Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Bits and pieces

Hey, look, I finally got around to doing the bloggerly thing and linked to some folks. If you link to me and you aren't there, let me know. If for some reason you don't want to be linked here, let me know and I'll take you off.

I also finally finished reading Walt Simonson's Fantastic Four run. I have a vague recollection of the big deal made of his "New Fantastic Four" issues when I first started reading comics regularly in the early 1990s, no doubt because the issues featured Spider-Man, Hulk, Wolverine, and Ghost Rider, all hot properties at the time. Never heard anything about the contents, however, which happen to be fucking awesome and drawn by Art Adams. And Art Adams drawing Skrulls and the Mole Man's monsters is, I'm convinced, the best thing to happen to the Fantastic Four since Lee and Kirby parted ways. If you only read three issues of Simonson's run, make it these three. The rest is incredible, too. There's some great Dr. Doom stuff in 350 and 352. Not a whole hell of a lot as far as things like character development go, but really, when is developing a property like this ever actually worthwhile? I don't want that from the Fantastic Four. I want monsters and Skrulls. And time-travel battles against Doom. And islands disappearing into the time stream. And Galactus destroying the universe 30 years in the future. And the Time Variance Authority. That's what I want. Thanks for giving it to me, Walt.

Jesus Christmas, the Brubaker/Gulacy issues of Catwoman make my brain hurt. I love Brubaker's work, especially the first two years of Catwoman with Cameron Stewart and Darwyn Cooke. After that, even if the writing hadn't been bad (which it got to be) the art... oy. Gulacy's bizarre anatomy — Selina's fighteningly long neck, for example — far outstripped the jarring shift in the art's tone in my opinion. Getting all tied up in War Games didn't help matters; reading the plot made it sound almost interesting, but not interesting enough to stretch through some 30-odd comics. That's the deal with most crossovers, so I should totally be used to it by now. The Catwoman issues happened to be the only ones I read, and they also happened to be boring pieces of shit. And the issues written by Scott Morse were no improvement. I eagerly await the arrival of Will Pfeifer and Pete Woods. And I'll probably have to buy Captain America if I want some Brubaker.

You know what's good? Kyle Baker's Plastic Man. I got the first smelly, plasticky collection, and it's a big pile of bouncey, stupid, cornball fun, which my life has been sorely lacking. It's worth it alone for the scene where Batman recounts his origin. And I'm very much looking forward to Baker's Nat Turner. I had a friend in junior high and the only thing he learned from history class was "Nat Turner, a former slave, killed 57 white people." I'm not sure but there could be more to the story than that.

Peter David and Mike Wieringo on Spider-Man gets me worked up about Spidey for the first time since I-don't-know-when. And excited about a Marvel book since... well, since Bill Jemas left, probably. (Excited about a Marvel book that wasn't an Essentials reprint, anyhow.)

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