Friday, January 2, 2009

Comic Book Notes!

Time for my favorite thing to write about which bores everyone—comic book notes! Wherein I talk about time-displaced superheroes whose parents are murdered and get lost in the 52 multiverses and stuff as if they are really happening, obviously having run out of haloperidol!
1. Batman is dead. This is not a symbolic statement as to how the things he represents are no longer relevant in these tumultuous times or something—I mean Batman is physically dead. Whether he is really dead, of course, is another issue, but for now, we will hold on to the belief that Bruce Wayne really exploded in that helicopter. This happened in the storyline Batman R.I.P, written by Grant Morrison. A storyline I couldn’t follow well for its in-your-face weirdness that seemed to be there for the sake of weirdness. For instance, what the heck is zurr-en-arrh?!? I know it’s fun to say, but what the heck is it?!
2. Following the events of Batman R.I.P all the other bat books will be cancelled, particularly Robin, Nightwing, and Birds of Prey, all of which are now running for more than 10 years. In its place will be such ditties as Battle for the Cowl, marketed as a battle among the ex-Robins (Dick, Jason, Tim) and other characters for the right to be the next Batman. Huh?!?
3. And over in Superman, the New Krypton storyline is still ongoing. Zor-El, Kara Zor-El’s dad, is killed, and mommy Allura turns out to be a cold-hearted bitch. Geoff Johns will also be penning a new Superman origin story to be illustrated by the great Gary Frank. The initial annoyance at the prospect of a Supes’ origin being re-written once again immediately dissipates since this is the team of Johns and Frank, who have great respect for my favorite 60’s Silver Age stories. The last origin story, Birthright, was written by Mark Waid around five years ago, and I found it to be quite boring.
4. And over in Wonder Woman, some new monstress Genocide is wreaking havoc. To illustrate what a total monstress she is, Donna Troy is shown in constant panic, Wonder Girl is perpetually crying, Wonder Woman’s gasping dialogues read like vowel-less text-messages, and Red Tornado is destroyed… again! Red Tornado is the writers’ favorite device whenever they want to illustrate how powerful an enemy or how catastrophic an event is. Flesh and bone characters like Batman and Robin will barely get a scratch, but the metallic android tank that is Reddy will get decapitated, smashed, and reduced to junk. This is already getting annoying, since they always devote loooong storylines on how his body gets rebuilt, always with the now-trite undertones of the essence of being human despite the robotic body etc etc ETC!!!
5. Secret Invasion is over! And The Wasp is dead! Obviously, she will be resurrected sometime soon. Or not, since she is not anyone’s favorite, I think. An epilogue issue shows Hank Pym delivering a eulogy, and just when we thought his speech would be a trite celebration of what her life, instead of her death, was like, or a trite, trite, trite, quiet, restrained, pass-me-that-academy-award sobbing, Hank Pym… goes on to blame Iron Man! Great job!!! That’s showing that junkie, Hank!
6. Final Crisis is still… unreadable!
7. Legion of 3 Worlds is still… stuck in part 2!
8. The Outsiders is formally disbanded, which is quite exasperating as the team has just been relaunched last year under the title Batman and the Outsiders. This, of course, is flimsily connected to the death of Batman, and the inability of Batgirl Cassandra Cain to hold the team together. There is now the annoying DC trend to always change the team rosters even before the teams can get their footing. I predict that the Outsiders will finally get totally cancelled, and the latest offerings will, sadly enough, not make me miss the title. My favorite incarnation is still the 2003 relaunch with Nightwing, Arsenal, Jade, Thunder, Shift, Grace, and that blue traitorous robot. That group at least stuck together for a now relatively long 2 years.
9. For some reason I always fail in my attempts to return to the X-Men fold. It’s just getting denser and denser each time, and despite my resolve to try my best there are just way too many new mutants that I can’t gather any interest in.
10. Been reading back issues of JSA written by Goyer and Johns, and they are just great. Particularly, the Princes of Darkness storyline, which may yet rival the Black Reign and Black Vengeance storylines! Johns should definitely write the Justice League of America, which, in 2008, has been quite a dismal failure, with the stories getting shunted to serving bigger storylines or launches, like the recent launching of the Milestone characters. And now, it is being promised that in 2009 the trinity of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman will be leaving the JLA. Again.

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