Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Collection of Random Thoughts, Vol 6

In this installment of A Collection of Random Thoughts, I'll be talking about problems with Secret Invasion, Kingdom Come, possible difficulties for new readers, promoting characters vs. creators, reader expectations, the monthly nature of comics, and the wasted potential of Invincible. Hit the jump to read about these and more.

The Fundamental Problem with Secret Invasion

Secret Invasion had, well, a lot of problems, despite high sales, but, in my opinion, it would have never been a great story because of one fundamental problem - it was, at its core, a super hero story first and a covert, secret invasion story second.

A plot about a so-called secret invasion and standard super heroics simply doesn't mesh well because they are two fundamentally different kinds of stories. Secret Invasion should have been a lot more subversive and insidious a take on the invasion, but super heroes are, well, not, as evidenced by what amounted to nothing but punching and shouting "who do you trust" for the entire series, culminating with a fist fight in Central Park to end the "secret" invasion.

Secret Invasion was, in theory, a fantastic idea, but, even as a crossover between New and Mighty Avengers, it still wouldn't have lived up to its potential. I think it should have been a series about Nick Fury and his Secret Warriors tracking down Skrull infiltrators and trying to stop them from taking over the Earth much in the same vein as the covert ops tracking down of Hydra that Jonathan Hickman is employing in the Secret Warriors ongoing. Eventually, Fury and his group would do enough damage/uncover enough of the conspiracy/invasion that the Skrulls would have been forced to use overt methods so everyone can get their big super hero fight to end the story.

Writing the Wrong Books

It occurs to me that writers like Brian Bendis and Ed Brubaker got their start on street level characters, like Daredevil, where they do wonderful work, but eventually they become so popular that Marvel wants to give them higher profile work, which means your standard big action super hero title (New Avengers, Uncanny X-Men, etc), which niether excel at and both end up producing average, at best, work or, at the very least, subpar compared to their noir/street level work that made them popular in the first place. There styles just don't mesh well with what standard superhero books require yet they can't work on the books they would excel at since they don't sell enough. Just a weird observation.

Controversial Statement - Kingdom Come is Not A Great Comic

Yeah, I said it. While I think Kingdom Come has some good qualities, I think many get caught up in the psuedo religious analogies, which they don't see in comics that often, and associate it with the story actually having some deeper meaning. There's also the whole painted artwork that had not really been done in comics prior to Kingdom Come and Marvels before that. As for more specific reasons why I don't think it's a great story, I will try to stick to broad points so I don't get into nit pick territory.

  • Character Regression

    Regression is the order of the day with this story supposedly set in the future. In fact, there is no future in Kingdom Come - just an endless repetition of the "glorious" past through Alex Ross's blinded love of the Golden and Silver Age of comics. None of the Legacy characters that descended from any of the original DC characters play a substantial role in resolving the central conflict on the story. It is all about how great Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are and the only value other characters have is by following in their wake.
  • The Strawman that is Magog

    Magog seemed to be the representative of everything from the grim and gritty late 80's/90's era and his methods flew in the face of what heroes of the Golden and Silver Ages employed. Watching the two play off each other or conflict could have been interesting, but I have never seen such a horribly constructed and transparent argument in my life. Waid and Ross never even bother to explain the conflict between them or even give the pretense of a discussion about the various methods. Superman and Co. are right and everyone else is wrong. End. Of. Story. They never bother to give the argument about why they are right, they just are, which is just as bad as Magog's and the new heroes' belief that they are right in killing villains to stop them from killing or doing more evil in the future by not killing them.

    For example, yes, there were a lot of bad things to come from 90's, but Waid and Ross never actually get around to telling us how Superman should respond to the Joker killing everyone at the Daily Planet, which is part of the 90's "extreme" mind set. They just ignore it and say that things should go back to the way they were, which you can't do. Late 80's styled books brought shades of gray into the black and white world of comics, with incredibly varying degrees of success (late 90's brought the shades of gray to near parody levels though and is what most associate with that era), but Waid and Ross never address how Superman should deal with those grays areas, they just ignore them.

    Honestly, what would Superman have done to the Joker if he caught him? Put him in jail and watch him go kill another building full of people he loved? I don't think Superman would have killed Joker, but it's a major cop out to the plot point of Superman's supposededly moral high ground if he doesn't have to make any hard decisions and gets to walk away from any of these problems without having to make some form of compromise or decision.
  • Superman is an Ineffectual Loser

    Speaking of Superman's portrayal in the story, throughout the entire series, Superman is impotent. He never takes charge, he is forced to react to every situation that happens or is driven to act by Wonder Woman and, as I said, never has to make a decision that compromises his moral high ground since someone else does the deciding for him or provides the easy out for him. The one time he does take decisive action, attacking the U.N. building, he's wrong. And Superman doesn't consider himself human? Since when? He's always considered himself human first and Superman as a facade. For a couple of creators who claim to love Superman they don't seem to understand the character.
  • The Writing

    All of the important events in the story, aside from the big fight at the end, take place in flashbacks. This takes away a lot the impact of said events since we look at them from the aftermath. This is similar to how Secret Invasion's final issue ended with a flashback narrative, negating any impact or suspense the finale should have had, except, for Kingdom Come, this is for an entire series.

    The as-subtle-as-a-sledgehammer-to-the-face foreshadowing/religious overtones/narrative didn't help either, which made it painfully easy to predict what was going to happen with every event before it happens is a good way to negate the effectiveness of those scenes later in the story.

    Finally, the writing is massively inaccessible. Most of the characters in the story go unnamed and unidentified throughout the entire story. In fact, it's not made entirely, 100% crystal clear that Ibn al Xu'ffash is Batman's son until the end of the story. Nor is it said that Nightstar, the only legacy character that seems to be of any importance, is Dick Grayson's daughter, again, still the end. Maybe some people enjoy getting out a reference or reading extras in a trade to figure out who key characters to the story are, but, to me, that is not good storytelling. It's also surprising this is only really relevant to the non-Golden/Silver Age characters in the story.
  • Bad Comic Book Art

    Alex Ross is a talented artist and can paint like nobody's business, but his comic book art looks terrible to me. The biggest turn off of his comic book work is the limited number of models he uses. Aside from the costumes, a lot of his characters look like the same out of shape, sock stuffing male, which simply doesn't look good in a super hero comic book. Ross's art also looks lifeless and static at times. His panel layouts look like single frame paintings or pinups that do not convey the sense of fluidity of a Frank Quitely, Bryan Hitch or Adam Kubert, who's art looks good and tells a story at the same time. The dull colouring of Kingdom Come, which I assume is intentional for the grim and gritty story analogues, doesn't bring the story to life the way it should either and gives a muddy, washed out look to it.
  • Okay, Okay, One Little Nitpick

    Early in the story, Norman McCay mentions that all of the "heroes" do nothing but fight each other and never do anything useful. Fair point, because that's mostly what super heroes did and still do, but all Kingdom Come ends up being is just super heroes fighting each other and not doing anything useful, specifically in regards to Superman, Wonder Woman and their supposedly "right way" of doing things.

Not That Complicated

People like to talk about how hard it is to get into comics and I call bullshit on that train of thought. It, simply put, is not. The first Marvel comic proper (had read out of continuity stuff before) I read was Sensational Spider-Man #0, the midpoint of the Clone Saga where Ben Reilly becomes Spider-Man for the first time. Kind of hard to get more complicated than that and it didn't stop me from reading comics.

The first DC comic I read was Green Lantern #26, after hearing so many great things about the Sinestro Corps War, and read Green Lantern: Rebirth shortly after that. Had no problems getting the story. Jumped into Grant Morrison's Batman run halfway through the arc right before R.I.P. and didn't have any problems. I read Infinite Crisis before Crisis on Infinite Earths and when I read Crisis on Infinite Earths, I had no idea who half the characters were and didn't have a problem understanding either story.

Yeah, I may have missed some minor details but they where just that, minor details. I think Marvel and DC readers, by and large, over inflate the importance of the minor details more than they should and obsess over them too much. I think if people tried to just read the stories and stopped worrying about every little detail, then they might get more enjoyment out of what they are reading.

Marvel vs. DC: Creators vs. Characters

One of the complaints that is often lobbed at DC is that they misuse or under use creators, but that's understandable - DC isn't selling creators, they are selling characters. It is a fundamental difference between Marvel and DC. Marvel goes out of their way, at times, to promote their creative teams as much or, occasionally, moreso than their characters. and I think it's one of the reasons why Marvel are selling better.

It also makes sense to promote creators over characters as well. Characters tend to have built in fan bases and, especially with the bigger characters, don't really need promotion since they are often more well know then their writers, odd exception aside.

It's also similar to regular prose books, where you often see the writer's name in huge font on the cover, usually at the top of the book before the title and in larger font that the actual title. People associate creators with the quality of a book, not the characters. However, like I said, some characters are popular regardless of the writer.

"Monthly" Comics

One thing that I think is often ignored when discussing delays is that good art takes time, typically more than a month per issue most of the time.

There are artists, like J.G. Jones, Ethan Van Sciver and Frank Quitely, that simply can't produce comics on a monthly basis, yet Marvel and DC want to use them because they sell comics.

So, why not work ahead of time? Well, for one, that doesn't guarantee there won't be delays because of things like last minute rewrites or personal troubles for the artist. There is also the problem that if you start too early, the situations in other books could have changed and effect the book that the slow artist is working on. Countdown and Final Crisis are a prime example of this.

So, why not out of continuity books? Because, with rare exceptions, they sell nowhere near as much as in continuity books.

For me, there is another reason why I don't much care about these delays - single issues are not the final product anymore, collections are. Obviously, you can claim bias since I don't read single issues anymore, but I didn't really care about delays when I was reading singles not so long ago either.

Final Crisis with art by J.G. Jones is always, always, I repeat, always going to look better than Final Crisis with art by J.G. Jones, Carlos Pacheco, Doug Mahnke and half a dozen or more inkers.

Even with single issues, I would rather have eight really good issues a year than eight really good issues and four mediocre issues a year. Those four mediocre issues are always going to bring down the other eight issues since they just can't compare. If you want good art, then you have to be willing to wait for it at times.

How the hell did DC beat Marvel to having a news blog?

I mean, seriously. DC is often utterly incompetent, or close to it, when it comes to promoting their books and yet, they beat Marvel at something promotion-related. Also, how the hell has Marvel not copied them with their own news blog in the same vein as The Source? I know they have blogs for editors and other personel and their main site posts news, but it's a cluttered mess at times and lacks the simplicity and clear cut promotion that The Source is putting out.

Reader Expectations

Ghost in the Shell is one of my favorite anime series ever, so I had some high expectations for the manga, which didn't turn out anything like I expected, even if I ended up liking it. Differences between the manga and the anime were pretty big at times and it was a quite a turn off at times, too, depending on the change. Maybe that's why movies don't generate interest in the comics?

Say a potential new reader goes to a comic store or Borders, flips through or skims a book, but, ultimately, don't buy it simply because it is not similar enough to the movie they just watched. There are vast differences between the comics and the movies and, if a potential new reader wants to check out the comics version of a character, they are probably looking for something similar to the movies. So, maybe, if they don't find something like the movie they enjoyed, which is basically 100% likely, they just give up on the comics. Could also explain why Invincible Iron Man sold so much better than the Knaufs written and now defunct Iron Man: Director of SHIELD title, which garnered more critical praise at the time.

Scalped to Icon?

Why didn't Jason Aaron take Scalped with him to Marvel and have it published under their Icon imprint? Did Marvel not give him the option? Did Vertigo have a better deal for Aaron than Marvel? Were there some benefits to keeping it at Vertigo that Marvel didn't have? Anyone know?

Wasted Potential

There are a lot of things that I dislike about Robert Kirkman's Invincible, which is a topic for another time, but the one thing I truly enjoyed about the series was Atom Eve. She is one of the truly new and unique characters from the past decade, yet, based on solicits and other information, it looks like she is going to be killed off in the current Conquest arc.

This brings me to my point about what is one of the biggest problems I have with the series - wasted potential. Several of his characters seemed to have a lot of potential, like Atom Eve or Rex Splode, but have ended up dead or are constantly being maimed in lieu of actually developing them into great characters. Kirkman also likes to kill off a lot of minor characters, which, of course, gets rid of any potential they might have had, no matter how minor of a character they were.

One of the things that I enjoy so much about creator-owned work is that every character is filled with potential. They can be or become anything the writer wants them to. The only restriction is what the creator sets on themselves, so it's sad to see Kirkman forcibly limiting himself with the wanton killings. He had the option of simply writing them out of the series or putting them on the back burner, but outright he kills these characters just as you are getting to know or like them. I'd like to believe that Kirkman won't actually kill Atom Eve, but I'm not getting my hopes.

A quick tangent before I rap this up. Is it me or does Kirkman seems to like killing or maiming his own creations? I'm trying to think of a recurring characters from Invincible that wasn't killed or maimed at some point, but I'm drawing a blank. I haven't read past the eighth trade so I haven't read the later parts of the series yet.

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Bill said...

Agree with you completely about a few things:

- Ross's art (and most photorealistic art) ends up looking like post mannequins. I'll take Bagley (whose work i've never found visually appealing, but gives his characters life and lays out a story as well as anyone) over Ross any day.

- Bendis and Brubaker work best on street level guys. Captain America's probably the best halfway point between the crazy Marvel books that sell best and the stuff they're best at (though I still think Gotham is Brubaker's natural home... Batman/Catwoman fit his style better).

Disagree completely about one:

- Invincible is awesome. I also hope Atom Eve survives, but one of the things I love about Invincible is that there is real drama to a fight, because Kirkman genuinely doesn't mind killing off characters. If you're reading, let's say Superman, and Lois Lane is dangling off the edge of a building, the character shield pretty much guarantees she's not going to end up splattered on the pavement below. With Kirkman, you know he wouldn't completely rule out killing off Lois, so there's real excitement there.

Sebastian said...

At my LCS, the owner and a customer were discussing what they thought was the best comic of all time, or whatever and the customer said "Kingdom Come." They both smiled and nodded knowingly and everyone else agreed. I looked around and told the guy from across the shop "Aim higher" and it was like I tried to burn the building down. It's notable and the writing certainly is capable, but the first time I read it was a few years ago when i was a high school freshman and I thought it was pretty bad then, too.

Also, I'm glad that somebody finally complained about Alex Ross. Don't get me wrong, his stuff can be great. I absolutely loved his Justice Society one-shot but I remember one month, six of my books had Ross covers. Sometimes it's too much and it takes the specialness out of his work.

After SI, I stopped picking up my Bendis books. However, the second I heard there was a Hawkeye Dark Reign mini, I got a little excited because Bendis had done such great work in using that character. His writing got me emotionally invested in what happened to that character, even under other writers. Now I'm buying premiere hardcovers to replace my Avengers runs I sold off and am looking forward to the Dark Avengers and post-SI Avengers hardcovers.

I think my personal problems with SI was that it wasn't a Bendis book, it was a super-hero story. Up until that point, NA was filled with conversations, end to end, with some fights thrown in. It was all character work and I loved it. SI was all fights and some one-liners. I think it's possible for these sorts of writers to pen super heroes but they should stay away from telling super-hero stories. It's nice to see that the new status quo is pretty high-quality stuff, though. I just wish it had gotten there in a different manner.

I picked up Brubaker's Uncanny work a while ago and absolutely hated it. I'm not sure, but something didn't sit right with me. I had been a fan of his work on Captain America, DD and Gotham Central and was excited to read what seemed like an epic story. I think I went in with different expectations and was hit with an all-out capes in space adventure. I was somewhat disappointed because previously, I had began pulling Uncanny during the Divided We Stand storyline and thought it was great. Last month, however, I re-read Brubaker's Uncanny run and the entire Messiah Complex story. I'm not sure what happened, but I found it pretty exciting this time around. I think I shouldn't pin down my favorite authors as only writing in specific genres and instead should just look forward to quality writing, regardless of what style they choose to write in.

Sebastian said...

Also, I love the Source blog. The name is great and it posts so regularly and most everything is something new and exciting that keeps me on the edge of my seat.

Andrenn said...

I agree that it is annoying how easily Kirkman kills off characters but a part of me is hopeful that eve will somehow survive.

Eric Rupe said...

Bill - The thing is though, Kirkman takes to it too far in the other direction which makes it hard to care about about any of the minor characters since they can die at any time.

Sebastian - Yeah, there are a couple of "must read" books that I don't like, such as The Long Halloween or JLA/Avengers.

"I think I shouldn't pin down my favorite authors as only writing in specific genres and instead should just look forward to quality writing, regardless of what style they choose to write in."

I agree in theory but there are some genre that certain writers can't write that well.

ShadowWing Tronix said...

I'm kind of curious why JLA/Avengers isn't one of your choice titles. I rather enjoyed it for what it was, and does demonstrate the differences between the DC and Marvel house styles. (Or at least what they're supposed to be.)

Sebastian said...

@Eric Rupe

What's wrong with JLA/Avengers? I looked forward to reading that one day. I just picked up Busiek's Avengers run on the cheap a few weeks ago and I've been working through that. It's not bad; certainly not groundbreaking, but I'm still reading it. I pretty much got it because Avengers canon is pretty blank for me. I've never really been one for super-hero books, which is my only problem with this run. My first sorta-hero book was Avengers: Disassembled, so I'm used to the modern, everybody has a dark side with moral dilemmas blah-blah hero. In Busiek/Perez Avengers, the only times the heroes argue or fight, it's like two kids fighting over the chance to help their mom with the groceries. That got annoying fast.

@ShadowWing Tronix
Why is JLA/Avengers "must read"?

Anonymous said...

started reading comics during infinite crisis, had no problem figuring it out and the dc universe for the past 70 years (its called wikipedia people)

Sebastian said...

Exactly! Action Comics #858 was the first comic book I followed month to month. I liked that issue so much, I tracked down 52 and read that in three weeks. The back-ups in that really helped me figure out who everyone was and gave me a strong sense of the modern DC canon. As for the rest of the story.. Well, I'm here, aren't I? :P

Anonymous said...

Bendis has done it well with hawkeye?????...meeehhhh. I think is the worst part of the bendigers.... firts killed in a most stupid way...then relived, again in a stupid way... then drop hawkeye identity to take on the all new ronin (that amazingly was a girl before that)...then is a ninja with nunchakus!!! that just sometimes use swords (that actually makes sense since he was trainned by swordsman)... and now the whole mess with mockingbird that was actually dead because she saved him once when in hell, she was slave or something of mephisto... im totally agree with the "writing the wrong books" parts... currently, always that i take a book with the name bendis on it, i feel he just dont get to understand or know who the characters are... being the worst that i had read from him "secret war"

Eric Rupe said...

About JLA/Avengers; To be honest, it read like really bad fan wank and I wanted to like it. I didn't like any of the compare/contrast stuff about the MU and DCU, it got annoying really fast. Cap calling Supes a fascist and Supes calling Cap corrupt or lazy (I forget exactly the phrase he used) was just stupid to me. And Superman using Cap's shield and Thor's hammer is not something I find interesting or appealing.

To be fair, I would have probably liked it more a couple of years ago when Marvel and DC were pretty much the only comics I read. Now, they are becoming less and less of what I read so I'm caring less and less about their universes as concepts, which is what JLA/Avengers is all about.

Anyway, I've been debating whether or not to do a review on the book but I'll probably end up doing one now.

Sebastian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sebastian said...

@Eric Rupe
Oh, man. That sounds terrible. I think I just lost all incentive to finish this Busiek-pile. Hahaha. Seriously, though. That's almost unbelievable. Wow. Thanks for the heads up.

To be fair, New Avengers was my first exposure to the character. I read Disassembled and wondered why he hadn't been killed sooner, so Bendis redesigning the character was alright by me. When Bendis brought him back after House of M, he was a completely different person. Basically, my interpretation of the character was that he seemed like a rejection of the super-hero, which really isn't anything new, but was carried out so sardonically... I really got the feeling that Hawkeye was the Avenger who wanted to be there the least. Sometimes it seemed like he was an extension of the audience, which gave this "super hero" book a very real and mundane feel. Ironically, since I don't like Cape-books, I really connected with Hawkeye. Something about that just hit me right. As for the Ronin switcharoo, what a pleasant surprise, and this is coming from a Maya fan from her Daredevil stories. The Scarlet Witch/Hawkeye issue with Alex Maleev is easily my favorite issue of NA. I think there is some schadenfreude in my relationship to the character, too, since awful things regularly happen to Clint. He's such a pitiable character; I can't help but watch what happens. I haven't picked up any Avengers stuff post-SI, but out of all the characters, I think I "miss" Hawkeye and Maya the most. Also, I liked Secret War. I'm sure most people hate it since it took so long for all of the plot threads to come together, culminating in SI/Dark Reign, but in my defense, I read the entire NA run and corresponding Bendis books in the two months before SI hit, so I guess we both have good points. I can't really vouch for that new mini-series with Mockingbird either since I'm not reading it, but it seems to be getting decent enough reviews.

Eric Rupe said...

Sebastian - In the interest of fairness, here is a post from Robot 6 that convinced me to buy the trade.

Dan Hill said...

I was always under the impression that Jason Aaron took Scalped to Vertigo because he already an 'in' through 'The Other Side' being published there.

Matt said...

a so-called secret invasion and standard super heroics simply doesn't mesh well because they are two fundamentally different kinds of stories.I don't think this is necessarily true, just look at Captain America.

Honestly the biggest flaw with Secret Invasion was Bendis. He has fantastic ideas, but gets caught up in the minutia that he loses track of the bigger story and make it a satisfying read. He doesn't seem to get that to really make those small moments pop, you need larger, engaging moments to contrast it with (that is to say, pages and pages of sound effects and splash pages aren't the way to go)

On the other hand, a guy like Brubaker gets it. His Captain America rides that line beautifully between big engaging superhero action and the smaller personal moments.

I really wish they'd put Bendis in an editorial role and only let him write those fantastic aftermath issues.

Eric Rupe said...

Matt - To me, the fact that Cap was a superhero seems entirely incidental to most of Bru's run. He could have been writing Steve Rodgers: Agent of SHIELD and it would have been the exact same comic to me. Obviously, somethings would have to be switched around, like the Falcon, but the story would basically be the same story.

Yeah, Bendis never seemed like a big story writer to me. All of his good focuses around a single character which occasionally spread out. He really needs to learn how to better write a team book, maybe get a co-writer for a while to learn from or something.

Matt Ampersand said...

Regarding Invincible/Kirkman

It's getting to a point where whenever it looks like someone is about to die, we all know he/she is going to die, and it takes away from some of the surprise.

Matt Ampersand said...

Oh, and about Jason Aaron

I think that when he signed the Marvel exclusive contract, he was allowed to keep Scalped on Vertigo, and any other projects he had already planed (such as that Penguin one-shot, if I remember correctly). If he starts another creator-owned series (which would be pretty rare considering he has a lot on his plate right now, GR, Wolverine, Scalped and Punisher) I wouldn't be surprised it is on Icon.

Sebastian said...

Invincible and Scalped are the books most often recommended to me. Basically, they're comics' Pixies and Sonic Youth.

skfl said...

you are dead on in regards to "the source" - it's been up for maybe a month and it is already in my "go-to" tabs when i restart my browser. marvel talks a big game about their web savvy, but they are taking it on the chin as we speak.

Jordan Lyall said...

I disagree regarding "The Source". I see it from the other side: It's about time DC created a blog.

Marvel is head and shoulders above DC with their social networking/internet marketing. They have a very active Twitter account (not to mention their employees), audio and video podcasts, MySpace/Facebook/Flickr presences... They may not technically have a blog, but their website serves that purpose.

bwmedia said...

Maybe JLA/Avengers hits more with me for being an older reader, and thus I know a bit more about the parties involved. I wouldn't call it a "must read", and I was hoping Cap and Supes going overboard on each other was a result of the Gamemaster or something. The part you hated most (the contrasting universes) was the part I liked the best, so to each their own.

Granted, I don't read the mainstream comics as much these days, because there's little of what I liked before. Grim and gritty isn't my style. I have no problem with dark. You should see some of the stuff I've dreamed up. But there is a line that most comics, even beyond DC and Marvel, that to me seems crossed. I'd probably be reading Invincible if they toned down the bloodshed a few notes.

I was planning my own review when I found the time, a separate review for each "book" to really give it a proper perspective. (I'm wondering if the original was more like a maxi-series.) It's not the best crossover ever (for big events, I'd look at DC vs Marvel, but even that's mostly good because of the Amalgams--favorite crossover period: Spider-Man & Batman), but I didn't think it was too bad.

Sebastian said...

I can see that. It does cater to a specific audience, kind of like the current FC: Legion of Three Worlds series. It's basically a nod to everyone who's been following Geoff Johns'books for the past few years. A ton of people dislike it, but I always end up with a goofy grin when i finish reading it. We're all fanboys. :)

Eric Rupe said...

Jordan Lyall - Social networking and internet marketing are NOT the same thing as a news blog. The Source has exclusive content and is often the first place to break news on a new project or something. None of Marvel's social networking stuff does that.

Not to mention that Marvel's social media stuff like the no longer Cup O' Joe is horrible. Its like they are trying to copy Stan Lee, but without the talent, showmanship, or appeal. Cup O' Joe was unreadable to me, as is much of the rest of it.

Dr. Zoltar said...

You want to read a good comic put out by DC? The 1990's Starman. Totally worth your time to check out.

Jack Norris said...

Sebastian: I've grown to respect Eric's opinion as I've read his posts over the last couple of months, but they are still opinions, not absolute objective facts. There are some things I (respectfully) disagree on, JLA/Avengers among them* and you should really just go ahead and check it out and make your own judgement.

*For instance: agree 100% that Bendis was better with street-level stuff that emphasized his flair for quirky conversation and is terrible at "big action" but I wouldn't put Brubaker in the same boat at all; I've had no real problem with any of his ventures into higher-profile mainline books, even the universally-derided UXM.

Sebastian said...

@ Jack Norris
Yeah, never take me seriously. I'll definitely finish it soon. I need to track down the Avengers Forever series first, though. The Ultron storyline coming up is supposed to be pretty good. At the very least, I still have this phenomenal Perez art to look forward to. For the record, I really enjoyed Brubaker's Uncanny the second time round. I really can't pick which arc I liked best, the Shi'ar, Extremists, or Divided We Stand. The X-Men haven't been cool in a while and he really brought them back in a big way.

Anonymous said...

In Kingdom Come, after the death of Lois, Supes drops the Clark moniker alltogether, abandoning in a way his human fa├žade. It's not until the end when Norman tells him to remember what it fells like to be human, and Wonder Woman gives him the glasses back that he becomes human again.
I think that was the point of the story, Supes tried to give up being human and tried to be only an icon, a god (moral high ground and such)... and failed because he forgot what made him a hero: his human side.
That being said I agree the story was a litlle dense with a lot of characters showing up without explanation or introduction. It was the first DC comics I truly read and it made me want to know more about the characters, like a Morrisson written comics does.

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