Archive for December, 2012

Ladies Week! Don’t call me ‘hero’, baby!

I read something interesting the other day. A wise person said, “Stop reading comics you don’t want to read, stop buying comics just because they have your favorite characters in them.” They’re right. It’s midnight, on Thursday. I’ve literally spent all day putting off touching my new comics, because three books that I did not want to read were covering the ones I did. So you know what? Nope. Nope. I don’t want to read any more Death of the Family crossovers. I don’t want to read Legion of Superheroes. Francis Portella draws an amazing team, but damnit, I haven’t been interested in these guys since they went back to being the Original Legion instead of the post-Zero Hour Legion I grew up on. So, I’m not going to. I have $9 worth of comics sitting to my left that I’m going to pass off to one of my friends who likes Batman. Go team.

In other news, I think I’m just going to initiate Jaime into the estrogen club, because I can’t rightly keep calling this Ladies Week with him penising up the joint. This issue is the next to last one and…wow, that’s poorly thought out. How the heck are they going to wrap up a giant space storyline in one issue, especially after Lady Styx was suddenly brought in? Okay. Look. Jaime, we need to talk. You’re a wee bit too trusting. Just a bit. Alright, a lot. Come on, kid. You’ve got common sense, use it. You’re many, many sectors away from your home, you just blew up the Reach’s utility planet, you’re hanging out with a wanted criminal (whom you accidentally hit on within ten minutes of meeting him), and you’ve got a dead guy seriously warm for your form. If I were you? I’d just go with Lady Styx’s representatives and hijack their ship.

Like I said last month, so long as Supergirl is entangled in the H’El on Earth storyline, I’m not going to bother with a review for it. Aside from Kara learning English, there probably isn’t going to be anything from this story that’ll effect the rest of the series past this crossover, so really, why bother? I know it sounds a tad cynical, but think about it. Did Night of the Owls really affect anyone other than Batman, in the long run? The fallout from Death of the Family is probably only going to really be shown in Batman and Suicide Squad, maybe in Batgirl. I say maybe, because with the new creative team, who really knows? What I’m trying to say is, this crossover will not change the status quo in Supergirl, and that’s what matters to me. Also of note, as of two issues ago, Mike Johnson took on sole writing duties. Hm. He hasn’t done a bad job so far.

I started crying while I read Batwoman. Over and over I have to remind myself, Kate Kane may be the title character, but she’s not the only hero in this book. Batwoman, as a book, is so much more than just Kate Kane. Batwoman is about Bette Kane. Jake Kane. Cameron Chase. And Maggie Sawyer. So often in the year this book has been running, Maggie is put on the backburner. Shown as the frustrated girlfriend, the failing cop. The strong woman who care so much for so many that she can’t bring herself to let a single missing persons case fall to the wayside. When the bullets are flying, and Batwoman and Wonder Woman are too busy with the big, scary monster, Maggie Sawyer is there. She’s fighting for the people of her home. She’s fighting to bring a husband back to his wife, to bring children back to their parents. And I started crying because, thank you, thank you, thank you DC. Thank you for leaving me one. You’ve taken away so many, but thank you for leaving me one significant other that is just as strong as her superhero mate. Thank you for leaving me Batwoman.

I can’t. I spend a lot of time being able to accurately express my feelings for the newest Wonder Woman title, but this time, I can’t. Because…I love the New Gods. I’m loving Diana’s family line. I mean, her brother, upon meeting Orion again after heaven only knows how long, greets him with a friendly headbutt. Which he requests. And Orion’s like, oh, no problem bro. Let’s do this. And then there’s Zola and Hera’s interactions. And just, Lennox. I usually rank Wonder Woman as my fourth favorite title, under Flash, but I think that this arc might be bumping her up some. We shall see as time goes by.

Sometimes I wonder why I’m still writing this thing. It’s really just a vanity blog, me spewing my opinion out onto the internet. But honestly, I do the exact same thing on Tumblr, on a daily basis. So why here? I don’t know. I am Touch of Grey. It’s only just Thursday. I think I’m going to go make myself some eggs.

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Death of (a good bit of) my sanity

I’m just going to come right out and say it. It’s Death of the Family week. If that doesn’t interest you, sorry. See you next week, hopefully. Oh! Wait! I’ve got two non-DotF books here! Come back, come back!

It’s the last issue of Marceline and the Scream Queens! And, sorry, Bubbline shippers. No kisses in this mini, just lots and lots of juicy subtext. The monster that is Marceline’s insecurities is the villain this issue, don’t miss the awesome boss battle! Also, beginning next month, a new six-issue mini set in the world of Fionna and Cake!

Hahaha, Ame-Comi Girls. What do I even say about this book. I mean, it’s bad. It’s really, really bad. I’ve come to expect so much more from Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, because I was spoiled by their work on Power Girl. But when I read a comic and see Selina’s name misspelled, Jesse Quick’s name misspelled and her formula stated wrong, not to mention the bucket of farts that is Duela Dent’s Ame-Comi origin? And that’s not before getting to the part where she-Brainiac created the Earth. Ha. No. Sorry. Done.

If someone were to ask me, on a scale of one to ten, how upset I was over Gail Simone being fired off of Batgirl, I’d basically have to forfeit my vote. Because after issue…four? Until just now with Death of the Family, I haven’t been reading Batgirl. Of course, it became a hit series without me, one of the top sellers in the New 52. Barbara Gordon, the iconic Batgirl, was back in the suit! And she was being written by the best female talent DC has to offer. But apparently, even making the company a lot of money wasn’t enough to save Ms. Simone from getting the axe, as she has also been off Firestorm since the sixth issue. I wish her the best in all she does, and pray that this means she’s going to be on Suicide Squad from now on.

Speaking of…oh, did I conveniently forget to review Batgirl? Whoops. I’m just a little more upset at DC than I am interested in that particular DotF storyline, which seems to involve the Joker’s desire to marry Batgirl, while also setting up a plot with her brother, James, that we’ll never get to see through. But yes, speaking of Suicide Squad, let’s have a round of applause for Adam Glass. He was a little slow out of the starting gate, but he finally got Harley Quinn to about the same place she was before the end of Gotham City Sirens pre-reboot. Bravo. Honestly, this was the best issue this series has had in…yeah, ever. It’s Harley versus Joker and you know what? Harley won. She made it out alive, and maybe showed Waller that she wasn’t as useless as everyone thought she was. Oh! Quick Rogues update! Digger seems to be leaving both the Squad and Belle Reve…wonder what he did to deserve that?

I have a confession to make. I haven’t picked up an issue of Batman and Robin since the Night of the Owls crossover. I have no idea what’s been going on in this book other than what panels I see on Tumblr. Maybe this won’t be so confusing? Well, we’re off to a decent start. I don’t think Bruce is going to be appearing in this issue at all. And really, wasn’t that what I disliked about the book in the first place? Bruce’s constant dismissal and underestimation of his own son was just…frustrating as hell. Okay. So, this is a Damian-centric arc. I can dig that. And Joker gives the same speech he did in the last issue of Batman about all the sidekicks dragging him down…hello! Okay! No spoilers, but get this issue. It was actually very interesting.

DC, please. Sinestro and Hal had a kind of a kinky dom/sub relationship during their stint as co-Green Lanterns, Joker is canonly in love with Batman…can you stop with all the subtext and just make with the anagram already? I can wait for the three of you who’ve never seen that joke on the internet to figure it out. In any case, it’s a nice little family reunion at the Batcave, where Bruce shares a not-so-heartwarming, kind of really fucking important story about one of his earliest tussles with the Joker. Seriously, dude. If a madman even has the chance of busting into your super secret hidey hole, you let someone know. Anyone. Tell the dog, for Christ’s sake. When people ask why I don’t like Bruce Wayne, I usually respond with something like, “He’s got more trust issues than a victim of a lifetime of emotional abuse.” or “He’s about as open as Santa’s Enchanted Forest in July.” Call him stoic, call him thoughtful, call him whatever. Best case scenario, he’s just a big manchild with shiny toys and an unlimited budget. Worst case scenario, he’s a sociopath waiting to happen. Scott Snyder is some kind of word wizard, though, because as good as the main story was, the back-up just blew me away. Finally, someone giving the Riddler credit! Hey, remember Hush, when Eddie totally figured out Batman’s identity, but didn’t tell anyone? Sigh. That was great.

I feel like I’ve spent less time reviewing and more time reacting this week, at least with the Death of the Family books. Why? Because, for the most part, I just can’t stand them. I dropped Batgirl because it wasn’t interesting to me. I dropped Catwoman because I found it insulting. I dropped Batman and Robin because Bruce is a douchebag. I was never reading Detective Comics. I dropped Nightwing because it was boring. I dropped Red Hood and the Outlaws, at long last, because I just couldn’t take it anymore. With the exception of the main Batman title, and the two Bat-titles that have nothing to do with DotF, Batwoman and Batman Inc, my pull list is relatively Bat-free. I have non-Bat interests. But all the events, all the crossovers, the pain, the suffering, the mental anguish…it all comes back to Batman in the end, doesn’t it? I hopped on the Batman bus in month four, before Night of the Owls. And I loved it. Still do, to an extent. But I’m getting a little tired of all the crossovers. Here’s an idea, DC. Let’s have a few months go by without some massive, Bat-related crossover event. Stop putting all your eggs in one Bat-shaped basket and let us rest.
I’m Touch of Grey. It’s two in the morning. I think you all know where I’m going with this.

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Rottingly good comics!

Before I get to this week’s comics, I’d like to take a second to talk about what it means for Vertigo comics now that Karen Berger has left as an editor. Vertigo has been in a bit of a decline for a while. Not in quality, oh god no. American Vampire, which has just gone on a hiatus while Scott Snyder gets ahead on his other books, never fails to be one of my favorite comics to read all month. Sweet Tooth, which ends this month, has always been a fascinating read. It’s the main reason I was so excited to see Jeff Lemire on Animal Man! Punk Rock Jesus, the six-issue mini series I’ve been recommending (while not reviewing, because it would just be a paragraph of me flailing about how good it is), also ends this month. And then there’s Vertigo’s longest-running book, Hellblazer, which ends in March in order to bring John Constantine into the DCnU proper. While Fables and its spinoff Fairest are still going pretty strong, what else is there? I’ve read that the series Voodoo Child hasn’t been the best seller, but neither is The Unwritten. The Unwritten, however, has a very strong presence on bestseller lists as a collected trade rather than a single issue comic, the same may prove true for Voodoo Child. Still, Vertigo used to be a proving ground for new creators. If you could make it there, then by damn, you could make it anywhere! So, what happened? Well, if I’m going to be perfectly honest, my big theory involves money. Mainly, how non-cape books just don’t as well as cape comics. DC used to have an imprint called Minx. Graphic novels for girls! Yeah, that ended after 12 books, and a sequel to one of them, The New York Four, was published in single-issue format under the Vertigo banner. And now that many of the big character names are traveling into the DCnU, what will become of this formerly proud imprint? Something to think on.

It’s almost over! I’m not saying that happily, not really. Minutemen has been a pretty good part of Before Watchmen. The best part, really. After all, the original Watchmen book didn’t really touch on them at all. I don’t really have much to say about this fifth issue, other than, wow. Looks like we’re going to learn what ended up happening to Hooded Justice next issue.

Detective Comics is perfectly skippable. You’re not missing any important Death of the Family info. I just wish I’d known that before I blew $4 I didn’t have buying it.

The journey of Alec Holland continues! After fighting William Arcane, Alec loses Boston to the Rot…sort of. Deadman possessed William, giving Alec the chance to get away and head towards Gotham. Sadly, he’s a bit too late to reach Batman, though just in time to meet Barbara Gordon all Bat-serum’d up, a true Girl-Bat! The more interesting portion of this issue, to me, are the sections with Abby Arcane. What was her final fate in this world of the Rot? Actually, a better question would be, why is her uncle so determined to keep her under his control? He’s seen what her powers can do when she lets loose, and frankly, she’s more powerful than he is. It just makes no sense.

HOLY CROW! No, seriously. I’m sorry, Francis Manapul. I love you to death. But the opening pages of this month’s Animal Man were the best use of gorillas in the New 52, hands down. Aside from Grodd and his warriors, Mallah and Brain are used! They still exist! Oh, you’ve got no idea how pleased that makes me. I don’t know much about DC’s version of Frankenstein, but the second I saw him riding into battle with his patchwork army I thought to myself, yeah. That makes sense. The guy made of corpses is either going to be the most powerful Rotling of all, or completely immune. While Alec Holland is heading to Gotham over in Swamp Thing, Buddy and his Red Team are headed for Metropolis. And…they make it in one issue. Wow, go Team Red. Seriously, you get so much more done when you’ve got a necromancer’s army chauffeuring you around. I don’t want to spoil the big reveal at the end, but let me say this: I don’t recognize the guy. That means I’m going to be spending a bit of time on Wikipedia and Comicvine until I figure out just who our mystery hero is! On the flip side, we’ve got what could be the end of Maxine’s story. When last we saw Buddy’s Little Wing, she had just met up with William Arcane. Dang, that kid gets around! In any case, the little shit played his role quite well, leading her into a trap by the Hunters Two. What has become of her?! Well…let’s hope the world doesn’t end, because I’d like to find out next month!

And that’s this week in comics. On the Marvel side, the fifth issue of Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye is out today. It’s a great series, and I really do recommend it! Hope to see y’all back here next week when I tackle…well. It’s all Bat-books next week! Batman, Batgirl, Batman and Robin, and Suicide Squad for Death of the Family, and the new Ame-Comi Girls issue, starring Duela Dent!

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