Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wednesday is for Dollar Dark Horse & I Don't Care #86

Groo: One For One
Image Firsts: G0dland #1
Magnus, Robot Fighter: One for One
Star Wars: Legacy: One for One

Groo: One For One #1 (Dark Horse, 1998/2010, $1.00)
I read some Groo back in the Epic Comics days, but never the first issue, and I found it weird. Although imbecilic Groo is present, there's an unexpected and unexplained twist that leads me to conclude the story continues in later editions. It was a cute story, but I never laughed and wasn't remotely intrigued enough to pursue an answer.

Image Firsts: Godland #1 (Image, 2005/2010, $1.00)
Jack Kirby was treated with utter contempt when he returned to Marvel in the mid-70s, and I'd always assumed it was because of sour grapes over his "betrayal" by going to DC. Thing is, his DC books didn't go over either, and looking at Tom Scioli rough-edged Kirby pastiche, I think I can see why. The King developed his most distinctive style in the '60s, and even with the extra detail and indy touches Scioli adds, the material positively screams for its era or origin. This art was hopelessly dated in the '70s, just as it was too ill-formed to suit the 1950s. Kirby was crowned the King in his set place in time, and influenced plenty who followed, but he simply peaked and failed to adapt further.

None of which is especially relevant to Joe Casey's Godland, which quite intentionally works modern slang and affectations like piercings into his scripts, so that when adapted through the anachronistic art, it offers a jolt of cognitive dissonance. It's funky and metatextual, which I dug, but it was still just '70s Kirby with a bit more bite (plus competent dialogue.) Your standing opinion on that material may determine your mileage from there.

Magnus, Robot Fighter: One for One #1 (Dark Horse, 1963/2010, $1.00)
Son of a bitch! I ordered this without realizing I'd already received and reviewed the exact same reprint free! I guess I'll added that both versions look to have been scanned directly from old comics and processed through digital filters. It makes the art look fuzzy, and the washed out coloring is shitty. It's still a neat story worth a buck though, if you missed it.

Star Wars: Legacy: One for One (Dark Horse, 2010, $1.00)
I was a Warsie before that retarded term existed. George Lucas didn't rape my childhood, but he did point out the flaws in the original trilogy by compounding them with his follow-up. I still followed Star Trek as a kid, but it seemed by and for old people. Now that I myself am an older person, I realize Trek is so nerdy it's cool, by reflecting real world politics and influence science and other high minded pursuits. Star Wars meanwhile is hopelessly mired in a romanticized past, and without the benefit of good swashbuckling, I don't see much appeal in a feudal system.

After nearly thirty years of mostly spinning wheels with the same set of characters (oh no, Chewie!) someone finally decided to take the daring chance of aping what Star Trek: The Next Generation did nearly a quarter-century ago by jumping ahead a hundred years. Establishing text from the inside cover talks up how "new" this is, and promised "the Star Wars franchise still had plenty of life left in it," which is something you say to cheer up a grandparent on a birthday. After all, the first page offers mildly redesigned tie-fighters belonging to a resurrected Empire. I think we can all relate, as we're still struggling with czars, confederate forces, the Third Reich, the fascists and the soviets, right? Isn't that why the new Tea Party formed, to combat that secret cabal of resurgent Redcoats?

So yeah, "new" in Star Wars means the villains' outfits are pointier, since they all have tired tribal tattoos like Darth Maul, who was supposed to be decades dead before the first movie in '77. This is a grim and gritty future (like every Wars knock-off, including Star Trek's, which ran nearly a decade a decade back) where almost all of the Jedi have been slain (again) by the Sith (again.) A young Jedi named Skywalker risks succumbing to the dark side of the force because of his emotional ties to a parent who died right in front of him (again.) There are even still Moffs around for the latest Darth Vader wannabe to dick with while making plays and struggling with his own alignment. Basically, it's the exact same thing as always and ever, ladling common genre cliche on top of Wars-specific ones. You know what I like to imagine? That this is a bunch of LARPers or the equivalent of Civil War reenactors just pretending like fuck all has changed from Lucas' brain dead Asimov lift of decades past.


mathematicscore said...

Magnus Robot Fighter is one of those concepts that is simultaneously so stupid and so awesome that it just ends up working despite itself.

Star Wars has always been fun but weak.

"which is something you say to cheer up a grandparent on a birthday"

Hilarious. Props.

Diabolu Frank said...

Once you put a man in a tunic and go-go boots, you pretty much have free reign to do whatever else you like, and it'll be fabulous. Judo chop robots? Fist an elephant? White water raft? All will win.


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