In-Depth on Marvel's "Divided We Stand" and The Latest Hydra Cap Twists
Random Thought! Fact: 2010? Better than 1910. It’s random thoughts time! Get excited!
Random Thought! Links thought! High Road/Low Road on Jeff Hardy in TNA (one of those easier columns for me to take the low road since I’m not a Hardy fan). Wrestling 4Rs featuring my write-up of last Monday’s TNA iMPACT!, which I did not enjoy and tore into pretty strongly… because it was pretty fucking bad aside from that main event and the Knockouts tag match. Best of 2009: Top Ten No More (books that made 2008’s top ten, but not 2009’s). Best of 2009: Not Good Enough (books I wanted to mention that didn’t make the top ten, but did fall somewhere in my top thirty… as that’s how many books I ranked for myself). Best of 2009: Joe Casey Comics (a quick look back at Joe Casey’s output in 2009 since he’s the creator I obsessively follow and write about…). Best of 2009: My Favourite Comic Critic (as I wanted to point out which critic I liked the most this year since I read a lot of them, and, honestly, they help shape the way I read/view comics). Best of 2009: The Top Ten (here’s what really matters, people… click and be surprised!). Wrestler of the Week (if you think the Marvel/DC divide is big, you should check out the comments sections for stuff like this where you have the WWE/TNA divide… or the utter dismissal of anything indie by WWE fans… awful stuff).
Random Thought! Do cover artists matter? I don’t mean do well drawn covers matter, but does knowing that a specific artist is drawing a cover for a book matter? I’m asking because of adds in last week’s The Boys for the upcoming Kevin Smith Green Hornet series where the actual series artist, Jonathan Lau, is barely mentioned, by the line-up of exciting cover artists get their names in big, bold letters. I have to assume they do help books, but much do they help really? Have you ever been more inclined to look at a book based soley on Artist A providing the cover?
Random Thought! With Spider-Man 4 scrapped, can we have John Malkovich as Lex Luthor now? Actually, I’ll take Malkovich in whatever movie I can get him.
Random Thought! After rereading JLA/Hitman this morning, I’ve decided that I need to do some reread reviews on non-traditional superhero writers taking on the Justice League and portraying them in a different light than what we’re used to. So far: JLA/Hitman by Garth Ennis, JLA: New Maps of Hell by Warren Ellis, JLA: Kid Amazo by Peter Milligan, and Superman: For Tomorrow by Brian Azzarello. That should keep me busy and give plenty of purists something to debate/complain about. (I do love that the basic consensus seems to be that the members of the League don’t actually like one another, which, to me, is fantastic and probably true. It’s not a social club, it’s a job, and you can’t choose who your co-workers are.)
Random Thought! I got one of those free Marvel calendars and notice that Marvel doesn’t quite understand how calendars work: if you stick a Siege ad in the middle, it makes it hard to see the picture for June (Iron Fist!) and the days. I know I know, I ripped the fucking ad out, but that ran the risk of fucking up the staples. I understand the desire/need to advertise, particularly with a free giveaway, but there are better ways to do it (aka not annoying potential customers).
Random Thought! Why do I always leave these posts to Tuesday afternoon? I begin them on Wednesdays and barely update them (aside from the links stuff)…
Random Thought! Hey, go read the first chapter of No Hero (aka #0) for free online. It made my top ten books of 2009 after all.
Random Thought! “Brightest Day” will receive the same cold shoulder from me that has accompanied Blackest Night… will probably avoid reviewing any issues, too… or maybe not.
Random Thought! That reminds me: why is approaching a comic with a negative bias somehow worse than approaching it with a positive one? I’ve had people dismiss what I’ve written because I wasn’t a fan before reading the book, but praise my writing when I was a fan going in… why is one form of bias acceptable?
Random Thought! Okay, in The Great Ten #3, Thundermind received his powers by translating a mantra that, when said, brings enlightenment and powers. Um, why doesn’t he share this mantra with the world? It obviously couldn’t be abused, because it brings enlightenment with the powers! You say it and you’re enlightened! If everyone says it, the world is made perfect. Or are there some unsaid reasons for this? Maybe it doesn’t bring true enlightenment (how else could this guy work for the Chinese government, honestly…). Is self-delusion an unseen flaw of Thundermind? If so, then that issue was better than I gave it credit. Then again, the Superman allusions were awful.
Random Thought! I may be a sucker, but I’m oddly looking forward to Dark Avengers #13 and the promised explanation of the Sentry.
Random Thought! Despite my lackluster reaction to Siege #1, I am a fan of Brian Michael Bendis’s work on the Avengers franchise. You don’t devoted an entire day of blogging (plus the days spent rereading the books) to someone’s output without genuinely enjoying it. That said, I’m still amused that Tony Stark’s tenor as director of SHIELD was for only, like, a month in continuity.
Random Thought! Who is your favourite comic critic/reviewer? One of the reasons I named mine was to see who others like best…
Random Thought! Will Joe Casey’s run on Superman/Batman mean a return of Superman as a pacifist? I sure hope so!
Random Thought! Sometime this week or next, Tim and I will attempt recording a Splash Page podcast. We may do a couple just for ourselves to get used to it before recording one that we’ll actually release, but it’s looking like, soon, you’ll be able to hear the two of us talk comics… something which we’ve never actually done. Apologies in advance for any time I cut Tim off, mumble, speak too quickly, and say ‘fuck’ more than is comfortably allowable. There’s a reason I write, people.
Random Thought! I really, really enjoyed Asterios Polyp. I know you’ve probably heard a lot of great things, but it is worth reading. Not just because of its technical aspects, it’s an engaging and interesting story. While I love stylistic and technical masturbation as much as the next guy, I do want a story and characters that I can invest myself in emotionally… and Mazzucchelli produced that sort of work.
Random Thought! It occurs to me that The Programme may have been about the resurgence in Silver Age nostalgia/longing…
Random Thought! If you don’t want to read about wrestling, avoid the next random thought. I placed it at the end to make skipping it that much easier.
Random Thought! 411mania had its four-part end of the year wrestling awards for 2009 go up last week and I thought I would include what I voted for as well here. First, the results: part one, part two (in which I did blurbs for best free TV match and worst feud/storyline), part three (in which I did a blurb for worst tag team), and part four. Second, here were my votes (excluding the categories where I abstained due to a lack of knowledge): Announcer of the Year: 1. Matt Striker (ECW, WWE Smackdown); 2. Jim Ross (WWE Smackdown); 3. Tazz (TNA Impact). Breakout of the Year: 1. John Morrison (ECW, WWE Smackdown); 2. The Miz (ECW, WWE Raw); 3. Kofi Kingston (WWE Raw). Comeback Wrestler of the Year: 1. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat (WWE Raw); 2. Rey Mysterio (WWE Smackdown); 3. Tara (TNA). Disappointment of the Year: 1. Miz & Morrison vs. The Colons is shafted from Wrestlemania… FOR KID ROCK. (WWE WrestleMania 25, 04.05.09); 2. An injury cuts “Team Canadian Ego” (Edge & Jericho) down before they really get going. (WWE Smackdown); 3. MVP’s debuts on Raw by calling out Randy Orton only to see his push fizzle out soon thereafter. (WWE Raw). Free TV Match of the Year: 1. John Morrison vs. CM Punk (WWE Smackdown, 06.26.09); 2. Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho for the Intercontinental Championship (WWE Smackdown, 07.10.09); 3. Edge vs. Chris Jericho (WWE Smackdown: 05.15.09). Story / Surprise of the Year: 1. Shane McMahon resigns from WWE. (WWE); 2. Hulk Hogan signs with TNA. (TNA); 3. Bryan Danielson signs with WWE (WWE). Worst Story / Surprise of the Year: 1. Mitsuhara Misawa dies in the ring. (NOAH); 2. Hulk Hogan signs with TNA. (TNA); 3. Jeff Hardy declines to renew his WWE contract and is soon arrested for owning more drugs than would kill Keith Richards and Ozzy Osbourne combined. (WWE Smackdown). Feud / Storyline of the Year: 1. Jeff Hardy vs. CM Punk (WWE Smackdown); 2. Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho (WWE Smackdown); 3. The Rise and Fall of the Main Event Mafia (TNA). Worst Feud / Storyline of the Year: 1. Hornswoggle vs. Chavo Guerrero (WWE Raw); 2. Donald Trump buys WWE Raw… and then sells it back to Vince McMahon (at a HUGE profit) one week later. (WWE Raw); 3. Vince McMahon vs. E. Stanley Kroenke (WWE Raw). Worst Promo of the Year: 1. Shane McMahon, more out of shape than Viscera after a three day Oreo and Big Mac bender, returns to WWE and leaves Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, and Ted DiBiase lying with punches less convincing than the ones Lita used to throw. (WWE Raw, 01.26.09); 2. Kid Rock Concert (WWE WrestleMania 25, 04.05.09); 3. “Piggie James” (WWE Smackdown, 11.20.09). Worst Match of the Year: 1. John Cena vs. The Big Show in a Submission Match (WWE Extreme Rules, 06.07.09); 2. Mickie James vs. Jillian Hall for the WWE Divas Championship / Jillian Hall vs. Melina for the WWE Divas Championship (WWE Raw, 10.12.09); 3. 25-Diva Miss WrestleMania Battle Royal (WWE WrestleMania 25, 04.05.09). Worst Manager of the Year: 1. Vickie Guerrero (WWE); 2. Tony Atlas (ECW); 3. Jenna Morasca (TNA). Worst Tag Team of the Year: 1. The Bella Twins (WWE Smackdown, WWE Raw, ECW, WWE Raw); 2. Vladimir Kozlov & Ezekiel Jackson (ECW); 3. Kiyoshi & Sheik Abdul Bashir (TNA). Worst Women’s Wrestler of the Year: 1. Vickie Guerrero (WWE Smackdown, WWE Raw, WWE Smackdown); 2. Lacey Von Erich (TNA, Hulkamania Tour); 3. Jenna Morasca (TNA). Worst Wrestler of the Year: 1. The Great Khali (WWE Smackdown); 2. Cody Deaner (TNA); 3. Hornswoggle (ECW, WWE Raw). Fed of the Year: 1. WWE; 2. TNA; 3. ROH. Promo of the Year: 1. Chris Jericho slams Ric Flair, including calling him a “clown that literally falls on his face for [the fans’] amusement” and a good old dog out to do his tricks. (WWE Raw, 02.09.09); 2. Edge – “You were wrong, you were wrong, you were wrong, you were wrong…” (WWE Raw, 02.16.09); 3. CM Punk snaps on Jeff Hardy. (WWE Smackdown, 07.31.08). Pay-Per-View of the Year (Voted on before I saw Dragon Gate USA’s Enter the Dragon, which would have taken the top spot otherwise): 1. WWE Royal Rumble (01.25.09); 2. WWE No Way Out (02.15.09); 3. WWE Backlash (04.26.09). Match of the Year: 1. Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker (WWE WrestleMania 25, 04.05.09); 2. AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels vs. Samoa Joe in a Triple Threat Match for the TNA Championship (TNA Turning Point, 11.15.09); 3. Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho in a No Holds Barred Match for the Intercontinental Championship (WWE Extreme Rules, 06.07.09). Manager of the Year: 1. Natalya (WWE); 2. Santino Marella (WWE); 3. Don West (TNA). Tag Team of the Year: 1. Beer Money (TNA); 2. John Morrison & The Miz (WWE); 3. Chris Jericho & The Big Show (WWE). Women’s Wrestler of the Year: 1. Awesome Kong (TNA); 2. Beth Phoenix (WWE); 3. Tara (TNA). Wrestler of the Year: 1. Chris Jericho (WWE Raw, WWE Smackdown); 2. CM Punk (WWE Raw, WWE Smackdown); 3. AJ Styles (TNA).
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