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Friday, December 02, 2005

Starman fucking rules!


No, not that Starman, although, the weird, benevolent, space powers of Robert Hays(a role he took over for Jeff Bridges in the Starman tv series) are something that do deserve a whole post of their own. No, the Starman I am talking about is the nostalgia crazed, cosmic rod brandishing, reluctant hero, Jack Knight.



I passed up on a lot of comics growing up. I try to place the blame on things like Heavy Metal, small town upbringing, binge drinking Bud Ice, Dungeons & Dragons, being raised Mormon, being in love with kitties, and ditching high school to play the Wildstorm CGC and skateboard. Its all true. What do I have to show for it, comic book wise? That I'm at least proud to admit, an almost complete collection of Hiroaki Samura's Blade Of The Immortal single issues and an original hardcover Wolverine - Nick Fury: Scorpio Key(sans the slip cover). The rest of it? Eh, mostly crap that I can't get rid of much like all the baggage that weighs down the superheroes that I love so much.

One of the things that I missed the boat on was James Robinson and Tony Harris's Starman. That book is effing great. I just finished the 2nd trade and was just about ready to start a murderous rampage when my LCS didn't have the 3rd or 4th one in stock. I bought the 5th trade and was almost tempted to read it, but decided that doing so would be like cheating. So instead I read some other stuff that Jack Knight will be so kind enough to tell us what he thinks of them:

New Avengers # 13

That's right, Starman! What we have here is a classic case of "dirty pool." And just in case you're wondering what air quotes dirty pool means, here's the definition from Dictionary.com:
Unjust or dishonest conduct.

and/or:

conduct that is unfair or unethical or unsportsmanlike

That's for Tony who said that I just make my own meanings for things that I say, which isn't entirely true, but, then again, not entirely false.

Bendis'(or Marvel's) attempt to try and create some kind of "mystery" by having a GUY wearing some kind of crazy ninja outfit on the cover for 12 issues only to turn around and have that GUY turn out to be a GIRL is......say it with me......DIRTY POOL. That's it. Oh, and Finch doesn't know how to draw women's faces or energy blasts. Sorry dude, but you don't.

Zatanna # 4
First Frankenstein sucks and now this? Don't know about you, but I'm a bit confused. There's supposed to be this battle that's all crazy epic playing out in the minds of Zor and Zatanna and then there's this seven men who are standing around, breaking fourth walls and making me have to consult Barbelith and Jog just to understand the heaviness that Grant Morrison is laying on me. Actually, the seven men thing was really cool, but that big fight at the beginning could have used just a wee bit more explaining. Alot of times I feel as if Grant Morrison's idea of telling story is to do so by throwing CRAZY! WACKO! WOW! stuff at you and doing nothing else. And what is up with that dialogue? "Its the end of the world and I'm flying on a flying horse. I thought about you." What? Its like he's writing this stuff just to upset me. All I want to do is jump into the panel and say "hey, ya dumb broad! The world's ending! Show a little emotion!" Everything just comes out so matter-of-factly with Morrison's dialogue and it drives me nuts sometimes. I can barely read a New X-men trade without bitching about it for weeks at my LCS. But then there's shit like talking flying horses so I forgive him for it. Is something wrong with me?

Walking Dead Vol 4: The Heart's Desire
So, Darren, who works at my LCS, recommended this book to me about a year ago. I picked up the first one, and thought, eh, its ok. I got the second one and it was more "eh." However, as part of some weird social experiment, I picked up the 3rd one. And then the 4th one came out and I bought that. Sure, there's some ok stuff in there, but all in all, I don't really like zombies nor do I like Kirkman. However, I'm willing to give them both a chance, well because Darren said it was good, just stick with it and get the next one, blah blah blah. And I have. A few pages into this new one and yeah, it doesn't do anything for me. Not a big deal, my fault, Darren tried but I'm done.

Well, guess what? Turns out Darren told my friend that he doesn't even like Walking Dead. I mean, what hell is that all about?! What other comics has Darren recommended to me only to snicker and sneer as I dance like marionette on his strings!? Did I ever tell you about the time that Darren called me a homo for no reason? Or how he turns my friends against me in the comic shop? Or when he said "Dude, check the sales sheets. DC's selling more than Marvel right now." So what if DC is selling more than Marvel? Bats and Supes should French kiss, get over it, and start appearing in some good comics already! Trying to tell me that I'm wrong for not liking Infinite Crisis and throwing crap like sales sheets in my face is like telling me that Celine Dion should a trillion albums and I should make it a trillion and one because a trillion morons can't be wrong...

Hate you, Darren!

Deadbeats # 74
So I chipped in to help Claypool Comics. Did you? Yeah, that's what I thought. Think you're all big and tough because you're non-creator ass can watch in as the big boys over at the Engine talk about how evil Diamond is and how we need to save crappy comics like Deadbeats ad nauseam, ad nauseam. Really though, this comic? Heavy handed, way too much exposition, and some weird sexual tension between the characters that really just made me feel uncomfortable. The art is nice, in that dated kind of way. Better than I can draw, but it could use a little work on the panel layouts.

Its funny because you could say something like "Its got a vampire named 'Hermano' in it!", you'd probably hear someone say something like "I'd buy THAT comic" but, you know, in a snarky ironic way.

Mark Fossen was totally right on this one.

8 comments:

Mark Fossen said...

Alot of times I feel as if Grant Morrison's idea of telling story is to do so by throwing CRAZY! WACKO! WOW! stuff at you and doing nothing else.

That's really what I like about Morrison. he's got enough crazy ideas that he can afford to throw them against the wall, and see what sticks. He doesn't need to stretch each little idea into a six issue deconstructed miniseries, 'cause he knows there's more where that came from.

kelvingreen said...

Stupid Ronin. Stupid Bendis. Stupid Marvel.

Ragnell said...

I'd agree on Bendis, but Grant Morrison pulled it once and I thought it was awesome there...

Execution, maybe?

(Anyway, I suggest you keep this feature. It was a really cool idea for reviews!)

Spencer Carnage said...

Mark -
Don't get me wrong, I like Grant Morrison, but sometimes the story plays second fiddle to the idea fest that he's throwing around. Then again, I do have a love-hate relationship with Morrison, so I tend to get a little jumpy about his work.

Kelvin -
I know, yet I'll probably still continue to buy his books. By the way, good review at Silverbulletcomicsbook.com.

Ragnell -
Considering I just found the best picture of Osamu Tezuka, I just might have to continue this for a little while. Thanks.

kelvingreen said...

I don't recall Morrison spinning a mystery out for over a year, then revealing the mystery character to be a D-list extra from Daredevil...

Mark Fossen said...

Don't get me wrong, I like Grant Morrison, but sometimes the story plays second fiddle to the idea fest that he's throwing around.
Hey ... I agree. I just like it.

SpiritGlyph said...

Just the second trade? I'll get better. Oh, it will get so much better. The Shade will get cooler, David Knight's annual appearances will get more enjoyable, the O'Dares will get more supportive, and Ted Knight will just plan kick some ass, Paul Newman style. Great series.

Iron Lungfish said...

Okay, this is why Zatanna #4 sucked: the villain of the series should at least be mentioned before they show up for the big climactic final fight. I read the last issue, re-read all the others, and still couldn't find how this was supposed to fit together (without Barbelith-esque leaps of logic to explain away what would ordinarily be assumed to be crappy writing).

I eventually had to google for "Zor" to find out he was some old Spectre villain, which made his appearance seem even more random. And why the hell should I have to use the internet to figure out a character's significance in the first place? Then there's the gratuitous metafictive stuff, which by now I assume Morrison puts in when he doesn't know what to actually write. There's a difference between "throwing lots of crazy ideas out there" (All-Star Superman, JLA, New X-Men) and "pulling random crap out of your ass and hoping the artist can draw it real good" (Zatanna, The Invisibles).