Dark clouds gather round,
Rain, snow, and thunder all clash,
In her there is calm.
Wednesday has come and gone. The heroes have fought their battles and villains have hinted at things to come. Now it’s time to review the game tape…
Like Jesse, I have no use for Joe Kelly’s issues of Amazing Spider-Man. This is sad because he wrote my absolute favorite issue of Deadpool back in the day. Fred Van Lente’s issues are a whole other kettle of fish. Along with Slott, Van Lente’s the reason I’m picking up this title at all. After Waid’s (topical, yet already dated) Electro story, this one dealing with Sandman was fun. Remember Jesse’s review of #600? 615 and 616 harken back to the quality of those stories. We see a Sandman torn between being the thief/ thug he has often been and the man skirting the side of the angels that shows up from time to time. The division is a rather viceral one, but it works. This two parter also shows a Peter Parker that can’t win for losing. I found the ending a bit heart wrenching, and I have a heart three sizes too small. The art tells the story as well or better than the words. We see hatred, shock, disappointment, and pain in these pages and panels. Well done, gentlemen. Well done.
It wasn’t a light week for me, but most everything I have to say would be a repeat of things I’ve said before. JSoA, Superman, Fantastic Four, and X-Men Forever showed but didn’t move me to comment.
Green Lantern #49 was not so lucky. The main story wasn’t bad, it’s just that we’ve read it so many times before. Hero is forced to face his/her “ultimate fear” or “greatest regret.” Said hero (John Stewart in this case) shows great strength of character in overcoming fear/ regret, coming out of the encounter stronger. Only completists should by this issue. There, I just saved you pretty much money. Plus you didn’t have to read the fecal matter that was passed off as a back-up story.
That’ll wrap it up for the year. Merry Christmas and happy New Year, gentlemen.
Yet ANOTHER ridiculously light week for me! This is the worst December for comics I can remember. The good news is that it’ll give me a chance to catch up on trades that I’ve been slipping on, and crack open the Golden Age Starman Archives that Matt recommended.
BLACKEST NIGHT JSA #1 (OF 3) – Has a single one of these BN minis been any good? I picked up The Flash’s 2 weeks ago and it was fairly awful.
CAPTAIN AMERICA REBORN WHO WILL WIELD THE SHIELD – The Captain America variant of “Battle for the Cowl” is fairly intriguing, but I confess that I’m a bit more fascinated with the parallels between the recent deaths and rebirths of Cap and Batman. We’ll see if this one passes the flip test.
GREEN LANTERN #49 (BLACKEST NIGHT) – Still the best Blackest Night book on the stands right now.
IMAGE UNITED #2 (OF 6) – Obviously.
That’s it for me. What are YOU getting?
High on mighty wings,
He loves, fights, dies, lives again,
To the Nth degree.
Bonus Image for the Holidays!
Comics Alliance has an excellent piece up right now, The 15 Worst Comics of the Decade. I have to say, I agree with almost all of it (93.3%, in fact). It’s well-written, and the Jemas years at Marvel are given their appropriate due.
The one book on the list I take issue with, though, is John Parker’s review of Image United, especially since only one issue has come out so far. It’s no secret that I’ve been enamored with this book, but I think there are too many pre-suppositions to make this a fair and objective review. The only people looking forward to this book are men in their 30’s who still read superhero comics? Like the writers of this piece? (And yes, me.)
Considering I haven’t read books by most of the Image Founders (Liefeld excluded) in 10+ years, I’m surprised that I’m playing the Image apologist, but just like you can’t blame a Terminator movie for not having enough character moments, you can’t blame an Image jam book for having 6 different art styles and a bunch of splash pages. You pay your $4, take in the spectacle, and hope you get a fun ride. So far Image United looks to be doing better than Terminator Salvation.
Sure, it’s not Art (though the art IS purty), but it is pop mayhem, and there’s a place in comics for that, too. I don’t care about Dennis the Menace, but Fantagraphics is putting out collections like they’re illuminated manuscripts. And that’s okay. What’s the harm in looking back, and why is it different for Image than for Hank Ketchum or Ernie Bushmiller?
Sure, Robert Kirkman is basically just there to set scenes, put words in mouths, and get out of the way. And yes, sometimes styles clash (especially Larsen’s). But that’s the whole point of this book.
It is obvious to see how self indulgent Image was back then. And some of that definitely applies now, but I still maintain that this is a decent, readable comic. I’m not completely blinded by my love of the past, because I paid good money for the recent Youngblood hardcover with the all-new coloring and Joe Casey script. Casey even reordered pages to make a coherent plot out of the thing and it was still a mess.
Every single one of Parker’s points is valid. And I’m willing to be completely wrong about every point I’ve made. I just think there are better choices for a “worst of” list than a book that’s only seen one issue. Every other story had a chance to wrap up, I’m just saying let’s wait the 3 years for issue 6 to come out and evaluate it then.