Random Thoughts! (November 30, 2010)

Random Thought! All hail King Sheamus! Long live the king! It's random thoughts time! Get excited!

Link Thought! GraphiContent for comics. butterbeatleblog for popculture. The Splash Page Podcast for Greg Burgas and I talking for a couple of hours. Greg filled in for Tim this week and it went pretty well. I'm actually surprised at how easily Greg and I talked. I expected more awkward pauses. Thanks to Brian Cronin, I'm a judge for the 2011 Glyph Comics Awards. That's kind of cool.

Random Thought! Alessandro Vitti will be drawing the rest of Secret Warriors, except for part of issue 24 (which is purposeful according to Jonathan Hickman). This is a very good thing and, oddly, was something that had me excited when I heard it last week.

Random Thought! Batman: Odyssey has officially become the craziest comic I've ever read. Issue five just shifts gears in the middle of the comic and doesn't bother to try and make it easy to keep up. Then, it hints at the idea that there's a giant conspiracy to keep feeding Batman the same villains again and again in effort to keep him from using his resources as Bruce Wayne to do more good. I love it. I absolutely love that idea. Bruce Wayne could do a lot more to help the world than Batman does usually and doesn't. That that happens purposefully is very interesting. Still, page ten felt like the end of an issue... maybe it was meant to be.

Random Thought! Turns out, Astonishing Thor #1? Not good. Not good at all. And my review of it did lead to some wonderful reactions on the CBR boards, including the theory that I have a personal grudge against Robert Rodi... despite mentioning his superior work on Thor: For Asgard in the review.

Random Thought! I was in the University of Windsor bookstore last week, killing some time before meeting my girlfriend, and came across the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase's autobiography for a dollar. So, of course, I had to buy it. Yeah, it's okay, but nothing special. The writing style is very matter of fact and disjointed. His pre-WWF career is discussed in a lot of detail, while his time as the Million Dollar Man isn't as much. It's not glossed over really, but it never goes anywhere. The biggest problem is that DiBiase goes out of his way to not make anyone look bad besides one or two people. Everyone gets along in his portrayal of professional wrestling and it's kind of dull. There are some interesting stories, I will admit. I'd probably give it 2/5... for a buck, it was well worth the money, but I pity anyone who pays cover price.

Random Thought! Amy Reeder's art didn't do much for me in Batwoman #0. In fact, the way she drew almost everyone (Kate Kane excluded) reminded me of Howard Porter's art. Which is fine and tolerable, but the writing didn't blow my mind either, so we'll see how long I stick with the book whenever Williams isn't drawing it.

Random Thought! I will make it through this afternoon with the use of the two Trainspotting soundtracks.

Random Thought! On the subject of Trainspotting... I haven't paid much attention to anything Irvine Welsh has written since I was terribly underwhelmed by The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs. It's not like I was a 100% automatic reader of his to that point, having only really gotten into Trainspotting, Glue, and Porno before that. Everything I read/heard about Filth told me that I wouldn't like it. Glue is one that I always mean to reread since it really hit me when I read it in first year of undergrad. The right mix of fucked up shit, Scottish accents, and touching stories of friendship. Porno was funny and I liked how Welsh wrote it more as a sequel to the movie version of Trainspotting instead of the book. Shame that a film adaptation of it probably won't happen (rumour places the blame on the rift between Danny Boyle and Ewan McGregor). Anything else of his I should really make an effort to track down or should I just leave it as is?

Random Thought! Butcher Baker, the Righteous Maker? HELL FUCKING YES!

Random Thought! No, seriously, that looks like it has some nice Automatic Kafka callbacks, both in the teaser images and the text included. I think I've found my new favourite comic of 2011. Fuck everything else, THEY ALL LOSE. GET OUTTA MY WAY, CASANOVA VOL. 3!

Random Thought! Since comics are delayed in the US tomorrow, look for another edition of Guess the Real Spoiler featuring... well, a lot of books you probably don't care about. Seriously, here's the line-up: Batman Confidential #51, The Boys #49, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?: Dust to Dust #7, Irredeemable #20, RASL #9, Supergod #5, Thor: For Asgard #5, What If? Iron Man: Demon in an Armor #1, and Wolverine: The Best There Is #1. Not exactly a large amount of books that most people will be reading. Blame Marvel and DC for that, folks. Usually, Marvel schedules something BIG for this week... no idea why, but they did the past two years. I guess Wolverine: The Best There Is #1 is supposed to qualify, but, come on, does anyone care besides Wolverine fans and/or Juan Jose Ryp fans? So, you've been warned.

Random Thought! With Supergod concluding, I can finally sit down and look at it, Black Summer and No Hero. What do they say that Ellis's previous superhero books didn't? What do they say as a whole? What do they say that works against one another? Stay tuned: 2011 is the year of the big Warren Ellis post that no one actually gives a fuck about. Except for me.

Random Thought! Speaking of Ellis, I got Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis #1 out of the dollar bin last week. I rather enjoy the way Ellis writes these characters as people who grew up together/are stuck with one another. They don't necessarily like one another, they just have to live and work with one another. That's an approach I can understand and appreciate. I get why it's not an approach often taken or why readers wouldn't necessarily like it (because you bastards always want characters to be friends and play nice and give you "Awwwwww!" warm and fuzzy moments...), but I dig it. Also really liked Kaare Andrews's art. Anyone who saw his portrayal of Emma Frost as anything other than fun and dumb and making fun of other artists, you're missing out on some wonderful childish comedy. I mean, she rests her breasts not just ON the top of a seat, she has them hang over while talking about Nelson Mandela... yeah, Andrews meant it to be serious... ha. I really do hope Marvel puts all of the Ellis Astonish X-Men stuff in one big hardcover. I'd buy that.

Random Thought! Last week, I reviewed Detective Comics #871 and I really liked it, but what I really liked was Snyder, after seeing the review, immediately asking what he could improve upon. I get the sense he saw my review and went "Four stars? What did I do to get that final star?" The book has gotten near universal praise and it's nice to see that he's not letting that keep him from trying to do better. That makes me want to read his run more than the debut issue, honestly. (For the record, the mystery plot didn't immediately grab me as much as I'd like and I suggested he give Raymond Chandler's "Twelve Notes on the Mystery Story" a read. Not because it would show him how to make it better, just as a resource. Something to read and have kicking around in his head. I really dig the essay myself. Even did a series of posts using it and expanded my Watchmen post into the essay in Minutes to Midnight: Twelve Essays on Watchmen from Sequart... which you should all buy.)

Random Thought! The revelation of the vampire in the Iron Man armour in Ultimate Avengers 3 #4? A little underwhelming. I was expecting something cooler. But, that was balanced out with the fight he had with Vampire Nerd Hulk. A perfect use of Steve Dillon's comedic skills.

Random Thought! I want to see more Amalgam books, if only for a title featuring Daken Wayne, son of Dark Claw. Grant Morrison writing, Giuseppe Camuncoli drawing. Make it happen.

Random Thought! Late tonight/early tomorrow, look for a prologue post for Dreadstar December looking at the three books that came before the series. And, then, tomorrow: Dreadstar #1.

Random Thought! I just submitted my lists of my top ten writers and artists. Took about two minutes to create them. It was just a looking at the books on my shelves and what I have lots of/like a lot. Some quick fiddling and then lists were posted. I know I could never create a list for either that would stand any test of time or strong debate. How do you really rank certain talents? Ah well. I'll post my lists in next week's random thoughts.


Random Comments! People love it when I use their comments. I don't know why entirely...

adebisi said: recap pages have their usefulness. I get annoyed when a book just re-uses the same recap page over and over. you guys write for a living, someone can’t spend twenty minutes coming up with an original recap page once a month? the stories already written for you, you just have to paraphrase it.

Agreed. Sometimes, I don't mind using the same recap page, usually when it's a book that doesn't NEED a new one. Those comics are few and far between, though.

Grim said: Chad – didnt see you offering this on 411, so i need to ask. What is your opinion of Miz as Champ. I personally think that it is … wait for it…. Awesomeeeeee.

Had no place to say it since it happened on Monday night and my review of Raw doesn't go up until Friday as part of the 4Rs. But, yeah, I think it's great. A lot of people seemed to want the Miz to cash in a lose or are acting like this wasn't going to happen no matter what. Of course, I think they botched the follow-up something fierce with last night's Raw...

funkygreenjerusalem said: I think you’re supposed to read it all as one big book – they collect the mini’s with the numbering of the series on the spine. ie. In the collections, Herogasm isn’t something separate.

That's true, but I also would have rather had Robertson or Braun drawing it. McCrea's art really detracted from her origin, I think.

A recap page that actually recaps the plot of the book is fine, but according to the most recent House To Astonish podcast, not many actually do that.

That's true, too. I remember a review I wrote of a Marvel comic earlier this year (or maybe last year?) where some people complained that I had some of the details wrong... details I'd learned from the recap page since it was the first issue of the comic I'd picked up and needed to be caught up on what came before. That's a little annoying.

Tyler said: I haven’t read the Norman Osborn issue, but I found Nora Winters extraordinarily annoying in Amazing. She’s likely the worst character introduced in Brand New Day.

From the responses last week, it seems most people don't appear to like the character, or find her annoying. Then again, that's just from the incredibly bright readers of these posts, so... it's a bit of a hivemind mentality at times.

Louis Bright-Raven said: Oh, and Chad? We know it doesn’t rate against Beer Money, but how does BATMAN, Inc. stack up against your feelings for Ink, Inc.? Inquisitive fans want to know.

Man, fuck Ink, Inc. I still think they should have been called the Princes of Punk. But, yeah, not a fan really.

Stefan Wagner said: I agree, although, I’m more forgiving of continuity gaffs like the one in Avengers, than the way Bendis has been completely assassinating the character of Agamotto in New Avengers. Dude needs to stick to the street level. He knows nothing about magic and nearly every time he tries to do larger-than-life stories he winds up bringing the loftiest characters down to some lowest common denominator that leaves no room for what’s mythical and special. Now he’s basically taken the Buddha of the Marvel Universe and turned him into a power-hungry super-villain. Argh. Rant over.

I wasn't aware that Agamotto was a character... well, anyone cared about. I wasn't aware that he/she/it was even a character really. I enjoyed the opening arc and have no problem with what Bendis did with Agamotto.

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

Powers of X #6's Variant Cover Foreshadows An Intergalactic Empire

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