Pointless Nonsense

Posted in comics by Bill on July 1, 2012

Mostly new comics, roughly from best to worst:

Atomic Robo and the Flying She-Devils of the Pacific is roughly as awesome as it sounds. Air pirates, jetpacks, etc. This is probably my favorite premise for a Robo series since the Charles Fort/J.P. Lovecraft team-up.
The Comic Book History of Comics (originally titled Comic Book Comics, which is snappier but less informative) is what the title would suggest, from the same team that did Action Philosophers, and it follows the same format, basically, of making a rather scholarly work entertaining through a constant barrage of jokes. I was only vaguely familiar with Jack Kirby’s history with comic companies, but this certainly makes him seem like he was completely screwed over time and time again. It kinda makes Stan Lee seem like a jerk, too. Being created by comic creators may, of course, give it some inherent bias towards creators, but Fred Van Lente has done quite a bit of work for Marvel, so he can’t have too much animosity towards them. I haven’t finished it up yet, but I’m looking forward to the parts about Alan Moore being dicked over and the Kirby lawsuits, especially relevant in light of Before Watchmen and the Avengers movie.
Spider-Men is the comic no one wanted and they promised we’d never get, but then I guess they just decided “fuck it” and crossed over the regular and Ultimate Spider-Men. The years of assurances that the ultimate universe was entirely separate kinda made me want to not like this, but Brian Michael Bendis just writes snappy Spidey dialogue too damn well for me to not enjoy it. /td>

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Century: 2009 is the latest issue of the once fun adventure comic that has devolved into a sea of loosely interconnected references. I did enjoy this more than the previous Century issues, mostly because 2009 means lots of TV references that I actually get, as opposed to 1910 references that I entirely missed or 1969 where I was only half lost. Still, it pales in comparison to the previous volumes, and it’s weird that I enjoyed Alan Moore’s fish monster rape comic so much more than this.
Legends of the Dark Knight is a new digital-only Batman comic that kicked off with Damon Lindelof writing a single standalone story. And the subsequent stories have generally been pretty good. I don’t know why they don’t just do this more often, but when they do a series of one-off Batman stories, it usually turns out pretty good. See also Batman Black and White.
Hypernaturals is a post-Singularity comic where the eponymous superhero team has disappeared and two rejects team up with two retired former members to figure out what happened. There’s one really cool visual in the comic, which lead to the one effusive review I read, but I didn’t see much at all to like about it otherwise.
Before Watchmen continues, and while I completely loved the Silk Spectre issue, thanks to Amanda Conner’s amazing penciling skills, the Comedian and Nite-Owl issues completely killed my interest in this project as a whole. The Comedian one undermined something I rather enjoyed from his backstory, and the Nite-Owl one drove me nuts with what may be a prequel trope (he meets Silk Spectre and “has a feeling they are meant to be together” or some such nonsense). I may bail on the Minutemen one, too, and just read the Silk Spectre one, then check out Amanda Conner’s previous work, because I really was impressed.
Planetoid, like Hypernaturals, is a science fiction story that I really wanted to like, but I didn’t. The art is pretty good, to the point that at first I was thinking about continuing with it, but the more I thought about it, the more I couldn’t stand the writing. The protagonist is marooned on what he thinks is a deserted planet. So there’s a giant splash page where he goes through an inventory of his supplies. Which would be great if this were an RPG or if we didn’t soon learn that the planet is inhabited so these things aren’t all he has to survive. When he does meet someone, the new guy basically says “hello, please tell me your backstory” in a manner only slightly less clunky than that. I did learn after the fact that this originated as a webcomic, so if it was coming out like weekly in ~5 page bursts that might explain why it read so poorly in a 20+ page issue, I dunno. It was cool looking, but I think I’d drive myself nuts if I kept reading it.

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