Friday, January 21, 2005

Local Postie damages back, more at six

Got a few comics in the mail today, but most of them were new issues of series I've already commented on fairly recently, so not much point repeating myself.
However, there's a few I've got an opinion on, so bear with me.

I got two of the current blush of WHAT IFs from Marvel, WHAT IF KAREN PAGE HAD LIVED and WHAT IF JESSICA JONES HAD JOINED THE AVENGERS.Both were crap. Absolute stinkers. And they could have been so good: if there's any work of Bendis's at Marvel I've been enjoying, it's been ALIAS/THE PULSE (well, not so much THE PULSE, its been pretty weak so far, and running late, too) and DAREDEVIL. Both suffer from the same main flaw: they spend so long recounting what actually happened in the original comic, that they leave themselves no room to spin an adequate alternate reality. The alternatives in both cases are little more than rushed, ill-considered short stories. At least the Jessica Jones tale is something of a love letter to his own character. The Karen Page issue is only redeemed by Lark's sterling work as artist. When Bendis and Alex Maleev finally make good on their promise to quit DAREDEVIL, I can think of no better team to replace them than Michael Lark and Ed Brubaker. Other than that, file the return of WHAT IF under B for bad idea. Another New Marvel folly, standing testament to the love affair between editor-in-chief Joe Quesada and favourite son Brian Michael Bendis.

Also got the last two issues of the current arc of 100 BULLETS, "Wylie Runs The Voodoo Down". Best arc in ages (thought this series had been pretty much idling for a while until the great issue 50), and for a change, managed to be kinda heartwarming, as some seemingly inevitable tragedy and carnage was averted for a change (bit of a change of pace for this series, all in). Best not to get too attached to the characters in this series, though. They're all doomed, one way or another.

God help me, I can't remember if I've ever written about Joss Whedon's run on ASTONISHING X-MEN before. Damn my deteriorating memory. Nor could I be bothered browsing my own blog to check. I may have given off about the increasingly ridiculous Quesada dubbing it the "WATCHMEN of X-Men comics" (it isn't: Grant Morrison's run was). Anyway, I wanted to go on record and say I honestly liked issue 7 a helluva lot. Sure, it only took about thirty seconds to read, but it was a truly great thirty seconds. I loved the sequence fighting the really big monster, where we're privy to everyone's deep, brooding,thoughts, then have the rug swept away from us by the depth of Wolverine's ("I really like beer"). I loved Ben Grimm's wit and wisdom ("WE do big monsters! Big monsters in Manhattan, that's our signature piece!"). The way Emma Frost's sexually charged vocabulary kept grossing out Kitty Pryde. I loved the fact that Marvel's lettering has returned to all upper case. I love the way John Cassaday draws Wolverine to look like an angry constipated hobbit a in a ridiculous bondage suit, and The Thing to look like a hastily assembled pile of bricks, rather than a man covered in lumpy poo, like the latex suit in the upcoming movie of The Fantastic Four. And christ, isn't it ironic for hard-done-by PLANETARY readers that Warren Ellis is writing ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR, and Cassaday is drawing the FF guesting in his Marvel comic?

That reminds me. Must go for something to eat.