Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Secret Invasion and Tie-Ins

In the past I haven’t been a big fan of the big company event books. It’s not that I’m one of those people who automatically hates them, I’ve just wary of having to buy a bunch of titles I wouldn’t normally buy just to get the complete story. If I don’t like the character, the writing or the artwork, I’m not going to buy the title, and slapping an event logo on it isn’t going to change that. That being said, I’m glad Marvel’s done little minis for the events. I first noticed it with House of M, there was the minis for Spiderman, Avengers, X-Men and a couple of others. I really liked being able to jump on board with any of them and not have to wade through a ton on continuity to try to figure out what was going on. I think this change is good and I’m sure it’s a boost to trade sales, because instead of just putting out one trade, there’s one for each of the tie-ins.

Another thing I haven’t liked about the events is tardiness. If you want to put out something, make sure it’s on time for fuck’s sake. The longer I have to wait to get the next part of a story the less I’m going to remember and the less interested I’m going to be in it. Sure I can dig out the old issues and get caught up, but then it loses the tension and anticipation of what comes next. And in an industry that built on the ideal of “until next time dear reader,” it’s irritating. I think Civil War really suffered because of tardiness, and that’s a shame since I really liked that series. Luckily, Secret War didn’t have as much of a tardiness problem, thought there was a little bit.

Over all, Secret Invasion was pretty damn good. With the things that went down in Civil War, there was bound to be a shit storm to deal with. I figured it would be more heroes versus heroes, but when I was reading buildup stories in New Avengers and Mighty Avengers, there was definitely the hint that there was something going on in the background. I liked seeing the heroes get their asses beat for a while and you didn’t know if they would be able to pull off a victory. They had been so beaten down by each other and to have people show up that you thought were dead had to be not only a physical blow to many, but had to fuck some people up mentally pretty bad.

There were a lot of times when I had no idea who was a Skrull and who wasn’t and that was really refreshing. I especially like how some of the Skrulls completely take on the characteristics of the heroes they were made to replace and side with humanity. Bendis seemed to pull from his past crime/suspense experience which fit perfectly here.

I’m not completely in love with the series though. As much I like Bendis’s writing, it does seem a little shitty to basically tell past writers that hey, you know those characters you were writing about, yeah that was a Skrull. I’m not sure if it’s a conscience thing or just a means to get to what he wants to write, but it irritates me a bit. I still have a hard time getting use to Yu’s art. There’s way to much excess outlining of the characters causing it to look too busy and making fighting scenes distracting as fuck.

As far as the tie-in series, I’ve only been reading Frontline, Thor and X-Men. Of those, I have to say I love Frontline. It’s great to get to see how things affect normal people in the Marvel U. Brian Reed has come a long way from his start at co-writing the Ultimate Spiderman video game. He handles Ben Urich well and seems like a natural fit. Ben is a great character and having him as the voice of something like this is logical. At the end of the mini, we see him take Osborn to task when it was obvious no one else was going to. I’m betting we’ll see more of Ben in Dark Reign. The art by Marco Castello really made the series. The gritty, non-polished, simple lines looked great for the normal people and made it easier to empathize with them. And unlike with Yu, simple lines for fight scenes are essential.

The X-Men tie-in is defiantly going to have ramifications for the X-Universe. Since the events of House of M and recently Divided We Stand, we’ve seen more of a hard-line response to threats to mutants. For the longest time, I’ve wanted to see something like this. I knew that with Professor X in the picture, this wasn’t going to happen, but when you’re hated for being different and the government has even thought about passing legislation about you, stop standing there and taking shit. As soon as there was talk of the Skrulls having constantly changing genetics, I figured there was the possibility of the Legacy Virus coming into play. We’ll see how mutants and non-mutants will react to the use of this biological weapon.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Disclaimers and Haters

Disclaimer: Though I haven't said much of any thing of substance yet, and I will in the next couple of days, so bare with me a little longer, I tend to curse...a lot. That's just my personality. I don't have problems with words, because that's all they are, but intentions, thoughts, now those are the meat of thing. I find that when I feel strongly, I use words to help convey those thoughts and intentions, and more often then not, it's going to be a curse word. However, that doesn't mean I'm going to go all turrets and have every other word be the f-bomb. So, if you have a problem with cursing, this probably isn't the blog for you.

Haters: If there's one thing about the internet that I can't stand it's the haters. I don't mean the people who are really and constantly negative, there are those types of people out there and as long as they back it up, that's fine. I'm talking about trolls, people who go from message board to message board or blog to blog proclaiming their hate for a creator or company. They never give concrete, thought out reasons for why they don't like the thing, they just hate it. Fuck that noise. You had to have a reason to not like the thing in the first place, so you should be able to tell it to people. So, if I don't like a comic, I'm going to give you reasons. If I don't, I expect people to call me out on my shit.

Actual reviews to come in the next few days. Hang in there folks, it's going to get better.

Monday, February 2, 2009


First a few things, so some of you can decide if you even want to bother with this. For the longest time, I've been a Marvel Zombie. I mean that with all the love that's possible. When my brother introduced me to comics, almost everything he read was Marvel. So, it was only natural that I would to. The first comic I ever read was Daredevil #182.

The way the guy looked so utterly devastated and desperate really spoke to me. I had to know who's grave that was and who the man was. I still remember thinking, this is totally different from those Archie comics I saw at Meijers (the first place I saw comics before I discovered my first comic shop). I soon discovered X-Men, Iron Man and Power Fist and Wolverine. I especially liked the X-Men, because they were outcasts who just wanted to be accepted. I could relate to them. I mean, who hasn't felt like an outsider at some time in their lives especially in their pre-teen, teen years. Comics became my escape. I could pretend I was one of these heroic people with these cool powers. When I was having a bad day, I'd pick up a comic. When I was having a good day, I'd pick up a comic to make it that much better.

In the late 90's I stopped collecting and reading comics. Most of the time the story was shit, but the art was pretty good or the story was good and the art was shit. Plus, I was going to college and I coudn't afford to get all the stuff I was use to reading. There's an issue of X-Men where Storm was the main focus and the art was so fucking bad I actually through it away without finishing it.

It was anime that actually got me back into comics. I was looking for an video tape of Vampire Huter D and I remembered one of my comic shops carried them. I walked in and noticed Ultimate Spiderman on the shelf. I wondered what it was all about and bought it. I loved the art and the story was entertaining and just fun to read. I went back to the shop and picked up some fo the titles I had grown up on and the characters I loved. I was exstatic to find that the stories were really good and the art complimented everything so nicely.

In the last two years friends from message boards have suggested other comics to me and I'm really glad they did. I started reading Y:The Last Man, Ex Machina, Green Lantern, Fables, Walking Dead, Invincible, Kabuki and Atomic Robo. It's been so much fun to discover these new stories and mythoses, I feel like a kid discovering comics again for the first time. I've been inspired by Kabuki to learn to draw, something I use to do a lot when I was a kid; to think about making my own comic; and gotten to know some of the best friends I ever had all from comics. I feel so lucky, and that's part of the reason I'm doing this blog, to encourage others, especially girls to read comics.