Light week coming up, not many comics to get, but those that are hitting shelves are a doozy! Plus, seems that a series I love is coming to an end, and another that I’m just falling in love with, is proving rather controversial. Also, there’s a laugh or two to be had, plus an annoucement from Kieron Gillen that might just pique your interest.
Sandman Overture #1 (of 6) - Neil Gaiman’s Sandman is a classic comic-book – one of those works of literature with such wide appeal outside of its niche that it is held up again and again as one of the standards of the industry. Fans like myself, in their mid-twenties, have undeniably grown in its shadow. Now Gaiman returns to the story that not only helped launch his career, but is also one of the best to have ever been told in the medium. Never mind the fact that J.H. Williams, one of the best illustrators in the business, is handling the art. This is hands down the biggest comic-book coming out this week, if not one of the biggest being launched this year. High expectations does not even begin to describe this!
Saga #15 - While Sandman is representative of the first wave of comics to be taken seriously by both comic-book fans and readers outside of the niche market; Saga is likely one of the most recent examples. This is a comic-book that has managed to grow a considerable fan base, month by month, simply by telling a solid story. It’s hard to believe that while most comics are losing readers each month. this one has gained readers. If you aren’t already reading this series, you should be!
Superior Spider-Man #20 - The Superior era seems to be winding to a close, and yet again we are promised the start of story-lines that will change Spider-Man forever. While change can be a relative thing, Slott has told a fairly good story with Doc Ock as the protagonist. I cannot wait to see how it all unfolds, and Peter inevitably returns – come one, we all knew it would happen.
X-Men: Battle of Atom #2 (of 2) - This is it True Believers – not a dream, not a joke, but the end of another X-Men event. If any comic-book franchise has mastered the art of the crossover it’s these merry mutants, and as always it has been an entertaining ride – full of nods, quips, and great art. Definitely curious to see what twists Bendis will pull out in this final issue, but mostly just looking forward to unplugging, and enjoying the action and great art!
Cataclysm #0.1 - Speaking of events, looks like this one may spell the end of the Ultimate Universe. I’ve been following Ultimate Spider-Man for a long, long time now. I still remember when it hit me like a ton of bricks way back in high school – it’s hard to believe that it could all come to an end, but if comics teach us anything is that endings are simply beginnings waiting to happen. Definitely well worth checking out.
All good things must end…
… but does it have to be so soon? Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s Daredevil run is coming to a close with issue #36. I suppose this was inevitable. Despite any apparent deviations, this story has been quite focused from the beginning, and for some time now Waid’s story has clearly been hurtling towards its conclusion. It sucks to see a series that has been this much fun come to a close, but this is certainly preferred compared to the aborted runs we’ve seen recently, especially from DC.
Mark Waid, Chris Samnee, Paolo Rivera, Marcos Martin, and many others have gotten an opportunity to craft a beautiful and entertaining story. I can’t say I was a fan of Daredevil prior to this series, but odds are I’ll check out whatever follows this – good comics beget interest, it’s that simple.
The Pretty Deadly Fiasco
I seriously debated leaving this alone. Was it really worth it for me to add my voice to a debate that really should be non-existent? But then as I followed the coverage that kept popping up, it actually managed to strike a nerve, and so here I am.
The whole thing is summarized quite well here, here, and here, including whether the whole issue of misogyny is a factor. Was it? Maybe, maybe not. But that’s not the issue I want to focus on. Rather, it’s the sort of trollish behavior that started this in the first place. I’m referring both to the act of ripping up a comic-book in front of costumers, and the manner in which Hannibal Tabu reviewed the issue.
The first is sadly typical fanboyish behavior. It embodies the worst that comic-book fans have to offer – basically the sort of narrow-minded thinking that says “my way or the highway.” This says that there’s only one way to do comics, or only a certain set of subject matter that is worth broaching. This is why there are so many caricatures of comic-book fans, and it’s part of why some still have such a bad opinion of comics and the people that like them.
The second is frankly just bad reviewing. It provides no explanation for why Pretty Deadly might be a bad comic, just statements that should be taken as fact, but why? Is Hannibal Tabu the king of opinions? Does he not have to back it up at all? I get that the purpose of the column is to provide quick, biting critique, but all the same if you’re going to rip something apart so severely, you better have a damn good reason to do so.
This is not an issue of Kelly Sue DeConnick, Emma Rios, or Image learning to take their lumps. This is an issue of a few comic-book fans that are too high on their own opinions and who are acting like bullies. It’s one thing to have an opinion, quite another to express an opinion without a shred of modestly or humility. No one is infallible, tearing a comic only makes you seem like a jackass, and no amount of apologizing is going to make that go away.
And now… a moment of levity
I think all this serious talk requires a second of fun, don’t you? Courtesy of the one, the only, Ty Templeton.
Space Dandy is… a dandy guy in space!
Mercury Heat from Kieron Gillen
This guy! This guy does great work. Young Avengers, Uber, and now, Three, are all consistently at the top of my reading list each and every month. Apparently, that wasn’t enough, so there’s another book in the works, called Mercury Heat. It’s coming in April, from Avatar, and here’s what it’s about:
“[I]t’s basically a police thing, kind of scratching my 2000AD cyber-punky itch, that basically this is about someone who is basically a sort of enhanced police officer on Mercury, basically policing the people there and the people there are pretty much solar panel workers; the whole Belt, or what we call The Belt around the centre is basically where they’ve solar panelled Mercury and all the energy is basically exported back to Earth. [...]
Generally speaking, human ability and human excellence is now obsolete, rather human skills are, and everyone is now on crystal chips. So you take the crystal and you basically have the skill and that’s how most people do stuff; so if you want to be a martial artist or whatever, you can buy the crystal. In fact the entire society runs on personalities really. As long as they have the right crystals for doing the job, or other cybernetic enhancements, but really it’s like ‘Oh, I’ve got a personality as well’. [...]
Our lead character, Louisa, she has quite an obscure personality rating that makes everyone shit themselves, but basically she always wanted to be a cop, but she can’t be a cop on Earth, which is kind of nice now really, because she is this ‘class’, but she can be a cop on Mercury. ‘Cause Mercury’s like the fuckin’ Wild West.”
Oh yeah! I’m totally down for this! It constantly amazes me how smoothly Gillen can go from one setting to another. This guy is definitely the real deal!