Thursday, March 16, 2006

What I bought - 15 March 2006

Comics made me angry this week. For lots of reasons. Let's explore them, shall we?

First, Hard Time is cancelled. Dear freakin' goddamn, what the fuck? Seriously, what the fuck? I don't want to hear shit about how comics suck and the goddamned New Fucking Avengers suck. Don't fucking buy it if you don't fucking like it. Buy something good. But not Hard Time. Because it's dead.

But the comics that came out this week made me angry, too. Even though they were decent.

The Atheist #3 by Phil Hester and John McCrea
$3.50, Image/Desperado

This book was solicited in September, so it's only five months late or so. Goddamn. It's not like it's The Brothers Karamazov, for crying out loud! It's a good book, and I'm very interested in it, and the art is cool, and I'm going to keep buying it, but what the fuck?

Sigh. Anyway, Sharpe and Ms. Nguyen (and no, I can't be bothered to find out her first name) are trying to get to Winnipeg, and the bad guy (who is revealed this issue, and it's pretty interesting who it is) is trying to stop them. We learn a lot more about Sharpe and his abilities, and things get nasty when the two of them stop for gas and get captured by the bad guys. This book is alternately fascinating and nasty, which makes it very tense, because you're never sure what might suddenly happen. And McCrea's art is wonderful.

Still. Why, dear sweet lord, is it so late? Is it always going to be this way, or can we expect eight months in between each issue?

The Perhapanauts #4 (of 4) by Todd Dezago and Craig Rousseau
$2.99, Dark Horse

Here's another comic that made me angry. I loved the first two issues, and then I didn't read the next two, as per my new policy of not reading past the first issue of a mini-series until the sucker is finished. Can you blame me, with the ridiculous shipping schedules of some of these things?

Anyway, the first issue was excellent, with a great cliff-hanger. The second was a bit of a cop-out, but it still worked. Then, in issue #3, the story wrapped up in about the first third of the book. Then there was a short story. Then a prologue that wrapped up in issue #4, but there's another cliffhanger. Will there be another mini-series? Who the hell knows?

This is an interesting comic with a good premise and pretty neat characters, but I don't know how you can justify doing a mini-series that doesn't have a four-issue arc and doesn't end properly? I haven't seen a new one solicited, and given that Dark Horse publishes non-licensed-driven comics (think Star Wars) about as often as I have time to go see movies or visit a tavern for some beer, I'm not holding my breath. Crap, that's what it is.

Ultimate X-Men #68 by Robert Kirkman, Tom Raney, and Scott Hanna
$2.50, Marvel

This issue couldn't possibly make me angry, could it? I really like this title, and Kirkman's initial story arc on it. He threw a lot at us, all of which has plenty of possibilities, and he gives us an interesting origin of the Phoenix and the Shi'ar. It's nice to see these UXM writers willing to set up the whole soap opera drama that the X-Men have always been known for, and it appears that the editors and new writers have actually read what has come before and are building on it rather than ignoring it. I'll admit, I'm kind of sick of Phoenix, but I'll deal with it for now, because it's early enough in the Ultimate mutant mythology that it's not annoying yet. And I don't think Bobby is gay, but isn't he just a little freaked out by the fact that Rogue is only doing him because she's sort of Gambit now? I hope someone picks up on that.

So why does it make me angry? First, Raney does three issues and now needs a break? He's not leaving, because they say he's working on his next "set of issues," so what the hell? And also: why, if this title can do this sort of thing, why can't the "regular" X-titles be this good? I know they're bogged down with decades of continuity, but certain writers (ahemMorrison) managed to make them relevant. Why does Marvel care more about the Ultimate line than its "regular" line? WHY????

Mini-series I bought but did not read.

Hatter M: The Looking Glass Wars #2 (of 4) by Frank Beddor, Liz Cavalier, and Ben Templesmith
$3.99, Image/Desperado

Angry monkey on the cover. How can it not rock?

Seven Soldiers: Bulleteer #4 by Grant Morrison, Yanick Paquette, and Serge LaPointe
$2.99, DC

It's almost time for me to read all of these. Will my brain explode?

Ultimate Extinction #3 (of 6) by Warren Ellis and Brandon Peterson
$2.99, Marvel

Sigh. When I couldn't figure out who Ultimate Silver Surfer (that's him on the cover!) was in issue #1, I pined for the surfboard. Stupid Ellis, getting rid of the surfboard!

Comics: Embrace The Anger!

Read More


Blogger The Fortress Keeper said...

Why does the Ultimate Silver Surfer have a pipe organ jutting out of his back?

3/16/2006 06:43:00 PM  
Blogger Jake said...

Greg, if you missed the surfboard in #1, reading #3 will make you happy.

3/16/2006 06:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Iron Lungfish said...

Wait. They're doing Ultimate Phoenix again? Is Mark Millar the only Marvel writer capable of doing something new with the Ultimate books?

3/16/2006 07:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Zard said...

I thought the 15 year olds having sex in Ultimate X-Men was highly innapropriate. Marvel gets a big thumbs-down from me for that one.

3/16/2006 07:34:00 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Ah yes - the surfboard. Thank the gods that Ellis hasn't gone completely over to the dark side.

Lungfish - I didn't think they really did much with Ultimate Phoenix and the Hellfire Club, so I don't mind it this time. However, this is the last time! The last time!

Zard - I mentioned the teenage sex thing a few issues ago, and I also didn't like it. It's kind of bizarre that the editors at Marvel would be so cavalier about it, especially when they rarely make casual sex so explicit in the regular line. It's implied a lot, but rarely spelled out like it was between Bobby and Rogue. Weird.

3/16/2006 07:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Zard said...

As long as the kids weren't smoking I guess...

3/16/2006 07:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Jer said...

Holy crap Greg, you can feel the anger just seething out of the computer screen. Its like its a tangible thing that has come into my living room like some creature from an HP Lovcraft story pulling itself from outside of time and space.

I especially like how you get angry about the fact that Ultimate X-Men is good. That, my friend, is true anger. Feel it - hold it in your belly and let it gestate like one of those creatures from Alien. Then you will know the true power of the Dark Side!

Ahem... anyway, to give an answer to your question, Marvel only cares about "regular continuity" X-men to the extent that obsessive X-men fans buy the book. If they do things that cause the obsessive X-men fans to not buy the book, no one else will read it either because X-men has reached 1980s levels of Legion of Superheroes perplexity.

Plus, Ultimate X-men lets them do X-men the way it SHOULD be done - a single book, driven by a single writer's vision. That's what made the X-men great back in the day, and it is the number one reason that the X-men haven't been so good since. The only time they started to reach those levels of good were when Morrison was writing them, because he totally ignored most of what was going on in the rest of the X-books and forced them to follow his vision.

3/16/2006 07:48:00 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

"Wait. They're doing Ultimate Phoenix again? Is Mark Millar the only Marvel writer capable of doing something new with the Ultimate books?"

Wasn't Mark Millar the one who did Ultimate Phoenix the first time?

3/16/2006 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger nicholas danger said...

re: Seven Soldiers:
Are you going to be reading them in publication order, or as complete miniseries?

3/17/2006 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger joncormier said...

This is like being exposed to the pure strain of comic fan anger rather than the watered down edits you find on other sites. I get why something good can make you angry. It makes you ask why the rest of the stuff out there can't be as good? It's my fear about all the potential we're seeing in the One Year Later stuff with DC. Last week I was happy about it, now I'm wavering and thinking this will let me drop a whole lot of stuff without worry. I guess I'll work on killing comics by not buying weeklies and use the money for trades of older stuff.

3/17/2006 01:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Iron Lungfish said...

"Ultimate X-men lets them do X-men the way it SHOULD be done - a single book, driven by a single writer's vision."

And that writer is Chris Claremont. It's been said a couple thousand times by now, but the last X-Men books that had anything new to say were Morrison's X-Men and the Milligan/Allred X-Force. The "teen soap opera dressed up in an ill-fitting metaphor for prejudice" thing is deathly old.

"Wasn't Mark Millar the one who did Ultimate Phoenix the first time?"

I was really talking about Ultimates, which is the only book in the Ultimate line which has really explored the open possibilities of writing free from mainline Marvel continuity. Ultimate Spiderman seems mainly concerned with regurgitating stories and characters from the mainline Spiderman books and reshuffling the elements slightly. Ultimates, on the other hand, seems concerned with taking a warped and updated premise for the Avengers and running wild with it. While USM and UXM have been rehashing the Phoenix Saga and the death of Gwen Stacy in lamer and less memorable iterations, Ultimates is pretty much doing its own thing.

3/17/2006 01:16:00 PM  
Blogger kelvingreen said...

Sadly, Lungfish, I think that will change when Loeb takes over The Ultimates.

3/17/2006 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Mr. Danger: I'm reading the Seven Soldiers in publication order. I'm just that cool. I'm looking forward to it, despite some of the things I hear about certain of the issues.

3/17/2006 07:22:00 PM  
Blogger Brad Curran said...

I like you better when you're angry. I'm going to have to make sure you're in a shitty mood when you review stuff from now on. Somehow.

3/17/2006 09:19:00 PM  
Blogger Angela Dixon said...

Nice post! Can’t wait for the next one. Keep stuff like this coming.

Asus - ROG 17.3" Laptop - 12GB Memory - 1TB Hard Drive - Black

Asus - 15.6" Laptop - 4GB Memory - 500GB Hard Drive - Hot Pink

11/05/2013 07:21:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home