Friday, May 9, 2008

What I'm Liking and Not Liking in Comics Pt 1

Okay, so I'm shelling out my hard-earned bucks for comics every Wednesday... and I realize this morning that I haven't read a chunk of what I bought two days ago.

That would have been unthinkable when I was in my 20s or even my 30s. Nowadays? I'm lucky if I read everything I buy period. Used to be I could only say that about novels (I own enormous tons of books and, sadly, have a considerable pile of "never-reads" in that papery black hole I call a library).

So what am I liking and what am I not liking?

Let me see.

1. WildStorm.
I know, I'm surprised too. While NEW DYNAMIX isn't kicking it for me, I love that they're going all out on NUMBER OF THE BEAST and the shape of the world afterward. It's a very bold step and I hope it pays off immensely. Plus they've been trying all kinds of energetic and innovative things to recharge their classic books. Despite a couple misfires (WildCats, Authority), WildStorm is getting better all the time.

2. Green Lantern.
A couple of interlocked books that have a master plan-- how cool is that? Geoff Johns is just rocking it on GL. For a hero I kinda-sorta liked, this has become "must read" stuff.

3. Secret Invasion.
It's about time the Skrulls got serious about kicking Earth's ass. And man, have they been doing it! Reed splattered over his lab, the Baxter Building sucked into the Negative Zone, the SWORD space station blown to bits... the list goes on and on. And where are the Avengers? Chasing their tails in the Savage Land, while New York is ground zero for the Skrull ground strike. Good stuff-- I just hope they avoid what befell WORLD WAR HULK: awesome story, miserable ending.

4. Cyclops.
I think Scott Summers is poised to become the fan favorite mutant of 2008. He's shaken off his decades-long misery over Jean Grey (who seems to have been reborn like... a phoenix?... over in CABLE), hooked up with the older-but-still-hot Emma Frost (c'mon, Emma's got to have five or six years on Scott easy), and assumed real leadership of the X-Men. Thank God one of my favorite X-characters is back to being himself.

5. Ultimate Marvel.
Yeah, it's heresy for anyone who's read comics for more than, oh, four years to admit liking the Ultimate books... but hey, they're doing what Marvel used to do in the old days: shaking up the status quo, keeping you guessing, and not playing it safe. I like Bendis on Ult Spider-Man (Peter Parker should ALWAYS be a high school student! yeah I said it!), I like Mike Carey on Ult FF, and the other books have given me some smiles. Sure, I wish ULTIMATES was a more regular title-- heck, the delays on ULTIMATES II were criminal-- but overall I like the line a lot.

1. The new Question.
I'll give Greg Rucka big props for being a great writer-- but his version of The Question isn't great. Renee Montoya evolved from being "that cop chick from BATMAN: THE ANIMATED ADVENTURES" into a complex character who'd hit rock bottom... only to begin a path toward self-knowledge courtesy of a dying Vic Sage (aka "Charlie"). Now, following the events in CRIME BIBLE, she's in charge of the Dark Faith. What the F?? C'mon, Greg, where the heck is THE QUESTION in this? Ditko's version, O'Neil's version... any version of a character searching for truth instead of punching her way to control of an evil religious sect. If you want to write "The Adventures of Renee Montoya, wannabe Cobra Commander" just do it, okay? Leave my favorite hero's legacy in peace.

2. Wolverine.
So... very... tired....

3. Captain America still dead.
C'mon, Ed Brubaker, bring Steve Rogers back already. You know you're going to.

4. Limitless crossover miniseries.
Once in awhile, it works. I kind of liked GAMMA CORPS, that WWH spinoff, and I'll buy one or maybe two of the FINAL CRISIS or SECRET INVASION tie-ins, but folks (I'm looking at you, DC and Marvel), too much is too much. It looks like FINAL CRISIS will keep it under control; let's hope SECRET INVASION does likewise.

That's all I have for now. We have a taping of FANTASTIC FORUM coming up at the end of the month. Maybe by the time I get back from London, I'll have more butt-whups in mind.

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