Friday, May 09, 2014

Whatever happened to solicitations run ?

The last few days I have been planning to write a new post - about an actual comic series this time - but I realize before I can do that there´s something that´s bugging me and I have to get it off my chest.

Last month I spend a lot of time going through my old posts and one thing I have noticed is how the focus of the posts here has slightly shifted.

Not in quality ( sadly it DID sink in quantity ) at least that´s what I like to tell myself, but more where it´s not as up to date as it used to be. One of the things I used to do on a regular basis was called SOLICITATIONS RUN or just solicitations where I posted my thoughts on the newest releases by DC and Marvel along with the usual witty banter you all know and love. As well as some kick ass cover illustrations by comicdom´s best of the best.

That always was a lot of fun but over the last years that has changed and since I always try to focus on the positive things about comics solicitation posts have become less frequent. And it´s not like you don´t get enough of my opinion about the current state of comics as it is. Sometimes I think my readers must be fed up with my constant rants about the same thing. On the other hand I´m not going to restrain myself in any shape, way or form as long as I pay for all my reading material myself. If I was sponsored by some company ( or at least got some review copies, hint, hint, help a dude out, man ) I might feel obligated to pander to a certain publisher but as long as this trip goes on my tap everything goes.

Like I said, I have been planning to write a post about a comic series but before I can really sink my teeth into that it´s time for one more round of solicitation commentaries and I´ll start with the Marvel wall of weirdness.


Can anybody explain this picture to me ?

I mean, I KNOW what it is, it´s the cover to the latest issue of ALL NEW X - MEN by Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immomen ( I hope he is drawing it ) one of the few good series Marvel has somehow forgotten to cancel.

Maybe they got sloppy or they saw the good critiques it got and said " Now we can´t cancel the book, everybody loves it " ( yeah, like that stopped them before ) or maybe they wanted something else people could actually read besides DAREDEVIL - it doesn´t matter. Somehow it happened.

It´s a really good book that I can only recommend to anybody who is an X - Men fan and especially to those that haven´t read Marvel in a long time. The cool thing about the series is that the reader who has been absent from the mutant universe - and maybe even from the entire Marvel universe - for a longer period of time gets to see it from the perspective of the original X - Men team. And as the strange and crazy happenings of the last years get explained to those young mutants ( as well as to the reader ) they get to voice our thoughts. Like how many times has Charles Xavier died now ? I lost count. I was surprised he was alive during A vs X.

But back to crazy. Now on the cover above we see Angel on a bike. Okay, let that sink in for a moment. Angel. On a bike.

A guy who can fly on a bike.

Now I´m no expert on motorcycles ( I think the only time I mounted one of those things I managed to drive it into our hedge ) but aren´t these big wings kind of in the way when you are trying to drive a bike ?   

But I guess that´s what you get now that the Ghost Rider has a car.

Okay, that´s just effed up, man. The Ghost Rider driving a car. Is he now called the Ghost Driver ? Does Vengeance now drive on the wrong lane of the street - but in the opposite direction - or what the hell is going on ?

I just know that some exec at Disney must have watched all THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS movies in one weekend and decided to get his hands on that franchise money. Just when you thought Hollywood effed up Ghost Rider as bad as it possibly gets Marvel comes and does them one better.

I mean the 90s are considered the worst comic period by most people, but I was reading comics at that time and at least back then the creators knew you had to put ghost Rider on a bike. Remember those Ghost Rider comics by Mark Texiera and Javier Saltares ? They were the dream team.

They had a classic run ( and that WILL be the topic of an upcoming post now that I think back on it ) that lasted for quite some time before all the crap started with the overexposure and Ghost Rider guest starring in a dozen comics a month and all that nonsense later on with the angels and then Ghost Rider becoming a broad and all that happy horse manure.

And speaking about what comes out of the horse´s backside, there is one way you could pull off a series with Ghost Rider driving a car without sucking. Let Evan Dorking write it. The genius behind MILK & CHEESE.

He knows crazy. He knows violence. He knows mindless violence and he can make a story interesting and funny even though it makes no sense.

So he would be perfect for Ghost Rider in a car. Forget " Vengeance will be served ! " his new slogan is " Drive By Vengeange ! " and he would just run over the bad guys without even getting out of the car. He would be like just crashing his car into the villain´s lair and stuff doing that crazy Tokyo Drift thing to hit them with the fender. And there would be some innocent bystanders killed but what the heck, that´s the price of justice.

That - and ONLY that - would be a Ghost Rider book worth reading. Come on, I can´t be the only one who can´t take the new Ghost Rider serious.


And is it just me or is Marvel getting desperate for ideas ? Because what´s up with the latest one ? So somebody killed the Watcher.

Or this is what happens when you binge watch all season of BREAKING BAD. Now some people have other ideas about what really happened.

With so much out there to watch I´m sure old baldy gets his fair share of hot booty time if he wants it or not. If you really believe that he has to watch everything that´s also included and it doesn´t necessarily have to be hot super heroines only. Not that there´s anything wrong with that but I guess the percentage of mere mortal massitas would be much higher.

But I think it was just too much for the guy. I mean he has to watch all the stuff happening in the Marvel universe and there´s a lot of crazy. Just imagine reading the new Marvel catalogue and multiply it with a hundred.

Angel driving a bike. Ghost Rider driving a car. Nick Fury gets shot. How the hell did someone manage to shoot Nick Fury ? Isn´t he supposed to be the ultimate super spy ? How can somebody shoot this guy ? And why is there no book about that ? There´s just all kinds of crazy stuff. Doctor Octopus is now Spider - Man. But no, Spider - Man is back again. Angela from SPAWN is now at Marvel and she´s the long lost sister of Thor and Kid Loki. Nova is also a kid and Star Lord looks like Grifter. Didn´t Star Lord have one of the coolest costumes ever ? What happened to that ?

And Iron Man is now a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy AND of the Avengers. I hear them box office dollars talking here. Milk those fanboys.

Although the Avengers are not acting like the Avengers anymore. All the stories are now total science fiction " Oh, it´s the end of the world ! " stuff and the Avengers are acting worse than the Authority. I guess they are becoming the desposts they were at the beginning of AVENGERS FOREVER. Now THAT was a great Avengers series. But as it is I can´t read the Avengers, they don´t even act like the Avengers. Thor is getting soft and talking about his kids, in NEW AVENGERS it´s actually the Illuminati dealing with all the universes collapsing which they totally stole from Doctor Who. Although nobody gives a rat´s a$$ about the New Avengers story because they didn´t even manage to do a good swipe. And if you don´t believe me just count how many times the phrase " all things must end " or something similar is used. You can´t get much more obvious.

Does anybody at Marvel know what the Avengers are supposed to be ? Or has anybody at least read some of the good stuff , the classic issues ?

And it´s not much better with the Fantastic Four. Okay, it´s a little better since I read and enjoyed the FF series by Matt Fraction and Mike Allred.

And while that was a great book - and I definitely am going to re - read the final issues numerous times because they totally kick ass - they had one book for the Fantastic Four proper and one book for all the hilarious, weird and funny stuff. And all of that used to be told in just one book.

And the Fantastic Four looked like they were supposed to look, all cool in their blue not some white or red BS. The only BS ( or B and S ) you could find in those days on the Fantastic Four were the signatures of the artists, and of course B stood for John Buscema and S for Joe Sinnott.

They are constantly changing the costumes of the Fantastic Four, of Spider - Man and so on why can´t it be something good for once ? How about this as a new costume for Namorita ( if she´s still alive ) ?

But I don´t want to paint everything dark. While there are some really awful books - in both the writing and the art - like this new SHE HULK abomination there are some good books out there by Marvel ( which I wanted to mention in a best of 2013 post but for which it is much too late now ) and it seems that even Alan Davis has gotten his drawing groove back and is all excited about it again now that they let him do his stuff. His new HULK stuff looks definitely three notches better than what he was mailing in on that atrocious WOLVERINE - KILLABLE train wreck.

Now I don´t want to give my readers the impression that I´m just bashing Marvel. Especially since DC´s NEW 52 is messing up things much worse.


It´s just that with Marvel it´s easier to pick out certain things to whine about because DC is effed up all over the entire board. There is almost no corner of the DC universe somebody of the new powers didn´t take a giant dump on. I mean they managed to turn their most recognizable superhero, an icon known and beloved all over the world into a Robotech version because everything has to have that manga look now. I guess nobody told them that manga boom was over ten years ago. So they turned the Man of Steel into so much scrap metal for money and when he´s not with the red eyes because he´s being possessed by everybody and his brother he´s got Doomsday´s face on. Not even the art by John Romita Jr can get me back on that book. Yes, Superman´s days are over.

The same goes for the Justice League. With the first trade out I thought they were just getting their footing and now the good stuff would follow.

That already WAS the good stuff. Everything went downhill from there. Superman and Wonder Woman are the new power couple ( we didn´t need those when I grew up ) and there are dozens of Justice Leagues out there so you can get as much cash as possible out of this from Justice League Dark to Justice League Australia with any c - list heroes they can find.

And with FOREVER EVIL everything is dark, dark, dark and the villains are the new heroes because they have to save the world from Earth 2 now.

Maybe I´m just a jaded old comic fanatic but that´s all to depressing for me. I have enough problems in my life as it is and I don´t need comics to tell me I can´t win. I already know that. Comics should be about how life ought to be. But Today´s version of heroism is just so twisted and backwards that I don´t recognize anybody in these Leagues of Justice.

So that was my little solicitation rant and I guess now you know why I don´t do this kind of thing on a regular basis anymore. With that in mind let´s all take a minute of silence to ponder about the state of comics.

On a much brighter note, with that out of the way our next post will be about a comic I just read. That´s right boys and girls, time to pack your Lederhosen because we go back to the days of World War II - on Earth 2.

You know this is really the fault of Terry Hooper - Scharf at Comicbits Online and his post about The Mighty Crusaders and Criven´s Comicblog who is posting one thing about the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents after another .

That really got me going back to those old comic series of Yesteryear and the book I picked for the next post is the one I discovered during the research for the Deja Vue post on the Legion of Super - Heroes . It´s SHOWCASE PRESENTS THE ALL - STAR SQUADRON which contains the first 18 issues of that title. It´s Pearl Harbor, it´s Franklin D. Roosevelt, it´s the Spear of Destiny, it´s the Seven Soldiers of Victory ( kind of ), it´s the Justice Society of America although sadly without Power Girl.

( Power Girl picture above courtesy of 93cobra on DeviantArt )

What ?

You know I just have to mention her whenever we talk about Earth 2. And she may not be in SHOWCASE PRESENTS THE ALL - STAR SQUADRON but there´s a lot of the magical boobie window going on all front and center in SHOWCASE PRESENTS ALL - STAR COMICS which I´m just finishing.


So Today was a rather short post, although in hindsight it was a bit longer than expected because there were much more things I´m peed off about and which I have now finally gotten off my chest. It is one of my free days and I should be taking it easy since I have to go to work again Tomorrow.

Although I might call in sick since my knee is still not completely healed and even my boss told me that he wants me to take better care of myself so I can work at the Stadionbad for a long time to come. Maybe I should start participating in the many health programs they offer there myself.

And speaking about getting things off my chest, since I started this post with that phrase and ended it with the same here´s the picture I would have posted above if the first picture of the post wasn´t the one that is shown whenever it´s linked to. That took some restraint. Boioioiiiing !

Sorry, no Marvel or DC video Today. Since I mentioned the THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS movies here´s a video I have been saving for a long time.

It´s Fair Weather Rider´s review of the original THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS movie by Roger Corman which I found while doing the research for a Roger Corman post I wanted to do after seeing a documentary about him. I never got around to do the post but I think you might find this video interesting. It´s 25 minutes long and the voice of the guy doing the review sounds kind of bored most of the time which can be off putting but he discusses the whole movie ( yes, spoilers ). So if you want to know what happened in the original movie without having to watch the whole movie this is for you. And even if you don´t watch the whole video you owe it to yourself to watch the montage at the beginning. Those 55 seconds alone are wort the price of admission. Start you engines ! 

New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN : top ten posts / more posts of interest / best of the best


Terry Hooper-Scharf said...

I did warn everyone that the Avengerks were going to become a sci fi title but did anyone listen? No. Too busy shoving fish between their breasts!
Anyway,some sad, run out of ideas after two stories probably got told "Motorcycles aint family friendl -cars sell. Those films, The Fast and the Furious -what is it -seven films now? Cars just -WAITTAMINNIT! The guy from the films died while speedin' in a car, right? THAT'S IT!! Ghost Rider drives a hotrod! Hot Damn -the merchandise...."
"Who Shot The Watcher" My ass shot the Watcher, that's who. I actually thought it was a gag when I first saw it and then...I realised. Crap.
All Star Squadron was brilliant as a series because of all the Golden Age characters who crop up. But THAT B&W collected The black and white art is gorgeous.
I saw the new FF. ******
Marvel is lost to us and all hope as soon as Disney purchased them. DC...oh.....can I see that picture of the big breasts and fish?
You need to contact The NextArt and other German companies and just saw you are open to reviewing new books. Worth a try. Its how I started!!
Great post...and a missing cover image? But big breasts and a fish. Rollmop

SUBZERO said...

I don´t even know what that picture with the fish means. Tuna ? What kind of a battle cry is that ?

I have no idea where I found it but I have lots of these weird pictures. I would put it into one post but then your brain would explode like the Watcher´s.

And yes, the black and white art on All Star Squadron is unbelievable. Nothing against Joe Staton on All Stars, he´s one of my childhood are heroes and there´s some great art by Jim Starlin in the second volume of Superman team ups ( well, him and Jose Luis Garcia Lopez ) but my God ! Jerry Ordway really carries that book. No wonder he changed his name in the credits from Jeremiah to Jerry.