1. CONFESSION TIME. I will not be as good a comic-book blogger anymore. Economics require that I stop buying as many single-issue books. Therefore, I’ll be focusing on the “trades,” paperback collections of single issues that tend to come out 3-5 months after the last issue contained in the collection. That means I won’t be reading “Siege” until about August. I’ll still be up on the buzz and all, but I won’t be as current with the details. But I’m not sure that you, my readers, really care anyway. I used to get lots of comments on comic posts, but not so much anymore. This is more about my own love now, not yours, I guess.
2. DEADPOOL IS GREAT THIS MONTH! (ALL THREE OF THEM!) This May, Marvel’s Heroic Age begins–the antidote for the “Cynical Age” which began (formally) with Civil War. Exploring the difference between a hero and a cynic is Deadpool, who hung up his mercenary status (but only in his main book—“Deadpool Team Up” and “Merc with a Mouth” seem to exist in their own continuity) and tried to join the X-Men (DP #15-18). Needless to say, it didn’t take. So now, he’s harassing Spider-Man, trying to learn how to be a solo hero. Deadpool #19 was laugh-out-loud funny, and although many will complain about Hitmonkey, I thought he was perfect villain for this madcap, unpredictable series. Daniel Way is terrific—I can’t figure out why I dislike his “Wolverine” work so much—at weaving in Deadpool’s schizophrenic internal dialog and Pool-O-Vision. Art-wise, we got Carlo Barberi, who was also behind the Deadpool: Suicide Kings
miniseries. Very solid stuff.
3. UNBREAKABLE 2???? Bruce Willis let it slip recently at MTV that there might be an Unbreakable 2. I think he was fishing for work—U2 won’t ever happen. Don’t get me wrong, the first film is one of my all-time favorite flicks. But it’s a little late for the sequel, and M. Knight hasn’t made a really good film in quite a while. Or at least a really good dark film—Airbender looks like it may be good. I remember reading an interview with M. a long time ago where he said that Unbreakable was actually a trilogy. If so, I think he’d be better off releasing it as a comic book. Willis is long in the tooth for the role, unless the sequel takes place many years later . . . Aw, who am I kidding. I’d sleep outdoors to see the sequel to Unbreakable!
4. SUPERMOVIE. David S. “Batman Begins” Goyer has, supposedly, written a script for the next Superman movie, “The Man of Steel,” modeled after John Byrne’s classic 1980s take on the character. Words can’t express how disappointed I was with “Superman Returns.” I mean, there’s been great Superman films (the first two Richard Donner ones), terrible ones (Richard Pryor??) but never before had there been a boring one. DC should forget that film ever existed. Goyer’s script is not an origin story, which is a good thing. We’ve had too many of those on the screen, and book-wise we just got one last year from Geoff Johns and we’re getting another one next year from JMS. Enough! Let’s see Superman be super, already! The rumor is this one will have both Braniac and Luthor, and Christopher Nolan may also be involved if he finishes with Batman 3 first. But then again, this could all just be rumor.
5. RINGS. What isn’t a rumor is that DC is going to be adding White Lantern rings to the rainbow of Green Lantern promo plastic. I’ve got all seven so far, hanging on the staff of my wife’s statue of the Mayor from Nightmare Before Christmas. Woo-hoo!
6. CAPTAIN AMERINERD! I’ve said before that I’m not impressed by director Joe Johnston’s public statements about the greatest superhero of all time, Captain America. I’m very nervous about the film. And now I’m reading that John “The Office” Krasinski is in the running as Steve Rogers? Please, God, no. Captain America is supposed to be huge. I could break Krasinski in two with one hand tied behind my back. He’s also supposed to be inspiring, not a squishy, loveable goofball. John K might make a good Fabian Stankowicz, though. (Anybody catch his clash with Deadpool this month? Hilarious!)
7. THE LOSING TEAM. There’s a whole bunch of trailers for The Losers floating around now. Am I the only one who thinks it looks less interesting than The A-Team? I might be . . .
8. SPIDEY (AGAIN). I talk a lot about Amazing Spider-Man here because none of you ever comment on it, which makes me think you’re not reading it, and you should be. And a good place to start is with this week’s #622, a one-and-done interlude in the “Gauntlet” series, which is bringing back and rebooting all of Spidey’s classic foes. This issue is about Morbius The Living Vampire, who is an old but not exactly “classic.” The art chores are picked up by Joe Quinones (there are rotating creative staffs on the Spidey book) and the writing is by Fred Van Lente, who is fast becoming one of my favorite new writers. (He worked with Greg Pak on Incredible Hercules, picked up the Marvel Zombies series and made it go from just good to great, and has done some really solid kid-oriented comics in the Marvel Adventures line.) It’s far from the best issue of AmSpM, but it’s a nice introduction into how they’re handling Marvel’s best
character these days.
9. BLACKEST NIGHT #7. The penultimate issue arrived this week. This is a series that started out waaaaaay too slow. I know it’s an epic, but give us some meat with our exposition, please! Then it picked up speed (almost too quickly) more than halfway in. Now, just about every dead DC character worth raising (and many who aren’t) is back, has a ring, and is looking for . . . What exactly? Like most DC epics, I have a hard time understanding why I’m supposed to care about all this, and what the villain really wants. Marvel does this so much better. Call it simplistic if you want, but the stakes in everything from Secret Wars (the first of these kind of gang bang sagas) to Siege have always been clear. Now, we see that Black Lantern Luthor is kind of an idiot—I guess the ring makes you lose IQ points along with any shred of morality, decency, or good hygiene); are told that the real goal of the “evil” lanterns is not evil but death, which is apparently the status quo for the universe (life is unnatural and fleeting, death is a constant); and the meaning of life is nothing more than a collection of our most extreme and identifiable emotions: Rage, Fear, Love, etc. At first I thought this was deep, but now I see it as just facile. It’s not that Blackest Night is bad, it’s definitely one of the best DC stories in many years, it’s just that it doesn’t look like it’s really going to change much of anything. Except that, at the end, Guy Gardner will get his own book, alongside my favorite Green Lantern–Kilowog. I even have a mini-mate of the snout-nosed powerhouse. So at least that’s something.