Or “Will You, Won’t You, Will You, Won’t You, Won’t You Join The Dance?” The “Countdown to Infinite Crisis” tie-in miniseries were a mixed bag. “Rann-Thanagar War” was interesting, but in trying to show us the sheer scope of a war, it ended up feeling like a series of unrelated vignettes. “Day of Vengeance” was excellent, “OMAC Project” good but strange, but in my mind, the real gem of the line was “Villains United.” Not only did it establish the Society (And who’d have thought that a concept like the Secret Society of Super-Villains would be a hot commodity in
Or “Oooh! Scary stuff kids! Blah! Blah!” Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Though most years I don’t ever follow through with the cool costumes that I conceive during the year (this year’s favorite was pro wrestler “Earthquake,” to honor the late John Tenta, who recently passed away), I always like to do SOMETHING in honor of All Hallow’s. Now that I’ve reproduced, I have a built-in excuse (“Oh, this is for Molly!”), but the whole point is for grown-ups to act like kids. Y’know, dress ridiculously, eat tons of junk-food, try to annoy and scare your fellow man.
Or “If They’re The Suicide Squad, How Come There’s So Many Of ‘Em Left?” There’s been a lot of talk lately about “realism” in superhero comics. Books like Ultimate Spider-Man have been able to look at characters and events in a more adult fashion, while maintaining the best of what Stan & Steve established for the character. Some books have been wildly successful with a more realistic bent (Astro City, for one), while others have actually created MORE ridiculous premises by taking “realism” to it’s extreme (Mark Millar’s brilliant “Wanted,” for example, does grim and gritty so well that it
Or – “It’s Hard To Make Snide Remarks When You’re Pretending Not To Cry.” Birds of Prey has always been an interesting case study. The original mini-series seemed to spawn out of the “Bad Girl” craze of the 90’s, but it’s never been a T&A book. It’s been a book with two (sometimes three) female main characters, but it’s never really been a “chick book.” Heck, DC insisted forever on listing it among the Batman titles, though it’s never realy been that much of a bat-book. It’s kind of a strange animal, a four-color Pushmepullyu that isn’t easy to categorize,
Or – “War! Hunh! Good gawd, y’all… What is it good for? Absolutely NOTHIN!” Preach on, Brother Beavis. This summer’s dueling crossover season has been brutal, in more ways than one. I’ve found that I’m reading more limited series, tie-ins, one shots, and reference materials than I am my regular titles. Some of them are good, some bad, some (like Civil War: Front Line) vacillate between awesome and embarrassing. So, how much damage does a tie-in issue do to a young series that has been mostly enjoyable?
Or “To The Cafeteria… FOR JUSTICE!” I admit it. I’m a sucker for a supergroup. You give me six or eight guys with divergent powers and some sort of raison d’etre (which is french for “raisin bran,” I think), I’m a happy guy. This has led me to read some really horrifically bad titles over the years… Youngblood… The Retributors… Team Youngblood… Supermen of America… Extreme Youngblood… Dragging my way through comics that awful just solidifies why I love this book so very much. PS 238 combines all the conventions of the super-team genre with a highly specialized setting and
Or – “Flashback, Garth! Doodleoodleoot doodleoodleoot!” Anybody who’s anybody who reads Green Arrow has, at some point in the last few issues, asked themself that musical question: How in the name of Aiesha did Oliver Queen, best known for accosting the Guardians of the Universe about their percieved racism, utterly and completely dominate Slade Wilson, best known for killing everyone within arms’ length, in physical combat? After all, their facial hair aside, Ollie and Slade aren’t exactly in the same league. Deathstroke managed to tag The Flash with a knife, fer Pete’s sake. Answers are forthcoming, but not everyone will
Or – “How many Batgirls IS this now, anyway?” When I started picking up the original Birds of Prey miniseries, (Good gracious, has it actually been ten years?) I did it with three thoughts in mind: First, to support a book with female protagonists. Second, because Oracle was a fave-rave character from her run in ‘Suicide Squad.’ And finally, because when a tall blonde woman wears a bolero jacket and fishnets, she has my undivided attention.
Or “What Happens When People Stop Being Polite…” Yeah, I know that’s been played, but I’ve been holding on to that line since 1993 or so, I thnk I deserve a pass. Call it a “pre-existing condition,” like your insurance. This book arrived late for me, which gave me an interesting perspective on it, reading reviews of the work before the work itself. Usually I avoid other people’s opinions until I actually READ the book (mostly so I don’t accidentally steal someone else’s good lines), but this time I noticed a trend: people aren’t complaining about The Outsiders, people are
Or “How Can You Be Two Places At Once When You’re Not Anywhere At All?” Neil Gaiman is one of those writers who make people like me flap their arms in a complete brain-melting furor, finally and completely aware of what it is to know you’re never going to be the best writer around, and furthermore, you’re probably not only not in the ballpark, you’re stuck in the parking lot of the wrong team, wearing a tinfoil helmet, a home-made uniform, and wielding a football bat. If Neil Gaiman, as a writer, is the equivalent of Prometheus bringing fire from
Today’s somewhat related, yet still wildly off-topic musing: When I was a kid, I couldn’t stand the art of Jack Kirby. I’m sorry! I didn’t know! It was the eighties, and there were essentially only two companies out there, both with about the same house style. In my mind, the best thing going for Marvel at the time was John Byrne, for DC it was George Perez. When I came across a stack of Kirby work (at Pat’s Book Nook, down by the river, in Salina), my first response was “Why are their fingers square?”
Okay, I have to start this one with a confession: I don’t “get” Batman. Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed the character in the past. Grant Morrison’s “JLA” Batman was one of the most awe-inspiring characters I’ve ever encountered. I’m a huge fan for what Grant Morrison calls “the hairy-chested Neal Adams love god Batman.” Heck, one of my prized possessions is a tabloid-sized “Batman’s Strangest Cases.” I fully enjoy me some Batman…
Or “How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Drop A Book.” First off, I suppose that I should introduce myself: Hey, I’m Matthew. You may remember me from such movies as “Bloody Mess On The Highway,” and “Calling All Lumberjacks.” I’m also known occasionally as The Lizard King, the twisted mind behind ‘The BMF List,’ now seemingly lost to the mists of time and internet.