Random Thoughts! (March 27, 2012)

Random Thought! It's colder out again. I am pleased. Keep it up, weather. 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! Last week seemed to be filled with comics where I couldn't care less about the plots or characters, but enjoyed reading them for style reasons. Weird.

Random Thought! Remember Nostalgia November? Well, to free up some space, I tossed most of those comics out last week.

Random Thought! So... the Phoenix Force hasn't arrived yet, but Hope has the Phoenix Force? When it comes to Marvel, I can never tell when it's something that will be explained or it's just a case of them doing whatever they want, assuming no one will remember in a week. I understand 'consistency' over 'continuity' (and support it), but they have a horrible track record of putting out comics that contradict one another in close proximity.

Random Thought! Batman: "You could have been an evil servant of rich folks!" Nightwing: "So... what...? It didn't happen..." Batman: "...I thought you'd care." Nightwing: "Well, I don't. Why would I?" Batman: "I... don't know...?"

Random Thought! I finished reading The Sugar Frosted Nutsack by Mark Leyner this morning. It's a read that alternates between fun/entertaining and extremely tedious. It's a myth that not only contains the myth, but the performance of the myth, discussion of the myth, subversion of the myth -- all of which is made part of the myth itself. Basically, every performance of the myth becomes the myth, so it shifts from a small, succinct paragraph into pages of conjecture and repetition and self-aware discussion of what's coming at the end -- even though that never actually happens! It's a weird book. Basically, take the self-awareness post-modern elements of Leyner's previous books and turn the volume up to eleven. I love how much of the book revolves around debate over how much the god XOXO is fucking with the narrative, because that's what he does -- it becomes a battle between the narrative and the god! I may try to write something longer on it soon... I'm still trying to get my head around it completely.

Random Thought! A rule that is never wrong: if I'm at work and an awesome song comes on the radio, those will be the four minutes where the phone doesn't stop ringing.

Random Thought! I rather enjoyed Wonder Woman #7, but can see how others would view it differently. The only argument I've heard put forth that's seemed strange is the idea that the Amazons are rapists because they kill the men after. Basically, the idea being that, if the men knew that, they wouldn't consent, making it rape. Taking that idea to its logical conclusion, wouldn't a lot of consensual sex be considered rape if you raise the idea of retroactive consent based on actions taken after the act is finished? That strikes me as rather ludicrous. Granted, the case in question is extreme (murder), but, conceptually, it doesn't quite make sense. The cases of men who resist or don't want to (or are influenced by magic) are obviously different. What happens after, though... that strikes me as a problematic argument to make. (I do agree with Kelly's point that it's odd that Diana didn't know about this practice, though.)

Random Thought! I kind of want every issue of AVX: VS to feature no dialogue, just narration by 'announcers' calling the fight.

Random Thought! My Summer of Punk DVD set arrived in the mail today. The perfect pre-WrestleMania viewing material? Quite possibly. Yesterday, I watched some of the matches on the third disc of The John Cena Experience and, for the first time, saw Cena's match with Randy Orton at SummerSlam 2007. What's funny is that those two gained a reputation of delivering bad matches thanks to their prolonged feuds, yet every one of their matches I see in isolation is pretty good. I think the overexposure of the two wrestling together dragged those matches down at the time. The big one that I've yet to see is their Iron Man match from Bragging Rights 2009 and I really want to. I've heard different things about it and am curious to see what they did. Also, if the WWE keeps doing those 'rivalry' DVD sets, I would love to see one featuring these two guys. They were in OVW together, rose through the ranks of the WWE in sort of parallel paths, had numerous feuds -- and, judging from John Cena's comments on the Orton DVD where he said he used to hate Orton, there's probably a lot they could talk about. But, I wouldn't want to see that for a while considering the potential for the two to mix it up again in the future.

Random Thought! I love shipping schedules. This week is a big week and so it next week... but next week also contains the Flex Mentallo hardcover and the second paperback edition of Jack Kirby's Fourth World (the copy of the Bendis "Oral History of the Avengers" book will probably be in then, too). Why must everything come out at the same time? Why can't slow weeks be bolstered by a trade I oredered? I know, I know, this is dumb to complain about. Sorry.

Random Thought! This week, Deadpool MAX ends, Scalped is one step closer to ending, Moon Knight ships its penultimate issue, Spaceman passes the halfway mark, and Avengers vs. X-Men almost begins with the zero issue. Plus, a whole bunch of other comics. Still, I'm looking most forward to The Ultimates #8. I really do love that comic.

Random Thought! Oddly, the only DC books I'm buying this week are Vertigo titles (the trio of Scalped, Spaceman, and The Unwritten). And, next week, OMAC ends, taking another DC book off the board -- after I've dropped many of the 'nu52' books I began buying when they launched (Men of War post-Ivan Brandon, Stormwatch, Justice League Dark, Batwoman, and Swamp-Thing).

Random Thought! If Avengers: X-Sanction cut out 3/4s of Cable's narration, it would have been a much better comic. Also, I wrote about it, kicking off my ongoing series of posts on Avengers vs. X-Men.

Random Thought! My prediction for Avengers vs. X-Men: the Defenders win with an assist from the Fantastic Four. SWERVE!

Random Thought!I agree with everyone else: the soundtrack to Avengers sucks. Then again, I remember hoping that using AC/DC for the entire Iron Man 2 soundtrack would have made Marvel and company realise how to produce great soundtracks. Then, they released Thor and Captain America and, well... here we are. They should have recruited Them Crooked Vultures to record their next album as the soundtrack. Or the Raconteurs. Or the Dead Weather. Or the Hives. Obviously, the Hives don't fit the theme, they're just awesome. (I'm listening to the Hives right now.)

Random Thought! Also: THE D IS BACK!

Random Thought! What would be the DC equivalent of Avengers vs. X-Men? Justice League vs. ??? Justice Society? Teen Titans? Legion of Super-Heroes? Stormwatch? Wildcats?

Random Thought! The real question... which will I miss more: The Boys or Scalped?

Random Thought! And because some people have asked: it's only been two weeks of not reviewing for CBR. If I wanted to go back already it would be sad. So, no, I don't miss it. Not one bit.


Random Joe Casey Question! Are there any projects you regret accepting? Any that you regret passing up?

Random Joe Casey Answer! I like to work, I’m pretty much a blue collar bastard in my approach to the physical act of writing (as much as it is a physical act... which is not much), so I tend to find some value in even the dopiest gigs I’ve taken over the years (even if I have to dig deep for it). So I would say I don’t regret anything, in terms of actual jobs I’ve accepted. Certainly I regret some of the work I did on some of those jobs, but I can only hope that everybody feels that way about their own work. It's a healthy way to keep your ego in check.

The things I’ve passed on… well, I only pass on things I'm absolutely sure that I don’t want to do, so there’s never any regret there. As a professional, you eventually learn to weigh all of the factors involved when it comes to new opportunities… and, at this point, whether or not I’ll have some fun doing it is definitely a factor I consider. If we’re talking strictly about comicbook projects, I feel like I fiercely protect that strand of my work life. I fuckin’ love writing comicbooks way too much to risk that bromance by becoming bitter taking jobs that I knew going in were going to suck ass. Now, despite my reputation as a no-filter loudmouth, I hesitate to specifically name check any of those projects, out of respect to the writers who ultimately took those jobs (and probably made a better go of it than I ever would’ve)… but they’re out there.


Random Comments! Every comment is special to me even if I don't feature it here.

FunkyGreenJerusalem said: It was a big letdown for me, as I was hoping for the magic that Wildcats V2 had, but that annual he did made up for a lot. That book was perfect.

The annual with Ashley Wood and the final two issues with Sean Phillips are quite good and show what Casey was capable of doing on Uncanny X-Men. A little too late, though, unfortunately.

Jeremy said: The thing about Brubaker’s Captain America is that it’s lost all the dark, espionage stuff the run was built on. Brubaker is at best when his characters are playing in the shadows. It really felt like he had this big arcing plan in the first fourty something issues, and you couldn’t turn away to see what happen next. Is this Winter Soldier guy REALLY Bucky Barnes? Holy fuck, it’s Bucky Barnes! How does Steve and the supporting cast react to this? Well, now he’s dead!? Who’s Captain America then? Bucky is Captain America!? How is THAT gonna work!? There was this constant build to big actions, the big actions happening, the consequences/fall-out of that building into MORE big actions, like one big story. But after around 50 issues of that, it became obvious that Brubaker didn’t have anything else to say about the character. He brought Bucky back, he made him Cap, had a few adventures and uh…yeah. All he could do was keep bringing back enemies from his past over and over and over again. He just ran out of things to say with the character. Bucky is off in his own book now, but he’s still bitching about his dark past, which is dark and full of bad stuff and I gotta redeem myself, and here’s ANOTHER enemy from my dark past.

I agree. That was around the time that I began losing interest -- but, oddly, after Steve came back and James continued as Cap, Brubaker seemed to find the book again, briefly, with the trial story. I don't mind stories involving James being rooted in the past to a degree since there would still be so much fall-out from his return. To gloss over that is a mistake. Steve, on the other hand, was revealed as a character that worked better as a presence that hangs over the characters than as an actual character. The book was at its best when he was dead...

Riley said: Does Joe Casey plan on bringing Zodiac back into the fold at Marvel anytime soon?

That question will be answered next week... sort of... Really, Casey will answer an entirely different question, but it relates to this.

Francis Dawson said: I’m just going to copy and paste Tom Spurgeon’s comments because I totally concur with them: “I think the weirdest thing at this point is how many people get worked up about the kind of objection Alan Moore is making in a way that suggests they feel they have some sort of significant — or even equal — interest in perpetrating their consumption habits exactly the way they’d prefer to maintain them as he does reacting to what he perceives as a cycle of abuse over a quarter century of his professional life. It seems to me like there’s enough material out there to enjoy that doesn’t involve an aggrieved creator. I guess some folks disagree with that notion, though.”

I actually agreed with most of what Spurgeon wrote on Before Watchmen -- or, at least, couldn't disagree with his points despite having a different view/perspective on the matter. Then again, my comments about Moore last week really had nothing to do with Before Watchmen and were about how I don't let the personal views/opinions of creators affect what I choose to buy/enjoy.

Travis Pelkie said: Woo hoo, bleeding cool reporting that the Marshal Law Omni (with just the solo stories, crossovers possibly in the future) coming out in about a year! About damn time!

Not including the crossovers has killed whatever interest in this I had. I'm not sure how much I would have cared since I own all of these comics, but the crossovers were less crossovers than Marshal Law comics featuring other characters. Leaving them out leaves out chunks of the story. Why bother doing a 'complete' omnibus and leave out parts of the story? Ideally, the omnibus would include everything, including the novellas.

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

EXCLUSIVE: Gwenpool Aims to Unmask Spider-Man In New Miniseries

More in Comics