I spend my sunny days on economics.

*God what a day. This whole week is going to be silly with business. Tomorrow will be more seriocomic than anything, so that's kind of a plus.


Seven Soldiers - Zatanna #1 (of 4): Making this the fourth ‘first’ issue of the project, with a fifth on the way later this month, before we can finally get beyond introductions and into the meat of the matter. Hopefully this particular introduction will be slightly less reliant on the dustier tropes of superhero drama then “Guardian” was (no! the fiends have captured by beloved wife!), although such an execution has certainly not dimmed the largely positive response across the internet (hell, knowing this market it probably brightened it). And it’s understandable: all of these books are at minimum feather-light, entertainingly kicky little superhero-type stories united by a vigor of execution and a sense of energetically bloody adventure, something I’m certainly not getting from a lot of other books on the stands.

Oh, and there’s the added promise of innovative or incisive comment on one-or-more aspects of the superhero team of the construction of superhero stories to be added later, as more connections between the books become clear, and damn if such promise doesn‘t make fine economic sense given the breadth of the project, hooking you into a broad spectrum of miniseries as early as possible so that a desire for ‘full disclosure’ (so to speak) will carry any weaknesses of the ensuing project economically; the very set-up of the series as an interlocking set of stories thusly makes fine business sense, as the natural desire for completion compels the consumer to not merely stick with lesser performing books but even expand into other books. This theory is par for the course concerning tie-in issues of Major Events, but “Seven Soldiers” puts a nice spin on it by presenting itself as a self-contained work, just an extremely large one, likely no less broad than the average mega crossover stunt (once all tie-ins are counted) but with the benefit of sticking entirely inside a cordoned playground of operation. And it doesn’t interrupt ongoing storylines in other books, which I suppose adds genuine value of a type (though it sacrifices the potential boost that under-performing books typically feel when lassoed to a Big Thing, not that those boost result in much long-term gain anyhow). It’s the crossover extravaganza encompassing the entirety of its controlled environment, everything in the petrie dish involved, with all else looking in. And by stacking the first issues all across the first few months, well, all the more chances for a hook, only one of which may be needed to lead to benefit for the whole. Of course, this is all possibly academic given that I've not met anyone who's started on this project that didn't already plan to check out all seven miniseries, but it's good to cover yer ass regardless, since a series of introductions that kind of fizzle are, in my opinion, less likely to drive a reader away from the entire project than a single series sporting a lack of quality deep into its execution...

Economic structures aside, I do find it all entertaining (and it’s not that a certain theory of sale would necessarily dim my enthusiasm for the aforementioned comment or insight should it indeed appear as the work progresses); I just think that “Guardian” erred a bit too much on the side of typical genre familiarity-in-execution to really capture my attention, and “Shining Knight” was, well, a big introduction, with little character definition and tons of backstory. Still, there’s a spot in my heart for smoothly entertaining superhero piffle and “Seven Soldiers” hasn’t given any warning that it’ll dip below that level, so it’ll be only the nagging scratch of expectations unmet to vex me should that indeed occur, not a washing disappointment at thorough failure, which seems off the table for now. Isn’t that a pleasant thought?

The Intimates #6: Oh, this one. Yeah, I’ll not work up much enthusiasm for it, but it’ll probably wind up pleasing me anyway. That’s how it’s been going for the last few issues.

The Punisher MAX #19: On the other hand, I’ll be interested to see in Ennis can keep up the pace with this new arc that he established last time around, and not lapse into “Kitchen Irish”-style boredom.

Ultimate Fantastic Four #17: I kind of said all that needed to be said about this book so far the other day, so I’ll just leave it at that.

The Comics Journal #267: The Will Eisner tribute issue! Many writers pay fine tribute! Perhaps an examination of the man’s work! I’ll update this when the Journal updates their front page with all the details later today! I expect good things.