Tag Archives: David Finch

So Far, So Good…

It has been 6 months since the New 52 started.  Mostly, it has been a spectacular success.  With the first few title cancellations announced (predicted here and reviewed after the fact here), and the second wave announced, it feels very much like there is a plan.  There may not be, but DC is really making it look as thought out as anything I’ve seen in comics in a long time.

Seems like an eternity since everyone was terrified by this image.

The plan as stated at DC is that the books will be on time, even if it means that they will replace creators (in mid arc if needed) to keep things moving.  So far only one book has been late, a Justice League book got pushed back a week or so, and now that book will go to a fifth week release schedule and will have an art fill in for a couple of issues to allow Jim Lee some catch up time.  I cannot say I like this emphasis.  I want the books on time, but if I have to chose, I want consistently good stories over an on time schedule.  There have been several very public changes and moves, most were always going to happen.  George Perez was really only ever going to do the first arc on Superman, but David Finch was behind on the Dark Knight book before he even started, so he got help on the writing, which can only help the book.  Dark Knight was a vanity project from the start to utilize a popular, now exclusive creator, to the greatest benefit.  If the changes make for an on time book that is actually better as well, then great, but that remains to be seen.

As the second arcs begin on the titles there have been other changes, most notably is Travel Foreman leaving Animal Man to do Birds of Prey.  AM was a huge surprise hit and has been the poster child for the success of the New 52, so his departure from the art duties there, may sting a little, and to be honest, I cannot picture him on BoP.  That mix seems off somehow.  But he is a good artist, and things may improve over there, as Birds has been in the middle, and floating down if the sales figures I have seen are accurate.  And there are the other surprise hits, like Detective Comics.  Was any fan out there all that excited?  But it is one of the standouts.

Having read about half of the new books, the only complaint I have is that the reboot, did not reboot enough.  Some of these books are seamless continuations of the pre New 52 titles, like Green Lantern and some of the bat-books.  JLI is a direct, but kind of clunky transition from Generation Lost, etc.  Action Comics, Superman, the Dark books etc, are much more of a reboot/revamp and are almost all much better for it, but the lack of a line wide wipe of old continuity bothers me.  I am something of an “in for a penny, in for a pound” kind of guy.  Go big or go home.  Insert whatever clichéd phrase you want.  While I may not have liked everything that was changed, had they really thrown caution to the wind, I think the overall response from the people that actually read the books (instead of just complaining about them) would have been even more positive.

I am going to defiantly pick up 8 of the new trades/hardcovers, and am deciding on 3 or 4 others that may make the cut.  As a trade waiter, that will be the big test.  If they read well as complete stories, I’m convinced.  The low page counts make them a not very enjoyable read month to month, so this will be the final test for me.  But at this point, I’m still enjoying the biggest and most controversial thing to happen in comics in years.


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Well, it is certainly hard to ignore…

52 #1’s in September.  The reactions have begun to get at least a little more varied.  Ranging from “Oh boy! 52 jumping off points!” to ” But I actually LIKED where Batman inc was going”.  There have been piles of announcements ahead of the full official list and there are a few interesting things.

George Perez writing and drawing Superman (confirmed).  Just freaking cool.  I’m there.

Grant Morrison doing another Superman book (still unconfirmed).  I loved his All-Star book.  I’m there.

Batman inc is on a break until sometime next year.  I went on a break from a girlfriend once.  That didn’t work out all that well.

David Finch on Dark Knight.  What?  He pumps out 2 cruddy issues in 6 months and they are “rebooting”?  I can see the solicitation for  September 2012 already…”superstar Finch to release 4th fabulous issue!”  Ooh!  Can hardly wait to miss this one.  But since it will not be on time much, we will all “miss” it.  On the whole the Batbooks seem to be getting kind of the short end of the stick.  There is a little shuffling of names from one book to another, but nothing really cool.  Greg Capullo on a Batman book is pretty cool.  He is always a fun artist and getting away from Todd MacFarlane will do nothing bad for his career.  Looks like Jason will still be around, and they will continue to clean him up and make him an anti-hero.  Damian is still Robin, and Dick Grayson will go back to being Nightwing.  The part that bugs me is that Barbara Gordon will be Batgirl again.  Not from a continuity point does it bug me (The Killing Joke was never intended to be in canon), but rather the fact that I liked the Oracle angle.

A couple of things HAVE gotten my interest though.  Justice League Dark looks to be written by Peter Milligan and has a fabulous cast.  Any chance to see Madame Xanadu back in a book, since her great series by Matt Wagner and mostly Amy Reeder on art, is a real treat.

Also looking good is Animal Man.  A possible cover is below, along with the third book that looks super cool, Resurrection Man, a character from the late 90’s being brought back by its creator’s Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning.

At least from the odd corners of the DCU, things are looking interesting.  But to be honest, the whole “women need to cover their legs” thing is really stupid, and Power Girl in pants is gonna suck.  It is as if DC thinks that no one will notice the huge boobage on all the femal characters if thier legs are covered.  Take PG out of the mix and the cup sizes are still pretty spectacular.  We shall see, but I’m guessing this last only as long as the readers keep coming.  Sale dip, and off come the pants!

Justice League Dark cover by Ryan Sook

The return -again- of resurrection Man

Animal Man

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The comics event of the century of the week!!!!

Enough about Action Comics 900 already!

The cover minus text blurbs. Art by David Finch

The internet and the Idiocracy that is the TV pundits club (our motto is “Feeding you your uninformed opinions since 1991!”) clearly decided when they heard that Superman was renouncing his U.S. citizenship, that he was un-American.  I have seen several diatribes on CNN, FOX et all and so far, none appear to have read the 9 page story yet.  Most of them seem to have missed the point of the story entirely.  And that is what it is about for knee jerk reactionists.  Dont think, just react.

Here are some of those nebulous things called facts that “Real Americans” are either not hearing or don’t care much about…

1.  He does not actually do it.  He says he is going to, and in all likelihood, it will not happen on panel.  Maybe there will be a mention of it down the line, but this is a 9 page backup story in a nearly 100 page comic.  There is much more of interest here that a throwaway filler story that will never integrate into the story as a whole.  This might as well be a throwback to the Julie Schwartz  imaginary stories of days gone by.

2.  He is talking about it at all because the most single recognizable figure in pop culture, if not all of literature, has been marginalized and altered in the current continuity into a largely impotent figure.  Afraid of his own shadow when anything other that a would be world killer is coming to town.  This is all due to the modern comics and the struggle to stay relevant.  Let Superman loose in the real world and things get ugly.  Writers now are really having a hard time making him current without also making him terrifying.  That is why stories like Grounded and Earth One, both by JMS have been so polarizing.  It is hard to do “real” without scaring or pushing the audience away.  Done right, like in Earth One, it is very interesting and fun.  Done poorly, it can just come off as a little naive.

3.  They are all trying to rally other idiots with “Truth, Justice and the American way”.  Guess what?  Not part of the myth until the TV show of the 50’s.  It was used during WWII, then discarded.  It came back for TV and largely disappeared, then made its lasting comeback with Christopher Reeve in the first Superman movie of his run.  The original phrase appeared in the Superman radio series starring Bud Collier.  It went like this…

Yes, it’s Superman–strange visitor from another planet who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. Superman–defender of law and order, champion of equal rights, valiant, courageous fighter against the forces of hate and prejudice, who, disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, fights a never-ending battle for truth and justice.

4.  He is supposedly going to take this action in response to the fact that the rest of the world hates America and sees him as an instrument of U.S.  policy.  Superman is not playing himself here.  HE IS THE METAPHOR here.  He is America and America needs to grow with the rest of the world.  Glenn Beck is likely to get mileage from this by ignoring this fact.  I imagine that will not be hard for him as the metaphor is a subtle one and Beck couldn’t find subtle with two hands and a flashlight.  People like him are not interested in the truth and the outrage they constantly claim to feel about this insult or that is there only to fill the seats with paying customers.  Other sponges that have no real thought out opinions of their own and need to be told what they should be angry about.  Beck will continue to claim that this approach to a changing world is destroying that which is fundamentally America.  Since when is America carved in marble?  This country has made change a part of what it is from day one.  The change is not always good or bad, it just is.  Mr. Beck, I submit to you that if we fail to change, if we fail to realize that we are not the center of the universe, we will be consumed far more rapidly by those outside that seek to supplant what you believe is our God-given place in the world.  A place that, in reality, we have never held.

5.  He really IS a fictional character.  Why are we bothered by this as though this was said by someone who actually has an effect on our lives.  A public official did not just kick the country in the nuts, a comic book super hero did.  And since even that was the above mentioned metaphor, the country cannot kick itself in the nuts.  As a nation, we continue to try, and far too regularly invite other countries to do so, then ask politely that they not accept our aid dollars without first promising to be just like us.

6. The story really isn’t all that special.  The really good one in the back of the book is “Life Support”, by Damon Lindelof and Ryan Sook.  A very powerful tale of Jor-El and what had to happen behind the scenes to save his son.  On a side note, I am not trying to bury or belittle the lead feature by Paul Cornell and Pete Woods, I just have not read it yet.  I don’t normally pick up Action Comics, but am getting the story that the lead here is part of in TPB and don’t want to spoil the surprise.

Superman is not being un-American.  He is not trying to teach kids to hate America.  There is nothing happening here beyond a simple story, told in a naive way.  If you are the kind of “patriot” that thinks all opinions are fine as long as you agree with them,  then Mr Beck is who you should listen to.  I don’t really like the idea behind the story as I don’t think the simple solution offered by this story is worthwhile in the context it is being presented, but I don’t think Superman or the people behind this story (David Goyer, Miguel Sepulveda and the DC editorial staff) are in any way un-American.  Being a real patriot starts with questioning the status quo.  That is how people left England to come here.  That is how the nation ended slavery.  That is how women got the vote.  That is how the Human race decided to walk on the Moon.  Change needs to be embraced by brave people willing to look at it and try to make it the opportunity it can be, not assume that its goal is to destroy what you think important.

If it is good enough for Superman, why not us?

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