Monthly archives: November, 2007

Countdown to Final Crisis: Twenty-Five

countdown 25Well, color me slightly impressed. For the second week in a row, it seems as if this series finally has a sense of direction and knows what it’s doing with itself. Is that direction headed in a way that will eventually pay off into an interesting series? I don’t know. I suppose I’ll give you the run down and my take on it, but, ultimately, you’ll have to decide for yourself.

This issue opens up in Bludhaven, even though that city was nothing more than a mile-deep crater the last time we saw it in the “Battle for Bludhaven” mini-series. Karate Kid and Una, along with their dumbass friends, have run into Firestorm, who demands to know what they’re doing there. Karate Kid responds that he’s not quite sure, but he just knows that this is where he’s supposed to be. Remember, prior to last week, this sort of dialogue was infuriating, as it seems like the characters are acting illogically and without purpose. But, after last week, we now realize that Karate Kid is there, because Darkseid moved his piece in checkers to Bludhaven. King me! The Atomic Knights show up and tell everybody to get lost. (more…)

Book of Doom: Justice Society of America #10

First off, I misspoke, or miswrote, or just plain screwed up in my preview for this week’s Book of Doom. That gray-templed Superman is the Superman of the Kingdom Come universe, not Kal-L of Earth 2.

But he is a sign of reviving a past storyline, and Justice Society of America #10 is the beginning of the sequel to Kingdom Come.

Decent stuff, but it’s still really just in the introductory stages. What was more important to me in this issue was a tiny bit of synchronicity.

For what I believe is the first time, Doom DeLuise noticed something intriguing in Countdown. Also this week, in Death of the New Gods #2, we started to see more of the reasoning behind these New Gods’ deaths and get more hints about what might be causing it.

So what particularly caught my eye about this issue was that tiny little subplot had some unseen character tracking down and killing someone (I don’t have the issue in front of me). I have a feeling that this is connected with the New Gods and they way in which they are dying. I also have a feeling that this it wasn’t a coincidence that both Death of the New Gods #2 and JSA #10 came out this week. It just seems like that convenient timing that peppered the countdown to Infinite Crisis.

It was a good enough opening chapter, but I was most pleased by how things are starting to come together a little bit – or at least enough to sort of start reminding me of the excitement leading up to Infinite Crisis.

Here’s Fin Fang Doom:

Uncanny X-Men #337

uncanny_xmen337.gifSo Doom DeLuise suggests to me, in varying degrees of frequency, that I should post more. And sure, I feel like I should. But I’m too broke with comics, and unimpressed by the current output, to pick up what’s coming out. Fine, dandy, whatever. I still feel like I should add something here, because I have too many longboxes containing nothing but X-Men – dating back to somewhere around 1981.

We can get into pissing matches about crossovers. And yes, the Onslaught debacle did nothing but pump Rob Liefeld’s ego and Jim Lee’s wallet. Let’s not even get into the non-mutant heroes going into Onslaught to defeat him when THE F***ING SCARLET WITCH jumped in so Rob Liefeld could have her in his piggest crapsmear® of a deux ex machina of all time.

After all this, after the god-awful (sorry Bob Harras) executive decisions to let the Heroes Reborn debacle happen, we still got a few good things. Daredevil was allowed to take a bigger role in the Marvel Universe. And … umm … some other s*** happened too. (I don’t know if DeLuise’s drunken rants have ended our swearing-free, family friendly-ness.) But my favorite part of this is Uncanny X-Men #337.

In the issue … nothing happens. Jean Grey makes pancakes and Quicksilver makes the table. Cyclops, jittery, accidentally pummels Beast with his optic blasts. And Logan stands out in the rain like a creepster while Xavier tries to console him. Ok, nothing.

But this doesn’t matter. Over the 40+ years of X-Men, we’ve cosmic altering events and near-World Wars. We’ve seen defections and betrayals and deaths. But here, we see the X-Men, defeated and at their lowest point, eat breakfast. And literally, the breakfast is the most important thing that happens. It’s the meal of the day.

I’ll defend Lobdell’s run until the day I die. Sometimes he skimped on action because his focus lingered in character development. But Chris Claremont was a hard act to follow, and nobody knew what to do with the team afterwards, even if it kept being the top-selling book. So here we have the X-Men eating pancakes. And say what you want about the Fantastic Four. The X-Men are Marvel’s first family. You (or a cosmic dupe) can rip apart planets, and the X-Men still love you.

So, in the midst of their leader’s “betrayal,” their prim-Englishwoman-turned-slutty-Asian becoming weirder, their flagship character losing his nose (don’t get me started,) their diametric opposite joining their team as an amnesiac (once again) and everything else that happened … the X-Men eat pancakes.

Don’t read Onslaught. Just pick up this issue, and ignore anything of its prologue and insert whatever crossover you want into it … you’ll still come out with your outcast mutants at their most human. And, personally, this is still an issue I can come to again and again, even if the same team battles the Shi’ar and tries to stop yet another post-mutant group of renegades from conquering.

Gimmickless Comic Reviews for the Week of October 31, 2007

Hey there, sports fans. Welcome to the first ever semi-regular (if I remember and am sober-ish) edition of “Gimmickless Comic Reviews.” You see, Jim Doom has his Doomino Effect, and Fin Fang used to do his Meaningless Awards or Random Thoughts, plus we all contribute to the weekly Book of Doom, so I figured I’d do something similar, only I haven’t thought up a gimmick yet. Is there another gimmick column on here that I’m forgetting? Hrm. Nope, those are all of them. Anyway, until I think up a gimmick, you’re just going to get regular old reviews. Cram that up your ass and tell me what you think of it. I was gonna say something about a pipe and smoking it, but I figured I’d try a variation. Sorry, it’s kind of gross. Don’t jam anything up your ass, unless you’re into that sort of thing, in which case…

infinite halloweenLet the jamming begin! First things first, I want to say that I don’t care how good Jim Doom said the Infinite Halloween Special is, I refuse to pay $5.99 for a goddamn comic book. I mean, seriously, do you know how many other things I could use that money on? That could buy me a six-pack of Old Style tall-boys, with a buck left over. It used to be that $3.99 was the price for super special event issues, but now it’s just the price for all sorts of semi-special events, like the first issue in a new story-arc or series, or the conclusion of a story-arc, or the middle issue of a story-arc. If this price escalation continues, the industry will fall apart. More than it already is, I mean. So, no, I didn’t buy that issue. Goddamnit. Plus, the cover looks stupid, and I’m sick and tired of zombies and stupid crap like that. You want to know what would be scary? Making a comic that doesn’t suck. That didn’t really make any sense, but I don’t care. I’m sticking to it. (more…)

Countdown to Crisis on Infinite Titles

Doom DeLuise mentioned it in his Countdown review this week, but nearly two years ago, Fin Fang Doom presented you dear Doomkopf readers with Crisis on Infinite Titles, his ambitious theory on the secret behind Infinite Crisis. Much of it turned out to be wrong, but in other ways, he was way ahead of his time.

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about that period leading up to Infinite Crisis, how much fun it was to speculate and piece together theories, how Final Crisis is just starting to reach that stage and how it’s not nearly as much fun as it was two years ago.

Fin Fang Doom has recently suggested he may revisit CoIT, which I think he should. But in the meantime, here is a selection of the Legion’s discussions that led up to FFD’s revelation of his theory. Assembled from message board conversations spanning September through November 2005, I present to you Countdown to Crisis on Infinite Titles. You’ll see how close we were in some ways, and how far off we were in others. We shall begin with one of those ridiculously wrong predictions:

Fin Fang Doom: I really don’t think DC’s going to bring back any pre-Crisis characters. It seems like such a step backward, and just plain unneccessary. They’re dealing with the implications of COIE over in JSA Classified to some extent, but to go so far as to bring back a character that was written out of history 20 years ago? I’d lose some respect for what otherwise been a great storyline if that was the case.

Countdown to Final Crisis: Twenty-Six

countdown 26WARNING: What you are about to read is a semi-positive review of an issue of Countdown.

This week, we finally get some explanation of this series. The explanation is nice, but, at the same time, the explanation is kind of a cop-out. We’ll get to that.

The bulk of the issue features the Monitor that killed Duela Dent giving another big rallying speech to the rest of the Monitors. You know how he’s always towed the line and said, “These universe hoppers are threatening the very existence of the multiverse,” but never actually told us how they were threatening it? Well, he explains it, at long last. Apparently, and correct me if I’m wrong, the Source Wall, “Separates each of our universes even as it contains them.” Okay, I didn’t know that. Further, “Every time the wall is breached it is degraded, its space-time integrity is eroded.” Okay, that sounds foreboding. What’s it mean, though? “Should the Source Wall erode to collapse, should the Source itself be compromised, universes will collide.” Oh, shit! What will happen if that happens? The Monitor says, “The resultant cataclysyms will generate Crisis Wave after Crisis Wave until the Multiverse itself consumes itself.”

Great googily moogily, that can’t be good. In case you don’t understand this verbose a-hole, let me dumb it down a notch. These guys who keep skipping from universe to universe are passing through the Source Wall each time they skip, which could destroy the Source Wall, which would make everything go straight to the shitter. Well, that makes…sense? Oh well. It’s something, at least! So the Monitors wage war. Against…everybody? I don’t know.

They also explain the illogical actions of Mary Marvel, Karate Kid, and Jimmy Olsen in this issue. Awesome! How do they do that, you might ask. They’re all being guided by an unseen hand. Like, Karate Kid knows he’s sick and knows where to go to find the cure, because something is subconsciously pushing him toward that. How does that work? I don’t know, but, hey, you want me to let you in on a little secret? I swear it’s awesome. Darkseid’s behind it all. Apparently, when he moves chess pieces around, shit gets done. Well, it’s not as good as Fin Fang Doom’s explanation of how Darkseid was behind the last Crisis, but at least it’s something.

Here’s my beef with it, though. You go through twenty-five issues of these stupid characters acting irrationally, and then you explain it all away by saying that they’re being pushed in these illogical directions by an unseen force? What the hell kind of cop-out is that?

Oh well. Hopefully things continue to improve. At least now I can only say that the art is bad and the writing is schlocky, rather than pointing out the massive logical gaps and out of character moments. I guess that must count for something.