Oddly enough, I have nothing to say. So, right to the news.
Sweet Guy Fawkes Action!
“But… but how can he be a terrorist? He’s the good guy?”
Towards the end of 2001, twelve years after its peak, the last embers of the Islamist revolution gave their final glow. Four planes flew into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the ground (opposing some romanticised version of the latter, the passengers never breached the cockpit, the terrorists decided to down the plane after realising they couldn’t reach their target in Washington DC.)
A last kick from the movement which, after the insurgency in Iran that followed the return of exiled Ayatollah Khomeini, bringing him to power, failed to convert the whole of the Middle East, let alone the world, to Islam. Failed to defeat Iraq and depose Saddam’s secular government (he even had Christians in his government, the heathen!). Failed to persuade Saudi Arabia to expel the USA from its borders. Failed to reduce or repel Israel. Yet a relatively small action by a few operatives managed to kill thousands and start a war which reduced the fundamentalists’ power base in Afghanistan, but increased it elsewhere, and even managed to depose its most hated enemy, Saddam Hussein, and leave an Iraq ripe for recruitment.
Sometimes an act of terrorism by a few men, or even just one, can create an overwhelming response from the enemy that can, in its own way, fulfil their objectives.
It’s a commonly used adage that terrorism doesn’t work. Sadly, it’s not true. The Good Friday Agreement in Ireland is likely never to have happened without the IRA’s mainland bombing campaign (one I have first hand experience with). And the movements collectively dubbed Al Qaeda have never been so healthy right now. All the second Gulf War did was blow on those embers till they lit.
So. V For Vendetta. A story about personal responsibility that makes Spider-Man look like the infant parable it really is. A book about power, fascism, anarchy, the impotence of democracy, the potential of humanity and the innate contradictions of the English.
Sing, “Come, chiefest of the *British* ghests,
Thou fift of *November*,
Thou with triumph shalt exceede
In the strictest ember;
For by thy returne the Lord records his blessed deede.” at Newsarama all the day long.
This has nothing to do with the article above, but it is a great story about Guy Fawke’s Day, so, dammit, I’m going to tell it. Then we can talk about the article.
My senior year of high school (nearly six years ago now!) I had C. Stephen Ludlow for my English class. Mr. Ludlow was a rather large man with big hands who is the first and only person I have ever seen sport the Ras Al Ghul beard in real life. And you know what? He made that thing work, he did.
Anyway, Mr. Ludlow was the type of teacher who developed something of a following. A big part of that following was the oft-mentioned Guy Fawke’s Day story. Now, no one who didn’t take the class at our school knew what it was, but most of us knew of it. Essentially, every year of Guy Fawke’s he’d tell the history of the British holiday (is it actually a holiday? Anyone? Mr. Cooling?), his story, and then read letters from last year’s students who wrote in from colleges all over the place to share what college life was like and welcome us into the ranks of those who knew the Fawke’s story. Mr. Ludlow has since retired, so I’ll share the story now. It goes like this:
Mr. Ludlow was good friends with another Newington High School teacher who had a sort of weird love for Guy Fawke’s Day. He had also happened to be at NHS for some time and Mr. Ludlow used to ride him about it. Ludlow, no spring chicken himself, got as good as he gave from this teacher and the two made an agreement. There was a tree outside this teacher’s room (by the time I heard the story, the room was Mr. Ludlow’s). It was a small, but strong. When the tree had grown large enough to cast a shadow through this third floor classroom that reached from the window to the door in the afternoon, then they both would retire. Of course, there was only one day a year that this could be checked on, per the agreement: Guy Fawke’s Day.
So the years passed and the tree grew, and rather rapidly at that. However, before the tree reached that magic height, the other teacher passed away. Mr. Ludlow inherited the room. Mr. Ludlow, however, never checked again in the afternoon to see if that tree had grown to its goal height. In his words, he just didn’t feel like it was right anymore. The year I graduated from Newington High, the tree was knocked down for a new science wing that was being built off the back of the building. The next year after that, Mr. Ludlow retired.
Like I said, nothing to do with this article, but I just think it is a great story.
Anyway, onto V for Vendetta.
My ashamed confession here is that I have not, in fact, ever read V for Vendetta. I know, I know. Disgusting. I plan to rectify the situation post haste, I promise. For now though, I am sadly without knowledge on this story.
However, even an uninitiated like myself can appreciate this article. It features some highbrow writing about comics which, sadly, is something we rarely encounter. I was disappointed when the article shifted its focus to the movie, even though I do understand why it would.
The kicker? It was written by Mr. Lying in the Gutters himself. Well, Mr. Johnston, great article.
Poor Superboy. Always Has to See His Parents Fight
As mentioned yesterday, Joanne Siegel and Laura Siegel Larson, widow and daughter of the late Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel filed a complaint in US District Court against DC Comics, Time Warner, Warner Brothers Entertainment, and Warner Brothers Television in regards to the rights to Superboy.
In comparison to the Siegels’ Superman complaint, the Superboy complaint is relatively straightforward, due waters that are less muddy, legally. That is, the Siegels’ claim that Jerry Siegel created Superboy and took it to Detective Comics multiple times, to be rejected each time.
Get into the kind of legal drama that you’ll never see on Law & Order or an E! re-enactment at Newsarama
Ugh. This legal stuff…I just get so lost in it. I get that it is important and I want the Siegel family to get their fair shake. I just have such a hard time muddling through the reasoning on either side of the line that it is hard to stay focused or involved in the story. Plus, I feel irresponsible doing so as my commentary is most likely riddling with inaccuracies since the law is not my specialty. Thus, I offer this advice. Read the article. Pay me no mind.
Look! An Article About One of The Nexus’s Favorite Books!
“No man escapes the Manhunters … ” That mantra was the calling card of those victims of the Manhunters up until the Millenium limited series. After, though, there didn’t seem to be a lot of Manhunters appearances. Now, a woman, who has no ties to any of the previous Manhunters or their specific agendas, is using the name of the Manhunter and some of their best armor to leave her mark in the DCU. Kate Spencer’s been trying to survive the learning curve of the costumed game, but losing here isn’t like losing a case in her law practice. The consequences here could mean death, but she believes in her cause – even if it’s dangerous. Currently she’s working to bring the Shadow Thief to justice, but, when the dust settles from that case, she’ll be up against someone stalking the Manhunters. It’s a tough road ahead! Writer Marc Andreyko and Editor Joan Hilty took the stand to give THE PULSE some testimony on why Manhunter shouldn’t be missed.
Read Manhunter. DO IT! Also read this article, found at The Pulse
Boy, I dig this book. I really and truly do. I’m a bit disappointed to hear that a new artist is filling in. However, a quick look at the sample pages leaves me pretty confident that this book is in the right hands.
I know I’ve beseeched you to buy books before. And I know, generally, that you have ignored these requests. Well, I’m making the request again anyway. Give this book a shot. Start with the upcoming issue. I guarantee that it is worth your time and/or attention. Plus, if you don’t like it, Andreyko has a standing offer to buy the book back from you. That means zero risk. So come on now, give it a shot.
Batgirl: Moving On Up
When a person moves out of the shelter of their parents’ home they often discover that the world is more beautiful and more ugly than they imagined, even if that person comes from Gotham City. Cassandra Cain AKA Batgirl is currently discovering this in the pages of her self-titled DC Comics book. After the events of “War Games,” Batman sent Batgirl to Bludhaven to become one of that city’s defenders. CBR News spoke to “Batgirl” writer Andersen Gabrych about Batgirl and how she’s adjusting to life on her own in the big city.
See her deluxe apartment in the sky at Comic Book Resources
This isn’t a book I read or hold any tremendous interest in, but…is that Spoiler I spy?! What the blazes?
Another Beautiful Bald Man!
Grant Morrison is a very well known name to SuicideGirls. In fact people have been bugging me for years to get an interview with him on here. Well now it’s done and I’ve asked him all my burning questions. We talked about drugs, comics such as his new book for DC Comics called Seven Soldiers, some sex and going to school for the orange juice.
Check out the official site for Grant Morrison
Read all about Grant on Grant (not like that. Although…) at Suicide Girls
First off, dig Morrison in that white suit. God damn! That man is cool.
The IF sounds like a very cool concept. I wonder how long before I can get a hold of a copy. My guess? About a year if he is just entering the editing stages now. Worth the wait though, I would assume.
I don’t want to spoil the rest of the interview for you, so let me tease it with some key words instead. Seven Soldiers. New York Architecture that might have been. Drugs. The Filth. Invisibles vs. The Matrix.
Read the interview. Trust me. Great stuff.
Lalala Sales Figures Lalala
What do SUPERMAN/ BATMAN, GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH and SUPERMAN have in common? Easy: All of them are Top Ten titles from DC Comics, and none of them shipped an issue in January. Consequently, DC’s market share for the month is thrashed, leaving Marvel Comics to own the January Top Ten. The top-selling DC Comics title in January was TEEN TITANS, coming in at No. (14).
In addition to the delays of its major direct market titles, DC’s main push focused on the graphic novel market in January, in order to capitalize on the theatrical release of CONSTANTINE. Events and new launches aimed at the direct market were limited to the first issues of Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and Neil Googe’s MAJESTIC (WildStorm), Scott McCloud and Aluir Amancio’s SUPERMAN: STRENGTH and Bob Harras and Marcos Martin’s BREACH.
Looking at releases from publishers other than Marvel and DC, January also saw the conclusion of Mark Millar’s WANTED, the start of THE DARKNESS/ SUPERMAN and the release of Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis’ independent debut, the HERO SQUARED X-TRA SIZED SPECIAL, among others.
Many thanks to Milton Griepp and ICv2.com for allowing us to use their figures for these calculations.
Get your piping hot plate of depair at The Pulse
Despite thinking last month’s issue was a bit off, this remains one of my favorite books out there. As such, it is soon to be cancelled. Whatever. The book’s still well worth my time and money even if the axe has already fallen. Here’s to hoping Clevenger and Chase might someday work together to produce a great book. Of course, that one would probably sell just as well so…
I’ve been enjoying this JSA/JSA story a whole lot more than I ever thought I would. Still not sure what exactly Degaton’s big move is going to be, but I definitely am looking forward to that reveal. Plus, Mr. Terrific gets to take on some KKK members this month! Now that alone is worth the price of admission.
OPINIONS ON THE WORK OF PEOPLE FAR MORE TALENTED THAN I
Unfortunately, both the remaining DC books released this week that I didn’t review last week, I am reviewing for the site on Thursday. So come back then to read my opinions on FIRESTORM #11 and TWILIGHT EXPERIMENT #2
****REVIEWS FROM THE FUTURE****
This book is such a great surprise. Fun, funny, well written, and well illustrated. I literally do not have a bad word to say about it. Definitely worth your cash.
SEVEN SOLDIERS SHINING KNIGHT #1
Those who are looking for an indicator by which to judge the rest of the series are unlikely to find it here. This issue reads more like a prelude to the Shining Knight miniseries than an actual issue of it. That is not to say there aren’t some entertaining or interesting bits, because there are. I enjoy the Knight’s horse in particular (“I’m a horse. Have you ever heard of a mad horse?” Trust me, it is more amusing in context). The art is sort of iffy. I keep thinking of Simon Bisley when I read it, despite the fact that I can’t really be sure if this style actual resembles Bisley’s. Maybe it is just the name.
In any case, I had high hopes for this and am a bit disappointed that they were not met. However, I am not dissuaded in my confidence about the series as a whole.
That’s all there is to this week’s brief, but hopefully, enjoyable DCNV. As always, please visit the message board and look for me again on Thursday assisting Mathan on Who’s Who.
Un Gajje: All About the Assist