Sunday, October 18, 2009

You've Been Warned Vol II Issue XXXVIII

Comic reviews by a fan, for the fans!

**As always, mind the spoilers, fanboy.**

- OPENING REMARKS -

Planetary #27
by Warren Ellis & John Cassaday
Wildstorm (DC) Comics


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So the freakin' wait is finally (FINALLY!) over. Planetary concluded a few weeks back with this long awaited, highly anticipated final issue. And fanboys across the world rejoiced and creamed their little pants. But was the wait worth it? Were all those agonizing months upon months spent wondering how things would rap up, all the while gnashing the teeth and pulling the hair, rewarded? Fuck if I know. Hell, I can't remember what happened in the preceding issues (which I can't say is my fault). I don't recollect who Ambrose is. I only vaguely recall that the group somehow saved the world in issue #26. This issue means little more than fuck all to me. Now don't take that statement as a pan of the series. Planetary overall was a good enough series up to this point (as far as I can recall), in a strange cyberpunk/mad scientist kinda way that only Warren Ellis pull off properly. I image collectively this series will be at least fun to read (if you don't mind open endings).

But with THIS issue, I'd be disappointed if I weren't so damn indifferent. Not to place blame (as I don't know who's responsible), but if you're gonna do a comic do it like a professional. I don't care how talented of an illustrator you are, or how mind blowing a writer, or how mammoth a publisher, if you can't deliver the book in a timely manner don't waste our fucking time. In the grand scheme this issue in the proper context may have blown my mind, but it's, like, two fucking years late. I can't for the life of me recall how the story led up to this point, and fuck you if you think I'm gonna back step and reread an entire series because someone can't get their shit together. Life's too fucking short for repeat readings of a series where one of its creators doesn't give a flying monkey shit when it's released.

On it's own this issue is mediocre. In the large scale of things ... who cares? Not me (obviously).

The Incredible Hercules
by Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, & Reilly Brown
Marvel Comics


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There is only one comic in the known universe where Thor could receive purple nurples and it not result in fanboy mutiny. Hercules is that comic.

The conclusion of yet another successful story arc from this series featured a lot of splash pages, some extremely off-color humor (especially for a Marvel book), and more than one juvenile assault on the nether regions. Hercules continues to be one of the more creative and dependably enjoyable comics in the Marvel stable. Take it from the guy who on a good day despises the stinking, family-friendly guts of the industry's biggest whorehoppers; it doesn't get much better than this.

Enjoy it while you can. There most likely won't be many references to an "elven tickler" once Disney figures out what the crap's going on.

Point of Interest: The cover of this book credits someone with the last name of Buchemi. The credits within the comic list no one of that name. A shiny new nickle to the first person who explains wassup wid dat.

Secret Six #14
by Gail Simone & Nicola Scott
DC Comics


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Take a look at this cover. Reminds you of all sorts of crap, doesn't it? I know: Knightfall and crappy sales scams and foil covers. An image like this can bring back a lot of traumatic memories. But what if I told you the comic sporting this cover is one of the best in both the DCU and the medium. Wouldn't believe me, would you. Well, it doesn't fucking matter if you believe me or not, because it's true.

I've been hanging around on this title for a while, waiting for it to wither and get canceled like the wrinkly boner of a senior citizen without enough ED pills. It's been a little over a year now, and it's fairly obvious that I was waiting in vain (to my untimely benefit, I should add). Secret Six is chronically wonderful. Gail Simone gives a completely unique, heart-warmingly twisted treatment to a wide variety of B-List villains-for-hire. Every issue features a churning duality between nonchalant brutality and slapstick humor. In particular I find myself enjoying the dialogue of these reluctant would-be heroes, which is why I'm so often blindsided by plot twists (as I'm not fucking paying attention). I'm habitually sucked into the happenings of the plot, and am not spit back out again until I hit the back cover.

An unsung hero of the DCU, Secret Six is a series that's defying all sorts of odds, and quickly becoming a timeless classic. Who would have thought that the asshole who said not to judge a book by its cover was fucking right?


-PICK OF THE WEEK-
The Book of Genesis
by R. Crumb
W.W. Norton


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I know what you're thinking here: "Of course Mister V's gonna like Crumb doing the Bible. It's gonna be all blasphemous and he's gonna think that's funny and shit. What an asshole." Well fuck you fanboy, you don't know me. I've hit the King James version of the Good Book more times than you've jerked off to your Vampirella back issues. Just because something's blasphemous doesn't make it good. Don't fucking stereotype.

I can't fathom what possessed the godfather of indie comix to adapt such a book other than sheer fascination of the subject matter, but Robert Crumb has managed to churn out an extremely provocative interpretation of some of the more well known stories in the Old Testament. It's evident on every page that the author has poured over untold numbers of religious interpretations, and rendered each and every panel in his piece with as much knowledge, respect, and consideration as possible. Visually it's an amazing feat to behold. The amount of detail put into the artwork is breathtaking. I was also shocked to find that Crumb's illustrations actually clarified some of the more muddled passages in Genesis for me.

Of course, the man is a cartoonist, and that fact occasionally leaks out. One particular scene, which involves a naked Noah and his peeping son, had me laughing out loud merely through the rendition of the character's body language. I'm sure such a portrayal was unintentional, but it was still freakin' hilarious.

This is a straight adaptation of the book of Genesis, so if you can't handle the it, don't waste your time and money. It's not like you can hand it off to your church-going Grandma if you don't like it. There's, like, incest and penises in there and whatnot. Grandma'll have a stroke if she reads this. For anyone else, the book is gold. Pure gold. Greedily I hope the author will indulge us with further biblical adaptations. Reading the Bible has never been more fucking awesome.

-PAN OF THE WEEK-
Punisher: Frank Castle #75
by everyone
Max (Marvel) Comics


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One would hope that in an issue featuring five different stories, all revolving around the character's origins, the writers would at least agree on the details of that connecting event. Was Frank Castle sitting down eating with this family when they were caught in the middle of that mob shootout? Was he off buying ice-cream? Was he off in the bushes taking a leak? Which is it? Fucking pick one. Continuity slips like this make for an unpleasant reading experience, and they make everyone involved look like a pack of raging novices.

Too many fucking cooks in the fucking kitchen here. Just give this book to Aaron and Dillon already.

You've been warned.

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