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Random Thoughts! (May 18, 2010)

by  in Comic News Comment
Random Thoughts! (May 18, 2010)

Random Thought! Last week, Random Thoughts! got linked on CBR’s front page for the first time ever. Talking about Bendis equals eyeballs, I guess. Let’s see what happens when I spend far too much time discussing the Sentry. It’s random thoughts time! Get excited!

Link Thought! Wrestling Top 5 Worst Feuds (two words: Katie Vick). High Road/Low Road on Abyss as a Main Eventer (not as easy week for me to be writing the High Roads…). Roundtable Preview of TNA Sacrifice (I went 8 for 9!). Wrestling 4Rs including my write-up of Impact (back on the Monday edition of the column…). Wrestler of the Week (people missed the lack of non-WWE/TNA talent on this week’s lists). The Score responds to my complaint about sticking commercials in last night’s episode of Raw (I don’t know if it’s still the case, but Larry spelled my last name with two ‘V’s which amuses me…). Quickie Reviews (May 12 2010) (I may have overrated that Sentry book…). My shelves and desk on Robot 6’s Shelf Porn (it’s a little cluttered, but there’s also tons of awesome books). The Splash Page Podcast episode 16 (only one episode this week, but Tim and I disagree a lot, which makes it extra special). The Reread Reviews — Seven ‘Dark’ What Ifs (people love it when you talk about random old(ish) comics).

Random Thought! My top ten greatest Ed Brubaker stories:
10. Captain America “The Winter Soldiers” (#1-9, 11-14)
9. Criminal “Bad Night” (Vol. 2 #4-8)
8. Immortal Iron Fist “The Last Iron Fist Story” (#1-6)
7. Gotham Central “Unresolved” (#19-22)
6. Criminal “Lawless” (vol. 1 #6-10)
5. Sleeper Season 2
4. Captain America “Death of Captain America” (#25-42)
3. Sleeper Season 1
2. Criminal “The Dead and the Dying” (Vol. 2 #1-3)
1. Point Blank

Random Thought! My top ten greatest Warren Ellis stories:
10. Aetheric Mechanics
9. Scars #1-6
8. Red #1-3
7. The Authority “The Circle” (The Authority #1-4)
6. Transmetropolitan “One More Time” (Transmet #60)
5. Planetary “To Be in England, in the Summertime” (Planetary #7)
4. Transmetropolitan “Back in the City” (Transmet #1-3)
3. Lazarus Churchyard (as collected in Lazarus Churchyard: The Final Cut)
2. Transmetropolitan “Year of the Bastard” (Transmet #13-18)
1. Stormwatch “Change or Die” (Stormwatch vol. 1 #48-50)

Random Thought! My top ten greatest Thor stories:
10. “The Eternals Saga” (Thor #283-301, annual #7)
9. “Like a Bat Out of Hell” (Thor #362)
8. “Ages of Thunder” (the four Fraction one-shots)
7. “Putting on the Bear Shirt” (Thor #502)
6. “The Death of Odin” (Thor vol. 2 #36-44)
5. “Diversions and Misdirection” (Thor vol. 3 #12)
4. “World Engine” (Thor #491-494)
3. “Avengers Disassembled: Thor” (Thor vol. 2 #80-85)
2. “The Ballad of Beta Ray Bill” (Thor #337-340)
1. “The Surtur Saga” (Thor #344-354)

Random Thought! I want to see a Sentry series that’s nothing but horribly stupid retcons. The real father of Cable? The Sentry! Who was the Hobgoblin? The Sentry! I want to see the Sentry in Secret Wars and Infinity Gauntlet! I want the Age of Apocalypse Bob Reynolds story! What about the “Heroes Reborn” Sentry? Hire writers and artists from the time period to recraft the stories featuring the Sentry. It would be the new What If…? The possibilities are endless! (I’m so tempted to just spend the rest of this post outlining various Sentry-related retcons and how they’d play out… Maybe I’ll just have them pop up as I go…)

Random Thought! You know how Kang’s manipulation led to Hank Pym’s mental problems, so Kang moved onto Tony Stark? Before Pym, he tried to do the same to the Sentry and that’s why the Sentry is so crazy.

Random Thought! Consider me back on The Unwritten bandwagon after issue 13. A return to form for the series.

Random Thought! Onslaught was really a mixture of Professor X, Magneto, and the Sentry’s personalities.

Random Thought! Man, I’m guessing Peter Parker’s Pulitzer doesn’t seem so awesome now…

Random Thought! I wonder, would The Sentry: Fallen Sun have been much better if Jae Lee drew it?

Random Thought! John Romita drawing Avengers makes me happy. Stuart Immonen drawing New Avengers (still) does too.

Random Thought! I’m neither a Marvel nor a DC guy. I follow what looks good, usually based on creators. DC is dominated by Geoff Johns and others of a similar mindset currently, which is not to my taste, while Marvel has Brian Michael Bendis leading the way and I dig his writing. If the two switched companies right now, my wallet would almost certainly follow Bendis. I buy plenty of DC books… only a few of them being from their superhero line, most from Vertigo. The whole debate over which company is better is stupid, because it all comes down to the specific books being produced. Right now, I’d say Marvel is better, but that’s only because I like more of their comics. There have been periods where I was more into DC’s output. Hell, when I stick them side by side, I prefer Infinite Crisis to Civil War and Final Crisis to Secret Invasion. Based on August’s solicits, here’s what I plan to buy from each (numbers only). Marvel: (approximately) 25 comics (mostly MU). DC: (approximately) 15 comics (more than half non-DCU). But that’s August 2010. That could change easily. (Actual numbers for those months could change too depending on what ships on the same week and previous issues of series — like the JMS Superman and Wonder Woman or Cornell’s Action Comics…)

Random Thought! Yes, I plan on buying “One Moment in Time.” Sure, “One More Day” was all kinds of bad, but I’m always on board for more trainwreckbullshit.

Random Thought! The third Summers brother? Really the Sentry.

Random Thought! In the vial that Mr. Sinister gave Gambit? The Sentry’s formula.

Random Thought! In Operation: Galactic Storm, the Sentry sided with the group determined not to kill the Supreme Intelligence.

Random Thought! Actually, in The Infinity Gauntlet, the Sentry was in the half of the universe killed right away.

Random Thought! Northstar lost his virginity to the Sentry.

Random Thought! Screw the Red Hulk, the Sentry punched out the Watcher first.

Random Thought! The Sentry participated in the Spider-Clone Saga and was cloned as well, splicing his DNA with Spider-Man, creating… Spider-Sentry!

Random Thought! Yes, the Sentry was part of JLA/Avengers… everyone was!

Random Thought! The Beyonder learned about crystal meth from the Sentry in Secret Wars II.

Random Thought! Okay, it was mostly about the Sentry… once I got the idea, I found it hard to think of other random thoughts… sorry.

Random Thought! I like the Sentry… I do. I’ve always thought there was potential in that sort of character. Seriously.

***

Random Comments It’s an all-Bendis, all-Siege edition! Except for some of the comments. WHOO!

Annoyed Grunt said: I really didn’t care for the first Barracuda arc. The big, unstoppable guy is a familiar Ennis standby and he didn’t add too much to the gangsta archtype (though he did improve greatly in Long, Cold, Dark). I really didn’t care for the art in the early issues but it did improve through the story and his run. However, the biggest problem I had was that The Punisher kills a boat load of innocent people and the ramifications of that were never even addressed again. People can argue that the shareholders weren’t innocent because they would have profited off the crimes but that still doesn’t excuse the fact there were still innocent waiters and other workers on the boat. It was as bad as anything Mr. Payback did in Welcome Back, Frank.

Yeah, I’ll agree that that wasn’t one of my favourite arcs. I’ll see how it reads when I eventually reread the entire run in as close to one sitting as possible. The Barracuda mini was also weaker, but I don’t know if people consider that part of the run.

Dave said: What was it about Lullaby that turned you off completely? I’ve always thought of it as being one of Palahniuk’s strongest novels in terms of plot and pacing. I personally couldn’t put it down, but then again, I was a freshman in college when it came out. Who knows how I’d react to it now.

There wasn’t anything in particular. I was just a little bored with his writing. Around the same time, I also discovered Bret Easton Ellis’s writing, which seemed like a more mature and thoughtful version of the same style. That’s not true really, but it seemed like that initially. Never really gone back. I still have some of Palahniuk’s books, so maybe I’ll go back and reread them someday — see what I think now.

Rome said: Out of Marvel’s event’s starting from Secret War, which is the most important? and the least? Any thought or comment about which title should Olivier Coipel go after Siege?? (of course, i’m just asking which title would you like to see him providing art)

No idea about the events. Civil War was a very important one in that it impacted upon the entire line and the direction of Marvel’s output in a way that maybe only the Onslaught saga had. As for the least important… something that I just don’t remember. As for Coipel, I enjoy his work, but not enough that I really care what book he draws. I won’t mind if it’s one that I read, but wouldn’t go out of the way to find his art.

r said: I need to re-read Siege: The Cabal. I don’t think I realized that it was Loki talking as Green Goblin, in Osborn’s head.

We learn that in the Siege: Loki one-shot. So you didn’t miss anything in Siege: The Cabal itself since there aren’t any clues that Loki was responsible for Osborn’s discussing with the Goblin.

Maybe off topic (but not really): didn’t Tom Brevoort guarantee (I don’t know if that’s the right word, maybe “strongly promise” is better) that all four Siege issues would be released on time before Blackest Night ended? Has there been any mention of this since Siege #4 was delayed about a month (it was originally solicited for April) and DC moved on to Brightest Day?

If I remember correctly, that was said in jest. But, yeah, Marvel did think that Siege would come out on time (it’s only four issues!) and it didn’t — which I think it also hurting the launch of “The Heroic Age” since Siege ending one week and Avengers #1 coming out the next doesn’t provide much separation.

Iron Maiden said: And Chad, I think you forgot that it was a Doombot that showed up to the meeting at the Cabal. He was undoubtedly provoking to see just what Norman’s attack dog would do. I really have to look back at Bendis’s original statement about the first meeting of the Cabal and the intro of Norman’s enforcer. Bendis says that Doom and the others recognizes the “man behind the door” and that this was something that would make him and the others shut up and sit down. But who in that group had even seen the Void, let alone knew exactly what the Void was capable of? Namor and Emma quit yet and Osborn did nothing about it. Heck, Namor even challenged him right to his face.

Good interpretation of the scene. Though, they never saw Osborn’s secret weapon, they simply trusted Emma Frost’s telepathic reading of Osborn to know if he was telling the truth about his weapon having the power to kill them all. (If I recall correctly…)

Steve Simmons said: From your comments about Phillp K. Dick, you might enjoy Michael Bishop’s “Phillip K. Dick Is Dead, Alas.” A novel written in Dick’s style, with people trying to determine if Dick is dead or not – aided and abetted by Dick, who may or may not be dead. Dick would have loved it.

I’ll add that to the list of books to look for as well, thanks.

Rob said: In the first issue of Siege: Embedded, we get to see through the eyes of Ben Urich, Osborn’s Avengers helping out with disaster relief at Soldier’s Stadium. It’s only a handful of panels, but it does show that there was some response from the ‘hero’ community to the disaster. Despite what we saw in the pages of Siege #4, I don’t think Loki or The Void/The Sentry are dead. Loki’s manipulations in recent issues of Thor and his Siege one-shot don’t lead me to believe he was looking to commit suicide or die a ‘heroes’ death. By cutting his ties with Asgardian rituals regarding life and death, Loki is free to fake his death and move on to other concerns. Also, the moment Loki started using the Norn Stones, this got The Void’s attention, and recognised it as ‘Mischeif’. I am thinking at the moment of Loki’s ‘death’, The Void merged with the Asgardian and the two departed Earth to follow their own plans. What was left behind was an empty husk, which would explain why it was so easily defeated and killed by Thor.

That’s definitely possible. I considered such a theory, but since there’s nothing to support it, I took the scene at face value in my review of Siege #4 (I mean, how could I not…).

With regards to The Void, I don’t think we were dealing with the dark side of Bob Reynolds. I think The Void is an entity of some kind, some kind of fallen Demon Lord/Elder of the Universe/Celestial/Titan/Beyonder/whatever, and he took up residence in the mind of Bob Reynolds the moment he first drank the super serum. I’m thinking the serum only boosted Bob Reynolds to the strength and power level of Captain America, or at least as far as Luke Cage. With The Void as passenger, that is where the extra powers of super speed, flight and matter manipulation came from. If you read Paul Jenkins orignal Sentry series and the various eulogies in Fallen Sun, they don’t gel with Bendis’ interpretation of a mentally unbalanced drug addict. I believe The Void has returned back to whatever dimension or pocket of the Marvel Universe he orginated from (maybe he came from The Fault, the tear in space/time now occupying the DnA cosmic titles). With Loki as his partner, things will change in his home, and we will see the results in about five years time.

I’m not sure Bendis’s interpretation of the character completely conflicts Jenkins’s. Bendis definitely changed some things, but mostly built on what was already there. The second Sentry mini, written by Jenkins, is in line with the Bendis view of the character. I’m not sure what the point of Fallen Sun was — it was just awful.

Tom said: My only thought of Siege was: “this was suppose to destroy Blackest Night?” Better luck next time, Marvel.

My only though of your comment was: “Well, shit, I bought Siege and ignored Blackest Night. Wait — who cares which event book was better or which one I read?” Get your head out of your ass.

That’s it for this week, thanks for reading. Later.

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