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Random Thoughts! (March 2, 2010)

by  in Comic News Comment
Random Thoughts! (March 2, 2010)

Random Thought! 14 gold medals and I’m still disappointed over that silver in women’s curling… It’s random thoughts time! Get excited!

Link Thought! Quickie Reviews (Feb. 24 2010) (six comics briefly reviewed!). High Road/Low Road on the Pope as the number one contender for the TNA world championship (the Pope be pimpin’!). The Wrestling 4Rs featuring my review of TNA Impact (I fucking hated last week’s episode and went to town on it). Wrestler of the Week (the WWE pushing Daniel Bryan surprises me somewhat). The Splash Page Podcast episode 6.1 (a long discussion about techniques, realism, and other broad topics). The Splash Page Podcast episode 6.2 (discussions about comics we bought/read last week). Art Discussion Month 2010 (31 days, 31 artists… watch as I struggle to make myself a better critic and writer… two posts are up so far).

Random Thought! New Avengers is being relaunched… part of me wishes they were calling the book Newer Avengers.

Random Thought! I rather enjoyed Greg’s essay on superheroes and politics.

Random Thought! I’ve never trusted anyone who so aligns with a party/ideology that they begin to see all issues along an us/them spectrum to the point where the party/ideology becomes more important than what someone actually thinks about things.

Random Thought! One thing I particularly liked in Greg’s essay was his pointing out the utter lack of originality in the governments created by superhumans when they take over. This is something that bothered me quite a bit when the Authority overthrew the US government and it went nowhere. It was the idea that they kept hinting at and teasing, but, when it finally happened, things went nowhere because they couldn’t push things forward. Then again, that was the fun joke about the Authority: like most critics, all they could do is criticise.

Random Thought! Just saw a link for a preview of Warlord #12… that’s still coming out…?

Random Thought! I’m really looking forward to Nemesis: The Imposters #1 by Ivan Brandon and Cliff Richards, which comes out tomorrow. Probably my most anticipated book of the week. Final Crisis Aftermath: Escape was a glorious failure of a book, never cohering to present a complete, compelling narrative. But, the style was fantastic and the ideas were cool. The follow-up has a good shot at being better since we know more going in. I think. Maybe?

Random Thought! I really don’t care about what Stan Lee is doing these days…

Random Thought! But, man, BOOM! is expanding rather quickly… and I like it since I tend to enjoy many of the books they put out.

Random Thought! I would say that Nick Fury hates fatties, but he kept Dum Dum around for all these years…

Random Thought! What was the ending of Spider-Man: The Clone Saga #6? It didn’t resolve the whole ‘Ben Reilly is Spider-Man now’ plot really. Ben just kind of leaves town. Are we to infer that Peter has become Spider-Man again despite him having a daughter now? If so… wow, that’s just bad. The minute Peter Parker becomes a father, Spider-Man is done.

Random Thought! This won’t happen, but I’d really love it if the mutants living on Utopia continued for years and the writers slowly built up the society and culture of that country. The growth of politics and government alone would be amazing to watch happen over a period of years. Right now, it operates like the school or a superhero team, but that would change. The creation of laws… democracy or something else…? It would be especially great to play around with since you could build upon the concept of ‘mutant culture’ being more advanced, really do some radical things.

Random Thought! Wildstorm really needs to hire Joe Casey to finish writing Wildcats 3.0. That we have X-Men Forever, X-Factor Forever, Spider-Man: The Clone Saga, and The Authority: The Lost Year, but not this is baffling. Especially since that book’s reputation has only grown over the years.

Random Thought! As always, still tired.

Random Thought! Everything you need to know about Daken was summed up in last week’s Dark Wolverine: he’s the kind of guy that would proposition three women to have sex with him on top of a dead body.

Random Thought! New pet peeve: people who write ‘should of’ instead of ‘should have’ or ‘should’ve.’

Random Thought! Awesome Marvel/DC crossover idea: Green Arrow runs for office again, but his opponent? Hawkeye! Fuckin’ a.

Random Thought! Reread Marvel 1602 last Friday and enjoyed it. Just a bit of fun. Not everything lines up, but it’s good stuff. I do love the idea that, with the MU happening three hundred plus years early, the New World is like the Savage Land. Lovely gag.

Random Thought! I’m currently reading The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne. Good stuff.

Random Thought! Canadian TV station CityTV was the one airing The Jay Leno Show in Canada and, with it off the air for good, and nothing else new on during the Olympics, it had a giant hole in its weekday 10 pm schedule, so, over the past three weeks, it aired the TNT show Dark Blue‘s first season and it’s not a bad show. It focuses on an undercover unit in LA and… well, it’s a bit of wasted potential. Great concept and some solid writing hampered by the procedural nature of the show and the acting. That I never heard of it until we stumbled upon the first episode says something, I imagine.

Random Thought! When Tony Stark go from really smart enigineer to genius inventor on par with Reed Richards, Bruce Banner, and Hank Pym?

Random Thought! And that’s it. I’m off to see Cop Out with the girlfriend. (We both got gift cards to the movies from her mom at Valentine’s Day and, since movies are half-priced on Tuesday, instead of blowing the cards on one movie, we decided to each pick a movie. Pickings have been slim the past few weeks, so I chose Cop Out, while she chose Valentine’s Day last week. My quick review of that movie: you know how there are chick flicks that look shitty, but turn out to be pretty good? Yeah, this isn’t one of those.)

***

Random Comments! I respond to your comments… well, only the ones I feel like responding to. And I may edit comments to focus on the parts I want to respond to.

Andy said: I teach English and have a couple of advanced degrees in Literature. After a while, you develop a basic understanding of the most touted classics regardless of whether you’ve actually experienced them. For example, I can talk glancingly about Moby Dick, Othello, or Oliver Twist despite not having read them because I have a solid understanding of the plots and I’ve read enought Melville, Shakespeare, and Dickens to have a good grasp on their writing styles. About a year ago, I realized I could do something similar with comics. I haven’t actually read the original Galactus trilogy, for example, but the plot has become so much a part of the comics culture and I’ve read enough of Lee’s early work that I could talk about the story for several minutes before it would be a problem. I’ve never really thought of this as lying, and when asked directly (rare), I tell the truth, but I can see how it might read as deceptive from a certain angle.

Oh yeah, definitely. I made it through my undergrad doing that in English classes for books I didn’t feel like reading (or didn’t have time to read). Picked up the necessary details in lectures and faked my way through. It’s sort of what I mentioned last week with The Matrix. I haven’t seen it and I’ve been able to discuss it without people picking up on that fact. But, I only do that sort of things in academic settings — in the real world, I just say that I haven’t read it, but explain that I know enough through non-direct sources to talk about it a bit.

rodney said: after last weeks Random Thoughts i picked up scars and just loved it and the backmatter.

I’m glad to hear that. I always love it when people pick up something based on my recommendation and enjoy it.

Nitz the Bloody said: I wouldn’t say [Travis Charest’s WildC.A.T.S. art is] awful; it’s all clearly 90’s Image, with wacky fragmented layouts and spider webs of jagged linework, but none of the artists in that run outright bothered me. It was more like watching an old John Hughes movie; the hairstyles and fashions are clearly of the period and look embarassing now, but that doesn’t make it significantly less of an experience.

A few spots in Moore’s run stand out artistically, but, you’re right, it’s easy to see a lot of it as fitting into the context in which it was created.

garbonzo said: People just assume I have read Sandman. I tried. I really did. I just got bored and put it down. I hear it got better. I’ll never know. I just smile and say, “Yes, I read it.” It is only half a lie.

As for which of the Global Frequency stories I did not enjoy, it was (I believe issue 7) the issue that was basically two guys pounding on each other while talking about biofeedback and rebooting their internal biological systems. I felt that the art was poor and the story just did not work as well. Not to mention that it was a set-up for a gag about ripping off someone’s arms and beating them with it. I can see how it is a juxtaposition of science and brute force, but I just did not like it as much as the other 11 stories.

I’ve only read the first six trades of Sandman. I didn’t enjoy it enough to continue buying the final four (plus whatever spin-off series and OGNs Gaiman penned). I have the trades out and plan to reread them to see if I like them more now, though. And I rather liked “Superviolence” (the issue in question). Good execution of, basically, an issue-long fight scene. But, hey, 11 out of 12 is still pretty good.

Annoyed Grunt said: I had read a couple of the later Marshall Law comics and thought they were fun, over the top violent farces. Then I picked up the original mini series and was blown away. I would be hyperbole to say it was as good as Watchmen or Dark Knight Returns but upon that initial reading I thought it was only a notch or two behind. I actually tracked down Pat Mills’ e-mail to tell him so. I had never emailed a creator either before or since.

Yeah, that first mini was very, very good. Better than you’d expect given the work that followed where it devolved into a parody (an entertaining one, though). I haven’t read it in far too many years, sadly.

stealthwise said: Damn… Earl ended on a cliffhanger? Well, that will definitely prevent me from buying the final season on dvd (I have the first three already…)

A sort of cliffhanger. I’m going to spoil it all right now for anyone who cares: it ends with us learning that Earl is actually Dodge’s father, while Crab Man isn’t Earl, Jr.’s father… the episode ends with a ‘to be continued…’ but it isn’t a complete necessity. More that we don’t know who Earl, Jr.’s father is and if Joy and Darnell’s relationship is negatively affected. It’s also not a satisfying way to end the series, but I wouldn’t avoid the fourth season for that reason since it has some good episodes revolving around the witness protection program and an Erik Estrada game show.

Adam k said: Seriously, how predictable was the end of Elimination Chamber? Christ.

Very, but it was still very good. I’m surprised that the WWE went with that ending since everyone saw it coming. Then again, there’s a reason everyone saw it coming: everyone wanted it to happen. a predictable end isn’t bad when it’s good. The WWE made that mistake last year with Christian coming back to the company and meant to be Jeff Hardy’s attacker. Everyone loved the idea, but the WWE wanted to go for the surprise and made it Matt instead, which didn’t work. Given the choice between ‘good’ and ‘surprising,’ I’ll take ‘good’ every day of the week.

Layne said: I am so tempted to get the Marshal Law Omni, but like all satire, it’s a pretty clear example of diminishing returns. If already have Fear and Loathing and Blood Sweat and Fears, it’s hard to justify dropping $30+ for the rest (Though if only I could find a copy of Fear Asylum… aw hell, I’m gonna have to give this some thought…)

The only trade I have is Fear Asylum, so maybe we can work out a deal of some sort since I plan on getting the omnibus when it comes out…

CF said: Warren Ellis’ work shows a lot of potential. But, usually, that potential never materializes. Planetary being the perfect example. The entire series is like a sparse outline of a great story that was never written. Sure, Warren Introduced some interesting ideas – but he never really explored any of them to my satisfaction. The Four were dispatched so easily I wonder why he introduced them in the first place. Issue 26 was absolutely laughable. His Avatar work is OK. But when you look at “No Hero” and “Anna Mercury” there really isn’t any there there. “No Hero” was basically written so that Warren could have Ryp draw that scene where Carver uses someone’s spine as a totemic phallus – Not much really going on there. And “Anna Mercury” is the very definition of “Meh”. Bland Viking Space Pirates? Really? next.

That you didn’t find more in No Hero doesn’t mean that there isn’t more, it simply means you didn’t see it. I’d suggest rereading it with Black Summer and Ellis’s Stormwatch and The Authority in mind (and, actually, post-Ellis Authority). And the second Anna Mercury series is just a fun action comic… the frantic crazed depiction of the character by Facundo Percio is great. Maybe the problem is with what you expect rather than what the work is attempting to accomplish.

Figserello said: Marshal Law’s last two adventures were published as prose novellas with O’Neill art. They were ‘Day of the Dead’ and ‘Cloak of Evil’. I only got Day of the Dead. It was published wider than it was tall, like collections of newspaper strips, and it felt very like the last ever Marshal Law book. I enjoyed it. Don’t know anything about Cloak of Evil.

I’ve always meant to get these, but never did. They’re on the list now…

Thanks for reading. Until next week… Later.

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