Everybody seems to be freaking out a little bit over the “Disney buying Marvel” news that came out today. As you may have gathered from the title of this post, I’m not. This will probably end up affecting Marvel about as much as Warner Brothers buying DC affected that company. Which is pretty much not at all, aside from movies and TV. And I don’t really care about the drama of buying back the rights to Spider-Man and X-Men so Disney can have them all.
You know what I do care about? Comics. Specifically, the comics I bought last Wednesday. It was a pretty slow week for me. I only bought six comics, and two of those were comics I probably wouldn’t have bothered to pick up in a bigger week.
Blackest Night: Titans #1 was the first of those. While I’ve been very excited about Blackest Night so far, this Titans mini-series didn’t seem like a must-buy for me. I don’t have a warm spot in my heart for the Titans (Teen or otherwise) like some do, so I’m not that familiar with the death that’s always surrounded the team in its various forms. Besides, most of the cool dead Titans aren’t dead anymore. That leaves a Black Lantern Titans team of Hawk (make that two Hawks, I guess), Terra and Lilith? Yawn.
There was one really cool moment in this issue, though. You know how whenever a Black Lantern looks at somebody they see the person in the color of the emotional spectrum they’re currently experiencing? Well Dove showed up as white, with no indication of what emotion that represents. Which means we’re probably going to be seeing some White Lanterns popping up before all is said and done. Maybe this will tie into the other Dove (the dead one) and why he didn’t rise when called upon by the black ring.
Fantastic Four #570 was the second comic I almost didn’t buy. I’ve been buying the series for well over a decade, and I can’t seem to pinpoint the reason I’ve kept up with it. The Mark Waid/Mike Weiringo run on the book is the only time I really felt the series was really “good,” but I still bought it out of habit. Thanks to the Mark Millar/Bryan Hitch mega-arc that ran late and fell flat (not to mention wasn’t even completed by Millar and Hitch), I’ve sort of lost my affection for Marvel’s First Family. I was all ready to drop the book with the start of this new creative team, but by shear luck the first issue dropped during a slow week.
New artist Dale Eaglesham used to draw JSA for DC, and he was great at it. All the characters looked like they should look. Flash had a trim runner’s build. Wildcat was stocky. Power Girl looked sort of mannish. But Eaglesham doesn’t accomplish the same with the Fantastic Four. Reed should be thin, he shouldn’t have rippling muscles and a square jaw. Johnny’s a lot more stacked than he should be too. A quick look at the cover by Alan Davis gives you a perfect idea of what the FF should look like. So how’s the story? Meh. At least Jonathan Hickman isn’t trying to shoehorn the Fantastic Four into a story that would work better with the Avengers.
While I’m writing about books I almost didn’t buy, I might as well bring up Justice Society of America # 30. I was going to stop reading JSA when Geoff Johns stopped writing it, but then Bill Willingham’s first issue comes out during a slow week. I enjoyed Willingham’s work during Infinite Crisis and Shadowpact, and everyone keeps telling me I’d like Fables, so I figured I’d give the guy a shot. The first issue didn’t convince me to pick up the second, but then they lucked out again and shipped on a slow week. I can’t say this has convinced me to pick up a third.
The Justice Society is a cool idea, but I’m not sure it works in practice. Having a cast of twenty or so characters doesn’t give you much time to develop any of them. That’s not really an issue with established characters like Wildcat and Power Girl, but folks like Lightning, Judomaster and Wildcat Jr. don’t really seem to have a purpose. Now there’s a new Dr. Fate and two new kids that haven’t even been shown in costume yet…it’s really too much for a 22-page comic. Jesus Merino does a great job of drawing all of them, at least. His art is understandably evocative of Carlos Pacheco (he was Pacheco’s inker for a long time), but given time I’m sure Merino will be able to make his own mark.