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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Cheers and Jeers for 4/29

The following are a bunch of cheers and jeers from me for the past two weeks of comic books!

There will most likely be some spoilers…otherwise, enjoy!

CHEERS to Dennis Calero, who is really hitting a stride now as an artist. I knew all he needed to do was get away from that big dumb wolf head in X-Factor! Check out this week’s JSA Classified. Sweet artwork.

JEERS to the World War III one-shots. Wow, those were awful. I don’t blame the writers involved (as I think both men, Keith Champagne and John Ostrander, are fine writers), because the concept of the one-shots were just god-awful. “Come up with explanations why these X amount of characters did Y! No, no, it doesn’t have to make sense, just so long as character X ends up in position Y!” So lame.

CHEERS, though, to the strong artwork in the World War III one-shots, including some very nice work by Andy Smith (who tends to be a bit too much of Bart Sears-lite for my tastes, but not here).

JEERS to how rushed the ending of the Connor Hawke mini-series was. How poorly paced was that? You have SIX issues to tell the story, but major events in the last issue had to be done off-panel. Lame.

CHEERS to Don MacPherson, for providing annotations to Justice League of America #8 at his website, Eye on Comics, here.

JEERS to Justice League of America, for even possibly requiring annotations.

CHEERS to Bart Simpsons Comics #35, for a fun story where they show how to a real-life scientific “prank.” I love when comics do stuff like, “Look, kids, you can try this trick out!” That is, of course, if you actually CAN suck a hard-boiled egg into a bottle using cold water. If not, then LAME!

JEERS to Nightwing Annual #2, for not giving much of a reason for why Barbara and Dick are no longer engaged. But that’s not that big of a deal, as that isn’t the sole reason the annual existe…oh wait, that IS the only reason the annual existed? OOPS.

DOUBLE JEERS to Nightwing Annual #2, for this super creepy scene where Dick shows up to visit Barbara after she got shot, has sex with her, then tries to sneak out in the morning and leaves her a (pardon the profanity that follows) FUCKING INVITATION TO HIS UPCOMING WEDDING TO STARFIRE!!! It is dumb enough that they had sex, but to sneak out and leave her an invitation to your wedding?! Wow, that’s awfully lame.

Speaking of the whole Dick Grayson/Barbara Gordon, retroactive JEERS to DC of the late 80s/early 90s for being so darned compartmentalized that there never WAS a reaction by Dick Grayson to Barbara Gordon being shot. And no reaction from Dick when Bruce’s back was broken. I get the whole “letting Dick do his own thing” deal, but that was a bit much.

CHEERS to Fabian Nicieza for this “Bob the Hydra Guy” character in Cable & Deadpool. Funny stuff.

JEERS to Fabian Nicieza for feeling the need to address continuity issues from Joe Kelly’s run on Deadpool. You know, the run that ended almost EIGHT years ago! I have absolutely no doubt that there are folks out there who really wanted to see T-Ray’s plot resolved – but ignore them, Mr. Nicieza! Ignore them!! That way Johns-ian madness lies!

CHEERS to Marvel Adventures: Avengers #12, for having Ego the Living Planet come by to try to pick Earth up. “I was just cruisin’ through your little system here and I said to myself, “WHO is that fine blue number three over there sporting the ice caps?”

JEERS to Girls for ending the series worse than I even imagined, considering how poor the first 23 issues were.

CHEERS, though, to Girls for at least getting rid of that one really, really irritating character. The lady who reacted unlike anyone would ever react, but we were supposed to see as an example of “what would happen if people were left to their own devices.” So lame.

JEERS to the cover of Justice Society of America #5 for not even SLIGHTLY hinting that it was part two of a crossover with Justice League of America.

jsa0007.jpg

You know, that crossover with DC’s HIGHEST-SELLING title? Nah, why would the book want to promote THAT?

At least Sand was heavily featured in the issue.

CHEERS, though, to the issue itself. A good piece of writing by Geoff Johns (and a significant improvement over the first part of the crossover), and I especially enjoyed artist Fernando Pararini’s “throwback” style of art.

JEERS to the half-assed ending given to Firestorm. I get that he’s going to be part of Countdown, but it just seems like a disservice to Dwayne McDuffie to make him write such a limited story arc.

CHEERS to Andy Diggle, for opening his Hellblazer arc quite strongly, with Constantine coming up with a brilliantly last second con job to save himself – and it appears that Diggle has the book set up for some good future issues, too.

JEERS to the complaints about Black Panther and Silver Surfer’s altercation in this week’s Fantastic Four. Is it silly that Black Panther would even be able to pin Silver Surfer’s arm behind his back? Yeah, kinda, but that’s about it – everything else Black Panther says is totally moot as we didn’t actually see any proof that he could do anything but pin Silver Surfer’s arm behind his back for a few seconds.

CHEERS to Nemesis actually using his disguise skills in this week’s Wonder Woman!

DOUBLE CHEERS for Sarge Steel being revealed to be an imposter. I was really afraid we were going to see another Max Lord deal. “Eh, who cares about him? Let’s just make him a psycho villain!”

A mixture of JEERS and CHEERS to the whole Ted Kord ret-con thing DC has going on. Besides Gail Simone’s tribute (as Beetle WAS a Birds of Prey supporting cast member) to Ted, these other writers who are going overboard having characters express their deep love/admiration for Ted Kord is just getting a bit silly. I mean, I appreciate John Rogers (this week’s Blue Beetle, having Guy Gardner talk about how great Ted Kord was) and Marc Andreyko (having Wonder Woman talk about how great Ted Kord was) trying to make up for the lameness that was Countdown to Infinite Crisis, but there’s no unringing that bell. DC had an issue that was built entirely around the concept of every notable DC hero being a dick to Blue Beetle, so this retroactive “he was awesome” stuff just seems silly. I appreciate the sentiment, though, hence the mixed bag of JEERS and CHEERS.

CHEERS to Paul Cornell for his Widsom mini-series, which gave us John the Skrull, a Skrull who was part of a planned invasion of Earth by impersonating the Beatles, which fell apart when the four Skrulls decided to disband (although they often call each up to talk about re-uniting to do the invasion).

JEERS to Chris Claremont for trying to convince us that the Slaymaster is badass.

CHEERS to David Tischman for making this Star Trek: The Next Generation series he is writing for IDW totally feel like the various Next Generation eras it is set in. It’s a neat trick.

JEERS, though, for the concept of the series not being explained. Why not just have a bit on the inside front cover, where it says “These are the tales that slipped between the cracks, hence the title being called ‘The Space Between'”?

CHEERS to the 52 crew for Mister Mind hatching from Skeets.

That’s all, folks!

23 Comments

Slaymaster was bad-ass before you were born, Cronin!

And the best way to demonstrate that is for the characters in the book to whisper amongst themselves, “Wow, he’s so tough!”

But super ultra mega gazillion jeers to the new, re-designed Mister Mind.

Yeah, the design was poor.

“CHEERS to Paul Cornell for his Widsom mini-series, which gave us John the Skrull, a Skrull who was part of a planned invasion of Earth by impersonating the Beatles, which fell apart when the four Skrulls decided to disband (although they often call each up to talk about re-uniting to do the invasion).”

Agreed, but surely that character was introduced about six months ago?

You CAN get a boiled egg into a bottle by putting a lit match in the bottle. The egg will get sucked in by the vacuum.

Just commenting on this week’s issue of Wisdom, and figured now was as good a time as any to throw the shout-out re: John The Skrull, as I never got a chance to previously.

And good to hear regarding the egg trick!!

I don’t get the hate for WWIII. I mean, I wouldn’t get it if there was major love for it either, but it seemed to me to be an average, entertaining-if-forgettable way to pass twenty minutes. Not very good, not very bad, not very memorable at all. (Although Young Frankenstein’s last words should have been, “UTTTIN ON A RIZZZZZZ!” I’m so going to bring that character back someday just for all the cheap Mel Brooks jokes.)

“JEERS to Justice League of America, for even possibly requiring annotations.”

Eh, I didn’t need any annotations to understand this issue. In fairness, I am really familiar with Justice League history, but nothing in here really struck me as potentially confusing. I actually considered JLA #8 it to be Meltzer’s best issue to date by quite a good margin.

I promise you that New Titans writer Marv Wolfman was one hundred percent certain, as were we all, that “The Killing Joke” was an out-of-continuity imaginary story when it came out. Just like Dark Knight and even Year One before it. (Don’t belive that Year One was originally treated as out-of-continuity? Check out the Barr-Davis catwoman story from shortly thereafter, or the fact that Gordon continued to have no son for years) I was a while later that they did a Batgirl special which retroactively blessed “The Killing Joke”. This was really weird. For one thing, DC had a policy at the time that code-comics didn’t cross over with “mature readers” comics, which was a good policy. Suddenly a bunch of little kids had to go back and read this ultra-violent and lurid story (even Moore has admitted that TKJ went way too far) in order to undestand what was going on.

I don’t get the hate for WWIII. I mean, I wouldn’t get it if there was major love for it either, but it seemed to me to be an average, entertaining-if-forgettable way to pass twenty minutes. Not very good, not very bad, not very memorable at all. (Although Young Frankenstein’s last words should have been, “UTTTIN ON A RIZZZZZZ!” I’m so going to bring that character back someday just for all the cheap Mel Brooks jokes.)

The World War III comics stood out to me because they were essentially designed so that there is no way TO write them as a good comic.

That’s rare to see – a comic that doesn’t have a chance to be a good comic from the get-go.

Dick had sex with the newly crippled Barbra and then left her an invite to his wedding!?!!

WOW! What a dick.

Jesus, if that comic came out when I was still in college, I certainly would have used that in my thesis on super hero sexual identity issues. I mean, jeez, who knew losing your parents made you THAT emotionally distant?

FunkyGreenJerusalem

April 29, 2007 at 5:20 pm

That Nightwing business sounds odd.

Has retroactively making two characters have sex ever worked in a comic?
I can only think of Starman and Black Canary – and that only worked because it was REALLY well written.
And at the time it came out, it wasn’t happening in every other story.

Also if you read their only Silver Age team-up in Brave and the Bold 60? 61?

It COMPLETELY makes sense that Starman and Black Canary were having sex. I wouldn’t have thought of it the first time I read the story but I re-read it post Starman and I was like “yeah. That works.”

I don’t know what’s bad about WW praising Ted in Manhunter. For one, absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder (see: glowing tributes about Gerald Ford’s presidency). For two, she was the only one who was listening to Ted at all in Countdown and probably still feels bad about it all.

And Guy wasn’t even in Countdown and seemed pretty gung-ho about avenging him in OMAC Project, so those two…who are the only two I’ve seen praise him recently…make sense to me.

Plus, nothing will ever compare to the collective tongue-bath his supposedly huge online fanbase lathered upon him when Countdown came out. Now, a couple of years later, we have people saying, “Enh, he wasn’t all that.” Guess TPTB were right about his appeal after all.

Wasn’t Dick in the middle of a mental breakdown (#2) when he proposed to Starfire?

Not that it was referenced in the issue, and hey, I could have my timeline off anyway.

Actually I get the Blue Beetle thing. It’s typical to not appreciate somebody when they are here, and to go over board to compliment them when they are gone. I mean we as a country turned Nixon from a failed and disgraced President to a brilliant but “flawed” man after his death.

They just didn’t want to speak ill of the dead.

DC had an issue that was built entirely around the concept of every notable DC hero being a dick to Blue Beetle, so this retroactive “he was awesome” stuff just seems silly.

Not to be too crass about it, but did anyone in your high school die? In that case, you would have seen a lot of this. Like the folks said above, this is a very human reaction, and a very honest portrayal of it. It’s like people think that if you speak warmly about someone after they’re dead, it makes up for anything you did wrongto them while they were still alive…

Actually I get the Blue Beetle thing. It’s typical to not appreciate somebody when they are here, and to go over board to compliment them when they are gone. I mean we as a country turned Nixon from a failed and disgraced President to a brilliant but “flawed” man after his death.

They just didn’t want to speak ill of the dead.

I know what you’re saying, but in this case it feels less like the characters speaking naturally and more like the character acting as mouthpieces of the editorial and writing staff. It’s hard to explicitly pinpoint the difference,but it feels like the staff realize how tacky the treatment of Blue Beetle looks in retrospect and are overcompensating in the way they have characters speak about him now. And as usual, DC employs it’s patented “subtle as a jackhammer” characterization and dialogue techniques.

One thing I always find interesting about DC…no matter how well you write at Marvel, in your novels, in your screenplays, etc…once you write for DC you immediately start writing in a “tell don’t show” subtle-as-a-heart attack writing style.

That’s exactly my point, T, thanks.

These writers appear to feel bad about how poorly Beetle was handled in Countdown, and now they’re going out of their way the OTHER way to make up for his poor treatment in Countdown.

Like I said, I admire the sentiment, but it comes off as far too forced, with the notable exception of Gail Simone’s Birds of Prey, because a Beetle tribute made sense there.

RE: John the Skrull – I take it you’re looking forward to possibly seeing the whole fake band next issue then?

You bet, Matthew!

I’m glad someone else thought all the bitching about the Panther/Surfer scene was unnecessary. I thought it was a rather nice moment for Surfer, actually, letting Panther think he was having an effect.

The Mad Monkey

May 1, 2007 at 3:28 am

Okay…deep breath and here we go…

What’s worse than Dick Grayson having a cheap one-nighter with a “best friend” who was recently crippled by his former mentor’s arch-nemesis and trying to sneak out the next morning with nothing but an invite to his wedding to an alien hottie?

Dick Grayson is a devout Christian.

So…TAKE THAT organized religion!!!

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