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CSBG Archive

Random (Fill In) Thoughts (July 13, 2010)

Random Thought: Hey, I still get to blog here! It’s random thoughts fill in time; get excited! (But it’s a fill in, so don’t totally lose your mind, okay? Keep it within reason.)

Random Thought! I have a lot of pent up thoughts on comics from the months when I haven’t been blogging, so this is going to jump around a lot chronologically from various things I’ve been reading over the course of the year.

Random Thought! Scarlet is my favorite Bendis written comic in forever. I’m one of the few people who’s read a chunk of Bendis and Maleev’s Daredevil run and been left cold by it, but I was really impressed by the first issue of this one. It does help that it is closer to something like Alias or his Jinxworld stuff, which is more my speed as far as Bendis goes than his DD or his Avengers (which I’ve been reading a lot of lately because, if nothing else, he’s had one hell of a line up of artists on these relaunches).

Random Thought! Speaking of Bendis and Maleev, I’m kind of disappointed that Bendis chucked in the towel on Spider Woman when Maleev decided he didn’t want to continue drawing it. As much as I can appreciate the fact that he didn’t want to do the book without Maleev, I really liked the set up he had for the series and thought it had its moments, and would have liked to have seen where else Bendis could have gone with it. Of course, my disliking Maleev’s fight scenes wouldn’t have made me sad if they’d continued without him. His style is great for mood and atmosphere, but I’ve never dug the fight scenes in his work with Bendis (to be fair, I find most of the fights in Bendis’s superhero work to be pretty perfunctory).

Random Thought! I’ve been reading some Batman and the Outsiders back issues, and while they’re fun (I mean, it’s Jim Aparo drawing Batman being violent!), the best part has been Dick Giordano’s columns in the back of the issues. I especially liked the one where a guy wrote in to complain about the rising price of comics back in 1982 (the year I was born, oddly enough). I found that one funny with all of my new four dollar single issues lying around the place. Which are quickly pricing me out of single issue comics and back to trades, mind you, but that’s a switch I should be making anyway. I just find it funny that people were complaining about comics going up a quarter back in the day, when I’ve seen them jump from $2.25 to $4 quickly becoming the norm sinc I started reading them again in 2001.

Random Thought! I was impressed by the fact that Jeff Parker took two of the most annoying trends in Marvel Comics at the moment (the overexposure of Deadpool and the Hulk franchise) and made a fun two shot series out of it with Hulked Out Heroes. That said, that and Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine do make me wonder if I’m making it too easy for writers to entertain me, what with Devil Dinosaur making cameos in both books making me unconditionally love them. Then again, if not marking out for Devil Dinosaur is right, I think I’d rather be wrong.

Random Thought! Should I be as surprised as I am that Jason Aaron writes Spider-Man so well? Because I am pretty surprised! Speaking of Aaron, his Punisher MAX series hadn’t really clicked for me at all until last month’s issue. That one really worked for me, so now I’m on board for this one instead of just picking it up because I wanted to like it. Oh, and I really loved the way he ended his Ghost Rider run, especially because it involved Knuckles O’Shaugnessy.

Random Thought! I picked up a (mostly) full run of Dan Slott’s Mighty Avengers on Free Comic Book Day. The best arc of that run, the Unspoken, was just released in soft cover form, and I can’t recommend it enough.* I thought he did a pretty job with Hank Pym’s latest redemption, and also made him a compelling main character for someone whose appreciation for him previously only extended to how much I liked his jump suit in West Coast Avengers. That said, this is still my favorite page of the whole run.

Random Thought! I watched Defendor and Kick Ass in quick succession recently. Didn’t plan it that way, but it was interesting to see the same general idea (naive comic book fan decides to become a costumed vigilante in “the real world”**) done in two completely different ways.

At first Defendor gave me the vibe of being the Asylum Films version of KA with a better cast, but it’s its own animal. If you wanted to high concept it, you could call it “Super Hero Forrest Gump” or “Blankman done right” and not be too far off. It definitely tugs at the heart strings, but I thought Harrelson and Kat Dennings were great and hey, I’m not against a little sentimentality. Kick Ass I enjoyed for the energy of it, even if even if even my extremely generous suspension of disbelief eventually buckled under the weight of Hit Girl’s murder sprees. It may or may not have been the one where the movie turned in to a first person shooter for ten minutes or so. I can’t remember at this point.

Random Thought! I should probably talk about Wonder Woman’s new costume, since I think everyone who has ever read a comic book has to at some point. My first reaction to all the hoopla was to remember that bit from Walt Simonson’s Thor where Thor makes an offhanded comment about how people change their clothes all the time, so he doesn’t get why people are shocked that he did too. (Well, in Thor speak, but that was the gist.) And I’m also amused by the fact that she looks like she’s ready to join the ’90s Avengers (or at least serve as Sersi’s understudy), but that’s pretty well been covered. I did wind up buying the anniversary issue anyway, but that was for the Amanda Conner drawn Wonder Woman/Power Girl team up, and I’m totally on board with Kelly for more of that.

Random Thought! I was kind of surprised that Rodger Langridge and Chris Samnee’s Thor ongoing is basically “Thor Loves Jane Foster”. At least from the first issue. Not even sure what that means to me, really; I liked it well enough, although probably not enough to add it to that pull list I need to shrink down. I just didn’t quite expect that. I guess they have to get some new material with her
in print given that she’s in the movie and being played by Natalie Portman and all.

Random Thought! I really like the idea of giving Marvel’s street level characters their own crossover, but the climax of the first issue of Shadowland fell flat for me. I had pretty much the same reaction as this other Chris that writes for Comics Alliance. To be fair, this means less to me because I realize that I kind of stopped caring about Daredevil a while back.

Petty Random Thought! Just to put something in here that would piss off Chad, in the interest of tweaking him while he’s on vacation and all. I have to say that after reading a couple of Jim Starlin’s early Warlock stories, I’m pretty sure that I’m going to have the same problem with them that I did with the Lee/Buscema Silver Surfer; the main character won’t stop being so painfully earnest and will not shut up ever. It does help that Pip the Troll, a character I wished would hurry up and be created so he could show up in those Surfer comics, is around for comic relief in Warlock, but I’m still not sure that’s going to help.

Random Thought! I’m wondering if there’s a certain gene I’m lacking that keeps me from actually liking Mouse Guard, as opposed to appreciating its quality while not particularly enjoying it. I wonder if it’s the same one that kept me from giving a damn about Bone after “the Great Cow Race”.

Random Thought! To answer Bill’s question from Sunday Brunch, yes, I am buying Casanova. Again. I originally was on the fence, but am really glad I got the first (re)issue. Between the excellent back up story drawn by Fabio Moon, the full color, and the fact that I didn’t remember a whole lot of a comic I read five years ago, and this was almost like discovering the series again for the first time. Which is a pretty great feeling.

Random Thought! And I’ll end with the obligatory Sims link because holy crap, this looks wonderful and really needs to be a full story.

*Well, I could, but I don’t particularly feel like it. Just so you’re not totally taking my word for it without at least some basis of comparison, I will at least say that it reminds me of the better arcs of Morrison’s JLA, in scope if not execution. I hate to be that guy, who compares everything to Grant Morrison comics, but that’s the first thing that came to mind when I was reading it.

**Any mention of “reality” in relation to Kick Ass must, by law, involve quotations. Or air commas, as a friend of mine called them one time and I will never let him forget about.

12 Comments

Bendis has apparently been so bad for so long that tripe like Scarlet is getting praise.

I found Mouse Guard to be utterly pedestrian except for the art. If the characters were people instead of mice, no one would care.

Regarding your views on Warlock: fuck you. (Was that the response you were hoping for?)

Thanks for filling in, man!

“Blankman done right,” ha! Well, I own Blankman on DVD, because it’s awesome. Defendor was pretty good, too, and turned out to be a far more bittersweet film than I’d thought it’d be.

Matter-Pooper Lad

July 13, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Don’t you feel better, now that you’ve ejected all those random thoughts from your cerebral cortex?

In Britain, quotation marks are usually called inverted commas, so the term ‘air commas’ isn’t that horribly inaccurate.

I was also upset by the rising price of comics back in 1982. Sixty cents is just too much.

I like your comment on Thor’s comment about changing clothes. People do make too much of a big deal when super-types do it. I remember back in the ’80s, the Wasp used to have a new outfit nearly every issue, but I don’t recall anyone ever complaining. (But in the past decade, the few times I saw her she always had the same suit, even over a period of a few years. That was just so wrong. No wonder her popularity had declined so much, if the new writers and artists couldn’t even grasp such a basic aspect of her personality. If she had stayed in character, they probably never would’ve killed her.)

Funny, I found Bone to be the same way, and I read the entire thing in that huge all-in-one volume, but left to my own devices, I think I would have stopped reading after the Great Cow Race (which I pretty much did when I was 13 or whatever).

Thanks to the previously poor, now competitive Canadian dollar, comics are actually cheaper for me now than they were in 2001, or at least close.

I felt the same way about Punisher MAX until issue 5, although I see how the latest one could also have changed your mind about the series. I like that the actual point of the comic is that Frank and Fisk are these perfect paragons of hatred, completely unrelateable, inhuman monsters. That put me off at first, but now we’re seeing Frank regaining some of his humanity (in a very Punisher way, by going berserk over the murder of his war buddy) and Fisk dealing with the dramatic fallout of his extreme emotional detachment, which led his son to be killed. In a way, it reminds me of The Killing Joke: two psychos in a crazy blood feud, and the human characters, the ones with pathos like the Menonite and Vanessa Fisk (who in this case would be a Gordon analogue) saddled with the consequences.

stealthwise — Same here. I have copies of Wildstorm stuff from the late 90s/early 00s where the Canadian cover price is $4.25… I buy more comics now, but the price has remained pretty much the same for Canadians for around a decade or so (if not slightly cheaper on average).

Haven’t seen ‘Defendor’ but it sounds like a rip from ‘Special’ with Michael Rapaport, a 2006 also bittersweet (maybe even depressing! but still brilliant) wannabe superhero movie.

I thought I was the only person in the world who had seen “Special”, kudos Blair! It was a cool little film.

Blair & John —

I rented Special just a few months ago & loved it. I generally have no interest in superhero(esque) flicks of any kind — I’m one of those odd individuals who no more watches movies in hopes of seeing a comic than I read comics in hopes of seeing a movie — but this one was right up my alley, somehow.

(Of course, while I’m at it, I’m probably contractually obligated to mention the fact that I’d much rather plunge daggers into my eyes than get within 1,000 feet of anything based on ANYTHING the flesh-crawlingly loathsome Millar had anything to do with, much less the despicably vile Kiss-Ass.)

Otherwise, what a bunch of puling babies you people are. Sixty cents? Pshaw! *Some* of us are still scarred from the price-rise to FIFTEEN CENTS back in late fourth grade.

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