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Random Thoughts! (April 3, 2012)

Random Thought! Another WrestleMania has come and gone… The countdown begins anew. It’s Random Thoughts time! Get excited!

Link Thought! GraphiContent for comics. butterbeatleblog for popculture. 411mania for wrestling reviews and the occasional CD review.

Random Thought! I bought The Venture Bros. seasons three and four (or, season four vol. one and season four vol. two to be accurate) off eBay a couple of weeks back and they arrived yesterday. So, I watched season three and the first half of season four yesterday and the second half today. I want this show to come back soon.

Random Thought! Deadpool MAX II #6 last week was an odd issue. I love David Lapham’s art, but missed Kyle Baker. There’s a sense that the final issue was ‘purer’ in vision with Lapham drawing it himself, but the tone was off. So much of what made that book work was the way Baker drew Lapham’s strange, funny scripts. Even when Shawn Crystal did art it turned me off and I think he’s a talented artist. A shame that the book didn’t end the way it lived, y’know?

Random Thought! The final page of Daredevil #10 was a little lame. “Foggy, there was a guy there! I sensed him with my enhanced radar senses that are, like, WAY better than you no doubt worse than 20/20 vision! You have to believe me! I’m not crazy!” You know what made him seem crazy? Immediately proclaiming that he’s not crazy like that…

Random Thought! Thursday. 3pm. The season opener between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Cleveland Indians. Hell yes.

Random Thought! Did Norman Osborn’s New Dark Avengers actually ever do anything? I don’t remember them doing much besides getting their asses handed to them. And, now, they get to star in their own comic… I can see why people would want to read about that bunch of losers.

Random Thought! Avengers vs. X-Men #0 was an alright issue… more of a thematic prologue to the event. Which, you know, makes it kind of a strange comic to release as the zero issue. It’s also weird how the first half basically finishes the story started in Avengers #24.1. Sometimes, I can’t figure Marvel out…

Random Thought! The Unwritten #35.5 undid a couple of my complaints about issue 35 to a degree by introducing a character that looks to be Pullman’s replacement of sorts. Perfect follow-up to get me excited about that comic again.

Random Thought! Alright, Batman has won the March Madness tournament three times in the past four years. Maybe we should get a new line-up of characters? Maybe retire some of the obvious winners/contenders?

Random Thought! Last week, I was looking around Chapters’s website since they sent out a promo code for ‘Plum Rewards’ members (lame name, I know) for an additional 5% off books (for a total of 10%). I wanted to get that Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes collection Marvel recently released with both mini-series Joe Casey wrote and it was just over $25, so it qualified for free shipping. Except, when I went to buy it, they applied the 5% discount and THEN offered me shipping options, bringing the cost below $25 and, with shipping, suddenly costing over $30. So, I complained about the 5% discount of being a rewards member actually adding 24% to the cost and they credited me the cost of shipping. Which is very nice and all, but why not change it so discounts are applied after shipping is chosen? (Also, I did order the book. It shipped on Thursday and still hasn’t arrived… nice to know that shipping you pay for from that site sucks like their free shipping…)

Random Thought! Got the new Joel Plaskett Emergency album on Sunday (it’s quite good) and, while shopping, picked up Hammered by Motörhead, which seemed fitting for Sunday. See, the first bonus track on the album is a little song called “The Game.” I almost took that as a sign from the universe about the result of the Hell in a Cell match.

Random Thought! Three weeks… you gave it your best shot, man. I would have done exactly what you did. Don’t let the bastards get you down.

Random Thought! The correct answer to my question about DC’s version of Avengers vs. X-Men is the JLA vs. the Endless. You all lose.

Random Thought! Am I supposed to be rooting for Reed Richards and the Children in The Ultimates? Because I am…

Random Thought! “AGAIN! AGAIN! AGAIN! AGAIN!

Random Thought! The Vision had the chance to kill Magneto and didn’t… this is why everyone hates that fucking robot.

Random Though! I love the reversal of the new issue of Scalped from the previous one. This final arc looks to be full of surprises.

Random Thought! Unlike Civil War, I assume Avengers vs. X-Men may actually get people torn between sides, right? Or will one side be made into the second generation of Tony Stark’s Asshole Brigade of Fucking Douchebags? Actually, given Cyclops’s current personality, he seems a good candidate for being the Asshole Tony Stark of this event…

Random Thought! I’m left wondering how Moon Knight can wrap everything up in issue twelve. It seems like Bendis and Maleev have too many balls in the air, especially given the pacing of the series to date. I will miss it when it’s done, though. It’s a book that really grew on me.

Random Thought! Giant comics week tomorrow, if only because of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World vol. 2 in trade and Flex Mentallo in hardcover. But, it’s also a big week for DC books (that first week of the month is where almost all of the books I buy are shipped) with the most notable release being the final issue of OMAC, I suppose. There’s also some new issues of Fatale, Casanova, and Hell Yeah… much reading to do… and even more money to spend.

Random Thought! Prompted by Hank Venture’s list of top five dream jobs where he lists Batman twice (Golden Age and Post-Crisis), which Batman would you be if you could be Batman?

***

Random Joe Casey Question! After Vengeance brought together so many different characters and ideas from your work at Marvel, do you have any desire for a follow-up? (I guess, more importantly, does Marvel seem to?)

Random Joe Casey Answer! VENGEANCE was really a one-off kind of thing, a confluence of weird events that will probably never repeat themselves in our lifetime. And even though it sold way better than anyone expected (including me!), things are really weird at Marvel right now (as anyone who looks at sales rankings can confirm). Since I hear practically all of the inside scoop — both through the proverbial grapevine and directly from the horses’ mouths — and the fact that I pretty much know how the current system works there (in ways that would probably dishearten the average fan), I figure it’s something that I’m probably better off just generally steering clear of for now. And the truth is, with all the guys they’ve got on contract that they have to… service (double entendre absolutely intended there), there’s not a lot of room for other writers. It’s not an ideal situation for anyone, but it is what it is.

Now, I’ve got no problem saying that I’ve loved reading Marvel since I was a kid, and I’ve generally had a really good time writing for them, so I would never say never… but their corporate climate is such that I should just concentrate on making a few bones producing multiple shows starring their biggest icons on the TV animation side of things (let’s just say it outright, Man Of Action Studios are currently the “Architects” of Marvel’s TV animation division… we’re even working on shooting some embarrassing boy band photos). In that kind of work environment, I’m absolutely a corporate cog and I don’t question it. But I prefer to make comicbooks, even WFH gigs, in more of a creatively free, Wild West-setting — I think you make better comicbooks that way, and ultimately provide more relevant source material for all the ancillary stuff that comes later (movies, TV, merch, etc.) — and Marvel Publishing has become very controlled, very editorially driven (as has DC), in ways that don’t necessarily jibe with my own personal creative bent. That’s why you see me doing a WFH job like HAUNT right now, because with that series, I get a lot of freedom to do my thing. And there’s a reason Image Comics has so much great momentum now… I think everyone’s feeling the same thing, professional, pundit and reader alike.

***

Random Comments! Sorry, but I’m pretty sure <a href="http://www.411mania.com/wrestling/columns/232234/411//s-Instant-Analysis-04.02.12:-WWE-Monday-Night-Raw.htm" target="new"the comments to this week's Raw Instant Analysis make up my favourite comments section. Try harder to be irrationally mean and funny!

Neil Kapit said: Matt Seneca wrote a great article on the first issue of X-Sanction, talking about how it’s another Jeph Loeb story heavily informed by the death of his son. The descent of his writing’s quality seems to have happened after that event, with every story he does dealing explicitly with death while punishing the living. Reading it like that, X-Sanction is much more meaningful; Cable is Loeb, still grieving the loss of one child, desperate to keep his other child alive and well, and demolishing every potential obstacle with extreme brutality. Of course, that’s no excuse for the completely irrelevant plot, the heavy-handed narration, and the absolutely childish fight scene banter.

I read that when he posted it and it’s an interesting take on the material. I’m not sure it makes it more meaningful necessarily, though. Maybe.

MrZone666 said: Man, you quitting reviews has left me without someone to relate to on the CBR review team. I hate all of those dudes’ taste.

Well, I assume you read GraphiContent then, because I still do my brief sketch reviews every week. Not as in-depth or anything, but still a good way to see what I’m thinking about the comics I’m reading.

Tom Fitzpatrick said: If the indications of DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT solicitations are to be believed, Russ Heath is still the artist on the book past The Boys # 66. I would have thought that Mr. Robertson would be back as the final artist on the final storyline. Y’know, end as you began, sort of poetic thing.

Russ Braun has been killing it on that book, so I’m not upset that he’s taking it home. Though, Robertson is drawing the final issue and, then, apparently, writing and drawing an A-Train prequel mini that I’m not sure if I’ll buy or not.

Travis Pelkie said: Yeah, I’m definitely not digging the “no crossovers” part of the Marshal Law omni. I posted that quick after I read the news, knowing it’s of interest to you, but damn, it does indeed defeat the purpose. I know the Savage Dragon book is definitely very important to Law’s character growth, and not including it is just dumb. The only thing I can think of is that the crossovers were mostly later, so the “no crossovers” is basically the “first half” of the story. But it appeared that the whole reason for the delay was probably that they were clearing legal issues to allow the appearance of all the crossovers, and that DC took over when Top Shelf just couldn’t somehow make it happen, but I guess that was sheer conjecture on my part. It would have been much better from TS.

Well, the Pinhead crossover is takes place before The Secret Tribunal with the other two taking place after, so, yes, the crossovers do come later, but not completely after all of the non-crossover material.

And if you please, remind me again the names of the novellas, so I can search for them? I know, I know, I should look them up online….

The Day of the Dead and Cloak of Evil, which are both collected in one edition, Marshal Law: Origins. They’re decent reads.

Dominic said: You threw comics away? *shocked silence*

Actually, I recycled them. And, yeah, I know there’s a big market for random issues of comics no one wants to read that are in shitty to kind of okay condition…

That’s it for this week. Thanks for reading. Later.

15 Comments

Hearing Casey talking about Marvel right now seems kind of ominous to me.

For some reason I’m infuriated every week by your timing in posting these. I’ve worked my way through almost all the unread articles in google reader, and I’m thinking “alright, not much TV on tonight, new comics aren’t until tomorrow, it’s time to catch up on old comics or movies or something!” Then it almost always turns out the last unread thing is this column. Which isn’t short. And I always like reading it, but it just always shows up right at the time when I don’t want to read it.

I don’t even think there’s even an estimate on the next season of the Venture Bros. I think they said “not until next year” when the Shallow Gravy special came out last summer, but I feel like if it was going to be this year, we’d have heard a “coming this fall” or something by now. At least there was Archer to tide me over for a while, but now I’ve got nothing in the awesome-cable-TV-cartoons-for-grownups category to look forward to.

Sorry, Mecha-Shiva… Tuesdays at 4:30 EST. That’s the time it goes up.

Not your fault or anything. But I have to find things to complain about. I am at my happiest when I’m outraged by minutiae.

@ March Madness, and some ways to spice it up

On GameFAQs, they have an annual Video Game Character Battle, where tens of thousands of people vote every day in a big bracket, and you can predict who’s gonna win each match. There’s a leaderboard and even some prizes for predicting correctly!

One of the bigger problems with the contest is that the character “Link” from the Legend of Zelda is far and away the strongest character in the field, and he always wins unless something drastic happens(like everyone rallys behind a joke character, like when L-Block from Tetris beat him). They retired him year, but the obvious second-strongest guy won(Cloud from Final Fantasy VII), and then again with the third-strongest guy. So they ditched the idea. In the end, it’s a popularity contest, and it doesn’t make much sense to take away the most popular characters.

They change things up a bit with the format. A couple years they did four-ways, where four people are in a poll and the top 2 advance. It was interesting, because some of the characters’ fanbases crossover(like say, Mairo and Luigi), and you gotta predict is that SFF(Same Fanbase Factor) will be enough to push a normally stronger character under a weaker one. I think MM could be more interesting next year with a similar structure, and hey, maybe you can do brackets!

Did you enjoy Wrestlemania, Chad? I did, mostly, although that first hour was DREADFUL. I loved HHH/Taker, really enjoyed Rock/Cena, and Punk/Y2J had a great finish if not the all-time classic it should have been, so I left satisfied. Poor D-Bryan though, that guy will NEVER get over.

I think AvX could have fanbases split, but the safer bet is just X-men fans vs Avengers fans, as the CBR forums are already showing. The problem of having Steve Rogers on one side of the fence is a tough one to crack. He’s CAPTAIN FRICKEN’ AMERICA, the symbol of everything great in this nation, smells like apple pie and sounds like your favorite uncle. When Steve’s on the other side of the argument, chances are you are wrong, and it’s hard not to look like a fascist douche-nozzle when you’re against him.

Travis Pelkie

April 3, 2012 at 4:51 pm

“It seems like Bendis and Maleev have too many balls”

“AGAIN! AGAIN! AGAIN! AGAIN!”

Selective editing is fun!

“And, yeah, I know there’s a big market for random issues of comics no one wants to read that are in shitty to kind of okay condition”

Nice! Actually, if comics move to all digital, one would think that random back issues should be the next hot thing, right? There was a joke Marvel column about 20 years ago, and it said that the man with a complete run of Street Poet Ray would be the richest man alive. It shall come to pass!!!

I would want to be either DKR or DKSA Batman. Because I think at 32, I could ALMOST be as awesome as a 60-some year old Batman.

No. No I couldn’t.

I cut my lip on the mouth slit.

God, I watched most of Venture Bros. season 2 today (a friend at work has been getting me hooked on the show, and other Adult Swim stuff). SOOOOOOO funny. Supposedly seasons 5 and 6 are in production, but who knows when they’ll come. Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1 comes back in May, I think, so there’s that.

IGNORE ME!!!

Not only are the Dark Avengers Who Don’t Do Anything getting their own book, but it’s interfering with a book I was reading and enjoying.

Dork avengers

I thought the Kane vs. Randy Orton match was good, and that Hell in a Cell will probably go down in history as one of the best, but my favorite match was easily Punk v. Jericho. And maybe that Divas match was lame but Kelly Kelly’s move off the top rope was stellar work! Also if you missed the tag team match, it is worth checking out on youtube or elsewhere on the internetz. Why they aired the Brodus Clay thing but not that I’ll never understand.

Oh comics? Well Marvel is doing nothing exciting right now (outside of Daredevil and Fantastic Four, imo) and getting rid of Thunderbolts in favor of Dark Avengers is just another nail in the coffin for me. Good thing plenty of other publishers are taking risks and publishing stories that actually interest me, with characters that don’t change their voice all the time.

And if I could be any Batman I’d go with Dick Grayson’s Batman, ’cause he gets all the ladies and has all the fun. Plus, flying car. Brave and the Bold Batman is a close second, if only so I could kick it with Plastic Man and the JLI.

Tom Fitzpatrick

April 4, 2012 at 5:19 am

“IGNORE ME!!!”

@ T.P.: No problem. ;-)

Also, the finale to Season 4 of Venture Brothers is the single best season finale I have ever seen, period.

AverageJoeEveryman

April 4, 2012 at 2:52 pm

whenever I am close to free shipping on Amazon I always try to find a used book that is low priced and eligible for the free shipping that way I get an extra book for usually less or equal to what the shipping would be

Didn’t the Dark Avengers beat up the Molecule Man, or some other loser?

If I could be any Batman? Grant Morrison’s Batman.

Isn’t Grant Morrison’s Batman like every Batman rolled into one? I think that was the premise behind Batman R.I.P. All those years of crazy adventuring apparently made him a bit nutty after awhile.

Also, Morrison was one of the first to write Dick Grayson Batman, not to mention Damian Wayne as Batman in the future #666.

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