Comix this week 01/07/2015

I love comics. After film, it is my favorite art form.

For a long time I read, and collected, everything under the sun. The time has come for a change. With the exception of four titles- Batman by Scott Snyder (ending sometime in 2015 presumably), Justice League 3000 by Giffen and DeMatteis (ending in April, presumably), Spider-Verse (ending in a matter of weeks), and Star Wars (my forever love) I am done with DC and Marvel Comics. They aren’t printing what I want to read anymore.

Don’t expect me to review everything I read. I will only devote space to the good stuff. The rest, whether they be crap or “meh” will not be here unless something spectacularly bad happens. If a DC or Marvel issue manages to appear, more power to them. I am not, however, expecting that to happen that often.

January 7th, 2015

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Bwa-haha! After stating that DC and Marvel won’t be appearing here very often, I lead off with Justice League. This is a rare comic. Giffen and DeMatteis were the creative team behind Justice League (International) of the early 1990’s. Their core team- Batman, Martian Manhunter, Booster Gold, Blue Beetle, Fire, Ice, Guy Gardner, led by Maxwell Lord, was one of the great periods in the Justice League’s history. The stories were rarely serious. Booster and Beetle frequently got the group into insane situations and the reader was all the better for it.

The  “bwa-haha” era has frequently been trashed over the intervening years. DC tried their damnedest to move away from it, but the desire to see those characters continue never seems to abate. It was looking like they would get their own book again when Flashpoint struck in 2011 and the New 52 arrived. That relaunch, while financial successful, destroyed the vast history of DC Comics. They’ve done this every 25-30 years at DC. The Golden Age of Comics at DC ran from 1938 to 1955. In 1956 they had a relaunch of sorts as characters from the 40’s were re-imagined starting with The Flash. In 1985, they had built up 30 years of continuity when it was destroyed in the “Crisis on Infinite Earths”. The “post-crisis” universe took the best of the last 30 years and culled the chaff. They tried to repeat this in 2011, but they went too far. They kept some elements but there was no rhyme or reason to it. Sales may have gone up, but the long time readers were having some serious problems with the new status quo. This summer, the 30 year mark from Crisis brings “Convergence”. I have no expectations of it being any good.

Why the history lesson? JL 3K is set in the year 3000, of the PRE-FLASHPOINT universe. This issue reintroduces “Ice”, Tora herself. Recently Booster and Beetle awoke from cryogenic hibernation and the good old days are back. I hear rumors that it will be cancelled in April from my comic store, which does not surprise me. Maybe this story will be wrong, maybe it won’t. Regardless, Justice League 3000 is a cool comic by two legends, not even including artist Howard Porter.

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As a part of my new purchasing habits, I told the fine gentleman who runs my local shop to please add anything made by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips to my pull list. From Criminal to Fatale, these guys are the best at what they do- hard, gritty, crime stories.

This issue follows our lead Charlie, Hollywood screenwriter, as he falls further down the rabbit hole murder of a Hollywood starlet. It delves into the seedy underside of Public Relations as the public images of actors must be propped up by bullshit to keep the people clueless as to their real natures. This issue had appearance by Clark Gable and Ronald Reagan.

The art is wonderful, Phillips is a master. The covers are just phenomenal. Brubaker is always on point. The true stories of Hollywood feature was a little weak this month. It almost feels stunted. A small criticism of a good issue.

TheyreNotLikeUs01_Cover

A young woman is about to commit suicide by jumping off a building. She has a history of mental problems. A man stops her from jumping, sort of. She still falls off but survives. He tells her she is telepathic. The voices she hears are other people’s thoughts.

He takes her to a home where others like her live (definite x-men vibe). She is assigned a new identity and is told she must murder all who she knew in her previous life.

Written by a guy name Eric Stephenson, this is a trippy comic with phenomenal artwork by Simon Gane. What is strange is that the issue has no advertisement inside. It is all story. The cover is also non-typical as it appears to be the first panel of the story.

I am not sure where this comic is headed. I suspect the story might all be a delusion in a sick girl’s mind, but you never know with comics. I’ll be back for future issues.

GodHatesAstronauts_05-1

I cannot explain this comic. Aliens from the Crab Nebula, led by “King Tiger eating a cheeseburger” have attacked Earth and a group of “Heroes” working for NASA are fighting them off. We have a ghost narrator (on cover) who tries to made sense of it.

I can’t explain this. It is amazing, it is absolutely worth reading, but don’t expect logic. This thing is “Comix” in every sense of the word.

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I picked up this trade (first 6 issues) on the recommendation of my comic guy. Set in 1987, this is the tale of Marcus, a young homeless man wanted by the police for burning down the orphanage he lived in. He is taken off the streets by students of a school for assassins. He gets into several misadventures as he learns the subtle arts of killing.

This is a Rick Remender book, usually a sign of quality. Semi autobiographical, Remender is reliving the horrors of High School through young Marcus. A self-proclaimed freak, Remender knows all to well the damage High School can do to a kid. Teenagers are cruel animals. They travel in packs and pounce on the weak. I managed to find my own cliche in school (band) and was left alone for the most part, despite being a fat comic reading geek. That so many of them, especially the jocks, are now overweight comic reading geeks brings me no small source of amusement. When I get Facebook messages from them asking for comic recommendations, I know the world has gotten fucked up somewhere along the way. I blame Joss Whedon.

See you next time, same Bat-Time, same Bat-Channel!

speak now, or forever hold it

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