Month: December 2010

Waaaaaait a second…

Mike Sterling’s Progressive Ruin has a monthly featured called the End of Civilization in which he peruses the newest issue of Previews and shares some of the more questionable things he finds.  It’s really a fun read.

This month, he posted this amongst his treasure trove:

Even before I scrolled down for Mike’s commentary on the image, I called BS on this one.  I know that Venom has had an ongoing series before.  I had an issue of Venom’s ongoing series, received amongst about 25 random comics received for ordering a certain amount from a company I no longer remember the name of back in 1996.

Looking it up, I have discovered that the nearly 20-issue run is being called a “limited series” rather than an ongoing.  I’m going to go ahead and call BS on this one.  A limited series is something that is planned for a certain length.  Calling a book like this such is like saying the original run of New Mutants was a 100-issue limited series.  It did, after all, end after 100 issues.

But really, how long do you think a book like this is going to last?  Neither Eddie Brock nor Mac Gargan are the host of the Venom symbiote any more.  Instead, this will be some kind of “black ops” Venom.  Does that sound interesting?  Perhaps this one has limited series classification in its near future.

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Things I Learned In Superman #706

Since my reading pile has been growing a bit, I figured that tonight was a good time to work through some of it.  Normally, I’d re-order it so that I would read what I was looking forward to first, but I didn’t this time.  I wish I had.  Went through the latest issues of Batman & Robin and Green Lantern without any issues  with them.  But then I came across Superman #706, and it stopped me in my tracks.  I haven’t been pleased with the “Grounded” story, but because of unforeseen circumstances, we’ve gotten two fill in issues, this being the second one.  Both have been even more boring than the regular story.  This story is about Perry White dealing with the current issues facing newspapers when the writer of a blog attacks the Daily Planet.  However, there are a few lessons to be learned within this issue, and those are below.

1.  Blogs are filled with lies.
In this “thrilling” Perry White-centric issue, Perry deals with an accusation from a local blog, bent on bringing down the Daily Planet.  Perry sends in a young photographer to become a mole within the blog’s staff, and report back on what he finds.  The young man named Sandeep, who Perry cannot be bothered with to get his name right, easily infiltrates the blog’s inner circle, and is told what they have.  The compromising info are some financial information that doesn’t match up with official statements, which they say proves the Daily Planet is bribing Superman for interviews.  They also have a picture of Superman and Lois Lane kissing.  Both issues are easily dismissed by Perry.  The money is his own, that he puts toward the summer internship program.  Also, without very much time to investigate, Sandeep easily finds that the picture is photoshopped from an advertisement.  So, the point here is that blogs don’t bother to do a single bit of fact-checking before posting stories.

2.  Young people are lazy.
This is connected in part to #1.  You have the editor of the blog, a self-professed member of Generation Y, that is too lazy to be bothered with really researching for a story.  But also, there is the story of Sandeep.  In the beginning of the story, Perry yells at him for taking a bad picture of Superman.  Sandeep’s excuse was that Superman flying away, so the only shot he could get was of Superman’s back, below him.  Perry says he should have not been afraid of “splitting those sprayed-on pants…by climbing up a danged fire escape.”  So, the point here is that young people don’t want to put the effort in to doing their job well.

3.  Blogs are inferior to newspapers.
When Perry hears what the blog has against him, he demands a meeting be set up with the guy.  Perry is certain that he’ll meet with him because he’s Perry fucking White, the editor of the Daily fucking Planet.  (Cursing is mine, but it might as well have been in there.)  Does Perry have to actually contact the guy to set up the meeting?  Of course not.  He’s the editor of the largest newspaper in the city.  So of course the blogger meets with Perry in Perry’s office.  Why should Perry have to leave to have a meeting?  Also, when the blogger’s errors are uncovered, Perry offers him a spot in the Summer intern program, for just a chance at a job at the Planet.  He isn’t offered a job because the investigative journalism that he has done is meaningless because it was done for a blog.  So, the point here is that a newspaper is prestigious, while reporting on a blog is meaningless.

4.  Perry White doesn’t know Superman’s secret identity.
This isn’t going to be a discussion of why Superman’s secret identity does or doesn’t work to fool the general public.  This is about his secret identity fooling those closest to him.  A while back, can’t remember which title it was–maybe Superman/Batman, there was a line about Jim Gordon being too good of a cop to not know that Bruce Wayne is Batman, and Perry White is too good of a reporter to not know that Clark Kent is Superman.  And I was happy with this understanding.  He knew, but he would never say anything about it.  This story undoes that.  If Perry knew Superman is Clark Kent, then he would know that Lois is married to Superman.  He would not have needed to call Lois to see if she had ever been in a compromising situation with Superman.  If he knew, he’d already known the answer, and not needed to call her.  He would have just dealt with the situation, and not made her worry about it.  So, the point here is that Perry White is not a good enough reporter to know the identity of Superman.

The Wonder Woman Experiment

Before Wonder Woman #600, I had never considered reading or buying a Wonder Woman comic. Sure, one may have slipped into a crossover, but reading the ongoing itself never once crossed my mind. Wonder Woman was never a character that was interesting to me. Every writer I had read, with the possible exception of Mark Waid and Alex Ross on Kingdom Come, wrote the character far more motherly than I would ever like to read.

However, when DC announced the dramatic costume change and revamping of the character, something made me want to check it out.  Maybe it was that it was going to be a fresh start for the character, or maybe it was because there was some much backlash to it from Internet fans.  I don’t know.  Either way, at issue #600, I started buying it, and have lasted longer than Straczynski did writing it.  In all fairness, it still is his story, but now Phil Hester is scripting it.

In a nutshell, I’ve enjoyed the book.  I like the younger take on Wonder Woman.  We still have the Amazon warrior princess aspect, but now we’ve lost the acting like your grandmother aspect.  Sure, the story itself has been up and down, but not so much to distract from the establishing of just who this character is.  Also, not sure if it was the story content or not, I like Hester’s dialogue better than Strazynski’s.

Although, I’ve said this before and still think it, I do believe that this story was originally intended to be an Earth One story.  Back in August, DC released Superman:  Earth One, which was written by Stracynski.  I remember when DC initially announced that book, they also announced a Batman:  Earth One book.  I get the feeling that this Wonder Woman story was a pitch for a Wonder Woman:  Earth One story.  The change in the character’s background and attempt to update her image would line up with the Earth One stories.  It also seems like the scenes in which there is a reference to the old character are thrown in, and not really important to what’s going on.  Not yet anyways.

With all this said, Wonder Woman hasn’t quite gotten on my pull list yet.  When I started, I did so with the understanding that with the first issue that bored me would be the last issue I bought.  With that as a starting point, it has at least earned the benefit of the doubt on an issue or two.  Maybe in a couple issues it will gain my confidence enough to put it on my pull list.

Countdown to Fables #100: Dark City

Welcome to the final entry to the Countdown to Fables #100.  For the past several months, I’ve gone through all stories that were revealed in the first 99 issues of Fables, along with some others.  Tomorrow, issue number 100 will finally be released.  If you’re new to the countdown, an archive of all previous entries can be found under our Special Features menu.  Today’s story is titled “Dark City.”  In this story, Mr. Dark continues to shape New York City, even after a message is delivered to him.  The story, complete with spoilers (of course), is after the break.  (more…)

Countdown to Fables #100: Rose Red

Welcome to today’s entry to the Countdown to Fables #100, where on Tuesday and Friday I recap a story told within the pages of Fables.  This will happen up until issue #100 is released on December 8th.  If you’re new to the countdown, an archive of all previous entries can be found under our Special Features menu.  Today’s story is titled “Rose Red.”  In this story, Rose Red finally learns the history of what caused her hatred of her sister, Snow White.  The story, complete with spoilers (of course), is after the break.   (more…)