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Comics chat

Discussion in 'The Clown Café' started by LarryTheClown, Mar 17, 2015.

  1. V

    V Well-Known Member

    Excalibur fan here as well. I'd left most of that franchise alone for a long time but hoping to get into Captain Britain & MI:13 within the next week or two. I'd like to finish it before Secret Wars gets underway but not sure if that's going to happen. I probably have hundreds on comics I haven't gotten into yet (especially since grabbing several DC titles) so not sure how it'll go. Easier once I get current on the major Marvel titles leading up to 'Battle World' and the Secret Wars reboot. Then I'll start on some DC titles - we'll see. I plan on finishing the Death of Wolverine and Wolverines (to current) arc tonight at work. I think it's only around 20 issues so it gives me time to nap and/or listen to the conspiracy theory types call in to George Noory on Coast to Coast (Stupid I know, but it's also a guilty pleasure while working overnight).

    Past that probably the current Avengers titles and maybe going back to read some vintage stuff. I've finally finished digital archiving my old books and might read some early stuff - Doctor Fate maybe...

    Some thoughts on recent reads (or re-reads):

    Not crazy about Billy Batson & the Magic of Shazam. While I'm a fan of a modern-retro art style, I found what was in the books to be lacking. Covers and writing was okay for what they are. I wouldn't recommend buying them as an adult reader but they could be a good into to comics for a younger reader. Fortunately I have a younger reader so the series hopefully won't go to waste.

    Also not crazy about Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. I'd heard ok reviews for it but I wasn't blown away by it. I think there are better options for comedy (but maybe not as silly style comedy, I don't know) in comic books on the market. Squirrel Girl strikes me as one of those books that people say are funny just because someone told them it was funny. That being said, I'm sure it has it's dedicated fans and readers. I guess from the few reviews I'd read, I was expecting some sort of comedic brilliance and my expectations were too high. It was a page turner all right. Just because I couldn't wait to find the back cover and be done with the experience.

    The Miles Morales Spider-Man series is coming to and end with Secret Wars but it's been enjoyable (for the most part). I'd give it a low 'B' or 'C' - but still entertaining. I'd like to see the characters survive the Secret Wars merge.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015
  2. LarryTheClown

    LarryTheClown Well-Known Member

    That's what I was afraid of. I actually like Squirrel Girl a lot. The original story she appeared in was one of comics' greatest (unintentional) punchlines, and Dan Slott got some pretty great gags as well when he had Squirrel Girl join the hapless Great Lakes Avengers. But, man... I just don't like it when they make things too cartoony. I haven't read the book, but the previews make it look like something like Art Balthazar's Tiny Titans, which was also something everyone was telling me was really funny. Humor is subjective, and it might be for some people... but dang it, it felt like I was being talked down to half the time. Maybe it's for little kids... but I know when I was that age, I totally wanted to get my hands on something along the lines of Superman, Batman, or X-Men, not stuff that's overly cutesy.
     
  3. LarryTheClown

    LarryTheClown Well-Known Member

    Well, getting ready for Emerald City Comic Con! I'm hoping to meet Bruce Timm, Dan Jurgens, Don Rosa, and a bunch of webcomic types!

    And, yes, I'm totally cosplaying as Golden Age character Dr. Mid-Nite.
     

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  4. V

    V Well-Known Member

    About a third of the way through the 'Amazing X-Men' and liking it. A few campy issues but every series has a flop or three. It's one of the titles going away this year and I should be current with it tomorrow or the next day. @Larry - it brings back Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler so maybe a series you'd be into coming from Excalibur.

    Less than a dozen issues into the 'Death of Wolverine' and Wolverines arc and also liking it. Going back and reading 'Wolverine & The X-Men' and will hopefully read to current on it within the next week or two (45-ish issues) before I progress much further into Wolverines.

    Still not sure what I think about 'Battleworld' and 'Secret Wars,' but it's coing whether I approve or not. Hopefully it's just (another) soft reboot of the franchise to allow for new issue 001s. I still suspect it's a play by Disney to work towards canon and continuity with the film franchises (since the films are huge paydays and comics are still niche - more readers and all) since they're doing something similar with Star Wars and the Star Wars EU (expanded Universe - novels, comics, games, etc) ahead of the new Star Wars films. If that's so, I don't mind a business play that allows a chance to jump into fresh titles. If, on the other hand, it is the start of something terrible (by way of stupid arcs and such) I'm not certain I won't take the chance to make an exodus to DC comics for a while (pending their 'Convergence' doesn't do something similar). All speculation of course and hoping that it doesn't 'really' effect my comic book habit greatly.
     
  5. V

    V Well-Known Member

    Gotcha. If I still had my stacks of long boxes and a place to put them then sure, I'd hold onto them to sell later on as well realizing I'm not going to get rich off of them.

    The 1990s comic book speculators and market crash is all I'm really pointing out. I remember everyone (comic reader or not) buying stacks of poly-bagged 'Death of Superman' books back then thinking they'd be lottery tickets one day and now you can buy them for less than their cover price in mint condition. Obviously some very rare issues worth some serious cash but those are the exception rather than the rule. For the most part, going back only as far as $1.99 cover priced comics - you can walk into most any comic book store and buy them for $0.99 - most $2.99 cover books are also $0.99-1.99 minus the rare book so it isn't worth it for new comic book collectors to get into the game for the sake of investing these days - obviously a different story if you have them laying around because even comics that are less than cover cost still translate into cash in hand. It's easier to eat a loss on old investments, especially if they were a read first, collect second purchase.

    That being said, everything I own that isn't higher than cover price is either all ready disassembled and scanned to digital or waiting its turn to be so. The square foot of living space is worth more than the couple hundred bucks I may (or may not) make off of them since they compete for space with my other hobbies and vices as well as my kid's ever-growing lego collection.
     
  6. LarryTheClown

    LarryTheClown Well-Known Member

    Cool! I'll be sure to check it out! One of the reasons I liked Excalibur, incidentally, was that it was a refreshing change of pace from the rest of the X-Titles. While most were determined to be a grimfest in the "Mutants are a presecuted minority mold" (with art by Image and/or people who wanted to be Image), Excalibur tapped into that more whimsical Chris Claremont spirit, which felt distinctly what X-Men should be. (It's also why I kinda love his return in X-Men Forever, despite acknowledging that it is actually not very good. Also, I kinda love Tom Grummett drawing the 90's X-Men.)

    Alright, back from Comicon and a few things to say. One, that while I'm not the biggest fan of Greg Rucka, he was easily one of my favorite people to talk to at the convention. The guy was just so easy going despite having some fairly long lines. Two, Don Rosa was the first guy to recognize that I was dressed as Dr. Mid-Nite, and that give me a huge thrill as I love his "Uncle Scrooge" comics. Finally, speaking of "Death of Superman," I totally got to meet Dan Jurgens. I also got to tell him that he was only my second favorite Superman artist... the first being Curt Swan. He smiled and told me that was fair. Probably my highlight of the entire convention.

    I was so starstruck that I never got to ask him what he thought of Max Landis' assessment of the "Death of Superman", though. If you're unfamiliar, here it is (some language for those who are offended by cussing):

     
  7. LarryTheClown

    LarryTheClown Well-Known Member

    I am getting back into reading Justice Society. the writers are a who's who of comic notables. The early stories were written by James Robinson (in the middle of his Starman run) and David Goyer. Later, Geoff Johns, Mr. "Reboot Everything DC to match Superfriends" himself, takes on the storytelling heavy lifting. I already have a lot of affection for these characters, and to me they're some of the strongest personalities in DC. (There's a nice mix of elderly superheroes and second-generation types you hardly see on any other superhero team. Usually, they're all of the same peer class.)

    I picked up one book from Jen DeMeter at Comicon --- JSA Classified: Honor Among Thieves. Her part was a look at a rogue's team that's basically a bunch of C-listers (and Solomon Grundy!) that manage to pull one over on the Justice Society because they've established, early on, that they're not going to betray each other. It's actually a little hard to read because DeMeter isn't the type of writer to explain things up front, but it's a basic caper-style story where you sort of root for the bad guys.
     
  8. V

    V Well-Known Member

    The 'Death of Wolverine' arc is good so far. I'm about 15 issues into the story and it's been pretty diverse. The Captain America & Deadpool team-up issue was great - definitely recommended reading. It's one of the lighter toned issues in the arc and if you're a fan of Deadpool or Captain America (or 90s style comics) it's almost a guaranteed win.

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    Spider-Man Noir on the other hand, isn't great. I like the effort I guess, of a 1930s era superhero but it misses the mark. They try to follow the same basic story of Peter Parker - spider bite, 'Uncle Ben' dies, 'with great power...,' but give it a much darker take than the traditional Spider-man. They also take away everything that most people attribute to Spider-man' and create a much darker character. It really reads as a Spider-man story where Spider-man is really Batman or Frank Castle and it misses the mark. 8 issues total across 2 series of Spider-Man that I don't know that I'd recommend. I'll still give some of the other titles a try (X-Men, Daredevil, Punisher) but really not crazy about Spider-Man Noir. That being said - he'd make a good Superhero/Steampunk cosplay...
     
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  9. LarryTheClown

    LarryTheClown Well-Known Member

    This is why DC generally does better on the 1940's superhero stuff. Because their guys really were running around in the 40's. Batman, Superman, and even C-list stringers like Dr. Mid-Nite, Spectre, and Sandman were all in the mold of the era where pulp fiction was transitioning into comic books.

    Spider-Man comes from a later era where the Space Race was in full swing, and the future seemed so bright, where humans would be colonizing space by the year 2000. For all his angst, Spider-Man (and his pals at the Fantastic Four) were all about looking forward to an uncertain yet far-out future.

    Marvel's 40's heroes (when they were Timely) never gained traction, except for Captain America and Namor, perhaps. But those guys are far removed from the 40's pulp heritage. Cap was off fighting the war, not the mean streets, and Namor is ruling from an underwater kingdom. (Though his personality definitely fits in with the 40's anti-hero types.)
     
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  10. V

    V Well-Known Member

    A big part of comic books in the 70s & 80s, not so much in the modern era, were the advertisements. Here are just a few that I personally remember. Anyone else out there that scrounged together the cash for some of these mail order gems?



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  11. LarryTheClown

    LarryTheClown Well-Known Member

    The clear winners here are the great Hostess Fruit Pie ads.

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    Also... marketing inflatable dolls to kids, huh?

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    I was obsessed with this ad so much as a kid. Mainly because I wanted to figure out how this worked. Was there a trap door at the bottom of the statue? Now I realize it's probably just one of those statues they purchase in bulk down at the Chinatown with no mechanical gimmick involved.

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    Here's the grown-ups version of the Hostess ads: Wildroot Cream-Oil Hair Tonic! Who knew that two-fisted Dashiell Hammett detective Sam Spade was so vain?
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015
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  12. V

    V Well-Known Member

    .....and the down side of digital comics - file corruption and/or path issues on your storage device. About the same as spilling a drink on your trade issue maybe - either way it sucks transferring and/or re-downloading thousands of digital issues - not a fun way to spend hours across days. Well, it isn't actually work since it's just setting it up and coming back when it's done, but it halts the reading of anything until it's all back in order.

    Whats new this week that's decent? I see 'Convergence' has started with Convergence 000 - when (if they do) do the normal issues come to a halt for the Convergence arc? Secret Wars 000 on Marvel's end of things debuts on 'Free Comic Book Day' next month, but as far as I know they're still publishing their titles during the event.
     
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  13. V

    V Well-Known Member

    Curious - how do you read?

    Assuming you keep multiple current titles, do you read all of the current week titles in any sort of order? Chronological? By title? whatever?

    Catching up on a couple years worth of reading to current, I've evolved my reading I guess. I started off just rushing through titles (ie. Superior Spider-Man start--->finish) and for catching up, it worked well enough but finding as I've added several title subscriptions to me comixology - there are a lot of team-ups and cross overs and title burning isn't very effective. As a benefit, my archiving and arranging has gotten a bit looser in that I'll file 'Marvel NOW+ (00/00/0000) instead of an individual file folder by title - making my drive easier to manage really (this is somewhat laziness in rearranging data that my external drive decided to kill recently.

    ---

    Onto comics...

    I read maybe 20 issues of Batgirl (which lead me to Batman, Nightwing, etc) and liking the art and writing in most of them. Aquaman to issue 3 and like the new take on him as well. It was enough to sell me on several DC titles and Convergence (which looks to be almost an identical story as Marvel's Secret Wars - a good time to reboot as any I guess). Not digging some of the price increases DC is showing $4.99 issue sucks, and still very much not into digital issues sharing the same price tag as a trade issue - it just doesn't make sense to me (fwiw - most publishers are sticking to this format so it looks like it's here to stay).

    I heard a lot of good things about Wonder Woman but wasn't crazy about it (only 3 issue trial). Sure, it's better than the terrible writing of old, but not by a lot. I'll probably give Superman/WW a try and see if it's any better.
     
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  14. V

    V Well-Known Member

    Only a few issues into Image Comics' space opera 'Saga' but liking it so far.

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    For a casual read, I also like IDW's Love & Capes. Only a couple of issues into this as well but it's funny enough - a lot is available for free as a web comic to boot. It's not a bad read for the comedy comic fan.

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  15. LarryTheClown

    LarryTheClown Well-Known Member

    Haven't read any new comics, but ran through Ostrander's Suicide Squad while on a plane. They're just introducing Barbara Gordon as Oracle (her first appearance as that character, I think).
     
  16. LarryTheClown

    LarryTheClown Well-Known Member

    OK, went to the comic shop yesterday and picked up Convergence #1. $5.00 for a comic book! Way to hold the line at $2.99, DC. I was tempted to get the one with the white cover, since that would be a pretty awesome thing to sign if I ever run into Scott Lobdell at a comic book convention, but... gah. I just HAD to get the one with Harley Quinn on it. What can I say. I'm a clown and I have a thing for sexy clowns. (And also because I hated the Earth-2 redesigns. I miss the garishly 40's looks of Alan Scott and Jay Garrick.)

    UPDATE: Man, I read the first Convergence, and it is full of stuff I just don't like about modern comics. Namely, that they're so decompressed that they're really no story. It's 22 pages of set-up. I gotta say, it DOES remind me a lot of the first issue of Infinity Gauntlet, in which there's also not much plot but they're cramming as many characters on the page as they can. I'm on to your little game, Lobdell.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015
  17. V

    V Well-Known Member

    The latest Ant Man series is good. I imagine most people who like Deadpool or Spiderman would like the latest Ant Man incarnation as well.


    I have Convergence 000 - 001 and will try to read them later tonight. Price is stupid on them but what can you do. Secret Wars 000 is one of the free comic books next month but hoping they don't follow up with the $4.99 cover.

    Just read Convergence 000 and really hoping all of it isn't as dry/slow/boring as this intro issue. I'll read 001 in a bit but it doesn't sound great from your review. 000's problem was most certainly the writing and I don't have it in front of me so I can reference the team, but it's junk and I hope they aren't part of the full arc team.

    Update -

    Convergence 001 probably should have been 000 and been the 'intro' rather than the rubbish that was 000. About halfway through Convergence - Batgirl 001 (had to stop to change kid's diaper) and it's ok. I grabbed the other convergence tie-in titles and will read them late tonight. @Larry, check your PM

    Update 2 -

    Individual 'Convergence' character titles are much better than the simple Convergence titled trade. I'm through the week of 4/8 and mostly through this weeks titles. In general, I'm finding the Gotham titles (week 4/8) to be a bit better than the Metropolis titles (week 4/15), although JLI and Green Arrow were good (imo). Superman, Batgirl, Batman, JLI, Green Arrow, Green Lantern are probably my favorite titles of the lot in Convergence. Like Convergence 001 there is some set up in each title (annoyingly set up really as 2-3 pages of each book is basically a repeat of each other - assuming it's for folks who don't read all the titles but it's repetitive and gets old fast. Most you can just skip/skim over this dialog because it's a carbon copy but a few titles do go their own way with it), but there's enough individual story and/or background story to each issue to give them their own identity. I have a few 4/15 titles to read that I'll get to tomorrow evening and will update again.

    On the Marvel side of the universe...

    Liking the Wolverines title and 014 released today. Spider-Man and the X-Men is okay as well although it's kind of campy and is a pretty light read that has a hint of 70s/80s style writing to it. Superior Iron Man 007 today wasn't great - I like the arc in general but today's issue just seemed like filler and didn't really progress much. It's a continuation of the Avengers & X-Men AXIS line that should be wrapping up soon with Secret Wars coming next month - which is why I'm surprised this issue didn't do much for the story overall. I'm going to try to get current on the new Magneto, Loki, Avengers Millennium, & Spider-Man 2099.

    I read 2-3 issues of the new Cyclops and it was ok as well. Just background stuff - space pirate-y and fun enough that I may try to get current on it as well. Also reading some old Venom (as Flash Gordon, not Eddie Brock) but it'll take a while to finish it since it's around 45+/- issues. A lot of 'All New' Marvel titles I have but haven't read that I'd like to get through but not sure if I'll get to them before Secret Wars and the reboot so it may take until at least summer since they're on the back burner to the 7 year old, the 7 month old, coaching baseball, pinewood derby test builds, other scout stuff, so on and so forth. I get summers off though and almost every t.v. show I watch has run its course so I should get some reading done in a month or two that amounts to something..

    Anyway - those are my comic books to date...
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2015
  18. V

    V Well-Known Member

    Finished all of the Convergence titles up to the week of 4/15 and am liking it for the most part. There are some titles that are stronger than others and some that are downright campy, but normally I don't read all of those titles so to be fair - it may be that the overall theme of those titles match their convergence issues.

    I'm several issues into 'Magneto' and the equivalent team-ups and tie-ins, and am really liking it. If you're a fan of the character historically, the series probably won't let you down. I should be current with it by tomorrow and may re-visit this to give a full review. I also got to read another couple of issues of 'The Wolf Among Us' and liking it. I'll probably grab the tell-tale games xbox one game to see how it plays out - they did a great job with The Walking Dead.

    Hoping to get a few more issues into 'Saga' as well so that I can get a better feel of the series and whether or not I'll keep subscribing. So far it's okay and hope it continues to progress that way.
     
  19. Pookie

    Pookie Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, the nearest comic shop is across state lines, so I give the owner a list of comics I want each month and he pulls them for me. Had the time and money to pick them up recently, and read thru them all.

    Deadpool is dead, or as dead as he'll get between now and either Secret Wars or the movie comes out next year. The "death" was a cheat. However the Infinity Gauntlet back up story by Brian Posehn (Rock show! Rock show!! Rock SHOW!!!) still has me giggling.

    With Convergence, DC seems to have picked up Marvel's approach to these things; badly written, meandering stories that maintain the barest of cohesion and ultimately will come to an unsatisfactory ending that has little to do with the original concept (see Marvel's Original Sin). My guess on the ending is because the regular monthly titles ended with the indication that they will continue where they left off after Convergence. And the tie-ins do not serve to move the story forward, or really have any connection. And yet,... I forked over my money to purchase it.

    Some of the other stuff I got was Infinite Crisis: Fight for the Multiverse, which is going along swimmingly, and wondering if it will dovetail with Convergence. Also wondering if Injustice: Gods Among Us will continue for another year. Archie is branching out and picked up those.

    My favorites lately have been Crossed. Both +100 and Badlands. Though Crossed: Badlands has provided my new favorite quote from a comic: "I think I was going a little crazy by then, because it did seem funny. To be killed by a half-naked transvestite anime character actually seemed pretty f***ing funny." Man, even without context that quote is awesome!!
     
  20. V

    V Well-Known Member

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    Looks like Marvel is following DC's $4.99 cover price. These two covers go show the price evolution of comics books quite well in their 30 year span with the $4.24 increase between Secret Wars...
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2015

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