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2009.05.10

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"talented dudes--like Nicieza--"

Wait... WHAT?!?!

That's the single least Tucker Stone-ish thing I've ever heard anyone say.

Well, you had to expect me to eventually open up and admit to liking the first four issues of Turok: the Native American Dino-Killer.

Nicieza is one of comics' best kept secrets. I mean, look at the guy: he only gets the shittiest of the shit jobs. Like, if they're going to cancel something in six months, or if they book has already had three writers in an eight-month period, or if its a needless one-off spin-off of a poorly received event comic, or if the bigger-name writer is busy and needs an assist on "scripting" duties - well, Nicieza is right there in the thick of it.

And the thing is, for all the horrendous comics he has been attached to in his career, he is almost good enough at what he does to make you think that sometimes, just sometimes, a solid attention to craft and good ear for character is enough to overcome even the worst editorially-mandated swill context in the universe. If anyone at any of these companies had half a brain they'd actually give him a project that wasn't already a zombie and he'd probably blow it up like the World Trade, in the immortal words of Soulja Slim.

And yes, I've still got the first three years of New Warriors squirreled away, why do you ask?

I think your review of "The Network #1" should win an award for the best use of a run-on sentence.

But then again, I'm a fan of Nicieza X-Men comics from the 90s, so my tastes are suspect.

I wish Bendis would stop pissing away his talent on trying to force Avengers to read like a play. I also wish he would go back to working on more books like Powers. I mean, I understand collecting a paycheck, but it's just so uninspired.

Kirkman is everything right with comics. If companies like Marvel were actually trying to increase their sales base, they'd stop pretending like Avengers is going to appeal to everyone and they'd make books like Kirkman's stuff their FCBD/ public face. Kids are never coming back to you, Marvel.

Niciezia is criminally underrated because he only wants to play in the Big Two's sandbox. My guess is he's still eating shit sandwhiches from something he did while EIC at Valiant.

Sorry this is all super grouchy, I'm still very, very tired....

Destroyer isn't bad, but it seems like more of Kirkman recycling stuff from his earlier books, in this case Brit (which itself recycled some Battle Pope). Still, it's nice to see someone write an old, tired character rather than the perenially young and chipper types we usually see.

That's disappointing about Destroyer, I didn't realize it was retreading. Still, I'm more interested in it because of the art, it's got a real nice rhythm to it. That lead-up to the helicopter dive, or the part where the guy rips off the robot lady skull--it's really striking, well designed stuff. I like it.

Nicieza--i don't know how underrated he is, although I think I'd chalk most of that up to what Tim was mentioning. I don't know that I've read anything by him (except that Turok comic) where he wasn't handling a mercenary tie-in book (Battle for the Cowl, X-O Manowar Versus Iron Man) or a book headed for cancellation (like Robin). It's like watching a guy jump rope while a bunch of little kids hold his feet to the ground. The fact that he's able to produce anything readable is a feat in and of itself, and sometimes, yeah, the shit isn't that bad. If he had more freedom, I don't know, maybe it would be better. But the guy has been handling crap titles for a loooong fucking time. Everybody has a breaking point.

Tucker, Nicezia has been putting work in on a comic called The 99. It's an off the beaten path type of comic because it's stated goal is to promote Muslims as being normal people by showing what superheros would do in an Islamic context. It's not Watchmen or anything, but it is a lot of fun and it's a nice social message. Anyway, Nicezia has been doing good work there and has been showing he can make good comics but he seems determined to cash a paycheck from the Big Two. Also, Nicezia was the first guy to pair up Warren Ellis with Darrick Robertson, so he gets a pass from me on that.

As for Destroyer, I haven't read any of it yet, but Kirkman is a name I trust. Walking Dead and Invincible are both great reads. They're interesting because they're really good in the soap opera molds plus Kirkman is like the one guy to really "get" Watchmen and use a lot of the narrative structuring Moore introduced. Reading his work is bizarre, because it feels so much like a guilty read, but there's actually meat there if you like to dig into structure.

As for Destroyer, I can say yes, Kirkman goes to the well a *lot* with the old, tired superman. On the other hand, I can't blame him with submitting an old, tired idea to Marvel. Kirkman definitely understands the importance of owning his own IPs and as the new face of Image, would be a fool to give away new ideas to Marvel. Cashing a paycheck off of old, recycled ideas? That's living the American Dream right there!

Hm, from what Stuart Moore said about the 99, I think a bit more of the credit for the series should be on the shoulders of Naif Al-Mutawa. From the little i've seen, Nicezia does good work on it, but a big part of what's impressive about that series is the groundwork and research setting up the characters and Islamic theme, and I don't really believe that's something Nicezia can lay claim to.

I'm sorry if I was overstating Nicezia's role in The 99. I was just trying to say Nicezia is doing good work there and he's showing he can take novel concepts and do good work with them as opposed to his normal role of sheparding books to the grave.

BTW - I feel like I should mention I have a vested interest in the 99. A good friend of my fiance just did a documentary on the book and I'm all for any work that portrays Muslims as normal people!

Have you read any of the 99, btw? It's surprisingly good. I say that because I feel like most books that are trying to promote a religious angle - any religious angle - are usually crap. The 99 doesn't fall into the normal trap of trying to be Davey & Goliath, it's just trying to highlight Islamic values and stress those values aren't at odds with being a member of society. It's a refreshing change of pace. I can't comment on the quality of the stories because I'm biased to the message, so I'd be interested in seeing what you have to say.

I don't think you're overstating it too much, Nicezia is the day-to-day guy for 99, and I don't think that can be completely dismissed out of hand. But it seems to me that the 99 is just another Battle For The Cowl type job, if you're look at his role as a "hired gun". It might be a better, from what I've heard, it is, but it's not like it's a book where he's free to do whatever he wants.

I have only seen a little of the 99 online, but when I interviewed Stuart Moore at NYCC, he talked about the project's origin and went into detail about its ambitions, and yeah, it certainly seems impressive. Initially, it sounded a lot like propaganda--positive propaganda, but propaganda nonetheless--but after reading a bit more about it, it seems more that it's a project doing the best it can within the strict environments where it is being sold. The stuff Moore was saying about how you have to depict young women in a comic so that it doesn't raise red flags was particularly interesting. Still, I haven't actually read a large enough range of the comic to have much of an opinion on it. It's got good motives, sure. But I'm really only interested in it because of the story behind its inception.

Tucker, would you like me to buy you some digital copies? I'd really like to see you or Matt Brady give a review of it because both of you would recognize the propaganda for what it is and still evaluate it within the context of is it a good read despite the propaganda.

For me, I'm too vested in the propaganda- I want that message out there - so my opinion is close to worthless on it.

I mean, you're right, it's still hired gun stuff for Nicezia, it's just better than his usual because it's a concept with a future as opposed to his normal going down with the ship jobs.

Could Nicezia ever write his own concept? He tried with that battle fairy book at Valiant that was god awful, but it was one attempt on a very weak concept. I'd be interested to see what he could do beside that....

The more I read about Final Crisis Aftermath: Run! #1 the more I want it.

All of this discussion really just makes me miss Cable and Deadpool. It's like, Geoff Johns isn't a shitty writer because he only writes superhero stuff, he's a shitty writer because he's a humorless tone deaf manchild writing for mental deficients. So yeah, Nicieza has been attached to crap more often than not, but stuff like Cable and Deadpool justifies or at least excuses his seeming fixation with working within the big two.

I'm not sure any of that made sense, but seriously: Cable and Deadpool.

I knew it, I knew IT, I've been reading Geoff Johns comics since, oh, 1999, I suppose, and I could never quite peg what kind of person that made me. Imagine, almost a decade in the bag, well into my forties, already stricken by an arrested development that I've been carrying with me and nurturing since the age of ten; oh, but how to define it!! Finally, it has been made clear: I am a Mental Deficient! Thank the lord I can type!!!

FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT

Nicieza, Christ, I remember when this guy came on the scene...I absolutely hated him, everything he touched was like reading Tom DeFalco MTIOs (ha, MarkAndrew), and he came across as the most horrible fanboy ever. But here's a thing you can't say about a whole lot of your superhero comics writers these days: he worked hard to learn his craft, and I can't think of a single good reason not to read something written by him now. I applaud the guy, he's probably the last old-school solid journeyman Marvel Comics writer there's ever going to be. Somebody should give him Geoff Johns' job, I bet he'd kill at it. I'd shake his fucking hand.

Attention must be paid!

I don't know how anyone can say Geoff Johns is humorless after he wrote that Sinestro Corps: Superman-Prime one-shot, where the entire conceit of the comic is literally "a super-powered Newsarama poster beats up half the DC Universe."

Kingman: well of course he's not writing for you. He's writing for, you know, those people.

(Seriously I had the opportunity to bash Geoff Johns and talk up Cable and Deadpool and I took it. I apologize for nothing!)

That comment would have worked better with italics.

anyone remember NFL Superpro? Nicieza wrote it because he was promised tickets to te super bowl

I've never been called a "those people" before, cool

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