Sometimes you just need a cosmically-attuned Albert Einstein to come in and straighten everything out.
There’s likely going to be a lot of piling-on of Superman #701 today (which is why I posted my main complaint yesterday to beat the rush), so I’m just going to drop this link here to Elliot S! Maggin’s “Must There Be A Superman” as that appears to have at least some thematic relation to Supes’ current saga.
Now, I didn’t hate the comic…there’s the germ of a good idea here, and there were a couple of nice moments, but Superman comes off a bit too jerky for my tastes. Also, I thought Superman was keeping himself literally “grounded,” walking across the country and eschewing flight as a travel option. At least, that was the impression I got from the publicity, but he gets a couple of flights in there. Straight up in the air, sure, but our boy Supes is still flying.
On the other hand, J. Michael Straczynski’s work on the new Brave and the Bold (#35, art by Jesus Saiz) with the Legion of Substitute Heroes and the Inferior 5 was actually pretty good. Amusing, some clever time-travel shenanigans, and no heavy-handed moral like in previous JMS B&Bs.
The new Simpsons spin-off mini-series Comic Book Guy started up this week, and that was a lot of fun…the multiple covers wrapped around the book parodying various comics were a nice surprise. That Crisis on Infinite Earths one is the best. The “nerd knowledge” requirement is actually fairly low, with the gags remaining funny even if you aren’t familiar with all the specific comics references.
And if you were one of the four people still waiting for the latest comic book series based on the Wild Cards novels, The Hard Call, to finally wrap up…well, #6 is on the stands and waiting for your cold, hard cash, friends. ‘Course, I’m going to have to go back and reread the previous five, because I couldn’t for the life of me tell you what happened in those earlier installments.
…and then there was this bit which seemed awfully un-Superman-ish:
(Kevin Church has more to say.)
Internet pal Dave posted a nice appreciation of the man, and Tom Spurgeon has a brief initial reaction which should be replaced by a full obituary at some point today. And I may have written a small tribute to him in Monday’s News Briefs at The Bureau Chiefs.
And here are Pekar’s appearances on David Letterman’s talk show which are so hilariously awkward, and the exact opposite of the typical showbiz shilling that these shows are created to facilitate. Letterman never could get a handle on this guy.
So long, Harvey, and thanks for all the good work you’ve given us over the years. You really were an original.
And this is as good a place as any to announce this…after countless hours of grueling behind-the-scenes negotiations (“Hey, Mike, you wanna take it over?” “Yeah, sure, what the hell”), I will be continuing Andrew’s “Growing Up 2600” here on my site. Should start up soon, though I probably won’t do it on a weekly basis like Andrew did, and I’m sure I won’t be nearly as in-depth and societal context-aware, but hopefully you folks will tolerate my occasional classic video game blathering.
But I realized right away that the cover to Ms. Tree #21, pictured above, is one of the most awesome covers ever, so hopefully that balances out.
Anyway, I had quite the busy New Comics Day, and I didn’t get a chance to read any of said Comics What Are New that evening after work, but I did get to briefly glance at a few, both bought by me and left on the shelf at the shop, so let me throw my uninformed opinions out regarding them:
Sorry, not much else to say about it. Hellboy‘s always good readin’.
“Annnnd today was the day I stopped reading super-hero comics. One that I won’t name finally broke me. Collection stops as of now. No joke.”
Which of course got all the folks on the Twitter all a’tweetin’ about “which comic could it be?” I bet it’s Darkwing Duck. Don’t tell pal Ian.*
But it got me wondering what could possibly happen in a superhero comic that would make me quit reading superhero comics? I mean, sure, I’ve read my share of bad ones from which I could extract no entertainment value (either sincerely, ironically, or otherwise…if there is an “otherwise” left outside of those two options), but what would make me give up on a whole genre? I mean, I read New Warriors #1 (1990), and I’m still here.**
I should note that Waid later clarifies it was the latest in a string of awful comics…I suppose after reading a whole bunch of terrible ones, that would give me pause as well. But such bad luck, reading a bunch of comics and not a good one in the group? That’s pretty rough.
Anyway, please don’t fill up my comments section trying to name which comic it was. And go easy on Mr. Waid…the man’s read more superhero comics than most of us have even heard of, so he’s entitled to give ’em up if he wants. But be as hard as you’d like on Ian. He probably deserves it for some reason or ‘nother.
** Here comes the hate mail.
A while back I noted that televised news in the Marvel Universe must be like having professional wrestling on the air all the time, but, you know, at least that’s safely predictable. I think I’d be more comfortable watching Marvel News and seeing “Sub-Mariner and Dr. Doom have teamed up to fight the Fantastic Four,” which is something I could deal with, versus never knowing what new horror awaited me whenever I’d turn on DC News: “Top story tonight: Superman’s giant ant head…the world’s leaders react!” “The Dow dropped 300 points after today’s appearance of the Zebra Batman.”
I don’t know how much of that I’d be able to take.
I suspect the daily news would be easier to handle in print form.
So I was poking through a copy of Star Warp magazine, dated Summer 1979, and within was the article “The Force Can Be With You” — in which the author first outlines what we know about The Force as revealed in the first Star Wars movie, and then suggests methods by which you, the reader, can develop your very own Force abilities.
For example, the articles suggests practicing on moving peas with your mind, or trying to guess cards held by another person, and
“…have your friend hide something, say a button. Again, you let the Force guide you until you find it. […] If you’ve succeeded with the peas and the cards, it should only take you five minutes to find the button the first time. Eventually, you should be able to work up to finding the button before your friend has even hidden it.”
Emphasis mine, by the way, because that’s awesome.
Anyway, after you’ve done that, get a load of this:
This next article, however, is absolutely 100% serious: “DARTH VADER VS. MUFFEY!” Yes, Muffey, the robot Daggit from the original Battlestar Galactica:
“Muffey springs at Darth’s throat. His metal jaws can find no grasp on Darth’s armor. Darth swings his lightsaber playfully at Muffey, lopping off one of the daggit’s ears. Muffey goes for Darth’s ankles, snapping ferociously. Darth simply snickers and lops off the daggit’s tail.”
And so it goes, with a gratuitous but probably deserved backhanding of Boxey, Muffey’s owner. But Muffey gets his second wind, takes out Darth’s “life support panel” on his chest, and Darth totally bails, zipping back to his home universe via a convenient space/time warp.
Yeah, yeah, I know…but count your blessings, it could have been Darth/Muffey slash fiction.