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JasonT

Other comics we read recently

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Caliber Presents had some very good stuff in it as well.

Does the US version of Deadline count?

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Cheval Noir shouldn't count, since it's Dark Horse Comics reprinting non-United States comic creator's work for American audiences (plus, David Lynch showed up in there sometimes too). It's one of the most amazing comic book series ever published, and I'm still in awe of its magnificence, no doubt.

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3 hours ago, A. Heathen said:

No.

But I'm not really here to quibble that opening line. Rather to commend Twisted Romance.

 

 

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Read the first issue of Image's INFIDEL series that came out this week.  Not too bad, kinda slow but seems to have an interesting horror premise.  Plus, the artwork by Lawrence Campbell is really great.

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I was just going to mention this.

I was interested because Pornsak was an editor with Mike Carey and Mike said good things ( okay, Mike says very few bad things, so he said doubleplusgood things)

This was an exquisite first issue.

As we were talking about Gideon Falls, I really liked the slow burn but wished it had been longer,  but infidel uses the capacity so well. And it's horror. 

Also agree on the art, but it's Aaron Campbell. I can see why you thought that though 

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On 3/16/2018 at 1:55 PM, A. Heathen said:

I was just going to mention this.

I was interested because Pornsak was an editor with Mike Carey and Mike said good things ( okay, Mike says very few bad things, so he said doubleplusgood things)

This was an exquisite first issue.

As we were talking about Gideon Falls, I really liked the slow burn but wished it had been longer,  but infidel uses the capacity so well. And it's horror. 

Also agree on the art, but it's Aaron Campbell. I can see why you thought that though 

Oops, Aaron Campbell it is!  I've been reading a lot of post-Ennis Punisher MAX stuff lately and Lawrence Campbell was the artist on a lot of those, guess his name was stuck in my mind.

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So, it turns out that Milligan's Kid Lobotomy was a six-part limited series. It's probably for the best. So, thus ends Bond's best contribution to the post-Vertigo world. Anne Nocenti's The Seeds is still missing, leaving Berger's contributions to the post-Vertigo world lacking, as well.

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I thought Kid Lobotomy was promoted as an ongoing?

Maybe somebody's realised that S:TCM was originally promoted as a miniseries and got promoted to an ongoing after the first few issues did really well, and that reversing that approach for this title will provide balance...

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Umbra 3-part mini-series (originally published in 2006 by Image)-Also known as the other thing that Stephen Murphy wrote. This wasn't exactly The Puma Blues (but, hey, what is, right?)....This wasn't even exactly Murphy's run on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (which I do love!). This was....kinda, sorta ok....

Even at three double-sized issues, it felt like Murphy really rushed the plot. There seems to be some deeper underlying meaning to the story fighting to emerge, but Murphy seemed to have trouble making the comic feel more than just shallow. I liked how Murphy used the extinct Great Auk in the plot (as it ties in well with the theme of Puma Blues), but it really didn't go anywhere. Murphy seemed to be copying an idea from Joyce with that scene, really.

Well, Murphy really only has three comic book titles that he's written, and if you've read the other two (which you really should!), this is what's left to read by Murphy. I wouldn't call it a bad read, I was just expecting a lot more from the story, but it's far from being an essential comic book reading experience (unlike Puma Blues!).

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Gudeon Falls was strong again this week, though I'm less interested in the story of the collector than that of the priest.

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RoboCop: Citizen's Arrest #1 (by Brian Wood)-This was a good read, with some nice social commentary. I thought that the world of RoboCop would be one that Wood could do something appealing with, and I'd say the comic feels like a Brian Wood dystopian science fiction series. Alan Grant wrote some entertaining RoboCop comic books, although he was going a bit too far towards Judge Dredd. 

The first issue could have fleshed out the world a bit more, as I'm unsure if this ties in with some sort of RoboCop continuity that's been built in the comic books, or if Wood is just starting this out fresh after the movies. If Wood is basically working carte blanch here, then the first issue needed a bit more world building to explain some of the details. Overall though, it's very similar to what was going on with the first RoboCop film, and I'm fine with that.

The main thrust of this series is that OCP has created a new APP that allows users to inform on other citizens who they feel have violated a criminal act, and citizens whose tips warrant an arrest are paid for helping the private police force. People spend their time spying on each other to the benefit of the corporate contractor. It's worth coming back for the next issue.

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Finally got around to reading Meltzer and Morales' Identity Crisis, and I'm not sure that it's quite as reprehensible and foul a comic as its reputation implies. The Alan Moore scene is gratuitous, and the final revelation is mind-numbingly daft (though I might be able to take it more seriously if Ambush Bug: Year None hadn't spoilered it) but it still works quite well as a story.

(Ish)

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It gets its reputation more because of what it represents and in hindsight, compared to most fans initial reactions to the series. I remember it getting some rave reviews, back at the time of its release. It was being billed by DC as a comic book on the same level as Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns, and a comic book that would change the way that comic books were perceived and written going forward. Sadly, it did end up having that sort of influence for a number of years on the comic world.

It was the beginning of the era of "superheroes aren't really superheroes, and they're not really good guys, but they're truly all morally ambiguous or amoral" period of mainstream comics. It paved the way for books like Marvel's Civil War.

I think left on its own, as an oddity of a comic, telling its own separate story, and billed as simply "Bred Meltzer writing a comic book", it wouldn't have gained such a horrible reputation. As it is, it sort of stands out as a comic that has rankled the industry, due to the long-lasting ramifications of that one series.

The fact that some bigwigs truly thought this was going to be the literary equivalent of Watchmen or DKR is laughable.

In a lot of ways, the initial popularity of Identity Crisis is exactly what has led to the sorry state that Marvel Comics is still in to this day (although some very bad business decisions also come in to play).

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That's on Marvel rather than DC or Meltzer, though.

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It is Marvel's fault, but DC went through a similar phase just after Identity Crisis. DC had the good sense to realize that it needed to course correct, with the post-Infinite Crisis DCU. There are a lot of comic books that were published in the early-2000s, which seemed to be an interesting new direction for superhero comics to follow at that time, but looking back on those comics, their stories are pretty embarrassing.

It's the pseudo-mature version of what superheroes should be, and I guess it appealed well to my age demographic, being in my mid-20s in the early-2000s. The books do not hold up well, and they're nothing like the mature versions of what superheroes could be written during the 1980s, which I feel still hold up very well, no matter if my age is pre-teen (as in the 1980s), mid-20s, or today over age 40.

It's also the fans fault for continuing to support books like Identity Crisis and Civil War. Although, as I said, it's all in hindsight. It's years later that you heard fans complaining about how bad Civil War messed up the Marvel Universe, and the negative effect it has had on Marvel Comics, where the characters are no longer ones that most people even care to read about. However, at the time, the books got rave reviews and their sales were very healthy. It's easy to see why the message came across that "Civil War is what fans are looking for", considering that people were rushing out to buy Civil War at the time.

I realized at the time that both books were junk, and dropped them both. It's also on Meltzer that Identity Crisis wasn't all that well written. It's mostly a bunch of shock moments strung together on a bare-bones plot, which is meant to deconstruct the last vestiges left over for superhero characters after the Moore/Miller literary take on the genre from the 1980s. DC acting like this MTV version of Watchmen was equivalent to Moore or Miller's work was their fault too, although you can't blame DC Comics for marketing one of their top books.

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That may well be true, but it doesn't alter the fact that blaming the way Marvel fucked itself up on Brad Meltzer rather than Mark Millar is ridiculous bullshit.

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Mark Millar wants to be a New York Times best-selling author. He once wanted to be Grant Morrison, but realized that took talent and energy, then he realized it was easier and paid better to be a no talent writer who ruins everything he touches, and latched on to the idea of recreating himself as Brad Meltzer. It all adds up.

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Millar put the work in and has reaped the rewards, not going to begrudge him his success - the first Kick Ass movie was fun, at least.  His over reliance on rape back in the day would be the only thing I'd grumble on.  Oh and letting Grant Morrison ghost write an issue of The Authority for him.

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Well, he's in the same boat as Brian Bendis. Fans really seem to love those guys, even though I don't understand it. They've both done some good work in their careers (Bendis towards the first-half of his), but they're not names I want to read. Comic books are a business, and the bottom line is that sales figures do matter, and if Bendis or Millar's names add extra sales to a book, then I understand that a comic company would want to use them on their books. It doesn't mean I have anything good to say about their work though.

Comic book fans are a fickle lot. They loved Civil War when it was first coming out and bought it up. Then, years later, they complain about the negative impact it has had on Marvel Comics and the concept of superheroes. Yet, as Dog says, he'd place a lot of the blame for Civil War on Mark Millar, but the fans still seem to have a lot of love for Millar. So, go figure.

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I'd certainly place more of the blame for it on Miller than I would on Brad Meltzer: generally the person who wrote most of something is more culpable for the stuff that's wrong with it than somebody else who didn't write any of it.

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I wasn't pointing the finger at Meltzer when I say "a lot of the blame for Civil War", I was also indicating that Marvel Comics needs to take a lot of the blame, not just Millar.

Meltzer should just get the blame for as much of what goes wrong as is possible. I personally blame Meltzer for the "war on terror" and Donald Trump's election too. Is that fair? Perhaps not, but can you prove that Meltzer's mere existence on this mortal plane hasn't been responsible for these events?

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