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« Comics: September 2008 | Main | Comics: November 2008 »

Comics

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

New Avengers #46 - Nice focus on the villains. I think it would have been cooler to see a division between the more "street" villains splitting with the more arch-villain types (the Wizard, Madam Masque) over whether or not they should have gotten involved, but that's just me. Tying the Hood's powers into Dormammu is interesting, i guess, but i hope they don't start upping his power levels too much. I like him as a low powered villain with a lot of ambition.

Secret Invasion #7 - Big issue long fight scene. Well told. Yu's faces stink but he's pretty good with storytelling. Waiting for the conclusion befre final judgement.

Thunderbolts #125 - This was a good conclusion to this arc, but about a quarter of it is a total repeat of scenes from Secret Invasion #7, which is just the reality of modern crossovers, but i don't really like it. Plus i wouldn't be surprised if Gage was phoning it in just a little bit since he's getting kicked off the series after loyally waiting in the wings and doing fill-ins all through Ellis' run. But that's just me being bitter; i shouldn't project it onto Gage. I did have a problem with the art style - a little too clean or something. Not bad, just not to my taste.

Captain America #43 - A straight take on Batroc, which is nice. Nice start to a new arc, not much to say at this point. Fill in art by Luke Ross isn't bad, but i always miss it when Epting isn't there.

Daredevil #112 - Good stuff. I'm glad to have some Brubaker Iron Fist now he's no longer writing his book.


By fnord12 | October 30, 2008, 6:15 PM | Comics | Comments (0)| Link



And another thing!

While i'm grousing, i want to complain about lines of reasoning like this:

And in any case, we're dealing with "Marvel time" here anyway, where the passage of time across different titles is never quite consistent to begin with (which is why Kitty Pryde could age five years in the time it took Franklin Richards to age three.)

I get the sliding timescale and the fact that the timing doesn't have to be absolute, but Franklin Richards is such a young age because he was aged to adulthood, stayed that way for over a year, and then was de-aged back to where he started at, giving Kitty Pryde and others plenty of time to age past him. So please stop using that as an excuse for not keeping good track of the timing of your plots.


By fnord12 | October 17, 2008, 3:04 PM | Comics | Comments (2)| Link



Oh god, fnord talks about One More Day *again*

Marvel seems to be backing away from some of the continuity changes that resulted from One More Day, now saying that some of the changes that seemed to be a result of Peter's deal with Mephisto were in fact things that happened subsequently in the gap between the end of One More Day and Brand New Day. This includes Harry's return from the dead and everyone forgetting Spider-Man's identity.

Here:

>1) If everything in continuity happened, except for the "I do", how come dead people are back? (Basically a Spider-man continuity question, what did OMD change, although I'm guessing, that's the definition of upcoming story lines.) >

I think people are more vexed by this than they would typically be, and it's really our fault for folding a number of things together and doing it all at once rather than parsing things out. But we wanted to get to the "meat" of the new status quo faster rather than slower, and nobody wanted to go through six months of "try-to-explain-stuff" stories to start out with.

People come back from the dead all the time in comics, and all the time in Spider-Man comics. Norman Osborn was dead for years, and now he's alive. Aunt May was dead, and now she's alive. Pick any villain--dead, then alive. Happens all the time. Putting One More Day aside for the moment, if we just did an issue in which, on the last page, there was a knock on Pete's door and Harry Osborn was standing there, back from the dead, nobody would think twice--you'd just wait for the backstory, and you'd either buy into it or you wouldn't buy into it.

That's precisely what's happening here. Harry's return doesn't have anything to do with Mephisto's deal, and the circumstances surrounding it will be revealed and covered in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #581-582. So yes, everything in continuity happened except for the wedding.

And here:

>Does Peter remember that he revealed his identity to the world? If so, how come he doesn't wonder why the whole world forgot? If not, then that seems to be a lot more changes than just undoing "I do."

Posted by superscribe on 2008-10-08 14:45:47>

You're making a couple of understandable leaps in logic here based on what little we've shown so far. But as with the earlier Harry Osborn example, this is actually quite simple, and will be very easy to understand once we get to telling the story of specifically how this happened. But for now, all you really need to understand is that Spidey did unmask to the world, and then, during that gap of time between the end of "One More Day" and the beginning of our run, something occurred to erase this knowledge from the minds of everybody on Earth (with the exception of Peter himself.) Peter makes passing reference to this during "New Ways To Die" when he first encounters a Norman Osborn who doesn't know he's Spider-man and thinks to himself something along the lines of, "That thing we did is working! He no longer has any idea who I am!"

So Peter knows exactly what transpired to eliminate knowledge of his identity, and that this action wasn't caused by Mephisto but by something else. (Which makes perfect sense when you think about it, in that, in a world in which Peter was never married, there wouldn't have been a deal with Mephisto in the first place--there would have been nothing to bargain for.) And that puts us right back to where we started: one thing has changed, and that is the marriage not happening. I realize this can be tough to grapple with given that we haven't actually covered a lot of this ground in print yet, but that was specifically because we all felt that spending the first year doing stories about the fallout from "One More Day" would have been like pulling teeth for everybody involved, fans and creators alike. But the story if the identity erasure is planned, and you should see it in 2009.

Now, i'm characterizing it as Marvel backing away from the earlier position. Brevoort is saying that this was the plan all along. I don't really believe that. If it is true, they did a really poor job of managing what was already a controversial reboot by adding confusion-fuel to the fire. But either way*, i am liking this new/clarified status quo a lot better. I have absolutely no investment in the marriage per se, and i agree with a lot of the points about how the marriage was a mistake. But i don't like continuity reboots and what they did with Brand New Day was an unprecedented and dangerous act for Marvel continuity. If you have events in your continuity that are clearly mistakes, you have to live with them, or find ways to reverse them that work within your continuity.

In other words, i disagree with this:

I've heard assorted people say that it would have been better or more acceptable if A) Loki had been behind "One More Day", B) Peter and Mary Jane had just gotten a divorce, or C) fill in your own eventuality here. But I think that's a crock. I think that if we'd gone any of these routes, there'd be just as many people upset with the story, and just as many people saying that version A, B or C destroyed the character, raped their childhood and offended their sensibilities. I don't think the problem people have is with the methodology so much as with either the elimination of the marriage itself or with their feelings that the time and money they've spent on twenty years worth of Spider-Man comics was all wasted - and those sentiments would still be present in any of these other scenarios, to one extent or another.

I may not be representative of the larger fan base, but i doubt i'm too far off. There's always going to be a negative reaction to retcons of any kind, but i think the level of outrage over this one in particular had less to do with the reversal of the marriage and the fact that it was a wave-the-fairy-wand continuity reset.

This 'clarification' or whatever you want to call it makes the impact of the continuity reset a lot smaller. Even though this gets them to the same end place, it's a slightly better way of getting there. By backing away from the "big reset" (again, my suspicion/interpretation), Marvel is signaling that they've learned a lesson. And/or i think the Spidey-Marriage is the one thing that Marvel editorial & corporate felt so strongly about that they were willing to push the reset button on and take the heat for. Either way, i think the danger of Marvel becoming "Crisis" prone is reduced from my earlier fears.

Taking this one step further, though, and now seeing how they're handling some of the "subsequent" elements of the reboot (i mean things like Harry's return and Spidey's ID) i wonder if Marvel could have gotten away with doing away with the marriage a little more subtly. Maybe 6 months of stories with Peter and MJ having major trouble with their marriage, with a re-emphasis on their youth (due to the sliding timescale) and then something like this:

"Hey, what's this article? 'Public official arrested for marriage fraud? Oh my god, MJ, that's the guy that married us!"
"What does it say?"
"It says he was arrested for faking the marriage licenses for people he didn't feel should be getting married, and not really filing the license with the state. People of mixed ethnicities and... people who were very young."
"Oh my god, Peter! We were so young when we got married. Do you think...?"
"We'll have to call and find out, MJ, but maybe... maybe if he did to it to us..."
"...yeah. Maybe it would be for the best."

And then close the loop with a heartfelt issue and then never talk about it again.

Is it stupid? Unrealistic? Yes. But compared to the devil showing up in your living room and doing you a favor...?

Anyway, that's done with. At least One More Day didn't turn out to be as big as it seemed.


*While i was writing this, Brevoort came out with another installment of his Q&A and printed the following:

>How come everyone claims the only thing changed by Mephisto was the undoing of the marriage; while Spider-man's bio on Marvel's own web page clearly states that the wiping of people's memories and the return of Harry was caused by Mephisto. >

Because nobody involved with that bio bothered to check with the folks actually working on the comic; the guys who wrote it drew their own conclusions based on what had appeared in the books. Thanks for pointing that out, by the way - I've since spoken to the people in our online department and gotten that bio corrected and updated. It was an error.


By fnord12 | October 17, 2008, 3:04 PM | Comics | Comments (3)| Link



SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Age of Sentry #2 - I liked the two Nick Furies thing (admittedly in part because it made my "Carol Danvers didn't have powers yet!" objection to the first story go away; clearly whatever is going on here isn't supposed to be in continuity), but other than that it's too much cute and not enough weird. Sticking with my decision to drop it.

War Machine #34 - I thought this was fine. I liked the flashbacks in Rhodey's past a lot, and i didn't really bat an eye at Russia and the Soviet Super Soldiers Winter Guard's stupid behavior. They always act like that, so it seemed in character to me, even if it is groan-inducing. But i get why others wouldn't like it, and it definitely isn't top work from Gage.

Mighty Avengers #19 - This was a terrible waste of pages. There's literally about 2 pages of plot here and the rest was just... not even filler, it was just nothing. Terrible.

Guardians of the Galaxy #6 - This, on the other hand, is great stuff. Great characterization, some actual plot resolutions, good art. And yay, Cosmo isn't bad! The cover (which shows Major Victory fighting Starhawk) seems to be out of sync with the series, though, furthering my belief that the Secret Invasion crossover really was a last minute insertion. But hey, if it helps sales and keeps the book from being cancelled a little longer, i'm all for it, and the plot did tie in to the main story after all, albeit in a roundabout way.

Also this week there was an interview/tribute to Sal Buscema, which i appreciated. It's nice when we recognize people before they die every once in a while. Especially someone like Sal who was a real workhorse at Marvel in the 70s and doesn't have the reputation that he deserves. Not only did he work on an insane number of books, but he always kept a steady Marvel house style that ensured a consistency among their books, and it was pretty good art as well. When he had less books to concentrate on at once, his art was actually quite good. He's the definitive Hulk artist for me, for example.


By fnord12 | October 17, 2008, 7:22 AM | Comics | Comments (3)| Link



Dracula is smooth with the ladies

Who's the pasty old vamp
That's a sex machine to all the chicks?
(Dracula!)
You're damn right

Who is the man
That would bite the neck of his brother man?
(Vlad Dracula!)
Can ya dig it?



By fnord12 | October 14, 2008, 12:48 PM | Comics | Comments (0)| Link



She Loves You

(thanks, Wanyas)

By min | October 14, 2008, 10:23 AM | Comics | Comments (9)| Link



Marvel Sales

August


By fnord12 | October 6, 2008, 3:21 PM | Comics | Comments (0)| Link



Bacon Egg!!!!!

One Fine Day Yen Plus Manga: Bacon Egg!

By fnord12 | October 6, 2008, 9:38 AM | Comics | Comments (2)| Link



The Big A



By fnord12 | October 6, 2008, 9:37 AM | Comics | Comments (0)| Link



SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Fantastic Four #560 - I go up and down with this series, and i'm on the upswing with this one. Certainly it's not great. The dystopian future is not very different than a million others we've seen, and the 'reveal' regarding the future Invisible Woman was very hamfisted. But otherwise, it's reasonably well told; a fine adventure story. Hitch's faces sometimes doesn't look that great and it needs brighter colors, but otherwise it's good art. If it's ok with everyone, though, i'm going to pretend that the Dr. Banner in this story is in fact a future version of the Hulk, and not his son. Maybe at some point he decided he didn't want to let on that he's immortal so he faked his death and replacement.

X-Force #7 - This was a good downtime/build up issue that shows that Kyle and Yost are pretty good with characterization. I was thinking that with a little more coordination with another X-title, this proactive thing could be taken a little further, with maybe the idea that since Bastion's scheme is already reaching the surface it's too late for the X-Force team to go after him, so the X-Men will handle that and they go after the Vanisher instead. But even without that, i'm enjoying it. And of course, with the Vanisher picking up the Legacy virus, they continue the theme of throwing in every past X-Men plot into the mix, which i enjoy.

Daredevil #111 - I didn't like the idea of a "Lady" Bullseye, but her origin was done well. I like the idea of the Hand trying to be cautious after so many defeats, but they need an actual win or two under their belt to head off the Dr. Doom effect, if it isn't too late already. Oh, and cross the super-obscure Dakota North off the list of the few Marvel women that Matt Murdock hasn't banged.

Mighty Avengers #45 - I was actually thinking that when the Scarlet Witch re-wrote reality, that some of the undercover Skrulls might have actually become the people they were imitating, since Wanda wouldn't have known any differently. I guess that would have kind of ruined the plot of Secret Invasion, though. This was good, and i liked the Annihilation tie-in as well.

Avengers: The Initiative #17 - Fun stuff, although Ant-Man isn't quite the cowardly ass that he was in Kirkman's run; i don't think he'd even bother taking pictures of the big Skrull secret and trying to warn anyone. Also, wasn't Devil-Slayer replaced by a Skrull - my brain can't handle multi-part stories anymore as i can't seem to remember anything.

Thunderbolts #124 - Norman Osborn continues to rule. Didn't love the art, though.

Nova #17 - Ah, Project Pegasus. The last time i saw Darkhawk, though, he was part of that team in Runaways that didn't want to be superheroes anymore. I know they had their own series or mini for a while, maybe he changed his mind then? Or maybe he was the one who still secretly wanted to be a superhero but was trying not to because of his rage issues (stupid brain). The Nova/Darkhawk reunion was great, with Rich demonstrating his war experience. Heh, Sherlock.

Captain America #42 - Hmm. i enjoyed this, but i wonder if the Red Skull's plot fell apart a little too quickly. And i thought the fact that Sharon had a miscarriage was a little too neat. But again, this was good. Epting's art looked a little funny, so i double checked the credits and saw that there was a second penciller and three inkers. Guess the issue was running late. It was still fine and i appreciate that they brought in help rather than have the issue be late. I love Zola Skull, but i thought it was odd that Zola referred to the Skull as "master", especially since he otherwise was talking like they were partners, which is how their relationship has been represented in this arc.


By fnord12 | October 6, 2008, 7:38 AM | Comics | Comments (0)| Link



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