Comic Book Gallimaufry

Ripping off Nevett for the name of my semi-regular collection of scatter shot thoughts on comics is more played than a footnote with a link to Chris Sims. I'm gonna start ripping off everyone's favorite defunct sports writing metacriticism sites instead. That should go over well!

Fanboy talks about indie cartoonists on superheroes; makes it about himself/superheroes: I was excited about Strange Tales when I remembered it existed and was being published imminently last month. Then I remembered this post from my old nemesis and became less so, because he pretty well says you're a jerk if you only want to see talented creators do corporate superheroes. And he's Canadian, so he's extra scathing when he makes that kind of proclamation. Just like Edge! Hopefully Nevett won't be doing any live blogging sex celebrations to up his hits.

So, yeah, I was wondering why I was so happy to see a gaggle of indie creators whose work I by and large will probably go on to ignore after they're done doing gag strips about MODOK (except Paul Pope, but does he even count as an indie creator anymore? When was the last time he did anything outside of Marvel and DC's confines? If he did do some creator owned stuff lately (since Batman: Year 100) do call me on it, because I need to read more of his non-superhero stuff).

After writing that absurd parenthetical paragraph, I've come to a conclusion: I like superheroes so much that I want to see as many different takes on them as possible. I'm the guy that likes it when Jim Mahfood draws Spider-Man. I loved all the indie/alternative/not the usual suspects involved in the Jemas/Quesada-era Marvel. I also like that the creators on ST are getting to put their own spin on the characters. I seriously doubt anyone but Tony Millionaire could ever write that Iron Man story, for instance. Also; whatever it was that Junko Mizuno did (which was charming and all, but still).

And hey, I am more inclined to check out, say, Jason's work now that I've had a taste of it in one of my comfort zones. The Bizarro Comics anthology did the same kind of thing; it at least made me aware of a lot of creators I may not have heard of otherwise, even if I haven't followed a lot of their work.

Me am love Brad's Transitions! Speaking of Bizarro Comics, my only real complaint about Strange Tales so far is that it would be much better as an OGN. Maybe it's just my wallet stinging from paying $5 for a single issue talking, though. I could swear last issue was $4, but then, I was so excited about it that I may not have even looked at the price. Thanks for ruining my enthusiasm retroactively, Nevett!

Pot shots at the Rated R Reviewing Star aside, I have to say that I'd be willing to buy a Strange Tales anthology monthly. Either as an ongoing showcase for that one story with a Marvel character a given cartoonist wants to do, or just for offbeat stories from any creator, or as a Nick Fury/Dr. Strange double feature like God (or at least Stan) intended. I'm down with any of that, really.

That's Fantastic, I guess I wish I could get more excited about Jonathan Hickman and Dale Eaglesham's run on Fantastic Four. I enjoy it, but I'm not as crazy about it as I wish I was (or at least, as much I was about Hickman's Dark Reign: FF mini with Sean Chen, which was just released in a collected edition and is worth checking out if you missed the singles). It strikes me as the flip side of the Rucka/Williams III Batwoman run: I find the art to be solid if not spectacular, but the story's holding my interest enough to keep me from dropping it in singles and waiting for the trade. Because I'm more in to story than art (and Marvel than DC, before someone in the comments calls me on my bias), I'm more likely to stay with Hickman's FF.

Well, that and I like Hickman more as a writer than Rucka. Sure, Rucka wrote Whiteout, but he's never done anything I've enjoyed as much as that Shang Chi/Deadpool team up. Or the really bad ass parts of Secret Warriors.

Hey look, another transition! This isn't that random at all! I demand a refund Which brings me to this week's Secret Warriors: The List one shot. I'd love to bitch about how it's Secret Warriors 9 1/2, or Secret Warriors: You Just Paid An Extra Dollar For A Regular Issue And A Reprint, Sucker!. But I can't. Because the main story was your daily requirement of great Nick Fury moments and the reprint was drawn by Steranko. Even though I already own said Steranko story, how can you snark on Hickman and Steranko Fury in one comic? I sure can't.

Essentially Random I've been alternating between Essential Power Man and Iron Fist vol. 1 and Essential Spider-Woman vol. 2 in my trade reading lately. I'm enjoying both more than I expected to, given that I more or less sprung for them because they were cheap. Jo Duffy and Kerry Gammill's run on PM&IF has been a lot more fun than I expected. After years of reading epic, cosmic superhero stories by people like Morrison and Kirby, it's nice to read something as down to Earth as two guys trying to eke out a living working at car shows and occasionally running afoul of the Living Monolith. This practically Harvey Pekar compared to what I've been reading in the past couple of years.

Meanwhile, Michael Fleisher's Spider-Woman (while not nearly as grotesque or lawsuit spawning as his Spectre run), is pretty solid work. Jessica Drew can't help but feel slightly generic, and the captions can get pretty hilarious in their attempts to combine descriptions of how hot she is with tradition Marvel purple prose, but it's all as readable as everything else I've read from Fleisher. I also really like Steve Leialoha's art. Considering that I mainly know him as an inker (and the guy that worked on that wordless G.I. Joe comic), it's interesting to see his pencils here. Also, I'm pretty sure one of the villains is a Rupert Murdoch analogue, so that's pretty cool.

And now he's gonna shoe horn in the video games. You can go to bed now, Dan Bailey! As much as I can agree with certain people from South Carolina I used to link to obligatorily that Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 isn't as good as the first one, I still enjoy it a lot and play it pretty often. While it's nowhere near as great as this year's other big licensed superhero game,Batman: Arkham Asylum, I also see myself playing it more than I did that one. Well, partially because I traded Arkham Asylum in, but also because I just really enjoy action/RPGs, especially ones that are more action (this game is practically a modern version of the '90s X-Men Arcade Game in some ways) and that is certainly MUA 2. Also, can you make a fire tornado in that Batman game? Sadly, no.

There's also that Marvel fanboy thing; there's a lot of servicing of that here. Of course, I'm a huge Batman fan, and there's a lot of fan service in that game, too (not in the way Danielle talks about, though, although Harley Quinn's skanky nurse outfit comes close); I just had my fill of it (I found every damn thing Riddler hid on that island) and couldn't imagine playing through it again (well, maybe if I get a PS3 and really want to play the Joker maps). Well, that and I needed to pay off my Brutal Legend pre-order somehow.

Anyway, I'm thinking of doing a big post on MUA 1 vs. 2. So, fair warning, old man video game haters. I may not do it, but the mere thought may annoy the crap out of you curmudgeons. The fact that I once had a series about comics and video games planned should also cause y'all some psychic pain.

Did You Know There's A Geek Dating Site? That's not a new category for me to pontificate on. I'm just saying there is, and that's why I have to go now. Well, that and it's 2:17 and look at all these words! I really have to re-evaluate my life.

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