Posted by: Brian Hibbs on June 25, 2012
Tags: Abuse is Bad mkay?, Amanda Conner, Astonishing X-Men, Avengers Vs. X-Men, AvX, Batman, Before Watchmen, Brian, Brian Azzarello, Comedian, Darwyn Cooke, Marjorie Liu, Olivier Copiel, Saga, Silk Spectre, Spider-Men, X-Men: Legacy
Man, do I pity the poor fool who has to follow that awesome post by Abhay — it’s going to make anything else sound like “Dur, duh, durdur!!”
Oh, wait, the fool is me? *sigh*
Yeah, poor sad me — my brain’s not even fully in gear, since I had to work the entire weekend (and got the order form AND Onomatopoeia finished) — but tomorrow I have to go to a vendor fair about what kinds of plastic bags will be acceptable (San Francisco’s Board of
Nannies Supervisors has decided no store will be allowed to give out bags come October), so if I don’t get this done now, then I’m out for ANOTHER week, and that’s not the deal, now is it?
And while I said that I was just going to totally skip the 6/13 books, I’ve decided instead to combine 6/13 and 6/20, since there wasn’t a LOT I wanted to say about 6/20.
ASTONISHING X-MEN #51: I really do think that writing TO a plot point, rather than a plot point arising because there’s no other way the character could act, is just plain weak, and I think the former is strongly on display here. I don’t know, maybe it is because it is Pride week in San Francisco (Twin Peaks actually had a glowing Pink Triangle on it this weekend, made, I think, of Fiber Optic cables), which always strikes me as an excuse for outrageousness, rather than a celebration of actual outrageousness, if you see what I mean? I don’t know, maybe it’s all of the “Good Corporate Partner”-ing of beer companies trying to get a piece of that pink dollar, when Pride started as a way of remembering the anger of Stonewall; maybe it’s that 50 foot high glowing Pink Triangle, which I don’t think is actually an ironic recasting of the mark nazis put on gays and lesbians in the concentration camps (if 10% of the partiers know that, I’ll be surprised), but this comic seems so deadly cynical and horrible to me, despite all of the tourists who flocked in to buy it. I don’t know, it isn’t my community, I don’t actually get to judge, but it feels transparent and pandering to me. At least I’m not in Arkansas where I have to deal with the complete opposite reaction. *brrrr*, terrifying!
I think maybe the thing that set me off the most about this issue was the “con” side, as expressed by the character “Warbird” who says she can’t attend the wedding because she thinks gay marriage is a lie. Yeah, except she’s a half-bird alien, whose wiki page says (and I’m not making this up) “Warbird’s life since birth has been, according to her, an endless parade of combat and murder and at unknown point in her life she conducted “mating rituals” with someone while trapped inside another being and surrounded by flesh eating monster aliens.”
So, y’know, credible straw man.
Hell, why not have it be Rahne (Wolvesbane), who we already know to be a bigoted little lassie?
I’m sure Marjorie Liu has all of the best intentions, but this feels like cynical pink-washing to me, probably mostly because Kyle isn’t even a character yet, just a hostage.
I did like Logan getting all drunk and maudlin though!
Anyway, I thought this was pretty AWFUL
AVENGERS VS X-MEN #6: Man, it LOOKs a whole lot better, doesn’t it? But, seriously, no mention of the demon princess or her bound-to-Cytorak brother? I mean, I know the whole set-up isn’t exactly air-tight in the first place, but that seems like a significant detail to overlook? The other thing that made me nuts? That the solicits dropped, and the AvX HC is *$75*! Jeez louise, that’s excessive! Oh, oh, and the OTHER other thing? that’s there’s ANY connection between Phoenix and Iron Fist. I can’t possibly hate that idea more. Anyway, this issue was highly OK, but most of that is how much nicer that it looks now that Olivier Copiel is drawing it.
AVX VS #3: I just want to give a strong and hearty “Fuck you!” to whoever it was who thought it was prudent and wise to have the Black Widow vs Magik fight take place mostly in Russian. That’s a really cruel thing to do to a readership that has plunked down FOUR DOLLARS. “Ha ha, you can’t even read it!” Cunts.
BATMAN #10: I have to say, when I first got to the reveal, I was all “bogus!”, but then I read the spoiler piece at Rich’s, and I felt a smidge better. But, really, pre-existing relationships or not, my bigger problem is “Yet Another Ideological Doppelganger”, as Batman has just too many of those. I know that this is the most popular regular Batman story in a real long time, but I’m really really ready to see the back of the Owls, and to just have Batman be self-contained superhero stories for a few months, dang it. This story (and issue) is GOOD, but it’s been dragging on for at least 2-3 months too long.
FUCK ALAN MOORE BEFORE WATCHMEN SILK SPECTRE #1: After Minutemen, I was ready to write the whole project off, but then Darwyn Cooke went and completely made this one everything you might want in a prequel — actually dwelling in a period that we don’t know anything about, expanding the actually CHARACTER of Laurie, and containing subtle callbacks to the original work (Look at the staging on the fight between the Spectres, remind you of anything?). It also doesn’t hurt that the art is absolutely lovely (just as everything that Amanda Conner draws is), AND also contains a (modified) 9-panel grid. I’m still not certain what the audience really wants from these (if anything), but this was very nearly straight-up “Rebellious Teenage Girl Comics” that would never ever be greenlit without the Watchmen connection, and, despite myself, I thought it was actually VERY GOOD.
FUCK ALAN MOORE BEFORE WATCHMEN COMEDIAN #1 : this, on the other hand, was everything I feared and dreaded it might be. The Comedian is really just a plot device in the original, and a horribly loathsome one at that, and Azzarello chooses to go for the lazy political allegory than to show where the character might be from, or what shapes him. That last scene made me vomit in my mouth a little, too. While I thought this was AWFUL, I’m apparently in the minority — this was the best selling of the three released so far, at my store.
SAGA #4 : has now become our best-selling comic book at Comix Experience, something that thrills me utterly. I had first printing #1s up until this weekend, and was shocked (and kind of amused) to see that it is a FOURTH printing that I’ll be receiving when I get in my reorder. There’s really not a single page of this I’m not loving (and that includes those letter pages!), and I really thought that the presentation of Sextillion was perfectly perfect. I know I’m not adding anything new to the conversation, but I just like having at least one review where I can enthusiastically say: EXCELLENT!
SHADE #9: Again, I don’t care so much for the story (Shade’s a supporting character, blah blah blah), but this issue was crazy good because of the fabulous Frazier Irving. Man, that page that’s JUST a car driving was one of the best designed pages I’ve seen all year. This needs to be put up for an Eisner right here. VERY GOOD.
SPIDER-MEN #1: this is the kind of first issue that just kills me — that makes me want to close up the store and just give the entire thing up. For $4 we get a bunch of Peter running around, and he meets Miles on the FINAL PAGE. this is everything wrong with modern first issues. Why not have it start with them already having met, and actually have something (ANYthing!!!!) happen in the first issue. We wonder why Marvel’s sales are circling the toilet right now (except for AvX?) Exhibit fucking A right here, people. Not only is this a cynical little exercise (Joe Quesada: “We’re officially out of ideas”), but it’s ineffably shabby and thin. Completely AWFUL.
X-MEN LEGACY #268 AVX: And, just to end us on a down note (sorry, It’s alphabetical!), can I ask how on earth Marvel gets off billing something as an AvX crossover when it’s almost exclusively about how Frenzy was abused as a child, and how Abuse is Bad, mkay? It’s not neccesarily bad, but it sure isn’t the kind of thing i want to read for entertainment, no. AWFUL
Right, that’s it for me until later in the week — what did YOU think?