Greg: Is it macabre to say I hope I go to an Irish wake one day? Maybe my view is distorted by inaccurate media representations, but they seem vibrant, emotionally charged, full of humor and, well, life. Yet a sense of melancholy reverberates throughout — not unnecessarily maudlin, but genuine and cathartic. Death Of Wolverine: Deadpool & Captain America hits these disparate Irish wake-ish notes expertly, taking the reader through outstanding jokes and poignant gut-punches, sometimes on the same page. Continue reading
Drew: How do you beat the unbeatable man? Normally, Superman writers struggle with this question in trying to create any real tension — the conventions of comics dictate that Superman is the most powerful being on Earth and that the good guy always wins, so how do you manage to wring a compelling story out of that? “Doomed” solves this problem by turning it on its head: what if Superman was the bad guy? Then the fact that he’s the most powerful being on Earth lies in direct conflict with the fact that the good guys always win, making the question of how to beat Superman no longer a trivial detail, but a key to the resolution of the conflict. Of course, years of the other kind of conflict have given writers an arsenal of weapons to use against Superman — they’ve never quite worked on their own, but maybe they can get the job done together. Action Comics 32 explores this idea in earnest, but reminds us that for all the ways we have to beat Superman, he was always our only solution to beating Doomsday. Continue reading
Today, Mikyzptlk and Patrick are discussing Threshold 1, originally released January 16th, 2013.
Mikyzptlk: When I first learned I’d be writing about Threshold, I was intrigued because I’m always excited to try out new comics. Unfortunately, Green Lantern: New Guardians Annual 1 happened and I suddenly began dreading this write-up. The GL:NG Annual was essentially the prologue of the main feature in Threshold, and even though I kept an open mind when reading it, I couldn’t help but remember the disappointment and frustration I felt just a short week ago. Those things are easy to remember as this series continues to have the same problem that the Annual had in that it’s WAY too wordy. Worst of all, the issue begins by committing the cardinal story telling sin of telling instead of showing.
Today, Mikyzptlk and Patrick are discussing Green Lantern: New Guardians Annual 1, originally released January 9th, 2013.
Mikyzptlk: Okay, I need to get this off my chest. This issue bugged me. Now, that isn’t to say that I hated it but it really managed to piss me off at the end. Before I get into anything else though, I just want to say that I absolutely loved the characterization that I got out of this issue. Star Sapphire Carol Ferris, Saint Walker and Arkillo were an absolute joy to read and I look forward to the developments seen in this issue carrying on throughout the rest of the series. That said, let’s move on to my overall point. Much like a good joke, a good narrative fiction will have a series of setups and payoffs. A writer will introduce a concept early on in a story to then use and explore it later on hopefully making their efforts as a writer worth your efforts as a reader. In that vein, if I had to describe this issue as a “Knock-knock” joke, it would go something like this: “Knock Knock.” “Who’s there?” “I don’t know, ask some other guy.” Not too funny right? In fact, some might find it a bit frustrating and “some” might just be me.
Today, Patrick and (guest writer) Sarah Singer are discussing Legion of Superheroes 0, originally released September 19, 2012. Legion of Superheroes 0 is part of the line-wide Zero Month.
Patrick: Comics – especially superheros comics – have an awful lot of bullshit working against them. For 90% of the comics I read, I reach a point where I just swallow hard and accept the fact that this is the kind of story I’m reading. It’s an extra-special form of suspension of disbelief. And more often than not, my faith in the storytellers is rewarded; comics are all the more satisfying when you have to go out on a limb and trust that the ride you’re on is worth taking. But sometimes the cost of admission is too high, even for good-humored nerds like me. When such nonsense is supported by 20 pages of awkward dialogue and interchangeably bland characters, the result is disastrous. I’ve read a lot of comics I don’t like, but I so seldom read anything this pointless and obtuse. Zero month is about sampling everything – I’m going to spit this one into my napkin, and try another bite of the Batman.
Drew: When I interviewed Francis Manapul back in April, he expressed that he reveled at the unique expectations mandated by the New 52. Specifically, he expressed that “the best thing about knowing what people are expecting is when I change something, it seems shocking.” Subverting expectations is such a simple concept — and one so central to genre fiction in general — that you’d think it would start to lose its spark; but then again, with Manapul and Brian Buccellato on writing duties, nothing ever is that simple.