Friday, March 5, 2010

Comic Book Moments of the Week for 03/03/10

Here's your Comic Book Moments of the Week to end your week on a high note. We've got Iron Man retcons, Mark Millar insulting ze French again and the seeds of a potential Punisher and Chris Hansen team-up all ready and waiting for your viewing pleasure after the jump.


Amazing Spider-Man #623

Is Jonah dead?  Did this new Vulture actually kill one of the oldest cast members?  Will Spidey have to make another deal with Mephisto to bring him back?  I doubt it.  Cliffhangers really do lose any kind of effect when they are this predictable.

Girl Comics #1


Now that I consider the alternatives, To Catch a Predator is really tame in comparison.  Though a Chris Hansen and Punisher team-up would be pretty awesome.  Hansen can be the straightman to Frank's tough guy/bad cop routine.  They'd go on wacky adventures and, well, you know the results. 

Invincible Iron Man #24

When I saw this, just kept thinking of Celebrity Jeopardy and the Keanu Reeves "I know kung-fu" episode.  Soon as I read Dr Strange's line, I immediately said, "for the last time, no you don't.".  It was funnier before I had to explain it.

Tony's mind was backed up to pre-Civil War (see next moment for more).  Happy died during Civil War/post-brain back-up.  This all takes place in Tony's head.  There is no possible way he could know Happy is dead based on the memories he currently has in his head.  Yet, there he is, guilt tripping over a death he has no knowledge of.

Sigh, this is the second complete retcon of Iron Man that I've witnessed (let's just forget about young Tony for the time being).  As bad as the first one is, it was at least an attempt at moving forward and telling new stories.  This is just a complete regression, not unlike One More Day and Spider-Man.  

Don't like something that happened?  Don't want to deal with the reprecussions or want to completely change the character's culpability in those actions?  Just make him forget it.  Let's forget the fact that one of the smartest men on the planet and self-proclaimed futurist forgot to back up his brain in the last three or so years.  We need him to be pre-Civil War, so he is.  End of story.

And why is he so shocked over Civil War? He'd have known it was still inevitable around the time of this back-up.  He'd have managed to somehow notice Captain America isn't really dead, especially since he's on freaking site and news sites would have made mention of him fighting a Godzilla sized Red Skull outside the Lincoln Memorial, so he'd have seen it.  

All this does it make it so Tony can move forward blame free of his actions since he "isn't that Tony anymore".  He can have some minor guilt over it and move on.  Which is wrong, especially after how well it was handled in books like Captain America or Iron Man: Director of SHIELD.  They explored his guilt over it already.  They also showed how it was inevitable and he chose the best possible path, though it had the worst possible outcome through an unimaginable series of events. This is just a horrible retcon that was not needed other than Marvel didn't want to deal with that status quo anymore. 

Justice League: Cry for Justice #7

What's this?  Another mistake in a high profile comic from the Big 2?  The editor's must be 'loosing' their touch.

 Ah, yes, killing of little girls is right up there with rape for character building moments.  My face upon seeing this is reflected in Black Canary's pose - face palming. Also, what the heck is up with Speedy's new costume?  Who thought that looked good?

JUSTICE!  I like how Green Arrow, not the sharpest tool in the shed, managed to find a way into limbo, snuck in past all of Prometheus' defenses, got the jump on a guy that took down the entire Justice League and whose armour instantly adjusts to every hero's weapons, powers and fighting styles, and then kills him with a simple arrow to the head.  

They went to the trouble of bringing back (retconning) the original Prometheus, setting him up as this A-class villain and then killed him off like this?  I'm hoping this is all some setup because it's ridiculous to even consider how this is even possible given everything else they made Prometheus responsible for and showed him doing throughout this series.  JUSTICE!

Mighty Avengers #34

Ah, Hank Pym, you're epic failures never cease to amaze me.  Even when they are trying to build you up, you still manage to fail on a level unknown to normal man.  Even Loki can't believe you just tried to recruit him for the Avengers.

Ultimate Comics Avengers #5

Red Skull is now responsible for killing JFK.  I swear every villain is responsible for killing JFK at one point or another in their career.  It's crazy how often they attribute it to super villains.  I do like the colouring effect with the vertical lines though.  Or maybe that's just a scanning error.  I didn't read the issue.

And here I thought Mark Millar was going to give the French a moment to shine as an apology for the constant jokes about their fighting prowess...


Ultimate Comics New Ultimates Who Are Ultimate But May Or May Not Be New #1

If we can see the middle finger, context is provided through dialogue that he is giving the middle finger, then why is it obscured in such a way?  Will the "children" reading this comic rated as Parental Advisory required really be offended if Tony Stark is shown completely giving the finger to Carol Danvers?  Will their be some epidemic where people start using the middle finger as some kind of negative response to things they don't like?  Why, that would be crazy!  I realize now why it was censored in such a way.

Well, I guess this must come as a shock to everyone.  Jeph Loeb + Frank Cho = T&A.

Wolverine: Weapon X #11

Meet Batman, er, Slagg.

He didn't last very long, but I loved the Batman parody.

And here's a page from the Logan and Captain America bar hopping.  There were several pages of this, all of which I enjoyed, but this one probably gives you a good idea of how it worked.  And man, does Logan look trashed in that bottom panel.  Healing factor just ain't what it used to be.  Or, based on that counter top, that's a lot of beer.

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Anonymous said...

So are any of the repercussions from Civil War still cannon? Let's see: Spidey unmasked....erased. Tony Stark turns Judas on his oldest friends..."if I don't remember it , it didn't happen". The SHRA? Is that thing thing still going on?

Dickey said...

Picked up the disassembled for the sweet covers (only time I've done that, but damn they're good covers) and those last two pages convinced me to drop the book. I liked Casanova, so I thought maybe his functional Tony Stark could be fun. The talking heads panel from the first issue even made me think Tony would stay unrepentant for his actions. Not after this BS though. Doesn't matter whether it was his idea or editorial mandate, I can't support it.

On a lighter note though, you should have found the Red Skull throwing Black Widow's kid out the window panel from Ultimate Comics Avengers. Dead baby comedy gold. Millar knows how to make bad writing fun to read.

TexiKen said...

Dont' forget the spelling error on the preview page for Ultimate Avengers #6 in the back of UA#5.

"Family Fued"

wirehead4ever said...

I must be in the minority here cause I loved IIM. For one thing this isn't "retcon" so to speak, everything Tony did still happened and everyone (but him) remembers it. And his reaction in the last panel doesn't necessarily mean he's surprised at what he did, just what has happened in general.

mugiwara said...

Punisher from Girls Comics was pure gold, but the story was already told in the first page.
But this Doc Ock thing: all the easy and unfunny gags that keep me away from this kind of anthology.
"oh this girl likes eating Octopusses so I have to get away from her because I'm Dr Octopus" (facepalm)

Aaron is a god. I loved this page with Cap and Logan despite the fact that I'm not interested anymore most of this characters. He made me buy a Wolverine comics for the first time in at least 10 years.

I don't get the Pym thing in MA. Is Slott flushing in the toilet all the good things he did with him for the sake or a (very funny, I admit) gag? Or is it a way to say "fuck you" for the comics getting cancelled?

JLA Boohoo for Justice: I have no problem with little children getting killed in comics (in fact, I hate that they get so often a free pass), but I'm bothered by the fact that DC keeps killing or maiming those who are supposed to be the next generation of heroes (see the death rate in Teen Titans). Super Hal and Saint Barry returning and stealing the spotlights from Kyle and Wally seem to confirm that for DC, the iconic characters can never be definitely replaced neither equaled by their young counterparts. Kinda sad.

onefinemess said...

Right on target with the two horrid ultimate books. Also, don't forget that, in addition to having her baby casually thrown out the window, ultimate Wasp/Widow/whoever she is... it seems to me that it was implied that she was gang raped. Good times. Oh wait, this is a Mark Millar book. Par for the course.

Agree pretty much exactly on the Cry for Justice BS too.

My thoughts on the week's stuff are here (pretty similar to yours, eerily one might say):

I want to say I disagree on something... but I'm just going to agree again. WTH happened to Mighty with this issue?? So confused. I hope there's some kind of reasoning behind it. Definitely the worst Mighty issue yet, probably the worst Slott issue (of anything) I've ever read.

onefinemess said...

Oh, I just remembered another horrible visual from this week. In The Boys 40, I'm pretty sure the Homelander eats a baby. And not off panel. Of course, this is The Boys, so nothing is off limits but ...yeesh.

Anonymous said...

Not a lot of "good" moments this week. Ultimate Comics is a wasteland. Civil War had approximately zero staying power (unmasking, SHRA, dead CA, Stark being a tool).

Space Jawa said...

I feel like I should have called Tony getting his brain set back to pre-Civil War when I first saw it coming. I just knew that was going to be the end result somewhere along the line.

And it made sense to me, personally. After all, the whole point of erasing his brain and resetting it was to get rid of the list of Secret Identities in his head. Which means if he were to use a backup from some point in time post Civil War, he'd still have that information in his head, making his entire quest to wipe his brain clean a wasted effort.

But I missed my opportunity, and I'll just have to be better on making predictions like that in the future (At least I called Ultimate Shroud being Kitty head of time. Not that that was as big a shocker)

Daryll B. said...

Ok you are on point with this but I am surprised you missed this one regarding Cap and Wolvie in the editors? Cap does NOT drink alcohol. Matter of fact, that point was central plot point to several storylines including times he hung out with Hawkeye and Iron Man.

The memorable time that comes to mind is one in which Steve and Clint were in a bar after he was stripped of the uniform AND the government was interfering in the Avengers activities. His monologue made it seem that he didn't drink because he saw how it affected his father and mother in a veiled aside to drunken abuse of some type.

Amazing, Marvel goes well out of their way to curb cigar/cigarette use but can't check if their "purest" hero actually drinks or not?


Daryll B. said...

Not even gonna get into the Millar stuff or Lian...

Can't wait for the next Cheshire appearance now...

Seriously, is it some concerted effort to make EVERYTHING in comics dark?????

And your Tony analysis was spot much for being a futurist.....

Kirk Warren said...

@Daryll B - I didnt realize Cap was a non-drinker. Not that familiar with his history as someone like Spider-Man, who I've read almost everything of. Still, I find it odder that he'd be a non-drinker wtih the era he came from and the fact he has a healing factor/can metabolize just about anything to the point he's basically immune to most poisons.

Flip The Page said...

The mighty avengers moment is important to me purely because it shows that despite Slott's massive love for Pym, he's aware that the guy is completely and utterly insane in most thoughts he has. two issues left and I think everything'll work out fine.

and on the Stark thing I think it's more the extent that the registration/civil war stuff went that shocks him more than that he supported it.

Ivan said...

This is my problem with Marvel:

- "Hey, let's do this outrageous stuff! It's going to be so kewl!"

- "Huh, we are gonna have to fix that eventually..."

- "We'll think about when the time comes. I want Iron Hitler now!!"

Chris said...

I don't think Tony forgot to upload in the last few years, I think he did it on purpose....that was kind of the point of the whole thing, to erase everything from his memory that had happened since Civil War and what not. There is still some stuff that needs to be explained, I wouldn't condemn this storyline so fast until everything is made completely clear.

McE said...

This week's Moment for me was Buffy 33's "I think they're @#$%ing."

I'm not sure I'd call the Tony Stark memory thing a retcon. It's more of a cop out. I get that they had to reconcile Tony and Steve in order to get to the whole original Avengers reunited thing, but amnesia? Really? REALLY?

I guess at least he wasn't a skrull.

Eric Rupe said...

Marvel wanted to go back to the pre-Disassembled status quo which means you have to undo all of the developments from Civil War onward. The two status quos don't mix so you have to choose one over the other and Marvel picked the most sustainable one. You can call it a cop out but Marvel, and DC, have done things like this forever. Just business as usual.

Eric Rupe said...

Forgot to add - Much like OMD though, it is a poor ending to Iron Man's story arc that started in Civil War.

Anonymous said...

It is not about absolution for Tony Stark. It's not about saying it never happened or trying to wipe the slate clean. If you think that it is about anything remotely close to those two ideas, then you do not have a clear idea on what is going on.

Ivan said...

Yes Eric, but that routine is seriously getting old. "Here comes the event that's going to change the Marvel Universe FOREVER".

It also has to do with the quality of the "solutions". Pact with the devil and retroactive amnesia? These guys are supposed to be professionals.

Kirk Warren said...

@Anonymous Post #19 - There is not a single lasting effect from Civil War other than Tony's culpability in those events. Now that is effectively removed and allows him to react to and view the event differently and be "redeemed". There's no story driven reason for going about it this way and it's about as far fetched a solution (seriously, erasing his brain and then backing it up with a harddrive that required a lightning bolt from Thor channelled through Cap's shield...) as a deal with the devil that trades your wife and love you had for her and any possibility for a future with her for your 80 year old aunt who is perpetually dying anyways.

If you think its anything other than a retcon so they can move on to Heroic Age without having to deal with his Civil War actions, you clearly have no idea what's going on or how Marvel works.

@Ivan - That is the problem I have with these types of solutions. They just pull the bandaid off and forget about it and expect fans to ignore the pain of the horrible retcon/status quo change. Clone Saga ended rather strongly and put a solution to that story. It wasn't pretty, but they told the story and moved on.

These ones they just dont care. THey told the one or two ideas they had to go with this "earth shattering new status quo" and then got bored, so just moved on and brushed the old one under the rug. They didnt even try to make it work or let it runs its course or come up with an organic solution. Just a slash and burn solution.

RetardMcspakypants said...

Kirk, I still don't get how you or anyone else for that matter can call this a retcon. Everything Tony did still happened, the only difference is he doesn't remember any of it. And like I mentioned before we still don't know what his final reactions will be when he does re-learn what has happened. Unlike OMD, this actually works for me.

Kirk Warren said...

It's reverting a character's personality to a point in his past in a manner that allows them to 'forget' everything that happened between those two points (ie Civil War/Iniative era). There may be another term you want to use for it, but I call that a retcon.

RetardMcspakypants said...

Fair enough, I guess I'm comparing it to more to OMD and how much better I think it is. Or course it's not that hard to be a better comic story than OMD.

Eric Rupe said...

I agree that what happened to Iron Man isn't a retcon since there is nothing retroactive about it. Character regression, sure. I 100% agree on that part but Civil War and Stark's actions still happened exactly as they were depicted in the comics. None of that has changed one bit and I think that is what makes it not a retcon.

Stark's reaction to the events post-mind reset may not match up exactly with how he acted before Civil War but all of that built up after the fact. Civil War: Confession and New Avengers: Illuminati were retcons designed to make Stark's action in Civil War make sense. I agree that Stark's actions in Civil War do make sense given the character, partly because of his modern characterization though, so I would qualify what Fraction is going more as bad writing than anything else.

It's also obvious that Marvel is trying to go back to pre-Disassembled in the way they characterize certain characters as well and I think that also explains a lot with what is happening with Stark and probably going to happen with some other characters done the line as well.

Dickey said...

My main question for Marvel is, how does their overarching story qualify as "7 years in the making" now? Sure, the events still happened, but as ya'll said the characters seem to be reverting back to pre-CW status quo. The "Trinity" will probably be back to being best buds within half a year, Spider-Man is re-masked, and so on. About the only thing sticking in my mind is Nick Fury will still be somewhat underground. I don't see him becoming director of SHIELD again before Secret Warriors is through.

Kinda makes me glad I haven't been buying comics for the majority of this story line period. Yes, we all know everything tends to go back to status quo. But as Eric said, this is just bad writing to get back their part.

onefinemess said...

With all this discussion about the Marvel trinity and their post-CW/SI/etc. interactions... it's actually got me interested in that ltd Bendis is doing about those is exact issues. Supposedly there will be actual conversations addressing it, so I'm hoping it's treated in a smart enough way to make it not as insulting as it appears at first.

I wouldn't bet on it, but I can hope.

Anonymous said...

So because I have faith that Matt Fraction has some sort of clue on how to write a story, I have no idea how comics, especially Marvel, actually work? So, you are right in your assertion that no one at Marvel comics has ever, in the last decade at least, has ever thought more than six months down the line?

That's asinine. being insulted like that is really indicative of a lack of imagination on your part, not mine. I apologize for my earlier statement, but it seems clear that you have not read Invinicble Iron Man up until this point.

If Fraction had no idea what to do next, or was simply removing guilt of Starks actions, the last two pages would not have been present. They would have been, instead, two pages of Tony, Thor, and Cap drinking margaritas down at the beach. But here, we are clearly going to see Tony learning from the mistakes he made in the past that lead to the death of one friend and alienation of another, and hopefully, doing something a little different this time.

If you want to call that a retcon, then by all means, continue to think you have a firm grasp on the goings on inside the heads of everyone at Marvel because you disagree.

Steven R. Stahl said...

If people are looking for indications of how Bendis is going to write "Heroic Age" stories, all they have to do is refer to DARK AVENGERS. His handling of the villains in that series will probably be similar to the treatment of the villains in NEW AVENGERS and AVENGERS. Note that his first AVENGERS arc is going to be another time travel story -- and the story won't make sense, just as his first DA time travel story didn't make sense.

The ending to the IIM storyline was an artificial solution to the Cap/Iron Man split. Stark's been set up to read about his "Civil War" actions and to think "My god, I really was an asshole." If one justifies the solution as being due to the "illusion of change" policy, then he's telling readers to stop buying Marvel comics immediately, because they're wasting their money. Read standalone prose novels or watch movies instead.

The PR I've seen for AVENGERS PRIME suggests that Bendis doesn't really understand the heroes he's dealing with. He seems to want them to talk about their personal issues to the point that they'll hug each other, cry a bit, and swear they'll be friends forever, when that has very little to do with their roles as Avengers, uniting to fight menaces that no single hero could handle. None of the Big Three was an Avenger 24/7.


Matt Ampersand said...

Now correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Maria Hill the one that had to retrieve the back-up that Tony had made? What if she screwed up and grabbed the old(er) back-up?

Steven R. Stahl said...

Actually, the idea that Stark would back up the contents of his mind to a "hard drive" is as ridiculous as anything else in the IIM storyline. Surely Fraction's read some SF and knows that mind transfers and the like don't employ technology from the 20th century. Remember how STAR TREK III was pounded by critics for having illicit data stored on a tape?

If the only reason the "Stark Disassembled" storyline was written was to get rid of the inconvenient memories (aside from having both Potts and Hill upset that he had sex with both of them), that's reason enough to bash it.


Ivan said...

Whoa, this just occurred me:

Aside the "suckiness" of this solution, it does open an interesting possibility.

The "pre-Civil War" it from when Tony already knew Peter Parker was Spider-Man? If so, are those memories intact?

Of course, they could just say this back-up is also "pre-New Avengers", I guess...

Matt Ampersand said...

@SRS: Yeah, I know that the whole idea of backing up human memories has been proved as impossible, just because we record so much sensory information that the hard drive would need to be the size and capacity of the Titanic. Still, it's one those sci fi tropes that it is used so often that it's hard to blame Fraction for it.

@Ivan: ...woah. I doubt that Marvel would use it though.

Scott Roberts said...

My moment of the week is this Amazon Omnibus sale, if Amazon honors the prices.

TheGoose said...

Wow, Prometheus just went to the top of slime ball list by killing a children of a superhero. The only other villain, I can think of, that's done that is Black Manta, when he killed Aquaman's kid.

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