Weekly Comic Book Discussion 6/3/2004

Okay, so it’s a little later than usual. Busy day at work and all that.

I have little news to share as of yet, as my local store hasn’t received the comics yet, because of Memorial Day. Sigh.

so the comic shop didn’t get this month’s Batman© prepared?!

Death: At Death’s Door. I knew the look and feel of this Sandman spin-off was squarely drawn from manga, but I hadn’t expected the content to be so obviously aimed at a young teenage female audience too. I thought the “girls can do anything they want” message was particularly heavy-handed and "After School Special"ish. Despite being a Vertigo offering, there’s no mature content to speak of. It’s a perfectly fine book, just not one aimed at my demographic, and suffered from my too high expectations.

If this is the book I remember, I got a huge kick out of it. What was the line? “Girls can be anything they want, even the anthropomorphic manifestation of a cosmological concept!” “Yeah!”

Priceless. Priceless! :smiley:

I did stop by the comic store Wednesday, because I’d forgotten about the Memorial Day thing.

I picked up copies of X-Statix and Conan that I’d missed the previous week… and a Hellblazer TPB (the first one) … and an issue of Liberty Meadows and an issue of Strangers in Paradise. You see, I occasionally like to check in with comics at the edge of my radar, that I don’t regularly read… because I’m always looking for ways to spend more of my money.

I swear if my local comic store ever builds an expansion, they should name the wing after me.

Phil Foglio’s Girl Genius is as funny as usual, & every bit the Pulp fantasy as The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen was, in spirit if not in detail.
A fun read.

Sitting here at work reading my comics, checking the SDMB…they PAY me for this stuff! Today I picked up:

Ultimate Spider-Man 60: Part one of the Carnage arc. It’s Bendis so you know not a lot happened this issue, but at least there was an original (if dull) villain in it, plus the debut of a familiar police officer.

Ulitmate Fantastic Four 6: …haven’t read it yet. I will after I get through typing…as long as no users call with any more computer problems. Lousy users…

And a back issue TPB Ultimate X-Men: Return of the King. Someone must have just sold all their Ult X TPBs so I’m filling in my collection, thank ya very much, mysterious seller.

Slow week for me thankfully since I’m heading to Orlando next week and dind’t need to spen a lot of money anyway. Spider-Man the Ride…Here I come!!!

Sounds like a pretty sweet job, Max.

I was able to duck out in the middle of the day and get my books… (gotta love flexible schedules) but am unable to read them as of yet, due to working late. (Stupid server deployment.)

Ultimate Spidey-Good, but I hate the Lizard. Really. The Ultimate Lizard, the regular Lizard, the 2099 Lizard (if there is one): I just hate the character. On the other hand, we got Jean DeWolffe so that’s a good trade-off. And the Gladiator is scarier with buzz-saws on the back of his hands.

Ultimate FF-It’s. So. Damned. Slooooooowwww. I know, there’s a tradition saying that the first story arc in each Ultimates book is slow, but this one is coma-inducing. I’ll be glad when Ellis takes over.

Superman:Birthright–Possibly the worst artist since George Tuska stopped drawing is marring what could be a great story. But the art is making my eyes bleed.

JLAdventures-Eh. I’ve always loved The Construct, but an “ethernet” evolved lifeform? Not so much. And Giffen is just being too cutesy for my taste

Girl Genius-Wonderful as always and Kruft (?-the cat) steals the show. But 3 months between issues is too damned long!

Firestorm-Hm. I don’t know what to make of this. It’s well done, but it’s not clicking with me yet.

Swamp Thing–YAY! GREAT stuff. The writer is cheerfully undoing all the Nancy Collins and post-Collins induced crap and is fixing the book, and the characters. AND he has a sense of humor. I love, for example, the whole “Alex hasn’t been in Swampy for years” thing to explain away all the weird out-of-character stuff Swampy did (plus, Zombie Alex is just great!). This is a book to watch. If this writer keeps going at this rate and can give us a good, solid conclusion this arc could attain near “Anatomy Lesson” status. A textbook example of how to fix a book that someone else has broken.

Thor: Ragnarok–I got it by mistake but I’m kinda glad I did. The storytelling is iffy…there’s bits where it’s almost like there’s missing panels–the story seems to be jumpy. And I’m yawning at the “Balder and Enchantress are DEAD! REALLY! WE MEAN IT! D-E-A-D! Honest!” thing. I mean, who are they trying to kid?

Spider-Girl-Sadly seems to be in the process of jumping the shark. Dood–I don’t much care about Mae fighting lame villains—it’s the soap-opera stuff I was enjoying. You’ve got the equation backwards. I want 80% soap-opera and 20% mindless slug-fests, not the reverse.

Avengers/Thunderbolts–I’m getting it 'cause it’s Busiek, but I have no idea what’s going on. I think more Thunderbolts backstory would have helped–I haven’t read T-Bolts since Busiek left (I can’t stand Fabian Nieziea(sp)'s writing) and I’m kinda lost.

I got a bunch of others, but those are the ones that stick with me.

Fenris

Well, I got my books, read my books, and I must say, I’m more-or less pleased. Full write-up coming when I have time. A few to start with:

Swamp Thing #4 - Well, it’s been nice to see Sargon back, but he just keeps getting more and more sinister. With all these references to the Red, it can’t be long before an Animal Man guest shot, can it?

Enginehead #3 - Um. Hm. Well… yeah. Still not sure where it’s going… I object to the loss of former Superman supporting character Emil Hamilton … and I don’t much like the art.

Exiles 48 WTF?

I’m used to losing team members, that’s part of the fun of this book, but we lose probably the best character left and get… a chicken? You’re kidding, right? Anyone want to fill me in on why I should care about this Beak character? I was somewhat relieved that instead of going off into the void, Nocturne would be joining up with the ‘real’ X-men, but then that was screwed up with the arrival of Mystery Anti-Xavier Woman. Any guesses on who she is and why Nocturne would join her rather than the X-men?

Actually, ever since whoever the writer of JLofA #97 (back in the early '70s) FUBARed Sargon (“But I thought he was a bad guy!?”) he’s been on-and-off-again sinister. They’ve never quite reconcilled why he switches from evil to good and back, though.

Ahhh… I never knew that. Before my time, I’m afraid. Interesting.

“Gladiator” was the first thing I thought of too. The old Daredevil villain. I figured that’s who it was based on but they never actually mentioned him by name in USM did they? I agree, buzzsaws are more menacing than springloaded knives.

I just feel I should say that I’m wholly unimpressed by the latest New X-Men. Aside from a couple of contemporary references (One to Harry Potter, and the other to the Institute being public knowledge now), the story feels like something written 15 years ago. Even the artwork isn’t that great. Not to mention that they’ve given Cyclops back his wetsuit/gimpsuit costume back. (I mean, jeez…We’ve finally gotten to the point where we’ve got characters wearing something sensible, and now we’re back to this.)

And the New New Mutants…yeesh. Just a bunch of pretty-boys and girls, by the looks of it.

And no sign of Wolverine…maybe they still have him chained to a wall from when he went feral after Jean died.

And in the new Excaliber

…it seems they’ve brought Magneto back to life. Again. He’s hiding out on Genosha. Cripes, Wolverine cut his head off in NYC six months ago…is this clown buying surplus Life Model Decoys or Doombots, or something?

Actually (I looked it up) I got it a bit backwards–Flash #186 (circa 1971) is where the writer FUBARed Sargon (“He looks like a bad-guy–whaddaya mean he’s not?” is what I imagine was said) and JLofA #98 the character did his first flip-flop back to goodness as he helped the JLofA fight Starbreaker (a great character that I’m surprised hasn’t made a comeback–he’s a sort of Galactus type (although he looks like a red-skinned vampire) who’s Superman Earth-1 class tough and feeds off fear–so what he does is throw inhabited planets into their suns so he can feed of the terror of the inhabitants as they die.)

Alan Moore put a snarky comment about that in his Swampy run–Sargon says something to the effect of he’s beyond good and evil.

I promise I’ll post the rest of this week’s purchases once I get home this evening… it was an extremely hectic weekend. Sometimes it’s a Marvel that I get anything done in a Timely fashion.

Firestorm #2 - Still want to know where Ronnie Raymond went.

Enginehead #3

Strykeforce #3 - Eh. It seems to be a five-issue mini, I’ll tough it out.

Swamp Thing #4

Ultimate FF #6 - Just keeps getting better.

Uncanny X-Men #445 - Hmmm… they might just lure me back to the X-Men…

Astonishing X-Men #1 - Surprisingly dull for a Whedon book.

Exiles #48 - Whee! Nocturne gets to join the real Marvel Universe! Crap! I have to put up with Beak in Exiles!

Girl Genius #11 - Waited a while for this… good stuff though.

Victory #4 - Hyperkinetic art!

Blue Monday : Painted Moon #1 - I don’t know what exactly draws me to Blue Monday… but maybe I’ll figure it out.

Alpha Flight #4 - Best book this week.

Per an interview with the creators, we’ll get the answer in the near future. Maybe issue #4? (Heh. The “Issue #4 makes or breaks a series” thing still hangs on regardless of the fact that it’s about 30 years obsolete.)

Didja ever notice how Issue #4 of most series is “important”?
JLofA #4 --Green Arrow joins
Fantastic Four #4–Sub Mariner returns
Avengers #4 – Captain America returns
Silver Surfer #4–BIG Thor guest-star issue
etc–with almost every Silver-Age or later series, you’ll find that “Issue 4” is a “key issue”

This is because in large part there was a perception that the sales of a book, if they didn’t pick up by issue 4 (because it took so long to get feedback on the old newsstand system–which is part of the reason that comics are always dated like 3 months back–so they stay on the rack longer) are hopeless. So creators knew that if they did something special in #4 would cause a sales spike and keep the book going. But now that the newsstand system is dead (sadly) and with computerized feedback from distributors–it’s pointless. But the tradition continues. :slight_smile:

Because it is everything Archie is not, and everything Archie will never have the nuts to be? :cool: