Month: February 2008

Debut Issue

Kick-Ass #1

When I walked into the comic shop this week I had no intention of picking up a new book, even one with as snazzy a title as Kick-Ass. (I actually got two new books, this one and Ed Brubaker’s Criminal #1.) But it’s action packed cover and bold title caught my eye. When I saw that it was written by Mark Millar and drawn by John Romita Jr., I thought I’d give it a shot. Millar wrote some of my favorite stories including Civil War, Ultimates 1 & 2, and the amazing “Enemy of the State” arc in Wolverine. Romita Jr. has been a Marvel mainstay for years and always done quality work.

Kick-Ass is an Icon book, which is Marvel’s creator owned imprint. That means it doesn’t take place in the Marvel universe. In fact, it happens in a world not unlike our own. Kick-Ass asks a question: With all the crazies in the world why has there never been anyone to put on a costume and fight crime? In this book, Dave Lizewski does just that.

What’s so special about Dave Lizewski? Nothing at all. He’s a high school student. He loves comic books. Other than that, he’s a pretty nondescript guy, just sort of fading into the background of life. He decides to become a costumed hero not because he has any special ability or anyone to avenge, but just because he’s bored. He spends a few weeks in the gym then buys a wet suit and a ski mask and heads out to fight crime. He has no combat training, no name, and no idea what he’s getting himself into. Needless to say, it does not end well.

The main character doesn’t seem particularly smart or likable, but he’s the right kind of crazy to make you wonder what he’s going to do next. And when the first issue ends with the hero bleeding to death in the middle of the street after being stabbed in the chest and hit by a car, you have to wonder what issue two will bring. I’ll stick around for that, at least.


Five points to think about

It was so much fun last week – let’s do it again!

  1. Wolverine: The Amazing Immortal Man and Other Bloody Tales is the worst title I’ve heard in quite some time.
  2. I find it amusing how everyone is focusing on Trinity and pretty much overlooking Final Crisis.
  3. Wouldn’t it be crazy if Luke Cage was a Skrull?
  4. Locke and Key #1 was apparently so good that the TV and movie rights have already been picked up.
  5. What ever happened to Chuck Austen? He was our (X-Fans) One More Day.

Okay, so I broke my word about not talking about it. I couldn’t resist.

Enough already!

I did not post anything on One More Day while Casey’s countdown was going on out of respect for my friend and co-author. Eventually, it kind of faded on me until I saw a posting on Comics Should be Good saying that nothing done in Brand New Day couldn’t have been done with a married Peter Parker. No real backup – just stating the point.


We get it – you didn’t like One More Day. Fantastic. Move on. The stories are going forward, why the hell can’t you? The repeated belly-aching about this story has gone on way past the point where it has any right to. It’s like driving from Point A to Point B using Road C instead of Road D, even though Road D is a lot prettier. Are you going to moan about it for months past the trip? No! You got to Point B. Well done.

I have not heard anyone complain that Spider-Man needs to go back to organic web shooters, unmasked, and on the run from the government. The general consensus is that, despite how he got there, Peter is in a more comfortable place for readers now. The trip has ended. We’ve reached the destination. We aren’t going back and taking another route now. LET. IT. GO.

And that’s it. I’ve said my piece, and now I will heed my own advice and wash my hands of this debate.

Why I Don’t Like Reviews

Everyone is entitled to have an opinion, and everyone has the freedom to express their opinion. The Interweb has given anyone with a computer and internet connection, like myself, the ability to get that opinion out there. I do not have a problem with this. What does annoy me is when people take their opinions too seriously, and consider it the definitive judgment on a book.

When reading a review on popular websites such as Newsarama, or Comic Book Resources, I often find that I disagree with what the reviewer thinks. The words “good” and “bad” should not be used, unless preceded by “I think.” One person does not have the authority to stamp something as good or bad. It takes a collective consensus to pass this judgment. Unfortunately, a few voices that are louder than others, are shaping this consensus with their reviews.

There are times when it seems like they do not like any comics they read. Which makes me ask, why are you reading comics? Others only like indie comics, and think that anything produced by DC or Marvel is crap. While the reviewers think what they like is good, others may not. Everyone’s tastes in comics are different, and this should be remembered. If you do not like something, or it just does not work for you, say so. But do not confuse like and dislike with good and bad. Remember, you are just one reader out of hundreds and thousands.

Reviewing "Brand New Day"

Despite all the whining and bitching about “One More Day”, many Spidey fans will still be reading the Wall Crawler’s adventures in Amazing Spider-Man. I count myself among them. What can I say? We’re junkies. While nothing is going to make “One More Day” any better the best us Spider-Fans can hope for is that the top notch new creative teams on Amazing Spider-Man turn out some good stories.

The first attempt is Amazing Spider-Man #546 – 548 written by Dan Slott and penciled by Steve McNiven. I remember reading an issue of Slott’s Avengers: The Initiative that guest starred Spider-Man and thinking “I’d love to see this guy write a Spider-Man book.” So, despite the circumstances, I was looking forward to these issues. Steve McNiven’s artwork was fantastic, but I’ve yet to see anything of his I didn’t like. I was disappointed to find out he won’t be returning for Slott’s next run on the book.

This is “Brand New Day” which means a whole new status quo for Spider-Man and the first issue establishes it with all the subtlety of a punch in the face. Very first page, Peter is seen making out with a random club girl. In case you missed it, Spidey’s single now, ladies! He’s also broke, practically unemployed, hanging out with his rich friend Harry Osbourne, and living with his elderly Aunt May in Queens. He’s also an unlicensed super hero, which makes him wanted by the government. Ol’ Sad Sack Parker is once again the lovable loser, only this time it’s slightly less lovable.

It seems Spider-Man’s been off the radar for a few months now.(How this fits in with the timeline of the rest of the Marvel U, I’d like to see.) J. Jonah Jameson has been using the Daily Bugle to tout how much safer the city is without that wall crawling menace but the truth is that the paper’s sales have tanked without Peter Parker’s pictures of Spider-Man. So much so that shareholders are dumping off their stock and it’s being bought up by Dexter Bennett, an idle billionaire who wants to own a newspaper and run it his own way. In order to hold onto every share he can, Jameson has stopped paying the Bugle’s staffers yet they continue working as a show of solidarity. Turns out Jonah still owes Peter for some old Spidey photos and Peter isn’t willing to wait. He wants his moneys and he wants them now. When Jonah calls Peter ungrateful for all he’s done for him, Peter fires back that it’s Jonah who’s the ingrate and that the current situation proves that it was his photos of Spider-Man that kept the Bugle in business so long. This makes Jameson so mad that he has a heart attack. Seriously. Peter feels so guilty that he decides to go out in costume and get some new Spider-Man pictures to save the old man’s business and life. But Jameson’s wife decides to go ahead and sell the paper to Dexter Bennett anyway, so it’s all for naught.

There’s a new villain named Mr. Negative. He has the power to…um…be the opposite color of what he should be…or something. He’s a low level crime boss who’s trying to take out the heads of the mob families in New York so that he can run the show. He has a bomb, some kids are in danger, Spidey saves the day. Mr. Negative escapes. The end. The whole thing seemed nothing more than a generic super hero adventure. And with someone as bad ass as The Hood running around trying to take control of New York’s criminal element, Mr. Negative seemed all the more pointless.

The new angle on Amazing Spider-Man seems to be to be reminiscent of the book during the 60s. Down on his luck Peter Parker, money troubles, lady troubles, a large supporting cast and monthly encounters with a new super villain who wants to put kittens in a wood chipper or something. I think that’s what Quesada and company were going for, to be honest. Nevermind all the growing the character has done over the last forty years. That being said, it’s an enjoyable read and a decent story. But in this case, decent’s not good enough. Coming off of the universally panned “One More Day”, the first three issues of “Brand New Day” needed to be a home run. It needed to not only establish the new status quo for Spider-Man but tell an excellent story in the process. Accomplishing that would outshine the grim specter of “One More Day” and genuinely make people forget about the old and embrace the new. As it is, Dan Slott’s story is only slightly above average. And it raises even more questions about continuity that only serve to remind fans of the ghastly story that came before it.

They say when you get your heart broken, all it takes is one great date with someone new to make you forget all about it. Aside from figuring out how Spider-Man works in the rest of the Marvel Universe, I believe us Spider-fans are just one great story away from putting “One More Day” behind us. This, unfortunately, is not it.

Wolverine and the X-Men

For a while now, talk has been going on about a new X-Men animated series called Wolverine and the X-Men. While the title didn’t impress me, I liked the preview images that had the characters in their more recent costumes, rather than original designs seen in X-Men: Evolution.

I hadn’t heard anything about the series for some time, until I stumbled across the news on Newsarama that Marvel is getting sued by the band Foo Fighters for rather stupidly using their music in the show’s trailer without permission. Of course, my reaction was “There’s a trailer? Sweet!” So even though YouTube had apparently pulled the video, someone had reposted it, and I got a look at this series – and it looks pretty good.

The theme seems to be following the storyline of X-Men: Evolution as the animation style and characterization seems to have the same feel. Of course, this is just supposition on my part, but where the characters are at this point, and what characters are being used makes it seem like it’s a “10 years later” type of story. And I’m cool with that – Evolution was a very enjoyable show and it would be nice to see some animated consistancy in storylines (much like DC’s animated line – from Batman to Superman to Justice League). It would be nice to not start a whole new X-Men animated continuity for the third time.

The trailer also shows obvious movie references, though I doubt this is a continuation of the movies (Iceman’s parents find out he’s a mutant in the trailer). The designs for Iceman’s family is obviously movie-based, as is the representation of Pyro’s power (of course, that may have held true in Evolution – I can’t remember).

So even though we’re apparently still some time away from the series’ debut, I’m very much looking forward to it. There’s nothing like a cartoon based on a comic to show how much of a nerd I truly am – as I write in a blog about comics.