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The DC Reboot

dcrelaunchSo, DC’s apparently going to relaunch/reboot their entire superhero universe this September.

Black September II, maybe? (in 1995, Marvel/Malibu rebooted their Ultraverse superhero line in an event called Black September.)

50+ new #1 issues…in September. On twitter, I noticed that Erik (Savage Dragon) Larsen points out an interesting question: How is a store supposed to order that many #1 issues?

Another question: how is a CONSUMER supposed to afford to buy that many #1 issues?!? Even if DC “draws the line” at a $2.99 cover price (and even if they’re double-sized issues)…that’s $150+ for DC issues in September alone.

There are SO MANY facets to something on this scale that I wouldn’t even begin to be able to ‘cover’ them all in a quick blog post here. I have a knee-jerk reaction to the whole thing, but I also know that in the months to come, I may very well come to a different understanding or feeling on this.

But back in 2005, with the One Year Later thing…I used that “event” to jump off probably 2/3 the titles I was buying from DC, and that wasn’t even a reboot. This feels more like DC saying to me that I’ve had my fun, and it’s time to let a whole new generation officially jump on board to replace the likes of me.

And maybe that’s true.

SOURCE: USA Today article (and surely tons of others, just google it)

X-Men Legacy #249 [Review]


Full review posted to cxPulp.com
.

Story: 4/5
Art: 3.5/5
Overall: 4/5

Action Comics #901 [Review]

Reign of the Doomsdays part 1

Writer: Paul Cornell
Artists: Kenneth Rocafort, Jesus Merino
Colorist: Brad Anderson
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Cover: Kenneth Rocafort
Associate Editor: Wil Moss
Editor: Matt Idelson
Published by: DC Comics

The first thing I noticed about this issue was the banner at the top advertising the Green Lantern film due out June 17 “only in theaters.” Now, I know Marvel has done this for YEARS, but they’ve generally done it by way of the upper corner box by the issue’s number and such. And I appreciate this on the GL books–it’s most appropriate there. But on a Superman title, it’s less appropriate, except as the full-DC-wide blast of the advertising. After all, why hide the ad on an interior or the back cover when by having a banner at the top, you’re advertising off any and all ways of displaying comics that allow the top portion to be seen?

That aside…the cover doesn’t impress me all that much. I do appreciate that Doomsday looks a lot closer to what I’m used to than it has in awhile. But the image does seem rather generic to me–Doomsday standing amidst wreckage, the bodies of the Superman Family sprawled at its feet. Something about the imagery just doesn’t do it for me. Then again…the cover is not why I bought the issue.

The story picks up where the lead story of Action #900 left off–the Superman Family has found that they are facing several Doomsdays, each tailored to a diffeent power set, but all set on destruction of the entire group. Cyborg-Superman welcomes destruction, the chance at death. The others, however do not–so after Superman neutralizes the Cyborg, the group gathers up and heads away from their attackers into the depths of the prison they’ve found themselves in. Meanwhile, on Earth, an imminent extinction-level event is detected, and (in contrast to the controversy over a short in the previous issue) the American President proclaims the country’s need of Superman, of any super-powered beings able to help. As Superman & Co. realize their prison is fast approaching Earth, they encounter yet another threat, who steps forth to prevent them from saving the planet. Without wasting time arguing, he delivers a shocking blow to the group, leaving their reaction as our cliffhanger.

I’m not a huge fan of the split art duties on the issue. Rocafort‘s visual style seems a bit “off” to me, and reminded me of my least favorite art from #900, though on a double-checking, it’s not the same. There’s something to this style that makes the characters seem overly generic, Superman especially. Somehow it looks to me more like some guy in a Superman costume, and the face alone doesn’t say “Superman” to me. Merino‘s art in the middle of the issue stands out, and is far preferable to me–the characters look a lot more “on” on those pages…and it makes it rather jarring to then shift right back to a different visual style.

Cornell‘s writing is solid…I haven’t yet read much of his work…the first issue of the Black Ring arc and then the lead in Action 900. But I do like the concept, at least, that’s at play here…and I really enjoy having Superman teamed up again with Supergirl, Eradicator, Steel, Cyborg, and Superboy. And given the first time these characters all got together, it’s fitting that they’re dealing with Doomsday. Given this context–their teamup, and the Doomsday situation…I’m tentatively hooked. I came back for this issue, having figured to only pick up #900 as the anniversary that it was.

While much of the story is fairly serious and played straight…there’s a part where we actually get a thought balloon for Superman, which seems somewhat out of nowhere–especially as I’ve grown used to the LACK of thought balloons in favor of “voiceover” narration and such. The use of the thought balloon in this issue seemed hokey and a bit forced; and momentarily took me out of the story while I thought about it. Not a huge deal, but noticeable.

Where the story is most hurt in my eyes is that I have no idea how many chapters to expect…just as I had no clue how many to expect, really, with the Reign of Doomsday hopping along through various other books without really meaning much. I certainly hope this arc is not dragged out…though this is labled Reign of the Doomsdays part 1 (escaping Reign of Doomsday which was around a half-dozen issues), it’s essentially the same story continuing, so this feels like the 7th chapter, and I’m not sure I’ll want to stick around long-term if it’s simply a dragged-out slugfest or punch-and-run-and-punch-again kinda thing.

While this doesn’t really hold a candle to Reign of the Supermen, if you’re a fan of these characters, this packs a good bit of nostalgia and hope of a new classic. Worth picking up if you enjoy seeing these characters all brought together, and/or if you read #900 and want to follow this Doomsday story.

As of now, I’m interested enough to see where this goes that I plan to come back for #902.

Recommended.

Story: 7/10
Art: 6.5/10
Overall: 7/10

DuckTales #1 [Review]

Full review posted to cxPulp.com.

Story: 4/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 4.5/5

Upping the random thoughts

I found myself up far too early this Saturday morning. It’s been a long week, and I’d certainly had zero intention of being up “early” on this long weekend.

But sure enough, woke before 7am and wound up staying up. Decided to check out Netflix, which I’ve neglected for about a week, and opted to “start” watching the film Grownups from last year. Wound up going all the way through.

Next searched for stuff to add to the instant queue, and then something else to actually watch and decided I wasn’t in the mood for anything else at length. But there was “Up,” sitting in the front end of the instant queue where it’s been for months. And I haven’t seen any of the film since I went to see it in the theater a couple years back.

Surely, knowing what the beginning held and having been moved in the theater, I wouldn’t ‘fall for’ it again.

But I found myself amused at the beginning–the kids playing in the old house. Smiling at the wedding, wistful as they built a home, crushed at her news, wistful as they moved forward. Nodding in appreciation as “real life” again and again interrupted their plans, and honestly in tears as their lives reached a twilight.

And all through that…really no dialogue past their being kids.

It’s just all this fantastic, recognizeable imagery or symbolism or whatever. It’s stuff that while watching you can follow along and “get” what’s going on. You can fill in the missing dialogue in your own mind, with your own experiences and thoughts and hopes and dreams. You might find yourself projecting a bit, or identifying with stuff. Maybe not exactly–this is a fictional, animated production–but it has such a sense of authenticity about it.

I turned it off after the opener. Oh, I’ll go back and rewatch the whole thing, but as said above–not in the mood for anything at length at the moment.

And then I found that it’s really burrowed into my head, and stirred up my thinking.

Unfortunately, despite all that I read and write, I can’t really find words for it. There’s just this feeling, that I can’t quite describe. And sometimes I think the best expression of it is an analogy that few but comic readers can “get,” and it’s also summed up by the Kurt Busiek (Astro City) story “The Nearness of You.” I know that’s not my life, it’s a fictional story.

But sometimes, with all the what-ifs and if-onlys and all that, it’s easy to imagine all these alternate lives that “could have been” or “might have been,” and all that.

This is real life, though.

And I have no idea what’s coming.

 

Booking Through Thursday: Rut

btt buttonDo you ever feel like you’re in a reading rut? That you don’t read enough variety? That you need to branch out, spread your literary wings and explore other genres, flavors, styles?

All the time. I’m a comics reader primarily the last few years. Between work, reading comics, writing reviews, obsessive 14-week runs through a 7-season tv series, and other distractions, I don’t read nearly as much as I tell myself I want to. And what I do read seems to be “more of the same,” even when I AM enjoying it and it engages me and all that.

With comics, after years of sticking primarily to DC with a bit of Marvel, and occasionally other stuff sprinkled in…last year, I decided to if not “branch out” at least “stick with the less familiar” stuff. Scaled back to mainly non-DC, non-Marvel comics; kept the superhero stuff in Invincible and Savage Dragon, with some diversity by way of The Walking Dead, Uncle Scrooge/Darkwing Duck (later adding Rescue Rangers), GI Joe: A Real American Hero, and Dark Horse’s “line” of comics with Doctor Solar Man of the Atom, Magnus Robot Fighter, Samson, and Turok Son of Stone.

I completely jumped off the Superman comics as those themselves seemed to be in a rut–at least as far as I was concerned. (I’m now back on Action Comics at least for the current “Reign of the Doomsdays” story…I love a good story involving the entire Superman/Superboy/Eradicator/Cyborg/Supergirl gang.)

Other than comics, my reading seems to be YA/fantasy-ish (The Lost Hero by Riordan right now, planning on The Red Pyramid and its sequel later this summer) and Authors I Read Whatever Their New Book Is (Grisham, Meltzer).

I’m not sure what other stuff I’d want to expand into…maybe there’s a rut, but darn it, it’s MY rut, and I’m actually honestly content enough with it so long as I don’t analyze it or myself and initiate temporary dissatisfaction.

And genre-wise with comics, not much there…I read what I’m interested in…it’s cool when there IS quite a diversity, but diversity itself in genres is not the key to what I actually read.

Well, again…out of time for the pre-work writing. Off to work I go!

Tonight’s review-writing was canceled.

pan02This morning I got to work, and with the heat and bright/sunshiny weather, figured I’d leave my car windows down, keep the car vented. Turned to my weather app on my phone, and it showed thunderstorms, so I opted to close the windows. Went out at lunch for the weekly comic shop run, and got back–same thing. Weather looked summer-y, but the weather app said T-storms.

Got out of work, looked gray, but nothing significant. ‘Course, thunder rolled as I got in my car to leave.

Got home, and put my bag on the car’s trunk, and got a decent-ish panoramic shot of the dark clouds around the building. Decided to fire up my Super-8 app (yeah…go, figure) and wound up catching the tornado siren as it started going off, before I’d even made it to the building.

pan02

Came in turned the tv on, and they had coverage going for this area, mentioning my city and those immediately surrounding; Tornado warning and all that. Stepped out on the porch and took another pano shot, as the sirens had gone silent. When they started up again, roommate and I headed to the building’s basement.

Wound up spending about 15-20 minutes in the building’s “gym” since there was a tv in there; a small crowd of us (shame on me not thinking to count bodies present). But we had folks around–some folks in the building’s library, some in the laundry room, others scattered up and down the hall (all these being in the basement). Even noticed some folks in the garage.

Of course, this being the country and society it is, the tornado warning was set to expire at 8, and the local news “gracefully” pointed out that the warning was about to expire, and bowed out so as to not prevent people from watching the start of American Idol.

Roommate and I were heading to the stairs to come back up but wound up stopping to be part of the congregation in the hall by the side entrance of the building–had some conflicting “news” about stuff from people coming in, so stuck around to hear stuff. Someone said some tower nearby fell, another mentioned a tree down on a main road nearby, etc. Adding some levity to the situation, my roommate and I both realized that the weather.com info then-presently available for our mobile devices showed 69-75 degrees sunny and “partly cloudy” (as we listened to the latest round of the emergency siren sounding all around, the rain drilling to the ground from the dark clouds, and a lengthy strip of lightning burning in the distance).

pan01

By then, someone updated everyone with info the local weather station had–tornado warning done, just “regular” thunderstorms rollin’ in.

Following a return to this apartment, some huge flashes of lightning (if we were on the ground floor, one instance would’ve had me SWEARING someone had stood at my bedroom window and taken a flash photo–several broad flashes before a really bright “pop” flash)…plenty of thunder.

But now it’s pretty quiet out…haven’t noticed lightning in awhile, nor thunder.

But after the unexpected “excitement” and sociality and all that…the review-writing I’d planned on doing tonight is not happening. But I took those photos and I felt like WRITING, hence this blog post.

BUT: snap thoughts regarding this week’s new comics…

  • Action #901: crap….I’m buying a Superman comic again!
  • Walking Dead #85: Did I miss an issue??? Not sure about that flip-book, but hey…maybe I’ll take a look at it for shiggles.
  • For a mere $8 (2 new single-Marvel issues) picked up good condition copies of Essential Killraven vol. 1, Spider-Woman vol. 1, Punisher vol. 2, and Amazing Spider-Man vol. 8. (that’s $8 TOTAL, if you were wondering. $2/each).
  • And a free copy of Ultimate Iron Man II, hardcover, cuz my shop is just THAT awesome.

essentials2bucks

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