The Week In Ink: June 25, 2008

Disbelief, meet violence:

 

 

Not since chocolate and peanut butter has there been a combination so satisfying!

That’s right, folks: The comparison of acts of violence to candy can only mean one thing: It’s Thursday night, and it’s time for another round of the Internet’s Most Delicious Comics Reviews! Here’s what I picked up this week…

 

 

…and here’s what I thought of it!

 


 

Comics

 

BPRD: The Ectoplasmic Man: I haven’t exactly made a secret of the fact that I love the BPRD series, but whenever I read them, I’m always a little surprised at how good they are. After all, this is a comic book based around the question of what’s left when you take Hellboy out of Hellboy.

The answer? There’s still a pretty surprising amount of fun stuff to play with. Out of all the newer BPRD characters, Johann has by far the most interesting character arc–going as he does from the ghost in the weird, featureless rubber suit to getting his own body and losing himself in the pleasures of the flesh to losing it all and being confined to a balloon again–and with this issue, Mignola, Arcudi and Steinbeck do a great job of blending an origin with what we’ve already seen.

It’s set up like a deceptively simple story that reads like a ghost-heavy episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents (because really, we know how this is going to end from the moment the demon puts the bullet on the table), but it’s the little things that really make it work, like Johann’s comments about finding the simplicity of his new body “liberating,” and it doesn’t hurt that Steinbeck’s art is just awesome. I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen his work before, but under Dave Stewart’s colors, it just sings, and the tricks that he pulls off–from the symmetrical shots of the séance guests holding hands before and after they’re killed right up to the visual throwback to The Exorcist in the last panel–just work beautifully.

If you’ve been on the fence about the BPRD stuff, this one–a one-shot with a creepy story that manages to be tense while telegraphing its ending from before it even starts–is a good place to get a feel for the series, and if you have been reading, it’s every bit as solid as the rest of ‘em.

 

Conan the Cimmerian #0: You know, under normal circumstances, there aren’t words strong enough to describe how hard I’d be avoiding a comic book based on a poem. The only thing I can think of that I’d dodge even harder would be a comic based on, I dunno, the music of Tori Amos or something. But really, what are the odds of that ever happening?

This, however, is a special case, in that it is a comic book based on a poem by Robert E. Howard, which is then used as the backdrop for Conan to totally kill like three guys and then reminisce about his achievements in the fields of ass-kicking, wenching, and yes, wearing the occasional burlap skirt. It’s just how he rolls, and for an issue designed to get people to jump on by showing them what Conan and his homeland are all about, Tim Truman and Tomas Giorello could’ve done a heck of a lot worse.

I’ve been enjoying Truman’s work on Conan–both as writer and artist, which is a pretty rare achievement–and Giorello’s art pretty much speaks for itself, and while I’m not sure that this really necessitated a whole new series, it’s nice to have Conan back monthly. Because really, these Vanirmen were just getting out of control.

 

Final Crisis #2: I don’t want to get off on a weird, multi-paragraph tangent about DC’s editorial direction and the reign of nostalgia here like I did on Tuesday, so I’ll try to keep this one brief: We’re two issues in, and so far, I think Final Crisis has been pretty awesome.

Admittedly, this probably has a lot to do with my own personal affection for what Morrison’s building from with this one, but even so, there’s a lot to really like here, like the way each issue’s just packed with stuff going on. It’s the antithesis of decompression; there aren’t even establishing shots to mark scene changes, it just jumps from moment to moment in a way that sweeps the reader up and carries them along as the story keeps moving faster. It’s a storytelling motif that Morrison’s used before–the idea that time itself gets faster as it builds to a climax–and in this issue at least, he and Jones are able to do some hectic pacing without seeming sloppy or rushed.

What I don’t get–and I don’t want to be a dick here (NOTE: THIS IS A LIE)–are the people who say that it’s hard to follow or understand, because the Final Crisis that I’m reading is pretty straightforward. And I don’t mean that it’s straightforward by Grant Morrison standards, I mean that it’s straightforward by comic book standards. I’ll be the first to admit that there are a lot of references thrown in there that are rewarding for people who do get them, but in the issues we’ve seen, a meticulous knowledge of the characters isn’t all that necessary. Comics characters, after all, are based around visual shorthand to begin with, and even without a fotonote pointing you to his earlier adventures (which you oughtta read anyway), it’s not hard to figure out all you need to know about Sonny Sumo from his actions within the story.

And like I said, if you don’t know about Dan Turpin, that’s your fault. He’s in the friggin’ cartoon, fer Chrissakes.

To be fair, there’s stuff going on that hasn’t been explained, but I’m pretty sure that’s because a story is not an article, and occasionally creators like to hold some information back to build tension. Just a thought.

But anyway, suffice to say that with the second issue’s developments, I’m having a pretty good time with it.

 

Immortal Iron Fist #16: Now I know I have a heart… because I can feel it breaking: this issue marks the departure of Matt Fraction and David Aja from the pages of The Immortal Iron Fist. Well, not really, there’s still a special coming out in a couple months, but you know what I mean. Still, if they had to go–and I guess they did, I hear these “mu-tants” are the next big thing–it’s nice to go out on an issue as fantastic as this one.

Sure, it has the least fighting of any issue of Iron Fist that we’ve seen so far, but it’s also got fantastic character moments and the revelation that Misty Knight has the coolest damn bedroom I have ever seen. Plus, it has this, which is quite possibly the best two-word dialogue exchange ever:

 

 

Beat that, Duane Swierczynski… IF YOU DARE.

 

No Hero #1: Out of all the books that Warren Ellis is putting out through Avatar these days, No Hero was the one that I was the most dismissive of, but if the zero issue’s any indication, it might just be the one I end up being most interested in.

Thematically, I think it ties in a lot with what he’s doing with Black Summer, but instead of focusing on the one moment when his standard-issue team of super-heroes took a turn for the worse, it looks like No Hero‘s focusing on a slow rise and fall, from counterculture heroes to pop icons to high-profile targets. Just based on structure alone, that’s a pretty neat idea that sets it apart from the Big Science Action of his other current projects–although if the backmatter’s any indication, that’s still going to play a part–and I’ve gotta say, he does a darn good of laying out that hook in eight pages, even if the climax borders on an almost Tom and Jerry level of cartoonishness. Either way, it’s definitely worth gambling a buck to check it out.

 

Superman #677: You know, Jack Kirby created a lot of tough guys who wear skirts. The two big ones that everybody knows of course, are Dr. Doom and Darkseid, and while Doom has armor on underneath and can probably get away with calling it a tunic, there’s really no getting around the fact that Darkseid–who is essentially a planet-dominating Space Hitler–is rolling around in a minidress and thigh-high boots. Often overlooked, however–probably because, like Kirby’s greatest creation, he only appeared once in 1st Issue Special–was a third member of this elite club: Atlas, whose outfit consists of a miniskirt and a headscarf.

Needless to say, this is awesome and I’m totally excited about his dramatic and fashionable return, especially since it’s written by James Robinson, who, with the recent release of the Starman Omnibus, has a bigger surplus of goodwill now than at any time since the release of Comic Book Villains.

As for the story itself, it’s not bad, but I can’t shake the feeling that it could’ve had a lot more to it. The book’s called Superman after all, and as much as I like to see Superman playing fetch with Krypto in space and respect Robinson’s desire to throw the spotlight on supporting characters (in this case, the Science Police) to give a sense of perspective, both scenes feel like they drag longer than necessary, and without any reason to care other than there being a guy in a skirt tearing ass around Metropolis, Superman’s last-page arrival comes off more anticlimactic than the first issue of a run ought to be.

Still, though: Skirt and a headscarf. It’s just too daring to not give it a second chance.

 

\m/ ISB BEST OF THE WEEK \m/

 

 

Thor: Reign of Blood: This is the most metal comic book I have ever read.

And yes, I realize that I’m saying that in a week where I also bought 213 pages of Conan the Barbarian, but if Ages of Thunder was the comic for people who like Led Zeppelin III, then this is the one for guys who love Slayer. Allow me, if I may, to summarize the plot. After Odin calls her a trollop for having a four-way with the dwarves of Nidavellir, the Enchantress curses the earth with a literal, honest-to-Asgard rain of blood (from a lacerated sky), which causes every man who has ever died to walk the earth until Thor kills them all again, which he does by wrangling The Blood Colossus, only to flip out and murder a town when he finds out that they ate his horses.

Seriously. That’s what happens. And it is awesome.

Also, “wrangling the Blood Colossus” is the filthiest euphemism I have ever heard.

 

What If: The Fantastic Four Tribute to Mike Weiringo: So here’s the deal: Everybody needs to buy this comic.

Not just because it’s a benefit book for the Hero Initiative, although that’s a better reason to buy something than most of the stuff I get.

And it’s not even because it’s a tribute to the life and work of Mike Weiringo, one of the true great comics creators of our time, although that’s a pretty big part of it. I’ve been a fan of his since the first time I saw his work on the flash, and his death last year was not only an incredible shock, but it was a tragedy for an industry that could benefit so much from a guy with the talent and joy that showed through on every page he drew.

No, you should get this comic because it’s awesome. With a script by Jeff Parker that revisits one of my favorite stories of all time and manages to include Satanic versions of Sabretooth and Venom while still being fun and lighthearted, it’s a great read, and the artists that come together to complete it along with Weiringo’s 7 pages end up doing one of the best jam issues that I’ve ever seen. It’s a fitting tribute, but first and foremost, it’s a great, fun comic, and that just makes it a better salute to a guy whose work never failed to entertain. Pick it up and give it a read.

 


 

And that’s the week! As always, if there’s anything that caught your eye this week–like Hitler’s great “Oh Shit!” face on the cover of Mythos: Captain America or the fact that Alan Davis drew Kate Bishop in a crazy mod minidress based on Hawkeye’s crazy-ass Native American costume and how awesome that was–feel free to leave a comment. As for me, well, this Get Lost! trade is absolutely gorgeous, and it ain’t gonna read itself.

54 thoughts on “The Week In Ink: June 25, 2008

  1. You know I like JMS’ Thor, I mean I don’t love it or anything. I think it has a lot of fun supporting cast character moments but…damn, Fraction just puts all of that to shame when Thor fucking rides around in a construct of blood and bone to crush a horde of the walking dead. There is nothing about that sentence that doesn’t make me want to punch a building until it collapses.

  2. Raining blood
    From a lacerated sky
    Bleeding its horror
    Creating my structure
    Now I shall reign in blood!
    Slayer reference!
    Chris you are a god who walks among men.
    Stay Brutal!

  3. Now we know why Fraction feels confident throwing up the Pentagram instead of the Horns.

    I mean… Jesus… BLOOD COLOSSUS! What else is there to say? Does the English language even have words other than those two? Do I care if it does?

  4. I think you nailed it in regards to Final Crisis. I’m not finding it hard to follow, well any harder to follow than any number of books, movies, tv shows, and comics where the writer is setting things up for later and teasing you with the little tidbits they can throw in now to build your anticipation.

    It’s become popular to blast DC for its editorial direction and Final Crisis as a part of that direction. But, so far, I’m enjoying Final Crisis more than Infinite Crisis (which I did like, don’t get me wrong…).

  5. I may need to re-read Final Crisis 1 and 2 then, becasue I was completely baffled with issue 2. Completely. Maybe in my old age I no longer have patience. I just don’t get what’s happening. There’s a lot going on and some of the individual pieces are interesting, but I’m just not putting it together yet. I could care less about editorial direction and continuity, I like comics that largely stand on their own so I probably expect a little more in the way of narrative. I’ll re-judge in a few issues – it may all click for me then. Anything that gives me Legion of Three Worlds has to be decent.

  6. Sims + Slayer reference + Thor + Fraction = Adrenaline overdose and instant brain death of all non-awesome information

    Sims, do you know how many comics I have bought because of your naked hucksterism? Do you? Good, and I’m bloody glad because apart from your Batman fetish you pretty much drink deep from the very well where both Odin and Thor lost some eyes and gained wisdom beyond the ken of man. Or something.

    \m/ indeed :D

  7. I have to second (well, third) the Final Crisis thoughts. Heck, I don’t follow that much DC and I’m finding it pretty easy to follow.

    The SI:Mighty Avengers tie-in was nice to see… if nothing else for how much of a tool Hank Pym really is. A mysterious college girl seduces you and then grills you for all the information about your life, ever. Nothing weird about that!

    (No wonder Reed and Tony make him sit at the small kid’s table. Which should have tipped Reed off. “Hrm. Hank’s been acting particularly assertive and smart… something must be wrong!”)

  8. Ok, here’s the thing about Final Crisis.

    I’m one of the people who fell into the “it’s hard to follow” camp. But based on what you said here, I think saying that gives the wrong impression. Yeah, I can tell that Turpin is a cop, and he wants to figure out what is going on. yeah, I can tell that Sumo is… uh, a tough guy. And I guess a good guy? It’s more that it hasn’t given me a reason to give a crap yet.

    It’s like Deadwood. I had heard it was a really good show, and one time, I was flipping around and saw it was on. I thought I would give it a try. Now… I was able to pick up what was going on, in the general sense. But I thought it was so boring. Once I went back and watched it all from the beginning, it became engrossing! A truly incredible show! But there sould be a scene where someone looks at a box funny, and for someone who doesn’t have that history, it’s just a boring, who cares scene.

    That’s what seems to be happening here. I don’t know most of Kirby’s DC work, and the little I did know, I didn’t really care about. This series seems to bewritten for people who know and love it already, and people like me, who don’t know the references, are not really given much meat to sink our teeth into.

    So, a cosmic guy dies, and a detective goes looking into it. He runs into some weird people in some weird places and he bleeds out the ears. And it says something about his son?

    Yeah, I get the bare bones of the plot, it just has not made it interesting. ESPECIALLY in light of Countdown and Death of the New Gods, which I DID read! So, as a big crossover, this seems to be screwing up completely, since you need to have read stories from 20 years ago to get it. Blame whoever you want, I say it makes these 2 issues pretty poor.

  9. Jordan D. White has stated it perfectly. That’s EXACTLY how I have been feeling about it.

    If it wasn’t for Legion of 3 Worlds coming up I wouldn’t be sticking with it.

  10. I’m completely passing over Final Crisis. Yes, I love Morrison. Yes, I love Dan Turpin. Yes, I’d kinda like to see the inevitable “Darkseid is” issue. But I’m tired of crossover events, gas is $4 a gallon, my groceries are getting more expensive, and I just don’t want to dance to DC Marketing’s tune any more.

    And what the heck? No mention of Big Red Hulk punching the Watcher in the kisser?

  11. I’m pretty squarely in the “Final Crisis isn’t all that complicated” camp. While I own all of the Fourth World omnibus volumes and just seem to be wired into Morrison’s work, you don’t have to know that Turpin called the New Gods “super muk-muks” in an issue of New Gods to enjoy this. I don’t see how FC isn’t interesting or doesn’t explain itself. Yes, you get a greater understanding of what’s going on if you know where Sonny Sumo came from, but the scene that’s written is pretty easy to understand; Sumo’s a bad ass, Shilo’s recruiting him to fight evil.

    People seem to want Morrison to explain every single detail as he goes, because that’s what modern decompressed comics do. Never mind suspense, here’s a three page info dump made of talking heads, that’s what Bendis does.

    I dunno, man. People bitch about the empty spectacle of crossovers and then Morrison gives people one with depth, timing, and a building pace and they complain about that. And the people who bitch because FC contradicts Countdown…seriously, thank GOD it contradicts Countdown. It isn’t Morrison’s fault DC editorial screwed up the lead in.

  12. “Sumo’s a bad ass, Shilo’s recruiting him to fight evil.”

    Yeah, got it. And I care, why?

    One guys asks another for help. I don’t know why he wants help. I don’t know why he specifically wants help from this guy. I don’t know why the guy he asks is so upset. I don’t even find out the answer to the request. All we get is one guy asking another to help him. How is that supposed to draw in readers?

    Now, imagine if Superman shows up asking Lobo for help. I, as a reader of their books, know them both. For me, just literally saying the words “Superman shows up and asks Lobo for his help” conjures up a ton of stuff. I know Superman, I know Lobo, I know their relatioships, I can imagine how the reply might go. But saying that sentence alone relies on me to fill in everything that makes the scene interesting.

    How about this? John Smith goes into a bar. Everyone fawns all over him, impressed by his reputation. People ask for his autograph, but he shouts to be left alone. Then, Joe Public arrives and says he needs John Smith to help him form a group.

    “People seem to want Morrison to explain every single detail as he goes, because that’s what modern decompressed comics do.”

    No, I want him to give me story that does not rely on me already being familiar with the characters in order to at least be drawn into it.

  13. I dug the first issue of Robinson’s Superman. It didn’t blow me away, but there was a confidence in the writing and characterization that was nice. Robinson obviously knows the character and how he interacts with people.

    I especially liked that last page. Atlas is tearing up the city and throwing folks around and about to burst a blood vessel screaming for Superman, when Supes just swoops down and says “I heard you. There’s no need to shout.” That’s just badass and shows the differences between him and a bruiser like Atlas.

    However, as I understand that the collection of this story will include that Atlas issue by Kirby, I may wait for the trade for the rest.

  14. “How about this? John Smith goes into a bar. Everyone fawns all over him, impressed by his reputation. People ask for his autograph, but he shouts to be left alone. Then, Joe Public arrives and says he needs John Smith to help him form a group.”

    Sounds pretty awesome to me. At this point, I want to know who John Smith is, why he is so revered and what he’s done to be considered such a badass. And why does he not want their adoration?

    Then Joe Public comes in and asks him for help. Who is he? Why does he need Smith’s help? What threat will they be teaming up to fight? Will Smith overcome his disgust at his reputation in order to aid Public in his fight? You get the sense that all will be slowly revealed in the coming story.

    Good writing, Jordan. Ever seen Seven Samurai, The Magnificent Seven, Battle Beyond The Stars?

  15. Here’s one thing that’s bothering me about people’s description of Final Crisis. Many call it a crossover. It is, in fact, not a crossover, since a crossover, by its very definition, y’know, crosses over into something. It is its own story with, yes, spin-off mini-series that explore different aspects of the overall story, but so far there has been no “crossing over” with ongoing titles, as such, and none of those spin- offs appear to be necessary to understanding Morrison’s story.

    Secret Invasion, however…

  16. “Yeah, I get the bare bones of the plot, it just has not made it interesting. ESPECIALLY in light of Countdown and Death of the New Gods, which I DID read! So, as a big crossover, this seems to be screwing up completely, since you need to have read stories from 20 years ago to get it. Blame whoever you want, I say it makes these 2 issues pretty poor.”

    But is that a failing of Final Crisis or Countdown and DotNG? Why didn’t Countdown deal with Turpin and Most Excellent Super-Bat and Sonny Sumo and the Evil Factory? Assuming we do not want the infodumps getting in the way of the story, why not put them somewhere in those 51 issues which were labeled as leading up to the darn thing?

    I dunno. I’m cranky today.

  17. “You get the sense that all will be slowly revealed in the coming story. Good writing, Jordan.”

    I don’t get that sense from FC. You’re comparing it to things that were bring out new stories with new characters, revealing them to the audience. Very well done. Heck, Morrison has done it plenty himself. Invisible, for example.

    I get the sense that it’s just going to keep going forward without explaining the backstory. That the history is going to be, as people are saying, a sort of “added depth” for people who know it.

    I hope I am wrong. I hope that by issue 7, I totally feel like I get it, and know why I should care. Obviously, I am not yet commenting on what Morrison WILL do. But 2 issues in, I don’t feel like I know enough to be drawn in, whereas everyone who knows the Kirby comics is going on about how great the series is, and also how accessible it is to people who don’t know the things they know.

    Well, as one of those people, I have to say that so far, it has not been accessible to me. And I have read most of DC’s monthly output for the last 4 or so years.

  18. Well, as one of those people, I have to say that so far, it has not been accessible to me. And I have read most of DC’s monthly output for the last 4 or so years.

    Darn. It’s a shame that Morrison didn’t write extensively about the New Gods in the past four years, then.

  19. Hey Sims, I already know that Iron Fist and Thor were super badass. So should I just assume Fraction went 3 for 3 with that Young Avengers issue?

  20. I miss Weiringo so badly.

    He has loads of stories I’m still collecting. The ones I’ve got are always fresh, no matter how long it’s been since I’ve looked at them, or how many times I’ve read them. And it’s great to get one last glimpse of his brilliance.

    But knowing that his body of work has been rendered -finite- in such an unthinkable and abrupt manner is the sort of tragedy I just can’t bring myself to face.

    The Simonson/Adams FF issues were some of the best Fun Comics ever, and they did a terrific job completing the What If?.

    But What If? Weiringo had finished it?

  21. I actually don’t think either Countdown/DOTNG or even the original Kirby stuff is a prerequisite to understanding what’s going on in Final Crisis–and I’m saying this as somebody who’s put in rather a lot of time tracking down all the extratextual stuff it refers to! Pretty much everything that’s happened in Final Crisis so far is either self-explanatory (if you’re willing to read it carefully) or deliberately withheld to create suspense. And pretty much all the threads DO connect with each other somehow already, aside from the Nix Uotan stuff.

  22. The thing that confuses me about the FINAL CRISIS comprehensibility issue is… INFINITE CRISIS wasn’t terribly accessible, was it? HOUSE OF M depends a lot on immediate prior events in the Marvel Universe and knowing that it’s weird that Peter is married to Gwen and so on. CIVIL WAR, don’t get me started. WORLD WAR HULK, fun as it is, is essentially a sequel.

    NOW we’re complaining about inaccessibility? Hasn’t that boat pretty much sailed?

  23. Also, “wrangling the Blood Colossus” is the filthiest euphemism I have ever heard.

    I can top that.

    I once heard a WoW player say that their plans for the evening involved “grinding the crimson monastery.”

  24. ESPECIALLY in light of Countdown and Death of the New Gods, which I DID read!

    Well there’s your problem.

    Yeah, got it. And I care, why?

    Well why do you care about anything in comics? If this issue is your first experience with Sonny Sumo, then you get the entire picture right up front: He’s famous, he doesn’t want to get involved in any craziness, and he can punch a dude’s heart out if he needs to. You don’t need to know that he hung out with the Forever People this one time to think that’s cool, because, y’know, he just punched a dude’s heart out. It’s a pretty evocative image.

    Likewise when Shiloh Norman shows up: You might not know who he is or what he’s doing, but it’s clear from his appearance that he’s recruiting someone to resist some cosmic evil power that’s won a war–because he says that–and judging by the fact that he’s trying to recruit a guy who just punched through a giant robot sumo wrestler, he’s probably geared up for a big fight.

    It’s not rocket science to figure out what’s going on, and if super-powered tough-guys rallying to battle cosmic evil doesn’t give you enough reason to care, then comics just might not be for you.

    Hey Sims, I already know that Iron Fist and Thor were super badass. So should I just assume Fraction went 3 for 3 with that Young Avengers issue?

    Yeah, it’s a good one, thanks in no small part to the fact that it’s drawn by Alan Davis, who, you know… is Alan Davis. It falls in line neatly with the rest of the series in that it deals with the Young Avengers and their legacies, and it all makes for some pretty solid stuff. And Fraction even calls her “Hawkingbird,” which I always thought was a pretty fun nickname.

    I miss Weiringo so badly.

    You and me both, buddy.

  25. Wow. There’s a lot of hate on this page for Final Crisis – especially considering it’s ten times better in the first two issues (both in writing and art) than all of Countdown. Honestly, if you don’t know who Orion is and why it’s so damned crazy that he got shot with a bullet that goes backwards through time, well, that’s your own damn fault.

    Yes, reading it implies that you have a passing knowledge of DC’s Kirbyverse – but honestly, if you even caught the JLA cartoon, you know all you need to know about the backstory and the less-well-known characters.

    And give the Sonny Sumo example a rest, willya?

  26. Also, I’m glad Shilo’s back in print again. I just hope Morrison follows up by bringing back Frankenstein.

  27. People can complain about Final Crisis all they want, but I don’t care anymore. Finally, there’s a giant DC superhero comic where I am the target audience. A Morrison whorrison who owns all the Kirby omnibi. Hurray!

    Also, you totally forgot about that one issue of Karl Kesel’s Adventures of Superman (549?) where the Dingbats of Danger Street fight the Newsboy Legion until the whole thing is smoothed over by the Green Team (YES). Kesel is awesome.

  28. Also, I’m glad Shilo’s back in print again. I just hope Morrison follows up by bringing back Frankenstein.

    If memory serves, he’s in #3.

    Also, you totally forgot about that one issue of Karl Kesel’s Adventures of Superman (549?) where the Dingbats of Danger Street fight the Newsboy Legion until the whole thing is smoothed over by the Green Team (YES). Kesel is awesome.

    He is, and I love that issue. Although oddly enough, when I talked to him this weekende, I just told him how much I loved his Daredevil run and how it got me back into Marvel Comics after I’d given up on them during the ’90s.

    I did, however, mention it to Stuart Immonen, as did Dr. K.

  29. Blah, blah, Final Crisis, blah blah Runaways, blah blah blah.

    I’m sorry, I know it’s a tie-in to Secret Invasion, and that it’s pretty irrelevant to the over-arching plot, but I’m afraid that the ISB is failing in its remit if it misses out the unconditionally awesome SI:FF.
    This is
    1) Giant Space Jellyfish!
    2) Franklin and Valeria Richards in A F**KING KICKASS MECHA-SUIT blasting a Giant Space Octopus with its Pulse Cannons. At 50 percent, I might add.
    3) “Oh god, we’re about to be shown up by a seven-year old”
    4) “Prison, yay!”

    Seriously Chris, catch the damn ball when it’s thrown.

  30. If memory serves, he’s in #3

    YES.

    “Dead Gods. Time-traveling bullets. Dark Side. Most Excellent Superbat.

    All in a day’s work – for Frankenstein!

  31. No mention of Big Red Hulk punching the Watcher in the kisser?

    I’d rather punch myself in the balls than read a comic by Jeph Loeb.

    I’m afraid that the ISB is failing in its remit if it misses out the unconditionally awesome SI:FF.

    I’ll have to take your word for it; I don’t really care for anything I’ve read by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, least of all his work on Fantastic Four (well, LEAST of all his work on Spider-Man, but then that), so I’m planning on sitting this one out.

  32. How did I not remember that Ringo tribute was coming out? I may have to make an extra trip to the shop this weekend to pick it up. Ringo’s death still hits me pretty hard – I got into comics in part thru his Spider-Man work, he was one of the first artists whose work/style I recognized, and pretty much what Darth Krzysztof said goes for me. We’re getting close to a year now, and I can still remember the shock I felt when I found out.

    Anyway, back to arguing about Final Crisis.

  33. I’ll chime in–Chris, you have to admit that a man who once wrote and published his own comic where Jack Kirby starred as the main character and fought supervillains isn’t necessarily unbiased when it comes to judging a series that’s basically a Kirby homage. :)

    I’ve skimmed the first two issues, and nothing grabbed my interest to make me want to do anything other than skim. It feels very much like everything else DC has put out in the last five years, including ‘Infinite Crisis’…endless fanwank, tons of gore, self-consciously “edgy” villains, and repeated shrieks of “Buy this, because it’s important to CONTINUITY!” that have grown hoarse and desperate.

    Me, I’d like to see Morrison do something actually new, instead of endless homages and callbacks and shoutouts. That was what was so great about Kirby, was that he wasn’t just aping his elders. If I want to see Jack Kirby, that stuff is available in trade for me to buy. (Which I do and I did–the presence of every single Essential and Showcase volume on my bookshelf speaks strongly to my love of the Silver Age.) I’d like to see Morrison being, well…Morrison, not a Kirby retread.

  34. Not to be a dick, but…
    I don’t care for Fraction’s sloppy martial arts references. It is nunchaku, not nunchucks, and in The Order, he used karate and tae kwon do interchangeably. Those are just two off of the top of my head, but it seems that his knowledge of martial arts comes more from watching kung fu movies rather than any other type of real research. I know, it’s just a comic, and I really enjoy Iron Fist, but it just comes off as sloppy and distracting.

    Also, I totally agree with you on Final Crisis, even though I only have a passing knowledge of Kirby.

  35. That’s Jack Kirby’s greatest creation?
    They look awesome, but have you already forgotten Paranex, the Fighting Fetus?

  36. it seems that his knowledge of martial arts comes more from watching kung fu movies rather than any other type of real research

    And that is the best kind of knowledge.

  37. It is nunchaku, not nunchucks, and…he used karate and tae kwon do interchangeably…it seems that his knowledge of martial arts comes more from watching kung fu movies…. — Putney Swope

    Never before has the world needed Count Dante like we need him now.

  38. The secret to Final Crisis not being confusing is simply to not have read much of the output of DC in the last year. Morrison basically said it best: he asked politely that they stop using 4th world characters so that he could build a bit of tension and drama in bringing them back. DC editorial responded by putting 4th world characters in every goddamn book for no good reason AND completely contradicting the story in Final Crisis.

    I mean, if you actually read Countdown, then there is no murder mystery at all for how Orion died. Backwards time bullet?

    Nonsense: he was blown up by the Infinity Man, reconstituted by the Source (which is a vicious asshole), and then ripped Darksieds heart out. Then he stumbles away from that, obviously dying, into a garbage heap, and Superman basically says “ah, don’t try to help him guys, his time is done, and dying in a trash bin is a God thing.” Mystery solved: he was killed by Superman being a dick and not calling for medical aid when it was obviously needed. The end.

    And if basically giving Morrison the continuity middle finger wasn’t enough, they’ve also added some truly atrocious crossover elements to books like Flash, Birds of Prey, and Teen Titans, all dealing with “Boss Darkside” and his utterly pointless underground fighting ring nonsense. Talk about deflating any dramatic tension.

  39. The secret to Final Crisis not being confusing is simply to not have read much of the output of DC in the last year. Morrison basically said it best: he asked politely that they stop using 4th world characters so that he could build a bit of tension and drama in bringing them back. DC editorial responded by putting 4th world characters in every goddamn book for no good reason AND completely contradicting the story in Final Crisis.

    Yeah! I mean its like DC doesn’t understand that they’re employed by Morrison AT ALL…

  40. …but I’m afraid that the ISB is failing in its remit…

    Chris has a remit?

    Don’t knock Chris’ remit. The paperwork is murder, but the tax breaks make it worth the trouble.

    I’d rather punch myself in the balls than read a comic by Jeph Loeb.

    The perfect analogy for the last 3 issues of Ultimate Power.

  41. Final Crisis is neither. It isn’t final in any sense and it lacks any emotional hook in terms of there being a crisis. The impermanency of comicbook death and even comicbook relationships such as marriage or even boyfriend and girlfriend have never seemed less interesting or consistent.

    The New Gods just don’t fit the DCU, and they never have. It’s an even worse shoehorn than the Eternals into Marvel. One level of super-powered ecology too many.

    Commercial properties trump superior fictive archetypes every time in comicbooks so we are stuck with Superman and the rest even when better fresher character poleaxe them right off the page . Final Crisis my left bollock.

    But compared to MarvelBendis it’s Shakespeare. Obviously.

  42. I’d rather punch myself in the balls than read a comic by Jeph Loeb.

    Can’t I just punch Loeb in the balls? Until good comics come out? I realise I could be there a while, but…

  43. I cannot in good conscience condone violence against the writer who brought us Commando, the greatest film of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career.

  44. “Final Crisis is neither. It isn’t final in any sense and it lacks any emotional hook in terms of there being a crisis. The impermanency of comicbook death and even comicbook relationships such as marriage or even boyfriend and girlfriend have never seemed less interesting or consistent.”

    I never understood the idea that the strength of a comic book story is in how permanent its effects are.

    The only thing that returns to the status quo quicker than a DC or Marvel story is a STAR TREK: VOYAGER episode. If you’re gonna keep readin’ ‘em you learn to live with it.

  45. I cannot in good conscience condone violence against the writer who brought us Commando, the greatest film of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career.

    Which is the tragic thing, really. I *know* that there’s quality in there somewhere, but damn it, why he gotta hurt us all like this?

  46. His full name is Robert E. Fucking Howard and both I and his numerous illegitimate descendants (they are legion) would appreciate it if you’d give due consideration — even in a blog posting about secondary, derivative works — to the hardest writing mofo this side of Hemingway and Hunter.

    Just sayin’

  47. That’s Hunter S. Fucking Thompson, natch, (and RIP) not some other writer named Hunter.

    (I would say “obviously” but since I came back to clarify it can be that damn obvious)

  48. Like to watch Stargate Atlantis episodes and also Lost. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  49. Thanks for your blog, it is so good, I really like it! Its exactly what I was looking for when i searched for stargate universe – Ill be a regular visitor from now on!