Wednesday, November 24, 2010

New Comic Day 11.24.2010

As I said yesterday, I've been dreading this day. It's going to be a large chunk out of my wallet, with the at least $24 from last week, and this week totaling up to about $21. Ah, the pain of being a fanboy...

Batman and Robin #17 ($2.99)
Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Scott McDaniel and Rob Hunter
Cover by Guillem March
Variant cover by Gene Ha

Dick and Damian head into the murky depths of Bruce Wayne's past to protect him from whoever has stolen the corpse of his old girlfriend, Una Nemo. Join them as they move from an empty grave to the flaming fingers to the Night Wedding — and meet a mad, gory new villain known as The Absence!

So, here we have the very first issue of Batman and Robin not written by Grant Morrison. I have to confess, I am very interested in how this will turn out. There's really nothing to go on. Morrison had very specific things he needed/wanted to do with this title, and he did them. Now he's gone. Leaving a couple of great additions (Professor Pyg, I love you!), and more than a few I'm less than enamored with (*cough*Batman: Incorporated*cough*).

What I can say is this, I can't bring anything written by Paul Cornell, that I have read, directly to mind. He's a blank slate. I enjoy Scott McDaniel's art. So, we're starting fresh here. Go, boys!

Batman: Odyssey #5 ($3.99)
Written by Neal Adams
Art and cover by Neal Adams
1:25 Black and white variant cover by Neal Adams

Batman knows his Odyssey must happen soon before he loses himself, but Deadman invades The Dark Knight's world and only sees the inevitable crash and burn of his old friend. Should Deadman add to Batman's "crash" – or hold off and give the Caped Crusader a few last moments of relative peace? This is Deadman we're talking about – of course he's going to step in!

Oh, and there's one more thorn in Batman's side – in this issue, The Joker arrives!

Ah, so Adams is bringing in the Joker. Like we thought that wouldn't happen. I enjoy this book. It's crazy and wild, and has about 40 too many ideas it's trying to convey on each page, but that leaves you with a jam-packed book. I'm an Adams believer, so I'm giving him lots of rope to hang himself with.

Of course, it seems like most fan online are in opposition to me, and hate this book like poison. Your mileage may vary.

Detective Comics #871 ($3.99)
Written by Scott Snyder
Art and cover by Jock
Co-feature Art by Francesco Francavilla

Up-and-coming writer Scott Snyder (AMERICAN VAMPIRE) and acclaimed artist Jock (THE LOSERS) make their debut as the new ONGOING creative team of DETECTIVE COMICS!

In "The Black Mirror" part 1 of 3, a series of brutal murders pushes Batman's detective skills to the limit and forces him to confront one of Gotham City's oldest evils.

Plus, in the start of a COMMISSIONER GORDON second feature also written by Scott Snyder, when a figure from the past returns to Gotham, Jim Gordon must face some of his darkest demons. Featuring; Art by Francesco Francavilla (GARRISON).

Y'know, it about time somebody figured out that Commissioner Gordon is a natural choice for a Batman back-up feature. Kudos to that.

Now, I don't read American Vampire, and I am unfamiliar with any work by this creative team. That said, the solicit promises something that could be very interesting, and I love that cover image. If that's the kind of thing I can expect from Jock, bring it on.

Captain America #612 ($3.99)
Writer:Ed Brubaker,
Co-Feature Writer:Sean McKeever
Artist: Marko Djurdjevic
Co-Feature Artist: Butch Guice

Not even Captain America can escape the crimes buried in his past... The most controversial story of the year "The Trial of Captain America" continues! By the acclaimed team of Ed Brubaker and Butch Guice

 So, look, I admire what Ed Brubaker has done with this book, and with the Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier/Captain America character. He brought the character back from the dead, one of the characters that had managed to stay dead in comics for over forty years, and that the entire community/fanbase understood was a character that had more power, and value, dead, rather than alive. He did it, and he made it work, and work well. It was possibly THE most audacious move in Marvel continuity since Spider-Man got married in the 80's.

**No, we're not going to discuss the "undoing" the marriage/deal with Mephisto/Satan thing. "One More Day" does not exist in this dojo.**

Not only that, he made the character compelling on many levels, so much so that when Steve Rogers "died" and a new Captain America was needed, the obvious choice, to everyone, was Bucky. That's amazing work, and amazing writing. Kudos, kudos on all sorts of levels.

But man...Wrap it up, OK? I'm sick of looking at Steve in this:

It's not right, and everyone knows it, including you, AND it's a dumb-looking costume.

How come I get the idea that someone over there in the Marvel Editorial/Corporate Synergy Department is whispering in your ear to "drag it out, we can tie it into the movie next summer!" Please, I've enjoyed everything you've put together for this title. It's all worked, on one level or another, even this current storyline, which feels like the beginning of the end for Bucky Barnes. I really hope that's what we're building toward.

Captain America: Rebirth didn't work AT ALL. The story was weak, and the execution poor. The one redeeming value was that it got Steve back...then you (and Editorial) backpedaled. Fix it.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #150 ($5.99)
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artists: Skottie Young, David LaFuente

Not only is this officially the Ultimate Spider-Man 150th issue anniversary, but it is also the 10 year anniversary of the birth of the Ultimate Marvel universe!! Can you believe it?? We can't either! To celebrate, Eisner award-winning series writer Brian Michael Bendis has created this triple size extravaganza and gathered together a stellar lineup of amazing artists!! A reunion of the greatest artists of not only this historic book but of the the entire line of Ultimate Comics. Poor Peter Parker has made such a mess of his life as Spider-Man that the other super heroes are forced to gather together and decide once and for all what to do with the young wall crawler. Guest starring the New Ultimates, the Storm Siblings, Ben Grimm, Iceman, Kitty Pryde and a slew of surprise stars! Also includes reprinting of Ultimate Spider-Man Super Special #1 featuring an all-star artist line-up! 104 pages/54 pages of reprinted material

First off, this is a GREAT series. A prime, shining example of what a really good, mainstream superhero book can be with a unified vision, and the guiding hand of a single creator. Brian Michael Bendis IS this book, it softened when Mark Bagley jumped ship, but Bendis kept his hand on the rudder and kept it focused. When I start bitching in the next paragraph, it's got zero to do with the book itself, or the creators. This series is golden, and I'll always recommend it, unless Bendis leaves.

This issue marks the tenth anniversary of the title, but, of course, with the Editorial-mandated, dunder-headed, groaning crossover mishap known as Ultimatum, the title had been re-set to a first issue. Thing is, "Tenth Anniversary Issue #16" doesn't sound very impressive, does it? So, once again, we're gonna play "pick the issue number that will sell best, and just slap it on there." Marvel's done this crap more than a few times now, and it's such a load of BS.

It's crass and mercenary to play "wheel of numbering." You wanted a new #1 after Ultimatum, because a #1 issue spikes in sales, but then you want an impressive high number for the anniversary. Here's an idea. Number it, and stand behind your product. I know it's a piddling thing, but it's the difference between feeling like the stories are the primary consideration, and feeling like we're just human ATMs to you. Bendis writes great stories, and let's that do the talking. In fact when you re-set to #1, I heard him say, somewhere (I have no source, sorry) "it's just #132 to me."

How right he was.

Oh, and by the way...Thanks for making me buy 54 pages of material all over again.

It is nice to see that fantastic Bagley wraparound cover.

1 comment:

  1. Paul Cornell wrote some Dr. Who TV episodes...I think. Also, the exceptional if you haven't read it yet, short-lived Captain Britain & MI-13.