Every week I do a column full of comic book reviews as I’ve done since March 2003 and currently published at Comic Book Resources. Then, after the reviews post, I try to come over to my blog and expand on the thoughts and ideas listed there. Sometimes it’s profound, sometimes it’s gibberish, but it’s always about comics … let’s see what we get this week!
What? This week’s reviews …
SEE? I’M NOT DRUNK THIS WEEK! Despite actually getting less sleep, I’m hell bent on getting this done more quickly this week. OTOH, I just have to beat “Sunday” to top last week, so the bar’s not set so high. Whatever, shut up, you didn’t have to pay for it.
SPIES LIKE US: Steve Rogers, spy master? It’s true. He’s solid in the role — more tactical than Nick Fury, and less likely to set decade-spanning plans in motion, but good in an action movie kind of way. OTOH, He’d never have a Max Fury come back to haunt him, either — he’d never allow it. Also, liking Natasha’s role in this (and to a lesser extent in her own book) as nobody spies like her. Will Beast get even more Oracle-esque? Given his humor, I think that’d be fine, like Hoyt on Undercovers (what do you mean you’re not watching Undercovers? It’s freaking great! Like a more optimistic Burn Notice with less exposition).
I am curious about Fu Manchu (I can say it, even if Marvel can’t). Shang-Chi is the son of Fu Manchu. That’s a fact. Unless they’re gonna “Golden Claw” him like the Agents of Atlas did and retcon him into somebody else, I’m not sure what business reason is there to bring him on panel. I do like the costumes of the Shadow Council, but I don’t have a grasp on their raison d’etre just yet.
PEBBLES: Where does Gravel go from there? I couldn’t find solicits … is this cancelled? I’m also sad that the new Minor Seven characters I was so interested in are so quickly swept aside, Boba-Fett-in-the-original-trilogy style. Oh well.
CALL IT A “SLEEPER” HIT: I’m just gonna jump on board for Incognito: Bad Influences as a “buy on sight” thing. From Sleeper to the last mini, the Brubaker/Phillips combo on criminal extrahumans has never missed for me.
NO ONE MAN SHOULD HAVE ALL THAT POWER: Okay, first T’Challa got his kingdom and cash stripped from him, leaving the sloppy and inconsistent Shuri as Black Panther. Okay. Then Doctor Voodoo became Sorcerer Supreme, but he needs his ghost brother and often Daimon Hellstrom to get anything accomplished, while whining a lot in between. Whatever. Now, Mister Terrific, the “seventh smartest man in the world” is getting dumbed down in Marc Guggenheim’s Justice Society of America. Uh … why? Not how, I don’t care about that. Seriously, why? It’s so funny to me that comics companies don’t even have the conception that they’re taking something away from Black fans when they do stuff like this. It’s frustrating, as Jakeem Thunder has never become anybody serious despite having ridiculous power levels and Michael Holt was one of my main reasons for still going to JSA (I lurved his role in Checkmate, cyborg love or not).
On a similar note, the idea that Cobra is powered by something like Scientology in the IDW continuity is fascinating. The individual issues sometimes don’t pack enough punch, but the universe they’ve built would make an amazing MMORPG. Come on, they made Crystal Ball and Croc Master cool, how the hell does that happen? Here’s somewhere they gave back — the black Firefly is so much more interesting than the one with the ninja overlay (sorry Larry Hama, it’s true).
Finally … oh, sorry, SPOILER ALERT …
… ready yet?
The “build up” for Ultimate Reed Richards to be the Big Bad for Ultimate Enemy/Ultimate Mystery/Ultimate Irrelevancy was limp at best. I get it. The Ultimate universe likes to shake things up. Ultimate Red Skull is Ultimate Cap’s son. Ultimate Colossus is gay. Ultimate Kitty Pride dated Ultimate Peter Parker. There’s not just Nerd Hulk but Gangsta Hulk, both more useful than Dr. Banner (unless he’s a vampire — which is a storyline so stupid that it makes my head hurt — or chasing down a comics autograph). Fine. Whatever. But the idea that feeling responsible for Doom’s villainous life leads him to do the exact same things … that’s just bad writing, y’all. No other way to say it. Gotta call “shenanigans” on that one in a major way. Violently stupid.
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? I’m gonna do a blog specifically outlining why you should also be checking out my mobile site blog before next week, so keep an eye on this space for that one. There’s tons of comics related stuff there, and I think I’m gonna do blog headers this week. I like blog headers, thanks to watching them work so well for my wife.
AGAIN … AGAIN … AGAIN … AGAIN … The store is staffed (for now) by Steve, Jason and Vince (Quislet experienced a horrible Dance Dance Revolution injury, breaking his knee in a manner so embarrassing that he’s tried to spread a story that it happened while playing soccer with students at the junior high school where he teaches), and recently they’ve taken to each wearing Madrox t-shirts. They went even farther this week, with Jason and Steve wearing dread lock wigs and all appearing as Vince. It was … jarring. I told Steve I was glad that he hadn’t chosen to Ted Danson it and arrive in Black-face (did he think I forgot?). Steve noted that he felt he didn’t have to, so I quoted Tim Roth in Hoodlum, saying that he was “swarthy … a dark-complected bastard.” Much hilarity.
TABU OUT: Play nice until I get back, kids. You have no idea how much I wanna announce something, but it’s just too soon. Aight, see ya.
Playing (Music): “The Heat” by Twista feat. Raekwon