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I'm constantly torn re-reading Pluto... I mean, Urasawa (and Nagasaki; pretty sure 'co-author' means co-writer, since he doesn't draw anything) are blunt/shameless enough to throw in a flashback to Not the Iraq War in which a guy confronts Gesicht by declaring:

"No terrorists here..."

"There were only..."


While he gestures toward a bloody crib, mind you.

I guess I'd forgotten the series getting that melodramatic? Although... I guess in a way that's sorta faithful to Tezuka's Astro Boy stories, just filtered through Urasawa's own passion for emotional button-pushing...

On the other hand, this is the volume that introduces a talking, bowtie-wearing teddy bear named Mr. Roosevelt who's secretly pulling the strings behind the curtain of the U.S. government, so I can't really get too down on it. Like, they all do totally grasp the 'do anything' enthusiasm of Tezuka's kid-targeted work, and some of it mixes really well with their suspense instincts...

Some pretty awesome cartooning too... did you read Tezuka's son's essay in the back? Interesting that Urasawa wanted to use a looser, more homage-driven style at first... I think they were right to go for what they did.

You made fun of Billy Collins.

That makes my day.

"This is a book about has-beens and never-weres."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't this always been the case for the Outsiders?

At least Tomasi is operating under any illusions.

isn't operating under any illusions, I meant to say.

I think the thing that annoys me about Mark Millar the most is that of all the major-league hacks, he is the one who takes the least effort to disguise the bog-standard formulaic-ness of his scripts. All of these books are formulaic, even if that formula is "look like we're breaking the formula, even though we're just substituting another formula", but the degree to which he scripts his stories according to pre-digested outlines and pre-destined dramatic beats is pretty damn remarkable.

If Aristotle were yanked by time-travel into the present day, he would wholeheartedly approve of Mark Millar, even down to the whole "let's not give women any role whatsoever in our fictional universes outside of the traditional roles of the wife and mother" thing.

But with that said, his unabashed predictability doesn't mean his comics aren't occasionally enjoyable. I mean, All Creatures Great and Small could have been written by a robot but it's still wildly entertaining.

Rawbone has lesbian pirates in it? Why the hell am I learning about this NOW? I love your analysis of this month's Outsiders' writer. Though if someone actually DID a DC or Marvel mainstream book written about a team similar to the movie The Specials I'd be very interested in it...

Nice work this week; I laughed. However, I must nitpick the notion that Paul Jenkins ever wrote the Sentry well, because even though he created the character, he most certainly never wrote anything worth reading. God, that is a terrible, terrible character who really should never show up in a story again, ever. I wrote a review of that first miniseries a long time ago, and while I probably cared more about Marvel back then, I still agree with myself in thinking that it was pretty goddamn awful, even with Jae Lee doing the artwork. It's just one big Mary Sue story, with the author deluding himself into thinking that he is just the coolest, because he came up with a guy who can do anything, isn't that awesome. No, it is not, because now you don't have any stories that you can actually tell with the character, and I think most everybody has proven that notion correct whenever they try to use him.

I thought the first Sentry series was pretty interesting, and all the crappy versions of the Sentry that came after (including Jenkins own sequel) can't detract from that. But yeah, hooray for Parker.

Also hooray for chai tea and Billy Collins.

The chick in Hellblazer is the spiritual successor to Neil Gaiman's Death, who has to be the most successful blatant, crass crystallization of nerd desires ever written. Which is why I hate Neil Gaiman, because when he writes that kind of fan service I fall for it and it makes me feel dirty.

I never thought about Death like that, but that's probably because I'm not into chicks with obvious venereal disease.

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