It’s a rare month when there are five comics I am genuinely looking forward to, so having five come out on the same day makes this the best New Comicbook Day EVER. All five titles where ones I was excited about some lived up to expectations some didn’t. Here’s a quick look.
Oh and Spoilers...
Huh. Or to use that much hated phrase. Meh. The thing is whether it was good or bad I had no doubt that Batman RIP would be the (temporary) game changer that Morrison kept saying it would be. The run of the series convinced me of this, what with Bruce Wayne shot up with heroin and crystal meth, his friendly Ghost Hobo spirit guide, Bat-Mite, Talking Gargoyles, The Joker Cutting His tongue down the middle, and Batman dressed in rags dispensing justice with a baseball bat. I figured something truly epic and bizarre was going down in the final issue.
SPOILERS: A quick summation of the finale.
Dr. Paine: I am thez Thomas Wayne!
Bruce Wayne: Nos you ares not!
Dr. Paine: You are right. But I might be your father anyway!
Everyone else: Ohs Nos Teh Helicopter Crash!
Dick Grayson: I’m probablies Batman Now!!
Now two points.
1) After watching Bruce Wayne Bench press his way out of a coffin, I can’t get two worried about him surviving a plane crash.
2) The whole Dr. Paine isn’t Thomas Wayne thing is just two annoying for words. Now let me be frank I think Thomas Wayne turning out to be a wife beating, orgy going junkie, who murdered his wife would have been a pretty pathetic way to go. It’d be cheap and mean Morrison corrupting mythology that doesn’t belong to him. It’d be like someone at Marvel deciding that Uncle Ben was a whoremonger who beat his wife and the Burglar that killed him was just a loan shark recollecting a debt. That said the way it’s handled here is even worse, it’s just pointless. Say what you will about the whole Thomas Wayne thing, but it would have been a real reason for Batman to reconsider being Batman. The fact that everything he’s done and accomplished would be built on a lie would give Batman a good reason to reconsider being Batman.
And that’s really the problem, there really isn’t one anymore. While there are some fun moments, the afore mentioned Batman digging himself out of the coffin, The Joker, and then Batman turning the tables on the way too smug Black Glove, Bruce and Dick’s “final” fight together and The Joker’s speech in praising Batman. At the end of the day I see no reason why Bruce isn’t back at the Batcave the next week.
And when your title’s name is Batman RIP that’s a considerable problem.
Inspeaking of considerable problems, when you do a cliffhanger involving a major character being evil it’s problematic when you can’t tell who that character is. For the life of me, I thought Dawn was the “madwoman” and it wasn’t until two issues later that I realized it was Willow.
As always Buffy was interentsing, Whedon’s spinning a great web here, and I have a feeling when he finally pulls back and reveals his master plan it’ll be pretty astonishing. The reveal that another character we thought was on the side of angels isn’t had a real punch to it. Though, it does ruin my number one guess as to who Twilight was. (At least I think it’s the character).
Still Whedon’s mix of horror, humor, soap opera, and action is potent as ever. I’m on this train till it ends.
Ed Brubaker is so so awesome. Normally I wouldn’t have much more to say then that, but it’s worth mentioning, that occasionally there are detriments to not really reading any main stream superhero comicbook. There’s the death of an apparently major character at the end of this book. But it was tough to care about as I had no idea who she was, or what her relationship to any of the characters was. I knew I was supposed to care. I just didn’t know why.
Other then that great stuff.
Ultimate Spiderman #128
Comicbook death is one of the things that annoys me most about the medium. Not so much for what it is but as a symptom of the disease. In comics nothing is for keeps there’s nothing that can’t get retconned, revisioned, or flat out ignored. In the words of Will Rogers “Don’t like the weather? Wait a few minutes.”
That said, Bendis wrote such a good Gwen Stacy, and she added such a nice dynamic to the group that I can’t help but be glad she’s back. Not to mention the fact that Bendis finds away to make her come back without resulting to either A) Emotional Dildo syndrome (Ala The Dark Tower) or B) Denying what happened. It’s a good solution and plausible, (or at least comicbook plausible) and it that doesn’t float your boat there’s plenty of great action, great character work, and some truly freaky Cronenbergian visuals.
This book isn’t that well loved anymore, but there’s no other title I can buy month after month knowing that I’ll get my three bucks worth of entertainment.
Umbrella Academy: God Save The President #1
Of course I just say that since this book isn’t a monthly. If there was any question that the Umbrella Academy was just a fluke, that Gerard Way really just was a pretty boy playing the sandbox they should be laid to rest with this little number which is just as great as the preceding miniseries.
For those of you who are not familiar with The Umbrella Academy, Take one pinch Salinger, a heaping helping of Wes Anderson. Apply liberal dashes The X-men, Clockwork Orange, The Twilight Zone, and Mike Mignola add A semi insane ten year old with more killing power then Lee Marvin in his prime and that kind of scratches the surface. Despite all of this Umbrella Academy possesses it’s very own brand of nutso, provided by Way, and is brought to life by Ba’s art perfectly.
This issue begins with a group of Preteens taking down a surly Lincoln Monument with the help of John Wilkes Booth, and ends with a ten year old killing literally hundreds with his bare hands. And what sticks them together ain’t bad either. This book is seven different flavors of bad ass.
We'll now return to your regularly scheduled programming of navel gazing and caring way too much about an old anime series. Happy Thanksgiving!