Random Comic Book Musings

I’ve got a few things on my mind this week.

We sit here on the eve of what could possible be a game changing event in the world of comic books. On Thursday, the much speculated about “One More Day” storyline begins in The Amazing Spider-Man #544. When I finally stopped reading The Amazing Spider-Man after Civil War ended (that was after coming back after leaving the first time after the regrettable “Gwen Stacey had Norman Osborn’s babies” storyline), I said that it would take a whole lot to get me to come back to a J. Michael Straczynski penned Spider-Man book. Well, I think this is it.

In case you don’t know, the big rumor is that “One More Day” will end with Peter Parker making a deal with God, or The Devil, or Uatu or Jim Nabors or whomever and that deal will send him (and possibly Mary Jane and/or Aunt May) back to high school age (well, Aunt May wouldn’t be a teenager — though that might be a fantastic twist — but you know what I mean). There has been a lot of hand-wringing and preemptive shrieking from many corners of fandom.

I say bring it on! I have always maintained that the biggest editorial mistake that Marvel ever made was to allow Peter Parker to age into his mid-to-late 20s and have the perennial underdog marry a supermodel/actress. Joe Quesada has pretty much maintained that same position for many years now and, if the rumors are true, he’s finally going to do something about it.

If Quesada does do it, and the rumors are indeed true, there is going to be an avalanche of shrieking and moaning from all corners of fandom. But not from me. Hell, I’ll actually gleefully buy The Amazing Spider-Man again — three times a month!

***

I may be behind everyone else, but I have finally gotten my first good look and listen at The Dark Knight teaser trailer. Check it out:

I am so excited for this movie that I cannot even tell you. There is nothing I want more than to see Heath Ledger’s version of The Joker. I really, really hope that his Joker is absolutely terrifying to the point of inducing nightmares in little children (and maybe some adults). The still photos I’ve seen are most promising in that regard.

One thing that has really helped raise my excitement level is that it seems like every time I turn on the TV, one of the HBOs or Cinemaxes is showing Batman Begins. I’ve seen all or part of that movie at least ten times in the last week and I think it makes me happier every time I see it.

July 18, 2008 cannot come fast enough!

***

The past weekend we here in the United States had an extra day off in honor of the working man and I took that opportunity to put a dent in the unwieldy stack of trade paperbacks that has been piling up lately. And to play a lot of Wii. And when I wasn’t doing either of those things, I made some time for DVD viewing.

Many, many months ago I decided that after hearing endless testimonials about its greatness, enough was enough and I picked up the entire run of Justice League and Justice League Unlimited cartoons, both of which I had never really seen. I also picked up the entire series of Superman: The Animated Series because I was told that there were tenuous links to the Justice League shows and being the OCDish comic book fan that I am, I want the full picture.

Well, all these many months later and I just now finished season two of three of Superman: The Animated Series. At this rate, I should finally get to those Justice League episodes sometime around the time I start hanging stockings by the chimney with care.

Expect my in-depth analysis of Superman: The Animated Series when I wrap the entire thing up.

***

I said on the podcast that I thought that Mark Waid was only doing one story line on The Flash, but that I could be wrong. Well, I was wrong. Thankfully.

Comments

  1. I’ve got more than my share of Batman excitement. Where I hail from in Chicago we’ve been catching glimpses of scenes and special effect set-ups, including a little Hollywood magic performed on the classic old post office building. My wife has left her downtown office building to see sights such as upturned, smoldering cars and a helicopter, and once a bevy of uniformed officers that she knew weren’t Chicago police because they were all fit and trim.

    A while back I had taken to driving on dilapidated, drippy lower Wacker Drive, cutting fast around the weird curves and corners and imagining that I was in a Batmobile.

    And then, of course, most recently they blew up the Brach’s candy factory real good:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=mpbydL_hnZU&mode=related&search=

    Yeah, I’m pre-psyched.

  2. Somthing needs to really happen to Spiderman. The last Amazing was freaking awfull. If that happens one more time I was going to drop the book.

  3. The real clincher with Spidey’s spin cycle to the past is how they actually slingshot him back in time. I don’t think it’ll be nearly as convincing if they have him talk to some ethereal figure because for the most part spiderman has been pretty stuck to reality. On the other hand maybe they need to just get it done with and start working smart with the idea after the fact. Also how is this going to effect timelines? and memories?

    sidenote: what wii games perchance would you suggest for hours and hours of free time one might have?

  4. Josh,
    not to burst your bubble bro but i read an advanced copy of the first one more day book, shit happens… its basically the last issue, again, with joe qusadillas art.

    very dissapointing.
    the only thing they can do right now to make spiderman sweet again is to bring back ben reilly.

    and does anyone else feel that we havent got our good fill of unmasking stories? they should have went deeper with this

  5. I wonder how this is going to work. Is he going to reset his villains too? I really dread the thought of sitting through another doc oc, kraven, venom, etc. origin story. I feel like Spidey is a druggie going into rehab. He’ll never be the same and its terrible that he has to be in rehab, but its either this or the gutter.

  6. An interesting point: On Friday at Wizard World Chicago’s X-Men panel no less, Quesada meandered into a long diatribe about Spidey. And you’re right Conor, he thinks that marrying Peter to MJ was a big mistake. He says it limits the stories they can tell. (Personally, I think he just wants Spidey to get it on with Felicia Hardy without looking like a scumbag.) Most of the audience seemed to disagree with him, so he asked “So then how many of you would like Peter to be a father? ( a few hands went up) A grandfather? (no hands went up) Because that’s where the story is going.” (Apparently Peter and MJ don’t know about birth control and are destined to age much more rapidly than the rest of the Marvel U.)

    But poor arguments aside, it does seem like Marvel is set “solve” the Peter-MJ “problem.” Unless this is all a big bluff.

    Personally I don’t understand why they have to change this Peter. There are enough different versions of him in Ultimate Spider-Man, Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, Marvel Adventures, Spider-Girl, plus other side projects that I think marvel could leave this one alone. And he is interesting. It doesn’t all have to be about his marriage just because they’re married, but I think there is plenty of unexplored areas, Marvel (read Joe Q) is just being kind of lazy and unimaginative about this.

    I think the real problem is that no character can stay all that fresh and viable when there are 3 monthly titles devoted to just him and they’re all supposed to coincide in the same continuity.

  7. Personally I don’t understand why they have to change this Peter. There are enough different versions of him in Ultimate Spider-Man, Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, Marvel Adventures, Spider-Girl, plus other side projects that I think marvel could leave this one alone. And he is interesting. It doesn’t all have to be about his marriage just because they’re married, but I think there is plenty of unexplored areas, Marvel (read Joe Q) is just being kind of lazy and unimaginative about this.

    I concur. Married Spider-Man was the one I read most growing up, and I think de-aging him is just a cheap way out. If you are that unhappy about it, make it a lasting change – not just something that can be undone by the next creative team.

    I liked Justice League Unlimited a little more than Justice League, but both were top notch. Warren Ellis and Gail Simone did episodes, and there was also a “For the Man Who Has Everything” episode. Great stuff that ended too soon.

  8. The last issue of Amazing didn’t have a proper conclusion that I was looking for. Instead, we get in the last panel, “concludes in One More Day.” (sigh) I’m a fan of Q’s art and I’ll probably stick around for this little event. I’m not overly excited though.

    The Dark Knight though. This is the single movie event of 2008 I most crave for.

    On a related note, Brubaker’s The Man Who Laughs (an early Joker/Batman tale) gets the reprint in a small HC collection. Yeah! Goodbye ebay and your crazy prices! (Never could find this story for $50 or less) Now I’m getting this nice hardcover. Check out the latest previews.

    C.

  9. “One More Day”/Spidey reboot – BOOO!

    Dark Knight Teaset Trailer – YAY!

    Superman/Justice League/Unlimited – Double YAY!

  10. I’m interested to see where this “One More Day” storyline goes, only to see how they’re going to differentiate it from the Ultimate Spider-Man. Also, how they are going to turn back time should be an interesting feat in and of itself. I enjoy Quesada’s art, so we’ll see how it goes. Overall, I’m pretty impartial to the character. As a kid, I read it during the Clone Saga and dropped it. As an adult, I picked it back up after Civil War, and it has yet to convert me to a huge fan.

    I went and saw Superbad the other day, and they had the Dark Knight teaser. My girlfriend (who strangely, is a huge fan of the first one) leaned over and said, “Oh man, why don’t they show any footage?” After wiping the drool and making sure she hadn’t noticed that I soiled myself, I replied, “Oh, it’s more than enough. Anything is more than enough.” That movie will change lives. I guarantee it.

    I have never scoped any of the cartoons mentioned above, but my heart holds a very special place for Batman: TAS. That thing is bad ass. That said, Justice League: Unlimited is currently in my Netflix line up.

    sidenote: what wii games perchance would you suggest for hours and hours of free time one might have?

    Max, I could not reccommend the Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess enough. Also, Super Paper Mario and Metroid Prime 3 are crazy ass amazing.

  11. The rumors about the Amazing relaunch are really convincing me to pick it up but if it does happen, won’t it just be Ultimate Spider-man but just not as good?

    Since you’re talking about the Batman movie and the animated cartoons, if you haven’t yet, I strongly recommend you to pick up the movie Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. It is a great Batman movie by Bruce Timm, Paul Dini and the rest of the folks from the Animated Series and it must be seen especially if you liked the Batman Animated Series.

  12. I don’t think Mask of the Phantasm gets the respect it deserves. It is one of my favorite Batman stories (although all of my favorite Batman stories come from the Animated Series). If anyone has ever passed on that one, go back and check it out. It doesn’t disappoint.

  13. So what happens to Peter P. in other books? Do they just tell Bendis writing New Avengers, “Oh, by the way, one of your main, pivotal characters will go from married adult to teenager within a 24 hour period, as you wait for one of your main artists to get the next MA book finished. Can you work that into your story in NA and MA somehow without disrupting the flow of where you are trying to take the book, and not get too bogged down in any backstory explaining how this all effects established continuity?”

    Just a copy of USM, but running every other book based on the old continuity right off the rails? I wonder what Bendis is saying in the Marvel offices about that behind closed doors…

    Peter Parker can be adult — they just need a consistently good writer like Bendis on USM. Rewriting continuity so drastically just because the last writer had a very mixed run is just… not real bright, in my humble opinion.

  14. And that trailer for Batman looks good. Thank goodness for Nolan, Bale, Caine, even Heath Ledger by the sound of it… very nice trailer, very good tease, telling you in a fair amount of detail what direction they are going in with the story (sounds a bit along the lines of Loeb’s books), but basically showing you nothing… nice.

    Very Nicely Teased. So when is this darn movie coming out? I want it NOW.

  15. I think Marvel needs to cherry pick the best aspects of the Ultimate Universe (i.e. Ultimate Spider Man) and the 616 Universe and have some cataclysmic event that combines them. Some books wouldn’t even have to change (Iron Fist comes to mind) but that way Marvel could have it’s cake and eat it too.

  16. If you can find the international version of Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker then you’re golden. The US version was “toned down” for younger audiences and it shows. Still worth watching but the international version is much more adult.

  17. Hi guys, I just finished and presented a comic book styled animation that served as a intro to a concert of a salsa group from here (Colombia)… They wanted something very retro, so I based it on Jack Kirby’s style.

    Being this place, the place where I mostly talk and share comic info, I’d like to share this and get some feedback.

    Thanks

    THE COMIC PAGE:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/elprofe/1339540179/

    THE ANIMATED VIDEO:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfDO84Jm6ZA

  18. If they need to “fix” the “MJ problem” why not, I dunno, have them get a friggin’ divorce? Is it really that hard? I actually think that this could make for some interesting conflict and drama in young Peter’s life.

    I personally find it a little weird how many fanboys seem to gravitate towards teen drama in their suoerheroes. Ultimate Spidey, Robin, Invincible…I mean there are plenty of teen related books out there, do we really need 616 Peter to be a teen…AGAIN? What the hell happened to you guys in High School that was so damned interesting? High School was boring and I personally feel that adulthood is far more complex and interesting. But ultimately I don’t really care, if the masses want their teenage fantasies acted out ad nauseum then so be it.

  19. Returning Spidey back to his teenage age is ridiculous. I’ve never been a big Spider-Man fan and haven’t read any Spidey comics in quite a long time, but I can imagine how horrified I would be if they did this to a character like the Hulk or Daredevil (Matt Murdock’s character has been shaped by the events that occurred to him in the Frank Miller and Brian Michael Bendis runs), and if they go down that path with Spidey I can imagine they would try it with other characters. Marvel has just started to seem more realistic and plausible in its storytelling, and for all the people that want their underage Spider-Man porn there is the Ultimate Universe to play around in.

    Seriously. Bad idea.

  20. Maybe Peter wants to go back to high school so he can take advantage of his previously-unknown “super jock” status.