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They've Gone Too Far

I think everyone is well aware of my love for Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice. I even want the P&P comic Marvel's putting out. But this....this is going too far.

According to the Sunday Times, Hollywood studios (I quote) are already fighting for the rights to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a Jane Austen rewrite that injects a little undead action and is due to hit bookstores in April.

Seth Grahame-Smith's novel apparently makes liberal use of Austen's original text, so far out of copyright that anybody could do anything they want to it with only the hordes of rampant Austenites to worry about. "About 85% is the original" says the author.

Grahame-Smith provides a sterling explanation of why the novel works in this brain-eating rerendering. "Why else in the original should a regiment arrive on Lizzie Bennet's doorstep when they should have been off fighting Napoleon? It was to protect the family from an invasion of brain-eaters, obviously."

As wnkr says: "That's...horrendous..."

H/T to slyn.

By min | March 31, 2009, 9:19 AM | Boooooks & Comics & Movies | Comments (1)| Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Guardians of the Galaxy #12 - What's with all this continuity between books? How's a new reader supposed to know what's going on? How will the trade read? ...and when did Maelstorm turn into such an imp? I like, but fans of talkink space dog am thinkink is no good.

Nova #23 - Man, the quantum bands are becoming the traveling pants* of the marvel universe. I liked how Dr. Necker tried to explain how AIM is working for a just cause (although there's nothing wrong with the original motivation). There's a lot to like about this book (Ego the Living Planet, the Fing Fang Foomer, the good dialogue and character moments...) but i'm still hoping there's a twist on the whole 'super-computer takes over humanity because its programming requires it to protect humanity and this is the most efficient way' theme.

Hercules #127 - The Olympus Group concept is a little too silly, but i'm still loving this series and all of its integrated mythology. Osborn's Dark Avengers are becoming a bit ubiquitous but i won't mind another Hercules/Ares confrontation. Ugh, but all these footnotes... what is this, a story or a research paper? This would be just about impenetrable to a new reader!**

New Avengers #51 - There's no point in dragging this out. I am the new sorcerer supreme. But i suppose it's only natural for all those lesser magicians to get into petty squabbles while they're still figuring it out. As always, i enjoy the interactions between the Avengers. I'm a little surprised to see Spidey giving away his identity again already - there was no actual need to do that so i wonder what the strategy is there after going through so much effort to wipe the memory of his identity out of everyone's mind. Not that i have a problem with it or how it was done, i'm just curious about why. I'm not 100% on board with the Hood's mystical business but i think it can be good.

Captain America #48 - As a single issue it may have felt like it wrapped up a little too neatly, but i think when read as a series it'll be ok. Still a great book, in any event. Needs Epting to be perfect, though. Why does it seem like Epting is the only artist that i miss?

Daredevil #117 - Daredevil is really crossing a line here, beating up on a private detective and apparently threatening lawyers as well. I don't know if the intention is to make him a more ambiguous character or if this is part of a plot line. I can't complain about the writing quality but this is a departure even from the Frank Miller version of the character. In any finite story, a character going down this path would not come out of it alive, but considering the fact that this is an ongoing book that can't happen. However, if they don't have a way out of it we'll never see the swashbuckling*** side of DD again.

All in all, some very good books this week. I did a little trimming of my pull list and now i pretty much only get books that i really look forward to, which is nice.

*i have never seen this movie and i don't really know if this is valid reference to it.

**i really like that footnotes seem to be coming back, even if it's "ironic".

***How do you like your buckles?

By fnord12 | March 30, 2009, 11:02 PM | Comics | Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

X-Force #13 - I like the way this book handled the upcoming cross-over. Instead of neatly wrapping up their plotline, they totally interrupted it, to the point where the team actually failed their mission. This is a good book, with a good team dynamic and good plotting. I like how Cyclops has this dark side; i don't know if that's the way he's portrayed in other books, but i think it does make sense for the character. I was disappointed that Boom Boom got killed; it didn't even occur to me that they can use the time travel device to reverse the death until min pointed it out. And, related to nothing, i was thinking that Cyclops, Angel, and Wolverine all have been 'touched' by Apocalypse in some way. Cyclops was possessed by him for a while or something, Angel of course was turned into Archangel by him, and Wolverine got his adamantium back from him (and i still like Walt Simonson's theory that Apocalypse was behind the Weapon X program the first time - it fit the character's MO). I only bring this up because Kyle & Yost seem really good at making all of these lame 90s villains interesting; i think they could do a lot to help out Apocalypse, who has been neglected and misunderstood since the Louise Simonson days.

Dark Avengers #3 - This was a great issue for the character development of Norman Osborn. Bendis did a lot to humanize him, even if we don't really believe that he was being earnest in dealing with the Sentry. Really great work. And of course, now he's potentially gotten access to Doom's technology. The fight scene against Le Fey and her demons was well done as well. Deodato did some really good layouts, and i loved that scene with Morgan riding the dragon. This has turned out to be a great book.

By fnord12 | March 26, 2009, 9:29 PM | Comics | Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Guardians of the Galaxy #11 - This was fine, and it's nice to see Stern-era Avengers villain Maelstrom again even if he is a bit more of a prancer than he used to be, but let's be honest with ourselves here: not a single talking dog, not a single talking raccoon, not a single talking tree. I mean, couldn't we have squeezed in a panel with a caption reading: "Meanwhile... back in the decapitated Celestial head." that showed Cosmo facing off against a particularly ferocious chew toy? Would that have been so hard?

By fnord12 | March 15, 2009, 10:22 PM | Comics | Link

March MODOK Madness


H/T Joshua

By fnord12 | March 15, 2009, 10:21 PM | Comics | Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Agents of Atlas #2 - I love everything about this: the crazy 50s super-science ghost story flashbacks, the modern interactions with second rate supervillains, the dialogue, the political maneuvering, the talking apes. It's just got everything you need in a comic book.

Avengers: The Initiative #22 - This, on the other hand, i can't love, no matter how much i try. Ramos' art is killing it, first of all, and the focus on Clor isn't the wisest move, but i think the problem has a lot more to do with me just not being able to like all these new characters. It's odd, because i remember how easily Gage made me like a bunch of New-Young X-Men that i had never read or cared about before in a single issue of the X-Men: Planet Hulk mini. It's just not working here. During Secret Invasion, there was a lot more focusing on pre-existing characters, and it kept me hanging on and even liking it, but since then it's very quickly become intolerable. Again, Ramos may be a major factor. But i'm dropping this. Here's hoping Gage gets a better book to work on because i'm still pretty sure he's a good writer.

Captain America #47 - As always, the book takes a slight hit when Epting skips an issue, but it's still top notch. I'm not sure if i enjoyed or was a little put off by Namor's grousing as he carried out his part of the plan. Right now i'm leaning towards liking it, but i think i was a little put off by it during my first read. Anyway, good stuff.

Daredevil #116 - Interesting character development for the Kingpin. Looking forward to seeing what comes of it... the preview art for next issue is intriguing.

Fantastic Four #564 - When you have a team with a reputation for lateness, putting out a Christmas issue in March is probably not a good idea, whatever the reality may be. More importantly, though, i really can't bring myself to care about any of this any more. And i think the scenes with Valeria and Franklin are just really damaging. Franklin gets younger and dumber every year, which is just stupid. Anyway, another drop. I stuck around for too long hoping it would get better.

Hercules #126 - Good stuff. Interesting choice to have a total flashback issue (except for the back-up) but i'm fine with it. My only complaint is if you're gonna do a several page text piece on the history of Hercules and his greatest accomplishments, how do you leave out the time he dragged the isle of Manhattan around on chain?

New Avengers #50 - Funny dialogue and good character moments in the set-up for the big fight with the Dark Avengers. I liked the acknowledgment that they just weren't on the Dark team's power levels (mainly due to Ares and Sentry) and needed to resort to more subtle tactics. I thought the twist of Osborn not taking the bait and sending in another group to do his dirty work was cool. And Hawkeye's scene at the end was just so logical that it seems like the obvious thing to do, and yet it's not the sort of thing that usually happens. I even thought the fight scene was fairly well done, which is rare for a Bendis book. On the downside, i thought the alternating artists was disorienting, especially the Ms. Marvel page, and i think the Hood's group of villains are somewhat mishandled. On the one hand, you have villains like the Slug, a second rate Kingpin who shouldn't even be fighting hand-to-hand as a grunt, and then you have the Wrecking Crew who should more or less be able to take on this team of Avengers all by themselves (i know, i know... i'm supposed to get over it). But overall, very good.

Nova #22 - I would say that while the plot developments are almost cliche at this point, everything is being done very well so it's ok. And this is just the set-up; we'll have to see where it goes. I do hope the group of non-Earthling Centurians (The Rigellian, the Fin Fang Foomian, the Shi'ar guy, and the floating head) stick around after this is all resolved.

Secret Warriors #2 - Alright, who the hell is the Gorgon? I know i'm supposed to know... Is he from the Wolverine Enemy of the State story? Google says... yes. And since when are Madame Hydra and Viper two separate women? And Kraken and the Hive? Anyway, they all seem interesting. I thought Phobos' predictions were an interesting development as well. And of course, Baron Von Strucker massacring a bunch of Skrulls with the Satan Claw and then blowing up his entire underwater empire and then casually swimming off to rebuild Hydra from scratch was a nice touch. I liked the glimpse into Hydra's recruiting policies - usually you're not supposed to really think about where all these terrorist groups with no apparent ideologies are recruiting their endless supply of goons. I'm still a little unsettled by the idea that Hydra has always been running SHIELD as it stands to undermine a lot of classic stories, but we'll see where it goes.

War Machines #3 - I stuck around hoping that the fight between Ares and War Machine would be interesting, but it wasn't. And everyone is so devoid of personality. It's all so bitter and dry and everyone's talking to everyone else on a view screen. It's hard to believe this is by the same guy that's writing Hercules. Oh well. Dropping it.

War of the Kings #1 - I continue to not have high hopes for this. Good fight, i guess between the Shi'ar Imperial Guard and the Inhumans, but it seems like the decision to leave was kind of arbitrary. I dunno, we'll see. It's only the first issue.

X-Force #12 - I enjoyed the explanation for Hrimhari showing up best. It made perfect sense and it just seemed right. I think the main plot is good too, with the team essentially falling for Bastion's trap and this Leper Queen being an interesting character. Shame to kill Beautiful Dreamer, though, even if i haven't seen her since that Power Pack / X-Men crossover 23 years ago.

Captain Britain & MI13: Secret Invasion - In some ways this was better than the Wisdom trade because it was a little more structured and had better craft, but on the other hand i think some of the strengths of that series, with its crazy Morrison-like ideas, was a bit lost in this run. Still, i enjoyed it. We'll have to see how it's doing now that it's not part of a crossover.

By fnord12 | March 11, 2009, 11:31 PM | Comics | Link

Marvel Sales


By fnord12 | March 6, 2009, 1:35 PM | Comics | Link

In defense of nerds


The New Yorker's Anthony Lane did not like The Watchmen:
"Watchmen," like "V for Vendetta," harbors ambitions of political satire, and, to be fair, it should meet the needs of any leering nineteen-year-old who believes that America is ruled by the military-industrial complex, and whose deepest fear--deeper even than that of meeting a woman who requests intelligent conversation--is that the Warren Commission may have been right all along.

Not to question what is, I am certain, the vibrant and thrilling sex lives of film critics, but I'm not so sure that "film critic" is much higher than "comic book geek" on the social spectrum. Moreover, what exactly do Lane's thoughts on comic book nerds have to do with the quality of the film? What does the reviewer grant the reader by insulting the film's intended audience?

I'm not going to argue with Lane over the quality of a film I haven't seen, but I really find it hard to understand why comic book fans are the subject of such persistent abuse. You'd think we clubbed baby seals for a living or perhaps sold sub-prime mortgages. The unbridled contempt for people who like comic books reaches something close to the feelings people have for parking cops and tax collectors.

Comic book nerds can count Barack Obama, Rachel Maddow and Patrick Leahy among us. We might also include some readers of Lane's magazine, given that it was only three or four weeks ago that I spotted an ad for February's New York Comic-Con in its hallowed pages. For some reason, despite the fact that comic fans have reached the highest levels of professional excellence in this country, the image of a comic fan remains that of a chubby teenager in his mom's basement clutching a two-liter bottle of Shasta.

I've never had a single sip of Shasta in my life.

By fnord12 | March 5, 2009, 9:44 PM | Comics | Comments (3)| Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Dark Avengers #2 - I whooped out loud when Morgan Le Fey got her head ripped off, and min had to run downstairs to see if i was ok. This is well written, well drawn, and with a good fight scene for a change. Nice stuff. Although i'm not sure i understand/buy how Morgan comes back. I would have accepted "It's magic!" more than the time travel explanation.

Guardians of the Galaxy #10 - I think it'll be good to have the down-to-earth Jack Flag around to point out all the oddities of the cosmic stuff (Like, one of your team members is a tree). I liked Flag in Thunderbolts but never thought i would see him again so this is a nice turn of events. I love the Fabulous Four comment from Star Lord, too. It's nice to see a group so far removed from the mainstream (*danger word*) marvel universe but still a part of it.

By fnord12 | March 3, 2009, 10:51 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link

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