I finished my shopping. The holiday is now over.

*Oh King Kong. Maybe I’ll talk more about it tomorrow. I actually wasn’t prepared for how... well, silly it was. It’s quite often a very silly movie - I’m talking ‘Naomi Watts and a Tyrannosaurus Rex swinging at each other on vines’ silly. A lot of it’s actually fairly witty too. But boy was everyone right when they said the film gets sluggish at times; it’s just that they were all saying these parts were up front, which wasn’t true at all for me - it’s the Skull Island material that just drags on and on and on. The endless special effects set-pieces cannibalize one another in terms of impact; it’s just a blur by the end, when they mercifully get the beast back to New York and things pick up and Peter Jackson kind of dials it down a notch. Really, if there’s anything I took away from this move in terms of its director, it’s that Jackson is a clever, enthusiastic fellow, who simply doesn’t know when to stop sometimes (yeah, yeah, I arrived at the same smashing conclusion at the end of two out of three Lord of the Rings movies too). Oh hell, I don't know. Maybe he had studio heads breathing down his neck and chanting "MORE DINOSAURS! MORE DINOSAURS!"

Yeah, probably more talk tomorrow.

Iron Man: The Inevitable #1 (of 6)

A sturdy superhero book, and maybe nothing too much to say beyond that. Decent people involved too; I’ve enjoyed work by writer Joe Casey (The Intimates, G∅dland) and artist Frazer Irving (Klarion) in the past, and they don’t drop the ball here. There’s a little action and a few neat ideas thrown around. Not a thing wrong with that.

It’s an Iron Man miniseries, as one might suspect from the title, following Tony Stark, jillionaire and armored hero, as he goes about his business. He participates in a sting operation targeting a pair of ‘futurists,’ actually frustrated scientists (or at least those who know the right terms) who purchase bizarre technologies off of eBay and hawk them in the black market. He fights a big robot. He attends a charity function. Most interestingly, he hires a superhuman-specializing psychiatrist to attempt to restore the mind of the Living Laser, who has not only lost his human form, becoming a being of pure energy, but whose consciousness has decayed to the point where he can no longer maintain a remotely humanoid appearance, trapped as a haze of particles in a containment unit. Is it guilt that drives Tony? The memory of all those repulsor blasts fired into his foe? Or is it something else? Meanwhile, a bunch of villains are planning to perform some sort of sneaky deed; Spymaster is at the helm.

Perfectly good superhero comics. Some imagination, some fun, some good looks. Irving’s colors are the first thing that really jumps out at you, with plenty of sequences washed in a single hue, like toasty sepia for flashbacks (I think those might be photo backgrounds too) and plenty of soothing pink to denote the presence of luminous high technology (and glittery high society). I really liked the character designs, with bits and pieces of caricature at work with the incidental cast, and a great set of eyes on Tony (which, you’ll notice, carry most of the burden of ‘acting’ for the character). If there’s any problem with Irving’s approach, it’s that the big action scene suffers from a certain lack of flow - staring at individual panels, I was able to figure out what was going on, but the entire sequence is maybe too dimly colored and bit overcompressed (Iron Man raised mid-air in the grip of a robot’s claw in one panel and then standing free on the ground in the next really threw me for a second), though I enjoyed the ‘tiny panels giving way upon vertical reading to larger and larger panels’ page design, which climaxes with a big vehicle crash in a big concluding panel.

So yeah, nice looking comic. Potential. I’d like to see where they go with it.