I'm Just Sayin'…#59
by Greg Manuel on May 7, 2009

Okay everybody, first things first – as it turns out, ATOMIC ROBO AND THE SHADOW FROM BEYOND TIME #1 comes out this week…at least, in New York it does! Some of you lucky so-and-so’s probably got yours already, but as Stan as my witness, I am getting my copy this Shipment Day – ATOMIC ROBO FTW!

And with that solemn declaration, we kick things off this week here at…

An absolutely amazing interview with Mark Waid has been making the rounds around the web the past week. As always, Waid delivers great insight into the inner workings of the comic book industry, and his own experiences working with DC, to Marvel, back to DC and then back to Marvel, and down the list of his many great works within the Big Two. All of which makes it all the harder to reconcile that the same brilliant man speaking to AIN’T IT COOL NEWS is the same man who two weeks ago, gave us this:

I’m thankful that he didn’t say anything more about Spider-Man in this particular interview, although as I kept reading, I had to acknowledge that I’m not quite over his position on the Spider-Marriage. It must go to show just how much I looked up to the guy, to have his one opinion on one superhero affect me that deeply! But getting back to the interview itself, one thing that I found most fascinating was how he described the personal connection that he felt with Wally West – which probably shone through so distinctly during his tenure on THE FLASH that it’s probably the reason why most people associate him with the Flash before they think of any other title.

Now that I think about it, I think his description of how he identified with the way Wally interacted with women probably tells us something about the source of his attitude towards Peter Parker as a married man. That classic bit of advice has always been, “write what you know.” Could it be that Waid wanted to write an unmarried Spider-Man, because he wouldn’t have known how to write him any other way? Most curious…

And speaking of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN*, issue #593 is out this week, and the previews show that we’re gonna see Peter and Aunt May try to talk things out. And as  you would expect, it’s gonna get awkward:

Hmmm….well y’see, that’s not entirely accurate and Aunt May should know that. J. Jonah Jameson’s ill treatment of Peter has always been reserved for Peter-as-Spider-Man, which as of Mephisto’s actions in NO GOOD REASON have established, Jameson knows nothing about. As far as Peter goes, Jameson has actually been pretty good to him – consistently buying his photos despite no professional experience whatsoever, giving him a staff job with the Bugle when Mary Jane was pregnant, paying for his defense when he was tried for murder during the height of the Clone Saga…and that’s just off the top of my head.

And furthermore: “both”? What would “Jay” know about any of that? It was just established last issue – remember, this is just two weeks ago, not your usual month! – he’s been an absentee father for most of Jameson’s life! I know Mark is better than this kind of substandard writing, and I really don’t need Ryan going all neener-neener over Waid’s tendency to one-dimensionalize his antagonists & villains, *cough* FANTASTIC FOUR: UNTHINKABLE *cough*…

Quick Note: I loved “Unthinkable” and still do – just sayin’ what Ryan would say, is all… :-P

But I wanna move on to the next page, because therein lies the crux of this whole plotline…

Didja see that? Let’s go back and take another look…

…Hm. If the look on Peter’s face is any indication, it seems that we are in fact going there.

Now that the initial squick factor has passed, I really have to wonder if this was a path worth taking, because even if Peter has not ever had to face the idea of his surrogate mother effectively replacing his surrogate father in the most concrete way possible, to wit:

…okay, maybe it hasn’t completely passed yet…

But my point is, she may have dated since Uncle Ben died, but Aunt May sure didn’t do that with Doctor Octopus. Or Nathan Lubensky. Or Edwin Jarvis. That we saw, mind you. But when it’s all wrapped up, what will we have learned after this subplot is done:

(A) Aunt May is a human being who deserves to find a loving partner, especially after having lost one in such a tragic manner?

(B) The elderly do not cease to exist as sexual beings just because that’s not a visual the majority of us can handle?

(C) Peter can and must accept that his aunt has a right to move on after living alone for years?

or (D) Mark Waid just felt like throwing some naked Aunt May at us for funsies?

Who wants to help me out here with this? Because much like Mr. Jay up there, I feel like at least three of these bases have already been covered.

Now I wanna take a quick second and talk about a coupla comics that I think deserve a bit more love. I think in this day and age, we as entertainment consumers in general have to accept that not everything we enjoy is going to last as long as we might like. So as much as some of us might’ve liked to have had Dan Slott on SHE-HULK even to this day, it’s better that we had him for as long as we did get, instead of not at all. If only because he made a point to do something about this:

Ahhh, Chuck Austen…there’s a special ring in Fanboy Hell being built just for you.

So anyway, while we should be grateful for those comics that grace our shelves for just a little while, that doesn’t mean we can’t give a shout-out for those that deserve to be around just a wee bit longer than they will. For example, what about BOOM STUDIO’s THE MUPPET SHOW COMIC BOOK?

This one’s only getting four issues, and if you’re a fan of the old TV show like I was, and have read either of the first two, you’re probably thinking the same thing I am: just four?! Can’t we at least get twelve? SUPERMAN: BIRTHRIGHT got twelve issues, and that story doesn’t even count!

After reading the first two, I was blown away at how perfectly writer/artist Roger Langridge TOTALLY captured the feel of the television show, and translated it successfully to comic book format…

…I mean, I can swear I can hear Link Hogthrob’s voice!

Now, don’t get me wrong – I am glad it’s around, but THE MUPPET SHOW COMIC BOOK deserves not only a much longer run, but it deserves to be sold anyplace – anyplace! – that has a periodical rack.

And then there’s THE IMMORTAL IRON FIST – and what can we say about this property that hasn’t already been said?

The speculation on the fate of this comic has already been building up, as we’ve discussed here before. Quoting CBR.com reviewer Timothy Callahan: Apparently, “Immortal Iron Fist” will suspend publication for a short time while a handful of “Immortal Weapons” one-shots hit the stands. I’m not sure what will happen to this series after that – whether it will pick right up where it left off, if it will relaunch with a new first issue and maybe new members of the creative team – but this is a series that deserves a larger audience. It’s consistently good, and while the Swierczynski/Foreman run hasn’t been as surprisingly excellent Brubaker/Fraction/Aja days, it has been a comic that continues to push the boundaries of kung fu action in the Marvel Universe.

And that is why Marvel should make a commitment to this title 100% – any kung fu afficionado will tell you, even a bad kung fu movie, much like sex or pizza, is still pretty damn good, and even if you hold the same comparative opinion of IRON FIST right now as Callahan does in the quote above, you are still getting a great comic. Because now – to borrow a term from John Seavey – Danny Rand’s story has an engine that can yield a consistently satisfying tale with an easy enough format for any new creative team to get behind. Give us an adventure starring Danny Rand with a supporting cast from either Heroes for Hire/his fellow Immortal Weapons/New Avengers or Rand International…and sprinkle lightly with my favorite part of the comic – tales from the Book of the Iron Fist.

Just because Ed Brubaker’s not writing it anymore doesn’t mean you let something this good just fade away, Marvel. DARK REIGN will come and go. This is already guaranteed to be memorable!

So now I wanna give you guys the floor – what comic book or comic books are you reading, that you feel does not get enough love? Holler at me comic book heads, and until next week – I’m Greg Manuel, and I’m just sayin’, is all…

AND NOW, JUST CUZ I FEEL LIKE IT…

I absolutely love this poster – such a dynamic design! Those of you who’ve seen the movie – is it as good as it looks? I wanna hear from you too! Til next time, comic book heads!



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