Whoops, this is supa late.
So, part of this comic rotates around a scene where the main character's pregnant wife dies (this happens on the fourth page, which is two pages after some of the most confusing panel transitions any of these DC book's have had thus far), and while you might make a case for some kind of anti-female thing, you should know in advance that our Mr. Terrific Terrifically rebounds from the dead wife/dead baby thing by becoming besties (with benefits? the characters say no, but the wardrobe choices scream unreliable narrator!) with Power Girl, who may or may not still be a super-hero, but definitely still has gigantic breasts. Anyway: the wife dies on the street, and they take the baby (which is also dead?) out of her body and Mr. Terrific buries the two of them in their own pine boxes? This is on the fifth page? This is...what? Aren't there rules against using only two pages to introduce a pregnant wife and then kill her and her baby and then saw her dead baby out of her body so he/she/it can be placed in a separate casket AND then including a scene a few pages later where Power Girl argues with another girl over who might make the best fuck blanket for the main character? Look, you can jump time all you want, but killing a preggers/baby extraction/hotties catfighting over my man's junk has gotta be too much shit to shovel into one story, right?
Jesus, talk about spinning on a dime--never seen that many blogger types pull screeched tire reversals, and for what? So they wouldn't "lose access" to....jesus--look, this comic is exactly what the previews made everybody think it was going to be, a big steaming piece of shit about a stripper talking to other strippers about all the cliched horseshit that imaginary fictional strippers talk about in fictional stripper stories written by guys who go to strip clubs (or worse, by guys who don't go to strip clubs and act super fucking precious about not going to strip lubs, as if there's some prize to be won by impressing complete strangers on Facebook with how much more public you are about your fucking prissiness compared to some imaginary strip-club-attending stranger who also writes lousy screenplays and shitty comics). It's drawn in such a way that you can tell the artist is trying to split the difference between drawing sleazy enough that he can make some bank off of the original pages but not so sleazy that he has to drink himself into blindness just to forget about how far away he is from A Career Sane People Dream Of Having. It's Voodoo, and it's apparently a big time hit. Thanks a bunch.
This is another one of the DC new 52's, this one hoping to raise some interest due to its aping of Marvel's insanely popular Dark Avengers for some titular inspiration. It's the most Vertigo of the bunch (unless you count the remix treatment being given to Animal Man and Swamp Thing), written as it is by Peter Milligan, who is at this point more responsible for Shade The Changing Man than creator Steve Ditko could ever hope (or will ever care) to be. It's sort of a horror comic (it opens with a bunch of people being slaughtered on the highway and includes lines like "But what is the smell of sanity? The reek of skinned babies and sliced eyeballs"), but it follows the "Here's A Bad Guy, Let's Build A Team To Defeat It" protocols of most super-team origin stories so closely that any other agenda eventually drowns. It's terrible? Yes, it's terrible. Batman doesn't agree though. Look at how happy he is!
In case Jefte Palo's deft caricature of Commissioner Gordon didn't clue you in, this is the best old school Batman comic to come out in a good long stretch of time. (Using the modifier "old school" means you can keep that one Grant-Morrison-thinks-Scalped-is-corny issue of Batman Incorporated out of the running.) And while ripping off Batman comics is a perfectly acceptable (and considering the lack of any good ones from DC, a brilliant stroke of capitalist need-filling), there's no reason to make the Robin analogue so incredibly fucking shrill. No self-respecting super-hero would choose to hang out with a busted smoke alarm, no matter how quick-witted she is.
Here's the positive spin for a change: this is an incredibly successful attempt to send Aquaman in a bold new direction, unlike any of the previous directions he has taken, which, in case you don't remember your history, have always been miserable financial failures, except for the one time that they worked for a little while. (That would be the Peter David one, which was also a bold new direction. It included a beard.) The bold new direction this time around is that Geoff Johns depicts Aquaman in the DC Universe as the same big fucking joke he is in our world, and also as a character who thinks fish are boring and stupid and likes to eat them when he isn't controlling them. Johns also introduces a new set of bad guys, and the new set of bad guys are basically the bad guys from that movie The Descent, which is a fucking great movie that proves that you can make great action/horror movies even if you don't have any men as your leads. (I may have just spoiled one of its best surprises.) So, for what it's worth, this Aquaman comic is markedly different from previous Aquaman comics, which were apparently about a bunch of shit that happens down at the bottom of the ocean as well as being about magic. Good luck to you, comic book! You have a hell of a road in front of you, and it is unlikely that road will ever include a movie that people will want to watch. Nobody tell Diane Nelson: promises are about to be made forever broken.
This is the last issue of the first volume of a comic that previous blog posts have taught me no one will ever like as much as me, but that will not deter me from saying, once again, that this is a positively wonderful comic book drawn by one of the medium's greatest living artists. It's not an action comic--it was, maybe, at one point--although the style Kyle Baker uses was utilized to great action-y effect in his Special Forces comic, which also turned out to be the best response to Frank Miller's Holy Terror anyone is ever going to come up with (and it's even better because Baker published it long before he could have known a lot about Holy Terror). Instead, Baker's exaggerated humor cartooning--with a dash with cruel commentary, like the way he draws prostitutes as either obese or anorexic, or the way he mimics the notorious Danish Muslim cartoons--results in something that's almost Haneke-esque in the way it snaps at you for enjoying yourself. But enough: this has been an impossible sell, what I'm getting out of this thing--1) the way a hyper referenced world says hello to a melting face, 2) the smashed color combinations that amplify the sick, 3) the way Bob's clothing hangs off his wasted body while his hair flops back, still perfection--but that doesn't make it any less wonderful.
While this is one of the new DC #1's, it's pretty much a friendly snap of the wet rag to the bottoms of older readers, in that it maintains the longstanding tradition of Jonah Hex comics being pretty to look at (in this installment, Moritat does the honors) even when what you're looking at is some horrible shit being done to female characters and their female bathing suit areas. The more things change, the more they're still comics about how Jonah Hex spent most of his old-timey time walking into rooms right after somebody else had walked into those same rooms for the purposes of cowboy raping some lady. "If only they weren't asking for it, with those multiple layers of gingham petticoats and laudanum addictions", the comics so often say. Indeed!
Fucking great cover. Oliver Coipel's take on this comic is pretty awesome, because he seems to be obsessed with finding ways to work shirtless dudes into the narrative as much as possible. There's just something kind of wonderful about grabbing a roller, dipping it into a vat of hairy, big chested man, and then splurging that shit all over the page. The story probably isn't about fucking and crying and being held, but I'll be goddamned if that isn't exactly how it feels when you get done.
The secondary plot of this comic is Wolverine finding himself in a camp full of people who make children fight wolves for fun, they do this in a pit--you get it? Comics are basically people who watch shitty movies. No bad guy in a decent action movie would build a criminal franchise around watching children fight wolves, because it would be a boring fucking fight and nobody would come back to bet on it a second time. Fuck, look at that trailer for this Liam Neeson movie (which is totally going to be a better Wolverine story than either movie or comic has to offer, even though it's going to pretend to just be a Liam Neeson movie). If you want to kill wolves, you have to at least be Liam Neeson, and you have to make your own broken glass killing gloves. Children--I don't give a shit if there's 30 of them, children are fucking meat for the grinder, they don't have a chance. Still that's nothing compared to the corny bullshit that serves as the main plot of this terrible, terrible comic: which is that Wolverine got upset about something, so he ran away from home. And he's never coming back! So all of his friends got together and decided to go and see him out in the woods and ask him to come home, because they all care about him so much, so won't you please come home, because we wuv you and you are special, even if you don't think so right now, oh there there cry it out you Fucking Dwarfish Hair Covered Suckling Cunt
Look, just because there's been a good 15,000 comics featuring Wolverine as lead character published in the past decade, that glut of material doesn't mean its time to publish stories where the guy acts like a run of the mill pout-baby from the five-to-twelve age bracket. Take some fucking acid, go to an actual dogfight, spearfish. There's inspiration everywhere!
-Tucker Stone, 2011