Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Current Comics Report for 10/26

This is a report about what I think about the comics of this week, based upon Diamond's Shipping This Week list, as reprinted below, with my (sometimes quite snarky, so be forewarned) comments.

This week, there is guest commentary by a pal of mine, Jake, who has a blog here.

Certain sections of the Current Report on the 10/26 Comic Book Week contain forward-looking statements that are based on my expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions. Words such as “expect,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “believe,” “estimate” and variations of these words and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, which include but are not limited to projections of books being good, writing performance, character flaws, artistic coolness and continued title stability.

Forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Prognasticators Reform Act of 1995, as amended. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks and uncertainties, which are difficult to predict. Therefore, actual future results and trends may differ materially from what is forecast in forward-looking statements due to a variety of factors, including, without limitation:
  • A book being better than I thought it would be;

  • A different creative team on a book;

  • A different type of story than I thought it was;

  • Differences in anticipated and actual performance by the writer and/or artist
All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this report or, in the case of any document incorporated by reference, the date of that document.All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to me are qualified by the cautionary statements in this section...

NOTE: J=Jake, B=Brian and if there is no letter before the sentence, then it is me, as well.

Shipping This Week: October 26, 2005

DARK HORSE

AUG050025 13TH SON WORSE THING WAITING #1 (OF 4) $2.99
AUG050026 BPRD THE BLACK FLAME #3 (OF 6) $2.99
JUL050035 CONAN VOL 2 GOD I/T BOWL & OTHER STORIES TP $15.95

I like the price point.

JUL050030 FAVOLE STONE TEARS VOL 1 TP $6.95
JUL050049 LITTLE LULU VOL 6 LETTERS TO SANTA TP $9.95
AUG050027 REVELATIONS #3 (OF 6) $2.99
AUG050019 USAGI YOJIMBO #88 $2.99

DC COMICS

AUG050197 ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #645 $2.50
AUG050263 AUTHORITY THE MAGNIFICIENT KEVIN #3 (OF 5) (MR) $2.99

J: Is there any sort of demand for this book?

B: That is an interesting question. I mean, I don't mind this book, really.
IantistarI: I mean, the first mini was mildly entertaining, but yeah, why are they publishing this book? Is it just that this is the closest Ennis can get to writing a superhero book?

J: Perhaps.

J:It's more about this Kev guy than the Authority.

B: Right, but that is as close as he can get.

J: And they always end up looking like chumps

J: Just do a mini about Kev!

B: Because superheroes are dumb. Remember Confederacy of Dunces? Superheroes should be mocked.

J: They exist to be mocked

B: The Gospel according to Ennis.

B: He and the artist should just do another Rifle Brigage mini-series. I liked the Rifle Brigade. Although even THAT got a bit tired after the first mini-series.

J: More War Stories! And more Punisher!

AUG050292 BATMAN BEGINS CAMOUFLAGE BATMOBILE $195.00
AUG050189 BATMAN UNDER THE HOOD TP $9.99
AUG050244 CARTOON NETWORK BLOCK PARTY #14 $2.25
AUG050191 CATWOMAN #48 $2.50
AUG050210 DOOM PATROL #17 $2.50

J: Next issue is the last one, right?

B: I believe so, yes.

J: I'm wondering who the audience for this book is. It can't be hardcore Doom Patrol fans.

B: Why not? Fans of the original group!

B: I still can't believe Nudge is supposed to be Korean. Just draw asian people to look asian!!! Why is that so hard?!?

J: maybe a reaction to Morrison's doom patrol?

B: But there was a Doom Patrol between them.

J: Which was a riff on Morrison's version, right? Vertigo-esque and whatnot

B: Sorta. It was closer to the Kupperberg one more than anything.

J: Byrne's is is the straight up superhero version, and it's just not my thing.

B: I get that.

B: Also, Byrne really needs a scripter nowadays.

B: And someone to make the Asian people look Asian.

J: Heh

J: DC does have a guy go over his Action comics pencils, right?

B: Kinda sorta.

J: They should have a guy to do the Asian work. All he does is draw realistic asian people!

B: Haha

B: And in a totally different style of art!

J: Haha, yeah! And make it as jarring as possible!

AUG050249 ELFQUEST THE GRAND QUEST VOL 11 TP $9.99
AUG050212 FLASH #227 $2.50
AUG50219 JACK CROSS #3 $2.50

B: How funny was it that he took Zsaz's gimmick?

J: Yeah

J: But these are CROSSES, not tallies!

J: Ilike the book, but it's as if Ellis is riffing on ellis archetypes. He's a guy who REALLY hates being violent, but is way more violent than everyone else, and then he goes and cries in the mens room.

B: I would like it if this issue had some cool action. I predict that it will.

J: I gotta say, the art isn't doing it for me.

B: I like Erskine.

J: Erksine does not convey emotion well

B: He has improved since he ruined Wolverine and Punisher for me, back in the early 90s. Don't get me wrong, Wolverine/Punisher would have been bad ANYways. But he made it even WORSE.

J: There was a guy getting his fingers blown off, and he showed no pain on his face!

J: It's just...

J: Not good

AUG050218 JLA #121 $2.50
AUG050220 JLA CLASSIFIED #13 $2.50

J: Speaking of Ellis.....There is something odd and perverse about Superman and Batman speaking like Ellis characters.

B: I love those covers!

B: All this "good art" stuff

B: It is just so bullshit!

J: Haha

B: So I am happy to see something like the JLA Classified covers. Which take such a bold stance in the other direction.

J: Bring back Iron Man 2020 style art! It's the FUTURE! Everything will be in 3D!

J: The covers are the least appealing part of the book. Although, they DO get you to notice the book when it's on the racks.

B: True.

J: Even if it's "holy shit, look at that horrible art!"

B: Sorta like a..."La la la la...HOLY SHIT WHAT IS THAT?!?!"

B: Mine is better, because mine involves someone going into a comic shop while la-la-la-ing

J: I've never known that to happen, so I reject yours.

AUG050222 JSA CLASSIFIED #4 $2.50
AUG050251 KAMIKAZE KAITO JEANNE VOL 1 $9.99
APR050430 KRYPTO AND FRIENDS ANIMATED SERIES MAQUETTE SET $150.00
AUG050227 LEGION OF SUPER HEROES #11 $2.99
AUG050286 LOSERS #29 (MR) $2.99

J: Is the Losers ending?

B: Yeah. #32 is the last issue.

J: It's not because of sales, right?

B: I think it was the highest selling book of the month.

B: Yes, it was sales.

J: I was hoping it wasn't

B: You were hoping it was Diggle leaving for Marvel?

J: I was hoping it was more of a case where Diggle wanted it to end. I prefer when books end on the writers terms.

B: Agreed.

B: Except Thunderstrike.

J: Yeah

B: I hated the writer's terms there.

AUG050279 LOVELESS #1 (MR) $2.99
AUG050269 SILENT DRAGON #4 (OF 6) $2.99

DC is SO lucky to still have Diggle.

AUG050232 SOLO #7 $4.99

I predict that Mike Allred will RULE on this issue!

JUL050253 TEEN TITANS #28 $2.50
AUG050241 TEEN TITANS GO #24 $2.25
SEP050270 TEEN TITANS JAM PACKED ACTION VOL 1 TP $7.99
AUG050256 TENRYU THE DRAGON CYCLE VOL 3 $9.99
AUG050238 WONDER WOMAN #222 $2.50
AUG050275 WRAITHBORN #2 (OF 6) $2.99

IMAGE

AUG051663 AGE OF BRONZE #21 $3.50
MAY051585 AGENCY 1-6 SET SGN $14.99
JAN051590 BURGLAR BILL #4 (OF 6) $2.99
AUG051732 DARKNESS #24 $2.99

Who is writing the Darkness now?

AUG051644 FEAR AGENT #1 $2.99

Pick this book up, it is going to sell out soon!

AUG051675 FERRO CITY #3 $2.99
AUG051679 GIRLS #6 (MR) $2.99
JUL051659 NOBLE CAUSES #14 $3.50
MAY051571 SEA OF RED #5 (MR) $2.99
AUG051648 SEASON OF THE WITCH #1 (OF 4) $3.50
AUG051694 SHADOWHAWK #6 $3.50
JUN051807 SMALL GODS #11 $2.99

It is too bad that this book had such a short lifespan.

JUL051608 SPAWN #150 (NOTE PRICE) $4.95

J: First off, I had no idea they were still publishing Spawn.

J: Second, 150 issues is pretty impressive for a character as one-note as Spawn.

B: This is David Hine's first issue.

J: And I am noting the price. 5 bucks? It better be 100 pages, at at least give me a handjob or*

B: Did you just pass out due to anger?

J: Yes

J: I'm back though

J: David Hine and Phillip Tan, right? Good luck to them, I guess. McFarlane must be paying them a lot. Hine at least had a regular gig at Marvel

B: But which tan is which?

J: phillip tan drew most of the Draco, hands down the worst story in the history of Uncanny X-Men.

B: So Billy Tan really drew nothing prior to X-23? Weird.

J: Billy drew X-23 and MK Spider-Man, and I think he did some stuff for Top Cow. But don't quote me.

J: Oh wait

J: You will

B: Philip Tan did Top Cow, I think

AUG051696 STARDUST KID #3 (OF 4) $3.50
JUL051666 STRANGE GIRL #4 $2.99

Bloato is NOT dead, consarnit!

AUG051713 TOP COW HOLIDAY CARD $4.99
AUG051726 WITCHBLADE #91 $2.99
SEP051718 WITCHBLADE 2004 HOLIDAY VARIANT ED #80 $5.00
SEP051719 WITCHBLADE 2004 HOLIDAY VARIANT ED SGN #80 $15.00

MARVEL

AUG051915 AMAZING FANTASY #14 $2.99
AUG051886 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #525 $2.50
AUG051897 ARANA HEART OF THE SPIDER #10 $2.99
AUG051903 BLACK PANTHER #9 $2.99

Odds are, this will piss SOMEone off...hehe.

AUG058210 BLACK PANTHER SECOND PTG VARIANT #8 $2.99
AUG051904 BLACK WIDOW 2 #2 (OF 6) $2.99
AUG051957 BOOK OF LOST SOULS #1 $2.99

B: JMS and Doran, right?

J: i think so. I was actually gonna ask you what it is, but that jogged my memory. It's an Icon book.

B: I hope it is better than his last creator owned book.

J: He tends to do good comics, except when Deotado is drawing them.

B: Zing.

JUL051884 CAPTAIN AMERICA #11 $2.99

J: I'm gonna turn off the snark for a second, because this book is awesome.

B: To address last week's wrongs?

J: Sorta. Authority Revolution was GOOD, STONY!

J: But Cap, man, do I love it. It's essentially the return of Bucky, the most joked about story idea I think in the history of comics, except it's GOOD.

B: Here's my problem. Captain America has become the Lost of comics. Lost is good, too.

J: It Is.

B: But you have a little happen. Then a flashback. Then a little happens. Then a flashback. So, 12 issues in, you know a teensy bit. And you've had three gazillion flashback issues. And a House of M tie-in. Perhaps (and this is hard to do ) the most tangentially related House of M tie-in. It had a LOT of competition for that distinction.

J: Yeah, but this Winter Soldier stuff is good

B: Yeah, the stuff is good. I just would prefer it if it stopped working like Lost.

IantistarI: but do you really want to know what the secret of the Island is right NOW? Or do you want to enjoy the ride? Its like, i wanna have sex for 5 hours, and you just want to be done in 5 minutes!

J: That's the problem with this relationship

J: No communication!

J: Where's the intimacy?

B: I don't want it to follow such a strict pattern of storytelling. It has gotten to the point where you and I could both basically write the outline of a Brubaker Cap issue. Only TWELVE issues in, and it is already almost a parody of itself. We know exactly what will happen each issue. I like the comic, but the tics are just so huge.

AUG051902 DAREDEVIL #78 $2.99

J: This final arc of Bendis' run is annoying. 2 issues in, and I have no idea what the story is. Kingpin spills the beans on Murdock? It ends up on the front page of the post?

B: Let's talk about how lame Mila is.

J: Heh

B: How lame is Mila?

B: She is so lame!

B: I just hate characters pushed on the reader so hard.

J: Yeah

B: Like Tarantula in Daredevil.

J: Dude married her. He'll date Karen Page forever, but he's gotta tie the knot with Mila.

B: That's why I was so impressed when Bendis had it be that he married her when he was still in shock over Karen's death.

J: Yeah, I did like that reveal.

B: Because I was like, "Oh, that's kinda cool. So all that nonsense about him falling for her right away was part of a bigger plot that showed that Matt wasn't acting normally?" "I like that!" And then, Bendis has it turn out that, no, all that stuff happened. He really did fall for her instantly.

B: You know what it reminds me of?

B: The Jessica Jones What If..? Remember that one?

J: Yes. Don't get me wrong, I like Jessica Jones.

B: As do I.

J: but she marries Cap and makes disassembled never happen?

B: That's Mary Sue to a tee.

J: Still, Mila is essentially a writers tool, so she's fair game as far as death is concerned. I predict that Mila doesn't last the arc.

B: I disagree. I think Bendis views her as sort of "his contribution."

J: God, I hope not. Frank Miller got it right. Superheroes shouldn't date normal people. It's just dumb.

AUG051917 DEFENDERS #4 (OF 5) $2.99
AUG051913 DRAX THE DESTROYER #2 (OF 4) $2.99
AUG051983 HERCULES NEW LABORS OF HERCULES TP $13.99
AUG051918 HULK DESTRUCTION #4 (OF 4) $2.99

I predict that there will be a pun in this book.

APR051944 KABUKI #5 (MR) $2.99

Is there a prettier looking book out there?

AUG051960 MARVEL ADVENTURES FLIP MAGAZINE #5 $3.99
AUG051961 MARVEL HEROES FLIP MAGAZINE #5 $3.99
AUG051971 MARVEL MASTERWORKS MIGHTY THOR VOL 4 HC VARIANT ED HC $54.99
AUG051970 MARVEL MASTERWORKS MIGHTY THOR VOL 4 NEW ED HC $49.99
AUG051931 MARVEL MONSTERS MONSTERS ON THE PROWL $3.99
AUG051968 MARVEL VISIONARIES JOHN ROMITA JR HC $29.99
AUG051908 NEW AVENGERS #12 $2.50

B: Here we go.

J: so uh, I haven't heard much about this one

B: Predictions?

J: Any good? Yes. I predict I will be disappointed. I remember hoping that Scarlet Witch wasn't the villain in Disassembled. I was hoping she would be a red herring, but no.

B: Haha...how bad was that?

J: It was bad

IantistarI: I think that when it's all said and done, Ronin will be a disappointment

B: The thing is, when Elektra was tossed out as a possibiity a year ago. (And how weird is it that its been a year?)

J: It's a hell of a way to market a character

B: I was okay with it.

J: I was too

B: But it really isn't much of a, well, MYSTERY!

J: At least he knows how to write her

J: but that goddamn page

B: So I am still willing to have some faith in Bendis. He said that no one guessed who Ronin was. And he would not lie so blatently. I just do not believe it.

J: I just don't see how that's possible. No one guessed it? Is it fucking forbrush man?

B: Yeah, I find it hard to believe, as well.

J: Slapstick?

B: I mean, unless he just means his boards. If so, then yeah, I can believe he doesn't know some guesses.

J: even on his boards! TONS of guesses

B: But Elektra HAS to have been guessed.

J: Hhe's said that it is a man, but still. Grant Morrison said that Magneto was dead when he started his run on X-Men. Sometimes writers simply lie to build up a story

B: I guess.

B: But Morrison did not do it in a Q&A type "reveal."

J: Morrison doesn't have his own message board. Man, I wish he did

AUG051921 NEW THUNDERBOLTS #14 $2.99

B: I predict it is a plot, between the Avengers and T-Bolts to screw over the government.

J: Stick it to the man! The government being evil is all over comics today

B: Yeah. Kinda boring. But it is better than having the Thunderbolts and Avengers actually fighting.

J: I suppose

J: I sort of find myself longing for a story that is essentially about a superhero and a supervillain fighting

B: The Thunderbolts had that recenrtly. I am so with you, though, in the sense that I really want the current Runaways arc to actually be Cloak and the Runaways teaming up to clear his name. And not "Haha...I really DID do it! "

J: Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of threats coming from unexpected places, but it's gotten to the point where the unexpected places are the ONLY places that threats come from

AUG051942 NEW X-MEN #19 $2.99
AUG051943 NEW X-MEN ACADEMY X YEARBOOK SPECIAL $3.99
AUG051909 SENTRY #2 (OF 8) $2.99

J: What did you think of the last issue?

B: Well, I think this will be better.

B: Because it'd be hard to be worse.

J: Heh

J: I do find the character interesting, but not enough to have me looking forward to the issue.

B: I do not find him UNinteresting.

B: I just want a good story.

B: I do not think #1 was one.

J: essentially the character is a crazy superman, but where do you go with that?

B: In addition, what i think we saw here is that Jenkins didn't really HAVE another story for Sentry. And now he is sorta making it up on the fly.

J: exactly

J: Bendis brought him back

B: Because, while he does not have a story, he doesn't want to turn DOWN the book! I mean, can you blame him? So I think he's just pulling stuff out of his behind.

J: so it feels more like an obligation than anything else

B: Trying desperately to find a good hook.

J: i don't see where you can go with the sentry. Take away the void and he loses a cool villain. Keep him and you're stuck with the tedious plot devise that he could come back at any moment.

B: Yeah.

J: Sentry has LIMITED TIME ONLY written all over him, but it looks like he's here to stay.

AUG051972 ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR VOL 4 INHUMAN TP $12.99
AUG051891 ULTIMATE SECRET #4 (OF 4) $2.99
AUG051899 WOLVERINE #35 $2.50
AUG051975 X-MEN THE END VOL 2 HEROES AND MARTYRS TP $14.99
JUL051883 YOUNG AVENGERS #8 $2.99

J: How fucking jarring was the fill-in art on the last issue?

B: It was pretty darned jarring. And I like DiVito, but man, that was a jarring change.

J: yeah, nothing against divito.

J: Is it odd, that 8 issues in, you're wishing that things would go back to the way they were? I LIKED Iron Lad! There was no reason that he needed to leave

B: Agreed. It reminds me of Blood Syndicate. I liked Tech-9, and they killed him off early on. And I never forgave them.

J: There isn't any advantage to getting rid of Iron Lad! Here they had this great character, but no, they'd rather go in another direction.

B: They WANT you to miss him. They're sadists.

J: playing with my emotions!

B: At least Heinberg INVENTED Iron Lad before he got you to like him and then see him die.

Short list this week, as Jake doesn't know anything past Marvel...hehe.

That's it for us this week!

Read More

10 Comments:

Blogger Michael said...

"Who is writing the Darkness now?"

Who is reading the Darkness now?

10/26/2005 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger T. said...

I'm sorry, but if Milla was forced on Daredevil readers by Bendis, I totally bought into it. She was so awesome, I never crushed on a fictional character before, but I came close with Milla.

I mean, you want to see a love interest forced on the reader, reread the out-of-left-field intro of Elektra. She just comes out of the blue, DD never mentioned her before ever, but suddenly she's the most important thing in his life ever? And you say it's unrealistic for DD to date Karen forever but marry Milla instantly? Karen was a heroin addicted skidrow pornstar prostitute that sold out Daredevil's identity for a fix and almost ruined him and almost got him killed, not to mention all the innocent lives lost in the fallout from Born Again. Milla is wholesome, pretty sweet and has a great personality. Is it really hard to fathom that he'd marry her rather than a coldblooded unemotional assassin or a prostitute pornstar druggie?

In the stories where Matt Murdock falls for Elektra and Karen Page, I never feel anything genuine about the emotions described and the courtship processes. None of the relationships rang true the way Matt and Milla did.

Side note: last month, my friend broke up with his on again, off again girlfriend of 4 years. They even lived together for a spell. He went to vacation in Bolivia and met and married a girl in a week! Why her when he dated the last girl for four without marriage? His answer: she's just really nice and makes me feel good. So it happens. :-)

10/26/2005 11:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Patrick said...

Yeah, I'll back T. up on this one. I really like Milla quite a bit, in fact I think she works better than most of the other stuff Bendis has done on his Daredevil run. And I always thought that "nervous breakdown so he marries Milla" was bullshit anyway, primarily because it felt like an out-of-left-field revelation and in my mind didn't really fit with the events of "Guardian Devil".

Different strokes, I guess.

10/26/2005 04:00:00 PM  
Blogger kelvingreen said...

J: Hhe's said that it is a man, but still. Grant Morrison said that Magneto was dead when he started his run on X-Men. Sometimes writers simply lie to build up a story.
And Ellis blatantly lied about the identity of the Fourth Man in Planetary when the fans guessed it too early.

Unless Daredevi... I mean Ronin is Thor or Fing Fang Foom, it'll be a disappointment.

J: There isn't any advantage to getting rid of Iron Lad! Here they had this great character, but no, they'd rather go in another direction.
Well, Iron Lad had to go back to the future, because otherwise reality itself would unravel due to his very presence in the past... except he can leave his armour behind without a problem...

10/26/2005 05:30:00 PM  
Blogger Christopher Burton said...

Stick it to the man! The government being evil is all over comics today

Hasn't it always been? I mean, since the 60s? There's always been some government-related character that you can't totally trust for one reason or another. Even Nick Fury and SHIELD always seem to have some less-than-noble ulterior motive. Same with corporations. Have you ever seen a corporation portrayed benevolently in comics? I mean one that's not run by a superhero like Batman or Namor.

10/26/2005 06:22:00 PM  
Blogger T. said...

I think it's been like that in all media since the 60s, not just comics.

10/26/2005 06:36:00 PM  
Blogger Jake said...

My issue with Milla is this: Matt started dating her, and it was all good. She seemed like a nice character, and it was a fairly realistic relationship.

And then the time shifts to one year later.

And they're married.

It's like, hey, I would have liked to see this relationship progress a little before you jump forward 10 steps.

10/27/2005 01:10:00 AM  
Blogger Christopher Burton said...

I think it's been like that in all media since the 60s, not just comics.

Yep, I agree. I can understand why writers fall back on the government and corporations as bad guys. There are some ill-intentioned people that work for governments and corporations, so it's not entirely unrealistic. It's just the generalization that bothers me. Only a little, though. ;)

10/27/2005 06:22:00 AM  
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