Sunday, January 18, 2009

YOU'VE BEEN WARNED Vol II Issue III

***AS ALWAYS, MIND THE SPOILERS, FANBOY.***

- OPENING REMARKS -

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- Blue Monday: Thick as Thieves #1, by Chynna Clugston, Oni Press -
I am sooooo glad to have the first issue of this new Blue Monday series in my hot little hands. It makes me so happy. I don't read a lot of carefree, non-violent humor books, which I suppose is my fault. The ones I do read I need, dammit. Without regular injections of this title and others like it the weight of the world begins to push and push and push against my fragile psyche until I'm ready to snap and beat the holy shit out of puppies and old ladies and toddlers. Oh Lordy Bob I need this book.

Seriously though: imagine an Archie book force fed vast and clinically untested amounts of teenage angst, hormones, and profanity. Pretend that Archie was a young girl habitually trying to get into the pants of a smooth, sexy Mr. Weatherbee. And for this new series, pretend this female Archie, freshly rejected by this sexy Weatherbee, was preparing to lose her virginity in an attempt to gain experience to impress her much older crush, much to the dismay and disgust of her friends (some of who likewise want to get into this girl Archie's pants). It's like that. With swearing. And animal sex. Seriously, go buy this book. You yourself might find after reading it you don't feel like killing puppies anymore either.

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- Army @ Love: The Art of War #6, by Rick Veitch, Vertigo (DC) Comics - For a book that started out as a satirical look at American imperialism gone mad with capitalism, consumerism, entertainment, and good ol' fashioned, red-white-and-blue fucking, this shit sure did spiral into a delicious gumbo of unexplainable plot. I can't summarize this latest series. I can't. There is just too much going on. I can tell you, however, that I have never seen a fictional work annihilate and replace reality.

I've been told the sales figures from this series don't warrant a third volume, which is a depressing actuality we unfortunately have to cope with. Rest assured that this series at least leaves the reader with a very fulfilling sense of closure, as did its predecessor, which is all any fan can really ask for. The Vertigo line, and the sequential world, are all poorer in its absence if that is in fact the case, but at least we got what we did. Highly recommended for any reader who enjoys a little violence with his or her sex.

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- Action Comics #873, by Geoff Johns, Pete Woods, Renato Guedes, & Wilson Magalhaes, DC Comics - As per what seems to be the status-quo, DC is really gambling with the direction their Superman titles are taking. Just when people are really starting to dig the direction of the titles, just when each individual story is being penned by an all-star line-up of writers and artists, just when things looked like they had no where to go but up, up, and away (writing that just made me throw up a little, as I'm sure it did you. Sorry), everything goes and gets changed. Superman and Supergirl are going to be fucking about on "New Krypton," while Mon-El, the new Nightwing, Songbird, and this mysterious "Superwoman" are going to be taking over the Action Comics, Superman, and Supergirl. At a precursory glance, it would appear that DC was trading a $300 Rolex for a singing Rugrats wristwatch.

I, however, am obviously not a fortune teller, and as the saying goes, "nothing was ever gained by playing it safe." For all I know things could continue going as smoothly as they had been. Only time will tell. I'll tell you this though: I for one am absolutely smitten by the idea of a Kryptonian planet in our solar system. For my vantage point, everything so far is so good.

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- American Flagg! Definitive Collection Tp Vol. 1, by Howard Chaykin, Image Comics - Sometimes when something is billed as archetypal, ground-breaking, and untimely relevant, it translates to "boring old crap in a shiny new packaging." This is not the case here. I didn't catch the initial run of this title (as I was a fucking year old), but I'm glad to have read it now. It's everything it's been billed as. Vol. 2 here I come.

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- Amazing Spider-Man #583, by fucking whoever, Marvel Comics - You know what the difference between Marvel Comics and a hooker is? There are some things a hooker won't do for money.

Unfortunately Marvel's gonna have a fucking enormous payday from this book (already in its third printing) much to the dismay of yours truly. I know in the end it'll have a detrimental effect on the industry when a crap load of collectors try flipping this book for a huge profit and are instead awarded a monetary sum barely covering the cost of a pack of Cornnuts. In the end it'll hurt the industry, just like the infamous Death of Superman storyline did. And we'll all deserve it for being greedy, trendy, sheepish idiots.

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- PICK OF THE WEEK -
Final Crisis #6
by Grant Morrison, JG Jones, Carlos Pacheco, Doug Mahnke, Marco Rudy, Christian Alamy, & Jesus Merino
DC Comics


Sweet fucking crap, why this book didn't garner any media attention is beyond my fucking comprehension. This is it here, people. Batman's fucking dead, in a manner both befitting to his archetype and bittersweet to the reader. Dead dead dead, in a nobel and frankly more graphic manner than anyone probably cared to see. To all ya'll who didn't bother picking this series up, I can officially say, "Bam! Payoff city!" This is how an event is done (I'm looking at you, Bendis).

It's too bad everyone had to sit through Batman: R.I.P to get to this point.
With a more tactful approach and a better build up, this issue would have knocked the comic world on its big, fat ass.

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- PAN OF THE WEEK -
Hsu and Chan #8
by Norman Von Scott
SLG


All ugliness, name-calling, bitter grudges, hurt feelings, and petty, petty ... um ... pettiness aside here ...

When I first saw this book solicited I was extremely excited, as I remembered enjoying Hsu and Chan immensely. As the days went by, however, I slowly realized I had to think extremely hard to remember that I enjoyed this title. Then I realized I couldn't recall anything about this book aside from the fact that it had two Asian guys in it (thus the title). Then I realized I couldn't remember the last time an issue of this title came out. By the time the actual issue hit my hold-slot, I didn't really care.

This title is a casualty of time and recollection. It takes place exactly where issue #7 left off (when and wherever that was), leaving the responsibility of recalling the plot to a one page synopsis of previous events and the fickle minds of the readers. Personally I'm lucky if I can remember to put on my underwear with the pee slot facing the front, let alone what happened in a sporadically released title two years ago. I could reread the back issues and refresh my memory, but if the creator of the title can't bother to put out installments of his book in a timely manner, or even offer an explanation behind its horrendous tardiness, why should I bother?

Other disappointments with this issue include a "Parental Advisory: Graphic Violence" warning, while the issue itself contains nothing of the sorts (unless you're a big gay baby with delicate sensibilities). In fact, it's so far removed from "graphic violence" that I wonder if the warning was meant to be satirical. If it was, I'm not laughing.

There's also a character who may or may not be a spoof of a Pokemon monster or whatever. I'd completely forgotten that Pokemon existed until reading this issue. Now the memories are all flooding back. Thanks a fucking bunch.

I doubt I'll be picking up this title again, but you never know. The release of issue #9 could be so far in the future that by the time it rolls off the printing press I'll have completely forgotten about issue #8. Lord knows it's happened to me before.

YOU'VE BEEN WARNED.

Send all hate mail, gramatical adjustments, big bags of "I told you so's" to misterv@q.com

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