Friday, February 10, 2012
Monday, October 24, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
In recognition of this week’s FINAL ISSUE of Uncanny X-Men (#544) I wanted to take a little while to reflect on the passing of the series I’d collected since the late 80’s. When this was announced several months back, we were assured that this wouldn’t be a stunt, or sales trick. There would be a legitimate reason for the re-launch. In a post-Schism Marvel Universe, I’m left wondering exactly how *this* is worth re-numbering a nearly 50 year old title. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Schism. Thought it was a great story, by fantastic creators. I just don’t think it required restarting the book.
I understand that re-numbering is all the rage right now in light of DC’s New 52… however, Uncanny X-Men (vol.2) #1 will be a direct continuation from Uncanny X-Men (vol.1) #544. No real justifiable reason for a restart. The status quo of the X-Men has changed several times throughout the past five decades, never necessitating a new #1. That said, I’d like to go through the (Uncanny) X-Men run, and point to some other instances wherein I feel a re-numbering would have fit better than Regenesis.
(Uncanny) X-Men #94 (1975) – All-New, All-Different. If we’re discussing places in X-Men history where a re-start would comfortably fit… this is it! Following the introduction of the “All-New” X-Men in Giant-Size #1, their adventures would continue in the main title, which for several years prior had only served as a reprint mag for the original X-Men’s 1960’s stories.
Uncanny X-Men #229 (1988) – Following the Fall of the Mutants cross-over, the X-Men were believed to be dead. In “reality” they had left to rebuild in Australia, leaving the world at large to continue believing their demise. This starts the X-Men “Outback era” which would continue for the next couple of years.
Uncanny X-Men #281 (1991) – In a time when the New Mutants became X-Force, X-Factor shuffled rosters and X-Men (vol.2) was launched, Uncanny still managed to maintain its numbering. Famous for the first real non-Claremont Uncanny issues for quite some time, these stories felt… different than anything that had come before (not necessarily for the better, but still… different).
Uncanny X-Men #322 (1995) – The Age of Apocalypse had just ended, and the already hiatus-ed X-Men titles, including Uncanny were brought back under their original numbering. A relaunch upon the title's return would have fit.
Uncanny X-Men #337 (1996) – In the wake of Marvel’s onslaught (no pun intended) of #1 issues, with Heroes Reborn and influx of new titles (Thunderbolts, Alpha Flight (v.2), Deadpool, etc.) the X-Men titles all kept their numbering.
Uncanny X-Men #381 (2000) – The “X-Men Revolution” featured the return of Chris Claremont to the X-Men after nearly a ten-year absence. In addition, this was just around the time the first X-Men movie landed in theaters (in fact issue #384 just three months later featured the new movie logo taking the place of the traditional one for several months). A movie these days often mandates a new volume of a title, to allure and ensnare the non-existent “New Reader”.
There are a few more instances I could argue, however, these are the one's that stand out most to me.
In closing, while I don’t like random re-numberings of comic books especially when we readers are told that there are REAL storyline justifications for it… with the way sales are going right now, I can see why it is done, and done so often. I’m not sure if this is a long-term measure, or if in six-month’s time, Uncanny will be re-re-numbered to #550. Or if in two years, Uncanny will be re-re-numbered in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary of the X-Men, or if we will have to wait until Uncanny would have reached #600 for a return to traditional numbering… if at all.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Figured I may as well join the rest of the comics blogosphere and share my thoughts on the DC Comics Reboot post-Flashpoint. Funny, I’m actually quite enjoying Flashpoint, however, I’m not altogether certain that I will be able to fully appreciate what follows.
Back in the mid-late 1990’s, I found myself in a strange place in my comics fandom… I was a new reader. To DC Comics, that is. Of course, I was fully aware of Superman and Batman their origins and what they were all about, I just had no desire to follow their monthly adventures. Coming into my late teens, and finding myself with the first “disposable” income I’d ever possessed. Being a foolish teenager, instead of putting said income aside for the future or for my higher education, I blew it on comics. DC Comics. I’d already been buying the nearly the entire Marvel line I was interested in. Grant Morrison’s JLA, No-Man’s-Land Batman, Mark Waid’s Flash were just some of the new titles I’d used in effort of dipping my toe into the DC pool.
In the years to follow, I’d bounce back and forth between being a Marvel guy and a DC guy. Up until recently, I’ve been pretty heavily biased towards DC. What with the lower prices and less snarky editorial teams, DC just seemed like a nicer universe to play in and follow.
Now… Flashpoint and the Great DC Reboot. I can’t claim to have been a comics fan during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, so it’d be silly for me to compare this to that. I wonder if in the near future if we’ll be referring to the time we’re in now as pre-Flashpoint, or if this will serve as a simple blip of a gimmick that had already been overturned.
I don’t really have any problem with DC deciding it’s in their best interests to inject a bit of youth into their established franchises. I did, at the onset, think it was rather foolish to reboot titles such as Action Comics and Detective Comics back to Issue #1. I’ve come around to it (at least the logic of it) when DC announced same-day digital availability on all titles. It only makes sense to re-start the titles at #1 with that in mind. Granted, to use such logic is to buy in to the theory that it’s the scary numbers on the established titles that are keeping new readers away. Either way, it is what it is… time to buckle down and enjoy (or not) the ride. On to the… ahem, 52 Number One’s DC will be launching come September.
Action Comics #1 (by Grant Morrison and Rags Morales)
This list is obviously alphabetical, though, I really couldn’t pick a better title to start the list with. Grant Morrison on Superman may just make this entire experiment worthwhile. Out of the entire line, THIS is the title I’m looking most forward to. The apparent affinity for the silver age that Morrison has keeps me a bit more at ease on the entire affair. Definite buy from me.
Animal Man #1 (by Jeff Lemire, Travel Foreman and Dan Green)
Enjoyed some of the old pre-Vertigo Animal Man series (the Morrison and Milligan runs especially). Not really sure I’d like to read more solo-Animal Man. It’s likely I’ll pick up Issue #1 to try it out.
All-Star Western #1 (by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti and Moritat)
Creative team notwithstanding, I’ve heard great things about Gray/Palmiotti’s Jonah Hex series, this is likely a pass from me. Not terribly interested in a Western Comic.
Aquaman #1 (by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis)
Aquaman looks to be finally coming into his own as a bona fide A-Lister with Johns and Reis at the helm. I’ve not enjoyed Aquaman since the Peter David run of almost 20 years ago. I’ll more than likely try this one out.
Batgirl #1 (starring Barbara Gordon; by Gail Simone, Ardian Syaf and
Not interested in seeing Barbara Gordon as Batgirl. Pass.
Batman #1 (by Scott Snyder & Greg Capulllo)
Really digging Snyder’s current run on Detective Comics, will probably grab this.
Batman & Robin #1 (by Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason)
Tomasi and Gleason had a brief run on B&R earlier this year that was really quite good. Not sure if I’ll continue being a Bat-Completist after the relaunch… this one seems like a good jumping off point for me.
Batman: The Dark Knight #1 (David Finch and Jay Fobok)
If we see this one in the year 2011, I’d be shocked. Pass.
Batwing #1 (by Judd Winick and Ben Oliver)
Batwing is one of the new Batmen from Batman Incorporated… so, does that mean Batman Inc. is still around in the new DC Universe? Utterly confusing that they’d pick Batwing of all people for an ongoing title. I don’t see this one hitting the double digits. An experimental title to show that DC have black heroes, perhaps… it’s taking place in Africa too, so maybe Winick can pummel us with more HIV/AIDs lectures. Pass.
Batwoman #1 (by J.H. Williams III, Haden Blackman and Amy Reede)
Wasn’t interested in this one pre-reboot, definitely not interested in it now.
Birds of Prey #1 (by Duane Swierczynski and Jesus Saiz)
Not feeling a non-Simone, non-Dixon BoP. Of course it’s unfair to judge a title under such circumstances… and to be completely honest, a Simone or Dixon BoP would barely interest me at this point.
Blackhawks #1 (by Mike Costa and Ken Lashley)
This may be a fun title to try out. I know next to nothing about the title, only having read the Howard Chaykin series of prestige format stories. Will probably give this one a try.
Blue Beetle #1 (by Tony Bedard, Ig Guara and Ruy Jose)
I really rather enjoyed the previous Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle volume post Infinite Crisis. Will likely give this one a whirl.
Captain Atom #1 (by J.T. Krul & Freddie Williams II)
Just last year I came into an almost complete run of the Captain Atom series from the 1980’s. Really enjoyed what I read of it. Didn’t so much enjoy the WildStorm mini-series or Bob Harras’s abortive Breach. I feel Captain Atom is a better team-member than a solo-hero. I’ve liked him as chairman of the JLE and as part of the Generation Lost JLI. Will probably grab at least the first issue though I’m not expecting much.
Catwoman #1 (by Judd Winick and Guillem March)
Nah. Nothing against the creators, but the only solo Catwoman I’ve ever liked was the Ed Brubaker one.
Deathstroke #1 (by Kyle Higgins, Joe Bennett and Art Thibert)
Always thought Deathstroke was a bit overrated as a character. Surprisingly, I liked the first issue of his Flashpoint mini. Dependent on how the mini works out, I may try this one out.
DC Universe Presents #1 (Anthology - first arc Deadman by Paul Jenkins & Bernard Chang)
I have a really hard time paying even $2.99 for an anthology title. I’ve never bought an anthology title and felt that I’d gotten my money’s worth. Depending on reviews, I may pick this one up in trade.
Demon Knights #1 (by Paul Cornell, Diogenes Neves and Oclair Albert)
Etrigan the Demon, you say? Sorry, I was napping just then. Etrigan, for me, is just THAT character. The one where whenever he’s on panel I’m suddenly more interested in just about anything… laundry, weeding, checking the smoke detectors… you get the point. Paul Cornell is a fantastic writer, and hopefully he can do something with the character that could draw me in. The fact that this title is apparently taking place in medieval Europe doesn’t really help matters. I have a feeling this will be a title with a cult-like following… all of whom will be terribly disappointed when it gets cancelled within its first year.
Detective Comics #1 (by Tony Daniel)
So, Snyder goes from Tec to Batman, and Daniel goes from Batman to Tec. I guess that makes it feel, err, kind of new. I’ll probably grab the first issue, though Daniel’s current run on Batman really isn’t holding my attention.
Flash #1 (by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato)
Bit of a Flash completest, I may be… this one may depend on which Flash it showcases. Barry Allen was never MY Flash. I grew up knowing only Wally and hearing of the legend of Barry. I liked that. If it’s a Barry book, I’ll try it. If it’s a Wally book, I’m all over it. I won’t even hazard that it may be a Bart or Jay title.
Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE #1 (by Jeff Lemire and Alberto Ponticelli)
The current Frankenstein Flashpoint mini hasn’t captured my imagination, and his Seven Soldiers mini didn’t either. Not really looking forward to this one.
The Fury of Firestorm #1 (by Gail Simone and co-writer Ethan Van Sciver; art by Yildiray Cinar)
I’ll try this one. I tried getting into the early 80’s Firestorm recently. The stories were always solid and decent; however, on the whole it felt terribly dated. Glad to have the opportunity to read a contemporary Firestorm (having missed out on the Jolley run post Infinite Crisis).
Green Arrow #1 (by J.T. Krul & Dan Jurgens)
I can’t really mince words here. I really like the Green Arrow. Years ago I’d devoured the Grell run, and have been looking for a Green Arrow title that could recapture the magic, as it were. J.T. Krul’s already had over a dozen issues to do so… and hasn’t. Granted, he’s been stuck towing the Brightest Day line… but, still. I’ll grab the first issue.
Green Lantern #1 (by Geoff Johns, Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy)
Green Lantern Corps #1 (by Peter J. Tomas, Fernando Pasarin and Scott Hanna)
Green Lantern: The New Guardians #1 (by Tony Bedard, Tyler Kirkham and Batt)
Remember when I mentioned using the reboot as a jumping off point for some of the ancillary Bat-titles? Green Lantern has been on my chopping block for a few months now… I’d only stuck with to see it through to the War of the Green Lanterns. Post-Flashpoint, I’m cutting Lantern titles cold turkey.
Grifter #1 (by Nathan Edmondson, CAFU and BIT)
Eh? Grifter was always a character I wanted to dig. He’s got a great look… sadly, I’ve never found him anything resembling interesting. Doubt I’ll pick this one up.
Hawk & Dove #1 (by Sterling Gates and Rob Liefeld)
Pass… and No, not because of Liefeld. Liefeld art isn’t something that’s bothered me in years… it’s obviously fashionable to bash his work… he’s a man who clearly loves comics, and was able to carve out his own piece of the industry, good on him. His work hearkens back to a very interesting period in comics history, I think it’s neat that he’ll be part of this. That said, I truly have no interest in the characters.
I, Vampire #1 (by Josh Fialkov and Andrea Sorrentino)
Wait, what? I think this may be a DC attempt at testing the axiom “If you build it, they will come.” catering to the bookstore crowd. Not for me, though… no thanks.
Justice League #1 (by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee)
This appears to be the lynchpin of the entire DC Universe post-Flashpoint. Yeah, I’ll be getting it.
Justice League Dark #1 (by Peter Milligan and Mikel Janin)
Perhaps the silliest title on this list. Really like the characters (and creators) involved in this, however, I just can’t shake the feeling that John Constantine does NOT belong on any Justice League team. Just feels wrong.
Justice League International #1 (by Dan Jurgens and Aaron Lopresti)
I never thought I’d EVER say “I wish Judd Winick were writing this” but, here we are. Love the JLI, so I’ll be picking this one up.
Legion Lost #1 (by Fabian Nicieza and Pete Woods)
Legion of Super-Heroes #1 (by Paul Levitz and Francis Portela)
I’ve never been able to get into the Legion. I’m sure I’ll be passing on both of these.
Mister Terrific #1 (by Eric Wallace and Roger Robinson)
Look DC has Black Superheroes! Mister Terrific is an odd pick for an ongoing title… especially as he’s most associated with the Justice Society… and the Justice Society is nowhere to be found post-reboot. Pretty sure I wouldn’t buy a solo Reed Richards ongoing… so, I’m really sure I wouldn’t buy a Mr. Terrific one.
Nightwing #1 (by Kyle Higgins and Eddy Barrow)
Maybe. I’ve invested a lot of time, interest (and money) in the current Batman direction… The current teams on the Bat-titles were able to convince me to accept Dick as Batman. I’m not totally happy with demoting him back to Nightwing. May try the first issue, doubtful for the long haul.
Omac #1 (by Dan DiDio, Keith Giffen and Scott Koblish)
Nope. Love Giffen… but, nope.
Red Hood and the Outlaws #1 (by Scott Lobdell and Kenneth Rocafort)
This is an odd one… Why isn’t Winick writing this one, now? Not that I would have been interested in the book either way. Pass.
Red Lantern Corps #1 (by Peter Milligan, Ed Benes and Rob Hunter)
I’d like to give this one a shot, due to it having Milligan writing it… however, I fear that since I’m not planning on picking up any of the other Lantern titles, I’d only be getting part of a story… that, and I’d hate to be pulled back into the Lantern-verse, just as I’m ready to leave it totally.
Resurrection Man #1 (by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and Fernando Dagnino)
I remember liking what little I read of DnA’s Resurrection Man from over a decade ago… the first issue had like a holographic pog on it, I believe. Still, as it didn’t exactly set the world on fire then, this is a strange title to pick for a launch. Haven’t decided on this one yet.
Savage Hawkman #1 (by Tony Daniel & Philip Tan)
I thought James Robinson was supposed to be writing this one? Oh well, the only Hawkman I’ve ever been able to get into was the Geoff Johns version from JSA and the solo-title from that era… hearing the rumblings of Hawkman being given yet another new origin has me spooked… Pass.
Sgt. Rock and the Men of War #1 (by Ivan Brandon and Tom Derenick)
I can’t even think of an interesting way to say I’m not interested in this one. Pass.
Static Shock #1 (John Rozum, Scott McDaniel and Jonathan Glapion)
See, DC has black superher—oh, Static? I may actually be interested in Static. Great creative team at that. Yeah, I’ll grab this one.
Stormwatch #1 (by Paul Cornell and Miguel Sepulveda)
Never read any Stormwatch… wonder why they’d launch this, and not something like, say, WildCATs… I’ll have to do some Stormwatch reseach and see if this sounds like something for me.
Suicide Squad #1 (by Adam Glass and Marco Rudy)
It’s suddenly apparent why we have no Secret Six on this list. I’ve recently gone on a crusade to collect the entire Ostrander run on Suicide Squad, and am nearing completion. The Squad is a fun concept, and I look forward to checking it out. The cover, however, is… well, not so good.
Superboy #1 (by Scott Lodbell, R.B. Silva and Rob Lean)
Depending on how Superboy is in Teen Titans, I may check this one out from time to time. Probably not though.
Supergirl #1 (by Michael Green and Mike Johnson)
Nope. Sorry, nothing more to say on this one.
Superman #1 (WRITTEN BY George Perez; art by Jesus Marino)
Nah, I think Action will be my Superman title.
Swamp Thing #1 (by Scott Snyder and Yannick Paquette)
I’ll reserve judgment on this one, until seeing how the Brightest Day Aftermath series pans out. Swamp Thing without Moore has never even registered on my interest meter, though.
Teen Titans #1 (by Scott Lobdell, Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund)
Scott Lobdell wrote a whole load of X-Men comics during my more formative years. Seeing him on a Teen Titans book shouldn’t excite me as much as it is. Will be grabbing this one.
Voodoo #1 (by Ron Marz and Sami Basri)
Voodoo? The WildCATs member Voodoo? This was green-lit, why? Will any of us be surprised when this one goes down?
Wonder Woman #1 (by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang)
Never read Wonder Woman… the creative team here feels an odd choice. Though, I actually now find myself interested in checking this one out.
Well, there we go. Fifty Two Number 1’s for DC this September. I’m sure the sales will be incredible that month… October through the end of 2011, however, will give us the real story.
For the moment, I’m reading all the Flashpoint tie-ins, and will be opining on those shortly (this week’s comics has the last of the flashpoint #1’s). I’ll do a full run down on them either later this week, or early next… I’ll pass on which ones I’ll continue reading, and which ones I’m not going to grab the last two issues of.
I know this was a long one, thanks for reading!