Thursday, August 19, 2004

News, Reviews, and other Sundry

Well, sorry about the increased delay...I'm still trying to get comments and the links list to work. If you can be of any help, please contact

Let's see, as for news:

-Heading down to Toronto at the beginning of September on a mostly business venture to try and get work and/or some support and information on doing a Master's degree at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies.

-Support Comic Book Galaxy: Apparently, they could use your support. Alan David Doane and company have been the first and last word on critical comic thinking, and deserve anything you can do to help them. And if you doubt the caliber of these people as serious comic thinkers, go read Alan's interview with ALAN MOORE.

Reviews: Trying to catch up on comics I've been reading....either in paper form or digital (via the free sites)


Invaders #1 - Should be bought, preserved, and analysed as a text book example of how NOT to do a number 1 issue of a comic. This book is SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT. and if you doubt it, go read it yourself here. I checked it out because I liked C.P. Smith's artwork from Stormwatch: Team Achilles and figured that his sensiblities would be put to adequate use here. I was wrong.

For those of you whom lack the stomach to actually read through this pigeon dropping, let me give you the cliff notes as best I can:

- Do you have a lot of old World War Two comics? Did you catch the 'story' that introduced all these characters in Avengers? No? Then you and I have something in common, because I have no Fucking clue whom 90% of these characters are, although I do remember John Walker as the right wing psycho Captain America from Mark Gruewald's run. Looks like the dumbass still hasn't learned his lesson. Oh, and I know who Namor is too.

-I thought Jim Hammond was blond, or graying....but here he has brown hair. It could be the horrible colouring needed.

-I really wish I knew who the man-sized robo-insects were, or why they were being fought, or how the action was being depicted, because it just isn't clear. Does Jim Hammond (The original Human Torch for those of you who never bought the Thunderbolts or doesn't have a 1984 Handbook to the Marvel Universe handy) have pyrokinesis now? Heat vision? Who cares?

-Again, who are these people and why are they a team? To defend Democracy? That falls apart when you have "King of the Seas" Namor on your team. Head hurting. At least the Union Jack character seems just as fucking confused as me. Even though he doesn't talk like any Englishman I have ever heard or seen on TV or met....

-Page 13: Funniest/Stupidest part of the issue here. Walker (Calling himself "US Agent" according to caption box, even though the duds look like a cross between the medeval Captain America costume from Busiek's first storyline and Ultimate Cap) rams his shield marked with the names "of American lives lost Terrorist scum like you! Show Some Respect!" into a bug man bot. Okay, apparently in the Marvel Universe, Sept 11, 2001, the World Trade Center was attacked and brought down by ray-gun weilding insect bots. Nevermind that the trivialisation of a Real World tragedy in this comic is done in such a ridiculous manner (Seriously, someone at editorial should get FIRED for something this insensitive and stupid).

-Ok, now the fights over, and of course, instead of acting like a military and securing the area, the characters decide to start bitching at each other. Oh, and am I supposed to find it creepy or just ham-fisted the "What is this, equal rights for synthetics?" line coming from an American hero who's supposed to stand for...equality?

-The rest of this issue is talking heads that really explains...well...nothing, except that there is a lot of rampant sexism and possibly racism inherent in the characters. And the twist at the end leaves going "Who the fuck cares?"

And with that spleen venting accomplished, on to better things

Other Reviews:

Sleeper Season Two #1-2: Come on, you shouldn't need ME to recommend this to you. It's good. Really good. Very dark and disturbed, but good.

Invincible #13 - Not the best jumping on point...If I were you and new to this title, I'd go fish out the trades (or at the very least, issue #9) to start off. That being said, this is a good book, and it wraps things up fine while setting up a new status quo.

Fantastic Four #514-516 - Surprisingly, it looks like Waid's and Kesel's styles seem to clash in this one, which is odd given the similar approach the two of them have when dealing with superheroes. If you are familiar with the writers, you can probably tell whom contributed what, although I would also suspect that there was some editorial edicts that forced some of this plot. To be honest, I found this new Frightful Four arc to be a little darker than I would have liked, given that the Lee/Kirby era used these villains more for cheap laughs than anything else. However, a bad arc with this team is still a thousand times better than this book has been since the days of Walt Simonson.

Ex-Machina #2 - Hmm....I'm still not sure this is for me. While the premise is enticing, there is a not so subtle slam of superheroics being present throughout here, as it seems to me that Vaughn is implying that the character's career as a "superhero" was basically one long screw-up. The politics presented are bad, but they are entirely exciting. Great art by Harris, however.

Planetary #20 - The Real gem of the week, as not only are we dealing with the undiluted beauty of artwork provided by Cassaday, but we are actually given the impression that THE PLOT IS MOVING FORWARD. After two years and a handful of issues, this is very important. If you aren't reading this, well, you are missing out on the best comic since WATCHMEN.

That's all for now, later.

Michael Paciocco

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