Monthly archives: March, 2010

Cyclops is Still a Jerk, Sucks

cyclops second comingI gave up reading X-Men comics awhile ago, shortly after “Messiah CompleX” ended. I followed the team’s move out to San Francisco, but once they had that whole flash into the 70s thing, the art became inconsistent, and I gave up. I should clarify: that was Uncanny. I gave up on the other stuff immediately after that stupid crossover.

This week, as fate would have it, I found myself in the comic shop with only one book to pick up. I noticed that there’s a new crossover called “X-Men: Second Coming,” though, so I gave it a whirl. I probably shouldn’t have.

Here’s the basic premise for those of you who have been avoiding the X-Books like Pestilence: The X-Men are worried, because no new mutants have surfaced lately, and their kind is close to extinction. Hope, which is the name of that little baby from Messiah CompleX, returns to the present day with her guardian, Cable, after having successfully survived Bishop’s manhunt through time.

They’re immediately attacked by some robots and tracked by some human supremacist group. Cerebra detects their presence, so Cyclops fully mobilizes the X-Men to go find the duo and bring them back safely to their current hideout. Certainly, a lot of fighting will come of this.

Now it might be due to my absence from the books, but am I the only one who thinks this entire premise is ridiculously stupid? When Messiah CompleX ended, everybody was all upset by all the fighting, so Cyclops told Cable to take the baby to the future and give it the chance Cyclops never gave his own son (psst, I’m talking about Cable).

And now, years later, correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t we just back to the exact same bullcrap that was going on when Cable and Hope first left the present day? Cable was trying to protect the baby, on the run from numerous factions all out to either kill it or save it. Unlike then, now we’re picking up the story with Cable trying to protect the teenager, on the run from numerous factions all out to either kill it or save it.

Ok. (more…)

DC Wants to be #1 in the Direct Market

Under Paul Levitz DC has always seem content to be the number 2 company as they never seemed truly interested in taking the kind of risks that Marvel has.  Now that was not a bad strategy given the extreme boom and bust swings of Marvel.  Matt Price of  Nerdage did a nice job of cover the ComicPRO event from this past week, a meeting between publishers and retailers, Dan Didio had this to say at the event.

Our goal is to beat Marvel, We have to see if there are tools we can use to make us No. 1.


My own webcomics recommendations

MG Doom recently made a very valid point that it’s hard to wade through the thousands of web comics to find a few gems. But I’ve also covered my love of xkcd here previously.

So, dear readers, you may be wondering “What should I read?” Well, here’s the unqualified opinion of somebody who owns all four issues of X-Men vs. the Micronauts:

Webcomic Notes

The hardest part to reading webcomics is just finding a comic worth reading.  As the webcomics experts say the blessing and curse of webcomics is that anyone can make them and put them online.  It’s a blessing because it is free and a open door for all creative types but it is a curse in that it creates a endless flood of mostly bad but some good comics.  Sadly there are few websites out there right not dedicated to webcomics coverage, at least from what I have found so far.  There is no Newsarama for webcomics, at least not yet.   (more…)

First Second Books’ Webcomics

I have been spending more time of late exploring the world of webcomics.  For me it has been like discovering manga after years mostly reading what you would normally find in the average comic shop.  Much like manga, the webcomics field is vast.  I’m a very picky reader as I do not like to waste my time on things that do not meet my personal standards.  So I was lucky to find First Second Books had recently launched their own webcomics line called To be Continued.  For someone like me who is new to webcomics and is looking for something outside the superhero genre this line is perfect.


Straczynski’s The Brave and the Bold

A few people have been recommending J Michael Straczynski’s current run on The Brave and The Bold.  It was one of those things I kept putting off as recommendations can often be hit or miss for me.  I had read a few of the Mark Waid written issues earlier in this series but they did not interest me enough to stick around.  I tend to prefer full arcs on books over one and done type things.

So it was quiet the surprised for me to find out how good this book is under Straczynski, which begins on issue #27.  I think the best way to describe his run so far is that in each issue he cuts right to heart of what was great about the Silver Age.  Straczynski is able to capture the real essence of what is great about the characters featured in each issue.  The amazing thing is you do not have to know anything about DC continuity to enjoy it.  Each issue is completely self contained so it doesn’t matter what issue you read as there is no order to it.  I’m impressed how good the stories are despite only being on issue long.   (more…)

Morality in the DC Universe

If there is one moral to be learned in the conclusion to Justice League: Cry for Justice as it segues into The Fall of Green Arrow, it is that heroes don’t kill bad guys. Even if they feel justified, killing is murder. This sentiment alone is driving a significant status quo shift in the DCU — Connor considers his father a murderer, and Green Arrow’s Justice League teammates think he’s crossed a line that has led one of the Flashes (I honestly don’t know how I’m supposed to tell them apart) to unload on him, going on about how disgusted he is by Green Arrow’s decision to kill Prometheus.

So, to restate: Good guys don’t kill people.

Given that this concept has to have been getting heavy rotation in the brains of DC editorial as these events were being shaped and promoted, it makes the abomination that was Crisis on Two Earths that much more unforgivable.

This is a company whose commodities are heroes. How can these people so recklessly muddy the definition of heroism within their own properties?

And then take a step back and look at how the company’s superhero morality is made ambiguous: it’s unacceptable for heroes to kill people in the comics, which are largely purchased by an increasingly aging and maturing audience; on the other hand, nobody bats an eye when a hero kills two people in the cartoons designed for children.

News Items

Here are a few items of news from the past week or so, as I’m catching up on some things.

Longbox Beta

The open beta for the digital comic store front Longbox launched this weekend.  It can be found here.  It is being setup to be the iTunes of digital comics.  It is the most promising of all the digital comic stores out there as it will be cross platform from home computers, to mobile devices, and even things like the Xbox.

After playing around with it for a bit I did find it a bit disappointing even though it is just a beta, mainly because it is too much like iTunes for my liking.  Like iTunes it just feels too slow and clunky to do what I like, but that is my personal bias.  The positive of being like iTunes means it will be more user friendly to more casual minded computer users.  I hope it does well as I think it will be good for comics in general.

DC (more…)

iBookstore Will Have a Comics Category

In some positive news for comics going into the digital age, Robot 6 reports that Apple’s iBookstore will have it’s own category for comics and graphic novels.  That’s important as it initially looked like comics would be limited to the app store.  With a designated category it will help books from getting lost in the shuffle which is a issue with the app store at the moment.  This likely will not help monthly books but it is good news for graphic novels given current trends.  It’s a wise move by Apple as graphic novel sales in the general market have been slowly but surely growing.  It still isn’t clear what comics will be available in the store and Apple’s standards are very strict so this could be a issue for many books trying to get into the iBookstore as is the case with the apps. (more…)

Is This Odd?

Is it just me or does anyone else find Batgirl’s new motorcycle to be somewhat disturbing?  Click through to see what I mean.