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Random Thoughts! (October 25, 2011)

Random Thoughts! It's a regular edition this week. So, be happy! Or not. I don't know what you people want. 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! In the comments to last week's Fear Itself-centric Random Thoughts, no one defended the series. No one spoke up for it. No one really said anything positive. My Random Thoughts weren't all negative, but they did skew towards snarky (not my intention, that was what came out as I reread the series). And no one tried to argue with me. If anyone from Marvel reads this, stop and think about that. This isn't some dinky site that's only read by people who like and agree with me, this is the oldest blog on one of the most popular comics sites in the world. And no one said they liked your big event book. Maybe people will now that I've said this, but take that for what it means: Fear Itself was pretty bad. And, now, because it's in my nature, I'll add a few final insults to injury (but put them in one thought to be 'nice')...

Random Thought! So... Thor was killed... in a fall? Is that what happened? He died from a fall in a story where there was a running joke about the character falling from great heights? Also, why didn't his hammer return to him automatically? Why didn't Captain America change appearance when he used Thor's hammer like everyone (who isn't Odin) has since... forever? That one kind of baffles me if only because it meant someone at Marvel made the decision to pass up on giving us a Captain America/Thor hybrid costume. Considering this series was an exercise in 'cool new looks,' not doing that one blows my mind. I could keep going on, but so many other people have pointed out the other big problems with Fear Itself #7.

Random Thought! For everyone complaining about those 'epilogue' teasers at the end of Fear Itself #7, you're missing out on the very good thing about them that shows Marvel is possibly getting better: in the past, those teasers would have been packaged in a $3.99 one-shot together. Then again, they do have Point One coming up, so what do I know...?

Random Thought! I can't believe how good Garth Ennis is at writing the build-ups to things you know will happen. He's amazing at that. The latest issue of the Butcher mini-series is a great example. We've known since the early issues of The Boys what happened to Becky Butcher. And, yet, the build to it in this issue is fantastic. Tense and ominous -- almost hard to turn the pages because you know what's coming and, then, BAM! Punch to the gut. You know it's coming and it still knocks you over. And he's done this many times before.

Random Thought! I've been thinking about wrestling and comics again. They seem to be the two things that dominate my free time, so it's only natural to look for similarities. They've always struck me as more similar than not -- and more similar to one another than they are to almost anything else. What I've focused on a bit lately is the language with which fans are referred to with relation to both and have come to the conclusion that there is no term in comics for a 'smark.' In wrestling circles, there are basically two terms for fans: marks and smarks. Marks are the people who watch wrestling for entertainment purposes only, don't really care about the backstage stuff, cheer for the faces, boo the heels, and are looked down upon for not 'getting it.' Smarks (smart marks) aren't much better: they read the online sites, think they have 'inside scoops' into backstage, watch more than just the WWE, care about things like workrate, cheer who they like, shit on who they hate, and think they're smarter because they 'get it.' Marks are 'fanboys.' Though, 'fanboy' has been softened a bit over the past few years. It's not necessarily an insult -- though it still carries that twinge. It's for those people who keep buying comics they hate, care more about characters than quality, don't like the 'good' writers and artists, stick to Marvel and DC, and still argue over who would win in fights. Yet, where's the term for us 'smart fanboys' who blog, follow creators instead of characters, say we're above stupid arguments about characters, read lots of indie comics, and generally think we're better than 'fanboys.' A term that we think makes us sound better while still lowering us. I think about weird shit sometimes.

Random Thought! I am rather excited for The Ultimates #3 tomorrow. After the second issue and Ultimate Hawkeye #3 last week, Jonathan Hickman has me convinced that he's really swinging for the bleachers in this Ultimate Universe relaunch. Now, part of me expects to be let down; still, I'm letting my enthusiasm take charge.

Random Thought! Deadpool MAX II #1 came out three weeks after Deadpool MAX #12. Not even a full month! HAHAHAHAHAHA!

Random Thought! I've decided that I have nothing against any new Watchmen material. If it looks good, I'll buy it. If it doesn't, I won't buy it. Both Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons could be against it and I wouldn't care at this point. That wasn't my feeling on the subject the last time these rumours came up. I guess the odd hypocrisy of Moore playing with everyone else's toys and calling it the most revolutionary thing ever, but railing against the same being done to his stuff (which was derivative) finally hit home. DC owns it, DC can do what they want. I'll save my outrage for actual tragedies.

Random Thought! The backlash by Metallica fans against Lulu makes me want it more. Anything that bothers fans like that is worth listening to. Plus, Lou Reed fans seem cool with it. (I've skipped listening to any of it online. I'm waiting for the CD next Tuesday.)

Random Thought! I still don't know why DC delayed Batman: Odyssey #7 and released it as the first issue of volume two. That's weird.

Random Thought! To pile on Marvel once more: the cover to Avengers #18 asked the question "Who will be the new Avengers?" The issue didn't come close to answering that. In fact, the teaser that ended the Avengers portion of the issue was pretty much that question. Why are Marvel such liars?

Random Thought! Although Uncanny X-Men #544 was ostensibly about showing how much things have changed, it seemed to be about showing how that title was moving forward and breaking from the old ways of creative teams coming and going with no real change and the idea that going back to the school is a creative step backwards. That's pretty fun. Though, seeing that Greg Land will still draw issues of the title has almost negated any thoughts on giving the relaunch a chance. Then again, Marvel did give me a nice coaster promoting the relaunch, so...

Random Thought! If you ever wanted to know the biggest difference between Tim Callahan and I, it's this: he spends his time rereading and writing about the complete works of Grant Morrison and Alan Moore; I spend my time rereading and writing about the complete works of Joe Casey and Jim Starlin. Tim is, obviously, far more successful than I am. Smarter, too.

Random Thought! My girlfriend hates game shows, but loves watching Family Feud almost every night (sometimes, we're watching/doing something else when it's on). That is because Steve Harvey may be the greatest game show host ever. A bold statement, I know, but that doesn't make it untrue. Never before have I seen a man who is so obviously having the time of his life hosting a game show and is able to make fun of people's bad answers without embarrassing them (in fact, they always laugh at his mockery). He is the best I've ever seen. Then again, I also tend to hate game show hosts. Smug bastards.

Random Thought! Very torn on giving the new Hulk comic a try. Jason Aaron writing it is a plus. Marc Silvestri drawing it is a big minus. It may be one of those spur of the moment decisions made in the store.

Random Thought! Spaceman #1 is only a dollar! Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso! ONE DOLLAR! Buy the comic!

Random Thought! The Spanish Automatic Kafka hardcover is available to buy through Amazon.ca and I am very tempted to do so even though I don't speak/read Spanish.

Random Thought! I really hope Humanoids do smaller hardcovers of their Metabarons and Before the Incal deluxe editions like they did with The Incal $100-$130 is a bit too steep for me. But, $50? I'm with ya.

Random Thought! Last week: Chaykin, Adams, Baker... hell yeah.

Random Thought! It's 1Q84 day!

***

Random Comments! It's a doubleshot as I catch up on the past two weeks' worth of comments. I may go light on the Fear Itself stuff, because, well, we all get it: the series was bad.

joshschr said: Is that because angry, out-of-costume Superman looks a little like Major Bummer? You can’t just say something like that and not explain it!

I really like Doug Mahnke's art and think he works quite well with Grant Morrison. I don't really like Rags Morales and would prefer he were working on a comic I'm not reading like Green Lantern.

FunkyGreenJerusalem said: Heck, I found quite a few of the #2?s to be more enjoyable than the #1?s – it’s nice not to read stories that are about things happening, not setting up things to happen.

Same here. Stormwatch #2 was a big improvement. I also dug OMAC #2 more than the first issue, but that could be because I knew what to expect a bit more.

NDCF said: I like these ‘Random Thoughts!’ articles. That is all.

I like comments like these.

Dalarsco said: Assuming you like Counter X: X-Force make sure you track down the last six issues of the series. There is some great pay-off from plot points that start in the first eight. I really wish that all the final arcs of Counter X would get collected.

I still can't believe Marvel didn't publish the entire runs since it meant five (or, six in X-Force's case) more issues. Consider how narrow the target audience for those trades were, a small bump in price to accomodate those additional issues doesn't seem like a bad move.

schmakt said: not picking up the new TMNT series from IDW?

Nope.

Michael P said: Talking of events with sacrifices in them: Doesn’t this whole “every event needs a death idea” feel a bit like ritual sacrifice on the part of the companies? I imagine Quesada dressed like that guy in Temple of Doom, standing over an action figure and holding a knife, with a crazed look in his eyes. “The gods of sales must be appeased!”

Well, Marvel wants to kill a character every quarter... and covered two quarters with this event technically. That's how you do it!

Omar Karindu said: I haven’t been reading FI for the most part, except for tie-ins in comics I already pick up, so I do have one question: is there a reason that some of the Worthy speak English and seem to have their original personalities, while others are just rampaging monsters babbling in runes?

The only thing I can point to is how ‘evil’ the character is. If they’re already evil then they aren’t as possessed and maintain more freedom of thought. And even that’s not entirely consistent.

Travis Pelkie said: Based on this and other stuff I’ve read, it seems Fear Itself is going to be one of the few events that has virtually no defenders. Even Final Crisis had a bunch of us that thought it was really cool. Not really the best thing to happen to Marvel with all the attention that DC’s been getting lately. Good thing they’ve got that Avengers movie coming up.

And that seems like the place to end on.

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

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