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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Indestructible Art # 82

Your favorite podcast about video games and comic books has new episode.


We talk about Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette's Wonder Woman Earth One and the outrage over Angela's new costume (which is really about the stupidity of what passes for comic book news if you ask me). Then there's some video game stuff about some studios that I am not all that familiar with.

So yeah.

Podcasts! You listen to them!

Friday, May 03, 2013

Jupiter's Legacy # 1

It has been a week since I first read Jupiter's Legacy #1. In total, I have read this issue three times. In the weekly grind of collecting comics, that is a lot. Three reads and seven days later, I can safely say that this a mediocre debut at best.

I was surprised by how underwhelmed I was with this book. There was no other comic coming out this year that seemed so highly anticipated. But there it was; another sub-par attempt at super hero comics, begging for the back-seat rewrite.

It is safe to say that I'm being a little unfair.

Frank Quietly's work looks great as always. From the bright and shiny to the dark and dreary, everything looks sublimely superb under Quietly's tight pencils. Expecting another page like this one from We3 is a bit of a tall order but a we can dream, can't we?

Panel from We3 # 1

In Civil War #1, Mark Millar and Steve McNiven gave us an almost full page spread of Captain America horse-back riding a Jet Fighter. Say what you want about how that whole series shook out, you can't deny Civil War started out with one hell of a bang. Millar's Wolverine run, Enemy Of The State and Agent Of S.H.I.E.L.D.were exactly the kind of high octane action that a Wolverine title needed at that time. While Ultimates was a cover of Authority, it one of those covers that takes the subject matter and makes it its own. And up until that last page, Wanted looked and read great.

After putting down Jupiter's Legacy #1 the first time, it felt like something was lacking. The second time I read it, that notion went from feeling to fact. It has been 13 years since Millar and Quietly worked together on their Authority run. All of the years in between, Quietly had been collaborating with Grant Morrison, creating amazing comics all the while. During that same period, Mark Millar also rose to prominence, his work standing shoulder-to-shoulder with that of Morrison and Quietly, albeit for very different reasons. As shallow and heavy handed Millar's work can feel, it has a kind of simple and brilliant high concept aspect to it that grabs readers in a way that no one else can. A first issue from Millar was written with the edge of your seat in mind.

Where is my edge-of-seat, over-the-top "Captain America riding a jet fighter to Mother Fucking Freedom" moment in this comic?

It has been awhile since I've read a Mark Millar story from start to finish. I picked up Supercrooks and dropped it after the second issue for reading too much like Oceans 14. Secret Service? Can't even remember what bored me about that one. I skipped Superior and Nemesis completely and the reviews that follow convinced me that I made the right decision with that one. Kick Ass was a decent ride but I had a hard time separating my enjoyment for the movie from the comic itself.

If the Golden Age was last night's party, then Jupiter's Legacy is about the morning after. Hung over and hating life, this new generation of super heroes wants to be anything but. Wanna-be groupies replace damsels-in-distress and lucrative celebrity endorsements are all the rage. With an origin story that is pre-ordained by birthright, fame trumps responsibility as the next wave of heroes live out their dark existence in shadows cast by their parents.

The stage is still being set which is why we should cut this book some slack. With the pedigree of everyone involved, expecting more of the same is unreasonable so there's hope. Mark Millar's track record has shown us that we will have plenty of other things besides a dull comic to gripe about.

Looking at the slew of great first issues that have come out in the past 12 months from titles such as SagaEast Of WestMind Mgmt, and Nowhere MenJupiter's Legacy is trailing behind. It could all turn around and become the book that fans expect from these two industry giants. Until that happens, this mini-series is just another reason we won't be holding Morrison and Quietly's Multiversity in our hands any time soon.

And it goes without saying: Mark Millar gets to hold the bag on this one.

This was cross-posted to Indestructible Art, a podcast about video games and comics that I co-host. Check it out.