Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wednesday Is Any Day For All I Care #55

The Brave and the Bold #31 (2010)
Marvel Super Hero Squad #1 (2010)
Power Girl #8
R.E.B.E.L.S. #12 (2010)

The Brave and the Bold #31 (DC, 2010, $2.99)
I was on top of Batmania in 1989. The Batman movie novelization is probably the only book I've ever read in one sitting. I saw the actual flick on opening day, where I also got the official prestige format comic adaptation. I went on to see the movie another two times. That's possibly where my hatred of Batman started, since the book set me up for a big letdown with the film, which I was forced to see again (twice in the same day,) and the adaptation was a gift that, while well drawn, desperately needed less photo reference. It wasn't traumatizing enough to see Michael Keaton play Batman on the screen, I had to see his likeness in the comic? Ugh.

Anyway, that summer I also got the boss fuckin' Brian Bolland Joker t-shirt where he's running his fingers through his hair and laughing hysterically. It was my favorite shirt until it fell completely apart after something like four years of regular wear. Fuck Jack Nicholson's fat ass, that's the Joker I wanted to see, and am still waiting (though at least the dead Aussie had the right build.) I can't say I'm anxious about that, though, since I now fucking hate the Joker about as much as Batman. Since the movie, just about every major death/maiming in a Batman Family title has led back to the Joker. You're a twat if you don't snap Joker's scrawny neck after he paralyzed Barbara Gordon. Once he kills Robin's mother, Robin, Commissioner Gordon's wife, Aunt Harriet, and rapes some random chick in that Azzarello graphic novel to prove he's not a fag, someone, anyone, needs to end this shit. In case you missed it, DC seemed to kill and replace the original Joker after Jason Todd ate a crowbar and shat dynamite, but no one cared, and the new guy is no less heinous.

So here's a team-up comic involving the Atom and the Joker, in which Ray Palmer argues in favor of cacking the Clown Prince for a good length of the book. This is why I dig the Tiny Titan, because when you get that small, it gives you perspective. I know Atom wants to kill the Joker so bad it makes his teeth ache, but he's stuck in a situation where he can't quite pull it off (or more likely, has too big an ego to "accidentally" do it, but nobody's perfect.) Where the story loses me is that the entire thing is about the Joker, whether as the topic of discussion or the subject of yet another dubious flashback to his "history." Y'see, I don't care anymore. Thomas Wayne could be shown spelunking the Joker's batcave as a child, and it wouldn't make him any less a candidate for involuntary suicide. Plus, the gist of it is that the Joker was always a crazy violent jerk, which makes this an excuse to show pointless crazy violent jerkiness. Someone spoiled my Atom comic with the Joker, basically.

Script's by J. Michael Straczynski, complete with dumb ass "twisted" ending, but it's as alright as this kind of thing gets, I guess. Chad Hardin started out drawing the book, looking vaguely like Howard Porter. More likely, Justiniano was supposed to draw the whole thing, but blew a deadline. Alternately, he just wanted to do the Joker bits, and being a CHAOS! Comics alum, that figures.

Marvel Super Hero Squad #1 (Marvel, 2010, $2.99)
I reviewed the first issue of the MSHS mini-series last year, and the short version is, you should actively prevent anyone from reading that. Now we'll look at the debut of the ongoing series, written this time by Todd Dezago, which is okay. I just don't know who this is written for. It's too empty and metatextual for children, but too brainless for adults, and too sarcastic for what parents think their children should read. It seems best suited for the babysitter's pothead boyfriend to chuckle at in the can. Personally, I'm averse to teaching little kids snark, nonlinear storytelling, and the breaking of the fourth wall. How will they turn out without the basic foundations of storytelling, and what will they have to look forward to if there are no rules to break once puberty comes calling?

Aside from a bit where two kids play "Monkey in the Middle" with the Falcon ("Keep Away" would have been more p.c.,) the book is generally inoffensive and even amusing for its type. The artists are working off rigid models, but it still looks really good. There's very little exposition, and not having seen the show, I could have used some. About Reptil: why? Otherwise, if this is the kind of thing you like, you'll like this thing.

Power Girl #8 (DC, 2010, $2.99)
I didn't care for the first issue, but Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray seem to have stepped up their game since then. Maybe it was just Vartox's irrepressible machismo, but this book was actually quite good. Power Girl gets to be the bright one, Vartox struts his unshaven ass and thighs, Brainiac's spaceship gets remodeled with a handlebar mustache, and there's Barbarella sex? Great banter, a classic rant, Amanda Conner, and even a side of pathos? Sign me up!

R.E.B.E.L.S. #12 (DC, 2010, $2.99)
I'm glad I finally started to get into the groove with this book, but most especially, I'm pleased endgame is in sight on this Starro shit. Look, it's Death Dealer wearing a starfish in outer space. Putting this guy up against the threat of the Black Lanterns only makes him look more laughable. Some of the newer characters are given face time (yay Captain Comet!) and Despero still has a role to play besides jobber (he really is the evil Martian Manhunter now!) The art this round is by Geraldo Borges, continuing a pattern of this book looking way better than its sales chart listing would seem to warrant. Nice job on the typing stuff, Tony Bedard.

1 comment:

mathematicscore said...

While I'll allow there were weaknesses in the couple issues, I vote Power Girl kick-ass. Vartox is way cooler than I thought he could be, and it's just a lot of fun, which comics should be at least as often as they are epic.
R.E.B.E.L.S. is another I've been with since day one and am sticking with even in these tough times. I enjoy how he treats the villians like Despero and Kanjar Ro as real characters and not as jokes that so many seem to take from the original JLA villians.


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