East of West #30 - 34 - this series continues to be pretty incomprehensible on an issue to issue basis, but read a few issues at a time, and it’s thoroughly captivating. Year 3 starts with a bang, the story is picking up speed, and events happen that irrevocably change the landscape of this future world. Not at all for the newbies, but awesome stuff if you’ve been here since day #1.
Mister Miracle #1
While I have liked some of what King has said with regards to Scott Free and his own penchant for duality, I was still cautiously hopeful despite his other rather misguided thoughts on other characters. There’s fertile ground with what he said about Scott, and seemed like it could lead somewhere interesting.
Unfortunately, this issue is not very interesting. It’s nothing you wouldn’t expect from a King series, treading old ground, and the New Gods affectations it does use do come of as superficial when placed alongside these worn themes. Especially since said themes are either at odds, or have been used in other NG stories before. What could be interesting are overserviced to the point of bluntness when a subtler touch would be at least more engaging.
In short, it’s not saying anything interesting about the property, nor is it King really stretching himself creatively.
Oh ya. It’s New Comics Wednesday.
I’ll be picking up Action Comics #985, Mister Miracle #1 and Youngblood #4.
How do you get and read these so early? Isn’t it like 9 a.m. where you live?
It’s on Comixology.
Ha I forgot about that and you were too fast for me to delete my post.
I’m waiting for trade on that book. It seems designed for that format and it will give me something to read in winter of 2018.
I read Legend of Korra: Turf Wars Part One, which I liked a lot. Great art by Irene Koh, and it’s written by the show’s creator, so the characters all feel right.
It takes place immediately after the TV series, and feels like the setup for a new season (though one more explicit about Korra’s sexuality then they’d be allowed to be on Nickelodeon).
I haven’t re-watched the series since it ended, so I couldn’t completely remember who some of the supporting cast were (Korra has a lot of family and adopted family), but it was easy enough to figure out most of them.
Part Two’s not out until January, but I’ll definitely check it out when it arrives.
Yep, the OHCs are great for this very reason - but as an issue to issue read? Nah.
Detective Comics #962 - wraps up “Intelligence” with some great pyrotechnics. Azrael gets to kick some ass; Clayface too; Kate gets the line of the issue (saying what we all feel, right?); and Bruce finally finds out that Tim is still alive. Sadly, Zatanna flys off into the proverbial sunset this issue, which makes me sad. I’ve always liked the chemistry and potential for something more that she & Bruce have. With wedding bells on the horizon I guess we won’t see much more of that in future.
Defenders #4 - was a really quick read, but had a couple of cool scenes, a great Iron Fist beat down, and some intriguing cameos. I hope there are some more ramifications from last issue’s Bane-tastic cliffhanger next month, as I didn’t really like how it was quickly glossed over, but that’s a minor quibble. This book’s great.
In regards to “The War of Jokes and Riddles” and how dark it is, the Joker is very pointedly set up by King to be in a situation where he’s “lost his smile.” He’s in a funk, and he’s targeted the Riddler as the reason why. This is a Riddler, I think, that King imagines after the events of “Zero Year,” so it’s a Riddler who literally took a whole city hostage. For a year. That’s hardly a one-note riddle guy.
I get that readers want to escape in these comics, but the logic of the storytelling is solid. What happens when there are two supervillains running around whose gimmick is to screw around with people? What does it look like when they realize the other one exists? It’s not pretty. They literally don’t care what happens to ordinary people. I like (the first part, anyway, because I haven’t seen the second yet) the Kite Man origin. As someone pointed out, that’s what happens when you try to play both sides and you get caught. The guy lost his kid, and went insane. This is literally the most relevant Kite Man has ever been. In King’s imagination, I would expect something similar to have happened to the guy who became the Joker, something so unspeakably awful that he had a complete break with reality.
I’m not a fan of Killing Joke. I think Moore crosses a line that should not be crossed, and I think it’s a tragedy that DC actually kept Crippled Barbara in continuity for decades just because Moore was a prestigious and popular writer. The idea of it is abhorrent. If it had been a character who made their first appearance in it and meant nothing except a message sent to Commissioner Gordon, it would be one thing. At least in Watchmen Moore did something similar as part of that character’s own story.
It’s about perspective. King has one of the most comprehensive perspectives I’ve ever seen in comics. To my mind, it’s comparable to Mark Waid unlocking Flash mythology, figuring out Wally West and then positioning the rest of the speedsters around him. James Robinson gets all the credit for Starman, but I always thought Waid did it better. Robinson sort of cheated by creating a new character. When Waid created someone new (Max Mercury, Impulse), it was someone who contributed to the tapestry rather than defined it. King has done that with Gotham Girl. I imagine when he gets back to her this’ll be more apparent.
It’s more because readers loved her characterization as Oracle (defined by John Ostrander and Kim Yale, I believe). If Oracle hadn’t happened she probably would’ve been reverted way sooner. She was also one of the most visible disabled characters in comics for a couple decades.
I get that. But it would’ve been nice to at least provide a different explanation as to how she ended up that way.
But Kite Man isn’t relevant any more than in that issue. He’s back to being a non-player, a joke, literally one issue later. So that makes his revamp even more of a waste. I’m not sure what King hoped to accomplish with that.
Because, I expect, he’ll factor in again. The issue reads “The Ballad of Kite Man, Part 1.” And besides, explaining “Kite Man” at all in 2017 is a huge accomplishment. He was otherwise a part of the scrap heap of inconceivable concepts from the past. I say, what about Rainbow Raider, Mr. King?
Action Comics #985 - This issue was a little disappointing which is a shame because I really love SuperLex. The voice just seems wrong for him here, more like other previous incarnations of Lex. I understand that this was likely a file story to help the regular creative team get back on track. I’m tempted to ignore these type of stories in the future.
Mister Miracle #1 - This was kind of a crazy/fun issue. I love the different art styles/color/effects used to depict states of mind and other things happening in Scott Free’s mind. I wish there was a little more meat to the issue. It feels like it just kind of ends. I’ll at least give it another issue.
Youngblood #4 - This issue seemed like a lot setup/transition to what will be the big fight in the last couple of issues. I’m still enjoying the book and love how Liefeld has stuck extras linked to his other books in the back of a couple of the issues.
This is what I was looking forward to with the arc, but I don’t think this is what we’re getting. It reads like a pretty standard “turf war” story to me, one that could be about anybody and doesn’t even really need to be a Batman book. Maybe King will turn all of this on its head soon.
I did enjoy reading your post though, I love it when there are books worth talking about.
Agreed, artistically, the issue is fantastic. Writing-wise, it feels like King is trying to fit square pegs in round holes. The themes might make for an entertaining story regardless, which I’m giving it the long haul to see how it pays off.
You’re just salty because it shows Orion up for the asshole he is.
I should also mention that I really love Big Barda and this series looks like it is only going to increase that.
Nah, that scene is actually very sweet in context. Orion is trying to help Scott the only way he knows how.
But…that doesn’t negate that King’s own ideas are completely off-base.
More to the point - I just think that making the overt Jesus parallels is…somewhat nonsensical. For one, Highfather isn’t “God”-God. He’s more of a mix of Isaiah, Moses, and most importantly Abraham. So, the use of the blatant “You’re the Son of God” line doesn’t mean anything outside of how we relate it to Jesus.
They’re all Gods, and even in terms of Fourth World - the closest analogue to God is the Source.