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Monday, February 07, 2005
After spending a great deal of time looking at various comic book message boards and blogs, I've come to the conclusion that this is apparently how comic fans expect publishers and PR people to hype new projects:
"Well, we've got a new book coming out, but really it's not very good. Honestly, I wouldn't waste money on it if I were you. It's crap. Don't know why we're even bothering to put it out, really, it's just so utterly banal and exactly like everything else you've ever seen ever."
On a tangentially related note, I've been giving some thought to this DC Countdown book that's coming out. You know the one, it's the book that everyone on-line has an opinion about, despite the fact that all we really know about it so far is what the cover looks like. A particular point of annoyance for many people appears to be the four mini-series spinning off of this book. Many people don't like the idea of a big, meta-textual event taking over the DC Universe for several months.
I have a confession: the advance word that has been given regarding the subject matter of all these minis; the magical aspects of the DCU, a government conspiracy involving super-heroes, an inter-galactic war featuring many of DC's space-based characters and the behind-the-scenes actions of the super-villains; are all things that interest me in super-hero stories. I would most likely be checking out these minis because each has a creative team I like and at least the promise of a new approach to the subject matter, regardless of whether or not they tie in to a big event. And the fact of the matter is, I'm probably the weird one when it comes to that. Many comic fans have a limited budget that's already stretched thin. If you want them to try something new, you have to give them a compelling reason. And, perhaps unfortunately, saying that "The Omac Project will have long-lasting repercussions on the DCU!" is a compelling enough reason for some fans.
So, I feel like I should say something about this week-end's Justice League Unlimited episode "The Cat and the Canary" as it featured Wildcat in a prominent role, and people seem to think I'm a fan of that character. Most critical reaction to the episode appears to be mixed, bordering on the negative, with a lot of attention being payed to the brutality of the episode and a Ted Grant in the midst of an apparent mid-life crisis. I didn't think Ted's fears of becoming old and useless were out of character. In a good number of his appearances in the 70s he complained about feeling "washed up" and of no further use as a crime-fighter, and in fact retired from crime-fighting at least three times by my count. So, this was a recognizable Wildcat. Not Wildcat at his best, no, but since most of the Wildcat centric storylines came out during his self-pitying stage, I'm not surprised that the writers went with that characterization. (I would have preferred, naturally, that they went with the more self-assured Wildcat of recent years. The one who can single-handedly take down the entire Injustice Society in the nude, for example.)
I thought the rest of the episode was decent. Black Canary straddled a fine line between cheesecake and careful attention to her martial arts. I actually quite enjoyed seeing Green Arrow get beat up, as I've always thought he had it coming. Roulette was in interesting choice for villain, as she is not only fairly recently created, but there were any number of other villains with sports/gambling themes that they could have incorporated. What I was really happy with, however, was the fact that, other than J'Onn's cameo at the end, the Big 7 didn't show up once. It was refreshing to see an episode devoted solely to the characters unfamiliar to the audience, and I'd really like to see more.
This post brought to you many hours later than intended. Thanks Blogger!