web stats

CSBG Archive

Comic Book Gallimaufry: Pithier Than “Observations On A Variety Of Sequential Arts Periodical Readings”

I’m 27 years old. That happened recently. Also, I’ve been reading some comics. I’ll talk about that at you some after the jump, if you like.

Obligatory Links To Better Writers- I miss Bill’s link blogging thing. Does anyone else? I do. Anyway, here’s the Savage Critic’s savagely critical analysis of the writing and art on Rucka and Williams Batwoman storyline he would have surely linked to if he hadn’t been bored to tears/madness and abandoned the feature like I abandon everything I ever write ever.

Anyway, I appreciate that David “Foul Mouthed Metron” Uzumeri and Jog “Jog is his nickname” have found things in the text and art I never would, and are literary and what not. Even if I’m not sure that makes the comics any better than the really good, but not up to my ridiculously high expectations, reception I’ve given them. That, and the Alice in Wonderland stuff does nothing for me, but then I don’t care about the source material. I did enjoy the Batwoman: Year One story last issue more than the entire first arc, so there’s that.

But forget all that. You have to read Jog’s piece just for all the pretty art he crams in. Uzumeri’s is also pretty good, I guess, even if he doesn’t find a way to post excerpts from the JH Williams drawn Wolverine Annual I suddenly need to own.

I Was Never Good At Fractions I was the guy (possibly the only one) that was not particularly fond of Matt Fraction’s first Invincible Iron Man arc. It was solid and everything, but not something that made me want to follow the series monthly (I wound up catching up on it via e-bay). I chalked it up to my not being a huge fan of the character. I did like it enough, especially the Spider-Man guest appearance, to at least keep the door open to reading the trades. And my LCS’s Halloween Sale gave me an excuse to do that with the new one, which is what I was looking for.

Glad I did. The World’s Most Wanted trade is great. It’s as much a thriller as it is a superhero comic, with all of the tension and the impending sense of the walls closing in on the three protagonists. It’s also the first time I’ve seen Maria Hill written as a character, and a pretty awesome one at that, since that one part of Secret Invasion Abhay pointed out there.

So, yeah, nice to see this comic live up to the hype, and I look forward to the next volume a whole lot, in the same way I eagerly snap up Ed Brubaker’s Captain America.

Oh wait! I forgot the art! Even Salvador Larocca’s art worked better for me on that IIM arc than it did in the previous one. It looked less, for lack of a better term, flashy and lifeless. Maybe the coloring helped, too, but it told the story well and was not nearly as unpalpable as I remember it being on the first car, which was in Greg Land/airbrushed/plasticine territory, I thought. Also, he drew Tony Stark with jet sneakers, and that automatically makes him one of my favorite artists ever. That goes for anyone, he just got to it first.*

I Have One Too, Norman and Nick! Here Is A List Of 25 Things I’ve Forgotten In Other Lists I’ve Done (Mostly On Facebook Pick Your 5s, but some here, too):

1. The Runaways (superhero team)
2. Hellboy
3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
4. Amy Whinehouse
5. Dr. Horrible
6. Chris Claremont and Paul Smith’s Uncanny X-Men
7. Wally Wood
8. Dana White
9. Jim Steranko
10. Young Avengers
11. Kofi Kingston
12. The Harlem Boys’ Choir
13. The Swedish Bikini Team
14. The Runaways (girl band)
15. Katy Perry
16. Walt Simonson’s Thor
17. Red Faction: Guerilla
18. The Punisher
19. Ares
20. A picture of Rob Van Dam pointing at himself
21. Bill Clinton
22. Sublime
23. Fantasy Football
24. Johnny Unitas
25. Dr. Dre

And while I’m already amusing myself, and myself alone, here’s this Hernandez. Gordito. Mustache brothers separated at birth?**

Musings Of TERROR! One of the coolest things about Essential Tomb of Dracula vol. 2 is that it reprints a bunch of issues of Giant Sized Dracula. Beyond being pretty good self contained stories, it’s pretty awesome to have them around just because it reminds you that there was a time when Marvel published two Dracula comics.

Blatant Marvel Bias Alert! I also picked up a copy of the first Heroes For Hire trade at that Halloween sale that made me go broke for a while. No, not that one that John Ostrander did, the other one. The one that spun out of Civil War? (Which the trade dress certainly wouldn’t let you forget.)

So, anyway, I liked this too. A lot more than pretty much anything else I’ve read from Palmiotti and Gray*** as a writing team. Would have been better with Amanda Conner art, especially given that half the cast is hot women in spandex, but Billy Tucci and Francis Portella will do in a pinch. I just picked it up because Essential Power Man and Iron Fist has given me a new appreciation for the Daughters of the Dragon, so it was nice that I wound up enjoying it as a team book and not just a collection of supporting characters I like. Really though those two things are pretty intertwined. This is a comic that has Paladin and the Black Cat! If it also featured Diamondback and Silver Sable and the Wild Pack, it would include all of my childhood favorite guest stars!

One other thing about this comic; there’s a subplot featuring the Skrulls, and when I first started reading those issues, I thought “that sets this up things really well for Secret Invasion!” And then I remembered that it was canceled during World War Hulk. So that creates two questions for me: 1. Were they planning that far in advance for SI, or was it a coincidence? 2. Why do I remember those World War Hulk issues?****

This You know, when he’s not talking about how most everything sucks, Dan Apodaca is a man of great worth, which should be publicly acknowledged often. So I’ll do that here. If nothing else, he has great taste in Onion editorials and linguistic trivia.

Bah Humbug, Forbush Man! Been seeing the Marvel Holiday Special Magazine in a lot of places that don’t usually carry comics lately. Always happy to see comics out in the wider world of grocery stores and whatever you call Wal Mart at this point. And not just because I am close personal friends
sort of know one of the writers!

As far as the actual special goes (which I also bought at that magical, bank account destroying Halloween sale), I’ve only read bits and pieces of it. Because it’s November. I do plan on going back and reading the bulk of the issue, reprints of older Christmas stories, when it’s more seasonally appropriate, because there’s a Beast and Iceman story by Kurt Busiek and a Spider-Man story scripted by Stan Lee and drawn by Steve Lightle in there.

One problem with selling outside of comics shops; despite the fact that it’s fairly well packed with content (well, that and ads written “in character” with lunatics like Hank Pym and Deadpool), it is $9.99. Probably a tough sale for an impulse buy. Being honest, I only bought it when I did because of the discount. Well, and I want to support my buddy acquaintance, Morse.

Teaser Ahoy! I’ve been reading a bit of Showcase Presents Metamorpho, and want to comment on it. Instead of doing that in this already overstuffed venue, I’m gonna make it a separate post. Watch for that, coming soon, ladies and germs!***** It will surely point out things about those comics!

*Well, as far as I know. If Al Milgrom or someone else did it first, please do tell me I forgot something I’ve never seen before. We bloggers love that!
**It took me so long to get around to making that joke that Hernandez has shaved his mustache off. Still, had to get to it eventually.
***I remember liking the first arc of their short lived Wildstorm series 21 Down a lot. And I haven’t read a ton of their Jonah Hex, which is their longest running collaboration and seems to work for a lot of people.
****Just kidding. I totally remember why. You don’t have to mention it. At all. Certainly not this. You know the thing I still can’t get over about that cover? Why in the hell does Black Cat have a bell on her collar? Or, really, why doesn’t she always wear a bell?
(In that I think all of the male posters here are sentient germ clouds. Well, surely at least Funky.)

17 Comments

I agree with you on the Fraction Iron Man. I mentioned to one of my comic book dealers the other day that the post Heroes Return should really have been collected by now (only story collected so far is the “sentient suit story: Man in the Iron Man” with the memorable death of an old Iron Man enemy) and he pointed me to the 1st Invincible I.M. trade…now I got the next 2 on order

Kofi Kingston can be over big time as a star…unless the WWE does to him what they did with Shelton Benjamin. Meanwhile, Rob Van Dam is a trend setter.. He had all the cool kids doing his thumb recognition thing. You saw it done once at every major sports event by an athlete for a year. WWE really is missing the boat not releasing a RVD greatest matches DVD since they now own the ECW library.

Heroes for Hire and Birds of Prey were kindred spirits…except DC gave Birds a chance. Heroes for Hire was cut too soon but that kind of goes along with what was said at Permanent Damage this week: Comic Book Fans do not care to tolerate and support anything new involving superheroes. My proof? Look at most of the BETTER books from the big 2 are the ones that are on ‘life support’ in terms of sales constantly.

and Katy Perry would wreck Amy Whin-o’s ass in any type of competition….well except for a wrecking your own career by using drugs one…LOL

Happy birthday.

Yes, I do miss Bill Reed’s link-blogging thing. It was fun.

I was totally unimpressed by the first arc of Invincible Iron Man. I dropped the book once it was done. And then, apparently, it got good. Oh well.

Invincible Iron Man by Fraction and Larroca is the best the title’s ever been. There, I said it.

* And I never thought of Larroca’s art as being lifeless, just often marred by overly glossy coloring like in X-Treme X-Men; as people have noted, the color saturation by D’Armata has been greatly toned down in World’s Most Wanted. Which allows you to see the sheer amount of detail and nuance Larroca is bringing to this title– notice the way he draws the Iron Patriot as having a completely different texture than any of the Iron Man armors, or the helmet cutaways he draws for the different armored characters and the different details in each interface *

FunkyGreenJerusalem

November 12, 2009 at 5:02 pm

Happy B’day – I’m staring the big two seven in the face myself, when you hear a cry of pain that echoes around the world in January, you’ll know it’s b’day.

So, yeah, nice to see this comic live up to the hype, and I look forward to the next volume a whole lot, in the same way I eagerly snap up Ed Brubaker’s Captain America.

I was amazed Brubaker got me to pick up Capt. America, although it was board poster Howyadoin explaining to me that if I didn’t I was a pussy that actually got me to, but I just can’t ever see myself buying an Iron Man book.
I like the idea of the character fine, loved the film up until the way too long end battle*, but actually getting an Iron Man book?
I just don’t see it ever happening.

*And that ridiculous bit where they float the idea of War Machine appearing, and then for no discernible reason, the character decides no to.

And that ridiculous bit where they float the idea of War Machine appearing, and then for no discernible reason, the character decides no to.

I dunno, why would he presume that A. The armor would fit him and B. That he could operate it?

I think what he did made more sense, consider the idea for a sec, then realize A and B above, then note to ask Tony in the future about maybe using the armor.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

November 12, 2009 at 5:29 pm

I dunno, why would he presume that A. The armor would fit him and B. That he could operate it?

Because it was a movie where details like that were totally irrelevant!

Stark started flying in it outside his building when all evidence pointed to the machine not wroking.

I think what he did made more sense, consider the idea for a sec, then realize A and B above, then note to ask Tony in the future about maybe using the armor.

But why put that in a film?
I watched with housemates who don’t read/know the comics, and everyone was all ‘whoah!’ and ‘yeah’ when he looked at the armour, and then he just goes ‘nah, maybe next time’.
And we were all let down. Like, really let down.
It put the idea in your head of two Iron Men fighting side by side, and then didn’t follow through – in the climax of a film, it’s not really a good idea to raise a concept that’s cooler than the one you’re going to go with.
(And in my personal opinion, that last fight scene went for way too long for what it was – it could have done with a twist like that).

Happy birthday, man!

I, too, miss Bill’s Sunday Brunch feature. I feel like I’m missing out on stuff without those links to guide me.

Uzumeri’s assessment of Rucka’s writing was definitely a worthwhile read. I’ll have to check out Jog’s companion piece.

Maybe the coloring helped, too, but it told the story well and was not nearly as unpalpable as I remember it being on the first car

Typo? Anagram? Freudian slip? U-Decide!

You forgot to mention Karl Kerschl and Brenden Fletcher’s The Flash on the list of things you forgot.

Sunday Brunch might return, um, one of these days. I got busy, and the internet got a little boring, and while it has picked up lately, I am even busier. So.

One of the coolest things about Essential Tomb of Dracula vol. 2 is that it reprints a bunch of issues of Giant Sized Dracula. Beyond being pretty good self contained stories, it’s pretty awesome to have them around just because it reminds you that there was a time when Marvel published two Dracula comics.

Actually, they published three. Dracula Lives! was the black-and-white magazine version that also ran at the same time. You get those in Essential volume four, I think. And there was also Vampire Tales, though that was more a Morbius thing. It really needs to be Essential’d, as well.

” It put the idea in your head of two Iron Men fighting side by side, and then didn’t follow through – in the climax of a film, it’s not really a good idea to raise a concept that’s cooler than the one you’re going to go with. ”

Well, that’s what sequels are for…

I bought the first issue of Invincible Iron Man and couldn’t see anything good about it, so I didn’t buy any more. I did buy issue nine much later, when I found it on sale for a dollar. (At a bookstore– not a comic book store, a regular bookstore– that often sells comics for a dollar if nobody buys them after about four or five months. This is why I’m way behind everybody else on some of the series I buy.) #9 was much better, but I still haven’t read any others.
I bought the first issue of Heroes For Hire. It wasn’t that good, but it was good enough to consider buying more. Unfortunately, my money at that time was even more limited than now, so I never got any others. The nearest comic store does have several in their back-issues for the old cover-price. Every time I’m there, I think about buying one but I still haven’t done so. I really love some of the characters, though, especially Felicia and Paladin. (It sounds like you have great taste in naming those two.) You really got my hopes up, though, when you mentioned Diamondback and Silver Sable. I wasn’t paying close enough attention and I missed the word ‘if’ at first. I was just about to run out and break into the store to get them when I realised you hadn’t actually said they were in the book.
(I haven’t seen Diamondback since the early ’90s, or Silver Sable since the mid-90s. In fact, the second to the last comic book I bought for a decade was the last issue of Silver’s old series.)
I appears that you really like the good characters. I might have to pay more attention to the things you recommend from now on.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

November 12, 2009 at 10:44 pm

Well, that’s what sequels are for…

That might be the case if you raise the idea of two Iron Men just before the end credits – you don’t do it, and then not follow through, before the last battle has taken place.

It’s storytelling 101.

I didn’t (and still don’t) really dig on the first arc of Invincible Iron Man — something I discussed with Tim in a Splash Page and, then, mentioned during my blogathon. I DID like the one-off seventh issue… but, the early issues of “Most Wanted” that I read did nothing for me, so the book was dropped. And remains dropped.

Also, happy birthday. You’re slightly older than me (I turned 27 at the end of January).

Totally, totally agreed on Invincible Iron Man – Although it didn’t feel like it would’ve read as well in single issues over the long haul.. I’m not in any position to judge it as Best Iron Man Story ever, but it’s the best I’ve ever read.

Greg Hatcher – indeed you do get the b&w Draculas in Essential TOD4, but they’re somewhat edited, with any instance of nudity covered up. I think the same volume includes some of the Vampire Tales stuff as well.

I used to like the Daughters of the Dragon, but their miniseries wrote them both SO hopelessly out of character that my best guess is that it was recycled from a rejected proposal for a “Body Doubles” series at DC.

It only got worse when it begat “Heroes For Hire”, with the poor characterization for Shang Chi.

Leave a Comment

 

Categories

Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives