Then I read some Marvel comics! I wouldn't want anyone to accuse me of being in DC's pocket now would I? I should bloody cocoa, chum! So yeah, the same one-note entitled whining will now follow but with different pictures posted in between the words! Bountiful Brian Hibbs' Shipping List is under this linguistic lard!
MUPPETS #3 (of 4) Written and Drawn by Roger Langridge Colours by Kawaii Creative Studio Lettered by Litomilano S.r.l Marvel Comics, $2.99 (2012) The Muppets created by Jim Henson
This is an all-ages comic written and drawn by Roger Langridge. For those who balk at the very mention of “all-ages” let me just clarify that Roger Langridge is a consummate cartoonist and a craftsman of no little sophistication. He’s been banging about for a while but quite a lot of people still seem surprised he exists. No, THOR THE MIGHTY AVENGER with Chris Samnee wasn't his first work. This probably won’t be the last time I mention Roger Langridge is what I’m saying. This Muppets comic was his last work for Marvel before he went off and embarked on the Eisner award winning SNARKED.
Anyway, here he creates a comic which not only recreates the madcap bustle of the original Muppets Show without losing any of the distinctive personalities in the joyfully rambunctious chaos, but also chucks in a plot and jokes which all revolve around the slightly melancholy themes Autumn suggests without descending into mawkish sentimentality. He’s helped in no small part by his wonderfully expressive art, with its bounciness of line and emphasis on clarity and characterisation. I originally bought this for JKUKv.2.0 but it turns out the violent pig woman scares him so I guess I’ll just have to read it myself. Or stop doing the voices, maybe. That’s okay because being a parent is all about sacrifice and just like Roger Langridge, this comic is VERY GOOD!
In the back of THE MUPPETS is a preview of the way Marvel will produce comics in the future. This excremental extra bills itself as ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN: GREAT POWER Digest but it is in fact Satan's balls rubbed right up in your face. Creatively speaking. It is apparently a whole wee book of screen grabs taken from the TV show arranged on the page with all the finesse and care you would expect of a dead robot. It is a thing. A thing of Evil.
Buying this for your child is exactly like stamping on the neck of Comics. It is the artistic equivalent of wearing your own bum as a hat. I am so livid I have stopped making sense. It is CRAP! Shun it as you would shun The Devil himself! Or, you know, have a look and make your own mind up.
UNTOLD TALES OF THE PUNISHERMAX#4 Art by Fernando Blanco Written by Nathan Edmondson Coloured by James Campbell Lettered by VC's Cory Petit Marvel Comics, $3.99 (2012) The Punisher created by Gerry Conway, John Romita Snr and Ross Andru
In this awe inspiring exercise in unoriginality if you have a problem and no one else can help you can simply roll on up to Frank’s local Chinese where he’ll be tucking into some dim sum, flash a few photos of your dead daughter and he’s off. His first stop is a boat where a Bad man is touching two ladies. In crime stories Bad men always have more than one lady in bed at a time and Bad men also have a penchant for flash boats. This is because Bad men enjoy a good hard fishing and are too cheap to buy hot water bottles. Frank then tortures the bad man by hanging him over the water and cutting him until a shark obligingly shows up. This doesn't take long because, just as in London you are never more than 5 feet away from a rat, if you are a Bad man hung upside down being tortured on your own boat you are never more than 30 seconds from a shark. There is a quip! No, not “sharks to be you!” or “tooth bad!” or “you look a bit down in the mouth!” no they went with “over your head!” Clever word play there. Frank says this more than once in the issue and, like the dialogue of Michael Bendis, it doesn't work any better with repetition. Then there’s some violence which is unpredictable only to the extent that it is so predictable. Frank finds Mr. Big but to be frank(!) finding Mr. Big doesn't turn out to be that difficult. I've had more trouble finding someone who can lay flagstones that don’t wobble after the first hard frost than Frank has following the breadcrumbs of crime here. Obviously in my case there was less standing on car roofs and shooting unerringly down into the tops of people’s heads, but overall tracking a competent builder to his lair was a lot more work than finding the head of a white slavery ring is in this comic. Then: more violence. Holy shit! Frank just got shot!
Jesus fucking Christ, Frank’s dead! Holy Coconut Balls! Hold onto your hats here - the guy who shot Frank was the guy who hired him! TWISTAMATAZZ! He was using Frank to get rid of the competition! This is some Byzantine labyrinthine shit going on here! Hold on while I pull out the whiteboard and diagram this one so I can follow it properly! TWISTGASM! Frank’s alive! To the surprise of precisely no one except the chowderhead who shot him it turns out Frank was wearing a vest! Not a string one either because they are a bit creepy, no, nor a thermal one despite the fact it’s so chilly even rich criminals are having to sleep three-in-a-bed to keep the chill off, no, a bulletproof one! Frank kills everyone and that makes everything okay. The end. Previous issues of this series have avoided the charge of being an unnecessary cash-grab by at least having artwork which justified the price of purchase alone. The art in this issue does not do that, I’m leaving it at that. (Also, issue 3 was dire on a words and pictures level too, but it dodges a bullet because I’m trying to appear timely so I've gone straight to kicking this one around.) If this thing reached publication without anyone involved once noticing it was CRAP! then your system is broken, Marvel. The only original thought here is to put so much unoriginality in one place and charge three monkey-humping dollars and ninety nine cents for it. Christ.
DAREDEVIL#18 Art by Chris Samnee Written by Mark Waid Coloured by Javier Rodriguez Lettered by VC's Joe Caramagna Marvel, $2.99 (2012) Daredevil created by Stan Lee and Bill Everett
Ah, Milla’s back. I was hoping this run was going to shun the inexplicably popular Marvel Knights run. Said run being primarily just a reminder of the bad old days when I didn't trust my own judgement. That was then but now, for me, none of that bullshit happened. Wait! I don’t think I've alienated enough of you so let’s just briefly run the MK years down: Kevin Smith! I know it’s hard for some of the youngsters out there to countenance but there was actually a time when people took Kevin Smith’s writing seriously. Maybe because with so many words on each page it was statistically likely that some of them would be worthwhile? So much for statistics! Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev provided a run that managed to eke out the premise of a Harmony Hairspray advert for five horribly chatty photo-sourced years (“What happened to you?” “I got shot.” “You got shot?” “I got shot.” “Wait, you got shot? With a bullet?” “I got shot with a bullet, yes.” “Oh. This is just verbal chaff isn't it?” “Shhh! How’s that nervous breakdown?” “Fine. I had a bit of a lie down and it’s gone away.” “DEMON BABY!”) then Ed Brubaker wrote Murdock increasingly as a Man Without Sense (“I gamble everything on the fact that my mentally ill ex-foe who is being mind controlled won’t throw my wife off the ro…oh, snap!” ). And now Milla’s back. Great.
It wouldn't usually be too bad because there’s often lots of other stuff going on but this issue seems a bit…lighter in the density department. It doesn't seem to cover as much ground as it used to does it? I mean, these are some big ass panels we've got going on here. Luckily they are big asses saturated with the fat of Chris Samnee’s fantastic art, art which is currently exploring a beautiful obsession with Alex Toth via his animation storyboards. Lovely to look at but a bit light on content is how the “in” in indispensable starts slipping off. I’m holding my breath but this is going to have to get back to being better than just GOOD!
Did you know that "monkey humping is in Word Press' spell check? I don't know what that means but it scares me.
NEXT TIME: Some other companies who make COMICS!!!