Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by JD, Aug 30, 2011.
In the long term, comics are the worst way to make money. Better to leave it in a bank account.
A few years back, I was at a comic convention. I came across Superman (vol. 2) #1 at one of the dealer booths for a buck or two. I picked it up and then made it my mission to find all the other #1s from the various ongoing post-crisis Superman series. Not only was I successful, but I ended up spending less than $10 for all of them combined.
In Suicide Squad, Waller's gotten thin and hot.
No place for large ladies in the DCU...
Try Scans Daily.
I'm sure they'll be soon crying for the testicles of everyone involved in SS.
Well, the 9/14 books are out on Comixology. Yay! In a very qualified way.
What I got (many spoilers, but you knew that already):
As I mentioned before, GRIFTER has a really good premise for a B-grade (or even A-grade) sci-fi film, so I was actually a little excited. What were they gonna do with it?
The inevitable answer is, of course, waste it entirely! They do this by completely obviating any tension that might be developed by the ambiguity of whether Cole Cash is really killing aliens, or just regular folk he thinks are aliens.
There's little going on here beyond setting up the basic shit that the story's about, which isn't even what I thought it would be about, and the book has a script that takes you out of the story as often as not (my favorite part is how street vendors leave cowboy hats unattended on shelves erected on sidewalks, so that Cole can steal one--I mean really?). The last page where Cole puts on his Grifter mask is tacked on in the worst way, and more than a little retarded.
This is dire, and it just makes me sad.
FRANKENSTEIN, AGENT OF S.H.A.D.E. is actually kind of okay, as a sort of goofy fun time. I bought this on the strength of Lemire's Animal Man last week. Animal Man is about ten times better and more important, which means that if Frankenstein is worth $3, Animal Man is worth $30. I don't think Animal Man was that good, so Frankenstein must not actually be worth that much, huh?
Maybe I would like this better if I'd read the Morrison series? But probably not. It's just a bunch of wacky shit thrown against the wall in a pattern that isn't altogether displeasing, but after a few minutes it slides down and you're just left with a pile.
Also, blue lettering on black boxes. What's your deal, Pat Brosseau? Is it your first day?
RESURRECTION MAN was really good (if somewhat overwrought) up until the angel took off its fleshsuit and the superhero fight happened. I was ready to give it the Animal Man Award for surprising me with quality.
It's still reasonably good. The art's pretty and appropriate, except the angel looked stupid.
LEGION LOST is about the anachronistic adventures of all the Legionnaires I don't care about, and Tyroc. Except I didn't even realize it was Tyroc for half the book because 1)afro? more like afron't--I thought the character design would have been fine for some random new guy, but when I realized it was supposed to be Tyroc I was struck with sadness; and 2)they take forever to mention people's names, and even when they do it's in that really Legiony way of referring to people by their first names or by a diminutive of their code names. This is fine, but if there was ever a book that needs that a dramatis personae, it's the Legion. This is hardly rocket science, is it?
The story is pretty thin and makes almost no sense, largely because it seems to be part 23 of an ongoing narrative. Who was the villain? I don't remember his name, I've never heard of him before, and he looked terrible. Anyway, he unleashed some kind of plague on the 21st century? The villain blows himself up in the end. I have no idea why.
However, the next-to-last page bumps this otherwise dumb book up a whole letter grade because there is this three panel sequence that is amazing. After the villain blows up, their time sphere is wrecked and Gates and this Durlan (Chameleon Girl MAYBE? I HAVE NO IDEA THEY NEVER SAY HER NAME*) are missing, and Wildfire and Tyroc are all like "Where are they?" but Timber Wolf and Dawnstar have got Daredevil or at least Wolverine senses and are oh fuck it I'll just post it:
They're probably not dead, though. They're on the cover. Though God knows why they expect me to care about them coming back.
Grade for page 19: A+. Grade for everything else: C. Average grade: B, I guess. I don't know from math.
BATWOMAN! If you don't buy this it's because you hate beautiful things. Why would you hate beautiful things?
I miss Greg Rucka, though. The story and pacing are actually fine, but J.H. Williams and W. Haden Blackman do some clunky dialogue toward the end, expositing at length on why Batwoman hates her dad because of things that happened two years ago (for us) in Elegy.
New readers, right? They mention how Bette Kane was a fucking Teen Titan. I mean, am I supposed to even know why Bette knows Kate's Batwoman? Perhaps this was handled in the #0 thing that I missed. Also, I like how Mr. Bones is just there in the DEO, like this kind of shit is normal. You don't have to explain what a living skeleton is doing heading up a government agency, right?
...Or mention his name. WTF is it with this week and unnamed weirdos?
I was also slightly thrown that the Hydrology arc (that's the name of the story, see) is actually about a water ghost or something, and wasn't a clever reference to Alice's body on the bottom of Gotham Harbor, or maybe not being there, and instead crawling back out to menace our heroine with creepy mouth razors again. I mean, maybe I'm the idiot, but I thought that's what the cover was referring to.
But these are minor quibbles!
Bonus! I read OMAC too, although it came out last week. It's neat, although a little wasteful of its pages. The last line is pretty great.
Grade: B if you really like Kirby pastiches, C+ if you don't.
I think the overarching criticism is that holy shit is 20 pages too short for a comic book. The only ones that approach appropriate density are Batwoman and Resurrection Man.
TL; DR--This is not as good as Week 1. Batwoman is of course fucking excellent, but there is nothing to surprise in this group, nothing like Animal Man, at least of the ones I was willing to lay down money for.
*Edit: Actually, they do. It says something about the formula of Legion names that I was able to guess it correctly without ever seeing her before. Also, I am the idiot for not realizing that that was Tyroc (there's a line about "harmonic powers"), although this approach is seriously new-reader unfriendly.
Anyway, I know this something no one else cares about, but the whole idea of a Chameleon [gender] bugs me. Forgive them, Mark Waid, they know not what they do.
Well, Green Lantern was basically Hal Jordan being a dumbass. Hal's never been my favorite character though. I was actually hoping we might see some actual adventures with Sinestro as the main lantern. Looks like they're just going to move toward restoring status quo as quickly as possible. Also, neither Kyle, John, or Guy have payed Hal a visit and tried to help him out?
Red Lanterns has some potential, if they're going to go in the anti-hero team direction. The problem here is that, Atrocitus aside, the Red Lanterns are all mindless feral animals. They'll need to come up with a conceit to give them some characterization if this concept is going to work.
Atrocitus becoming a cosmic Punisher might be interesting. plus, Dex Star is awesome so i'll follow the book for a bit.
Green Lantern was good. i'm still not a fan of Sinestro being a GL again, but i'm curious where this is going.
i thought Demon Knights was a lot of fun.
No, that actually pisses me off. I mean, I guess it doesn't matter, I wasn't going to buy the book that killed Secret Six anyway, but I wasn't one of the folks who went into auto-hate, or one of the blind people who thought Harley Quinn's new stupid sexdoll costume was any more objectifying than her old stupid sexdoll costume.
But a young, hot, thin Amanda Waller? That's garbage. Like, do they still call her "The Wall"? Because if so I think they missed the joke.
What next, a 5'2" Big Barda?
They're still doing the sub-Hulk thing for the non-Atrocitus Red Lanterns? Shit, should've just made a comedy series about Larfleeze if that's all it's gonna be.
Maybe she's not young... but she's definitely younger. And thinner. You wouldn't think it was her if they hadn't named her.
Maybe she's Amanda's daughter or something. It's kinda stupid, actually. Why is everyone young and thin and can walk...?
Back-tracking a bit on the comic value thing.
Go to any comic book store, convention or any store (like Vintage Stock) that specializes in popular culture items and you'll see boxes filled with old comics. Usually running around $2. Occasionally you may find the odd, off, issue for a few dollars.
I did pick up "The Death of Clark Kent" printed in the mid-60s at a comic book store for around $20 the other day.
Yeah, comic book collecting over the last few decades isn't exactly a great way to make money. Action Comics #1 is the one, rare, gem that just happens to be awesomely valuable.
This book has been in the can for months, since it was supposed to be out in April, and they held it back for the New 52.
Bette figures it out in the story arc after "Elegy," the one that Jock drew, the one that hasn't been collected yet.
Point A: yeah, I mean, it's understandable, and I don't mind it a bit myself--I know who Deathstroke is, I know he's somewhat badass, so Bette fighting him and not dying is sort of impressive--but I'm trying to pretend I'm a new reader. I think there was some dialogue that was rewritten; I'm not sure why this wasn't.
But like I said, minor quibble.
Point B: Oops. Research fail. But that explains why I missed it. If it ain't Williams, I never heard of it.
I've been away from comics in general for a while. Even when I did collect regularly I was mostly into Marvel. I however pretty much on a whim decided to pre pay at my local comic shop for all 52 #1s. Got a pretty good deal.
Stand out for me from last week was Animal Man. I don't recall ever hearing of the character before but after one issue I have a pretty good idea who the guy is. Quite liked the depth of his family life. Also hope my kids don't pet the cat too much now.
This week so far I have read Batman & Robin, Superboy, Frankenstein, Green Lantern and Red Lanterns. Quite enjoyed the first three and the two Lantern books weren't bad at all.
Frankenstein was just plain fun. I like monsters and Sci-fi and I got both in a neat story line. Nothing too deep, just fun.
Superboy made me think of Astroboy and Luke from The Sarah Jane Adventures. Really got into the character. Thought the story went bad when they sent him to school so soon but it turned out well.
In Batman and Robin I'm interested to see the relationship between Bruce and Damian evolve. Didn't even know Bruce Wayne had a son. Very curious to find out more about the new villain as well.
I'll have trouble deciding which books to stick with. I wanted to limit myself to four but don't know if I'll be able too.
Frankenstein has Ray Palmer in it. That's cool.
Damian was introduced in Grant Morrison's opening arc called Batman and Son. This is really the first time the two of them will be spending any extended length of time together.
Really? I forgot to pick that up today. I'll fix that.
Demon Knights: I was looking forward to this, but was prepared to be disappointed. I teach Arthurian Lit, love Paul Cornell's work, love Wagner's Madame Xanadu. So this could have gone so wrong.
It doesn't. Demon Knights is ridiculously fun, drawing on Wagner's Xanadu and Morrison's Seven Soldiers at the same time, clearly aiming to reconcile, expand, and explore DC's multiple Camelots. Vandal Savage is an amoral fun-lovin' guy. I'm sure there's a Wonder Woman connection in the mysterious woman at the pub. I'm in for the long haul with this one (and given the connection with Cornell's Stormwatch, I'm probably now committed to that one, too).
The woman in the pub is an Amazon.
Agreed. Though, I wish his Stormwatch was better.
Why must Johns write Hal as a dumb ass? The only reason why I might continue reading Green Lantern is the Sinestro arc.
Managed to pick up a handful of these - Action Comics seems like a promising re-invention of Superman, but Animal Man was the best of the bunch. This character always had a lot of potential, and the new writer seems to be getting his inspiration from Jamie Delano's run on the title. This issue was damn creepy, and seems a lot like Vertigo material seeping into a mainstream DC title. I'll definitely follow up on these two.
Detective Comics wasn't half-bad either. Obviously Tony Daniel has some way to go as a writer, but he managed to put together a good issue, even if plain-psycho Joker is boring.
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