Posted by: Brian Hibbs on June 10, 2012
Hello from 30k feet!
Well, no, not exactly — I’m writing this on a plane, coming back from Chicago, where I went to my cousin Ian’s wedding (Ben was the ringbearer, and looked crazy awesome in a suit), but I won’t post this until I hit the ground again. I only took a handful of comics with me, and only have something to say about maybe half of those, but I’ve been trying hard to have reviews every week, and I won’t let something as small as “not being in town” stop me!
Nice town, Chicago — last time I was here I was maybe 12 or so? Also for a wedding, for that matter, between my dad and stepmom, and I’d love to come back, so someone get married, and invite me! I had a chance to visit Chicago Comics, and see Eric Kirsammer and his kids, and that is a swell store, one of the better I’ve seen; and one I’d certainly shop at if I lived locally. I wanted to see several other stores (including Challengers, which I’ve heard nothing but swell things about), but, y’know, family obligations and all that.
Anyway, I don’t want to write a travelogue, and I promised myself I’d tear through these books before I landed, so on with the show…!
ACTION COMICS #10: Wait… when is this taking place? It has to be just after the last storyline, I think, not in modern times, as the Justice League portion is a flashback. But why does he bounce back and forth between the t-shirts and armor, with no real mention of what’s going on? I was a little excited, actually, about the notion of the death of Kent, and a new secret ID, because if anyone could actually make that happen (yeah, yeah, I’m a sucker), it would have to be Grant, but if this is still in flashback mode, obviously that’s all garbage. Bah, for a time when I was less bitter and jaded, and when we’d just accept a premise straight-forwardly. I’m *liking* this, still, but I desperately want to be *loving* this, and 10 issues in and I’m not. ‘sfine, but I want better than just GOOD, y’know?
AVENGERS VS X-MEN #5: that’s a fun little plot twist, “the phoenix five” and all that, and while I’m totally willing to wait and see what they actually DO with it, it’s hard to see in my head how characters used to/used by vast otherworldly power, like Peter and Illyana will work in this context. Or will they just ignore, wossname, cyttorak, is that the Juggernaut’s mentoring power? I’m still deeply disliking the art, but the story is sorta kinda growing on me as act one closes. GOOD.
FUCK ALAN MOORE BEFORE WATCHMEN MINUTEMEN #1: As I said, I’ve not be in SF all week, so I haven’t the foggiest notion as to how this is selling, but, after reading issue #1, if I was “just” a reader, I’d definitely not be coming back for issue #2. Not because it’s badly crafted — because it is very well-illustrated and written, indeed — but because it didn’t tell me anything I already didn’t know, and, as a first issue, it was PAINFULLY “recappy”. Absolutely nothing “happened”, it just assembled everything we already knew from WATCHMEN into a chronological order. What the hell is the point of that? Darwyn Cooke was the one BW creator that I thought might actually make something I want to read (on this project, I mean), and was the one who, potentially, had the biggest canvas to play with, since the Minutemen characters aren’t exactly character, but world-buildy background, but there’s just nothing here at all. 17% of the page count gone, for shit-all purpose, foo. That’s bad enough with “normal” comics, but on something as divisive as this? Ugh, no way. This was perfectly OK, but if you’re going to take a big shit on Alan Moore, you’ve got to do a whole fucking better than this.
I ganked this picture from here
CREATOR OWNED HEROES #1: Really? Man, so first, that’s a fucking AWFUL title for a comic, as it says just nothing about content. (Seriously, find me 50 people in the entire nation who inherently cares about the ownership of a work, rather than “is it any good?” I’ll wait — I had a “self published” section in the store until I got sick of answering people what that MEANT, so trust me, I KNOW) And second, the content is more padded than a twelve year old’s bra. If what you want to do is “A magazine nowhere near as good or relevant as fucking HERO ILLUSTRATED, with a bunch of mediocre comics”, that’s cool, but shit, you could have told us that’s what you were delivering. I Just don’t give a damn about your convention snapshots (that’s what Facebook is for, not something you’re charging me $4 for!!), or features on cos-players, or, and this is the one that really got me, creator interviews that aren’t ABOUT creator-owned work! I mean, the VERY FIRST LINE of the Gaiman piece is “I love his work on SANDMAN”, which, y’know, is a notoriously creator-owned comic book, right? What a mis-thought project from ship to stern. AWFUL.
DARK AVENGERS #175: I’m mostly writing this bit for anyone writing up sales chart analyses: Marvel kept the NUMBERING of THUNDERBOLTS here, but did a really really weird thing after that — it had Diamond assign the book a new SERIES code. A series code is an invisible-to-consumers code that allows retailers to sign up customers, well, to a series. Like (say) 123456 is the code for CAPTAIN FANCYPANTS, and it allows the computer to know that CAPTAIN FANCYPANTS #1 and CP #2 are *the same thing*. It also allows me to, say, take the various BPRD series, and assign it to a custom series code (like CUST123), so that every BPRD series gets pulled (even though Dark Horse treats them as *entirely separate* things, go figure) In the past, when Marvel changed, say, INCREDIBLE HULK to INCREDIBLE HERCULES they kept the series code the SAME, which meant that all of the preorders AUTOMATICALLY transferred, here they consciously did NOT do that, in other words: eliminating 98% of the marketing-driven reason to carry over the numbering. What’s even weirder, is that it really IS TBOLTS #175, and it’s a bit hard to follow if you haven’t read those previous issues (well, or the last year or so at least), while at the same time kicking off all of the people who WERE buying it. I don’t get it. The comic itself was perfectly OK.
EARTH 2 #2: Normally I despair against “decompressed” comics, but I have to say that I find the very slow world-building on display here to be very fine. I’ll probably want it to move a whole lot faster once all of the players are on stage, but for now? I’m loving the hell out of this. VERY GOOD, and easily the best comic I read this week.
Right, almost time to turn off electronics, so ending it there. What did YOU think?