Posted by thecolin1 on 2008.08.31 at 11:18
The much vaunted and hyped fourth weekly series ( Action, 52, Countdown) 'Trinity' by BUsiek and Bagley is a very odd thing. Initially I wrote it off as just crap, boring, unimpressive and a very pedestrian project for two such high-profile and quality creators to be involved with.
Now, after reading through the issues up to 12, it's still not terribly good but it's at least more intriguing as to why it's not blowing me away.
To my mind, Busiek is over-egging the pie. He seems to be trying to work about three or four different types of stories into the mix and it's simply not working. On the one hand, he wants to do a series that (re)defines the powers, the personalities and the relationships between the titular trinity of the DCU, Superman, Batman and Wonder-woman. On the other hand he also wants a galaxy spanning saga of sneaky behind the scenes doings and mysterious villains such as Enigma. ANd on top of all that he decides to use the multi-verse in exactly the way that it shouldn't be used: a big huge confusing mess of alternate realities thrown at us for no good reason except for cheap spectacle.
And all of these aspects do not mix well. The initial storyline about the relationships between the three and their personalities is just not very interesting and not very well done. Busiek doesn't have them defined well enough to then 'swap' their personalities and show the three of them being manipulated into 'growing closer' in terms of each becoming more like the other for us to properly notice. In other words, it's a badly thought out idea that leads to a lacklustre story.
It just doesn't work.
Then we have the villains manipulating things behind the scenes. And again it's a big resounding 'who cares?' as the villains are cliched, cardboard, crap and just not enough to hold anyone's interest.
So we have the usage of the Multiverse and I'm just not impressed with this either. Don't get me wrong, I love the Multiverse, I am delighted that DC finally had the sense to bring it back but I'm also keenly aware of why it went away first time and why DC need to follow what Grant Morrison and Dan Didio have been promising this time, that it will be treated as separate lines of books from DC and not just used for every half-baked crossover idea that comes along. And here we are, in a half-baked crossover idea that came along and there it is. Oh my.
DC probably needs to drop the weekly book idea for a while unless it has something really special and more importantly, appropriate for the format to offer. 'Trinity' is just not interesting enough or sustainable enough in the long run to fill a weekly book by itself (even with yawntastic back-up strip each week) and will inevitably just lead to driving readers away and souring them on the potential of the weekly which would be a terrible shame.
Posted by thecolin1 on 2008.08.26 at 18:39
Some of this will go into the radio show I'm working on:
Legion of three worlds
Spiderman: New ways to Die
Angel : After the fall 11
Captain America 41
Final Crisis number three continues Grant's wacky and weird voyage through the more odd parts of the DCU, fiddling with Jack Kirby creations left, right and centre and giving us a classic Grant simmer-slow-burn to a hot sizzling complication and what's sure to be a great finish. Some of Grant's singularly high-concept and 'huge' ideas leap out such as the bullet being shot in the future and travelling back through time and now with Issue three, the visuals really come into their own with some mega-creepy moments such as the last few pages.
It's an interesting one as it's not old-school comics, not like the original Crisis or even the most recent 'Infinite Crisis' . It's not even like 52 or Countdown though it definitely uses and builds on the foundation stones that those series laid whilst throwing out two million other not entirely interesting plotlines and digging up so many ancient and second tier characters. I'm surprised that DC went with such a high-brow approach for their big deal cross-over but it is certainly nothing to sniff at, with a mini-series of this magnitude being allowed to ease into the big storylines and take it's time in telling it's rather complicated and multi-layered story.
Of course, being a crisis book, and being a Grant book means this will inevitably shift the goal-posts around a bit and allow us to more accurately get an over-view of the modern DCU and especially the modern Multiverse. Already in the last few months, the multiverse has been used extensively in JLA, JSA, Trinity and the Legion of three worlds mini and I'm hoping some kind of official structure will be put into place now with perhaps the first of many books being launched set in other worlds than the 'New Earth' that the consolidated 'Earth-1' realities have become, in the wake of 52.
Speaking of, 'FC: Legion of Three Worlds' is such a treat, it's hard not to gush. Geoff Johns knows and loves the Legion like very few do. He 'gets' the Legion as they once were and can be again- a very special family of super-heroes who've grown up together, fought alongside Superman since he was a boy and survived calamity after calamity without giving up or drifting apart.
Matching him up with George Perez is a LSH fan's dream come true. The crisp-clear art is a beauty to look at, taking much longer than usual to get through each page as it would be a crime to not fully look over every little corner and detail that Perez puts into the book.
Picking up from Johns two previous LSH story-lines, this book continues his ongoing plots with the post-crisis Levitz legion (without the original post-crisis changes) and throws a lot of changes at us fast in this first of five issues. This is exciting stuff and as good as Jim Shooter has been doing the monthly book, this definitely makes me want to see Johns on the Legion monthly, with whatever team we end up with once this massive mini finishes.
Posted by thecolin1 on 2008.08.02 at 09:47
Adding to my previous post about the failing fortunes of Spider-Man right now. I have to ask when they changed the title to 'The Amazing Spider-VIN' ?
Am I the only one not particularly impressed with Pete's new roomate, Vin Gonzalez? I mean, he's okay as a supporting character and a potentially interesting read as a new guy in the MU but the last few issues it's as if he's been the star of the book, with Peter just being pushed to the side. Adding this to a seemingly endless stream of uber-shit supervillains ( a recent treat was the villain who could 'trick out' vehicles...ahem....wow, they really did run out of super-powers a few years ago, eh? ) and I'm really thinking Marvel better do something fast.
Joe, your little experiment in 'rewinding' Spider-man back some 20-30 years has gone on for long enough- can we have the real Spider-man back now, please?
Posted by thecolin1 on 2008.08.01 at 11:47
If you haven't been reading Grant Morrison's Batman, then you need to dig them up and get into them. Over the last 22 issues or so, Grant has built up a typically intricate collection of plot points, back-story and now with the launch of the ominous sounding 'Batman R.I.P' storyline, we get to see all the threads tie together and some of the most exciting story-telling since 'No Man's Land'.
Grant, as much as he is excellent at any length story-telling, always excels at the longer game and given the chance to unfold a map of story over a generous number of issues, will show his skills and command of the genre and the art-form as few can.
Spider-man seems to be somewhat floundering following the sketchy Mephisto reboot of 'Brand new day'. Marvel has this great ability to build up huge Spider storylines and then kick them in the nuts with some crap revelation and walk away as if this huge flondering structure of abandoned storylines isn't casting a giant ominous shadow over the current comics coming out of the house of ideas.
The new Amazing stories just aren't doing a whole lot of anything and I really wouldn't be surprised if we have a Mephisto confrontation being planned already as a 'just in case' clause. Joe Quesada not liking Peter Parker being married is really irrelevant at this stage; if it comes down to their marriage versus sales in the toilet, then I don't see a choice for Marvel.
Of course, I'm one of those who loved the spider-clone story, up to a point. I loved the idea and the character of Ben Reilly and STILL want them to bring him back and give him his own city to spin webs in and allow us to see the whole spider-verse from another and somewhat more refreshing view-point. Yes, they over-did it and it went all a bit ridiculous with 'Maximum Clonage' but BR was a great character and someone who could easily hold down a monthly book, given a decent costume overhaul and a suitable name-change ('The Scarlet Spider' is just one step away from performing at a drag revue).
Hell, if May Parker can have her own book set in an alternate future, then Marvel has to know there's room for Ben Reilly in Boston, Dallas or even another counrtry. Just do what they were doing with him before they tried the old reverse-a-roonie and started claiming he was the original and Peter was the clone farrago. We know Ben's the clone, we know he's got all this back-story and now let's get on with it and get on with rebuilding his life and making himself someone independant of Peter and Spider-Man.
Posted by thecolin1 on 2008.07.25 at 21:42
Star trek mirror images
fantastic four; death of the invisible woman
Parallel universe stories have a long and complex history with comic books. On the one hand you had the classic majesty of the pre-Crisis (and funnily enough, post- Infinite Crisis, as well) and on the other hand you had the confusion of the Marvel Universe's ongoing flirtation with it's own non-standardised (well, until the recent semi-formal effort to structure things in a consistent fashion based around Alan Moore's numbering system from Captain Britain stories and the introduction of the Ultimate line) multiverse.
But now we have a return to one of fandom's most beloved of 'cool' instances revisited, ie, that of the 'Mirror, Mirror' TOS episode which threw the ever-popular alternate universe into the already potent Trek mix and introduced such weird and wacky concepts to a salivating fanbase as Spock's 'evil' beard, a demented Captain Kirk with his alien death camera ray mirror thingy, cool 'evil' outfits, poor Mr.Pierce and the 'agoniser' and the knowledge that there was an 'evil' Enterprise out there who did not tolerate one iota of Mr.Rodenberry's optimistic humanistic pacifistic (well, pacifist AFTER young Bill Shatner has kicked you in the face to THAT music) and that was jolly exciting to all fans.
The orginal show never capitalised on this most beloved of concepts and episodes unfortunately (how fantastic would a movie have been with the return of the 'evil' crew? ), leaving it to a novel by Diane Duane ('Dark Mirror') to touch upon that territory for TNG, some reasonably interesting but not too exciting DS9 follow-ups and an excellent two-parter from 'Enterprise' .
Now, comics are going back where Desilu studios didn't dare, and the first issue is a bloody good read. It's everything that you want out of a licensed property comic- a story that takes you right to the heart of the essence of the property in question, characters you know being written as they would act and taking it a step further, adding something new to the experience.
David Messina making his concise lines expressive enough to make every familiar character instantly recognisable whilst also giving us his own flair to add something to each scene.
The story takes us right back into the heart of our fascination with this whole alternate universe idea and, somewhat like the two-part Enterprise episode, shows us so much more of the culture and behaviors of the Imperial universe counterparts. The comic promises a lot and if the next few issues live up to this impressive start, it will go down as a thoroughly enjoyable addition to the TOS canon.
Posted by chiefseamonkey on 2008.07.08 at 03:44
Current Location: Central City, MO
My girlfriend and I are working on a project and Google's pretty much useless. I'm attempting to compile a decent list of comic characters with tattoos, piercings and/or other various body modifications.
I've got a few, but I know there's more and for the life of me, I cannot think of enough.
(Crossposted like mad, sorry if this shows up on your friends list a few times.)
Posted by thecolin1 on 2008.05.30 at 10:50
Warren Ellis just sent out a mail asking if we could post this up on our blogs or special interweb places to remind people that his free web-comic Freakangels is still coming out every week so here it is, folks. Enjoy and support cool free shit or it'll go away.
If all of you with a blog could do me a favour today, if
if you feel so moved:
Post a link to http://www.freakangels.com
? Just to remind people
we're still here and still pumping out free comics episodes once a week.
Memories get short on the old intarwubs.
Hell, you could even usehttp://seed.sproutbuilder.com/LACofd2ABL8Bmckn
the FREAKANGELS RSS Window, which auto-updates every Friday.
Posted by thecolin1 on 2008.05.24 at 12:47
It's time for one of these listy things again. This time, inspired by some really excellent reading lately, I decided to open this one up to ten comic books series or indivudual works that would be good jumping on points for people who don't normally read comics but who are interested enough to give them a try after hearing various bits of hype over the years.
Ok, so to make it clear- this is a list of ten comics properties that I think would be of interest to people who don't normally read comics
Comments, as always, welcome.
1) The Walking Dead:
Utterly compelling series, now hitting it's 50th issue with the least amount of wear and tear ever in a conceptual ongoing series. TWD is Robert Kirkman writing with honesty, passion, integrity, humanity and big huge balls. Accompanied by the beautiful covers and the remarkable black and white illustrations, this is the closest thing to excellent tv you'll get in comics. These are characters one cares about, situations that could easily happen given the scenario of a plague followed up by zombies and scattered pockets of survivors. Just don't get too attached to any character because this is hardcore; anyone can and usually does die.
2) Ex Machina:
God, it's so rare that comics gets something as 'real-world' as politics right. Warren Ellis showed it could be done and done well with 'Transmetropolitan'. Brian Vaughan cleverly combines the superheroic (albeit realistic to a certain degree) shenanigans with the comic's main meat and potatoes of the central character being Mayor of New York City. It's a brave and bold conceit, exploring the murky waters of politics and throwing in some very intriguing ideas about 'The Great Machine' superheroic identity. What's most gripping initially is that in this world, the existence of one vaguely crappy superhero who managed to intervene in 9/11 left us with only one of the twin towers collapsing.
3) Y-The Last Man:
Like 'The Walking Dead' above, so Y takes another long hard look at an old story idea, that of one gender being wiped out mostly, and interrogates it thoroughly for every last plot device or character nuance possible. Displaying Vaughan's undeniable talent and Pia Guerrera's deceptively straightforward art which masks the incredible subtleties and level of accomplishment, Y takes us places few comics before have gone and asks questions about every level of society, exploding a few ripe chestnuts of conventional wisdom in the process of doing so.
4) Top Ten: The Forty Niners:
An odd choice for newbies to comics, perhaps, but one that I put in here because it captures the essential timeless charm and appeal of the old-school superheroic malarky that we all know of through culture surrounding us but under the masterful lens of Alan Moore's writing and Gene Ha's gorgeous lush visuals, this original graphic novel which acts as a prequel to the Top Ten series gives us both a wonderful self-contained tale and a springboard to go on to read the series itself with. Operating both as nostalgic with the historical 1940's setting and incisive with the romance between two of the male leads, TFN is something anyone can pick up and dive straight into, enjoying the character interaction, the drama and the fantastic action scenes.
Throwing in a monthly comic from Marvel ended up being a difficult choice as so many of Marvel's books are either unappealing to newcomers or too convoluted in their own and in company continuity as to offer any non-regular reader a chance to follow. But Dan Abnet and Andy Lanning's 'Nova' is probably the best book Marvel puts out right now on a regular basis. Having let their cosmic and stellar characters languish in guest-starring roles and be written lazily and sloppily since the 1970's, Marvel finally dusted them off and handed them to capable people like Dan & Andy, Keith Giffen and a few other notables and the result is the last few years of galactic wars, invasions, battles, heroic deaths, bizarre alliance and the complete rejuvenation of a once lacklustre 1980's vanilla teen hero called Nova. Every issue of the current series has been suspense filled, funny, action-packed and full of marvellous drama.
That's the first five- the next lot I will do later on- hope you've enjoyed these brief summaries and hope that at least one of you reading will find this of some use.
The Adventures of Luther Arkwright
Posted by chiefseamonkey on 2008.04.23 at 20:37
Current Location: Central City, MO
Is anyone attending I-Con 2008
in Des Moines?
Posted by thecolin1 on 2007.12.19 at 23:19
Here is the hour long Christmas show- reviews, news, an 'Enchanted' piece, lots of music, top five graphic novel lists- fun for all the comic buying family!http://www.mediafire.com/?74gbjlyvunj