Friday, September 29, 2006
comics! Pepito's pile o' crap!
My nemesis Pepito is, as has been said before, an odd duck, especially in his comic-buying habits. You'd expect that somebody who knew enough to LIKE good titles would also know enough to AVOID bad ones, but no! There Pepito is, trawling the new-release shelves of the Android's Dungeon with all the indifference of a Russian shrimp-ship.
Take this latest batch, for instance. In order to get to the good bits, you have to wade through Grade A crapola like Moon Knight and Ion and Checkmate and this new Heroes for Hire title that reeks so much of ass you come away from it with a craving for pee.
True, the pile includes 52, which is consistently good. And the latest issue of the Flash which has a wonderful scene starring Jay Garrick, the original Flash. He's attempting to stop a couple of crooks making a getaway when he's upstaged by a new character called the Griffin, who very nearly kills the bad guys in the act of stopping them. Jay Garrick takes him to task, telling him "A real superhero can stop crime without leaving a trail of corpses."
But still, it's a long journey to Birds of Prey and Robin, both of which are excellent. And at the end of the road is Justice League of America #2.
I just recently met the writer, Brad Meltzer, and a nicer guy you couldn't ask to find. It will make bitching about his book just that much harder.
Nevertheless, bitch I shall! This issue was just as well-written as the first one, and the artwork is just as good, but the flush of the new has worn off - cracks are starting to show.
Crack #1: As a framing device in the first issue, it worked just fine ... but - Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman are STILL sitting around a table talking about trading cards? I know this is all taking place in Inevitable Graphic Novel time, but still - it's starting to look a little silly.
Crack #2: Vixen's superpowers come from a piece of JEWELRY. And she's dumb enough to let a super-villain TAKE it. But we're supposed to believe this is League material?
Crack #3: While we're on the subject - I'm assuming that the lineup on this issue's cover will end up being the lineup of the team when this Inevitable Graphic Novel is concluded - which leaves me wondering what kind of bong was being passed around while the Big Three were playing with their trading cards. Black Lightning? Arsenal? Hawkgirl? Red Tornado? Vixen? Vixen, for gawd's sake?
There's a reason we're not talking about A-listers here. There's a reason we're not seeing Green Arrow or the Flash or Hawkman or even Zatanna. The reason is Batman - the new team is noticeably light on members who were involved in Batman's mind-wipe from last year's Identity Crisis. I just wish Meltzer would MENTION that fact, maybe have the Big Three TALK about it.
Crack #4: Vixen? So we turn down Captain Marvel and Power Girl, but we definitely WANT somebody who gets lured to a bar for a booty-call and LOSES the source of her powers to a couple of D-listers nobody's ever heard of?
I realize some of this is certainly corporate (though Meltzer swore it wasn't) - DC comics are still doing the whole 'one year later' thing, and the ultimate fates of characters like Aquaman, Supergirl, or the Atom have to remain up in the air. But let this entry serve as a silent plea to Meltzer and the DC Powers That Be: eventually, might we have back the Magnificent Seven? Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, the Flash, Aquaman, and the Martian Manhunter ARE the League.
Vixen? We've been down that road before, remember? It featured the world's first and only BREAK-DANCING SUPERHERO. Surely once is enough?