Comics are Awesome III

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andersonh1
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

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Green Lantern Annual #1 - It's far from the first GL annual, but that's renumbering for you. Jessica Cruz ends up joining the Sinestro Corps after Sinestro lends her a ring temporarily, hoping to recruit here. I haven't read enough Jessica Cruz to know if she's written well here, but both Hal and especially Sinestro's voices are off and do not feel consistent with what came before, though Sinestro is worse in this regard. A Green Lantern book without GLs seems rather pointless to me, but that's essentially what the series is at the moment, though at least a powered GL appears in this story since Hal is in half of this issue. It's not a bad book, but it does feel very padded.

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andersonh1
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

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Going back and reading some of Sparky's comments about Green Lanterns #7-14 since I've just read the tpb for the first time. I've pulled some excerpts from your reviews and had a few thoughts.
Sparky Prime wrote:
Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:49 pm
Green Lanterns 1-7 Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz take center stage of this title as the two newest Green Lanterns...... Simon and Jessica are shown juggling their family lives with their super hero lives a lot in these early issues which is something that has been sorely missed in the Green Lantern titles over the past few years. I just wish we got to see more of this with the other established Green Lantern characters, not just the two rookies we hardly know anything about...
Sparky Prime wrote:
Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:55 am
Green Lanterns #8
Have to say I felt this issue was weak. The Dominators have been a pretty major threat in DC comics in the past, but they are captured with one simple construct here...... The one bit I did like about this issue was the reason Rami was banished from the Guardians. He's only in exile until he figures out how to destroy the Phantom Ring, something he has yet to figure out how to do. I'm a bit confused on why it's portrayed as such a big deal that anyone can use the Phantom Ring. While the other power rings might choose their bearers, we have seen others are capable of using a power ring despite not being chosen by the ring.

Green Lanterns #9
Years ago, Frank Laminski was saved by Hal Jordan during a test flight, and ever since, he's wanted a Green Lantern ring for himself. .... Although it was a surprise to see Volthoom return as well, having somehow survived his encounter with Nekron last we saw him.
Sparky Prime wrote:
Sun Nov 06, 2016 2:46 pm
Green Lanterns #10
Not sure why Simon ties on the Phantom Ring at the beginning of this issue,.... I'm also wondering, why couldn't Rami just reprogram the ring to have the same safety features of any other ring, to evaluate its bearer? It still seems to me that the Phantom Ring's ability to use multiple colors of the spectrum would be what the other Guardians would have found the most dangerous, given they were so dead set against using any of the powers except Willpower.
Sparky Prime wrote:
Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:06 pm
Green Lanterns #14
Nice to see the return of the GLC acknowledged here with Vath and Isamot appearing. Although Simon's reaction to seeing them seems odd. He doesn't seem to be aware that the GLC was missing, he just thinks to himself that it'd been months since he'd seen a fellow Corps member. Even though he was with them in Edge of Oblivion, and Hal left them to protect Earth while he went to find them... I wonder if that's something they'll ever explain of if they're just going to gloss over it. It's also good to see Jessica reacting to Frank mentioning Volthoom, given she was possessed by Earth 3's Volthoom as the Power Ring. They've mentioned Volthoom wanted to get home but couldn't for some reason. Makes me wonder if they'll reveal the two are actually one in the same somehow. Also really enjoyed that Compassion made Frank see the error in what he was doing, only for him to go back to normal when he took off the ring.
I agree with a lot of this. I thought this collection of issues wasn't bad, but it wasn't all that good either. Definitely a middle of the road storyline. This may be the first time I've enjoyed a story featuring Simon Baz as a main character, and I thought Jessica was a good sympathetic character, full of doubt and learning how to use the Green Lantern ring. I generally enjoyed the interactions between the two of them, and the scenes with family. I thought Laminski was a poor villain, honestly, though I get why the story wanted someone who was emotionally unstable to use a ring that had access to the entire emotional spectrum. Volthoom being alive was a big cheat to me, because it seems like Nekron killing him was pretty final. That's comics I guess. Art was pretty good, and I remember seeing a lot of the covers on the shelf back when I was buying Hal and the Corps. All in all, the story was worth the purchase.

I agree with you about Simon too. I had forgotten that he was in the previous universe with the Corps during Lost Army/Edge of Oblivion. He got back early somehow, didn't he? Time to go back and re-read those issues I think.

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andersonh1
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

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Fantastic Four 60th Anniversary special - An interesting experiment where a lot of different artists redraw Fantastic Four #1 and the Annual where Reed and Sue get married. While reading my GA and SA omnibuses, I have sometimes wondered how the stories would feel with modern artwork, so this particular project gives me an idea of how that might work. And it's very odd to read 60s dialogue with modern art. It certainly feels like the product of two different eras. The fact that each issue has someone different on each page doesn't help with that, since the art style is constantly changing. An interesting book.

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Re: Comics are Awesome III

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Other books I'm reading that aren't Transformers:

Star Trek: Mirror War: I love the ST Mirror Universe. They've been some of my favorite episodes ever and I've always wanted to see the TNG crew in that timeline. I have the first two volumes of this, this is actually the third story in this series, which seems like it's going to be intermittently ongoing.
This starts off with the return of mirror Barclay from "our" universe back into the mirror. He tells Picard about a race of ship builders in an isolated part of space. On the way there, the Enterprise stops by a planet where Picard has his "private stash" only to find that it's been raided by the "Obnoxious Okona". They also attack a Klingon ship towing a cargo of Dilithium, which they steal. That gets the attention of Regent Worf, who finds and attacks the Enterprise. Enterprise manages to get away, but Worf is tracking them. They find Okona and Picard gets his stash back and destroys Okona's shuttle, effectively marooning him on the planet he's on. After that, they finally head towards the planet of the ship builders, hoping to force them to build an armada.

I've been loving this series since it started. The artwork is great, everyone is easily identifiable and the backgrounds look like the familiar ship, even though, just like in the original series, it's the same... but not. I also like how they've managed to show the crew on the Enterprise without contradicting anything we've seen on screen. This really is one of the best written series I've read.

Masters of the Universe Revelations: Just finished the four part prequel to the series. It's odd to me to have the prequel done after the series has been completely released. But, this did it's job. It served for back story for some of the characters and sets up threads that pay off in the main series. I think one of the things that helps is gel so well with the cartoon is the fact that all of it was written by one person: Kevin Smith. And he did a great job with it.

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Re: Comics are Awesome III

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During the viewing of Disney+'s Hawkeye, I decided to check out Matt Fraction's fabled run on the comic, and honestly, it's a letdown. There's a great atmosphere of lightness and fun balancing out the more dramatic human undercurrent, but the book loses its way about halfway through the run, kinda spinning its wheels and wasting its time. Kate Bishop never feels like she's doing anything new throughout, she's not growing, just complaining about Clint Barton's complaining. And Clint's storyline seems to have him wallowing in his task while not achieving anything new after about issue 10.
Image
See, that one's a camcorder, that one's a camera, that one's a phone, and they're doing "Speak no evil, See no evil, Hear no evil", get it?

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andersonh1
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Re: Comics are Awesome III

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This material is 11 years old, but didn't really feel like it fit in the retro comics thread.

I checked the Wonder Woman by Brian Azarello and Cliff Chiang omnibus out of the library yesterday and so far I've read six or seven issues into the book. This is the early New 52 series, and so far it's been disappointing. I'm glad I didn't pay for this. The art is beautiful to look at as static images, but the storytelling both visually and in terms of writing is "choppy". In other words, one panel does not always flow smoothly into another and the writing is a style where characters randomly appear, do random things with no real reason given, and then we jump to another scene. It seems like the idea is to intrigue the reader or keep him or her guessing until the answers are provided, but in practice it makes the narrative feel very disjointed. The story more or less lines up and and makes sense, but it still feels like punctuation rather than a smoothly flowing narrative that goes back and forth between plotlines, if that makes sense. A lot of modern storytelling suffers from this flaw.

The story itself was controversial at the time it was published, as I recall. Lots of nudity, even if it's strategically concealed by shadow, objects in the panel and the convenient bedsheet, or showing someone from behind. The New 52 is hotter and sexier! Diana is revealed to be the child of Zeus, so she has lots of siblings now, and she spends the story so far hanging out with various Greek "gods" and trying to protect a woman who is pregnant from Zeus's latest dalliance, much to Hera's anger. This is the version where the Amazons routinely seduce a bunch of men, then kill them, then keep the girl children and get rid of the boys. In the only real feel-good moment of the book so far, it's revealed that Hephestus takes the boys and gives them a home and raises them, and Diana is happy to call them brothers and fellow Amazons.

The book feels sordid and gloomy rather than enjoyable. Like I said, it cost me nothing, which is good because I'd really be wanting my money back if I'd paid for this. I was surprised to see an omnibus in the graphic novel section at the library, and since I like that format and was curious to see a modern treatment of Wonder Woman after reading some Golden Age, I indulged. I'm pretty sure Marston would not recognize the character he created as written by Brian Azarello. Marston wanted a loving, caring, woman character not dependent on men, among other things, but Azarello's version has all her power because of who her father is. The peaceful and loving Amazon society that produced Wonder Woman is a man-hating, man-murdering bunch of rapist women now. I know characters evolve over time, but Azarello's Wonder Woman is 180 degrees opposite of what Marston intended. I'm pretty sure that DC Rebirth retconned all of that out and replaced it with something more traditional. They'd almost have to.

I'm not impressed by this book so far. Talk about your New 52 "in name only" characters!

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Re: Comics are Awesome III

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The problem with characters like Wonder Woman and Thor is that they are heroes based on myths about truly reprehensible characters. When modern writers try to solve the problems caused by the laziness of previous generations, the results are mixed at best.

The New 52 was not the first time that DC had this problem. A few years earlier, they published "Amazons Attacj", where the Amazons were slaughtering men and boys in a mass attack on the US, and they were never treated as bad guys afterwards.

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Re: Comics are Awesome III

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Dominic wrote:
Fri Feb 25, 2022 8:53 am
The problem with characters like Wonder Woman and Thor is that they are heroes based on myths about truly reprehensible characters. When modern writers try to solve the problems caused by the laziness of previous generations, the results are mixed at best.

The New 52 was not the first time that DC had this problem. A few years earlier, they published "Amazons Attacj", where the Amazons were slaughtering men and boys in a mass attack on the US, and they were never treated as bad guys afterwards.
Granted, Azarello is probably far closer to the original myths than Marston was, but it does take the main character and her supporting cast a long way from their roots and their earlier characterization. Just like almost every other New 52 character. I'm not deeply invested in the character of Wonder Woman, so I don't have an emotional attachment to any earlier version, but I'm still not finding much to like about what Azarello has done. It's hard to find any sympathetic characters among his cast, other than Diana herself, and probably Hermes.

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Re: Comics are Awesome III

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Is there at least an impression that the writer knows that the characters are reprehensible?

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Re: Comics are Awesome III

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Dominic wrote:
Fri Feb 25, 2022 11:41 am
Is there at least an impression that the writer knows that the characters are reprehensible?
Yes, I would say so.

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