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Christian

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Everything posted by Christian

  1. Christian

    Other comics we read recently

    Berger Books continues to show promise for Dark Horse. Two new books have been announced for early 2019; a new J.M. DeMatteis series and a creator owned book from G. Willow Wilson. Wilson's book will be a science fiction story with political overtones. DeMatteis' new series is called the Girl in the Bay, and sounds like a return to the sorts of themes used in his early work at Vertigo. The imprint also has a strong showing from prose genre writer, Nnedi Okorafor, currently. This is the type of premise I wanted to see from Berger Books, reminding me more of what Vertigo Comics used to represent. Only Nocenti's The Seeds reminded me of better-days Vertigo from the initial launches. That book ended up being delayed and then left unfinished (after only two issues), sadly. It showed a lot of possibility.
  2. Christian

    Marvel's One World Order

    It looks like Marvel is back to "no more mutants" again..... Meanwhile, the Return of Wolverine debacle continues to stretch on, with long delays. I've never seen such a botched attempt to bring a once-popular character back. Sadly, the fact that Marvel couldn't allow a property which was once Marvel's most popular to fade for a few years means that Marvel put out about six replacement characters to fill the void of Wolverine being dead, so no one actually ever missed Wolverine in the first place. Marvel had a chance to put the X-mythos on the shelves for a few years, back when there was all the controversy over the movie rights. It would have been the perfect time, and then let a creative team with a strong vision for returning the X-Men with a real purpose take over when that right creative team came along. No, because the X-Men books were still strong sellers (not that strong anymore, but hey, it's comic books in the 2010s, so you can't expect much), Marvel decided they couldn't just stop publishing new X-Men comics. Instead, they decided they would publish really bad X-Men comics to make the fans hate the X-Men, and transition to the Inhumans being just as popular as the X-Men. Then, sales of the mutant titles started to do really bad, while sales of the Inhumans titles were just as bad, and then Disney ended up with the movie rights to the X-franchise in the end, so Marvel had to scramble to try to undo the fact that they had told readers, "You don't care about these characters anymore!". Yet, Marvel has absolutely no real direction for these characters. It's just sad. The X-Men properties (outside of some strong spin-off books over the years) have been in a real dire position almost since Claremont left Uncanny X-Men. The Scott Lobdell 1990s era has some fans, I realize. The Grant Morrison run was pretty strong. Otherwise, X-Men has been a book with struggling creative teams, but overall, strong sales figures. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ You can't trust Marvel to not mess everything up though. They actually did retire the Fantastic Four for a few years, and then brought back the comic, to wide-publicity. Still, the comic reads as if Marvel is just publishing a Fantastic Four comic for the sake of publishing a Fantastic Four comic. They didn't bother to find a strong, new creative direction to take the book. They just handed it to Dan Slott and let the mediocrity immediately return to the title. So, even had Marvel decided to let the X-books lie for a few years, it would probably still be a mess. Every so often, modern-day Marvel lucks upon a good decision, like allowing Al Ewing to fully realize his vision for a Hulk comic book, so the Hulk comic is actually readable again after I don't even know how many years. After Ewing, it'll probably return to more bad creative decisions and end up in the doldrums for years all over again. That's just the way of modern Marvel. They can put out a few titles worth reading, while most of their titles exist solely for the sake of trademarks and movie advertising.
  3. Christian

    Marvel's One World Order

    You know that mega-event known as Secret Wars that Marvel has been promoting for months now? How it was the biggest event in Marvel's history? Well, it's two months away from being over. So, it's time for Marvel to go in to hype mode about the All-New, All-Different Marvel Universe that comes after Secret Wars! Are you burnt out yet? I wonder why.... Starting in September, Marvel has announced the first batch of new releases for the new Marvel Universe post-Secret Wars. Iron Man by Brian Bendis.... All New, All Different Avengers by Mark Waid A-Force by G. Willow Wilson Uncanny Avengers by Gerry Duggan New Avengers by Al Ewing-I'll be checking this out. Dr. Strange by Jason Aaron-This is the big hit for the new launches! This should be amazing! Captain Marvel returns, but with a new creative team.... Captain America is still Sam Wilson, now written by Nick Spencer Totally Awesome Hulk....Seriously, that's the title...by Greg Pak Aaron's Thor is back. Scarlet Witch by James Robinson-Might be worth buying, or it might be awful. Illuminati...No. Vision Contest of Champions by Al Ewing-Not sure if this is an ongoing or what Slott is still writing Amazing Spider Man...Yawn! Carnage by Gerry Conway....Seriously. Spider Man-This is the Ultimate version of Spider Man. So, two Spider-Men in the Marvel Universe now. Spider Man 2099 is still around. Whoops! Three Spider-Men, I stand corrected. Oh, OK. Here's why. Web Warriors...a team made up of all the different Spider characters. Yawn. Charles Soule is the new writer on Daredevil. It doesn't look good. Back to dark 'n' gritty DD, it appears. Drax by C.M. Punk...I'm not making this up! Honest! Nova Venom:Spaceknight....Again. Seriously. I'm not lying! Howling Commandos....OK, this looks like fun. I'll check this out. SHIELD Uncanny Inhumans-Already announced. Karnak by Warren Ellis....Weird! This will definitely be worth a look. But...weird. Squadron Supreme by James Robinson-Definitely worth a look. X-Traordinary X-Men by Jeff Lemire-I'll have to buy this, because it's Lemire. But, I don't want to just based on the name alone. Old Man Logan, also by Lemire. Ugh. I don't think I can even do this for Lemire. Also, All-New Wolverine, which is X-23 as Wolverine. Ugh! There was also supposed to be a Red Wolf series, but I don't see it announced yet. I hope it has a good writer.. Basically, sounds like the same old shite, with a few good books thrown in.
  4. Christian

    Marvel's One World Order

    Marvel Comics Presents #1-Geez, that was a complete waste of $4.99. Ugh, that was probably the worst Anne Nocenti story she ever wrote. A Captain America story by Nocenti, and it's not political? What a waste. That wasn't the worst of it though, as the story read like a G.I. Joe PSA from the 1980s. This was just terrible. I can't believe this was Anne Nocenti's return to Marvel, to write this one horrible short story. There was a Namor story by Greg Pak which was ok. It didn't make up for my paying $4.99 for a terrible comic book, but that story wasn't bad, it just wasn't worth the price. Conan #2-I am glad that I decided to buy this. I take back my complaints from the first issue. Aaron knew what he was doing, and did not let me down. This was an excellent Conan story. Aaron has an over-arching story running in the book, but it's not as simple as chapter one, to be continued, chapter two (as per my initial complaints). The stories, at this point, can be read as mostly self-contained. I'd recommend checking out this comic if you want a really well-told Conan story. I was impressed.
  5. Christian

    DC Comics

    Peter Milligan is another name that comes to mind now who'd have been a good choice too. That "Dark Knight, Dark City" story-arc he wrote was good enough to warrant him getting an invite, especially over some of those names. Dixon is the one famous Bat-scribe I can do without. I didn't enjoy any of Dixon's work on Batman. Moench had a famous run on Batman in the early-1980s, and his work with Kelley Jones on Batman in the mid-'90s was one of the classic Bat-books. So, Moench is more than redeemed for his early-'90s stupidity, unlike Dixon.
  6. Christian

    DC Comics

    DC has announced plans for the upcoming Detective Comics #1,000, which is going to be written by that hot superstar writer....Peter J. Tomasi? That guy sure did luck out being the current regular writer on Detective Comics, giving him the nod to pen this landmark issue. Of course, DC will also be featuring short stories by lots of other celebrated comic creators to make the issue actually feel special. It would have been nice had DC tried to get some of the big names from the past who actually made a mark on the Batman franchise, instead of including a bunch of writers who aren't exactly known for their work on Batman. I was pleased to see that, at least, Denny O'Neil will get a story. Warren Ellis gets a story....for those (what?) two stories (that no one remembers) which Ellis wrote for a Bat-book. I remember an awful LOTDK story by Ellis, and a forgettable back-up story in that Batman black and white on-going series....I forget the title now. Was it called Dark Knights, maybe? It would have been appropriate to see Steven Englehart or (especially) Alan Grant featured. DC continues to undervalue the contributions of Grant to the Bat-franchise. Considering the book will cost close to $10, I have no interest in picking it up just for the O'Neil and Ellis stories. https://www.cbr.com/detective-comics-1000-creator-lineup-announced/ At least it'll be more special than Batman #500.
  7. Christian

    Marvel's One World Order

    Immortal Hulk #11-So, even though my law-suit against Marvel for spousal abuse is still on-going, I thought why should I punish myself by avoiding one of the best comic books currently on the stand, written by one of my favourite writers, just because it requires me to buy a Marvel Universe series every month? I am so glad I gave in and started reading this comic again. This is the perfect point to start picking up the book again, with Hulk in Hell. A letter writer published in this issue made me realize something. This really is very similar to Alan Moore coming on Swamp Thing. No, this direction won't stick as the new status quo, and there was already a definitive Hulk run by Peter David, so it's not the exact same. However, Ewing is revitalizing the Hulk concept in the same way as Moore did with Swamp Thing. If this run followed on from the original Lee/Kirby Hulk issues, it could be read in the same manner as what Moore accomplished with Swamp Thing. He has distilled the dark elements lurking in the background of those Lee/Kirby issues and unleashed pure horror and madness from the concept. This is, without a doubt, the best that a Hulk comic has been since somewhere in the middle of the David run, when he started to lose momentum. The whole David run is worth reading, but the high quality of the first chunk of his run is lost at some point. It's a shame that a lot of readers who would enjoy this comic won't ever give it a chance because it's Marvel's Hulk, so it can't ever hold up as a stand-out horror comic book. Conan the Barbarian #1-Jason Aaron was, of course, a good choice to write a Conan book. I can't think of any current comic writers better suited to writing Conan than Aaron, except for Cullen Bunn, who already wrote the character at Dark Horse. Aaron is writing Conan similar to his Thor, only without the nobility. However, I can't see myself continuing to read the comic. A lot of discussion has gone on about the current state of comic books and their ever-declining sales. I don't think a reason that is given enough credence is due to overly-long story-arcs. Until the year 2000, for the most part, comic book stories (or superhero ones anyway) were mostly self-contained, usually with building sub-plots and sometimes an over-arching character plot-thread. You would read the story that month and the next month you'd move right along to another exciting story. After all, it's not like the complexity of (99.99% of) these stories is at the level of War and Peace. A month is a nice wait between issues of a comic book. Well, if you have a six-part story-arc, that takes up half of a year worth of the comic. Plus, how excited are you to read each installment of this one complete story-arc? You probably get bored with parts two, three, and four usually. I know I quite often do. "Oh, another issue of Iron Man? And, it's part 3 of this story-arc? And, there are still three more chapters to go? Yawn!". Of course, some stories truly do need the breathing room, and that's perfectly fine too, but it's a rare occasion that the typical mainstream superhero comic book needs five issues to tell its simple story. Which brings me back to Conan. This issue was going really well, as it seemed like Conan had wrapped up everything in a nice, neat bow at the end of the story. Oh wait, no. The story is still going on. What's this? The story isn't over. It's going to keep going. Yawn. There was a perfectly fine Conan story contained within this first issue. Conan is not the "great literary novel". Roy Thomas did perfectly fine writing a lot of Conan stories which took up exactly one issue of the comic, before you moved on to Conan's next exciting adventure. There was no reason to drag out the plot for more issues. There were some exceptions, sure, but it wasn't the rule. Now, every comic has to be five or six parts. I think it just wears the reader out. No one wants to read a six-part story-arc where Iron Man fights Blizzard. It can easily be accomplished in one issue. On the plus side, it does seem like Aaron is taking a page from his Thor run and is going to be skipping around in Conan's time-line, with some stories featuring King Conan. I do like that Marvel is playing off of their original Conan comic book with this series too. The best part is that the reader won't have to see the original Robert E. Howard fiction adapted to comic books for a third time (after Dark Horse re-did all those stories again). So, there are some positives to the new Conan series, but I don't believe it is enough to get me to stay interested in this Conan comic.
  8. Christian

    Alan Moore Hates Us All

    It's a prose novel, I know, but this is an Alan Moore thread, so I will mention here that I got Moore's Jerusalem as a Christmas present. It seems to be very much in the style of Thomas Pynchon meets Iain Sinclair. I somehow expected more from Moore's newest novel (being somewhat disappointed with Voices of the Fire), which I probably shouldn't be saying just starting this book, which is quite huge. I was hoping to see something more akin to Umberto Eco or Moore's Promethea, or even steering all the closer to Pynchon's Against the Day, rather than a somewhat watered down emulation of Pynchon. I mean, I don't want to come down hard on the book, as I am enjoying it, and as I said I have many more pages to go; but when I saw the cover, and how thick the book was, and read the glowing reviews on the back-cover, I expected something a bit more revelatory and experimental than, say, Pynchon and Sinclair homage. I will say that I am enjoying it more than Voices of the Fire.
  9. Christian

    Comics Shipping the Week of December 3rd 2018

    All of the Gaiman stories have been reprinted. It was the idea that Gaiman was coming back to finish the Silver Age story-arc, which was never completed (well, it was never really started), is what's at issue with Marvel's Miracleman program. You can find the Gaiman previously finished Miracleman issues collected as Miracleman: The Golden Age hardcover, from Marvel.
  10. Christian

    I love Grant Morrison, but...

    Klaus and the Crying Snowman-This proves to be the best installment of Morrison's Klaus series yet. Morrison finally seems to have found a way to make his concept of Santa work properly. This compares with that trippiest and most drug-fueled of all holiday movies....Rudolph's Shiny New Year.
  11. Christian

    Best comics of 2018

    Yep, Morrison and Sharp are on Green Lantern, and it is about the best classic-feeling superhero comic that it is possible to write, at least of the two issues we've seen so far. Gotta-Yeah, Gideon Falls is decent, but it's not of Lemire's best works. You should check out something else by him. He does better stories.
  12. Christian

    Best comics of 2018

    Oh geez....How could I forget Days of Hate? Mister Miracle would make my list too. I see it was on my "maybe, but too soon to give it a nod" list for last year. It made the cut. Royal City, even though it ended far too soon. There must be one Lemire book on my list. That's my top five, I suppose, with one "maybe" to add on for next year, if the level is sustained.
  13. Christian

    Best comics of 2018

    I would mention in threads where I discuss the comics, themselves, what I would consider to be one of the top books of 2018, but now it's the end of the year, so I've forgotten much of what I read this year. Exit Stage Left Koschei the Deathless I know those two made my list. Infinite Dark will probably make my list, but it's only been three issues so far, I want to see how it ends.
  14. Christian

    Hellboy/B.P.R.D. thread

    Hellboy Winter Special 2018-I liked one of the three stories. The Mignola story did nothing for me. It's a story we've seen plenty of times before, in different variation, throughout the Hellboy canon. The artwork was nice though. The Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba story was my favourite. It was quite good. It played heavily off of the BPRD: Vampire story-arc they did artwork on with Mignola writing, and I'm not sure if the story would make a great deal of sense if you hadn't read that story. Otherwise though, it used a Balkan pagan New Year's ritual to nice effect. Something different, unused by Mignola in the Hellboy Universe. The Lobster Johnson story by Tonco Zonjic was just....yawn. I'm completely bored with Lobster Johnson stories, by this point. It felt like filler in between a quality Moon and Ba short story, but that's been about the level of these Winter Specials since the first one. I still get excited to see it on the shipping schedule each year though. I guess the Moon and Ba story made it worthwhile though.
  15. Christian

    Comics Shipping the Week of December 10th 2018

    Because Jason Aaron is writing it. It wasn't a bad series, while I was reading it, reminding me quite a bit of the Kurt Busiek era, but I've been on the outs with Marvel over their abusiveness in this relationship, so I stopped reading Avengers. I only buy the occasional Marvel book now, if it catches my eye, instead of buying on-going titles. I feel that my life has been for the better since I've cut out all the Marvels and DCs. My cholesterol is down, my blood pressure is lower, I have more energy.... You should probably be reading Al Ewing's Immortal Hulk, if you're going to read any current Marvel titles, Lou. Immortal Hulk has been getting a lot of praise as one of the best horror comics being published at the moment. It seems to be quite different than the usual Marvel fare, based on what I did read. It's definitely not a superhero title anymore.
  16. Christian

    Comics Shipping the Week of December 10th 2018

    Cthu-Louise #1 Hellboy Winter Special 2018 Quantum Age Infinite Dark #3
  17. Black Hammer #1-This was really good. It's very well written (as you'd expect from Lemire). It's a type of comic book that you don't see a lot of anymore, but I mean that in a positive way. It's the story of a group of superheroes from a Silver Age universe who ended up stuck in our mundane world.
  18. Christian

    DC Comics

    I didn't buy the Martian Manhunter comic, just paged through it, reading some of it, at the store. I agree with your assessment completely. I did like the Rossmo artwork, but that's not enough to sell a story, which looked quite flimsy for a first issue. I wouldn't say it accomplished the high praise of Tom King's quote on the cover, that's for sure. I think DC was hoping for another critically acclaimed introspective character study, ala King's Mister Miracle. Orlando doesn't seem to have the skill to pull that off though, instead turning in something quite average. However, as I'm about to point out, metaphorical characterizations of the Martian Manhunter has already been suitably mined, unlike a character like Mister Miracle. So, that was always going to work against Orlando too. I am a fan of the Martian Manhunter. The J.M. DeMatteis mini-series and the John Ostrander series were pretty well perfect comics using the character to explore the themes of loneliness or loss. I also do have a soft spot for some of the Silver Age stories featuring the character from the Showcase Presents books,. Also, the best Martian Manhunter story in ages, even while not actually featuring that character, is Weird Detective by Fred Van Lente from Dark Horse. It's like Martian Manhunter, as a a noir detective, meets H.P. Lovecraft. That's a very fine comic mini-series, indeed.
  19. Christian

    Hellboy/B.P.R.D. thread

    BPRD: The Devil You Know #11 (Ragnarok, part 1)-Oh yes! This just got so good. All the patience is finally paying off. The ending of "Hell on Earth" was all just a ruse, making the reader think that Mignola had changed plans, and that things weren't going to end up so badly. Oh no. The End is coming.
  20. Christian

    Other comics we read recently

    Oh....my....gosh! This is looking to end up being my favourite comic book of 2019 already. This is the comic book you always wanted Alan Moore to write, but never knew you needed him to do it. It's called Life on the Moon, about the 1835 New York Sun "Great Moon Hoax". You have no idea how often I've dreamt that there really were bat-people living on the Moon..... https://www.previewsworld.com/Catalog/DEC180795
  21. Christian

    Image Comics

    Thanks for posting that. I think what is missed by many, those who rely on Crowley, whose fascination was affixed with Egyptian mythology and his own blind hatred for all things Christianity (due to his upbringing), is that there was a clear break between Judaism and Christianity, with the Age of Aries giving way to the Age of Pisces. Under Crowley's schemata it should all be lumped together under the Age of Osiris, even though there is a contra-distinction between the patriarchy of the Age of Aries to the Age of Pisces and also that Crowley's description of the Age of Osiris being one of the "worship of death, to fetishism of self-sacrifice, peace, and mercy" would certainly not equate to the Age of Aries. So, I find there's always some confusion there between the push and pull of trying to shoehorn elements which clearly don't fit (no differentiation between the Ages of Aries versus Pisces) with Crowley's essentialist patriarchal Age of Osiris. Osiris was the father, while Horus was the son. Yet, Jesus was the Son, not the father. Also see: The Holy Spirit entered in to Jesus at the time of his baptism.
  22. Christian

    Image Comics

    I think that the dismembering elements play in to shamanistic ritual. In shamanism, the person on the astral voyage often reports having their bodies torn apart and put back together by beings outside of known reality, leaving them more powerful afterward. Also, in the alien abduction lore, you see the same sort of motifs being reported many times, in the physical ordeals that the abductee goes through in the "examining room" by the Greys. I did not read any feminist elements in to the text, personally. There is reference being name to the anima, but I wouldn't go any further in that direction, myself. Also, I wasn't saying it was "all Kabbalah", I was saying that if you don't have any understanding of the Qliphoth, that I'm not sure that you could fully figure out what is meant to be happening. Though, I think it shows a lack of understanding of the very concept of Kabbalah to say what is or is not a part of Kabbalism. You seem to be focusing a lot on the Victorian occult teachings about the Kabbalah, from figures such as Mathers and Crowley, rather than looking at the actual historical referents of Kabbalism. While I realize that the Jewish religion was a patriarchal religion, there is the concept of Shekhinah in Kabbalah. The idea that a feminine principle is outside of this "reductionist Kabbalah" is simply false, while simultaneously relying on the simple modern-day interpretation of materialistic feminism to explain away the mystical transformation, and put it on safer politically motivated ground. The "female divine" principle (Sophia meaning "wisdom") could just as easily be read within a Christian context, in the sense of the "Holy Spirit" (once being equated with this female divine, see once again "Shekhinah" and used interchangeably in the New Testament). In Gnosticism, the Shekhinah can be interpreted as the "hidden aspect" of God, in the context of patriarchal (re)interpretations of Judeo-Christianity (the focus on a demiurgic aspect). So, in Christianity, the believer is said to have the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit (Shekhinah), or In other words, salvation (born again/anew). I do also think you are focusing too strongly on the personal aspects to the story, which are certainly one large part with the main character, but while ignoring the outside aspects, where Morrison deals with the philosophical concepts of nihilism. It isn't solely the main character who is in need of reintegration. Especially seeing as the ending is an allusion to the dawning of the New Aeon. I've heard it said that the writings of Max Stirner can be read as a Rorschach test. Perhaps The Nameless can serve in a similar matter.
  23. Christian

    Comics Shipping the Week of December 3rd 2018

    BPRD La Guardia #1-This looks interesting, written by science fiction writer Nnedi Okorafor. It looks to have some nice social commentary, without relying on the topical and simplistic "Trump is evil!" of so many of the current "socially conscious" fiction output, and will hopefully be much more along the lines of Kot's resonant Days of Hate. Green Lantern I'm looking at Defenders: Immortal Hulk, as I'm planning to buy the Al Ewing written Defenders series, once it's set up. I'm also thinking about picking up Merry X-Men Holiday Special #1, as there's a short story by Chris Claremont included. It depends on how long the story is, if it will be worth buying.
  24. Christian

    Image Comics

    I think you have to have an understanding of the occult concept of the Qliphoth, or the shells underlying the Sephirot in Kabbalah, to fully grasp The Nameless. I only own the individual comic issues, so I haven't read Morrison's writing for the Trade. So, I can't really help with what he was saying there. Don't worry though. Infinite Dark isn't anywhere close to as involved as The Nameless. It's a straightforward narrative, without any mysticism elements. It's just a similar mood and atmosphere, dealing with concepts of nihilism.
  25. Christian

    Image Comics

    Give Infinite Dark a chance. I'm really high on Infinite Dark. It is very dark (as promised) and is deifnitely an example of science-horror done correct.
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