Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Watching the River Flow for the 4/5 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!

*Teen Titans #34 was...

It was...

It was guh...

It was guh-oo...

It was guh-oo-d.

I can't believe I'm actually saying that, but Teen Titans #34 was actually good. Geoff Johns has NEVER shown a sense of humor in his comics (or at least never a good one), and has rarely shown a sense of FUN, but yet, this comic was both fun AND funny. Who would-a thunk it?

Kid Devil actually made a lot of funny jokes, the "Cyborg coming in and out of consciousness during the year" bit was handled well, and the creepy ending was even done well. Right up there with Robin as the best One Year Later title.

*Adam Beechen did such a great job on Justice League Unlimited, any writer following him would have a tough task, so the fact that Paul D. Storrie did such an impressive job with his story is quite impressive. Rich Burchett's art was excellent, but, come on, it's Rich Burchett, how is it NOT going to be excellent?

While fitting in a nice passion play about how each person brings their own perspective to a situation, and you should feel good about just being yourself and not worrying that you aren't as good as someone else, because you probably have some talent and/or characteristic that the other person doesn't have.

In addition, Storrie manages to TOTALLY geek out in a few spots, but never does so to the detriment of the story. To wit, this comic stars Mary Marvel, and in the beginning, he has her show up at a fight between a bad guy and the following JLU members - Elongated Man, Blue Beetle, Captain Atom, Fire and Booster Gold. In other words, along with Mary Marvel, the exact cast of Giffen and DeMatteis' Formerly Known as the Justice League.

Later, Storrie explains how she got the name Mary Marvel, and even draws a parallel (that I guarantee you that 81% of DC's writer would not know exist) between the moment and how Booster Gold got his name back in Booster Gold #1.

One small quibble - Storrie has a point in the comic where Supergirl explains how Martian Manhunter chose a particular team, but only explains 3/4 of the team!!! Why was Black Canary on the team, Paul, WHY?!?!?!?!

*Someone on Comic Book Resources' messageboard pointed this out - in Infinite Crisis #6, Superboy Prime cuts Conner Kent's hand off, leaving yet one more body part for Geoff Johns to use for the Composite Teen Titan that has to show up some time soon!

*Infinite Crisis OMAC Project Special #1 was ALSO GOOD!! First Teen Titans, now OMAC Project??!? What is going on?!?!? My world is crumbling beneath me!!! Rucka even corrected the silly "Sasha-bot" plot!!! I really have to wonder, though, if it was a case of "Finishing up as planned" or "Oh god, that Sasha-bot idea was sooo shitty, what was I drinking that night? Let me fix that ASAP."

*I don't mind Editor's Notes, and even think they could be helpful. Same with back stories. It still creeped me out, though, to see how the latest Detective Comics seemed to treat the appearance of both as, like, a special event or something.

*The idea of Hulkling being Half-Kree/Half-Skrull is cool, but why Marr-vell's son? Why go that far? Seems too much.

*Also, someone explain to me how the Scarlet Witch twins things works.

*I want JMS to just write an issue of Books of Lost Souls in complete gibberish, just to see if Marvel would still publish it. They can't actually be reading these issues before they go to print, can they? And poor Doran, such great art put to waste.

*MORE shocking than either Teen Titans or OMAC Project was possibly the most surprising good comic of the past year or so - and it was a freaking BACK-UP story in DOC SAMSON!! Who ever would have DREAMT that?!?! Yet Zeb Wells writes a pretty funny story, but the key is that it is drawn by Frank "Rocketo" Espinoza, who is just sooo amazing. The lead story is not very good, but the back-up is pretty darn good.

*Underworld #3 introduced us to a secret bar where supervillains go to be among other supervillains, and just hang out.

Yes, you read that right.

Underworld #3 introduced us to a secret bar where supervillains go to be among other supervillains, and just hang out.

I really have to wonder, did Mr. Tieri honestly think he was even among the first FIVE writers to introduce this idea? It was so freakish. It'd be like having in your comic a teenager get bit by a radioactive spider, and act like it was a new idea.

I guess the Underworld plots are read by the same person who reads the Book of Lost Souls plots.

*How badass is this current Punisher storyline? Top-notch work by both Ennis and Sean Phillips.

*This week's Jughead was really quite good. I know most of you folks won't believe me, but take a look for yourself, you untrusting bastards!!! It was just a well-written comic. The lead story is that Jughead's friends are out of town and he is bored, so he figures he'll just ask a girl out on a date. The reaction from the denizens of Riverdale to Jughead suddenly wanting to go out on a date? Quite humorous. The other three stories are not quite as good, but all three are solid tales.

*When will DC just come right out and call their "Greatest Stories Ever Told" collections what they really are? "A bunch of stories we found and slapped together....Volume 1"

That's all I got for now.

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Blogger Chris said...

Wait a second, you read Doc Samson? All the way through the end of the main story?

That's...wow. Just...wow.

You are one compassionate motherf#$%er.

4/11/2006 06:58:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

I am like Uatu.

But yeah, even I couldn't find the motivation to read the previous issue of Doc Samson, but I read this one, and it was bad, but then I saw this art shift, and I was like, "Oh, that's kinda neat," and I flip to it and I see it's a whole separate story! And it was good!

Total shock.

4/11/2006 07:12:00 PM  
Anonymous C. Tynne said...

Geoff Johns was pretty light and enjoyable in the early days of -Stars and STRIPE-. Nice to hear that after years and years of angsty, moody, ugly mutilations of old Roy Thomas concepts that he's finally fun again. I'll check TT 1YL out.

4/11/2006 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

How odd is it that I, a staunch Johns apologist, liked Teen Titans less than you, probably his most vociferous critic who doesn't wear Napoleon Dynamite glasses and live in Brooklyn?

4/11/2006 09:12:00 PM  
Blogger Mo Soar said...

Well, for the Scarlet Witch's kids, the whole "their captive souls escaped when Mephisto was destroyed" is semi-okay as theory. (But if they weren't real, where did the souls come from in the first place? Ummm, don't ask me that.)

After that, you get two choices -

Their souls were set free and "wandered the ether" coming to rest in two separate embryos and they were "born again". As infants. Hence all of the Avengers characters who were around then are now in at least their late thirties, because 17 or 18 years have passed since then. And Franklin... let's not try to explain Franklin's age relative to theirs.


Their wandering souls booted out the souls of two already-born children. (yes, THAT'S creepy.) Thomas and Billy look alike because... ummm, because the strength of their souls and their powers shapes their physical form.


4/11/2006 09:37:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Yeah, that's the thing, Mo, I'm cool with "the souls wandered off into other kids."

That's fine by me.

But Heinberg then seems to skip into incoherence when he

A. Has them named Tommy and Billy


B. Has them look alike.

It just doesn't make sense.

4/11/2006 11:06:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

What didn't you like about Teen Titans, Michael?

4/11/2006 11:06:00 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Or, there's "Wanda changed history Angel-style by inserting them, as teenagers, into pre-existing families."

4/11/2006 11:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Dan Coyle said...

It's the cosmic CUBE, people! That's what brought William and Thomas back!!! People REALLY need to keep that thing secure!!!

4/11/2006 11:08:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

All of those things would be at least, like, SOMEthing - but Heinberg chooses not to go that route.

Instead, he goes with "The souls then joined with these people" end of explanation.

4/12/2006 12:45:00 AM  
Blogger Brack said...

On the Young Avengers front, for the time being I just keep reminding myself that this is a team formed by a Kang.

That seems to ease any worries I have about things seeming a little too coincedental and timelines being stretched and squished.

Plus when you add Mephisto and potentially the Supreme Intelligence into the equation, then convolution seems less surprising.

4/12/2006 06:14:00 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

"What didn't you like about Teen Titans, Michael?"

I *did* blog about it, y'know.

4/12/2006 06:59:00 AM  
Blogger MarkAndrew said...

On the Greatest Stories Collections:

I thought the Superman and Batman collections were really solid.

What would you have changed?

I'd argue, ferinstance, that Night of the Stalker IS the best Batman story to ever show up in a regular title.

Although TWO stories from the poopy John Byrne Superman relaunch in the Superman volume was about three two many.

And, as for the Greatest Justice League.

That so wasn't random. There was totally a theme.

Of course, the theme WASN'T "Good Justice League Stories."

It's BAD Justice League stories that sort of relate to Infidentity Crisis.

4/12/2006 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

"I *did* blog about it, y'know."

That's the thanks I get for trying to give you a chance to link to your blog post!!

4/12/2006 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger Julio Oliveira said...

The Tommy and Billy thing: Maybe is a Laurel from Midnight Nation kind of thing. The parents just knew somehow, magically that they should be name them that way... and they look just like they should look because is magic.

4/12/2006 04:09:00 PM  
Blogger onewhowishes said...

Comics would be good again if they were to...
1.Revive Katma Tui (and several other Green Lantern characters not seen in many years)DC Comics.
2.Begin a Shi'ar Imperial Guard Marvel Comic.
3.Begin a BADgirls,inc Marvel Comic.
4.Syndicate some Marvel and DC comics in newspapers and magazines.
5.stop rebooting continuities every several years with Crisis-like storylines with a cosmic threat and reality-altering solution.
6.Bring the Green Lantern Corps to film-theather or TV.
7.Write stories that appealed to everyone,not just one generation or [sub]cultural group.
8.Take a cue form Superman:Man of Steel#121 and create a 52(or 53 including The Joker)member Royal Flush Gang.I especially like the protagonist of the story,the 10(now 9)of Diamonds.
9.Graduate Supergirl and Batgirl to Superwoman and Batwoman.
10.Have a comic about and adult female counterpart to Spiderman,named after and old archfoe called Tarantula.A female Tarantula character would make a nice Catwoman competitor.

4/12/2006 04:29:00 PM  

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