Weekly Comic Book Discussion 10/30/2008

Rage of the Red Lanterns! Woo!

I like the death-kitty.

This is apparently DC’s week for letting writers throw out their silliest ideas…

Cute Kitty from Hell in Rage of the Red Lanterns, and McDuffie briefly giving the Black Bomber an actual published existence in JLA. (Scroll down to the text part. Short version is Black Bomber is the character that Tony Isabella talked DC out of publishing 30 years ago and replaced with Black Lightning.) Both were brilliant moments of dementia.

Also got the Joker hardcover, which was enjoyable (in that ‘eew’ way). Joker’s Glasgow smile is rather more extensive than the one given him in The Dark Knight, and quite unpleasant to look at during several scenes. Pretty damn brutal… Two thumbs up…until Joker decides to lop them off.

Zor-El meeting the POTUS in Superman was a delightfully awkward scene. Also…obligatory ‘aaaw, Krypto!’

Finally read last week’s Family Dynamic…So sad the series is over. I really hope DC gives it another mini or two.

And Marvel Apes rounds out what I’ve gotten around to reading, and have any commentary on… I know a lot of people are disappointed that the front story ended up being so dark, but I really liked that…the story was awesome even after the headspinning of the mood whiplash wore off. I mean…they’re apes…it makes sense. And if ‘We have to tell everybody that you saved the world from intelligent super-powered vampire apes!’ doesn’t make it all worth it, then you have no sense of humour. >> <<

The Watcher story was the weakest of the lot…what he’s actually watching was unentertaining, and I skipped over it almost entirely. But his conversation with the Watcher-Watcher saved it.

Trinity #22 - Nice to see what was going on with Hawkman, and the Ragman duo vs. Arrow duo was amusing. Who is Tomorrow Woman supposed to be, though?

Legion of Super-Heroes #47 - Good that they’re picking up this old plotline, but its sudden reappearance seems rather… random. And stalls yet again the other plotline of the mystery aliens that seems to be moving with glacial pace.

Superman #681 - Again Martha’s scenes were the best part. I suspect the answer to “what challenges Superman when he has thousands of Kryptonian friends?” is going to end up being “a team-up of every Superman foe”. Which… meh.

Rage of the Red Lanterns - Liked this, but rather mystified why it was billed as a Final Crisis tie-in. The only connection is mention of the deicide and alpha-lantern Boodikka (and would’ve liked more on how either tie in to Final Crisis, BTW).

And sudden. Brainy was certainly acting as though he had an abrupt (and unconvincing) change of character.

**Thor **was meh. Too talky.

I agree JLA was fun and meta-y.

Avengers: Initiative was good. Still don’t care about the Kill Krew.

In my mailbox today was a package with some fresh trades and since someone said they don’t mind comments on what we’re getting…

Two I’ve already read but the opportunity to get them in hard cover cheaply came up. The first Van Lente Incredible Herc which is a riot; it’s the new Perez Wonder Woman or Simonson Thor except more cheerful. I also got the second Next Wave Agents of HATE volume in hard cover which might be the best thing Ellis has done in years (yeah, I’m including Punisher). Ellis is stuck in a bad rut of writing essentially the same thing over and over again. I generally don’t care for the “Hey look at this random crap! Isn’t it crazy and therefore clever?” style that a lot of comics go for (I can’t stand Scott Pilgrim, for example) but Nextwave has just enough underlying mad logic to tie it together.

I also got the Essential Thor volume 2 which I had been meaning to get for a while but every time I went to get the book it was unavailable. It helps round out my 1960’s Kirby Marvel work collection.

I’m also placing my biweekly order tonight and I’m planning on getting Lone Wolf and Cub volumes 11 and 12, Usagi Yojimbo 10 and 11, the new Empowered volume, and if I haven’t broken my budget Showcase Presents Superman volume 4.

Curious that you should say this, as I think you’re confusing Warren Ellis (NextWAVE) with Garth Ennis (Punisher). Which is, admittedly, easy to do. Similar names and similar writing.

You are absolutely right. Too many British people.

While I enjoyed Nextwave, even ignoring the Ellis/Ennis confusion, I can’t really agree with this - I thought Nextwave actually fell apart about 7 issues in, and didn’t recover until the last one - still not bad, but not good, either.

It’s the longest he’s been able to maintain a run of one book without delays in years, to be sure…But the books he’s had delays on - the finale of Planetary, newuniversal - have been better than Nextwave, on the whole. His current run on Astonishing X-Men is finally shaping up, too.

I haven’t read newuniversal or X-Men but I hated Planetary. Perhaps if he intended the murderous hypocrisy of his main characters to be ironic it would have been a bit more tolerable; instead I got the impression that they were authorial mouthpieces.

I dunno…there’s only 3 issues left…even without taking time out to resolve the Brainie/Dreamie storyline, I don’t think they could satisfactorily wrap up the Destroyers storyline…it might be for the best just to let it resolve in the background…if you’re going to give it a crappy wrap, why not go whole hog, and give yourself room to resolve other plotlines?

Let’s see I got:

No Heroes#2: I don’t understand Ellis lately. Plotting is unusually slow, and he writes in a way (or perhaps I’m just getting old) that I forget previous plot points. The concept is cool, I’ll see how it goes for a couple more issues.

Superman New Krypton #1: I like it. It was better than what I was expecting. I have #2, but I’ll read that tomorrow.

Angel: I think it’s #15, well, I didn’t see that coming. Story telling (well, art with dialog) is poor (I was going to say uneven). I find myself re-reading stuff just to get the idea of what is going on (after all that re-reading, I’ve decided it was poor). It wasn’t good when Whedon was writing it, it’s worse now that he’s only plotting. I’ll ride this out after they resolve their current situation, whatever it is.

Wow. I thought Planetary was his best work, even better than The Authority, and definitely a Top 10. I think you’re the only person who outright said they hated Planetary.

Whedon was always just plotting it, not writing it. Brian Lynch has been the actual writer on After the Fall and all the tie-ins. I’ve liked them fine storywise; any confusion I had usually came from the artwork.

I’d thought of that, but it is a line of reasoning that leaves me puzzled, as well. If you’re resolving other plotlines, why introduce new elements into this plotline, with so few issues left? The Brainy/Dreamy storyline is no closer to a resolution, but now has added Projectra, her cohorts, PG’s suspicions, and a new villain. And the storyline still has elements that dropped by the wayside and have not been revisited – where has Dream Boy been?

And this is certainly not the only plotline needing resolution – there’s Garth & Imra, whatever happened to Cosmic Boy, the UP’s rival group to the LSH…

Stuff like the Garth-Imra relationship have been referenced much more recently, and would have seemed a more natural segue into storylines to be resolved in the last three issues. I think that is why the whole thing seemed so unexpectedly random. Odd.

I also didn’t like The Authority but there I just thought it was generic superheroics wrapped up in a shell of trying too hard to show “badass” moments with little concern for how things flow together. I have encountered other people who dislike Planetary but I know we’re rare.