Last week had a lot of stuff I was looking forward to: Grant Morrison and Jim Lee's Wildcats #1, Morrison and Gene Ha's Authority #1, and my new favorite book, Cassanova, #5. But this week, two of the most important comic book series come to a kind of end: Morrison and J.H. William III's Seven Soldiers #1 ends one of the best and uniquely ambitious comic book projects ever; and after SIX years Warren Ellis and John Cassaday's Planetary, with the exception of an epilogue, closes.
Planetary was the book that pretty much inspired How to Read Superhero Comics and Why. Before issue 15 it seemed like it was going to be as important as Watchmen. Alas, it was only a great idea for a book, and not a great book, as its slow publishing schedule meant that it continued on after it was really relevant; it was riffing quite heavily on the X-Files and the X-Files ended badly and now feels like something from an age gone by, something very 90s. Remember that there are more issues of Seven Soldiers than there are of Planetary, even though Planetary is six years old and Seven Soldiers began less than two years ago. And Seven Soldiers is better. Ellis and Cassaday clearly lost patience for Planetary -- much of the issues after 15 seemed like a sloppy race to the finish line. (Ellis: "Perhaps Elijah's purpose can be that he saves things! Wait ... I better stop the plot three issues before the climax to show how he saved the Drummer to establish that." Cassaday: "I can reuse a panel of Stone's finger nail gadget from issue 11 in issue 25 if I reverse the image and change the colors!").
Bad news at Newsarama: Morrison's Wildstorm books last week were lackluster, I thought, though the Authority was at least ... interesting (a hybrid of a superhero book and Sphere). Since they both merely establish the status quo they could get great when the status quo changes (as each book claims it will). Unfortunately the status quo on Wildcats won't change for quite some time as issue two won't come out for 5 MONTHS. It has been cancelled and will be re-solicited in January, to be out in March. Whedon's Astonishing X-Men has only been pushed back to November 8.
Also (sort of comics related) November's Wired magazine published 33 short stories of only six words each. Neal Stephenson, who usually writes novels upward of 2500 pages came up with
Tick tock tick tock tick tick.That's ok, I guess. You will not be surprised who managed to write a great one. Here is Joss Whedon's entry:
Gown removed carelessly. Head, less so.Hilarious. It's the comma that makes it art.
(Liam forwarded this from a friend who blogged about it).
In other news Mitch has a new article up at Silver Bullet Comics. It's called X-traordinary People: Mary Tyler Moore and the Mutants Explore Pop Psychology, and it looks like fun.