It’s been a week of disappointments in comic books for me although there were some shining moments.
We’ll start with the worst and work our way up.
Disney Muppets Presents Meet the Muppets was the biggest Muppet related disappointment since “Muppets from Space.” I had read on several news sites that this would feature a previously unpublished Muppet story by Roger Langridge. NOT TRUE. Instead, it’s a magazine size reprint of the first volume. Granted, it’s a good deal if you don’t have those stories: 96 pages for $5.99. It’s just a big let down since I’ve been looking forward to new material. Also, it’s an odd size. It’s too small for a tabloid bag and too big for a normal bag. I foresee giving this one away to one of my many friends with children. Harrumph!
If I never see another penis drawn by Kevin O’Neill, I will consider mine a well lived life. As mentioned in the comments section of This Week’s Comics, the latest chapter of League of Extra-Ordinary Gentlemen is out. 1969. An over abundance of grotesquely drawn penises. Sex, Drugs, and rock and roll. It’s surprisingly too cramped and busy for a story that doesn’t really have much meat to it. Basically, the trio has to stop an antichrist from being born, and it happens slowly and in a dull fashion. How is it that a stand alone story can feel like nothing but middle? I’m not enjoying this volume as much as the last two. Of the original quintet, we’re left with the two least interesting characters: Mina Harkness and Allan Quartermain. Plus we’re saddled with Orlando who seems to only add more sex to the book.
Next up is the still thoroughly unfantastic FF. What the hell? The rest of the story that sees a return of Black Bolt. No actual FF action. I’m dying to see how this pays off, because it bears the stench of fill-in material from War of Kings.
The final disappointment of the week is also Hickman related. This week marks the end of Secret Warriors. I hate to see this series end so soon. Over the course of twenty-eight issues, Jonathan Hickman and company have crafted an amazingly intricate tale of espionage. The final arc is titled “Wheels within wheels.” Frankly, that’s probably the best way to explain the whole series. From a writing standpoint, this run was remarkable because of it’s intricacy and it’s economy. No plot thread was left unwoven, and every character/ every scene served a purpose in the greater whole of the story. This economy and skill at planning of Hickman’s is what maintains my faith that I didn’t just waste $7.98 on two shitty FF issues about boring spacemen.
Action Comics is now one issue away from it’s end. It’s building to be quite a good end too… not Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? good, but good none the less. Cornell’s Superman is the one I’ve been looking for. He is forced to think his way out of problems, and he punches things… in this case, Doomsdays. It’s been rare in the last 15 years for a writer to give Superman both of these challenges. Morrison aside, if Superman couldn’t solve the problem with one punch, he punched it again or cried about it. Well done and thank you, Paul Cornell. Too bad you’re not handling the Man of Steel post-relaunch/reboot.
While looking up Transformers on the Internet earlier to day, Toys R Us happened to conveniently prove (one of) my point about the movie Transformers being hideous and dumb monsters. I kindly draw your attention to two pictures below. One is of a robot that is obviously both humanoid and airplane, so well constructed that both are obvious and yet neither mode imposes itself upon the other. The other image is of some sort of triangle with spindly legs attached somehow, a disaster of modern engineering.
Seriously, why would we prefer the Bay designs over the classics?
If you’re able to explain the appeal of these designs, hit us up in the comments section and share.
Recently Jesse paid a rare visit to the land of his birth. Due to scheduling demands, we only made it to one comic book store. Never the less, it was a trip to a comic shop worth making.
Imagine my joy when I walked into that shop to find this gem from 1977
The nigh-impossible to find DC Special #29. As a collector of JSA stories, I’ve been looking for this book for a long time. A week ago yesterday, the clouds parted, a light shone from on high, and I was finally able to read the secret origin of the Justice Society of America. It was a good day, but, as I said before, the hunt continues. I’ve got other grail books to find.
Two fists and a shield,
He’s takin’ it to the streets,
While they watch the skies.
We’ve been a bit behind due to the biannual L.E.M.U.R. Comics Blog shareholders meeting, sorry everyone. We’re ready to dive back in, though, with This (and Last) Week’s Comics, so there’s a lot to look at. Let’s dive in.
- ACTION COMICS #903
- ATOMIC ROBO TP VOL 05 DEADLY ART OF SCIENCE – If you missed out on the issues when they came out, don’t miss out on this collection!
- AVENGERS #15 - I’m not too far in to the Adjectiveless Avengers run, but it’s not really doing a lot for me. I’m not sure how long to keep this one on the list.
- BATMAN #712
- DAREDEVIL #1 - I’ve been fairly nonplussed with events in the Daredevil titles for the past few years, but it’s Mark Waid, and that’s got to count for something. His War Rocket Ajax appearance helped seal the deal, though.
- DC RETROACTIVE BATMAN THE 70S #1, DC RETROACTIVE THE FLASH THE 70S #1, and DC RETROACTIVE WONDER WOMAN THE 70S #1 - I’m digging the concept of the Retroactive titles, where DC reunites classic creative teams (where they can) and tells retro stories, so yeah, they’ll go on the list.
- DC RETROACTIVE GREEN LANTERN THE 70S #1, DC RETROACTIVE JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA THE 70S #1, and DC RETROACTIVE SUPERMAN THE 70S #1 - I haven’t picked up last week’s batch of Retroactive books, but they looked exactly like what you’d want.
- DETECTIVE COMICS #880
- DISNEY MUPPETS PRESENTS MEET MUPPETS #1 - I hope Marvel/Disney does as good a job with these as Boom! Studios did. Fortunately, by startingoff with a “lost” Langridge tale they’re off to a good start.
- FF #7 - I finally picked up numbers 2-4, but unfortunately I can’t dive into them until I wrap up Fantastic Four and find FF #1.
- GODZILLA KINGDOM OF MONSTERS #5
- HERC #5 - I’m a couple issues in on the new Hercules title and it’s okay, but has lost too much of the sheer joy that made Incredible Hercules a must-read. This one may stop at the end of the first arc.
- HULK #37
- JOE HILL THE CAPE #1 (OF 4)
- SECRET AVENGERS #15
- UNCANNY X-FORCE #12 - One of the few books I’m totally caught up on, and I’m loving it! Having the team travel to the Age of Apocalypse timeline was a great idea by Rick Remender.
- VENOM #5
- VENOM FLASHPOINT #1 – Wait…What???
- WAR OF THE GREEN LANTERNS AFTERMATH #1 (OF 2) - I don’t normally go for the prequel or wrap-up books (especially if they’re mini-series), but if I’m not paying cover price, why not?
- X-MEN SCHISM #2 (OF 5)
I’m also 2 weeks behind on my reading; the only book I’ve read yet is Marksmen, a new title from Image that was priced just for me at a buck. It was a pretty forgettable read, though. The post-apocalyptic wasteland seemed pretty tailor-made for me, but even though I can tell writer David Baxter and artist Javier Aranda have some definitely talent, it could stand to be a bit more polished.
That’s it for now. Hopefully I’ll get significantly more reading in for next week. What are YOU looking at?
Let’s face it: the powers never go away, but there comes a point in every metahuman’s life when he or she just isn’t as productive any more. Or maybe it’s just time to retire and enjoy the finer things in life. Either way, those young whippersnappers don’t want you hanging out at the Hall of Justice all day, talking about the good ol’ days or retelling the same story about the time you
In that vein, we here at the L.E.M.U.R. Comics Blog present Activities for the Active Super-Senior.
VFC Hall (Veterans of Foreign Crises)
The Fortress of Shuffleboard
Xavier’s Home for Gifted Oldsters
The Hall of Early Bird Specials
The Museum of Super-Grandkids
Latveria – the Southern Florida of Eastern Europe
Ma and Pa Kent’s Super Deli
The Silver Age Retirement community – “Spend Your Golden Age With Us!”
Elder Hostile, a tour group for retired villains
Fact: I hate anything involving the Kree. Focusing a book on the Kree, Shi’ Ar, or the Brood is the fastest way to put me to sleep. For no discernible reasons, Hickman devotes the entirety (no hyperbole here) of FF #6 to rehashing Marvel’s War of Kings. Everything happens in space and most of it is on the Kree home world. This issue slams the brakes on the forward motion of the arc. There actually isn’t a single member of the FF in this issue. I trust Hickman enough to believe this seeming stumble is part of a larger, better, whole, but this was the worst issue of his run on Fantastic Four. In fairness, the story craft is still there. It’s just that a. I hate Marvel space stories and b. there had to be a better way to tell the events of this issue without stopping the narrative cold.
Red Wing, on the other hand, is shaping up to be a good tale. Basically, Hickman + time travel = I’m in. Of note here, the artist’s (Nick Pitarra) style is heavily influenced by Frank Quietly. Until looking at the credits, I was convinced Quietly had done the cover. Good start, I’m looking forward to the rest.
Three other books this week, and they’re Flashpoint related. First, Citizen Cold #2. Meh sums it up just about right. There’s a fight with the other Rogues, there’s a creepy sort of dinner/ date with Iris. Ho-hum.
Booster vs. Doomsday in Booster Gold #46. I know since time is screwed up that by default Booster has to be involved, it just would have been nice if the series were to end with a few of the loose ends tied up. We still don’t know who Rip’s mother is. What about the Degaton/ Desparo team-up that was hinted at way back at the beginning of the series. Instead, Booster is relegated to a mediocre story involving the Flashpoint universe. Way to serve the fans DC. I wish I had a time sphere so that I could un-buy the issue. With this soft reboot coming out in September, I am seriously re-evaluating my status as a citizen of the DC Nation. I know this wasn’t much of a review for this issue, but it highlights the problem. Besides, what can you say about a book where Doomsday punches Booster while fending off feeble attacks for 20 pages?
Lastly is a book I’m enjoying. Lemire’s Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown has been the most enjoyable Flashpoint book. I think I’m liking it because it doesn’t have to be a FP title. Both the plot plot and the could feasibly happen in the DCU proper. The cast of characters has proven to be both interesting and worthy of sympathy. If there’s a down side it’s that they closely resemble the Doom Patrol sans Chief. Liking Doom Patrol though, this isn’t really an issue.
Not a great week for books, but I’ve had worse. I guess the hardest blow was the lackluster FF.
Still, there’s HP 7.5 coming out this weekend.