Saturday, May 22, 2010

Wednesday Is A Dollar Comic Day For All I Care #66

What's Next? Green Lantern #29 Special Edition (2008/10)
Image Firsts: Girls #1 (2005/10)
Image Firsts: Youngblood #1 (1992/2008/2010)
Thor: Marvel's Greatest Comics #1 (2007/10)

Green Lantern #29 Special Edition (DC,2008/10, $1.00)
I love comic book history, both real and imagined, but where's the fucking future in constant navel gazing? Here's another Year One layered with retcons, including Hal Jordan now having met John Stewart in a military bar brawl. Listen, I don't care about your super-hero's daddy issues, or his sibling tensions, or how Carol Ferris was ready to jump Hal's prepubescent johnson before Hitgirl would have learned the word "cunt." For me, Hal Jordan died back in the '90s, and I should be reading about Kyle Rayner. I'm not speaking as a member of the Rayner fan club, but as a guy who figures a concept as broad as the Green Lantern Corps should allow for interesting new developments, not slobbing the knob of a middle-aged conservative mass murderer who was a boring twat when I started reading comics decades ago. So fuck your outdated fixation on jet planes, fuck cliche military riffs from '40s pictures, fuck John Stewart as a jarhead, fuck slugging your c.o. without doing hard time and fuck playing out Alan Moore short stories from the fucking '80s. Oh, but the art's pretty, and the story is competent, so fuck me for expecting anything more.

Image Firsts: Girls #1 (Image, 2005/2010, $1.00)
Girls seems to have been a pretty well received book in its day, and the script is solid enough to bear that out. Still, reading this introductory priced reissue as a single serving, the whole thing is just winding up a sexually frustrated asshole for sixteen pages, bookended by ominous foreshadowing. The visual storytelling functions well, but the figures are stiff, and the individual faces anything but. Everyone looks like they’re related to one another. I figure the point of these books is to lure readers to the trade paperback collections, but I’m instead put off by the likelihood it would take a full trade to get a couple issues worth of plot across.

Image Firsts: Youngblood #1 (Image, 1992/2008/2010, $1.00)
My brother turned me on to Rob Liefeld via the final few issues of his New Mutants run, and I followed X-Force on my own into the 20s. This also led me to collect Liefeld back issues at inflated prices, especially considering I was only earning about $1.25 an hour doing yard work. In the days I tried really hard to draw, I could swipe Liefeld easier and better than any of the other Image founders. All this is to say, I was there when the original Youngblood #1 shipped, and can confirm that as big of an idiot as I was back then, even I realized Liefeld had shit the bed. I might have still been in denial about the obvious deficits in Liefeld’s anatomy and storytelling, seeing as that would have also meant owning up to how poorly my own artistic development was coming along. Regardless of that, I was literate enough to know Liefeld’s X-Force plots spun their wheels in the mud at 3500 rpm, and that Youngblood was somehow even worse. Liefeld just kept introducing variations on the same stock “extreme” characters and costumes, hoping that he could pile bodies onto this thing so deep no one could see the shitstorm through the walls off assholes. And then Brigade came out, which was like eating Youngblood and shitting it out again. Brigade was pretty much the nadir of Image Comics, the poster child for the ruination of the comics industry, from which it never fully recovered. Of course, Marvel and DC doing their level best to out doo-doo Image was the drip on top of the mound.

A few years back, Liefeld tried to redeem his magnum orifice by having Joe Casey re-dialogue, reorder, and generally attempt to edit into comprehensibility the first Youngblood mini-series. Casey does his best, but he retains the heart of the series while trying to realize Liefeld’s stated but unrealized intentions for the series at the time. The result is as soulless and stupid as the original, except with additional dated references, an improved linearity, and the removal of the excuse that there were no actual comic writers involved with the initial production. Since Casey actual knows where this retarded nonsense ambled to, he’s able to do some foreshadowing, build something that vaguely resembles characterization, and remove some of the unfortunate “kewl” misogyny. It still makes me embarrassed for my younger self for taking so long to realize the emperor had fat thighs and tiny feet… and inflatable jackets… and cockeyes… and fucked perspective… and…

Thor MGC #1 (Marvel, 2007/10, $1.00)
I remember Oliver Coipel's old Legion and Avengers work, when he looked like early Jim Cheung inked with a Sharpee. Clearly, I wasn't exactly enamored with his team books, but goddamn, he's a fine bitch now! I can see why folks got so hard over this series, even when fuck all happens in the first issue beyond ambiguous flashbacks and existentialist musings inside the brain of friggin' Thor. I miss the the faux-Shakespearean dialogue, which was a big part of the fun in reading either Conan or this here thunder god. It's alright, I guess, but Coipel's the selling point. Who wants to bet JMS' Wonder Woman is just a pedestrian reworking of this shit, though?


mathematicscore said...

Yeah, I love Thor that's not in boxing gear or drawn by Liefeld, but I paged through and then did not buy the first issue since as you said, nothing happens. I ended up getting the second and a reprint of the first, eventually collecting all the JMS stuff. I rather liked it, but feel their cutting his run short is criminal. I was really digging the "gods walk the earth" aspect of Asgard in Kansas, especially being a Northlander transplant to the midwest myself.

Diabolu Frank said...

Wait, Kansas? I thought he was an Okie?

mathematicscore said...

I was pretty sure it was Kansas, but now that you mention it, I could be wrong. Somewhere in the midwest...

I just remembered I'm on the internet.... Yes, you're right, it is OK. Big deal, I live in MN and grew up in ND, so anything below the 44th parallel is all the same to me. :p

Diabolu Frank said...

My sister lives in OK, and I assure you, it's the stress groove in the Bible Belt. It's only a flyover state if you're in a B-52. I figure part of the point of sticking Asguard in OK was to really highlight the disparity between the sublime and the subpar.


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