Pizza, punk-rock horse whispering, James Leonard's Magic, air conditioning, more pizza, learning at the feet of Lazzarus. You missed it? You must live in the wrong place. You? You should move.
No kidding around: while it wasn't "wrong" to kill off the Bucky character, and people like Tom Brevoort (people who wear old porkpie hats and dirty t-shirts to press conferences, people who take Newsarama seriously, people who call intercourse "giving the jew some bacon", people just like Tom Brevoort) are right to tell weener peeners to suck it up and fuck themselves and their slimy fivers right over to Dark Horse or those Game of Thrones things if they don't like the twists and turns that the Marvel roller coaster keeps on-a-taking. That's not wrong, so he's right. But that doesn't mean killing Bucky wasn't a stupid, meaningless thing to do, it doesn't change the fact that it took place in a comic that no one likes (and rest assured, even Kelly Sue DeConnick thinks Fear Itself sucks the balls, and she's sharing toothpaste with its writer), and it's okay--for the next part to work, you have to let me be the mommy, and let mommy give you the permission--to be a little chapped off about the whole state of affairs. Hell, use that feeling as an excuse to ignore the other Captain America comic, the one that Steve McNiven is...well, I guess you call that drawing, you certainly wouldn't mistake it for sandwich making. Skipt hat one, you won't miss a thing, and you can slather all that attention right atop this little boner sandwich, which is a comic about the good old days, when lil' Bucky got flown somewhere in a cargo jet so that he could beat up the original Seal Team 6 right in front of an army jeep, and sitting in that army jeep, falling in love for the first time: Sterling Steve Rogers, the man himself. Doesn't that sound like the sort of warm blanket that'll get you lindy hopping again?
What kind of half-ass psycho comes to town with an extensive new mystery play that'll hide his craze-balls loony brain all so that he can pull back the curtain in about a week's time? Oh, the kind that gets his story remixed and then full on aborted so the deck can be ready for the new Batman comics. So now that we're staring down at the conclusion, how much do you want to bet that there's going to be some really treacly monologuing in the next issue of this kinda-gross story where Commissioner Gordon's lunatic (and super evil! he dismembers people and strips his own mother naked for the torturing!) son explains that the whole reason he's crazy as fuck (but not so crazy that every part of his plan doesn't work out totally the way he wants it to) is because wah fucking wah wah he fell off a bridge and got caught by a guy in a motorcycle jacket when he was a diaper-filling baby. Gawd, you ever meet those kinds of people? The ones who attribute even the most minor personal failings to some barely remembered slight from their youth? I once knew a girl who worked as a greeter at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Factory in Times Square, and she got in trouble with the boss because she told a party of four about her conviction that her uncle had probably molested her when she was but a wee infant. Now, I know what you're thinking: how the hell does that conversation even begin to happen? The party-of-four/restaraunt-greeter relationship hangs on one, easy question: there's just no sane way to work it back to the womb. Even then though, she had more of a leg to stand on then our little Jimmy G Junior (actual name!), who you just know is going to blame his addiction to Hannibal Lector behavior completely on the one time when his 3 month old ass went over the railing. Punk ass cornbaby. What he needs to do is suck it up.
As much as it pains me to say it, David Lapham is doing a good job on this one. And yes, I'm aware of the existence of Crossed Family Values and Crossed Psychopath and Crossed Babies, Babies Mamma Wanna Kill Em All (Crossed Casey Anthony?), so let it be fully underscored: I know what it means when one praises the work of David Lapham, I'm aware of where that road can lead. (That Modern Warfare 2 comic that said L1 aims, L2 rapes? I know all about that shit.) This was still good! Admittedly, the pleasures of Deadpool Max stem in huge part to its blunt refusal to be intelligent for any period of time that lasts beyond a few panels, as well as an artist whose apparent interest in "pleasing" drawings rises and fall within individual issues; shorter version, you return to it because of its out-and-out weirdness. It still feels like a Marvel comic--more so than Ennis' War Stories-tinged Max work did--but it's one of those Marvel comics that reads like it was cloned from the time the Punisher tinted his skin black, or when Spider-Man got replaced by a dude wearing an outfit from Olivia Newton John's "Let's Get Physical" videos. Plus, you know, there's impotence jokes, f-words and secret penises.
I can't be the only one who is getting testy about waiting for Brubaker to write a straight up whodunit under the Criminal umbrella, and yet considering what he's doing here--an EC tinged nasty with the Archie characters, where Jughead the junkie in recovery, Betty is the laid back badass friend he should've gone for, and Veronica's the whore wife who can't be satisfied, which fits just fine with her status obsessed Archie hating Mr. Lodge--you kind of can't blame him for going with his gut. It's a clever take, better than an "Archie's Crime SuspseStories" title would've led anyone to expect.
It must have been an awesome moment for Richard Isanove when he got the call to work on something other than those shitty Spider-Man reprints and Dark Tower: Some More Shit That Happens Between Pages 315 and 317 of Wizard And The Glass comics, but goddamn, what a sleepy chapter in the abusive relationship that is Uncanny X-Force did he end up getting saddled with. As was mentioned in last week's comments, this issue was lots and lots of talking, and nobody got on board the X-Force train because talking roused their dick chicken. (Okay FINE, that part where Wolverine refers to Jean Grey as "handmade by God to afflict me" is a total corker.) And while there's enough Tim Riggins & Landry fans 'round here to admit that a good old fashioned won't-those-two-just-fuck subplot can keep us in our seats through the tedious moments where the glasses people babble about Muggle swing dance traditions, let's be clear: you have to make us care about Psylocke if you want us to care about who Psylocke wants to fuck. And dude: nobody ain't never gonna care about Psylocke. PS.com: since when is Fantomex not gay?
The first chunk of this issue, leading up to the muddy-as-hell jumping jeep panel--that was a chore to get through, the kind of stuff that felt like work to read, and there's probably nothing worse you can say about a single issue comic book than "it felt like work to read". But after that--literally, the next page after that jeep panel--Butcher Baker turned itself into the comic that Joe Casey has been pimping it out to be in the backmatter essays, and this became the-mother-fuckery people should be getting into. The color on this book has been solid since issue one, but in issue 4--that panel where Times Square kept the nudie theaters and exploded into non-advertising-powered candied life--it jumped past everything else that's coming out right now (including my precious art comics about feelings and elmo dreamingz) and entered Brendan McCarthy level hallucinatory territory. This is the kind of comic that Image exists to publish, and it's the kind of thing that makes comic books seem unique again. Sleep on that shit at your peril. Lord knows you can have dipshit movie pitches if that's what makes your pant-churches steeple.
-Tucker Stone, 2011