Saturday, April 22, 2006

Is it just me?

Am I the only one who buys comics and has access to a blog that DIDN'T like Desolation Jones #6 or Daredevil #84? The reviews are in:

For Desolation Jones: Here and here and here and here and here.

For Daredevil: Here and here and here.

I'm certainly not done with Daredevil, I'm just a little underwhelmed. Doesn't anyone else think the whole Frank Castle thing is stupid? Doesn't anyone else think that someone would figure out that the FBI Director wants them to kill each other? Doesn't anyone else wonder why these prisoners can just wander around with no supervision whatsoever (another part of the FBI Director's evil plan, I suppose)? No? Okay. I'm on board for the next three issues, but Brubaker better pull it together.

As for Desolation Jones, I'm sticking by my opinion that the last issue was shit. Someday I'll break it down further, but not now.

Am I insane? Should I just shut up and stand in line for the comic book goodness that Brubaker and Ellis are dishing out?

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Blogger Jake said...

You're not insane, you're just completely out of touch.

But keep doing what you're doing. I guess CSBG needs at least one contrarian.

4/22/2006 07:51:00 PM  
Anonymous SpiritGlyph said...

It certainly seems that way. I was dissappointed by Desolation Jones #6, though I wouldn't call it utter shit. We all know Ellis can do a lot better, but it wasn't utterly irredemable.

As for Daredevil, I'm not really sure what your objection is. A corrupt government official? Surely you're not having any trouble believing such a person could exist.

What you have to understand about Daredevil is that it's a noir title. Of course everyone is a gray hat at best -- it's a genre standard. Objecting to a noir title because it's grim and gritty is like objecting to a superhero title because you can't get over the silly tights.

Personally, I'm finding Brubaker's Daredevil to be an engrossing read. Because of that, I'm perfectly willing to suspend a bit of disbelief so Brubaker can bring in some established characters rather than create a bunch of new prison protaganists.

4/22/2006 08:10:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

"I was dissappointed by Desolation Jones #6, though I wouldn't call it utter shit. We all know Ellis can do a lot better, but it wasn't utterly irredemable."

That's an accurate read on what I felt about Desolation Jones #6.

4/22/2006 08:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Omar Karindu said...

I have to admit I'm growing tired of Daredevil, on the grounds that it's passed over the line from film noir into melodramatic, endless, soap-opera misery.

Matt Murdock isn't a misguided or morally flawed character anymore, and I'd argue that he hasn't been since the beginning of Bendis' "The Widow" arc. No, instead he's the rather useless patsy of something like three or four antagonists, most of whom seem to have no motive other than yanking him around.

The writers seem unable to think of anything to do with him except add tragedies. DD being "outed" was a very nice idea, and I suppose it's being played out with a kind of grim logic, but honestly, in the last seven years he's had two longtime supporting cast members killed off in shock endings, seen another sent off to jail thanks to the one-dialogue-line invention of a hostage daughter, lost two love interests, had a failed marriage, gone through an extended nervous breakdown, been outed, been sued, been jailed, and been manipulated nearly the whole time.

That's an absurd amount of misery to heap on the character, and after seven years we need to hit either the turnaround part of the story or just see poor Matt Murdock top himself as should logically occur at the end of a real film noir. This being the endless treadmill of superhero comics, of course, we won't get either the lightness -- dark sells on DD -- nor the fatal fiinish -- since DD needs to be around to be sold.

Meantime, the book doesn't seem to be replacing the things stripped away from in the name of this apparently dead-earnest miserabilism. The same three villains -- Kingpin, Bullseye, Owl -- have been shuffled around in the title in between one-arc no name sorts, and turn up whenever we need a big moment to have a nefarious agent.

Meanwhile, Matt has next to zero cast other than mobsters and assassins. I just can't wait for Ben Urich and Milla to buy it, since they're all that's left.

Read arc by arc, or issue by issue, it's had excellent scripting and good moments. Looked over as a long-term direction, we're getting to the point of unsustainability, the spot at which everyone realizes that you can't actually do a film noir in an unlimited series, since film noir has to actually end and end really, really badly.

Jesus. Even Frank Miller did a number of outright comedy issues in his run -- Power Man and Iron Fist as bumblers in a paper chase, Turk's turn as Stilt-Man, and Foggy as "Guts" Nelson -- and Born Again, apparently the template DD story, had an ending more bittersweet than simply grim.

Despite basically jumping off from the "Born Again" scenario, Bendis doesn't seem to have learned why Miller might have done such stuff.

I hope future issues prove to me that Brubaker has.

4/23/2006 01:52:00 AM  
Blogger Johnny B said...

I wouldn't worry too much about not liking Jones- that's just your opinion, and you know what they're like. Besides, you're entitled, no matter how wrong or misguided it might be. ;)

Regarding DD, I've been on record for months now about how bored I am with what seems to be the utter inability of anyone to write something that isn't a patch on what Miller did. Same old villains, same old situations, same old dreary drama. I'd simply love to see just a smidge of fun and adventure sneak back in- bring back Angar the Screamer, the Mandrill, the frigging Leap Frog for chrissakes- anything but the same old BullseyeKingpinBlackWidowBenUrich stuff that's been around since Kevin Smith dared to stick Mysterio in.

I won't hold my breath.

4/23/2006 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger Nobius said...

Jones #6 was so bad, I'm going to email Warren and ask for my money back.

What a waste of what started out as a good series. Hopefully, it will return to beging good, if not off the buy list

4/23/2006 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger Tim Callahan said...

I have to disagree with your assessment on Desolation Jones, Greg. Are you not getting that (a) it's noir--and noir is all about nihilism and unsympathetic characters--and DJ is noir times 1,000, and (b) it's a pastiche of "The Big Sleep"--same plot structure--same basic character types?

If you didn't get either of those aspects, then you completely missed the point of the series.


4/23/2006 02:12:00 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Tim - I haven't seen The Big Sleep, so I didn't get that aspect, but I understand the noir aspects of it, and that still doesn't do it for me. I'm not steeped in noir history, but let's look at some classics of the genre. In The Maltese Falcon, Bogart certainly wasn't a sypathetic character, and the whole thing was pointless to a degree, but for me, the tone was different - not necessarily as horribly brutal as DJ. Double Indemnity, on the other hand, had what I would think of a slightly sympathetic character in Fred MacMurray (sorry, I can't remember his character's name) - sure, he's a murderer, but he's kind of a sucker, too. In, say, Chinatown, everything ends sadly, but the story is MUCH more intriguing than DJ, and Jake Geddes, again, despite being a seedy character, is more sympathetic. DJ was six issues of utter brutality, and even Jones' interaction with Emily (which is nicely done) doesn't mitigate that.

But, like I mentioned, I may have to break it down more carefully later. Just to, you know, prove I'm right.

4/23/2006 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger joncormier said...

I don't buy either of these books and I don't ever plan to. Maybe Daredevil but that would just be out of peer pressure or to see what all the hubbub is about. I've always thought DD to be a putz.

And I don't need any more desolation in my life thank you very much. I got a bit of cash, don't need it to depress me.

4/24/2006 09:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Max Eisenberg said...

JONES is off my buy list. I couldn't remember half the important plot points that were tied up in #6 and I didn't much care anymore.

4/24/2006 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Mo Soar said...

Noir is NOT necessarily about unsympathetic or unlikable characters - although a lot of modern noir is. As a huge Chandler/Hammett fan, I enjoyed the very purposeful tip of the hat to The Big Sleep. I thought that Ellis had taken some time to show that Jones was a somewhat sympathetic character in his own way, and seemingly changed character direction in the last issue. Perhaps I read the first several issues "wrong" but I thought the earlier scenes with Emily and Robina established that there was still a spark of life inside that battered shell. You knew from thre setup that this arc wouldn't end "well" but it ended up a little TOO "not well" for me, in a lovingly-drawn gory and violent crescendo that I didn't particularly enjoy.

I enjoyed Daredevil, but then I've only read bits and pieces of the character before, so I am coming at this from a different perspective. The Punisher is probably my least favorite Marvel character in concept, so I'm hoping his guest stay in this will be brief. What amuses me is that I've asked around online to find out exactly what charges Matt Murdock is facing - local, state, federal? - and people who have been religiously following the title can't tell me. You'd think that would be, you know, of prime importance, exctly what he's charged with.

4/24/2006 12:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Jordan D. White said...

Well, I am pretty sure he deliberately left that vague (the charges). They are obviously Federal Charges, since the FBI are the ones sticking it to him.

I am fairly certain the laws he is being charged with have to do with his being a lawyer- conflict of interests, and such. Plus, likely, whatever laws exist against vigilanteism. Although, it is odd... if they are mostly issues surrounding his legal practice, you'd think he could get bail. But again, they have it out for him. Potentially, if he is found guilty, this could be seriously bad for the state and country. Any trial he is on could be instantly appealed.

Of course, this does bring up the general odd thing about Matt- what type of law does he practice? Answer: whatever the story needs him to practice.

4/24/2006 05:45:00 PM  

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