NO FIWOTTS ALLOWED!

Friday, March 25, 2005

Some Greats and a Once-Great Stinker

I don't necessarily want to do a lot of straight reviews here. Blogland is as sick with comic reviews as a comic con is sick with sweat stains. But there are comics out there that are either great or terrible or just worth mentioning that may not have a whole big post's worth of material to discuss.

The past few weeks have seen a few great comics. Let's be honest, Vaughn is really on his game these days. Ex Machina was great, but this volume of Runaways has taken the fun of the first and grown it exponentially somehow. And, I'm sorry, if you can make damned Darkhawk or one of those damn Slingers things interesting, Zombie Jack Kirby should give you a medal before eating your brain. The art's better than ever, and I love that Alphona has clearly seen real people and used fashion mags as inspiration. His characters wear outfits, not just "clothes." Anyway, couldn't recommend either book more. Inventive, smart, funny, exciting, and always willing to play with genres.

Ah, Giffen JLA . . .what has become of you? After the previous well-drawn but extremely dull and labored mini-series, JLA Classified has a sequel. It's awkward for a number of reasons. Let's list them like beautiful nerds!
1. Sue Dibny, especially "Sue is pregnant" jokes. Not their fault, but boy Identity Crisis made this icky.
2. CREEEEEEPY sex jokes about an underage girl. Jesus, ENOUGH already! Sure, maybe as a school teacher I'm extra sensitive about it, but do we really need 14 year olds in bondage gear?
3. Marvel family portrayal in general. Yeah, I'm a big Marvel family nerd. Huge, really. If DC says they're teenagers now (which I think is dumb), they should be a bit more like teenagers and not cartoons if "Gee willickers. That's just me, though.
4.Guy Gardner: congratulations, yes, he's very annoying.
5. It's just not very good. It reads like a lackluster sitcom . . .some decent jokes, mostly a bunch of undecent jokes.

The genius behind the original Giffen JL run was the mix of the slice-of-life humor and the extremely driving superhero drama. These minis have sacrified the latter for the former, and now they just don't work. Awful stuff from talented people.

So I picked up that Livewires book on a whim. I've never been a fan of that Warren guy. I didn't see much point in the book. But somehow, that became a reverse selling point. "Why would this be published if it weren't pretty neat?" (That's awful logic vis a vis comics, by the way. See: 90% of the output of every company out there.) But I'll be damned if it isn't a rocket-paced book packed with more fun than I'm packed with dumb metaphors. Androids with unique functions and abilities and lots of weird, fun stuff that Warren clearly loves. Fits my earlier definition of a great comic, because I don't think anyone else would have or could have made this comic. Check this one out and tell me it's not fun.

And if you don't know that Invincible and Plastic Man are GREAT, GREAT, well-done comics then you're an idiot.

5 Love Letters:

Anonymous Brad Curran said...

I liked Warren's Gen13 a lot, but it has teenagers drawn in a sexualized art style, so it's not for you. His work is generally pretty big on the boobage, from what I've seen, but that's not a sticking point for me.

"I'm sorry, if you can make damned Darkhawk or one of those damn Slingers things interesting, Zombie Jack Kirby should give you a medal before eating your brain."

Zombie Jack eating your brain is like getting a medal, anyway, but yeah, that's a hell of an achievement. Then again, Vaughan's the guy that made Cloak and Dagger fun characters.

"The genius behind the original Giffen JL run was the mix of the slice-of-life humor and the extremely driving superhero drama. These minis have sacrified the latter for the former, and now they just don't work. Awful stuff from talented people."

That's a good point. It wasn't all jokey schtick in those early issues. There was actually drama and pathos. I haven't read the new minis, but it does seem like they're just going for laughs from what I've seen/heard about them.

2:31 PM

 
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