Archive for January, 2013

So, recently you probably heard about this episode of Hawaii Five-0 (I watch Hawaii Five-0 sometimes, for a number of terrible reasons.  Among them: my regular TV only gets three network TV channels; I never remember when Hawaii Five-0 is on so it keeps taking me by surprise; Grace Park is hot to death.  I guess that last reason is an okay reason), where they had the audience text in who they thought the murderer was.  The writers wrote THREE DIFFERENT ENDINGS, and the ending you voted on would be the one that happened!  It’s like a choose your own adventure novel, except with Scott Caan infringing on the civil rights of murder suspects.

Here is the thing.  I think this is not a bad idea.

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Superior_spiderman_1Here is the thing about Spider-Man: It’s pretty easy to find good Spider-Man comics that fit the platonic ideal of Spider-Man (“With great power comes great responsibility”+ Peter Parker’s crappy luck + girl problems + goofy super-villains + wisecracks = Standard-Issue Spider-Man Story).

The problem comes when writers decide to break out of the mold and try something a little different than what Spider-Man’s used to. Sometimes you get an undisputed classic (“Kraven’s Last Hunt,” which is fricking amazing, but feels almost 0% like a “standard” Spidey story).

A lot more often, that’s when you get things like The Clone Saga, where Peter’s entire LIFE was (for a while) a lie, and he was fighting weird mystical cults and magic people with backstories-to-be-filled-in-later, and …

Yo, I was there. Peter Parker got so stressed over that story he backhanded pregnant Mary Jane and even decided not to even be Peter Parker for a while, “Only The SPIDER!”  (more…)

Hm. How embarrassing – I’d assumed I’d posted this months ago.

Anyway, I intend to get back to more timely reviewing – I really want to talk about Saga, and Hawkeye, and Superior Spider-Man – but before we do, I should probably tell you guys about some more DC New 52 collections I’ve read and possibly enjoyed.

This time around, we’re going to look at some of the edgy/weird titles, and this time, I’m pretty well shocked to find two books I really really liked. Positive reviews! This will probably not be a trend.

Demon Knights Vol. 1: Seven Against The Dark

Demon Knights manages to pull off in six issues, using many of the same ingredients, everything that Justice League failed at. It’s a team book with some recognizable characters thrown together by chance, many with conflicting motivations or attitudes, each with a particular skill set, tasked with defending against an invading horde, finding a mission and reason to stay together after the initial events.

But unlike Justice League, it does so by being exciting, good-humored, and intriguing in its teases of future developments and possible betrayals. And unlike Jim Lee’s shiny and shallow art style where poses trump storytelling, Diogenes Neves (who improves with each chapter) focuses a lot of attention on the physical acting of each character.

With an ensemble book, probably the best thing a writer can do to ensure the audience returns – more than upping the ante, though there are some great cliffhangers in here – is develop characters the audience wants to spend more time with. And this is a quirky batch – Vandal Savage’s good-times barbarian, the intriguingly lusty Etrigan, and the downright hilarious Sir Ystin among them – are a lot of things, but mostly, they’re just fun to watch. Even when they are doing terrible things, I find them more sympathetic and emotionally recognizable than any single member of the Justice League.  (more…)