Comics

All posts tagged Comics

I tend to take notes while I watch movies. Then, I transcribe those notes here when I’m done. I recently watched Deadpool 2, so here it is. Text is what what written, information in [[double brackets]] are after-the-fact notes.

[[Like Keanu, I realized my notes on this are really short. It says something about me that “short notes” is some of the highest praise I can give a movie.]]

Previews

I’m sorry, the cast of Bridesmaids is WHAT? [[I watched at the Alamo Drafthouse, which plays old movies as part of events and just because, really, so they routinely show old trailers before the new trailers. It’s pretty cool I live near a theater that’s playing the original True Grit just whenever. Also, that Bridesmaids cast is bonkers-good.]]

Hey, actual previews already.

More Jurrasic Park. We’ve done this already. [[I’ll do this in my Avengers: Infinity War transcript, which I haven’t transcribed yet.]]

Johnny Knocksville movie again. Action Point. This is a good fit for Johnny Knoxville. It’s comfortable.

Please subvert this Spider-Man Movie under the…? Trippy. India. Has potential.

Upgrade-I like the high concept action movie. I am opposed to revenge movies, but, like, that’s the point of this one; revenge is a bad idea but this is the idea.

Deadpool 2

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Disco Comics 
18 Days
Issue #2 (2015)

Uh…not a porn comic. What is up with humans and sexy blue humanoids? What is our deal?!

Writer: Grant Morrison, Gotham Chopra, Sharad Devarajan
Art: Joevan J. Kang

Before reading 18 days, I committed to going over each issue individually, as opposed to my bulk run.

This is another issue of this war story where no war happens. Our main character(?), Yu dish sheds his armor and seeks the blessing of the three superwarriors who serve evil king something (Duryodhana). He gets the blessings and some bog-standard prophecies which would be pretty cozy in the theaters of Ancient Greece.

They they leave and a traitor joins them. The styles and establishment are broad enough that it all clicked when I learned it was based on the–fucking bear with me here–Mahabharata, an ancient sanskrit text which dates back to 400 BC.

That’s it. Everyone states prophecies which will happen, rules they won’t break (which they probably will) and there’s a traitor. It’s good, actually, just not complex. I’m a big fan of heroes with codes. My only real gripe is that I just know the battle itself is going to be a disappointing mess.

Comics are broken. Less than five years ago, I wrote a blog about DC rebooting their properties and now they’re doing it again with–lemme check–Rebirth. An incredibly lazy Google search reveals there are 296 synonyms for “Rebirth” so I have to concede that DC Comics is good for another 1480 years. The system works!


Is this Rebirth? I don’t know.

Certainly, no one at DC is limiting the number of times they spin, reupholster, and present the same old properties in a new way by their ability to do so with creativity and honest-to-gods original stories. Sure, Watchmen 2 notwithstanding, there are talented people at DC Comics. But the company collectively lacks the vision and guts to actually fix the problem.

Superman has been around for seventy years, give or take. That’s seventy years of stories by different authors from different times and different economics behind them. They don’t match or fit together into a cogent narrative. Rightly, DC tries to excise some of those elements from canon. But every time they try, some creative person with clout–usually Geoff Johns or Grant Morrison or actually this joke doesn’t work because I don’t even keep up anymore–will shove in a character reference from twenty years ago. Because story be damned; even Detective Comics Comics[sic] creative staff realize because adulthood is a trap where you desperately claw at any opportunity to forget your adulthood!

It’s a mess; neither capable of integrating the past, nor strong-willed enough to excise it.

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Disco Comics: Day Men

100% guaranteed to be classy and not wierd.

Writer: Matt Gagnon
Art: Brian Stelfreeze

Lemme walk you through why I like Day Men.

Page 1: Protagonist uses a cane to overcome an opponent with a shotgun. It’s quick and efficient–two panels of violence that focus more on effect than means. Voiceover stays in the background, informative but not dominating.

Page 2: It’s a soft whammy. Vampires. Fang trade. Our hero works for vampires. A sandwich is involved. Vampires are so common we’re all fucking tired of them, but writers are still expected to ease them in and Gagnon eases them right the fuck in here. It’s just great work.

Page 3: Our main character’s face still hasn’t been revealed, but he’s young and his job involves living at the pleasure of vampires.

Page 4: The premise is laid out. Vampires hate daylight so they hire Day Men to do stuff for them during the day. We see our protagonist’s face and learn his name, David Reid, as he…I can only describe it as James Bondingly–walks away from a ship he set on fire by burning a vampire. Vampires are dangerous, but he works at a time when they’re weak.

It’s very much like a Bond film; this adventure doesn’t seem at all connected to the plot which sprawls out ahead of us and it effectively introduces us to the character and world. I mean, it’s more vampires and we’re all just about as tired of vampires as we are zombies at this point, but Day Men makes it work.

Honestly, the next three pages are about paperwork and the daily business of being a daylight errand-boy for the undead and they smoothly transition into the story. Threats and powers and players are seamlessly introduced while we learn that David is bit of a badass, but that he has limits.

It’s a theme that runs throughout Day Men; David is well-trained but still young and inexperienced. He can handle himself in a fight, but the conflicts of the undead are often more complicated than killing a few vampires. Despite his skills, David is really just a pawn to be used and thrown away by his benefactors.

But I’m rooting for him and I’m pretty excited about this series. I mean, I have issues 1-5 & 8 which means I have every issue of Day Men in existence except for numbers 6 & 7. It’s run was tragically short, but pretty good. I’m a fan.

Disco Comics:
Marvel Presents
Marvel Now!
Avengers Academy
Murder World #12
Everybody Fukkin Dies Limited Seres 4 of 4

100% guaranteed to be classy and not wierd.

Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Art: Kev Walker

I could just say “ditto what I said on the previous issue,” but I won’t. I could. I really want to.

I could also bitch about how the visual icon for Avengers Arena is just “AA” in a serifed font in a circle adorned inside and out with non-serifed “A”s. It’s like they phoned in a lazy scream.

Also, the cover image is like a tournament bracket, but with blood. Creepy /s.

But given that everyone seems to die at random and not everyone has killed a person to get past the previous round I don’t–in the words of Will McAvoy–know what the fuck they’re talking about.

Basically, a book trying to call me an asshole for reading something based on its own plot looks real silly when it’s that up from the bottom of a bargain bin.

Disco Comics:
Marvel Presents
Marvel Now!
Avengers Academy
Murder World #11
Everybody Fukkin Dies Limited Seres 3 of 4

100% guaranteed to be classy and not wierd.

Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Art: Riccardo Burchielli

So Arcade has decided to reform his rep by killing a bunch of teenagers with Murder World. This is, as near as I can tell, supposed to be a departure from his MO because it’s a really big Murder World this time.

This issue tries hard to make Hazmat look like a coward for accepting her fate when it’s the end result of Marvel editorial acepting the fact that these kids will never be marketable A-listers. Except Reptil. Reptil is on TV so he’s pretty fucking safe.

I mean, it’s just whining and moral recrimination that doesn’t have any conflict except comic book characters yelling at each other about how they’re supposed to act in a way that furthers the story. And because that’s obviously a thin premise for a comic book, they have to physically assault the other person to make them listen because of course.
Pointless, boring, incredibly thin…obligatory. It feels obligatory.

Writer: Steven T. Seagle

Art: Mark Dos Santos

There’s no number on the front of this so I reasonably assumed it was a standalone and it worked perfectly that way. It doesn’t take full advantage of the format and the message is on the same level as Star Trek’s most mediocre “Ra-Ra Humans! Go, feelings, go!”

But it’s good. Satisfying, economical, solidly constructed, and opaque enough that I couldn’t tell what was going to happen next. The characterization was a bit thin, but as a standalone you expect that.

It’s a bit like a no-hitter in baseball; the idea isn’t new, but the execution is impressive.

Subsequent searching reveals that the issue number was on the back of the book. It’s #4.

Disco Comics: Nailbiter #7

This is a bit more staid.
Writing: Joshua Williamson
Art: Mike Henderson

My local comic book store is selling very old comics that no one wants for 50c each. I’m a cheap bastard and I love hating things so these are my Discount Comics.
What with Nailbiter being a weird mystery story set in the Pacific Northwest, I missed the comparisons to Twin Peaks when I talked about Nailbiter #5. Twin Peaks did this stuff right; “Mystery story? Nah; here’s some meaningless psychadelics. Hey look,” it then says, while pointing to a figure ducking behind a barn, “It’s The Mystery!” As you eagerly run towards it, Twin Peaks trips you and then laughs at you for watching it. I respect Twin Peaks for so aggressively refusing to give fucks.

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Nailbiter #5 (Sept 2014)
My local comic book store is selling very old comics that no one wants for 50c each. I’m a cheap bastard and I love hating things so these are my Discount Comics.
I’m seriously intrigued, whatever this is.
Writing: Joshua Williamson
Art: Mike Henderson
The deal with Nailbiter is that it’s an ongoing mystery story set in a small, Pacific Northwest town where federal agents and local law enforcement try to find out why so many of its residents become serial killers. Its visuals are wasted on the excessive dialog and this issue had a plug for a tie-in book. Those Issue 1 sales numbers must’ve been encouraging.
Nailbiter shows why things like this should be released as graphic novels. Why place a mystery at the center of an ongoing story? Mysteries do not work that way. Either you have an indefinite deferred mystery story or end up running plot threads of multiple plot threads all over the book and it becomes possible for the reader to engage or suspend disbelief. Nailbiter could lean on intricate characterization, but it’s just a dump truck of stock characters who are distinguished visually and by their hidden motivations.
By the way, Nailbiter went with “indefinite deferment.” In this one issue, a new FBI agent appears, a lead character is is accused of murder, a third serial killer appears—there were two before—a kid goes missing, someone central to the conspiracy is murdered, the only suspect is released because law enforcement couldn’t move the story forward any better than Joshua fucking Williams, and that suspect saves the protagonist which sets Mystery Number One back to zero. Also the previous investigator is still in a coma and an exhausting heterosexual romance between two white people in their twenties is hinted at.
I have zero investment in this story and I was still frustrated at how busily it marked time.