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Title: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on May 14, 2013, 04:23:59 PM
Clearly there's not much going on in comics that deserves it's own thread. We kinda more or less have threads that are currently acting as catchalls for Marvel and DC, but for random bits of news or reviews/recommendations of whatever you happen to be reading lately, feel free to dump it here.

To get things rolling, I just read through the first two issues of East of West by Hickman and Dragotta, and published by Image. It's a Western/Sci-Fi featuring the Four Three Horsemen of the Apocalypse, as Death has kinda fucked off on his own agenda. There's some interesting setup here. You've got end of the world prophecies, the U.S. divided up into 7 or 8 kingdoms, and three of the Horsemen have recently been reborn as kids while Death is an adult with a couple mysterious sidekicks. The problem is that so many plot elements are deliberately being kept mysterious for now that it makes the book a bit hard to follow sometimes, and it also means we don't really know the motivations of any of the main characters. I haven't read much of Jonathan Hickman's work, so I have no idea if I should expect a decent payoff for all the setup, and I have a feeling that this will read much better when collected in a trade. For now though I'm keeping an eye on it because I like the setting, and because it shows some promise. It could very well just end up being a jumbled mess though.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: CmdrSlack on May 14, 2013, 07:17:18 PM
I currently have this on my pull list because I like the style so far. Agreed on the obfuscated plot bits.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on May 14, 2013, 07:26:32 PM
Sounds an awful lot like a new series that Fox is doing, curiously enough. (Featuring Ichabod Crane in the far future fighting the Horsemen of the Apocalypse...seriously.)

Hickman makes me feel so weird. I so so so so much want to like his work, it is in a creative space that I like with themes that really excite me, he's very cerebral in a very good way, and yet time and again I'm left sort of cold by his stuff. I read it dutifully but not with great affection. I can't decide if it's me or him.

Kind of the same way I feel about Vaughn's Saga. Best art in a zillion years, good concept and yet there's just something about it. Maybe the cold open of the whole series--the jumping into the middle of things. Maybe I'm too conditioned to want "origin stories" early on.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on May 14, 2013, 08:07:44 PM
Saga was one of the next things I was planning on checking out, along with Mark Millar's Jupiter's Legacy.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: CmdrSlack on May 14, 2013, 08:40:22 PM
Saga is really good. There are trades now, so you win by jumping in now. The individual books are a nice set though.

I am not yet sold on Jupiter.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on May 15, 2013, 09:51:02 AM
Good idea for a thread. I just bought a slew of trades to catch up and figure out what I like, and I pre-ordered a few based on the comics I bought last week (Fearless Defenders, Savage Wolverine).

Advance warning: I'm not very picky about plots but I do like good art.

I'm starting with AvX to catch up on the state of the universe as available through trades. Decent hardbound edition slightly marred by the glued binding and crappy gutter. Art is initially decent, some shades of Kirby's legacy visible in the metalwork, I hope to lift that for painting at some point. Had a laugh reading through the rosters and going 'No, Valkyrie should be a Defender...Beast, maybe a Defender or X-Man but not and Avenger! Travesty!' Also, a lot of 'who the hell is that' and 'oh, I vaguely remember that New Mutant'.

Really looking forward to Ross' Marvels. The art is fantastic in that.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on May 15, 2013, 04:11:37 PM
Less of an art person myself, but maybe check out the first four issues of Uncanny Avengers since John Cassaday did the art there. The work he did on his and Whedon's Astonishing X-Men run years back was really good.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on May 16, 2013, 06:19:01 AM
Jupiter's Legacy feels like a combination of a bunch of other comics.  You've got the "shouldn't we be using our powers to change the world" stuff from Authority (not surprising since it's Millar), the superhero as cynical celebrity stuff pulled from Milligan's X-Force/X-Statix, and some of the generational conflict of Kingdom Come although it this situation it's more that the kids seem apathetic rather than excessively violent. Like much of Millar's work, there's nothing particularly original here, but it's put together in a decent way at least and is fairly well written. I could do without ever seeing another Superman analogue in comics though.

I'm 3 issues into Saga and quite liking it, except for a sci-fi/fantasy story that takes place on other planets with no human characters, it's got this odd modern day real world feel to the dialogue. There's even a comment at one point about downloading an app. That aside, I'm liking a lot of the characters so far, and the narration presenting the story as essentially a flashback from the child of main characters Marko and Alana is a nice touch. Looking forward to reading some more of this.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on May 28, 2013, 11:09:46 AM
Just finished the first Hawkeye trade. I never liked the character. I do now. Great book, read it in one sitting. The tacked on Young Avengers story was a bit confusing.

Uncanny Avengers was ok. The only thing that bugged me was Logan recruiting Sunfire (a character I've enjoyed in the past). There's so much to each character it could've been an amazing scene, and it wasn't horrible. But then Shiro is all background, like 'box checked, he's an Avenger now'. Waste of an interesting character. Oh, and the first four books had atrocious art but the guy who stepped in for book 5 was decent.

I'll be following the trade versions, so I'll be a bit behind on things. I did read through AvX to get up to speed with the setup arc. It did have some pretty nice artwork.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on May 28, 2013, 08:14:43 PM
Uncanny Avengers is essentially the direct sequel to Remender's X-Force--you almost have to read that to see what he's up to.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: CmdrSlack on May 28, 2013, 08:39:29 PM
Just finished the first Hawkeye trade. I never liked the character. I do now. Great book, read it in one sitting. The tacked on Young Avengers story was a bit confusing.

The stuff with Kate gets better. As the main story progresses, she makes more sense as a source of stability. Kinda. At any rate, it is a great series so far.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on May 31, 2013, 11:48:50 AM
Finished the Fantastic Four collection, I think it's Fantastic Four 1-3 and FF 1-3.

The art in the Four is mediocre to bad, though oddly the issue colored and inked by a different guy was much better. The FF is total garbage.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on May 31, 2013, 07:41:06 PM
Are we talking the current FF? The one with art by Allred, with Ant-Man and all that? It's not my cup of tea but I really like that they're doing stuff that's out there. Marvel is so the opposite of DC right now: thousand flowers bloom, lots of different styles, characters that contradict across books. I really like them taking chances.

Just decided to do X-Men Legacy in one gulp, featuring Charles Xavier's son Legion. I'm stunned: it's amazingly good--funny, poignant, and some smart metatextual digs at the history of the X-Men as characters. Not at all what I expected when I heard about the title.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on May 31, 2013, 10:09:00 PM
Yeah the Allred stuff. The art is so bad. There were a few pretty humorous scenes, but meh. The Fantastic Four 1-3 had better humor for the most part, and better art. Still, I'll be skipping anything more.

I nabbed a few things to check out where different things are going. Hawkeye is the one I'm looking forward to teh second compilation from a reader standpoint. I've got some on pre-order, the Sif anf Thor stuff because Thor is my copilot.

On the table now: Avengers.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on May 31, 2013, 11:38:09 PM
I love Mike Allred's art, but yes, he's not for everybody or every book. I can't imagine his Fantastic Four would be a good fit unless he was doing a retelling of the origin. His stuff just reminds me of Ditko so much.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on June 01, 2013, 06:42:23 AM
Allred's FF is a kind of side book--while the main Fantastic Four are out having dimension-hopping experiences, there's some second-stringers holding up the fort back in the Baxter Building, working with the weird kids of the Future Foundation.

I'm not wild about Fraction's Fantastic Four--I don't think he writes cosmic-level or 'big' stuff well at all. His Thor was so decompressed it was practically inert.

The Sif stories in Journey Into Mystery have been really, really great.

Thor continues to be about the best Marvel's producing right now, up there with Hawkeye and a few other books.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: palmer_eldritch on June 01, 2013, 10:50:41 AM
Just decided to do X-Men Legacy in one gulp, featuring Charles Xavier's son Legion. I'm stunned: it's amazingly good--funny, poignant, and some smart metatextual digs at the history of the X-Men as characters. Not at all what I expected when I heard about the title.

Sounds interesting .Where would I start with that - this book? http://www.amazon.co.uk/X-Men-Legacy-Prodigal-Marvel-Now/dp/0785162496


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: CmdrSlack on June 01, 2013, 04:48:46 PM
Yep, that'd start you at issue 1.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on June 01, 2013, 09:37:58 PM
Read the first four issues of Five Weapons, which I believe has only 1 issue left. Nothing stellar, but it's a fun story about a kid sent to a school for assassins. Each kid is expected to join one of the 5 clubs the school is divided into, each one focusing on one weapon (knives, bows, staves, exotic, and guns), but the main character proceeds to go though the school year without ever using a weapon.

At this point there's nothing particularly original about using a school as a setting for something beyond the ordinary (Harry Potter, probably a ton of anime, etc...), but at least if it's treading familiar ground, the five clubs each specializing in a weapon thing is an interesting variation of the recipe. Good lite reading, but you don't need to go out of your way to check it out.

Also checked out the first few issues of Clone and The Private Eye, but I'll write about those later.

Edit: 
I love Mike Allred's art, but yes, he's not for everybody or every book.

Agreed. I absolutely love his style.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on June 05, 2013, 08:49:06 AM
Avengers 1-6. Art is really fantastic, especially the first few. Some good ideas in there, but pretty hasty resolutions. The concept of the larger team to save the world is solid, but then they squander it with poorly laid out and timed mini events. Savage Wolverine still has my favorite two-page spread where Logan and Shanna are battling a horde of savages, an epic picture that's lacking in a supposedly epic book. A lot of it seems rather disjointed, too. In both this book and the Uncanny Avengers, I'm surprised by the amount of one-dimensional backing cast in the team, maybe I've just been away from comics too long. Seems things have changed for the ADHD generation.

If the art quality stays as good, I'll probably snag the next volume, but it won't be for the story...


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on June 05, 2013, 08:08:05 PM
Hickman really just has a kind of distractedness--he's throwing cosmic stuff at the screen all the time but it feels a bit desperate. He doesn't have the twinge of nostalgic joy that Morrison has when he does similar things--Hickman's approach is cold and cerebral. But I'm sticking with his Avengers for now--there are interesting things going on, even if the pacing is crazy uneven.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on June 08, 2013, 11:20:35 AM
Thunderbolts was a bit loose in spots, and Deadpool's writing could've been snappier, but overall I was surprised. Pretty good book and interested in where they go with it.

Cable's X-Force was pretty darn entertaining. Might be the strongest characterization thus far. Definitely grabbing the next one.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on June 10, 2013, 11:16:35 AM
Just read Iron Man #1, such nice art direction. Someone finally made an AIM grunt look cool! More on this one when I finish the TPB (THB?).

Also got notification my next shipment...er...shipped. Looking forward to this one: Thor, Sif, Deadpool and Superior Spidey.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: CmdrSlack on June 12, 2013, 10:37:43 PM
Deadpool #11. Be there.

The banter between Deadpool and Daredevil is worth it.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Lantyssa on June 13, 2013, 09:13:05 AM
The latest A+X was pretty funny.  Kitty + Spider Woman made me laugh (though I'm a huge Shadowcat fan), but Deadpool + Hawkeye was a riot.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on June 13, 2013, 11:09:23 AM
It's odd being so out of sync with the issue releases.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Lantyssa on June 15, 2013, 07:22:37 AM
I only know because my friend is going crazy for comics right now.  She brings them over every Friday or so.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on June 19, 2013, 04:22:00 AM
It's odd being so out of sync with the issue releases.

You're better off. I'm currently waiting through a two month gap right now between the last issue of Hawkeye which shipped in early May, and the scheduled release of the next issue which is due in early July. Of course that isn't nearly as bad as Saga going on break from April -August between issues 12 and 13. At least with trades you tend to expect large gaps of time between them.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on June 19, 2013, 09:35:45 AM
Journey Into Mystery featuring Sif - awesome. Love the badassery of Sif anyway, nice to see her featured like that.

Deadpool vs the Dead Presidents - Posehn should be the official writer for Deadpool forever. So twisted and awesome. I've been a fan of Brian's work for along time, he's in a certain strata of really funny dudes that just can't seem to get much respect.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sir T on June 20, 2013, 09:07:53 AM
Speaking of Deadpool, I ran across this live action Deadpool movie on youtube. Its just a silly fan made movie with a budget of a piece of chewing gum and a packet of biscuits, but its still amusing and they pretty much have the character of Deadpool down.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDpXu4j7ibM (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDpXu4j7ibM)


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on June 21, 2013, 06:36:52 AM
I read through the first few issues of Age of Ultron a little while back and was surprised to find that it was merely dull and tedious rather than horribly bad like most of Bendis' stuff. Having read the spoilers for the final issue since I couldn't slog though all 10 issues, apparently I was just lucky enough to stop reading before the shit was piled on. I'll put a spoiler warning on her but the real spoiler is that nobody should be paying money for Marvel event books anyway:



Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on June 21, 2013, 11:10:44 AM

I... REALLY?

Is this like a "go back in time and kill Hitler" kind of stupidity?


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on June 21, 2013, 11:14:24 AM
It was a dull series up to that point at which it became a stupid series, not the least of which because it sounds like a prelude to something like the nu52, which is ultra-stupid, given that Marvel Now books are creatively vastly better than DC at the moment and DC's sales are declining steadily with each passing month. Plus the 'big deal' at the end is a mediocre character from a wretchedly 90s series coming to the Marvel universe as the result of a IP tussle? Who the fuck cares? Also looks like they're getting ready to just fold the Ultimate Universe into the standard-MU, probably to get as many characters aligned with the film MU as possible, also a dumb strategy.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on June 22, 2013, 05:21:14 AM

I... REALLY?

Is this like a "go back in time and kill Hitler" kind of stupidity?

If you replace Hitler with "guy who accidentally created a supervillain robot that's had over a dozen largely ineffectual incarnations". And then after going back and killing him, going back again and telling yourself not to kill him. And then he ends up saving the day, but space-time breaks.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on June 22, 2013, 03:40:45 PM
I need an emoticon for "stroke-inducing skullfucking stupidity."


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sir T on June 22, 2013, 08:03:41 PM
(http://www.sherv.net/cm/emoticons/swearing/stupid.gif)


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Simond on June 23, 2013, 03:44:00 PM
I need an emoticon for "stroke-inducing skullfucking stupidity."
:psyduck:


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on June 26, 2013, 11:05:35 AM
Careful with spoily for TPB readers *ahem*  :grin:

Finished up a couple more.

Thor - holy crap. Phenomenal art and nice strong story. This one really set the quality bar high. Might be one of my favorites ever. The art alone put it onto my 'painting inspiration' shelf.

Superior Spiderman - Very pleasantly surprised by this one. Good art and a great story. This also might be one of my favorite comics ever! I was up until 2am because I couldn't put it down.

Between these two and Hawkman, Marvel is really onto something great. I hope they keep things tight and allow books to end rather than trying to string things along past their expiration date. Something like Superior Spiderman is a phenomenal execution of a good idea, but I can't see it running for years.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on June 27, 2013, 02:26:20 AM
What is this Thor story I keep seeing people jizzing over? Which set of issues is it or which collection or whatever its called.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on June 27, 2013, 05:31:11 AM
Haven't checked out Thor at all recently but just got caught up with Mark Waid's Indestructible Hulk, and it's good. It's very good. I've had an occasional issue with the art at times, but as far as doing something interesting with the character this currently ranks between Peter David's run and Planet Hulk. It hasn't proved to have the longevity of the former yet, but it's surpassed the latter in that it's made Banner into an interesting character which typically has proven a challenge. Beyond that it's just a lot of fun. The potential downside is that it sounds like the focus is getting shifted slightly due to Age of Ultron, but it sounds like it was Waid's idea, and it wouldn't be the first time someone has crafted some of Bendis' shit into a story worth reading. Hell, Peter David himself did it by making Layla Miller an actual character. So yeah, very much recommend this.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on June 27, 2013, 08:56:27 AM
What is this Thor story I keep seeing people jizzing over? Which set of issues is it or which collection or whatever its called.
http://www.amazon.com/Thor-God-Thunder-Vol-Butcher/dp/0785168427



Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on June 27, 2013, 03:06:45 PM
Cool, thank you.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on June 29, 2013, 11:20:10 PM
What's the deal with the Marvel Unlimited subscription thing? What's the catch there?


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: MediumHigh on June 30, 2013, 08:42:18 AM
What is this Thor story I keep seeing people jizzing over? Which set of issues is it or which collection or whatever its called.
http://www.amazon.com/Thor-God-Thunder-Vol-Butcher/dp/0785168427



That's actually pretty damn good.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on July 01, 2013, 10:16:34 AM
The new X-Men Legends is pretty cool. Definitely one of the better books thus far. Interesting art style and the take on Legion is awesome. He was a bit after my time or maybe had just been introduced, but I dig this version.

I'm two 'issues' into the A+X book, ugh. It's bad. Avoid.

Has anyone read the Now Captain America?


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: MediumHigh on July 01, 2013, 10:57:35 AM
I haven't picked up an x-book ever and really not tempted to, unless magneto is a bad guy again.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on July 01, 2013, 11:09:49 AM
The new Cable book wasn't too bad. I'll probably skip the second TPB of Uncanny Avengers, though. I read the first 'issue' of the All New X-Men and didn't hate it as much as Khaldun.

I was an X-Man kid, though. I was 11 when Days of Future Past came out. Mind-blowing. Unfortunately, I did get to ride along as the X-Men got turned into the mockery they are now, so I get the hate. I used to subscribe to a bunch of books, Alpha Flight was decent at times and even the New Mutants wasn't wretched (as I remember it, reading it as a teen). At least with Now there is a more finite amount of X-options. I looked at the regular books and holy crap there's a gajillion.

I don't set too high a bar for comics, though. So when I think something is bad, it's probably REALLY BAD. :) I even enjoyed AvX. Caveat: good art can also keep me interested through bad writing.

Also, my favorite team was the Defenders. Strange, Valkyrie and Gargoyle ftw.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on July 06, 2013, 02:26:07 PM
I should read the new Captain America--I like the writer well enough and it's a different take than Brubaker's.

X-Men Legacy continues to surprise me--it's really different.

I am also liking Young Avengers--very different feel to it.

Everybody, and I mean everybody, needs to read the latest issue of Hawkeye. It's one of those issues that ten years from now people will say, "Oh, man, do you REMEMBER" about.

I had a long period where I wouldn't touch Marvel--the 90s were worse there than even Image in some ways (at least Image came by their Liefieldisms honestly)--but right now they are fucking knocking it out of the park. It might be the most enlightened period of comic editorial laissez-faire at the Big Two in...maybe ever...barring dumb event stuff like Age of Ultron.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on July 06, 2013, 04:38:33 PM
Yeah, the new Hawkeye issue was good stuff. The series is also a decent mid-range seller so hopefully it doesn't get canceled anytime soon.

I'm also a little over halfway caught up with the current run of Daredevil and I'm enjoying it quite a bit. I'd been intending on straying away a bit more from reading stuff from Marvel and DC, and yet I now find myself following Daredevil, Hulk, and Hawkeye, and Thor to a lesser extent. So far the main non-Big 2 thing that's stuck with me is Saga, but as mentioned previously that's on hiatus at the moment. And of course I'm still following Walking Dead despite it's inconsistent quality, to put it mildly. Apparently it's going bi-weekly in October for the 12 issue All Out War arc.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: CmdrSlack on July 06, 2013, 09:41:11 PM
The latest Luther Strode installment ain't bad. Some other indie titles that I am enjoying are Nowhere Men, The Massive, and Fatale.

Matt Fraction just started a new book on Image called Satellite Sam. The first issue was good.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: MediumHigh on July 07, 2013, 09:01:55 PM
As unmanly is for me to say this, but Supberia is pretty damn delicious. Basically what happens when you a nerd girl riffs off real house of show.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on July 08, 2013, 05:33:23 AM
Indestructible Hulk is the best take on the franchise I've seen. It's about time Banner got his shit together, and I hope we see more Stark, the interplay between them nerding out was a lot of fun. And the art is nice.

I'm reading the TPB of Marvels (Alex Ross art) right now, and it's really amazing. Good story and the art is on another level.

Out of current TPBs, a few had their release dates pushed back.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on July 14, 2013, 05:04:14 PM
I got the first two collections of Captain Marvel, about a dozen comics bundled up there I believe.


The writer does a pretty good job in bringing me up to speed on the character, but there's still that weight of 50 odd years of continuity that you just can't seem to avoid. There are a few moments where I have to end up reading a wiki to figure out who is who to who and why this or that conversation holds real weight or not.

The books change artists like every 3-6 issues, and the styles vary wildly. They keep the same artist for each little story arc though, so it's not jarring or anything. It's all very stylistic though, no matter who is drawing it all and I can see some people being turned off by that. I don't mind it, there are enough comics with that pseudo realistic art that this one can branch out way more.


The actual stories are fun, if just a bit loopy. Captain Marvel is basically as lost as you are most of the time. Lost might be the wrong word. The comic is not terribly concerned with the HOW of anything, just the WHO and the WHY. "Who do I punch to fix this?" is the first step in the Carol Danvers problem solving process. The writer does a good job of throwing problems at Carol that she can't punch her way out of.


Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers herself is enjoyable. She's super competitive, incredibly stubborn and an adrenaline junkie... and all of that is made moot by her powers. Any competition or record she might hold is made null and void because she has incredible super powers giving her an unfair advantage. Any joy and thrill from taking incredible risks doing dangerous stunts or pushing the limits of her skills are also made moot because she's virtually immune to actual risk thanks to her powers. She knows, she knows her powers are a incredible gift and let her do things most people can't even begin to dream of and she loves them and what she can do with them... but there's still that part of her, that part of her that just wants to go "I did that, me, not the powers, just my hard work, skill and daring. I won, I beat you, I went the highest/fastest/furthest!". She very much wants to WIN on her own merits and not have the little asterisk on the record books beside it.


Her super life in contrast to her regular life are probably my favorite bits though. Her identity is NOT secret, she's not trying to keep a double life straight or anything like that. She's a super hero, it's literally her day job, but she still has a regular life too. Like, being a super hero doesn't mean you don't take care of a sick friend, or watch out for the little neighbour girl that just adores you utterly, or have to take your pet cat to the vet.

It also has a lot of little touches with the actual hero'ing. Like when she had to punch the shit out of some dinosaurs that were rampaging through the city, she beat them down, but then it showed how she basically had to just hang around until the proper dinosaur wrangling authorities had the dinosaurs locked back up. Or when she had to carry a subway train out of a collapsing tunnel, after all the commotion was over, she was at the scene signing forms and waivers for her participation in the rescue. Like, this stuff is only maybe half a page, but I really liked that it wasn't just Fly in, punch thing, fly away leaving a giant mess without any accountability. It's WAY more believable to me this way, that there's like actual paperwork and procedure in this universe in regards to super heroes and super problems.


My only gripes with the books, are there's still a lot of lingering continuity weight. It's not overwhelming or unmanageable by any means, but it's there. It's not really hurting my enjoyment of the actual plots by any means, it's just... *I* want to be familiar with all the little things the reference around, but there's a lot of god damned history here, fuck.

The other thing, little thing... in general the art is good and the design is good, but one specific artist, at least once an issue, just drops in a gratuitous ass shot. Like, cmon! Did we really need that!  :why_so_serious:


I'll pick up the next collection whenever that's released to keep up with the story. I think it's crossing over into the Avengers book or something right now? I don't want to play comic book tag so I'll just wait for the bundle.



On an aside, NYC in the Marvel Universe is like, one of the most terrifying places to live imaginable.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: MediumHigh on July 15, 2013, 06:34:39 PM
After reading fatale I wonder if their more lovecraftian seemed comics. And yes, hellboy is lovecraft light on tuesdays.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: palmer_eldritch on July 17, 2013, 05:05:41 AM
What's the deal with the Marvel Unlimited subscription thing? What's the catch there?

I got myself a tablet recently - never had one before - and a Marvel Unlimited account and its great. I don't think I'll buy a MArvel trade paperback again.

The catch as far as I can tell is that you have to wait at least six months for new comics to become available and there's no actual guarantee they ever will be.

For example, I've been making my way through All New X-Men. Marvel Unlimited is up to issue 6, while I think the newest issue in the shops right now is number 13. But while I'll be behind the times, I'll save a lot of money.

And as well as newish comics, there's a massive back catalogue to read. Eg, I never did read any of the Astonishing X-Men books after Joss Whedon left (issue 30) but I'm now making my way through back issues and it's a lot cheaper than buying the collections.

But there are, annoyingly, some gaps in the back issues. You don't have any recourse if a book you want to read is missing - you have to accept what they give you.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on July 17, 2013, 10:08:17 AM
If I had a tablet, I'd be on it. I'd still buy a few TPBs for art reference, though. There's a lot of retro Kirby-esque stuff going around right now that I want to learn to pull off on the minis I paint because it's in a whole nother realm from the metals I'm currently painting.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: CmdrSlack on July 17, 2013, 09:30:48 PM
Sky, you should get yourself a copy of this week's Deadpool release. It's set in the 70s. The art is roughly that era. Cover has Deadpool with a 'fro. Issue includes Luke Cage and Iron Fist. Be there.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on July 18, 2013, 10:32:43 AM
Already pre-ordered the TPB on amazon. They're using that as the cover.

http://www.amazon.com/Deadpool-Volume-Good-Ugly-Marvel/dp/0785166823


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: CmdrSlack on July 18, 2013, 08:32:42 PM
There should be two "vintage Deadpool" issues in that TPB. They're both pretty great, and are done in the period-appropriate art style.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: CmdrSlack on August 08, 2013, 10:56:31 PM
So the new Avengers A.I. book is marginally interesting. This week featured some slapstick. It actually made me laugh.

Matt Fraction has a book called Satellite Sam. It is on the second issue, but is starting to pick up nicely. I really like the art.

The Hawkeye annual was great. As is the Daredevil Dark of Night arc.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on August 17, 2013, 07:05:34 AM
Flipped through the first issue of Infinity, but having not read any of the buildup in the Avengers books it just reads like gibberish for the most part. Also "The Builders" who appear to be the main threat (although Thanos is around also) feel like yet another retread of the Celestials and there can only be so many mysterious, incalculably powerful alien races who have been secretly manipulating all life in the universe.

On the plus side, Saga has returned from hiatus with issue #13.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on August 17, 2013, 09:39:20 PM
That was my feeling. I have great good will to Hickman, but he's trying to have the scope of Lee and Kirby on early Thor--tons of cosmic gibberish and awe and shit--but he takes it all way too seriously and intellectually to achieve that. So most of what he's been doing drips with pretention, but probably worse yet for the long-term health of the Marvel line-up, Hickman's storytelling has a serious case of Monty Haul-ism. Everybody's getting ridiculously powered-up--the Avengers are hanging around with the entire spirit of the Universe, the Celestials have been one-upped by the "Builders", Thanos now has a team of crazy-powerful assistants, Black Bolt knows something about the secrets of the whole universe, and over in New Avengers (aka Illuminati) the Avengers have been destroying rivalrous universes--yeah, whole universes.

It really does feel like one of those campaigns where you started getting astral vorpal blades of +25 smiting of all life off of a bandit you killed on the road. No way do any of these characters make sense afterwards as guys who fight muggers.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on August 18, 2013, 07:22:09 AM
I think Hickman needs to go reread through Giffen's and Abnett & Lanning's cosmic stuff. They knew how to set up and convey threats on that level without resorting to a bunch of DBZ power level shit. I've seen some reviews saying that Infinity does a good job showing the threat the Builders pose with the Spaceknight sequence, but there was no emotional resonance there because there's not one shred of characterization in that whole part to grasp onto. It's just "look how powerful these characters I created are, they can completely and instantly wipe out a planet if they feel like it" wankery. Compare it to the scene in the Annihilation Prologue where the Nova Corps gets wiped out. And fuck, out of the 20 characters listed as Avengers, almost half of them are either characters Hickman created (Ex Nihilo, Abyss, Manifold), or characters he took old versions of and made his own new versions of them (Hyperion, Smasher, Nightmask, Starbrand, Captain Universe). If he likely wasn't under editorial mandate to use all the Avengers who appear in the movies, we'd probably have an Avengers book made up entirely of Hickman characters.

To sum up, after having done some research on Hickman's Avengers run to try and make some sense of what the fuck I read when I picked up Infinity, I've had some of my confusion cleared up. Infinity isn't just a jumbled mess which is confusing simply because I'm jumping into the middle of a story that started in Avengers. Instead I've come to understand that it's a wretched attempt to swipe Kirby's Celestials, Starlin's Thanos (complete with the Infinity branding), and Giffen and A&L's work with the Annihilation Wave and the cosmic Marvel stuff as it exists today, and then throw in his own pet characters. The only legacy he managed to honor was Bendis' legacy of using his time on the Avengers books to piss on the works of the better creators who came before him.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on August 18, 2013, 09:05:43 AM
Abnett and Lanning's cosmic stuff was beautifully done--it handled the contrast between the grunt level of action and the nearly incomprehensible scale of universally powerful beings just perfectly. You could go from Rocket Raccoon to Galactus in two panels and have neither frame diminished.

Hickman simply cannot tell stories where the human scale is remotely in focus. None of his Marvel characters really have personalities in any sense--they're all chesspieces on a plot board. And the plotboard is really just a piece in a larger gambit to establish a bigger, more abstract, more cosmic-for-the-sake-of-it scale. At least on FF, Hickman had the Future Foundation kids and Reed Richards to hold on to (the other members of the team got almost no real character attention in that time).

Hickman should be writing the Illuminati book (New Avengers)--that kind of stuff he's good at, and that book the mood works (though it leaves the Avengers in a very messed up place, as they are destroying universes...). The main books and the crossovers are like white noise blasting out on a single beat.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on August 22, 2013, 11:04:38 AM
Read about half the new Avengers TPB (the white event one) and yeah...it's almost annoying to read. Some nice art is saving it, but it feels like a synapses of some other stories. Amazingly little characterization.

That's what I like about stuff like Hawkeye, the Indestructable Hulk and Superior Spider-man, just some nice takes on old characters, breathing new life into them. Almost the opposite of what Hickman is doing.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on August 26, 2013, 01:23:00 AM
Am I being trolled? http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/2013/08/23/dc_comics_to_launch_justice_league_canada_in_2014.html

I think I'm being trolled.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Teleku on August 26, 2013, 05:12:18 AM
I think they're trolling everybody.   :ye_gods:


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on August 26, 2013, 09:07:12 AM
I think Justice League is the only thing that's selling well in the New 52 at this point.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on August 26, 2013, 10:19:30 AM
DC doesn't really exist to me. Too bad, I know there are a few gems here and there. I really had a strong dislike of them when I was a kid, other than some of the grittier Batman, swamp thing, the horror and war stuff.

The Uncanny X-Force was pretty bizarre. I'm not sure if I like it, I think the one with Legion did bizarre mind trip hero a bit better. Not helped by the fact that I had no clue who most of the people in the book were. Storm, Puck and a brief Wolverine, iirc. And then some ninjas. It was cool seeing some Puck, I always like him. Alpha Flight was one of the comics I subbed to (the first two years, iirc) when I had enough odd job money coming in as a teen.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on August 26, 2013, 11:16:35 AM
I've subbed to the Marvel Unlimited thing and I want to stab their UI guy with a rusty spoon. It's just horrible. However, I'm catching up on X-Men continuity - so far I've stopped right before Utopia and am going back through the somewhat tedious X-Men Legacy stuff that took place right after Messiah Complex. I'm glad I'm starting where I did, though, because if I'd started after AvX, I would have missed the fantastic run Matt Fraction had on the Uncanny book. I LOVE the X-Club with Dr. Nemesis - very Grant Morrison. The Legacy stuff, however, which just seems to be a 6-issue clip show arc through X-Men continuity past kind of saps my will to live. Also, fuck you Marvel for crossovers with a billion different books.

I've actually been more of a DC fan since Bendis started being the voice of Marvel's flagships and if DC had a similar type of subscription as Marvel Unlimited, I'd be on that instead.

JL Canada? Really?


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on August 26, 2013, 11:31:31 AM
I really don't think there are any gems left at DC at the moment. Honestly. Even Azzarello's Wonder Woman has lost its interest for me. Snyder's Batman is also just not working for me--he really lost me during the bad Joker stuff. Everything else is just bad.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on August 26, 2013, 09:51:13 PM
Really my biggest worry is the new Canadian super hero will be something incredibly stupid like BeaverMan or SyrupGuy.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on August 27, 2013, 10:31:20 AM
One of the things I liked least about DC -everyone was Somethingman or Somethinggirl and wore their underwear on the outside of their spandex. Marvel had some of that, too....but DC was rife with it.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on August 27, 2013, 03:50:42 PM
Most of DC is basically older then the oldest bastard on this forum, it's just how people rolled back then.  :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on September 05, 2013, 05:24:30 PM
DC doing it's damnedest to not be relevant in any way:

http://dcwomenkickingass.tumblr.com/post/60350176589/williams-and-blackman-quit-batwoman-due-to-ban-on-kate


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on September 05, 2013, 07:24:08 PM
Another great example of how DC is fucking up. It's not even about hatred of teh gay by a bunch of fanboys, it's about a bunch of pissy little prima donnas who can't keep their hands off of other creative peoples' decisions. This is about the eighth or ninth case where really great writers or artists (not counting Liefield) have gone public detailing a pattern of constant, incessant editorial interference with every little thing they've tried to do.

In the meantime, over at Marvel, they're basically saying, "Oh, you want Thor to be totally metal and be screwing Viking ladies, sure Jason, do it" and then saying, "Oh, you want to be all weird and cerebral and intellectual, do it Jonathan" and "Oh Mark, do what you want with the Hulk".



Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Margalis on September 05, 2013, 07:30:38 PM
I'm with DC on this one.

Characters getting married is almost always awful regardless of gender. There is a rich history in comics and TV of series being ruined with pivotal characters tie the know or otherwise get too close.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on September 06, 2013, 07:21:23 AM
Right, just stick with lots of lesbian sex in Batwoman, let's not let the characters grow emotionally or anything.

Marriage often is considered to "ruin" superheroes because some male comic fans (and editors) get stuck at that point in their lives where women are desirable but growing up is unattainable. Like Peter Pan if there was a second version of Never-Never Land where Peter had hair on his balls, a deep voice and wet dreams but wasn't going to do anything really icky like get into a long-term relationship with Wendy. Saying that marriage is definitionally a bad idea for superheroes is just an extension of saying that all change, growth and aging in superheroes is bad, that they have to constantly reset to their default every twelve or twenty issues. Which ultimately stunts the potential for storytelling in the whole genre.

I think it's ok to make this argument about Spider-Man but not because it's wrong for him to be married per se--it's wrong for Spider-Man to be too settled or comfortable. It is important that the character always have a bit of that sense of "the old Parker luck". But in that sense, having to get divorced from a hot super-model because of irreconcilable differences (or maybe getting caught having some Black Cat on the side) would have been perfectly consistent with Peter Parker's romantic and personal history--where he screws up, bad things happen, and he can't quite fix them all. A character whose origin is rooted in guilt and selfishness gets richer and more interesting if every major development in his life has a bit of guilt and selfishness involved.

Superman settling down with Lois Lane makes 100% sense. The character doesn't require edginess or being lonely. The whole point is that he's a good man right down to his foundations, and a basically nice, normal guy. That makes him a bit boring maybe but that's ok in the comics if not in the movies. And Lois doesn't have to be a wifey who waits for him--she's got her own life, her own skills. They're a good match and there's plenty of good stories to be told there. Avoiding this marriage takes you back into the Silver Age where Superman was into crazy superdickery towards Lois and Lois was a shrill harridan. Or it takes something as obvious and dumb as giving Superman and Wonder Woman a romantic relationship, which everyone knew was only something to mess around with in alternate realities until, of course, the current dumbasses at DC, where this goes along with every other obvious and dumb thing that they're doing.

Barry Allen and Iris Allen back in the pre-Wally West Flash days worked really well. Again, it made the character sort of a solid suburban citizen but that was the point of the character--that's what he was. That was the slight tension between being a fast superhero and a slow, careful, modest kind of man.

There are only a few characters where I'd agree they should never, ever marry. Batman is one of them. Wonder Woman too, I think.



Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on September 06, 2013, 09:27:10 AM
Characters getting married is almost always awful regardless of gender. There is a rich history in comics and TV of series being ruined with pivotal characters tie the know or otherwise get too close.

It's only awful if the writer is shit. Good writers can write married characters that are still interesting, while bad writers (and their editors) can't conceive of a possible life where their idols aren't stunted man-children with daddy issues they never work through.

Editorial influence has done a lot of fucking with Marvel over the last few years - it just happens to come in the form of "We must have a huge, multi-title crossover at least once a year and you must shoehorn your characters into it no matter what you have already built." I've been going back through the X-Men and related books from like 2007 on and there is some good stuff in there. But I'm constantly having to go back and catch up on other books before diving into the crossovers like Messiah Complex or Necrosha. I will say though that this has made me read X-Force and HOLY SHIT. When it first came out, I didn't like it because it seemed all "let's make grinmdark cussing blood-letting characters." But as I stuck with it, they really did some outstanding stuff with that book. Matt Fraction's Uncanny X-Men has also been top notch. The X-Club science guys are awesome and he's using some of the Grant Morrison stuff like Phantomex really well. The Mike Carey X-Men Legacy stuff? Meh - some of it's been tedious and most of it has felt like a book that doesn't really have a reason to exist.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: jgsugden on September 06, 2013, 12:00:14 PM
No 'event' in a character's life is going to make the comic series bad.  It will be the writing and artwork that determine whether the comic is bad.  I don't care whether we're talking marriage, babies, deaths of supporting characters, determining they're gay, adopting a dog, getting a  job at Victoria's Secret (blow or other), or becoming a vegan.  None of those things mean the book has to be bad after they occur.  You can tell good stories after any of these events.

I'm not an expert on his recent tales, but I think it would be interesting to have a Batman storyline where he meets his soul mate, figures out how to incorporate her into his life, accepts that there are risks that she is willing to take to be with him, gets married, finds out that he will be a father (again)... and then ends up helpless while a villian that everyone considered to be ridiculous slowly tortures her to death before his eyes in the most brutal way they can pull off in comics.   If you tell that storyline over eight years as Batman evolves with the story, it could be amazing - or it could end up as the worst thing ever to happen in DC's history.  It all depends on the writing.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on September 06, 2013, 12:53:00 PM
"Victor, did you finish the dishes yet?"
"Woman! I'm Victor Von Doom not some house lackey to do your bidding!"
"So is that a no?"
"...."
"Alright, I'll get them done. But I'll plot my revenge whilst doing so..."
"What, dear?"
"Nothing, sweetness!"


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: MediumHigh on September 06, 2013, 03:11:48 PM
No 'event' in a character's life is going to make the comic series bad.  It will be the writing and artwork that determine whether the comic is bad.  I don't care whether we're talking marriage, babies, deaths of supporting characters, determining they're gay, adopting a dog, getting a  job at Victoria's Secret (blow or other), or becoming a vegan.  None of those things mean the book has to be bad after they occur.  You can tell good stories after any of these events.

I'm not an expert on his recent tales, but I think it would be interesting to have a Batman storyline where he meets his soul mate, figures out how to incorporate her into his life, accepts that there are risks that she is willing to take to be with him, gets married, finds out that he will be a father (again)... and then ends up helpless while a villian that everyone considered to be ridiculous slowly tortures her to death before his eyes in the most brutal way they can pull off in comics.   If you tell that storyline over eight years as Batman evolves with the story, it could be amazing - or it could end up as the worst thing ever to happen in DC's history.  It all depends on the writing.

Whats the point of giving someone a soul mate only to brutally rip them away? I mean sure sometimes that works but that's like 99% of comicdom save for superman and lois.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on September 06, 2013, 03:55:00 PM
No 'event' in a character's life is going to make the comic series bad.  It will be the writing and artwork that determine whether the comic is bad.  I don't care whether we're talking marriage, babies, deaths of supporting characters, determining they're gay, adopting a dog, getting a  job at Victoria's Secret (blow or other), or becoming a vegan.  None of those things mean the book has to be bad after they occur.  You can tell good stories after any of these events.

I'm not an expert on his recent tales, but I think it would be interesting to have a Batman storyline where he meets his soul mate, figures out how to incorporate her into his life, accepts that there are risks that she is willing to take to be with him, gets married, finds out that he will be a father (again)... and then ends up helpless while a villian that everyone considered to be ridiculous slowly tortures her to death before his eyes in the most brutal way they can pull off in comics.   If you tell that storyline over eight years as Batman evolves with the story, it could be amazing - or it could end up as the worst thing ever to happen in DC's history.  It all depends on the writing.

From the second Batman gets married everyone is going to know that "dies horribly" is going to be the likely outcome for the wife at some point.

I don't see why Batwoman couldn't have gotten married from a storytelling point of view though. She isn't an iconic character with a status quo that constantly needs to be returned to.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: DevilsAdvocate25 on September 06, 2013, 03:56:04 PM
I'm with DC on this one.

Characters getting married is almost always awful regardless of gender. There is a rich history in comics and TV of series being ruined with pivotal characters tie the know or otherwise get too close.

Do the Fantastic Four still exist? How long have Reed and Sue been married?


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on September 06, 2013, 04:21:01 PM
I'm with DC on this one.

Characters getting married is almost always awful regardless of gender. There is a rich history in comics and TV of series being ruined with pivotal characters tie the know or otherwise get too close.

Do the Fantastic Four still exist? How long have Reed and Sue been married?

Over 30 years.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Margalis on September 06, 2013, 07:18:36 PM
Do the Fantastic Four still exist? How long have Reed and Sue been married?

They started married.

When a character gets married the dynamic of the comic has to change a fair bit, or else the partner has to die quickly, or else it feels weird if the dynamic doesn't change. I think it can work, especially if both are super heroes, but it's very easy to fuck up a marriage between a super and non-super person.

Even if you trust the writers on the book you know that sooner or later they are going to leave - most likely sooner.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Nevermore on September 06, 2013, 07:30:12 PM
They started married.

Nope!  They got married in Fantastic Four Annual #3.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Margalis on September 07, 2013, 02:09:29 AM
Damn, I thought about double-checking that. Let's just pretend time started in 1965.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on September 07, 2013, 06:37:29 AM
They've had about three separations over the years as well, of varying lengths, so writers on the book have been able to use the marriage to create some ongoing tension at times. Plus Sue is constantly hinting that she might go fuck Namor someday, or even that she already has. (Reed has never even had a hint of being attracted to anyone else.)


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: MediumHigh on September 07, 2013, 07:47:00 AM
Just Namor? May as well include Tony Stark, Doc Doom, Doc Strange... basically everyone who holds a seat at the Illuminati wants to bang Sue Richards.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Pennilenko on September 07, 2013, 08:24:52 AM
Just Namor? May as well include Tony Stark, Doc Doom, Doc Strange... basically everyone who holds a seat at the Illuminati wants to bang Sue Richards.
Shit, I would even bang Sue Richards. :grin:


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Merusk on September 07, 2013, 05:07:00 PM
Stay Classy, DC (http://jezebel.com/dc-comics-contest-draw-a-naked-woman-committing-suicid-1265537616)

Contest!  Show Harleyquinn committing suicide in a bunch of poses, including naked in a tub! Win a chance to be a DC artist! Final kicker, lets' run it during suicide prevention week!


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on September 07, 2013, 06:58:59 PM
Wow. That tone... it's the one DC can't hear because of their deafness.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on September 07, 2013, 08:58:54 PM
I don't know, from the description it really doesn't sound that bad:

Quote
Harley Quinn is no stranger to a little breaking and entering for a good time and now, sheís going to help one talented artist break into comics with DC Entertainmentís Open Talent Search. Thatís right, weíre looking for someone to draw one page of HARLEY QUINN #0 alongside some of comicís most amazing talents, including Amanda Conner, Paul Pope, Bruce Timm, and a few other surprises, maybe even you!!

Beginning this November, Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner will be writing the madcap adventures of Harley Quinn and theyíll need all the help they can get to handle her, so theyíre opening the invitation to one undiscovered talent to join them. If you think youíve got what it takes to be published in this special issue, then put on your working hat and start drawing now, because an opportunity like this doesnít come along very often.

Submissions can be Pencils, Pencils & inks or Pencils, inks & colors. Please keep in mind, the level of your work should be of professional-quality, so don't feel the need to ink or color your work if you're only confident in penciling.

Oh, and did we mention that weíll be reviewing the submissions ourselves to personally select Harley Quinnís new creative accomplice? 

Harley Quinn. One page. Published work. Breaking into comics was never this fun. ;)

ó Jim & Dan

Hereís how to enter:

Read the rules & regulations listed below to confirm that you are eligible to enter DC Entertainmentís Open Talent Search and agree to the terms and conditions.

Read the following script page and give us your original artistic interpretation of what those four panels should look like on a single page:

PAGE 15

4 panels

PANEL 1
Harley is on top of a building, holding a large DETACHED cellphone tower in her hands as lightning is striking just about everywhere except her tower. She is looking at us like she cannot believe what she is doing. Beside herself. Not happy.

PANEL 2
Harley is sitting in an alligator pond, on a little island with a suit of raw chicken on, rolling her eyes like once again, she cannot believe where she has found herself. We see the alligators ignoring her.

PANEL 3
Harley is sitting in an open whale mouth, tickling the inside of the whaleís mouth with a feather. She is ecstatic and happy, like this is the most fun ever.

PANEL 4
Harley sitting naked in a bathtub with toasters, blow dryers, blenders, appliances all dangling above the bathtub and she has a cord that will release them all. We are watching the moment before the inevitable death. Her expression is one of ďoh well, guess thatís it for meĒ and she has resigned herself to the moment that is going to happen.

- See more at: http://www.dccomics.com/node/305151#sthash.7J8Vs7rV.dpuf

You've got a comic written by Jimmy Palmiotti who is a fairly decent writer and a bunch of different artists doing pages of art for the story, one of which will be the contest winner, with the bathtub scene being one out of four panels on the page. These suicide attempts seem to be fairly ridiculous, similar to the stuff Mr. Immortal pulls in the Great Lakes Avengers comics, and presumably there's a story reason for it and it's being played up for laughs. You can say that suicide shouldn't be a topic of humor I guess (I think Harold and Maude is a good movie so I'd respectfully disagree), or that it was a bad idea to make that particular page the of the story the one they're soliciting art for, especially since we have no context for it, but I assume they picked it since drawing four wordless and outlandish scenes is probably easier to judge than four panels of Harley standing around. I don't think it's because DC is looking for stroke material of suicidally depressed women or anything.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on September 07, 2013, 09:21:34 PM
Hey kids! Win a chance to have DC editorial override your artistic decisions!


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: jgsugden on September 07, 2013, 11:05:10 PM
... From the second Batman gets married everyone is going to know that "dies horribly" is going to be the likely outcome for the wife at some point.
And?

Knowing that something is going to happen can be a powerful storytelling tool.  If you get the audience asking, "Is this it?" can be more tense than having them ask, "Will it happen?"  And, there is always the option to keep her alive.... there is a point at which people would accept Bruce's wife as a part of his universe and would stop expecting her to die.  which, of course, would be the right time to kill her.  in the case of Batman, that might take a couple decades. 
Quote
I don't see why Batwoman couldn't have gotten married from a storytelling point of view though. She isn't an iconic character with a status quo that constantly needs to be returned to.
Reed and Sue got married and had kids.  Pete graduated from school, got a career, and got married (although we all expect his death to be short lived) - with each change lasting over a decade.  Bruce Banner has had dozens of status quos over the years... where do we expect him to return? 

My point is that characters can evolve - they just need to evolve into something that can be the focus of interesting stories.  That doesn't mean that the best move for a character is sometimes a move back, but there are plenty of examples of characters that have changed and evolved.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on September 08, 2013, 12:02:49 AM
... From the second Batman gets married everyone is going to know that "dies horribly" is going to be the likely outcome for the wife at some point.
And?

Knowing that something is going to happen can be a powerful storytelling tool.  If you get the audience asking, "Is this it?" can be more tense than having them ask, "Will it happen?"  And, there is always the option to keep her alive.... there is a point at which people would accept Bruce's wife as a part of his universe and would stop expecting her to die.  which, of course, would be the right time to kill her.  in the case of Batman, that might take a couple decades. 
Quote
I don't see why Batwoman couldn't have gotten married from a storytelling point of view though. She isn't an iconic character with a status quo that constantly needs to be returned to.
Reed and Sue got married and had kids.  Pete graduated from school, got a career, and got married (although we all expect his death to be short lived) - with each change lasting over a decade.  Bruce Banner has had dozens of status quos over the years... where do we expect him to return? 

My point is that characters can evolve - they just need to evolve into something that can be the focus of interesting stories.  That doesn't mean that the best move for a character is sometimes a move back, but there are plenty of examples of characters that have changed and evolved.

Batman gets married and then at some point his wife dies horribly isn't some great story idea. For a character who got his start seeing his parents murdered in front of him, had one of his sidekicks die, another member of the "Bat Family" get shot in the spine and paralyzed, and now recently had his son/sidekick die, it would be pretty fucking old hat at this point, even if you could somehow get the editorial department to stick with it for over a decade. Hell, Morrison himself said one of his main reasons for killing Damian Wayne was to bring Batman back to the status quo for the next writer:

Quote
I always knew I was going to give Batman back kind of like, ďThis is the way I found the guy.Ē Heís got his cave, heís got his butler, heís got his Batmobile, heís got his allies, and thatís it, you know? I didnít want to leave the kid for future writers who may not want to have to deal with that stuff. Thatís why Damianís death was always going to wind down my run, because I wanted to take away anything that could date Batman or trap Batman within a certain set of circumstances.



Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: CmdrSlack on September 08, 2013, 09:19:20 PM
So is the New 52 Batgirl worth reading? I was never really into DC comics as a kid, so I come to most of the titles from a totally new reader perspective.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on September 08, 2013, 10:11:47 PM
Batgirl, not particularly, Gail Simone has had trouble getting up steam on the title, not the least because of editorial interference.

Batwoman, yes, but honestly the writing has been only mediocre, the art has been spectacular. The character was better written by a good margin when Greg Rucka was doing the plotting and scripts with Williams on art--but that at least created a pretty solid foundation for the character that went well beyond "lesbian Batman", made her genuinely interesting. (Then Grant Morrison complicated it further by re-introducing the original Silver Age Batwoman as a ruthless international agent who vaguely pities Batman for his inability to grow beyond Gotham and his obsessions.)


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: jgsugden on September 08, 2013, 11:29:35 PM
Batman gets married and then at some point his wife dies horribly isn't some great story idea. For a character who got his start seeing his parents murdered in front of him, had one of his sidekicks die, another member of the "Bat Family" get shot in the spine and paralyzed, and now recently had his son/sidekick die, it would be pretty fucking old hat at this point, even if you could somehow get the editorial department to stick with it for over a decade. Hell, Morrison himself said one of his main reasons for killing Damian Wayne was to bring Batman back to the status quo for the next writer...
It could be done well or horrible.  That seems to be the only thing we disagree upon, as the rest of what you said basically reiterates why I brought it up as an example storyline...


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on September 09, 2013, 12:13:01 PM
I always hated Damian Wayne, not because Batman shouldn't have a son but because I thought the early Morrison run on Batman was just terrible. It always felt like an Elseworlds book, like it wasn't in sync with the Batman of the regular DC universe at all. The first few issues I kept looking back in the book going "What am I reading?" For all the great work Morrison did on Justice League, his Batman just didn't match it.

As for marriages in comics, Scott Summers finally married Jean Grey and then we got some good stories when Scott started cheating on her with Emma Frost - I always thought it was a weird choice but it ended up making the X-Men a more interesting book. The X-stuff I'm reading now with Frost and Cyclops being the main driving force of the entire mutant population has actually turned into a good dynamic.

I'm still not sure why they are turning Cyclops into a Magneto 2.0 but I'm going with it.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on September 09, 2013, 04:16:25 PM
They are doing that because it makes total sense. Cyclops has been fighting the 'good fight' for like 50 fucking years and getting shit on for it.

Dude's just fed up and broken, as he should be.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on September 09, 2013, 05:45:53 PM
I actually dig the all new xmen because of the play on cyclops turning into magneto.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on September 09, 2013, 08:40:57 PM
I'm into the Second Coming storyline and if Cyclops hadn't been a Magneto before, this would have been enough to turn him into it.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on September 09, 2013, 08:59:44 PM
It could be done well or horrible.  That seems to be the only thing we disagree upon, as the rest of what you said basically reiterates why I brought it up as an example storyline...

Superman getting stuck in Eternia with He-Man for 2 years could be written well. It doesn't mean that's a good direction to take the book in. I don't think examining what happens to Batman when he loses a loved one is a particularly interesting story idea since that's already the core concept of the character. He deals with it by dressing up in a Bat costume and fighting crime. On top of that, killing a superhero's wife or girlfriend is already a trope a lot of people complain about.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Ingmar on September 10, 2013, 12:55:53 AM
Yes, to that last bit. It would be obnoxious as hell.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on September 10, 2013, 04:45:56 AM
I think the evolution of Cyclops makes tons of sense. What really annoyed me at the end of AvX was that he turned out be essentially right about the Phoenix but the framing of the story acted as if he had been wrong. But it didn't take Marvel very long before they realized that the new status quo was actually really interesting.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sir T on September 10, 2013, 05:41:20 AM
I'm surprised no-one has mentioned the "Ok I don't want Spider-man going through a divorce as that would be immoral and a bad example for kids, so we will just have him make a deal with the devil to erase his marriage and a chunk of time instead."


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on September 10, 2013, 09:42:43 AM
I'm sure no one has mentioned it because it was a horrible, shittastic editorial decision that was written in a ham-fisted way and invalidated decades worth of stories for no good goddamn reason. Also, because I could give two shits about Spider-Man in the comics.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: jgsugden on September 10, 2013, 11:31:23 AM
I'd be curious to see what each of you thought were some of the best runs in the past 10 years for characters that had been around since at least the 70s.  YOu can define a 'run' for these purposes (such as a period with a certain writer, a mega-event, a storyline, or anything else that makes sense to you).


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on September 10, 2013, 11:58:59 AM
I really loved Brian Michael Bendis's run on Daredevil, before he started shitting all over the entirety of the Marvel Universe. The Matt Fraction X-Men stuff I've been reading I'd put right up there with the Grant Morrison run of the same book and with Whedon's Astonishing X-Men. X-Force at least until the Second Coming storyline was fantastic. The original Runaways run was really good. I stopped reading it after Whedon got on the book, so I don't know if it got better or worse.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on September 10, 2013, 02:00:46 PM
I liked Geoff Johns runs on JSA and Green Lantern. About the only time I've ever really followed any ongoing DC books for any length of time. Brubaker's Captain America stuff was good until they got to the whole Cap was shot with time bullets thing. Currently enjoying Hawkeye and the current Hulk book. I agree with pretty much all the X-men stuff Haemish mentioned. I really liked Thunderbolts from the start of the series up through the end of Ellis' short run. Peter David's run on X-Factor which is just ending is really good (although I'm way behind on reading it). Planet Hulk was entertaining stuff. Annihilation, Annihilation Conquest, and Guardians of the Galaxy were awesome although the quality dropped off a little bit for War of Kings and Thanos Imperative. I think that's my main list as far as stuff that fills jgsugden's criteria goes.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on September 10, 2013, 03:41:42 PM
I could give two shits about Spider-Man in the comics.
This is how I felt until Superior Spiderman. One of my favorite books now.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on September 10, 2013, 09:59:06 PM
Annihilation and most of its sequels as well as the Guardians book and Nova were thoroughly enjoyable.

Even with its rocky parts, I largely enjoyed Morrison's run on Batman into pre-reboot Batman Inc.

Azzarello and Chiang's Doctor Thirteen was terrific.

Planetary concluded in 2009 despite beginning in 1999 so I'll count that.

Rucka and Brubaker's Gotham Central.

Ellis and Immonen's Nextwave. So great.

I love Alan Moore's Top Ten, not sure how old that is now, almost more than I love some of his more celebrated stuff.

Weirdly, Avengers Academy. I thought that was great solid superhero comics.

Gail Simone's Secret Six, though it was uneven and repetitious by the end of its run.

Brubaker's Captain America surprised me considering how much I previously found the character dull.

Brubaker's Catwoman.

Brubaker's Sleeper.

Brubaker and Fraction on Iron Fist.

I at least liked Whedon's Astonishing X-Men. I know some people don't.

Jason Aaron on Ghost Rider, surprised me, thought that was a terrible character normally.

Ellis on Thunderbolts. Short but brutally wonderful.

All-Star Superman is last decade, right? Fucking amazing.

Is Bone last decade? Cause that is an all-time favorite here.

Darwyn Cooke, New Frontier.

Morrison and Quitely, We3

I love, love, love Atomic Robo

Not sure if the Foglio's Girl Genius counts but I'll go ahead and toss it in. Really great, so happy to pay for it when the collected editions come out.



Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: MediumHigh on September 11, 2013, 10:07:53 AM
I could give two shits about Spider-Man in the comics.
This is how I felt until Superior Spiderman. One of my favorite books now.

Its the love of asshole villains posing as self-righteous heroes. Like Constantine or any number anti-heroes/really just villains by any other costume.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on September 11, 2013, 11:27:52 AM
I read it as a bit deeper than posing. Otto is actually trying to be a hero, and he's better at it, more focused. Just got shipping notice for the second TPB.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: MediumHigh on September 11, 2013, 11:56:06 AM
I think its posing primarily because otto doesn't know what being a hero actually means. To him his war on crime is merely a matter of challenge, he could just as easily turn his army of spider-henchmen, surveillance spider-bots, and killer-spider bots on the whole of new york without skipping a beat. The fact that he hasn't is merely due to not running out of super-villains.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: CmdrSlack on September 13, 2013, 08:18:45 PM
Yes, but he also gets to be better at being Peter, too. Going evil would fuck that up for him. He is trying to outdo his arch nemesis in every way possible. 



In related news, Superior Foes of Spider-Man is pretty funny and decent so far.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on September 13, 2013, 09:07:00 PM
There have been arcs on Thunderbolts that did this concept right too--villains going hero, villains almost going hero, villains briefly toying with going hero, villains accidentally being heroes....lots of fun, interesting variations on it. Dark Avengers was ultimately a more interesting extension of this also than I expected.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on September 14, 2013, 12:09:29 AM
I thought Dark Avengers was an utter waste of time and characters that would have been better as villains. The whole Dark Reign thing was exceedingly stupid. As always with Bendis, there were a few funny lines but ultimately the story went full retard, especially as it bled into Siege.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on September 14, 2013, 06:52:42 AM
The Siege part was actively bad and Bendis really was just ripping off the good work Ellis had done on Thunderbolts, but there were moments.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: rk47 on October 09, 2013, 03:51:46 AM
http://omg.yahoo.com/news/afterlife-archie-comics-veers-horror-063651934.html

Quote
In "Afterlife With Archie," a series debuting Wednesday, publisher Archie Comics is launching not just its first horror title, but also its first book carrying a rating for teens and older sold only in comic shops.

Those are evidenced in descriptions and images. In one panel, for example, Sabrina the Teenage Witch is clutching the fabled but dreaded "Necronomicon." In another, showing the gang at a party, Archie is dressed as Freddy Krueger from the "Nightmare on Elm Street" films.

"Sabrina? She's always messing up," Aguirre-Sacasa said, though in this case, the mistake has grave consequences for Jughead.

"He's always hungry," Aguirre-Sacasa said, a normal trait that portends doom by the end of the first issue, setting the stage for the second issue and beyond.

 :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on October 09, 2013, 04:40:57 PM
The Siege part was actively bad and Bendis really was just ripping off the good work Ellis had done on Thunderbolts, but there were moments.

I reached the X-Men Schism - and holy fuck but this was a STUPID goddamn event. Just utterly, pants on head retarded. Wolverine's motivations make no fucking sense. NONE. Besides the fact that they are amping up Scott Summers douchebaginess, the whole conflict is so forced and out of the blue. And then, once Wolverine decides to head up the school, he still keeps his secret assassin squad X-Force on the side as well as being an Avenger in two goddamn books? I just cannot stress how fucking insane that is even in the Marvel Universe.

But at least the Wolverine and the X-Men book is well-written. The worst book to fall out of that has been X-Men Legacy which really should have been retitled Rogue and her X-Men. I love that they feature Rogue in a book. I hate that they've turned her into a weepy soap opera drama queen who shacks up with the almost impotent Magneto. Just as she's become a strong character in her own right, they give her high school relationship problems.

So I reached the Avengers Vs. X-Men stage and decided I'd go back and read the Avengers from the post-Siege onwards because fuck Siege was stupid and I'm not going farther back than that for now.

I fucking hate Bendis' Avengers so much. The overarching plots have good ideas but the panel to panel is so fucking bad. The dialogue, which works when 5 street level thugs are sitting around a card table before getting their asses kicked by Daredevil, so totally does not work in a huge, earth-shattering Avengers fight. I mean, there's a part in New Avengers where the dimension has been ripped open and is being invaded by demons, and Spider-Man, Thing and Ms. Marvel are all talking about how she hasn't seen Ghostbusters. REALLY? What is this, the waitress scene from fucking Reservoir Dogs? I'd hate to be his artist on this because there are always 3-4 pages in each issue with 10 superheroes standing around TALKING in the midst of a total shitstorm - just standing there rehashing the plot while quipping to each other in staccato sentences.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: MediumHigh on October 09, 2013, 04:51:53 PM
That's a trend now in comics. DC does that with new 52 Justice League though that's more of a shouting match than anything considered witty.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: schild on October 09, 2013, 04:56:51 PM
http://omg.yahoo.com/news/afterlife-archie-comics-veers-horror-063651934.html

Quote
In "Afterlife With Archie," a series debuting Wednesday, publisher Archie Comics is launching not just its first horror title, but also its first book carrying a rating for teens and older sold only in comic shops.

Those are evidenced in descriptions and images. In one panel, for example, Sabrina the Teenage Witch is clutching the fabled but dreaded "Necronomicon." In another, showing the gang at a party, Archie is dressed as Freddy Krueger from the "Nightmare on Elm Street" films.

"Sabrina? She's always messing up," Aguirre-Sacasa said, though in this case, the mistake has grave consequences for Jughead.

"He's always hungry," Aguirre-Sacasa said, a normal trait that portends doom by the end of the first issue, setting the stage for the second issue and beyond.

 :why_so_serious:

Day 1.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on October 09, 2013, 07:41:07 PM
Archie Comics is embroiled in a REALLY nasty legal dispute right now. So if their imagination is going dark, I'm not all that surprised. The "what if Archie married Betty/Veronica" series has been surprisingly grown-up  (without being wink-wink nudge-nudge adult) and kind of moving.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: rk47 on October 09, 2013, 08:58:34 PM
Quote
The "what if Archie married Betty/Veronica" series has been surprisingly grown-up  (without being wink-wink nudge-nudge adult) and kind of moving.

Bro, you're making me want to read those.
Are you sure it's that kind of 'moving'? Or is it another part of the body kind of moving?

ED: Just read the synopsis.
Well done. Comparable to most manga's romance.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: CmdrSlack on October 16, 2013, 08:51:24 PM
Quote from: HaemishM
The worst book to fall out of that has been X-Men Legacy which really should have been retitled Rogue and her X-Men.

X-Men Legacy is pretty great now. I am liking the series so far with the whole mental menagerie of David Haller. This last issue was pretty interesting; I've been generally impressed with what they're doing up thru issue 18.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Raguel on November 04, 2013, 08:06:28 PM
I torrented Miracleman the other day. Good stuff. The only problem is that I need a new monitor or new eyes because some pages were a tough read.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on November 04, 2013, 11:51:55 PM
Holy shitballs did All New X-Men hit a hard wall with the art in the last issue of TPB #3. Looks like that one is off the list.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on November 05, 2013, 02:57:00 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/06/books/marvel-comics-introducing-a-muslim-girl-superhero.html

That's kinda a big deal, isn't it? I wonder how much of it is about breaking new ground and how much is just making something to keep the Ms. Marvel trademark or however that works.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on November 05, 2013, 03:20:48 PM
Well, if they're willing to come at it straight up, her choosing the MS. Marvel moniker could be a pretty interesting bit of story fuel.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on November 05, 2013, 03:29:38 PM
What they mentioned in the article, is she is a Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) fan-girl, and takes up the Ms. Marvel title the same way Carol took up the name when Carol first got her powers.

Which I totally buy, a teenager naming themselves after their idol. You only have to log into any MMO ever to see all the XxXDarthBatMenXxX  :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on November 05, 2013, 03:36:18 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/06/books/marvel-comics-introducing-a-muslim-girl-superhero.html

That's kinda a big deal, isn't it? I wonder how much of it is about breaking new ground and how much is just making something to keep the Ms. Marvel trademark or however that works.

The character itself isn't really breaking any new ground in that Marvel has had teen female Muslim superheroes before (Dust and M). DC also introduced Simon Baz in Green Lantern last year which was also got picked up by the news as their first Muslim-American superhero. The more significant part is that the writer and editor are both Muslim so they should be able to more confidently write a Muslim character whereas with M it doesn't really factor into her character at all, and Dust has has rarely been used since New X-Men.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: CmdrSlack on November 07, 2013, 08:08:30 PM
For some reason, I stopped collecting Captain Marvel. I like the character, but there was some reason why.

I am a sucker for new books because I hope that they'll get back into the other comic that I had quit reading. Something tells me that I need to rethink my comics budget and only buy the ones that I must read each month (or that might not get a TPB).

Now that I think about it, trades are cheaper than single comics.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on November 07, 2013, 09:30:35 PM
That's all I ever buy, the bundles. I have the first two Captain Marvel ones, waiting on the third, though it's apparently some cross over arc nonsense, so I may have to find individual issues or something to fill the gaps. I dunno how it works, I never did!  :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on November 08, 2013, 02:03:59 PM
I've been strictly doing TPBs (and THBs?), too.

I enjoyed Cpt Marvel, both the story and the art, but never nabbed the second.

I've read a bunch and slacked off on reviews more or less. I'm down to a handful I'm still following, is there an easy way to preview the art for a given issue? Stuff like the art taking a bad turn in All New X-Men takes them off my list, but I don't know if they should ever go back on the list. Probably for the better (for my wallet).

Right now, off the top of my head; Thor, Sif, Deadpool, Superior Spidey, Uncanny X-Men, Indestructable Hulk, X-Men Legacy. Maybe Thunderbolts, Iron Man.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: palmer_eldritch on November 09, 2013, 05:06:55 AM
I torrented Miracleman the other day. Good stuff. The only problem is that I need a new monitor or new eyes because some pages were a tough read.

A great story. I read that as it actually came out, first of all in a black and white anthology comic called Warrior. When you come to the cliffhangar involving a dog, it originally took about three years for the next episode to appear.

After the Alan Moore stuff you get some fairly early non-Sandman Gaiman stuff, which is interesting. Supposedly his story, which was cut off suddenly in 1994, might finally now be completed (http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=48465).


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on November 16, 2013, 07:31:00 PM
Finished Avengers vs. X-Men - which was probably one of the better universe-spanning crossovers Marvel has done since the Bendis era began. Of course, the premise was utterly idiotic (Scott Summers would NEVER accept the Phoenix Force, no matter how far down the extinction ladder the mutants were) and the end result was just as out of character as the premise. But the middle parts were pretty good. And it led to Uncanny Avengers, which through the 7 issues I've read so far has been outstanding. It's really Rick Remender's continuation of the stuff he was doing in Uncanny X-Force but it's good. Doesn't hurt that it's had good artists so far.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Raguel on November 16, 2013, 07:38:09 PM
Finished Avengers vs. X-Men - which was probably one of the better universe-spanning crossovers Marvel has done since the Bendis era began. Of course, the premise was utterly idiotic (Scott Summers would NEVER accept the Phoenix Force, no matter how far down the extinction ladder the mutants were

I'm really not getting why I should care whether mutants are going extinct. Are they sterile? Ok, that may be a big deal, but if they can have kids with themselves or normal humans then meh. It's not like Earth is going to run out of super-powered beings any time soon.  :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on November 16, 2013, 10:41:40 PM
The whole concept of "mutant solidarity" or "mutants as a race/endangered species" was that they really had no trait or belief that brought them together other than being a mutant - which usually meant having a superpower and thus being feared and hated. But when there are all these other superpowered beings who aren't feared and hated, why be considered a "mutant" after all? It's an allegory for a lot of things (racism, homophobia) but it isn't necessarily one that makes a lot of sense these days.

However, there are at least some good books coming out of AVX. I doubt any of them are being written by Bendis, which is why I'm wary about All New X-Men.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on November 16, 2013, 11:22:39 PM
And it led to Uncanny Avengers, which through the 7 issues I've read so far has been outstanding. It's really Rick Remender's continuation of the stuff he was doing in Uncanny X-Force but it's good. Doesn't hurt that it's had good artists so far.
I thought it was pretty awful. The third book I dropped in TPB. On the other hand, I dig the All-New X-Men. Until it hit the wall of having a shit artist in the last compiled issue of the last TPB.

Just finished the second Sif Journey Into Mystery TPB, good characteristic art and fun writing.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on November 17, 2013, 03:50:46 AM
It's an allegory for a lot of things (racism, homophobia) but it isn't necessarily one that makes a lot of sense these days.

I don't know that it ever made a lot of sense. Racism and homophobia are irrational fears/hatreds. I think it would be very rational to fear random people being born with the power to read peoples' minds or control their thoughts, be able to spontaneously create massive explosions or energy bursts, or in extreme cases be able to completely rewrite reality. Aside from Quicksilver defending the government's right to manufacture Sentinels to defend itself from people like his father, the X-men tend to come across as pretty naive in regards to the fact Mutants are a potentially world-ending threat.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on November 17, 2013, 10:58:16 AM
I agree. And despite 'saving the earth' so many times over, they've devastated cities and wrought chaos upon the planet on a larger scale than anything but those they oppose. So they're the proverbial necessary evil. At least the Sentinels program is supposed to have some governmental oversight so we can pretend it's the will of the people. Hell, even the Avengers are supposed to be answerable these days.

It's a great angsty book when you're a teen fighting The Man, but when you become an adult it's a horror story of hormones + destructive power. I think that would be a more interesting way to see it addressed.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on November 17, 2013, 12:58:46 PM
True, there are more interesting ways to handle the mutant thing. And let's face it, the mutants as allegory for minority oppression made a lot more sense in the '60's, '70's and '80's than it does now.

However, I submit that Bendis' All New X-Men concept is really fucking stupid. He is relying again on a premise that requires one of the characters (the Beast) to make a REALLY IDIOTIC DECISION that makes little sense in the context of all the stories about time-travel that have gone before. His writing is better than it was on most of his Avengers' run but still... idiotic concept.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on November 17, 2013, 03:49:43 PM
The thing I find fascinating is that the official Marvel line is after AvX:


Scarlet Witch was being controlled when she did bad things; forgive her.
Cyclops was being controlled when he did bad things; no one should forgive him.





Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on November 17, 2013, 07:52:51 PM
I never got the impression Scarlet Witch was being controlled so much as she was batshit insane. It just seems to me that most of the writers responsible for the Marvel direction hate Cyclops with a fucking passion, especially Bendis.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on November 18, 2013, 06:13:12 AM
When they brought Scarlet Witch back via the Children's Crusade mini, it was revealed that when she cast the "no more mutants" spell and killed friends in Avengers Disassembled she had been possessed by a mystical entity that took her over when she and Doctor Doom attempted to resurrect her two children. Comics everybody!


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: palmer_eldritch on November 18, 2013, 06:22:09 AM
When they brought Scarlet Witch back via the Children's Crusade mini, it was revealed that when she cast the "no more mutants" spell and killed friends in Avengers Disassembled she had been possessed by a mystical entity that took her over when she and Doctor Doom attempted to resurrect her two children. Comics everybody!


Grr, I hate it when they do things which undermine an old story which I enjoyed at the time. The Scarlet Witch's actions actually made sense in the context of the storyline (the finale of House of M, not when she killed half the Avengers). She'd given up any hope that mutants and humans could live in peace and so she did what seemed logical to her, given her state of mind at the time.

I still don't like to admit that the first Phoenix (the one that died on the moon) wasn't actually Jean Grey.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sir T on November 18, 2013, 11:14:02 AM
Yes, that was one of their more idiotic retcons, and that's saying something.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on November 18, 2013, 11:29:36 AM
When they brought Scarlet Witch back via the Children's Crusade mini, it was revealed that when she cast the "no more mutants" spell and killed friends in Avengers Disassembled she had been possessed by a mystical entity that took her over when she and Doctor Doom attempted to resurrect her two children. Comics everybody!


That fills me with such weary rage. The end of Bendis' run on Avengers filled me with the same rage - basically all the huge, shocking changes that were made during the run were reversed. Scarlet Witch is back and still a good guy, Hawkeye is alive, Wasp isn't dead, Doctor Strange is the Sorcerer Supreme again, Iron Man and Captain America are friends again.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: jgsugden on November 18, 2013, 12:16:45 PM
The whole concept of "mutant solidarity" or "mutants as a race/endangered species" was that they really had no trait or belief that brought them together other than being a mutant - which usually meant having a superpower and thus being feared and hated. But when there are all these other superpowered beings who aren't feared and hated, why be considered a "mutant" after all? It's an allegory for a lot of things (racism, homophobia) but it isn't necessarily one that makes a lot of sense these days. ...
This was addressed back in the 90s at one point:

Thor is a God.  The Silver Surfer is an alien.  These are visitors (and do tend to be pushed away more than some other heroes).

Captain America is an augmented human.  Iron Man is a man in armor.  Dr. Strange is a wizard.  These are people that have risen up. 

Mutants, however, are an invasive species.  They're replacing humanity.  As time goes by, the mutant means the end of humanity.  They represent the next step in the genetic progression - and if you're not one, you're outdated technology.  Plus, they *are dangerous*.  They get powers unexpectedly, and at a time in their life when they have no idea how to control the power - either in terms of how it works, or how to be mature and responsible with it.  They kill (or worse?) - sometimes intentionally, but often accidentally. 

That is why mutants, above all other super humans, are persecuted.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: palmer_eldritch on November 18, 2013, 03:07:27 PM
The whole concept of "mutant solidarity" or "mutants as a race/endangered species" was that they really had no trait or belief that brought them together other than being a mutant - which usually meant having a superpower and thus being feared and hated. But when there are all these other superpowered beings who aren't feared and hated, why be considered a "mutant" after all? It's an allegory for a lot of things (racism, homophobia) but it isn't necessarily one that makes a lot of sense these days. ...
This was addressed back in the 90s at one point:

Thor is a God.  The Silver Surfer is an alien.  These are visitors (and do tend to be pushed away more than some other heroes).

Captain America is an augmented human.  Iron Man is a man in armor.  Dr. Strange is a wizard.  These are people that have risen up.  

Mutants, however, are an invasive species.  They're replacing humanity.  As time goes by, the mutant means the end of humanity.  They represent the next step in the genetic progression - and if you're not one, you're outdated technology.  Plus, they *are dangerous*.  They get powers unexpectedly, and at a time in their life when they have no idea how to control the power - either in terms of how it works, or how to be mature and responsible with it.  They kill (or worse?) - sometimes intentionally, but often accidentally.  

That is why mutants, above all other super humans, are persecuted.

True but they were portrayed a bit differently during the Claremont era. They were very much humans who were different to the majority, and the parallels with real life prejudice was made explicit, albeit in a clumsy way sometimes. The way they are now, anti-mutant prejudice is a lousy parallel for any real life prejudice because as you say, it's kind of understandable.



Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on November 18, 2013, 03:28:58 PM
I think it's because a lot of the creators writing the X-Men/mutants today really just don't like the mutants as characters. Everybody loves Wolverine (ick) as evidenced by how many fucktards want to put him in their team book. Seriously, is there one goddamn team book in Marvel that Wolverine ISN'T in? Fantastic Four maybe? But the other mutants? Let's shit on them from great heights and make it abundantly clear that they are dangerous, more dangerous than gods like Thor or egotistical alcoholics billionaires in metal suits.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Ard on November 18, 2013, 04:09:53 PM
Hah, you wish, from wikipedia

"A temporary lineup from Fantastic Four #347-349 (December 1990-February 1991) consisted of the Hulk (in his "Joe Fixit" persona), Spider-Man, Wolverine, and Ghost Rider (Daniel Ketch)."


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on November 18, 2013, 04:49:09 PM
 :argh: :argh: :argh:


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on November 18, 2013, 05:11:26 PM
To be fair, they weren't official members of the Fantastic Four in that story. I don't remember all the details, but I seem to recall that they were recruited by a Skrull impersonating the Invisible Woman. It was also obviously a pure 90's exercise in cramming as many popular guest stars in as possible to sell a comic. It's a wonder they didn't find some way to squeeze the Punisher in there somehow.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Margalis on November 18, 2013, 06:10:01 PM
From what I recall that was pretty amusing. It was supposed to be a lark, and if I remember correctly the moral of the story was that 4 cool super dudes put together was pretty dysfunctional compared to the FF family.

On the subject of writers hating characters etc - this is my number 1 pet peeve in comics. People complain that editors control too much or in stupid ways, but I think in general editors don't control nearly enough. Comic writers are really bad about taking stewardship of a property seriously. They come onto a book and decide that they don't like two characters and kill them, decide they do like two old dead characters and bring them back, change the look of a character - over time it makes the property as a whole schizophrenic and disposable. It's especially bad now that creative teams change so often. Even if some of the changes make sense individually as a whole it just leads to a total clusterfuck.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on November 18, 2013, 06:36:02 PM
I think clusterfucks are inevitable any time you have characters being written by dozens or hundreds of writers over multiple decades. The best you can hope for is consistency within one writer's run.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: MediumHigh on November 18, 2013, 11:37:36 PM
I am a fan of comic book writing being self contained. Superheroes shouldn't be 60 year old characters but re-imaginings as the writing teams change. They basically do the same thing with all the recons and guess who replaced who crap. Its the trying to tell a cohesive story that spans decades that is the real hangnail for comics.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on November 19, 2013, 10:55:30 AM
See, I wouldn't mind the schizophrenia so much if the companies weren't also trying to sell you a "universe-spanning" (which really means all the company's titles) crossover story every year for 6 months out of the year. With the decompressed storytelling that is meant to have one story arc complete within a trade paperback, that means a new writer at best gets about 1 story arc, maybe two of their own before they have to alter their plans and character development to shoehorn in this massive story that may have very little to do with where they were going.

Marvel and Joe Q's attitude of "not being strangled by continuity" is all well and good until they start doing yearly multi-book crossovers that consume characters for months at a time.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: MediumHigh on November 19, 2013, 09:16:45 PM
These comic spanning events wouldn't be a big issue without the schizophrenia. Without the need to tie things together and demand to ignore the stuff the readers don't like in the continuity, you don't get crap like spiderman giving his secret identity during the civil war and the implications. If spiderman and civil war were self contained stories the last 3 years of spiderman would have been different.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Raguel on November 20, 2013, 01:41:30 PM

I have discovered the joys of torrenting and I just gorged on the Annihilation/Guardians/Thanos Imperative.  I read the Guardians first and I was not expecting that. I was wondering why Starlord and not Warlock was the leader. Overall I liked the stories, but I'm glad I didn't have to pay ~$3 a pop for them.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on November 20, 2013, 02:15:30 PM
Hickman simply cannot tell stories where the human scale is remotely in focus. None of his Marvel characters really have personalities in any sense--they're all chesspieces on a plot board. And the plotboard is really just a piece in a larger gambit to establish a bigger, more abstract, more cosmic-for-the-sake-of-it scale. At least on FF, Hickman had the Future Foundation kids and Reed Richards to hold on to (the other members of the team got almost no real character attention in that time).

I've just started reading through the Hickman Avengers series. Fantastic art... but what the fuck am I reading? I'm 9 issues in and I just... what the fuck? It's like Jack Kirby's New Gods/Apokolips stuff mixed with some of Steve Ditko's indie work that had pretensions of philosophical mixed with just really off the wall stuff like Morrison's Invisibles or Ellis' Planetary. There was one sequence that was decent (a good set piece battle which I get to see so little of these days) in issue #7 or #8 where Capt. Marvel throws the Hulk at Strabrand from orbit - that was kind of cool. But shit, the inclusion of Capt. Universe (aka the black female version of the Sentry) harkens back to the worst parts of Bendis' run when he felt the need to put the Sentry in the book and then treat the rest of the Avengers as superfluous because of the power levels of the cosmic entity. I haven't gotten to Infinity yet, and I WANT to like this book if for no other reason than it puts Cannonball and Sunspot from the New Mutants in the Avengers, but shit. What is this?


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Margalis on November 20, 2013, 03:06:40 PM
When I talk about not treating the franchise with respect I'm talking about things like the treatment of the X-Men character Marrow. I don't remember exactly what happened with her but in essence each writer who got a hold of her decided they didn't like her and just changed her into something else. Or the way various X-people have been killed and brought back willy-nilly.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Raguel on November 20, 2013, 07:24:08 PM
When I talk about not treating the franchise with respect I'm talking about things like the treatment of the X-Men character Marrow. I don't remember exactly what happened with her but in essence each writer who got a hold of her decided they didn't like her and just changed her into something else. Or the way various X-people have been killed and brought back willy-nilly.

Somewhat related, as a former Quasar fan I'm not sure I liked the whole Phyla deal, but I suppose more than most that's Quasar's thing (dying/resurrecting).


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on November 22, 2013, 05:40:46 PM
(http://i.imgur.com/XdLpxmB.jpg)

(Coming in March)


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on November 22, 2013, 08:13:26 PM
Well that will be... interesting.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Evildrider on November 22, 2013, 08:58:08 PM
As a Moon Knight fan, I approve. 


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Raguel on November 24, 2013, 09:21:54 AM

Anyone like the latest Guardians of the Galaxy? It doesn't seem to be as good as the previous version.



Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on November 24, 2013, 02:56:32 PM

Anyone like the latest Guardians of the Galaxy? It doesn't seem to be as good as the previous version.



Bendis.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: CmdrSlack on November 24, 2013, 03:22:44 PM

Anyone like the latest Guardians of the Galaxy? It doesn't seem to be as good as the previous version.



Bendis.

In tandem with Nova, not too bad. We have a waste mgmt company in town named Groot. I really want to put "I am" above that logo on a t shirt.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on November 24, 2013, 04:35:14 PM
Really dislike it. In part because I thought the previous title was tons of fun. I really don't like Bendis on 'ordinary' titles, there's something sour about his take on a lot of it.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on November 25, 2013, 11:24:33 AM
I've just started reading through the Hickman Avengers series. Fantastic art... but what the fuck am I reading?

Started reading Hickman's New Avengers. It's only slightly less WHAT THE FUCK? So the Illuminati (one of the most idiotic ideas of the Bendis' era) gets back together to stop what sounds like the Anti-Monitor destroying infinite earths, brainwash Captain America because he won't let them destroy alternate earths to save their own, get all but one of the Infinity Gems destroyed in what amounted to a throwaway sequence and I just... what the fuck am I reading? Oh and Black Panther joins the group but doesn't murder Namor the minute he sees him even though he probably should because Namor flooded Wakanda during the AVX stuff. Just... I don't even know what this is.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on November 25, 2013, 01:44:49 PM
About the only really interesting bit was that it sort of explained why there should be "Infinity Gems" in the first place (seems kind of dumb to have gems that allow a single being to take over all of reality)--they're essentially an emergency weapon to deal with this sort of incursion of another universe. I like the grim determination that is the major mood of New Avengers but again, it basically ruins the characters overall by changing the scale at which they operate. Now they kill universes--kind of hard to imagine the Black Panther fighting Klaw any time soon. It's also a bit uncomfortable how much this actually resembles Crisis on Infinite Earths in plot terms and maybe even in terms of end objectives. (Basically I think they're going to bring all 'alternate' Marvel characters that they like into the main 616 universe and get rid of all the alternate universes).


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Raguel on November 25, 2013, 09:42:12 PM

Anyone like the latest Guardians of the Galaxy? It doesn't seem to be as good as the previous version.



Bendis.

But isn't he the reason there are a billion different Avengers books now? Of course I also dislike Millar so there you go.
 I can't say I ever liked his stuff. I've only read the dissambled storyline recently, a few New Avengers, and GotG. None of it IMO is bad, it's just that none of it is any good.

Speaking of the Avengers: is there a different theme in them or what? Assembled seems to be like a random team up book. Which one has Captain Marvel?


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on November 25, 2013, 09:50:35 PM
New Avengers is basically Illuminati. Avengers is the other Hickman cosmic book - Capt. Marvel sometimes shows up. Avengers Assemble is a kind of team-up Avengers book. Uncanny Avengers is the most "Avengers" like book out there, IMO.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sir T on November 26, 2013, 07:37:54 AM
I thought the original explanation for the Infinity stones were they were the Shattered parts of the soul of the original creator of the universe.

Of course, that made about as much sense as the new explanation so...


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on November 26, 2013, 10:30:19 AM
You know, it's funny trying to figure out which characters go in which books these days. Basically, if you are a super hero in the Marvel Universe and you aren't on Cyclops' X-Men team, you are or probably have been at one time a goddamn Avenger and may appear as such in any one of 4 Avengers books.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: jgsugden on November 27, 2013, 10:25:08 AM
All the cross-overs are meant to pull people into new titles - but it had the opposite effect on me.  I was collecting about half of the Marvel titles in 1991 and quit cold turkey when I started to see too many times I felt like I had to buy comics from the 'other half' to keep up with the characters from my favotite titles. 


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Raguel on December 10, 2013, 02:37:04 PM
All the cross-overs are meant to pull people into new titles - but it had the opposite effect on me.  I was collecting about half of the Marvel titles in 1991 and quit cold turkey when I started to see too many times I felt like I had to buy comics from the 'other half' to keep up with the characters from my favotite titles. 

The lesson I learned was that most crossover stuff outside of the main story arc could be safely ignored.

In related news, IMO Infinity was pure crap. Maybe in this case I should have read the crossover stuff.  :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on December 18, 2013, 02:39:53 PM
There's a funny moment in the latest Uncanny X-Men TPB (Magik) where Magik visits Dr Strange in the past and mentions he's an Avenger (indirectly) and he makes a comment about not being able to conceive of a situation where that would happen.

I'm still reading that series, and the new TPB has some really nice art, best in the series thus far. Still with Thor, Deadpool, Superior Spidey and a couple others. I think Spidey is close to the shark, he recently added some doc-ock-like backpack with cyborg arms that's a bit much, as well as his patrolling mechs and henchman army...I liked it more when he was just a twisted hero but basically still just Spidey++. Some nice art, though. Thor is still killing it for comic art.

Speaking of art, Frank Cho is running a KS for a 'how to draw hot chicks' book. Flesk publishing is solid, I have the Brom compilation they KS'd.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Raguel on December 31, 2013, 02:35:27 AM
So I torrented the hell out of New Avengers and it wasn't worth the cost.  :why_so_serious: I don't hate Bendis but he's not good.

I'm downloading Secret Avengers now. Someone tell me it's better.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on December 31, 2013, 04:12:32 AM
Secret Avengers is MUCH better. It gets a bit weird near the end when Remender takes over, but it is much better than any of the Bendis Avengers stuff.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Raguel on December 31, 2013, 12:27:08 PM
I'm cool with Ultimate and CU Fury but they really turn regular Fury into Samuel Jackson? LOL did they make him lose a bet with Mephisto or did his mom get shot with time bullets?


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on January 01, 2014, 12:31:35 AM
I'm cool with Ultimate and CU Fury but they really turn regular Fury into Samuel Jackson? LOL did they make him lose a bet with Mephisto or did his mom get shot with time bullets?

No, it's Fury's bastard black son that he never told anybody about but turned into a super badass soldier then when Fury's enemies found out about him, he was given the infinity serum that keeps Fury alive and became the new Nick Fury.

No, I'm not kidding.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Raguel on January 01, 2014, 05:55:12 PM

I just washed that out of my brain with Sandman Overture 1.  :drill:


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on January 01, 2014, 10:39:54 PM
So yes, Age of Ultron. What... the... fuck? That was fucking terribad. Like Moffat Timey-Wimey Useless Makes No Fucking Sense Terribad.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on January 02, 2014, 08:40:23 PM
The main logic of it seems to have been to launch a new book and a strategy to make more integrated use of some scrap intellectual property that was lying around via the "you broke time" conclusion.

Time travel has made for some fun stories in the Marvel U. but it's really become a problem.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: palmer_eldritch on January 03, 2014, 12:55:55 PM
At first I thought Age of Ultron was going to be about them travelling back and forth through time and creating one messed up future (or present) after another, which might have been fun. They should have gone wild and given us half a dozen different timelines.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Raguel on January 08, 2014, 01:21:50 AM
I kept waiting for Young Avengers to get good but it never did imo. I suppose this is written for a younger generation or something.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on January 08, 2014, 09:21:58 AM
I liked it, but the story felt about 3-4 issues too long.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on January 08, 2014, 10:54:40 AM
Age of Ultron was fucking terribad. 10 issues where essentially nothing happened... except maybe something happened that might get explored in later stories somewhere else. It was the ultimate cocktease story. And wouldn't bringing the original X-Men to the present day have broken time more than whatever the fuck happened there? And the whole "I have to kill Wolverine in a cave thing" made no damn sense to me.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Raguel on January 12, 2014, 09:45:46 AM

Just got through reading Astro City: Dark Ages.  :Love_Letters:


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Raguel on January 24, 2014, 05:05:08 PM

So I've been reading vanilla Avengers and Avengers World. I can't say I like Hickman.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: CmdrSlack on January 24, 2014, 08:07:51 PM
Hawkeye continues to deliver. I wasn't so sure about Kate, but I'm sold now after this last issue.


Of all the books on my pull list, this is the one that I'm glad I've been collecting since issue #1. It'll be worth something never, but it'll always be a priceless set for me.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on February 13, 2014, 06:52:47 AM
A few days old, but a Preacher TV series is in the works with AMC and Sony Pictures Television (http://blogs.amctv.com/movie-blog/2014/02/amc-and-sony-pictures-television-to-develop-preacher-as-a-dramatic-series/). Didn't want to make a thread in the TV forum because while this seems like it's much more solid than all of false starts Preacher has had in the past as far as movie and TV deals go, it's still obviously a ways off without much to discuss yet. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are writing and producing it along with one of Breaking Bad's producers Sam Catlin. Garth Ennis seems to be fairly happy with the deal also. Obviously HBO probably would have been more ideal. While AMC does some great TV, they'll have to ease back on the swearing a bit and the much bigger possible issue I could think of would be AMC execs trying to fuck with the budget on this (not sure if Sony, Rogan, and Goldberg's involvement helps negate that issue or not or who is paying for what as far as development goes).


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Raguel on February 19, 2014, 10:30:44 AM
Avengers World #3: First Hickman comic I've liked. Where's this guy been?


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Raguel on February 28, 2014, 01:11:41 AM
I really like UA, so I'm surprised I found people on the net who think Remender is the worst Marvel writer. Personally I think he's my third fave right now, behind the writers of Thor and Captain Marvel.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on February 28, 2014, 10:15:34 AM
I liked Uncanny Avengers at the start, but when they brought in the Akkaba and Apocalypse Twins as villains, it took a step down. The holdover stuff from his run on X-Force has been kind of meh.

I started reading Bendis' Guardians of the Galaxy. He really does know how to suck every single ounce of fun out of a set of characters doesn't he?


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on February 28, 2014, 10:54:14 AM
I feel the same way about Uncanny Avengers--Remender needs to find some new narratives and situations to work. I particularly have found the long arc of working "Wolverine must pay for being a killer" a mess. Not the least because of how completely impossible it is to reconcile with the surprisingly engaging reworking of Wolverine over in Wolverine and the X-Men.

I think Marvel needs a serious long-term moratorium on alternate-reality, time-travel based stories for a good while. They really are being used as a crutch by writers who desperately want to tell stories in which the characters evolve and change but where they know that the reset button is waiting to undo everything they've done.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Raguel on February 28, 2014, 04:00:35 PM
I started reading Bendis' Guardians of the Galaxy. He really does know how to suck every single ounce of fun out of a set of characters doesn't he?

I really don't like Bendis, but I especially hate this new arc. It doesn't even make any sense for the Shiar to be doing what they are doing, although I admit I haven't read anything on the Xmen side. Does he explain it there?


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on February 28, 2014, 11:26:53 PM
The Shiar had kind of become a vassal of the Kree if I remember right. I'm only 4 issues into Guardians so I'm not sure what they are doing that is out of character. But if it's written by Bendis, out of character is his middle name.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Raguel on March 01, 2014, 03:02:43 AM
The Shiar had kind of become a vassal of the Kree if I remember right. I'm only 4 issues into Guardians so I'm not sure what they are doing that is out of character. But if it's written by Bendis, out of character is his middle name.

Not so much out of character as stupid and redundant.

spoilering in case you don't want to know ahead of time:



Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: palmer_eldritch on March 01, 2014, 09:04:36 AM
I refuse to accept any Jean Grey retcons and just consider the entire Marvel Universe since 1986 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-Factor_(comics)) to be an imaginary story.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Raguel on March 01, 2014, 10:01:07 AM
I refuse to accept any Jean Grey retcons and just consider the entire Marvel Universe since 1986 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-Factor_(comics)) to be an imaginary story.

Yeah I don't care much to see Bucky and Osborn running around, not to mention Emma and Scott. Priest's Panther was the bee's knees though, and we wouldn't have DnA's GotG.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on March 07, 2014, 04:05:19 PM
I got the third tradeback collection thing for Captain Marvel, it seems to contain all the issues to follow the story from the first two collections, so good job whoever put those issues together into a book!


The story itself is good but bittersweet, but ends in the most adorable way possible so it isn't super depressing, which I am thankful for. I'm not sure what's next though, do I move onto the new Captain Marvel #1 now, or is there more to find in this arc?


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Raguel on March 08, 2014, 06:56:25 AM
I'm not positive but I think I know what story you are referring to. After that ends IIRC it's Infinity tie in stuff, and the last issue IMO was the absolute worst of the bunch (although there is one really good moment between CM and the little girl).


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on March 08, 2014, 07:11:59 AM
Yeah, don't go any further, it just sort of whimpered and died.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: CmdrSlack on March 08, 2014, 04:36:09 PM
So the new Moon Knight book is actually pretty good so far. (Well, one whole issue.)

Ms. Marvel is also interesting, and I can ask a co-worker about the Urdu parts to see if the translations, etc. are right.

Hawkeye is still good.

I'm three issues into the new Punisher book. So far, not 100% sold, but I really need to find some good older stuff to get a better feel for the character overall.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on March 08, 2014, 08:32:00 PM
Hawkeye is starting to feel too meandering to me.

I like the new She-Hulk book. Nice tip of the hat to Slott's first 30-ish issues of his version of the title.

One thing that interests me is how difficult Fantastic Four seems to be for current Marvel. It does make you wonder about whether that's being slighted due to film rights, but then you realize they're doing some really interesting, edgy things with Spider-Man AND that the Avengers-related titles are not exactly playing it safe.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on March 09, 2014, 01:59:51 AM
the Avengers-related titles are not exactly playing it safe.

They ain't exactly good either.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on March 09, 2014, 04:38:57 AM
So the new Moon Knight book is actually pretty good so far. (Well, one whole issue.)

It's ok. From any other writer I probably wouldn't go out of my way to look for the second issue unless I heard really good things about it, but it's Ellis so he get's the benefit of the doubt for now. Some of it had a slight Fell vibe, but that just made me want more Fell.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on March 09, 2014, 08:00:58 AM
I'm not wild about Hickman's Avengers writing but I appreciate that it is not just mindlessly commercial. The books featuring the core Avengers are having some of their best runs ever right now, particularly Thor and Captain America.

I don't think Marvel is just tying their comics to the movies, is the key point. Though they've found a way to make Nick Fury black and to introduce Coulson, etc.  I'm just interested at how in the middle of a lot of fun, interesting and daring work, Fantastic Four just doesn't ever seem to click. Hickman more or less wrote it as "The Adventures of Reed Richards, his kids, and a few of his other relatives" and that was ok, but he so palpably didn't know what to do with Sue, Johnny and Ben that it was painful. Before that, I don't remember the last time the book was good. It's been a long long time.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: CmdrSlack on March 09, 2014, 10:13:46 AM
She Hulk is doing a good job of handling the law without getting it terribly wrong.

I wonder how long that will last, as it does seem to focus pretty heavily on her legal practice.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on March 09, 2014, 01:44:35 PM
I'm actually going back and reading Fantastic Four starting right after the "Heroes Return" debacle (yes back to 1998 FFS). I'm in the midst of the Claremont run and he has some decent character ideas but like everything he did after his first run on X-Men, the villains are all really forgettable. Plus, he falls into that old school style of writing comics, that is to say, OVERWRITING comics with lots of unnecessary exposition in captions. While I certainly miss thought balloons and captions, there is a middle ground between the minimalist approach most writers take today and the novels written in the past.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on March 30, 2014, 06:16:53 AM
With one issue left of Superior Spider-man, I finally got around to reading the first 30 issues and really enjoyed it. Slott managed to give Otto just enough moments of not being a complete douchebag to make him a character you can kinda sorta root for (he's a lot like Fixer/Techno from the Thunderbolts in many respects, or later Thunderbolts era Zemo for that matter). Next up, I've got to read through Superior Foes of Spider-man.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on March 30, 2014, 07:05:11 AM
Superior Foes is just great.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: CmdrSlack on March 30, 2014, 09:46:11 AM
Seconded on that. It's like Hawkeye, but with bad guys.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: palmer_eldritch on March 30, 2014, 09:57:38 AM
I'm making my way through Infinity and all the tie-in books now on Marvel Unlimited and I'm really enjoying the epic, space operary feel of it.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Ironwood on March 30, 2014, 11:31:35 AM
She Hulk is doing a good job of handling the law without getting it terribly wrong.

I wonder how long that will last, as it does seem to focus pretty heavily on her legal practice.

The writer was a lawyer too, no ?


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: CmdrSlack on March 31, 2014, 09:02:14 AM
She Hulk is doing a good job of handling the law without getting it terribly wrong.

I wonder how long that will last, as it does seem to focus pretty heavily on her legal practice.

The writer was a lawyer too, no ?

Didn't know that. But if that's true, then I guess I always have a fallback job. I mean shit, they gave Alyssa Milano a comic book.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Merusk on March 31, 2014, 04:42:59 PM
Your rack isn't as mesmerizing as hers.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: CmdrSlack on March 31, 2014, 07:56:27 PM
Truth.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Raguel on March 31, 2014, 08:43:23 PM
Yeah, Bendis still sucks. Interesting turn of events in Uncanny Avengers, although I can understand upon reflection why you guys think it's dragging, etc.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Ironwood on April 01, 2014, 03:45:26 AM
She Hulk is doing a good job of handling the law without getting it terribly wrong.

I wonder how long that will last, as it does seem to focus pretty heavily on her legal practice.

The writer was a lawyer too, no ?

Didn't know that. But if that's true, then I guess I always have a fallback job. I mean shit, they gave Alyssa Milano a comic book.


 (http://comicsalliance.com/she-hulk-1-review-charles-soule-javier-pulido-marvel-comics/)

http://comicsalliance.com/she-hulk-1-review-charles-soule-javier-pulido-marvel-comics/[/url]

Lawyered.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Margalis on April 01, 2014, 02:14:50 PM
Man, I can't stand the art on a lot of modern comics. It seems like there are some really weird styles out there that are like a hybrid of anime and cartoon network shows or something.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Raguel on April 08, 2014, 10:28:03 AM
The current CA arc is a bit unfortunate, given the movie. I wonder if the writer knew what was going to happen in TWS before doing this arc.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Ironwood on April 08, 2014, 10:30:53 AM
What's it about ?


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Raguel on April 08, 2014, 11:19:12 AM
What's it about ?



Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Ironwood on April 08, 2014, 11:22:41 AM
Oh Dear.  That's bad timing.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Margalis on April 09, 2014, 04:28:42 PM
Marvel does an awful job of tying the movies in with the comics.

Actually...I'm not if that's true. Maybe the philosophy is just that the comics and movies are separate and only inform each other indirectly. That may be a better long-term strategy that allows for higher quality comics and movies, rather than trying to aggressively tie things in.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on April 09, 2014, 05:54:04 PM
Indirectly is better, I think. In fact, they don't really have any choice, because the comic-book Marvel U is crawling with characters who aren't in the movies and will never be in the movies but who probably have value as intellectual property in some fashion or another. Plus trying to tightly rein in the continuity so that it fits the movies would keep the really interesting creative folks they do have on staff from creating characters and telling stories that might at some point be incorporated into adaptations.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on April 09, 2014, 06:53:40 PM
I've finally gotten to the point in my Fantastic Four catchup that I'm in the very beginnings of the Johnathan Hickman run.

What... the... fuck?

The Mark Waid run was good. It was fun, had plenty of adventurous feel, plenty of humor mixed with darkness (Doom sending Franklin to hell was a good touch along with the Doom mystic armor change). It was Weiringo's best work in years.The JMS run was ok - a little too heavy handed and felt like he recycled some B5 stuff but decent. The McDuffie "Black Panther and Storm are part of the FF" run was ok but forgettable. Then Mark Millar comes on - the poor man's Gratn Morrison. Those were some really poor stories, especially the one about "Doctor Doom's mentor." That was some stupid shit. Here's a villain that has destroyed countless dimensions and versions of the Fantastic Four without breaking a sweat, but this one creates the problem. Yeah. Ok.

The Hickman stuff is just fucking weird. The whole Council of 1000 Reed Richards thing? What... the... fuck? And all through it, it seems like none of the writers since Waid even has clue one what makes the Fantastic Four an interesting group, or any idea who the characters are and what they would or would not do. Especially Reed Richards. This guy has gone from being the most brilliant yet humanistic scientist to an aloof twat who builds pocket universes (complete with life and civilizations) for fun only to watch them die. And it's become a group that time-travels for vacations. Really?

I hope it gets better from here because this is some stupid shit.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on April 10, 2014, 10:58:30 AM
The Hickman FF is more or less "Reed Richards and his Amazing Pals". It has some interesting stuff but it's trying really too hard to create scale and significance via time-travel, alternate realities and so on.

I'd say the best pieces of the run are the relationship between Reed, Valeria and Doom--there's some interesting things in there and a much ballsier writer might have decided to do something like move Doom past his obsession with Reed Richards and in the process make him actually a much more dangerous person. (E.g., Doom's psychological hang-ups are demonstrably the reason he gets defeated again and again; what if he resolved out the obsessions while still believing that he was entitled to dominate the world/universe)

Almost nothing interesting gets done with the Thing, which is a sign that a writer doesn't fully "get" the FF--Ben Grimm is the straw that stirs the drink. Sue also, mostly. There's a late attempt to give Johnny some new gravitas which has been promptly forgotten afterwards. And Franklin goes once again through the repeated cycle of being made all-powerful and then being essentially depowered which was old the first time it was done and is now just annoying as fuck, since Franklin always turns out to be the reset button every time the FF is in an impossible situation. (Valeria is now just contributing to that somewhat.)


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on April 10, 2014, 11:16:47 AM
Well, they've started the whole stupid kid cycle over again with Valeria being super-duper smarter than Reed at age fucking 3 - which basically means every child this couple ever has will be some goddamn omega-level mutant yet no one is coming to take them away like they do with Hope in X-Men. And yes, so far the Hickman stuff has been Reed Richards and these fucking idiots he travels around with for some reason but he isn't even getting the Richards characterization right. Every writer since Waid has tried to highlight the creepy/dark aspects of having that much intelligence without realizing what made the character and the book interesting was that he could do all these things but knew when to stop. It's the same shit they did with Tony Stark with the Civil War shit. It's like they decided that these guys having a conscience wasn't interesting so fuck it, we'll just turn them into pantomime villains with no real good explanation why their current behavior clashes so badly with the previous 30+ years of continuity.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on April 10, 2014, 12:36:27 PM
Hickman (and actually before him Dwayne McDuffie) were trying to do emergency characterization surgery on Reed Richards after Mark Millar more or less tried to ruin the character for good. Shit, Millar even gave fucking Hank Pym a bit of sympathetic breathing room, but Reed Richards he more or less wrote in as the Edward Teller of the Registration Act who was responsible for all of the most indefensible stuff (Clone Thor, the Negative Zone prison) without even a trace of doubt.

So I appreciate that they either had to say, "Civil War never happened, we're just going to go right back to having Reed be the Professor from Gilligan's Island" or they had to try and go inside his mind and explain how he talked himself into being a super-villain.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Raguel on April 10, 2014, 01:10:50 PM

This current convo makes me glad I stopped reading comics when I did.  :awesome_for_real:

The only thing I hate is that Uncanny Avengers talks about stuff Wanda allegedly did that clearly NEVER HAPPENED.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on April 13, 2014, 02:54:47 PM
Read through all of Marvel's Battle Royale homage Avengers Arena yesterday. I remember seeing a lot of criticism surrounding it in reviews back when the first issues came out, but it seemed that by the time it finished up opinions had turned more positive. I normally read stuff based on the creative team or if a book is getting really positive word of mouth, as opposed to following particular characters. A lot of writers tend to be hesitant to use more recently created characters though, who might still be perceived as being heavily tied to their creators, like the Runaways are with BKV to some extent for instance, so I was initially interested in this book because characters like Chase, Nico, and former Drax the Destroyer sidekick Cammi were in it. Of course in a book about young superheroes being forced to kill each other off, these characters along with Darkhawk and X-23 also felt fairly safe in this scenario which also left a lot of the other characters feeling expendable.

Good book overall though. Writer Dennis Hopeless admits in the back of the last issue that this isn't the book he wanted to write. He had pitched more of a teen drama, and the editors he had pitched it to focused in on a story arc he had planned where various MU "schools" would get forced into a death match against each other and told him to make the book about that. Obviously the Battle Royale setup is very conducive to teen drama though, and Hopeless does a good job at making you care about a number of the new characters that were created for this book. Towards the end though it makes you feel like even most of those characters are fairly safe due to the writer getting attached to them.

I guess maybe it's not a horrible thing that ultimately the majority of the characters make it through the story. It maybe makes for an odd Battle Royale homage, but it's still an entertaining read and also one of the few times I've seen Arcade used to decent effect as well. Overall the book reminded me a bit of Kyle and Yost's New Mutants book in that it's a fairly well written teen superhero comic with a bit of a death count. The surviving characters are now in a new book called Avengers Undercover which is only a couple issues in right now.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: jgsugden on April 25, 2014, 03:06:28 PM
And now it is time to kill Wolverine?  *Sigh*


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Nevermore on April 25, 2014, 03:17:56 PM
Don't worry, there will still be evil mohawk Wolverine and hot Summer Glau Wolverine running around.  Unless they've died recently, too.  I don't really keep track.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on April 25, 2014, 04:17:26 PM
I finally caught up with all the Fantastic Four's available on Marvel Unlimited, including both runs of FF and the reboot written by Matt Fraction. Holy shit, what the fuck happened to these characters? Mark Waid's run was the best since John Byrne's and everything else has been... well, inconsistent in quality to say the least. The Hickman stuff really makes me think his Avengers/Infinity stuff is only going to get worse (and it's not good to start with). Way too many unbeatable cosmic level entities like the Celestials involved along with really bad characterizations of Reed Richards. Johnny Storm's entire "I died and am thus more serious" transformation is completely forgotten.

The Matt Fraction run is even worse and it kind of highlights a problem I'm having with Marvel's entire editorial style. They want a shared universe with these huge events affecting all their titles but they don't want to maintain continuity (or be constrained) by it. So we get weird shit like the Fantastic Four just bounding wily-nily through time but then at the end of Age of Ultron we get the "WE BROKE TIME!!!!!" shit. Meanwhile, the Beast goes back in time and brings the original X-Men to their future (his present) to give Scott Summers a guilt trip. All of those things contradict one another and makes anyone who is reading multiple books confused. Plus you get things like Doctor Doom being stuck in Hell one minute then returned no worse for wear with his old armor back a few months later when a different writer comes on.

And I find out that Fantastic Four has rebooted AGAIN? What the fuck? Why are these long-running books getting new #1's every 16 months or so?


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on April 25, 2014, 05:59:54 PM
To give new readers a stepping in point and allow them to re-brand things with their Marvel NOW tag. Also allows clear transitions between arcs, including writers and artists if need be.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on April 25, 2014, 08:24:30 PM
I am actually fine with the serial reboots. They are openly going with the "Hey, are you new on this title? Are you a cool and interesting writer and/or artist? Do what you want with this character(s). Just have some good ideas. Go to it."

This is way better than, "Fix what Mark Millar just broke, because THE CONTINUITY is our Lord and Master."

Sure, does it create some broken stuff? Yeah. So? The next guy doesn't have to fix it, he just has to say, "So here's my thing." I think this is so so so much better.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Margalis on April 25, 2014, 11:09:19 PM
The idea of breaking runs into separate volumes with their own numbering is fine.

However I do think it's a problem when there is an absolute glut of #1 issues. The implication is that most series are extremely short-lived. My impression from reading comics websites and listening to podcasts is that every month half of all comics are new #1s and most of those series are cancelled after a few issues.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on April 26, 2014, 05:31:29 AM
But cancellation doesn't mean what it used to mean (low sales, unsupported by the market). So Daredevil, for example, had a great run with Mark Waid and several artists, mostly Chris Samnee; was cancelled; was immediately started up again with...Mark Waid and Chris Samnee. The "cancellation" in this case was just about a new status quo for the character--essentially just a new volume for the future trade publication. That's pretty much the way Marvel does it now--a given creator gets his/her shot at a character, when they're done, it's "cancelled" and restarted with someone else.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: jgsugden on April 26, 2014, 01:05:34 PM
For now.  Eventually, they'll take all of these short runs and pretend like they were pat of the   main line run that began in the 60s/70s so that they can show the big number of issues again.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: UnSub on April 27, 2014, 12:20:09 AM
I am actually fine with the serial reboots. They are openly going with the "Hey, are you new on this title? Are you a cool and interesting writer and/or artist? Do what you want with this character(s). Just have some good ideas. Go to it."

This is way better than, "Fix what Mark Millar just broke, because THE CONTINUITY is our Lord and Master."

Sure, does it create some broken stuff? Yeah. So? The next guy doesn't have to fix it, he just has to say, "So here's my thing." I think this is so so so much better.

That's the path that led to DC's multiverse situation, where the same character ended up in quantum states of having done something, not having done something or having done something in an alternate universe that may or may not be part of the current character run.

Ignoring continuity might work well in a the short-term, but it leads to completely inconsistent characterisations.

I do recognise the problems with being slaves to continuity, but completely ignoring continuity has its own issues too, especially in a market where more people read "Spider-Man" than actively seek out the work of (say) Matt Fraction.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on April 27, 2014, 01:29:40 AM
This is way better than, "Fix what Mark Millar just broke, because THE CONTINUITY is our Lord and Master."

Sure, does it create some broken stuff? Yeah. So? The next guy doesn't have to fix it, he just has to say, "So here's my thing." I think this is so so so much better.

The problem is that shared universe thing. It creates some really jarring moments for the reader that takes them out of the story and into the "wait, what book do I have to read to figure out why this character is acting like this?" Continuity doesn't have to be lord and master, but if you want a shared universe of stories, there needs to be SOME attention paid to shit that doesn't make sense. It feels like very lazy editing.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on April 27, 2014, 04:08:47 AM
But cancellation doesn't mean what it used to mean (low sales, unsupported by the market). So Daredevil, for example, had a great run with Mark Waid and several artists, mostly Chris Samnee; was cancelled; was immediately started up again with...Mark Waid and Chris Samnee. The "cancellation" in this case was just about a new status quo for the character--essentially just a new volume for the future trade publication. That's pretty much the way Marvel does it now--a given creator gets his/her shot at a character, when they're done, it's "cancelled" and restarted with someone else.

Sometimes Marvel stretches a bit to justify some of these relaunches though. For instance, my understanding is that the Wolverine just had a relaunch and in a similar situation to what you just mentioned with Daredevil and Mark Waid, the relaunched Wolverine still has the same creative team. The status quo has shifted slightly, but for all intents and purposes, it sounds like it's a direct continuation of the previous storyline which also sounds like it's leading into this whole death of Wolverine thing. This is not the jumping on point for new readers, it essentially sounds like it's the second or third chapter in an ongoing story. There's not really any reason for a new #1 here. That's not even getting into some of their bizarre recent numbering schemes like their .NOW and .INH issues.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Margalis on April 27, 2014, 06:41:43 PM
I think it's important to distinguish between a new series and a new volume.

The problem I have as someone who casually follows comics is that I see so many new #1 issues that it makes comics as a whole seem completely disposable. I listen to a podcast, they review 3 new #1 issues, they never talk about that series again, then I look them up and see that none of them lasted beyond 6 issues. It makes me think "why bother?", especially when it comes to buying issues as they come out instead of waiting for a collection.

New #1s that are actually part of an existing series and just a new arc or volume don't actually contribute to this problem, but they do contribute to the perception.

It would be like if every week on TV half of shows were pilots. The takeaway from that would be "don't bother watching these, they won't last."

For an existing series I would much prefer "Volume 12 - #1" rather than just "#1." It also helps if you want to do things like read back issues in order or do a web search. It's already almost impossible to browse something like Marvel Unlimited and make heads or tails out of it - there are like 6 series all called The Avengers or Iron Man or Thor.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on April 27, 2014, 07:21:58 PM
New #1s that are actually part of an existing series and just a new arc or volume don't actually contribute to this problem, but they do contribute to the perception.

The perception I get from them is "short term money grab". In the Daredevil example for instance, they went from selling around 31,000 issues of #36 in February to around 76000 issues of #1 in March. Wolverine went from 31,000 with issue #13 in January to 89,000 with issue #1 in Feb, down to 47,000 with issue #2 also in Feb, and then down to around 40,000 with #3 in March. These numbers are all sales from Diamond to comic book stores so it doesn't represent sell through of those issues or digital purchases. Also, since comic stores generally order issues three months in advance that means that when you look at something like Wolverine's numbers going down over the first three issues, you're essentially seeing the store owners speculating on the rate of decline from issue to issue.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on April 30, 2014, 03:52:42 PM
So X-Men Battle of the Atom crossover... I'm in the middle of it and holy shit is it fucking stupid. It's more of Bendis doubling down on the fuckstupid concept behind All New X-Men (i.e. bring the original 5 X-Men forward in time). Now we have the X-Men from the future coming back to the present to convince the originals to return to their original time. They are led by Jean Grey (yes, back from the dead!!!) dressed as Xorn, only she's not the dead Jean Grey, she's the Jean Grey that becomes when the original Jean Grey that was brought forward in time decides not to return.

Which leads to the old Scott Summers calling her the Old Young Jean Grey (and amazingly enough, Bendis didn't write that line). It's really fucking awful. I only shudder to think how bad it's going to be after they resolve the crossover.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Raguel on April 30, 2014, 03:56:43 PM
So X-Men Battle of the Atom crossover... I'm in the middle of it and holy shit is it fucking stupid. It's more of Bendis doubling down on the fuckstupid concept behind All New X-Men (i.e. bring the original 5 X-Men forward in time). Now we have the X-Men from the future coming back to the present to convince the originals to return to their original time. They are led by Jean Grey (yes, back from the dead!!!) dressed as Xorn, only she's not the dead Jean Grey, she's the Jean Grey that becomes when the original Jean Grey that was brought forward in time decides not to return.

Which leads to the old Scott Summers calling her the Old Young Jean Grey (and amazingly enough, Bendis didn't write that line). It's really fucking awful. I only shudder to think how bad it's going to be after they resolve the crossover.

I've been reading comics off and on for 3 decades and I'm totally confused over what you just said. Except lolxmen lolBendis. I think I'll just leave it at that. Have you gotten to the Xmen/GoTG bit yet?  :why_so_serious:

I'll say this for Bendis: He finally wrote a non Luke Cage centered comic that I liked in the last issue of GoTG.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on April 30, 2014, 04:00:26 PM
I'm like 9 months behind most current Marvel comics (Unlimited subscription only allows comics that are 6 months or older), so no I haven't gotten to that yet. And yes, it doesn't get anymore unconfusing if you read the issues. Suffice it to say that despite the fallout of Age of Ultron (WE BROKESES TIME!), Bendis starts the fucking All New X-Men book with the premise that we'll use time travel to wake Scott Summers up. And Beast is the one who decides to do this - which is basically characterizing the "good" Beast as no better than the Dark Beast because he knows that kind of time wimey nonsense could fuck the time stream up. Bendis basically just really likes to make decent characters into aloof dickbags who fuck with shit just because they can... and those are his 'good guys.'


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on April 30, 2014, 05:40:42 PM
That crossover caused me to stop reading X-Men after I'd re-engaged them for the first time in a long long time after Schism, which I thought was fairly decent. It was just dumb.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: palmer_eldritch on June 02, 2014, 10:34:32 AM
The first new collected edition of Miracleman is now out - here's a link http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0785154620 . I got this book, despite having read the stories many times before, and it's still a good read after al this time.

This was one of Alan Moore's early works, although he's so angry with Marvel (I think - lose track of the people Moore is upset with) that he doesn't want to be named on the book, so they call him "The Original Writer" instead.

It's a bit of an odd read because Moore's very early work isn't always brilliantly written. It's a bit too flowery, a bit too wordy and although he'd probably strangle anyone who said this to his face, it reads like he was heavily influenced by the style of writing in Claremont's X-Men. Lots of thought bubbles in which people think about their feelings, rather than showing us their feelings through the things they say and do.

But it gets better really quickly. And the overall story is really fun. And I happen to know, because I've read it all before, that it only gets better.

For those who don't know Miracleman, it's a reboot of an old character from the 1950s/60s called Marvelman, who is himself a bit of a rip off of Captain Marvel/Shazam!.

The idea is that he's now middle aged and living a normal life and has forgotten the magic word that turns him into a superhero. Until one day he remembers it.

The stories in the first volume originally appeared in a monthly anthology comic where they only had four or five pages a month, so when you put them all together the story appears to move really quickly (as each five pages was a month's-worth of story).

There are various artists but much of the artwork is by Alan Davis and it looks great. Stick with the series and in later books you'll get John Totleben as artist, which is a real treat.

It shows its age but if you like Alan Moore in his earlier days or just generally like superhero comics I'd really recommend it.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: apocrypha on June 02, 2014, 11:29:56 AM
Book 4 of Miracleman was written by Neil Gaiman too, which was great quite but different from the Alan Moore stuff.

The monthly that it was originally published in was called Warrior and was also where V for Vendetta first appeared. I actually bought it each month (-ish, the publishing schedule was extremely erratic) back in the early 80's and still have a box of them, yellow and quite crumbly now, in the loft somewhere :)


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Maledict on June 03, 2014, 03:16:10 PM
The original 3 books of Miracle man are amongst my favourite books ever, especially book 3. I felt the art in book 2 really took a dive (it's fucking awful generally, although the birth scene is great) but book 3 really pulls it back.

Never read any of Neil Gaimen's stuff because I honestly dont see the point in it - why would you write something else? Miracle man was a self-contained story with themes and ideas, and it always seemed to me that anything written after that would ruin the general theme of the original trilogy. I *hate* unnecessary sequels in general.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on June 10, 2014, 03:09:49 PM
Which one of the X-men series is the one with the kid X-men going to the future/present to bitch at their older selves?


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on June 10, 2014, 03:51:04 PM
Which one of the X-men series is the one with the kid X-men going to the future/present to bitch at their older selves?

All New X-Men. It's good moments are few and far between.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Raguel on June 11, 2014, 07:36:43 PM
I've come to the realization, with the latest issue of New Avengers, as to why I don't like the whole Illuminati/incursion stuff:

Ellis already did it and did it better in one issue (the first) of Planetary.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on June 12, 2014, 12:27:14 PM
Yes. Planetary was a much much better version of that (and other) stories.

It's not a suitable thing for these characters, also. Look at all the work that had to be done to rehabilitate Tony Stark and Reed Richards after Mark Millar made them into ridiculous douchbags in Civil War. Well, what can they do if there are a number of Avengers who've pretty much destroyed parallel universes? There are a few characters in the Illuminati who can do that and retain some of their heroism because either of their stoic pragmatism (Black Panther) or their at-the-cosmic-scale-of-things-this-is-necessary operating principles (Dr. Strange) but everybody else, well, it kind of ruins their ability to give a heroic speech the next time a villain is ready to sacrifice a town of people in pursuit of an expedient goal.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on June 12, 2014, 01:07:16 PM
There are a few characters in the Illuminati who can do that and retain some of their heroism because either of their stoic pragmatism (Black Panther) or their at-the-cosmic-scale-of-things-this-is-necessary operating principles (Dr. Strange) but everybody else, well, it kind of ruins their ability to give a heroic speech the next time a villain is ready to sacrifice a town of people in pursuit of an expedient goal.

This. SO MUCH THIS. The whole Illuminati concept was so fucking bad when Bendis and Millar did it, it's even worse now that they are just flat out destroying entire fucking parallell universes. It's like the Council of Reeds shit from Fantastic Four only with the genocide meter turned up to 11. And let's not even get started on the "how is Reed here when he's also in another dimension/timestream/thefuture/thepast in how own book?" kind of continuity WTF.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Raguel on June 18, 2014, 01:10:47 PM

So here's a solution to the incursions. The problem is Earth, right? The High Evolutionary once made an Earth, yes? If Tony can make a damn Dyson sphere why can't the big brains figure out how to make a replacement Earth (or find someone like the HE to help them, since it's their universe too), move everyone off planet (see Annihilation where a whole planet was evacuated ahead of the wave) destroy the Earth (or someone else's Earth, I don't care) and have everyone settle on the replacement Earth. Problem solved, all with known existing Marvel tech. The End.

But no, that wouldn't involve heroes acting like douches and fighting each other. Dumb story is dumb.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on June 18, 2014, 01:21:56 PM
Actually, there's already been a story with a replacement Earth in Fantastic Four by Mark Millar. Reed's old hot scientist chick that he almost banged before marrying Sue and her billionaire husband build a replacement Earth through a wormhole to move only the elite's over to the new world so as to not have overcrowding. Then Hulk's son and a bunch of superheroes from the future where the Earth gets totally fucked make a wormhole using Galactus's body as a battery to teleport their entire populace to the Earth of the present to avoid Earth's destruction in the future, but Reed sends them to the replacement Earth instead. It later shows up when the nu-Earth has a time acceleration and blargadeblargle... yes, the stories were as stupid as they sound. Fantastic Four has had a long line of writers fucking them up since before Hickman got a hold of them.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on June 18, 2014, 04:10:58 PM
I think the incursions destroy the entire universe. It just so happens that Earth is the typical cross-over point for incursions because of hand-wavey cosmic significance etc.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Raguel on June 18, 2014, 04:52:11 PM
I think the incursions destroy the entire universe. It just so happens that Earth is the typical cross-over point for incursions because of hand-wavey cosmic significance etc.


I know that they destroy the entire universe but from my understanding Earth is always the focal point. Maybe I'm wrong, but if I am shouldn't the rest of the galaxy be aware of what's going on? The Kree, Skrull, Shi'ar and others are supposed to be at least a generation of tech ahead of us. Even if I'm right you'd think if other Earth-based groups can independently figure this out everyone else should as well.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on June 18, 2014, 08:06:20 PM
Yeah. You'd think it might have come up during the galactic whatever w/the Builders and all that. But that's the problem with Hickman: all cosmic, no common sense.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on June 20, 2014, 06:58:21 PM
As silly as the overall plot is, I really do enjoy the little point of view inserts that Kelly Sue DeConnick did with a few characters. I just like her writing in general.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on June 21, 2014, 02:34:51 PM
The Thor: God of Thunder book is as fantastic as claimed. It's a ridiculous story that works because it embraces its outlandishness entirely and provides insight into a character you can't really relate to otherwise. Well written, well drawn, well done.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on June 24, 2014, 05:43:08 AM
Which one of the X-men series is the one with the kid X-men going to the future/present to bitch at their older selves?

All New X-Men. It's good moments are few and far between.


This series is amazing for all the wrong reasons. I love it also for all the wrong reasons.  :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on June 25, 2014, 05:01:37 PM
When did Jubilee become a vampire?


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: palmer_eldritch on June 25, 2014, 06:55:13 PM
When did Jubilee become a vampire?

For a while they had an X-Men book which was about the X-Men teaming up with other random superheroes. So they did a story with Blade, and that involved Jubilee becoming a vampire.

See http://www.amazon.co.uk/X-Men-Paco-Medina-Victor-Gischler/dp/1846534771 although I'm not particularly recommending you buy it;)


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sir T on June 25, 2014, 07:36:53 PM
That sounds so dumb I think I lost IQ points even reading it...


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on June 25, 2014, 10:29:53 PM
https://www.humblebundle.com/books

$15 nabs you all that plus an Alex Ross art book that is amazing (I have the print version).


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on June 26, 2014, 11:56:29 AM
When did Jubilee become a vampire?

For a while they had an X-Men book which was about the X-Men teaming up with other random superheroes. So they did a story with Blade, and that involved Jubilee becoming a vampire.

See http://www.amazon.co.uk/X-Men-Paco-Medina-Victor-Gischler/dp/1846534771 although I'm not particularly recommending you buy it;)

Actually, even though they did make Jubilee a vampire, I thought that X-Men book and that particular story was decent. I mean, I've read a lot worse.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on June 26, 2014, 02:22:33 PM
So I read the Illuminati planet sploding story up to wherever it is in Marvel Unlimited, and as I understand it, if you blow up a earth, you prevent both universes from dieing, you just ruin that earth and so far, they've only blown up earth's that were fucked already for whatever convenient reasons. You blow up earth, then that universes gets shunted off the superpath or whatever the builders called it and its just it's own thing and then albino doomsday cult chick frowns at you for being a pussy.

It's still incredibly silly and just a way for them to set up a soft reboot/merge between their various properties. Cherry Pick the good parts from the Ultimate Universe, oh that guy everyone likes is dead, not in earth- 12345678 he ain't etc.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on June 26, 2014, 08:19:27 PM
Given that Crisis on Infinite Earths is widely understood to have caused more story-telling problems than in solved, I'm at a loss to understand why Marvel thinks it's something they want to do too.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on June 27, 2014, 12:34:37 AM
It's all about execution, they probably believe they can pull it off better. They're probably right. I doubt anyone will punch holes in reality  :why_so_serious:


Read the Uncanny Avengers on MU, this is just such a pile of wasted potential so far. I liked where it was going right up until they started fucking around with yet even more time travel with random generic villains I don't give two shits about. Lets setup this thing with Redskull, show him being a real menace, then forget he fucking exists because we need to deal with the apocalypse wonder twins and their 15 layers of, "but I knew that you knew that I knew that you knew that I KNEW that you knew and its all gone to plan mwhaha!" AND since it's yet even more time travel, it's not going to matter, even a little bit, so who gives a shit.


They don't even give me insufferable teenage x-men yelling at their older selves. That's entertaining at least.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on June 27, 2014, 06:45:57 AM
Time travel really needs to go away in the MU for a good long while, but (and I've probably said this already, as it is a pet peeve) I know why MU writers have gone back to it so often since the original Days of Future Past: because it's the only way you can let the characters grow up and change. In the "standard" continuity, they're frozen in amber, having adventures that should change them forever and sometimes do change them for a little while, but you know that the big reset button will be pushed sooner or later and they'll revert to "normal". Time travel lets the writers tell stories that are more like what stories should really be.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on June 27, 2014, 09:52:04 AM
Given that Crisis on Infinite Earths is widely understood to have caused more story-telling problems than in solved, I'm at a loss to understand why Marvel thinks it's something they want to do too.


It wasn't Crisis itself that caused the story problems, it was unclear editorial direction that let idiotic shit like 7 different, conflicting versions of Hawkman come out. Pruning the continuity tree wasn't a bad idea, it's just they didn't stay consistent with it.

The Illuminati shit is just fuckstupid, though.

EDIT: I agree with you about time travel in the MU, though. It has gotten to be such an awful fucking storytelling crutch, and Bendis may be the worst offender of many. Age of Ultron was just godawfully bad.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on June 27, 2014, 01:21:37 PM
It's the problem really with characters who: a) have a single overriding motivation and goal and b) are ultra-powerful. Basically after Busiek and Perez's "ultimate" Ultron story (the famous "We would have words with thee" one) you really have to say, "Ok, look, either we push this character in a new direction or we retire him for a very very long time". There's nothing left to do: he killed a whole country, he pushed his own insane desire for a "robot family" to a new level, he created tons of duplicates of himself.

Abnett and Lanning, naturally, came up with a new direction by putting him out into the space/cosmic setting, which is great--that's where you could let him turn a whole planet into robots or be the ultimate machine form. Or actually you could let him discover that he's only a puny robot just as the humans are just puny humans, and have that push the character in some new direction. If you return him to Earth, give him some new motives or new tricks or depower him a bit or something. But no, Bendis does the dial up to 12 again and then again and again, and has to do the time travel thing as a result.

You can cycle characters like the Owl from being totally two-bit street thugs to being substantially more menacing and then back down again. You can't really do that with guys at the deep end of the pool. If they don't start with complex personalities and changeable goals (the Joker, Lex Luthor, Dr. Doom are all good examples of major bad guys with enough internal complexity and contradiction that they can be in lots of different kinds of stories or have lots of different plots and plans), you have to use them only once in a great while.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on June 27, 2014, 01:29:10 PM
The way Marvel is so constantly cycling their writers in and out of books these days, it feels like every time a new creative team comes on, they get their 1-shot at the big villain. That's great if you have 1- and 2-issue stories. If one story takes 6 issues to tell, in five years, you've only done 10 stories as a writer. If two of those stories have to involve your protagonist(s) big bad, you end up with what happened to Doctor Doom. Mark Waid changes his status quo (emphasizing the sorcerous powers, putting him in a leather mystical suit of armor, trapping him in hell), then less than 20 issues later, Doom has returned from Hell, is back in the traditional armor and almost no mention is made of the change in approach from Waid's run.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on June 27, 2014, 02:04:49 PM
Though I actually think Waid's own story provided a pretty good answer: magic always, always has a price, and its power is always borrowed from someone/something else. Once Doom fully grasped that for himself, he was off of magic. (Though he's messed around with it here and there since in the MU, but only a bit.)


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on July 05, 2014, 01:59:53 AM
I'm Five issues into Superior Spiderman and it's fantastic. I'm going to be sad when things go back to normal :(


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on July 05, 2014, 08:09:43 PM
I'm up to the cutoff point in Unlimited and I'm going to be EXTRA sad when this goes back to normal, which it will, because it will. I find the superior spiderman about a hundred times more interesting then the regular one. Work Smarter, not Harder!


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on July 05, 2014, 08:54:47 PM
Superior Foes is even more Superior.

It was a good idea and they took it about as far as it can go. I haven't read Spider-Man since but it would be nice to see the whole thing have lasting repercussions on him, to change Peter Parker in some long-term ways. But that's unlikely.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on July 08, 2014, 12:24:06 AM
I'm reading Spider-Island, or trying too, I have no idea on the order here. Anyways, since when does Spider-Woman fly? Did she always do that? I thought she was basically a wall crawler.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on July 08, 2014, 10:51:06 AM
I think she's always kind of "glided" more than flew.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Aiwass on July 08, 2014, 01:14:50 PM
Currently reading, "East of West" scifi-western with a heavy seasoning of biblical Armageddon. Interesting thus far worth a read. Also been following Wasteland, which strangely enough is fairly similar except post Apocalypse with some similar religious stuff working its way out. Good stuffs.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on July 08, 2014, 01:43:29 PM
If you aren't reading the current fantasy series Rat Queens, published by Image, I recommend you start. The first trade paperback has just come out, and it's going to be made into an animated TV series (I assume for Adult Swim or a similar buyer: it's quite raunchy). It's really terrific.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on July 08, 2014, 01:54:37 PM
Spider-Woman is a fun character, but her powers make zero sense. The classic spider abilities of flight, mental control and laser beams.  :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Furiously on July 10, 2014, 04:30:02 PM
I'm Five issues into Superior Spiderman and it's fantastic. I'm going to be sad when things go back to normal :(

Based on your comment I gave it a read and am up to the cut-off. I think the first five were the best so far.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Trippy on July 18, 2014, 04:27:18 PM
New Thor discussion moved here:

http://forums.f13.net/index.php?topic=24314.0


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on July 31, 2014, 03:04:35 AM
Reading X-Men Legacy, what a load of horse shit.

This is someones fucking self insert fantasy... and that's saying a lot considering it's company in the comic world.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on July 31, 2014, 10:48:17 AM
This is the book focused on Legion? By Spurrier? I rather liked it.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on July 31, 2014, 02:05:55 PM
Why?



Mew mew I am all powerful but crazy woe is me but I refuse any help offered and I will save the world my own special way and it works out till it doesn't but I am all powerful so mew mew to consequences.


He has accidentally murdered more people then Wolverine has done on purpose.

Then whats the deal with his blindfolded girlfriend, why on earth is she interested in him so suddenly and quickly. I just met you crazy boy, time to make out, it's our destiny!

Then he dismantles top tier threats not with his cheating all powerful powers, but through bullshit special snowflake rube goldberg logic. You know that I know that you know that I know, but do you know that I know that you know that I know that you know that I know!


Basically the only way this book is redeeming itself is if it turns out the entire thing was in his head and he's locked in a padded room somewhere the entire time.



When there's a fight between character and Cyclops and I am rooting for Cyclops... something is wrong with character.  :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on October 06, 2014, 04:49:26 AM
I'm only two issues in, but Magneto's solo book is fantastic. Who ever is writing that understands that character near perfectly.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on October 06, 2014, 07:00:17 PM
SQUIRREL!

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=56038


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: ezrast on October 06, 2014, 07:52:10 PM
Quote
by Ryan North
You have my attention.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Merusk on October 08, 2014, 01:29:30 PM
Squirrel Girl's packed on the pounds in comparison to her Marvel Heroes version.

Also looks like the guy who did the SG intro thread on the MH forums was right. They did have bigger plans for her, which was why they've been shoehorning her into things when nobody outside of comics folks had an inkling of her.
http://forums.marvelheroes.com/discussion/4926/who-the-heck-is-squirrel-girl-a-primer


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on October 08, 2014, 04:52:29 PM
Read the first issue of Axis. Big crossovers haven't really interested me in quite a long time, but Remender's stuff tends to be decent and for a story involving the Avengers and X-men fighting a merger of Onslaught and the Red Skull, this is about as good as you could expect. The fact that Thor is present on the Avengers with his axe, but female Thor is nowhere to be seen, seemed a little odd in some respects. Given what happens to Thor at the end of Thor #1, this is one of those situations where due to the timing of the books it's hard to tell if it's a bit of a spoiler or just bad coordination.

The build-up to the Spider-verse event continues to be good, with the back up in this issue of Amazing showing, among other things, one of my childhood versions of Spidey getting eliminated. I don't even like Morlun or the Spider totem stuff as a concept, but Edge of Spider-verse stuff has been a lot of fun so far.

Also have to say that the last few months of Walking Dead have been some of the most interesting since the book started. The worry with All Out War was that it was just going to conclude with another "well this place isn't safe anymore, guess we'll have to move on", like they did with the first arc, the farm, and the prison. The direction they've gone in instead has a lot more potential and doesn't feel like it's just retreading the same ground as the past 125 issues. There was also a really good bit of misdirection in the past couple issues.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on October 08, 2014, 05:13:01 PM
Given what happens to Thor at the end of Thor #1, this is one of those situations where due to the timing of the books it's hard to tell if it's a bit of a spoiler or just bad coordination.

This is modern day Marvel. They don't give a shit about coordination of books and haven't since at least Marvel NOW started. Hell, Uncanny Avengers (also written by Remender) destroyed the entire goddamn Earth with Thor barely escaping and none of the other Avengers books released at the time said a thing about it. Ultron took over the entire Earth in Age of Ultron and other than the Fantastic Four returning to earth and leaving their two kids in space for one issue, nothing was ever mentioned about it again in the Fantastic Four book.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Raguel on October 08, 2014, 05:30:46 PM
Continuity is all over the place with Cap, Thor, and the Illuminati mess so my suggestion is to ignore it or you'll hurt your brain trying to reconcile the irreconcilable.

IMO it was a second mediocre week in a row for comics. Maybe I'm expecting too much out of stories with guys running around in their underwear and punching people. :p


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on October 08, 2014, 05:32:48 PM
Continuity is all over the place with Cap, Thor, and the Illuminati mess so my suggestion is to ignore it or you'll hurt your brain trying to reconcile the irreconcilable.

IMO it was a second mediocre week in a row for comics. Maybe I'm expecting too much out of stories with guys running around in their underwear and punching people. :p

What did you read?


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Raguel on October 08, 2014, 05:40:23 PM
X-Force 10
Rocket Raccoon 4   
Hawkeye vs Deadpool 1
Avengers & Xmen Axis 1
Captain Marvel 8
Avengers 36
Amazing Spiderman 7

Earth 2 27
World's Finest 27



Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on October 09, 2014, 03:50:31 AM
With Avengers Undercover over and Superior Foes and Hawkeye both coming to an end, I don't really have anything other than Walking Dead (and Saga when it comes out) that I'm reading on a regular basis. Read through Scott Snyder's Wytches #1 today though, and that's gotten off to an interesting start.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on October 09, 2014, 09:32:22 AM
Wait, Avengers Undercover is already over? I just put #1 on my Unlimited library.

Marvel really needs to stop cycling through so many goddamn series.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sir T on October 09, 2014, 12:32:49 PM
But the Avengers Janitor #1 (no 5) will be valuable someday ya know!


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on October 09, 2014, 04:03:12 PM
Wait, Avengers Undercover is already over? I just put #1 on my Unlimited library.

Marvel really needs to stop cycling through so many goddamn series.

It ended with issue #10. They had to rush the ending a bit (or rather I think they had more planned that they could have done in the middle but had to skip to the ending), but overall it was pretty good.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on October 16, 2014, 06:01:04 AM
I say they need to cycle through even MORE series. Every run should be a predetermined length with a planned end point. 1-6-12-24-etc, pick a number, fit a story in that number, done. Next!

Also no more Time Travel.

Ever.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sir T on October 16, 2014, 07:14:16 AM
You mean characters from different dimemtions and different time periods all fighting one another AGAIN AND AGAIN is not a compelling story hook?  :heartbreak:


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on October 16, 2014, 08:51:36 AM
The only time travel story that is remotely entertaining is the one where they bring back the original five X-men and it has very little to do with the actual time travel and more to do with the silly teen drama that surrounds them in their 'off time' when they aren't being assaulted.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Raguel on October 16, 2014, 03:41:53 PM
I don't know if it's been mentioned here but both Spider-Gwen and Silk are getting their own series. I like most of the different characters in the Edge of Spider-verse series so I hope they go old school and do a mini story featuring a couple of them.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on November 23, 2014, 10:40:32 PM
I am going to be SUPER fucking sad if they kill off Anya to give Silk character motivation or whatever the fuck they do.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on November 26, 2014, 08:41:30 AM
The Silk character is kind of gross conceptually.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on November 26, 2014, 01:58:18 PM
That's putting it mildly  :why_so_serious:

She's someones fan wank fantasy, it's awful. I don't understand why she even exists.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Ironwood on December 01, 2014, 04:17:03 AM
So, I picked up Age of Ultron as a wee impulse buy.

I want my money back.

The whole thing is goddamn awful and not even worth 2 quid, never mind the 16 I shelled out.

Bad, bad, bad, bad.  I'd have to cover a couple of pages to talk about everything wrong with it, but Jesus Christ, someone tell me I'm missing something ?


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on December 01, 2014, 06:18:18 AM
Nope, it's bad.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on December 01, 2014, 06:28:30 AM
I'd have to cover a couple of pages to talk about everything wrong with it, but Jesus Christ, someone tell me I'm missing something ?

Apparently what you missed is that it's one of Marvel's big event stories, and you also missed Bendis' name on the cover. Neither tends to be a sign of quality.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Ironwood on December 01, 2014, 06:35:32 AM
 :heartbreak:


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on December 01, 2014, 06:50:13 AM
There are really shockingly few big event stories at either company that are even decent reads.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on December 01, 2014, 08:40:01 AM
Spider-verse is pretty much the first event I've liked since the Annihilation stuff. Before that you'd probably have to go back to Age of Apocalypse.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on December 01, 2014, 10:33:38 AM
Annihilation (all of them, from the first w/Annihilus up to the Cancerverse one) was absolutely great. I think because it didn't have to crossover lots of titles that didn't fit, and because it wasn't afraid to change the status quo in substantial ways for the characters.

DC One Million was great fun.

Age of Apocalypse was ok, though it's a well Marvel had already gone too much too often when it first came out.

That's about it. Crisis on Infinite Earths was at least "wow, that's a big deal" for younger me, but the story was mostly shit.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on December 01, 2014, 11:51:48 AM
I like Crisis, I even liked Infinite Crisis (though Identity Crisis was good until the total WTF ending) and 52. 52 might have been the last good event story. Marvel has not done a good event story since the second Annihilation. All the Avengers and X-Men based event stories since Bendis took over Avengers have been a steadily spiraling cesspool of shit and stupid. Age of Ultron was insanely bad and horribly unoriginal. It was essentially Age of Apocalypse for Avengers' characters only with an idiotic ending.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on December 01, 2014, 04:15:53 PM
I don't really read enough DC to have seen enough of their events other than Infinite Crisis and 52. Both of those felt like they had a lot of good moments but weren't really cohesive stories. I guess I read Blackest Night also which worked as a Green Lantern event, provided you didn't read to many of the repetitive spin-offs, but worked less as DCU event. I'm sure there have been some good Batman-centric events though since they seem to try to put a lot of their top talent onto those books and it looks like Geoff Johns doesn't mess with them.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Margalis on December 02, 2014, 04:29:26 PM
The whole idea of the big crossover as a regular event is silly.

Secret Wars was cool because it was new. But the cool factor of big events isn't there when they happen annually or even more often. It also often feels like there's no motivation for them beyond "let's make some money!"

Inferno was pretty cool though!


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: pxib on December 07, 2014, 10:20:09 PM
Reposted from Reddit in its entirety:
Quote
The story of how Lex Luthor ended up in the Gotham City correctional system was a long one, and if questioned, there was a very low chance that he would have admitted to making any mistakes. The story of how the city decided to put all their prisoners on a ferry was a long one that would no doubt be the subject of numerous hearings and court cases, no matter what ended up happening. And the story of how the Joker had planted a bomb on not one but two ferries was one that was probably longer than the other two combined.

"The Joker seems to think that he's being clever," said Lex to the prisoners and guards. He stood over the bomb, which was ticking merrily away. It had taken some talking to get to this point, but now they were looking at him as an authority, and that meant that there was plenty of time for a monologue while his brain worked at the problem. "He's trying to prove something, I suppose, about the depravity of man. If they blow us up, it proves that they're no better than we are. If we blow them up ... I suppose it's a vindication of the justice system, and I don't see how that helps him make his point, aside from getting a lot of people killed. And if neither of us blows the other up, then he just kills us himself and makes his point that way - that in the end, it doesn't matter whether you do the right thing or not, you die by the actions of a maniac anyway."

Lex pointed out a part of the bomb. He had been very careful to keep himself to a visual inspection, and counted himself lucky that most of the mechanisms were exposed. "There. It has a number of fail-deadly mechanisms in it. The point would be subverted if we simply disabled the bombs." He frowned slightly as he stepped around the bomb. "At any rate, it seems that the Joker read something about the prisoner's dilemma, or perhaps simply arrived at this game on his own. There are a number of differences, of course. For one, there's no incentive for cooperation. For another, there's no penalty for defection. The dominant strategy, from a game theoretical perspective, is simply to press the switch as soon as humanly possible." He shot a dark look at the tall black man who'd thrown the switch out the window. "Of course, game theory is about reducing human decisions down to their core, and stripping away the ability to come at the situation from another angle. You begin talking about trolleys and tracks, and most people will ask for more details before they accept that the situation boils down to simply pulling or not pulling a lever. Throwing themselves in front of the trolley, running to untie the people, and what have you. A sensible thing to think about, but not so great for science."

He reached forward and yanked out one of the wires from the bomb. A collective gasp came up from everyone around him, and despite the fact that he was sweating, Lex put on his best grin. "Don't be too excited, that was only the part connected to the timer. The receiver for the radio signal is closer to the center, and I can't get at the wire without tripping the mercury switches, which would kill us all. The Joker is more of a planner than you might expect to look at him." He looked to the guards. "I'm not saying that I would have pressed the switch, you understand. It would be just like the Joker to rig the bombs up to explode when either switch was pressed, or something equally moronic. He would find it funny. But I've bought us some time while the other boat contemplates whether to kill us. No doubt they're holding a vote or deciding who has to be the one to do it. Stupid, but at least more sensible than simply throwing the switch out the window."

"We can't do anything about what they decide," said one of the guards. "Hopefully they make the right choice and figure out how to disarm their own bomb."

"Hope is for idiots," said Lex. He looked to the ceiling. "We need to tear out those wires. I think if we still have a few minutes I might be able to make a crude Faraday cage."


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Ironwood on December 08, 2014, 08:44:59 AM
 :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Mattemeo on January 03, 2015, 09:09:18 PM
February is 'Phil Noto does Marvel' month. 20 covers given the full Phil Noto photo-journalist/heyday of print-magazine effect. I want the Inhumans cover as a massive print.

(http://41.media.tumblr.com/58fc5a0cedadb854337cc0d883d75b8f/tumblr_ndcjozxUdv1qhyhwto1_500.jpg)(http://41.media.tumblr.com/e03c512a2fa55a6152c30e93431a199b/tumblr_nguna31vvR1qhyhwto2_500.jpg)
(http://40.media.tumblr.com/f993c2571e11145c5fbdb3b94b10d28c/tumblr_nguna31vvR1qhyhwto1_500.jpg)(http://40.media.tumblr.com/8f70235158f0bc484ef13c80d3b25073/tumblr_ndcjozxUdv1qhyhwto3_500.jpg)
(http://40.media.tumblr.com/09b2a2247772c8dfa738ea86a54e0ded/tumblr_ndcjozxUdv1qhyhwto4_500.jpg)(http://41.media.tumblr.com/7b4a30c899464453278dd786528f9d06/tumblr_ndcjozxUdv1qhyhwto2_500.jpg)


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on January 09, 2015, 06:30:38 PM
The first issue of Unbeatable Squirrel Girl came out this week. It's worth checking out.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: koro on January 09, 2015, 07:03:40 PM
The art I've seen from it looks dreadful.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Trippy on January 09, 2015, 07:09:50 PM
Yeah I don't like the way she looks.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Mattemeo on January 10, 2015, 10:09:49 PM
I think the art is great and completely apropos for Squirrel Girl, I just wish Erica Henderson would be more consistent with SG's face. She'll look fine and fun for several panels and then you get a close-up that bears more resemblance to Spongebob Squarepants in full gurn-mode than SG. It's something I can see getting better over time, and since I only pick up trades I guess I'll just have to wait and see if I'm right.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Teleku on January 11, 2015, 09:24:26 AM
Sorry, took a look, and cannot get past the art.  I haven't had such a negative reaction to something like that in a very long time.  Just...... No.  Hell No.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sir T on January 11, 2015, 06:11:43 PM
Its certainly an unusual style and doesn't look like previous SGs in other comics. I wonder what Marvel were trying to go with it


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: CmdrSlack on January 11, 2015, 07:11:51 PM
I have been waiting for a Squirrel Girl book for a long while. As such, I am going to forgive the 2/10 sharp knees art for a few issues.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Merusk on January 11, 2015, 09:33:12 PM
Its certainly an unusual style and doesn't look like previous SGs in other comics. I wonder what Marvel were trying to go with it

Younger kids from the looks of what I'm seeing on Google.  The art style reminds me of cartoons vs. traditional "comic" styles.  Really simplified backgrounds and over-exaggerated faces and poses vs. sexy bodies and poses that are aimed at teen and pre-teen boys.

Which fits in with Marvel's general aim at younger audiences and the DisneyXD crowd these days.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Lantyssa on January 12, 2015, 10:08:41 AM
Several Marvel books have their own style these days.  Ms. Marvel and Black Widow come to mind immediately.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Raguel on January 12, 2015, 12:35:21 PM
Several Marvel books have their own style these days.  Ms. Marvel and Black Widow come to mind immediately.

Those are both great examples. Ms. Marvel is in my top 3 fave comics right now (although the last comic was a bit too preachy for my tastes).


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Mattemeo on January 12, 2015, 02:42:32 PM
Marvel is progressively (certainly for Marvel) testing the boundaries of the market. It might not pull off the mega-sales and series might be cancelled pretty swiftly but they seem far keener to take risks with new artists and styles and really want to break into demographics they haven't before. Squirrel Girl is a cult figure even in Superhero comics and blending her care-free, breezy attitude with an art style reminiscent of indie books and crossover demo cartoons like Adventure Time and Regular Show is a great hook for people who maybe hadn't considered picking up a Marvel comics title before. Maybe it's all to do with the House of Mouse pulling the strings these days but Marvel seem to be in a far more robust place now that books like USG and She-Hulk are even being considered.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on January 12, 2015, 02:48:33 PM
I think it actually has as much to do with Joe Quesada as anything Disney might be directing from above. Joe Q has always embraced more "alternative/indie" styles as compared to the Marvel stuff that came before him, probably because of how indie he was before coming back to Marvel as EIC.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on January 12, 2015, 11:50:32 PM
Even when I don't like a particular book, I love the basic approach Marvel is taking right now to creator-driven work, with lots of chances taken. It's a huge contrast to the heavy-handed and contradictory editing going on at DC.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Nevermore on January 20, 2015, 07:23:16 PM
I'm sure this will work out really well. (http://www.newsarama.com/23276-the-marvel-universe-is-ending.html)


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on January 20, 2015, 07:45:16 PM
Oh Dear.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Trippy on January 20, 2015, 07:56:18 PM
Oy vey.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on January 20, 2015, 09:09:46 PM
I seriously do not get it. Doesn't have good synergy with their movie properties, seems like fanwank, feels like it's something from the intellectual property lawyers rather than the creatives, and is imitating the most reviled reboot/make-over in the last two decades. Invokes a company event series that in retrospect was pretty fucking bad for the most part.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on January 21, 2015, 12:16:17 AM
I'd be fine with it if I had any hope that they'd just have fun with the Battleworld stuff before they get to whatever new status quo they're going for. All their events since Disassembled though have taken themselves way too seriously. As far as reboots and continuity go, I can't really be bothered to care much about any of it. Good writers are generally going to tell good stories and shit writers are going to tell shit stories.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Mattemeo on January 21, 2015, 03:43:36 AM
I'm keeping up to date with All-New X-men, Uncanny X-men and Guardians of the Galaxy (yup, all Bendis), so as far as I'm concerned the Black Vortex event could be interesting  
...but Secret Wars just confuses the ever-living fuck out of me and I shall avoid pretty much everything until my flatmate inevitably picks up whatever ludicrous omnibus edition they put out for it. And then I still won't understand anything.



Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Ironwood on January 21, 2015, 04:56:09 AM
I'm sure this will work out really well. (http://www.newsarama.com/23276-the-marvel-universe-is-ending.html)

That all sounds like a scream for help from a bunch without a clue what strategy means.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on January 21, 2015, 11:36:28 AM
Well, it's been made abundantly clear that not shit the comics do will have any effect on the real moneymakers in the movies. I mean, we won't see a female Thor movie anytime soon, so knock yourselves out, Geek Lords. Maybe they are trying to reset the table so they can make the 616 more like the movies? I mean, the whole fucking universe could use a reboot but it's not even remotely a good idea to try to merge Ultimate and 616 without a serious housecleaning. And if they do that, will they start completely over with new origins? Otherwise, why bother with any kind of reboot because it's not like they've had any give-a-shit about continuity between books for almost a decade.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: palmer_eldritch on January 21, 2015, 11:44:07 AM
Does this mean I have to go and read Jonathan Hickman's stuff? Because while he seems like a very clever guy, I don't enjoy reading his stories.

 

My God, she's twisted her body right round at the waist to make sure we get a full view of both her tits and her arse. It's like what that girl in the Exorcist does with her neck.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Ironwood on January 21, 2015, 11:48:31 AM
What fucking angle is her back at ?  Spines do not work that way.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on January 21, 2015, 12:25:36 PM
Does this mean I have to go and read Jonathan Hickman's stuff? Because while he seems like a very clever guy, I don't enjoy reading his stories.

Most of it is pretty bad. He does not know when to stop, especially with layering on the ZOMGCOSMICPOWERSBEYONDCOMPREHENSION shit. His Fantastic Four run with its Council of 1000 Reed Richards fighting against Mad Celestials from another dimension was just fucking awful.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on January 21, 2015, 01:16:02 PM
I like what Hickman's trying to do sometimes but...yeah. I didn't like it.

The problem with "housecleaning" is that it fails to recognize the reasons why superhero universes end up having alternate time lines, parallel dimensions, and all that shit. The reason is ultimately that nobody wants to do a version of a superhero universe that evolves and changes in a serial, narrative fashion, where characters grow old or have to live with the things that have happened to them and where the world becomes more recognizably "superheroish" over time. Busiek's Astro City is the closest thing I can think of to a mainstream superhero universe that looks like that--it's really what DC and Marvel's universe might look like if they took that approach, given how many of his characters are dopplegangers of the Big Two.

Barring that, the only way to have characters evolve and change is to introduce their counterparts from other timelines, other dimensions, or to sometimes use time travel and other dimensions to reboot or restore a character who has changed too much over time from some imagined baseline.

So you "houseclean", as if you're going to make a single continuity and get rid of all that complex stuff, and it lasts what? a year or two? If that. DC thought "Oh, my, DC Comics are too complicated to follow with all this Earth-2 jazz, we'll just put everyone on one Earth and simplify their origins, no problem." And then they thought that again and again--"gotta simplify! gotta clarify!" And what that led to were monstrously MORE complicated origins and concepts for some characters. Hawkman in the pre-Crisis universe was pretty simple: on Earth-2, he was a reincarnated Egyptian Prince who used a mystical metal to power flying wings; on Earth-1, he was a space cop from a planet of people who wore bird wings. In either case, he was a minor character who could occasionally headline a story or two but who was mostly window dressing. Then after Crisis and Infinite Crisis and so on, his origins became impossibly convoluted--he was an elemental bird spirit who was also a reincarnated Egyptian prince but also from the planet Thanagar who was also a rebel cop fighting his imperialist planet who was also savage who also had a son who was an ancient Egyptian evil spirit who was also not actually his son AGH AGH AGH AGH. That's the "housekeeping" version? Way to bring the new readers and kids on board, guys.

Same thing is going to happen here if what Marvel thinks they're doing is preparing the way for a cleaned-up continuity that resembles or echoes the films, half-Ultimate and half-616 or something of that sort. For one, they'll always have more characters than the films can possibly support, and those characters will tug and pull and push the story-telling to other places than the MCU has going. For another, they'll always be telling more stories, more often, than the films and TV shows do, and that will tug and pull and push the story-telling to other places. For yet another, no writer will be able to keep their hands off all the legacy characters and backstory and famous plotlines, and sooner or later that means more comic-booky, spandex-friendly, goofball stuff entering into the "official continuity". The basic reasons to have other dimensions, time travel and so on will not go away, and that means messy continuity as well.

The smart move is to just keep hiring gifted writers and artists and keeping continuity loose. Somebody does something you don't like, just quietly forget about it. The movies are doing fine without having the comics echo them precisely, and the comics are not required to sell the movies. I think comics are at their maximum audience as a medium at the moment--there are not new readers to be had without a big shift in the style of storytelling, and both Secret Wars and the New 52 mostly seem to me to be playing only at best to the audience that already exists. Comics are not the profit centers for comic-book universes any longer.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on January 21, 2015, 06:26:42 PM
Maybe they are trying to reset the table so they can make the 616 more like the movies?

That might be a side benefit, but really I'm betting it's just more of a sales boost thing. DC's New 52 stuff is starting to tank a bit now and they're just about back down to pre-New 52 levels sales-wise, but for the first 2 years there was a fairly significant increase in sales. If they hadn't mismanaged things with editorial interference driving away good creative teams and the bad publicity that brought, they might have been able to hold on to those sales a bit longer. Secret Wars and the subsequent "reboot" are going to get a lot of attention and probably a line-wide increase in sales.

Ultimately it's the larger-scale version of the old trick of canceling a book and bringing it back with a new #1 issue. There's diminishing returns if you do it way too often of course, but I think Marvel is going to make a good bit of money off this.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on January 22, 2015, 12:38:09 AM
I'm both afraid they'll go to far, yet not far enough, at the same time.

Which seems entirely contradictory.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Lantyssa on January 22, 2015, 10:25:26 AM
My God, she's twisted her body right round at the waist to make sure we get a full view of both her tits and her arse. It's like what that girl in the Exorcist does with her neck.
Well, Magick is a mutant-demon now...


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on January 23, 2015, 07:51:56 AM
I'm both afraid they'll go to far, yet not far enough, at the same time.

Which seems entirely contradictory.

I'm just hoping they don't make the DC mistake of relaunching 50+ titles in the same month. There's no way of successfully launching that many titles at once and giving each one the marketing it deserves. They could do a cheap digital bundle of all the first issues, but that would completely fuck over retailers. Actually now that I think about it, more than the continuity, it's the outdated format of the comic book that's holding the industry back. If Marvel really wanted to shake things up, they should have also announced that they'd be moving entirely to graphic novels and digital after Secret Wars. I can understand why network TV still desperately clings to the old ways of doing things despite so many better alternatives being available these days, but I have no idea why the comic book industry is hell bent on sticking to a format that only sells to a small handful of people, is only carried by a tiny amount of retailers, is a pain in the ass to store, and typically requires the audience to get drip-fed a story for half a year in order to get a complete story arc from beginning to end.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on January 23, 2015, 12:53:27 PM
Can you imagine how many small businesses would fold if Marvel stopped selling monthly issues? It would be catastrophic.

I'm not disagreeing with you, mind... it would help Marvel out greatly. But it would FUCK a ton of retailers directly in the earhole.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: CmdrSlack on January 24, 2015, 09:13:56 AM
Not to mention that it would suck to not be able to hang out at my LCS on Wednesday after the store closes and bulllshit with the regulars. 


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on April 11, 2015, 10:13:03 PM
I forgot where I teasered my current painting/conversion project, but this seems like useless news so I'll put it here.

Something pimpin' this way comes... (http://cashwiley.com/2015/04/11/deadpimp/)



Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: CmdrSlack on April 12, 2015, 10:29:23 AM
That is awesome. I would pay a stupid amount of discretionary funds if that was available at the LCS.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on April 13, 2015, 10:15:50 AM
That is awesome. I would pay a stupid amount of discretionary funds if that was available at the LCS.
Everything has its price...


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Evildrider on April 21, 2015, 08:56:19 PM
Spoiler for an upcoming issue of X-Men.



Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: CmdrSlack on April 21, 2015, 09:38:18 PM
That is awesome. I would pay a stupid amount of discretionary funds if that was available at the LCS.
Everything has its price...

Want to name one? I don't want to insult your awesome work by coming in too low.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on April 22, 2015, 06:26:36 AM
Spoiler for an upcoming issue of X-Men.


Iceman is iconic like Aquaman is iconic. E.g., for a long time he just kind of sucked and really had no characterization at all. Originally he looked more like Frosty the Snowman than anything else. When they introduced the All-New X-Men and dropped Angel, Beast and Iceman, they didn't even really bother to think about Angel and Iceman (well, they ended up in the Champions for 15 issues, which was sort of the hopeless leftovers team) and Claremont didn't even bother with the character when he brought Beast and Angel back into the scene during the Phoenix storyline. They've sort of let the character date a few women here and there, but not terribly convincingly. This is not like taking a character whose sex life has been a major narrative force for years and suddenly invalidating it--it's taking a character who never had much of a personality and was kind of shy and trying to think of a new way to portray him. It's fine.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on April 22, 2015, 06:49:31 AM
Yeah I don't really think there's about it that inherently conflicts with Iceman as a character. I can think of dozens of more egregious examples of Bendis getting characters completely wrong and most of the time it's just because he's a hack. Does seem like an odd thing to just toss out there though right before the big MU changing event though.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: MediumHigh on April 22, 2015, 08:21:21 AM
No one cares about the Xmen anymore and nothing will make me read an xmen comic any time this decade. Bobby, meet Alan Scott.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on April 22, 2015, 10:54:02 AM
Actually, Iceman would be the one I'd least consider being gay - in the iterations I've read of him, he's always been hitting on women. I guess they are trying to say that he was overcompensating? I don't know, that just seems like "no one is reading this shit anymore, better do something." Also, isn't that younger X-Men book still being written by Bendis? If so, then it totally fits because as Velorath said, Bendis is a fucking hack.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Mattemeo on April 22, 2015, 12:40:37 PM
Bobby being gay makes perfect sense to me. So many men and women live a lie, day in, day out, that they almost forget what it is to be true to who they really are (till it inevitably ends messily on a variety of human levels). Bobby's always made up for his shortcomings with jokes, and comedians are some of the saddest, loneliest people around. That he's had a variety of short-lived, very failed relationships with women is pretty true to life (even UK's very gay national treasure Stephen Fry has tried heterosexual relationships). Overcompensating? Absolutely.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on April 22, 2015, 01:09:29 PM
It's not like Stan Lee was ever going to write someone whose imaginary sex life wasn't essentially ripped straight out of the romance comics that he and Kirby used to do. It was a long time in the MU before anybody had something remotely resembling an adult interior life. Even Peter Parker, for all the talk of "Parker luck", was involved with two almost ridiculously beautiful and desirable women.

Oddly enough the one early Lee-written male character that I can think of who didn't have much of a sex life one way or the other was the Beast. I don't think Hank ever really even seemed to think about dating for most of his time in the initial run of X-Men, though I recall that he had a nominal girlfriend who was a librarian. He's had other girlfriends off and on but I don't think was portrayed as having a really defining relationship until Abigail Brand in Whedon's Astonishing X-Men.

But otherwise, Lee wrote every male character as if they were naive romance-comic horndog adolescents and every woman as if they were always hopelessly pining for Mr. Right. Even Dr. Strange and Clea were written that way for the early part of their relationship. If the Marvel Universe was stuck with that and could only write something more complex or grown-up (gay or otherwise) with newer characters, we would never have seen the more twisty, complicated and soap-operatic relationships that Matt Murdock, Reed and Sue, Dr. Strange and Clea, Cyclops/Phoenix/Wolverine, etc. developed. So here's to not sticking to what Stan Lee wrote.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on April 22, 2015, 03:31:19 PM
I thought during Grant Morrison's X-Men run they made the Beast gay, but then that later seemed to be either completely forgotten and ignored, or I am remembering incorrectly.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Evildrider on April 22, 2015, 07:44:44 PM
Bobby being gay makes perfect sense to me. So many men and women live a lie, day in, day out, that they almost forget what it is to be true to who they really are (till it inevitably ends messily on a variety of human levels). Bobby's always made up for his shortcomings with jokes, and comedians are some of the saddest, loneliest people around. That he's had a variety of short-lived, very failed relationships with women is pretty true to life (even UK's very gay national treasure Stephen Fry has tried heterosexual relationships). Overcompensating? Absolutely.

This is pretty much every X-Man ever.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: MediumHigh on April 23, 2015, 08:36:20 AM
By that accretion Magneto is very gay.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Ironwood on April 23, 2015, 11:03:16 AM
(http://www.quickmeme.com/img/48/4842d033d6770b6850fc169ea1250965421b1ee1850a0dec38d223fbe52b70f5.jpg)


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Lantyssa on April 23, 2015, 11:22:45 AM
Oh that's brilliant.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: palmer_eldritch on April 23, 2015, 11:43:19 AM
I thought during Grant Morrison's X-Men run they made the Beast gay, but then that later seemed to be either completely forgotten and ignored, or I am remembering incorrectly.

Morrison never quite made it clear but the suggestion was the Beast was pretending to be gay to try to provide a positive gay role model for the world but also as a sort of joke because he had a bizarre sense of humour (in Morrison's  run), and the other X-Men would occasionally tell him to stop being silly.

As for Iceman, it's great they are doing this. In a perfect world I'd rather they did it with a character who doesn't have 50 years of history because it is an obvious retcon but it's still nice.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Hutch on April 23, 2015, 05:46:41 PM
In a perfect world, Jean Grey died on the moon. She didn't hibernate at the bottom of New York Harbor for six years. And the Dark Phoenix saga didn't get retconned into irrelevance.

Retcons happen. Some are more egregious than others.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sir T on April 26, 2015, 05:40:57 AM
Well sadly for the "THIS IS HISTORY MAKING!!!" demographic, its not the first time that marvel have revamped an existing hero second tier hero to make him homosexual. They did the same thing to the Rawhide kid back in 2003. Unfortunatly, it, er, didnt work out all that well

http://www.cracked.com/article_18502_the-5-most-unintentionally-offensive-comic-book-characters.html

Quote
Homosexual characters have been featured in comics prior to 2003, but usually he (it was always a he) would be a mincing effeminate poof who would be either the butt of constant jokes, or beaten up, or both. (Or, you know, Robin.) But the mainstream comic scene had not yet seen a gay title character in a comic, which is actually pretty shocking, when you realize that they'd made room for the roller-disco demographic. So, Marvel decided to team veteran comic artist John Severin with writer Ron Zimmerman to help correct that oversight.

The plan was to revamp The Rawhide Kid, a tough, quick-gunned cowboy from the 50s. They were going to keep his toughness and attitude, just with a gay twist. By making a gay character that was both a hero and a cowboy--typically uber-masculine roles--it was a great opportunity to break away from stereotypes and show the comic-reading audience that not all homosexuals were screaming hairdressers or over-the-top caricatures; they could be just as tough and badass as your favorite action hero. If handled properly, this could be a very important comic series.

So, How'd That Go?

Not, uh... not great.

Rawhide Kid was every negative, damaging gay stereotype dressed in a cowboy hat. Sure, he was still a good fighter and a great shooter, but he was also a nancing, effeminate goon and the exact kind of character people didn't need to identify the gay movement with. He's the title character, but he's still the butt of the joke. Additionally, his antics made him, and we say this respectfully, annoying as shit. He says things like "toodles" and calls out "meow" when he's being bitchy. He gives out douchey fashion advice...

There's panels and more arrrgh at the link.

The problem with deciding to make someone who already exists "the gay guy" is that at least for a while you have to make everything about the guy relate to the fact that he is the gay guy. So for the next few years all you will get of Iceman is that he is Gay. Look at him he is our flagship gay character with gayness. And that can turn into a total wreck which is what happened with the well intentioned disaster of the Rawhide kid, who wound up being straight out of Will and Grace.

We will have to see how they handle it, but based on past results its not promising...


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on April 26, 2015, 06:47:28 AM
That was then, this is now. Marvel's had other gay characters since which have been handled pretty well.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on April 26, 2015, 06:58:15 AM
The problem with Rawhide Kid wasn't that they retconned him into a gay character, it's that Ron Zimmerman was a horrendously shitty writer to the point where he makes Bendis look like Alan fucking Moore. Quesada and Jemas were irrationally supportive of the guy, seemingly for the sole reason that he was a "Hollywood writer", and that he must be a huge fan of comics to take time out of his schedule to write them rather than making more money writing TV scripts. Unlike other Hollywood writers though like Whedon, Kevin Smith, and JMS, Zimmerman's claim to Hollywood fame was that he's written a couple episodes of Charles in Charge and 7th Heaven and a few other shows I've never heard of. Oh, and he's buddies with Howard Stern and appeared on Stern's show a bit.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Lantyssa on April 26, 2015, 09:58:10 AM
What the writers of these things don't get is that there is no need to do anything different until there's a relationship evolving.  Just have them fall in love with someone over a long period as a secondary or tertiary arc.  Only as comics, they want it to be in your face.  So they announce it then spend effort trying to "prove" the character is gay.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: CmdrSlack on April 26, 2015, 11:13:25 AM
Amazing X Men did that wedding last year, so Bobby being gay isn't really earth-shattering other than how he's outed.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: palmer_eldritch on April 26, 2015, 11:40:52 AM
Yeah and they've actually done some nice little stories are Northstar and his husband. Off the top of my head I think there was one about the boyfriend (as he was) being nervous about visiting Northstar on Utopia (where the X-Men live) because they might not accept him - because he's not a mutant - but it all worked out ok of course  :-)


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on April 26, 2015, 12:57:12 PM
Fuck's sake, they had Northstar and his boyfriend get married in a comic. Making an existing character gay isn't shocking anymore, and it certainly isn't worthy of being a news story other than that Iceman is somewhat of a likeable if ill-used character.

But again... Bendis.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on April 26, 2015, 02:06:26 PM
Young Avengers was pretty great in this respect--there were multiple gay characters where it was never particularly treated as a defining or unusual trait of the character.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Mattemeo on April 26, 2015, 06:35:44 PM
Fuck's sake, they had Northstar and his boyfriend get married in a comic. Making an existing character gay isn't shocking anymore, and it certainly isn't worthy of being a news story other than that Iceman is somewhat of a likeable if ill-used character.

But again... Bendis.

Again... Bendis-bashing.

Bendis had no intention of making this whole 'Bobby is gay' thing an actual thing. The comic was just supposed to come out; no press, no mention, just be what it was - a minor reveal that ultimately doesn't matter because we should be past making it a thing.
But someone had a bone to pick and leaked some shitty context-less scans and made it a thing.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on April 27, 2015, 03:30:11 PM
Well I'm sure we'll see him approach this character development in a respectful manner. You know, in the one month he has before he leaves the X-books and All New X-men wraps up to make way for Secret Wars.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on April 27, 2015, 03:31:18 PM
I didn't realize All New X-men was going away. It's been an amazingly decent book despite the absolutely braindead premise and its writer.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on April 27, 2015, 03:40:44 PM
From the June (http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/03/17/marvel-comics-solicitations-for-june-2015) and July (http://www.newsarama.com/24217-marvel-comics-full-july-2015-solicitations.html) solicitations, the only X-men related book continuing through Secret Wars seems to be Magneto.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on April 27, 2015, 04:00:17 PM
So I finally read Original Sin (just the series and the two spin-offs with Iron Man/Hulk and Thor/Loki/Angela). What the fuck was the point of all that? I mean, it wasn't bad (the #0 story with Watcher and Nova by Mark Waid was really good) but in the end, Nick Fury becomes The Unseen which is mostly just like the Watcher only maybe he acts? Angela being Thor's long-lost retconned sister raised as an angel just... why? I haven't read the first of the female Thor so I don't know the explanation behind that or if Angela becomes Thor or what. The whole thing just seemed unnecessary. And who the fuck were those villains? Dr. Midas, the Orb and Exterminatrix? They remind me of Grant Morrison villains from The Invisibles.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on April 27, 2015, 04:05:23 PM
The Orb is an old Johnny Blaze Ghost Rider villain. The other two are in fact Grant Morrison creations from his Marvel Boy miniseries.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on April 27, 2015, 04:15:04 PM
That makes more sense then. They seemed a little too oddball for the level of story being told.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on April 27, 2015, 06:24:02 PM
There's apparently some rumor that the reboot of the Marvel Universe will put the X-Men in a separate continuity...


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Mattemeo on April 27, 2015, 07:09:14 PM
It's been an amazingly decent book despite the absolutely braindead premise and its writer.

 :uhrr:


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on April 27, 2015, 11:40:41 PM
There's apparently some rumor that the reboot of the Marvel Universe will put the X-Men in a separate continuity...

That train started to run off the rails waaay back with the New Mutants in the 80s.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on April 28, 2015, 12:10:40 AM
Axel Alonso already shot down the rumors of the X-men line splitting off from the rest of the Marvel Universe.

Even though I don't care much about the crossover as a whole, there a number of the tie-in minis look like they'll be good fun. Looking forward to:

- Jason Aaron's Thors and Weirdworld. The former involves a shit-ton of Thors as essentially a police force. The later is a sword and sorcery book staring minor character Arkon, which is said to be one of the more self-contained minis.

- Felipe Smith's Ghost Racers. He's had an interesting run on Ghost Rider. Willing to give this one a look.

- Peter David's Future Imperfect and Secret Wars 2099. It's Peter David doing Hulk and 2099 stuff.

- Noelle Stevenson's Runaways. Lumberjanes writer has a group of teens who become runaways after learning that their school headmaster is a supervillain.

- Kieron Gillen's Siege. A group of superpowered characters at Battleworld's equivalent of the Wall from Game of Thrones preventing zombies, the Annihilation Wave and other terrors from breaking through into the rest of Battleworld. Gillen says ďImagine NextWave as a tragedyĒ.

- Amazing Spider-man and Spiderverse. Enjoyed Superior Spider-man and Spiderverse, so I'll continue to keep up with these.

- Garth Ennis' Where Monsters Dwell. Ennis, Biplanes and dinosaurs. Alright.





Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Raguel on April 28, 2015, 11:12:27 PM
Angela being Thor's long-lost retconned sister raised as an angel just... why?

I don't know the reason, besides the fact that Angela isn't original to Marvel and they wanted to give her an origin story. I liked the mini personally, especially the Loki bits. It's unlikely Angela is the new Thor but I won't spoil it for you.



Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on May 26, 2015, 01:23:54 AM
I just started reading Black Widow's solo, man Phil Noto is a good artist.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Mattemeo on May 26, 2015, 09:23:55 AM
I'm really hoping they release an over-size HC of the first two arcs; Noto's art deserves it. Supreme visual storytelling done in a gorgeous style.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on May 26, 2015, 03:28:45 PM
Did he sell his soul for artistic talent? He does like cover quality art for entire books.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Mattemeo on May 27, 2015, 07:43:25 AM
He's similar to Stjepan Sejic in that they're both capable of near-photo realistic faces and proportions but both retain a fluidity and a natural design sense that means they can drop a lot of rougher work into their pages because they intrinsically understand their focal points. It's something I admire greatly and am massively jealous of; I am a horrendous perfectionist and I wish I could allow myself to get away with the short-hand truly great artists like Noto can because they believe so much in their work. His covers are incredible, and those he doesn't do short-hand on at all. He better have an art book out soon.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: pxib on May 30, 2015, 04:22:37 PM
He's similar to Stjepan Sejic in that they're both capable of near-photo realistic faces and proportions but both retain a fluidity and a natural design sense that means they can drop a lot of rougher work into their pages because they intrinsically understand their focal points.
I hang around on Skype with a collection of other artists I originally met on 4chan, and one of them is a fellow who draws like that. He describes it as seeing the image in his head, transposing it onto paper or a tablet, and then only filling in the lines he needs. He'll sometimes draw a line three or four times before he's happy with it, but once he's happy with it then he never needs to move it or draw it again. It's exactly where it needs to be.

There is nothing in the world that he'd rather do than draw. He doesn't take breaks: Drawing is the break from driving or hanging out with his girlfriend or coding java apps for travel agencies and law offices. When he was a kid he drew more than he watched TV or played video games, because art engaged him at a level that other entertainment didn't.

I think that's what selling your soul looks like in real life. It doesn't seem like a bad deal.

His one-panel epilogue to Catwoman #1:


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on July 11, 2015, 11:19:24 AM
Bruce Timm is going to make an animated version of The Killing Joke.

I kind of wish he wouldn't. I still admire the story's great idea about the origin of the Joker, and don't care for some of the more recent revisions/alternative ideas about his beginnings in Scott Snyder's Batman work. (Let's leave the show Gotham out of this entirely). But it's almost too perfect a story in that respect, and in others, I think it was actually pretty weak. (Alan Moore thinks so too, now.) Not just the obvious example of mortally injuring a female character in order to produce a dramatic crisis for a male character, but it's also the fact that it helped spur the "can you top that?" aspect of the Joker in later stories, in which he has to commit more and more unpleasant kinds of atrocities just to show that the next writer is even more wretchedly horrific and badass in how he writes the character. (Leading to the wretchedness of the new 52 Joker with his severed face etc.)   


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Trippy on July 12, 2015, 01:38:57 PM
Amazon US is having a Gold Box sale today (http://smile.amazon.com/b/ref=lp_7533915011_gbrc_tit_r-1_6742_85274c7b?rh=i%3Adigital-text%2Cn%3A7533915011%2Cn%3A7533915011&ie=UTF8&smid=A3T7DQBB0CKEM6&node=7533915011) on some assorted Kindle Marvel comics, Calvin & Hobbes and assorted Comic-Con inspired titles.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on October 23, 2015, 10:36:47 AM
So Marvel Unlimited finally released the issue of All New X-Men where we find out Iceman is gay.

 :headscratch:

It's goddamn terrible. Bendis, for no good reason that I can figure out, just throws in 3 pages of Iceman and Jean Grey talking about how gay he is. It is SO SO SO out of place that it's like whiplash. It doesn't seem to have a goddamn thing to do with the story itself. And I assume the only real nugget of any kind of sense in there is that he clearly states that the present day Iceman is NOT GAY. Which is even more levels of WTF because either Bendis is saying that being gay is a CHOICE (which seems completely and utterly against the whole spirit of how the thing is phrased) or he's basically given himself the out about the whole time travel shitstorm he's created by almost stating as a fact that these young X-Men are NOT from this timeline. Or something. It's just such an awkwardly weird exchange that makes no sense and adds nothing to the story, especially since having characters be gay isn't even a thing to be noted anymore.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: palmer_eldritch on November 07, 2015, 04:42:35 AM
I've been making my way through Bendis' Uncanny X-Men on Unlimited and they're pretty good. I think the X-Men suffer from being spread out over so many books but if you just pick one to binge-read and ignore the others then there are some good stories out there.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on November 07, 2015, 07:58:53 PM
Most of the Uncanny X-Men by Bendis is decent - it's certainly the best stuff he's done in years (which isn't saying much). But then he comes up with some really really stupid shit, most of the time involving time travel. The X-Men as a whole has been a fucking trainwreck since Schism, though. There are good books out there but continuity is nonexistent with characters appearing all over the place with no rhyme or reason.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on February 24, 2016, 06:18:44 AM
Aaaaaaaaaaand DC is going to do a comprehensive reboot again. Oh, sorry, "rebirth". Whatever, guys, whatever.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on February 24, 2016, 06:33:23 AM
They've fallen on hard times. (http://icv2.com/articles/markets/view/33658/how-low-can-dc-go) Not that a reboot, rebirth, relaunch, whatever is going to help.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on February 24, 2016, 09:06:42 AM
What is this? The 3rd or 4th relaunch since Infinite Crisis? ... the fuck?

Maybe if they'd come up with a version of the Marvel Unlimited subscription service, they might see some upswing. I'd be all over it. But comics are way too goddamn expensive for me to buy single issues anymore.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: jgsugden on February 24, 2016, 12:28:11 PM
Seriously.  1980 - comics cost $0.50 to $0.60.  Now?  $2.99 to $4.99.  According to the inflation index, they should be ~$1.50 to $1.75.  We're probably actually in a world where physical copies should cost $2.00 or so due to shipping cost spikes, but they're still 50% to 150% over expectation.  The amount of comics I bought back in the late 80s would be a $300 a month habit now.  If I have a $300 a month habit, I expect to get high or diseases from it.

 


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on February 24, 2016, 12:58:52 PM
DC could give their shit away for free and it wouldn't matter.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Margalis on March 02, 2016, 12:27:15 AM
I suspect that relaunches give you good sales numbers for a few months but also shed long-term fans and end you up worse than where you started. It seems like DC has fallen into a spiral decline of relaunch for instant sales boost, settle in at lower sales numbers, then relaunch again.

How can anyone even care about a DC reboot at this point?


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on March 02, 2016, 02:42:19 AM
Certainly there's diminishing returns and I think the sales numbers over the last several years would show that. The format and business model just need to evolve. I'm sure I've said it before but single issues don't need to exist anymore. Graphic novels, and Manga/Digest formats work quite well for telling stories. Nobody really wants to read a story arc 22 pages at a time separated by month gaps over a typically half a year period for one arc.

Also they need to  stop flooding the market. In April, Marvel has just over 80 comics coming out (not counting Star Wars comics, Dark Tower, Haunted Mansion, Miracleman, Mark Millar's new mini).  Spider-man alone has 14 related books coming out that month not counting any team stuff he's in. DC has about 60 books, plus a few licensed things. This is the same kind of shit they were doing in the 90's. There is no way possible to market this many books, or make sure they all have strong creative teams. It's just a matter of tying to gain market share by pushing everything else off the shelf.

Personally I feel like the best business model would be to put together high quality creative teams and put out a few dozen graphic novels a year which can all get their own marketing push and don't have to have their page count and pacing dictated by being broken up into single issues.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on March 02, 2016, 09:03:42 AM
You can ask the publishing industry how that "few novels a year" business model is working out. Hint: it's not. Which is the reason eBooks have taken off so much.

I agree creatively about the less books sold as graphic novels thing, I just don't know if it makes financial sense. Pushing paper for profit is just hard as fuck these days. In the past, the big 2 would have relatively captive audiences but these days, not so much. The relaunches and constant crossover bullshit has probably done as much to drive off customers as they have get new ones or get temporary sales bumps. I'd like to think things like Marvel Unlimited are the real future of "monthly" comics but I'm not sure how profitable it is at just $10 a month. Pushing things to apps and digital delivery is the key to their future survival but they have to get better at it and better at marketing it. DC's complete lack of understanding of this market is probably killing them just as much as anything else they are doing.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on March 02, 2016, 03:00:13 PM
Focusing more on digital is obviously a bit of a no-brainer. I think Marvel Unlimited is a start, but they still need to put some work into improving the reader and it sucks being half a year behind.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on March 02, 2016, 03:37:56 PM
I'm okay with being a half year behind for the access it grants in the end. If I bought the individual issues for all the books I am currently reading, I would be spending like 80 bucks a month, if not more. Since I bought a full year of unlimited I'm actually paying like, 6 bucks a month or whatever?

That doesn't even factor in all the binge reading I do on older issues.

Like yea, I'm sure Marvel would LOVE it if I was spending that 80 a month on them, but I'm pretty sure they are ok with my 6 a month for unlimited too. Especially since before unlimited they were getting 0 a month from me.  :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on March 02, 2016, 04:24:03 PM
Yeah, there's not really a reason for the 6-month lag other than trying to maintain that monthly revenue. They probably view the Unlimited revenue as the gravy on their monthly steak, only that steak is going to get thinner and thinner.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on May 15, 2016, 02:56:42 PM
Darwyn Cooke just died at the age of 53. Once again, fuck cancer.

His art is easily one of my favorite 3 or 4 comic-book artists ever. Tremendous sense of visual design and great panel layouts.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on August 01, 2016, 12:27:58 PM
If you haven't been reading the new Dr. Strange book that came out of Secret Wars, you should be. Written by Jason Aaron (he of the good Wolverine & the X-Men and new female Thor books) and drawn by Chris Bachalo (and if he's not to your taste, I can't help you), it's a really REALLY good take on the character. It takes great pains to demonstrate that Strange's use of magic has a physical, psychic and emotional cost that I don't think has been explored with the character before. Plus, the villain the Empirikul is an intriguing counter to magic. They just added the 5th issue to Unlimited so if you have that sub, go read it.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on August 01, 2016, 04:52:32 PM
Strange is maybe my favorite character ever. This take is...I like it but I also don't like it. Strange himself is being just a bit too wiseass--it reminds me of Roy Thomas' much-less competent attempt to make him funny. Some of the ideas--Strange having to eat weird stuff all the time, etc., feel interesting but strained, and very likely something that the next writer will just forget. I have to say Bachalo's art is also not my favorite. I do like the idea to give Strange's magic a cost, and to make magic be everywhere and visible to him. The bar that the wizards meet is fun too.

Empirkul reminds me a bit of Yandroth, the Super-Scientist, way back in the 1970s, who was a not terribly successful enemy for Strange. It's a bit tired, this idea of super-science vs. sorcery. It's sort of like Chaos and Order.

I was curious about whether they'd let Strange recall anything about his Secret Wars experiences but it's probably best that he doesn't, since he went some pretty dark places in the Avengers books in the run-up to it.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on August 01, 2016, 05:46:03 PM
The recalling the Secret Wars stuff is going to be infuriating. On the one hand, you have stuff like Contest of Champions which is quite clearly Maestro stuck in the remainder of Battleworld (now called Battlerealms) picking up minor characters to fight for him and then you have stuff like what you said about Strange, where they just completely ignore what happened.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on August 01, 2016, 09:43:27 PM
The struggle with Strange is to somehow work it so that he is a better man than he was--because otherwise he couldn't do magic--but not ever totally free of his arrogance and his attraction to being the best. He and Stark, more now than ever, are wonderfully similar or linked. So I like the revelation that he sometimes goes all-out, heedless of the consequences, and thinks that it's just his general awesomeness that lets him survive it all, when in fact it's Wong pawning off some of the suffering onto others. That's great. Except it's also not sustainable as a story hook. Either Strange never finds out--bad--or he does and he stops going all-out in that way. Also bad. As a rule-change about magic in the Marvel Universe, it's also kind of unsustainable. Did the Ancient One also have a battery of monks who suffered for him? Do all sorcerers?

I did very much like the long arc some years ago where Strange has to fight an alien sorcerer (that was a great idea in and of itself, because what, only Earth has magicians?) and he ends up blowing up all his artifacts and objects to deny them to the alien, which lets a whole shitload of ancient demons and enemies out of enchantments that had kept them constrained. So Strange has to work with Kaluu, the Ancient One's opposite number, and learn black magic. That was a great arc on the costs of sorcery--that the normal kind of magic Strange does has firm limits to it, and in some situations is just useless, but the cost of doing otherwise is to eventually become empty, to lose connection to humanity. Kaluu avoids that by basically whoring around, having a Cuban cigar and a steak, and not going all the way, but Strange decides he has to go all the way to stop all the stuff he unleashed.

This arc needs to find where the stopping point is: the new status quo it's setting up isn't really a sustainable dramatic situation for the character once this arc is done.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on August 19, 2016, 10:56:10 PM
So I'm finally starting to dig into the post-Secret Wars, all-new, all-different (read: all diverse) Marvel Universe. There are some good books and some real stinkers. The X-Men are just a goddamn mess. No one seems to know what to do with them, what their place is in the universe or what makes them interesting anymore. FFS, in one book, Storm relocates the Jean Grey School to the goddamn Limbo, then is surprised when the demons of the land attack them because Illiyana (you know, mistress of Limbo) is incapacitated in the real world. I mean, what the fuck did you think would happen? Old Man Logan seems a really well-drawn, utterly useless book. The Bendis Iron Man is decent, and the Avengers books I've read are good.

The real gem so far though is the Ultimates. This is what Johnathan Hickman thought he was doing with cosmic shit but didn't have the talent or interest in the characters to do. This is the kind of book Fantastic Four SHOULD be but somehow has not been for a very long time. It's Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Blue Marvel, Spectrum (used to be Captain Marvel/Photon/Pulsar) and Ms. America. They do the Ultimate things - in the first two issues they go after Galactus in a way that actually deals with the Galactus problem in a creative way. The art is gorgeous. I've read the first 4 issues and it's pretty damn good.

Unfortunately, Sam Wilson: Captain America is cringeworthy. The writing is so over the top, on the nose political that it's like I'm reading the Daily Kos diaries coming out of character's mouths. The only reason I've continued reading it is because I like the character.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on August 20, 2016, 01:35:03 AM
The only good X-Men book is Wolverine, as in Laura Kinney (formerly X-23). That book is fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone, comic nerd or not.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Jimbo on August 23, 2016, 03:11:38 PM
How is this site able to do this? Read Comic Online http://www.readcomics.tv/

I was caught up in reading some comics, then I was like how the hell do they pay for this or how are the artist getting any money or recognition?

Ugh, well it did make me interested in DC again (I used to luv Sgt Rock and G.I. Combat The Haunted Tank issues), so I should go buy some issues since I enjoyed them.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on August 23, 2016, 05:11:39 PM
I'm going to guess they do it illegally without permission and the artists/publishers get jack and shit.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on August 23, 2016, 07:58:43 PM
DC has so far, for reasons that escape me, refused to offer a service like Marvel Unlimited. I think they'd actually collect big on it--deeper library. But they've historically been a weird company about reprints/etc. compared to Marvel, for reasons that I think have never been explained.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on September 01, 2016, 01:22:06 PM
Marvel hooked me back in with a free month of Unlimited which is now a sub. My 12" tablet is just a really nice way to read comics. I want to re-read Superior Spidey, because I like Spidey Ock, but decided to go back a few years of Spidey to get a fuller picture. Were they doing weeklies? The art is sooo uneven and there's a lot of filler stuff at the end of most issues. Crazy.

A few good moments, and a few well-drawn books, enough to keep me skimming the weaker stuff.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on September 01, 2016, 02:12:58 PM
I am not a Spider-Man fan - haven't been for a long time. I always hated the whiny inner monologue of the character who was constantly having to worry about Aunt May.

However, I started reading the new post-Secret Wars Amazing Spider-Man book, having not read any of the Superior stuff and only the Spider-Verse stuff from pre-Secret Wars. Holy shit. Not only is this book good, it's DAMN good. It's a refreshing, new take on the character that is both true to the spirit of the original character AND an actual innovation on the concept. Peter Parker is now a CEO, the (and this is a direct quote from the book) "Poor Man's Tony Stark." Or to put it a different way, the liberal Tony Stark who wants to help people more than get rich or feed his ego. He's actually turned the spider suit into a gadget suit of armor that makes sense given the character's work on the web shooters in the past as well as the Civil War era armor he had. Best of all, the whole thing is just well written (Dan Slott is awesome) and drawn. It makes me want to go back and read the Superior stuff since that got such good buzz.

Mark Waid's All-New, All-Different Avengers is pretty good as well, in a very traditional superhero sort of way.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on September 01, 2016, 02:47:10 PM
You should check out Superior Spidey. I started cold on issue #1 (bought the first one or two hardcover collections) and it's one of my favorites. Ock trying to be a good guy but that means overcoming his massive superiority complex as he 'upgrades' Spidey tech in a very Doc Ock way.

But yeah, upgrading the suit with tech is already happening a few years ago, before the Superior run, when he gets hired at Horizon Labs. But of course, they then completely drop it once the artist/writer move on (or as you were saying earlier, an event plot overrides the writer). Stealth suit, armored suit, etc.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on September 01, 2016, 03:43:55 PM
I feel the same thing about Spider-Man--the predictable aspects of the character, especially after the semi-reboot w/the erasure of the Mary Jane marriage--bored me. But the new book is a ton of fun--a good escape from the hard-luck Peter Parker but with lots of good new tensions and story hooks.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: apocrypha on September 02, 2016, 01:26:51 AM
My 12" tablet is just a really nice way to read comics.

Totally, although a couple of times when I've been reading in bed my tablet has slipped and I've smacked myself on the nose with it.

A friend pointed me at comiXology (https://www.comixology.co.uk/) recently and gave me a few recommendations. Loved We3 and currently reading Transmetropolitan and East of West. East of West is fantastic.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on September 02, 2016, 09:32:58 AM
Something I bought on Comixology recently was an Image Comic series, Satellite Sam (https://www.comixology.com/Satellite-Sam/comics-series/10688?ref=c2VhcmNoL2luZGV4L2Rlc2t0b3Avc2xpZGVyTGlzdC9zZXJpZXNTbGlkZXI). 15-issue series, written by Matt Fraction with art by Howard Chaykin about a television network in the 50's and its most popular program, a sci-fi pulp thing called Satellite Sam. If you like any of Chaykin's work on American Flagg or Time2 or the Shadow, you'll love the art. It's a very mature story with all the trademark stuff you liked in those series and Fraction does some of his best work here as well. Black and white like Chaykin's Black Kiss.I highly recommend it.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: apocrypha on September 02, 2016, 10:01:26 AM
Cool, I'll add it to the list. The list is already too long and will keep me busy for ages yet, there's a lot of really good looking stuff out there! Anyone read Saga? That's been highly recommended to me too.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on September 18, 2016, 02:50:54 PM
By the way, apropros of a number of discussions here and elsewhere at f13 about comics dying, their circulation numbers have actually spiked way up in the last year and they're approaching the 90s peak circulation figures.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on September 18, 2016, 06:03:21 PM
By the way, apropros of a number of discussions here and elsewhere at f13 about comics dying, their circulation numbers have actually spiked way up in the last year and they're approaching the 90s peak circulation figures.


That sounded encouraging until I looked at the last couple months sales figures to see what was selling and found that it was largely the start of DC's latest relaunch and Civil War II. So a bunch of new #1s and a big crossover. You're right this does seem a bit like the 90's. These DC relaunches always lead to short-term spikes. Retailers have to order comics three months in advance so for the first three issues of a series they have to speculate on how well it's going to do. When the order numbers come out for issue #5 of a series is one of the real indicators of how well the series is actually doing since by that point the retailers will know how many people actually came back for issue #2. I'm guessing this will go the same way as the New 52 over time.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: apocrypha on September 19, 2016, 06:40:23 AM
Do the numbers include digital distribution? Because I wouldn't buy comics any other way now. I'm guessing that the downside of digital is ease of piracy.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on September 19, 2016, 02:57:56 PM
The only comic book sales numbers I've ever seen released is Diamond's (pretty much the only comic book distributor) sales to comic book retailers. So no digital, and no numbers on sell-through. I'm sure digital has made the comic industry a lot healthier, and anyone buying a comic digitally is obviously doing it to read.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: apocrypha on September 20, 2016, 01:45:20 AM
Well I've certainly spent a sizeable chunk on digital comics over the last few months, enough that I've had to consciously rein it in. About the only media I still buy in physical form is cook books, everything else is digital now.

I miss album covers a bit, and I did used to love piles of comics, but the convenience of huge libraries taking up no space in the house is too awesome.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on September 20, 2016, 11:23:57 AM
I got too pissed off at Comixology when they made their big shift--they did a terrible job of helping to transfer ownership of issues I'd already bought in digital format. So I'm only happy now to rent, as in Marvel Unlimited. But I don't buy physical comics any more either--I have enough long boxes sitting in my closet now that I'll probably have to dump whenever my spouse and I move on from this house.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on October 28, 2016, 06:49:11 PM
http://marvel.com/news/comics/26906/x-men_primary_colors

Next years X-Line might get it back on track. They claim to be moving away from the constant extinction events and going back to the more traditional super heroing and mentoring that the X-Men are known for.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on October 29, 2016, 01:43:53 AM
Sounds like they should call the relaunch X-Men: Desperate Nostalgia.  :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on October 29, 2016, 06:42:27 AM
I had genuinely assumed that the badness of the X-books was a genuine consequence of their on-screen ownership. The Inhumans are a completely failed substitute, at any rate. I've been dutifully reading the Inhuman books on Unlimited and they just cannot make these guys interesting. Part of the problem is the attempt to expand their mythology feels totally ham-fisted. The only attempt to change the Inhuman status quo that I really liked was War of Kings, which sent them off to be the ruling caste of the Kree--that's genuinely interesting and it should have stuck. Making them into "mutants that we own and can make movies about" has been a terrible idea from start to finish.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on October 29, 2016, 04:20:21 PM
Sounds like they should call the relaunch X-Men: Desperate Nostalgia.  :why_so_serious:

Pretty much yea.



I can't say that I agree with most of that Khaldun. Considering they started from 'no one but the ultra-nerd knows what a Inhuman is' to something that is starting to hit mainstream awareness, I'd say they are doing as well as can be expected in the time they've been at it. Doubly so when you have salty/rabid/insane X-Fans who are endlessly angry/upset every moment <favorite mutant> isn't front and center across 14 books blaming the Inhuman books for their woes.

The X-Books are in the shitter because they've run out of places to escalate to. 'Now we are facing extinction! Now we are facing DOUBLE-EXTRA extinction!'. Like they blew up the school, they murdered all the kids, they removed all the powers, they've had genocide after genocide after genocide. There's under dog and then there is doomed failure and THEN there is the X-Men  :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on October 30, 2016, 12:30:58 AM
Yeah, the constant drum beat of utter destruction on the mutants has really shit all over the books for a long time. Even so, they've had good times - Jason Aaron's run on the Wolverine & the X-men book was really good. It's just that they don't make sense in the wider universe. The Uncanny Avengers Unity Squad idea was a good one, a way to fold some of the interesting mutant characters into the Avengers books but it's left the X-Men books with a lack of characters with anywhere to go as characters. None of the books seem to take real ownership of any of the name characters anymore (Storm, Iceman, Angel) and what's left is either new and less interesting characters or really bad fucking book concepts like "Trap the young X-Men in present day time" or "Yet Another Mutant Assassination Squad."

I actually like both the Inhumans books that are on Unlimited right now. They are certainly better than the X-books (other than All New Wolverine).


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on November 03, 2016, 09:12:56 AM
I'm up to the mediocre Black Vortex event. I've loosely been reading the All-New and Uncanny books. It's frustrating because there are definite nuggets of good ideas in there but they keep getting squashed by the tie-in nonsense where suddenly I'm jumping across 4 or more books on some lame story that derails almost everything that was going on with the individual books.

I think my favorite wasted concepts are Illiana as Dr Strange's pupil on the DL and Bobby with future ice wizard Bobby (in fact the whole nexus of future alt X-Men and the time traveled past X-Men had a ton of potential to have solid non-continuity writing).

Never liked or cared about the Inhumans. I think that whole line of nonsense came from Marvel being unable to use mutants.

edit: forgot my main point, heh. X-Men should be easy to write. It's a coming of age story. That's all. A book about being a teenager. But it's hard for old white men to write that, I guess.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on November 03, 2016, 09:50:35 AM
The problem with that approach to X-Men is all the teen mutants HAVE grown up, but they can't age out of the "me against the world, nobody understands me!" thing because... mutants.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on November 03, 2016, 02:35:30 PM
Basically, Grant Morrison was the last person to have An Idea about what to do with the X-Men, which was to treat them as the mythology had increasingly positioned them: the future of the human species. And to treat them specifically as a group that had one vision about how to do that right. He especially understood how to tell stories about the school.

Wolverine and the X-Men kind of understood how to get back to having fun with the school and using it as a story engine. But you could also see already by that point how Marvel's editors didn't want to embrace mutation as a central narrative conceit any longer--that book was full of funky shit that was more about the convoluted continuity of the X-Men as a whole and less about "mutants". After that point, they really lost it--there's nothing left to do with the idea even IF Marvel didn't want to shove the X-Men aside because they don't make money from the movies. The X-Men are either the main story of Marvel superheroics--the reason why there are so many superpowered people running around--or they are just one more "family" of people in longjohns. If they're just one more "family", then most of the Claremont-to-Morrison infrastructure stops making sense--why Sentinels? why mutant hatred? why would anybody bother to make a distinction between Spider-Man and the Angel because one's not a mutant and one is? If you de-emphasize mutation as a mythology, or make it just one more way people get superpowers amid a huge range of origins, then you either need stories where all superheroes are hated and feared or none of them are as a group or type.

Frankly, the way things are now in the comic-book Marvel U., you'd think people would love mutants compared to Inhumans--the idea of a cloud of mist suddenly flowing through your neighborhood and changing you into a freak who is supposed to respect some monarchy you've never had any relationship to before would be vastly more terrifying and infuriating to most human beings than the idea of mysteriously changing at adolescence, when you change anyway. Terrigen in the current mythos is like toxic waste: the citizens of the world should have long since demanded that the entire hierarchy of Attilan be attacked by a UN military force and detained for crimes against the world. The way the story's being told at the moment, that wouldn't be bigotry, it would be righteous retaliation for a war crime.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on November 03, 2016, 03:22:18 PM
I think that speaks to something Marvel has been doing wrong for years - they've been trying to have their cake and eat it too in regards to continuity.

They want this hugely connected world that can have these massive, universe-changing crossover events, but they don't really give a shit about the month to month continuity of it because that's too restrictive. So you could have Wolverine in five different teams and shit like that. And the crossovers have really hurt their entire line, IMO, as really good storylines by creative teams get interrupted by idiotic crossover events that break the flow of everything.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on November 03, 2016, 03:55:14 PM
That's my takeaway reading up on a few books over the last 3 years or so using Unlimited. Disruptive for no gain, because the stories suck.

The BLACK VORTEX (with it's goddamned font all the time even) did have a bit of potential for fun with epic Cosmic versions of heroes (and villains) but they never did anything cool with them and the ending made me want to poke my eyes out with a rusty spork. And I'm about the most forgiving person around here for shit writing (if the pictures are pretty).


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on November 03, 2016, 04:07:10 PM
What was worse about the BLACK VORTEX story and all the changes to the characters it did was that all of that shit was completely forgotten after Secret Wars. There's no mention of cosmic Kitty Pryde (she's just Star-Lord now with her mutant phasing powers) and Gamora is cosmic but it doesn't really seem to matter much.

That one wasn't as bad as the fucking Original Sin crossover that turned Bucky into "THE MAN ON THE WALL" who was charged with protecting earth from alien threats that no one ever sees. He's back on Earth now so apparently that wall didn't need that much protecting.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on November 03, 2016, 04:22:43 PM
The Original Sin stuff was just bad storytelling on several levels.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Fordel on November 03, 2016, 04:58:52 PM
Frankly, the way things are now in the comic-book Marvel U., you'd think people would love mutants compared to Inhumans--the idea of a cloud of mist suddenly flowing through your neighborhood and changing you into a freak who is supposed to respect some monarchy you've never had any relationship to before would be vastly more terrifying and infuriating to most human beings than the idea of mysteriously changing at adolescence, when you change anyway. Terrigen in the current mythos is like toxic waste: the citizens of the world should have long since demanded that the entire hierarchy of Attilan be attacked by a UN military force and detained for crimes against the world. The way the story's being told at the moment, that wouldn't be bigotry, it would be righteous retaliation for a war crime.


The main differences are the terrigen cloud as far as the general population (and like 99% of the inhuman one) was a horrible accident/tragedy due to Thanos' invasion at the time and the Royal family/Inhuman nation is doing it's best to mitigate and work with the affected countries and populations. The Inhuman nation is taking in any willing 'NuHuman' but it's not forcing them to fall in line with their monarchy. Even if/when the truth comes out, it wasn't an action by the Inhuman nation, but rather the individual action of one man who has since been removed from power. Another factor is the terrigen cloud is something you can avoid (or seek out), where mutation just happens. One of the general plots of one of the inhuman books currently is about a official response team that follows the clouds around helping anyone who is changed and working with the local governments and populace to mitigate any fallout.

On the mutant end of the spectrum you either have extreme radicals hell bent on wiping out baseline humanity or on the 'better' end you have child soldiers waging a secret war and using their vast resources to manipulate multiple levels of government and industry to their advantage.  :why_so_serious:

Like sure, the Marvel Worlds in-universe hatred and racism towards mutants is down right comical at times, but it's not that hard to see why the Inhumans might be better received then Mutants would.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on December 13, 2016, 11:19:55 PM
Member Meltdown? I member!

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3667682/Scribbles/Sketchbook/2016/Sketchbook13a.jpg)


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on December 15, 2016, 11:47:31 PM
Apparently when I'm lazy I sketch Logan.

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3667682/Scribbles/Sketchbook/2016/Sketchbook14.jpg)


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on February 14, 2017, 02:40:26 PM
I have a free month code for Unlimited for someone who isn't currently subbed. Also I've done a few more Marvel arts that are much better than those above :)

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3667682/Scribbles/Sketchbook/2017/Sketchbook46.jpg)


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Sky on February 16, 2017, 11:34:43 AM
Alex Ross is so good.

(https://scontent-lga3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/16807146_1836813916537002_6827487419852096593_n.jpg?oh=e30dd85dbcb0e0fa3ce85a96a2a2d298&oe=594B5C9F)


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: palmer_eldritch on July 31, 2017, 01:51:36 PM
I'm reading X-Men vs Inhumans on Marvel Unlimited. I'm three issues in.

Am I missing something or are the Inhumans just totally wrong? You've got this poisonous cloud that's going to kill every mutant but also turns some ordinary people into Inhumans.

So if you destroy the cloud then some humans continue to live normal human lives without superpowers. Or if you don't destroy it, thousands of people die but some other people get superpowers.

The answer seems pretty obvious (the one that doesn't mean thousands of people die (actually I don't know how many mutants are in the world at this point but even if it's just dozens)). I don't care about the Inhumans as a group but the storyline is bugging me because a couple of characters I do care about, Johnny Storm and Ms Marvel, are all in favour of the genocide without any apparent qualms, and they're meant to be good people. And I like Ms Marvel.

Maybe it gets resolved later in some way?


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on July 31, 2017, 02:23:10 PM
Just take as gospel that any big Marvel event in the last 10-15 years is going to be fucking stupid, make no sense and require established characters act completely against type in order to foster conflict with other heroes. If it involves the X-Men, expect that it will be even more dumb than the baseline because that franchise has been almost totally bereft of good ideas since 2008, with very few exceptions. Marvel has been trying to shoehorn the Inhumans into prominence likely because they don't have the X-Men movie license, and though I like some what they've done with the characters, it hasn't worked very well in terms of the larger universe.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on July 31, 2017, 02:37:22 PM
The pushing of the Inhumans for the last five years or so has really been awful. And yes, they're roundly unsympathetic in this case--their only answer still seems to be "But Terrigen is sacred to our people!" Look, the Pope can say that the Sistine Chapel is sacred, but if the Sistine Chapel suddenly got fusion engines and a Murder AI controlling it and it was going around the world killing orphans, I think maybe the Pope would have to modify his views.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: jgsugden on July 31, 2017, 03:06:29 PM
The pushing of the Inhumans for the last five years or so has really been awful. And yes, they're roundly unsympathetic in this case--their only answer still seems to be "But Terrigen is sacred to our people!" Look, the Pope can say that the Sistine Chapel is sacred, but if the Sistine Chapel suddenly got fusion engines and a Murder AI controlling it and it was going around the world killing orphans, I think maybe the Pope would have to modify his views.
Yeah - modify them to explain why the 'sacrifices' are a necessary part of the faith. 


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on November 28, 2018, 11:23:37 AM
Is it just me, or is the current wave of Marvel stuff on the Unlimited really bad? It feels like this was a bad moment for the company as a whole. I just got to the most recent relaunch of Avengers (with the Celestials, where Ghost Rider is a member) and it's really tedious.  A lot of the ideas they have for most of their characters on their own books feel either tired, bad, or slavishly tied to the films.

I also can't read most of the Star Wars comics because of the extremely off-putting reliance on tracing character faces from the films. It's not as pornographic as Greg Land but it's still really icky.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on November 28, 2018, 11:35:29 AM
I like Greg Land.

But yes, I stopped my Unlimited sub because there are few books worth slavishly following. Every time a creative team gets a good groove going, the book ends and they reboot the whole goddamn thing. It's lucky if there are 12 issues in the book before that happens and then we're off on a completely different direction. And unlike the '80's and early '90's, all the books are using this very deconstructed narrative style where 1 story takes 6 issues so a creative team may basically be writing one or two graphic novels before fucking off to something else, at which point the character or characters you've been interested in get rotated out to some other different approach you may not like as much.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on November 28, 2018, 04:01:48 PM
Yeah. I really don't enjoy the way they do that. The Doctor Strange that just ended on Unlimited is a good example. I didn't care for the whole "magic has gone away" and the "Doctor Strange and Famous Other Magicians" and all the rest, and he's my favorite character, but ok, keep going from there. Instead, nope, time to reboot the book, redesign his costume, relaunch his supporting cast, reinterpret his powers, etc., after only two years of story-telling. It's really disruptive.


You like Greg Land? Tracings of porn models doing their O-face instead of actual drawings of characters who look like themselves?


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on November 28, 2018, 04:16:48 PM
You got a problem with O-face?  :why_so_serious:

I get the criticisms of Greg Land, I just happen to like his compositions. And tits.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on November 28, 2018, 05:25:22 PM
I have a problem with Kitty Pryde and Storm o-facing (often with the same woman's off-model face for three panels, and then another off-model face from another woman) while they're just having conversations, fighting, eating breakfast, yelling orders at Wolverine, etc.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on February 19, 2019, 05:13:12 PM
So I've read the first few issues of the Age of X-Man story that just started up and it's... actually pretty interesting so far. I didn't read the 10 issue "X-Men Disassembled" run-up to the event as I heard it was pretty abysmal but I read through some summary stuff to get the gist of it. Obviously this is meant to be an inversion of the Age of Apocalypse storyline and the format is the same as well with an Alpha issue leading in to all of the minis. This is more like a pocket universe kinda thing though that most of the X-men (current and past) have been sucked into by X-Man (Nate Grey who originated in the Age of Apocalypse). It's supposed to be more or less of a Utopia where everyone is a mutant and the X-men generally seem to spend their time helping out in the occurrence of natural disasters or when a mutant's emerging powers cause large-scale problems.

The twist to this alternate reality is that much like X-Man, everyone in this reality is now grown in labs, romance/sex is now forbidden, and Apocalypse is at the head of a rebellion trying to convince people that it's ok to love and to procreate the old-fashioned way. There's 6 minis which are all 5 issues each, which will then lead into the Omega issue so there's still plenty of time for this to completely collapse but this is a promising start to it so far.

I should note that I loved Age of Apocalypse as well, but not any of their subsequent attempts to duplicate it like Age of X or any of the times they returned to AoA.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on February 19, 2019, 06:37:00 PM
The current X stuff in MU is trying SO HARD to make the characters interesting again. I appreciate it. But they kind of missed a chance with Grant Morrison, where he really wanted to change the status quo on the characters rather than just do more of the same/do a weird sideline. His ideas were good about the mutant idea. Actually others have done it too; the problem with the X-Men is once they really pushed the whole "they are humanity's future; they are discriminated against" there's no way to back down and just make them five dumb teenagers; no way to really protect the rest of Marvel from it either. (Like, how does any norm know why Thor or Cap or Spider-Man isn't a mutant? It's stupid once you've gone there.)


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on February 19, 2019, 06:59:49 PM
I haven't really been reading any of it as the impression I get is that the status quo seems to change too frequently and creative teams often hope on and off without being there long enough to really establish a run (except for Bendis who hung around too long with shit like the time displaced original X-Men).


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on February 19, 2019, 07:40:18 PM
I stopped reading any of the X-Men titles with the latest relaunch after that idiotic Inhumans v. X-Men story. They were just so bad, so ordinary and trying so hard to recreate the feeling of the Claremont/Byrne X-Men stories including all the stupid baseball games and shit. It felt like someone trying too hard to emulate something without really understanding what made it great in the first place. The Bendis time-displaced X-Men thing was just brutally bad. The last good X-Men book was Wolverine and the X-Men written by Jason Aaron. Nothing after that has been worth a shit.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on February 19, 2019, 07:50:14 PM
The good thing about alternate reality stories at least is that I don't have to be invested in the regular continuity to get into it.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on July 03, 2019, 04:51:04 AM
My brother started picking up the War of the Realms crossover stuff and seemed to like it so I decided to check it out. First though I had to catch up on a couple years worth of Thor comics through Unlimited. I'd read the early bit of Jason Aaron's run but stopped when the Original Sin stuff hit with Thor becoming Unworthy (felt like a good stopping point at the time although I intended to continue on at some point). I just burned through all the Jane Foster Thor issues, Thor's return, and Aaron's current run on Avengers and for the most part it's pretty good. I don't think his Avengers book particularly interesting and he doesn't have a handle on all the characters, but it's only of minor importance to War of the Realms anyhow so that's fine. The Thor books are really strong though, and The Mighty Thor (the Jane Foster series) is pretty great.

Unlimited hasn't quite caught up to War of the Realms yet though so I've been reading those issues through other means. I'm only a couple issues in so far though which is mostly action and setting up the premise for people just coming into the crossover. There's a pretty good tie-in issue of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl though which makes me want to go back and start reading through the series (I read the first couple issues but didn't stick with it).


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on July 03, 2019, 08:25:34 AM
I'm really disliking the current stuff on Unlimited (which is what, a year ago or so)? The movies are really cannibalizing the comics now in bad ways, tonally and narratively. I can't really think of anything in the current issues on Unlimited that I actually like. Dr. Strange is crawling back from the really bad run of a few years back, I suppose. I loathe the new Avengers book. I suppose West Coast Avengers is kind of fun, but I know cancellation is in its near-term future.

In the meantime, reading the Dark Knights: Metal stuff over at the DC app and...it has interesting moments but damnit, it's waaaaaay over-complicated and getting this literal about Barbatos and Batman and all that seems like a really dumb, bad idea--and a weird attempt to apologize for the bad ideas of the New 52 and the Snyder Murderverse, I think.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on July 03, 2019, 12:12:36 PM
Unlimited is generally 6 months behind, but I almost never read current stuff. I'm reading the Age of X stuff on a... less reputable site, but aside from that the most current Marvel comics I'd read was going through Dan Slott's whole run on Spider-man which I enjoyed. I also just started on Immortal Hulk, which is Hulk done almost as a horror book (going back to his roots a bit but even darker) which I'm only three issues into so far but I'm digging it. I might catch up on Runaways and Squirrel Girl at some point when I get a chance, and I'll check out the new Conan stuff Marvel is doing. I read the first issue of Savage Avengers (an "Avengers" book with Conan in the present day MU) and I'm not at all sure what to make of it or why it's an Avengers book since the cast in the first issue is Conan and Wolverine with Punisher apparently showing up in the next issue, and Venom is in there as well.

Most of the mainstream Marvel books don't hold a lot of interest for me, but I've also been slightly outside the loop on comics in recent years so maybe there's some highly acclaimed current books I'm not aware of. Prior to getting into War of the Realms, I was reading through Tomb of Dracula so current stuff is clearly not what I've been using Unlimited for.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on July 03, 2019, 02:25:33 PM
The Jason Aaron run on Thor was just great, especially the whole Jane Foster Female Thor series. Beautiful art and a really great story. Most of what I've read by Aaron I really like (he did the last good X-Men series, Wolverine and the X-Men, the first volume - the second volume was not by him and was pretty terrible).

I think the biggest problem with Marvel books these days is that no creative team stays for very long and unlike the old days, Marvel editorial thinks that a new creative team should mean either 1) a new book with new renumbering (I fucking HATE this) or 2) such a drastically different direction that it feels like a new book, including taking good supporting cast and removing them from the character's life completely for no good reason. The New 52 to DC Rebirth books had this same problem and it really gets on my tits.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Trippy on July 03, 2019, 02:30:15 PM
Can never have too many #1 issues.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on July 03, 2019, 03:01:33 PM
Aaron seems to have some strange Bendis-like tic with Avengers where some of the characterization seems insanely off. Like in one issue Dr. Strange is completely surprised by the existence of the Eternals. I mean, maybe it's a result of something that happened in a Dr. Strange or Eternals comic, but it seems a bizarre thing for him to not know, especially since one of the biggest villains in the MU is an offshoot of the Eternals and since Sersi was an active Avenger for quite a while.

Creative team shifting is a pretty big issue and has been for years. On the flip side, there are runs like Aaron's Thor which has been going for about 7 years now and Slott's Spider-man which concluded after 8 years. On the not quite as epic level, Immortal Hulk is on issue 20 which is a pretty solid run so far by today's standards. Further out on the periphery stuff like Unbeatable Squirrel Girl has also been going on a few years with a consistent creative team (one artist change about a year or so back apparently) and only one renumbering.

The X-books in particular though seem to have the biggest issue with creative team shifts, new directions, relaunches, and renumbering. That whole line continues to be a mess, with the latest new direction starting this month with Hickman's House of X and Powers of X.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on July 03, 2019, 09:20:13 PM
I'm with Haemish. The whole "Oh, Jason Aaron (or Mark Waid or whatever) is done with this title, so we have to have a completely new team, complete renumbering, completely new concept of the character, etc." just shakes me so loose from the whole damn thing. I don't want to read any more, because what used to keep me going was, "What happens next?" If the answer is, "We forget everything that's every happened and rethink the character completely as if he's in a different universe", I'm like, fuck this shit. "Magic now causes cancer, so Wong has a whole set of Tibetan victims who get cancer so that Stephen Strange can keep on doing magic!" No, no, no, fuck off. "Magic is all gone now so Stephen Strange has to scrounge for artifacts like a bum in a dumpster. Plus he's a cynical wiseass and everyone hates him." No! "Wait, actually, he's going to get in an alien spaceship and rip off aliens and meet a hot alien chick so he can forget the already forgettable hipster woman who was doing his library eight issues ago. Also there's a ghost dog." Wait, wait, no! "Ghost Dog and Wong have to save Strange from Hell! After the Avengers become demons! We don't even know what the rules of magic are now!" Fuck OFF.

Every time you like a run, they fuck it hard the next time someone goes off it. That used to be really bad form--people complained about John Byrne aggressively fucking everything every previous author had ever done. Now it's completely expected. I hate it so much.

The DC stuff at least they're trying to figure out how it all ties together, even Watchmen, which is the worst idea ever. But bless their hearts for trying. The Marvel people feel like a bunch of cowering underlings waiting for corporate to tell them what to do next--in an era when corporate is winning the universe by adapting what Marvel writers did back in the day when nobody thought movies would ever happen.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on July 03, 2019, 10:31:05 PM
Maybe I'm part of the problem because I don't really care about the "What happens next?" part when a new creative team comes on these days. That's usually the jumping off point for me (or the jumping on point if I've heard good things about the run and now want to read through it since it's concluded). I'm kinda ok with vastly different takes on characters, provided they're good of course. That's how we get stuff like Superior Spider-man, Mighty Thor, or Immortal Hulk (or Planet Hulk even). I know at this point I'm not going to be following a particular title for years through multiple creative teams so I appreciate stories that have some sort of conclusion and then the next people take over. I don't want to see the team the follows Aaron's run on Thor trying to carry one what he's doing.

Actually my biggest takeaway from looking Marvel's current and upcoming lineup, is who the hell was asking for a massive Carnage-focused event?


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on July 04, 2019, 11:46:03 AM
My problem with the drastic shifts in characterization is twofold.

First, the runs aren't long enough on most of these things, so I get really invested in a character and status quo and then BAM, it's done and everything is forgotten and it's usually because of some goddamn shitty crossover event that changes the entire universe's status quo. The Dennis Hopeless Spider-Woman books were some of the worst examples of this. I say worst because I absolutely fucking LOVED what Hopeless did with the character, especially the pregnancy and having a kid. Over time, he built up the character of this shitty Z-grade villain character, The Porcupine, into a fully-fleshed out character who had an important role in both her and the baby's life. Then the book ends and Spider-Woman gets relegated to second banana in Captain Marvel stories.

Second, the biggest problem I have with ditching directions based on creative teams is that it feels like Marvel editorial wants to have their cake and eat it too. They want to have this vast, interconnected universe where big things impact all the books (which is the definition of continuity) but then have the books being written with little to no regard for how they affect the greater whole of the universe because fuck continuity. Like I said above, the negative effects of that shared universe concept way too often cause radical shifts in individual book status quo's that are unwelcome, or worse, are completely ignored until you see this character pop up in another book and it feels completely disjointed.

I actually put most of this at the feet of Quesada as EIC. He hates the very concept of continuity being a constraint on creativity, but has to keep some lip service to it because Marvel IS a shared universe. And it feels like lip service, because it's clear he really wants each run to be like it's own separate manga.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on July 04, 2019, 05:07:56 PM
But the thing is, if Hopeless isnít going to write Spider-Woman any more, either because the book gets canceled or he moved on to other things, do you really want another creative team trying to be a Hopeless cover band and attempting to write those characters in the same tone Hopeless did?

A case could be made that I suppose that some of these books arenít being given enough of a chance and that Disney could afford to publish them at a loss if needed considering how many millions of dollars some of these ideas could generate when it comes to the movies.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on July 04, 2019, 08:59:47 PM
But the thing is, if Hopeless isnít going to write Spider-Woman any more, either because the book gets canceled or he moved on to other things, do you really want another creative team trying to be a Hopeless cover band and attempting to write those characters in the same tone Hopeless did?

Yes.  :why_so_serious:

Here's the thing. Hopeless didn't create Spider-Woman or the Porcupine. He just did a damn good job with the characters. I view this kind of thing through the lens of branding/marketing. If I as a creative person choose to work on one of the big two's established characters (or even any other established character), I owe that existing brand some loyalty to its history. These aren't the characters I created (though there are obviously some characters each creator does create), so there has to be some of my individual wants given up to play in someone else's playground. That doesn't mean my stuff has to suck, nor that it can never push the boundaries. There have been plenty of runs where those boundaries have been pushed but not so far that the character becomes unrecognizable. Comics on existing properties in established continuities aren't just individual slices to me, they are all to be considered as part of the greater whole.

To me, a great example of pushing the boundaries but staying true to the brand is Dark Knight Returns. A terrible example is Dark Knight 2, which was utter shit start to finish.

If you treat them like Marvel has been doing, then you get what amounts to a series of "What If/Elseworlds" tales where lip service is paid to the greater continuity. So yes, I'd like to see someone come along and do a Hopeless cover band until he can make it his/her own. I love Elseworlds stories but I also like the greater meta narrative that is the Marvel Universe.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on July 05, 2019, 06:16:09 PM
I'm with Haemish. It's how you *get* interesting stories that later people work with, how you get characters who have layers. Take Strange. At this point, Wong is now basically kind of rewritten towards the films--a sorcerer who is not Strange's equal but he's not his manservant. But this voids out: Wong struggling with an arranged marriage; Wong deciding that Stephen was not nearly as loyal to Wong as vice-versa and being an almost-enemy over it; Wong being the person who teaches Strange important further lessons in humility, and much more. I get why they want to get to the character in the movies, without the baggage, but discarding the baggage is also discarding some pretty interesting story possibilities both in the comics AND in the films. All of the films are based on great narrative and visual scavenging in the giant heap of Marvel storytelling, which has a ton of forgettable garbage in it--but to build the heap took some respect for how characters accumulate narrative and dramatic weight.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on July 06, 2019, 10:54:50 AM
Another thought I had on the state of modern comics writing at the big 2. I think part of the biggest problem I'm seeing with both DC and Marvel is that the stories are being approached almost as movies as opposed to ongoing serials, and it's affecting the work. I really think superhero comics in branded/shared universes like Marvel 616 and DC work best when they are approached with the same thought process as a TV show, like a long-running, never-ending soap opera instead. That goes for the individual books AND the shared universe-wide series like all the crossover event things. If the writer looks at the work like this - "this shit has been running before me and it will keep running after me, I need to respect the sandbox's barriers." That doesn't mean the writer can't push the boundaries of the sandbox - most of the best comic runs do that. Miller's Daredevil, Byrne's Fantastic Four, Morrison's X-Men, Aaron's X-Men, Aaron's Thor, Bendis's Daredevil, Waid's Daredevil, Peter David's Hulk - they all expanded the parameters of the long-term narrative without totally throwing the baby out with the pram. And for the most part, they left behind a really good set of building blocks that other creators could use to push the boundaries themselves. For all its problems, Crisis on Infinite Earths, Infinite Crisis and The 52 all did the same for the universe, and even though it was kind of a crappy story, the original Secret Wars did that for the universe as well (not Secret Wars 2 or the most recent Secret Wars).

What's happening now is that each creator treats their run as a series of movies and the next guy is given the remit of "reboot the franchise again," or at least that's what it feels like. DC's New 52 suffers pretty heavily from this, and unlike Marvel, they didn't just restart the big series when they did it, they just shifted status quo dramatically. So, for instance, Scott Snyder's Batman starts out REALLY good and then midway through the 52-issue run, the whole goddamn thing takes a turn for the retarded (I don't mean the Jim Gordon as Mecha Batman thing, more the way they structured it so Batman could reset to status quo - man that was fucking retarded). Having now read most of the big named New 52 series books, holy shit did they fuck up that entire relaunch.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on July 06, 2019, 04:17:56 PM
I stopped reading DC entirely because of it. I'm creeping back now via the app but the thing is that most of the post-New52 comics are subsumed under a layer of bad-Grant-Morrisonesque metafiction that constitutes the world's most convoluted apology for creative malpractice (the DC Universe got dark because the Forge of Creation was poisoned by a dark batgod! The DC Universe got dark because Doctor Manhattan was curious about a more pulpish comic-book universe than his own and wanted to play with it! It's not the fault of the writers and editors and management, guys! Here's some metafiction and metaphors for you about why we got too dark! Really!"


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on July 07, 2019, 12:44:27 AM
I really think superhero comics in branded/shared universes like Marvel 616 and DC work best when they are approached with the same thought process as a TV show, like a long-running, never-ending soap opera instead.

You might want to take a look at how long-running soap operas have been doing over the last couple decades.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on July 07, 2019, 09:20:19 AM
They are really very parallel cases: same strengths, same weaknesses.

On one hand, there's no more powerful an incentive to turning in tomorrow/buying the next issue than seeing what happens next to characters you're invested in.

If those characters change in ways that aren't based in narrative, that breaks that incentive. Meaning, it's ok for the good wife to slowly give in to temptation and sleep with the handsome doctor she works with in the hospital; it's ok for Spider-Man to get married or Aquaman to lose a hand. But if a new writer comes on and says, "Eh, forget that this older woman on the show for three decades has three children and once had amnesia, I've decided that she's actually a man in disguise and is a secret agent and is also a brilliant physicist, because I'm taking the suburban setting of the show away and moving the characters into a high-powered university lab doing experiments for the government", that breaks everything even if the ideas wouldn't be terrible for another show (or even as a slow-developing shift in narrative emphasis). Same for comic books: "Hey, let's have the heroes fight a civil war, and let's make Mr. Fantastic sociopathic to the point of being evil and have him make an extradimensional gulag to stick superheroes in and let's have Tony Stark make a cloned Thor who will kill enemies and let's have the good guys be completely ok with using serial killers as allies" etc. where that just comes from nowhere is really jarring; even more when every two trade paperbacks or so, the fundamental basis of the storytelling and the characters are changed.

But soaps do run into the problem that the characters have such long narrative arcs that sooner or later everything that CAN happen to them DOES happen to them--they've all had amnesia, they've all died and come back, they've all had evil twins, they've all committed adultery, they've all become good guys, they've all committed crimes, etc. Because you have to keep the story moving. The same thing for comic books--if you overdo continuity, all the characters become ridiculously overstuffed with backstory (while remaining eternally about the same age). One of the many soft reboots of Batman a while back laid this out pretty clearly--there was no imaginable way for Batman at the eternal age of 33 or so to have mentored Dick Grayson from boyhood to young adulthood, mentored Jason Todd from boyhood to death to resurrection to young adulthood, mentored Tim Drake from about 12 to about 17, and had a relationship for about 3 years with his son Damian (even given that Damian was aged in a tank by his mother). And yet there they all were standing alongside him in order, each one with a backstory supposedly intact.

So you either need something that cleans out some of the backstory--maybe it's just quietly forgetting most of it while taking the most interesting and consequential stuff forward--or something more formal. I think the really radical move would be to allow fundamentals to change. The MCU seems on the verge of this--they seem to have decided not to take the "recast and keep it in the eternal present" route, but instead the "move on and evolve route". I could imagine that if they're still making movies in 10 years, Morgan Stark will become Iron Man 3.0, etc.  The comics could finally follow suit--stop telling stories of possible futures and alternate realities and actually let the characters age and change and die. Or the MCU could slowly lose commercial power, the whole thing wind down for a while, and then they recast and go back to the beginning, a la Spider-Man. I dunno. But definitely infinite serial storytelling doesn't work after a certain point.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on July 07, 2019, 01:20:56 PM
On one hand, there's no more powerful an incentive to turning in tomorrow/buying the next issue than seeing what happens next to characters you're invested in.

But it works the other way also, where there's a powerful incentive to not want to get into something in the middle of a storyline. For TV shows, especially back when a lot of the long-running soaps started, that was a more common thing to do because you didn't have the means to go back to the beginning of any given show and you were at the mercy of what was being broadcast at the time. That changed with the ability to record shows, and then with streaming.

Comics were similar in that if you were getting into something you'd pick up the issue that happened to be on sale at the time and maybe if there were some back issues available that looked interesting or were mentioned in a footnote of another comic you had maybe you'd pick some of those up also. There was no internet to order issues off of, no subscription service offering an archive of digital issues, and it wasn't really advertised when a new creative team was jumping on.

Now with stuff like Marvel Unlimited, someone could potentially jump on to Spider-man from around the beginning and probably get a lot of ASM and maybe some of the other books, but there aren't a lot of people that are going to want to read through 57 years and counting of Spider-man stories. Even I don't want to do that. When I'm poking around on Unlimited I'm looking at particular runs or storylines.

They couldn't keep writing comics the way they always have, where every issue might be somebody's first and there's no clear transition from one creative team to the next, with everything just being part of an ongoing story. People consume media differently now and to ignore that and try to carry on business the way it's always been is a great way to become completely irrelevant. It's why a lot of soap operas that ran for decades have been canceled in the last ten or so years, and the ones that are left (in the U.S. anyway) have tiny amounts of viewers. Even wrestling's ratings have generally been in steady decline. This style of storytelling is catering to the people who are already invested in it, and each time one of those people moves on or dies they aren't being replaced.

Mind you I don't think they way they're currently doing things is bringing on boatloads of new readers, but I do think trying to change the model a bit is better than just hoping people randomly feel like jumping into reading Iron Man with issue #726 which continues on from the previous 725 issues and will just continue going and going.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on July 07, 2019, 03:01:00 PM
It's a delicate balancing act, and honestly, I think the biggest problem with the way they are doing it now revolves around the necessity to make everything a 6-issue trade paperback. Storytelling becomes so stretched that if you look back over say, Brian Azzarello's Wonder Woman run (just finished reading this), what you have in essence is one long story told in about 4 mini-story parts. Reading comics in the '80's, a 12-issue run would literally have 8-12 complete stories. The narratives were denser and while I'm certainly not saying we have to go back to 1-2 issue stories with 30 panels a page, all stuffed with thought balloons and narrator boxes.

I think I'd really rather Marvel and DC just say that they are doing 5-year mega meta arcs, and then reboot the entire universe all over again, every character, every book.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on July 07, 2019, 03:47:20 PM
Well even writing for the trade is becoming outdated these days because thatís a business model based around the idea of people buying physical books. Iím sure thatís actually still a big chunk of the market right now but over time Iím sure the trend is going to be away from that.

Digital still isnít quite there though especially since Marvel Unlimitedís layout is still a mess. Want to read any story that crosses over into other books and chronological order? Hope you have a reading list from some other site handy. Going through all the buildup for War of The Realms, they donít do a good job of suggesting a starting point and them compiling a reading order for you and taking you from book to book. They have a section for crossovers but itís pretty inadequate. They could also do a much better job of suggesting complementary reading material. Marvel hasnít fully embraced digital, and donít seem to be in a rush adding any sort of QoL features to the site.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on July 07, 2019, 07:08:20 PM
DC has the same problem with crossover material, and finding the right order to read things. Their marketing departments are amazingly bad at doing the simple things.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on July 10, 2019, 10:06:11 AM
Read through all the issues of Immortal Hulk that are on Unlimited, and yeah this is amazing stuff. Joe Bennett's artwork is a great fit for the material, and the body horror stuff in particular is something I'm not used to seeing in comics in general let alone a Marvel "superhero" book. This is probably the best anybody has done of getting back to the original concept of the Hulk not being evil or a killer (mostly), but being fucking terrifying regardless and not just because he causes a lot of property damage. If you guys haven't checked it out already, you should.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on August 22, 2019, 02:34:46 PM
Been keeping up with House of X and Powers of X and they're just about at the halfway point. On the one hand Jonathan Hickman is very far up his own ass on this one and it's so intentionally disjointed that it would be generous to call it a narrative. That said it also seems like the first time since Morrison that anybody has had an actual vision of what to do with the X-men and a few issues in at least some of the pieces start to fit together.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on August 22, 2019, 03:12:33 PM
Johnathan Hickman has NEVER been anywhere but deep, deep up his own ass.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on August 22, 2019, 05:34:39 PM
See, I think I would rather have Hickman at least *trying* to think of something new to do with the metanarrative of the X-Men than to have boring re-enactments of the 1990s go on forever.

The X-Men have a strange curse that maybe no other major comics property has. From conception to initial cancellation, they were just a team of teenage superheroes with an adult mentor. Most of them were strikingly underimagined or stereotypical--the intellectual who looks like a brute! the guy who makes ice! the guy who can fly (and nothing else!) The stoical, controlled "best student" with laser beams from his eyes who fears losing control! The beautiful telepath they all sort of love but who is really destined for the Best Boy!

As later writers have gone over that territory, sure, they've noticed some things--Professor X is a creep and he's horny for his student, Cyclops is a borderline depressive, Iceman is so much of a non-character that you wonder if there's something else there, etc. But it's not a very promising ground for later development.

The mutants-are-hated thing is there, but it's surprisingly not that big a deal most of the time. Magneto is a straight-out despotic nutcase of the usual sort--it's almost surprising Stan Lee didn't decide he was a communist as well.

Then Claremont comes along and blows the whole thing up. He kicks the dull characters off-stage. He brings in an international cast. He steals the best new Marvel character in a long time (Wolverine). He amps the mutants-are-hated-and-feared theme up to 11. He adds some weird fetish shit about mind control and dominatrixes. He does world-class soap-opera narrative structure--tons of subplots, tons of minor characters, lots of melodrama, lots of talkiness. Byrne does some of his best art and clearly also contributes to Claremont's plotting and characterization in some generative ways (just look at Byrne-less X-Men and you can see the difference). The X-Men blow up and become the most important Marvel property almost overnight (like, within a year).

And that about does it--it creates a baroque narrative and character structure that they never can get away from, and kind of odd centrality/non-centrality to the larger universe that's also a trap. So someone has to come along and knock that down. The only thing Marvel can do usually with that is kill all the mutants/resurrect all the mutants. They've got to find a way out. Either banalize the X-Men again (just one more group of people, like a 'family') or exoticize them in irreversable fashion. But stop fucking around in the endless limbo between the two.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on August 22, 2019, 06:25:07 PM
I maintain that one of the biggest problems with the X-men is that they exist within the Marvel Universe where there are so many varieties of Super-humans, Aliens, super-scientists, God-beings, magical artifacts, etc..., that it always seems odd that the populace focus so much of their hate and fear on mutants.

As far as what Hickman is doing, I do appreciate that he's trying something different here. I'd probably appreciate it more if he could have done it as a story, rather than doing it as bits of 5 or 6 different stories at once interspersed with data pages that essentially act as annotations.

Still I have to admit, there is something to it. Without going into spoilers, he made a pretty big retcon to a long running character which basically acts as the framing device for why the story is being told in multiple time periods, some hundreds or possibly a thousand years in the future. Every issue right from the start introduces several ideas like this where my initial reaction is that it's a horrible idea and clearly there's no way any of this could work as a long term plan for the franchise within the MU. As it goes along though I'm starting to get ideas of where they might be going with it though.

I don't know, if either if you guys happen across any sites where you can read these rather than wait however long it takes for them to go up on Unlimited, I'd actually be very curious to hear your reactions to what's been released so far.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on August 22, 2019, 06:36:56 PM
I'm following it via blogs etc. I don't care so much about spoilers. I think the basic idea is a good one--treat the X-Men's entire history as a kind of repeated trap--a sort of Groundhog Day--that they and humanity have to find a way out of. I'm just not sure what status quo Hickman can be imagining as the end point, because his Big Ideas [tm] in every other case lead to the necessity of rebooting *everything*--they go so big and so meta that character and situation get lost and so that the story is so vast and abstract that you don't really have what would conventionally be called a "plot". I think we're in that territory here, but at least he's working with a character in an intimate and surprising way as the linchpin. (as opposed to picking out Reed Richards, who is so much a metafictional character already that he almost requires that treatment).

If he has a vision of an endgame that rescues the X-Men from being "the future of humanity" while also giving them a distinctive role in the Marvel Universe, he wins. I don't see it so far.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on August 22, 2019, 08:52:34 PM
Hickman's problem is he doesn't actually DO characters. His treatment of existing characters is so wooden and inconsistent that you could literally exchange any character in most of the places and it wouldn't matter. He makes shit happen with no regard for time scale. And then in the end, the entire premise is something that is so gigantic and abstract as to make all the characters who are not all-powerful beings (Celestials, Beyonders) irrelevant to the entire story with no way to affect anything. And then when it's over, the whole series should just be over because you can't go back to a status quo. He's like Grant Morrison without the talent.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on August 23, 2019, 09:12:36 AM
I think he has talent, but he really ought to be paired with another writer, even though comics ordinarily don't get created that way. But yeah, he specifically doesn't have Morrison's gift for metafictional humor or Morrison's attention to pulling up small details and turning them into something important. Or Morrison's ability to do character work, which is sometimes really quite remarkable.

But I give Hickman this--he can see the problem with the entire X-Men set-up and he can see that it can't be fixed via ordinary comics writing. The characters are in a trap that can't be escaped without changing everything; standard corporate comic-book management at this point is to intensely resist changing everything unless it's part of a massive synergistic plan for developing intellectual property across multiple platforms and media. I suppose that's really the issue--they might as well just spin the wheels on the X-Men until Kevin Feige et al decide how exactly they want to approach the X-Men. There's actually a pretty fair argument for just keeping the X-Men in a separate universe. If they're coming into the MCU, they've got to decide right away: are these just more super-heroes who are family (fine, that works) or is the MCU going to treat mutants as hated/feared/future of humanity/etc.? After Endgame, I don't know that they want to restart the Sokovia Accords schtick--the one thing you can say for the MCU so far is that it hasn't been repeating the same metanarrative over and over again, there's some actual momentum in the evolution of the characters and their setting. But that's how "mutants must be controlled/exterminated!" will sound if that's the way they go.

The problem in the comics is that you just cannot go back to that tight-knit "the X-Men are a family" schtick of Claremont/Byrne's New X-Men. The closest in tone to that in recent times was Jason Aaron's Wolverine and the X-Men, which focused on the school and on younger mutants. Worked pretty well but was pretty queasy when you consider that the same time Wolverine was being a basically amusing headmaster of a fairly light-hearted version of Xavier's school and part of a 'family' there, he was also serving as part of a covert assassination squad in some of the darkest stories in recent X-Men history. They can't reinvent these characters by radically contracting their mythos--that's been done multiple times and failed. They can't reinvent them by telling the ten thousandth version of "mutant massacres/Sentinel attacks" in a straight-up way; nor by doing another Phoenix story. I really dunno--I can't think of a more potentially appealing group of comic characters who are so seriously broken because of the way they've been developed over time.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on September 20, 2019, 01:13:38 AM
So many reviews for the first issue of J.J. Abrams Spider-man mini mention a "shocking twist" or the death of a major character. I don't know what book these guys were reading but it's a by the numbers alternate future. It's not a bold decision for the book to actually be about the son of Peter and MJ. A book about their teenage offspring was done before and better (and for quite a long time) in Spider-girl. Abrams book even has future-Peter missing part of a limb (although in this case it's his arm rather than his leg).

The major death is that MJ is killed off near the beginning of the issue. Not being a comic writer, Abrams clearly didn't get the memo that killing off important female characters just as a means to impact the male lead is a trope people have been trying to get away from in comics for the last decade or so. It's a trope Abrams fully embraces here, in this case as a way to get Peter to abdicate all sense of responsibility (as well as care of his son who is being raised by May) and quit being Spidey. Also, his son Ben has no idea his dad was ever Spider-man, and when his own powers start developing it's up to May to tell him because his father has completely left him in the dark.

J.J. co-wrote the book with his son, so I don't know if this is just entirely nepotism, or if it's nepotism with the purpose of working through their own family issues. Maybe Abrams the elder was some shitty absentee father, or maybe Abrams the Younger had to endure a childhood of every question he ever asked his dad being responded to with half and answer and three more questions. I think J.J. has acknowledged not having any particular affection for the character. I'm actually ok with that. You can write a book without having to be a massive fan of the character. You can even do a completely different take on said character. I'm just not sure what the point of all this is supposed to be. We've had multiple crossovers in the last few years revolving around alternate/future/clone/anthropomorphic animal versions of Spider-man. "What if Spider-man had a kid with powers?" is not a novel idea. "What if the love of Peter's life was killed by a super-villain?" is also not a novel idea. Fuck, even "What if Movie/TV writer/director wrote a bad Spider-man story?" isn't novel. What the hell are we doing here?


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on September 20, 2019, 09:26:39 AM
Like many of the stunts under Quesada's reign at Marvel, I imagine "What we are doing here" is "getting the mainstream entertainment press to report about the comics."


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on September 20, 2019, 10:59:40 AM
That kind of thing made sense when they had been struggling financially to the point where they were bought by Toy Biz. Not so much now when they're owned by Disney and have by many metrics the most successful movie franchise of all time.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: HaemishM on September 20, 2019, 11:34:29 AM
I don't think the successful movies have translated into comics sales like they might have thought. Any new reader who watches the MCU movies and then goes to the comics is going to be confused as fuck with all the continuity changes between the two. Being able to say "we have a series written by J.J. Abrams" which doesn't really rely on any present Marvel continuity is a selling point the same way Astonishing X-Men was back when Joss Whedon started it. They get a few headlines, a little bump in sales before the rest of the entertainment media goes back to fellating the movies.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on September 20, 2019, 12:45:55 PM
I'm sure the movies' success hasn't translated into comics sales, but the point is that they're no longer in a position where they need to worry about that. Also guys like Whedon, Kevin Smith, and JMS all at least had affection for the characters they wrote and comics in general. I get the impression J.J. Abrams doesn't really give a shit beyond getting his son work.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on January 15, 2020, 10:47:47 PM
Just about caught up with the current issue of Immortal Hulk and it continues to be a great Cronenberg-esque body horror take on the Hulk with some fantastic artwork that really sells it.

Also Jason Aaron wrapped up this Thor run last month with Issue #4 of King Thor (Marvel Unlimited is now up to the end of War of the Realms for people who keep up with comics that way). Very much worth reading.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Khaldun on January 16, 2020, 07:20:04 PM
It is! And yet Aaron's entire work on Thor has left me with such mixed feelings--like, "this is great! but it's not a sustainable take on this character!"

Just read the hardcover collection of Powers of X/House of X and I think it's fucking genius--and more soulful and interesting than Hickman's previous Marvel work. But speaking of unsustainable things--it's a fantastic storytelling platform that there is almost zero chance of any other writer understanding or being able to work from.


Title: Re: Useless comics news, discussions, and recommendations
Post by: Velorath on January 17, 2020, 03:19:20 AM
It's not a sustainable take on Thor, but the final issue of King Thor addresses that in a way.

Not only is Hickman's X-Men stuff not sustainable long term, it seems like something the rest of the MU has to largely ignore aside from a reference to Krakoa here and there. It's a different take though and an interesting one. My interest has fallen off a bit with the monthly X-men titles though. I liked the broad way HoX and PoX were telling the story more than doing it through more traditional team books. I stopped reading Fallen Angels (which is apparently a limited series anyway) after the second issue. New Mutants and Marauders are fun. X-Men and X-Force seem to be pushing the story along although X-Men is already starting to face multiple delays with issues 5-7. Excalibur is... fine I guess but not really my thing.