So as Tim noted on the Twitters, reference is made in Green Lantern Corps #18 to a particular tragic event in John Stewart’s life that, in its original context of the Cosmic Odyssey mini-series, could not have happened as presented given the brave New 52 world that all the DC Universe comic books live in now. It probably doesn’t take much of a stretch to imagine that said event could still have happened under some as-yet-untold new continuity circumstances, but until that tale is told, there it sits, a fossil of a shared universe that’s had its rooms torn down, rebuilt, or otherwise redecorated.
Also, I’m already a little tired of this “First Lantern” thing…the “here’s how your life could have been different” torture he’s putting characters through is already run to the ground. Plus, that’s not even considering the fact that your characters’ histories just went through a huge reboot anyway, so what’s at stake, really? …I’ve been generally enjoying the GL books as a whole enough to put up with this, I guess, but I’m ready for the story to progress.
Okay, everyone can come out of their homes…the Before Watchmen initiative is nearly over, though we still have an issue of Comedian to go, and there’s a missing-in-action epilogue that’s supposed to wrap all this up, though, technically, wouldn’t that epilogue just be Watchmen?
Amusingly, the Wikipedia entry on the series notes critical reaction to most of the titles, ranging from “mostly negative” to “mixed” to “mostly positive,” leaving out the possibly more accurate “entirely appalled” reflecting some commentators. Of the bunch, this series, Ozymandias, was probably the best, possibly because it was written by someone (Len Wein) who’d been involved in the original series. It’s certainly beautifully illustrated…that Jae Lee sure does draw purty. Of course, that’s all aside from the arguments of “was this trip really necessary?” (not really), and as far as sales go, it went from “strong interest from customers,” to “oh crap, there are a lot of these, aren’t there,” to “well that was several weeks without a new Before Watchmen, I guess I’m no longer interested in buying these” to becoming solid mid-range sellers. Not moving huge numbers, but okay, dependable numbers. When the solicitations for the reasonably-probable Before Watchmen 2 or After Watchmen eventually pop up in Previews, I’ll know what to order.
And over the course of the multiple series, we did get “THE SECRET ORIGIN OF RORSCHACH’S ‘END IS NIGH’ SIGN,” and thus did the event justify itself.
The previous series, Cargo of Doom, did only so-so for us, which surprised me considering the strength of its creative team of Mark Waid and Chris Samnee. I’m chalking that up to Too Many Rocketeer Comics Too Quickly, since we just came off that Rocketeer Adventures 2 anthology, whose sales weren’t even really a patch on the previous Adventures anthology. However, this series, by Roger Langridge and J. Bone, is receiving extra interest and pull-list adds from our customers. Hopefully I can talk some of them into checking out the previous mini, which is just as fun as this new series.
While I like Hollywood Horror, and I do love the work of Walt Simonson, I can’t say that the Simonson covers on this series are doing anything for me. While we’ve now seen that the Rocketeer franchise can succeed in storytelling without slavishly copying creator Dave Stevens (J. Bone’s looser, more cartoony style being a whole different world from Stevens’ more representational, yet still lively and fun, work), Simonson’s Rocketeer…I don’t know, just doesn’t feel right to me, both here and on the previous cover. I feel bad saying that, but it doesn’t say “Rocketeer” to me, like it’s not…”streamlined” enough or something. Or it’s the awkward figure posing. Man, I don’t know how to explain it. I mean, maybe it’s just me. Don’t pay any attention to all that…just buy the comic.
So it’s just plain ol’ Original Trilogy Star Wars action with no interminable ancient histories starring Darth Menacingname or future events with 70-year-old Luke, Leia and Han telling invading aliens to get off their space-lawns while their likely-to-be-retconned-out-of-existence children run around and fight battles and have romances with new Expanded Universe characters nobody cares about. And it’s a lot of fun, and requires no knowledge of Star Wars stuff beyond what you’ve seen in the films. And unsurprisingly, it’s the best selling Star Wars comic in years.
It’s probably doomed as soon as the comics license reverts to Marvel and the big Star Wars Episode 7 push begins, but I’ll happily enjoy it in the meantime.