This week, I rant and rave about a certain new Marvel exclusive creator. DC's also has a new outreach initiative with Sunday Comics on Wednesday. Sounds cool. Maybe. I also discuss further my own DC rehabilitation struggles, the Obama craze, and that pesky little superhero movie that has been pretty much ignored by those outside of the comic book community. Should I call them Don't-Watchmen? Muggles? Non-comic buying public? Mainstream America? Or should I just say normal people?
All that and more just by wasting five precious minutes of your reading time.
This past week's announcement at the Emerald City Comic Con that Rick Remender is now a Marvel exclusive creator is both welcome and unwelcome for this fan. Don't get me wrong, as a Punisher fan, I'm actually really enjoying his run on Punisher thus far. In fact, I think he's doing a much better job thus far on the title than Matt Fraction did. I completely understand his reasoning behind going exclusive. Job security is at a premium now here in the United States, and of course, what creator didn't dream of growing up and working for one of the big two? But what a crappy position to put fans in? Instead of placing a satisfying ending or handing off the books to other creators (which isn't really satisfying at all), it appears that Remender's creator-owned properties like Fear Agent and End League will go on a decidedly unsatisfying hiatus. Despite being quite nebulous, these hiatuses can't be good for these books or for Dark Horse. Fear gent has been buzzy-worthy for a while now and End League has been awesome despite some of those "nasty" shipping delays we fans enjoy bemoaning. I say all of this in the knowledge that I have no real solution for how to overcome such a situation, but it really does suck for those fans. A brother has got to do what a brother has got to do. Good luck to Remender in his new exclusiveness. Let's hope he gets back to End League and Fear Agent sooner rather than later.
Hump Day Comics
This Wednesday Comics idea from DC sounds like it might be worth a damn. The operative word here is might because the chances of this being an extraordinary flop are pretty high. But you have to give DC some credit for doing something inventive for a change. I know, it's hard to believe that someone just used the company "DC" and word "inventive" in the same sentence, but there it is. DC has been far behind Marvel now for a few years now. I hope this works out for them. I think it could be a neat experiment even if the name Wednesday Comics doesn't exactly inspire one to greatness.
The DC Reeducation Program, Phase 2
I'm still trying to educate myself in DC Comics. I know I like to pile on criticism of these guys, but I do feel as if I missed the boat on some titles. Like a good comic fan, I've been trying to go back and re-read or obtain series from DC's past to better educate myself on the company's past. I've initiated a pretty large task ahead of me. I'm going back and collecting the Giffen/DeMatteis Justice League and John Ostander's Suicide Squad. I'm probably fifteen or so issues into each series and I'm loving each. I was already very familiar with the Justice League series since I already had several of those issues, but Suicide Squad was a new commodity for me. Though I'm not terribly familiar with all of the characters, Suicide Squad has been nothing less than amazing. I also picked up the 1987 Dr. Fate mini, the Wild Dog mini from around the same time, and Jeff Smith's recent Shazam mini. Of the three, I've only gotten around to reading Shazam, but it was a solid miniseries that was easy and fun to read. I would like to read more Jeff Smith's take on the character as he just seemed like a good fit for that character. I'll soldier on through my DC reeducation Program, and as always, I'm open to suggestions. Got any?
Yeah, this whole story still sucks. Really, if it's not broke, don't fix it.
Obama-sized Spectacular Anniversary First-Issue Foil Covered Edition
Has your comic book featured our new commander-in-chief yet? No? Well, what the hell is your problem? Don't you know that having Barack Obama in your comic book is, like, the coolest thing ever. All the cool kids are doing it, so why not you? What kind of douche bag comic company doesn't want to do this? I'll tell you; the company that wants to go bankrupt. I mean, let's face it, this is Barack-effing-Obama we're talking about here. He's practically the coolest thing since sliced bread or Bono. On a more serious note, really, what the hell is going on here? I know comic companies are all just trying to cash in, but is this really necessary? Can't comic companies focus on telling good stories rather than hawking off a sorry attempt at pandering? Outside of his titles dedicated to the man himself, Comic Book Database has Obama listed as appearing in several issues already with many more to come from such titles as Youngblood and Barack the Barbarian. Yeah... I really don't know what to say to all of that. I like the man just as good as the next Democrat, but for the love of all that is holy in our democracy, can we comic fans just agree that this fad is over? It will be like a gentleman's agreement. Nothing needs to be signed or codified into law. Let's just move on, shall we?
Watchmen... Epic Fail?
Curse my lateness! I wasn't able to really participate in Doug's excellent series on the Watchmen film because I saw it almost two-weeks after it had hit theaters. If you missed the series, you should really check the articles out, all five parts of it. I have nothing new or original to add to the affair in terms of reviewing the film suffice to say that I really enjoyed it. But that may be part of the problem. With a box office total of just over $105 million thus far, its pretty easy to classify this movie's take as being in the red given that it cost around $150 million to make and who knows how much to market. Of course, all this is said in the understanding that the DVD revenues will more than likely lift this film into the black. As far as many fans are concerned, the movie did a good job, but I think it's tough to count Watchmen in the "win" column for comic book films. Why? The lack crossover success, that's why. The failure of this film to win over Joe Blow and Susie Whadayaknow off the street is pretty condemning. The Spider-Man, Iron Man, and recent Batman films have been so successful because they have been able to reach across the aisle to those non-fanboys and fangirls. They offered something to them that the comic books never could manage; entertainment. I'm not going to psychoanalyze the general movie viewing public here, but I think the theater numbers say it all. I'm also not saying the general movie public is smart. I think watchmen was a film for those that are smarter than the average bear, for those who can appreciate a rich and textured film without it having to resort to tired cliches. I think history will be kinder to the Watchmen film, but I'm not sure if the general public will ever warm up to the idea of a superhero flick quite like this.