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A. Heathen

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Brian Bendis' Superman has been a cracking read so far. It reminds me of what I kinda think of as the Jerry Ordway era, when Superman comics had solid art and scripting and an engaging supporting cast. (Lots more people than Jerry were involved in that era, but just roll with it.) I devoured all of the Bendis material over two days and now I'm jonesing for the next issue of Superman or Action Comics.

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Catwoman is quite lovely. 

Superb art and such a well layered story.

Reminds me of The Beauty which I will read next.

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The Sandman Universe #1-Well, I can't say that makes me want to read any of these upcoming series.

We keep going backwards with Tim Hunter and Lucifer. Their stories have already been completed, so now we need to go back and restart it all over again. Those are two books which have no reason for existing. At least the Spurrier and Hopkinson books don't read as badly done rehashes.

I definitely can't say that either of those books caught my interest either, based on their previews. They just read as holding up better in 2018 than another Tim Hunter or Lucifer retread.

The new Lucifer looks like it would have fit in well with the Goth-friendly 1990s Vertigo. You could almost imagine that Nancy Collins or Caitlin Kiernan were writing the book.

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Mark Russell will return to the Hanna Barbara/DC Universe again in October, this time revisiting with Huckleberry Hound teaming up with Green Lantern, in a throwback to the classic Green Arrow & Green Lantern O'Neil and Adams comic series. Sounds like a read well worth buying.

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Lex Luthor & Porky Pig Special (by Mark Russell)-Russell does it again. Anther winter under his belt from the unlikeliest of sources. It's not at the same level of his recent Snaggelpuss magnum opus, but it's quite funny. It's meant to be much more strongly satirical than either Flintstones or Snaggelpuss. A lot of the plot focuses on the recent FaceBook corruption controversy, as far as user privacy. There is some other satire about corporate corruption thrown in. Outside of the socio-political commentary, there is a nice look at Porky Pig, as a shark out of water, especially compared to the true shark in Luthor. There is a lengthy humourous sub-plot based around the banality of corporate office politics, as Porky Pig spends an inordinate amount of time and energy attempting to quell an uprising over someone stealing the employees' lunches. Luthor's reaction (no spoilers!) to the thefts is hilarious in its understatement.

Grade: A-very much worth your time.

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Just got hold of a copy of the latest version of the New Gods, which adds the missing half issue from the big '80s reprints to the end, and collects the comics in colour rather than greyscale. Bizarrely, it's the only paperback collection of Kirby's work published by DC I've seen that doesn't include an introduction by Mark Evanier.

Christian's objections to Sandman Universe seem well founded, though the biggest problem there is the cobbling together of bits of completely unrelated stories with a flimsy device that reduces the most interesting looking of the Gaimanverse stories featured to a framing narrative for the dullerother ones, which seems a little misjudged.

The Wildstorm continues to set up the formation of Ellis' own team as the people who are going to save the world from those shits in IO and Skywatch, but makes it really, breathtakingly obvious in a way that an unsympathetic reader might take as a sign of contempt aimed at his audience. Meanwhile John Lynch and his fearsome mustache continue their tour through Team 7Project Thunderbook's surviving members adds a new fillip making Freefall's mum/Gloria Spaulding an actual member of the project rather than somebody who had a one night stand with one them twenty years ago. It's hard to shake the feeling that Ellis enjoyed coming up with somebody new more than revamping the other characters. Further hints are dropped that Lynch also has something odd about him, even if he hasn't been stuffed with alien implants, and Gloria Spaulding's des res is the place Gen 13 lived in early on, before IO or somebody blew it up, which was a nice tip of the hat to the old '90s Wildstorm comics.

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And having finished the Kirby, I now suspect that the main reason the 1984 final issue and The Hunger Dogs weren't included in the last couple of reprints is because either Kirby's art had gone downhill during the decade between #11 and the conclusion or he was very unsympathetically inked. It's a shame as the final issue proper is great, that aside.

Of course, the Hunger Dogs immediately vitiates the rather fine ending of the series proper, which is a shame as well. It feels a bit odd to have scenes of Kirby

wussing out on killing major characters

nested into what's otherwise a clever and very readable finale.

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Kirby also had those two series for Pacific Comics in the early-1980s (Captain Victory and Silver Star). His artwork on those two comics looked fine, so I don't think it's that his artistic abilities decreased by '84.

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I've had a look online and the Captain Victory stuff does look a lot more like Kirby's classic style than the belated New Gods, true enough. Probably just a shitawful inker, then: it isn't Mike Royer on those last two, but I think the guy in question also worked on OMAC which is very classic looking Kirby.

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Did anyone see the preview pages for Grant Morrison's Green Lantern that have been posted? I don't want to be negative and hold my judgment until I see the final comic, because I can't bear to disparage Morrison yet. However, those preview pages looked kind of dire. I mean, most of that dialogue was pretty cringe-worthy. There's nothing worse than a guy in his 50s trying to sound "hip".

Plus, some of Morrison's genius seems to be eroding (his pact with the dark gods must be lessening). Avatarrex was pretty mediocre, and Wonder Woman: Earth One didn't do much for me. Klaus was disappointing. I really sort of hated the New 52 Batman Inc. series. Those former are the last two books he's written, and he hasn't been doing a lot of comic work of late.

Was Multiversity the last amazing comic project I loved from Morrison?

Annihilator was very good. I don't remember exactly when that was published now.

Oh, he did do some writing on that Dark Knights Rising one-shot, and I thought that similar to Multiversity, but the writing was muddied by working with Snyder too.

No, wait. The Nameless ended up being one of the best things Morrison ever wrote. That was after Multiversity.

I hope the preview pages just lack context, and the mind-expanding ideas start coming fast and furious right after the preview ends. What I saw on the page wasn't even able to really stand up to the less than stellar standards of most current superhero comics.

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45 minutes ago, Christian said:

Did anyone see the preview pages for Grant Morrison's Green Lantern that have been posted?

I did not. Hopefully it is full of cosmic weirdness. Still on board tho.

His output has been shaky lately, but Nameless was awesome. Annihilator was awesome. I did like Batman Inc but it was ridiculous in places.

 

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I guess I should have posted a link to the preview pages. I thought everyone spent more time looking up this stuff online than me, and would have seen it already. I found this one:

https://soundbooks.org/2018/09/25/grant-morrison-reimagines-green-lantern-as-a-dude-who-crashes-on-your-couch-preview/

I liked Batman Inc. initially, but when it was brought back as part of the "New 52" the quirkiness of it was gone, and I just found it a chore to read. I liked the ridiculousness elements that were originally part of the book, it was just the relaunch I didn't like.

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Gotcha.

Thanks for the link. That is kind of cringy. Maybe not awful but...yeah...can't see Hal telling people to chill

 

 

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Yeah, that Green Lantern preview was pretty underwhelming. If Morrison's name wasn't attached, there wouldn't be much in the way of a hook or something to make me want to pick up an issue based on that preview. I sure hope Morrison isn't just putting in minimum effort and coasting on his name with this one!

One thing that stood out to me about the New 52 Batman Inc was how cynical and downbeat the ending felt for a run that was very much a celebration of Batman. I wonder if Morrison got burnt out on monthly corporate superhero comics and New 52 Batman Inc was reflecting that?

By chance, did any of you here read his New 52 Superman run on Action Comics? The beginning was a fairly standard and grounded re-imagining of Golden Age Superman, back when he was a rough and tumble type who beat up landlords. But Morrison quickly moved onto more wacky/crazy/convoluted Silver Age-esque hijinks with the book's direction and got really experimental with his storytelling in his final arc. Was a far cry from All-Star, but it was the only Superman book this decade that I could say I enjoyed reading.

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It's also funny how Morrison would go on to embrace the nihilism after New 52 Batman Inc. He wrote Annihilation, which was a return to a 1980s depressing, mature readers-style comic. Then, The Nameless, which was pretty much the darkest, most hopeless comic book ever written. He would follow that up with more "comics should be fun again" Golden Age/Silver Age homage or pastiche work with Avatarrex and Wonder Woman.

Yep, I'm in agreement with you about Morrison's Action Comics. It ended up being one of the few bright spots of the New 52, for mine. While it didn't have the love simply flowing off of the page for the character of All-Star Superman and never reached those sort of heights (All-Star will always rank pretty much at the top of any Superman comics ever written), Action is also the only Superman book from this decade I have any interest.

It was nice how he flowed his run through different interpretations of Superman down the years....starting with a Golden Age/socially-grounded type of story, then moving in to Silver Age retro-wild ideas, before moving in to a post-modern, post-Crisis, post-Alan Moore type of Superman story.

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Maybe the "old fart fails to talk like the kids" stuff is deliberate and Morrison's deliberately sending up ageing hipsters?

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Maybe, except I never saw Hal Jordan as a hipster type. He was always very square. From his original military test pilot portrayal, through him becoming an insurance salesman (of all things!), to his being the square to Green Arrow's hipness, to the disparity between Jordan being so dull versus other Homo Sapien Green Lanterns (crazy asshole Guy, fun cool artist Kyle)....he's always been portrayed as very "straight" (I don't mean sexually, but that too).

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So that's possibly the first thing to tamper with to mess with the reader's heads...

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Yeah, but this isn't a pure relaunch of the character, is it? Isn't it still taking place in the established continuity?

The idea of challenging the readers' perception of Hal Jordan, as compared to other Green Lanterns, who were meant to be more creative and imaginative, was done by J.M. DeMatteis and Seth Fisher in the excellent and must-read Green Lantern: Will World.

Going back to those original John Broome Green Lantern stories (which I love), they were written in the typical DC Silver Age style, where characterization was almost totally absent and ideas were the sole focus. Hal Jordan was a very boring character, but the stories Broome was writing were all about Imagination. It was more a product of its time, than Broome really making any comment about Jordan, as a person.

There's room for challenging expectations that readers have of Hal being cut out for a job as an insurance salesman or the Denny O'Neil interpretation, sure.

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You miss my point: there's few things squarer than an old fart trying to sound like a hipster by using slang that doesn't work for him.

:wink2:

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We were talking about Hal Jordan, but point taken: Morrison does like to draw on his own history in his fiction, does he not?

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On 9/28/2018 at 5:19 AM, Christian said:

Did anyone see the preview pages for Grant Morrison's Green Lantern that have been posted? I don't want to be negative and hold my judgment until I see the final comic, because I can't bear to disparage Morrison yet. ...

I hope the preview pages just lack context, and the mind-expanding ideas start coming fast and furious right after the preview ends. What I saw on the page wasn't even able to really stand up to the less than stellar standards of most current superhero comics.

Yeah, same. Maybe the first few pages weren't the best pages for a preview. But between the writing ("THEN USE MINE, GREEN LANTERN!!!!!1!!1!") and the stiff art, that book's off my list.

 

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