Posted by: Brian Hibbs on July 29, 2012
Tags: Alan Moore, Archie, Brian, Britain is INSANE, Captain Marvel, Century, Dexter Soy, Gisele, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Kid Eternity, League of Extra-Ordinary Gentlemen, National Comics, Occupy Movement, Olympics
I owe you reviews, and I’m stuck working on a Sunday (the first of 13 days in a row, at that!), so let’s go!
The worst part, actually, is that I really don’t have much to say about the last two weeks of comics — not a lot of stuff stood out to me, good or ill, so this is going to be fairly short (I suck, I know). And, in fact, we’re going to start off with something that ISN’T comics…
XXX OLYMPIC OPENING CEREMONY: Man, the Brits are kind of wacky, aren’t they? OK, or maybe just Danny Boyle, but someone else had to sign off on that. In the Olympic contest for “Sheer Batshit Spectacle”, that has to come pretty close, I think. If you didn’t see it, here’s a short precis: they showed “UK through the ages”, starting with the Olympic Stadium being a bucolic English countryside, complete with milkmaids, and flocks of sheep (!), then it became the Industrial Revolution, and towering smokestacks literally erupted from the sod and soaring to the air as Kenneth Branagh (!) portrayed
Abe Lincoln Isambard Kingdom Brunel in a series of vignettes about industrialism, until what looked like live molten steel formed flying rings in the sky, that became the Olympics logo. Is “barking” the correct British-ism for this?
What I loved about the whole thing was that I can’t imagine that anyone actually AT the ceremony could have had the slightest idea of what was going on — even with the television cameras doing close tight up shots, the audience at home could barely tell what was happening, how much worse must it have been in person where every seat (it looked) was rigged up with shifting lights?
Then the entire production shifted to an appreciation of (and I swear I am not making this up) the National Health Service, and I’m so so sad that we didn’t have a Mitt-cam focused on Romney’s face throughout this spectacular ode to socialism. In America we had Meredith Viera providing color commentary, and she, on several occasions said things like “I have no idea what this represents” — it was a spectacular paean to ignorance! But I think she mentioned that the 10,000 (!) dancers out there were actual doctors and nurses of the NHS which is just crazy cool.
So the doctors and nurses are running around the glow-in-the-dark-yet-also-trampolines-beds of the sick children, which culminates in, and, honestly I really and truly am not making this up, and the real reason why I felt I could write this HERE, but it culminates into the end of LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN: CENTURY: 2009. A giant 100 foot tall Voldemort rises up to menace the children, and is beaten back by scores of Marry Poppins flying down from the sky. He may be communing with Snake Gods, but you can’t tell me now that Alan Moore isn’t the UK’s Single Greatest Psychic.
Then the Queen of England skydove into the stadium with James Bond.
Maybe “Barmy” is the correct word?
Bicycling doves! Sir Paul McCartney! One of the (honestly) most spectacular and over-the-top firework displays I’ve ever seen in my life! The end of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon! (“As a matter of fact, it’s all dark” Sure, that’s an Olympics theme!)
Bra-vo, England, bravo indeed — it really isn’t possible to have real life more resemble an issue of Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol, so good on you! That was EXCELLENT.
ARCHIE #635: I think I said this before: you have to give Archie props for at least trying to modernize a little, but this issue, where we learn about the “Occupy Riverdale” movement, and the street protests against the 1% (though, as Kevin Keller says: “Riverdale’s always been about more than the one percent or the 99 percent — it’s about the 100 Percent! It’s a safe place where everyone is welcome!”). Still, it’s utterly disconcerting to see characters in an Archie comic book discussing the possibility of being TEAR GASSED. Wow. The actual arguments are…. well, they’re exceedingly reductive and poorly explained, but it’s an Archie comic, so you can’t expect much, I guess.
I also want to say that I very much liked the art by “Gisele” — recognizably Archie-like, but also somehow close to realistic, and genuinely dynamic in places, a little manga-y, but still sweetly cartoony. This is the nicest I’ve ever seen an Archie comic look, and I really do think it will appeal to a lot of readers out there. I’m actually recommending this comics: I thought it was pretty GOOD (given it’s limitations as an Archie comic). If your LCS doesn’t have it, is also available on our digital store
CAPTAIN MARVEL #1: “Ms. Marvel” was always, sadly, a pretty generic hero — flight, strength, blasts, toughness, but nothing about her really stood out to me. Kelly Sue DeConnick’s solution seems to be turning her, kinda, into Spider-Man, with the quips and all, and the script really does work well as far as keeping my interest page-to-page goes. There’s two problems, that I see: first, I wasn’t given any real reason to come back for issue #2. No cliff-hanger, no compelling supporting characters, no threat, no suspense. Carol’s cool (and I love the new outfit), but there’s no hook here.
The second problem, for me, is that I just didn’t care for Dexter Soy’s artwork. It looks like, hrm hrm, my first thought was “like a Comico comic” — Matt Wagner and Bill Willingham certainly grew into being great artists, right? — but this looks like still a few steps being ready for primetime, to me. Maybe he’ll grow into the gig.
So, yeah, noble noble try, but I walked away from the comic feeling very EH.
NATIONAL COMICS: KID ETERNITY: I have to say that I don’t understand this title/initiative. I guess it gives DC a steady flow of new #1s, but with “DC Universe Presents”, I don’t see what market needs this fills. Maybe it’s an attempt to see if Digital (since these are digital-first comics, I think? At least that’s what the solicit for “NC: Looker” says, but the comiXology page says NC:KE was released at the same time, so I don’t know?) can create the groundswell for the new Sensational Character Find?
I don’t see it happening in print though. This isn’t a home-run of a revamp. The plot plods on, the character isn’t visually exciting, and it’s been divorced from the “any character from history” premise to a boring old Spectre-lite police procedural. Gotta give this the thumbs down and say AWFUL.
That’s it for me (told you I wasn’t as motivated this week)… what did YOU think?