Friday, April 12, 2013

Just Sayin--The News Roundup Edition

 Hi all. Just a brief pop-round in-between Mad Men reviews and not having any new comics to talk about that I might highlight some things that spoke to me in the last couple weeks.

In the recently returning Comics of the Weak, the dynamite duo of Tucker and Abhay pondered the issue of the day with regards to the comics and Abhay weighed in on the whole Rick Remender "Alex Summers ain't down with the word 'mutant' tempest in a teacup that raged across the internet for a couple days and just as swiftly stopped, but not before this little gem from Abhay about how fans and pros interact:

 "Remender denies responsibility, and relentlessly blames comic fans: at first the horrible fans misinterpreting his words, and then the horrible fans who spurred him to tweet in a way that was misunderstood. That’s just comic pro SOP. “None of these characters mean anything! Read all about them!” Comic fans didn’t write that speech– comic fans are only for being pissed on. The blame goes to them, regardless.

Elsewhere, Gavok from 4thletter spells out my problems with the new 52 Captain Marvel/Shazam stuff with an elegant, concise, pointed explanation of it:

 "Post-Flashpoint, the character is simply known as Shazam. He doesn’t have his own series yet, but has appeared in the pages of the current Justice League comic. The big change is that teenaged Billy Batson is a tremendous asshole and only got the power because he told the wizard that pure-hearted people don’t exist and the wizard was just like, “Welp, good enough.” While Black Adam is out there, ready to fight him, Captain Marvel and his buddy Freddy Freeman intend to use his newfound abilities for profit. So far it’s pretty great."

 Obviously, we don't see eye to eye about that last part, but in the interest of proving these aren't all just to parrot my views, I'm leaving it in the quote.

Graeme McMillian, like me, wonders why the hell it's 2013 and we are still meant to give a crap about Hank Pym (non clit-punching scene category)

 "Hank has no central personality traits that the creators who handle him can seem to agree on, and that’s plagued him throughout his existence – It’s also, I’d argue, why his hitting Jan has become the defining fact of his character despite numerous attempts to rehabilitate him; at least it’s something unique that people remember about him outside of “he messes with his size a lot and created Ultron.” But even since then: We’ve seen him suicidal and then come to terms with his position in life, then come to terms with it again and reclaim former identities to express that, and then again and again. Is he the (somewhat jerky, infallible) Scientist Supreme, still, or a (sensitive, emotionally aware) teacher at Avengers Academy?"

   And finally, we end as we began, as Abhay, in part a rather great series of reviews, examines some trends he finds maddening in comics.

 "What is all this, do you think, this insistence upon surrender? Why, this persistent message that to do anything but surrender to the status quo makes one a figure of mockery? What makes comics so eager to trumpet fake heroics, phony, ersatz heroics, but so dismissive of protest, of an actual examples of courage from the least powerful among us? Is it just the particulars of the “creative community” involved, a community that never fought for each other, that routinely betrays its greatest artists, a community whose heroes suffocated communal effort in their womb? Why would we expect any better…? Or is it more than that? Maybe it’s just young people, just youth itself and youth’s silly hopes and impractical dreams of a better tomorrow, that comics find so laughable. Comic books: middle-aged men, to the rescue!"

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