§ September 29th, 2004 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on

You like the new comics, hmmmmm?

  • One gets the feeling that Chuck Austen’s run on JLA (which ended with today’s release of #106) may have been better had it been cut down to, oh, say, one issue. This particular issue was slightly better than the previous parts, and did get an honest laugh out of me (Batman’s line “I just have a way with children”), but boy, this storyline was near Marvel-esque in its eventual-trade-paperback-release padding.
  • Palookaville #17 is a very frustrating experience. It’s the latest installment of the “Clyde Fans” storyline, and it’s beautiful and brilliant, as each chapter has been previously, but the huge gap between issues is driving me crazy. Not quite as bad as, say, Charles Burns’ Black Hole, but I wish I could get more than one issue a year.
  • Green Lantern #181 wraps up this iteration of the GL series in sort of a “blah” fashion. While it was nice to see Kyle get his revenge on longtime nemesis Major Force, some plot points sort of bother me. Yeah, I’m gonna have SPOILERS, so skip or deal, mister. Okay, first, I didn’t buy that Kyle would just hand over his ring to MF* — seems a little out of character. And second, Major Force is a killer, who had murdered Kyle’s girlfriend way back when…is Kyle really taking MF’s word that he didn’t kill Kyle’s mom? What the…? And after all is said and done, Kyle never bothers to check on Ma and make sure she’s okay, and just zips off into space? Sheesh.
  • DC: The New Frontier #6 wraps up this heavily 1960s-flavored series with a final battle against the giant walking-island alien monster thingy. Yeah, it sounds stupid, but it’s a good excuse to get all the classic DC heroes together, and when it all looks this pretty, you don’t worry too much about the plot contrivances. There’s a stunning two-page spread featuring all the heroes going off to battle…it’s a scene right out of every 90s action movie, where the group of heroes are walking side-by-side toward the camera in slow motion…you know, that scene, the one we’re all sick of seeing by now. Well, there’s one of those in this comic (only without the whole “slow-motion” part) and it looks great. And the epilogue on this comic is something else…a variety of snapshot images of DC’s Silver Age, presented with a speech on the New Frontier by President Kennedy. A nice ending to an enjoyable book.
  • Adam Strange #1 – this must be the week for purty comics, because this one is absolutely stunning. Even if you’re not an Adam Strange fan, you gotta pop open this book and take a gander. Another thing I enjoy about Adam Strange — not just in this book, but in most of his recent appearances — every time he’s on Earth and he’s trying to explain to someone other than another superhero about his space adventures, he’s treated like he’s nuts. It’s a cheap joke, but still funny. Yeah, I’m easily amused.
  • I only get two comics-related magazines on a regular basis: The Comics Journal, which I’ve been reading for well over twenty years now, and Alter Ego, which generally has enough material of interest in each issue to keep me picking it up every month (though it feels like it’s been biweekly lately). There’s a lot of stuff packed into each of these magazines, and the older I get, the less time I seem to have to devote to reading them. Basically, I’m saying that I have a high resistance to picking up yet another comics magazine. However Back Issue #6 got me today, with their Halloween issue containing — you probably guessed it — articles on Swamp Thing. Gosh dang it! Features interviews with Swampy’s creators Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson, plus Steve Bissette and Rick Veitch, and even a discussion of who came first, Swampy or Man-Thing. Also, I’ve learned in this magazine that there exists a 1984 promotional videotape from DC, featuring Alan Moore discussing his work on Swamp Thing. We’ve gotta have one of those around the back room of the store somewhere….
  • Also picked up today: Hellblazer #200 (nice to see Steve Dillon on the book again, even if just for this special issue; comic now has the logo that emphasizes “Constantine,” which will probably disappear once the Constantine movie finishes its run); Luba’s Comics and Stories #5 (Gilbert Hernandez continues to do that voodoo he does so well…for some reason, the “ALL NEW!” on the cover really tickles me); Superman #209 (we’ve had about three issues’ worth of story in 10…but give me a national monument come to life to attack Superman, as in this issue, and much will be forgiven); and the Dark Horse Comics Halloween mini-comic (reprinting “Stray” by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson from the Dark Horse Book of Hauntings).
  • Also arrived today: Superman: Man of Tomorrow Archives Vol. 1 (which I might have picked up if I weren’t broker than a broke thing that’s broke), more Classics Illustrated Junior reprints (I wonder if anybody other than Classics Illustrated collectors are buying these? Kids won’t touch ’em in our store), Captain Canuck: Unholy War #1 (what? Again? I remember the last time they tried to revive Captain Canuck…didn’t really go over too well then), Challengers of the Unknown Must Die trade paperback (I really liked this mini-series…and this looks like a nicely-packaged collection), and Tarot Witch of the Black Rose #28 (I’m not asking this to be critical, or to hold anyone up for ridicule, or anything like that…I’m honestly curious: if you like this comic, why do you like this comic? What is it about this comic that makes you buy it every month?**)
  • Not arrived today: Superman/Batman #12, which is a no-show to stores serviced by Diamond’s Los Angeles warehouse. Well, we’ve all waited, what, two months? What’s another week?

In other news:

New theory on the Identity Crisis killer, hashed out with pal Corey: Bat-Mite! Who else could get past all the security equipment? And how does he benefit? By putting together a mystery that only his hero Batman can solve! See, it all fits!

Wow! Ed cuts to the chase about the perceived direct correlation between the low quality of certain comics and articles written about same.

In 1978, a young Will Pfeiffer, inspired by the recently-released Star Wars, creates his own comic book: Space Force Frog!

* For some reason, “Major Force” strikes me as a really dumb name, and I don’t want to type it any more.

** Of course, people can ask me the same thing about Liberty Meadows.

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