Comics are Awesome III

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Re: Comics are Awesome III

Postby andersonh1 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:08 am

Green Lantern #10
We're getting into Grant Morrison being strange for the sake of it. As much as I've enjoyed this series so far, and as much as I've enjoyed how he's salted the series with a lot of continuity, making it feel like a part of what's come before (including decades of pre-Geoff Johns stories), this multiverse issue isn't working for me much better than last issue's "sword and sorcery" issue did. I get what's going on, but we're wasting a lot of page time on GLs from other universes that would be better spent on plot and exposition. There's some good stuff here, but a bit more focus would help.

Fantastic Four #12 (657)
This "legacy numbering" Marvel has on their books just makes me laugh. Why not just admit that this is not issue 12 and just print one number on the book instead of two? In any case, after enjoying some Silver Age Marvel, I've been sampling a few of the modern series, as I have from time to time (Hulk in the 90s when Peter David was writing, Superior Spider Man and Daredevil in more recent years), and when I can find a book that isn't bleak and unpleasant to read, I might well read more. I've never been all that interested in the FF, but the 60s material gave me an appreciation for the characters, even if a lot of the early plots are less than stellar.

This is a good issue. The Thing/Ben Grimm has recently married his long time blind girlfriend Alisha, step daughter of the Puppet Master, and he's about to revert to human form which he apparently does temporarily once a year. So it's honeymoon time for the two of them on some remote tropical resort. But the Puppet Master sends the Hulk to kill the Thing, and as I found out in the FF omnibus, the Thing is not in fact anywhere near as strong as the Hulk and never has been, so it's not an even contest. Ben is in very real danger of being killed by the mind-controlled Hulk, even if he wasn't about to turn into a human again in less than a minute as the issue ends, which will make the situation even worse. I enjoyed the issue a lot, and will have to see what happens next month.
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

Postby Sparky Prime » Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:16 pm

andersonh1 wrote:This "legacy numbering" Marvel has on their books just makes me laugh. Why not just admit that this is not issue 12 and just print one number on the book instead of two?

They went back to doing that? I remember in 2003, they decided to do away with double numbering thing as a few series were starting to hit the big #500. So what happened? Marvel forgot relaunching a series doesn't really work (beyond a temporary boost in sales at most) and that the double numbering thing is a dumb idea?

On a completely different note... Dan DiDio finally revealed why he hates Dick Grayson so much. Apparently it's because Dick has aged while Bruce hasn't so much. DiDio is afraid eventually they'll get to a point where Dick is older than Bruce. Which, isn't that really their own fault? It used to be they'd let characters age and die, with sidekicks taking over for their mentors, or new characters introduced to replace them...

I've also been seeing a lot of talk lately about how Marvel Comics and DC Comics are potentially close to being shut down with the industry in a decline.
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

Postby andersonh1 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:32 am

Hawkman #15
Shadow Thief has gained new power thanks to this ongoing "Year of the Villain" storyline (reminds me of Nekron offering power to villains back in the 90s, only this time it's Lex Luthor doing the same), and is running Hawkman ragged. Hawkman goes to see the Shade for help, which as it turns out is exactly what Shadow Thief wanted. He beats the Shade rather easily, but the Shade still thinks he can help Hawkman, so he takes them both to the Shadowlands. I enjoy it when a connection is made between characters who normally have nothing to do with each other, but they probably should. I miss Bryan Hitch's art on this book, but it's still a good read every month.

Fantastic Four #13 (658)
Puppet Master is using the Hulk to try and kill Ben Grimm, who will turn human in 50 minutes. The Thing is getting pretty badly beat up during the fight. He's bleeding, part of his face is swollen, and chunks of rock are being knocked off of him by the Hulk. He's pretty much down and out and Hulk is moving in for the kill when Alicia talks Ben into one last try, and for once he manages to knock the Hulk out. Sadly, he's injured badly enough that when he turns back into a human, he's out for a week and missed the honeymoon. But the punch knocked out the Hulk because it broke Puppet Master's puppet, and Hulk goes and mangles Puppet Master's fingers in revenge. So the Thing beat the Hulk, which I take it rarely happens in these fights, but he didn't get to enjoy being human for a week with his new wife. You win some, you lose some.

And the Hulk must be angling for a horror tone these days, because he talked about walking under the ocean and Banner drowning four times along the way, but apparently the Hulk can't be killed. That's new. Are they turning him into an out and out villain?

I also picked up issue 9 since there were a few back issues on the shelf. which among other things has Doctor Doom trying to steal the power from Galactus himself (an idea that goes back to the 60s when he tried to steal it from the Silver Surfer), although this time he's looking at it as an energy source for Latveria. And when he tries to kill the FF, Sue uses her powers to turn his mask and upper body armor invisible while he's broadcasting his intended execution of the FF, so the whole world (except the reader) can see how disfigured Dr. Doom is under the armor. I guess Doom messed with the wrong person this time.
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

Postby andersonh1 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:38 am

Sparky Prime wrote:On a completely different note... Dan DiDio finally revealed why he hates Dick Grayson so much. Apparently it's because Dick has aged while Bruce hasn't so much. DiDio is afraid eventually they'll get to a point where Dick is older than Bruce. Which, isn't that really their own fault? It used to be they'd let characters age and die, with sidekicks taking over for their mentors, or new characters introduced to replace them...


Or they could allow for a few years to have passed, enough for characters like Dick Grayson to have aged to around 21 or so, while Batman has aged the same amount. Who expects the former sidekicks to age while the mentors don't, and who in the world assumes that Batman has never aged? Does Didio assume fans think that Batman can have all those adventures in a few weeks or something? I think once again he doesn't get the fan mindset when it comes to these characters.
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

Postby Sparky Prime » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:39 pm

andersonh1 wrote:Or they could allow for a few years to have passed, enough for characters like Dick Grayson to have aged to around 21 or so, while Batman has aged the same amount. Who expects the former sidekicks to age while the mentors don't, and who in the world assumes that Batman has never aged? Does Didio assume fans think that Batman can have all those adventures in a few weeks or something? I think once again he doesn't get the fan mindset when it comes to these characters.

DiDio seems to think it's perfectly reasonable for Batman to have had 4 Robin's in the span of 5 years. I don't even know how Damian's age is supposed to work. He's 10 when he became Robin, yet according to the New 52 timeline, he was conceived during Bruce's first year as Batman, 6 years prior? I know there's some half explanation his growth was artificially accelerated (for reasons?), but that's obviously just to squeeze everything into a ridiculously short timeline. And then, in 2016, they aged him up to 13 just so it would make sense for him to be on the Teen Titans... I'd be more concerned with Damian getting older than Bruce at this point given his wonky aging to fit the story.
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

Postby andersonh1 » Wed Aug 28, 2019 10:24 am

I was reminded today of why I dropped Aquaman when they included it in my pull list anyway and I flipped through it before replacing it on the shelf. I don't care for the poor quality of the current writer's storytelling choices, but in addition to that, DC is clearly trying to push comic book Aquaman to be as close to movie Aquaman as they can. Apart from the fact that he's blonde rather than dark-haired, he now speaks and dresses like Momoa's version of the character, and he now has tattoos. It's hard to believe this is meant to be the same character Dan Abnett was writing and which I was enjoying so much when Rebirth began. What a waste of a formerly good book.

On the other hand, I'm delighted to see the JSA have finally come back to main DC continuity (not counting Doomsday Clock, because who knows where that fits in) on the final page of Justice League #30. Despite the fact that Jay Garrick calls Barry "son", implying that he's older, this very much appears to be members of the team who are young and in their prime, rather than the elder statesmen we had before Flashpoint.

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Re: Comics are Awesome III

Postby Sparky Prime » Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:34 pm

Spider-Man: Life Story
The '10's

Peter and Miles Morales take one of Doctor Doom's space ships to a Stark space station. Through exposition, it is explained that the public was tired of heroes fighting one another, and Doom capitalized on it. Now most of the world's heroes are dead or missing. Peter (I'm guessing) was laying low to protect his family and was presumed dead, and in the meantime, Miles became the new Spider-Man. Peter is now the leader of the resistance against Doom. Anyway, they're going to this space station to trigger a device that'll shut down all of Doom's tech across the globe, and then the station will blow up to prevent anyone from reactivating it.

Of course, it's never that easy. After doing their work, they find their ship is destroyed, and Kraven - wearing the symbiote, is on the station. Using a device on his webshooter, Peter lets out a sonic pulse that disrupts the symbiote, and nothing but a skeleton is left of Kraven. Then Peter reveals he knows Miles is actually Otto Octavius, having figured it out by certain mannerisms the Doc was known for, and the fact the symbiote felt something was off about Miles during the fight. Otto takes the fight into Peter's mind, where Peter defeats him with a memory of Aunt May. Peter and Miles/Otto make their way to the station's escape pod, but it's built for only one person. So Peter puts Otto in and shoots it back to Earth. Peter attempts to hold the station together long enough for it to emit the pulse, but is out of webbing, and gets an assist from the symbiote. Peter dies when the station explodes.

Back on Earth, Miles informs Otto (who is being kept alive on life support machines) about the funeral for Peter. Otto apologizes for taking over his body, and Miles explains as much as he wanted to kill Otto, he knew that's something Peter would never have done. The issue ends with MJ giving Miles Peter's original Spider-Man costume, and a dream from Peter, where he stopped the criminal that killed Uncle Ben when he first had the chance.

--
Honestly, I felt this issue was a bit disjointed from the rest of the series. It was jarring for me to have all the other heroes just gone with out much explanation other than 'Doom did something and took over the world' and just suddenly have Miles there. I do like that Peter says he's the leader of the resistance, as the oldest and most experienced hero still around, but it would have been nice to actually see some other members of said resistance. Also disappointed Peter's family didn't play more of a role here. His daughter apparently has become a super hero in her own right, as we see her in a costume. But Peter tells her to stay on Earth to protect MJ and her brother (who apparently survived his encounter with Morlun, but uses a cane to walk) and that's the most we see of them. It's a nice touch having Peter sacrifice himself to save the world (although, that felt a little too easy when all they had to do was unleash a "doomsday" ray across the planet to shut down Doom's machines), and passing the torch to Miles.

Like so much of the series... I felt like we needed more. This issue especially felt rushed with how it seemed to be tying up loose ends, introducing new story elements and how quickly it all got resolved.
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

Postby andersonh1 » Wed Aug 28, 2019 3:33 pm

I was hoping Peter would actually get to grow old and retire, something superheroes just don't get to do. Having him go out like that seems a little "safe" in some ways after we've seen so many characters die over the years. Seems like in this alternate take on Peter's life that they could have gone for a different ending.
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

Postby Sparky Prime » Thu Aug 29, 2019 3:27 am

andersonh1 wrote:I was hoping Peter would actually get to grow old and retire, something superheroes just don't get to do. Having him go out like that seems a little "safe" in some ways after we've seen so many characters die over the years. Seems like in this alternate take on Peter's life that they could have gone for a different ending.

Yeah, I'd have to agree. While I think Peter sacrificing himself is a decent ending, it does feel like the "safe" ending. I would have loved to see Peter helping to train his kids, and Miles, to be the next generation of Spider-powered super heroes in his retirement. Maybe even his grandkids. I mean, that was a pretty big theme in the previous issue, helping out the next generation and passing on the lessons he knows all too well about responsibility. I guess Peter still does that, in a way, but still... I would have liked a happier ending more.
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

Postby andersonh1 » Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:40 am

Justice League #31
The Justice League is trying to prevent the Legion of Doom from destroying all creation. Just to go back to the basis of this story, Lex Luthor has come to the conclusion that the Universe and humanity were meant to evolve into a "might makes right" system, and all the people and heroes attempting to do good things and look out for their fellow man are wrong to do so. He's managed to awaken Perpetua, the mother of the Monitor, the Anti-Monitor and the World Forger, in an attempt to remake creation. So far it's Lex and Perpetua and the Legion vs. the Justice League, the Monitor and the World Forger, with the Anti-Monitor's allegiance still up for grabs. Snyder is attempting to tell a story that's a smaller scale cousin to the original Crisis on Infinite Earths, in my view. It's about the nature of creation, and the birth and death of universes, so it's about as conceptually big as it gets.

It's big and it's fun, and the art is great. And this issue runs storylines in the past, present and future, attempting to obtain the only elements from which to form a weapon to fight Perpetua. The future deals with Kamandi and his world, and tons of alternative timelines that Brainiac has collected (shades of Convergence here), while the past has Barry Allen and John Stewart meeting the Justice Society for the first time (though Barry feels like he and Jay have a long history together, if he could only remember it). And in the kind of "just go for the craziness" that Scott Synder so enjoys, when they go to Pearl Harbor to retrieve Starman's original cosmic rod, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is led by various members of the Legion of Doom. How can you beat Sinestro and Gorilla Grodd flying Japanese fighters during the bombing of Pearl Harbor? This whole series is just one big, fun, crazy storyline.

Doomsday Clock #11
It's the big "Ozymandias explains how he's manipulated everything" issue that It does go along nicely with the current Justice League storyline, with Lex Luthor holding evidence of timelines that no longer exist (i.e. the various timelines Brainiac has in his ship) and discussion on how the nature of the DC universe has changed. However this series from start to finish remains horribly padded, with so much that seems to do very little but take up space on the page. This mini-series should have been six issues at most. I've enjoyed most of what I've read of it, but then I skipped most of the first half because it was the plotlines with Dr. Manhattan related to Rebirth that interested me, and so much that happened in the early issues wasn't relevant. This has been a very uneven series. And if we don't get the final issue until November, it will have taken two years for 12 issues to be published.

And either this is out of continuity (which makes no sense) or else the future it's meant to represent means the monthly titles will have to change to line up with it, because a lot in this book does not match some of what's going on in the other books. Batgirl has her old costume, Nightwing has no brain damage, Lex Luthor is fully human and back to being a corporate head, etc. The rest of DC has moved on while this book plays out plans laid years ago. I guess we'll see where the last issue leaves things.

Fantastic Four #14 (659)
The value of having read the early issues of the original FF series means that this issue's references to the first issue don't go over my head. Reed Richards donates his original rocket, the one he made the first test flight in that caused the cosmic rays to bombard and mutate him, Sue, Johnny and Ben, to the Smithsonian. The kids think it's dumb and outdated, but it gets Reed nostalgic, and he decides to build a replica and complete that first mission, the one that was cut short by the accident. The FF set out on the final panel, so a lot of the story is color and character interactions, and it's all pretty good. I miss the "Superman family" feel of the Rebirth Superman books, so maybe this book has taken its place.
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