I got a these for five bucks. An LCS wanted to get rid of them. Because they were no longer a comic shop, for some reason or another I will not get into for reasons I will not explain. But never mind that now, because I got 8 trades for $40, and I want to pass this probably karma damning windfall on to you, dear readers!
the Nightly News– Well, that certainly was a lot of information. I’m not the kind of person to re-read anything ever, which is one of the 1,000,000 reasons I was one of the worst English Literature majors in the history of the discipline. Of course, most comics really, really don’t warrant it, and a lot of the ones that do tend to be so turgid I’d only do so on salary. This one just might be different
This was Jonathan Hickman’s debut mini-series for Image. Burgas covered it pretty extensively, if I remember correctly, and if I don’t I blame Superboy Prime and hoping the Siegels don’t sue. I’m not going to go over it in detail, because I’m sure Burgas covered it in his reviews that existed in continuity at one point. I do have some varied points to talk about.
You have to give it to the former Comic Book Idol; he does not lack ambition here. The art is utterly unique, never commiting to panels and grids, and peppering in infographics and footnotes. While it’s all very impressive, accomplished, and most importantly for a fictional narrative, readable, the crochety old man in me occasionally wanted to yell “Why can’t you use panels like Jack Kirby did! Are you too good to be like Jack Kirby. Or Will Eisner! He never used these fancy daddy froo froo experimental layouts.” The crochecty old man in me is kinda dumb, you see, and he usually gets pushed down the stairs by the snotty young punk in me after awhile anyway. The nihilist in me likes all the violence and lack of a Hickman tying everything together with a pretty bow, but the person demanding revolution does like that we at least get an explanation of what the conspiracy driving the book was all about, and one of the best last lines in the history of anything ever.
So, yeah, my mind is pretty much like Herman’s Head over here. In that I’m bolting a Herman’s Head reference on to this post to explain my apparent multiple personality disorder, or at least explain all of the ways this book appeals to me.
As far as the re-reading thing, I’m sure there’s stuff that went over my head, and knowing how it turns out should make things more interesting. So yeah, I may do that, after I get through the 3,000 or so trades I’ve acquired recently. At least I knocked out–
Godland vol. 1- Hello Cosmic! recently. Pretty quickly, really. Pretty much the opposite end of the spectrum, as this not only uses panels like Kirby, but is a Kirby pastiche. Although I like to think of it more as what some wag called it on the back cover blurb “looking at Kirby as a genre.”
Joe Casey’s a real hit or miss writer for me. He has good ideas and often uses some very inovative storytelling techniques. But for all of his ambition, his actual stories often leave me cold.
For example, I picked up the first arc of his WildCats 3.0 series during my free comic day orgy of gathering, and I have to be honest; how could anyone have ever expected that thing to not be cancelled? Between the detatched commentary on genre cliches that I guess is supposed to be clever but comes across as about as insightful as some douche at a movie theatre commenting on the movie to the thrilling accounting action, it was certainly a different kind of supehero book, but I also found it deathly dull.
Godland, though, finds a way to mix in the thrills you expect from a superhero book with Casey’s quirks and genre commentary in a way that doesn’t come across like he’s trying to distance himself from the genre he’s working in. His characters are very self conscious of how much they’re talking smack at each other, but I’ll take that over Spartan (or all the characters in what I’ve read of Automatic Kafka) pontificating on how bored they are with being superheroes.
The artist, Tom Scioli, draws a lot like Jack Kirby with less rough edges. That’s all I can say. It’s basically like what you’d get if Kirby had been born in the ’70s. Slicker, prettier, but with the same sense of design and dymanism synoymous with the King.
Between the art and the script, this reminds me a lot of one of the few runs Casey’s done that I’ve ever really liked, Cable. That also had Kirby-esque art, from a guy whose name I dare not type, lest I forget the proper number of accents. That, and I’m too lazy to google the name of the guy who also draws Hip Flash sometimes just to copy and paste it properly.
The Immortal Iron Fist #16- Brubaker and Aja exit, stage left by making our hero the kung-fu billionaire a kung fu philanthropist, and seeding some other interesting status quos for the next creative team. A phenomenal conclusion to a run that perfomed the herculean task of making me buy and enjoy an Iron Fist comic. I’d make a transition to talking about Hercules, but I don’t have much to say about that, beyond being amused by who’s a skrull. Well played, Pak and Van Lente, the latter of which writes–
Action Philosophers vol. 1- This is as compellingly readable as I’ll like ever find any philosophy. It works for me in a way that other edutainment comics, like Larry Gornick’s Cartoon History of the Universe, don’t (okay, Cartoon History’s the only other one I’ve ever read, and I never quite warmed up to it). Dunlavey’s art compliments that humorous aspects of the story, and I even learned things about the philosophers and their philosophy, which is more than I can say for when I actually paid to take a philosophy course. Also; Plato wears a luchador mask, which is coincidentally my platonic ideal of how he should always be portrayed.
Secret Invasion #4– Okay, green is a context clue for when someone’s a skrull, except when the person’s eyes are actually green, right? Are Black Widow’s eyes green? How should I feel about not knowing what color Black Widows eyes are? And then we get in to the kettle of confusion that is who in the bluest of blue hells Fury’s new Howlers are. And yet, I’m still enjoying it. The stuff with Ms. Marvel is really capitalizing on the paranoia inherent in the premise, which is what drew me to the damn thing in the first place.
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