Posted by: John Kane on February 3, 2012
Tags: All Star Western, Barbary Ghost, Batman The Brave And The Bold, Dan Davis, DC Comics, Demon Knights, Diogenes Neves, Jason Aaron, Jimmy Palmiotti, John K (UK), Jonah Hex, Justin Gray, Marvel, Moritat, Oclair Albert, Paul Cornell, Phil Winslade, Punishermax, RM Guera, Scalped, Sholly Fisch, Steve Dillon, Stewart McKenney, Vertigo
Whoops. Lost my momentum there. Trying to get it back by looking at some comics and then blurting thoughts out in the form of words. Disaster? I have a recipe for that! Here’s the ingredients:
BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #15
By Stewart McKenney/Dan Davis(a), Sholly Fisch(w), Guy Major(c) and Dezi Sienty(l)
(DC Comics, $2.99)
If he is to survive an unending series of death traps of unknown origin The Caped Crusader is going to need a miracle! Luckily he brought one along…MISTER MIRACLE!
“”No…spears!” HAHAHAHAHAHA. Damn, even Kids think that joke is shit. Judgemental buggers.”
This is a comic for Kids, is that alright? Is it alright if Kids have comics too? Because I know comics aren’t for kids anymore. I know that the works of such mature intellects as Mark Millar, Brian Bendis and Geoff Johns have lifted the fights’n’tights funnybook up beyond the meagre intellects of children into a new and special place where they are exactly like comics for Kids but not as good; which in a very real sense is just like growing up. Everything’s the same as when you were a Kid it’s just a bit more shit. Comics for Kids, okay? Is that alright? Because if it isn’t then there’s no place for a PG version of CUBE starring Batman and Mister Miracle in which Batman solves the confounding conundrum bedevilling our two plucky chums by noticing that he doesn’t need a shave and if that’s true then I guess there’s no place for the following exchange:
DOCTOR BEDLAM: However your MEAGER INTELLECT is no match for the brilliance of DOCTOR BEDLAM.
BATMAN: Really? How about my FIST?
There’s always a place for that. Even though they do not use the correct English spelling of “meagre” and plump for the Colonial mutation. Yes, even though Mister Miracle looks creepy without a nose this is still VERY GOOD!
By R.M. Guera(a), Jason Aaron(w), Giulia Brusco(c) and Sal Cipriano(l)
(Vertigo/DC Comics, $2.99)
“Fact: I, John, actually have a thing about traumatic eye wounds. In that I fear them not that I get off on them. I know this is The Internet but be nice, now.”
Now that’s a fight scene! So that’s GOOD!
By Steve Dillon(a), Jason Aaron(w), Matt Hollingsworth(c) and VC’s Cory Petit(l)(Marvel Comics, $3.99)
Frank and The Kingpin finally collide in a femur shattering confrontation from which only one will walk away! Actually they both walk away but The Kingpin has a hammer stuck in his head and scratches at the glass door of his apartment like a wet brained stray cat before Frank brings him down and then Frank falls over and so I guess it’s really a femur shattering confrontation from which both walk away – but only for a bit!
“The White Male Heterosexual’s Worst Nightmare”
Frank Castle is homeless. And he stands there singing for money. La da dee la dee da. Ladies and gentlemen, Ms. Crystal Waters! Terrible song that but, hey, I was watching THE HURT LOCKER the other night because I like to watch films everyone has already watched and moved on from. It’s important to be timely, to be relevant, I feel. It was okay, really quite a decent film until the end when they did the thing with the guy at home. I didn’t really like that bit because as is usual with cool hard asses we were invited to feel sorry for him because being such a hard ass he could find no pleasure in the real treasures of life such as cleaning out the guttering and shopping for cereal (don’t load the dice too much, eh, Mark Boal) and yet we were also invited to admire him as the romantic lone wolf; true to himself and his manly nature. There are a lot of these films and they seem to fulfil the same function as Chick Flicks. They kind of undermine the gender stereotype while at the same time finding shelter within it. I call the male variation Dick Flicks. PUNISHERMAX is a Dick Flick. Y’know, that weirdly pathetic male wish fulfillment where you can be free at last to be a manly man but it has come at such a cost that you get to be both pitied and feared. Like a baby the size of a tower block crying for Mama to change its nappy. You’d be scared if that turned up outside your window but you’d feel a bit sorry for it as well. Unless you were a manly man in which case you would shoot it in its big fleshy demanding face and turn away before we saw your single, solitary tear.
Someone has to say it, Frank. You are a weak man, Frank. It isn’t a sign of strength to run away from responsibility, Frank. You are a weak man, Frank Castle, to rather have your family die than pick up those toys one more time, rather than sit through The Only Way is Essex one more time, rather than have to sit through those shitty Star Wars films one more time…actually, Frank, I’m starting to see your point.I am a man after all and as a man I found PUNISHERMAX was GOOD! After all, I cannot tell a lie, like most men I like a good Dick Flick.
DEMON KNIGHTS #5
By Diogenes Neves/Oclair Albert(a), Paul Cornell(w), Marcelo Maiolo(c) and Jared K. Fletcher(l)
(DC Comics, $2.99)
“Meet The Twin Fists of Tolerance!”
The best thing about this comic, because it’s important to be positive about comics or so people keep bleating, is the character of Jabr. Now it seems to me that this guy is rational, educated, level-headed, tasty in a fight and quite possibly not of European extraction. He’s all those things and yet not boring, he is fact the best character in this except for “Sir” Justin because us Brits love a bit of crossdressing fun. Deny it to your Mother, pal, don’t waste your breath denying it to me. Astonishingly The Internet has not lost its collective mind over Jabr and it’s this magical fact, this clear indication that we have at last, as a species, grown enough to, finally, recognise the transitory nature of our fragile lives and put aside our differences to become, in effect, tolerant and wise and thus strong enough to forge the collective future all our predecessors suffered and died to accomplish. Or maybe nobody is reading this as it is, after all, just OKAY!
ALL-STAR WESTERN #4,#5
By Moritat, Phil Winslade(a), Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti(w)Gabriel Bautista, Dominic Regan(c) and Rob Leigh(l)
(DC Comics, $2.99)
Jonah Hex in “Gotham Underground” and The Barbary Ghost in, er, “The Barbary Ghost”
In the caverns beneath Gotham Jonah Hex finds not only a fine example of the unfettered free market in action but also ancient evil. And some bats. Because it is Gotham. Also in this issue: The Barbary Ghost makes a spooky debut!
It was kind of okay having Arkham around for a bit but now his role seems to have quickly devolved into basically telling us when Jonah Hex is being an asshole and getting himself in a pickle Jonah has to help him out of. This erodes a large portion of the appeal of Jonah for me. I like not knowing if he is actually going to help whoever’s in trouble or if he’s going to just be an ornery asshole. Obviously he has to save Arkham all the time or the Asylum will never be built and Batman’s continuity will be all wronged-up. Oh noes! And also I like to decide myself when Jonah has been an asshole. On occasion it has taken me several pages to realise just how big an asshole Jonah has been on that occasion several pages previous to the point at which said realisation alights upon my mind. I like that. So, yeah, shut yer fancy yapper, Arkham! And let’s get out of Gotham and light out for the territories; it’s too constrictive, Jonah works best out in The Big Country where he can tread in big shit in all manner of unlikely ways. I like the colours by Bautista they are kind of organic but inorganic at the same time, like laser-pastels or something. Yes, people my age still think putting “laser” in front of something suggests The Future. Aren’t old people just the cutest!
Oh, the backup is The Barbary Ghost; a new creation by Gray, Palmiotti and Winslade. While Winslade’s brittle lines manfully attempt to ground the story in a specific milieu at once both evocative and atmospheric this is somewhat undermined by the fact that The Barbary Ghost’s knockers are kind of flopping about a lot. Now I’m no Henry History but I would have thought that a Chinese lady in the 1870’s would have been personally inclined, in large part due to the mores and customs of both the particular point in history she occupied and the heritage of her own people’s customs and traditions, to keep her tits shut in a bit more. Or maybe I missed the class where we were taught about The Great 1870’s Chinese Tunic Button Shortage. I could have; I was a bit of a git as a kid.
Still, credit given for an original character. After all in 2012 DC’s big old money fountain will be WATCHMEN: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER. No doubt JMS is going to improve the original by, apparently, so he says, explaining about how Jon was obsessed with time yet he still went into that time-locked room! I don’t know. I guess I missed the bits in WATCHMEN where Jon was continually asking people what time it was and craning his neck to look at clocks and banging his girlfriend from behind so he could put his hand on the base of her neck in such a way that it seemed erotically stimulating due to its sensual forcefulness but at the same time afforded him an uninterrupted view of his watch. Or maybe his Dad was a watchmaker and he thus believed in Design but he was changed into a God by a complete ACCIDENT! and that was a metaphor or an analogy or even the whole meshuggener point already or, Christ, who gives a shit. Yes, okay, it was strange. Really strange. I need it explaining in a book illustrated by a cheesecake maker. I’m glad it isn’t someone muttonheadly literal who’s got this gig, rather someone as dependable and imaginative as JMS who is going to bless us with a mini-series in which, let’s face it, quite probably Dr Manhattan reaches back trough time to give events a nudge so that he effectively creates himself! SPOILER! Christ. Mind you I know it has always troubled me, raised a question in my mind, why Rorschach wears a woman’s gusset on his face. Hopefully Brian Azzarrello will be setting my mind to rest on that score. Hurm. In 2013: CAMELOT 3010!
Do you see what I did there? I did an impression of The Internet and played right into DC’s hands and I missed the point. The point about WATCHMEN: BEFORE THEY WERE FAMOUS not being a nice thing is that endorsing this is endorsing DC’s treatment of Alan Moore. DC own WATCHMEN so they can do what they want with WATCHMEN and what they want to do with WATCHMEN is make money because they are a business. I can understand that, I see that, thanks. DC do not own Alan Moore and they have treated him, and continue to treat him, in a shabby fashion unbecoming of adults. That’s the issue here. If they can do that to Alan Moore and it is all right because we get our nice new comics then it is all right for them to continue treating creators in such a fashion. It isn’t all right. It will never be all right. That’s the point here, for me, not whether the books will be any good, or any of that other diversionary horse shit. Nut up or shut up, DC. Nut up or shut up.
ALL-STAR WESTERN was GOOD! if you can remember that far back.
AMERICAN VAMPIRE #23
By Rafael Albuquerque(a), Scott Snyder(w), Dave McCaig(c) and Jared K. Fletcher(l)
“Death Race” Part Two of Four
I haven’t actually read this one. I don’t know if you noticed that bit up there, the boring bit, yeah? The “Part Two of Four” bit? I wouldn’t have; I’d have skipped it and looked at the scan (which isn’t there because I haven’t read it, see) and then read the text I judged most likely to contain a cock joke or insult a noted comic creator. So I can fully understand if you missed the whole “Part Two of Four” bit. I didn’t though and since I have yet to receive “Part One of Four” I am unable to read this comic. I don’t mention that for any other reason than the fact that Mr. Jeff Lester and Mr. Graeme McMillan were talking about how weird their comics reading patterns can be (I mean I’ve got this comic bought and paid for but I’m not going to read it? Saywhanow?!) And I just wanted to mention that I share their sickness; I sup from the same trough of pain as they. Also, just thinking about them both brings me physical pleasure. Hurm.NuuuuhHHHH.
Sorry about this one, folks, hopefully it’ll be better next week.
Have a good weekend with COMICS!