Boy, That Wolverine Sure Makes Me Think.

*I'm still sick and it's raining and there's more work to do in a half hour and then even more late into the night and this post is really tardy and Happy Valentine's Day yaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.


Empire (early Chaykin, and a strange encyclopedia of just recently modern comics concerns, preaching the future from 1978)

Doc Frankenstein #2, The Punisher MAX #17

Vimanarama #1 (of 3), Wild Girl #4 (of 6)

Swamp Thing #140-143 (early Millar, with a little dab of Morrison)

St. Swithin’s Day (earlyish Morrison, with a cameo by Millar in the ads in the back; a very interesting departure from the usual.. but maybe not)

Cough cough cough cough cough.


Promethea #32 (of 32): Ok, so that’s it. Although, really, it said ‘The End’ last issue. “The Invisibles” did that in its penultimate issue as well, didn‘t it? There’s no telling what this issue will bring (aside from a sloppily-pasted poster with jagged edges if you’ve got my arts-’n-crafts skillz and not enough cash to spring for the limited $50 pre-assembled edition). I’m guessing a poetic summary of the themes of what has gone before, with an added affirmation of the reader’s fine taste and a bidding to go out and do good works. No twists or final mind-blowing revelations, certainly; I think you’re setting yourself up for disappointment by expecting otherwise. But we’ll see, we’ll see.

Tom Strong #31: Beginning the two-part Michael Moorcock and Jerry Ordway arc, and then I believe Peter Hogan’s coming back to wrap up some of his own plot threads from his earlier run. Or maybe that was just a rumor, like the rumors of Moore and Sprouse returning to put the book to sleep. Well, the last arc (the Ed Brubaker one) was pretty solid stuff, so it’s not like it’s impossible for this title to be entertaining without Alan Moore; although, the Brubaker plot did focus a lot of its energy on Moore’s contribution to comics anyhow.

Apocalypse Nerd #1 (of 6): From Dark Horse, the latest Peter Bagge epic. His last miniseries, “Sweatshop”, needed a good three or four issues to start clicking; unfortunately, it croaked at issue #6. Still, there mere sight of a wacky industry insider workplace comedy was quite a sight in DC’s lineup. This one’s a bit more high-concept: following a world-crippling cataclysm, a sensitive young hero mostly mopes around and gnashes his teeth at his sorry lot, while all of the worst annoyances inherent to mankind become amplified. A comedy. Very chatty preview here. It might turn out well; Bagge is funnier when he’s vicious, and there’s a lot of potential for venom in this one.

Ocean #4 (of 6): Some fun ideas in this series. I’ll be counting on more as we move deeper into the mystery of the core plot, although the world-building bits have been fun too. A pretty satisfactory book.

Robocop: Wild Child #1 (of 1): Oh Avatar, you crazy scamps! Three bucks for a 16-page comic? That’s what you did with the last Robocop one-shot too, right? You’re just setting up hurdles for yourselves to jump now. At least IDW has joined in on the ‘$4 for 32 color pages’ pricing scheme, but I don’t think a lot of consumers are quite ready to cut the size in half while only decreasing the price by about a fourth. I know, the only comic that’s too expensive is one that sucks, yeah, and I like Steven Grant and all, but I think a whole lot of on-the-fence browsers are going to find themselves mysteriously predisposed toward a ‘suck’ analysis in the store with this price matched with this length. Still waiting on those last two issues of the core “Frank Miller’s Robocop” book, btw.

Garth Ennis’ 303 #3 (of 6): But this is gonna be worth the four bucks, to me at least. Ennis is sort of in “Punisher MAX” mode, and sort of in “War Stories” mode, and leaning a bit farther toward the latter than in the military-themed bits of the proper “Punisher MAX”. Jacen Burrows and Nimbus will make it look nice. I’m looking forward to it.

Astonishing X-Men #8: Here you are, decently entertaining core X-Book! I’ve been looking all over! Let’s hear those old tunes! Hi-Fidelity!

Wolverine #25: Death is not nothing in the Marvel Universe; that would be over-limiting out grounds for argument. No, death is symbolism. Death in ongoing serialized fiction always carries some voice from beyond the boundaries of the fiction-reality, of course, and a different tenor from deaths in other fictions, close-ended works. But death, being death, usually carries a more pressing immediate concern in the operation of the fiction itself: the absence of the decedent from the ongoing plot. This primary attention is stripped away in Big Two superhero comics. Dead most certainly does not mean dead, it means ‘leave of absence’ or ‘vacation’ or ‘bon voyage until we need to act upon our copyrights’ or ‘we don’t recall who you are but we know how to make you Shocking’, but not ‘dead’. With the finality of death stripped away, the act of killing an established character reverts to symbolism as its primary projection; when it’s impossible to acknowledge death as death as applied to fiction, we acknowledge death as an indication of weather currents upon the fiction, of a certain make-up of rain clouds and pressures and temperatures. Popularity. In lieu of that, visibility or notoriety. Inter-title consistency (even in its current devalued state). Attitude among creative teams. Presumed effect on the readership, bearing in mind the absence of death’s primary purpose, factoring in the metaphor present in the killing, now the primary focus itself. These are the storm conditions of Mighty Marvel Murder, but the storm reads us as we read it. What does a character mean in death? What do we think it means when the character is ‘killed’? What does the writer think it means in terms of effect on us when the character is ‘killed’? These questions form the basis of our attentions when a superhero is killed, and provides the excuse for the very presence of said attention at the same time. Because without these questions, well…

Who fucking cares?

We know the bastard’s coming back.