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Random Thoughts! (April 17, 2012)

Random Thought! If DC does a “Death of Superman” story for the ‘New 52,’ part of me hopes it happens because he has sex with Wonder Woman. 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 don’t know what bugs me more: that “The Oral History of the Avengers” got cut off before it even reached issue 200 or that the collection is such a slapped together book that you wonder if anyone took a look at it before it went to press.

Random Thought! Glad to see the rest of the Counter X X-Force is getting collecting. Hopefully, X-Man an Generation X will follow suit.

Random Thought! One of the things that bugs me about Before Watchmen, honestly, is how poor DC and those involved have been at responding to the ‘Alan Moore issue.’ Considering how fucking obvious the blowback to this was, how were they not better prepared to address said blowback? I do know that no answer will satisfy some against the project, but they shouldn’t make people curious about the project rethink going anywhere near it every time they open their mouths…

Random Thought! I spent far too much time on Saturday thinking about how I would have altered American Reunion so it actually worked on the whole. The best parts of that movie were where they were dealing with the issues brought up by the reunion, not the shit that felt like retreads of the old movies. Oddly, something that bugged me was ignoring whatever ‘progress’ Stifler made in the third movie in favour of having him be the same cartoonish idiot from the first movie. Ah well…

Random Thought! Well, I bought Avenging Spider-Man #6 and will buy Punisher this week. I do love how a story in Daredevil became bigger and cost me more money for comics (well, the one I’ve read so far) that seem to spend more time catching up readers of that title on what’s happening than telling the story…

Random Thought! I like the idea of awards not being given out if those deciding don’t think anything deserves it.

Random Thought! So far, Michelle and I have watched all five seasons of The Wire, season three of Breaking Bad, and the first four seasons of Mad Men this year. Not too bad for three-and-a-half months. (And that’s just what we watched together on DVD…)

Random Thought! The scene I want to see: Cyclops all pissed off until he mutters “No more Avengers” and BAM! shield to the face!

Random Thought! “Strung out like some Christmas lights…” is my favourite simile.

Random Thought! I finished watching The Summer of Punk DVD yesterday. Very enjoyable. My only complaint (and it is the minor sort that doesn’t mean anything really) is that we couldn’t get Punk coming out to “Cult of Personality.” It’s obvious why, but that would have been great. The matches are great and I love how it tells a complete story. More wrestling DVDs like this please.

Random Thought! I don’t know how Batman: Odyssey will end, but I imagine it will blow my mind.

Random Thought! Last week, I acidentally bought a second print copy of Prophet #22 thinking that the new issue came out a week early somehow (it’s happened with non-Marvel/DC books before). Oops.

Random Thought! What do people want out of tie-in comics to events? It’s a weird comic — it has to satisfy a number of masters and it’s interesting to think about what’s required.

Random Thought! I know that, somewhere, Jason Aaron is celebrating that Scalped was finally my top book of the year in 2011 after it nearly making it… well, almost every other year.

Random Thought! I love how the Red Hulk’s pre-fight speech involves telling people to not fight above their power level and what does AVX: VS #2 have? Spider-Man vs. Colossus. I’m beginning to think that Peter Parker just isn’t too bright.

Random Thought! 4.2… christ.

Random Thought! Thinking about “The Oral History of the Avengers,” I wish it were more of a success so we could see other oral histories. The tough decision is between using the current writer of the title/characters, a famous one, or someone who’s never really had a run but could do a good job on that sort of project. I think Chris Claremont doing the X-Men one is obvious. But, Fantastic Four? Spider-Man? Superman? Batman? Who would you pick for those?

Random Thought! Because someone brought it up in the comments section, if I were any Captain America, I’d be the one frozen in the ocean so I could get some fucking sleep.

Random Thought! The new Edge DVD is pretty good. If you’re a fan of him, I’d recommend it. It occurred me that this week’s upcoming Raw in Detroit will be my first live WWE show where Edge won’t be there. Weird.

Random Thought! There’s a good chance I’ll give Hawkeye a try, yes. No chance on Gambit, though.

***

Random Joe Casey Question! Where did Superman’s pacifism come from? Was there any blowback from DC — hell, did they even notice that you had Superman declare himself a pacifist when it happened?

Random Joe Casey Answer! Nah. There are certain editors you work with where you end up playing that game of, basically, writing over their heads… and for me, that was never more true than my last year on Superman. On those big IP’s, you obviously can’t have Superman sucking cock or bending Lois over a chair to give the ol’ ball and chain what-for (back when they were happily married, y’know), but if your ideas go into wilder, Mort Weisinger/psycho-dramatic areas, it gets more difficult for an average, overworked editor to recognize the subversion (if you can call his pacifism “subversion”), even though it’s right there in front of their face. And, on top of that, no one really gave two shits about Superman comicbooks back in, what was it, 2003…? Ah, the good ol’ days…

***

Random Comments! The comments I get here are almost the exact opposite of what I get over at 411mania for my Raw reviews. Is that because comics fans are better than wrestling fans? Probably not…

Jeremy said: You wanted Cena to win? In Miami!? Screw that, man! It’s not like Cena needed the rub from the Rock anyway, the man is so over they have to keep bringing in people who’s last Wrestlemania was in 2005 to challenge him. Can’t wait for next year’s Goldberg/Cena feud. Hope he’s not all fat like Lesnar. “Welp, here come’s the lard, Cole!”

You put Cena over the Rock for the same reason you put the Rock over Hogan… At least, that’s how I see it. Nothing to do with ‘over,’ it has to do with showing respect to your top guy.

Layne said: Huhn, I’ve been doing the same thing with glamourpuss, starting somewhere around the Margaret Mitchell digression; I had already given up on the satire bits, so when the Raymond/Drake half seemed to be going nowhere fast, I sort of tuned out and let the issues pile up.

I liked the satire bits, too. They didn’t always work, but did enough for me to stick with them. But, the historical stuff is just too hard to keep track of every two months ten pages at a time. Too many small details to remember. We’ll see how it goes when I eventually do a big read of the entire series.

Tom Fitzpatrick said: I worked 35 hours every week.

So do I… just not in a clumped together stretch like that. Not so much the number of hours worked, more the time in which they were worked.

Isn’t Glamourpuss a 24-issue limited series? Haven’t read any of it. Any good?

Issue 24 just came out, so, no, it’s not a 24-issue limited series. I haven’t read anything from Sim on how long it’s supposed to run. And I enjoyed it quite a bit when I was reading new issues. It made my top ten comics of 2008 (ahead of Morrison’s Batman even!).

BTW, what do you think of the artist on Swamp Thing leaving at end of # 12, Yanick Paquette?

Well, Paquette explained the art schedule for the title later in the comments section. My view is: I dropped the title last month, so who draws it doesn’t really matter to me.

DrewT said: The Hip are pretty great live. You’ll have a blast.

No doubt.

P. Boz said: I’d say I’m pulling for the Jays, but that’s kind of a lie. Although, if the Jays and Rays were to shut Boston and New York out, I wouldn’t complain. I’m about to hit my first Tigers game tomorrow and I’m all geeked about it.

Comerica Park is absolutely gorgeous. The Jays don’t come to Detroit until August and that’s it. That seems like a crime. We may try to take in a few non-Jays games in Detroit, because we really like the park. And, compared to the Rogers Centre, the food is cheap as hell.

profDEADPOOL said: You should get Avengers Academy since it is one of the best books marvel is publishing. Do it. Now.

I’ve read a few issues here and there; none convinced me that I should buy it monthly. Maybe I’ll pick up the Avengers vs. X-Men tie-in issues. I still haven’t decided on that completely.

BitBiteOuch said: I haven’t heard of that Have Not Been The Same, but I hope theres a healthy chapter on the Rheostatics.

They seem to be the focus of a chapter (or at least one of the central bands in a chapter), but have also figured into what I’ve read so far as one of the more ‘important’ bands of the period.

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

26 Comments

I loved 2003-era Superman, but then again, I started reading them when Superman was a lightning bolt, so I suppose I’m not the best judge.

Tom Fitzpatrick

April 17, 2012 at 3:03 pm

4.2? Did you guys suffer an earthquake?

I don’t know about Counter-X X-Man, but they announced an X-Man trade for June, it’s supposed to collect issues 5 through 18 I think. They also announced (finally) Bishop’s Crossing, something I’ve been waiting for for a while (I like old school Portacio), this month they released the first Fatal Attractions collection since 1995, and next month they’re releasing a Zero Tolerance HC, plus there’s like six X-Force trades already out. I think Marvel is finally getting their act together and collecting the 90s X-Men, so I’d be shocked if they didn’t get around to the other Counter X books.

Are we talking Superman’s death would arise because Wonder Woman mated with and then killed him in typical Amazon fashion? Could we then refer to Wonder Woman as Wombsday?

This comment’s going to get eaten by the spam filter, but…

If you haven’t already, you should definitely check out Marijuanaman. In addition to showcasing Mahfood’s funky, energetic art, it’s the thematic sequel to Casey’s pacifist Superman. The tone’s different, and it’s not as “subversive,” but if you’re jonesing for another hit of that particular high concept, it’ll satisfy.

The thing about DC’s response to the Moore blowback is, it doesn’t have to be very good, because they’ve got a legion of volunteer shills at their beck and call who will gladly believe and parrot whatever bullshit they come up with. DC could say that they haven’t done anything wrong because “purple monkey dishwasher,” and you’d have fanboys tripping over each other to post “purple monkey dishwasher” every time some blogger mentioned Moore’s name.

4.2 is an earthquake of the soul, man!

Actually, it’s about love…and longing…yeah, and, and hobbits, too.

No, I just started 4.2, but 4.1 was pretty damn good. Still working through the commentary on s3 (DO NOT listen before watching all of s3!!!).

I’m trying to stretch it out, though, because there’s nothing new yet after 4.2. Withdrawal will be SO hard!

I sure hope you are referring to the 4.2 I think you are, because if not, I can’t lord it over Tom like I want to. HA HA Tom, I know what Chad’s referring to and you don’t!!!

“Which one’s 24?” “How do you not know who 24 is? OK, you know how every time you talk to me, there’s another guy right next to me? THAT’S 24!” “Ah yes, the one who talks like Ray Romano. I like him.”

Again, last time I saw any comment from Sim about glamourpuss, it was something to the effect that since he’s gotten 20-some issues in and he’s only at a certain point, the book will end up being longer than he originally planned (a Dave Sim digression that goes long? NO!), but I think he’s enjoying it, so there’s that. I also have to catch up with Cerebus Archive, which isn’t offered through Diamond but through a print on demand (comxpress, I believe). Shit, that’s up to about issue 18 already, and I only have up to issue 3. Might have to put an order in for that.

and kudos to sgt pepper’s Superman/Wonder Woman comment. YES!

Tom Fitzpatrick

April 17, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Can T.P. get any weirder (huge question mark here)

The only thing I can think of is of the reference to The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, where the answer to life the universe and everything is 42. Or is that 52, I forget.

Just take a look at the past few weeks of RT, you might figger it out.

And yes, the answer is 42. Although I think in the DC comics adaptation of Hitchhiker’s, the answer was 52.

lol… “Wombsday”

Love the Wonder Woman/Superman crack.

As for DC’s response to the Alan Moore/Before Watchmen debate: a poor response, really? I feel like it’s been consistent and just about what you could expect. Two points I’ve heard repeatedly: Firstly, several of the creators said they were resistant but then they decided they wanted in. (And honestly, though I don’t plan to buy any except for Darwyn Cooke on Minutemen, the level of talent mostly has me intrigued, so I’ll read most of the GNs from the library in a year unless reliable comics critics agree they totally bite.) Secondly, I read a number of comments pointing out what I had already thought: Alan Moore sure squawks a lot for a guy whose magnum opus was supposed to star somebody else’s characters (Rorschach = the Question, etc.) and many of whose works are reinventions/ripoffs/whatever-you-wanna-call-it of other writer’s characters. I’m thinking, of course, of “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” and especially “Lost Girls.”

Now, your mileage may vary as to the validity of these points, but I don’t quite get how the comments coming from DC make the project less appealing. Basically any “Watchmen” fan has an opinion about it from the start. (I think it’s completely unnecessary but an unsurprising choice by DC, and I can’t be bothered to get worked up on behalf of Alan Crankypants Moore.)

After Red Hulk tells the Avengers not to pick a fight above their weight class, I want the team to charge into battle and just part like the Red Sea to avoid Magneto. Then after he realizes no wants to fight him, Magneto throws the Helicarrier into space and wanders off.

daniel the demon cleaner

April 18, 2012 at 3:43 am

Last week, I acidentally bought a second print copy of Prophet #22 thinking that the new issue came out a week early somehow (it’s happened with non-Marvel/DC books before). Oops.

That probably means you’re going senile. Same thing with me, I mean, I’m only 28, but I’m always forgetting stuff. So, yeah, senility, it gets you early these days, I figure it’s because of laziness and bad diet. I already made peace with the fact that I’m gonna be bedridden and wallowing in my own shit when I reach 40.

I love how the Red Hulk’s pre-fight speech involves telling people to not fight above their power level and what does AVX: VS #2 have? Spider-Man vs. Colossus. I’m beginning to think that Peter Parker just isn’t too bright.

That’s gotta be a call-out to the old Spidey/Juggernaut fight from the 80’s, those were some good comics… but yeah, you’re right, Peter is dumb.

if Counter X: X-Man can get collected, surely Terry Kavanagh’s run can too? I’m a big fan of 90’s Nate Grey, and most of his early issues have been hard to find.

Matthew Johnson

April 18, 2012 at 7:32 am

Spidey takes on Colossus because Colossus always loses. Seriously, I recently read Essential X-Men volumes 1 to 5 and I don’t think he decisively wins a single fight.

daniel the demon cleaner

April 18, 2012 at 9:20 am

@Matthew Johnson: didn’t he’s kicked ass as the Proletarian?

As for the “oral histories” question, Stan Lee on Spider-Man, Fantastic Four and Alan Moore on Superman, Batman.

daniel the demon cleaner

April 18, 2012 at 9:23 am

Oh, sorry, it should have been “the Proletarian, workers’ hero of communist Russia”

AverageJoeEveryman

April 18, 2012 at 9:23 am

Colossus did end the fight with Proteus pretty decisively though.

” What do people want out of tie-in comics to events? It’s a weird comic — it has to satisfy a number of masters and it’s interesting to think about what’s required. ”

My favorite Marvel story period is Invicible Iron Man: World’s Most Wanted by Fraction and Larroca. It was also a tie-in to the larger Dark Reign crossover. It worked because the only real element of Dark Reign plugged into the story was Norman Osborn, who was used as a sort of homunculus of Tony Stark’s recent sins; the story kept its focus to Tony Stark, his intellectual degeneration, and his subsequent atonement.

The same couldn’t be said for the Fear Itself tie-in, where Tony’s ongoing story was basically put on-hold so he could deal with pseudo-mythological monsters far removed from his corner of the Marvel Universe. And the only real consequences of the whole exercise were A.) Tony’s relapse to get Odin’s attention (which was later exploited by HAMMER and Mandarin), and B.) Splitlip the dwarf joining Stark Resilient (the latter of which was an amusing joke at first but doesn’t seem to suit the overall series).

Basically, the only way I think a tie-in can work is if it enhances the story already going on in the tied-in title. Otherwise it’s a waste of time for readers of that book, and usually unnecessary for readers of the main crossover.

Oh, and Colossus also got a very decisive win against Riptide, breaking the rotten bastard’s neck with a chilling flick of his wrist.

I agree on the tie-in thing. As far as I’m concerned, if they’re not being written by the writer of the core series, their only value is as promotion for underselling titles I like. In cases like that, I’d be fine with them just slapping “Mega-Selling Crossover Banner” on the cover and then ignore it, just doing whatever they were going to do if it never happened inside.

If it’s being written by the core writer, then it should substantially and meaningfully add to the story, like Morrison doing Superman Beyond during Final Crisis.

Oh, and it should go without saying that I don’t buy a title by the non-main-writer just because it’s a tie-in to something I am reading. In probably 95% of cases, the take a worst of both worlds approach and bring their own title’s momentum to a grinding halt to tell a story that’s largely inconsequential to the crossover. I understand why this happens, but they’re very rarely a satisfying read.

I only read AvX #2 once yesterday, but I’m pretty sure I can recall Cyclops taking a shield to the face at least twice, maybe three times? My question: In the first issue, was it just me or did Cyclops sound like the dumbest, whiniest teenager you’ve ever met when he pulled out this gem of a line: (paraphrased, don’t have it in front of me) “We’re ugly stepchildren to them. The first time we get a messiah, they come knocking down the door to take them away.” Like Jesus visits the Avengers every third weekend or something.

Two major event tie-in issues this week, one done the right way, one the wrong.

Wolverine and the X-Men #9 is event tie-ins done right. It touched on the ongoing plots and characters in the title and was able to wrap up the previous arc’s plot in a page or two without feeling stilted or rushed. It provided insight into the main event mini without providing too necessary of information or too little to make sense, and felt important without compromising the tone or unique nature of the series. Plus, it was funny as heck. Without going off on a tangent, I really enjoy Aaron’s sitcom structure he’s building in this series, and apreciate that he’s trying to roll with that into this event.

Avengers #25, on the other hand, is not the way I like to see an event tie-in done. The whole thing felt stilted, to me, with about 3 pages devoted exclusively to AvX material , and the rest to stuff tying up loose ends from the previous arc. And really, the AvX stuff consisted of a splash page and a single conversation to end the issue. Don’t get me wrong, that splash page was some sweet Simonson work, but I kinda felt like we could have done without the banner, ’cause it kinda felt like bait-and-switch.

Fortunately, the main series has been pretty dang enjoyable so far, so I’m not too annoyed by the subpar tie-ins we gotten. Hopefully, next issue of Avengers can kick in the plot without it feeling like it’s tacked on to a previous script.

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