Tuesday, November 02, 2004

What the internet is for:

I once said that an internet comic nerd loves nothing more than a new excuse to bitch. I usually try to avoid this sort of stuff, but lately it's seemed like the crap has been flying with alarming speed and abandon. I've found myself more frustrated than usual of late; this isn't really that amazing . . .I'm usually pretty unfrustrated with comics. I think, overall, we're in a good time here and there's LOTS of great stuff being done.

THAT BEING SAID . . .there's something I really have to get off my chest. This is me at my most fanboyish, my most . . .negative (?) I suppose. But what the fuck is going on with the mainstream DCU? Holy shit! Now, people that have read me before know that I don't care for the middling journeyman work that has dominated that company for years now. The work of guys like Johns, Loeb, and Winnick is about as interesting to me as the medical history of the crazy guard at my school, which is to say, not at all. I guess I understand why they've been given so many assignments: they turn in their work on time and they use certain devices that blow fan minds for no apparent reason (extraneous mentions of continuity, linking everything together compulsively, retelling the same old stories). But lately . . .I dunno.

First Identity Crisis comes out. And in issue two we have an on-panel graphic rape scene. In an unlabeled comic. I find that, frankly, to be indefensible. It's gross. The rest of the book is pretty shitty in my mind, too, but that I was used to from DC. It's as if someone rediscovered Watchmen and DKR and MISSED THE POINT AGAIN! So now we have a new crop of "dark" and "adult" capes and tights books that read like adolescent anti-fantasies. "Dude, supervillains would totally be much eviller! They'd, like, rape girls and kill people and shit!" Whatever. That's not mature. It's just a different kind of immature.

So, this new post-IC DCU, supposedly centered around that awful crossover, has this GL: Rebirth piece of crap. Total fanboy pandering junk. Does the world need expository dialogue explaining who Mia is? Or a reminder of Guy Guardner: WARRIOR? Or Crazy Spectre Hal crippling villains? It's just so . . .gratuitous. It's everything I hate about recent DC: superheroes simultaneously made "mature" and being sucked off by the writer and the cast; anal retentive OCD continuity mentions and "fixes;" stiff, uninteresting art; and, despite all the pretenses, just a big old "status quo."

And now Judd Winnick is going to write a Captain Marvel miniseries. I loves me some Captain Marvel, I really do. My students loves them some Captain Marvel. But now the guy who made wacky Sivana a cold-blooded murderer and brought Sabbacc and Cap, Jr. into his dark, "mature" Outsiders is getting a major shot with the Big Red Cheese. It's almost enough to make a man give up.

But I refuse to give up. Plastic Man is too good. Adam Strange is firing on all cylinders. Wildstorm and ABC and Vertigo have some great stuff, as per usual. They'll keep me hanging on.

And there's always Grant Morrison. He's coming back to the DCU and it's going to make my weiner get all hard. In the meantime, excuse me while I dry hump my issues of We3.


At 10:13 PM, Blogger Eliot Johnson said...

Regarding Mia's presence in Rebirth, she's there for exposition as to Black Hand.

You have to remember what Johns has to work with here. He has been tasked with turning all of these shitty stories in GL over the years into something good. GL has, unfortunately, become dark and DC has dictated that Johns work with that. So when working with stuff that's shitty and dark, the product is going to be shitty and dark.

Does that mean that Rebirth is good for what it is? Not really, even though it has some good ideas, the hokey dialogue and cardboard characterizations take the issue down. Not to mention the art.

Would it make more sense to have an out of continuity series set in Hal's own era. Hell yeah, but DC isn't going to go for that. It sucks, but I'm not gonna let "what could have been" dictate my enjoyment of what is.

That said, Rebirth was not a very good comic unless you're a pretty hardcore GL fan or you just like Johns's writing. But, hey, we've got Plastic Man and six more issues of Adam Strange. And Gotham Central. And some good stuff from Vertigo and Wildstorm. And we can always go back and re-read New Frontier.

At 6:50 AM, Blogger Joe Rice said...

Thing is, one of my best pals is about as hardcore a GL fan as you can get, and he loathed the book even more than me. He loves the character, but won't put up with shitty stories, which this definitely was.

At 11:04 AM, Blogger Ed Cunard said...

I had the good sense not to buy the damn thing... Although it might be worth it, if only for the comedic material.

But I'm afraid there's something in the ink that will make me speckle my halloween boxers with white as I scream THE ONE TRUE LANTERN RETURNS! IT'S NOT FICTION! IT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING EVER!

At 5:01 PM, Blogger Eliot Johnson said...

Ed...that was hilarious.

And, Joe, so you know, this is Tek.

Basically, what I mean is that this is a shitty comic book, but that there are a whole lot of comics out there that are shittier.

I only buy this book because it is Green Lantern. I wouldn't have blinked at it otherwise.

At 6:46 PM, Blogger Joe Rice said...

That's just not enough for me. I'm sorry, there could be a Captain Marvel comic book with me and my fiancee in it, but if it was this shitty, that wouldn't be enough.

At 6:53 PM, Blogger Eliot Johnson said...

And it shouldn't be enough. I couldn't agree more.

I was just saying. It was more a comment about the central DCU: this book is not good at all, and they have many books that are worse.

At 7:02 PM, Blogger Joe Rice said...

I honestly couldn't name many worse, but then I refuse to read most of it. What would you say ranks below Afterbirth?

At 8:49 PM, Blogger Ed Cunard said...

The Gift from Image comics, and anything from Arcana.

Also, Identity of the Person We'll Defile Next, But You Won't Care Because She Isn't As "Pure" or Popular As Your Precious Gwen.

At 8:54 PM, Blogger Joe Rice said...

I meant DC! So what OTHER than Rapey Comics!

At 9:13 PM, Blogger Ed Cunard said...

Doom Patrol?

At 11:02 PM, Blogger Eliot Johnson said...

Superman/Batman...I tried to read it for like three issues. It was grotesquely bad. And that was with Ed McGuiness, who is a decent-to-good artist. Imagine the book with Turner! I shudder.

At 6:53 AM, Blogger Joe Rice said...

Point to both of you EXCEPT Doom Patrol LOOKS better than Afterbirth.


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