Friday, May 7, 2010

Comic Book Moments of the Week for 05/05/10

Could not find any images for Astonishing Spider-Man/Wolverine #1 (Aaron writes a good Spidey adn the art was fantastic, would loved to have shown off the Tom Hanks-like Castaway look Spidey was sporting in this issue) to go with this edition of the Moments of the Week, but there's a pretty healthy showing from the rest of this week's books and even a few hold overs from the weekend's Free Comic Book Day haul.  Hit the jump to enjoy!


Amazing Spider-Man #630

Ouch, indeed. 

Best.  Aunt May.  Ever.  It's been a while, but I think she's still under the effects of Mr Negative's powers and being the 'negative version' of her normal doting self.  I like it much better for some reason.

Bachalo knocked it out of the park on this one.  The build up and final return, while expected, was stunning to see. I absolutely love his take on the Lizard and Wells did a commendable job on the inner struggle between Connors and the Lizard persona.  Can't wait to see him in action next issue.


Atomic Robo FCBD 2010
Physics jokes are the best jokes.


Batman and Robin #12

Wow, it took like 5 years for them to address Deathstroke blowing up Bludhaven (Nightwing's stomping grounds at the time).   This felt so random, too, and they even downplayed the death toll for some reason.  Really out of place and not sure why they brought it up at this point.   

Gravedigger ends up being the Joker. It was either him or Bruce Wayne under there, but this one ties back into the whole exchange between Joker and Dr Hurt back during Batman RIP about switching roles and stuff.  Not sure how this works out without re-reading some of the earlier Gravedigger appearances, but could have sworn it was stated he had a history as a detective and best selling author.  Don't know how he maintained this facade or how he had the super hearing to know Hurt's goons were sneaking up on him.  I'll with hold judgement until I re-read some issues and see where Morrison goes with this next issue.


Brightest Day #1

Issue #0 featured the brutal death scene of a bird.  Was a bit over the top and unnecessary showing of graphic violence, but I figured it was a one off thing.  Nope.  This issue actual one-ups it with a child sex ring appearance and the creepy pedo smile from "daddy" above.  I just don't see how this level of "realism" adds anything to a book about people in tights with magic rings that look like they're from a box of Fruit Loops.  It's like adding rape to everyone's origin back in Identity Crisis - just doesn't work very well within the confines of the genre.

Not a big Aquaman fan and barely read anything non-JLA related featuring him, so colour me surprised to know that he is not bulletproof.  If he doesn't have the barest of required super powers that just about every godlike JLA member short of Batman has, what exactly does he bring to the table?  Sushi?  Shrimp?  

That is not how terraforming works, not even by super hero science standards.  Don't really care and not going to kick a big stink up over it, but, really, melting that much ice would not provide any significant change in the atmosphere and, even assuming he'd been doing a lot more off panel, where'd the plant life come from and why'd it grow instantly?  Oh, right, 'it's Mars, we don't have to explain it!'



Red Robin #12

Ra's al Ghul sent his hit squads after everyone Bruce Wayne cared about and set about destroying Bruce Wayne's legacy.  Unknown to him, Red Robin sent everyone he knew - Superboy, Wonder Girl, etc - to save those people.  This was the confronation that took place after that.  I really liked the distinction made by Tim marking the difference between he and Bruce.

Ra's didn't take this news all that well and did his best 'this is SPARTA' imitation.  Batman/Dick saved him on the next page in case you were wondering how he survives this, but I really liked the inner monologue by Tim on the second page, so am sharing this.

Never change Damian, never change.


Secret Six #21

Bane and Jeannette waste no time setting up their new Secret Six team.  Interesting selection.  Only one I'm not familiar with is Dwarfstar, so I'm assuming Bane breaks his back for the insolence shown in this brief conversation and the subsequent page I couldn't find a scan of. 

Catman finds another person that was involved in kidnapping/killing his son a few issues ago and takes him to task.  Of note, the big guy is named Loki and was a super strong metahuman.  It didn't stop Catman from shredding his spinal chord and leaving him to die.



Superman: War of the Supermen #1

This is technically from the FCBD issue of this event, but was pretty much mirrored in the first issue, so showing the better looking one in the moments.

In case you are wondering what all that glowing rock is, it's Reactron blowing up on New Krypton and, uh, blowing the entire planet up along with him (lol, wtf Robinson?  Not even going to try and figure out how that was possible).


Thor and the Warriors Four #2

I think I need to pick this series up.


Ultimate Comics New Ultimates Who Are The Ultimate Ultimates Ultimate Edition #2

Valkyrie cracks Captain America's unbreakable shield in half with a sword.  The force required must have been pretty high.  Like high enough to take Cap's head off if she happened to hit him with the same sword, even if it was the butt of the hilt.  Only knocks him out though. 


Uncanny X-Men #524

This would probably be an awkward situation if Hope wasn't so used to time travelling already.


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40 comments:

The Dangster said...

1. Maybe, Joker killed Oberon Sexton and assumed his identity at the time this takes place.

2. I get what you're saying about the child sex ring, but i think it has to tie with black manta's origin having been kidnapped by pirates. Also, was the bird death thaaat brutal?

Kirk Warren said...

@The Dangster - It shows a baby bird fall and smear its head off the marble grave below. While it came back to life, it was completely unnecessary to show it like that if you ask me. Similarly, this couldnt just be kidnappers or ransom, it had to be a child sex ring and, on top of that, it had to make sure we saw the guy talking about how he's going to have sex with that child. I don't really read super hero comics for topics like that. Yes, it's alright to address certain issues or bring some realism to books or tell more adult oriented stories, but, come on, that's not necessary information or backstory that we need or an example of any of those things done right.

Ivan said...

About Aquaman: I'm surprised he's even bullet-resistant, to be honest. I don't remember that ever being depicted before, but Johns being the Silver Age fanboy that he is, he probably took that from some old book.

TheGoose said...

Disagree with your thoughts on Brightest Day. Do you think that every dark element in superhero comics is a ploy?

Anonymous said...

Aquaman was depicted as bulletproof in Morrison's JLA. I don't know if this is the same guy, though.

TheGoose said...

"Similarly, this couldnt just be kidnappers or ransom, it had to be a child sex ring and, on top of that, it had to make sure we saw the guy talking about how he's going to have sex with that child. I don't really read super hero comics for topics like that. Yes, it's alright to address certain issues or bring some realism to books or tell more adult oriented stories, but, come on, that's not necessary information or backstory that we need or an example of any of those things done right."

I don't get why you have a problem with this at all. You didn't complain about the violence in Old Man Logan, but you have a problem with a scene where the writers just say these are child sex slaves? Plus, I think it makes sense since this does go on in real life where people are kidnapped from sea. Also, and I don't think you know this, but the main reason the writers chose children being in danger and child sex slaves is because of Aquaman and Mera. These are two people have lost a child (Black Manta killed Arthur Jr. back in the early 80s). It's clear that Aquaman and Mera are never going to be pleased when children in danger hence Mera's line when she fought the slavers.

Space Jawa said...

Yes, you absolutely should pick up Warrior Four. :-)

Also a fun moment from that book - Thor and Thorse reciting "I Will Survive: Skrull Attack Remix"

Flip The Page said...

@TheGoose it's not really a double standard against old man logan. This isn't an elseworlds tale running in a parental advisory comic, this is the lead tale in a new banner event. we should expect something less messed.

Also note the kids are all white, a rarity itself in any sort of realistic situation as such. still, it's good to have a comic where two white people kill the evil black people who enslave white children whilst a black guy stabs up a bunch of white people..... and one african american woman. but still it stands out a helluva lot

but then I don't know enough about such things to judge them so feel free to just ignore my ramblings

SerialProtagonist said...

@Kirk

Dwarfstar is Ryan Choi's, aka the All-New Atom, archnemesis. He's Gail Simone's creation so I reckon that's why he's included no one was doing anything with him, really.

Steven said...

Aquaman has super-strength and is extremely durable. Anyone who could take the incredible pressure at the bottom of the ocean without being crushed is going to have to be vastly stronger than someone living on the surface.

tworedhead said...

Read Morrisons JLA to see just how damn powerful Aquaman is. He is NOT bullet resistant, he is wearing chain mail. He is extremely strong...more so even on land then on the water.

With Wikipedia and the availability of comics from libraries and book stores, not just comic shops, is it really that hard to do a little research before a WTF moment and hacking on a character while even admitting you know nothing about him?

I love these Moments of the week and I love this site. I just am so tired of the "MY OPINION WILL BE STATED WITHOUT RELEVANT FACTS TO BACK IT UP BECAUSE I HAVE CREATED A PLATFORM TO STATE THOSE OPINIONS" of fanboys.

Great site, sorry for the rant. You all do a fine job here just please if you are going to review something or comment on something PLEASE be informed about the subject.

Shane

Dickey said...

Well the WTF moment most likely stems not from the bullets hitting the chain mail, but the obvious headshot they popped Aquaman with (Kudos on getting two hits in the exact same spot). If he doesn't have a degree of invulnerability then he should have a gapping hole where his brain should be right now. Maybe you can explain it away with him having a stronger body to resist deep water pressure, but as it stands only having a trickle of blood from a headshot breaks the suspension of disbelief.

Side note: Johns wants to make us care about Aquaman? Bring the Batman: Brave and the Bold version into continuity and have him be DC's iHerc.

Matt Ampersand said...

Guys, guys! Aquaman IS bulletproof, it's just that one of the pirates had a paintball gun, and he was the one aiming for Aquaman's head.

Lucho said...

You´re a wuss. Lol.

The bird scene was wonderful to show how Aliveman powers work now. You´reoverreacting

Brightest Day looks a lot like 52, and Aquaman is kinda of hard to kill with bullets.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't Valkarie have simply changed the amount of force applied to the blow to the head? The same as "pulling" a punch?

nu said...

Aquaman is invulnerable to a degree because of living on the bottom of the ocean. Using this theory then all of Atlantis is as well, but I do believe that it has been stated that he is even more powerful than the rest, and is the only one with the telepathy.

And I dont think what he wears is chainmail, I think is a shirt he wears patterned after fish scales, which in turn is very durable.

Monch said...

@Aquaman: wikipedia says:

"Aquaman has a number of superhuman powers, most of which derive from the fact that he is adapted to live in the depths of the ocean. He has the ability to breathe underwater. He possesses superhuman durability high enough to remain unaffected by the immense pressure and the cold temperature of the ocean depths, this also makes him tough enough to be invulnerable to machine gun fire.[26] He also possesses superhuman strength"

So hes, he can withstand bullets. Now back to our discussion :)

Matt Ampersand said...

In regards with the dead baby bird, I am going to quote myself with something I posted in the Moments of the Week when that scene showed up:

"I wanted to mention regarding the dead baby bird, it's not that it bothers me that there is in fact a dead baby bird in a comic. What I found really puzzling is that they had the need/want to show the dead baby bird snapping it's neck and bleeding out. The scene would have worked just fine if Deadman just found the baby bird motionless on the floor and looked up to see the nest up in a tree.

Anyway, that's just my two cents, it's not the violence in itself, just the need to wantonly show it. Sometimes a quiet moment resonates more with readers than a loud one, you know what I mean?"

Radlum said...

I disliked Brightest Day and possibly, I'll drop it if the next issue isn't better, but I don't think that the implied rape was the worst thing out of it, I mean, I love Secret Six, but I have to admit that it is quite violent and sometimes graphically (like the current arc, you can't say that because we didn't see the actual eating of Loki by the lions it wasn't a disgusting death) but no one criticizes the series for that; is it because that book is way better than BD? is it because villains or anti-heroes can have darker settings while superhero books have to "friendlier" environments or kids will be scared? Is it because BD is a main title while Secret Six is relegated to a specific public?

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

I don't really feel the need to defend my distaste for child rape in a superhero comic, anymore than I need to state why I don't want to see Elmo or SpongeBob deal with drug overdoses or necrophilia.

Matt Ampersand said...

@Radlum: The way things are handled is always important, as it is the setting and the protagonists. With Secret Six, you know full well what you are getting each month, and considering the book features a group of villains as protagonists, such things are to be expected (and hell, I think Secret Six would work better as a MAX-like mature title, where they can do and show anything they want).

Brightest Day is the main book of a flagship event from one of the biggest companies in the industry, featuring some of the most recognizable characters they have (Flash, Aquaman, Green Lantern). It is arguably a book meant to be for all readers, something that Secret Six is clearly not. Again, if they want to show this stuff, they sure as hell can, but from what I see, it comes across as more of an attempt to be edgy than attempting to tell mature stories.

Kirk Warren said...

@Radlum - Ya, as Matt said, Secret Six and Brightest Day are very different in tone and who they are directed at. One stars villains who you expect to do bad things. The other is the flag ship title for the banner event this year starring characters in what was labelled as 'brightest day' - something you'd expect to be full of hope or general super heroics, not child sex rings and in your face pedophelia.

But even with Secret Six and those lions, it is off screen and implied. The man Catman tortured and killed last issue had a lot of impact because it didnt have eyeballs gouged and show Catman cutting him up or other gratuitous violence. ANd that's for villains and pyschopaths in a mroe mature themed book. They had a slave ring in their title for a storyarc recently and it was handled a lot better in my opinion than this was.

How things are shown make a big difference. Simone is writing her scenes with some tact and consideration on how they are portrayed while Johns has the subtlty of a jackhammer. Add the differences in target audience and characters used and it feels really out of place to me.

Radlum said...

@Matt and Kirk: I agree, Johns may be a good writer, but his skill doesn't work for darker themes, he lacks the subtlety to pull it off in a good way, unlike Simone. However, I still think that it's slightly annoying that main superhero comic books can't develop those darker themes because of the target audience.

Anonymous said...

I think it's funny that, for a website that takes comics so serious in the first place, everyone is all butthurt that they have some adult themes in them. You can't hold comics to such high literary standards & expect them to dumb everything down. For as much time as you spend discussing plot, characterization, motivation, storytelling devices, etc - you sure do want your comics "dumbed down."

Where's all the complaining about Siege I wonder? You guys rail on Blackest Night/Brightest Day, but over in Siege we've so far had a stadium full of people snuffed out & we took an inside look at how Ares digestive system is laid out.

Colt said...

I think the problem isn't that the themes present are "adult," so much as that the execution's utterly adolescent.

Growing up in the nineties, I thought murder, sex, blood, guts, and totally hardcore heroes were awesome. Now in my early twenties, I find that kind of macabre sensationalism to be nothing more than a smoke screen, trying desperately to mask a dearth of worthwhile characterization, plot, or storytelling.

Matt Ampersand said...

@Anonymous #25: There's a difference between comics dealing with adult themes and settings, and a random throwaway line about child rape. Like the person right above me said, it's easy to throw in adult themes into any comic, but handling it like an adult is the hard part.

I don't think ANY of us wants dumbed down comics, as a matter of fact, I would argue that having that line in there IS dumbing down the comic. The writers felt that we explicitly needed to be told that this was an evil man who was going to rape this little girl. The fact that he was a pirate, that he had stolen a boat, that he was taking hostages was not enough, they felt the readers needed a couple of extra panels to establish that this villain is a pedophile and that he was going to rape a child. This actually makes the whole situation black and white, there is no doubt that this man is completely evil, a scum of the Earth and one person that deserves to be killed. This makes the killing that Aquaman and Mera do later in the comic justified. Like I said, black and white, or dumbed down if you will. If someone wants to do an Aquaman series where they want to portray the state of affairs of the pirate situation in Somalia and the rest of east Africa, with Aquaman being involved in the conflict, I would be all up for that. That sounds like a mature comic, and one that with the right writer, I'd put in my pull list.

As for Siege, you can go ahead and look for all the positive reviews that we have given the main series.

Anonymous said...

rapes a good storyline

Eddie Entropy said...

The bitchy sure is coming out over Brightest Day. I think Kurt's blood pressure would be safer if he just stopped reading Johns event books, I'm amazed Kurt made it through Blackest Night alive!

Ivan said...

Kurt? Is he talking about Kirk? I'm confused.

Eddie Entropy said...

Kurt Waran, you know the guy who runs the sight.

Ryan K Lindsay said...

I love Kurt Waran. He got me my start in komix.

Black Ice said...

Baby birds break their necks in gratuitous fashion but its alright.
Will I find awkward depictions of child slave rings in Brightest Day? I might.
Yo, I'm really happy for everyone that liked this book in this comment section fight,
Imma let you finish but, Kurt Waren's right.

Anonymous said...

What was so wrong about the NEAR-RAPE scene? Can anyone show me the full-blown, gorge-your-eyes-out, gruesome child porn scene in the story? Because either I did not pay enough attention to the panels or you guys are reading too much into this. The scene is reminiscent of real world problems and situations. Yes, in the real world little kids are dragged from their homes and sold as sex slaves everyday. Since, the very people, who are offended by it, are unable or unwilling to do anything about it. Comic books offer the solace that somewhere in a distant, imagined world, not too different from our own, superheroes exist to stop such criminality. That is the base philosophy of comics and that is what I saw in that scene

Colt said...

Invoking what happens in the "real world," when talking about a world where a fish-man commands giant squids and a man uses arrows with boxing gloves on the tips, is silly. It's not about whether it's plausible. It's about whether it really needs to be there, and whether it makes for a good story.

Shit, Superman could get possessed by Doctor Psycho tomorrow and rape his way through three continents at super-speed. But does anyone REALLY want to see that story?

Anonymous said...

just stop trying to accuse things of racism when there isnt . Im black and it pisses me off with you people always thining that if a black man is evil is racism

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