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Random Thoughts! (March 23, 2010)

by  in Comic News Comment
Random Thoughts! (March 23, 2010)

Random Thought! The girlfriend is out of town until Thursday. That has no bearing on this post at all. I don’t know why I mentioned it, actually. Ah well, whatever. It’s random thoughts time! Get excited!

Link Thought! Top 5 Non-Main Event WrestleMania Matches (lists!). Wrestling Fact or Fiction (wherein Matt and I agree right up until the final question). Wrestling 4Rs including my review of TNA Impact (spoiler: it still kind of sucks). High Road/Low Road on Batista/John Cena at WrestleMania (I know I write the Low Roads, but I’m looking forward to this match). Roundtable Preview of TNA’s Destination X PPV (I went… 7-2, though no predicted the result of the tag match and the world title match went to a no contest). Wrestler of the Week (year five is almost done…!). Quickie Reviews (Mar 17 2010) (I liked what I bought). Art Discussion Month 2010 wrapped up Global Frequency (watch as Warren Ellis and Lee Bermejo show up in the comments — and check out the Tomm Coker issue’s discussion as I like what I did there). The Splash Page Podcast Episode 9.1 and The Splash Page Podcast Episode 9.2 (Tim and I talk a lot of comics… it’s fun!). Review of WWE Heroes #1 (yeah, it on this site, but people could have missed it).

Random Thought! Tomorrow’s Incredibles #7 (from BOOM!) features a genuinely moving, stirring heroic moment. When reading it, I got a little chill and totally went into a fannish/geeky mindset, cheering on the member of the team in question as they took it to the villain. That doesn’t happen for me often, so take that as a big recommendation. That, and the book is usually pretty good.

Random Thought! Went looking this weekend through the online archives and thought I would share some articles I did on comics creators in university while writing for the school paper, the University of Western Ontario Gazette. I did five interviews over two years, but one never made it online (or didn’t make the trip to the newer site/server). In chronological order with a note about how the interview was done: Brian Wood (published on November 16, 2004 — e-mail interview). Geoff Johns (published on March 1, 2005 — phone interview). B. Clay Moore (published June 9, 2005 — in person interview). Bryan Lee O’Malley (published on March 24, 2006 — e-mail interview). The only one not available online was published in the same paper as the B. Clay Moore interview, also done in person, and was with Chip Zdarsky. Both interviews were done at a comic convention in Toronto. All of the articles are actual articles, not Q&As… though I’d prefer Q&As. I still have the full Brian Wood interview (not the Bryan Lee O’Malley one, though… no idea why), so maybe I’ll stick it online at some point.

Random Thought! So… Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth is now a ’13-issue limited series?’ Is that fancy talk for ‘cancelled?’

Random Thought! Ten books this week, two books next week, around ten books the week after… fucking five-Wednesday month fucking with me.

Random Thought! Would people be interested in annotations/commentary of WWE Heroes #1 where I explain who wrestlers are (and point out who some of them just flat-out are)? Or does that seem mean, going to that extra length to mock the book a little? Though, my tone would be more ‘this is who this guy is and here’s the context that you need’ than ‘hahahaha, this is teh suck! LOLZ!’ Especially because some of the art is confusing (especially the Royal Rumble panel).

Random Thought! Reread Jim Starlin’s first run with Adam Warlock across the various books that it took place over. Amazing storytelling and structure, though there was an odd part where it appears Drax the Destroyer destroys Gamorra’s spaceship and that plot goes… nowhere. When we see Gamorra next, she reveals Thanos’s true plans and pushes forward that plot. Starlin’s run was cut short and continued elsewhere, so I imagine it’s just that. Or my reprints aren’t complete. I have the six-issue deluxe reprint from the early ’80s and between issues four and five, it does go from being “Just a Series of Events” to “Just a Series of Events Part III,” so who knows…

Random Thought! What kind of sucks? The inclusion of the Bill Mantlo/John Byrne story that’s needed to introduce the six Soul Gems effectively and return Adam Warlock to a normal size, but are such a dip in quality compared to Starlin’s work.

Random Thought! Personally, I’d rather never know who the Secret Avengers are. Even in the book. Bold storytelling where we never find out the Avengers team, focusing on everything but what they do. Instead, it’s just 22 pages of Mike Deodato drawing the office assistants: two 6’3″ 22-year old women in bikinis. It would be risky, but I think the sales would surprise you.

Random Thought! As I said on the podcast with Tim, my ideal wrestling comic would be turning it over to a writer/artist who takes two guys and does a 22-page match. Tell the story through the wrestling, maybe have each issue done by a different art, make it a showcase of art and action. Not the smart business move, but that’s not what I was thinking about. I think it’s the way to go in North American comics if you want a creatively strong wrestling comic. I could be wrong.

Random Thought! If you’re going to insult/criticise/be a dick to people online, one small request: spell our names right. I don’t care if you call me an asshole, just spell my name right.

Random Thought! What 2010 needs: a new Sam Roberts album.

Random Thought! Looks like this week may finally have me celebrating the fifth anniversary of GraphiContent.

Random Thought! Okay, people love DnA, so why not a “Thanos Forever” book by Jim Starlin that picks up after Thanos #6? Fuck it, call it “Infinity Forever” and have some fun with the title.

Random Thought! I’m not sure how I feel about the idea that the Sentry has the Carnage symbiote. I figure if that’s the case, I’ll be okay with it; and, if it’s not, I’ll be fine then, too. I do wish Bendis would use the text pages at the back better. The first and third text pieces were mediocre at best. I like the one with Fury and company since that seemed to actually expand on what happened a bit, while the other two basically told us things we know.

Random Thought! I stayed up too late last night watching the replay of Monday Night Raw since I watch Impact live to do the 4Rs. Stupid lack of sleep making me yawn!

Random Thought! Because of American Idol, CTV shows Lost at 7 pm here. Now, I don’t watch the show, but I’m tempted to. Just because. (Thankfully, I’m not a big enough asshole to do a live tweet update. That would be mean.)

Random Thought! Creators who get their own shortboxes, basically: Joe Casey, Warren Ellis, Grant Morrison, and Jim Starlin.

Random Thought! I should really be reviewing comics instead of doing this, so we’re done now.

***

Random Comments! I reply to comments because it fills up space and makes people feel involved. Two birds, one stone. I love it.

thomas said: sorry no thanks on the Starlin “I’d” keep him as far away as you can, he’s like Claremont, to be admired and respected for what he did in his prime. But don’t give him work that actually affects anything, he’s way past his prime. plus with Nova and GotG going on hiatus during The Thanos Imperative, I’d really rather have DnA handling the one cosmic book on the shelves. If they need to bring someone in, they should do something to pry Keith Giffen out from DC’s clutches, his work with Annihilation and the Conquest Star-Lord mini were the best things I’ve ever read from him.

buttler said: Yeah, I’m with Thomas on this one. I certainly enjoyed Starlin’s cosmic Marvel work in the past, but his more recent Death of the New Gods, Strange Adventures and Hawkman Special for DC have all been train wrecks.

Grouped these two comments together because of similar thoughts: yeah, Starlin wasn’t that great at DC recently, but his work with Thanos and Adam Warlock prior to leaving for DC was great. He knows how to make those characters work and I’d like to see him back doing that — if he’s going to be doing work-for-hire stuff. I liked what Giffen did on the cosmic books, but would take Starlin any day over him.

Matt Ampersand said: They should have gotten Kieron Gillen to finish Morrison’s Authority. I think that would have yielded interesting results.

That sounds better, agreed. Ivan Brandon, Joe Casey, and Matt Fraction are other names that spring to mind as guys who have taken up Morrison characters or ideas and run with them well.

Mario said: I agree they should slap a bunch of one-shot and two part Hellblazer comics into trades. Not so much because i’m a big Hellblazer fan but because I believe that if you sent out to put some of the series in trade you better damn put the whole thing in trade. Wasteland is a good example. You want to skip some one-shot issues as to not interfere with the main story? No problem. You want to collect them all in a trade of their own (the latest trade)? Why thank you Oni Press, thank you.

I don’t see why not put everything in print. Maybe Hellblazer trades don’t do as good of numbers as I think they do, but I assume it’s a book that does pretty well for DC in collected form. Maybe they’re trying to take it slow and not flood the market, which I can understand.

Ian A. said: I’d… be more inclined to read the series if it was called “Bastards of Evil,” but I’m such an easy mark for teen teams that I’ll probably give the book a shot anyway. (If I only have the funds to try it or Avengers Academy, though, the latter will likely win out.)

Yeah, but Marvel is not going to title a comic that, sadly.

I’d… have hired Casey as the full-time writer on that book. Rotating the creative team every arc seems like a great way not to gain traction in the marketplace, and the series is already an afterthought.

And, oddly, it outsells the other Superman books. I don’t understand how, it just does.

I’d… combine those thoughts. I’d… have hired Zdarsky to draw the second Batman & Robin arc. His Flamingo would’ve been magnificent.

I said a smaller thing only because of his day job at the National Post as one of their in-house cartoonists/graphic designers/drawing guys with a job title that I can’t remember.

I’d… like to point out that Frank Castle getting chopped to pieces was pretty integral to the current arc in his series. Otherwise, I’m with you.

I said that I wanted the books to matter to “Dark Reign.” Maybe mattered or contributed to their own titles, but, then, what’s the point of special one-shots all organised under a larger banner? They should have had an impact on the ongoing “Dark Reign” story first and foremost, otherwise they were just additional issues of those series. Which is fine, that’s why I bought the New Avengers and Secret Warriors issues, but seems like a cheap cashgrab otherwise.

FunkyGreenJerusalem said: Jenkins is fine, but you probably don’t want the one and two parters [of Hellblazer] as much as you think you do. Not the greatest ever.

I have some and, yeah, not the best, but usually decent enough. 2.5/3-star comics. There’s a base level of quality when it comes to Hellblazer, I find.

comixkid2099 said: when will you return to the Reread Reviews? The last one was Thor and that was lmost four months ago, i believe.

I hope to begin doing the odd one soon. I won’t return to a weekly schedule, but doing one or two a month is the goal. I’ve just been busy with CBR reviews, random thoughts, wrestling writing, blogging, and podcasting. Plus, you know, real life. But, hopefully, I’ll find the time soon. Nice to know that people want to see more of those.

capt jim(usa) said: just a quick hit and run comment, you know people who have watched corner gas and not liked it? it’s basicallly seinfield/friends except actually funny. (ok it’s a step behind friends, but unlike seinfield the cast is actuallly composed of likeable people) Corner Gas is a terrific series mind you this comment is coming from someone that has never laughed at two and a half men.

It’s an interesting examination of that small town insanity where it’s so boring that people just go kind of crazy. I always enjoyed it. Some episodes made me laugh a lot, others didn’t. Usually worth a few chuckles.

T. said: What does this mean, “real responsibility?” Kids? Bills? A marriage and a mortgage? Because just about any schlub can do manage that level of responsibility. The level of responsibility Peter Parker currently undertakes by protecting every last citizen he possibly can whenever he can is way more “real” than that. The endpoint of Peter’s progression into adulthood can be a bunch of things. He could remain am adult Spider-Man and become the head of a school for the next generation of teen heroes like Initiative/Avengers Academy. He could remain an adult Spider-Man and eventually become leader of the Avengers.

I agree with what Carl said in response to T. here: The thing about Spider-Man’s sense of “responsibility” is that it borders on narcissistic. He helps people because he’ll feel bad if his inaction leads to tragedy. It’s more about his own guilt than genuine altruism. Helping people is a byproduct of his own attempts to assuage his guilt. This “responsibility” is actually an inflated sense of self-importance. He’s the only guy who can stop Electro or Mysterio, despite there being a city full of superheroes. As a result, he takes responsibility for everyone else, but pretty much let’s his personal life suffer for it. If he’d actually had spent more time as Peter Parker, he might have been in a better position to recognize the signs of Harry’s drug addiction when they were roommates.

And, T. respond with: Okay, so he failed to protect one drug addict because he spends most of his time indirectly saving hundreds or thousands from the effects of drugs by conducting a war on organized crime and being a thorn in the side of crime bosses like the Kingpin and the Maggia. That somehow adds up to shirking “real” responsibility? I’d say in the grand scheme of things, his contributions far outweigh his failures and the responsibilities he undertakes far outweigh the responsibilities he fails in. It’s not like anyone else in Harry’s life who wasn’t out policing the city did any better in spotting Harry’s addiction in time. Despite his Spider-Man responsibilities it was still Peter who did the most to help Harry.

By living a secret life that puts himself in such danger, he’s acting childish and, yes, betraying the people he loves. He doesn’t truly trust them, keeping him identity a secret from them out of some idea of ‘protecting’ them. He has contributed as Spider-Man, but to keep doing so, he has to sacrifice his life — which is fine, but he wants to have both and that’s not possible. He hasn’t learned to live within what’s possible. I’ll alter what I said first: being an adult, for him, means being Spider-Man or being Peter Parker. Eventually, he would have to choose, because he can’t keep lying to those closest to him and operating openly isn’t fair to them either. The whole character is based upon the idea that the two halves of his life pull him in two directions and, more often than not, he can’t make it work, at least not in the longterm. I honestly can’t see him being Spider-Man once he has a child. The responsibility to that kid would be too great, him staying alive and raising the kid is too important. But, I could also see him going the other way and devoting himself to being Spider-Man.

Thanks for reading. Later.

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