Posted by: Jeff Lester on March 18, 2007
Hmmm. Keep thinking I had some interesting comic-related dream to tell you about, but I don’t remember it now. I’m re-reading Rick Veitch’s really staggering Rarebit Fiends collections, the first two volumes of which are pretty much a secret history of the comics market in the early ’90s and I keep coming across all these deeply prescient bits (as so often seems to be the case with dream journals, particularly if you’re almost hysterically suggestible and prone to magical thinking, as I am). My favorite bit so far is Veitch stumbling across a back room in a dilapidated house where the DC Editors are having a meeting. “We’ve come up with an idea that’s going to save direct market,” one of the editors says excitedly. “We call it ‘The Death Of The Death Of Superman!’”
Copyright 1995, and as relevant now as it was then, True Believer.
CIVIL WAR: THE CONFESSION: Yeah, everything Graeme said, but also, between this and New Avengers #28 (and kinda Mighty Avengers #1), it’s clear that Bendis is entering a new stage of formal experimentation in his storytelling. Unfortunately, his Pulp Fictiony twist in this issue sucked so hard, I’m worried we’re in for a nasty streak of “Hey, what if you did the entire issue showing nothing but the characters’ feet!” and “Wait a minute, I got it! All the panels are color coded and told out of sequence, so the only way the issue makes sense is if the readers cut up the entire book and pastes the color coded panels in sequence themselves! Fucking A!” As long as Alex Maleev is drawing it, it’ll at least be Eh, no matter how bad the actual experiments turn out.
DAMNED #5: Uh…what? I seem to be having a bit of trouble with last page revelations this week (did anyone figure out what the hell that last page of Wonder Woman meant?) so it may just be me but that last page (that read like a set-up for the next mini) just didn’t jibe with anything else I was following (unless that’s Worm sister, done in by the deal Eddie cut?)
That one may-undo-all-my-ideas-about-the-story page aside, I thought this was pretty Good, with the conclusion relying on a twist outside the Miller’s Crossing/Glass Key template. In fact, it makes me eager for a follow-up to see what the creative team can do without following somebody else’s templates (presumably).
DETECTIVE COMICS #829: Blah-blah-blah and then stuff blows up. The art is pretty, however, and, to be fair, the idea of someone who can spray liquid plastic explosive would be pretty cool in a Die Hard 4 kind of way. But it’s rare when the comic book ‘splodey is half as interesting to look at as any but the lousiest explosion on film. And is it really my idea of an interesting Batman story? It really isn’t. Pretty art bumps it up to Eh.
GHOST RIDER #9: So at one point, Lucifer (who has, uh, taken possession of Jack O’Lantern’s corpse?) blows Ghost Rider’s skull apart with a shotgun, to which Ghost Rider mystically reassambles his skull and keeps on fighting. Then, a few pages later, Ghost Rider is riding on his bike, gets pinned by the take-no-prisoners sherrif who points a bad-ass assault gun at GR’s head. Does Way not know the first scene robs the second scene of any tension? How could he not know that?
I also wasn’t thrilled by the scene where two kids are being chased down a road by a floating flaming pumpkin head and one of them decides to jump off a bridge into the water. If the flaming pumpkin head had been attached to a guy on a motorcycle, then I could follow that but–a floating flaming pumpkin head? (Now that I think about it, who’d fucking run from a floating flaming pumpkin head? What are you scared of? Getting pumpkin scent stuck in your clothes?)
Ugh. Even a few cool looking panels from the art team can’t prevent this from getting a Crap rating. This book is astonishingly lousy.
GREEN ARROW #72: Guess Judd didn’t get the “kinder, gentler OYL Batman” memo. And this issue gets a big ol’ Eh because Mr. Winick has played “The Red Hood could’ve killed [character], but The Hood’s goal was to screw with [character's] head all along” one too many times. Time to poop or get off the pot, Mr. Winick!
JLA CLASSIFIED #36: Dan Slott gets reduced to co-plotting credit and Dan Jurgens gets the writing and layout credit, and the book goes from Eh to Awful. Unbelievably fucking dull, compounded by a badly done plot twist–one of the Red Kings has fallen in love with Wonder Woman which allows for his undoing–that had no reason to come out of nowhere considering the total pagecount of this dragged-out story. On the plus side, the spinning of Gardner Fox in his grave will probably power Dan Jurgens’ pencil sharpener for a while…so there’s that, I guess.
MOON KNIGHT #8: Filled with scenes that start strong and then fizzle (I particularly like where Cap gives his “Civil War” speech and then goes, “Don’t get me wrong. I’m not here to recruit you. In fact, you’re the most compelling reason I’ve seen for forced registration yet! So keep your nose clean, or I’ll–hey, is that the time? Sonuvabitch, I’m missing Fear Factor! See ya!”) but, despite me knowing better, the twisted fucked-up superhero thing is still working for me (like, when MK hammers in those crescent moons with his truncheon, or the slaughtered corpse chanting “Kill him, kill him, kill him” while Cap is talking.) But, really, the shit going on here is way beyond Marvel Knights material. Move this title to Max, take it out of the regular MU, and get the writer into rehab for his cough syrup addiction so we can actually have something happen in this damn book. I’m giving it an OK even though, as I said, I should know better.