I'm Just Sayin'…#44

Heydi-hey, folks! Sorry I’m late with this week’s edition of I’M JUST SAYIN’… Sunday I had a late comedy show at THERAPY in Hell’s Kitchen; Monday, I was pretty much hungover – my kind of therapy, to be frank! – and then there was a little something on Tuesday, involving this guy…

…maybe you’ve heard of him. 😉 I think now that the inauguration has passed, I will have a new image for you at the close of each column…more on that further down.

And between all that, I’ve become hopelessly addicted to this game. And unless I miss my guess, if you just clicked there, now you are too. Heh.

So while I had a few things I wanted to get into this week, mostly Spider-Man related, but I’m going to have to breeze through them so I can get to the main course of discussion.

First, for those of you who are like me, and cannot wait for Season Two of THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN, I’ve got some spoiler synopses to whet your appetite. Click on this highlighted text if you just gotta get the goods on what’ll be coming up  from Marvel’s best animated series to date…

Meanwhile, it appears that, as of January 1, the Spider-Man newspaper strip has turned back the clock on our friendly neighborhood web-slinger as well!

Quoting January 5th’s edition of BLOG at NEWSARAMA : It’s been a weird new year for your friendly neighborhood web-slinger.

As we reported last week, Spider-Man’s status quo made a sudden left turn on New Year’s Eve, as Peter Parker and Mary Jane were watching television

…And on January 1st, Peter wakes up at Aunt May’s house. No MJ in sight.

The next day, things got even more complicated, as Stan Lee and company confirmed the news: Peter Parker was now a single college student.

What happened? As we’ve learned this weekend: it’s a flashback. In Sunday‘s strip, we begin the story with, “In the days long before Peter and MJ were married…”

Now this has been done before in Marvel’s regular books, going back to John Byrne’s SPIDER-MAN: CHAPTER ONE as well as Kurt Busiek’s UNTOLD TALES of SPIDER-MAN. But in this case, the main point of interest is that Stan Lee, while adhering to Peter Parker’s current status, completely bypassed the path taken by the Marvel mothership.

I was surprised that the newspaper strip was still going on, myself! But it really does strike as interesting that Stan Lee chose to re-single Peter Parker this way, although being the newspaper strip does allow him a little more flexibility. This certainly wouldn’t have worked in the actual comic, unless they were told as supplementary back-ups…hey, why didn’t Marvel do it that way? Tell your main story, and then give us an 8-10 page quickie from the days when Peter was a 20-something bachelor?

Ohh, right – that would’ve made everybody happy! Silly me…

As it is, I think we already know where the Christmas bonus went over at Marvel’s offices anyway:

Yep, whether it was editor or intern, I’m betting whoever figured out how to get Wolverine on yet another team book probably had a VERY merry Christmas in 2008!

Okay, now on to the two big events of last Shipment Week…first up was FINAL CRISIS #6 an excellent breakdown of which can be found here – where, after defeating the Black Glove and escaping captivity from the evil New Gods from Issue #2, Batman, Bruce Wayne, the Dark Knight, our Caped Crusader, fell victim to Darkseid’s vaunted “Omega Sanction”…

…but what does that mean, exactly? I mean, it looks pretty damn fatal here…

…and we all know, it ain’t a Crisis if Superman’s not holding a corpse at some point. But this is a DC comic being written by Grant Morrison, and as we all know, Grant’s got the good peyote, so not all is as it seems. Especially if you consider that, as it turns out, the Omega Sanction doesn’t necessarily kill. Instead, it forces the victim to be forcibly reincarnated into increasingly desperate lives. So there you have it, the means by which Bruce Wayne will eventually return to the DC Universe, because as we’ve established…

…that is correct, sir!

So a great many readers discussing this comic over at NEWSARAMA.com are convinced that this all amounts to a case of BATMAN: BRB instead of BATMAN: RIP. Pause a moment, because I really wish I thought of that myself…

…and we’re back.

But I think my favorite comments about this issue have to be from the following two readers over at NEWSARAMA.com – first was ShadowBoxing, who said the following:

I feel like many here don’t “get” Final Crisis #6.

I’m seeing a number of the same complaints. Batman used a gun, Batman spoke in exposition, he killed someone, and went out like a punk…honestly though, I don’t see it that way, nor do I see why others feel that way.

My first reaction was disgust, because it did not seem as epic and grand as his comeback in R.I.P., but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. R.I.P ends with the curse upon the cowl, and reminds us that “Batman thinks of everything” and oh, man, he did.

When young Bruce Wayne left the theater playing Mark of Zorro, his parents were murdered by a mugger named Joe Chill, and like “Last Rites” outlined, this sent him on a seemingly unended quest to stamp out evil. That can’t be right. It has to have an end, Batman is smarter than to not have a final goal and final solution in mind, and this was it.

The scene begins with Batman slinking in the shadows of an alleyway, much like Joe Chill did many years prior. Darkseid, who is now the father of all evil, the bringer of Anti-life, finds himself on the receiving end of Batman. This time something is different though. He’s not engaging in fist-a-cuffs, or calling on GCPD backup, or using his wits, no…he’s mugging him with a gun. The beautiful irony.

The father of Evil gets shot by a madman, much like Batman’s father got shot by one of it’s byproducts. “Hh…Gotcha”. This is Batman’s ultimate “pwn” if you will. Evil gets to feel what it’s like to lose a parent, evil gets to know how Batman felt when he was a child, evil gets to experience the exact same thing Bruce did. Batman has a funny sense of humor, and this is it.

And then there’s CreatorPwned, who lent a real interesting bit of perspective:

The real crux of the story will be when we find out Darkseid had been brainwashed into killing Batman, only to realize he not only loved him, but was carrying his child.

And somewhere between those two fine points…the truth lies. 😉

I was actually all set to get into a spat that has developed between SAVAGE DRAGON creator Erik Larsen and Marvel comics for their “Obama variant” issue of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #583*but you know what, I’m just gonna say click here if you care, because I certainly don’t. There are no shortage of people taking sides – there’s your Larsen camp, there’s your Marvel camp, and  frankly, if I were to take a side, it’d be the readers’. Why? Because it’s 2009, comic books are $3 to $5 bucks a pop and apparently they’re so absolutely certain that we’re getting our nanopenny’s worth,  that our current generation of artists/creators can waste time quibbling over bullshit like THIS. It’s beyond absurd, and wasting text on it keeps me from moving on to my new signoff feature that I want to call:

AND NOW, JUST CUZ I FEEL LIKE IT…

‘Til next week, everybody – I’m Greg Manuel and I’m just sayin’, is all…

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