Thursday, March 14, 2013

Rummaging Through the internet Attic #1

As I've said before, the arrival of the ipad triggered a sea change in regards to how I use the internet. I won't bore you with my app choices for the most part, but I would like to talk about some of the stuff I've been consuming.

First lets talk about comics:

Most of what I'm looking at comes from the Marvel Unlimited service, and is not, strictly speaking free. However, when it comes to comics, I can read a fuckton in an evening, so at this point, I'm in pennies on the dollar territory, which is close enough to free for me.

The most interesting thing I've read lately is Jim Starlin's early marvel work, in the form of his runs on Captain Marvel and Warlock respectively. I liked both of these comics, and Starlin's art and writing are pretty much at their peak here.
The character arc in Captain Marvel takes a standrd hero and leaves him as a sort of messiah figure by the time things wrap up. Warlock starts as a messiah figure and ends as a sort of nutjob waiting for his own preordained death. The best stories in both collections involve Thanos, of course. He is Marvel's adversary and and Warlock's ally.
In regards to supporting characters, Rick Jones is an over emotional tool and I'm pretty sure Pip the troll is not smoking tobacco.
Read these.

The worst thing about Starlin's comics is they led me to read the Kree- Skrull War (Avengers 89-97 1972-1973). To put it as bluntly as possible: these comics suck. The only good things that can be said about them is both Sal and John Buscema bring their A game in regards to the art. Neal Adams, however, turns in a slick but soulless performance. Even given Adams shit-art, however, the real blame for the unbearable banality of these comics must be laid at the door of Roy Thomas.

Thomas, is at least in this case, the very definition of a hack. He draws out what could have been a two issue story and makes it last forever. Nothing happens in most of these issues. Nothing. I think maybe the Vision cries once.
The writing reminds me of the weaker parts of some old Republic serials in a lot of ways. But those writers had a certain amount of time to fill and very limited budgets to work with. Roy could have had the artists draw whatever he could think of, space battles, alien landscapes, ands whatever, and although there is a little bit of that stuff in there, it is all in the last issue or so and none of it really pops. Thomas, instead relies on hackneyed soap opera shit, and a long drawn out and fucking boring subplot wherein the Skrulls are impersonating a powerful american politician, who is gunning for the Avengers. You keep reading thinking something is going to happen, but every time, nothing happens instead.
Thomas is also responsible for the single worst thing about these comics. Clint Fucking Barton, AKA Hawkeye AKA Goliath (in this arc). He is a fucking horrible sexist, accusing the Wasp of "thinking with her hairdo" and a God botherer, taking time out from important conversations to remind everyone to stop and pray, and also... Thor isn't reeeeealy a god.. Okay? Clint is also a whiner. I think he may have been RT's favorite character.
Anyway, I'm begging you, do not read these comics. They are D&D movie bad.

I was going to get into radio shows, today, but that will have to wait, I've gone on long enough and I want to cook a tortilla now.


  1. I agree with you on Starlin, I have mixed feelings on the Kree-Skrull War. While they aren't all that good in 2013, I can see what would have appealed to kids about them in the 70s when they were coming out. In Supergods, Morrison makes a good case for them (though he's much more fond of guys like Starlin and Gerber).

  2. First allow me to concede that if I had read the Kree-Skrull war as it came out (i was 6) i probably would have liked it. However, that woild have been because I was 6 not because it was 1971. "The Honeymooner's Effect" as we call it around here is only a valid argument if the media in question brings something new to the table, which is then copied over and over again until it becomes cliche. The Kree-skrull war does not do this, imo. Aside from that its chief crime has nothing to do with the freshness of the material; I read stale ass comics all the time that I still somehow enjoy. Leaving aside Clint Barton, the chief crime of the Kree-skrull war is that it is boring. Really, really boring.

  3. I am going to enjoy this series of attic rummagings, I can just tell!

  4. Ordinarily, it wouldn't bother me (being Christian) having someone faithful on the Avengers, but I think they pushed it to annoying levels.

    Not that I thought Clint was well written at the time--he was always supposed to be a bit cocky, offset sort of to Captain America, which means he would have stuck with his bow EVEN against more powered people.

    Good stuff in general.

  5. Two words for you - Dread Star.
    The end.
    Thanks for the post.

  6. @needles, I like Dread Star, but I like the early marvel stuff more, I think.
    @silverlion, I have no problem with religious folks (including atheists), however, I have about the same level of interest in a particular person's relgious beliefs as I do in their flossing habits, which is to say, none at all. Now, some might say that for manyfictional characters relgion is a defining attribute. However, as with characters based around sexuality or politcs, I find that compelling fiction is rarely constructed around such characters. At best, you can get some melodramatic villians or author insert mary-sues from such stock. Clint Barton being in my opinion a perfect example of the latter. Further, accusing a woman of thinking with her "hair do" was painfully behind the times even in 1972, and combined with the god bothering, makes Roy look like a bitter confused old man protesting the erosion of his prvilidge,andcertainly no one with whom I would self-identify. "Women thinking? That's against Jesus, and while we're at it, so is Thor."

  7. I agree with the sexism aspects being behind the times, considerably. Comics still struggle with that to this day, and I'm not sure why.

  8. Today it seems more a problem of over sexualization than flat out sexism. It is still exists because it sells comics. However, it doesn't seem all that different than what's on TV to me.


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