Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Comics waning

As the year closes out I am faced with the possibility that I will soon stop reading comics.

Not altogether, of course. With Beanworld returning, I couldn't do that. But since Beanworld will now mostly come out in graphic novel form (after the previous series have been reprinted), I might find myself wandering into the comic shops with less frequency.

The truth is, visiting what has become the Bendis Sandbox has become tiresome. He breaks everybody's toys, for one. And while I pooh-poohed the idea that Joss Whedon was a misogynist, I have to actually wonder about Bendis. Let's see:

  1. He made the Scarlet Witch go crazy and de-power most mutants (not that you can really tell from the proliferation of titles still out there) and then sent her off to Genosha or Salami or some other weird place nobody cares about.
  2. Killed The Wasp by using her as a weapon of mass destruction.
  3. Killed The Ultimate Wasp by having The Blob eat her entrails. ("Tastes like chicken?" Really, Bendis? That's the wittiest you can come up with? What about "Where's the beef" or "Pardon me, do you happen to have any Grey Poupon?")

Okay, well that's only three. But they're big characters, and Marvel doesn't really have that many iconic female heroes. You're not going to convince me She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, or Spider-Woman are "big heroes." Plus, the whole inane concept of Secret Invasion, now that it's over, is mind-bogglingly thin. After an incredible kickoff, plot threads were left to dangle until they just fell off with no consequences. What was the point of the ship full of Skrull heroes? I mean, it was just a distraction right? Not a distraction for our real heroes, but a distraction for us, the reader, so we wouldn't notice the lack of story.

For what, four issues, pretty much nothing happened. Just heroes looking at Skrulls saying "Oh yeah? Well.... come over HERE and say that!" Which of course they never did. Because God loves his Skrulls.

Oh and just let me talk about that scene with Spider-Woman Skrull. Who, I might remind you, is a shape-shifter. Remember that, they can take other forms. But apparently an arrow through the jaw is enough to knock her off her snickerdoodle so that she couldn't even push her jaw back into place.

A shapeshifter.

And Bendis, please, can you please stop trying to make us care about characters nobody gives a shit about? There's a reason The Hood's series got canceled. Nobody cared. And if you simply MUST revive people nobody cares about and you do try to make them interesting, please stick with your plot point... you can't do a reveal that The Hood's hood is possessed by Dormammu and put "to be continued" at the bottom of the page and then not continue it.

DC has had, if you can imagine, an even worse couple of misfires. While able to put out quality books like All-Star Superman and Ex Machina, they've stunk up their continuity with drudge like Final Crisis and that pointless series that led up to it. I don't even want to talk about Batman RIP. What a way to fake out your readers once again... who will take up the cowl with Batman gone? Until he comes back?

I should point out that I think the idea behind Batman RIP was an interesting one: Batman, sometime in the past, creates a backup personality in case he is ever driven insane by one of his enemies. Or something like that. Anyway, it's the kind of fucked up shit that Grant Morrison is known for. If you've never seen an interview with GM, I call your attention to Disinfo TV. It's a DVD available from the folks at disinformation.com, a site of lots of fringe ideas that at times are very interesting and other times are total whackjobs. Morrison appears talking at a seminar on the special features of the DVD set, and guess which one he comes off sounding like: interesting or whackjob.

Take a cookie if you chose the latter. Seriously, it sounded like Deepak Chopra witnessing for The Secret during a showing of What the Bleep Do We Know, Anyway? But usually, even being nuttier than squirrel shit, Morrison can weave a story that interests me. With Batman RIP, every issue just seemed like a waste of my money.

Luckily, DC has Blackest Night looming on the horizon, and if you ask me this should have been the Final Crisis story, not this Let's-Kill-Kirby's-New-Gods story, which I still fail to see having anything to do with DC's Crisis events. Green Lantern has been stellar of late, which is good because I fear the movie they have in production will turn out to be a tad silly, and may kill off the character for a while. But the whole Sinestro Corps War more than made up for the Final Crisis misfire, especially with the revelation of the whole Spectrum of power rings.

Speaking of horses of a different color: I'm over the Red Hulk. And no, I will not call him by his nickname. This has drawn out far too long, and it is no longer a mystery and is merely annoying, no matter how much Arthur Adams art we get out of it. I mean, are people forgetting that The Hulk just tried to destroy New York? Shouldn't Banner be in chains sedated into a coma or something? I admit the first few issues were interesting, but the interest has reached it's peak, and if the main point of the next year's stories are going to be new batch of heroes fight Red Hulk, who is he, oooh we don't know, it's so mysteious... I'm sorry. Bruce Jones did that Hulk-as-an-X-Files-mystery joint a few years back, and let the bait dangle too long on the hook. I'm not going for it a second time.

But my point is, I hope TPTB don't look at the new Spectrum War thingy happening in Green Lantern and think that if three different colored Hulks were cool, what if we do the whole box of Crayolas? Can you imagine how stupid that would be?

Anyway. So my comic book days may be waning. There are still a few I'm interested in, and I'm sure I'll check out a few more as time goes on, but I notice already that I skip two, three weeks between going to the store now. It's not long until I've moved on, I guess.

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