Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Comic rage, JLA counterpoint, team books

[insert curse word here]

I'm going on my second month without a steady stream of comic books, and I have to tell you guys, it's killing me.  I could take the easy way out and just download a whole bunch of them, but the last two days have been magnificent and I've had some time on my hands when I could have been sitting on the back deck, in the fresh air, just casually enjoying my favorite pastime in the whole world. Now not only can I not do that until I see a certain friend of mine in Ohio, but I'm teetering on the edge of not placing an order for May's comic shipment (because I'm still trying to find some steady work.)


I've been hammering my way through the tens upon tens of thousands of comics in my basement, trying to add some more runs to the list of contenders for The Ten. I got caught up a little bit with JLA recently, and spent some time pouring over that once-great series. I have a theory that Mark Waid's run shortly after The Tower of Babel, which is classic, entitled Terra Incognito was a not-so subtle jab at how stupidly Grant Morrison had the White Martians behave in the four part series that he used to reunite DC's big guns and relaunch its flagship team book. It isn't just the story either.  On more than one occasion there is commentary in the books about how much more powerful a handful of them are than the Justice League.  Maybe I'll get around to asking Mark about that one day, so he can do the politically correct thing and say that he was just giving his interpretation and that he has all the respect in the world for Grant.

Speaking of the JLA, should the big team books in Marvel and DC be comprised of their biggest and their best?  The argument falls pretty clearly into two camps.  Either you envision your Avengers with Captain America, Iron Man, Thor etc, or you picture your JLA with Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Guy Gardner and Captain Marvel. I've heard both sides of the argument, including the fact that the big guns in both companies have their own books, where they are showcased month in and month out, and that the stage like Avengers should be used to give fans terrific writing about characters who otherwise don't have their own books.  I've even been told that super-teams take the fun out of the stories because they seem so daunting from the outset, and that it's hard editorially to keep everything lined up between the team book and all of the individual books.  They're all rational arguments.  All of them.

My Avengers still includes Cap.

There is, of course, that happy medium where one or two big guns are working on a team that includes one or two second tier talents who deserve the press time.  Cap, Iron Man, Hawkeye & Wasp make for a good Avengers team.  Just as long as Spider-Man isn't on it.  Or Wolverine.  Actually I find it funny that it took so long for somebody to finally put the X-Universe's biggest name in an Avengers book, and I find it sad that they finally gave in and put Spidey in one.  Obviously they were taking the JLA approach of "who are the biggest guns we have" and Spidey and Wolverine fall into that category in regard to their selling power. Makes sense.  After all, Wolverine is Canadian, and Spidey is.......well......a loser. He lost a fight to a guy named Dr. Octopus once, and once was enough.  LOSER.

It's like watching Guy Gardner in the JLA.  Painful.  Worst Green Lantern ever.  Worse than G'nort.

Speaking of Green Lantern, did Geoff Johns knock it out of the park with the concept for Final Night?  Admittedly when you're two months behind on new books you don't get to comment on how he finished it off, but coming up with the idea of a prophecy that was thousands of years old that foretold a war of light, and then introducing the other colors in the emotional spectrum?  Brilliant.  The guy can't spell his own name, but he can write.

Alright, I'm off to play some Diablo II.

It's an old school night.

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