So, Ben showed me his first real signs of higher intelligence yesterday. We got him some blocks a month or so ago, and he did a lot of the "raking claw" and mostly just knocked them around the room. Which is cool, and all -- he's still a baby.
But for the last week or so, everytime I've played with him I've tried patiently to show him how to stack the blocks. Didn't really work, he mostly showed interest in knocking down the stack, flinging the blocks all over the room. This might have been because he was so excited he couldn't control his fine movements, but I was starting to despair that he wasn't figuring it out.
Anyway, I'm reading last night, and Ben is playing in the living room, and I popped my head out every few minutes to check on him, and what do I see? He's sitting quietly, in the middle of the room, all alone, happily stacking and unstacking his blocks, gently grasping them and carefully placing them on top of one another.
Here's some comics from this week:
JLA #103: "Everyone Cries" continues. This time, John Stewert cries. Apparantly everyone up at DC has forgotten that JS already cried a bunch considering he was responsible for the death of an alien planet, but, hey, that's OK, I guess, isn't it? ISN'T IT? Eh.
LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #182: "War Games" part 2. There's some running, and some shouting, and lots of gunfire, and I can't really keep all of the characters straight, but that's OK, I guess, because it's just act one, and half of them will be dead before this is all over. But on the bright side, this is polybagged with a CD, and the extra pound of shipping costs per 3-4 copies doesn't have a credit issued to retailers, and our sales will be cut because the stupid things are bagged, and you probably can't find a mint copy... wait, that's not good, is it? Eh.
NIGHTWING #96: "War Games" part 3. Probably should be called "The Adventures of Tarantula, guest starring Nightwing", but who am I to complain? I like the info dump scene where Dick finds out stuff we already know, but, structurally, it should probably have happened before the halfway point, y'know? I'm not a big fan of these kinds of crossovers, can you tell? Eh.
GREEN ARROW #41: "War Games" part... wait! This isn't a "War Games" crossover... which is funny, because the plot looks almost exactly the same. Planning! At least this one is easier to follow... OK.
PUNISHER #10: "War Games" part... nah, that jokes not funny a second time. Hell, it wasn't funny the first time. Loathsome people being loathsome, and lots and lots of cursing! I liked this better when it was a comedy... Eh.
LEGION #37: I'm still not at all sure what anyone's motivation or reasoning here is, but Karate Kid and Timber Wolf came off pretty cool. Eh.
ACTION #818: Hitting! Shouting! Exploding! It's all action, all of the time! Supes acts like a big jerk, and no one thinks twice about it, and I keep flashing back to Kingdom Come and thinking "We've forgotten the cautionary tale, already?" It's hard to picture a universe where this is worth two-dollars-and-fifty-cents, isn't it? It took me, maybe 120 seconds to read this. 2 cents a second? Now that's a deal! Awful.
BMW's THE HIRE #1: This also took almost no time to read, but the difference is, it was at least a complete thought, had several vividly drawn characters, as well as a contemporary plot. This Matt Wagner kid can really draw, he might be going somewhere! On the other hand, it's sorta a commercial (even if the car doesn't actually exist), so I can't be as enthused as I might otherwise be. OK.
DC COMICS PRESENTS: THE FLASH #1: Two cute uses of the cover image, but there's nothing woodmaking here. OK.
ALPHA FLIGHT #6: Comedy super-heroes don't really work -- at least not as a team book, because everyone needs to be in on the joke. The worst part is how badly Marvel missed the bet -- there really is an actual audience for a good AF book. We sold like 40 copies of #1 in 3 days, and by issue #5 we're down to like 11. I can't imagine this is going to make it past the first year, can you? Hell, Marvel's even tried to disassociate it from the X-Men line (It's now a "Marvel Heroes" book), which is smart, because this is Awful.
X-FORCE #1: No, Liefeld still can;t draw, but it looks K3wl, and it has lots and lots of scratchy little lines, the kind boys like! Having said that, actually, this wasn't as horrible as I thought it might have been -- the plot lurched forward adequately, and it probably is what people want. Have fun, people! Eh.
AUTHORITY #14: The "last issue"... except that it's going to be rebooted by Brubaker is like 2 months. Have we learned nothing from Star Trek, people? If a concept if dying/dead, you should take a WHILE off to recharge the DESIRE of the audience for it. Six months, a year maybe -- Authority V3 #1 isn't going to sell any better than V2 #14 when it's coming out in October, fercryinoutloud! Anyway, this was slop -- revenge revenge revenge with a slight (and cynical!) attempt to be uplifting there on the last few pages. Too bad the Coup D'etat concept when nowhere... Awful.
TEEN TITANS #14: Solid, if non-exceptional, superhero stuff -- as an attempt to give Gar an "Arch Villian" it seems to work fine. Let's call it a low Good.
HULK #75: Except for all of the "The Helicopter will just fly itself!" stuff, I kinda liked this -- certainly better than the first 3 years of Jones' run. Darick Robertson's Hulk is kinda fun looking, too. Call it a high OK.
BLOODHOUND #2: I really quite enjoyed this. Good solid police story set in the DCU, with strong characterizations, a "gritty" hero who actually seems complex, and nice art. It won't make it past issue #12, though. because I think we sold all of 7 copies of #1, and that's not a big enough base to decline from. Gotta give this a chance though, folks -- I thought it was a very solid Good.
CAPTAIN AMERICA #30: "At the (thanks) of Batroc"? Even Kirkman can't make Batroc seem like an even slightly credible threat. Sheesh. Still, while it's the Chinese menu syndrome ("I'll have the Red SKull from Column A, and the Serpent Society from column B"), I enjoyed this enough to give it a low Good.
CHOSEN #3: Hahahahahaha! I know Lester will bag on this, but I liked the "twist" at the end (though I figured it out around page 5) -- I sorta want to put up a "spolier warning", but now that you know there IS a twist, you know what it is, right? Anyway, this isn't great comics, no, but at least we can't make Ultimate Jebus jokes any longer. Good.
And that's it for today. More later, as I read them.....