The Gold Standard #36

Alright, rapid fire right from the get go, let’s do some guess work!

Subject……AGE!

Range……three or four year spread!

DC…….Go!

  • Clark Kent: 35-38
  • Bruce Wayne: 37-41
  • Hal Jordan: 32-35
  • Oliver Queen: 37-40
  • Dinah Lane: 30-32
  • Dick Grayson: 24-26
  • Roy Harper: 24-26
  • Wally West: 24-26
  • Barbra Gordon: 26-29
  • Kyle Rayner: 24-27
  • Donna Troy: 25-27

Marvel….Go!

  • Tony Stark: 40-43
  • Reed Richards: 38-41
  • Sue Storm: 32-35
  • Ben Grimm: 38-41
  • Johnny Storm: 26-28
  • Peter Parker: 27-29
  • Steve Rogers: 34-37
  • Sharon Carter: 32-35
  • Richard Rider: 23-26

So what’s the point I’m getting at? These characters are for everyone, you’re supposed to be able to relate to any one of them at any point in time. Yes, these numbers are guesses, but think about it. You’re not supposed to want to see Spider-Man past the age of twenty one, but all that does is put him down with the teenage heroes.

It also means that it’s not a bad thing to admit that Bruce was possibly getting a little bit past his prime. I mean, let me run down his personal timeline. Depending on which writer you refer to he became Batman somewhere in the range of 21 and 25. He picked up Dick Grayson in his third year. Now I’m going to stick with the classic story of him taking on Dick when he was ten (alright, fine, he was eight but ten works better for me). Dick left at eighteen. That’s eight years of being Batman right there. Add in two more to cover finding Jason and Jason dying (yet, it happened quick) and you’re up to ten years. A year or so later he found Tim, who was Robin for about five years. That puts the number up to sixteen. Sixteen years of being Batman. Which would put Bruce between the ages of 37 and 41. It also gives Dick another six years of age after leaving Bruce, putting him around the age of twenty four or twenty five. The perfect age to start becoming Batman, apparently.

Aren’t timetables fun?

Now let’s take a brief look at Peter Parker, while we’re at it. Peter graduated high school at eighteen, and then went to college. He graduated from college, on time, which would mean he was done with school by age 22 or 23. Thus, Peter can’t be younger then that or he’d have somehow blown through college at a rapid pace while still being Spider-Man. Which…..yeah, that didn’t happen. At all. On top of that, his graduation came after his initial encounter with his clone, and the Clone Saga made it clear that Ben returned after five years, in continuity, of being gone. Meaning that the clone probably came about when Pete was 20 or 21. This would make Peter 25 or 26 during the clone saga. Now that ended over ten years ago, and sifting through….I’d say it’s been a good three years, in continuity, maybe even four, since. Putting Peter around, let’s say 28. A good seven or eight years older than Marvel wants him. Yes, you can throw a little make up on him by getting rid of MJ and make him seem a bit younger, but good old Peter Parker is definitely in the second half of his 20’s by now.

I mean, come on, he was a high school teacher!

I mean, come on, he was a high school teacher!

I see and I understand the problem with tacking actual ages onto these timeless characters, as at some point you’re going to be stuck with a character far older then you were intending to leave them. That’s the nature of age. But the fact is that you can’t just pile on the crap and say it happened in rapid fire, Bendis did that in Ultimate Spider-Man. Know how that worked out? In one year, hell, in NINE months, Peter became Spider-Man, Uncle Ben died, Norman became the Goblin, Pete got the black suit, Venom came into existence, Gwen Stacy was killed by Carnage, Gwen Stacy came back as Carnage, Harry became Hobgoblin, the clone saga happened, and there was a big budget Hollywood blockbuster about him. Sure, there’s more, but look at all of that. That’s forty years of 616 stories all done in one year in the life of Peter Parker. I don’t buy it. There is no way a fifteen year old can live through all of that, in a year, and still be sane. Or alive. Trying to leave a set age on Peter just wound up handicapping the stories, as suspension of disbelief can only take you so far.

He had a bad year.

He had a bad year.

To be completely honest, all it takes is a little bit of effort on the part of the writers to keep these characters fresh as they age, and I can say this a million times in a million different ways, and I’m never going to stop standing by it. Disney said it best, “Keep Moving Forward”.

Next on the agenda is a little bit of spiel about Blackest Night.

Yes, I’m still hyped and excited and on the edge of my seat waiting

The good tidings and times begin this week with the new issue of Green Lantern, and then pick up incredibly next week as Blackest Night launches. It’s going to be a hell of a summer, not to mention fall. In my heart of hearts, and mind of minds, I have full faith in the core series itself not hitting many, if any, delays. Months and months ago, before Blackest Night was fully announced, I said that I would hate to see Ivan Reis do a big event. I said that he was a great artist, capable of hitting deadlines, and he could make anything epic. He’s the definition of the perfect event artist. The only downside, of course, is that he’s off Green Lantern now. Sure, we’ve got the always awesome Doug Mahnke taking his place, but Ivan was born to draw GL. It will be sad to see him move on.

DC is gearing up, organically, for a big event. And while yes, I’m sick of events, I happily went to my comic shop and said “Pull Blackest Night for me”. The guy there asked which books I wanted out of it, and you know what I said to him?

“Pull all of it but Blackest Night: Titans”

So long ago, another life; I can feel your heartbeat. It’s not a dream, remember us; I could see it in your eyes. We’ll find our place in time, A place in time, beyond the sun. We’ll find our place in time, a place in time to call our own.

You know, it wasn’t until I read an interview with Ed Brubaker that I realized just what it was about Captain America Reborn that was making my bones itch. For as much as I loved it, there was something about the plot that was just….I don’t know, it was just irking me. But alas, for two weeks, no dice. No luck. And then I read this interview with him, and bam, there it is. It’s Slaughterhouse Five. He’s doing a homage to Vonnegut! Now none of you should know this about me, but I used to be a pretty hefty reader of literary works. Yep, it’s true, there was a time when I always had my nose in a book instead of in a comic. But I read that little gem no less than six times. And I’ll tell you right now….six times be damned, I am NOT a fan of the book! I love the story and the concept, but the unstuck in time bit has always given me a headache on par with 1984’s….everything. So far (one issue in) this isn’t bothering me about the Cap story, and most likely in a visual medium it will resonate better with me, but still. Now I just keep picturing Steve Rogers as Billy Pilgrim. That isn’t pleasant.

Greek Street was the epitome of an impulse buy, as quite honestly the story behind me getting it was I saw Peter Milligan and “One Dollar” and I nabbed it. I found out the premise after reading the issue, and I have to say, it’s definitely going to be getting a second look from me. Not sure if it’s going to wind up on my pull like ‘The Unwritten’, but I’ll definitely check out the first two or three issues. Really disturbing stuff.

I don’t get the negative outcry for Cry for Justice, I mean, I dug it. It was a slow start, sure, and not what you’d expect for part one of five in a mini series, but I get why Robinson did it. Hal and Ollie set up the premise, Ray appears to remind people he exists, Mikaal and Congorilla both had their appearances just to give readers a semblance of who these guys were since most readers won’t have a clue. Was it a breakout overly awesome issue? Nope, but it was definitely worth the read.

So I want to know if Sodom Yat is dead, because, ummmm, Legion of Three Worlds. That’s telling me he gets all super powered to the extreme, but right now he’s ‘dead’. Is he going to come back all super awesome during Blackest Night? I hope so. Also, how fucked up was it for the Guardians to call for executions for all the prisoners? Seriously, messed up shit.

I’m not sure how much longer Fraction can maintain his whole dumbing down of Iron Man before the book becomes completely uninteresting. Right now it’s edge of the seat compelling, but how long can Tony really last at this rate? In ten issue he’s gone from worlds smartest man to someone who seems like he would get confused programming his DVR. At least we have Madame Masque being used as something other than a cheap floozy.

Yes, I am the jealous type. Deal with it.

"Yes, I am the jealous type. Deal with it."

Fantastic Four was awesome just for the fact that Millar finally got around to explaining how it ties in to 1985. Yes, it was a backstory issue, but it was much needed, and it made that little project seem all the more important. I wonder if any other writer is ever going to mention this run happened?

Spider-Girl is over? Again? Why are there no more issues solicited for the near future? What gives?!

Yay for Cable being free of crossover syndrome! Sure, it was a painfully average issue, but it’s nice to revisit the books actual status quo instead of…..well, whatever the hell Messiah War was. Seriously, what the hell was that? How do you crossover two books that separately are awesome and somehow make them into that much crap? People gave shit about Magnum Opus over in Deadpool and Thunderbolts, but at least that made sense!

The Mighty has me questioning its longevity as a series, as with every issue they seem to have Alpha One cross further and further into the realm that forges a character without true redemption in the eyes of a reader. Yes, he’s doing something we aren’t sure about, but if he goes ahead and kills Gabe, then what are we going to be left with? And if he doesn’t kill him…..why wouldn’t he kill him?!

Alpha One is watching you

Alpha One is watching you

Know what’s funny? Two weeks, two issues of Uncanny. It’s $3.99 an issue, and hitting shelves two or three times a month. Marvel kinda sneaked this up on us, but I honestly won’t complain. Fraction’s run on Uncanny is still a breath of fresh air to me. One that can only be improved by removing Greg Land from the interiors of the book forevermore.

What astonished me was that I actually enjoyed Astonishing X-Men. That hasn’t really happened too well yet since Ellis came on, but I dug the last issue of the first arc. Now I can’t wait for Jimenez to come on as artist and the book to ship monthly! A great artist who is actually capable of hitting deadlines; a first for this title.

I liked how they ended Iron Fist, with Danny and Misty and then Danny and Luke. I will say that I saw it coming several issues ago, but that isn’t a bad thing. I think it’s all a natural progression of the life of Danny Rand, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for him after the Immortal Weapons mini series.

Sirens didn’t disappoint me with its first issue, but at the same time I wasn’t all too pleased. Dini was setting the table for his ongoing work on the book, and his characterization was dead on, but I dunno. I’m definitely giving it a few issues, but it didn’t grip me nearly like I was expecting. Though I’m sure Selina will be back to normal by issue six or seven.

Can someone clear up the Hood’s continuity for me? In New Avengers he’s a rampaging demon who gets exorcised and left powerless. In Initiative he’s being given full charge of the program. He also has his own mini series where he’s dealing with the ramifications of his past. WOLVERINE is more streamlined, and he has three ongoing titles!

Tec was great, but I want to know when Kate Kane stopped being uber sexy and turned into Uma Thurman from Pulp Fiction. Not that I’m complaining, but somehow I didn’t expect her to be a skinny, pasty, tattooed woman under all that. For some reason I figured she was the gender swap of Bruce, and I dug it.

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What I read this week:

  • Authority
  • Batman and Robin
  • Greek Street
  • Green Lantern Corps
  • Justice League: Cry For Justice
  • The Mighty
  • Secret Six
  • Amazing Spider-Man Family SPECTACULAR SPIDER-GIRL
  • Cable
  • Captain America Reborn
  • Exiles
  • Fantastic Four
  • Invincible Iron Man
  • Uncanny X-Men
  • War of Kings

Best of the week:

  1. Captain America Reborn
  2. Green Lantern Corps
  3. Invincible Iron Man

What I read last week:

  • Detective Comics
  • Gotham City Sirens
  • Green Lantern
  • JLA
  • JSA
  • Superman
  • Teen Titans
  • Astonishing X-Men
  • Avengers: The Initiative
  • Dark Avengers
  • Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Immortal Iron Fist
  • New Avengers
  • Nova
  • Secret Warriors
  • Thor
  • Uncanny X-Men
  • X-Factor
  • X-Force

Best of the week:

  1. Green Lantern
  2. Secret Warriors
  3. Uncanny X-Men

The Gold Standard

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