Random Thought! It's an all Bendis, all Siege edition this week as I prepare for tomorrow's release of Siege #4, Dark Avengers #16, and New Avengers Finale #1 (all of which I'm reviewing for CBR) by rereading the Bendis-penned issues of Siege and its tie-ins. You've been warned, so Bendis haters beware. Thoughts will be written while doing the reread. There will be spoilers. It's random thoughts time! Get excited!
Link Thought! 411 Wrestling Top Five Worst Signings (man, did WCW misuse Bret Hart or what?). Wrestling 4Rs including my write-up of the last Monday night Impact (Impact moves to Thursday this week, so I move back to the Monday edition of the 4Rs...). High Road/Low Road on the 2010 WWE Draft (for this month, I'm doing the High Roads...). Wrestler of the Week (I'd decided to find any excuse to put Jack Swagger and/or Chris Jericho on my list, but, this week, I couldn't make it happen, sadly). Quickie Reviews (May 5 2010) (comics comics comics!). The Splash Page Podcast episodes 15.1 and 15.2
Random Siege: The Cabal #1 Thought! Loki talking about himself to Norman Osborn while pretending to be the Goblin in his head? Fantastic. A really good scene that works even better when you know it's Loki. Him telling Osborn how he can't trust Loki and Loki is a liar is funny and informs us about what both of them think of Loki. Loki is self-aware to know this about himself, while Osborn believes it on some level since he thinks he's talking to himself. If anything, that Osborn doesn't reject the idea allows Loki to learn how Osborn really sees him, making his manipulation more like a preemptive strike since Osborn would eventually turn on him.
Random Siege: The Cabal #1 Thought! Dr. Doom? Total dick. Anytime I read the interaction between him and Osborn here, I find myself on Osborn's side. Namor betrayed Osborn, so he's out. That Doom takes that as a personal insult hints at Doom: he'll always betray and doesn't like that Osborn sees himself as in charge (despite being in charge). He probably resents Osborn just giving him Latveria back.
Random Siege: The Cabal #1 Thought! Doom helps kick it all off and hasn't been seen since. Ha.
Random Siege: The Cabal #1 Thought! Michael Lark is the first of a really great line-up of artists Bendis works with during Siege. While there's some action here, Lark is great at the discussion scenes. The way he pushes in the camera while Osborn talks to the Goblin mask... his style also fits with Alex Maleev's with this one-shot falling in the tradition of New Avengers: The Illuminati and Secret Invasion: The Cabal.
Random Origins of Siege #1 Thought! Totally non-essential issue, but Bendis wrote a story, so...
Random Origins of Siege #1 Thought! I will say that the Fred Van Lante one-page origins are pretty good because of the fantastic line-up of artists, many associated with the characters. Steve Epting does Steve Rogers, Mike Perkins does James Barnes, Salvador Larroca does Iron Man, Esad Ribic does Thor, John Romita Jr. does Spider-Man, Mike Deodato does Green Goblin, Giuseppe Camuncoli does Loki, Trevor Harsine does the Sentry, Mike Choi does Wolverine, Dale Eaglesham does Doom, Travel Foreman does Ares, and Kyle Hotz does the Hood. Pretty good for a free book.
Random Siege #1 Thought! Olivier Coipel's Victoria Hand is sassy.
Random Siege #1 Thought! The pacing is a little choppy. Bendis doesn't usually do a lot of one-page scenes, but that's the post-disaster pacing of this issue. It seems rushed, like he knows where he wants to be, but has to go through the motions of getting there.
Random Siege #1 Thought! Something about Ares standing on the nose of a fighter jet while it flies seems right.
Random Siege #1 Thought! At least Steve Rogers isn't shaking his fist outright at the TV at the end...
Random Dark Avengers #13 Thought! The Void is the tenth plague!
Random Dark Avengers #13 Thought! Convenient that Lindy puts forth the theory that the issue rests on outside of her...
Random Dark Avengers #13 Thought! I was disappointed at the time -- and still am -- with this issue since nothing is revealed here that we didn't already know. Also, Bendis's technique of showing the second halves of scenes later began to bother me a little.
Random New Avengers #61 Thought! Gavok has officially made the 'Captain America pointing at you' image something that shouldn't be done anymore.
Random New Avengers #61 Thought! For some reason, Mandrill and Griffin remind me of the two jerk-off stock brokers that were in Christopher's crew in The Sopranos. Two losers trying to prove themselves, but anyone can see that they're just a couple of jerk-offs that will go nowhere.
Random New Avengers #61 Thought! Still not a fan of both plots involving supervillains mind-controlling one of the heroes.
Random Siege #2 Thought! In the debate over where Siege: Secret Warriors #1 takes place in Secret Warriors, this issue doesn't help entirely. I say it takes place before "Wake the Beast" because Druid is still part of the group, while Tim argues it takes place after because of Phobos's actions. Well, Druid doesn't show up in the scene where Captain America does his big speech, but he is in the bonus dialogue bit at the end of the issue that takes place just before Fury and company join up with Cap and the rest... so... uh... what?
Random Siege #2 Thought! Ares's speech > Cap's speech.
Random Siege #2 Thought! HOLY SHIT!
Random Siege #2 Thought! Coipel's James Barnes looks... wrong. Weird feathered hair and dumb grin.
Random Siege #2 Thought! Nick Fury not being affected by Alex's powers is pretty cool.
Random Siege #2 Thought! I do love that final page.
Random Dark Avengers #14 Thought! Part of me wanted to complain about these Avengers issues not tying into Siege more directly, but, fuck it. I've been reading these books all along, so I've got no problem with them continuing their stories a little rather than dropping everything.
Random Dark Avengers #14 Thought! I've always enjoyed Osborn and the Sentry/Void when they get talking. Bendis seems to have a lot of fun with that.
Random New Avengers #62 Thought! Mandrill can only mind control women. I shudder to think what he would do if he were in the DCU right now...
Random New Avengers #62 Thought! I love the HAMMER agents arguing over taking on the Captains America. Of course, the guy talking sense gets his head blown off. Sometimes, the world just isn't fair.
Random New Avengers #62 Thought! Part of me can't help but think that Spider-Man's life sucks because he always just webs people up and hopes that that solves the problem. He's the poster boy for the superhero pattern of throwing guys in jail and hoping that that will be the last you see of them -- and then getting pissed off every single time it isn't. Such a fucking child.
Random New Avengers #62 Thought! No Druid here. Hmm...
Random New Avengers #62 Thought! I like how we don't see what Steve says to Carol. Nothing that anyone could come up with would be good enough, I think.
Random New Avengers #62 Thought! Stuart Immonen! Daniel Acuna! Great art issue (same with the last one).
Random New Avengers #62 Thought! The end of this issue doesn't mesh with the end of Siege #1, but that's pretty standard for this event (and the others that have come before it). Overlapping scenes that don't play out the same. Blah blah blah. Annoying, but predictable.
Random Siege #3 Thought! Not a fan of the switch to the White House perspective. I prefer more fixed perspectives in stories unless it's a constant thing. At least this one is an ongoing one, not a 'everything already happened' one ala Secret Invasion #8.
Random Siege #3 Thought! "America! Fuck yeah!"
Random Siege #3 Thought! The opening spread looks a little too cut and paste...
Random Siege #3 Thought! "HOW MANY GODS WILL I HAVE TO KILL TODAY?" Probably the best panel of the whole event.
Random Siege #3 Thought! Norman under his armour... creepy as hell.
Random Siege #3 Thought! The Sentry is a spider-god!
Random Dark Avengers #15 Thought! I wish the look of the unleashed Sentry/Void was consistent between Coipel and Deodato.
Random Dark Avengers #15 Thought! Ha ha ha, Moonstone can't drive.
Random Dark Avengers #15 Thought! Ha ha ha, Victoria Hand doesn't know about radio frequencies.
Random Dark Avengers #15 Thought! Ha ha ha, Daken is the man.
Random Dark Avengers #15 Thought! Rain Beredo's colours on this issue are awful. Overpowering, artificial-looking, distracting... he's always had this style in his colours of this book, but never to this degree. It looks awful.
Random Dark Avengers #15 Thought! Bullseye thinks Lindy is 'frumpy' and Mike Deodato's pencils disagree.
Random Dark Avengers #15 Thought! The issue ends with Victoria Hand realising what happened, but she continues to work for Osborn. Huh.
Random New Avengers #63 Thought! Mike McKone is a good pick to follow-up Immonen on these final two issues of New Avengers. Dave McCaig's colours help a lot, too, in maintaining a consistent look. I really like the idea of using a colourist to keep a consistent look in a comic.
Random New Avengers #63 Thought! Wait, I thought "The Siege of Asgard - Phase One" happened in Siege #1 -- and the heroes didn't show up until Siege #3... uh oh!
Random New Avengers #63 Thought! What happened to little Danielle's green eyes?
Random New Avengers #63 Thought! Luke and Jessica is always golden. Always.
Random New Avengers #63 Thought! Jessica's doubts about putting on the costume again are really well written.
Random New Avengers #63 and New Avengers #64 Thought! The pairing of Hawkeye/Mockingbird and Hood/Madame Masque works better over the course of the two issues than just in #64.
Random New Avengers #64 Thought! The Hood seems skeptical about the Norn Stones from the get-go. Too bad he doesn't keep that attitude for later in the issue...
Random New Avengers #64 Thought! I really like the Hood. Bendis has made me care about him.
Random Siege Thought! I'm looking forward to tomorrow's books. Not sure that everything will conclude strongly since Bendis has had a problem with that in the past, but still. I'm a big fan of what he's done with the Avengers franchise. Some missteps here and there, but, overall, some compelling books. He's at his best when he does the smaller conversations, but the big stuff isn't bad. Siege has had some big moments that have landed -- and it's flowed okay after the choppy beginning of the first issue. The tie-ins support the main series, but from the perspective of those books and their casts, which is good. So, tomorrow, we get the end of Siege, Dark Avengers, and New Avengers in preparation for next week's Avengers #1. Sounds good to me.
Random Comments! People get happy when I include their comment here. I'm not entirely sure why. Ah well. Time to make some people happy. (And some other people sad, no doubt...)
Daryll B. said: Speaking of Brubaker...your thoughts on the proposed movie treatment for Incognito?
Good for Brubaker and Phillips. I'd probably see it.
Can't wait til the 411 guys do the high road/low road on Bryan and Wolfe's treatment so far....
"The 411 guys" are Sat and I since we do that column. Not sure that topic would work, but if either man was involved in a larger angle than they currently are, I have no doubt we'd do a column on them. I just hope I won't have to do the Low Roads since I like both men.
Finally, never let it be said Wayne Brady isn't a trooper. Bob "darker" took that RKO better than 60% of the wrestlers I have seen.
Meat Loaf took a good one this week, too. You can always tell the celeb fans from the ones there just to promote stuff by their willingness to take a bump.
jjc said: I fear WWE (Vince) only thinks of Christian as a solid mid-card guy with limited main event appeal. I do hope to see him in a program against CM Punk soon, those 2 could have some great matches.
That would be a great program. I could see Christian getting a feud against Swagger to help make Swagger look good. Build it on their past in ECW where Christian took that belt from him (if they want to even mention ECW as having existed, which they've shied away from recently). But, come on, Christian and anyone is going to be good.
Dave said: Palahniuk lost me with Haunted, and then Snuff was probably the worst thing he's ever written. I did enjoy Rant in that it broke from some of his formula by presenting the story as an oral history rather than straight prose, but it wasn't enough to get me to get me buying his subsequent novels. I'll probably get his new books out of the library at some point like I did with Pygmy and Snuff, but I'm definitely not going to be buying them on day one and getting them signed like I used to.
After Lullaby, I was done. I took Haunted out from the library and never got past the 20th page. Around that time, I discovered Bret Easton Ellis. Coincidence?
I have bought every William Gibson novel, but that's more just force of habit brought on by my love of the Sprawl trilogy while I was in college than anything else. I really only bought Spook Country because I was already at a signing Gibson was doing.
I bought Spook Country because the hardcover was, like, two bucks at a local Chapters one day when I was there. Haven't read it yet, but you can't go wrong with a two-dollar William Gibson hardcover.
Travis Pelkie said: If you're a Philip K. Dick fan (I was going to just write his last name, but realized that might look wrong), check out Christopher Miller's book The Cardboard Universe. It's about a writer named Phoebus K. Dank, and it's set up as alphabetical entries about Dank and his work, written by his long time house guest and biographer (Bill Boswell) with some entries written by an old "friend" (Owen Hirt), and Boswell is a non-critical fan, while Hirt is dismissive of all of Dank's work. As the book progresses (it's written in alphabetical order, unlikely, but you have to roll with it), you start to see things are off. The ideas for stories are neat, and the book is very readable. Don't forget to read the index, as well. Philip K Dick is even presented as a fictional character in Dank's work. Great book, and makes me want to read more PKD (I think I've read Ubik, Flow my Tears..., and probably A Scanner Darkly. I know the American Library (or something) put out a couple of collections of his stuff, so I'll check that out.)
Sounds interesting. I'll have to check it out.
Well, I do like CSN, although my LCS of choice doesn't seem to carry it any more, but they've always been more of a "print the press release" than "real journalism". Although I do wonder, isn't all the Marvel work Cornell did cancelled? So I question your characterization of it as "work that people love so much".
Aside from Captain Britain and MI:13, Cornell's work has all been minis or anthology books, so only one book has been cancelled. But it was also the book that made people really notice Cornell's writing and was a critical success that just didn't translate to larger sales, sadly.
And what prompted the media coverage of gay superheroes comment? Was it the NY Times article in the Sunday Styles section a couple weeks back? I thought that was actually pretty good, although I did wonder if some of the info came uncredited from CSBG (especially the part about the Shooter Hulk at the YMCA story).
The announcement of the Batwoman ongoing, I believe, was the most recent round of 'gay superhero' coverage.
Rome said: One thing I see that comes up a lot when talking about New Avengers is the timeframe of the series.. According to most of the people, the first 20 issues occur in ONE "Marvel" week or so.. I must say, that to me, that's not the case. The fact that no one adresses the time passing by makes it look like it does, but really, it doesn't, and here's why:Between the "Sentry" and the "Ronin" arcs, the "Spider-Man: Break Out" series takes place, as well as "Amazing Spiderman #519-524" and "The Other", the "Young Avengers" #7 & 8, and a few more stories that I can't recall right now.. But if you add "House of M", which consists of at least a week, the Ronin arc, the Collective, and the final arc of Young Avengers, you really get the idea of the group being established as a real TEAM, with time for the characters to interact and turn themselves into team-mates.I can get it that, for a team book, things seem to happen to slow, but if you really consider the book as a part of the Marvel Universe, you may see that the book is part of a bigger picture, and it never loses its prupose, which was from the begining that THIS is the book where the important things happen..(except with the Secret Invasion tie-ins, where I got really bored in the Savage Land issues..)
The problem with that theory is that all of Bendis's stories lead into the next directly or reference how little time has passed. Obviously, it's an effort to make it flow or to get people to buy the next arc, but it does give the sense that everything happens very quickly. I didn't really explore how his run works with the rest of the Marvel universe as much since I don't know -- and that wasn't the focus.
Are you looking forward to the second volume?
Yes, I am.
stealthwise said: Punisher: The End was great, but for me, the absence of The Tyger and The Cell were bigger missteps. The former is a meticulously crafted snapshot of twisted Americana and the latter is the most cathartic revenge tale I've ever read in comics.
I like both of those ones as well, but favour The End out of the three. Was there a weak story in Ennis's Max run?
garbonzo said: I miss Doktor Sleepless. I find it hard to get attached/involved with any long-term Ellis project any more. His track record of dropping projects mid-term is, well, impressive. Fell, Jack Cross, Desolation Jones, New Universal, Planetary (finished how many years late?), Ministry of Space (same as Planetary). So, I just wait for the trades with him.
I wait sometimes, not others. His Avatar work, I try to support in singles because it's a smaller publisher. Also, my thought on Doktor Sleepless wasn't meant to be an angry condemnation of anyone, just what I thought at the time. I miss the book and would like to see more issues -- but recognise that things happen. (That last bit wasn't directed at you, garbonzo, I just used your comment as an excuse to say it.)
Dan Bailey said: ALL of PKD's work is in print? I'm not doubting your word, & I haven't had occasion to check (I think I own everything except for a couple of the posthumously published mainstream novels, though at least I managed to read library copies of those back in the late '80s), just marveling at how much things have changed since he was a rather obscure cult author back in the '70s, which is when he became my favorite writer. (TIME OUT OF JOINT blew my mind as a 7th-grader back in '71 or so, & a few months after that I found PALMER ELDRITCH in the neighboring county's library. After that, my course was set.)
Vintage has all of the sci-fi books in trade paperbacks. There's a partially out-of-print five-volume set of his complete short stories, plus the ongoing new printings of his non-sci-fi novels.
Mario said: I'm curious as to why Point Blank is your favorite Brubaker comic. I read it just recently and although I did enjoy it, I don't consider it his best work. Care to explain?
A really smart, mature take on superhero concepts blended with crime tropes. Very playful and interesting in its execution. Self-contained and easy to get into. New people may not know who people are specifically, but all of the info you need to follow along is there. By the end, it's almost like the story never happened, which is a trick I enjoy.
Kevin Hellions said: CM Punk has been the best heel since becoming the Straight Edge Savior. His mic work in between eliminations at the Royal Rumble was a thing of beauty. Then he goes out there and still has incredible matches. I'm really hoping for another world title reign this year. RE the old lady slapping him. There's a video up on YouTube of some fan at an indy show (may have been ROH) screaming "DIE!" in Punk's face a few dozen times. Punk no sells it, only aggravating the fan more. Great stuff.
I love how the WWE has had him talk in the middle of matches like the Royal Rumble and the Elimination Chamber. It's different and takes advantage of what makes Punk so great right now. You can tell that he's loving his job right now. He seems more enthused than I've ever seen him in the WWE.
And that does it for this week. Thanks for reading. Later.