Two Guys Talking About Comics: Stormwatch, Invincible, Our Disappointments, And More!
by Grey Scherl on February 6, 2012

 

Glazer:
Grey – do you believe in aliens?

Grey:
Yes, yes I do.

Glazer:
Do they look like us, like in Invincible, or are they giant ugly creatures like in Stormwatch?


Grey:
Hey, J’onn isn’t that ugly.

Glazer:
He is in his natural form though we don’t know if that’s in DCnU.

Grey:
His head got all finny.
But it really is an alien week, and DC is getting more and more like that. The truth is out there, dude.

Glazer:
Well, with that the case, let’s discuss the alien hub book – Stormwatch!
What happens this month?

Grey:
This issue has their ship exploding into real space after the AI Daemonite core decides to kill the humans. Apollo and Midnighter all but hook up, and Jenny actually does something. Jack goes city sized in a space ship to fight this thing, and the world may have just found out about Stormwatch just as they come together under new leadership. The issue was everywhere, and I think it actually may have worked.

Glazer:
This is the worst book I’ve ever read of Cornell’s and it’s still pretty good.
We have subplots galore here! The main plot, with Harry Tanner, seems to be on the back burner while new threat after new threat turns up.

Grey:
It really helps that Cornell’s presence has only really been note worthy for a few years. The closest to awful he’s done was the Reign of Doomsday
I think the Harry Tanner thing may have found the back burner as the book goes into a creative flux next issue.

Glazer:
His Dr. Who, I hear, was phenomenal. But, yes, his Marvel output was excellent as well, and Demon Knights might be my favorite of the new 52.

Grey:
His Dr. Who is pretty awesome.

Glazer:
See? He rules. This book, however, is a bit messy. It’s not that it’s bad, so much as there isn’t any depth to the characters.

Grey:
Did you notice how his arc ended with all of the non-established characters in literal limbo?

Glazer:
Yes, I did. So much for new stuff. Then again, Tanner should have just been Tao from Sleeper and Wildcats.

Grey:
It’s the same complaint I have with Andre Briggs in JLI, they should have just made him Jackson King.

Glazer:
Right – these characters exist, use them. See it done properly with Superboy and Fairchild.

Grey:
They integrated Wildstorm for a reason, and that isn’t to say don’t make new characters ever again, but why not use the vast library you just worked into your canon?
Gen 13 is being handled great, the concept is essentially rebooted, but all evidence points to the original roster being around with some familiar faces (Rose Wilson) mixed in.
The problem with inventing new ones all of the sudden is that people like us, who like Wildstorm, are tuning in looking for the characters we associate.
And while someone like J’onn is a natural fit, Adam One, The Projectionist, and Harry Tanner are just new characters in a book with an already big cast that could have been replaced with existing characters.

Glazer:
I’m pretty okay with the Projectionist being new. I want Henry Bendix

 

Grey:
She could have been Bendix or Void, or hell, Proxy from Batgirl.

Glazer:
I still think Wildcats get back together.

Grey:
Oh, of course, at the conclusion to the Daemonite event. I expect Spartan to debut soon!

Glazer:
I’d expect he or Zealot to turn up and save the day. We still have no Kherubim confirmation right?

Grey:
None at all. Voodoo is the half daemonite hybrid that may be a clone, and Grifter is a former black ops agent with psychic abilities that the daemonites want to kill because he knows they exist.

Glazer:
I can live without any majestic.

Grey:
Agreed

Glazer:
We already have Superman and Apollo. Is Shazam in DCnU?
Or is he Earth # whatever?

Grey:
I’m assuming he’s with them since he’s getting backups in JL.
There’s also Supergirl who is pretty f’ing strong in this universe.

Glazer:
Well, there we go. Enough without Majestic. Also notable, Spartan can handle the Superman role more or less anyway.

Grey:
Yeah, Majestic worked in WildCATS because they lacked someone like him in that universe. Supreme was the closest they got.
And he was just Image, not Wildstorm.

Glazer:
Then Apollo showed up.

Grey:
Then Apollo showed up and bitch slapped him.

Glazer:
Yes, well, that. And Cornell is not writing a convincing Apollo or Midnighter.

 

Grey:
God no, they’ve been the weakest links this entire arc.
Jack, J’onn, and Angie have been trying to support the book.

Glazer:
Well, Cornell’s gone. Think Milligan does better?

Grey:
We’ve got two issues of Jenkins first, but I think Milligan may bring something different to the table.

Grey:
Really, I think Cornell just hurt himself by going too big with the cast.

Glazer:
I feel like he was editorially castrated.

Grey:
How so?

Glazer:
Honestly, a hunch. This didn’t have the feel of one of his books and he’s suddenly off the book. That’s usually editorial stuff.

Grey:
I’ve heard that the creative shufflings have been knee jerk reactions to the incoming feedback, so I mean, it could have been that they just didn’t like the direction the book was heading it, or maybe Cornell picked up another project and didn’t want to stretch too thin.

Glazer:
I don’t buy that given how much was in the can when they started and that sales are guesses from retails until 4-6 months in.

Grey:
Krul and Green Arrow.

Glazer:
Krul isn’t a good writer.

Grey:
He’s not a bad writer either, you just refuse to forgive him for Rise of Arsenal.

Glazer:
Not true. He’s just so dull and his dialogue is some of the more unnatural in comics.

Grey:
But he was off that book after 2-3 issues, and if they had stuff in the can, they would have just launched with someone else. It was over before they had any sales in.
His Teen Titans was the most readable Teen Titans in years before Lobdell showed up to show him how to write teenagers.

Glazer:
I read some of it and didn’t like it anymore.

Grey:
I’m just saying that if editorial wasn’t agreeing with him straight up, nothing else, the book may have seen 3 issues.
So it was probably a mix, and maybe they have some more Demon Knights style content coming up from him.

Glazer:
I hope not – he’s versatile. I don’t want him in a niche.

Grey:
I don’t mind so much if that niche is crafting the secret history of the DC universe

Glazer:
I do. Demon Knights alone covers my needs there as much as I love it.

Grey:
I’ll take your word for it, DK got moved to trades for me.

Glazer:
It’s wonderful.

Grey:
I think Milligan might be a good fit for Stormwatch, to tie it all back together. The only book he has to tie into it is Red Lanterns, and that could make for an interesting crossover. I mean, so long as it was just a one issue thing and nothing more.

Glazer:
I don’t like Milligan I think. All I seem to like were Human Target and X-Statix.
Those were long ago.

Grey:
I’ve liked sporadic books by him over the years. I liked his X-Men, loved X-Static, and have really been liking JL Dark.

Glazer:
I didn’t like his X-Men and find JL Dark boring.

Grey:
It’s one of my favorite surprises of the relaunch.

Glazer:
It may be my biggest disappointment besides Batgirl.

Grey:
Batgirl, Batman and Robin, Red Hood, anddddd, let’s say Static.
Those are my big disappointments.
Oh, and Firestorm, which isn’t bad, but it’s just not very good either. It’s the ultimate so-so book when it should be something so much more.

Glazer:
Batman and Robin I wanted to like, but Tomasi has been bad enough lately that I wasn’t shocked.  I didn’t expect much of the others.

Grey:
I’ll say this, despite creative shuffles and missteps, DC is still having an easier time than Marvel getting my money.

Glazer:
I’d have to count. I feel like the Marvel books I like I like more, but I’m buying more DC.

Grey:
When DC messes up a book, I wait for the next creative team and try again, when Marvel messes up a book I wait another 3 years for them to debate trying a different writer.
There are some Marvel books that are just phenomenal and hard to compare to anything else on the market, but I’d say the same about some DC books.
But all around, Marvel is burning my bridges instead of just pushing me off of them. The Avengers line I’m only on the fringe of with Academy and Secret, in the last year I’ve dropped Cap, Iron Man, Thor, all their spin offs, and I haven’t thought to look back.

Grey:
I don’t read ANYTHING by Bendis anymore.

Glazer:
Iron Man is excellent again, and you’re missing Journey into Mystery which might be my favorite Marvel book.

Grey:
I saw Detroit Steel wasn’t dead a few issues ago and I dropped it. The cursing dwarf was there, Tony was in AA, and….as much as I wanted to see what the Mandarin was up to, Fear Itself just completely beat the giving a crap out of me.

Glazer:
I love Mandarin. That annual 1-shot bought a lot of leeway.

Grey:
That annual kept me on this book an extra six months.

Glazer:
I just didn’t buy the FI issues. It was a good decision.

Grey:
But that Fear Itself aftermath issue where everything gets rebooted just sealed it.
Fraction spends an entire arc dealing with the atrocities of war and the destruction of Paris, and then he has a God snap their fingers and fix it.

Glazer:
If you read FI, I’m sure it’d be terrible.

Grey:
To see the guy who wrote the crappy event personally retcon out the stuff his actual tie ins covered just hurt my brain.

Glazer:
Again, your fault for reading that b.s.

Grey:
Yeah yeah, I kept forgetting to drop it, but now it’s gone and I do not miss it.
Captain America I never added, so it didn’t need to be dropped.

Glazer:
We are amazingly off topic.

Grey:
We do that.
So let’s get back on track by going to someone more Invincible than the Invincible Iron Man.

Glazer:
We should rate SW first

Grey:
Oh yeah!
This issue I’d give a 7 to, really just for being the most coherent issue since the first, and really, that 7 is my rating for Cornell’s run on the book. It was good, nothing mind blowing or game changing, but it was good.

Glazer:
I’ll give it a 6. I think the series has been a solid 6. Better art could have taken it to another level, but I’m not over Midnighter’s chin horn.

Grey:
Midnighter as a whole is the worst part thus far, but I actually like the art and am happy that Sepulveda will be hanging around.

Glazer:
Fair enough – on to a book I have no complaints about – Invincible!


Grey:
I have a complaint, though it’s the same complaint I have every 2-4 issues.

Glazer:
Which is?

Grey:
Kirkman rocks the status quo too often
He never really explores one, he just sets it, does an issue or two, and then changes it.

Glazer:
I have enough comics that keep the status quo exactly the same for years on end that I actually love that Invincible does not!

Grey:
I don’t think it needs to, but back in the early days of the book he’d let it sit for six to eight issues before turning it upside down.

Glazer:
Right, but he’s a lot busies now. I’d prefer 6-8 issues too, but I understand and appreciate the way it’s going.

Grey:
I’m not saying any super long termers, just a little bit longer so that I care that things are changing instead of just expecting it.
Because the rate he changes the status quo, I don’t care about it because I know it won’t last.

Glazer:
I pretty much always care because at this point I care about Mark.

Grey:
Every few months I say I’m done with Invincible, but if the end Kirkman teases here come to pass next issue? Yeah, I’d be totally done.

Glazer:
I’m so okay with it. He’s yet to disappoint me with how he delivers on his big shocks.

Grey:
Remember how much we hated him for Eve’s one issue death?

Glazer:
Yes, but he paid it off!
And it made sense!

Grey:
That’s why we kept going!
But I remember after that issue both of us were all like “I think this is my last arc, I can’t believe he killed her”
Which, if nothing else, speaks volumes about Kirkman’s abilities to build up a supporting cast.

Glazer:
And then it was still awesome. The trust is earned at this point.

Grey:
It is, but he makes it so hard sometimes!
His last page cliffhangers are MURDER!

Glazer:
That’s the idea!

Grey:
This issue was a reminder of why we love Invincible, and why his little brother is the Scrappy Doo of this book.

Glazer:
I enjoy that he’s a hateful little prick. I so know kids like that.

Grey:
I do too, but he’s just too….into the hate. The kid has had no real personality since he was unkilled after the Viltrumite War.

Glazer:
I’d guarantee this is a later plot point.

Grey:
He’s going super villain.

Glazer:
I don’t think so at all.

Grey:
Look at this issue, Allen and Oliver show up with the Scourge Virus and are met by Mark, well, that’s last issue, but Thragg shows up to join Mark, and that’s where this issue picks up. With Allen and Thragg, ruler of the Viltrumites, discussing the ethics and forging an uneasy deal.
And that conversation, honestly, is one of the most awesome things Kirkman has done in this book in the last year. This guy who exists only to beat you into atoms is talking the merits of peace over potential botched genocide.

Glazer:
Everyone learns and evolves.

Grey:
And then Oliver flips out and tries to kill everyone.
Wait, no, at some point in there the Guardians of the Globe show up and Invincible has to beg Thragg to not slaughter all of them.
That part had me rolling.

Glazer:
Oliver does that to try and use the virus on earth!
And yes, me too. I enjoy Thragg.

Grey:
Which, if things are good, kills the Viltrumites, and if they’re bad? Kills everyone on the planet. Oliver does not care, and probably would prefer to kill all humans anyway since Mark’s mom isn’t on Earth. Doesn’t care about Eve or anyone else.

Glazer:
He isn’t a sociopath, but believes it’s for the greater good.

Grey:
I think he’s a little bit of a sociopath, he’s reasoning was that he personally didn’t care.

Glazer:
He doesn’t care because he considers humanity bad.

Grey:
Though he was raised by humans.

Glazer:
He was raised by a human. And studying human history it’s easy to conclude people suck.

Grey:
I just think that he’s quickly becoming too broken of a character and needs to have his path righted soon. Though given what happens to him in this issue, he’s either going to get on the right path, or go full over into villainy.

Glazer:
I really don’t see the villainy thing yet.  This series has veered too far into shades of grey for that.

Grey:
Well, it all depends on what happens to Mark and how Oliver reacts to it. Was it a tragedy? Or was it what had to be done?

Glazer:
I just don’t see any real villains in the story anymore.

Grey:
It’s weird when you can say that about a book where a dinosaur man destroys Vegas, and evil aliens essentially hold the world hostage until they get amnesty.

Glazer:
Ha, right, which is why it’s so good.

Grey:
It’s a great book, a little stressful sometimes, but great.

Glazer:
Stressful in the right way, I’d argue

Grey:
I didn’t say the bad way.
I REALLY hope the cover to next months is just a poke at Ultimate Spidey.

Glazer:
Just noting – stressful has a negative connotation.

Grey:
Hahaha

Glazer:
So a rating?

Grey:
It gets the average Invincible rating of 8.5.

Glazer:
I can go up to a 9. My book of the week, with ease.

Grey:
The Boys is mine.
This is in the running for #2 though.

Glazer:
I don’t get The Boys and this is the only indy book I got this week since my shop was shorted Severed.  

Grey:
The Boys was a major ‘oh shit’ issue, which is going to be probably every issue from here on out. It’s nearing the end, so everything gets to blow up real good.


Glazer:
Makes sense – Ennis is great at climax.

Grey:
This issue had two characters die, and another get maimed. I won’t specify if these are good or bad guys, but I probably said “oh shit” five different times in the issue.

Glazer:
Nice. I liked Invincible because I cared.

Grey:
That’s why the average Invincible score is an 8.5, because it’s hard not to care if you’re a long term reader.

Glazer:
If you’re not a long term reader, get the start of this series! Goodnight everybody!



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