I have issues

February 25th, 2009 by

Comics read since last time:

Birds of Prey 118
GeNext 1-5
Ms. Marvel 25-30
Invincible Iron-Man 1-7
Punisher War Journal 18-23
JLA 72-76
Teen Titans 24-26, 29-33, Annual 1
Outsiders 24-25, 28
Robin 146-147
Infinite Crisis 5-6
Jack of Fables 17-21

And I thought I had a lot of comics to talk about during my trip. Apparently, I’ve been on a bit of a binge lately, and have just been tearing through the trades. Again, I’ll break this up into a few posts for manageability.

Birds of Prey 118 was part of the Dark Side Club crossover that had been happening in Teen Titans, with Misfit and Black Alice duking it out for the entertainment of the masses. I liked this single story better than any of the ones with the Titans, probably because it seemed to have a bit more background on what was going on with the club. A bit of gruesomeness with Misfits powers, not to mention a deepening mystery surrounding her and Black Alice. Too bad the series is getting cancelled. Maybe DC will turn the Bat-family books into an anthology series. That would actually be kind of nice.

GeNext was kind of disappointing. I think that I’m looking for the classic Claremont that I remember from the ’80s, and I’m just not going to find that. I either have to accept him for how he writes now, or just give up on him completely. Personally, I think he’d be better off staying off the mutant books and writing something completely different. His history with the X-Men is going to colour everything he writes with those characters from now on. GeNext really seemed more like a marketing plan than a good story. It feels like Marvel trying to invent schemes to find the “youth market”, like a new young set of mutants set however many years in the future, tying into a few other titles of a similar theme. But hey, I was part of the youth market once, and I got into comics because I enjoyed the stories they were telling in the regular books at the time. I still think that they don’t need to trick kids into reading comics, they just need to have comics where kids are going to find them.

Ms. Marvel is more Secret Invasion side story. I’m expecting the actual Secret Invasion trade from the library soon, so it’ll be interesting to see what I think of that after having read all the side stories first. Maybe I’ll enjoy it more that way; the biggest complaint I’ve heard about it is that nothing really happens issue after issue. That’s probably because everything is happening in these crossover series. Ms. Marvel seems to be a bit more bloodthirsty in this trade, pretty much deciding skrulls during wartime are fair game for slaughter. Melo’s art is very reminiscent of Chaykin, especially considering the violence involved in the Battle of Manhattan arc.

Speaking of Chaykin, I think he’s a good fit for Punisher War Journal, at least as good as Steve Dillon on the Punisher Max series. I’m not sure what I think of Matt Fraction and Rick Remender on this series. It could just be that the character is hard to identify with, and it really depends a lot on how he’s being written. Garth Ennis did such a great job with Punisher Max, and the regular series, and PWJ has seemed a little….silly in comparison. Of course, more than anything, I think the Punisher is more of a foil than a character in his own right. This arc kind of ties up a few things about his history, right in time for the next arc to connect into Secret Invasion. The whole thing about a SHIELD agent obsessed with the Punisher has seemed a little contrived to me, and now having him in a crossover with skrulls? It’s getting a little cosmic for Frank Castle. Next he’ll end up in a team-up with Rocket Raccoon.

Fraction is also writing the new Invincible Iron Man series. I’m not sure why another Iron Man series was necessary to complement the current Leader of SHIELD series. Maybe they just wanted to give Fraction more work. The interactions between Tony, Pepper and Rhodey are great, but it seems to be retreading a lot of Orson Scott Card’s Ultimate Iron Man series. (Yeah, I read the Card series–he’s a bastard, but I got them from the library, and I’m a sad completist fan).

2 Responses to “I have issues”

  1. florence Says:

    I actually had no idea that the Birds of Prey arc was connected to Teen Titans, but Black Alice was an intriguing addition to the junior set. I am very disappointed that Birds of Prey is getting canceled, especially since recent arcs have been so good.

    Do you know of any other DC series with grown women in leading roles? Do they think that one Gail Simone title with a woman lead is plenty for their whole catalog?

  2. jason Says:

    There’s a really good series called Manhunter, written by Marc Andreyko. It was on, off, on again, and now it looks like it’s off again according to Wikipedia. The character was in Birds of Prey recently.