Ends and odds.

§ September 11th, 2007 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Ends and odds.

Just a few random things from the last few days, some of which you’ve already read about elsewhere, but I’m going to comment on them anyway:

  • My favorite comment I’ve read on the Twitter recently. Well, I thought it was funny.
  • I can’t top what Dirk wrote about the travesty of Civil War #1 winning the Harvey Awards category for “Best Single Issue or Story.” Honestly, go read what he said, because he really puts it in perspective.

    I suppose if you’re approaching Civil War from terms of industry impact, there’s that…its delays fouled up comics schedules and cash flows for retailers, and irritated comic readers who, as these things usually work out, blamed the retailer for the book’s lateness. It’s also had the consequence of explicitly turning two of their major heroes into villains, one of whom has been featured in a couple of so-so movies, and the other with a big-budget feature debuting in the near future (more on that later). Plus, Civil War brought us the “Clone Thor” plot twist, which had the unique result of actually making even the most hardcore Marvel fans stop suspending their disbelief and declare, “oh, come on.”

    Okay, most of that was from Civil War as a whole, and not just the first issue. But, hey, that first issue is where it all started, and it made money, and it attracted the general public for an issue or two until they got tired of waiting for it to come out, so it must be far higher quality than Ivan Brunetti’s Schizo #4 or the all-Aragones issue of Solo. Or anything else published that year. Or 32 pages of blank paper, folded and stapled and under a blank cover.

    Well, maybe Civil War wasn’t as bad as all that…its main problem was that it was a standard issue superhero crossover/advertising tool punch-em-up that was pretending to be about “issues” and “moral ambiguity” without realizing that if you have two sides, and one side has Captain America (Marvel’s moral center) and Spider-Man (Marvel’s reader-identification character), the other side is, by default, the “bad guys.” And it doesn’t help that Spidey started on the other side, but questioned their motivations and actions. And that the other side’s leaders, Iron Man and Mr. Fantastic, build a robot Thor clone that ends up killing Black Goliath. Oops.

    If you read it as “Iron Man has turned evil, and tricked other Marvel heroes into siding with him…and the rest of the Marvel Universe has to stop him!” — well, Civil War improves from that perspective. (“‘That’s how Stan ‘n’ Jack would’a dunnit!’ declared Old Man Mike, from his rocking chair on his front porch.”)

  • Can’t believe I’m still writing about Civil War. Sorry about that. Blame the Harveys.
  • And speaking of Sergio: new Groo this week. Buy it or I’ll hate you.

    And according to news from some convention or other, Sergio is (along with longtime collaborator Mark Evanier) is taking over the writing chores on Will Eisner’s Spirit…alas, he’s not drawing it, too, which would make it one of the Greatest Comic Books Ever. No word on who is drawing it, but I’d suggest Dave Gibbons if anyone would listen to me.

    The previously-announced Bat Lash revival with Aragones and John Severin is still a go, according to that con report, so that’s good to know, too.

  • Other con news that you’ve already discussed to death, I’m sure: Jim Shooter not just returning to comics, but returning to the book he started his comic career on as a young teenager: the Legion of Super-Heroes.

    The best thing about those original Legions by Shooter was that, as a 13 or 14 year old, he was writing adventure stories that were more mature and exciting than the adult-written Legion stories that preceded him. And they were written for kids, and not down to kids…because, of course, a kid was writing them.

    Now we’re a long way from that Shooter, but here’s hoping we’re getting the Shooter that gave us those early Valiants and Star Brand (it’s good, honest!), and not the Secret Wars II, “More gore for the org!” Shooter.

  • As long as I’m sorta on the topic…I really don’t like the character designs for that Legion of Super-Heroes cartoon. They’re just so ugly looking…when they cartoonized the Teen Titans, they turned out okay, but the Legion just looks harsh and angular and bleah.

    But they look like they’re drawn by Rembrandt compared to the McDonalds Happy Meal toys…you can see a small pic of them at the bottom of this page. Pal Dorian gave me the Superb…er, “Young Superman” figure, and the girlfriend’s nephew had a Tharok figure, and boy, they’re about as unappealing as figures can be. The designs from the cartoon were no great shakes to begin with, but the toys managed to even screw those up. Yuk.

    I realize that neither the cartoon or the toys are aimed at me, but still, don’t care for ’em. Hey, parents…if you’re going to introduce kids to the Legion, get ’em one of the Archives. Start with number 2 or 3. Or the Showcase black and white reprint.

  • Hey, Iron Man movie trailer. Doesn’t look too shabby. Robert Downey, Jr. looks spot-on as Tony Stark.

    Please please please let’s see this happen in a sequel. I mean, c’mon, live action Modok? How bizarre would that be? I suspect it would look a little something like this, only sitting in a flying chair instead of a terrarium.

  • DVD pick of the week, just because I’m happy as a really happy thing that this movie finally came out: From Beyond, yet another in a series of films where fellow Oxnard native Jeffrey Combs plays a man who screws around with science and gets what’s coming to him. If you liked Re-Animator, you gotta see this. Granted, it’s been a while since I’ve seen it, but I remember really loving it at the time…and hey, when is Combs not fun to watch? The man automatically improves any movie or TV show by approximately 38% just by his mere presence. Yes, that’s right, I said 38%, and don’t you argue with me.

    Anyway, there’s an Amazon link in the sidebar, wink wink, nudge nudge, and I’m probably going to continue to update that link every week with whatever DVD or CD happens to be grabbing my attention at that time. Yes, I know, it’s another ad, but maybe you’ll get to learn even more about my tastes, or lack of same, by what I post there. See, it’ll be fun, and maybe, just maybe, we’ll all learn a little something.

  • Oh, now, really? $19.95 for Who Wants to Be A Superhero: Feedback? That’s the highest price I saw, though there are an uncomfortable number of other copies selling in the ten dollar range on the eBay.

    Well, that surprises the heck out of me. I didn’t know that many people still cared. Though, you know, if it were me, I probably wouldn’t have emphasized the “investment potential” of this book in my listing. “Honest, it probably won’t be forgottten about as a merchandising tie-in to a fully-scripted oddball cousin to ‘reality’ shows on a third-string cable network.”

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