Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Last Week's Comics: Shoulda Been Better

I'll be honest, last week let me down. I just wasn't feeling it. My perceptions could easily have been colored by real-life annoyances, but last week's comics were so "eh" that I couldn't even get it up enough to write ANYthing about them for a while.

Zatanna was OK. It was really well-drawn. But I liked it better the first time, when it was Promethea. Rare is the Morrison project that I don't like; I can only think of the fourth fifth of his JLA run. This wasn't something that I didn't like, I just didn't care. Morrison comics have no right to be just "OK," or even "good." I hope this book picks up, because it was so "blah" I'd expect it to be written by the Committee That Writes Everything Else At DC.

And Dan Slott, to some, would be the savior of Marvel. Uh, OK. He's fine and all, but I just don't get the freak-out. She-Hulk was a mildly amusing average superhero comic. It wasn't as dark as the rest of the crap out there, but it wasn't exactly brilliant either. And now comes the "humor" miniseries, GLA. So now even in the light-hearted books girls die to emphasize how important things are. That's great. NOTE TO COMICS IN GENERAL: GET SOME THERAPY/LOVING SEX PARTNERS. I KNOW LIFE GROWING UP WAS HARD ON YOU, STOP TAKING IT OUT ON EVERYONE ELSE. So, yeah. This went for dark "humor" and missed the mark pretty wildly. Ooooh, fanboys are fat and live in the basement! Good one! Ha ha! Child endangerment humor! I rememember when Kyle Baker did it . . .it was actually funny, then! AND A GAY JOKE! AWESOME! This is humor at its finest.

I will say Walking Dead was damn good. When the Comics Journal review complains about characters killed off too quickly, I think it misses the point. This book isn't about a huge cast of characters. It's about extended horror and trauma. What happens after the zombie movie is over, and these people have to keep on keeping on. What happens when people die again and again and again. We're starting to see: everyone just goddam loses it.

And from the "Why Say It When Someone Else Said It Already?" file, here's Johanna: Oh, and I think Jeph Loeb has balls the size of Tokyo to think that Alan Moore's characters from Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? didn't have enough of an ending and needed to reappear. That attempt to acquire greatness by reusing the work of those much more talented blurs the line even further between corporate comics and fanfiction.

Everything else last week ranged from average super junk (Marvel Team-Up) to strong titles with weak issues (Losers, The Punisher). I'm not sure how strongly I feel for this coming week, either. I need something to come along and light my pecker on fire. My sister-in-like is devouring Preacher trades and demanding more and more. I need that fire again. Hmmmm.

Usually, what works in that instance is to re-read Flex Mentallo.

16 Love Letters:

Blogger alex said...

Why does everyone keep comparing ZATANNA to PROMETHEA?

Because they both have female magic users as leads? And they go into some weird imagination zone?

Is that it?

I'm really missing the similarities beyond that, and those aren't really enough to make me see them as similar.

I find the two books VASTLY different in tone, pacing, mood, and characters.

Someone fill me in.

7:36 PM

Blogger Joe Rice said...

Well, the "Is that us?" sequence is just SUCH a direct quote (in dialogue and in visuals) that it's hard to see it otherwise, for me.

7:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alex smells

8:02 PM

Blogger Joe Rice said...


8:03 PM

Blogger TCSmith said...

I agree, Al. Zatanna is about the character, where I thought Promethea was more about wierd stuff. Stupid Joe.

9:11 AM

Blogger Joe Rice said...

Now, I don't say it's exactly alike. It IS definitely more character-driven. I just didn't find it all that great. Homage, derivative, whatever . . .as long as the story's great I don't mind. This wasn't great


TC is no longer smart.

9:38 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


2:23 AM

Blogger Joe Rice said...

If I didn't know better, I'd assume that was me.

6:00 AM

Blogger Tadhg said...

Zatanna = good. That is all.

10:28 PM

Blogger Paul said...

Yeah, I finally got the issue, and it turns out that Joe is pretty wrong about Zatanna. I wish he stopped to think sometimes.

2:09 PM

Blogger Brad Curran said...

I liked it, but I was a little disappointed. I expected to be blown away, and I wasn't. That said, I'm like the situation he's set up, and I can't say much of a bad word about any comic that has Gimmix in it.

9:33 PM

Blogger Joe Rice said...

Yes, it was good. But I hardly think "good" is enough, especially when it's Morrison. You have to expect more out of your first-rate talents than "good." If I wanted "good" I'd go read something unextraordinary.

5:07 PM

Blogger Johnny B said...

People keep comparing Zatanna to Promethea because right smack dab in the middle of the book, Morrison & Sook/Gray give us a 4 or 5-page trip into "Misty Magic Land", so Morrison can poke a little fun at what he considers to be Alan Moore's incorrect interpretation of Magic. Or is that Magick? Whatever.

And re-reading Flex Mentallo is NEVER a bad idea.

8:10 AM

Blogger Paul McEnery said...

Teel is right. Joe is wrong.
Grant is stabbing at Promethea, with pastiche as his buckler. Moore was crusty hippy shit who didn't know his physics, would be his point. His other point would be brand distinction.

2:47 PM

Blogger Joe Rice said...

I get the point, Paul. I might even agree with it.

That doesn't make it an interesting comic. Grant could have written a comic about how breathing is good for you, and that would also be true, and also probably uninteresting.

4:43 PM

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8:38 PM


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