Sunday, November 02, 2003


Sorry, no political stuff today, I've spent the weekend cut-off from that stuff to recharge my batteries.

Had a good time in Waterloo, enjoyed visiting my old friends.....

Oh, and I picked up a month's worth of comics this on to...


Amazing Spider-man #500 - Ok, I still find JMS' Marvel work to be pretty bland. The art by both Romitas, however, is pretty spectacular, and having Romita Sr. draw, no matter how small the amount, is still a good thing. On a side note, what's with all the "Dr. Strange" love going on at Marvel these days? He's the 'central' character of the rather banal 1602 project and he seems to have a major supporting role here. OK, I get it, he's supposed to be cool, he's not supposed to be the third lamest superhero (at least, according to MAXIM magazine), but making him a pivotal character in a story does not in and of itself make a character 'cool'. You actually have to well, SHOW THAT HE'S COOL. Otherwise, you're just being a bunch of injured fanboys. Sorry, back on topic now. An interesting way of doing an anniversary issue, but not one that grips the reader. To be honest, the heavy dosage of magic here takes away from the more ordinary aspects of the character that an audience can relate to. The ending strikes me as a ham-fisted way of spelling out something every Spider-man READER should know and realize, but something that Peter himself SHOULD NEVER BE ABLE TO ACCEPT. An OK read, but not a great one.

Fantastic Four # 504 and 505 - Uhm, Ok. This is different. Logical, certainly. A departure from what has been done before? Absolutely. Riveting? Your mileage here may vary. Porter's definitely has it's ups (His depiction of the Thing is one of the best I've seen since John Byrne) and it's downs (Reed's scarring seems wildly inconsistent). These issues read as being a bit padded, however, and I would have appreciated a little more content being delivered for the price I'm paying here. My (rather obvious) advice for anyone thinking about getting this is to get the UNTHINKABLE trade before this, and then see if this is what you would like. Overall, while Waid is not firing on all cylinders in this title, it is still probably the best this title has seen IN DECADES. And Waid not firing on all cylinders is still better than 95% of Marvel's monthly output.

Sleeper #9 and #10 - You are missing out one of the best monthly titles written today. Very few titles can me make say "Holy Fuck" out loud. Almost none can do it to me issue after issue. Issue #9 is mostly a clean up of the loose ends from the previous two-parter, but it does give a type of espionage story we are not used to seeing. Issue #10 begins the final scene of this first act, where we begin to see things go horribly wrong. The wonderful thing about this issue is the sheer heroism of Holden (whom I'm beginning to suspect was named in part after a certain famous literary character) on display. The type of bravery he displays is not the "must fight 1000 villains to save the city" but the "I must damn myself in order to live just long enough to get out of this royally fucked up mess". Other things, like Genocide's trully tragic origin, are just icing on the cake. GET THIS BOOK.


Empire #3

Anyone who has read super-hero comics has seen this one before; The hero, having been captured by the villain of the piece, bravely resists his captors and bides his time planing for his escape while he listens to the villain's latest plan.

Well, forget it folks. That's not what happens here.

Instead, we see Endymion (a Superman type) slowly deteriorating in captivity, in body and soul. Contrasting the daydream sequences that bookend this issue only serves to illustrate the remorse and delusions that control him, and the sense of futility and powerlessness he feels trapped under the boot of a megalomanic. Not for the first time in this series, we see that Golgoth's reign is not only a physical dictatorship, but a tyranny of the spirit, and Endymion serves not as a beakon of hope (I don't think there are any in this series), but as the embodiment of the reader's inability to change the outcome. Golgoth does come to the correct conclusion, but perhaps for the wrong reasons, and the consequences remain to be seen.

Barry Kitson does his best work in this series to date. His use of lighter pencils in the day dreams excellently convey both Endymion's deteriorated mental state and the whimsy unfocused nature of the fantasy.

This is Waid's best work. PERIOD. GET IT NOW OR YOU WILL REGRET IT.

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