Comics, etc.

ubrakto wrote:
Chiggie Von Richthofen wrote:

I just finished, uh, finishing Astonishing X-Men. Wow. That was a really fantastic 25 issue (is that count right?) arc.

Those will be put onto the "doesn't leave the house until I'm dead and burried" shelf.

After Hemidal's Astonishing dislike of the final issue on the previous page I'm glad to hear that you liked how it ended as much as I did.
---Todd

I can see where there would be dislike, but I always love those kinds of endings. Exciting, confusing at first, conclusive but not, all at the same time.

I wish he would just take over X-Men. Are they going to try and push Astonishing forward without Whedon?

Yes, Warren Ellis is writing it now.

Why does his name ring a giant church bell in my head? Brain isn't working at the moment.

Stormwatch, The Authority, Planetary and Transmetropolitan among others.

Did he ever do the Green Arrow?

*edit: Iron Man. He kicked off the vol.4 run of Iron Man with Extremis.

SommerMatt wrote:
Grenn wrote:
RSPaulette wrote:
Grenn wrote:

I don't remember that happening, but I stopped reading around World War Hulk.

It was in ALIAS # 1, about six years before World War Hulk.

(Has it really been that long?)

Ahhhh, I get it. I never read any of that MAX "Rated R" stuff.

I think thats a big part of what turned me off the book... the whole "oooh, we're naughty now!" vibe. Butt sex aside, the very first word of dialog from Alias #1 is "f*ck."

Yeah -- the whole presentation in the comics press back during that era was a major, major turn-off. Don't let it dissuade you from the book, though -- Bendis handled some really interesting stuff there; honestly, it's some of the best work of his career, marrying the moral ambiguity of his early Goldfish/Jinx stuff, with the best of his street-level Marvel U. continuity wank stuff.

With that, and Ennis's Punisher, you could see what would attract Marvel to the ratings belt-loosening -- which has now fallen largely by the wayside, save for the Punisher.

The whole butt sex thing was designed to shock, and show how low Jessica was. A failed superhero, failing PI, alcoholic, self destructive mess, and Bendis wanted thaty out there immediately, since he was writing a character with a long and nasty back story into the MU.

The Cage she booty called in the wee small hours was the harder character from Brian Azarrello's 2003 mini, not the canary-shirted 70s version or Bendis' own, softer-edged Avenger.

For the record, I love Bendis' work for the most part. I have all of his Marvel work, and some other bits beside.

On another note, I'll second the love for The Losers. A brilliant story, great artwork.

Preacher is a great body of work from Ennis. The shame is that he has not come close to matching it, and a lot of his output seems to be almost aping his own previous magnum opus.

spider_j wrote:

Preacher is a great body of work from Ennis. The shame is that he has not come close to matching it, and a lot of his output seems to be almost aping his own previous magnum opus.

This is, indeed, quoted for truth.

Have you given his Punisher run a shot -- specifically the MAX stuff? That's been, very quietly, one of the best runs of his career since Preacher. The whole run has maintained the tone of Hitman from the "Who Dares Wins" arc.

The MAX stuff, though -- not necessarily the Marvel Knights stuff, starting with Dillon.

I own the whole run of Preacher. I liked Preacher, eveen as I felt it was trying too hard at some points. I can't say I like the art of Preacher though, it always felt a bit bland and ho-hum for the material, and the faces never seemed animated enough for the situations they were put in.

spider_j wrote:

The whole butt sex thing was designed to shock, and show how low Jessica was. A failed superhero, failing PI, alcoholic, self destructive mess, and Bendis wanted thaty out there immediately, since he was writing a character with a long and nasty back story into the MU.

The Cage she booty called in the wee small hours was the harder character from Brian Azarrello's 2003 mini, not the canary-shirted 70s version or Bendis' own, softer-edged Avenger.

Don't misunderstand me-- I GET what he was trying to do. I just didn't care for it. Part of it is just his writing style, but a really big thing that annoyed me more specifically about ALIAS was the fact that he essentially created this character and then ret-conned her into the heart of the Marvel Universe. Suddenly, she is everywhere and in everything... same thing with Cage. I've never understood Bendis' obsession with that guy.

Anyone read any Fear Agent? I just finished the first tp collection, fun sci-fi read.

I added a few TPBs on the spreadsheet. I'll go through the shelf with a little more zeal later. I tried to include as much info as I could off the tpb, to make figuring out what the hell it is easier. I'm up for trades or sell.

Can we get a link to the spreadsheet in the original post, and/or possibly a link in Trowan's sig or something?

The art of Preacher is not particularly awesome, I can't argue. But I'll say this: I bought the first volume on the series' reputation, and then I went back to the store and bought the other eight in one go. It's that damn good. One of the best ever.

Speaking of the best ever, Y: The Last Man

SPOILERS! wrote:

[color=white]
Could have been one of the best ever, but I didn't care for the ending at all. I can deal with non-happy endings, I think...I mean, I love Shakespearean tragedies. Just totally annoyed by the ending, which wasn't satisfying at all. Come to think of it, did he lose the plot towards the end? Wasn't the driving force behind the whole series finding out what caused the gendercide and resolving it? So why wasn't that involved in the climax? Instead, the climax centered on a confrontation with Alter, which while adequately foreshadowed didn't feel anything like something I'd been waiting 60 or whatever issues for.

Pretty blase' about the whole ending. =/

[/color]

On Y: The Last Man's ending:

SPOILERS! wrote:

[color=white]Personally, I loved the ending -- the gendercide stuff, I thought, was resolved with a lot of the Doctor Mann stuff. I read it in issues, so that was a while back, and I mean to reread the whole run but haven't gotten to it. The third act of the run, I think, had much more to do with resolving the romantic sublot, re: Beth and Yorick, and Yorick's realization that he was in love with 355. And, to be honest, the cliffhanger of 355's death was an excruciating thirty days, and I loved Vaughan all the more for it...[/color]

And on the Preacher front:

SPOILERS! wrote:

[color=white]It's funny that you mention Y losing the plot, as the plot for Preacher was, from the start, ostensibly all about finding God and holding him accountable. Which I thought was pretty elegantly skirted in that run's third act by pitting the Saint against the all-holy, and then having Cassady comment on it in the bar -- "You know, you think things are going to turn out a certain way, when all along it's been about something else..." And then the climax to that series simply involves Jesse and Cassady. Brilliant.[/color]

Fedaykin98 wrote:

Can we get a link to the spreadsheet in the original post, and/or possibly a link in Trowan's sig or something?

I sig'd it, I'll be adding more of my crap this weekend. Can everyone see both tabs?

Hey, what was that website that had all the comics ever made? We linked it on this forum, but the search function isn't working for me.

trowan wrote:

I sig'd it, I'll be adding more of my crap this weekend. Can everyone see both tabs?

I only see the one tab.

Grenn wrote:

Hey, what was that website that had all the comics ever made? We linked it on this forum, but the search function isn't working for me.

Is it this? I don't know if it's every comics ever made, but ComicsDB is pretty damned comprehensive.

RSPaulette wrote:

I only see the one tab.

It should work now.

RSPaulette wrote:
spider_j wrote:

Preacher is a great body of work from Ennis. The shame is that he has not come close to matching it, and a lot of his output seems to be almost aping his own previous magnum opus.

This is, indeed, quoted for truth.

Have you given his Punisher run a shot -- specifically the MAX stuff? That's been, very quietly, one of the best runs of his career since Preacher. The whole run has maintained the tone of Hitman from the "Who Dares Wins" arc.

The MAX stuff, though -- not necessarily the Marvel Knights stuff, starting with Dillon.

His Punisher MAX is quite good, but it doesn't have the heart of Preacher. I don't think he's ever quite gotten as consistently good as he was when he was writing Preacher/Hellblazer/Hitman, but the War Story books he did is some damn fine work. Especially Condors, the one about the Spanish Civil War.

Chiggie Von Richthofen wrote:

Did he ever do the Green Arrow?

*edit: Iron Man. He kicked off the vol.4 run of Iron Man with Extremis.

He also was the initial writer for Ultimate Fantastic Four a few years ago, which I really enjoyed.
---Todd

ubrakto wrote:
Chiggie Von Richthofen wrote:

Did he ever do the Green Arrow?

*edit: Iron Man. He kicked off the vol.4 run of Iron Man with Extremis.

He also was the initial writer for Ultimate Fantastic Four a few years ago, which I really enjoyed.
---Todd

Volumes 2 & 3 actually. Bendis and Millar co-wrote the first volume.

Ellis has done a ton of stuff, all of which is worth checking out.

RSPaulette wrote:

Ellis has done a ton of stuff, all of which is worth checking out.

Damn skippy. RSPaulette, I have read the MAX run on Punisher, as well as the Marvel Knights run. I started off liking the MAX stuff, but it became a bit formulaic, and I really started to lose interest with Barracuda. There is some good stuff in there, though

I'm entirely with Fedaykin98 on Y: The Last Man. I was not at all happy with the final arc, for exactly those reasons.

SommerMatt wrote:

Don't misunderstand me-- I GET what he was trying to do. I just didn't care for it. Part of it is just his writing style, but a really big thing that annoyed me more specifically about ALIAS was the fact that he essentially created this character and then ret-conned her into the heart of the Marvel Universe. Suddenly, she is everywhere and in everything... same thing with Cage. I've never understood Bendis' obsession with that guy.

.

Yeah, I figured that you did, but not everyone else seemed to. I liked the Jessica Jones retconn for the same reason that liked the Ultimates line; the ability to create a character without having the pay homage to decades of continuity. He just slotted her in where he wanted to, as a minor Avenger-for-a-minute (and who can name all of them, anyway?) and then she was off radar until Alias.

In terms of Cage, everyone has their favourites, and at least he didn't feel the need to resurrect someone completely, like Whedon did. He initally used Cage as a cipher to show how far Jessica had fallen, and it was only when New Avengers was on the cards that he returned to the title.

I don't agree that Cage is "everywhere"; at least not any more than any other current Avenger is. Jessica only ever appears periodically as Cage's wife now anyway. I'm not too sure what happened to "The Pulse".

spider_j wrote:

Damn skippy. RSPaulette, I have read the MAX run on Punisher, as well as the Marvel Knights run. I started off liking the MAX stuff, but it became a bit formulaic, and I really started to lose interest with Barracuda. There is some good stuff in there, though

Wires crossed on Ennis and Ellis, there, I think.

Either way, the second Barracuda arc wrapped up pretty recently and, apart from the character's origins and mini-series, it came together rather well, and tied up some other threads from Ennis's run. The current arc -- which won't be collected until the fall, I think, as it's got one or two more issues left to go -- ties together all the loose threads from the various "Punisher working for the government" arcs, as well as the BORN mini, from earlier on.

There's something satisfying and fulfilling about seeing a writer as good as Garth just effortlessly bring everything home.

spider_j wrote:

I'm entirely with Fedaykin98 on Y: The Last Man. I was not at all happy with the final arc, for exactly those reasons.

Out of curiosity, what were the reasons? The ones Fedaykin98 listed, or similarities in your lack of interest in Barracuda over in Punisher? Conversation's moving so fast, the trees are blurring for me.

Either way, que sara -- no harm done. I was just fond of Y for the entire run, top to bottom, so agreeing to disagree is definitely fine by me. Just makes me want to re-read the run, too, since I read it month-to-month, rather than all in a go.

Sorry, I'm confusing things a bit, aren't I?

RSPaulette wrote:

Wires crossed on Ennis and Ellis, there, I think.

Sorry, I addressed the Ellis comment from one post, and then immediately addressed your question about Ennis' Punisher MAX from another of your posts!

RSPaulette wrote:
spider_j wrote:

I'm entirely with Fedaykin98 on Y: The Last Man. I was not at all happy with the final arc, for exactly those reasons.

Out of curiosity, what were the reasons?

I largely agreed with Fedaykin98's reasons for not liking the Y conclusion. I had intended to read the final volume, and then restart reading from volume 1 and read it in it's entirely, but the conclusions annoyed me sufficiently that I didn't do so. They just seemed really jarring; a combination of not wanting to do the obvious thing in some places, and being too obvious in others, resulting in a formula that made me, a fan since day 1, somewhat annoyed. Where we last see Yorick didn't make me too happy, either.

As you say, entirely subjective, and I have no problem with anyone diagreeing with me at all. Hell, when I do re-read the whole lot, maybe it will click for me. It wouldn't be the first time it has happened!

New topic - which I'm sure I will run simultaneously and confusingly with all of the others - has anyone read The Invisibles by Morrison?

spider_j wrote:

New topic - which I'm sure I will run simultaneously and confusingly with all of the others - has anyone read The Invisibles by Morrison?

I'll let others chime in with greater details, I'll just say that I played every level of The Invisibles, but much of it out of order and skipping around. That is definitely a game that needs to be played all the way through.

Please, spider: call me Fed. At least, when you're agreeing with me.

I read a couple trades of Invisibles, but there was too much crossdressing and S&M and practically no discernable plot. If after two trades I don't know what I'd be picking up the third one to find out, something's wrong. Compare that to something like Y which has a strong narrative thread throughout.

Whoever compared it to the Matrix was straight up nuts.

Btw, there's a dude named King Mob on GWJ; I'm sure he loves Invisibles.

Cheers Fed, saving my typin' fingers!

If you didn't like the first 2 trades, I wouldn't bother going any further. It intrigued me enough in the beginning, and I stuck with it, assuming that it would all make sense; it never does, and gets worse. By the denouement, it is an incoherent mess, in my view. I read the last 5 trades in on afternoon, hoping that throwing myself into it would help, but it didn't.

A friend has the Disinformation Guide To The Invisibles, and even the authors of that, who must be huge fans by default, essentially described the final issues as a mess.

I have always wondered if I was missing something, or was too dense to get it. I saw King Mob in a thread the other day; maybe we should invite him to shed some light!

A fairly quiet week for trades this week. On the vanilla side, Spider-Man: Brand New Day part 2, and the new Authority TPB are my only pulls. I was historically a big fan of both, but the reboots have spoiled things for me in Spider-Man somewhat. I am really unsure where the Authority stand since the Wildstorm snowglobe a couple of years back.

My LCS told me that there was huge Wildstorm-published collection of comics based on Tori Amos songs out this week. I haven't seen it yet, but it sounds positively peculiar.

Fedaykin98 wrote:

I read a couple trades of Invisibles, but there was too much crossdressing and S&M and practically no discernable plot. If after two trades I don't know what I'd be picking up the third one to find out, something's wrong. Compare that to something like Y which has a strong narrative thread throughout.

For me, that's part of the charm of The Invisibles.

The trades which comprise "Volume 2" of the series -- which, in numbering, should be 4, 5, and 6 -- have a bit more of a linear throughline -- insofar as I think they make more sense but, again, I'm not quite sure.

The last trade, though, is an unholy mess and I love it for it.

As for all the crossdressing/S&M -- Morrison's been on-record as the series almost being a travelogue of mid-90s fringe culture; and it also owes a heavy debt to stuff like the Illuminatus! Trilogy, so that would definitely affect a read on it.

Fedaykin98 wrote:

Whoever compared it to the Matrix was straight up nuts.

That would be, ah, Morrison, actually -- and yes, he is indeed straight-up nuts, and I love him for it.

There are sequences and a monologue in the first film which seem lifted whole cloth -- and the Wachowski brothers are unabashed comics fans, too, so there's that. (The whole characters running into an exit which magically turns into a brick wall; plus the "humans are a virus" in The Matrix vs. "people are a virus" in The Invisibles are the examples which come to mind; I actually think the comparison's a bit specious and overblown, personally, but they do seem to share a quasi-kinship, if you squint your eyes really hard...)

What's funny, of course, is that Morrison was initially pissed, and since recanted his more inflamed rhetoric...the reason?

Because, in his view, The Invisibles was a magical spell he performed, which involved transferring fiction into reality and vice-versa, and The Matrix was a manifestation of that spell.

Now how much of that statement is actually Morrison's genuine belief, and how much of it is carnival hucksterism? I'd wager 64/45 personally, but either way, I just shake my head and enjoy his comics.

Fedaykin98 wrote:

Btw, there's a dude named King Mob on GWJ; I'm sure he loves Invisibles. ;)

Yeah. Saw that. Maybe we should PM him like spider_j suggested. EDIT: Done. His profile/blog confirms his Invisibles love. PM'd him this way to drop some knowledge on ya, Fed.

spider_j wrote:

If you didn't like the first 2 trades, I wouldn't bother going any further. It intrigued me enough in the beginning, and I stuck with it, assuming that it would all make sense; it never does, and gets worse. By the denouement, it is an incoherent mess, in my view. I read the last 5 trades in on afternoon, hoping that throwing myself into it would help, but it didn't.

I've had some lucid moments where I thought it made sense -- particularly at the end -- but then I look back and realize I'm not so sure.

What's interesting about that final trade, though, is it makes a pretty clear amount of sense until about the last four or so issues, when it slips into complete incoherency, and then the final issue somehow becomes so incoherent it makes the previous incoherency seem clear, which makes you think you understand what's happening right in front of you.

Only you don't.

So, yeah, Fed -- if that sentence-long, rambling paragraph above appeals to you, give the rest of The Invisibles a shot, otherwise...yeah, you'd probably be okay skipping it.

spider_j wrote:

A friend has the Disinformation Guide To The Invisibles, and even the authors of that, who must be huge fans by default, essentially described the final issues as a mess.

I have that -- it's a nice companion piece if, for no other reason, it's got Morrison and the artists revisiting the work, with Morrison (quasi) explaining what he was going for.

I do love that his description of what you did -- reading the whole thing end-to-end in one sitting -- was what he had in mind: that the way you felt at the end of such a read would be the same way he felt after he was visited by liquid beings from the fifth dimension who took him outside space and time and showed him the way reality worked.

Bad drug trip? Sure. But it doesn't make the work any less compelling for me.

spider_j wrote:

A fairly quiet week for trades this week. On the vanilla side, Spider-Man: Brand New Day part 2, and the new Authority TPB are my only pulls. I was historically a big fan of both, but the reboots have spoiled things for me in Spider-Man somewhat. I am really unsure where the Authority stand since the Wildstorm snowglobe a couple of years back.

I've been digging Spidey since the reboots (I didn't hate the Mephisto retcon, neither, so take that with a grain of salt; didn't love it, kinda indifferent to it, but didn't seethe with reckless abandon). There's a real sense of fun with the current crop of writers, so if it's a slow week and a cheap enough trade, go for it, but I wouldn't break my back -- it's all pretty throwback.

I haven't followed the Authority since Brubaker's run -- which I liked -- but the Wildstorm Universe in general, and the Authority in particular, seem like books whose time has come and gone, and there was a very, very small window for them to work well anyway.

spider_j wrote:

My LCS told me that there was huge Wildstorm-published collection of comics based on Tori Amos songs out this week. I haven't seen it yet, but it sounds positively peculiar.

It looks gorgeous, but does seem like an odd, odd thing. Here's a CBR article from back in April. Tori songs interpreted into comic short stories by indy comics luminaries like Hope Larsen and Ted McKeever. I, for one, am colored intrigued.

RSPaulette wrote:
ubrakto wrote:
Chiggie Von Richthofen wrote:

Did he ever do the Green Arrow?

*edit: Iron Man. He kicked off the vol.4 run of Iron Man with Extremis.

He also was the initial writer for Ultimate Fantastic Four a few years ago, which I really enjoyed.
---Todd

Volumes 2 & 3 actually. Bendis and Millar co-wrote the first volume.

Ellis has done a ton of stuff, all of which is worth checking out.

Whoops. Just went and checked my books (so sure I was that I am infallible) and you're right.
---Todd

ubrakto wrote:

Whoops. Just went and checked my books (so sure I was that I am infallible) and you're right.
---Todd

Happens to the best of us. I worked in a comic book store from 2000 until January of this year, so it's second-nature for me -- it's all on the shelf in my brain where Latin should be.

For the record, I thought Ellis's run was a better fit for the book than the first Millar/Bendis arc, but the subsequent Millar and Carey runs have been superb (even though the second Millar run gave us Marvel (ugh) Zombies).

Ellis has a way of handling super-hero-"science," making you rethink powers and abilities in incredible ways, with the sheer economy of about half-a-panel. Blows me away every time.