Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wednesday Comics, June 10th, 2009

It was a slow week, I only picked up 10 comics today, and yet I still managed to drop well over $150 at the comic store. How, you say? Read on!
My pull list is as follows:
Uncanny X-Men #511
Fantastic Four #567
X-Factor #44
X-Men Forever #1
Batman #687
Action Comics #878
The Flash Rebirth #3
Green Lantern Corps #37
JSA Vs. Kobra #1
Fables #85

This is most certainly a light week for me, which, at times, I look at as a blessing. With the sheer volume of titles coming out each and every week it can become very exhausting on one's wallet to be constantly dropping large amounts of coin on endless books. My Marvel titles were particularly sparse, though the X-Men were repping particularly strongly so let's talk about them for a little bit.

I've really enjoyed the direction that Uncanny has taken lately, I think the writing has just continued to improve with each issue. Uncanny #511 featured the return of one of my favorite characters to the regular X-Men universe (she had been shuffled off very quickly to the more peripheral X-titles not too long after her resurrection, where she has remained for the last several years) but now Psylocke is back! And let me tell you, she is as sultry as ever. There really isn't much else I want to say about Uncanny because now it's going to be gearing up for its crossover with Dark Avengers (which starts at the end of this month) and that's just going to be all kinds of awesome.

For Marvel what I really wanted to look at this week was X-Men Forever #1, Chris Claremont's triumphant return to the X-Men universe!
...Oh, wait, but didn't he return like 10 years ago to write Uncanny and X-Men? And then didn't he do like two volumes of Excalibur? And wasn't he on Exiles? And didn't he do that X-Men the End trilogy? And X-Treme X-Men? Umm.... so really this guy hasn't stayed away from the X-Men Universe at all. So why is there so much hype surrounding this title? Well back in 1991 Marvel decided that, with the growing popularity of the Uncanny X-Men, another X-Men title was needed, thus (adjectiveless) X-Men was created featuring art by the famed Jim Lee. Claremont left the title (and Marvel) by the third issue after a series of clashes with then Editor in Chief, Bob Harass, and the title was taken over by John Byrne for a short while until a regular writer could be found. X-Men Forever is Claremont's X-Men #4, or what he would have done had he stayed on the title for the long-haul. While the title's inaugural issue captures the feel of 90's X-Men, I know what's coming; I've seen the covers for the upcoming issues and I've read the solicits and it looks like it's going to be pretty painful. I don't think it would be fair for me to completely brush this title off after just one issue, but I'm not going to hold my breath. What it looks like to me is that Claremont is trying to take the X-Men in such a drastically different direction than what was actually done with them. Unfortunately the perception of this is that rather than it coming off as being a refreshing and edgy interpretation of classic characters and storylines, it seems like it's an opportunity for Claremont to say, this is how things should have been done had they been done right. It just doesn't sit well with me. I suppose time will tell.

In the DC universe we have some heavy hitters coming out this week in the form of Batman #687 featuring the new creative team of Judd Winick and Ed Benes. This title made me nervous, in fact, most of the current Batman titles are making me nervous; I'm still not sure how I feel about the Dick Grayson Batman, but I'm cautiously optimistic. Winick in particular worried me because the last few things I've read by him, well, they've been pretty lackluster. In terms of Winick's Batman? If this issue is any indication of the type of writing Winick will be bringing to the table, then sign me up. This issue had so much heart; there were several moments where I actually got choked up. This issue probably should have come out before Morrison's Batman and Robin because it deals with Dick's reluctance to take on Bruce's cape and cowl. There are several incredibly moving moments, one between Dick and Alfred, as well as another between Superman and Alfred. Alfred really stole the show for me, something this character has never done for me before. If Winick keeps this up I think this title will end up reclaiming its place as the fan favorite Batman title, as well it should be.

Finally for DC I want to talk about Flash Rebirth by Geoff Johns. This is a really tricky title and, unlike Green Lantern Rebirth, is NOT new-reader friendly. While Green Lantern Rebirth re-established Hal Jordan as a Green Lantern in a way that allowed new readers who were unfamiliar with the character to jump on-board, Barry Allen's reintroduction to the DC Universe in Flash Rebirth has been very hardcore-fan specific. I think at the end of the day the Flash legacy has become so bogged down in continuity that the character can be a turn-off to new readers. With Green Lantern it really comes down to the fact that he's a space cop with a ring that can create anything its wearer can imagine. The Flash, on the other hand, is someone with the capability to tap into the speedforce, granting the user superspeed. The Flash isn't the only individual throughout comic history who has been able to access this speedforce, but most of the other users are, at best, 3rd tier characters (can you tell me who Max Mercury and Johnny Quick are? I didn't think so). Explaining the science of the speedforce is complicated enough, but that's exactly what Johns is attempting to do in Flash Rebirth. I've been reading comics for quite a few years so I've been able to keep up, but the great thing about the idea of these "rebirth" titles is that they're reintroducing long dead characters to a whole new generation; this just isn't the way to do that. I have a good friend who I've been introducing to comics and he's fallen in love with Green Lantern; he was also interested in Flash Rebirth and picked up the first two issues and found it really difficult to understand. I am a huge fan of the Flash, but he is by no means someone with whom I have any degree of expertise (unlike the Avengers or the X-Men, which are universes in which I'm particularly well-versed) but it seems to me that this title is far more complex than it needs to be. While this is a great title if you are a DC fan, the disappointing thing for me lies in the fact that this title only serves to reaffirm the love that longtime fans already have for Barry Allen rather than to spark new interest in newer fans who've never encountered the character or had a chance to develop that love.

You may be wondering how I managed to spend so much money considering I only bought 10 comics this week. Well, thanks to DC Direct here's why:

If that isn't the fevered dreams of a nerd, I don't know what is :o)
Happy reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment