Comic Book Gallimaufry: Pithier Than "Observations On A Variety Of Sequential Arts Periodical Readings"

I'm 27 years old. That happened recently. Also, I've been reading some comics. I'll talk about that at you some after the jump, if you like.

Obligatory Links To Better Writers- I miss Bill's link blogging thing. Does anyone else? I do. Anyway, here's the Savage Critic's savagely critical analysis of the writing and art on Rucka and Williams Batwoman storyline he would have surely linked to if he hadn't been bored to tears/madness and abandoned the feature like I abandon everything I ever write ever.

Anyway, I appreciate that David "Foul Mouthed Metron" Uzumeri and Jog "Jog is his nickname" have found things in the text and art I never would, and are literary and what not. Even if I'm not sure that makes the comics any better than the really good, but not up to my ridiculously high expectations, reception I've given them. That, and the Alice in Wonderland stuff does nothing for me, but then I don't care about the source material. I did enjoy the Batwoman: Year One story last issue more than the entire first arc, so there's that.

But forget all that. You have to read Jog's piece just for all the pretty art he crams in. Uzumeri's is also pretty good, I guess, even if he doesn't find a way to post excerpts from the JH Williams drawn Wolverine Annual I suddenly need to own.

I Was Never Good At Fractions I was the guy (possibly the only one) that was not particularly fond of Matt Fraction's first Invincible Iron Man arc. It was solid and everything, but not something that made me want to follow the series monthly (I wound up catching up on it via e-bay). I chalked it up to my not being a huge fan of the character. I did like it enough, especially the Spider-Man guest appearance, to at least keep the door open to reading the trades. And my LCS's Halloween Sale gave me an excuse to do that with the new one, which is what I was looking for.

Glad I did. The World's Most Wanted trade is great. It's as much a thriller as it is a superhero comic, with all of the tension and the impending sense of the walls closing in on the three protagonists. It's also the first time I've seen Maria Hill written as a character, and a pretty awesome one at that, since that one part of Secret Invasion Abhay pointed out there.

So, yeah, nice to see this comic live up to the hype, and I look forward to the next volume a whole lot, in the same way I eagerly snap up Ed Brubaker's Captain America.

Oh wait! I forgot the art! Even Salvador Larocca's art worked better for me on that IIM arc than it did in the previous one. It looked less, for lack of a better term, flashy and lifeless. Maybe the coloring helped, too, but it told the story well and was not nearly as unpalpable as I remember it being on the first car, which was in Greg Land/airbrushed/plasticine territory, I thought. Also, he drew Tony Stark with jet sneakers, and that automatically makes him one of my favorite artists ever. That goes for anyone, he just got to it first.*

I Have One Too, Norman and Nick! Here Is A List Of 25 Things I've Forgotten In Other Lists I've Done (Mostly On Facebook Pick Your 5s, but some here, too):

1. The Runaways (superhero team)2. Hellboy3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer4. Amy Whinehouse5. Dr. Horrible6. Chris Claremont and Paul Smith's Uncanny X-Men7. Wally Wood8. Dana White9. Jim Steranko10. Young Avengers11. Kofi Kingston12. The Harlem Boys' Choir13. The Swedish Bikini Team14. The Runaways (girl band)15. Katy Perry16. Walt Simonson's Thor17. Red Faction: Guerilla18. The Punisher19. Ares20. A picture of Rob Van Dam pointing at himself21. Bill Clinton22. Sublime23. Fantasy Football24. Johnny Unitas25. Dr. Dre

And while I'm already amusing myself, and myself alone, here's this Hernandez. Gordito. Mustache brothers separated at birth?**

Musings Of TERROR! One of the coolest things about Essential Tomb of Dracula vol. 2 is that it reprints a bunch of issues of Giant Sized Dracula. Beyond being pretty good self contained stories, it's pretty awesome to have them around just because it reminds you that there was a time when Marvel published two Dracula comics.

Blatant Marvel Bias Alert! I also picked up a copy of the first Heroes For Hire trade at that Halloween sale that made me go broke for a while. No, not that one that John Ostrander did, the other one. The one that spun out of Civil War? (Which the trade dress certainly wouldn't let you forget.)

So, anyway, I liked this too. A lot more than pretty much anything else I've read from Palmiotti and Gray*** as a writing team. Would have been better with Amanda Conner art, especially given that half the cast is hot women in spandex, but Billy Tucci and Francis Portella will do in a pinch. I just picked it up because Essential Power Man and Iron Fist has given me a new appreciation for the Daughters of the Dragon, so it was nice that I wound up enjoying it as a team book and not just a collection of supporting characters I like. Really though those two things are pretty intertwined. This is a comic that has Paladin and the Black Cat! If it also featured Diamondback and Silver Sable and the Wild Pack, it would include all of my childhood favorite guest stars!

One other thing about this comic; there's a subplot featuring the Skrulls, and when I first started reading those issues, I thought "that sets this up things really well for Secret Invasion!" And then I remembered that it was canceled during World War Hulk. So that creates two questions for me: 1. Were they planning that far in advance for SI, or was it a coincidence? 2. Why do I remember those World War Hulk issues?****

This You know, when he's not talking about how most everything sucks, Dan Apodaca is a man of great worth, which should be publicly acknowledged often. So I'll do that here. If nothing else, he has great taste in Onion editorials and linguistic trivia.

Bah Humbug, Forbush Man! Been seeing the Marvel Holiday Special Magazine in a lot of places that don't usually carry comics lately. Always happy to see comics out in the wider world of grocery stores and whatever you call Wal Mart at this point. And not just because I am close personal friends sort of know one of the writers!

As far as the actual special goes (which I also bought at that magical, bank account destroying Halloween sale), I've only read bits and pieces of it. Because it's November. I do plan on going back and reading the bulk of the issue, reprints of older Christmas stories, when it's more seasonally appropriate, because there's a Beast and Iceman story by Kurt Busiek and a Spider-Man story scripted by Stan Lee and drawn by Steve Lightle in there.

One problem with selling outside of comics shops; despite the fact that it's fairly well packed with content (well, that and ads written "in character" with lunatics like Hank Pym and Deadpool), it is $9.99. Probably a tough sale for an impulse buy. Being honest, I only bought it when I did because of the discount. Well, and I want to support my buddy acquaintance, Morse.

Teaser Ahoy! I've been reading a bit of Showcase Presents Metamorpho, and want to comment on it. Instead of doing that in this already overstuffed venue, I'm gonna make it a separate post. Watch for that, coming soon, ladies and germs!***** It will surely point out things about those comics!

*Well, as far as I know. If Al Milgrom or someone else did it first, please do tell me I forgot something I've never seen before. We bloggers love that!**It took me so long to get around to making that joke that Hernandez has shaved his mustache off. Still, had to get to it eventually.***I remember liking the first arc of their short lived Wildstorm series 21 Down a lot. And I haven't read a ton of their Jonah Hex, which is their longest running collaboration and seems to work for a lot of people.****Just kidding. I totally remember why. You don't have to mention it. At all. Certainly not this. You know the thing I still can't get over about that cover? Why in the hell does Black Cat have a bell on her collar? Or, really, why doesn't she always wear a bell?(In that I think all of the male posters here are sentient germ clouds. Well, surely at least Funky.)

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