Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Comics Out 21 February 2007

I got six comics today, which is a lot for me:

Mark Millar and Steven McNiven's Civil War #7: the thing ends, if you can call it that. Marvel and DC seem to have established permanent event climate, where a a lot of comics (Road to Civil War, Identity Crisis and the Omac Project and so on) lead up to a focal miniseries (Civil War, Infinite Crisis) for the mainstream press to read. The focal mini has a lot of spin-offs (Frontline, Infinite Crisis Aftermath) and repercussions in other books (Civil War and Infinite Crisis tie-ins) -- all of which lead to a transition event (52, The Inititave), and then the next one (Planet Hulk, whatever DC is going to call it when Ellis's Bleed gets properly established). I am getting very tired. This is why I like All Star Superman, Spiderman Loves Mary Jane, Astonishing X-Men, and Casanova. Cause they're, you know, just stories by people about characters.

Allan Heinberg and Terry Dodson's Wonder Woman #4: sure it's crazy, and it comes out four times a year, and this plot is going to be aborted because Heinberg is leaving or was asked to leave -- but it is an entertaining book and the Dodson art is silly, cute, and fun. I like it.

Matt Fraction and Mike Deodato's Punisher War Journal #4: Fraction is a great writer, but the Punisher is not my favorite character, and I am having a little trouble getting into this.

Matt Fraction, Ed Brubaker, and David Aja's The Immortal Iron Fist #3: Aja is remarkable, elegant and visceral: there is a great 9 panel grid 14 pages in that is just simplicity itself. It is like something out of a much older comic book but it doesn't feel that way at all -- it feels just right. Even if it was not well written I would get it for the art, but thank god it is a good story to boot.

Douglas Rushkoff and Liam Sharp's Testament #15: the gods and monsters stand out in this issue especially.

Spider-Man Family #1: I got it for the Sean McKeever story, but it is not worth the price of the anthology.

Plus: I had a short (half hour) appearance on Comic Geek Speak talking about Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's All Star Superman. Be warned though, I was recovering from being more sick than I have ever been in my life, and my energy is not where it should be (as I told them when I was on). It is episode 227 and it is out on their site today.

23 comments:

ZC said...

As far as I know, Heinberg's story is not being aborted, but rather issue #6 (the first Jodi Picoult one, which is pretty good) is coming out before #5.

Heinberg needs to get his shit together, really.

James said...

zc: #5 is coming out when it should, it just won't be the last part of "Who is Wonder Woman?". #6, as you say, kicks off Jodi Picoult's run, while Heinberg's arc will be wrapped up in a seperate publication - an annual or somesuch. None of which I should know, having dropped the title at #2. I read Newsarama at work.

Geoff: "Permanent event climate" sums it up perfectly. And god yes, it's tiring. Have you heard about the follow-up to 52? A week after 52 #52, you get Countdown #51. A week after that, Countdown #50 and so on. Apparently "when a character dies in COUNTDOWN 51, it sets off an unexpected ripple that will touch virtually every character in the DC Universe." Right, so an epoch-shattering milestone etc. etc. What are we counting down to, then? Dan Didio has the answer! "It’s pretty simple – we’re counting down to the next big event at DC Comics." Shitting hell.

jeremy said...

i am so underwhelmed by civil war #7. bring on world war hulk!

LurkerWithout said...

I finally realized what bugged me about Punisher vs. Super-criminals. Its the Scourge of the Underworld all over again. Right down to the mass massacre at the Bar With No Name. Been there, bought the t-shirt, gunned down the dlist villian...

I loves ya Fraction, but this ain't working for me...

Geoff Klock said...

Lurker: another thing that didn't sit right with me about Punisher was that Fraction lifted a joke off of Friends, of all places: at one point Phoebe says that Spiderman is Jewish, because of his last name (she pronounces the last syllable with as little emphasis as possible, so it sounds like it would in the last name Goldman); Chandler has to correct her with "His last name isn't Spidermen! His parents are not Mr. and Mrs. Spidermen!" I mean I like the joke, it was just an odd place to take a line from.

Geoff Klock said...

Oh, and will someone tell me who was killed in Spiderman 538?

nicholas reed said...

Godd interview stuff on CGS about All-Star Superman (my favorite book at the moment). Just wish you could've had the whole episode to dissect the six issues. They deserve it.

LurkerWithout said...

At the end of Spider-Man? Or doing the one panel where a bunch of people are staring down at someone in concern?

Aunt May got gut shot, but she might still live...

The only "death" I recall from the Super Brawl was Clor...

Marc Caputo said...

I'm gonna go on record about CW #7; it was a good, maybe even great ending to a work that is ultimately guilty of being a mediocre Millar work. This is not the work of the man who wrote "Red Son", "Ultimates 1 and 2" or "Swamp Thing". The ending was worth it - especially the last half (and remember, Whedon's the one who gave them the ending - so let's be fair) It wanted to shake up the MU, it did. It never wanted to be an industry punchline - but it did. Maybe the editorial powers will get it into their heads to have their stuff planned out before they start huckstering it.

Geoff, you're going to be at NYCC this weekend - Sat. or Sun.?

Also, no Elephantmen #7 today? It looks beautiful - I'll read it and let you know.

Anonymous said...

"Aunt May got gut shot"?! What a sorry state of affairs. I think I started to fall out of love with comics when the industry polarised itself to cater to the tastes of young men, rather than kids.I recently had an argument with a friend about how wrong it was for Superman to have a soap opera illegitimate kid plotline in that dire movie.Alex didn't get it at all because he expects that kind of adult dilemma in a superhero flick. I use the term fanmen to indicate derision.
I'm definitely going to use "permanent event climate" again.

Dougie

Roger Whitson said...

I wonder if there is a relationship between the perpetual event climate of superhero comics and the state of perpetual crisis the U.S. has involved itself in after September 11th?

Just a curiosity...

Geoff Klock said...

Nicholas: Thanks.

Lurker: I didn't know what happened in the issue at all -- I assumed someone died -- and wanted to know.

Marc: I will be there Saturday for sure, Sunday maybe, friday night maybe. I have a press pass. And thanks for reminding me -- I forgot to get Elephantman. I will grab it today.

Dougie: I don't mind comics catering to young men rather than kids -- that gave us Dark Knight Returns after all -- I just want the stories not to suck. The problem with Superman Returns was not that it was not for kids but that it was not well written.

Roger: I think you have something there.

James said...

Civil War #7: I've really tried to like series, and I have for the most part, but there was nothing remotely surprising about this issue. This series didn't need to be any more than (a Marvel Comics event in) four parts. It's cheap to have Cap suddenly realise that his war is causing collateral damage - he seriously didn't notice before? Very disappointing issue for me, par for the course for most, I'm guessing.

Amazing Spider-Man #538: This was just like all the other Civil War tie-in issues of ASM; well-drawn, largely uneventful, and kind of at-odds with the narrative of the main series. I'm okay with Aunt May dying, I think it's pretty unnecessary for her to do so at the hands of a Spider-villain (it's over-familiar territory), but okay.

Punisher War Journal #4: I really like what Fraction's doing with the Punisher. Last issue was the only time where I felt like the series was being hindered by Civil War. This issue was a lot of fun, and I'm excited to see what happens next. From a recent Fraction interview: "I had a gag I wanted to write where someone thinks "Spiderman" is his last name. They call him Peter Spiderman and he has to explain... But once he's there, he sort of... acts as the moral axis the book swings around." I guess he didn't know he was cribbing from Friends, but yeah, it's weird. Good gag though.

New Avengers: Illuminati #2: Jimmy Cheung's a good artist, but writing-wise this feels more Brian Reed than Brian Bendis (by which I largely mean it's not as good as Bendis usually is - I'm not familiar with Reed's other stuff). Really weird ending beat.

Immortal Iron Fist #3: Really enjoying this series. The page you mention is gorgeous, Geoff.

Jason Powell said...

The "Spiderman" gag pre-dates "Friends," I'm positive. I heard a stand-up comic doing it once, years before "Friends" existed. (Heck, maybe the stand-up comic later ended up as a writer on "Friends," and was re-using his own joke.)

Roger said...

oh, and BTW, the 52 out this week was really awesome. The art was so-so, like most of the issues, but the ending was a woozy...

Dougie said...

I should have written " I started to fall out of love with superhero comics..."
I still enjoy them but I would equate them with the Harry Potter or Earthsea books - designed for young readers but accessible to adults. They feature wish fulfillment characters, often disguised, confronting oppressors with special skills or powers.
If I want mature themes or conflicts, I look to novels or drama.

Matt Brady said...

You're right about that Iron Fist page, Geoff, but it kind of threw me; the lines were much "cleaner" than Aja's usual stuff, even compared to the rest of this issue. I thought it was one of the other artists at first.

neilshyminsky said...

Geoff - i'm wondering what you think about Tony Stark more or less becoming Adrian Veidt at the end of Civil War. I'm going to blog on this myself at some point over the next few days, but it strikes me as a sort of pathetic backward-looking glance that they'll never have the guts to follow-through with.

Geoff Klock said...

James: Yeah, that was the worst part about CW -- it is not necessary that Cap notice this at this particular point.

Jason: Thanks

Dougie: I am not sure what to say to that, except that Superhero comics have done mature themes and conflicts so well that there is no reason they should not continue to do them. I do agree that there should be room for MORE than just mature themes (SPIDERMAN LOVES MARY JANE!).

Matt: that is a good point.

Neil: I had not thought of it that way. Yeah. I doubt that will play out well. Good observation.

Mitch said...

I finally listened to the CGS appearance, Geoff. Great, as always. Hopefully they'll have you back on after the next 6 issues.

schark said...

How could you ignore Darwyn Cooke's brilliant The Spirit? Talk about great art and storytelling. It's a throwback yet it feels fresh. Shifting narrative voices without being confusing or annoying. Great stuff.

craig taylor said...

The Spirit's is good: stories done in one issue, and the art as always is spot on; but, so far, forgetable. There's no character development, as if Cooke is frightened to 'fiddle' with Eisner's creation.

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