It’s still pretty good.
And pretty fucking wrong.
It’s still pretty good.
And pretty fucking wrong.
Issue #2 (2015)
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.
Disco Comics: Day Men
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.
Murder World #12
Everybody Fukkin Dies Limited Seres 4 of 4
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.
Murder World #11
Everybody Fukkin Dies Limited Seres 3 of 4
Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Art: Riccardo Burchielli
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
I take notes when I watch movies and after the movies, I post those notes on the internet. These are my notes for Captain America: Civil War. Notes made after the movie are made in <<>>’s.
Lethal Weapon again. It’s a weird movie, but we love it.
Beyonce dance and sing-along. Sounds like an idea.
Independence Day II trailer…still ‘mech.
Oh gods, Dr. Strange. Dang, I just imagine that as he’s walking up the steps a Tardis appears, obscuring him and The Doctor is all, “I’m not that strange,” and it’s a Doctor Who movie.
Rogue One again. This one is still a bit too on the nose. People are angry about the installation of the space laser, that but’s literally how we build carriers. Actually get off the Internet, nerds.
Captain America: Civil War