Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Comics Out 7 February 2007

The only comic book I picked up this week was Jeff Smith's Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil. I like Jeff Smith, I guess, but this lost me in the same way that his Bone did: it is sweet and the art is clean and nicely designed but I don't really see what all the fuss is about. Especially since Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely are doing a much better aw-shucks hero in All Star Superman -- a book in which our sweet hero, instead of being mired in nostalgia, keeps slamming up against forward-looking sci-fi madness, shockingly well-designed creatures, and the brilliantly characterized, realistic and frightening Lex Luthor. Someone is more than welcome to explain to me the wonder of Jeff Smith; I am open to learning what it is about this guy that gets people so excited.

In comics news, Joss Whedon is off the Wonder Woman movie, for no reason other than creative differences, basically. That is sad, but there is good Joss Whedon news: Newsarama got a hold of a preview copy of the first issue of next month's Joss Whedon written Buffy comic book (which is being unofficially referred to as "Season 8"), and gave it a great review. So something to look forward to, for those of us who are Whedon people.

Also Newsarama has a preview of the new Grant Morrison Batman issue, which it says is out today, but I didn't see it. I seem to remember this happeneing before.

Review, Recommend, Discuss.

20 comments:

Marc Caputo said...

Getting the Buffy DVD box set for my big four-oh. This plus the Angels being cheap on Amazon and the lineup of writers for "Season 8" - Whedon, Loeb, Vaughan make it a great time to be a fan.

Also, next month's Elephantmen (Image) # 7 has a story by Kelly and Bachalo. That book is great - with Fell, Godland and Casanova, I'm buying more Image than when it started.

I'll be at NYCC - hope to run into you and say hello in person.

mitch said...

That Batman issue looks worth picking up at least.

Pat Moler said...

I can't wait for All-Star Superman to comeout of TPB. I missed the first have and these days I hate single issues because I'm not patient enough to wait a month for the next chapter.

I'll probably head to the book store later this week could recomend some things(in TPB)? Excluding Alan Moore, Alex Ross, Grant Morrison, any Ultimate lineup, Frank Miller, Todd MacFarlane, Eric Larsen, and Paul Jenkins. Yeah that limits the selection quite a bit. haha..eh..

Tony said...

There is a synergy between Whedon and Vaughan. Reading RUNAWAYS, I got the same sense of affection I remember feeling the first season of BUFFY. They have similar senses of action and theme. Yes or no? If nothing else, they are both 'west coast.' I am excited to see how each of them prism/interpret eachother's creations mostly because I am almost sure they both understand and will do justice to what's gone before.

Loeb, on the other hand, I think is a problem. I hate to admit it, but I am irrationally invested in BUFFY as a narrative. My dissatisfaction with LOEB, however, is probably a lot more reasonable. First and foremost, LOEB is one of those writers, a little like Claremont, who kind of overestimates himself at times. I get the sense that he thinks he is funnier than he really is. Seeing as how the comedic elements of BUFFY are so central, I am honestly afraid of what LOEB will do to Buffy's wit and Willow's quirkiness. Did you guys think EMPEROR JOKER was funny? And although SUPERMAN/BATMAN started out as some of the best Neo-Silver Age stuff around, when it came down to it, did he articulate a compelling Supergirl? Did the conflict with Darkseid amount to anything other than gratuitous theatrics? How empty and melodramatic was the first story arc of SUPERGIRL? Can the master mind behind "Onslaught" and "Onslaught Returns" do justice to Whedon's "emotional realism?" I don't mean to talk trash. I am just raising a little skepticism about a (presumably?) much anticipated book. Anyone think crazy differently?

Mitch said...

Regarding SHAZAM!, Geoff--

It's not Dark Knight Returns or anything, but I think it's fun stuff. I have a unique position, because I've never read Bone and I've never really read a Captain Marvel-centric story. Something about that makes this pretty neat for me. Plus, you have to be an android to not love a line like:

"Mmm... You know, I think of all the advancements in civilization I've seen so far, hot dogs from a cart might be the very best one!"

Patrick said...

The appeal to Bone, to me at least, comes from something you've written about in this blog; the genre splice.

Bone splices the Carl Barks/Walt Kelley funny animal comics with the grand, mythic epic fantasy. It doesn't hurt that I'm a massive fan of both genres. It's also one of the few fantasy epics that I know of that features a female Arthurian hero.

On the Buffy S8 comic-I must admit the Jo Chen Willow cover gave me a moment's temptation.

craig taylor said...

Batman 663 is due next week.

mitch said...

Tony said, "First and foremost, LOEB is one of those writers, a little like Claremont, who kind of overestimates himself at times."

Thank you, Tony. I've been trying to put into words what I don't like about Loeb for a few months now and you nailed it. Like Claremont, Loeb has some solid stuff.. but has gotten a little overconfident. Ultimates 3 will probably be Jeph Loeb's last chance at redemption for me. Choosing Joe Mad as an artist was a good first step.

jennifert72 said...

you don't know how it warms my heart to hear you say, "for those of us who are Whedon people."

Geoff Klock said...

Marc: thanks for the heads up on the Bachalo. Glad to see you are Whedon crazy.

Pat Moler: get Fray, by Whedon.

Tony, Mitch: I agree with you about Loeb: Overrated is the word I would have used. But Whedon will be in charge of him, so I expect, so guided, he will do his best work. I think he also wrote for Lost -- he had a show-runner there to, and he held up his end, I think.

Ping33 said...

I won't get new books till Friday... but when I do I am most eagerly awaiting:

Mystery In Space #6 - This series is so much better than I would have thought possible. Its mind-bending use of the anthology form alone is worthy of note.

Fantastic Four: The End #5 - I really like hokey stories like this, and for me it's what the Marvel Universe is best for, though 'The End' does leave one with the feeling that *perhaps* there will be an unhappy ending... I'm thinking a goofy new Stan Lee like beginning "the Fantastic Fourteen!"

52 - :p ...don't care what you say Geoff, it's now clear to me that you just didn't have the patience for this. It's all been coming together for a few weeks and it only gets faster as you get further down the drain.

Detective Comics 828 - 826 was the best comic I've read in 5 years, I know the odds are slim that this'll be that but they're there.

Geoff Klock said...

Ping: my dislike of 52, you will remember, had nothing to do with impatience. It had to do with bad storytelling. I wrote a whole post about it. Also reading 13 issues over 13 weeks and spending more than $26 is not impatient. I was there, I gave it a chance. 13 chances.

Geoff Klock said...

OH -- and the Green Lantern went into the Bleed this week. It looks like DC is going to make Ellis's Bleed part of the whole strucutre of the regular DCU. The characters should be able to go to any universe, including Wildstorm. I am not at all sure that is a good thing, but there you have it.

Ping33 said...

The story-telling in 52 is WAY tighter than I believed possible back in week 12. And I was a fan. Seeing the dominoes all fall is one of the most spectacular sights I've seen in comics. (The reveal in the Grand Guignol arc of Starman was that book I read 5 years ago (which, actually only makes Detective 826 better because it was 1-and-done whereas that Starman had 6 years of build-up) is the only thing I can relate to 52.)

Ping33 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ping33 said...

More on Point:

52 is friggin Majestic. How many things can you say that about in Comics? There is so much which tries and fails (Civil War) But 52 is the Spruce Goose, The Hindenburg... except at the end of the day it actually seems to be coming in on a smooth landing. How many warts could we live with in 7-Soldiers? I would argue, more than in 52, which came out in 1/2 the time and with a conclusion that so far seems to be not only living up to the scope but brilliantly exceeding the story-so-far.

Geoff Klock said...

Ping: do you think getting 52 in trade format will ruin the whole thing? I don't want you to convince me to get the trades, and then I still don't like them, and you tell me "Well you had to read them when they came out."

Again, my replies to you always seem antagonistic, and only on the internet do I have to say this, but I am really asking.

Geoff Klock said...

Marc: On the subject of the Buffy Box Set -- that how I got into Buffy, I just dove in and baught the box set for both Buffy and Angel as a pair on Amazon and watched two or three episodes a day for 8 months while writing my doctoral thesis. Imersion is fun.

Ping33 said...

52 in Trade: I actually don't think it would work as well in trade. It would probably work to emphasize the inconsistent art (which caused at least 2 story problems in the last month) and even more impactful: I find that the slow drip is half the fun. I like being given the time to speculate and research the oddball corners of the DCU which 52 brings into play.
Also, for me; a big part of the enjoyment has been seeing how this seemingly unwieldy mass seems to be crystallizing in front of my eyes. I would imagine that the magic trick of cohesion wouldn’t seem as magic in trade.

Ping33 said...

antagonistic: I was totally trolling with my 52 comments... any Antagonism on your part is justified. I think it’s kinda neat how you and I can like the same things for totally different reasons or disagree about the value of things for exact same reasons.