Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
Random Thought! I disagree with Greg a lot. It’s Random Thoughts time! Get excited!
Link Thought! GraphiContent for comics. butterbeatleblog for popculture. 411mania for wrestling reviews and the occasional CD review. My Twitter account for random thoughts as they happen in real time.
Random Thought! The new Riding the Gravy Train on how Marvel doesn’t know how to build things to obtain the desired payoff.
Random Thought! “Imperius Rex!” is an awful catchphrase. Ever look up what it means? Do it, because you’ll see then that it’s a really stupid thing to shout out. Especially as much as Namor does. He shouts it all of the goddamn time. I know it’s probably been done, but I really want to see a “You keep using those words. I do not think they mean what you think they mean” gag in a comic. I’m looking at you, Peter David…
Random Thought! I want to write a Namor team-up series where every issue ends with Namor betraying whoever he’s allied with that issue.
Random Thought! Next issue of Avengers vs. X-Men: Upset over losing his Phoenix powers, Namor turns on the X-Men and yells “Imperius Rex!” when asked why.
Random Thought! Namor seems like the kind of guy who, when caught cheating on his significant other, would shout “What did you expect? I cheated on my last wife with you!”
Random Thought! This week, I kind of hate Namor. Actually, I’ve always hated him. He shouts dumb things and betrays people with such frequency that it’s beyond suspension of disbelief that any of them wouldn’t shoot him on sight let alone actually do anything with him. He’s a douchebag. He’s an awful, awful douchebag.
Random Thought! Hank Pym, meanwhile, is just stupid. Two examples from the latest issue of Avengers Academy… 1. He gets pissed off at Emma Frost for not detecting the sad teenager who is in love with a Sentinel when she attacks it and the sad teenager is inside. Why didn’t she detect him inside and not go all out? Because he made sure that the sad teenager would be shielded from telepathic detection. Yes, make it so no one can tell that a teenger is inside a genocide machine that many, many people will attack and try to destroy… Genius! 2. He defends the genocide machine by saying that overcoming its central programming is impossible despite every single robot he’s ever come into contact with having done so. Apparently, he’s never heard of a dude called the Vision. Because the Vision killed him and all of the Avengers years ag… OH WAIT. NO, HE DIDN’T.
Random Thought! It’s not that I demand ‘realism’ from my superhero comics, it’s that I have a low tolerance for stupid bullshit under the premise that it’s ‘fantasy.’ Leading a group of teenagers into a fight against a god-like being because it wants to destroy a machine designed for genocide despite a teenage boy treating it like a pet isn’t noble or heroic, it’s foolish and irresponsible. You tell the teenage boy that, no, he can’t have a genocide machine as a pet and you destroy the fucking thing before the god-like being decides that, hey, there are seven billion people on the planet and 12 of them suddenly disappearing won’t make much of a difference. Because it wouldn’t.
Random Thought! Basically, Avengers vs. X-Men has made me really hate Avengers Academy and question why anyone enjoys it. It’s trite, naive pap that exhaults simplistic, childish worldviews. (PULL QUOTE ALERT!)
Random Thought! New rule: if you’re doing a one-off Punisher comic and he says more words than pages in the comic, you’re doing it wrong.
Random Thought! I have read the entire Just Imagine… saga. Stan Lee reinvented the DCU and it’s… not great. Some gorgeous art, but the writing is quite mediocre, especially in the second half of the run. That final issue is a trainwreck. I’m not sure it makes sense. If you saw that the omnibus was solicited and thought “Hey, I’ll get that,” don’t. At least not at the full $75.00 price tag. If you spend that much, you’re insane. If you can get it for half price, eh, that’s more reasonable.
Random Thought! What I find strange: the solicitation for the Just Imagine… omnibus doesn’t mention John Cassaday as an artist. He’s the only person who drew one of the issues to not get a mention. Most of the artists who did back-up strips get listed — Terry Austen, an inker, gets listed (and that’s not a slight towards Mr. Austen, more that it’s unusual for an inker to get mentioned and not an artist who drew an entire comic himself, especially one of Cassaday’s status/fame).
Random Thought! I may write about Just Imagine… at some point, but here are some highlights: It revolves around Los Angeles, not New York. Injecting animal DNA into a person results in superpowers more than once. Superman is an asshole. Stan Lee doesn’t understand how professional wrestling works at all. No one suspects that the leader of a church named Reverend Darrk who always wears a creepy purple robe that keeps his face in shadows is evil until he does something outright evil. It’s hard to say where the starting point for these characters were for Lee. It seems like the basic idea of the name and, sometimes, the powers/origin? I mean, Superman is still an alien, Shazam is transformed by saying that word, Batman is someone who trained really hard after his parents died (albeit at two different times), and Robin is a whiny jerk. It doesn’t seem that different to me…
Random Thought! I rather enjoyed The Dark Knight Rises. Because people love rankings, he’s how I’d rank the Nolan Batfilms: The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, and Batman Begins. A rare trilogy where I’d say that the first film is the worst of the bunch.
Random Thought! Someone on Twitter asked which fans are the craziest. In general, I said whoever’s fans are teenage girls. Teenage girls are insane in their devotion and passion. Insane. In comics, X-fans. No one out-crazies X-fans when it comes to comics.
Random Thought! SEAN WITZKE HATES YOU ALL
BURN THE WHITE HOUSE
Random Thought! This weekend, Michelle and I watched the first season of Bob’s Burgers on DVD. We got into that show this year seeing the odd season two episode on TV. Funny, funny, weird stuff. Totally insane and wonderful. Great voice acting, well rounded characters, and just some strange, hilarious writing. Louise is my favourite character.
Random Thought! This week is giant. Up to 16 comics. A couple of those I may or may not get depending on if there are rack copies and my mood at the time, like X-Treme X-Men #1 and the first National Comics, er… comic. The three comics I’m looking forward to the most:
Batman, Incorporated #3, Prophet #27, Manhattan Projects #5, and The Ultimates #13 (I’m curious what that comic post-Hickman will be like).
Random Thought! Man, when Morrison departs Action Comics and Batman, Incorporated ends, DC will be down to, what, Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE and Wonder Woman as ‘New 52′ books worth getting? Yeesh…
Random Thought! The ‘twist’ near the end of The Dark Knight Rises is a good one. Not the one at the very end, but the one… damn, it’s hard to discuss this without mentioning anything specific… Anyway, it’s a good twist. It’s surprising, but, at the same time, a lot of things fall into place and make more sense. Especially to comics readers who may have been wondering how much liberty Nolan was taking with this whole thing.
Random Thought! Coming soon: Journey into Uncanny, Uncanny Spider-Man, Uncanny Four, and, of course, Warlock & the Uncanny Watch.
Random Joe Casey Question! Most writers tend to write villains in a somewhat sympathetic manner when possible (they think of themselves as good people or, at least, the heroes of their own stories), but you tend to write villains that glorify in being bad. It’s not even an awareness that they’re bad people who have their reasons, it’s usually a conscious choice to actively be the bad guy in opposition to the good guy. Why does that approach appeal to you so much?
Random Joe Casey Answer! I guess, when it comes to morality, I’m just a believer in free will over all else. I don’t think someone is “born good” or “born bad”. You’re simply born and then eventually you begin to make choices, based on a multitude of factors. If you’re referring to a character like Zodiac (which I kinda assume you are), he definitely revels in his own evil nature… primarily because it’s a choice and not only is he supremely confident about that choice, he loves himself for making it. But, there again, there’s another level to Zodiac’s nature: yeah, he’s an evil motherfucker… but he also has a strict code. A code of evil, if you will. A general code of conduct for super-villains. He lives by that code and when he sees other villains who don’t… well, that shit pisses him off. That was the whole point of the Dark Reign story that we did. I wanted him to come across as the most clear-headed thinker of anyone who appeared in that book. Seeing how other writers collectively depicted the character who was supposedly the Big Bad at that time, Norman Osborn, always left me thinking that Osborn was weak sauce. And here he was at the center of this stupid, line-wide story where this guy actually ended up in charge of the Marvel Universe and he was supposed to be perceived as some sort of threat. But all he was — to me, at least — was lame. I created Zodiac as a response to that.
That’s it for this week. Thanks for reading. Later.
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