Two Comics and One Not from 8/20

The Castro Theatre here in town is showing a sing-along copy of THE LITTLE MERMAID this week (through the 28th). There are two shows a day -- one at 2 PM and one at 7:30 PM.

Today, at least, the 2pm showing is all about the kindergartener (Ben starts on Monday, jeez we're nervous. He's not, however), and I quite imagine that the 7:30 show is going to be about the drag queens, but if you either like the film, or have a little kid, then I really recommend going.

What's nice about THE LITTLE MERMAID is that it works in nearly equal measure for both boys AND girls. Ben can barely stand SLEEPING BEAUTY or CINDERELLA or SNOW WHITE, because they are "too girly" for him, but he LOVES TLM, because there's also plenty of action and 'splosions and scary bits and stuff.

Even if you're an adult, it's really fun to watch the movie with audience response and call backs (we were instructed, variously, to make smoochy noises when Ariel and Eric are about to kiss, hiss and boo when Ursula shows up, go "woof! Woof!" everytime Max the dog does, wave glowsticks, or use those clapper-on-a-stick things at appropriate times, scream "no, Ariel, don't do it!" when she's about to sign the contract, and so on), and with everyone (well, all of the adults... most of the kids can't read the subtitled lyrics, actually) signing along with gusto. They had awesome gift bags for everyone attending (with crowns, and pearls, and glowsticks and poppers and even a dinglehopper!)

It was about 90% little girls (and 90% moms, too -- virtually no dads attended), and almost all of them wore a costume. They brought every single kid in a costume up to the stage, with the Castro's Wurlitzer playing Disney tunes to accompany them. Ben wanted to go up too, and since he was wearing a skeleton shirt, I told him to go for it. Since it was all kids, they declared them ALL to be winners, but I imagine the 7:30 show with be a little more cut throat...

Anyway, it was a blast, and I don't know if the print can tour or what, but if you're in the Bay Area, I thought it was totally worth making the trip to the Castro, one of the most beautiful movie palaces to grace the world, and see the film like this.

But I know you don't actually care about that... you want to know about comics...

FINAL CRISIS: LEGION OF THREE WORLDS #1: I'm gently torn on this one. On the one hand I would imagine that the audience for this is somewhat small -- if you're not already a LSH fan, then why would you want to see three iterations of them together? But maybe not that small, because at one time the Legion was one of DC's biggest books, really.

In a way, Geoff Johns' recent career has all about the fan service, and the fan service to a very specific period of time. Bringing Hal and the Corps back to their glory, returning to Infinity Inc, and now his what-if-Zero-Hour-never-rebooted-them LSH, I like virtually every move Johns makes. I, too, am of that very specific time frame.

Plus, y'know, George Perez. Who doesn't like to see him draw Cast-of-Thousands stuff?

So, yah, fanboy tingle, super-double liked this, hit every note I would have hoped, and so on.

On the other hand, there's a LOT of yadda yadda going on here -- virtually nothing HAPPENS in the comic, and that which does was either more or less shown before in the recent ACTION COMICS arc about the LSH, or, like in every Legion comic in the past (Have we EVER seen Takron-Galtos, and NOT have it involve everyone busting out?)

Lots of the yadda covers stuff that, frankly, I'd expect the audience for a LSH-centric tie-in to a CRISIS mini-series would way already know. There's something like 4 pages devoted to nothing more than Superman's origin, and his rogue's gallery. Who DOESN'T know that stuff? And would they buy a continuity-unknotting tie-in to a big-summer-crossover?

You have to give it up to Johns for doing what he said, and making this completely 100% accessible to people who don't know these characters or situations... but I really don't think that there's very many living humans who DON'T know them, AND would want to naturally buy this...

The problem with being that "accessible" is that it makes this pretty much 36 pages of set-up, and the story doesn't begin in earnest, really, until issue #2 (well, or I'll assume, at least). Still, with Perez drawing, you could have 36 pages focusing on the HOMEWORLDS of the Legion, and I'd still probably be happy, really. Had nearly anyone else drawn this script, I might have had to go with a high "OK", but, pushing my fan buttons with Perez art, I think I can say VERY GOOD. I'd need an actual story to call it "excellent"

AIR #1: Didn't work for me, really at all. The set-up situations were really too unbelievable, both in the acrophobe flight attendant, as well as the vast conspiric(ies) who go on multiple flights and multiple identities as they please.

Plus besides a few token words in Dutch, there's a maddening unspecificity in where we are at any given point in the story, and there's a lack of any consequence in what would seem to be from the outside, several suspicious and strange incidents happening to the same attendant.

I'll give it another issue or two to surprise me, but at this moment, I'll go with an EH.

Well, hrm, actually, I want to add points for it being the first first issue I've read in a LONG time which had something I very very much missed -- the introductory backstage text piece. I LOVE columns on process or "why are we doing this book" or whatever, so I'm going to bump this up to OK, *just* for that. Now, it wasn't a good example of it (it's a little too self-congratulatory and sure of "Good" Art for that), but damn it, that's the kind of thing all new books should have.

That's my opinion, but what did YOU think?