Monday, July 02, 2007

Five Topics For The Price of One (Free)*

SINESTRO CORPS SPECIAL (AKA POTENTIAL BEST COMIC OF 2007): To hell with Superboy Prime and the Cyborg Superman. They should give Ethan Van Sciver a Sinestro ring. That guy's art can instill great fear.

JOE KELLY AND SUPERGIRL#18: Yes, Joe, your Supergirl is the best version of Supergirl ever and all of us critics are a bunch of friggin' morons. WE GET IT!

Apparently DC agrees with you, because they're letting you stay on the book as long as you like....

Oh, wait....;f=36;t=006315

Never mind!

THE GRIM AND GRITTY TREND: I appreciate darker books as much as the next fan (see my Sinestro Corps comments above), but I'm really resenting the Big Two's apparent war on their lighthearted characters lately.

Sue Dibny - Gets murdered and retro-raped. Her husband, Elongated Man, is killed later.

Ted (Blue Beetle) Kord - Gets shot in the head by Max Lord, who in turn is given the Linda Blair treatment by Wonder Woman.

Speedball - Causes the death of an entire school and later turns into Penance, the S&M superhero.

Speedball's DC analog, Impulse - Gets his kneecap shot off by Deathstroke, then ditches the Impulse identity to become Kid Flash. Is prematurely aged into the Flash role as part of a cheap publicity stunt by DC. Is prematurely killed off as part of another cheap DC publicity stunt to bring back the Wally West Flash, who should never have been replaced in the first place.


At this rate I really fear for Woozy Winks.

On the other hand, we just learned that Ted Kord's successor's ultimate power fantasy is to become.... a dentist.

So maybe there's some hope yet.

This scene from the latest Fantastic Four:
(Thanks to Cheryl at Digital Femme)


With the possible exception of Gail Simone taking over Wonder Woman, this is perhaps my most-anticipated creative transition.

Not that I completely hated Brad Meltzer's run. It was kind of a mixed bag. He did some good things with characterization, particularly with Red Tornado in his first arc. He had a strong grasp of the workings of the hero and villain communities. And he had some good ideas. I know a lot of readers hated the idea of calling the League's training room "The Kitchen", but I liked it, particularly as it paves the way for a "someone's in the Kitchen with Dinah" joke.

But for all his great setups, sometimes his conclusions left a bit to be desired. The Grundy/Tornado fight was gripping. The JLA/Amazo fight in that same issue...wasn't.

Plus, some of his storytelling and pacing choices were downright bizarre. He had the Big 3 sitting around the Batcave looking at photos for 3 issues in his first arc (4 if you count the zero issue). And he apparently thought showing a game of "Capture the Flag" was more important than showing a fight between Batman and Karate Kid. Not only that, but his and Geoff Johns' JLA/JSA/Legion crossover didn't even have a Big Bad.

The "multicolor box-first person narrative" seemed like a good idea at first, but Meltzer had characters refer to each other by their first names too much (i.e. all the time), even when it wasn't appropriate or in character. Batman or Wonder Woman or Hal Jordan referring to Superman as "Clark" is appropriate. Even Black Canary calling him "Clark" is fine.

But when you have fucking Roy Harper, Green Arrow's former kid sidekick, referring to Superman as "Clark", that's just wrong.

Most importantly, Brad seemed to forget Rule#1 of comics writing: "Every issue is someone's first." I'm a veteran fan of all three groups and even I was confused during his Legion crossover conclusion. (Wildfire and Red Tornado have the same body? Since when?)

I'll read the rest of Brad's run, but I can't wait for Dwayne.

*With apologies to Richard Roeper.