I did something absolutely horrible today. I… can barely bring myself to write about it, but I feel I must, if only for the good of my immortal soul. You see, today, I bought New Avengers/Transformers #1.
And I knew, too; I knew what I was doing. I knew that I was helping to kill comics, by buying this soul-deprived, market driven, fanboy wankfest, when I could have spent my $3 on an indie comic that would have helped to contribute to bringing mainstream cultural respect to this wonderful artform. I even bought it from a shop where they kept the superhero comics in full view, and don’t even have a full stock of First Second and Fantagraphics backlist! I’m really going to need to do some serious penance to get back in ADD’s good graces. Maybe I should commit seppuku with an arctic shit knife.*
Hell, I don’t even have the nostalgia excuse. I liked the Transformers as a kid and everything, and I do have some affection for the cast of the Bendis Superteam All Star Players Monthly, but it’s not like either intellectual property was a huge part of my childhood that I’m yearning to recapture. That would be the theoretical X-Men/TMNT crossover where Kitty Pryde and Donatello team up to bring nerd vengeance against the Hand and the Foot Clan and Wolverine and Casey Jones get shit faced. But I’ve already said too much there.
Even worse I… I kinda liked it. Stuart Moore’s script was fun, and, perhaps to make Burgas and Seavey wet themselves, it did a good job explaining who everyone was. There were little text boxes and expository dialogue and everything! Which was nice to see, in what should definitely be an entry level comic. But I wanted to bust our accessibility cop’s balls anyway. I’m just in one of those moods today. He even came up with a decent reason for the Avengers to act like assholes to each other, which is refreshing given that someone like Mark Millar never really bothers with that sort of thing.Â Okay,Â having Falcon, of all people, call LukeÂ Cage brother was a little much, but I thought he had aÂ good handle on the charactersÂ otherwise.Â It did hit one big nerd spot for me with the Silver Sable cameo, (her fictional European country borders Latveria? I’m even more ignorant of Marvel’s geography than of the real world’s), but other than that, I thought this was a really strong piece of work for a comic that could have beenÂ completelyÂ phoned in.Â
I didn’t like Tyler Kirkham’s Top Cow-esque pencils much, but they at least told the story adequately (although I’m disappointed that he didn’t have Captain AmericaÂ doing aÂ Liefeld-esqueÂ exagerrated yellÂ on the last page). I even want to buy the next issue.Â So, you know, feelÂ free to flog me with your copies of Louis Riel (which I’m readingÂ right now! Seriously!Â Very slowly)Â orÂ your serious comics literature ofÂ choice, but I’ll be damned if this wasn’t fun. I don’t want to sing its praises too much, lest theÂ vengeful spirit of Joe RiceÂ haunt meÂ for going nutsÂ at the end of the day over what’s just aÂ competent exercise in synergy with a blockbuster movie (Paul O’Brian had a point when heÂ saidÂ thatÂ an FF/Transformers crossover wouldÂ have made more senseÂ from aÂ
“we’re having money for lunch!” perspective), but I do like to give comics I buy onÂ flights of sleep deprived fancy creditÂ when they’re bet than I expected them to be, much less when they’reÂ better than they have to be.Â I know I would be doing the world blogosphere, and probably the world, a world of good if I had given my thoughts on a comic that wasn’t going to sell like crack, porn, or Ashlee Simpson albumsÂ anyway (nobody’s admitting to buying it, but somebody has to be); hell, I would probably be helping to reduce my carbon footprint and end world hunger if I had, say, taken Burgas’s challenge and bought something outside my comfort zone (even if it was the same kind of thing as I always read, just not from Marvel and DC), but… ah, hell, I’m sick of snottily justifying liking this stupid thing. It was fun. I’ll get the next issue. It’s not great, world changing stuff, but for $3.00 of market driven pablum, I enjoyed it.
*- I really didn’t mean that to be as pissy and confrontational as it came off. **
**- Okay, I did, I just don’t want to deal with the consequences of actually answering to… whoever it was I was raging against there. Some imaginary comic book hipster snobÂ who is probably as real as Bigfoot or Dick Hyacinth. ***
***-Â I just get the feeling that he’s the elaborate fictional construct of three Indian call center workers, a super intelligent Koala Bear, and pro wrestling legend Randy Savage, you know? I mean come on, people, read between the lines! It’s right there!
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