Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Collection of Random Thoughts, Vol 15

For this installment of A Collection of Random Thoughts, I'll be discussing Brain Bendis's writing style, Blackest Night and Secret Invasion, the recent Marvel/Disney and DC Entertainment news, and a little bit about 90s comics. Hit the jump to find out more.

Bendis Speak

Back when I quit reading singles, the comics world was knee deep in Secret Invasion and, at that time, I was reading Secret Invasion and both of Brian Bendis's Avengers books. I was also fed up with Bendis's work at the time and one of the things I was annoyed with was his infamous "Bendis Speak."

Recently though, I got bored one night and reread the Avengers FCBD issue from this year and, to my surprise, I rather enjoyed it, especially the Bendis Speak.

Of course, this shouldn't have surprised me since it was also one of the things I enjoyed when I started reading his books. I think that's because it's something that, if you read too much of it, goes from good to bad, but, when only reading it here and there, it retains its appeal a lot easier. Of course, the fact that Bendis seemingly writes half of the Marvel Universe at this point probably isn't helping with that.


I haven't been reading the recent Uncanny X-Men/Dark Avengers crossover, obviously, but I was interested in possibly getting in trades so I followed some of the spoilers. One thing that occurs in the event's finale is that Emma Frost gets a piece of the Void stuck in her and, as such, she has to stay in her diamond form otherwise the Void would take over her mind. Clearly, this is all going to lead to Onslaught II, given the X-Books current obsession with the 90s.

Gimmick Events

It occurs to me that Secret Invasion and Blackest Night share one thing in common that may not seem obvious at first - they are both based on a gimmick that, while it may, I repeat, may, be able to carry an eight issue miniseries, they clearly can't sustain an entire event. Again, nothing overly revelatory, but Kirk's recent Blackest Night related reviews made me think of the similarities since I had the exact same feeling about Secret Invasion.

A Rainbow of Lanterns

Speaking of Blackest Night, if you sit back and think about it for a second, Geoff Johns's various Lantern Corps could have easily been a gimmick from 90s. Seriously, it's like perfect 90s cannon fodder. I mean, think about it, easily modified versions of the main hero, with plenty of room for EXTREME! characters (see the Red, Orange and Sinestro Corps) or female characters in ridiculously skimpy outfits (see the Star Sapphires), a perfectly valid excuse for said knock off character and, of course, ample opportunity for pouches! Not to mention absurdly over compensating guns.

Also, did it really take DC till 2008 to come up other coloured Lantern Corps?

Disney/Marvel And DC Entertainment

A lot has been said, and will continue to be said, about the big, Earth shattering comics books news of late, but, to me, the most important thing to take away is that Marvel and DC are not and haven't been, for a while now, comic publishing companies. That is also something that I think a lot of comic fans either haven't gotten or ignored as best that they could.

Of course, this isn't surprising and shouldn't be given the success of Marvel's recent movies and the revamped Batman movies. Why bother with the comics when other sources of revenue offer a lot more opportunity? People may argue that they could try and expand the comic market, but they are only going to expand so much if comics are basically limited to the Direct Market and continue to have the very poor content to cost ratio that they currently do.

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Anonymous said...

Bendis-speak: I will always loathe him for changing "What the hell?" into "the hell?" No one, anywhere ever says this (He might not have started it, but goddammit, he always does it with every character. And that's just a minor criticism. He's infinitely more talented than I am, but it still annoys me to no end.

Rainbow Lanterns: It might not have taken until 2008 for DC to realize that they COULD have multiple corps, but it obviously did take until then for them to have a good reason to do so. Can you imagine it in the Silver Age? *shudders*

Marc said...

Gimmick Events: I think it's more than just Secret Invasion and Blackest Night...it's the whole event-cycle that both DC and Marvel have been riding for several years now. No one status quo can sustain itself, so it paves the way to the next temporary status quo instead. It's getting pretty tiresome, in my opinion.

She-Onslaught: Wouldn't surprise me at all. Especially with Marvel now resurrecting its '90s-crossover greek lettering style for its new Fall of the Hulks event (Fall of the Hulks Alpha and Gamma were among its December solicits, with more surely to follow).

Oh, and as for Bendis-speak: I actually do say "the hell?" :P

Kirk Warren said...

Going to have to agree with Marc on 'the hell?'. I've used it before and have heard others use it. Biggest complaint from me with bendis speak is people repeating what the person before them said and then the original person reiterating it. For example:

"We need to kill Norman Osborn."
"Kill Norman Osborn?"
"Kill Norman Osborn."

She-Onslaught - Oh god, I can see it now. Red-Hulk will come in and stop Emma-Slaught and the next big status quo will be Red Reign and the cycle will never end.

Anonymous said...

Then I'd punch you in the mouth (not really) it honestly must be a regional (or even bi-coastal) kinda thing and it sounds really idiotic. It's like you're not even trying

Hawkgirl said...

Female characters in skimpy costumes - not that I believe the Star Sapphires' costumes to be extremely skimpy - as gimmicks :(

I don't mind the skimpy costumes, but yeah: Often the females are little more than gimmicks instead of strong female leads. Though with the Sapphires I do see potential.

Eric Rupe said...

Anonymous - I've seen "the hell" used on the internet a lot. I do agree that Bendis can use some odd phrases now and again though.

Kirk - I'm surprised Red Hulk hasn't shown up in the MU at large yet actually.

Hawkgirl - I haven't been keeping up with GLC but I've heard that Tomasi has been doing good things with the Sapphires. Hopefully it continues past Blackest Night.

Matt Ampersand said...

@Eric, Red Hulk showed up in an issue of Wolverine (although it was only one panel), and someone posed as him in Mighty Avengers (it was Herc, I think)

DEADDOG said...

I've got a feeling(from the very start)that RED HULK is none other than the man who hated hulk as much as Thunderbolt Ross....Glenn Talbot! yeah, i know Talbot's dead, but so was everyone else in the Marvel universe at one time or another. as for the Disney/Marvel thingy.... i'd as soon see Mickey as the Amazing Spider Mouse than those horrid Marvel Apes books!

Flip The Page said...

Glenn Talbot did die near/in a volcano didn't he? angry/heat thing matches up!

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