crazy colored glasses

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Mind Wipes... please

I recently (just this morning... i know i'm a little behind) finished reading X-Men Deadly Genesis. Now let me pre-face all of this by saying that I enjoy the work of both Ed Brubaker and Trevor Hairsine. I thought this mini-series was crap, i kept on waiting for a huge payoff, and what did i get... more mind wipes. This is the second huge Marvel mini-series, Secret War being the other, where the big payoff was a mindwipe. C'mon Marvel do something original.

It's been over a year now since DC used a mind wipe in "Identity Crisis". It was definitely the biggest, most controversial, and talked about moment of the comic year. Not only did they wipe Dr. Light, but they also wiped Batman, and we also learned they didn't stop there. Numerous villains were wiped. That revelation changed the landscape at DC and laid the groundwork for every huge story that has followed.

Since the above-mentioned mind wipe, it seems that that has been Marvel's answer go to plot choice. Oh wait, there has also been the rape in the long-delayed "Evil That Men Do" Black Cat and Spider-Man story. Again, a plot thread that was brilliantly used in Identity Crisis and just seemed out of place in the Spider-Man story. The adult themes in both that story and Daredevil: Father (another long-delayed project) just seemed so forced and reactionary to what DC has been doing.

Marvel just seems more interested in selling comics (seriously, how many comics do I need to see Spider-Man and Wolverine in on a monthly basis) than building a cohesive universe. One of the most frustrating things to me is reading various Marvel titles and basically seeing different versions of Spider-Man and Wolverine in in-continuity stories. I always feel like they are speaking with a different voice, or acting completely out of character. I never feel that way in the current DC Universe.

Now I'm not trying to say that I hate everything Marvel. I think they put out high-quality work in the regular monthly series Daredevil, Captain America (told you I liked Brubaker), The Ultimates (whenever it comes out) and the Runaways. Everything else seems really hit or miss. The Mutants have been in disarray for years, Spider-Man (don't even get me started on the god-awful "The Other") is a mess... and The New Avengers, I'm sorry, I just don't get. I still have high hopes for "Civil War"... as long as I don't have to buy all the titles I don't currently buy to get the full story.

At just about the half way point of the year, If this was a boxing match between the companies I'd have to call the fight now and give it to DC on TKO.


Friday, May 12, 2006

Make mine DC

Not that the above statement is such a stretch for me because i've always been a huge Superman and in turn DC fan, but the quality of the books DC has been putting out is unlike anything i've ever read before. Ever since Identity Crisis the tide has shifted. The most intelligent, thought-provoking books on the comic book landscape are being published by DC Comics (except for the brilliant Daredevil, who even a complete creative team change could not derail the momentum, and the very smartly written Captain American... Brubaker is a genius).

Also please note that I'm writing this while basking in the glow of reading of Infinite Crisis (which I thought was always entertaining and in parts absolutely brilliant) and all of the 1 Year Later stories. Every 1 Year Later title that has been published to date has been amazing. All it does is whet my appetite for 52. I can't wait to see how the DC landscape ended up the way it did. I'm sure Marvel's Civil War story will be good (although, not only does it seem reactionary to what DC has done, it's premise sounds eerily familiar to the DC Golden Age mini from a few years back with the Superhero registration Act), but it won't be enough for me to forget the duds that were Daredevil: Father, Secret War and the dreadfully bad Spiderman:The Other.

While I'm on the subject of 1 Year Later titles, I must say what they have done with Superman has been brilliant. Can I petition to have Geoff Johns and Kurt Busiek write Superman forever. Their story accompanied with Pete Woods (who has had a career rennaissance with his new style here and previously on Catwoman. I hope DC has big plans for him when Pacheco takes over thte title) brilliant artwork has been simply great. Superman, Catwoman, Batman, Nightwing, Robin, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Hawkwoman and the JSA are simply put on point right now. I cant wait to see what they have in store for the character next as well as finding out what happened to them in their missing years.

Besides whats happening in comics, DC is generating a ton of buzz from the "Superman Returns" movie which follows hotly on the heels of "V for Vendetta" which was also very well received and did quite well. I'm incredibly excited to see this (baby, remember we have to get tickets for the IMAX midnight showing of this), even if I consider myself somehwat of a comic purist, I can deal with the changes they have made for the film (as well as on the small screen in Smallville).

If all that wasnt enough, the DC Direct toy line continues to deliver to collectors the version of the characters they most want. In both action figures and statues. My personal favorite being the Alex Ross Justice line as well as anything based on the art of Ed McGuiness (very different styles, but spots on my shelf for both).

So... until Marvel starts telling better stories, I will continue to drop more and more Marvel titles to buy DC titles.