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Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Some Brief DC Comments
I have no idea how to describe Grant Morrison's new posistion at DC. Plot-master? Concept designer? I like Morrison's take on super-heroes, so I'm behind this decision. I'm not terribly surprised to see that in certain quarters this news is not being taken well. One of the things that frankly baffles me about the folks who dread Morrison working on a beloved title or character is the insistence that, somehow, Morrison "hates" or "disrespects" super-heroes. Because to me all that complaint says is that the person making it hasn't understood any Grant Morrison comics they've read. He clearly loves super-hero comics, and that loves pours off the page. Almost every super-hero comic he's ever done has been a love letter to the comics he read as a kid.
There's one other thing I'd like to mention about the folks who loudly moan about Grant Morrison working on a title. X-Men fans have a tendency to like their comics safe and comfortable. The news of Grant Morrison taking over X-Men made many of them angry, and I got treated to many a diatribe about how these people were going to drop the New X-Men title, rather than have a book written by Grant Morrison in their collection. The vast majority of them, of course, bought the book anyway, but continued to whine and mope about how Morrison was "ruining" the title. A few stuck to their guns and actually didn't buy it. Except now, of course, all those folks who refused to buy it when Morrison was writing the book have been busy buying up the back issues of his run. Because there's a gap in their collections. So, yeah, I don't take complaints about Morrison's new role at DC too seriously. Because the actual buying habits of your average comic fan won't be affected by this at all, no matter what they may tell you otherwise.
I also think it's interesting to note that Morrison's new role, when taken in light of Geoff Johns' role as a kind of continuity editor, heavily implies that the editorial department at DC is taking this notion of creating a tighter continuity and revising their publications very seriously.
I wish I could get excited about the Superman/Shazam mini, but I really can't work up any enthusiasm for Josh Middleton's art.
I think I can safely pass on an Absolute Edition of Crisis On Infinite Earths. $100 is just too steep a price point for me, especially when all I'd really be interested in is the supplemental book. As nice as having properly printed "Monitor Tapes" would be, this series honestly hasn't aged well, and I'm perfectly happy with my single issues.
A Kammandi Archive? Seriously? Y'know, I'm not particularly a fan of Kirby's work, but I can understand his appeal. And there's a certain loopy quality to this series that makes it note-worthy, but I just don't see how this qualifies for an Archive format when there are so many other Golden and Silver age comics that DC has the publishing rights to that haven't been reprinted at all. Where's my Wildcat Archive? Where's the Sugar and Spike Archive that every single comics blogger on the planet seems to want?
I really hope that this new, and somewhat unexpected, digest format works for DC. Sgt. Rock is an excellent choice, as I think this format would work well for DC's library of war, fantasy, western and horror/mystery titles. The choice of Swamp Thing as the launch co-title seems odd at first, but this is a character that's recognized outside of comics fandom, and is a fairly good representation of DC's horror output, so I'd wager that was the thought process that went into the selection. That this is material that's already proven profitable for DC in trade format probably just cinched the deal. And at $10 a pop, these shouldn't be budget busters for anyone.
And then there's the new Showcase Presents format from DC. Big, phone-book sized black and white reprints at a low price. This is another good idea in the long run, but I'm somewhat disappointed in their choices of launch titles. It's been my experience that super-hero comics generally don't look good in black and white. And while Green Lantern is currently popular, I'm not sure how much of that popularity is genuine or just curiosity about the property now that Hal is back. Superman is probably a safe bet, especially the Silver Age material that everyone remembers and enjoys, for whatever reason. Me, I'm more excited about the rumored Jonah Hex reprint in this format.
I may very well end up picking up the Bruce Jones written Vigilante book. I've enjoyed Ben Oliver's work in the past, and Jones is generally good, though I run hot and cold on enjoying his work.
Chikyu Masaki has an intriguing premise: girl moves next door to a shape-changing monster. And the pitch has the feel of a light shojo title about it, which I generally like. But Pieces of a Spiral turns me off right away...reincarnation, demons and lost mentors. Nope, doesn't sound like my sort of thing.
A new Kev mini-series premieres, with two issues in one month. More of Kev is almost always a good thing.
DC puts out a Who's Who style series for the ABC universe, and opens it with two of the ABC characters I like the least, Tom Strong and Jack B. Quick. Damn. The completist in me will still want this though.
Wraithborn sounds like something I'd expect to see in the Top Cow section of the Image listings. Which, I suppose, means that it's Wildstorm going "back to its roots" or somesuch.
I've no doubt that The Quitter will be very good, but I have almost no desire at all to read it. Something about Pekar just rubs me the wrong way in all his work. So I shall pass on the Dean Haspiel goodness.