Thursday, April 19, 2007

Comics: Week of April 18 2007

I know I teased a 25¢ bin adventure, but new comics come first...

52 Week 50 - Aside from being disappointed that WW III is about Black Adam pulling a Johnny Bates instead of the Four Horsemen and whatever batshit crazy stuff that was coming out of Oolong Island, I thought it was a good issue. I thought the resolution that Billy comes up with was quite clever, and that last shot of Adam mumbling words to himself was one of the most resonant moments of the series.

It's weird to write about in light of the events at Virginia Tech this week. I always felt sympathetic towards Adam. His actions are deplorable, but in some of his characterization in Johns' JSA, one can understand where he's coming from to an extent. I was hoping for a happier ending for him in 52, but I think he's now lost to us. There's no redemption now.

World War III #1-4 - Even the LCS owner was surprised that they dumped this all in one week. I bought it sight unseen... which may have been a mistake. Basically expanding upon the events covered in this week's 52, it felt a little redundant. On the other hand, WW III (the event within the event) would have felt pretty anticlimactic if it were merely contained to a single issue of 52. I'm divided.

Didio's column in this week's 52 would have been helpful last week, frankly. I appreciate him coming clean about the whole impetus behind having World War III (the event within the event), but I feel a bit suckered by this notice so late in the game.

I appreciate that the writers ran with the opportunities that presented themselves in the course of 52, and that WW III is basically handling the original purpose of 52 in that it's providing the bridge to where we found everybody in the OYL jump. That's all fine. I just wish that information was communicated before I bought the thing.

I'm just not sure that I care about the connections. The only threads I was interested in were the one for Manhunter (Kate Spencer) and maybe Aquaman... and I had completely forgotten about the OYL differences in Manhunter. In hindsight, I probably would have skipped WW III. It really didn't do that much for me, other than explain why the Martian Manhunter is all messed up again.

Manhunter #30 - And we have the sweet chaser of Manhunter. I think Andreyko provided a nice ending point for the series, even though it got another last minute reprieve (I especially liked the blurb on the last page about the next issue... "no really").

Not that I'm complaining, but I'm wondering why the cancellation was reversed. My assumption is that Kate's going to be tied into a big event soon, most likely this Amazons Attack I keep seeing ads for. Plus, this last storyline seemed only to serve as a kind of bonding experience between Kate and Wonder Woman.

I don't care. I'll support this book until the end. It's unique and takes chances one doesn't see a lot of these days.

The Mighty Avengers #2 - I don't know if it's just me, but I'm not overly excited about this title so far. Up until a little while ago, my reading had been relatively Bendis-free. I took a chance on New Avengers: Illuminati and felt underwhelmed by the first few issues (though I might hop back on if it's true that they'll bring Morrison's Marvel Boy into the 616).

I'm getting the same feeling from Mighty. I couldn't put my finger on it until just now when I briefly compared Bendis and Morrison. Say what you want about Morrison, it's clear he has a genuine love of the medium and the characters he's writing, and he conveys that through his scripts. Everything I have read from Bendis seems undercut by a low-level cynicism or sarcasm, and it's hard to differentiate the authors voice from the characters (or even the characters from each other). He may be a fanboy at heart, but I just don't pick up on that through the writing. Maybe I'm wrong. I've heard the man in interviews, and clearly he loves what he's doing, I'm just not convinced that he has a vision of where this is all going.

Chris Sims just ran a look back on the original World War III from Morrison's run on JLA, and it occurs to me that the man had vision of where he was taking everything from book one. Morrison had a solid idea of what the JLA was and underscored that throughout the run, building and building until the final battle in the final arc. These weren't just superheroes, they were the idealized aspects of humanity just like the pantheons of ancient myth. They were above us, but they were also us.

What is the big idea behind Mighty? No really, I'd like to know. What, that there's always a team of Avengers?




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