Monday, October 24, 2011

The Week in Review – October 19

Everything we do in life is filled with context and as I type this today I’m still dealing with some bad news regarding my dog Kiki. Kiki is a great dog and right now she is in Florida and has suffered a broken leg with a spiral fracture. We now have to find out if she has a bone disease or what and may be forced to make some decisions we (my wife and I) do not want to make. I love this dog and I have to say my mood has been darkened considerable by what we are now facing. Life can really be crappy sometimes, but I’ll hope for the best.

So this week is going to be a short post (ha, I always say that and it usually still beats Greg’s post by 400 words or more) by my standards and somewhat on the negative side of the coin. 

I’ll start with Justice League #2, which was a vast improvement over Justice League #1. The pace was great. We start with the Batman and Green Lantern versus Superman battle and add the Flash into the mix. I loved seeing the Flash in action and yet hate the stupid little piece of his costume that covers his chin. I also hate the overly complex costumes that Superman, Batman and the Flash are now wearing. Enough with this armor crap and ever piece of the costume being a puzzle piece, I hate to see what they have to do to get into these costumes. Still Jim Lee can draw some fantastic wide screen action scenes and at the same time the battle is going on Geoff Johns was supplying us with plenty of information. Added to all the action of hero versus hero and action against probable soldiers of Darkseid we are getting Cyborg’s origin story. I’m still confused about the DCU’s timeline. The JLA book is five years ago and it seems like some of these heroes have been around for a few years and some are just starting their careers. Also some of John’s dialogue is still very stilted and strange as he struggles to make these seem like heroes from their early days. I think the new DCU struggles because there is not as much of a coherent timeline as we are being led to believe by Didio. A lot is being made up on the fly and after a year of so it won’t matter, it just sometimes intrudes on a story for me as I have a long history with the DCU so I try to figure out what actually did or did not happen in this iteration of the DCU. It causes consternation for me, but probably does not impact more casual fans. I noticed I have never even said what the story was about; it is about the discovering of these alien devices that are scattered all over the world and what they seem to indicate maybe an alien invasion or something more sinister. At the same time we see Cyborg’s father trying to determine what one of the devices does and he unleashed energy which appears to have killed his son, who we know will become Cyborg. This is not a great series at this point, but it certainly picked up from what was a slow starting first issue. Unfortunately it is still a six part story bringing all the heroes together. Of course this will most likely end with the League being created as the heroes all clasping hands or something as clichéd to seal the beginning of the JL, which is not as cool sounding as the JLA. 

Now onto a book that I should have cancelled after last issue, but will cancel with this issue, Wolverine #17. Hard to believe a book by Jason Aaron and Ron Garney could suck so much but it does. Not the art, Ron Garney is easily one of the better artists around and as he has grown over the years I think his art has improved and his story telling is top notch. No, this is all on Jason Aaron. First off I stopped reading Weapon X and this story is clearing up some old plotlines from that book. Second this remake of Wolverine into being this great protector of children has failed for me. I realize the story about him killing his own children was the epiphany that was the catalyst to change his character. Just like Batman dying and being sent through time was his epiphany that had him showing more emotion towards his friends and allies then he did before. Morrison’s makeover of Bruce’s personality made sense, Aaron’s did not, but I have the feeling Morrison’s was his idea and Wolverine’s was born of wanting to do Schism and make a Wolverine and the X-Men book to match the cartoon name. Even worse the dialogue in this book felt like it was written by Brian Bendis (not a compliment coming from me). So I get to save $4 a month until Brian Wood comes onto the book. Aaron who I love on Scalped and Punishermax has failed on every X-book he has done in my view, but he rocked when he did Ghost Rider and I bet his Incredible Hulk book is going to be good.

Next up is Red Hood and the Outlaws #2. This book was so bad on so many levels that I can’t possible do it justice. I was going to cancel this book after this issue, but talking about the series with friend and comic store owner Rusty made me realize this book is so bad it is almost too much fun to not get it just so I can complain about it. It starts out with Jason after Talia revived him with the Lazarus Pit, so I guess that is still canon then just jumps forward in time to Jason and Roy flying together as Jason is responding to a distress call from his old Sensei. A hot stewardess from wet dreams of times past comes on to Jason in the airplane. I’m surprised we did not get a sex scene in the bathroom in the new DCU. It is just a fast paced, stupid dialogue, oversexed Starfire garbled mess of a book. Even worse is the poor story telling from the artist. At times it is impossible to follow the panels that are overly complex and convoluted for no reason. The scan I’m showing does not capture the full two page spread, but we have intermixed flashback panels with the current action and I have no clue where I’m suppose to go to in trying to read this mess. While this book escaped my axe for now I have a feeling that will not last very long.

I was going to talk about Batman #2 and to be able to talk about a great book as Scott Snyder is just an amazing writer and I even had some quibbles with that book this week, but I’ll leave it alone because I have gone negative enough and this post has again gone on longer than I ever intended. 

Well the new DCU has fared relative well with me so far I have personally only dropped 4 series, which are Static Shock, Men of War, Hawk and Dove and Captain Atom. I still have some books to read this week but that is not a bad record so far.

My list for next week is All Star Western, Aquaman, Batman Dark Knight, Blackhaws, DMZ, Flash, Firestorm (strong candidate for cancellation), Green Lantern The New Guardians, I Vampire, Justice League Dark, Legion of Super Heroes, Savage Hawkman, Scalped, Spaceman, Superman, Teen Titans, Voodoo, Captain America and Bucky, Daredevil, FF, Incredible Hulk, Journey into Mystery, Mighty Thor, Red Skull, Secret Avengers, Ultimates, Venom, Wolverine and the X-Men, Breed III< Guarding the Globe, Red Wing, Walking Dead, Abe Sapien, Manara HC Volume 1, Cobra, Vamperilla and Vamperilla and the Scarlet Legion

That puts a lid on this week. Hopefully next week I’m go more for the positive instead of slam dancing my favorite pastime.

1 comment:

  1. Jim,

    I hope Kiki gets better soon. She still looks happy in that picture. If a dog is loved, can eat and go to the bathroom, then they wouldn't care if they only had two legs. Her plight is making me realize how much I've been guarding my heart from our replacement dog, Mr. Magoo, trying to remain detached.

    I've been thinking about Cyborg's age in JL. Maybe it was set five years ago, so that by the time we're up to the present time, he'll be old enough to join the team. Realistically, it would take some time to adjust to his new condition. The costumes are driving me nuts too, but I have several theories for the detailing: One it'll help identify this universe from all others when the inevitable multi-verse cross-over occurs. Two, Jim Lee may be a costume contest judge at some convention and wanted the cosplayers to work harder on their suits!

    I hope you're right about Aaron on the Hulk. I'm not sure I'm sold on the premise yet.

    Glad to see Red Skull is coming out this week. That book is great. Did you ever try Planet of the Apes?