Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Comics Out 11 October 2006

Nothing for me this week, though you are welcome to try and change my mind. And as always you can recommend, review and discuss the week in comics.

Our own Mitch has a review of the DVD X-Men: The Last Stand at I am sure his review of the extras is accurate, but you all know that I found the film vile. (If you want to read the review go to the archives link in the right column, read the post for May 26th, and follow the link to the Oxford student newspaper).

Newsarama has a preview of the first few pages of Grant Morrison and Jim Lee's Wildcats; I avoided them myself, since I would rather read the issue all in one go, but there they are. Also at Newsarama (in the More News column on the right, under October 6) -- the truly surreal press release for the Guiding Light / Avengers crossover. Soap Operas are one of my main guilty pleasures, so this one has my attention. I cannot believe that Jimmy James (from Newsradio) has not yet jumped out and yelled "April Fools!" Any minute now. I am sure about this. Right?

I also thought, since I launched the debate last week, I would drop quick impression reviews of House of M, Civil War, and Infinite Crisis.

House of M was a pretty bog-standard "big" comic book story raised ever so slightly by the fact that Bendis is capable of more realistic dialogue that most comic book writers; the story had huge ramifications, which did not seem at all necessary to me, either in terms of the core story or in terms of the Marvel Universe. Plus Bendis seemed to think he was writing, at least partly, a mystery story (who made Wanda change the world?) with a twist ending. That whole aspect seemed to me very unimportant, but then, suddenly, at the end, it was the big issue. That's not good writing. Nor is the little girl who can magically "deprogram" everyone.

Civil War (the first four issues) is, as Starrlett and Mitch said, fun just in that World Series sense; I haven't been following the season, but it is nice to see all these guys on a big stage. Yeah it's silly and I could complain, but it has some nice scenes (Sue's letter, Thor showing up) and the art is quite good (the uniforms in particular are very physical, and damaged, which is a nice touch). I could do without the pretentious "A Marvel Event in Seven Parts", however; that bothered me most of all. It's like Morrison's Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on a Serious Earth. Terrible. Have more fun.

I was shocked to discover I actually liked Infinite Crisis. It is a total mess, cracking under the weight of a 12 (or 15) issue story smashed into 7 issues, a huge cast, and like 7 lead in mini-series. But it embraced a lot of the crazy, only occasionally dipping into unforgivable ridiculousness (that image of Alexander Luthor with the two huge balls), and I give extra points for exuberance and audacity. Not a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, but a pulpy page turner, I thought.


The Detective said...

Wow. I was a bit disappointed in IC. But, I am lame....The Detective.

Pat Moler said...

I totally agree. X3 is an abmonination in the history of movies. Haley Berry and Brett Ratner shoulder be beheaded and have their heads sent to Bryan Singer as an apology.

House of M was a great story but the changes/impact of it were vile. X-MEN is a social commentary. How can they continue with that without mutants existing in large numbers?

I haven't kept up on Civil War. Concept is intriguing though, and Captain America is totally bitchin' in the story, from what I've seen. Which is probably one of the reasons he's Comic Con's 2006 SuperHero of the Year.

I honestly almost cried when I read Teen Titans, and Conner Kent was killed, duing the Infinite Crisis. Mainly, because I'm pretty sure the copyright problems will prevent the typical back from the dead angle.


Valerie Quinn said...

12 (or 15) issue story smashed into 7 issues, a huge cast, and like 7 lead in mini-series.

That was also my only pet peeve with Infinite Crisis. The plotting was great!!! but the story told should have been longer? I think it would have been beneficial with the Return of Donna Troy (yet again) that should have been incorperated into Infinite Crisis as a whole and perhaps told Donna's side story similar to Power Girl's tale. Granted it was a starting point, but I feel it should have een more inclusive.

For 3 years I walked away from D.C. comics after being a self avowed D.C. fan for years. But Identity Crisis bought me back, Infinite Crisis hooked me again ^.~

At any rate I noticed a lot of different D.C. storylines have matured in content with maintaining a certain kind of diginity. I am enjoying that. I am appreciating that the editors and writers are realising these characters are far from perfect or honorable at times, but in the end most of them do the right thing. That makes for good superhero comic writing.

Mitch said...

I'll stand by my review of X-Men, of course. The movie is flawed, to be sure, but I don't think beheadings will make the dissapointment go away. Plus, I think Bryan Singer owes us an apology of his own. But that's me.

Also, I have to say, I only liked half of Infinite Crisis, as strange as that sounds: I hated the first issue, loved the second issues, hated the third, and so on, like the Star Trek Movies. I only found the material in the even number issues compelling. Issues 3, 5, and 7 were complete chores to read. The battle of the Superboy's in Issue 4 and the death of Conner Kent in Issue 6 were both very well handled. However, when Superboy Prime came back in issue five, it seemed a little redundant. Also the fight between the two Supermen was pretty lackluster.

Troy Wison said...

You're not alone, detective. I was disappointed in IC too. In fact, I'm surprised by all the love for it here. It had its moments and I certainly enjoyed some of the meta-stuff, but I just didn't buy the degeneration of Alex Luthor, Superboy Prime, and the original Superman. Nor did I think the jumble o' artists worked very well. I agree that IC's a mess, Geoff, but I didn't have as nearly as much fun with it as I'd hoped.

Speaking of messes that were crammed into small spaces, I agree about X3's crapitude. It kills me that X3 - with its cast of thousands and duelling storylines - had the same freakin' running time as the first movie. Good god.

That's not to say that Singer's stuff was perfect. Far from it. Scott and Storm really got the shaft in his films. And any X-Men film where THOSE two characters are practically non-entities is seriously flawed. In fact, given how crappily and minimally Scott was used in the first two, it really is quite natural that, in the Movie-verse, he only warrants a relatively unmourned and offscreen death in the third.

Having said that, that I still LOVE X2 for everything it did right. (And though Storm had more screentime in X3, she didn't have one iota more character.)

alex said...

Was House of M before or after 198 or something? Either way, the ramifications ruined the most interesting x-title for me, which was District X. It was like a weakly executed Age of Apocalypse.

Anonymous said...

talking crossover events: new Annihilation this week!

The first issue of the 2nd series of Bomb Queen is out... I LOVED the 1st series so have high hopes for this.

Also check my blog to see why Studio 60 isn't close to being the smartest show on TV.

pat moler said...

To mitch.

Yeah that's true. If Singer had waited to Direct X3 we would have had a well done movie with a deep plot. but instead we were given a well-done movie with a shallow irrelevant plot(Superman Returns) and a totally piece of crap that had a potentially good story(X3)

Anonymous said...

My favourite part of Infinite Crisis? That Superboy-Prime punched changes in official DC continuity.

I haven't been that excited by the power of punching since the Justice Legion A Superman punched his way through time and back to the 853rd Century in DC One Million.

Is there anything punching can't do??

Troy Wilson said...

Yeah, I liked the continuity-altering power of Supey Prime's punches too, dan, but I wouldn't have even known about it if I'd only been reading the IC mini proper.'s not in there. Is it?

Anonymous said...

Really? Ah well. It's somewhere nearby in some closely related book. Who can keep track of such things? Maybe if he punches hard enough he'll retcon that revelation into the IC mini proper.

Geoff Klock said...

Ping: I have several posts on Studio 60 coming. Let me say this for now: I still think it is the best show on TV, but I agree that something of the old Sorkin magic is missing. I do not think your comparison to the Wire is fair however, since the aims are so different -- the Wire (stunning, by the way) is realistic street drama; Studio is Capra-esque. Never the twain shall meet. More on this later.

Dan: "Is there anything punching can't do?" Well said. HA!

ping33 said...

Geoff: Obviously I disagree... I think the 2 scenes are similar in intent and execution. Both define the terms of the conflict and the lead female's relationship within said conflict.
Both shows are about workplaces, and I would THINK that creators of Studio 60 would say that they are trying to present their subject in a realistic way... More than the SUBJECT I think the important difference between the two shows is the execution, in the Wire NOTHING is simple in Studio 60 EVERYTHING is.

James said...

I enjoyed Infinite Crisis, and appreciated that rather than being another attempt to "fix" the DC Universe, it seemed instead a bona-fide sequel-story to the original Crisis. To later read Dan Didio describing IC as an "attempt to fix the DC Universe" was a tad disheartening, but probably at odds with what Johns and co. were up to. Pulpy fun, indeed.

Fun thing I noticed in this week's comics: I've not enjoyed what I've read of Kirkman's Ultimate X-Men run so far, having dropped the book something like 3 times since he started, but flicking through the latest issue I saw a pretty cool idea. If the final-page revelation is to be believed, then Ultimate Cable is not Cyclops' son, but a future Wolverine. Which is pretty funny given that Liefield's original pitch for the character could easily have been "think Wolverine... from the future".

Mitch said...

Not to be the guy that constantly brings up things that most people don't like on this blog, but...

This is an interesting observation from Double Articulation about Morrison's Batman, that I thought might have a place here:

"The gallery’s upside-down dinosaur in formaldehyde—a wry echo of the big green dinosaur “trophy” in the Bat Cave and presumably the work of provocateur Damien Hirst—is the symbolic centerpiece of Morrison’s vision of the new Batman, who, like the Green Dinosaur, is finally out of the Bat Cave, upside-down, and in a bright, madcap postmodern setting."

There is a link to the right if you'd like to read the rest.