First of all, let’s be completely clear: this joint was done Thursday morning. Some little known holiday made CBR’s leadership wanna hold off posting that day. Didn’t stop Bleeding Cool, but they’re from England, where Warren Ellis said, “Here in Britain, of course, it’s ‘Thank F**k We Got Those Weird Jesus Bastards On The Boat Day.’” I have no beef at all with that.
Anyway, on to the reviews.
I will say that for all the talk about Ultimate War Machine’s capacity, I’d like to see some of that happen — if his chest beam can level a major city, I need to see a major city leveled. It’s like the old saying about drama — if you see a gun in the first act, it has to be fired before the final curtain calls. Let’s give Ultimate War Machine a chance to shine one day soon, shall we?
People think I hate Brian Michael Bendis. To be honest, people think I hate a lot of stuff that I just barely pay attention to. In any case, I’ve been critical of a lot of Bendis comics for the same reason I’m critical of some of Jeph Loeb comics or Warren Ellis comics or Jonathan Hickman comics or Peter David comics. I know they can do better. I can go pick up Batman: The Long Halloween or Transmetropolitan Vol. 01: Back on the Street or The Nightly News or Incredible Hulk Visionaries – Peter David, Vol. 6 (do you have six plus volumes of anything in print calling you a “visionary?” Me neither … I should get to work on that) and point out, panel by panel, how they can do better. Every page won’t be our best, but I need for the disparity to be less striking.
So when I pick up an issue like this, or some of his Dark Avengers stuff, where the script really hauls ass and the art keeps pace, I give praise where it’s due. I have nothing personal against anybody in comics. Not the major company editor who acted like I was gonna rob them when I asked a question at SDCC one year, not the major company writer who’s reputed to toss racial slurs around in casual conversation, nobody. I have artistic beefs with some people, and in some cases (one leaps to mind, as I see his Twitter updates) was settled quite impressively and said creative person has upped the game a hundredfold. I like that. Moving forward, doing better. It’s tough love, but love nonetheless. Never forget I freaking love comics.
Moving on: I would tune in every single week if Chew were on TV. I’ve made many death threats against its writer John Layman (most of which were jokes), I’ve participated in his foolish blog challenge, and so on. But beneath the cloud of questionable smoke and the dazed look in his eye, he’s actually pretty talented, and Chew is a great showcase for the twisted, multi-layered humor-slash-action-slash-drama style he has honed into something great. However, saying all that, the comic’s good, but it’s not “oh my god” good. There were a few issues that elicited such a reaction, ones where I re-read it and was like, “I can’t believe this!” But most are just below that point, and I need that in a title like this which can allow Layman to be quirky without really needing to go very far with it.
A similar concern happens with Star Wars: Legacy. In my brain, I want so badly for this series to be good. I honestly want every Star Wars book to be a guaranteed purchase — ditto for G.I. Joe and Transformers. These are, for better or worse, part of mu cultural inheritance, etched into the permacrete of my upbringing like tagger’s legacies in the sidewalk. The threshhold between “good” and “great,” to me, is the difference in what I’d watch on TV because it’s tolerable and it’s on and the stuff I watch with fervor, working hard to sit down with it and pay attention. If I’m happy to multi-task while it’s on, it’s not good enough to pay for, and the same goes for comics (although I can’t multi-task while reading comics, or I’d get a lot more done).
While I’m at it, the same goes for Immortal Weapons this week, Criminal, Son of Hulk, Wildcats, Wonder Womanand probably a few more.
Now, for the SPOILERS. I dunno if Dove’s white light shtick showed her as the first of the “White Lanterns” or not (now appearing all over Idaho), but the idea that all life comes from white light and all death from black light sounds like the same old 3rd Bass complaints. “Black cats is bad luck, bad guys wear black/ Must have been a white guy who started all that.” (Fun fact, MC Serch is white, which is why I love using that line — that sort of thing and singing rock music at karaoke are as close as I’m likely to get to reparations). Better yet, as Ras Kass said, “Black is the combination of all colors/White is the lack thereof/Darkness is beneath the ground, and in the skies up above.” That’s just science. So that stuck in my craw pretty badly.
I can’t say how excited I am about the new Dingo comic that’s coming from Boom! Studios. I read the original novel when it was chapters in a dude’s blog and remember anxiously waiting for the next installment to drop. I’m so pumped, because I already read the preview PDF and I’m seriously walking right in and buying that bastard. Such a great story.
I’ve talked a lot about The Untamed #1 from Stranger Comics (and yes, I’m sorry about the Flash, it’s so not my idea and/or fault) which is coming up, but it hits stores next week and I’m very jazzed about it — and not just because I’m working with the publisher. It’s a mean spirited dark fantasy set in a world that’s equal parts Kurosawa, Tolkien and Sergio Leone. I love the tone of it and the pacing’s measured, not slow. Due to the conflict of interest, I won’t review it next week (I read the first two or three issues months ago) but I didn’t wanna let it go unheralded.
That’ll do for now. Have a good weekend.
Playing (Music): “The Professional” by Black Thought