Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Week of July 21 In Review

I assume that most comic book readers are readers in general. I personally have not read a lot of regular books lately, but I still read lots of news and non-fiction when I can. Thomm was talking about pornographic and how is it defined I have been thinking about how quick we are to condemn people when certain words are used. The “n” word seems to be a bigger taboo then saying f**got or ret*rd, but I understood various communities are upset about those words also. If we say the “f” word, then people will be confused about what you are talking about. I have always thought that we give too much power to all the taboo words by making them taboo. If we said f**k, sh*t, n**ger and people did not go crazy about them, they lose some of their power. George Carlin was great talking about this stuff. As a society there is polite language we use in business and other words we may use when angry, upset, drunk or just goofing off with friends. Political correctness and politeness has been taken to extremes in condemning certain language. It is taken so far today that it borders on censorship and that’s when we start to have problems in our society. In our blog I try for PG-13 and or lots of **&^^% to make our points, but it is to be polite and because it is an open blog that anyone can view. I just think in general I’m concerned that in our desire to never offend anyone we are actually creating an atmosphere where we will soon be Orwellian in how we have to communicate.

Odd prelude to a review column, but I sometimes digress before I even begin!

First up was Walking Dead #75. The actual issue was great and showed Rick going off the deep end over this guy Pete he thinks is beating his wife. Michonne takes Rick down and now we have no clue what is going to happen inside our little compound. What I loved was Kirkman having fun with the backup story that was about Rick being captured by Aliens, turned into a super soldier and then finding out aliens are behind everything. It was over the top and ridiculous and just out and out fun and a great way to celebrate an anniversary issue in a book that does not lend itself to special things happening when a certain number hits. Kirkman seems to let the story dictate what happens and is not forcing his story to fit some artificial break point to make 75 anything more then another good issue in what has to be considered one of the best all time series.

After that I choose a book that was on the bubble for me and New Avengers #2 is cut from my list. First off it is $4 for 23 pages of story and art; second the Bendis dialogue is now even intruding during fight scenes and making everyone sound like a loon, third the fight was choreographed badly. The back matter to give us our bang for the buck is an oral history of the Avengers, in other words crap.

Next up DCU Legacies #3 (of 10) and this is another drop. Frankly for a long term fan like me this book is boring. No re-establishing of history, just plain old boring stuff. I can’t see wasting any more time or money and I do not see a trade in my future with this book either.

Now I’m going out of order, but I’m mad because I have to drop Power Girl. I loved this book and in two issues the new team has thrown out everything that made this book special. They are bringing her into DCU continuity inside of her own book, destroying her company and have left her supporting cast in the dust. Power Girl #14 also had some horrible logic in it just to get to where the writer wanted it to go. The whole bankruptcy thing was insane. Just because the company looks insolvent would not have bankers coming in and taking everything. That was acceptable in the Silver Age, but in modern comics things need to be closer to how the real world works. Second the whole transaction between these arms dealers made no sense at all and again it was a means to an end to get to the alien monster. Worse the damn sphere could have just showed up and any schlep could have been the one taken over by it. I hated to do it, but I’m not supporting this crap.

Time Masters Vanishing Point #1 (of 6) was a little iffy as DC is charging $4 for a regular size comic and it was just good enough to keep me hanging on. I love all the forgotten heroes like Rip Hunter, so that suckered me in a bit. Also while they are searching for Bruce Wayne it really feels like this is a Rip Hunter book, which is fine by me.

Brightest Day #6 was another strong issue in this series. What I sense about this book is that Tomasi and Johns have a story planned out and know where they are going. Often it appears either editorial mandates or a lack of planning impact some books and the writers flounder. This series comes across like they know where they are going and how they are going to get us there and we jump in for the ride. This issue we get the whole retro-con of who Mera is and that her people are offspring of Atlantis also. The mystery with Firestorm is being well done and the other stories are all progressing well. This is one of DC’s top core series.

Hellblazer #269 came out this week. From a book I was about to drop; now I’m back into this series. Not sure what is going on 100% because my attention waned and I don’t remember all the stuff with Shade the Changing Man from almost 20 years ago, but the story of John going crazy is fun. The art by Camuncoli and Landini is perfect for this book and just great art.

The House of Hush storyline in Streets of Gotham #14 was very good, but it was the shorter story this month and only a prelude. I’m so programmed that when I read the front of a book with two stories I expect the front half to be the longer story. It is very interesting what is going on right now with Hush and I’m looking forward to the rest of the story. The backup story featuring Two Face was also entertaining making the complete package a welcome issue during a less than stellar comic week.

Bullet to the Head #1 came out a month ago and issue #2 came out this week, but I’m hoping to read it next week. Somehow I missed that Matz (the writer of Killer) had a series out from Dynamite. I tend to ignore Dynamite on occasion. This was a great start to a book that promises to have plenty of political intrigue and intergovernmental issues as two hit men walk in and kill an ex-Senator with a bullet to the head. I will need to get the collected edition of this series as it is already that good.

Azrael #10 by David Hine immediately made the book readable. I have no love for the character, but I’m a David Hine fan and he immediately drew me into the book and set up a good first story. This book is now on my list.

Atlas #3 and Thunderbolts #146 are both examples of why Jeff Parker has become my favorite writer for Marvel comics. The stories are always entertaining, the characters are spot on and the artists are both strong, yet unique. There is nothing generic about these books and they are pure escapism and great fun, yet telling a strong story at the same time. In fact Mr. Parker may force me to read a book about the Red Hulk as I hear he is taking over that book.

DV8 #4 (of 8) was another very good issue in what is an excellent series. I’m very curious to see how this series will end because the ending will make or break this book.

Wow after a couple of week where I had a bunch to say I find myself with a lot less to say. There were a lot of solid books this week but many are in the middle of storylines. If a book is good, the story flow is good and the plot is advancing often there is little to say. Also in writing weekly I sometimes suffer from writer’s block and I think that may lead to shorter columns.

1 comment:

  1. Like a lot of things, language means different things to different people. It's both a joy and a frustration. Look at the word crusade. Here in the West it's a fairly innocuous word meaning simply an endeavor with some feeling behind it. To a lot of Muslims, though, it carries historical baggage of invasion and holy war. George W Bush found that out the hard way.

    So long as government doesn't regulate what words can be used, I don't get hung up on the whole language police business.

    Probably some of it has to do with the kind of person I am. I'll use whatever language I want because there's little consequence and I like to play with words. Outside of proscribed language at work, I'm free to use whatever language I like, not being beholden to an electorate or anything. Fortuitously, I live in the US, where the First Amendment pretty well allows me to use whatever words I like.