Comics are Awesome III

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Re: Comics are Awesome III

Postby andersonh1 » Wed Apr 24, 2019 5:25 am

Why does DC insist on screwing up their characters so badly? Heroes in Crisis reveals the killer: Wally West.

https://insidepulse.com/2019/04/24/dc-c ... -revealed/

This is yet another example of how schizophrenic DC is. Wally's return kicked off Rebirth, a more hopeful and traditional take on DC's characters, and here we are three years later with the exact opposite happening. They can't pick a direction and stick with it, they have to return to grim and gritty time and time again.

https://www.cbr.com/heroes-in-crisis-killer-wally-west/
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

Postby andersonh1 » Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:32 am

This post explains a lot:

https://community.cbr.com/showthread.ph ... ost4317583

- Here's what you should know about event stories -- whether something is planned as an event or gets "upgraded" into one. Publishers have lists of characters they want dead or changed and a condition of doing an event is that you have to hit those marks. Often 10-20 characters the company wants to kill off. Maybe some they want to de-power. This doesn't originate with writers. If you take something like Identity Crisis, Brad Meltzer scripts the scenes and writes the dialogue and comes up with the mysteries but he's ASSIGNED to kill off Firestorm and Ray Palmer and Jack Drake and so on. Events are assigned so that you get "kill lists" and "change lists" and you have to shove those into a story that was envisioned without them or without ALL of them. Sometimes a writer can get a stay of execution by writing a character into retirement or having them just vanish. (Like Ray Palmer in Identity Crisis.)


- On top of all of this is that I think there's a lot of folks who misread DiDio in part because, well... He's a troll. A bonafied troll. Yes, he wanted Nightwing dead for years and planned it various ways. But all the stuff about hating Nightwing was playacting. He did it because he thought it would upset the most people. He has a very soap opera/pro-wrestling view and he's more of a Silver-Age/Bronze-Age Marvel guy than DC. So he's always trying to inject that 70s Marvel "Hank Pym becomes a wifebeater" type stuff in. Because he has a view that the more comics upset or provoke people, the more they sell. Honestly, if he wants a character dead, he probably likes that character and is picking on them because he wants to stir up pitchforks and torches. He's backed off that SOME largely because outrage works differently online now. But he operates very much from kind of a Bill Jemas worldview: "If you're happy with what we're doing, our sales will suffer." That's... a difficult thing for some folks IN COMICS to mesh with. Some folks just want a clean and fairly neutral status quo so they can tell clever one off stories kind of like Batman: The Animated Series.
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

Postby Sparky Prime » Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:14 pm

andersonh1 wrote:Heroes in Crisis reveals the killer: Wally West.

Unfortunately I'm not surprised. They were strongly hinting it was him (outside the story) from the beginning. Also strange to me that they used the speed lightning that comes off the speedsters as a lethal weapon they constantly have to keep under control. I've never gotten the impression it worked that way.

- On top of all of this is that I think there's a lot of folks who misread DiDio in part because, well... He's a troll. A bonafied troll. Yes, he wanted Nightwing dead for years and planned it various ways. But all the stuff about hating Nightwing was playacting. He did it because he thought it would upset the most people. He has a very soap opera/pro-wrestling view and he's more of a Silver-Age/Bronze-Age Marvel guy than DC. So he's always trying to inject that 70s Marvel "Hank Pym becomes a wifebeater" type stuff in. Because he has a view that the more comics upset or provoke people, the more they sell. Honestly, if he wants a character dead, he probably likes that character and is picking on them because he wants to stir up pitchforks and torches. He's backed off that SOME largely because outrage works differently online now. But he operates very much from kind of a Bill Jemas worldview: "If you're happy with what we're doing, our sales will suffer." That's... a difficult thing for some folks IN COMICS to mesh with. Some folks just want a clean and fairly neutral status quo so they can tell clever one off stories kind of like Batman: The Animated Series.

Yeah, Dan DiDio has always seemed to be out of touch with the audience IMO. I don't think they should always maintain a neutral status quo, but doing something just for the purpose of intentionally upsetting people... Just seems like a good way to drive away readers to me. For example, I haven't picked up an issue of Amazing Spider-Man ever since the OMD storyline. I remember when I told my LCBS to take it off my pull list, they said a lot of people had. And that wasn't even Quesada trying to piss off readers, he just wanted to undo Peter and MJ's marriage because he personally thought it'd been a mistake. Just goes to show, as a creator it's not always about what you want, and it helps to know your audience. Maybe the controversy will boost sales short term with some curious readers, but in the long term? Not so much.
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

Postby andersonh1 » Wed May 01, 2019 11:04 am

Green Lantern #7
A Morrison take on the old 60s "Hal is lost inside the ring" story, mostly in prose. When Hal detonated the bomb at the end of the last issue, the ring protected him by putting him inside the ring, where Myrwhidden is sleeping and must not be awakened. The issue anthropomorphizes the ring's AI, and sort of reminds me of "The Doctor's Wife" episode of Doctor Who in that a machine is sort of given human form, temporarily. It's a very good issue, and one that we wouldn't have seen in this same form from Geoff Johns or Robert Venditti.

Star Trek: Year Five #1
I've been in a Trek mood lately and rewatching the original series (I've watched "The Cage" through "Obsession" in the last month, as close as I ever come to binge watching a show, so the stories and performances are fresh in my mind as I read this), so a Trek comic that abandons the movie continuity and goes back to the original series appealed to me. However it's a bit of a disappointment. The art and likenesses are fairly good, but the dialogue doesn't quite ring true, there's more technobabble than there should be in TOS, and the issue as a whole is far too referential, both to the series and the movies, even occasionally quoting dialogue verbatim. That sort of thing pulls me out of the story far too often.

The basic idea, that the crew is marking the end of their fourth year in space, is fine. Kirk knows there's a promotion to Admiral in his future. He's not too happy about the idea, being quite content to be captain of the Enterprise. After stopping a supernova, a distress call leads the Enterprise to the Tholian homeworld where a massacre has taken place, and as another ship appears, Kirk brings what appears to be a Tholian child on board. To be continued...
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

Postby Sparky Prime » Wed May 15, 2019 1:35 pm

Spider-Man: Life Story #3
Ironically, having stayed out of the Vietnam War, Peter finds himself in the middle of a war without a choice, along with many other heroes in the Secret Wars. He comes home with the symbiote, and finds MJ has given birth to twins in the weeks he was away. The Cold War with Russia had escalated, having launched nuclear missiles at the United States when the heroes disappeared. Vision managed to divert one from New York, but it landed in Pennsylvania. Vision remains unresponsive and intangible, while Parker Industries helps to clean up the radiation. Reed confronts Peter about the costume being alive, but Peter says he already knows. He figures he needs it to stay strong though, as he's getting older, and has given MJ a weapon to stop him if it gets out of control. After a fight about putting Aunt May in a senior home when she wandered away with the twins, Peter goes out for some air (in his old costume) when he encounters Kraven (in a copy of the black costume). He shoots Peter and buries him alive. The symbiote breaks out (realizing something is wrong, MJ follows it) and saves him. Confronting Kraven, Spider-Man has lost control, until he sees MJ. She uses the sonic gun to remove the symbiote from Peter. MJ takes the twins, and leaves Peter to care for Aunt May alone. Meanwhile, Kraven is about to commit suicide, when the symbiote bonds with him.

In a bit of foreshadowing, Peter realizes if he's not careful, he'll end up like Reed Richard. Consumed by his work, he eventually lost his family, and Peter realizes he's on the same road early while on Battleworld, only for that to happen by the end of this issue. I get why Peter doesn't want to put Aunt May in a home, but at the same time, given his life as Spider-Man and owner of his own company, he clearly can't care for her himself, which even MJ points out. And MJ has her hands full with the twins. What does he really expect here? So he ends up loosing his wife and kids. Interesting that Kraven ends up with the symbiote... That wont lead to anything good.
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

Postby andersonh1 » Thu May 16, 2019 11:50 am

Hawkman #12
Definitively wraps up the current storyline while putting down some threads for future issues. Carter Hall and all his past incarnations soundly defeat the Deathbringers, and Carter beats Idam in one on one combat, claiming the generalship of the group yet again, to which they submit, while all the other Hawkmen free the prisoners and destroy the ships. What's more, Carter gets all his memories of all his past lives back, which he finds difficult to process. Bryan Hitch drew all 12 issues of this storyline, so there's a welcome consistency to the art from start to finish. Carter is as violent as he's been this series while giving Idam his beating, but he specifically says he can do that because Idam can't be killed. I appreciate how Hawkman is nowhere near as violent as Geoff Johns wrote him in the previous series. I think we have the fix for all Hawkman continuity issues created after the Crisis, if future writers will adhere to it, and it gives Hawkman a direction and purpose moving forward.

I picked up Detective Comics #1000 with the 50s cover. I haven't had time to read it all yet, but my impression is that Action was better. I'll post some more thoughts at some point.
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

Postby andersonh1 » Wed May 29, 2019 5:57 am

Heroes in Crisis #9
Any book that ends with Wally West being led away in handcuffs ought to make the reader ask what the redeeming value of the story could possibly be. Wally ultimately lives through this series, contrary to what seemed to happen in earlier issues, but he's still an accidental murderer who covered up the crime. But he learned a Very Important LessonTM, so it's all worth it. You're not alone Wally, everyone is as screwed up as you are! Don't you feel better now?

I did not pay for this book. I read someone else's copy. Tom King isn't getting any money from me. His whole shtick as writer seems to be to take a character and break them, leaving it for some other writer to clean up the mess. Go read Omega Men, Mr. Miracle or Batman (or try to read them) and tell me I'm wrong. Add Heroes in Crisis to the list. This is a Parallax level of character derailment, and I think it will take a similar major retcon to fix what's been done to Wally West.
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

Postby Sparky Prime » Wed May 29, 2019 1:22 pm

I read a synopsis of this issue and... Yeah, it's a convoluted mess. What was the point of Wally making it all look like a mass murder scene, and framing other characters for it? This whole story seems like it was completely pointless with this ending, other than to be a character assassination of Wally West to the dumbest degree.
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

Postby andersonh1 » Thu May 30, 2019 5:02 am

King claims Wally is his favorite Flash, and this story was meant to elevate him. It's a strange way to go about doing that...

https://comicbook.com/dc/2019/05/22/tom ... -and-more/

That said, I face this time and again, this is kind of what I do. I tear down heroes to their essential components and build them back up. I mean, to the first page in Mister Miracle, he's bleeding out, he's cut his own wrist. The first issue of Omega Man, Kyle Rainer gets his neck chopped open, the first issue of The Vision has his daughter being stabbed through the heart, right?

This is sort of what I do, but at the end of the day, hopefully people say "oh, he had some respect for that Mister Miracle, he wasn't just doing it to be mean, he was actually doing it to exploit his character and to elevate the character." Mister Miracle went through hell, but now everybody knows who Mister Miracle is, right? Same with Vision, I put him through hell. I had him almost turn into absolute evil, but it elevated that character a little bit, and now they're doing the TV show which, you know, had something to do with my stuff. So, hopefully people will see at the end of the day, we're doing the same thing with Wally. Wally hasn't had a successful solo comic since, when? 2003? What I'm saying is, the idea behind this is to elevate that character. Everyone is now talking about Wally. Everyone wants to see where Wally goes next. Everyone wants Wally to get the attention that that character deserves. He's my favorite Flash. He's my entry into DC comics -- The Flash #53 by Messner-Loebs and Larocque was my first DC comic. I love that character. I have a page above my desk of Wally from that Flash run and I think this, at the end of the day, will shine a spotlight on my character and put him at the center of the DC universe, in a place he hasn't been for 15 years.
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

Postby andersonh1 » Thu May 30, 2019 5:19 am

Doomsday Clock #10
After nearly every hero confronted Dr. Manhattan last issue (and lost), this issue spends its entire page count detailing what Dr. Manhattan has been doing since he arrived.We got hints with the revelation that he prevented Alan Scott from becoming Green Lantern, now we get the big picture. He arrived in the DC Universe in 1938 and among other things, observed the first appearance of Superman. He sees every Superman first appearance, in 1956, 1986, and the more recent Birthright and Secret Origin versions. Each time history changes as Superman's first appearance continues to change to a different point in time. At first the members of the JSA are aware of him, and then in an instant they aren't. Ma and Pa Kent die in the late 40s, and then they are alive again in 1986. The story makes DC's sliding timeline a part of the plot as Dr. Manhattan tries to figure out how this universe works and wonders why it revolves around Superman. He notes that there used to be infinite universes, then one, then 52, then a dark multiverse.

So he's been aware of all these different timelines all at once, and he decides to do some meddling. He moves the lantern so that Alan Scott dies in the train crash and there is no JSA, and no Legion of Super Heroes. It's definitively settled here: Dr. Manhattan created the New 52, and he likes that version of Superman better, and understands him better, because he's more distant from humanity, like Dr. Manhattan himself. And he discerns that the prime DC Universe is not just another universe in the multiverse, it's the prime timeline around which all others flow and change. And it's begun to fight back against his meddling, with Wally West appearing to warn Manhattan, dressed in his Kid Flash costume as he was in the Rebirth special, before vanishing .

Manhattan is fascinated by Superman, and continues to see the future up to the point where Superman attacks him, and then he can see nothing beyond that.

So a lot of questions answered and a fun attempt to incorporate all of DC's continuity changes over time into the plot of the story from the point of view of an outsider add up to a good issue. I think there was a lot of filler early in this series (to the point that I didn't bother buying a lot of the early issues), unless it can be tied back into the main plot in the last two issues somehow, but this is the type of fun storytelling that you really only get with superhero comics. I just hope Johns has come up with a good payoff.
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