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And now... a cautionary Peanuts strip

Just to end the week on something other than a political post. Min! Don't you be coming around with any Glenn Greenwald stuff!

Oh, it's occurred to me!

By fnord12 | November 30, 2012, 3:42 PM | Comics | Link

Dave Barry got there first

And it was the Pinto Beans of Lust.

By fnord12 | November 27, 2012, 9:16 AM | Comics | Link

The saddest comic book ad toys

I recently bought Mail-Order Mysteries, a fun book that goes through all the ads for things like X-Ray Spex in old comic books and explains what you actually got. And while, as you'd expect, there's a big gap between promise and delivery on most of the products, these two, i think, would have been truly soul-crushing to anyone who managed to convince their parents to order them.

The first is from a very common ad. And you wouldn't think there'd be a bait and switch on this one. I mean, how much cheaper can you get than plastic soldiers?

These ads and many like them were drawn by comic book artist Russ Heath, co-creator of The Haunted Tank.

Answer: flat plastic soldiers.

Just don't look at them head-on.

The second one is just... i mean... that's just not fair.

Still better than the dinosaurs from Terra Nova.

Here's a blow-up of the "you must agree that these giant dinosaurs are everything that we say..." copy.

You must agree that we never said that they would look like the picture, or like dinosaurs.

By fnord12 | November 26, 2012, 10:54 AM | Comics | Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

I seem to have an insane number of books again. I guess this is two weeks worth? I collect too many comics. Which is a symptom, at least in part, of the fact that Marvel puts out too many comics.

Uncanny X-Men #20 - This one, anyway, is just late getting to me. I liked the scene with Illyana "curing" Colossus of the Juggernaut and the fact that it's all been part of a twisted way of getting her brother to understand her. I also enjoyed the Unit/Danger stuff. And the revelation that Mr. Sinister is still out there and tempting Cyclops come after him is cool too. So basically i'm saying i liked this book, even though it's a wrap-up to a series that i only started reading at the very end because of my belated discovery of Gillen.

AvX Consequences #4-5 - When Magneto said "Well, ladies... villains it is." at the end of issue #4, i actually got a little giddy. We've been talking about how AvX and Marvel's previous events have been doing a poor job of character development and just seem to forcing people into roles to fit a status quo that sounded good at a spitballing session, but i do actually like where some of these characters are landing. I think Cyclops as a radical mutant activist works really well. It's unfortunate that it took some really blunt force to get us here, and this little series shows you how well a writer who can handle dialogue and characterization can make this stuff seem natural. If this level of care was taken in the main series, there would have been less hair-pulling, but at least this series does exist to smooth things out. I should mention that there's a higher level problem with (cranky old man alert) comics today, in the sense that even this series was overlong, light on content, and didn't have great art especially from a storytelling/pacing perspective. But that's a bigger problem than Gillen.

All-New X-Men #1 - Unlike a lot of people on the internet, i actually like the concept here. The idea of bringing the innocent early X-Men into our present to show them a future gone horribly wrong is a nice inversion of Days of Future Past, and i think this has potential. I'm apprehensive of Bendis pulling it off instead of devolving into a series full of talking heads, but i'm hoping Immonen keeps him on track. There are a couple of problems with the concept. One is what i mentioned above; the entire universe had to kind of be warped into a series where Cyclops was a "bad" guy in order for this to work. And the other is that the earliest issues of the X-Men barely focused on anti-mutant sentiment, so it's almost too soon for them to really understand the implications of what's going on today. But i still think this series is promising, and nothing in this issue, not even the Out Of This World mutant, dissuades me yet. Although i will say that a Bendis book always starts off looking good and then goes nowhere, so we'll see.

Avengers #33 - Cute, with badly choreographed fights, but that's a given. I don't know when people's powers started weakening just because they shrunk into the Microverse, but i guess it wouldn't be much of a badly choreographed fight issue without that.

Avengers Academy #39 - I loved this. I imagine some people will complain that we had two downtime wrap-up issues in a row, but this series was never primarily about super-heroics and this was a nice ending.

Avengers Assemble #9 - I've really just about had it with DeConnick over in Captain Marvel, but i actually enjoyed the writing in this book. If the remit of the series is to write the Avengers characters in a way that fans of the movie would recognize, she did much better than Bendis in the first 8 issues and even provided some witty banter. The race to the North Pole or whatever was a little weak, especially as a way to settle the (forced, imo) differences in philosophy between Banner and Stark. But in terms of basic characterization i thought this wasn't bad. It's really hard for me to admit that, too, because as i write this, the face of the Hulk from the atrocious cover is staring at me and it makes me want to say that the whole book stunk because of it.

Avenging Spider-Man annual #1 - This plot would have been a three page back-up in Marvel Fanfare back in the day. A bit of a drag at annual length.

Avenging Spider-Man #14 - Cute but should have been a one-in-done. And since that's all i have to say about that, i'll talk about something that i've been wondering how or if Marvel might ever handle. And that's the fact that science is now pretty sure that some species of dinosaurs, especially the raptors that Spider-Man was fighting, had feathers, but they've never been depicted that way in the Savage Land, for obvious reasons. Do we need to explain that? Do we just start drawing them with feathers and pretend nothing's changed? Or do we stick to the classic look even though we now know it's wrong?

Captain Marvel #6 - Yeah, i just don't know what's going on here. The editors note in the lettercol is raving about feminism; i just see a really awkward and confusing time travel story that ending up meaning nothing. I do like the art better than in the earliest issues but it seems Dexter Soy is back next issue and i think we're done with this book.

Iron Man #1 - Why you do this to me Marvel why you put Greg Land on a Kieron Gillen book why you so bad don't be cruel take it back huh? The thing about artists (not just Land but especially Land) not being able to draw interesting fight scenes anymore is that you can't get me too convinced that the threat is anything spectacular. These AIM agents have Extremis? Well, Iron Man stopped them just by pointing at them. So what's the big deal? Beyond that, i just don't know how long i'm going to be able to tolerate images literally cut out of fashion magazines.

New Avengers #32-33 - That "Brother Voodoo. Shame on you." panel ought to be made into a t-shirt or something. Why isn't there a tumblr page? Issue #33 was basically a "Puppet Master makes good guys fight each other" issue except, again, the fights are uninteresting, even with Oeming on art. I'm amazed that Bendis wants to go out on a Brother Voodoo arc but i guess he's still got the Ultron thing coming up. I really wish they'd make Dr. Strange sorcerer supreme again; having him stand there for half an issue with SHIELD agents pointing guns at him is just humiliating.

Red She-Hulk #59 - So far this isn't really working for me but the problem i think is that Parker really wants to be writing a Machine Man book. Which i'm fine with, but i'm inclined to dislike Red She-Hulk (i demand more adjectives; when will Super Mega Fat Dancing Carpenter Red She-Hulk be released?), so hopefully soon Parker will start working his magic on her.

New Mutants #50 - While it's really nice to see Tyro again, his plot felt really crammed into this story. Which is just wrap-up issue symptom. Two artists in this issue. Felix Ruiz turns on the ugly filter for everyone. "Klebs" is not as obviously awful but not great. Still, as a final issue this was a nice reminder that this was a good series and that i wish Abnett & Lanning had a part to play in Marvel NOW.

Winter Soldier #12 - With this issue i'm thinking that maybe Brubaker has a bit too high an opinion of his character; i don't see him so easily defeating Wolverine or Daredevil. But with Guice drawing it's not like you can tell what the hell's going on anyway, so i guess it doesn't really matter.

X-Factor #246 - Pip!

X-Men Legacy #275 - Another "hah hah, here's another book you liked getting cancelled issue". And like Uncanny X-Men, it's another one i discovered late. But this was a good standalone story, with a fun use of Rogue's powers and a plot that also worked as part of a large theme. Rogueadillnox-Bull was awesome.

X-Men Legacy #1 - I could see how this book might work and i could see people liking it, but it was too much of a jumbled mess for me.

By fnord12 | November 21, 2012, 2:40 PM | Comics | Comments (3)| Link

Hang in there, Mary

From Hulk #4, Nov 1962:

Ok, so it didn't happen exactly like Mary suggesting, but it's pretty close.

Just another 45 years or so and you'll get your wish.

Not shown: Hulk's other son, his wife, and his father-in-law.  ALL HULKS!

By fnord12 | November 9, 2012, 10:57 PM | Comics | Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

AvX Consequences #3 - I'm enjoying the "Cyclops in prison" scenes although when you have to have your characters say "That's just the way things are" when they ask themselves why he's stupidly been put in a regular prison it means you probably don't have a great premise (but that's not Gillen's fault). I'm still not sure what's going on with the "Iron Man learns to love magic" theme; that surely can't be going anywhere. As for Hope, i haven't read a lot of X-books so that whole "I think like Sally, i run like Billy-Bob" sequence didn't mean a lot to me. Gillen's a great writer and i'd be happy if they cancelled all of Marvel's other books and just turned this title into Marvel Universe, but i'm worried that as this sort of aftermath side series it's not going to wind up being all that relevant.

Astonishing X-Men #55 - The storytelling is so bad in the art in this series. The whole morse code bit was lost on me; i couldn't tell who was tapping on what. And the fights were awful, and i still don't know what Gambit was holding up to Tyger Tyger's face as the X-Men were being loaded into the police van. From a story perspective, i'm pretty sure that loading up Karma's backstory with an angry long lost sister and a never-really-died father isn't improving anything. I also thought, thanks to the Marvel Sliding Timescale, that the vaguely placed flashback to Vietnam was hilarious. A narration caption that just said "Saigon. Before." and dialogue that does everything except mention the Vietnam War. Anyway, i guess we might as well stick around for the last issue of the arc.

Captain America #19 - The final issue of Captain America until next month. It seemed a bit weird for the end of Brubaker's run to be focused on Crazy 1950s Cap but i guess it worked well as a retrospective. One thing that i think may have been a mistake: Cap called Crazy Cap "William" at one point. As far as i know, Crazy Cap's real name was never revealed. But as shown in this story, the first Cap replacement was William Naslund (formerly Spirit of '76). At first i thought Marvel was tossing out the intermediate replacement Caps which had me quite alarmed(!) but then i saw that wasn't the case. The sequence (or even existence of) of Cap replacements probably seems a bit crazy to readers not already mired in this stuff, so calling Crazy Cap "William" was potentially extra confusing. But that aside i enjoyed this issue. It was nice to have Epting back for the end. And i'll certainly miss Brubaker.

Avengers #32 - Well, i wanted a Microverse romp and i got a copyright-free Baron Karza replacement, so i'm happy. The art in this issue was terrible - go back and look at the strange poses the Red Hulk is doing all over the place - but the story is fun so far. I have some friends who will not be pleased to see the return of Janet, but i'm about as affected by it as i was by her death ("Meh").

Journey Into Mystery #645 - It took the lettercol to make me realize the "swallow the lie"/bird-eating connection so i suspect generally there's a lot more to this series than my mainstream comic-addled mind is trained to see, but even at the level i'm able to grok it i've enjoyed it tremendously and i'm sad to see it end. Gillen elsewhere is good but this series has been great, so even though Gillen will be writing a Young Avengers book that has (an incarnation of?) Young Loki, it won't be the same.

Punisher War Zone #1 - It's funny because on the one hand any series where the Punisher holds his own against the Avengers is going to get my Nerd Goat up, but at the same time this is what it took to get me to buy a Punisher book. So now you know why the Avengers appear everywhere nowadays. Rucka handles this about as well as you can ask for, with Punisher going up against a reluctant Spider-Man first and then sending just the Black Widow after him, while Wolverine is actually helping Punisher behind the scenes. But at some point Punisher is going to be staring down Thor and Iron Man; i'm assuming Rucka has a twist waiting for us on that. Whoodwin stuff aside, so far this was good.

By fnord12 | November 5, 2012, 1:09 PM | Comics | Comments (10)| Link

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