You remember how not too long ago I was all hating on comics for being crappy? Well, they're still mostly crappy, and thank god for that because without crappy comics I don't think any of us would ever have a reason to go online, but I'm finding my distaste for them going on a seasonal decline. Why? Beats the hell out of me, really. Since I won't have the funds until friday to purchase new vittles for my comic book reading appetite, I've been going through some old trades to get my jones on. I can't think of a better time and place than now to talk about them so let's do just that!
JSA: The Golden Age
As you all know, I am not what you call a 'DC Guy.' When I think of DC comics, I think of playing peanuckle with my grandma while sipping tea on lazy sunday afternoon. Its great and all, but I'd rather be doing other things. That's just me, though. The good thing about JSA: The Golden Age is that it is the DCU straying away from that middle-of-the-road super hero business and getting down and dirty with it. Its got that edginess laid out in front of you, but with a touch of class that usually escapes most Marvel comics. Using the Red Scare as a backdrop, James Robinson crafted a well thought out suspense thriller that works as a great send off to the bygone era of the 40's and 50's mystery men. Re-reading this makes me wish that there was a comic where Alan Scott punchs Hal Jordan AND Guy Gardner in their stomachs to show the world how sissy they really are when compared to the Tower Of A Man That Is Alan Scott The Original Green Lantern, big puffy sleaves and all. Alan Scott is the type of guy that will be 80+ years old, sitting in a wheelchair, talking about how he could whoop your uppity 20 something year old punk ass. And he probably would, too. Alan Scott is not one to be fussed with. When I first read this a year or two ago, it actually made me want to catch up on the JSA and see how things were going for them in the current DCU. Maybe one of these days I will. Until then, I can look at this Elseworlds Tale and say "Me and Hourman have something in common: we've both done drugs!" Not even reading Amazing Spider-man can make me say that. And that's something.
Fantastic Four: 1 2 3 4
The only FF comics I own are Civil War Tie-ins or are drawn by Mark Bagley. I like the FF, but I just haven't read the right FF story to get me completely hooked. I know, I know, apparently John Byrne is where its at with this book. Enough already. I got this trade because, well....its Grant Morrison and Jae frickin' Lee! And its gooooood. Dark, moody, and scary as all hell at points. Morrison takes one of the brightest, shiniest super hero teams and puts them up against the ropes while Lee illustrates it all for us to see in usual dark and moody style, which works out great to accent to the feeling of DOOM hanging over our heroes' heads. Through the eyes of Grant Morrison, you get a real sense of what makes these characters tick. Its a psychological thriller that only lets up when the good guys finally beat on the bad guy. Its not enough to make want to buy everything FF yesterday, but it helps push me in the right direction.
I don't know what's so bad about Alex Ross. Sure, he's all antiquated in ways regarding the DCU and the only new changes that he acknowledges are those that lean towards the ones we see made in Kingdom Come, but brothers and sisters.....the dude can paint. And sure, sometimes the painting comes off as stiff and doesn't explode at you from the page like a Kirby panel would, but that's 90% of the guys working in the industry right now. Regardless, y'all got your opinions and I got mine. Let's move on, shall we?
I like Kingdom Come because I like Alternate Futures. They're fun. Its always interesting to see what time can do to our beloved heroes and villians. What do you think Spider-man's gonna be like when he's older? Let's go to the future and see! You ever think Wolverine will just keep on living while the rest of the X-men die, and if so, will he be all emo sad about it? Let's go to the future and see! Now I can agree with you that most stories that jump forward in time are usually piles of crap. But we're talking about super hero comics here. They're all usually are just big piles of crap. Knocking the premise just because a writer doesn't know what to do with it is unfair and childish.
What Kingdom Come is, is a love letter to DC. Apparently DC has a lot comics that function on this same kind of level, its just that Kingdom Come is doing it like Woah. Kingdom Come works so well as a love letter from Mark Waid and Alex Ross to the DCU that, that love is so great and exponentially infecting that it even transferred itself on to me. That's right! Kingdom Come knocked a little bit of ice off of my cold, cold Marvel heart. I even gave my friend Ryan, a DC fan, a hug after reading this. Its interesting when you compare Kingdom Come to what's going on right now in the current DCU. Not that I'm reading a lot of DC comics, but by the look of things, its getting pretty bad. If I must say, its starting to look like Marvel comics stayed over for the weekend and left the DCU with nothing to show for it except a heaping dose of STDs. If the current issue of the Flash is a clear cut indicator of what DC is doing as a whole(which it seems it has been the past week), DC and Fun had themselves a little bit of a falling out. I thought One Year Later was our way of getting away from all that negativity, but it looks like they're still knee deep in it over there. Sorry, DC fans, but it seems that the Marvel way of doing things is so damn lucrative and appealing that the guys in charge are trying to steal our thunder! We're just better looking, is all! Don't believe me? Go check out the Bendis Board! Nothing but 20 to 30 something year old hotties posting about New Avengers and Veronica Mars! LOL!