I'm Just Sayin'…#75

Columns, Features, Top Story

Hello everybody, we are up and we are ready with this latest edition of…

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This past weekend my gf surprised me with a copy of what George Carlin called his “sortabiography,” LAST WORDS. All I will say is this: it’s every bit as engrossing a read as you’d expect, and only confirms something I’ve held ever since I shook his hand back in 2005 – I should’ve hugged him, instead.

The Man.

Buy the book, and look into the mind of one of the greatest to ever live. I said greatest. Never mind greatest what. Greatest, period. If this doesn’t outsell Sarah Palin’s self-serving volume of narcissitic bile by Friday, then something’s wrong with all of us. Okay, now on to the comic stuff.

Starting with some news, I saw that COMICS SHOULD BE GOOD gave a more than deserved shout-out to the first sixteen issues of THE IMMORTAL IRON FIST as part of their “Comics You Should Own” segment, and I agree with that – even if it kind of stops short of the book’s due acclaim. If you ask me, you should own the entire run.

Duane Swierczynski deserves a lot of props for “The Mortal Iron Fist” and “Escape from the Eighth City,” and the obvious insight he had in continuing what Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker started in IMMORTAL IRON FIST, instead of steering Danny Rand into an entirely different direction once the Fru Crew left. I think it’s time we changed our thinking on this; supporting good writers isn’t enough. We should take it further, and support the furtherance of a larger concept that readers can sink their teeth into. Just sayin’.

From NEWSARAMA.com: “Marvel released this image Friday afternoon only asking the question ‘Who Is One Of The Most Exciting New Comic Characters of The Century?'”

Now I don’t wanna burst any bubbles, but let’s just say that anybody who wants to guess “Penance” should go ahead and put their hands down. No, sir – the good people at Marvel Comics were talking about this:



With apologies to my boy Chris Cervantes, I don’t think I’ll be going with Random Pistol-Packin’ Monkey (coming soon to Adult Swim!) for “One of the Most Exciting New Comic Characters of the Century.” Interestingly enough though, my choice can also be found on Newsarama.com, and you can find that choice right here.

Speaking of teasers – wanna see a trailer for the Marvel event that drove JMS away from THOR? Click here. You know what’s funny about this, is there was once a time when I would’ve thought video trailers for comic books were the coolest thing. Now I just find them almost as dumb as these “motion comics” that’ve been floating around. I wonder if that’s just a matter of my own perception, or if they really are as stupid as I think they are. Thoughts, anybody else?

On to some of my recent purchases, beginning with the consistently satisfying, can’t-recommend-it-enough BATMAN & ROBIN #6…

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Reading this conclusion to “Revenge of the Red Hood,” I couldn’t help but think how it must’ve tickled Grant Morrison to have Jason Todd incorporate an 800 number into his trap for Dick and Damien.

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Quite brilliant, I must say. Those of you ignoring this arc just because Frank Quitely wasn’t drawing it (I know you’re out there; I’ve done that myself!) would do well to come back and check this story out. A wonderful, character-driven piece, the star of which has to be Jason Todd, thus cementing him as Dick Grayson’s rightful arch-nemesis. Has Dick ever had a proper arch-nemesis before? Ah, well – either way…

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…he’s definitely got a good one now.

The sharp eyes of our faithful Nexus reader (and likely future Nexus columnist) Mr. Q not only pointed us to this piece by Iann Robinson, but also to a certain discrepancy represented by DEADPOOL #900…

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Q was all set to call shenanigans for this a few weeks ago, especially considering the bad doctor’s supposed status quo as depicted in what I shall generously describe as one of the most underwhelming milestone comics Marvel has produced this year, if not ever…

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Stiiiiiill waiting for an explanation for this'un...

But all things considered, I see it as a missed opportunity. Take a moment and visualize Green Mummy Variant (TM) Doc Ock in the above pages, instead of Classic Bowl-Cut Doc Ock and you’ll see what I mean. There are few things in this world that sadden me more than comic potential gone untapped…

On to FANTASTIC FOUR #572 and the conclusion of “Solve Everything,” I am calling it now:

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This move by Reed Richards is going to come back and bite him and his family right on their cosmically irradiated blue behinds.

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In three issues, we’ve been given a council of Trans-dimensional Reeds, a dungeon full of lobotomized Doctor Dooms and a Celestial attack the results of which has yet to be seen. I’d place heavy odds on our coming back to this, but hey – I fully expected Ed Brubaker to let Daredevil kick the ever-loving snot out of Mister Fear one more time before he left that book to the Diggle, so a hunch is a hunch, for whatever it’s worth.

And for a second straight time, we take a look at Geoff Johns and his efforts at single-handedly reshaping the DC Universe. I recently learned of an interesting little detail tucked away in THE FLASH: REBIRTH #4…

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Yep, thanks to the power vested in Geoff, by way of  the history-rewriting events of INFINITE CRISIS – of which Geoff himself was the leading architect (Hell, that’s my best guess for making sense of this! You got a better one?) –  apparently Barry Allen himself is now the source of the Speed Force – that which powers most if not all of DC’s known speedsters, past, present and future. It wasn’t enough to have Jay Garrick say, “Barry Allen made me the Flash” back in the first issue – now he’s practically the motherflippin’ GOD of the Flashes!


I know, Kitty. But what’re you gonna do – it’s DC…

This is currently open to discussion at the COMICBOARDS.com FLASH message board, and as always, I wanted to pass along the best quote on the matter that I could find, courtesy of the ever-wise enigma of the Internet, Omar Karindu:

I must admit, I’m very disappointed that Johns is essentially using an extension of his “seven colors” Green Lantern idea here. Wasn’t the Speed Force generally implied to have something to do with the Fourth World’s Source?

It’s been described as a Valhalla for speedsters so often, turning into some sort of insanely wide-ranging effect of Barry’s accident seems like an astoundingly ham-handed way of making him the center of all Flash lore. That’s not just a problem in story terms, it also rather bizarrely interacts with the real-world publishing history. Barry Allen’s not the first or only speedster in-story or even in publication terms by any stretch, yet that’s being jammed in by Rebirth.

As to Thawne/Zoom embodying an evil reverse Speed Force principle….yeah. I don’t think we need a Flash Sinestro Corps with its own power source either. Zoom’s always been convoluted enough — a time-traveling Rogue from the future who duplicated the Flash’s powers — that various later efforts to further complicate him (the Thawne-Allen rivalry, this Reverse Speed Force thingie) have detracted from the original character more than added to it. (Waid’s take worked largely because at that point Zoom was technically “dead;” he was creating successor villains, not trying to revamp the existing ones.)

It also screws up Final Crisis (which is *not* redundant in this case), given the way that story rather clearly made Barry’s return the universe’s counterpart to Libra’s. We even got the Speed Force as a counterbalance to Anti-Life, for Pete’s sake! That simply doesn’t work with Rebirth’s revisions.

Between this and the “Henry Allen dies in prison” thing — which screws up Johns’s own Top storyline from the Identity Crisis tie-ins — this Rebirth is turning into a real boondoggle. It’s actually managed to dampen my interest in the upcoming Flash series, something I thought was impossible given how much I wanted Johns back on the speedsters up til now.

You know, I’m starting to wonder whether or not Geoff Johns’ retconning ways can in fact be harnessed for the good of the industry. Somebody get his thoughts on the Spider-Marriage, and get back to me…depending on his answer, we’ll know whether we should lobby to have him sent over to Marvel to rescue our friendly neighborhood wall crawler, or file a restraining order to keep him away at all costs!


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Now that is a teaser.

I’m Greg Manuel, and I’m just sayin’, is all…