Monday, January 09, 2006

Watching the River Flow for the 1/5 Comic Week

What's the matter with me,
I don't have much to say,
Daylight sneakin' through the window
And I'm still in this all-night cafe.
Walkin' to and fro beneath the moon
Out to where the trucks are rollin' slow,
To sit down on this bank of sand
And watch the river flow.
This is for all the various rambling comic thoughts that I have during the comic week about comics that I do not think deserve their own full entry to discuss. Enjoy!

Aquaman #38 - Arcudi WOULD have to wait until he was basically off of the book before he wrote what I thought was perhaps the best issue of his run.

By the way, Vulko debuted in 1967. 1967-2006 - not a bad timespan for a minor supporting character, to be honest.

Day of Vengeance Special - Nothing cooler than Infinite Crisis #3.56. Oh, wait, a lot of things are cooler than that. My bad.

Detective Comics #815 - Shane McCarthy did a good job (probably the best that I have seen from him so far on the Bat-books, and I think his work has been good so far), but the real star of this issue was Cliff Chiang. Yowsa yowsa yowsa. Does anyone have him locked up to an exclusive yet? In fact, that made me laugh a bit. McCarthy did this really nice job, and yet he was so outshone by his art partner. That has to be a LITTLE annoying. "Yep, this is a neat little Batman story, with a nice twist on what happens when Mr. Zsasz marks himself prematurely - how does that affect him? Wait a sec...THIS is the art?!!? Holy crap! Who will remember my story now!??! The art will dazzle them too much!"

I actually presume Mr. McCarthy was quite pleased at Chiang's coolness, but I like my version better...hehe.

Gotham Central #39 - It is great to see how great this book can be when it just does issues like this - real, straightforward "Cops in Gotham" stuff. Very nicely done by Rucka.

Hard Time Season Two #2 - I like the sense of familiarity that Gerber and Skrenes are having with the story, in that they do not feel like they have to hold our hands with the plot. Appreciated. And, as usual, amazing Hurtt art. He is the ginchiest.

JSA #81 - I actually liked Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E., by Geoff Johns and Lee Moder, so I have no problem with Geoff Johns devoting a full issue to spotlight Stargirl and S.T.R.I.P.E. In fact, I enjoyed this issue of JSA.

So here's my gripe.

Reading the issue, what struck me was how, if this was NOT Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E., that there was no way that S.T.R.I.P.E. makes it out of this comic alive. He just doesn't. And please note that I do not WANT S.T.R.I.P.E. dead. I think he's a cool character, but it just sorta irritated me when I think of the whole "you have to kill good characters sometimes" mentality that Johnuckanick avow often, and yet, when it is THEIR good character, the same rules do not seem to apply.

That irked me.

Justice League Unlimited #17 - Someone help me out here. Did the comic end with the Freedom Fighters asking to see the REAL general? If so, that's a pretty abrupt ending. I thought that my copy was, like, missing a page or something.

Superman #225 - Well, Mariah Benes has certainly inherited her brother's art abilities. Make of that what you will.

Iron Man #5 - Bob Layton is so right. There is no reason why the Iron Man armor should be getting BULKIER (and yes, it HAS been bulkier than this newest armor, but this new armor is still pretty bulky). In addition, total Ron Frenz Rule violation. No one but Granov is going to make this armor look how it is "meant" to be drawn.

Finally, let's give a shout-out to John Byrne, as Warren Ellis apparently could not improve upon Byrne's retcon of Iron Man's origin, so he just went with Byrne's. Good to see a writer not try to force a different one just for the sake of being different.

Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #11 - Someone please explain this to me. As the book has basically escaped the realm of just rewriting old Lee/Ditko Spidey stories, why, then, is the book continuing with the Lee/Ditko continuity? What's the point? Why use Liz Allen when any kid picking this book up is gonna expect to see Mary Jane?

Just seems silly.

Marvel Team-Up #16 - This was a really fun comic.

Marvel Zombies #2 - This book is really well written, but I have no idea why the heck Marvel approved it.

Punisher #29 - I can never get enough scenes of women just getting the shit beaten out of them. It is truly a lost artform. Bravo! Bravo!

Sable & Fortune #1 - .....

Supreme Power: Nighthawk #5 - Here's an interesting question. Is Way TRYING to make the book SO over the top with the violence that it no longer has any effect whatsoever?

Is it, like, some sort of statement or something?

Or do you think he still thinks that the stuff is "shocking"?

That's all I can think of right now.

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Anonymous Iron Lungfish said...

I know the last time it showed up was like a year ago or something, but the last Iron Man armor was more bulky, not less. The latest armor is debulkified; in fact, Ellis makes a big to-do about how it can fit in a briefcase again.

As far as the Ron Frenz Rule violation goes: the Ron Frenz Rule is a bad rule. Who cares if a costume design can be drawn simply? By that standard, any Iron Man armor - or at least, any Iron Man armor past the "big metal snowman" stage - violates the Ron Frenz Rule. A good costume design should be able to be drawn by the artist who's slated to draw the costume. Example: Frazer Irving is not Adi Granov, but he can draw Granov's design pretty damn well, so it doesn't matter that it fails the Ron Frenz Test, because it passes the Frazer Irving Test.

1/09/2006 05:54:00 AM  
Blogger Steve Pheley said...

I never quite got the "Iron Man's armor can't get bulkier" idea anyway. Sure, technology gets smaller; that just means he's packing *more* stuff in there now.

1/09/2006 09:11:00 AM  
Blogger Matt Brady said...

I don't know what Clint Flicker means, but it sounds dirty.

1/09/2006 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger Axel M. Gruner said...

Sable & Fortune #1 - .....

Another Marvel dumbass job. Idiots don't even realise that the City of Hamburg is actually near the Northern sea in a country flat like nothing, not the Carpathian mountains they picture.

1/09/2006 11:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Matthew Craig said...

The Ron Frenz Rule may not be perfect, or even workable in this day and age of John Cassaday, Frank Quitely and Bryan Hitch, but there's something to be said for stopping people designing unnecessarily complicated costumes with ill-concieved accoutrements.

Examples include Jim Lee's 1990's Cyclops, his Hush-era Huntress and the Reign of Superman era Superboy, who was born wearing a garter belt.

I do have a secret liking for the Heroes Reborn Iron Man costume, tractor-trailer exhaust ports and all.


1/09/2006 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger Bully said...

You're missing the last two pages of JLU #17. (Do you have the first two pages, or does it start with "You think so, do you?")

Second-to-last-page: Full-page splash in which the Freedom Fights and the JLU confront the surprised general. He spills his coffee.

Last page: Superman and Uncle Sam talk in the Watchtower. US expresses his doubts that he's still needed; Supes reassures him otherwise.

That's a small gripe I have with this series, an otherwise rollicking fun superhero book for all ages. Nearly every issue seems to have a hero doubting himself or herself and learning that what he/she does matters by the end of the book. It's one step removed from the lessons at the end of G. I. Joe cartoons.

1/09/2006 03:02:00 PM  
Blogger Brad Curran said...

I've always though that the Ron Frenz rule of costume design just meant that Frenz wasn't very good, but yeah, there is something to be said about not being too baroque in costume design. Then again, considering the fact that any new superhero costume doesn't last beyond a given creative team's run, it's really not that big a deal in the long run, is it? You know, as far as the consequences of superhero costumes go.

Also, it's a shame that this Silver Sable comic apparently sucks. I've always had an affinity for her and the other lame third string supporting characters that popped up in the Spider-Man books when I was younger, like Rocket Racer, Prowler, and Puma. I draw the line at Will O Wisp.

1/09/2006 03:40:00 PM  
Blogger MarkAndrew said...

"Day of Vengeance Special"

I dunno. I just sat at the shop and read this trade, the OMAC thing trade, and Villains United Trade.

And DOV was BY FAR the best of the three, maybe even ending up (by the slightest of hairs) on the thumbs up side of the line. I might even (*gasp*) pick this up. Well, if, like, if my movie deal goes through between now and new comic day and I become independently wealthy.

"Hard Time Season Two #2"

Gerber and Joe Kubert are the only two mainstream guys who's work I will buy regardless if it's good or not. I OWE Gerber for his seventies Marvel stuff, an' I know it.

But that said, I'm diggin' volume two a lot more than volume one, mostly 'cause, like you said, the writers ain't setting up the plot but gettin' right down to horking it along.

1/09/2006 04:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt Brady said: I don't know what Clint Flicker means, but it sounds dirty.

I think he does know what it means, but is being a little devilish, hoping that somebody will post why it "sounds" dirty.

In older comics, the lettering was sometimes a little difficult to read, especially when the letters 'L' and 'I' were next to each other. The 'L' and 'I' would blend together and look like a 'U'. You can figure out the rest.

About Ron Frenz, if I were to own a comics company, I would hire Frenz to work in the bullpen as the correction artist. I met him a long time ago at a comics shop appearance and he did a sketch for me of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman in the style of Mike Sekowsky from the 1960s JLA. He aped the style perfectly after studying it for only 2-3 minutes. He can ape anybody's style, making him a perfect correction artist.

I think he is very talented, but I realize others may think differently.

1/13/2006 11:00:00 PM  

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