Archive for the “my fanboy entitlement is showing again” Category

I haven’t been terribly impressed with Bill Willingham’s run on Justice Society of America to date, mostly because I’ve found the Captain Nazi story uninteresting and interminable and the expansion of the cast into two titles frustrating. But issue 40, which came out last week, was actually surprisingly very good. Yeah, it wraps up the Nazi story with a bit of a deus ex machina and it’s very obviously only meant as a bridge to the cross-over with Justice League, but apart from that it was a good, character-focused look at Obsidian, an under-used character at the best of times, and an angst-free look at that.

There was, however, one note that didn’t quite ring true.

Yeah, it’s just a joke…but it’s a joke about a subject that ruins peoples lives and that ideological doctors are actually pursuing.

So maybe a conservative straight guy who occasionally writes for right-wing blogs isn’t the one who should be making jokes like that, is all I’m saying.

Still, the good thing about this is that this was what was passing for gay humor in 1972 in “liberal” Mad magazine.

Yeah, I’ll take the conservative who means well over the liberal bigot on this subject, any day.

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Hey, Sgt. Rock, what did you think about that “Wonder Woman as Star Sapphire” cover?

I, uh, I just thought it was kind of dumb and goofy myself.
(Remind me not to ask him about Avatar…)

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Justice League: Cry For Justice #1. Gay man killed to make a super-hero feel bad.

Justice League: Cry For Justice #3. Gay man killed, and skinned, to make us think that a super-villain, one who single-handedly took out the Justice League once for God’s sake, is scary and important.

These incidents probably wouldn’t stick in my craw except, well, twice in one series? And at a company where the only other gay male character of significance*, Obsidian, just got turned into an egg after several years of doing nothing much but hang out literally as a shadow in the background. And if killing the faggot wasn’t such an old and monumentally stupid cliche in genre fiction.
When Marvel, the company that gave us the historic “Hulk gets raped” comic and the “Lol, fag” version of Rawhide Kid, is doing a better job by their gay characters, something has gone wrong**.

*I don’t count Mikaal as a gay character, as “aliens who don’t perceive gender and sexuality as we do” was last excusable as a metaphor for homosexuality in The Left Hand of Darkness.
**Yes, Rucka’s Detective Comics run with Batwoman is brilliant and remarkable, and DC should be lauded for it. But if you think that the prurient interest many straight men have in lesbians didn’t play a role in getting it published you’re delusional.

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There’s a curious symmetry that the last comic I read before I disappeared off the face of the Earth for three weeks was Blackest Night #1 and the first one I’ll read when I get back is Blackest Night #2. So, did I miss a glorious meltdown amongst the fan entitlement crowd? Or are they all still complaining about Cry for Justice because “omigod zombiez so awesome, yo”?

I did manage to pick up a few odd comics while I was traveling. I’ll probably get to the more interesting stuff I picked up at Comic-Con later, mostly because I barely remember them and need a chance to rediscover them. But the were a couple of things worth mentioning that I picked up post-Con.

Justice Society of America # 29
by Bill Willingham, Matthew Sturges and Jesus Merino, published by DC Comics
I don’t think there was ever a time when you could say that Bill Willingham was a great comic-book writer, but he used to be at least good. If the last two years worth of Fables hasn’t convinced you that his talent has declined, this issue should. It’s not just bad, it’s aggressively bad. I needed a Wildcat fix and so picked this up, but if this is the caliber of story to expect, I may be off the JSA for the first time since my teens.
Every character speaks with an affected “bad ass” voice, except for Cyclone, who Willingham somehow manages to make even more annoying with three lines of dialogue than Johns managed during the entirety of his run. He also manages to introduce two of the most obnoxious, instantly unlikable new characters in comic book history. And this is on a book that has become a showcase for bad characters inspired by the insipid and over-rated Kingdom Come, so for King Chimera and All-American Kid to be more aggravating than Cyclone, Lightning, Damage or Judo-Master, well that is quite some feat.
And then Obsidian is turned into an egg, which is even stupider than “hanging around flat on building walls” and the entire team is beaten by a group of C and D list cross-over canon fodder villains in order to establish how “big” the threat is. Instead of actually giving us a convincing threat.
Art’s pretty, though.

The Stuff of Legends Volume 1: The Dark, Book 1
by Mike Raicht, Brian Smith and Charles Paul Wilson III, published by Th3rd World Studios
Ponderous title, but this was the book I was most excited about from the most recent Free Comic Book Day, and so I leapt at the chance to buy it when I saw it on a shelf (sorry, Mike). Charles Wilson’s art is beautifully lush and rendered in exquisite sepia tones that bring to the work a nostalgic feel that fits the tone of the story perfectly. The story by Mike Raicht and Brian Smith is nicely evocative of classic “toys come alive” children’s stories. There’s some nice nuance to character here as well, as the toys personalities come shining through with simple dialogue choices and art. If there’s a flaw here it’s that in this first issue the foreshadowing is laid on very, very thick. I’ll wager a quarter that most careful readers will detect the eventual conclusion of the story by the end of this first issue.

Fear Agent Volume One: Re-Ignition
by Rick Remender and Tony Moore, published by Dark Horse Comics
This is one of those comics that people with good taste keep telling me is good, but given that it’s published by Dark Horse it’s always either out of print at the publisher level or out of stock at the distributor level. So it took me a while to stumble across a copy. And I’m glad I did. Tony Moore’s art is fantastic, and the story strikes a good balance between action and comedy, in a realized world that doesn’t feel the need to beat the reader over the head with exposition.
It also has a really frustrating cliff-hanger ending, which means that I need to start stalking stores for volume two…

I also saw a film…
G.I. Joe: Rise of COBRA
Yes, I know, the trailers looked absolutely fucking terrible. And, to be honest, the film isn’t really very good. There’s no sense of logic to the plot and the characters are all cyphers, only vaguely defined by code-names and job titles. But it’s the enjoyable kind of bad, dumb action movie, which is lost in the trailers. It’s fun, and very unpretentious, and it’s not pretending to be anything other than a lot of loud explosions based on a toyline that hasn’t aged well. Granted, I may be coming to that conclusion because as a kid I never gave a damn about G.I. Joe, in either toy, comic or cartoon forms, much preferring to play with half-naked muscle-men and Manichean robot warriors. As an adult, of course, I can appreciate the property more, even in an insufferable, pomo ironic sense, as basically the story of the Village People fighting Randian Libertarian terrorists. Seriously, those toys and cartoons came out during Reagen’s America…and people dismiss deconstructive readings of pop-culture with this staring them in the face.

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Over the weekend on Twitter, I made a passing mention of the fact that, as well known and warranted as my antipathy towards that whiny little creep Spider-Man is, there actually is a character that I hate more than him. And let’s be clear here: I really hate Spider-Man. If Marvel published a Spider-Man comic written by Grant Morrison and drawn by a miraculously revived Jim Aparo I still wouldn’t buy it.
And there’s a character I hate even more than that.

And then I had the idea that it might be amusing, to me anyway, to make it into an actual contest, with a copy of Boody, the collection of amazingly bizarre and eccentric Boody Rogers comics awarded to the person who correctly guessed who I hated.

But since a guessing game of who I could hate isn’t very fun, or interesting, I decided to up the stakes a bit. Not only do you have to guess who, you have to guess why, or at least why you think I should or would.

Leave your best guesses and explanations in the comments to this post. At approximately 11:59 PM, Wednesday June 3rd, I’ll close the contest and notify the winner, who will be either the first person to guess correctly or the person who comes up with the best explanation of who I should hate.
Anyone suggesting “Wildcat” will get banned from the comments section.

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