Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Infinite Crisis #7 and Civil War #1

Before I go into this review... I just watched the newest trailer for the Superman movie. My fears continue to grow that this new movie will send me home to watch the entire first season of Lois&Clark to reassure myself that the Superman genre can translate well to live-action. Why do they keep making Lex Luthor jolly?? It's like all they did was watch the old Christopher Reeves movies instead of looking at the actual comic books. All they'd have to do to get Luthor's character right is read Villians United. *sigh*

Now, onto the reviews!!!

Infinite Crisis 7

All things considered Infinite Crisis has turned out very well. It's as if DCU woke up one day and said, hey, whats going on? Why is Batman and asshole? Why is Superman a pud? How can we fix this? Well, I won't say it's a perfect fix, but damn, it's a start. They've actually managed to make the heroes seem inspirational again (we won't go into the 1 year later stuff that seems to act as if some of the heroes are back to being puds and assholes). DC had allowed Superboy's death to be a wake-up call to Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman... even in the sense of pushing them over the edge. Devin Grayson tried to do something similar with Nightwing and failed utterly - Johns did it with Bats and ended up with one of the best scenes in the book. As much as I cringed at Batman picking up a gun and aiming it at Alexander Luthor, I loved the scene itself. Batman in an apopolyptic rage accosiating Superboy's death with Jason's, Wonder Woman dropping her sword and telling Batman that it's not worth it. Batman agreeing and walking away. It allowed both of them to be reborn. Then there's Superman, who's redeeming moment for me was when he said, "They murdered Superboy. And now they said they're going to take my city. Then they're going to take the Earth. I say... like hell." I also enjoyed Bart standing up to Superboy-prime, that was a good moment. I'm not sure how I feel about the speed force being gone, I really enjoyed all the Waid speedster stories and Max Mercury as the zen master of the speed force. I would also like to point out how TOTALLY AWESOME Nightwing is. I loved the scene where he jumps in front of Batman to protect him. How they reconcile that image of Nightwing with Devin Grayson's I don't know. Then there's Guy Gardner actually being cool - this only happens when he doesn't try to be cool. The whole E2 Superman-E1 Superman-Superboy-prime battle was a bit too bloody, but I'm glad E2 Supes was given a heroes death, he deserved it. I actually teared up a bit bringing me back to the first time I read Crisis and Barry died (which I totally cried over, I know, I'm a softie). Oh, and the Joker's revenge? That was awesome. The ending was what I liked best though - DCU's big three being reborn. Reading that gave me hope for the future of the DCU, even if Batwoman's mask is horrid looking.

Civil War 1

First I'd like to say I miss Steve McNiven's early work - I didn't even realize he was drawing this book until I saw his name on the cover after I read it. The story itself looks to be interesting at the very least, but it's the morals involved that have me more intrigued. The whole idea of mutant registration opens up all sorts of debate. I began to think to myself as I read Civil War, how would I feel if superhumans existed in our world? On the one hand I understand the plight of the masked vigillante - the worry that those you fight against will go after your loved ones in retaliation. On the other side, the idea that gun owners have to registar with the gov't, and how much more powerful are these super-types? Personally, I can see the merits of both sides of the argument so I haven't even decided what heroes I'm rooting for while reading (most likely the masked vigillantes because I never like Tony Stark). Anyway, my early impressions are positive if only for the fact that so far the story is thought-provoking. That, and I just decided I like Captain America. Any writer that can make me like Capt. America deserves applause.

12 Comments:

Anonymous Arielle said...

I love how you include so many pictures in your posts. =)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Here is my review of Civil War:
Civil War--Man, I am so sick of everybody riffing on Watchmen. If I read one more story about the gov't banning superheroes or trying to get them to register I think I'm gonna puke. Talk about beating a dead horse. C'mon Millar! This field has been picked dry. The story is so worn out and cliche that it's almost laughable. It was cool when Moore did it 20 years ago. It was nifty when Busiek did it 10 years ago. It was getting pretty old when it appeared in the first X-men movie 5 years ago. Now it's about as fresh as Ray Jay Johnson's "You can call me Ray, or you can call me Jay..." schtick. Totally unoriginal and garbage story. Not one new idea in the whole thing. The only good thing about this book was the art. Top notch stuff. Wish it was attached to an even remotely original story.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006  
Blogger Brainiac6 said...

hahaha

Wow Jeff, that's almost as bad as me ranting about Nightwing :)

Yes, it is an old story. I'm willing to give it a chance though because it's only issue 1 and ALL stories are old stories. I'm hoping Millar will give it a new twist. And like I said, I actually liked Capt. America in it.

As for the art, I loved McNiven's work when he did Meridian and I'm sad to see how "realistic" he's gone. It's still good stuff, I just think his old stuff was better.

And Arielle, it's crazy easy to do pictures on blogger, so I go image happy sometimes :)

Jeff - what did you think of Infinite Crisis?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006  
Anonymous Jeff said...

I can just imagine Mark Millar wearing an Alan Moore wig and beard, pleasuring himself at his keyboard, proclaiming to the world, "I'm the new Alan Moore!! I'm just as good as he is! Why can't you people see that??" It would be one thing if Watchmen had been a good idea done poorly, but seeing as it is still an incredible piece of work, all these riffs on it are SO not needed.
As for Crisis, I thought it was pretty good, though it had it's problems and ended up feeling more like a springboard for 52 than anything else. Though this Crisis ruined the ending of the original Crisis, it did provide the Big 3 with a happy ending. Whereas we find out that the heavenly existence old man Supes, Lois, Alex Luthor and Superboy headed off to at the end of the first Crisis was an actual hellish prison, and they end up either dying or going insane with an evil twist, Bats gets to go on a vacation with his two sons, Supes gets to be Clark for an entire year, free of the pressures and responsibility of the cape and cowl, and WW gets her invisible plane back and gets to spend lots of time with her amazonian girlfriends figuring out who she is. If you look over the internet, Crisis has been getting slightly better reviews than Civil War and I'd have to agree with that. Both had great art, but Civil War's story was a dud. Why are Reed and Stark suddenly out to get Cap? Trash delivered by one of the worst writers who ever put pen to paper in the comic book medium.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006  
Blogger Brainiac6 said...

Jeff, you're awesome, that was a great summary of the big 3s happy endings.

I kind of thought Civil War was more akin to 52, and that House of M (which was awful) was Marvel's answer to ICrisis.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006  
Anonymous Arielle said...

If the writer can do a great job with the characters, it won't matter so much if the story is unoriginal. For a non-comic example - I've read/watched many different versions of the story of Beauty & the Beast. Despite the unoriginal basis for the story, Robin McKinley's Beauty has been a favorite of mine for years because it's well-written and has wonderful characters.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006  
Blogger Brainiac6 said...

I think when it comes to Civil War I'm not really looking for an original story - I'm looking for change in the Marvel Universe. ICrisis has been done before too - both from the standpoint of the original Crisis and Zero Hour. Also, in comics, I can't even count how many times heroes literally have to save the world. Yes, a story concept can get old - but it can also be renewed. I love Fables, but it's not exactly an original idea - just a new twist on an old theme. It's even been a fad recently to redo old fairy tales - Gregory Maguire's redone Snow White, Cinderella, and even the Wizard of Oz. The 10th Kingdom was a TV show that played off a lot of the themes Fables workds with, but I still enjoy both stories. My point is, Marvel has had a long time theme of mutant oppression. I don't know what else Millar has written off the top of my head, but I doubt Civil War was even his idea - it seems to be a company project. The 1st issue wasn't especially exciting, but I'll give it a chance the same way I've given Hawkgirl a chance. Even though her breast scare me.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006  
Anonymous Jim said...

Jeff's point on Civil War isn't that it is only unoriginal, but it is uninspiring. If you haven't followed these characters, it may read better, but having followed them tangentially recently, they don't ring as legitimate characterizations and the story feels rushed. If you are going to redo a story find a way to make it yours and so far Civil War missed the mark.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Cshiana, Hawkgirl's breasts scare you? Is that cuz they have a claw where a nipple should be? And a big Amen to Jim's comments. If you redo a story, give it a twist to make it your own, much like Willingham is doing on Fables. I thought Marvel missed a chance to do a really good Civil War story. They could have taken a situation like the one from Identity Crisis, where the heroes couldn't agree on the best course of action to punish a villain who had crossed a line, and from there gone to 2 factions of heroes fighting about what was right when it comes to being a hero. Do you take the law into your own hands and decide the villains fates? Are you taking society and the rule of law out of the equation every time you put on the tights? That would have been an interesting debate. Instead we get Iron Man and Reed taking on Cap for no apparant reason. Is it that they are gov't flunkies who believe that superpowered people should be registered for the safety of humanity? As it's being written now, Reed and Tony are meant to play the roles of bad guys in this story. How is that believable?
And thank you for the awesome compliment!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006  
Blogger Brainiac6 said...

I see what you guys are saying but I guess I've never much cared about Tony or Capt before and as such I have no idea what their actual characters are like.

I still think I'm going to wait until I've read more than one issue to make a judgement call. I was still amused by the idea of Capt. escaping on a jet plane, having it landed safely, and then taking the pilot out for lunch. I don't think I like Spiderman's new costume though. And Jeff, if they did that type of storyline they'd just be copying off of DC.
And you're welcome!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Well, if you look at the industry right now, all Marvel is doing is copying off DC. Though they are the number one publisher, they are acting in a very defensive fashion. Throwing events together haphazardly, filling the racks with countless x-books in an attempt to drive indies and other books off the shelves, and basically reacting to whatever DC is doing instead of trying to lead the way. Most blatant was Identity Disc coming out at the same time as Identity Crisis. If you read Disc, you'll see that it was just a quickly thrown together project trying to take away from DC's sales. DC has got the heat right now, yet they just can never seem to overtake Marvel in sales. Crazy to me as Marvel's top sellers right now are horrible reads that no one is really liking. New Avengers? One of the WORST books ever to see print. Here's a good question for you: why is it that quality doesn't seem to matter when it comes to comics? Books that are terrible continue to sell on top of the charts while books like Invincible struggle to sell even 10,000 copies a month. The x-books are drivel right now, hardly readable, yet they are continually in the top 10. So just how do you kill a Marvel Zombie??

Thursday, May 11, 2006  
Anonymous Jim said...

I think that the term Zombie provides the answer to Jeff's question. It is almost impossible to kill a Zombie. The fact that New Avengers is a top seller is evidence of that concept. The first arc (which I read in trade and if Jeff still has it - send it to cshiana) is proof that quality means nothing when it comes to a Marvel Zombie. The writing in this book was horrible. The art, looks nice at a glance, but is lacking when examined in detail. This book is Marvel - style over substance.

I contend that DC readers are more willing to drop a comic then Marvel, therefore Marvel can crank out whatever and maintain the sales lead.

Still I sense weakness in Marvel, as they lost the battle two out of the last tweleve months.

Thursday, May 11, 2006  

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