Posts Tagged ‘Captain America’

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This is the first of what will hopefully be a weekly column about my thoughts on the week in comics and related stuff. It will be made up of mini op-ed pieces (don’t worry I will still be doing in depth op-ed pieces every so often), plus some mini-reviews of comics read during the week, some blog recommendations, maybe a book review here and there too.

*RANTS!

1. Last week the Kirby family filed suit against Marvel for termination of copyrights and compensation for lack of credit in films for characters co-created by Jack Kirby. I did an op-ed piece on this a couple of months ago, you can read it here. My views since then haven’t changed one iota, Jack Kirby was Marvel comics dynamo and it’s time that his pride and joy, his family, get the rewards that he was due but never received.

My admiration for the King is not secret so I will unashamedly cheer on the Kirby family to their victory. So what will it mean for the characters in question? Well, Marvel will have to stop publishing the current versions and the family will be able to sell them to DC…..Actually the only people who think that might happen are retarded fanboys who have no clue about copyright law. What will happen is that Marvel will give a big settlement to the Kirby’s and pay royalties for future use.

Hopefully that will open the door for other writers/artists or their families to get their dues also, lets not forget other creators like Bill Everett, Don Heck, Steve Ditko and the rest.

2. Remember my other Op-ed piece about Captain America: Reborn? Well in case anyone thought there was no substance about my accusations against Hitch, just take a look at his art agent’s page. Big splash pages are going for $2000+ whereas “crappy” story pages only go for about $250, a pretty big incentive for him to throw the writer under the bus, eh?

3. Palmiotti and Gray aren’t writing Power Girl anymore and they replace them with Judd Winick??? Sorry but I fucking hate that guy’s writing, expect this book to turn into a train wreck. They should have given the book to Keith Giffen, then it might have continued to be Bwa-ha-ha funny, bad choice DC!

4. Dark Avengers #15, oh you better believe I fucking hate this book with a vengeance. I agree with Jose’s Op-ed piece 1000%, I’ll be doing an Op-ed piece of my own on related matters in the upcoming future but something did strike me when I was reading about the descriptions of Ultimate Comics Avengers #5 and Justice League: Cry for Justice #7…it’s a quote from the description of part of the Battle for Warsaw in 1944 between the SS and the polish resistance (I’m a bit of a history buff btw) which went as follows : “Favoured tactics during the siege reportedly included playing “bayonet catch” with live babies, and torturing captives to death by hacking off their arms, dousing them with gasoline, and setting them alight to run armless and flaming down the streets of Warsaw.” I guess now we get to read about this stuff happening to our favourite heroes now, what’s the world coming to?

5. Goddamn Kick-Ass trailers are on the tv here all the fucking time, there are even posters up on billboards for it, there is no way in hell that I will be going to see that piece of shit and if you have any taste at all you won’t be giving money to that ginger hack Millar.

6. IDW have been promoted by Diamond Comic Distributors to be one of their Premier Publishers which means that they will be out of the back section of Previews magazine and moved up to the front with Dark Horse, DC and Image (Marvel have their own separate Previews comic-sized magazine). They will have much more room to display their products, instead of being squeezed into the current 12 or so pages they will have up to 40 pages to display their wares and be able to promote their comics much better.

I recently previewed one of their comics, Mystery Society, and they normally have a knack of producing interesting comics along with their normal licensed stuff like GI Joe and Transformers. How long till Boom Studios make the transition to Premier Publisher status?

BTW anyone ever notice how much Robert Kirkman looks like Hacksaw Jim Duggan?

*COMIC MINI-REVIEWS

These are some reviews on comics I’ve read so far this week. I get my comics via mail order in one or two packages a month so these won’t be “new” comics per se but they are recent. I’ll be trying to mention ones that Jose, Elliot and Ironmuskrat don’t get around to doing full reviews on.

Justice Society of America #34 and #35
If you want a comic that tells good superhero stories without babies being thrown out of windows or rapes then this should be a comic for you. Swipes at Millar and Bendis aside, I really enjoyed these comics. The newly split JSA fought against Mordru, he sent them all into pocket dimensions where they faced their greatest fears then teamed back up to kick ass. This served to reintroduce the characters and bind them together, I think these issues would be a great jumping on point for new readers. The only minor niggle would be with fill in artist Travis Moore who can be a little weak with getting faces right but otherwise did a good job while Jesus Merino catches up.

Fantastic Four #576
This is the second issue of the Prime Elements arc and this story is just sumptuous. From Dale Eaglesham’s art which is reminiscent of Big John Buscema’s classic art to Paul Mounts gorgeous colours, this is just a feast for the eyes. As for Jonathan Hickman’s writing, well only half a dozen issues in and its already got the makings of a classic run up there with John Byrnes mid-80’s stuff, Walt Simonson’s underrated early 90’s run and Waid and Ringo’s epic run of the early noughties (nothing will ever beat Lee/Kirby of course). This episode the team goes under the Antarctic Ice cap to meet an unknown aquatic civilization, Hickman just throwing new ideas out on every few pages.

Outsiders #26 and #27
From the sublime to the ridiculous, Dan Didio takes over from Pete Tomasi and makes a complete dogs dinner of this comic. I really enjoyed Tomasi’s take on the team, which actually made sense but Didio has thrown out all the set up from that run and shipped the team off to Markovia where Brion has made peace with the Kryptonians who send the freakin Eradicator to be their peace envoy….can’t see any trouble with that can you?

I’m not criticising this book because I hate Dan Didio, I actually think he’s done a good job with DC editorial in the last year but unfortunately he’s just a terrible writer, these are only worth getting to laugh at how out of character everyone is and how ham fistedly every situation is handled, case in point being the cringe worthy advances of Owl Man towards Katana. Its not offensive in the same way as a Bendis or Millar comic is, just really poorly written and drawn.

Milestone Forever #1
This I guess is the formal reintroduction of the Milestone characters after the JLA arc of just over a year ago. The first thing that strikes me is the hideous cover on this, apparently DC editorial changed the cover and put this purple wash over the art, there’s no way that I would pick this off the shelf if I didn’t know what it was first, it looks so horrible. The first 8 pages of art by Jean Paul Leon though were very enjoyable, they reminded me of the Kirbyesque art of Shaky Kane.

The rest of the (expensive prestige format) issue was by MD Bright and Romeo Tanghal and sorry to say it but the art was so nineties that it hurt. And so to be honest so was the writing, considering they had 48 pages to work with I couldn’t tell you much more about the characters now than before I read it and that wasn’t much to start with.

Tails of the Pet Avengers #1
This is an anthology of Pet Avengers stories leading up to next months second Pet Avengers mini-series. Each of the pets gets a 5/6 page story which adds up to 30 pages of story/art for $3.99, not a bad deal. The stories range from the cute (Lockjaw) to the poignant (Lockheed) but as always Ms Lion and Frog Thor stole the show, Ms Lion doing some detective work on a cruise ship and the great Frog Thor leading his frogs in a fight against some alligators who were trying to invade their pond in Central Park. Nice writing and art by Chris Eliopoulous, Colleen Coover, Ig Guara, Gurihiro and more, this is truly a comic for all ages and a great break from all the angst-ridden ultra violence that seems to be popular amongst the fanboys now.

*BACK ISSUE BIN

DC Holiday Special ‘09
This came out back in November/December of last year, 80 pages for $5.99 with a Christmas/holiday theme. I don’t think this sold huge numbers, certainly not in the direct market anyway, which is a pity because its actually really good, it will probably be dirt cheap as a back issue.

Its worth tracking this down in the back issue bins of your LCS or Cons for the Sgt Rock story by Billy Tucci alone. Added to that are great short stories of Enemy Ace, Red Tornado, Flash, Batman and Martian Manhunter plus there’s an Angel and the Ape story so you can’t say no to that!

*BLOG RECOMMENDATIONS

Perhaps like me you visit blogs other than the CCW one (I know, it’s a shock isn’t it?) Perhaps you too have idle time to fill at work, I know I do! So every column I’d like to recommend one or two I like, if you’ve got favourites then by all means let us know!

Grantbrigde Street and Other Adventures
http://grantbridgestreet.blogspot.com/
I just love this blog, its got loads of stuff I’m interested in from the 60’s to the 90’s, obscure comic strips from the greats like Romita, Kirby, Toth, Charest, Ditko, Buscema, art gallery’s of favourite characters like Doctor Doom, Catwoman, Superman etc. Its got Superhero’s, bizarre sci-fi, horror comics, freaked out shit and lost comic strips like the great Brendan McCarthy’s Sooner or Later, a beautiful Daniel Torres’ story , some great Phillip Druillet art and what about this amazing crazy piece by The King!

Pats Fantasy Hotlist
http://fantasyhotlist.blogspot.com/
This is another blog that I go to practically everyday as in addition to comics I’ve loved reading fantasy and sci-fi books for years and have really gotten back into reading novels in the last couple of years (Amazon is just so dirt cheap lol). Pats Fantasy Hotlist is easily the most popular F&SF literary blog out there because its accessible, down to earth (you know what I mean), and pretty easy going, somewhat like the CCW except not quite as community led as the CCW.

The content is consistently solid with writer interviews, excerpts from newly released and upcoming books (important if you’re undecided on what to read next), new Cover art and contests where you can win free books. If you like to read then this blog is worth checking.

*TV

I’m not going to comment too much on TV as I’m way behind on what is being currently shown in America, I just can’t be bothered downloading tv stuff now. One series I’ve enjoyed for years though is Mad Men, the story of advertising executives in 1960’s Manhattan, the scripts are witty, the styling is spot on and they’ve got Christina Hendricks, hubba hubba! This is my favourite scene from the current series, Season 3.

Ok, that’s it for this week, I hope you enjoyed it, let me know your opinions. See you next week for more!

*ring ring….. ring ring*

Locusmortis – “ Oh hey Tom. How are ya doing?”

Tommy B – “mumble mumble mumble”

Locusmortis – “That’s great Tom, so did you get my email with the analysis of your blog post?”

Tommy B – “mumble mumble…. mumble mumble mumble”

Locusmortis – “That’s great Tom, I’m so glad you think that the CCW nation should see it and be able to talk about it”

Tommy B – “mumble mumble mumble…. Mumble”

Locusmortis – “Ok Tom, cheerio”

Oh hey folks, I’m just off the phone with Tom Brevoort. I was planning on making some comments about the following blog post by him entitled REBORN Skinny and I thought it was only fair that I gave him an opportunity for rebuttal, you know? So anyway, what do I really think about Tom’s blog post?

I really love how he blames Brubaker for the complete fuck-up that was Reborn #5/6, “Ed’s first draft of #5, which was to have been the conclusion, was rushed and cramped and unsatisfying. It didn’t work” – well Tom we actually KNOW why this happened….because Hitch already admitted what went wrong.

It happened because HITCH DIDN’T FUCKING FOLLOW THE WRITER’S SCRIPT. Bryan Hitch had already said on CBR or Newsarama that scenes that Brubaker had laid out to take one page, instead took “superstar artist” Hitch 3 or 4 pages (one of the reasons the damn thing feels so padded out) and why did he do that? “So he could tell the story better” … and it DEFINITELY wasn’t so he could have more splash pages to sell on to collectors for thousands of dollars…oh no.

Tom Brevoort shits on Brubaker and protects Hitch….wtf? It sounds like someone didn’t pay Joey Q’s bar tab or something!

So, to continue with Tom’s comments – “So after looking at all of our options, and trying to take the long-term view of things as we did with CIVIL WAR earlier, we decided that it was better all around for the conclusion of REBORN to be good and take an extra issue,” – Yes Tom it’s as big a fuck up as Civil War, that’s right.

“I know this is going to irritate a lot of people.” No shit Tom, it’s a pity you weren’t as perceptive about the artist that you are EMPLOYING and made him tell the story that Ed Brubaker sent to him.

So Tom goes on – “Also, anybody who thinks that we’ve spoiled everything about REBORN #6 is clearly underestimating this creative team. There will still be some things to hopefully shock, thrill, intrigue and tantalize you and your fellow readers” – Seriously now Tom your fucking joking now right? Cap lives, Bucky lives. You put the fucking epilogue to the story out before the ending, that’s serious incompetence. Captain America Reborn #6 was for all intents and purposes useless before it was even published and ended up being completely flat and underwhelming instead of being spectacular. This was Steve Rogers coming back after being dead for nearly three years for fucks sake, this should have been BIG.

“And it’ll still look just as lovely, and make for a beautiful collection when all is said and done.” – That’s great Tom, that’s really handy for the poor schmucks’ buying monthly comics isn’t it?

Tom has more – “REBORN isn’t spot-on on time, but it’s really close, especially when you stop and consider that every issue so far has been at bare minimum 28 pages of story and art, rather than our standard 22 (and for no increase in price.)” – Ok, now your really pushing it  Tom. I EXPECT 28+ pages of story and art for $3.99 because that’s what DC gives me. How fucking dare you try to sell this as you giving us value for money by giving the bare fucking minimum that we as customers expect. You did increase the price Tom, you stopped the regular $2.99 series to give us this overpriced disappointment of a story for $3.99.

Geez, he keeps on digging – “And over those five issues, with the additional pages he drew, that’s like an additional issue’s worth of material he generated.” – Yeah, for free right Tom? No, not only does he get extra page rate from Marvel he gets way more money from collectors for all those “beautiful” splash pages and Marvel gets $3.99 per issue from everyone who was pretty much forced to buy it if they’d had to preorder their comics from their shops.

“And I understand your frustrations with this,” – I don’t think you do Tom but that hasn’t stopped you with all the other shit Marvel has done in the last year.

Now, I’m sure that there will be some people annoyed by my comments that I’ve made so let me just try and put them in context and then maybe you might understand where I’m coming from. I started reading comics in 1979, (I was a very precocious child…and the local newsagent was 2 doors down from where I lived, heh). The first comic I read was a British weekly called Battle and it was great, I couldn’t really understand it but by god the pictures were bloody good! This was the first cover as far as I recall:

The first Marvel comic I ever read was in 1986 and it was another weekly, this one by Marvel UK reprinting Star Wars and Power Pack:

I was used to science fiction stuff like Star Wars from reading 2000ad but I’d never read superhero stuff so the Power Pack stories were fascinating. Then in 1988 on a trip to Dublin I got my first Marvel comics, they had a rack of them in Easons, the biggest bookshop in the country. I vividly recall Avengers #294 with Thor, the Black Knight, Captain Marvel, Submariner, Doctor Druid and the She-Hulk battling the mysterious machinations of the mischievous Kangs…written by Roger Stern and art by big John Buscema….wow this shit blew my mind. Others I got that day were Uncanny X-Men #232 by Claremont and Silvestri (with what I still maintain is the BEST X-Men line up ever consisting of Wolverine, Colossus, Longshot, Havok, Storm, Rogue, Dazzler and Psylocke) and Thor #394 by Tom Defalco and Ron Frenz with mighty tales of the noble Asgardian warrior…just look at that cover and tell me it isn’t wonderful.

And for the next 20 or so years (barring one period of unemployment after finishing college where booze was FAR more important than comics) I’ve been loving Marvel comics…sure some of the 90’s stuff is practically unreadable now…so many foil enhanced die-cut holograms pieces of crap…but post 1998 or so till 2008 I was pretty solidly a Marvel guy. Sure I gave DC a try here and there and liked some of their stuff but it was always Marvel I felt closer to.

This is the reason I feel annoyed by so many of the shady things they’ve pulled in the last year and particularly so with Tom Brevoort who used to be a pretty sound bloke from what I can tell but who has seemed to become a clone of that sneering arrogant hack Jeph Loeb. And this is why I laugh when I see people call me a DC supporter, especially since I didn’t buy a single DC comic for 3 years until Dark Reign came along. I gave up DC comics completely in protest at the misogynistic, exploitative piece of crap that was Identity Crisis and only came back originally because of Geoff Johns and then have seen that their editorial practices have improved. See, whether for good or bad I stick by my principles and when it comes to comics the only meaningful way to let a publisher know your irritation is to reduce the amount of product that you buy.

In the last year I’ve gone from 15 Marvel titles a month to 2 Marvel titles a month and I’m only buying those because of Jonathan Hickman. I’ve messaged the comic shop I got Powers and Captain America from today to tell them to take those titles off my pull list. I know some people have the “you’ll hurt the creators too” line but I just don’t buy that argument. It’s just an excuse to not take the hard step of cutting off something that you’ve liked in the past.

Which brings me back to Captain America, Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting and the other artists involved made the first 50 issues of their run hugely enjoyable, particularly the first 25 issues but it is Captain America Reborn and Who Will Wield the Shield that have made me give up this title in disgust. I still like Ed Brubaker’s writing but for now I will not buy this title because I feel that Marvel have exploited my love for the character and I cannot just keep rewarding them for that.

Locus

-Yesterday there was quite the snow storm in this part of the country which made driving quite hellish and tomorrow it is expected that we will have a high temperature of around 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Because I don’t have to work tomorrow and don’t plan on leaving my house in that weather I will probably have time to be posting a few things over the next couple of days. Sounds like fun, huh?

-Following this post I will being putting one up pertaining to the top comic sales of November. I know it’s a little late but you know. Look for it later tonight and we can talk about the good and the bad of it then.

-I’ve had a few people ask me what my opinions are concerning DC’s announced Earth One original graphic novels which will begin being released in 2010. It really does feel like it is DC’s attempt at doing an “Ultimate” universe and I don’t think I am the target demographic for these books. I am not interested in reading yet another origin story for Batman and Superman or investing time and money into yet another iteration of those characters. I do like that DC is releasing them as OGNs though. That way there won’t be even more Bats and Supes comics clogging up the racks.

All that aside, I do like that Earth One will be easily accessible to new readers who do want to get into Batman and Superman but feel overwhelmed by the continuity of the regular monthlies. We’ll see how it goes but these books don’t really interest me as a fan. What I am actually more interested in is knowing whether the Adam Hughes’ All Star Wonder Woman story will instead be released as part of the Earth One books now that the All Star line is pretty much dead.

-Looks like (the real) Bruce Wayne will be returning to the DCU in the quite cleverly titled six issue miniseries Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne which begins shipping in April. I don’t know about you guys but I’m thinking too soon.

-And speaking of too soon, Steve Rogers popped up in the last page of the Dark Avengers Annual last week and guess what? He also pops up in the New Avengers Annual AND Invincible Iron Man this week. Unbelievable. Rogers is back in the normal Marvel U and Reborn still has 3 issues to ship. Nice cockup Marvel. Just for the hell of it I am going to go ahead and blame this on Bendis.

-You guys are aware we have a contest going on, right? You know, this one.

J.

6 of 5

And I thought fanboys were all getting screwed over by Marvel when they decided to release the Who Will Wield the Shield one-shot after the END of the Captain America: Reborn miniseries. I guess the five issue miniseries didn’t actually end at #5. Silly me.

CAPTAIN AMERICA REBORN #6 (of 6)
Written by ED BRUBAKER
Pencils & Wraparound Cover by BRYAN HITCH
Cover by JOHN CASSADAY
Variant Cover by JOE QUESADA
The story so big we needed another issue to finish it! The return of Captain America! The fight for the body and soul and mind of Steve Rogers! Avengers versus the Red Skull and his cronies! The biggest finale of the year is finally here! Brought to you by Ed Brubaker, Bryan Hitch and Butch Guice!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

So, how do you feel about initially being committed to buy a five issue miniseries that now necessitates you to ALSO buy a one-shot AND a sixth issue to get the full story? Get the lube ready fanboys. This assfuck from Marvel is gonna be extra deep.

J.

Thanks to CCW reader djsweet for bringing this to my attention.

Poopsicle

Marvel just can’t enough of your money can they? The dull Dark Reign storyline has been ruining running through almost every one of their monthly books but then they had to go and create a series of mini series on top of that. Was that enough? Ummm…no. That’s why we now have a series of one-shots currently being released known as Dark Reign: The List. I guess the gist of The List is that Norman Osborn is sick of the situations some of Marvel heroes have put him in so now it’s time for a little payback, you know, kinda like a ‘Shit List’. There have been three of these one-shots released so far: New Avengers, Daredevil and X-Men. I have read all of these and they made me think of a couple of things:

1. How completely useless have these books been?

Each of these one shots have either been ridiculously awful (New Avengers) or completely unnecessary (Daredevil and X-Men). Though it was nice to see Alan Davis drawing a comic again that X-Men book was just not needed. On top of that it was a Namor story with the X-Men playing secondary and tertiary characters at best. I guess it’s not the first time Marvel has slapped the X-Men logo on something in an attempt to bait and switch you.

2.If these stories were so important to the Dark Reign Saga why not just tell them in the regular titles?

The easy answer to that question is so they can get more money out of those fans who need the “whole” story. Why waste an issue of the New Avengers monthly when you can have that monthly title AND a one-shot ship in the same month? I feel a bit different about the Daredevil one-shot though. This comic should have been Daredevil #501. There was absolutely no need to have this story not be told in the Daredevil series proper. But fanboys fall for it, don’t question it and and continue to be the nice little unthinking Marvel Zombies that the company thrives on.

Dark Reign: The List in not the only cash grab that Marvel is currently employing. The other would be the Captain America: Reborn miniseries. As most of our CCW viewers know, I believe (like the Daredevil: The List comic) that the story told within this miniseries should have just been told in the Captain America monthly. But, again, why do that when Marvel can charge you an extra dollar for every issue if they make a fancy shmancy mini out of it? But does Marvel stop there? Ummm…no. Which leads me to this from the new issue of the Previews catalog:

Unnecessary

CAPTAIN AMERICA: WHO WILL WIELD THE SHIELD?
Written by ED BRUBAKER
Pencils & Cover by BUTCH GUICE
Steve Rogers has returned, but Bucky Barnes is the current Captain America, and has come into his own in the role. Will there be two Captain Americas? Will Bucky go back to being the Winter Soldier? What will happen? Decisions, decisions, decisions….
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

Looks like a 5 issue miniseries was not enough. Seems that the regular Captain America series just can’t contain this story. The best thing of course is that it is a standard 32 page comic for $3.99.

Lap it up fanboys. Lap…it…up.

J.