Random Thoughts! (April 3, 2012)

Random Thought! Another WrestleMania has come and gone... The countdown begins anew. It's Random Thoughts time! Get excited!

Link Thought! GraphiContent for comics. butterbeatleblog for popculture. 411mania for wrestling reviews and the occasional CD review.

Random Thought! I bought The Venture Bros. seasons three and four (or, season four vol. one and season four vol. two to be accurate) off eBay a couple of weeks back and they arrived yesterday. So, I watched season three and the first half of season four yesterday and the second half today. I want this show to come back soon.

Random Thought! Deadpool MAX II #6 last week was an odd issue. I love David Lapham's art, but missed Kyle Baker. There's a sense that the final issue was 'purer' in vision with Lapham drawing it himself, but the tone was off. So much of what made that book work was the way Baker drew Lapham's strange, funny scripts. Even when Shawn Crystal did art it turned me off and I think he's a talented artist. A shame that the book didn't end the way it lived, y'know?

Random Thought! The final page of Daredevil #10 was a little lame. "Foggy, there was a guy there! I sensed him with my enhanced radar senses that are, like, WAY better than you no doubt worse than 20/20 vision! You have to believe me! I'm not crazy!" You know what made him seem crazy? Immediately proclaiming that he's not crazy like that...

Random Thought! Thursday. 3pm. The season opener between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Cleveland Indians. Hell yes.

Random Thought! Did Norman Osborn's New Dark Avengers actually ever do anything? I don't remember them doing much besides getting their asses handed to them. And, now, they get to star in their own comic... I can see why people would want to read about that bunch of losers.

Random Thought! Avengers vs. X-Men #0 was an alright issue... more of a thematic prologue to the event. Which, you know, makes it kind of a strange comic to release as the zero issue. It's also weird how the first half basically finishes the story started in Avengers #24.1. Sometimes, I can't figure Marvel out...

Random Thought! The Unwritten #35.5 undid a couple of my complaints about issue 35 to a degree by introducing a character that looks to be Pullman's replacement of sorts. Perfect follow-up to get me excited about that comic again.

Random Thought! Alright, Batman has won the March Madness tournament three times in the past four years. Maybe we should get a new line-up of characters? Maybe retire some of the obvious winners/contenders?

Random Thought! Last week, I was looking around Chapters's website since they sent out a promo code for 'Plum Rewards' members (lame name, I know) for an additional 5% off books (for a total of 10%). I wanted to get that Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes collection Marvel recently released with both mini-series Joe Casey wrote and it was just over $25, so it qualified for free shipping. Except, when I went to buy it, they applied the 5% discount and THEN offered me shipping options, bringing the cost below $25 and, with shipping, suddenly costing over $30. So, I complained about the 5% discount of being a rewards member actually adding 24% to the cost and they credited me the cost of shipping. Which is very nice and all, but why not change it so discounts are applied after shipping is chosen? (Also, I did order the book. It shipped on Thursday and still hasn't arrived... nice to know that shipping you pay for from that site sucks like their free shipping...)

Random Thought! Got the new Joel Plaskett Emergency album on Sunday (it's quite good) and, while shopping, picked up Hammered by Motörhead, which seemed fitting for Sunday. See, the first bonus track on the album is a little song called "The Game." I almost took that as a sign from the universe about the result of the Hell in a Cell match.

Random Thought! Three weeks... you gave it your best shot, man. I would have done exactly what you did. Don't let the bastards get you down.

Random Thought! The correct answer to my question about DC's version of Avengers vs. X-Men is the JLA vs. the Endless. You all lose.

Random Thought! Am I supposed to be rooting for Reed Richards and the Children in The Ultimates? Because I am...

Random Thought! "AGAIN! AGAIN! AGAIN! AGAIN!"

Random Thought! The Vision had the chance to kill Magneto and didn't... this is why everyone hates that fucking robot.

Random Though! I love the reversal of the new issue of Scalped from the previous one. This final arc looks to be full of surprises.

Random Thought! Unlike Civil War, I assume Avengers vs. X-Men may actually get people torn between sides, right? Or will one side be made into the second generation of Tony Stark's Asshole Brigade of Fucking Douchebags? Actually, given Cyclops's current personality, he seems a good candidate for being the Asshole Tony Stark of this event...

Random Thought! I'm left wondering how Moon Knight can wrap everything up in issue twelve. It seems like Bendis and Maleev have too many balls in the air, especially given the pacing of the series to date. I will miss it when it's done, though. It's a book that really grew on me.

Random Thought! Giant comics week tomorrow, if only because of Jack Kirby's Fourth World vol. 2 in trade and Flex Mentallo in hardcover. But, it's also a big week for DC books (that first week of the month is where almost all of the books I buy are shipped) with the most notable release being the final issue of OMAC, I suppose. There's also some new issues of Fatale, Casanova, and Hell Yeah... much reading to do... and even more money to spend.

Random Thought! Prompted by Hank Venture's list of top five dream jobs where he lists Batman twice (Golden Age and Post-Crisis), which Batman would you be if you could be Batman?


Random Joe Casey Question! After Vengeance brought together so many different characters and ideas from your work at Marvel, do you have any desire for a follow-up? (I guess, more importantly, does Marvel seem to?)

Random Joe Casey Answer! VENGEANCE was really a one-off kind of thing, a confluence of weird events that will probably never repeat themselves in our lifetime. And even though it sold way better than anyone expected (including me!), things are really weird at Marvel right now (as anyone who looks at sales rankings can confirm). Since I hear practically all of the inside scoop -- both through the proverbial grapevine and directly from the horses’ mouths -- and the fact that I pretty much know how the current system works there (in ways that would probably dishearten the average fan), I figure it’s something that I’m probably better off just generally steering clear of for now. And the truth is, with all the guys they’ve got on contract that they have to… service (double entendre absolutely intended there), there’s not a lot of room for other writers. It's not an ideal situation for anyone, but it is what it is.

Now, I’ve got no problem saying that I’ve loved reading Marvel since I was a kid, and I've generally had a really good time writing for them, so I would never say never… but their corporate climate is such that I should just concentrate on making a few bones producing multiple shows starring their biggest icons on the TV animation side of things (let’s just say it outright, Man Of Action Studios are currently the “Architects” of Marvel’s TV animation division… we’re even working on shooting some embarrassing boy band photos). In that kind of work environment, I’m absolutely a corporate cog and I don’t question it. But I prefer to make comicbooks, even WFH gigs, in more of a creatively free, Wild West-setting -- I think you make better comicbooks that way, and ultimately provide more relevant source material for all the ancillary stuff that comes later (movies, TV, merch, etc.) -- and Marvel Publishing has become very controlled, very editorially driven (as has DC), in ways that don’t necessarily jibe with my own personal creative bent. That's why you see me doing a WFH job like HAUNT right now, because with that series, I get a lot of freedom to do my thing. And there's a reason Image Comics has so much great momentum now... I think everyone's feeling the same thing, professional, pundit and reader alike.


Random Comments! Sorry, but I'm pretty sure make up my favourite comments section. Try harder to be irrationally mean and funny!

Neil Kapit said: Matt Seneca wrote a great article on the first issue of X-Sanction, talking about how it’s another Jeph Loeb story heavily informed by the death of his son. The descent of his writing’s quality seems to have happened after that event, with every story he does dealing explicitly with death while punishing the living. Reading it like that, X-Sanction is much more meaningful; Cable is Loeb, still grieving the loss of one child, desperate to keep his other child alive and well, and demolishing every potential obstacle with extreme brutality. Of course, that’s no excuse for the completely irrelevant plot, the heavy-handed narration, and the absolutely childish fight scene banter.

I read that when he posted it and it's an interesting take on the material. I'm not sure it makes it more meaningful necessarily, though. Maybe.

MrZone666 said: Man, you quitting reviews has left me without someone to relate to on the CBR review team. I hate all of those dudes’ taste.

Well, I assume you read GraphiContent then, because I still do my brief sketch reviews every week. Not as in-depth or anything, but still a good way to see what I'm thinking about the comics I'm reading.

Tom Fitzpatrick said: If the indications of DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT solicitations are to be believed, Russ Heath is still the artist on the book past The Boys # 66. I would have thought that Mr. Robertson would be back as the final artist on the final storyline. Y’know, end as you began, sort of poetic thing.

Russ Braun has been killing it on that book, so I'm not upset that he's taking it home. Though, Robertson is drawing the final issue and, then, apparently, writing and drawing an A-Train prequel mini that I'm not sure if I'll buy or not.

Travis Pelkie said: Yeah, I’m definitely not digging the “no crossovers” part of the Marshal Law omni. I posted that quick after I read the news, knowing it’s of interest to you, but damn, it does indeed defeat the purpose. I know the Savage Dragon book is definitely very important to Law’s character growth, and not including it is just dumb. The only thing I can think of is that the crossovers were mostly later, so the “no crossovers” is basically the “first half” of the story. But it appeared that the whole reason for the delay was probably that they were clearing legal issues to allow the appearance of all the crossovers, and that DC took over when Top Shelf just couldn’t somehow make it happen, but I guess that was sheer conjecture on my part. It would have been much better from TS.

Well, the Pinhead crossover is takes place before The Secret Tribunal with the other two taking place after, so, yes, the crossovers do come later, but not completely after all of the non-crossover material.

And if you please, remind me again the names of the novellas, so I can search for them? I know, I know, I should look them up online….

The Day of the Dead and Cloak of Evil, which are both collected in one edition, Marshal Law: Origins. They're decent reads.

Dominic said: You threw comics away? *shocked silence*

Actually, I recycled them. And, yeah, I know there's a big market for random issues of comics no one wants to read that are in shitty to kind of okay condition...

That's it for this week. Thanks for reading. Later.

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