Sunday, January 06, 2008

Comics Out January 4, 2008

Buffy 10. With the Faith arc over, nearly half of the Buffy Season 8 comics are not very good. This one, written by Joss, is certainly a step up, and features good use of one of his favorite devices: joking half-serious fantasy gives way, gradually, to a very real emotional rift -- here, one very persuasively handled. The joke with Dawn's clothes you can see coming from a million miles away, but I really did like that Willow's sexual fantasy involves Tina Fey. I myself have a tremendous crush on Tina Fey, and of course Whedon does too -- she is his archetypical adorable but overlooked nerd. The art continues to fluctuate between acceptable and just bad -- where exactly is Buffy's knee supposed to be in the very first panel of this issue? Any way you look at it she has some kind of awful withered leg in a shot that should surely be alluring -- this is a sex fantasy after all. This comic continues, and I don't hate it or anything, but Joss is not convincing me to NEED more Buffy stories.

In Comics News, everyone is talking about the outcome of One More Day. Newsarama has a lot of stories about it, but none of them seemed very interesting to me. Please tell me if I am wrong.


nicholas reed said...

No, you're right. It's terrible, and not worth near the amount of ink (digital ink?) expended on it.

neilshyminsky said...

My favorite bit about OMD comes from Straczynski's frustrated response to editorial explanations of how the 'deal' Peter and Mary Jane made would affect past stories: 'It's magic - we don't have to explain it.'

Sounds pretty craptacular, though.

James said...

Yeah, JMS' reaction was the only interesting bit of newsarama's overly-thorough coverage that I saw. The 5-part(!) interview with Quesada linked to in that article might be of interest if you fancy reading him dig himself into a morass of absurd space-logic, trying to prove empirically that unmarried=best.

Comics this week:

Teen Titans: Year One #1
I expected to be disappointed by this, but I bought it anyway for Karl Kerschl's art. He's not incredibly similar to Ed McGuinness, but their work shares the quality of looking like a Saturday morning cartoon. Unfortunately this wasn't as good as his fill-ins on The Flash, and the script was only adequate. The whole thing felt very slight.

Ultimate Human #1 on the other hand, was a very pleasant surprise. Artist Cary Nord is apparently known for drawing Conan comics, which makes him perfect for drawing the Hulk, and Warren Ellis' technobabble is much more appealing than that dreadful Ultimate Iron Man by Orson Scott Card. Recommended.

Mikey said...

There's been an interesting (and lengthy) series of responses to the issues of sexuality and race in The Black Dossier at the Newsarama blog. Responses which, I'm rather ashamed to say, hadn't occurred to me previously. The comments are worth reading for their depth, as opposed to the usual comedy value of Newsarama posts:

My response to One More Day: Great! Now I can start reading Spider-Man comics again!

Also, Chip Zdarsky's response made me smile:

Voice Of The Eagle said...

“This comic continues, and I don't hate it or anything, but Joss is not convincing me to NEED more Buffy stories.”

I find it remarkable than in the space of a year, I was the guy bashing Whedon every step and now I’m his biggest defender. I must say, it was your goodwill toward Whedon as a storyteller that inspired me to give him another chance (but still not forgive him for certain things).

For me it comes down to two things:

1) I have an obsessive, unhealthy, INSANE love for these characters, and Whedon is convincing me he still does as well.

2) I am so profoundly disappointed with the direction the series took in its UPN years, I kinda feel Whedon HAS to continue with these characters. He CANNOT leave them where he left them.

I’m curious about your feeling that you don’t need any more Buffy stories. In what way does Whedon convince you that you NEED more X-Men comics? How does Miller convince you that you NEED more Batman stories?

Geoff Klock said...

I guess with X-Men, Whedon shows me that I NEED to see Cyclops KICK ASS. I did not know how badly I wanted that until I saw it. Especially after New X-Men I watned an X-Men story that really worked. Miller's Batman is Audacious, and I want that, especially after Batman Begins. But Buffy just continues, if you see what I mean. it doesn't suck but it does not distinguish itself from anything. That's why people are in the paradoxical position of calling it fan-fiction even though it is from Whedon -- because it is very comfortable with the little world and its little characters. Not a bad world, but not a world I need like I need a kick ass Cyclops and a crazy Batman that is making everyone so mad.

That cannot be a satisfying explanation.

Geoff Klock said...

You make a good point with the UPN years -- you argue why Whedon creates a need -- he needs to fix that. I guess I am less sure a comic book can fix a TV show like that, since TV kinds of owns it and comics are clearly a substitute. Also I liked the last two seasons of Angel so much for me the Whedonverse did end on a high note.

Voice Of The Eagle said...

I guess I need to SEE Buffy and company be a FAMILY again more than I need a kickass Cyclops (although that's pretty damn cool).

James said...


I'm probably as anti-One More Day as you can get, but weirdly I kind of liked this handy status quo thingy. The fact that it's John Romita Jr. helps a lot, and seeing it all laid out like that just makes me go "Okay, One More Day sucked, but now it's done and maybe Spider-Man can be good again?". Soothing.

Geoff Klock said...

James: Thanks for the link. A few posts down commenting on the image a guy named Brent makes this good point: "If you need multiple interviews, diagrams, flowcharts and what not to explain what you have done to a character you have a wee bit of a problem on your hand. But not to worry, if anything crops up you already have two excuses planned: "It's magic!" and "Don't ask us"."

James said...

Lordy, I can't disagree with that. The methodology has been horrendous, but now I guess I can see why they were so desperate to get to this place (meaning the "classic Spidey" clean slate rather than the confusing status of past stories)? Maybe? We'll see. Bachalo will be exciting, at least.

Streebo said...

Geoff: Is One More Day in danger of becoming the "end" of the Spiderman Saga? Could it possibly create a reading strong enough to establish itself as part of the Spiderman mythos as the final answer for what happens to Peter and Mary Jane? They end up with the Devil? Wow. What does this say about the past forty years of this Everyman Superhero that I've been invested in?

Geoff Klock said...

Streebo -- I will think on it.