Weekly Misadventures Of A Comicsaholic
By Sebastian Howard
Editor’s Note: The foul mouthed filthy comic fan is back! Read at your own risk!
Sorry for my absence and a big apology to John Babos for dealing with me (Widro doesn’t care when I get stuff in, but John definitely does). I’ve just been too damn busy… and well lazy to get a column in lately. I’ve been hanging out with friends a lot, registering for college, dealing with court shit, and trying not to get kicked out of my house… add my 200 mgs of Zoloft and my general laziness and you can see why I haven’t been posting much. I’m definitely going to try to remedy that lately, and try to get a comic column in, if not weekly, at least bi-weekly.
For the last two days I’ve been in a constant haze of pot smoke, and had an all day session of playing Smackdown vs Raw 2006, and Here Comes the Pain at my bud Nick’s house. See what I love about Nick is that he’ll literally bring his girlfriend over (who’s a cute chick, but sounds like a stoned valley girl) and make her WATCH him play wrestling videogames. That’s some funny shit. Nick tried taking HCTP from me, but I wasn’t going to let that shit happen, and had to hit him with an F5.
I also went to a big party about a week ago, and got extremely drunk. It was nice for the most part, lots of cute girls there (who all had boyfriends THOSE FUCKS!!) but the party was celebrating this chick, Sammy’s graduation. The problem is that her boyfriend was a big, like 6’3 dude who was an asshole, made everyone listen to his shitty raps (and he rapped through a fucking vape pen!!!), was “half-queer,” and bragged about himself constantly. I got drunk enough to wrestle him, mind you I’m only 5’9 and weigh 148 lbs, while this guy is 6’3 and probably weighed in at about 200, and he threw out my back big time with a front facelock. AND THEN he German Suplexed me! So my backs been pretty bad for the last couple days, and I just got over a ridiculously painful sore throat… and let me tell you, all the smoking I do didn’t help my throat a bit. So I’ve been a bit out of it lately, and I’ve been taking a lot of Benadryl to go to sleep, so my mind and my body have been pretty out of it lately.
As far as comics go, Jesus, you have got to feel bad for anyone trying to make a good, long term story with a major comic these days. Every time a writer gets the ball rolling, and has a bunch of other plot points, and other stuff to continue, or conclude Marvel or DC decides to do a major reboot, or giant crossover, and the writers have to start from scratch. I can only imagine the amount of anger, and frustration at having to start all over again…. Again. It’s funny to compare comics today to those of the 70s and 80s. Technically comics today, from a story standpoint are just as good, or could be just as a good… or even better than the classic comics (though, with very different tones, and most people who treasure the 70s/80s comics like them more because of the atmosphere then the stories being “better” than comics today), the problem is that Marvel and DC constantly think that they’re going to get a bunch of money and increase interest in comics by doing this; while in the 70s and 80s the writers had time to feel around, and find out what worked, and what didn’t, and incorporate those elements into making a better title. The last major crossover that really worked was the original 52, and that was because the concept was so ballsy. All the big super heroes were GONE and the main guy protecting the city was Booster Gold! I’m not sure what the sales figures were on it, but it was an interesting, different concept that I’m sure had a lot of people taking notice.
Now the new 52, or Marvel’s Ultimate stuff is more of the same. The only stories that you really hear comic fans generally talk about from those are the two big ones, Batman (and that’s because of who’s writing it more than the concept) and Ultimate Spiderman (which is more because they had the balls to turn Spiderman black). The only other title that I can think of people talking about outside of comic sites were Amazing Spiderman, and that was only when Doc Ock became Spidey and the entire concept changed. Marvel didn’t have the balls to really go through with it for a long period of time, but at least they held out on changing Parker back to his body for a while.
My main point being that fans outside of the comic book world don’t get excited for comic book reboots, and crossovers anymore. I’m sure that in the 80s they did because it was a new thing at the time, but what gets people is new and interesting concepts that turn the characters or the concept of the story on its head. But Marvel and DC are generally too scared to make any important changes to their characters, or at least any changes that will have lasting effects. So we’re stuck with the same old formula until someone can kick Marvel/DC in the ass and make then change direction. The only thing that’s stopping Marvel/DC from becoming completely lazy is the competition, not from each other but from surprising independent titles like Sweet Tooth, and Chew, which were doing great sales wise, and critically. Companies like Vertigo are the only haven for comic book fans who want to read a continuing story without everything being reset every 20-30 issues.
And that’s enough of that. Let’s look at some of the Fulton approved comics of the week huh?
Oh, and a pimp to Jones for pulling a column straight out of my head.
Oh and one more thing before I get started, I’m going to have to stop doing the retro reviews… at least for a while. My computer was running out of space, so I deleted all my old comics except for my Hellblazer and Transmetro collection. I might get them back at some point, but for now I’m just going to go with new comics until I get bored of them.
Bucky Barnes The Winter Solider 8:
Pretty cool cover here as it shows Bucky aiming at planets trying to destroy them to save his universe. Very sleazy, old school cover.
James said this is about Barnes’s drug experiences, so I’m assuming that he’s just tripping ass the entire time. I have to agree with James here, the art is very beautiful, and has a touch of creepiness to it to. It’s kind of like acid, whereas you feel more comfy in an environment you’re used to, but if you end up somewhere dark, or a place you feel unsafe you’re not going to have the best time…
So we get three pages of a giant ass dinosaur chicken… it’s one of those goddamn dinosaurs that can fly and he’s telepathic. What’s cool about the art here, for me is that the artist pretty much draws the scene straight, and to most people this situation would look terrifying, but Barnes is getting flown around by Ptero (the dinosaur) and they both trust each other so much, and look to be having such a good time that you can tell they are… even though the situation to just about anyone else would be terrifying.
What the fuck did Barnes take, DMT? I’ve NEVER tripped that hard on Acid… Jesus.
Dammit, it’s Loki and he looks super creepy and old.
Final Thoughts: This issue is definitely something you need to see, rather than something that can really be described. It’s a very nice art issue, but the thinking by Barnes is very sporadic, and very stereotypical of what people THINK people who do drugs think like while on them. Barnes thoughts are just so all over the place, unless you’ve read the issues leading up to this and analyze it very carefully I don’t think you’re going to get much insight into the character. A nice issue for the art, but that’s about it.
Captain American and the Mighty Avengers 8
Very generic cover of all the heroes looking really depressed and shocked about something off the cover.
The issue starts off with a letter written by Luke Cage telling anyone if they have trouble to call the Avengers. The problem is, the way he writes it he makes it seem like a promotional thing, and realistically I could see people calling in to meet Captain America, or some other famous super hero instead of calling just because they’re in trouble.
I’ve never read this title before, so I was a bit taken aback by how old Cap was. At the same time, I think they did a great job with his character, as he’s more pissed off and bitter, but still doing what he considers the right think. The art is also really well done on him, as he still has all of Caps facial expressions and is clearly an older Cap.
Basically, Cap used some gems that weren’t supposed to exist anymore, to stop all the Universe’s best minds (Strange, Richards, etc…) from destroying other Earths to protect their universe. The problem with this being, for Cap to dissuade the world’s greatest minds from a plan they already all agreed on, he’d need a much better counter proposal than just playing on their consciences… I would think anyway.
Cap’s counter proposal was to use the Infinity Gems… the problem being here is that Secret Wars is still happening so he didn’t really stop all the worlds from colliding but I guess stopped his world from being destroyed without destroying any of the other worlds? I don’t know, this arc is very confusing and complicated, especially if you have to look at it from the view of the other universe’s… which you do to follow the story in any cohesive sense. Which is obnoxious because you basically have to read a bit of every comic involved in the Secret War story to follow it.
Strange kicked Cap’s ass with his magic and kicked him out of the meeting. Again, this issue doesn’t really do a good enough job of explaining why they didn’t use the Infinity Gems, and what they could’ve done to prevent the collision and ending of their Earth anyway. I’m assuming not too much, as I’m sure that the “World’s Greatest Minds” would’ve used them if it would’ve stopped a catastrophe.
There’s a pretty funny part in this comic, as it cuts to news stations discussing the Multiverse, and what to do about the other Earths. One woman on a station, which I assume is a parody of Fox News, says that all the other Earths are “terrorist Earths, and they deserve to be destroyed.” That’s a nice bit of unsubtle parody. One scientist argues that if the other Earths are destroyed, their own Earth will have less time to live as it is, which could lead to the immediate, or very soon destruction of their universe.
The main problem with this comic, and the entire Secret Wars arc is the over complicatedness of the entire premise, and that each issue involving has to read carefully, and over analyzed to the point of annoyance. At least with the new 52 they kept it simple, this is ridiculously complex, and isn’t going to get new readers to be interested in the title if they can’t even understand the plot or plots going on. It’s just too much to throw together at once. The original Secret Wars worked because of the simplicity of the set up (the plot itself was pretty complicated, but that was going to happen regardless just due to the sheer amount of characters involved). Here these people haven’t even gotten involved in the Secret Wars, and the set-up is already overly complicated and inaccessible to new readers.
Adam’s pissy at Richards for not letting him in on the multiverse implosion theory previous to all this. Honestly, if Richards, Stark, and Strange couldn’t come up with a good solution, what were all the other superheroes going to think of? All that would’ve led to is a bunch of fighting, and depression, with no one coming up with any helpful ideas. It’s not like anyone has come up with a better idea now that the multiverse implosion is imminent, so Adam’s bitching comes across as unwarranted and pissy.
Pretty cool issue cover for the next issue, the Earth is exploding and there’s a “Sorry, we’re Closed,” sign. I think that Marvel has been dipping into sleazy 70s movie posters for their covers, and I like it.
Final thoughts: The whole thing was hampered by illogical bitching at the end, an overly convoluted plot, and just a complete lack of accessibility to a first time reader. This issue might’ve been great for people who are fans of this series but for me I just couldn’t get a good grasp of what was going on, and while some people might of though Adam’s bitching at the end served a purpose (and I could be wrong on the whole issue, as I haven’t read this entire series) it comes across as desperate whining and just trying to goad Richards into feeling bad for something that was inevitable anyway. This issue has mostly soured me on the entire concept of Secret Wars… though I do want to see the Marvel Universe interact with the Marvel Zombies.
I instantly love the cover because there’s a hot chick smoking a cig, and looking like she’s better than everyone else.
We cut to England in the 80s, and some punk rock dude is telling another punk rock dude to fuck off! Awesome!
You can instantly tell this involves some kind of time travel as the guys mention that the lead singer wrote, “The best Beatles songs, Breaking Bad, and Harry Potter.” Okay, how would someone who writes something as good as the Beatles Songs, and Breaking Bad, probably the most critically praised series of the late 2000s, how would they write something as completely awful as Harry Potter? I guess he was lazy that day or something… Jeez.
So the guy sends a letter to himself from 1929 to stop himself from getting killed. So this is like… Back to The Future, but more ridiculous I guess???
So we cut to the same guy in 1929, but a different version of himself, or rather him in a different timeline, as in not the same guy who received the letter just now. These mobster 20s guys are pissed off at him for fucking the main mobs guys bitch, and are about to shoot him in the head. This page is drawn in a very dark fashion, and has a lot more serious tone than the goofy, comedic 80s band we just saw. I actually wouldn’t mind if we just stayed in the 20s, and the whole series was based around that, as I really enjoy the dark atmosphere. It seems like a toned down American Vampire in a way.
So wait, I guess it’s not the same guy, as some Shield looking team comes and kills all the mobster guys, and need this guy so they can stop the other guy from fucking around in time. The guys like, fuck that shit, and jumps out the window. Of course he… or the other guy from the 80s is there with the car, and they escape into the 60s… in the middle of a football game in Florida. SO THEN THE SHIELD TEAM COMES AND KILLS THE ENTIRE SUPERBOWL 1969 FOOTBALL TEAM!!! WHAT THE FUCK AM I READING!!???
Oh, and Kennedy didn’t die.
NOW THERE’S DINOSAURS!!!!
Then they end up getting stuck in some hellhole in some shitty time period where the most entertaining thing to do was carve pictures into walls, and they get captured by some Incans or some shit, and the guy wants to learn how to go back in time.
Final Thoughts: A fun, dumb comic that’s going to stick with me for a bit. JFK IS NOT DEAD, dinosaurs everywhere, and everyone in the 69 Superbowl died. These people should definitely not be messing with history but it makes for an entertaining read.
Alright, I got just 300 words under 3,000 words so I think this is a decent sized column. I’m probably going to continue doing columns at this length, because reviewing comics in the fashion that I was before, and how many I did, just burnt me out too much. 3,000 is a nice little number, and at seven pages I think this will fill out nicely. Have fun, and try to NOT LOSE at Maximum Carnage!
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