So Ugly it is Pretty -- Hibbs on 8/6/14

Hey, me again -- yeah, bi-weekly it is, I think, for now!  Of course, my jibber jabber seems even more jibber jabbery when surrounded by Abhay.... After the cut.....


AND THEN EMILY WAS GONE #1 (OF 5): I thought this had some pretty fabulous art – Iain Laurie is in that “so ugly it is pretty” school like maybe a Mike McMahon or a Ulises Farinas or something – though I know it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. The story was alright: I felt like I could predict each beat before it came, but that’s not necessarily bad with a horror comic, where atmosphere often counts more than plot.. What kills me, of course, is that, being from a smaller publisher (comixtribe), Diamond had literally no copies for distribution available on Tuesday when I pulled it out of the box, went “Oooh, pretty”, and tried to reorder some more. Backorder-only, which guarantees a minimum of three weeks to get a reorder (and is often 6+, because comixtribe is a UK publisher, and Diamond is wretched with UK publishers), which makes it extremely risky to order up on #2, since I can’t say when/if I will get any more #1s, which just creates this whole vicious circle, and then it’s a mini-series, so by the time we figure out the “right” order, it will be over. Ah, comics! I’m going to go with a strong GOOD.


GOD IS DEAD BOOK OF ACTS ALPHA: Three stories in an anthology. The first story, by Mike Costa, was about the same as the main series – ie, I was flipping pages to get to the end as fast as I could because I wanted to be done already; the second story was Alan Moore, and it was wonderfully meta – starring Moore himself and his “snake god”, and if this was ten years ago I’d be betting that this would make the Eisner nominees for “best short story”. I also liked that the inside covers table of contents claimed that Si Spurrier’s story was in the number two spot so I’m reading this, astonished that Spurrier would do such a ruthless Moore piss take, and then I realized it was Moore, and that made it even better. Spurrier’s story, at the back, has a very cute premise about Cherubs and their antecedents, but it practice it probably went on about three times longer that was needed. So, that’s an AWFUL, an EXCELLENT, and an OK in a single issue, which is exactly a perfect case study of why many people generally don’t like anthologies. I liked that Moore story alone just well enough to give the overall comic a GOOD, but I would understand if you ranked it lower.


MILES MORALES ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #4: Here is what I don’t get, what I truly fundamentally, in-my-core don’t get: why would you relaunch your mult-culti Spider-Man comic, put “Miles Morales”’ name in the title, present this excellent marketing moment and time for the book to explode (seriously, on paper this should be at least as big of a hit as Ms. Marvel), and then have your entire first arc be ENTIRELY about the dead white guy? Miles does nothing but react react react to Peter and Peter’s legacy and Peter’s damn baggage. This was probably 2014’s largest mainstream misfire in its wrong-headedness. Staggeringly EH.


MIRACLEMAN #9: I am just the slightest bit surprised to see the Disney corporation publish full-on vaginal birth. I was thinking they were going to cave at the last minute. Good for them. I love Miracleman generally, but as I feared, the wider audience reaction is largely “been there, done that” -- #7 was down below 20k nationally which makes me think that it could be well into cancellation territory before it gets back to brand new stories by Neil Gaiman. Meh, they’ll relaunch that with a #1 anyway. Anyway, I find this specific issue a bit over-written and half-baked, but it sets up a whole lot of wonderful stuff that’s going to pay off wonders, so as long as it is in a rated review column, I’ll say a low GOOD


NEW AVENGERS #22: Mostly because I didn’t write last week, and #21 was the single book then that I really wanted to say something about, I really admire the strong morality as the center of the decision that was made in #21, and I thought that who did make that decision was really the perfect one. There’s some real “No Tap-backs” stuff going on here, and it’s pretty much the sole piece of Hickman’s run here that has got me genuinely interested. The rest of the arc feels too expansive, too sprawling and unfocused, too…. White-boardy. Which is why would really want to point out the moments that work, like last issue and this one, with some of the fall-out. VERY GOOD. I do, wish, however, that Marvel would put more than 7 days between issues, sheesh.


SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #32 EOSV: I might be hard pressed to come up with a worse title for a Spider-Man “event” than “Edge of the Spider-Verse”, which not only isn’t compelling (“edge” kinda means it could topple either way, right?), but it’s not descriptive either. Why not something more punchy like, dunno, “The Infinite Deaths of Spider-Man” (well, that’s awful too). Anyway, it is crazy-making to start off this crossover as #32 of a cancelled series, and that has a premise that’s pretty entirely different than the first 31 issues, and also, since they structure it as a time travel thing, essentially has to end with Ock Spidey surviving and losing him memory of the events, which also makes the starting point at least somewhat “out of continuity / doesn’t count”. But, despite that, mostly because I’ve always been a sucker for multiple-earth nuttiness, I thought this was an entertaining… well, I was going to say “romp”, but the body count was a bit high for that. A trifling GOOD.


TERMINAL HERO #1: Where’s the “Hero” part of it? EH.



What else? Oh yeah, I also liked GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, the film, pretty much. I wish they wouldn’t stray what seems like arbitrarily from the source material --the Novas, kind of pointlessly killing Ronan (he accused no one of anything!), and mostly the wussification of Gamora. THAT was “the most dangerous woman in the universe”? She’s beaten up by freakin’ Starlord at one point, eesh. I probably also would have dropped Nebula from the story, as that didn’t really add a thing, but, yeah, other than that? Decent enough film, and I thought the 3-D was very watchable this time. Either way, the 10 year old loved it, so that probably makes it, what, VERY GOOD?


That's me, what did YOU think?