Saturday, March 18, 2006

On 15 March, 2006

To my dismay, none of the indie comics caught my eye this Wednesday, and I would have ended up with a prodigious stack of unadulterated Marvel superhero fun if it weren't for the fact that I promised myself I'd try out some DC. Did last week, but that was a dismal failure. T-- assured me that the One Year Later DC comics would be a good starting point for a layperson.

(By the way, I'm finishing up this post the evening of St. Patrick's Day, after a dinner of corned beef and cabbage, and an awesome concert by Liz Carroll and John Doyle. No drinking, but I am tired and a wee bit heady. Best holiday in recent memory, though.)

--Warning: Possible Spoilers--


Okay, Marvel. I love the NEXT WAVE DIRECTORS CUT, and I'll get to that in a minute, but first, one thing. Next time, please stick your previews at the end, okay? I don't care how exciting or nifty SQUADRON SUPREME might turn out to be; right now, it looks indescribably boring. Think about it. On one page, Ellie's killing Broccoli Men with a guitar, and the next... Boom! Some new superhero team I've never heard of. Pretty much anything is going to look bland juxtaposed with Ellie's guitar fight.*

Now, I already had this issue, but getting to see a comic book script in its entirety was a bit of a novelty. And Ellis' commentary alone made this worth buying. Here's a gem: "H.A.T.E. is like S.H.I.E.L.D. if... well, if you were as drunk as I was when you came up with this." Ellis also offered the Serenity cockpit as a visual reference for the Shockwave Rider, and declared "Pus Tsunami is my new band name." Does the man read Dave Barry? All the more reason to love this guy.

*Note: I really did write this before reading Chris Sims' "Week in Ink." He beat me to posting it, though. *sigh*

Demerit points for Hank Pym joke, but otherwise, GENERATION M #5 was an amazingly cool ending that really made the story. And made me want to read more of Sally Floyd in June, if only to see whether she and Warren are going to hook up.

SPIDER-WOMAN ORIGIN #4 is making me look forward to the conclusion to this mini-series as well. In a good way.

It seems Marvel is ending FOUR (nee MARVEL KNIGHTS 4) at issue #30, which made FOUR #28 that much more bittersweet. Mostly bitter. I loved this stand-alone. The first part had Sue helping (in spite of a bad gut reaction) an employee deal with an abusive husband; the second had Reed fulfilling his promise to a man dying of cancer. The third, tension between Sue and Reed. And it was all very nicely done, sensitively done. Lovely art, too. Something tells me this series will be going out with a bang.

RUNAWAYS #14 served to remind me of where I started reading this series. Or, rather, where I didn't start. And that I really ought to be reading Volume 1, just to catch up. Still managed to be great fun, though, especially the video game scene.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #529 is in its second printing, and on a whim I picked it up. Fun. Why have I not been reading SPIDER-MAN? Ohh, right. That "The Other" storyline I heard absolutely nothing good about, and the need to limit my comics reading. My pull list has only been growing, which is kind of scary. Nevertheless, I may just ride out this arc.


It's funny. This week I realized how much I've been taking for granted, at least in terms of background knowledge. Picked up BIRDS OF PREY #92, and apart from some knowledge of the setting, and recognition of the Ventriloquist (I used to watch the occasional Batman cartoon) and Oracle, I knew nothing.

When I first started RUNAWAYS, from somewhere in the middle of the second volume, it didn't take me long to pick up the characters. Okay, the names took a little longer, but the characters themselves, their personalities, were easy to learn. At the moment, I can't imagine not knowing who Molly Hayes, Gertrude Yorkes, Victor Mancha, etc... are.

I'm using RUNAWAYS as an example because, well, they're a super-hero team I was introduced to through comics alone. Just like BIRDS OF PREY. Maybe it's that the characters in the latter are well-established. Yes, that's probably it. Time to hit Wikipedia, and to give it time.

GREEN ARROW #60 was a weird echo of the issue I tried last week. And I'm still not enthused about the Emerald Archer.

Made a special Thursday visit to the comic shop for ALL-STAR SUPERMAN #2. It was the last one on the shelf, too. Got lucky. This issue is an improvement over #1, and I didn't feel like a complete idiot reading it! Rather looking forward to the number 3. Go figure.

Notes and Rankings (Best to Worst)
*All read Wednesday and Thursday evenings to a CD called Celtic Harpestry. Not the best choice of music for a week of superhero titles, but okay just the same. I'm ranking these in two groups, because it's really not fair to be grouping the DCs in with the Marvels when I feel so differently about the two multiverses.

3. RUNAWAYS vol. 2 #14
5. FOUR #28


Panel of the Week: From RUNAWAYS vol. 2 #14, memorable if only for the presence of Old Lace.


Cole Moore Odell said...

I've always had a soft spot for Green Arrow, and I've been a regular buyer of this run, but it's far from DC's best ambassador to new readers. The first 15 issues by Kevin Smith were decent, based on his enthusiasm for the character, but the book has really drifted since then.

I have yet to read it myself, but I keep seeing very good reviews for Superman #650, written by Geoff Johns and Kurt Busiek.

My Marvel reading for this week is Essential Defenders Vol. 1. Lots of early 70s Steve Englehart goodness. (My shop was out of The Thing, but I've heard that it's a fun throwback to the best issues of Marvel Two-In-One, which I loved as a kid, and I still intend to give it a shot.)

Canton said...

I think some part of me keeps trying to compare Green Arrow and Hawkeye, and it simply doesn't work.

Maybe, if the shop still has copies Superman #650, I'll try that instead of Hawkgirl, or Catwoman. Hmm. Given the previews, choosing could be... tricky. Darn it.

My Marvel for this week includes She-Hulk 2 #6 (which you should most definitely pick up, given the new artist and new story arc), and Nextwave #3. Among other things. Very good week, all told.

Cole Moore Odell said...

I don't know, Hawkgirl has a pretty awesome creative team. Simonson and Chaykin have been amazing on many projects. Also, Kendra is a character with a lot of potential.

Is NextWave worthwhile? I hear the writing really captures the spirit of abandon that Stan Lee's Marvel writing often exhibited, and that's one of my favorite things about 1960s Marvel.

Canton said...

Hm. I really did like the humor in the previews for Hawkgirl. Maybe I could pass on Catwoman instead, in favor of Superman...

Nextwave is definitely worthwhile. Helps to have a little Marvel background, to get the parody, but you have that so it shouldn't be problem. Warren Ellis, unleashed! He's writing it in two-issue arcs, and this is issue three so... good place as any to jump in.