Look, that Freddie Mercury gag is gold.

§ May 6th, 2004 § Filed under dc comics, publishing Comments Off on Look, that Freddie Mercury gag is gold.

1. That panel to the right was pointed out to me by pal Corey, who found it in DC Comics Presents #18, guest-starring Zatanna. So, if Superman has the Necronomicon, does that mean the DC Universe fits within the Cthulhu Mythos? Will Aquaman fight the Deep Ones? Will the Justice League fight Shub-Niggurath?

2. It makes me inexplicably pleased to see in the new issue of Invincible that Invincible’s dad comes from…The Planet of the Mustachioed Men. “A planet…where men evolved from Freddy Mercury?

3. A German comics weblog had some thoughts on my Things Not to Say… list, particularly about the “Superman’s still being published” comment. If I’m reading the translation correctly (the online automatic translator I used having a grasp of German only marginally better than my own) Comicgate believes that this problem doesn’t exactly speak well of DC Comics’ marketing department, and I’m inclined to agree, somewhat. It’s probably safe to say that the people who say this to me haven’t even thought of Superman since the whole “Death of Superman” thing, and never bothered to find out after buying their “collector’s item” if Superman ever got better.

4. And for today’s AiT/Planetlar review: Blackheart Billy by Rick Remender, Kieron Dwyer, and Harper Jaten. The title character is a skateboarding punk rocker who hates hippies, hates religious nuts, hates pacifists, hates the Grateful Dead…hates anything that offends his sensibilities (i.e. pretty much everything), and, oh, by the way, he also has a robotic head he got as a replacement when his previous head was seriously damaged at a punk rock concert. Well, it wasn’t exactly my cup of tea (and I imagine that Billy also hates people who use phrases like “wasn’t exactly my cup of tea,” and who could blame him for that)…I mean, it was fine and all, but a little of this sort of character goes a long way. The lead story is the strongest, with Billy facing the menace of a resurrected Adolph Hitler, inhabiting the body of Jerry Garcia, and wrapped within a giant robot body. It’s completely insane, plenty vulgar, and contains quite possibly the most offensive use of an inflatable love doll that you’ve ever seen. Remender’s script is amusing, with an excess of pop culture references, but it’s Dwyer’s highly detailed and appealling art that carries the story.

The rest of the book is made up of shorter stories, one pagers, and comic strips…the short with Billy trying to get a coffee shop employee to let him use the restroom is probably the best, but the final strip, with Billy and his lady-friend Skeeter having a conversation about, what else, things Billy hates, and Billy’s confrontation with a pacifist, is pretty good as well. The creators on this comic aren’t afraid to go for the gross-out in the pursuit of a joke, which one should probably expect with Dwyer‘s involvement. Again, like I said, a little does go a long way…the excessive in-your-face outrageousness can wear thin a little after several pages, and feels forced at times. On occasion it seems like the creators are practically preaching at you through Billy’s dialgoue about why these people deserve to be hated (particularly on the first few pages of the book), but that’s more the exception. Some lines, though, are laugh-out-loud funny (“Well, hi-de-ho! A generous plank and me without a carpenter!” — you really need the visual for the full impact. Yes, it’s rude). So, overall, I did enjoy Blackheart Billy, but I don’t think I’d want a steady diet of it. There, that’s my wishy-washy conclusion.

And besides, there’s a quote from Mr. Show‘s Brian Posehn on the back cover, and if he likes it, certainly you’ll find something to like here as well.

Recommended for fans of Ralph Snart (the good ones, by Marc Hansen) and Tank Girl.

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