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Hall of Shame: Marvel’s three worst series.
Hall of Shame: Marvel’s three worst series.
By the Ace of Knaves
Astute readers may notice that I’m skipping Brian Bendass’ Avengers. That’s because it’s off the charts. Don’t get me wrong: Bendis is a great writer and he’s got a lot of talent. A lot of people don’t like his style, but that doesn’t bother me at all. I just do not want to read the stories he wants to tell! There’s nothing wrong with them, they just do not interest me enough to read, let alone pay for. Now that that’s cleared up; here we go!
3) Fantastic Four by Mark Millar. Millar is well on his way to joining Bendis and Loeb on my Blacklist. His FF just doesn’t have it for me: I’ve already lamented at length about the woefully bad “death of the invisible woman” so I’m not going there again, but the all-too-miraculous romance of the Thing also felt stale and forced. The main reason it’s on #3 in my hall of shame is that his run is nearly over (I think and hope) after one last shitty “masters of Doom” arc. BULLSHIT! This just detracts from Doom as a character. It’s canon that he got to be Doom all by himself. Retconning some new super-mega-villain-mentor into his origin does not enhance the character at all. I really hate that kind of shit, especially the “let’s prove the credibility of our shitty new menace by having him out-bad an existing and super-cool bad guy). Ah well… at least the art is good…
2) Ms. Marvel by Brian Reed. A real disappointment because this started out as a great series. Did you see the Greg Horn covers? They were so great that the cover alone warranted buying the issue! Poster-size? Yes please! But the latest arc just sucks, thanks to the inevitable tie-in with Secret Inversion and Dork Reign. Getting some tales about plain old Carol Danvers in her spook days is a really good concept, but the retconning of high tech stuff (portable hard disks in the 70’s?) screwed it up for me. I know the time compression between real-time and comic-time is difficult, but this was way too much for purist old me. So it gets to #2 because it should have been great, but it got screwed completely.
1) New Thunderbolts. I’ll be diddled if I read any more crap from Diggle. Thunderbolts is supposed to be about B-list bad-guys trying to reform, but ever since the disappearance of Zemo at the end of Nicieza’s stellar run it’s been found badly wanting. Mac Gargan as Venom is one of the lamest ideas ever, screwing up two perfectly good characters (Venom and Scorpion). And now Osborn claiming to be a good guy and not Green Goblin? Puke-arissimo! Maximo Puke-arissimo! I could have imagined that stunt working on Dubja, but now they’re just insulting the new president! What’s the matter Diggle! Are you a republican? I’m just reading until the Deadpool crossover is past (Go Deadpool!) and then I’m not going to waste my money on it anymore.
Speaking of Deadpool: did you see he finally made it to the big screen? Sure, it’s called “Wolverine” and the portrayal in the trailer doesn’t look shit like the real Deadpool, but it’s a start. Way to go Wade
"Hello! I must be going ..." Cancelling series the Marvel way
“Hello! I must be going…”
Cancelling series the Marvel way
By The Ace of Knaves
Well it’s official. Marvel is cancelling “Spidergirl” and “New Exiles” in the near future. In the case of Exiles I wholeheartedly agree. Ever since Chris Claremont took over the exiles were at drift (What did I just type? HERESY!). Sorry. Claremont is one of the all-time best “X” writers, but in switching from Excalibur to Exiles he mixed the characters and plots too much for my taste. Roma and Merlin are great for Excalibur, but the left over storyline with sage just doesn’t work for me in Exiles. I can get the connection as both are involved with parallel worlds and dimensions, but whereas Excalibur was magic driven, Exiles was more “Science” driven in my opinion, and the mixing of those is one of my pet peeves. Also I miss Blink and Mimic. The new roster includes too much variants of too well known characters (another Gambit, Rogue, Mystique and Shadowcat? No thanks!) and Psylocke is way out of place (again better with Slaymaster in Excalibur). The exiles work best with leading roles for the “uniques” (such as Blink and Morph) or upgrades of lesser stars (Sasquatch). This cancellation just goes to show that adding big names can’t save a series.
On the other hand the cancellation of Spidergirl is entirely unwarranted in my opinion. The stories are solid and consistently great. Last time they cancelled it, it was brought back almost immediately, so I can only image that Marvel is determined to erase all traces of a Spiderman who is married to Mary Jane. Oh sure! You can still read it in “Spiderman family”, but I get the impression that they just needed the extra content to fill “family” (bring back the manga Spiderman J then!). Spiderman is doing great (though I can’t figure out why, because I usually hate these continuity resets), but there should be a place for Spidergirl as a separate title.
Of course there’s every chance that the series will be back, renumbered from number 1 for the umpteenth time with NEW added (New New exiles #1!). PLEASE STOP DOING THIS! Yes I’m shouting! The folks at DC are much smarter as the simply announce recurring limited series (e.g. secret six). I’d much rather have a Spidergirl limited series of 5 issues every year than an on-again-off-again running series with “NEW issue #1’s”! So it’s a great relief to me that Thor is being reinstituted as of N° 600. Renumbering series? I say thee nay!!!
Well; it’s winter again, and that means interesting things in the comic book industry. With the obligatory Blockbuster Summer Cross-Over Mega-Event over and forgotten, writers and readers can focus on the characters and the stories again instead of on the mass marketing and the“shock and awe” tactics. Or can we? I’ve barely escaped “secret invasion” (sorry folks, it just didn’t interest me to buy all the crossover stuff AGAIN) and Marvel announces “dark reign” (Incidentally: anyone still remember President Lex? I thought so…). Oh dear. Arguably DC comics is even worse, because they didn’t even finish their (hopefully) “final crisis” yet. The timing between their issues is so strung out that I’m having actual trouble remembering what happened last time (yes, this is unusual for me). Add to that the whole “Batman RIP” tie-in, for which it was only recently revealed how it ties in chronologically to the crisis and I’m getting confused. In my opinion the “Final crisis”, while conceptually good, loses impact because it is spread over a too complicated publishing schedule and over too long a time. Hopefully bringing back Barry Allan will speed things up in a flash.
Anyhow, I’m still pretty excited about nearly all the comics on my “to-buy” list recently (nearly all, but more on that later). Jason Aaron’s “Ghost rider” and “Wolverine: manifest destiny” rock (think Big Trouble in little xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />China with Logan instead of Kurt Russel). Even the “old man Logan” storyline in Wolverine (which I found rather repetitive of previous apocalyptic scenarios) managed to surprise me when it was revealed which villain managed to break Logans spirit. Thor is “devine”. Garth Ennis’s successor on Punisher is doing sterling work, and Punisher fans are spoilt even more by the outstanding “Punisher War Zone” with incredibly gorgeous art by Steve Dillon. He didn’t work out for me on “Wolverine: origins”, but he really is one of the best Punisher artists in my opinion. I’d really love to see him do some “Moon knight”. This brings me to Daniel Way’s “Deadpool” which also more than delivers the goods (zombie nurses? Hell yeah!). He had me worried by the awful Deadpool appearance in “Wolverine Origins”, but those worries have vanished completely. X-men is still improving and getting there, and I’m really excited about the “War of kings” tie-in with Dan Abnett’s extraordinarily good “Nova” and “Guardians of the Galaxy”. Over at DC “Secret six” is an absolute must, with some of the best characterisation of Bane since his 90’s miniseries and Gail Simone does wonders for a certain amazon princess. I can’t believe I’m reading and enjoying “Wonder Woman”. (For more sterling work by Gail Simone, check out the “Welcome to tranquillity 2” TPB). And then I haven’t even mentioned “Green arrow and black canary”, “Reign in hell” and the green lantern titles. Also the JSA Gog-Magog storyline is an absolute must read. JSA has been a series of incredibly high quality ever since it’s relaunch in ‘99 , and it still is after the second relaunch. I also love the gorgeous “Faces of evil” covers (and the one shots! The Prometheus one especially was masterfully done!). I’d love to have them on my 2009 calendar! Not to mention the fact that I was dumbfounded by DC’s “brave and bold” decision to put all Batman titles on hiatus. Wow! I figured the death of Batman was going to be the same old circus we’ve seen many, MANY times before, but I NEVER imagined that they would put their flagship title (Detective Comics) on hiatus. Can you imagine Marvel cancelling all X-men or Spiderman titles? I really hope this pays off for DC and the fans, just because it’s so daring.
So is it all good? No. There still are some stinkers in my opinion such as the incredibly weak “death of the invisible woman” story in Mark Millar’s FF. If like me you figured out from the first panel that there were TWO of them, it’s easy to figure out which one is going to kick the bucket. So it just becomes another story where the title is for shock and awe value, but doesn’t cover the whole package. But then “the death of the other invisible woman” probably won’t sell as much comics. For shame!
The pick of the litter: Jason Aaron and Fabian Nicieza
The pick of the litter: Jason Aaron and Fabian Nicieza
By the Ace of Knaves
Yes folks, it’s time again to sing the praise for two of the best comics writers in the business. First up: Jason Aaron. Now I’ve been giving him nothing but straight A’s for the past months (Ghost rider, Get mystique) and still the man manages to surprise me by getting even better. I am of course talking about his DC one shot “Joker’s asylum: Penguin”. If ever the TPB “greatest penguin stories ever told” makes it to press, this one has to head the bill (no pun intended). I wasn’t very enthusiastic about the first one shot (Joker by Nelson and Sanchez). But this Penguin story has everything. It’s been since John Ostrander’s “Penguin triumphant” that such a landmark Penguin story was issued. An absolute must read that proves that Aaron doesn’t just have the knack for thrill-a minute supernatural ghost rider stuff, but also for deep characterisation and pathos.
What’s that you’re saying? He’s also doing Black Panther? Aaaaaw! I hate Black Panther! Really! Please Jason, don’t make me buy Black Panther … He’s the most useless drab and uninteresting marvel blacksploitation character around (no, wait, it’s a draw with Luke Cage: “Power Man”). If I ever get my hands on the fool who got Storm stuck with him! It was only supposed to be a marvel team-up one shot! They shouldn’t count for continuity! Think of all the Sub-Mariner / Doctor Doom team-ups. They’re not married! Why couldn’t she get a nice interesting guy like Forge or Wolverine. Or are mixed race marriages not done in the oh so tolerant left wing comics industry? Don’t get me started on the black panther and luke cage. I’ll take Jim Rhodes and Lucas Bishop or even the Falcon over them any day!
Let’s talk about Fabian Nicieza now, that will cheer me up. Good old dependable Fabian Nicieza. I was heartbroken when Deadpool/Cable was cancelled (that’s right, DEADPOOL/cable), but I was even more amazed that marvel had let it run for so long. Get the TPB’s folks, because it’s roaring stuff! So naturally I’m dreading the upcoming Daniel Way Deadpool. I didn’t really like his take on the character in Wolverine Origins, but maybe that’s because Steve Dillon’s art was again way off the mark. I find Nicieza’s Deadpool to be definitive, but if he isn’t available, I’d like to advise for Jesse Blaze Snider. His Deadpool short in Marvel Comics presents 10 had me feeling: “I can’t believe it’s not Nicieza”. But Nicieza is more than Deadpool…
Anyone out there who ever wanted to see a Catwoman-Batgirl fight in a nudist society? In the nude?
YEEEEEHAW! And Fabian Nicieza is just the man to write it in Batman confidential 18. And did I mention the art is by Kevin Maguire? DOUBLE YEEEEHAW! Thank you Fabian and Kevin! Might I make a suggestion? Deadpool Vs Battlepope by Fabian Nicieza and Robert Kirkman! Go on, you know you want to!
Midprice-editie van deze prachtige liefdesverklaring aan de literatuur.
Walter Moers ontvoert de lezer naar het betoverde rijk van de literatuur, waar lezen een avontuur is, waar boeken hun lezers niet alleen op een spannende manier vermaken en aan het lachen brengen, maar ook tot waanzin drijven of zelfs ombrengen.
De stad van de dromende boeken is een avonturenroman met de vaart van een thriller, een horrorverhaal vol romantisch uitvergrote creaturen en een bijzonder leuke parodie op de wereldliteratuur. Tenminste, als je om grappen over Goethe en Shakespeare kunt lachen. Of net niet.
Rumo lijkt nog het meest op een hondje met hoorntjes. Zolang hij als jonkie op de boerenhoeve van de Verrenzandse dwergen verblijft, wordt hij door iedereen vertroeteld. Maar de cyclopen doen een inval en voeren alle bewoners in een zak af naar een grot in de Duivelsrotsen. Daar groeit Rumo op en leert hij praten, waarna hij samen met de haaimade Smeik hun ontsnapping beraamt. Vervolgens voert de zilveren draad die hij met zijn innerlijke oog waarneemt hem naar de stad Wolperting, waar hij naar school gaat, vrienden maakt en… de mooie Wolpertingse Rala leert kennen. Bij wijze van liefdesgeschenk wil hij een kistje voor haar vervaardigen van hout uit het beruchte Nurnenwoud, maar terwijl Rumo het bos in trekt, worden al zijn Wolpertingse vrienden tot slaaf gemaakt van Gaunab, de krankzinnige dwergkoning. Rumo en de zijnen moeten alles op alles zetten om Gaunab te verslaan, een strijd die tot een hoogtepunt komt in het Theater van de Schone Doden, en die maar één winnaar kent…
Rumo & de wonderen in het donker is een fantastische ontwikkelingsroman, een heldenepos en een liefdesgeschiedenis, geschreven in een onderkoelde stijl en met fi jnzinnige humor.