Roundtable Returns – Part 2

IAIN: The more I think about it, the more I want to not tie this movie directly into Superman II. Certain plot points are easy to pick up on, like Luthor having been in the Fortress of Solitude before, but trying to make everything flow on from that movie is just a headache. After all, what does it say about Superman if he willingly altered the memory of the woman he loves? Should Lois go off and build her own Brother Eye now?

Plus, it really is quite silly to make a new, multi-million dollar franchise rely on the shoddy writing of a movie from 1980.

The pregnancy thing? Maybe she was pregnant for 12 months but it didn’t become apparent till six months or so had elapsed, so nobody questioned her about it.

WILL: There’s a cast iron rule (which I can’t remember the name to), if there’s a simple answer to a question, then that’s the true answer. The simplest answer is that Lois is a slut, so let’s just go with that.

And I don’t think explicitly linking Superman Returns to Superman II is sensible, which is why they’re not really doing it. They hint at the parts of the mythology they want to keep (i.e. BRANDO) whilst not
getting bogged down with plot details. It’s basically All Star
Superman’s ruse on the big screen.

IAIN: If only they had a scene where Superman fed suns to his pet baby sun-eater…

TIM: The rule you are referring to is called Occam’s Razor and I could not disagree more that your conclusion is an example of the Razor.

(See what I did there? I disagreed and showed off my smarts. YAY! for me.)

IAIN: You smell of poo.

KEVIN: How can you know that, as you are on the other side of an ocean or some nonsense? I can tell you, he actually smells of stale beer and fritos, with a hint of cracked peppercorn.

It ain’t a Roundtable without a serious digression!

WILL: Damn you Ben.

Also, John.C.Cavanagh talks about how we may not be getting a sequel to Superman Returns. Also stuff about Spider-Man 3 and Transformers.

Personally, I’d be surprised if we don’t get a sequel to Superman, it’s a massive, high-prestige project and I doubt it’ll tank badly enough to kill the franchise. However, I’ll bet the studio will keep a tight vein on the budget this time around to ensure they make some money on the damn thing.

However, the question has to be asked, are we at the end of another
superhero movie boom? The last one was finally destroyed by the likes of Tank Girl and Judge Dredd doing poorly at the box office, and the premier superhero franchise (Batman) running out of steam. Well the situation today is we see the X-Men series as good as over, I believe the studios are saying Spider-Man 3 will be the last, Blade’s waaay past flogging the dead horse stage whilst Hulk and Daredevil will never be talked about again. Add to this the disappointing takings for Superman Returns and Batman Begins, and maybe the studios will tire of their superfriends.

JEFF: I’m sure we’ll get a Super-sequel too, but it’s gotta be tighter than this one. Not super-plastic wrap body condom tight mind you (shame we didn’t get a shot of THAT gem, eh?) but tighter than this one. Because honestly, I don’t make a habit of picking movies apart. But this one had plot holes script issues I could parallel park an 18 wheeler in.

I’m also not convinced the X-Movies are done. Maybe they’re done as X-Movies, but I know they want to do Wolverine and possibly Magneto solo movies. I’m sure there will be guest stars galore in them as well. I wouldn’t hate on a Daredevil sequel, especially if they recast Murdoch. And don’t do Bullseye, they f*cked him up like the FF people did Dr. Doom. Let’s be clear, folks, it’s the VILLIANS that make the hero. That’s why Superman is kinda boring, his greatest foe is nothing more than a bald xenophobe. At least Pat Robertson has hair. 馃槈 If Marvel wants to squeeze a little out of the B-Squad, they should make a movie called Marvel Knights. They don’t need to be optioning properties like Morbius the Living Vampire. Comic fans don’t even really like the dude, why would general moviegoers see it? But if they combined it into a team thing, Daredevil, Blade, Punisher, and maybe Cloak and Dagger, against Morbius (make him a villain, who cares either way, honestly? it never made much sense to me that he’d be a hero anyway), Jigsaw (make him more creepy serial killer-esque), The Owl, and…who does Cloak and Dagger usually fight?…hell, just pick a couple of suitably creepy types…Scarecrow and Vermin, perfect. Think Underworld, Marvel style. You’d really only have to pay Thomas Jane and Wesley Snipes if you don’t bring Affleck back. Use relative unknowns for the rest. I’d pay to see that. We need more TEAM superhero movies. That’s the fun of the X-Men. Now give me Thunderbolts and Defenders!

And where the Hell is my Incredibles sequel? Draw faster, you talking monkeys!

On a comic-related subject, did anyone else notice in 52, Week 10, that after Supernova caught Clark and then set him down to stop the Intergang battle, that Clark’s mini-tape recorder suddenly and inexplicibly transmuted into a wad of cash? Or did I just look at it wrong? I thought, “Wow, Superman suddenly can’t hold a hot pot of food and cuts himself shaving, but he can turn inorganic matter into cash without using eBay. One Year Later and suddenly Clark has more money than Bruce if he starts transforming the couch into stacks of hundreds.”

If I don’t get time to mention it formerly elsewhere, let me just say that I really enjoyed Thunderbolts #104. Just 4 issues removed from one of the worst comics of all time and suddenly Fabian Nicieza is hitting on all cylinders. Civil War couldn’t have come at a better time for my T-Bolts. Good job, Fabe!

WILL: I will say it again and again, whilst I enjoyed Superman Returns and liked the fact its a serious take on the Big Blue Scout the best way to make money off him was to get the Incredibles team to do a CGI movie.

PAUL: How about a fully CGI Mr. Mxyzptlk voiced by Robin Williams?

KEVIN: My two cents on 52 (which could make fifty four cents out of context) is that Clark just grabbed for his wallet (ostensibly in his suit coat pocket just like his recorder) and bought a camera from the bystander. He needs the photos, and he had no equipment when he plummeted out of the DPB.

And YES, T’Bolts is swinging the right way again. I can’t explain it either except to say that maybe Genis Vel ruins series he’s in? Could that be it?

JEFF: ‘Zounds! Forsooth, Kevin of Mahoney might have his head ‘ere round the very thing! ‘Tis the Curse of Genis-Vell. What’s that you say? He’s scheduled to join the Uncanny X-Men? Oh Bugger!

Let it be known that typing in odd accents is entirely the fault of one Captain Jack Sparrow, whose exploits I did witness just prior to arriving to my employ. And let it also be known that Disney needs to learn the difference between animated overthetoppery and the realistic expectations one should reasonably expect of a live and/or undead cast. Nonetheless, enjoyable for what it was, and the notion of a true undead man, Keith Richards joining the crew for the third instalment has be all a-tingle with excitement…and perhaps a pirate-flavoured rendition of Sympathy For The Devil in that soundtrack.

Avast ye swabs and look lively! There be reviews to write, columns to post and comics to read! And two seasons of Battlestar Galactica to catch up on…

WILL: Geez, and I thought I talked jibberish when pissed.

PAUL: For the record my theory is that Supernova is really Mr. Mind after his cocoon transformation. There’s going to be this big reveal scene like how Xorn turning out to be Magneto (and later Xorn’s evil twin pretending to be Magneto, pretending to be Xorn.)

And… Uuuuh… Jeff you know Pixar’s stuff is CGI, therefore technically not drawn the way that say… a Studio Ghibli film is.

KEVIN: Technically Paul, Pixar storyboards all their films shot by shot, so lots of regular drawing is the first thing they do. And I too want an Incredibles sequel. Jack Jack’s revenge or something sounds SWEET!

JEFF: Don’t they still draw even in CGI? At least a little? Because if not, it should be FASTER than churnng out thousands of animation cells. I want my Incredibles II. I want a pony. I want my MTV! (But only if they show videos, preferably 80s ones, like VH1 Classic does).

IAIN: Of course there’s going to be another Superman movie. The only real doubt is whether or not Bryan Singer will be allowed back into the director’s chair. I sincerely hope they don’t take the criticisms to mean that they should bring someone like McG back into the fold and turn the sequel into some super-powered, sugar-crack, MTVified, Charlie’s Angels mess.

And have you not heard about Hulk? They’re remaking it. Yes, already. Less talky, more smashy seems to be the general idea.

JEFF: The obvious choice for Superman2 (2.0) direction is Quentin Tarantino. Pulp Superman all the way. Sam Jackson as Ruin…or Mr. Mxyzptlk! “Yo Big Blue, you got my wallet? It’s the one that says Bad Mxyzptlk on it.” “No, sorry, the only one I see here says daB kltpzyxM on it.” “Fool cracker, lemme see that! I bet daB kltpzyxM has been looking all o…ooo DAMN! You tricked me, homes!” “kltpzyxM! That’s all you had to say!”

KEVIN: I really think the only way to do a live action Hulk right is using the TV series as a template. Banner should be a compassionate figure who can’t live in a modern world without his dark side getting loose. This Freudian stuff is cool for the books (as layering and long term analysis are possible over an extended period) but it really weighs down a 1 hour film.

PAUL: Dammit… am I the only one who really liked the first Hulk movie and am frustrated that the studio feels like they have to dumb it down?

I don’t want a 2-hour version of Hulk Ulimate Destruction… I want an honest-to-goodness movie with three dimensional characters.

JEFF: Respectfully, Paul, my friend, YES. You ARE the only one. 馃槈

Although there were things I did like about it. The panel framing they did–not so often to be annoying, just right. And Jennifer Connolly. And…did I mention Jennifer Connolly?

IAIN: No, you’re not the only one, I really enjoyed the Hulk movie as well. Unfortunately, we seem to be firmly in the minority. Look at how well the big-dumb-action of X-Men 3 did at the box office compared to the tight characterisation of Batman Begins and fear what the movie studios might have planned for future comic book movies now that Superman’s return was far less profitable than predicted…

Honestly, I think that Spider-Man 3 will be the last stand for decent adaptations.

WILL: Well in the case of Hulk “big, dumb action” film is what would make a good movie. Don’t get me wrong, Hulk was perfectly enjoyable but it really wasn’t what I want from a Hulk movie. I (and the vast, vast majority of people) want chaos and carnage and HULK SMASH. Get Millar to write the script, paint Brock Lesnar green and then just go fecking nuts. It’s gold, baybee.

And X-MEN 3 was a great movie, my favourite of the series.

IAIN: On a different note, check this out:

NEW X-MEN OMNIBUS!

I really, really, really, really want to buy this, despite already having the three oversized HCs collecting the run, just like the Alias Omnibus (I have the four TPBs) or Absolute New Frontier (I have the six issues).

Hmm, to eBay or not to eBay, that is the question…

WILL: Damn that’s nice. Although sometimes I wonder if there’s much point buying a super-dupa collection for a series that at points had such ropey art.

By the way, legendary Judge Dredd and 2000AD letterer Tom Frame has died.

Truly sad news for British comic book fans as Tom Frame passes away. I know that lettering often isn’t seen as the most important element
of a comic book but Frame was a true craftsman. His lettering style
was so distinctive that to many it became synomonous with Judge Dredd, a strip that he has worked on ages and ages. Bad lettering can seriously damage a comic book but that was never true of Frame. His thoughtful and coherent lettering always enhanced the artwork and
brought the best out of the dialogue. He’ll be sorely missed.

FLOYD “THE PHANTOM ZONE” KERMODE: Hi everyone!

Fan that I am I can’t get into lettering. If it’s awful I notice it. For example someone sent me a comic with typewriter lettering snipped
out and stuck in the talk-bubbles. That was foul and quite distracting. If lettering is pretentious I notice it, as for example
if it’s super-Gothic. So the fact that I just remember Tom Frame’s name is a credit to his work, if that makes any sense.

As for the Hulk movie, it’s had so much bad press I’m afraid to look. Mark Steyn, who I respect as a movie reviewer (not as a deluded political commentator), found the Hulk movie snobbish and portentous. What’s the consensus here? I agree that the Hulk demands a big dumb
action movie. The character has a good story already; Jekyll and Hyde meets Frankenstein, there isn’t really much that can be added to that.

PAUL: See the thing that irks the hell out of me with the “The Hulk movie should be a brain-dead popcorn movie” line of thought is that it pretty much goes against everything that Peter David, Paul Jenkins, Bruce Jones, and pretty much every writer other than John Byrne has done with the character in the past 15 years. And all of the press for the Hulk movie wasn’t negative; it even showed up on a couple of 10 best lists for that year… (Including MaryAnne Johanson of FlickFilosopher.com, one of my favourite movie review sites.)

It’s just well…. I think that the Hulk movie pretty much displays the divide between Eastern and Western approaches to action movies. The best Eastern films like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and Hero approach themes of tragedy, love, loss, and sacrifice, while most Western action movies are essentially formulaic affairs designed to sell popcorn. You know that Rush Hour III isn’t going to having a tragic ending because just about everything Hollywood puts out these days goes through a gruelling creativity-killing test-screening process.

A lot of fans have complained about it not being true to the comics, but I actually thought Lee’s take on the Hulk’s origin worked in part because of its own convolution. While the original Hulk’s origin story was a metaphor for atomic age paranoia, Ang Lee’s Hulk was the result of an amalgam of modern day technological and social horrors. Also the revelation about Hulk’s father and the sometimes mocked Hulk Dogs were both taken from the Peter David years. (Oh and before you crack wise about the Poodle, I would like to point out that Poodles were originally bread as Hunting dogs.) :p

I think the reason a lot of people don’t like the Hulk film is that it’s the kind of movie that’s most rewarding when actively analyzed and studied, rather than passively watched.

IAIN: Spot on, Paul. Couldn’t have put it better myself.

WILL: Question: What is the highest selling comic that has featured Hulk in a leading role in say the past ten years?

Answer: The Ultimates

I think that answers the question about what the peeps want from the
big read machine.

Also the more serious point is that the money for Marvel from Hulk
came from merchandise i.e. toys, video games, etc. A Hulk Smash type
film better sells this kind of merch. Because it appeals to the
kid/idiot slack jawed teenager market. Hulk was a flop because when
you market a movie around a massive angry green dude people except
bangs for their buck, not angst.

PAUL: And the biggest flop of a comic in the last 10 years was John Byrne re-launch which also featured the mindless “Grrrr… Hulk Smash Puny Humans” Hulk.

And does what sells in the direct market really indicate what the public wants? Would people actually pay to see a Batman movie done in the style of All-Star Batman & Robin?

COREN: Hm. An unsympathetic, asshole, near paedophilic character? Well, Hollywood is struggling for “fresh” ideas. I doubt there are very many stories like that in mainstream movies. Maybe it’s that whole “people like happy endings” mentality (right or wrong)

IAIN: Trying to pass Ultimates off as a Hulk comic is reeeeeally stretching it 馃檪

WILL: That’s why I didn’t I said “Highest selling comic that has featured Hulk in a leading role” which is perfectly fair. He’s the star in Issue 6 and Issue 12.

IAIN: Right, so people want a Hulk movie that features cannibalism and Freddie Prinze Jr?

WILL: I know I do.

IAIN: I know you do.

ANYWAY – who do you think should play Banner in the next movie, since Bana’s out and Duchovny’s (apparently) passed?

WILL: I think James Mardsen could probably do a decent enough Banner. Although to be honest if I was them I’d just get some no-name actor and spend the money on the important stuff i.e. the big green dude.

LOGAN: Jesse Baker

WILL: No we’re talking about who should play Banner, not Hulk.

And btw, if they ever go back to just painting some dude green, Brock
Lesnar was BORN to be Hulk.

KEVIN: I personally would pay $11 to watch the cannibalism OF Freddy Prinze Jr! Some hacks really don’t deserve the work they get…

IAIN: We may have stumbled onto a winner 馃檪

WILL: We? You had nothing to do with it mister. First you try to censor my artistic vision and now you try to claim the credit.

Well I never!

IAIN: Sorry. Forgot that you wrote Ultimates.

WILL: Apology accepted.

IAIN: Can you sign my HC of vol. 1?

WILL: No, you smell.

IAIN: So would you if the reptiles sharing the office kept turning off the air conditioning when it’s nearly 30C outside…

WILL: The bastards!!!!! I’d kill them!!!

Man I’m glad I don’t be working in an office

IAIN: Solicitation time! Here is the DC line-up for October

Including…

Yet another new start for Nightwing!

Another Gotham Central collection, long after the fact!

Top secret events in Action Comics #844!

Supergirl sporting a stupidly short skirt on the cover to her book!

How many more Byrne collections can Superman possibly have?!

Yawn-worthy solicitation blurb for Flash #5!

A JLA cover that may well have driven Michael Turner insane!

Yet another sodding volume of The Authority!

And, a mere six months late, Seven Soldiers #1!

JEFF: Gads! I pity Turner for that JLA cover, but not like I pity the poor bloke who had to colour that mess. Anybody find Waldo in that jumble? I’m still looking…

PAUL: Speaking of late books, did Rob Liefeld and Mark Millar’s Youngblood: Bloodsport #2 ever ship? I think it might have eclipsed Spider-Man/Black Cat #4 as the latest comic ever?

Or do Rob’s comics not count on that list?

For the record Justice #8 clearly has the coolest cover of the month, with Batman and The Mad Monk #3 in a close second place. Can’t wait to read Astro City: The Dark Age Book 2, and The Other Side #1 has serious sleeper hit potential written all over it.

Also at what point did DC wrestle the rights to Nightmare on Elmstreet away from Avatar Press?

JEFF: I believe Union by Image is still the latest book. The ongoing series just stopped cold, no explanation. I joke with my retailer when things come out late, like Iron Man did for all those months, that at least it should come out sooner than Union.

WILL: Zod’s running for office.

You can say what you like about him being a fascist, mass murdering
alien but at least he’ll make the trains run on time and is not
Hilary.

IAIN: Wasn’t Zod busy getting his arse slapped by the Highlanders on Raw? Or was that somebody else?

Whatever, the important thing is that Zod is now finally getting Richard Donner, who is finally going to (co-)write Action Comics (with Geoff Johns) for DC, starting in October.

Yay, and such.

Also, here are the Marvel solicits for October

Including…

Ultimate! Supreme! FIGHT!

May Day gets a #1 AND a #0!

Vaughan tries to trump JMS on Strange!

RIP, Marvel Team-Up… *sniff*

Long live Atom! I mean, Ant-Man!

Nextwave is teh funee!

Stan Lee is still alive!

ANOTHER Brubaker book!

Marvel Adventures HCs? Um, sure!

And a whole load of other crap too!

PAUL: Just a few thoughts…

– Marvel Team-Up is ending? Aaaaawwww man… Kirkman was on a serious tear with the Freedom Ring arc. Let’s hope the trades do well enough for a re-launch because this is one of the most consistently entertaining books Marvel is putting out today.

– Really I can’t help but smile every time I see the cover of the latest issue of Mary Jane in each previews. Honest.

– B.K.V on Dr. Strange? I’m sold! The fact that Iron Fist and Arana are on the cover is just icing on the cake.

– I swear to solicitation for “Giant Sized Wolverine #1” sounds like
something you’d read in a Mad Magazine parody of the Previews catalogue. It’s the most over-the-top bombastic solicitation since that Warlock mini-series.

– Frankenstein’s Monster, Hawkeye, Mike Norton, and Peter David all in one book. If you’re not reading Marvel Adventures Spider-Man what the hell is wrong with you?!

– Marvel Adventures Avengers on the other hand tries valiantly to one-up the Spidey title by brining in the U-FOES! The coolest most under-used bad guys ever.

– Also I’m all for the MA Spider-Man Hardcover. Worth picking up for the McKeever stuff alone plus the hilarious Goom Got Game story from MA Spider-Man #4, quite possibly the greatest comic published in 2005.

IAIN: Screw the Hulk movie, here comes The Spirit movie. And since you’re retarded you’ll never believe who’s goddamn writing and directing it…

Also: Mark Millar revamps the DCU! In 2010! Possibly! Maybe with Hitch on Superman and McNiven on Justice League! Okay!

PAUL: It appears that they picked the one man who won’t alter the Ebony character for modern audiences. Expect DC to release the first 6 tie-in books this November.

WILL: Screw the Spirit Movie, we’re missing the biggest news story of them all:

THE OMEGA MEN #1
Written by Andersen Gabrych
Art and cover by Henry Flint
A classic team makes an unexpected return to comics in a 6-issue
miniseries written by Andersen Gabrych (DETECTIVE COMICS) with art by
Henry Flint (2000 A.D.)! Convinced that all of creation is on the
brink of cosmic apocalypse, the last remaining Omega Men begin a
universe-spanning rampage of murder and destruction.

Pursued by every known league of interstellar justice, they are on the run and taking no prisoners! What is the mystery in space that One Year Later transforms these former freedom fighters into brutal
terrorists? Climb on board for the controversial and head-spinning
science-fiction odyssey that synthesizes intolerant zealotry, quantum
mechanics, and all-out action!
On sale October 18 “垄 1 of 6 “垄 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Oh my god I’m actually cumming and drooling at the same time. Henry
Flint is a genius, the best artist working in comics today and to
finally see him getting a substantive American gig is great news.
Honestly, guys you should all put this baby onto your pull lists
because with Henry on it it’s going to be a must read.

(Will wipes mouth, changes underwear)

Re. Millar

Okay there’s one word that sums this up: BORING! Millar always makes
this mastuboartory posts on his message board, I remember him doing on about how he and Hitch were going to revamp Superman in 2006 and
nothing ever becomes of them. This is even more ridiculous as there’s no way he’s going to be popular enough to convince DC to give him that sort of power, he’s not even popular enough today. I’ve no doubt it’ll be interesting to read Superman rape a hooker or Lois Lane want to eat Freddie Prinze Jr. but I doubt it’ll happen.*

*On a side note, I don’t actually believe Millar would do that if
given Superman. From all accounts this is the superhero he loves like the big ginger Scottish geek he is. The danger then becomes whether he can consistently bring a good story when his reverence towards the character takes away the ‘scathing revisionist wit’ from his writing that people like.

FLOYD: Henry Flint is indeed a genius. He’s especially good at destruction and space stuff. His work on ABC Warriors was a joy to behold. All of his 2000 AD stuff has been great, including his Rogue Trooper and Venus Bluegenes stories.

Am I the only one feeling a sense of dread about the prospective
Spirit movie? I love the comics but they never struck as something
that could easily be filmed and I worry that any movie will run
aground on anachronisms – either updating too much of the Spirit’s
surroundings and cast, or rendering them faithfully only to have the
result fall flat as a pancake. I think of the Phantom movie, but I’d
be delighted to have this foreboding proved wrong.

IAIN: If Millar’s big plan simply involves Clark Kent revealing his secret identity to everybody then it really won’t be worth the wait.

LOGAN: Just read Civil War 3….at the risk of getting flamed, I can honestly say that I haven’t acted like such a fanboy in years – Cap vs. Iron Man, yeah, it was short, it was sweet (in it’s own way) but above all, it was the sort of comic moment that, for me, will linger long, long, LONG in the memory.

So far, I think Civil War has been everything that House of M failed to be.

Ummm…..have I just lost the last few, tiny threads of credibility I still had left….?

WILL: Yup

LOGAN: Bugger

COREN: First off, I think Civil War is going to be a lot like House of M, in that the crossovers and minis (like Civil War X-Men and the YA/Runaways team-up) will be better than the event itself. They actually found a somewhat believable way to spin a mutant as pro registration, which was a nice surprise

Secondly; this thing is far better put together than House of M
ever was. All that had was a bunch of books working off the concept
with no real relation to the story at hand. You can tell it’s gonna
be different here. Emma’s reaction to Stark is followed up in both New X-Men and the Civil War X-Men mini, and if I’m remembering right,
X-Factor as well (no surprise there, especially after how they flubbed Banshee’s death).

IAIN: My opinion on Civil War hasn’t changed, but the last page of issue three just looked PHENOMENAL. Hats off to McNiven.

All of you, now, remove your headgear!

JEFF: I think the thing that needs to happen with Civil War is it needs to be a lasting situation with long-term story impact. Sure, eventually it will likely all come full circle–nearly everyone in DC has died in the last 10-15 years and come back, but many of them did so slowly. So, you know, that’s why I can’t get too excited about the new Blue Beetle because someday Ted Kord and Max Lord are going to spring up again. Sue Digby is probably gone for good though. Anyway, to be remotely effective–and everything HoM was not, Civil War needs to take YEARS to revolve. If someday they want to mindwipe the world and give everyone their secret identities back (Cap, Iron Man, Spidey, DD, Speedball, etc.)–and you know they will–then that’s fine, but do it slowly, and perhaps even build up to an event, kinda like Identity Crisis in reverse. The outing of heroes has in 5 years our time created so many problems that the heroes can’t do they’re jobs effectively without risking everyone they know. So they do something to erase their identities from everyone’s minds….everyone….except Doom! Bum-bum-BUUUUMMMM!!! Hoo-ah! Oh and that little girl from X-Factor who knows stuff, because she’s hilarious and incredibly creepy in a sweet way.

Random guess–that Supernova guy who caught Clark falling out the window in ’52’ Week 10: Captain Atom???

Speaking of Supernovas, did anyone else look at the cover dress for Mike Carey’s X-Men (I forget if he’s on Uncanny or Adjectiveless) and wonder, “Supern Vas? Is that…Latin? German? Canadian?” It took me much of a week to realize that the starburst image in the middle was supposed to be an ‘o’. Very effective–not. Inside, I loves me some Bachelo but somebody needs to send him a qick little memo: “Dear Chris, Sometimes less is more. Sincerely, Everybody” I truly do love his style, it’s tremendous and energetic and sometimes I don’t know what the f*ck is going on. I also sometimes have trouble discerning who’s who. His Sabertooth, for example, didn’t scream Sabertooth enough. It said, “Big guy with a trenchcoat and a ponytail.” There are plenty of those. Even on the run as he was, I would have liked to have seen it a tad more obvious, somehow. But I did enjoy both first issues under the new creative teams. What’s the over and under on how quick Chuck gets this Proudstar killed? Anyone else ever wonder why all the male Native American characters in comics are freaking gigantic musclemen? I’ve never actually scene a giant, over muscled Indian warrior in my life. In their primes, Tatanka and Jay Strongbow and Bronco Sagurski (I think he was a NA too) weren’t anywhere close to that, and they were footballers and wrestlers. And YES I know it’s a comic, but wouldn’t it be nice to just once get a less beefcake Indian character? I think Red Wolf in Marvel, Black Condor in DC, and Spirit in GI JOE are better depicted, but I really think the Warpath/Thunderbird Proudstars are arguably the most widely recognized Indian characters, and they look like they train with Bary Bonds (FOR FUCK SAKE INDICT THE CHEATING SON OF A BITCH ALREADY).

I can’t wait to see “My Super Ex-Girlfriend” if only to see a huge-ass great white shark getting thrown through an apartment. THAT is what summer movies are supposed to be. Less Tom Cruise, more flying f*cking sharks.

WILL: I’d be amazed if the post Civil War status-quo lasts more than a year. It just leaves too many problems and f*cks up too many established formulas for it to be left alone. And this is the problem with Marvel (and to a lesser extent DC) they’re once again stuck in the groove of endlessly churning out ‘earth shattering’ events that promise to change the entire universe whilst the ‘rest’ time between each ‘earth shattering event’ is used up undoing what the last one did. I mean, how many named mutants are still without their powers? And that’s ignoring the fact that House of M was a bullshit move to turn the clock back thirty years and so undone all the interesting stuff Morrison had done linking mutant culture to real life gay/ethnic minority culture.

JEFF: I got one word for that, Will:

Word!

Polaris and Iceman – did they get their powers back? I’m behind because only got X-stuff by trade (and not even all of those, honestly) before The Brubaker and Mike Carey came aboard. In the Blood of Apocalypse storyline, which I thought took place after HoM since I believe it mentions the 198, they both have powers. I don’t know if Polaris’ comes from mutation, exactly. But regardless that puts the 198 up to an even 200, doesn’t it? And let’s not forget the two most important mutants ever: Namor and Taskmaster. Oh YEAHHH, dig it! Namor has always had the tagline of being Marvel’s First and Mightiest Mutant. Taskmaster has been labelled a mutant thanks to his photographic reflexes power–it even said so in our trade bible: Wizard Magazine. (Yes, I was joking about the bible part.) But how many times has Taskmaster and/or the Imperius Rex with the winged feet ever been in an X-Book? I’d have to consult with Jim Trabold, but I think the answer is exactly NEVER. Makes me wonder where Taskie was during the Onslaught. How great would it have been to see Liefield draw him in the pages of Captain America that year?

But I totally agree, Will I Am (don’t mind me; I have the Black Eyed Peas stuck in my head…not bad but not Pussycat Dolls). They’ll bungle it because that’s what Marvel does. After all, they’re not the House of (half-baked and often ripped off) Ideas for nothing.

I HATE FUCKING TRAINING NEW PEOPLE, especially when they get brought in at a higher level than me on the pay scale. FUCKING DIE.

COREN: Iceman never actually lost his powers, it was just a psychological thing. And once again, he turned to Emma to make it all better.

Polaris regained her powers as part of the clusterf*ck that was Blood
of Apocalypse (maybe Gambit did too, I really didn’t care about him).
But be that as it may, I don’t think there was an absolute list of who was and wasn’t part of the 198 (not that it was in the end, a firm number. I think it was just the mutants in/around Xavier’s for the Hine 198 mini (chalk that up as another inconsistency in House of M, joining “How much of the mutant population really is gone” and “how can you have a file on a mutant who’s power is to not be noticed
ever”)). The only mutants that come to mind right now who are still
(potentially) depowered are Magneto (oy, Bendis), Blob, Jubilee,
Rictor, and Stacy X (not that she’s at all important). Chamber already got his groove back.

JEFF: If anyone ever should have stayed depowered it’s Chamber. A guy with fire for a lower jaw. Not even slightly interesting. And he’s a right git, on top of all that.

LOGAN: I’m with Jeff regarding the flying shark.

As for Civil War, I couldn’t agree more that the only way that this story-line has a chance of being viewed with kindness by posterity is if there are ramifications that MATTER. The changes that spin out of the series simply have to make a massive difference to the entire Marvel U, and not just for a few months, but for years.

It seems to me that the main reason why certain people are so down on this story is more because of what they think will (or won’t) happen after it, rather than the quality of the story or the artwork. I can understand and sympathise with that point of view, as we’ve all been so burnt so many times by “Earth Shattering, World Changing” events that only last five minutes, that it’s hard not to be cynical anymore.

So far, and while I accept that I’m effectively destroying any claim to objectivity I may once have had, I’m loving Civil War. The characterisations have, by and large, been spot-on, there have already been plenty of twists and turns, and the artwork has been, on the whole, superb. In addition, as pointed out earlier in the Roundtable by Coren, the tie-ins to the main title have all been great so far, too. Full marks to T-Bolts, a title (sorry Jeff!) I don’t usually read, but the way it’s spun its web around Civil War so far has me intrigued and I’ll probably stick around for a bit after the series is over, too.

I could be waaaaaaaaaaaaaay off base, but I’m sure I saw an interview with Joey Q last year in which he said Marvel planned to run one huge “event series” each year for the next five years, culminating in one massive, mega event that would tie together all the threads of the previous five. House of M was merely the first shot fired in this series. Does anybody else remember this interview, or have I been taking too many advil again? Damn that sugary coating!!!

If I’m right in what I’m remembering, and Joey Q really did say that, it gives me hope that Civil War really will make some lasting changes to the status quo, even if only as part of a larger five year story. Having said that, I totally agree that the number of “known” mutants who have, one way or another, regained their powers after House of M supposedly changed everything for ever has rendered the story little more than a joke, and doesn’t bode well for the aftermath of Civil War.

By the way, did we ever get an explanation why only certain mutants were de-powered? How come the X-Men didn’t lose their powers on M-Day? Did I miss something along the way? I mean, it’s not as if Wanda said “No. More. Mutants. Except you, you, you, you, you, not you – stop whining, nobody’s ever heard of you before – you’re screwed, you, you, not you – no, wait, you’re WHO? Okay, tell you what, give it a few months and you can have them back, m’kay? you, you….”

IAIN: Well, see, the thing about that is that just as Wanda was saying that notorious “No more mutants” sentence, Superboy Prime was watching her on his interdimensional plasma TV, only the signal started to go because it was cloudy outside as Alexander Luthor wanted to make some rain in order to make his tomatoes grow, so he got up and started punching the picture, which messed everything up for Wanda.

Then he changed the channel and watched the International White Shark Throwing Championships on Eurosport. Good times.

LOGAN: Ha! That works for me Iain. Superboy Prime has got a lot to answer for, dammit!

Sorry to go back a few paragraphs to Jeff’s last comment, but I forgot to ask this earlier…who’s Barry Bonds, and why should he be indicted?

CONTINUED IN PART THREE!

(that’s part three, not part four, we didn’t want a part four)

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