how they play off each other’s ideas (similar to why I got interested in 52). Contra the commenter who warned you of being labeled a “hater,” it seems to me that Bitching About Bendis is about the most fashionable thing one can do on the Internet, as the unalloyed Marvel/DC hate groupthink in these comments should demonstrate. But there are also people like me, who don’t necessarily agree that Bendis ruined “comics” with his use of “dialogue.” I know, this makes me a tool of Marvel, they’re probably paying me to write this, etc.

    If you hate Marvel’s current line of books, that’s cool, but it looks to me like all of you here are looking for reasons to complain, which happens every time an event book comes down the line. Just don’t read it! And if you want to criticize it, there have to be better reasons than “the Phoenix is supposed to only possess telepaths” or some such nonsense. There’s no reason given why you assume that it has to possess telepaths, you certainly don’t give any evidence for why this must be the case. It’s a dimly childish view of superhero comics that demands every continuity buff have their needs and prejudices catered to immediately, regardless of their importance to the actual plot.

    And since when is JR Jr. not suited for epic superhero fights? You really prefer Kick-Ass?

  13. “Paper doesn’t need fancy and fidgety hand movements to read.”
    Except for Housewives At Play of course.

    Get on The Hover-Bus to Future-Town, Brian Hibbs! The Kids won’t save you a seat forever!

  14. And if you want to criticize it, there have to be better reasons than “the Phoenix is supposed to only possess telepaths” or some such nonsense.

    What are the Phoenix Force’s motivations for doing what it does, in any story in which it’s appeared? If those motivations haven’t been explained or aren’t believable, why should any story about it be believable? Gods don’t act randomly. Since the Phoenix Force is sentient, its motivations should be at the core of any story it’s in.

    Hope isn’t believable, but that’s because of the way she was aged. Having her “age” instantly in the unseen future is no more believable than writing off the Marvel Universe as a figment of a psychotic’s imagination. If that was the best thing they could come up with for a savior, the mutant universe deserves to die.

    SRS

  15. Q:

    “It’s funny how those comic pundits who tend to be most blithely dismissive of superhero comics and their fans (how they are ruining creator-owned comics with their narrow parochial tastes, pissing on the corpse of Jack Kirby by buying content based on his creations, etc.)”

    Here’s my suggestion for you: go take this little screed to a writer that EVEN SLIGHTLY RESEMBLES this description.

    I love superhero comics way more than you do, and I’ve even got the comics store to prove it :) I didn’t like AvX, but that’s because I thought it was a cynical, hacked-out piece-of-shit, not because of any of the other stuff you just pulled out of your ass.

    “You really prefer Kick-Ass?”

    Yes. Yes, I do. I also VASTLY prefer his runs on DD and PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL to his stints on X-MEN or THOR.

    -B

  16. You know, I was in a really bad mood this morning over some stupid work thing. Then I read Q-Bertrand’s comment and can’t stop laughing. It’s like he just wrote this very passionate defense of AvX, looked all over the Internet for a review that matched it, shrugged, and just posted it here.

    @John K(UK)

    Your Housewives at Play comment was also hysterical.

    Comics! Articles about them generate comments that snap me out of grumpy moods!

  17. Hope didn’t age instantly, she grew up over time in the highly underrated cable series.

  18. Thank you Q :)

  19. “If that’s the “future” of comics, comics can go fuck themselves.”

    That made me laugh.

  20. I don’t know, I kind of liked Q-Bertrand’s post. A little on the angry side maybe, but I thought he had some good points. Regardless of whether or not any new readers will pick up AvX (my guess: no), I also couldn’t care less whether or not Rachel ever gets mentioned. Keep it simple, the last thing I need is five writers trying to explain decades of honked-up Phoenix/X-men continuity.

    I agree with Brian on one point, though, and I say this as a long time fan/apologist – all of Bendis’ characters are starting to sound the same to me as well.

  21. Keep it simple, the last thing I need is five writers trying to explain decades of honked-up Phoenix/X-men continuity.

    Continuity is less of a problem than explaining to someone why the Phoenix Force is appearing now. Because that was the best idea they could come up with for an event isn’t a good explanation. If the appearance is random, then the storyline is reduced to ____ has a power source and ___ has to stop _____ from using it. Pure formula.

    Storylines involving alternate futures are shit because the only way one can make sense is to suppose that the “future” is the present, and someone is attempting to alter his own past–but doing that results in the same routine paradoxes that beginners’ time travel stories do. Doing a time travel story because the writer thinks that they’re exciting or paradoxes are neat is a sign of creative bankruptcy.

    SRS

  22. Rachel Grey is a character whose purpose for existing ended way back in the 90s, possibly even 80s.

    The less of her in this event, the better.

  23. I’m shocked that people are saying ‘fuck continuity’ as part of their defense for Avengers Vs X-Men.
    What is the appeal of the book if you aren’t into continuity? Does that book mean anything without continuity? If the people buying and loving their most successful book don’t care about continuity, then has the Marvel shared universe ‘everything matters’ experiment been a failure?

  24. Well, going by actual continuity Rachel Grey was already discarded by the Phoenix when Hope arrived, so it’s clear there’s no need for her to have a major role in the event.

    (She’ll show up a little though and play a larger part in WATX)

    Overall, the continuity cliff notes we got seem fine to me.

  25. Er, the entire premise of AvX is that the Phoenix force is coming BACK. Keyword: BACK. Emphasis mine: BACK.

    1. That means its previous appearance is totally relevant.

    2. That means the characters’ knowledge of it is totally relevant.

    3. That means the reason for its RETURN is totally relevant.

    4. That means the stakes involved in its RETURN are totally relevant.

    The entire goddamned premise of this book is, “OH SHIT, the Phoenix is BACK, and we need to freak out because remember LAST TIME when . . .”

    If you’re saying continuity doesn’t have anything to do with this book, then you don’t know how to even read.

  26. “I’m actually reading this because I enjoy all the writers in question and I’m interested in seeing how they play off each other’s ideas”

    Being a fanboy for writers is no better than being a fanboy for characters and their continuity. And that’s not even getting into how the writers in question aren’t really that good.

    Mike

  27. I kinda see all of this discussion as backing Hibbs’ review perfectly. Those who are enjoying it or turning their brains off or whatever’s the proper parlance for what is ever-increasingly being labeled as “fun” or “popcorn style summer blockbuster” don’t care about prior events or general consistency. And those arguing for consistency with prior events in order to add some sense of elevated stakes or a shred of legitimate import aren’t finding what they’re looking for here. The slavish devotion to writer involvement vs. a critical view of these writers in comparison to their prior work and whether it’s any good or not seems to be another dynamic.

    It just so happens I fall into Hibbs’ persuasion but I guess I could see it coming from a mile away with the only thing really lacking for me is some manner of Capcom branding or cooperation. So, infinitely avoidable for me.

    But, yeah, seems like everybody’s talking about the same thing here. It’s just a case of blind men describing the elephant sorta thing going on with everyone weighing in on whether they like the idea of cleaning up ten tons of shit or not.

  28. “even my eight year old can plot this”

    That’s really all, isn’t it? If I’d heard a drumbeat of opinions I value, such as yours, that this is really more than a Big Stupid Event I might have considered adding AvX to my pull list. But I’m not.

  29. Yes, Mike, how gauche to be a fan – sorry, “fanboy” – of a specific writer, let alone the five hacks in question (Bendis, Fraction, Hickman, Aaron, Brubaker) who as you so eloquently put it obviously aren’t really that good anyway. Much better and easier to just crap negative comments all over message boards to show everyone how above it all you are.

  30. “Yes, Mike, how gauche to be a fan – sorry, “fanboy” – of a specific writer”

    If you’re going to be snotty about other people’s opinions, you really need to be grown up enough not to get butthurt when your own opinions are criticized. Don’t do this sort of suck up trolling if you can’t stand the response.

    Mike

  31. “as you so eloquently put it obviously aren’t really that good anyway.”

    Do you read actual books? How about just watch TV or movies? The guys at Marvel aren’t total incompetents but when you measure them against the best in other media, they ain’t exactly anything to write home about.

    Mike

  32. I’m cool with being criticized, it’s just your posts generally contribute nothing besides vague, unsupported insults. But agree to disagree, I suppose. Although I continue to enjoy your frequent use of the word “butthurt”, you’ve kind of made that your thing.

  33. Actual books? Oh, you mean like trade paperbacks? Yeah I read those. But only if the writer isn’t a total incompetent.
    I’m not even sure what you’re trying to say, but I have no trouble calling Jonathan Hickman the Jonathan Franzen of comics.

  34. “Being a fanboy for writers is no better than being a fanboy for characters and their continuity.”

    Er, there’s a huge difference. Following a character doesn’t guarantee a certain quality of story. Following a writer means you generally like that writer’s quality of storytelling. You are making a deliberate choice about what kinds of stories you like to read, rather than what you want the protagonist of those stories to look like.

    Yeah, it’s a huge difference, actually.

    You don’t really have any idea what you’re talking about.

  35. “What is the appeal of the book if you aren’t into continuity? Does that book mean anything without continuity? If the people buying and loving their most successful book don’t care about continuity, then has the Marvel shared universe ‘everything matters’ experiment been a failure?”

    I don’t think so. It just means something different than when every book in a “universe” is guided by a single hand (or a tightly-coupled few). That’s the only scenario where continuity in the absolute strictest sense can ever be expected to work. It’s just patently unrealistic to expect “everything to matter” over decades written by thousands of different writers. Ultimately what it means for a story to matter in such a gargantuan enterprise is that it is popular enough with current writers (or taking the longer view, some few current readers who will one day be the writers) that they *desire* to reference it and play with those story elements. A story being interesting and memorable enough to live on in enough of readers’ minds is what ultimately makes it “matter”.

  36. “MButthurt” has a nice ring to it.

  37. “I’m cool with being criticized, it’s just your posts generally contribute nothing besides vague, unsupported insults.”

    This coming from a guy whose first post in this thread…

    1. Established that you had no idea who Brian Hibbs actually was.

    2. Totally failed to actually defend the quality of the comic in question.

    Mike

  38. Joseph:”I agree with Brian on one point, though, and I say this as a long time fan/apologist – all of Bendis’ characters are starting to sound the same to me as well.”

    I know, right?

    I’ve disliked Bendis work ever since he started screwing up the Avengers lo those many years ago. And the above 3 word sentence has been said by just about every Avenger he has ever written. I think even Cap!
    PU

  39. That’s the only scenario where continuity in the absolute strictest sense can ever be expected to work.

    That’s a false dichotomy. Honoring continuity doesn’t require making sure that every detail is replicated from story to story; what’s required is consistency in characterization, making sure that references to previous stories are correct (otherwise known as research), being able to recognize errors, and understanding how a given story works.

    Honoring and maintaining continuity is very likely connected to one’s reading comprehension skills.

    SRS

  40. I don’t have a dog or a horse or any kind of tortured creature in this race (I’ve liked these first two AVX installments, and I expect I’ll enjoy those to come), but I think I can weigh in on this CONTINUITY issue everybody’s so mad about.

    I read Marvel-type comics when I was a kid. And then I didn’t read any-type comics for a LOOOOONG time. And then a couple years ago I started reading Marvel-type comics again and was pleasantly surprised to discover they were JUST FINE! Sometimes good! Hardly ever (though occasionally) were they crap, awful, or even eh.

    What I didn’t do is quit my job, dump my girlfriend, and sell my cats so I could catch up on the intervening 20-ish years of Marvel-type stories. My knowledge of X-MEN HISTORY (frinstance) runs spottily from the 60s through the mid 80s then STOPS. Then picks up again with Grant and Joss and then STOPS again, with a couple random patches here and there since. And there are a great many gaping holes in what measly knowledge I do have. (I have very little understanding of what a CABLE is, for example.)

    For this reason, AVX is just PEACHY for me. I totally know what they’re talking about when they’re talking about this giant space bird of fire that eats everything. I happen to know that Wolverine and Cyclops are mad at each other because I saw comics in the shop that said SCHISM on them and I know what the word SCHISM means. Anything else I need to know I’m generally able to pick up through context clues and the good grace of not being a dummy.

    However, I’m not so super-intelligent that I wouldn’t be confused if they started talking about all these other crazy things people talk about when they get mad about this.

    But the balance here is: I should like the story because it has elements of familiarity, but I’m also not frantically rushing to my Wikipedia machine (or bookshelf) every time someone says “Bishop.”

    All of which should answer this pressing question:

    “What is the appeal of the book if you aren’t into continuity?”

    So I ask you, in the immortal words of one Graeme McMillan: Does that make sense?

    I should hasten to add that I realize the above makes me seem like a “casual” fan. First, I don’t think I’d be here if that were strictly the case, but also, I may not have as many as you, but I have (and have read) WAY TOO MANY COMICS.

    Lastly, all of us are too mature, intelligent, and non-worthless-human-beings to use a term like “butthurt.”

    Thanks for reading my dumb words!

  41. For this reason, AVX is just PEACHY for me. I totally know what they’re talking about when they’re talking about this giant space bird of fire that eats everything.

    But readers haven’t been given a good reason to think that the Phoenix Force will destroy the Earth. The writers do that because they take it for granted that readers will accept the assertion, and it sets up the conflict.

    As written, AvX is much more like a Syfy movie that has a giant mutant crawfish threatening to destroy Tampa–Why? Because all the other giant creatures have been done–than it is SF.

    SRS

  42. It’s probably me and my faulty brain cells, but I’m not sure I understand the CRAWFISH THAT ATE TAMPA comparison, but I DEFINITELY want to see that movie.

    In any event, I’m not asking anybody to LIKE this comic book. That’s between you and your God/Space Bird of Fire. I’m just saying that I can’t be the only one out there who sorta-kinda knows what’s up with the spacebird, likes superperson punch-ups, and doesn’t want to deal with 40 pages of learning what Diamanda Nero’s been up to lately.

    Not that there’s not a place for that! But maybe not in the comic they’re making TV ads for.

    [Scottish accent]: Does that make sense?

  43. Full disclosure: I totally just randomly pulled the words “Diamanda Nero” off the Phoenix wikipedia entry. Which I did not read. So I have no idea what that is.

  44. The point is that stories featuring menaces which have to defeated or ____ will die are practically interchangeable. Giant creatures, alien objects, magical objects, alien invaders, troglodytes from the center of the Earth–if all any of them is to the reader or viewer is a menace that has to be defeated, they will all be handled in the same few ways, and the readers and viewers will react in the same few ways.

    Once you’ve seen one such story, there’s no point in seeing another one, or you might start to lose brain cells. If providing an explanation for why something is a menace, having the menace act intelligently, and connecting the menace to its enemy is too difficult for a writer to do, he should consider finding another line of work.

    SRS

  45. So you’re saying you’re not going to write and direct the crawfish movie?

    But seriously. I get what you mean — I’m just not sure that argument makes sense after only one issue in the positive digits.

    If the spacebird doesn’t act intelligently by the end of the series, we’ll meet back here and I’ll buy you a beer. And we’ll see about finding new jobs for ALL THESE WRITERS.

    See you in September!

  46. “I’m back on the horse”,sure you did that ,man lol

  47. But readers haven’t been given a good reason to think that the Phoenix Force will destroy the Earth. The writers do that because they take it for granted that readers will accept the assertion, and it sets up the conflict.

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