Posted by: Graeme McMillan on March 23, 2007
You know what I’m surprised that I haven’t seen this week? More outrage about the latest New Avengers solicitation (which, if you haven’t seen it, is this: “No hype! No BS! The most important last page of any Marvel comic this year! Do not miss it!” That’s it, apart from the credits and other infomation about length, price, etc.). It was only, what, three years ago (two years ago, maybe?) that the comics internet was falling over itself in outrage about the claim that House of M #3 would break the internet in half, so the near-total silence about the New Avengers line (which even starts “No hype! No BS!” just to bait people) has to be some kind of good sign that either we’ve all grown up a lot since, then, or that Marvel’s BS hype has entirely worn out its effectiveness.
Or, of course, that I’m blind and have missed a thunderstorm of people being upset and excited all at once right beside me. Their eyes may even be swiveling, which I’ve heard happens all the time these days.
Nonetheless, I’m amused to see what the last page of the comic is going to be, considering it has to be beat the “Look. Captain America is on a slab. Dead.” of Cap #25. Maybe it’s Cap alive again already? Or someone else dying so that we can get a five-part miniseries about that, as well? Part of me hopes that it’s something entirely offbeat, like Brian K. Vaughan has abused his new staff position at Lost, and the last page is one tiny little talking head and the rest is a speech balloon where Iron Man appears and, because he can see the future these days, gives away the ending of Lost to the readers. Although, of course, that would depend on there being an actual end of Lost already, as opposed to the writers clearly just making shit up as they’re going along: “What would you say if I told you that there was a magic box where, once you open it, your heart’s desire is inside?” I’d say you have no idea what you’re writing anymore, and I really, really hope that was a metaphor for who was trapped inside the cell at the end of the episode instead of, you know, a real magic box, personally.
That said, poor John Locke. His dad? Kind of a bastard.
Anyway: C! O! M! I! C! S! Quickly, because I’ve just babbled for far too long already.
52 WEEK FORTY-SIX: And just as I’m complaining that the series is unraveling, they do an issue like this and I’m sucked back in. Not that any of my concerns from last time are really addressed – aside from maybe that the balancing of storylines seems to be coming back, and it looks like there’s more to Steel’s storyline than I thought (The announcement that Steel is going to be starring in a new Infinity Inc. series from this past weekend was both unexpected and somewhat head-scratching – He’s the breakout character from the book? Really? – but any new Peter Milligan writing would be nice, I have to admit) – but seeing Black Adam defeated by the island of misfit mad scientists was both surprising and amusing. I expected Adam’s rage to be the driving force behind WW3 in a month, but now it’s beginning to look like there’s more going on than I’d given them credit for. The scenes with the scientists was great, as well – simultaneously making them comedic (“I’ll say it if no-one else will… Feel free to cackle hysterically, gentlemen!“) but also weirdly threatening at the same time, considering that they, you know, beat Black Adam without really breaking a sweat. For the first time in a more weeks than should be the case, this book is fun again instead of just being relentless plot-hammering. Maybe that turnaround really is just around the corner. Good.
JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #4: This, on the other hand, felt like a mess: Rushed, unclear, and pointless. After three issues of building up the new Nazi badguys as the villains of the piece, they’re largely dealt with offpanel so that we can see Wildcat’s son – who has powers that let him turn into a werecat, which are never really explained – beat up Vandal Savage before he gets hit by a fire engine, and then it’s back to subplot city. It’s an unsatisfying conclusion all-round because the reveal of Savage as the villain behind the villains, and subsequent focus on him as opposed to the guys we’ve been seeing since issue 1, feels like bait and switch, and what little we do see of the Nazi showdown is there more as grist for the angst-mill (and nonsensical grist, at that: “I blew up Jesse! I hurt her so bad, I am evil and an ugly monster and I – Oh, wait, she’s up and about a couple of panels later with no immediately obvious effects. Never mind.”) than anything else. More than anything else, it feels as if Geoff Johns was told that he’d have to cut the storyline down so that they can fit in the Justice League crossover next month, and that he did it by literally just throwing out scenes until he had 22-odd pages of comic left. Pretty much Eh.
More tomorrow, potentially.