05th Dec2012

Comical Thoughts – When You’re A Spy…

by Will

It’s been awhile since one of these. Actually, it hasn’t. I mean, my AvX post could’ve easily been a Comical Thoughts post, but I got lazy with my branding. Anyway, we’re back and I’ve got a great, new logo (courtesy of Brian over at coolandcollected.com). I haven’t been as knee-deep in comics lately, so I didn’t have much to say. I’ve been catching up recently, though, so a few things have occurred to me.

I was surprised to realize that one of my favorite books from The New 52 was Red Hood and The Outlaws. I mean, on paper, it’s a terrible idea, and the whole shitstorm surrounding slutty Starfire got panties in a bunch. Hell, I went on record saying I hated the first issue. Now, at issue #13, I can honestly say it has become a shining star to me in a sea of mediocrity. And now I know why: it’s Burn Notice.

I LOVE Burn Notice! If you’re not familiar with that show, disgraced spy Michael Westen tries to reclaim his life with the help of ex-girlfriend (and former arms dealer) Fiona and pal (and former Navy SEAL who did bad things) Sam. In RHatO, Starfire is clearly Fiona, while Arsenal is Sam and Red Hood is Michael. Sure, in this version, “Sam” is banging “Fiona”, but that’s only a minor difference.Formerly “bad” people just trying to do the right thing.  Once I realized that, it made it an even more enjoyable experience.

 

I do not like this new Iron Man series. I’ve never been a Kieron Gillen fan, honestly. He’s that indie wunderkind who got his break in the majors, while still possessing indie ideas. I read Phonogram. It was different. Quirky. Haven’t liked anything he’s done mainstream, though. HATED Generation Hope and dropped Uncanny X-Men once he came aboard.

I’ve been with Iron Man since the old Extremis arc through Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. on through all of Invincible Iron Man. Through all of that, I grew to like the character. I don’t like him now, and it’s not like anything has fundamentally changed. A big part of the problem is Greg Land. Who the Hell keeps getting him to “draw” like he does? Another problem is that the series launched into stagnancy. It’s like it’s in a holding pattern in order to sync up with the rest off the staggered MarvelNOW launches. You see, the Invincible Iron Man series ended with Tony needing new challenges, and taking off for the stars. the new series starts, and Tony’s already back on Earth. He’s not talking about space, and the main plot point is based on a 6 year old storyline. If not for the passing reference that Pepper is still CEO of Resilient, you could almost assume that Invincible Iron Man never happened. The space stuff is the SECOND arc, so that it matches with the launch of the Guardians of the Galaxy series. It also doesn’t help that I have no clue what color the suit is. Is that shading? Is it really black and yellow? Fraction did a lot with that character, and I can understand Gillen’s desire to do something new, but he doesn’t seem to respect what came immediately before.

I’ve still got some lingering Batman family questions:

– How/when did Lucius recover from his stroke?

– What exactly happened to Commissioner Akins?

– How did Jim Gordon & Bullock come back to the force?

– What was the fallout of Bruce Wayne announcing he was Batman’s financial backer?

– So, were there any repercussions for Leslie Thompkins?

If you read the Bat books for any length of time before the New 52 reboot, you’ll understand those questions.  If not, don’t worry about it.

Speaking of Batman, one of my recent favorite podcast discoveries is Kevin Smith’s Fatman on Batman. I usually tend to hate celebrity podcasts, which is why I only listen to this and Aisha Tyler’s Girl on Guy. However, Fatman on Batman is great if you’ve ever wanted to hear people get truly emotional about Batman. It’s a concept that a lot of people just don’t get, but the show features actors and creators as they really just talk about the profound impact that Batman has had on their lives and/or careers. It’s interesting to see equally important figures in the mythos have different opinions on things. For example, Diedrich Bader (voice of Batman in The Brave and the Bold) played up Batman’s sense of humor, and he said that during Batman’s inner monologues he would use the “Bruce Wayne” voice. This contrasts with Paul Dini’s take that Batman has no sense of humor, and the Batman Beyond reveal that Bruce doesn’t call himself “Bruce” in his head. Both takes are equally important, without one being “right”. They’re still Batman. It’s odd I feel that way, though, as I still feel that the Nolanverse is NOT Batman. The difference is that they animated versions pay homage to different renditions of Batman, while the Nolan Batman appends the name to a completely different construct. Anyway, I’m getting off topic. If you’re a Batman fan, definitely check out Fatman on Batman.

Finally, I’ve got a bit of a conundrum when it comes to how I go about reading comics. I read AvX on my Nook, but didn’t love the experience. That said, I’m getting tired of paying $4 an issue for something that just takes up space. I’m starting to wonder if I really need to keep the issues. Then, something else happened: I started going back to the local hotel comic shows, and there’s always a dealer with recent books for $1. We’re not talking about old books, either – these are books that came out that same week. I haven’t done the Wednesday ritual in some time, so now I’m trying to figure out if I should just wait for the hotel shows and pay $1. Sure, the important stuff will end up being spoiled online, but the really important stuff is gonna be spoiled by the publishers anyway.  So, do I just play the clearance waiting game? Thoughts?