For What Its Worth:
- Ed Brubaker’s Captain America is the best ongoing comic today. Starting from issue #1, Mr. Brubaker has been telling a rollicking adventure story that has all of the elements of a mainstream success. It is very accessible, having multiple jumping on points. There is as much a focus on the title character’s relationships and development as there is on superheroics, fight scenes and supervillians. All of the plot twists in the story push the story forward, nothing has been a swerve. This title has even survived the death of its main character, and shows no signs of having, or needing his resurrection anytime soon.
- Secret Invasion at least had a promising premise. Dark Reign has me scratching my head. It snapped whatever suspension of disbelief I had to see Tony Stark’s life plummet so fast and Norman Osborn’s rise so high. And that haunts every page I read in this new “event”. It was part of a poor ending for Secret Invasion and made the status change from Stark to Osborn way too quickly. Then again, Secret Invasion took years of slow build up and squandered it.
- New Exiles only problem is that it is a huge Elseworlds/”What If” story that has no 616 continuity implications. For reasons I hope to address in future articles, not being tied into the official continuity robs a Marvel title of some of its weight. New Exiles is a fun romp exploring facets of established characters through parallel universes by the writer who has most singularly influenced those characters. I only hope that some of these characters do get to see some use in the “616” continuity.
- Letting Wally West go into the superhero reserves and a bit of semi-retirement to be with his family is a refreshingly good choice for DC. It makes it easier to reestablish Barry Allen, it keeps Wally around and most importantly it is in character for him. Wally, as the Flash, has been a fairly “average person” character in the DCU. From the start, post-crisis, he had to grow into the shoes, and took years to truly do that. He matured before our eyes, and now that he has a full blown family with some truly special needs, he should be focusing on his family. Besides, he only has a few years before they are teenagers and want nothing to do with him anyway.
- Why hire James Robinson on a Superman title (Adventure) and then take Superman away from it. That would be like hiring Alex Ross to paint the JSA, and all of a sudden changing the status quo on the title to the All Star Squadron. They will do a great job, but why have the talent lined up and not give them their shot.
- The more I see of the Watchmen trailers, the more I want to see the movie. I’ve read the story more than enough times to know it backwards and forwards, but the trailer still excites me. Respect for the material, and the intentions of the creators, seem to be in abundance. March is too long to wait.
- DCU needs to dig itself out of a hole. Maybe its just that Final Crisis is late and holding up a lot of announcements and stories, but DC has squandered the good will it generated after Identity Crisis, Infinite Crisis and 52. Almost every editorial decision seems to have caused trouble.
Bart’s woefully short run as Flash, Winick’s Titans, Terror Titans, the wildly swinging and eventually contradictory Countdown that didn’t lead to Final Crisis, the largely inconsequential Elseworld known as Trinity, not establishing Jason Todd as one of Batman’s biggest threats, a spate of new characters that didn’t catch on, Batwoman not having her own title yet, rebooting the Legion AGAIN and the JLA becoming the new Showcase comic for other titles to name a few.
A few victories aside (JSA and Green Lantern) even Batman’s payoff is tied into the ending of Final Crisis. I’ve read enough good Morrison that I can still be optimistic enough to know its possible for Final Crisis to deliver a good ending.
- Ultimatum was the first printed comic I have seen that made me worry about legislation against comics. When the Blob is shown, graphically in gross detail, literally munching down on an already half eaten hero and yelling “tastes like chicken” I have to worry how many folks had to approve that scene before it was printed. Just too graphic for a mainstream Marvel comic, parental warning or not. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean its a good idea.
- The Secret Invasion: War of Kings one shot did so many things right, so many things that Secret Invasion itself did wrong. Most important to me, is that it was accessible. I am a total stranger to the cosmic part of the Marvel Universe, and writers Abnett and Lanning provided some of the smoothest exposition ever.
At no point did the exposition slow down the story, rather it propelled it on forward. Add that to clean art, and an interesting storyline with a clever swerve, and this did what Secret Invasion #1 did not.. It made me interested and curious about what lay in the next issue.
If you agree or disagree, I’ll try to read the comments here, but I’ll certainly participate in the forums (see the link at the top of the main page).