Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Collection of Random Thoughts, Vol 14

For this edition of A Collection of Random Thoughts, I'll be discussing what makes an event an event, the upcoming FrankenCastle arc in Punisher, some Scarlet Spider comics, Grant Morrison's JLA: The Ultramarine Corps, Venom, the Thunderbolts and more after the jump.

What Qualifies As An Event?

Occasionally, smaller publishers will put out a comic or series of comics that they call an "event." Recent examples would be Top Cow's First Born series from its Witchblade title and Invincible #60 from Image. Yes, both series are important for their respective books and characters, but they are not that big as far as output is concerned, overall significance or sales are concerned.

Invincible #60 was only one issue and First Born was only six issues long, a three issue mini and then three issue of Witchblade. Can six issues really be considered an "event"? Most Marvel and DC core miniseries for their events are longer than six issues.

Does an event have to have a decent number of tie-ins to truly be considered an event? I would say yes, since that is part of what events have become, and I don't think importance can really make something an event by itself since there are plenty of important things that happen outside of events.

Why Isn't Ryan Ottley Working At Marvel or DC

Ryan Ottley, the artist on Invincible, seems like someone that Marvel or DC would snatch up at the first chance they have. I'm kind of surprised he isn't working at either company.

Some Absurd Variant Numbers

Ultimatum, a five issues miniseries, has 21 covers in total and First Born, a three issue miniseries, a total of nine covers.

Some Irony About Venom's Appearance

When Venom first appeared, he basically looked like Spider-Man with more muscles and a mouth full of fangs. The irony comes from the fact that Venom was co-created by Todd McFarlane and a lot of Venom's current depictions make him look like something that came out of a Spawn comic. Here are two recent examples by Leinil Yu and Mike Deodato. I just find this weird.

I Can't Wait For FrankenCastle!

Well, not really but I do like the idea, in theory. A problem with the Punisher in the Marvel Universe is that he can never actually kill any of the villains that he faces.

One of the few Punisher comics that I do own is the three part Hunter/Hunted arc in Punisher War Journal by Matt Fraction. At the beginning of the arc, the Punisher has decided that he wants to kill the Rhino, but, at the end of the arc, he lets him go, which is the whole problem with the character.

Now, not that much is known about the FrankenCastle arc at this point, and it's probably only temporary, but anything that can get rid of the the inherent problem with the Punisher, I'm all for it.

Thunderbolts: Full Circle

The Thunderbolts started out as villains pretending to be heroes. Then they become villains trying to reform. Then they were villains presented as heroes. Now they are villains posing as actual heroes. Well, technically the Dark Avengers are doing the current posing while the actual Thunderbolts are mere black ops killers for the government, but several of the Dark Avengers are ex Thunderbolts, so I'm counting that. It is interesting how concepts evolve and I think Marvel has done a good job of tweaking the basic Thunderbolts concept over time, but I think it's time to give the villains as heroes concept a rest for a while.

I Want A Scarlet Spider Omnibus

Not a anything like a collection, or collections of all of his appearances, but, rather, a collection of all of the issues where the Scarlet Spider replaced Spider-Man as the lead character, like The Amazing Scarlet Spider, Scarlet Spider and such. No particular reason other than I'm a Ben Reilly fan and I've never really had a chance to read those issues.

The Grant Morrison Connection

Grant Morrison is a writer that likes to revisit concepts, characters and themes with a regular frequency and, occasionally, there will be a comic like JLA: Ultramarine Corps where a couple of them intersect.

These include the introductions of both the Sheeda, later the threat in Seven Soldiers of Victory, and the latest Squire, who shows up again in Morrison's Batman run. Others would be the infant Universe Q, which would show up again in All Star Superman, and the Ultramarine Corps, first introduced in Morrison's JLA run.

It's nothing amazing in and of itself, but I found it interesting that all of the various concepts Morrison used, or used later, that showed up in story.

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brandon said...

Regarding Scarlet Spider - not only would I would buy that but I would love for Marvel to collect the Clone saga. It's a shame they completely ignore that segment of Spidey.

Matt Ampersand said...

Interesting point about Thunderbolts, I hadn't really thought about it, but it makes a lot of sense.

Flip The Page said...

I would kill for Thunderbolts to go back to how it was with Busiek's run. it's not as much a concept evolving as much as a series being changed into a horribly skewed version of itself.

I'm placing all hope in Jeff Parker.

brandan said...

I like this post. Its like blogging mixed with twitter. Short and to the point. Can't believe I've overlooked 13 of these. lol

I have still yet to read Ultramarine Corps, and I'm a huge Morrison fan. I think you just inspired me.

doron said...

Grant Morrison's Ultar-marine corp was specifically billed as a lead into seven soldiers so of course it had the infant universe q, and the sheeda.

mysteryGuy said...

In the Invicipals letter column, someone asked the same question about Ryan Ottley. Kirkman said it's because Marvel or DC wouldn't pay Ottley as well...

Andrenn said...

I don't think a comic count can define an event. the word itself is closer to a major moment such as a war. So if a storyline does something major I think it can be considered an event. That's how I see it.

I'm glad Marvel or DC haven't snatched up Ottley yet, he's doing too good a job on Invincible to leave and I'm sure his work on Haunt will be great.

PMMJ said...

I'm also a big fan of how the Thunderbolts have evolved. Which isn't to say, I think every issue or even story arc is all that, but I like that they are trying something different with it, and not afraid to take risks. In established comic book universes, it's tricky to insert new superteams and find a logical fit for them. Exiles and Checkmate are other good examples of interesting fits.

The Phoenix King said...

Is it just me, or does the Ultramarine Corps kinda sounds like a crossover between Green Lantern and Warhammer 40k. "In brightest day, in blackest night, EAT CHAINSWORD!" :)

From what I understand about Jeff Parker's upcoming run, it is going to feature two competing teams of Thunderbolts; the Suicidebolts team currently featured in Diggle's run, and a more heroic superteam featuring some of the classic Thunderbolts like Songbird, MACH-IV, etc. Of course, I could be wrong about this, but that's the impression I've gotten from various interviews with him on the subject.

Speaking of Thunderbolts, my LCS had the new stuff today, and Thunderbolts was among them. Not as good as last issue, and reading Secret Warriors certainly helps, but a good issue overall.

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