Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Current Comic Conversation for 12/21

The shtick here is that I and a friend (or friends) look at the shipping list for this comic week and riff, using the books that are coming out for inspiration for the discussion. This week, I am talking with my pal Jake (his blog is here) (Jake=J, B=Brian). There very likely WILL be some spoilers mentioned in the discussion, so be forewarned!

Let's begin!

J: Here's a good one to start with


B: I do not understand.

J: What, that Diamond is selling booze?

B: I mean, I really do not understand.

B: That is a series of words that does not make sense to me.

B: Tin Sign?

B: Black Death?

B: Icelandic Schapps?

J: Yeah

B: All make enough sense on their OWN

B: But together?

B: It is like trying to form a sentence out of four random words.

B: Make headphone envelope disc.

J: Potato lined hemmorage lamp

J: All signs point to some sort of decorative booze bottle


B: I think that actually IS a little better.

B: I think this is to help Diamond beat the monopoly rap.

B: "What are you talking about??!?! Comic monopoly?!!? No such thing! We sell LIQUOR!"


J: I don't think I'm gonna get this

J: And not because it's late or anything

B: Why then?

J: I was cleaning out my garage earlier today, thinking about comics

J: As I tend to do

J: And I came to the conclusion that Geoff Johns managed to make Hal Jordan even more boring

J: So yeah, it ain't my thing

B: Ha

B: How so?

J: I just don't get any energy from John's writing

J: He could be writing a huge story, and it all seems very by the numbers and lifeless

J: Like he's developed a formula for writing comics that does a very good job technically, but lacks any excitement

B: Interesting.

B: Have you always felt this?

B: Or do you think this is something that he has developed?

J: I'm honestly not all that familliar with everything he's done

J: I read Rebirth, and now IC

J: And his Avengers run

J: It all felt very by the numbers

J: Like it was made under very controlled circumstances

J: Like, (and I know this) he literally drives to an office away from his home to
write his books

B: That IS interesting.

B: I did not know that he actually drove to an office to write his comics.

B: Does he have, like, a secretary?

J: Possibly

B: Is there someone out there whose career depends on Geoff Johns writing stuff?


J: I'm gonna get it

J: because I'm a sucker

B: Ha

B: Did you like #2?

J: I feel almost contractually obligated to get it

J: I found #2 interesting

J: I appreciated that the first crisis and the multiverse was summed up in 4 pages

J: That's something Johns is good at

B: Comic book history?

J: Explaining comic book history

B: Remember the issue of Teen Titans that was literally just Cyborg and the older
Titans giving the young ones a history lesson on Raven?

B: That one was funny.

J: How can those guys still be the teen titans?

B: I think they are still trying to sell us

B: Cyborg as 19.

J: Yet nightwing is in his early 20s

B: But either way, even if Cyborg is supposed to be in his mid-20s, they are the mentors for the "real" Teen Titans

B: So you could argue that the Teen Titans are Robin, Superboy, Kid Flash and Wonder

B: And the rest are their mentors.

J: Ah well

B: Just like, was Red Tornado a member of Young Justice?

J: Not compelling enough to get me to buy the book

B: Speaking of Crisises

B: Did you see that Brad Meltzer is the new JLA writer?

B: I think that will actually be interesting.

J: Heh

J: Depends on the team he chooses

B: I think Meltzer has some real talent, and I do not think that he will be all "MAKE

J: I can see him going with the flashback JLA from identity crisis

B: I think he will just focus on telling stories.

B: He is gonna have "The Big Three"

B: Plus folks like Green Arrow, Black Canary, Zatanna

J: Well thats cool

B: Plus a few "graduating" heroes.

J: It isn't morrison's big 7

B: Like the aforementioned Cyborg.

J: But it'll do

J: I know some fans hate Meltzer with a passion

J: So it'll be interesting to see what goes on with that book

B: True.

B: I think Meltzer is quite talented.

B: He just happens to have only done TWO comic stories!

B: One, I liked.

B: One, I disliked.

B: The one I disliked, though, happened to be the one DC decided to emulate.

B: And the one I disliked also happened to be the one that had some especially questionable decisions.

J: Man, I'm so tempted to make a rape joke

J: But it's really been done to death

J: Alright, moving on to enjoyable comics


B: New inker on this issue.

J: If there's one thing that this issue can guarantee

J: It's tits

J: Big, ridiculous tits

J: I like how this seems to be the most straightforward of the seven soldiers books

J: Even though it's about a woman covered with some special metal that her perv
husband made in the hopes of being a superhero

J: This one will make reference to the guys who teamed up in #0, right?

B: Yeah,.

B: Actually, this issue is exposition heavy.

B: And if Seven Soldiers is NOT a "crossover," then this issue is pretty weird.

J: Well, I could use some exposition

J: Maybe morrison sat down one day and decided that perhaps he was getting a little
too weird with some of the books

J: I like that he requires some thought from his audience

J: But sometimes its really a lot of thought

B: Fair enough.

B: But this issue really lays it on thick.

J: Damn

B: Still, I think the next two issues will be a lot funner.

J: Well, I'll have to see it for myself

B: A superhero convention?!?

B: That's awesome.

B: A fight with her husband's mistress?

B: Doubly awesome.

J: Yeah, that sounds cool


J: Not a lot to say besides thats a lot of money to spend on something that keeps your books standing up


J: Speaking of lots of money

B: Hah

B: That IS a lot of money.

B: I don't get a lot of these purchases.

J: I'm assuming that this contains ALL the Walking Dead issues?

B: At what point does it make financial sense?

B: Yes, it does.

B: By the way, I can only wait to see the look on someone's face.

B: Who hasn't read the series.

B: When they reach the last page of the last issue of the collection.

J: Heh

J: How many issues are there?

B: 24 issues.

B: Which IS a lot.

B: How's that breakdown?

B: Ouch.

J: But is someone who's a complete stranger to the book willing to lay down $150 for a book they never read?

B: Too much.

J: 6.25 an issue

J: Marvel is putting out a similar book for Alias

J: I think there was like 27 or 29 issues of that

J: $70

J: That's a fair price

B: Agreed.

B: This IS signed.

B: So that's something.

J: Ah

J: I was thinking that it blew you or something

J: I can see that as a worthwhile investment


J: I loves me some Captain America

J: When I was 10, you know who my favorite character was?

B: Who?

B: Marmaduke?

J: Batroc Ze Leaper

J: But a close second was Captain America

B: I like Batroc!

J: I remember buying Cap #400 just because it was thick and had a nice cover

J: I had no idea what the hell Operation Galactic Storm was all about

J: But I liked Cap

J: My favorite part of the current run isn't really anything that goes on in the book

J: It's the INSANE reactions some people have to the possibility of Bucky being alive

B: Haha

B: I just want to know for how much longer

B: Is Brubaker going to keep doing the "It might NOT be Bucky!" routine.

J: Yeah

J: Its so funny

J: Back when #1 came out, I was saying "I think this guy who shot the Red Skull might
be kind of a big deal"

J: Little did I know that he was kind of the entire story

B: Also, speaking of Brubaker.

B: Is he really going to kill Foggy?

B: What the fuck?

J: I say no

J: Would Marvel REALLY put out that cover if it was gonna happen?

J: That being said

J: If he does die

J: I'm ok with it

J: You gotta figure that now that DD's secret is (sorta) out, everyone Matt knows has a target on their head

B: Bah.

B: It's Foggy Nelson.

B: You can't just keep having "What if Longterm Character X Dies?"

B: Because eventually you're gonna run out of longterm characters.

J: I wonder if Bendis is actually gonna write the issue where he dies

J: And then leave the rest in Brubakers lap

J: It takes the heat off Brubaker

B: Yes!

B: Like end the last issue with Foggy getting caught in a noose while having sex with Dr. Doom!

J: What a way to go

J: There are hundreds of choking-while-having-sex-related deaths every year

J: You just don't hear about it that much

B: And almost NEVER in comics!

B: It is the silent killer that we never talk about!


J: I dont have much to say about this one

J: Other than that these premier hardcovers need to be stopped

B: Who do you think Johnny would take to the premiere?

J: Probably that skrull chick

J: I love the regular marvel hardcovers

J: But this shit isn't even oversized

J: It fucks up my bookshelf!

B: You mean the OLD Marvel Hardcovers, right?

B: Because I'm sorry to say

B: That I think this IS the "regular" Marvel hardcover now.

J: Nah, they're still doing the 30 dollar oversized ones

J: But my bookshelf is very important

J: And this ruins everything


J: Whats with marvel holding on to the belief that they can keep the Punisher a part of the Marvel universe?

B: Why not?

B: And I think this is more about bringing Bullseye into the Punisher-verse.

J: I just like him better when ennis does him

B: Way is soooooooooo vibing on Ennis here.

J: I'd like to see Ennis do a bullseye story

J: Thats a character that is right up his alley


J: I hear this book sucks

B: I think that was me.

B: Who told you that.

B: It is just soooooo boring.

B: I think they realize

J: And I think that this book and the upcoming series are gonna remind everyone why
the first spider-woman book failed

B: That no one knows anything about her.

B: So they think that they need to explain her origin to people.

B: But, as I have pointed out in the Urban Legends

B: Her origin was a joke.

B: And her SECOND origin was a desperate attempt at fixing her FIRST origin.

J: Is this an updated origin?

B: Yeah.

J: Or is this a retelling of old stories?

B: But an updated origin explaining the old origin.

B: So a LOT of talking heads.

J: Christ

J: I'll skip this

J: I had it on my list and everything

J: One of the weirder things about New Avengers is how suddenly everyone is a Spider-Woman fan

J: Or there are these hardcores that come out of the woodwork

B: Yeah.

B: And I think this is Bendis and Reed saying.

B: "Uh...her origin is still kind of a mess."

J: I think that the closer we look at Spider-Woman, the clearer we'll see that there's not much there in the first place


J: I don't care what anyone says

J: I'm getting this

J: And I'm loving the whole Ultimate Galactus thing

J: It could be my ridiculous loyalty to Ellis talking

B: It could be.

B: I dunno.

B: I don't, like, hate it or anything.

B: I just can't get into it, that's all.

J: I think putting "this story takes place prior to The Ultimates 2" really robs the
story of whatever tension it has

J: but what are you gonna do?

B: True.

B: By the by...what is the last issue of Ultimates Vol. 2

B: Going to do to the Ultimate Universe?

B: It's gotta change it, no?

J: I think #10 will determine if anything SHOULD happen

B: Fair enough.

B: Maybe Reed Richards will show up and brainwash all the bad guys into thinking that
they are cows!

J: The thing about the Ultimate books is there's not a whole lot of superheroes

J: Most of them work for SHIELD

B: True.

B: And there is not enough hypnotizing people into thinking they are cows.

B: Morrison knew how important this was.

J: And then 25 years later exploiting it for a cool series

B: Note how he had J'onn brainwash the White Martians into thinking they were people.

B: That is because his first choice of making them think they were cows was taken.

J: He could have made them cows

J: Just for the hell of it

J: Morrison likes cows

J: I can think of 2 appearances of cows from New X-Men off the the top of my head

J: The Hindus are on to something

B: Damn you, DC!

B: Why did you restrain the White Martians from being cows!

B: See, I can also START Urban Legends! Hehe


J: I like a good fight scene

J: That is why I'm buying this

B: I think there will be a polar bear in it.

J: Everyone is freaking out over the page where Hulk rips Wolverine in half

B: I think all comics should have a panel like that.

J: But the REAL story here is that for some reason, Hulk is wearing a dress

B: Like Katchoo should tear Francine in half.

J: That would get me to read Strangers in Paradise

B: Strangers in Paradise should also have a Vision backup.

J: And a dumb gold cover


J: Oh, right

B: You had me scared for a bit.


J: Whats this?

B: It is a crossover.

B: Weird, eh?

J: I've got this feeling that this book exists because Marvel didn't know if Singer
was gonna start his UXM run or not

B: Perhaps

B: Ferry's first Marvel work with his new deal.

J: I see they're keeping the "X4" cover title

J: Because that worked out SO WELL in the Marvel Universe

B: That was written by the very real Akira Yoshida!

B: Who wrote this one?

J: Kirkman, I think

J: One of Marvel's TEN TERRIFIC!!!!

J: Holy shit

B: By the by

B: How is Sean McKeever a Ten Terrific

B: Yet they never give him anything of note to write?

J: With a TEN TERRIFIC writer and an AWESOME gold cover, that shit should sell by the

J: It's like printing money

B: Ten Terrific is such a dumb idea.

B: Young Guns made SOME sense.

J: Barely

B: But Ten Terrific

J: But mckeever has been working for marvel for how long?

J: And NOW he's getting some recognition?

B: It is basically just saying "You should 'keep your eye on'....about 30% of our

B: I mean, how is that marketing?

B: It is not SPOTLIGHTING anything

B: Unlike, at least, the Young Guns.

B: That WAS spotlighting only a few books.

J: It's something they can put on a cover

J: It might sell a few books

J: The distinction is weird though

J: "Hey everyone, these writers are TERRIFIC!"

J: "Those other guys aren't terrific"

J: "Hey, why isn't anyone buying Thunderbolts?"

B: Agreed.

B: Young Guns was a BIT more of a qualifier.

B: Although, even then, I think Epting was on the list.

B: A dude who's been working for Marvel since 1991.

J: Yeah, it makes no sense




B: Hehe.

B: Don't go there.

J: It isn't very responsible

J: But I really am digging this book

J: I like how Brubaker can maintain an aura of "I have no idea what is going on" yet still manage to be entertaining

B: Ha.

B: Yeah.

B: Although...if the bad guy is the third Summers Brother.

B: Kinda lame.

J: Yeah

J: I doubt it's him though

B: Because it's one of those "I'm using hardline continuity" things

J: It IS odd

B: While "But I hate continuity, so I am not going to make it fit"

J: On the cover to #2, he has blonde hair

J: And on the cover to #5, it's black

J: Either something is weird about this guy, or Marvel's colorists are screwing up

B: "See! Continuity is stupid!"

B: "We do not even keep his hair color straight!"

J: Why can't he be the fourth summers brother?

J: Who says there has to be 3?

J: Is there anything else this week?

B: Indies.

J: Pick a few

J: I'll make fun of their titles

B: That's okay

B: This is enough

Thanks, folks! Make sure to check back later to tell us how wrong we both were!

Read More


Anonymous Dizzy said...

J: Man, I'm so tempted to make a rape joke

J: But it's really been done to death

And that's a great setup for a joke about Austen's Superman.

J: I was thinking that it blew you or something

J: I can see that as a worthwhile investment

Papercuts.. not good.

B: Way is soooooooooo vibing on Ennis here.

Like he has been doing for what? His entire career? (OK, unfair. Maybe I haven't read enough of Way, but the few issues I did read were bad enough to stop me from reading anything else he did.

J: On the cover to #2, he has blonde hair

J: And on the cover to #5, it's black

Awesomest superpower ever.

12/21/2005 08:21:00 AM  
Anonymous A.L. Baroza said...

B: That was written by the very real Akira Yoshida!

"Real." Yeah, right.


12/21/2005 11:10:00 PM  
Blogger MarkAndrew said...

"B: Did you see that Brad Meltzer is the new JLA writer?

B: I think that will actually be interesting."

If the idea of secret connections between superheroes is interesting, then, yeah, it'll probably be interesting.

My response to Green Arrow, though ,was

Issue 1, page 1.

Gosh. Secret Connections between Superheoes! Interesting.

Issue 1, page 3.

So, does he have any OTHER ideas?

(Fast forward two years. Identity Crisis, Issue 7, Page 32.)

Apparently not.

Now, on the off-chance he comes up with a whole NEW idea, I guess his JLA run could be good.

But me, I'm skeptical.

And I liked "Ultimate Galactus or Whatever" too. At least the first trade. The story probably woulda read poorly in single issues, but the whole taken together was honestly creepy.

And Ellis did a better job with the Falcon-as-Avenger than any Avengers writer, ever. I was a happy Falcon fan after reading this. Not a pukey Falcon fan like after reading David Micheline's (COMPLETELY WRONG) take on the character.

12/22/2005 01:12:00 AM  

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