Monday, September 29, 2008

Second lot of reviews

Or wibblings, if you will.

Final Crisis Revelations 2 Ooh there's an angel of mercy! I believe I've mentioned how much I'm a sucker for religious stuff right? Well, by religious I mean christian stuff. Other religions do interest me but they don't get me in the heart like christian stuff does. I go to churches or cathedrals to sightsee and always end up lighting a candle and offering up a quick prayer. But I don't believe in the doctrine as a whole, just small parts get me.
I really really feel for Crispus. He was made to kill his son as the Spectre and now he's found out there's an angel of mercy and his world is turned upside again. He can't make sense of it. How do you live like that? How do you carry on?

Booster Gold 12 So much fun. It's nice to have a title not full of aggro and darkness. And Booster as Elvis. Bonus.

Green Arrow/Black Canary 12 Still the title I most look forward to each month. Love the art and colouring, love the GA family, love Dinah, getting to like Shado. I've now caught up on all the Green Arrow titles and will get round to putting up some thoughts later, along with lots of pictures of Ollie, who I now have a massive crush on. God I'm sad.

DCU Decisions 1 - Hell it centred round Ollie, of course I like it! I'm hacked off Lois is a Republican but glad to see Diana supporting Ollie making a stand.
But they shouldn't make all the characters take a stand. I mean Superman? Whatever you do it'll break a lot of hearts and tarnish the character. It's fine for Ollie, we've always known where's he's stood, but the none too obviously political ones? Please let us keep the story in our heads.

Teen Titans 63 Well Cassie was much improved in this. Bombshell wasn't how I expected, she seemed mad and homicidal last time we saw her, now she's stabilised? I guess it's a good thing, she's got more depth as a character now. Let's continue with her please, I like her.

Back on the internets

I've had a really busy couple of weeks. Been to London and saw The Wildhearts (very very good despite the crappy balcony seats) and then been promptly ill for a week and a half. There's this bloody cold going round that's wiping out half of Norfolk and it's pretty much decimated my office.
To get back in the swing of things I thought I'd do something easy and go through the backlog of comics and write a few words.
But before that, good news in England - there are moves being made towards allowing the first born, regardless of sex, to be able to inherit the throne. In addition to this, a heir marrying someone of a different faith would also be allowed to keep the throne. I am not a monarchist, but i think that's good news. I think the succession rules say a lot about a country, and it's just daft to not let women or men marrying catholics/Jews/Hindus/Muslims/Sikhs etc to not be king or queen.

OK, topical stuff out of the way, onto the (my) fun.
Super titles:
Superman Beyond 3D I succumbed to the gimmick. I didn't really enjoy the comic, I'm not to keen on random universe shattering stuff - I think a lot of the time everything gets too busy, and characters and worlds are included for the sake of being included, not because it's actually a good idea. I'm not explaining this very well.
I'm still confused as to what infra red massage is and how it keeps Lois' heart beating. The Lady Monitor of nil looks rather daft but I guess if I enjoy Unobtainium I should also enjoy Ultramenstruum. yet somehow I don't.. I do want to read more about Overman - Superman of earth 10 where the Nazis won the Second world war, yet I will not be picking up the second book.

Action Comics 869 This was good. Kara was good, she's tough, she's brave, she's desperate. Supes is, well Supes really. I'm thinking that Kandor may be a fake. Last I saw in the Supergirl comic Krypton was destroyed by phantoms and her mother was dead (except oh no, didn't issue 24 contradict that? I'm so lost, what's her origin story again?)
Loving the argo city protected by a dome though! How silver (?) age! And, has Brainiac just shrunk Metropolis?! Now that's great!

Brave and the Bold 17 Arggghh there was much gnashing of teeth with this one. Stand alone, this was a good comic (if you ignore Raven's choice of high school clothing, I say gratuitous). It's nice to see snarky Kara again, good to see her attempt to meditate. And the art was good. the scenes of Kara at home at night, brushing her teeth, really good to show her like a normal girl. Made her very human, and when that's juxtaposed with her flying off, well i just really like it.
The story was put together really well, the contrast between the students and Kara/Raven worked. The black and white art was really effective. And I like screwed up family stories.
BUT. Ithoughtwealreadywentthroughthis! Kara's dad is not evil, she doesn't have an innocent layer over a dark side, she's not meant to kill Kal out of revenge on her Uncle. *headdesk*
I hope the next issue resolves this and puts it in continuity.

Superman/Batman 52 Yay for the L'il league! Not so much fun as issue 51. Still enjoyable, grympy li'l Batman is a treat, as is grumpy big Batman actually, having to stay behind and look after the kids. 2 Dinah's is always a plus, particularly when talking about kissing Ollie (and I notice Dinah's in her old costume, awesome!) Big exasperated Luthor is tres enjoyable and I'm glad L'il Joker's stuck around.

Superman 680 Krypto's back! I LIKE vicious Krypto. I loved this issue, which obviously makes me very sentimental as it's basically the dog saving the day and Supes making everyone recognise this. Loved it.
Also, Renato Guedes art, still ever so good.

Bat titles:

Batman Confidential 21 The final issue in the arc. Wrapped up nicely. Barbara gets her due from Selina and gets to outwit the Joker in Arkham (and you can truly feel her panic when she thinks she may have to face him).
I've swung back round on the art question, although Babs and Selina's body types may be drawn similarly they have a full range of facial expressions. So now I like it again.

ASBAR 10 I miss the goddamn batman jokes. And the woeful batman thoughts.

On a similar note, I got my All Star Batgirl figure! She's WONDERFUL! Her belt and earring charms are Wonder Woman, Supes, Batman and Green Lantern sigils! When I get my phone to computer transfer thing working again I'll put up some pictures. (Betcha all can't wait ;) Her hair and cape are molded differently to that picture as gravity is affecting them but you get the idea. And she has freckles!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

This is Madness

I know I said I was too busy to blog but i couldn't resist taking 2 minutes to put this up.


Customer: “Look! My friend told me I could get this type of hammer at your store! Now go get it for me!”

Cashier: “Sir, I already told you… we don’t have ANY hammers back here that aren’t already stocked on the shelves.”


(At this point, I come to the front of the store, overhearing what’s going on; note that I’m the manager.)

Me: “Is there a problem?”

Customer: “Yes sir! Your employee here is not doing what I tell her to!”

Me: “Well, you need to calm down and understand that we don’t have what you’re looking for. So maybe you should go back to shelves and check–”


Me: “That’s it. Get out of my store.”

Customer: “What? NO!”

Me: “Sir, get out, or I have to take you out.”

Customer: “Then do it!”

(I go around the counter and approach the customer. I yank him by his collar & drag him to the door.)

Me: “Now, then… you wanna apologize and maybe come back in?”

Customer: “No! I just want my hammer! God, what is this madness?!”

Me: *puts the customer down*

Customer: *confused* “… What is it?”

(I turn back to the cashier, who nods in approval. I then turn back to face the customer.)

Me: “Madness? THIS! IS! SPARTAAAAAAAAA!” *kicks customer out of store and slams door*

Fucking awesome!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

5 fictional characters meme

Jumped on from Kalinara at Pretty Fizzy Paradise who gave me the letter O.

5 Characters Meme
1. Comment on this post.
2. I will give you a letter.
3. Think of 5 fictional characters and post their names and your comments on these characters in your LJ (or blog).

Here we go:

1) Oracle
Barbara Gordon. She used to be Batgirl doncha know, until the Joker shot her in the spine, leading to dear old Babs becoming paralysed from the waist down. now she's in a wheelchair. And now she's Oracle, holding information for all the world's superheroes. And in my opinion she's far more interesting as Oracle. I think she's come into her own, I think she's a positive role model for wheelchair users and I think it's fantastic that she can still pretty much take anyone in a fight. She's works out, she's got pretty damn good upper body strength.

When I think of Oracle I think of a panel in Nightwing, drawn by Greg Land, whereby Dick has taken Babs to the circus and they are practicing on the rings, swinging about way up high, recapturing Barbara's feeling of freedom she had when she could walk. It's a really uplifting (no pun intended) panel.

Barbara apparently has photographic recall and a near (if not actual) genius intelligence. Now while I'm happy with the super bright aspect of her, I'm not with the photographic recall bit. It just seems that for someone who is not a meta human, the writers felt they had to stretch it a bit and make her more interesting by giving her a photographic memory, and that's a cop out. I want Barbara to be like an ordinary person, to be like me. And while I'm not a genius, I can work hard, I can understand things, I can test and strengthen my intelligence, but I can never have photographic memory and neither can the majority of people. I don't think she needs this aspect, I think she's capable of doing what she does w/o it.

Also, Babs was a librarian in her day job, and that's just cool. :)

2)Ororo Munroe
Storm from the X Men. I don't read much X-Men, because I can't afford to follow two universes, and DC will always win out on the strength of their characters.
So far as I know, Storm was born in Africa whereby her tribes people treated her as a witch because of her mutant weather capabilities. At some point she came to America and was a master (mistress?) thief, and was picked up by Professor Charles Xavier and taken to the school for gifted children. I believe she led the X-Men for a bit.
In the X-Men movies she had a kick ass costume, in the 80s she had a lame ass punk inspired costume and I'm sure previously had a barely there costume. Using the excuse that she can control the temperature around her body due to her weather abilities, and therefore doesn't need to wear clothes, is not acceptable.
I understand that some people are offended that Ororo, who is black, has blue eyes and white hair. It represents a whited up version of the character, which is doubly offensive when there are so few black characters, who have black features, in the Marvel Universe.
I also recall seeing complaints that when Ororo got married she became a supporting character in her own book. That sucks.

3) Optimash prime
The Mr Potato Head version of Optimus Prime. This isn't cheating.
I didn't watch Transformers as a kid, I couldn't see the big deal about Robots that transformed into cars, or trucks, or stereos. Consequently I couldn't tell you if Optimus Prime is a good guy or a bad guy. Though I do know it's Autobots vs Decepticons. I quite enjoyed the Transformers movie. It's big, it's silly, it's full of plot holes so big you could drop one of the robots in it, but it's fun.
When I learned of the existence of Optimash Prime, I creased up. I think this is a wonderful piece of merchandise and it brightens my day whenever I think of it.
Potatoes in disguise!

4) Offler the crocodile god
From the Discworld. The Discworld has a massive pantheon of Gods, loosely based on our earth ones. I believe that Offler is inspired by an Egyptian deity.
He has a human body and a crocodile head. He talks with a lisp, due to his massive fangs. In theory he's quite keen on smiting the unbelievers, or anyone who disagrees with him, or offends him, but unfortunately he's also rather idle and so doesn't pay much attention to what's happening on the Disc.
Add this to the increasingly secular* nature of inhabitants of the Disc, and you get a God with dwindling power. Honestly, I think he just likes to it on Mount Olympus, eat and drink and play games with humanity using the Chess board style game of the Gods.

*By Secular I mean the denizens of the Disc know that the Gods exist, which is precisely why they don't see the point of worshipping or believing in them. You don't go around believing in chairs or tables do you?

5) Oberon, King of the Fairies.
Specifically, the Oberon that appears in A Midsummer Nights Dream, the only Shakespeare play I really care about.
This Oberon is a proud, selfish jerk. He treats Titania, his wife, abominably. She's taken care of this human child and Oberon wants the kid for himself. So he gets Puck to drug Titania so that she'll fall in love with the first thing she sees when she wakes up from the drug induced slumber.
This turns out to be Bottom, currently sporting an asses head. Titania woos Bottom and they fuck.
Oberon thinks this is hilarious. I think that's a fairly vile thing to do to your wife and should be construed as sexual assault.
However, Oberon isn't all bad, as he has a soft spot for humans. He sees the Demetrius/Helena relationship and gets Puck to lace Demetrius' eyes, except Puck laces Lysander's eyes, and then there's this massive balls up and a complicated love quadrangle between Demetrius-Helena-Lysander-Hermia.
Anyway, when Oberon sees how it's all gone wrong he berates Puck and fixes the situation so everyone loves the correct person. So he can do some good.
Basically, hes' a fairy, and fairies act as fairies act and that isn't according to human morals or requirements. Trust a fairy like you'd trust a cat.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Link post from the Curvature

When a man is the victim - a study in rape apology
Interesting post. Go check it out.

Whack a Lantern week!

Saw this idea over at Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER! A blog I have enjoyed for a long time but only recently bookmarked. Does what it says on the tin really. Here is my contribution, from Green Arrow #20 (1989:

Ollie's all mopey and emo because he shot an arrow in a kid he thought was carrying a real gun. It turned out to be a paint gun, but Hal is such a good mate of Ollie's he took him into the mountains and allowed Ollie to beat the crap outta him so Ollie'd feel better. :D
Coudlnt; decide which one to put up so you got all 3. I particularly liekt he throw down on the 3rd page!

meh and stuff

I'm currently reading Green Arrow, Mike Grell's run starting in 1986. the comis is labelled suggested for mature readers, and is more 'real' and gritty (not in Frank Miller ASBAR way) thana lot of other stuff around, now and at the time. There's no aliens fr'instance.
What struck me - apart from t he quality and maturity and depth of the comic - is the intelligence of the letters published and the debate that's occuring in these pages (titled Sherwood Forum). people are discussing the storylines, - such as gay bashing, drugs, the mafia, the morality of sex before marriage, what having kids does to a relationship, the abuse and torture of Dinah and Ollie, animal rights, environmental issues - as well as the depths of Ollie's and Dinah's relationship. Nearly every letter discussing these issues is well thought out andreasoned arguments are given, from both sides of the debate. People are inviting readers they disagree with to conduct the discussion 'offline' by providing their real address. This is the first time I've across this. I'm enjoying reading the letters page just as much as the comic itself, and that's a first I can tell you!

The stories themselves are intelligent and meaningful and the art isn't sexist or offensive, the nudity isn't gratitutious. Overall it's really rather good. Unfortunately I am having trouble locking into stories, but that's cos I'm generally dazed at the mo. Not sure why, but I'm feeling all over the place in the evenings lately. I blame work!

Comics to buy tomorrow include:
Batman Confidential
Booster Gold
Final Crisis Revelations
Green Arrow/Black Canary
Old copies of the Question/Green Arrow annual I spotted in a bric a brac shop on Tuesday :)

Monday, September 08, 2008

the link between porn and comics, or not...

well porn and pop culture in general really. And it should go without saying that this is obviously just my thoughts and me trying to establish them and I'm not saying I've got the definitive answer..
(or maybe I am? A-ha! we shall see!)

This post is inspired by a comment left my James Meeley at one of my previous posts. In it James said:
"I prefer my super hero comics and my soft core porn kept separate.

I'm sorry, but I just can't let this comment pass.

If you equate anything Jim Balent did on his Catwoman run (including this alternate reality mini-series) to porn (soft or hardcore) Then THAT is a true "fail." An "epic fail," as I believe the lingo of that goes.

I've read Jim Balent's Catwoman stuff and I've seen porn (soft and hardcore). Anyone who can't see a difference between the two either isn't trying, doesn't know what real porn is, or is simply a smarmy and snarky jerk (which, in MY book, is the worst of the three possibilities).

If someone doesn't like Jim Balent's art, that's fine. You want to say it is overly exaggerated or totally unrealistic, I can dig that. If you say it personally offends you, well, I'm cool with that, too. But to compare it to porn, even if only to be a snarky jerk, is a fundamental lack of understanding what porn is and how this is very different from it: in short, epic fail!"

(text in bold is quoting a comment from Toriach)

That comment led me to thinking. I have compared comic art to porn in the past *cough* Greg Land *cough* and I would still draw parallels between certain art styles and porn. But as James points out there is a difference.
I should probably point out here that I do watch porn. I am not an avid connoisseur I don't watch a lot and there's a lot of truly vile stuff out there. There's also some good stuff. But this isn't going to be a post about the type of porn I like, or even whether porn is a good or bad thing. It's also not going to be a post about whether we should have sexy women in comics.

Right, onwards with the subject. A lot of comic artists feature what I view as overly sexed up, sexualised women that have been influenced by porn. For example, there's the Jim Balent art shown in my previous post, Ian Churchill, Greg Land, Michael Turner. Although Michael Turner gets kudos for not drawing Supergirl with massive bosoms. (Unfortunately this was then negated in my eyes by the extreme low rider jeans and the knicker string pulled up above her hips, I mean, really.)

Most women in comics are depicted sexy first and 'strong' (whatever that may mean) second. Most renderings of women are in a similar style - huge boobs, tiny waist, skin tight costume, high heels. Sexed up. Thongs are everywhere. Even Raven, who I don't view as being particularly sexual in herself, is shown wearing skin tight barely there clothes under the cloak. Women in comics are objectified and judged on their appearance. Men aren't. I'm not going to go into why this is, if you disagree with me you may be at the wrong blog...

It's the proliferation of the same type of women, the same type of sexy that bothers me. I recently read Ariel Levy's Female Chauvinist Pigs - Women and the rise of raunch culture. In it she talked about the pornification of pop culture. How images and themes from porn are surfacing in our everyday public lives, where 10, 15, 20 years ago they were very much separate*. Things like thongs, full muff waxes, lap dancing acceptability, pole dancing lessons, faux sex in music videos, porn star in training t-shirts, playboy bunny merchandise (belts, clothes and kids stationery), Borat mankinis (am I pushing it here?) etc.**(EDIT)

This leads to the situation where there is only one type of sexuality on display - and it's all about women faking it. If women are copying women in porn, or being encouraged to copy women in porn, then there's no real demonstration of female sexuality. because women in porn aren't really getting off on it. (OK some may be, but the vast majority aren't in porn cos they just can't get enough sex. It's a job). Women copying or being inspired by porn are pandering to a male vision of what our sexuality is like. They are not doing it for themselves, they are doing it for men. Now there's something quite fucked up in there, especially when you consider it's a male view of what women should look like or be like before/during/after sex/to be sexy.

But back to the point, I think that this specific type of sexuality is what is displayed in comics, most of the time. Not always. For example, Renato Guedes, Alex Ross, Ale Garza, Cliff Richards, Mike Grell, J G Jones.
As mentioned above, Greg Land apparently traces his women directly from porn. Does he trace the men too? I don't know. (Still at least his women are anatomically correct). Others just use the (intended or not) pornification of our public lives and a lot of comic art is linked to porn. Maybe not equaling porn, but there is a definite correlation.

As I said at the start, I watch porn, I like some of it. I don't however want it or it's derivation in my comics and magazines. I don't think our lives should be over sexualised, I don't think women should be displayed in terms only of their tits and ass, I think there's more to us than that and I think it demeans both the viewer and the viewed when we are reduced to our component body parts, or portrayed in terms of our fuckability. But if you use porn as your inspiration that's what you get. I repeat, that's fine, in porn, when it's sole purpose is to make you get off, but not so acceptable when you are meant to be telling a story about heroics.

In short, I think both James Meeley and Toriach have valid points. But I'm siding with the view that Jim Balent's art is influenced by porn, as is a lot of other comic art.

Have I explained myself adequately? Have I even said anything at all? I shall come back and check tomorrow.

*I don't know, I'm only 28, maybe I've got my assumptions about past decades completely wrong. Can older readers help me out with feedback?
**EDIT - something I forgot to include which might help my point. All those images of women lying beaten ont he ground, with arched backs and thrust hips, gravity defying boobs, strategically ripped clothing and pouty lips. Utterly sexualised and woudl generally seem more in place in a porn mag or as a porn still than at the end of a battle scene, because it makes no bleedin' sense in context.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

In defense of Superman and Siegel and Schuster society

Over on Greg Rucka's blog. He's dead on with his thoughts re Superman. Also, they are trying to raise money to repair the home of Jerry Siegel. I think it's a good cause. Go take a peek folks.

Edit: here's the ebay shop and here's the list of future auctions. Unfortuantely I don't have $10,000 knocking about. :(

Supergirl, Buffy and Manhunter (and how I think the Supergirl run was ruined)

So I didn't purchase much this week. I was considering getting that Superman 3d book, but lack of fund meant that I decided against it. I know it's a gimmick, I doubt it will be very good, but the idea of it entertains me. Much like Jaws 3D.
I wasn't very impressed with anything this week. :/
Manhunter #34, was alright, and of course I like seeing Zinda, but she and Huntress had a really small role, definitely not enough to warrant the cover anyway. I guess they are gonna be in the next issue though.
Boomerang's status confuses me, I first came across him in Supergirl (more on that later) and he was a good guy. then I read this intro into the DCU in Flash and he was a bad guy, I can't remember what he did in the Outsiders and now whenever i see him anywhere else I haven't got a clue what side he's meant to be on. Partly my fault for reading stuff out of order, but I dislike books that don't stand alone. A small editorial box explaining what has been happening or other titles to read would be really helpful.
Aside from all that, my main beef with this book is that it feels like this arc has gone on for ages and I'm now bored. I want plots to be wrapped up and dealt with in 3 issues. It's fine if they are longer if you are reading them in a trade, but monthlies suffer when a plot is dragged out over 6 issues or so. It's why I cancelled Birds of Prey.
And I still don't like the art. *sigh*

Buffy #18 Bah. Filler. Gorgeous cover:

I'm not liking Dawns' ride me jokes, they seem out of character and unnecessary. And this coming from me who loves a cheap laugh and bad puns. The tree guy part was good. Willow's orgasm mermaid (?) lady is an interesting development. Fray and future Willow's talk left me cold though.

Supergirl # 33 RUBBISH. Mostly rubbish cos I had expectations that were not only not met but destroyed and trampled under my feet. I (somewhat mistakenly) thought that 'Enter Empress' on the cover might indicate that maybe Empress would become a regular cast member. Bah. An explanation may be needed.

Supergirl is still upset about losing Thomas - she couldn't find a cure for his cancer in time. She's an angry young lady (this isn't a problem) and while she's beating up Clayface Empress turns up and lends a hand. Empress asks for Kara's help to rescue her parents who are toddler aged (this happened at the end of Young Justice). Kara agrees and it turns out that Empress has betrayed her - the bad guy wants Kara mind controlled so he can prove to the world that there is no such thing as heroes and that the bad can affect the good.
Empress went along with this guys plan because he threatened to kill her parents. Needless to say Kara breaks free with Empress' help and the bag guy gets captured. This situation leads to Kara accepting that she can be a hero again and needs to protect people and fight things she can win, i.e. not cancer.

RUBBISH. Empress is not helpless, or weak, or stupid, or liable to betray people. What would have made sense was for Empress to fill Kara in on what had happened and they work out a plan together. And the art was lame.
This just read like a desperately contrived way to wind up the story so that it's all fresh for the new creative team starting next month. Heidi Meeley, is you're reading this, don't bother with this issue. Start next month. Apparently they are gonna start tying Superman, Supergirl and Action Comics more closely together. This is good, because the last Superman book had a good depiction of Kara in it.

I decided to re read all the Supergirl issues over the last couple of days, as I'd forgotten a lot of detail. And read in a straight run they really don't make sense. Each story arc stands alone OK, but together it looks bizarre.

Lets get down the things I like about this Kara:
At the start, she's snarky, she's messed up, she's rude, she's got this enormous pressure on her because she's got all these buried issues re Krypton and her dad and Superman. I know how it feels to have this other side to you fighting to make you do bad things, so I can identify with that and I feel for her. And despite all this, she generally does the right thing be it trying to be a hero with The Outsiders, getting rid of the phantoms (now if only someone could tell me how she did it..), or finding out who's trying to kill her. She removes herself from Kal because she doesn't trust herself to be near him. She stands her own ground, she may be a mess but she doesn't let others walk over her. I think that's admirable. And I totally buy that she'd wear that outfit. I wore stuff that short and high when I was 15-19. Possibly not at the same time, but that's just a matter of taste.

So I like this Kara, a lot. She's finding it very difficult to fit in on this planet, again, I get that feeling of missing the book of rules that will make everything make sense. I think there has been a growth of sorts to Kara, but sometimes it only makes sense in each particular plot arc.

The problems with the books lie with the editors. (If it is them which is responsible for the catalogue of disasters I'm about to list....let me know if I'm wrong.)

For the record, I like her intro in Superman/Batman and I like the first trade - #1 to 5. Yes there are some artistic problems, but I can get behind the story.
What doesn't work, and hasn't worked the entire way through is the crossovers. 60% of the time I don't understand what's happening because I'm not reading all the other DC books.
Why does the first page of #6 say 1 year and one month later, and the cover of # 7 have the 1 yr later logo on it? Why were they in Kandor? You only found out a number of issues later that Kara was in Kandor because she had to get away from Clark because she was scared of killing him. That should have been established in her book, not in Infinite Crisis, as I assume it was.

The standalone issues work, # 10 where she goes to school and # 12 where she goes clubbing and meets Terra. Why introduce Terra if that's the only time we'll see her here? I really liked Boomer and Kara's relationship, why hasn't that continued? He was regular for all of 6 issues.
#12 takes place after #10, thereby breaking up the story in #11 and 13. Which incidentally has the worst artistic depiction of Grace Choi ever.

The Power Boy arc was..OK. I could not fathom why Batgirl was evil in #14, because I don't read the Bat books. See, DC that's a bad thing, you are alienating readers!

#16 and 17, her origin story. I liked that. I like the crystals, I like the phantoms. But why the bleeding hell was the earth under a red sun in issue #17??!! Ale Garza art is tres good though.
#18 Kara vs Kara was rubbish and was basically a fuck you to fans who didn't like snarky Kara.
#19. This cover. Huh? This issue was Kara apologising to everyone. There was no death of Superman. Again, an issue I really liked, but the cover is the most misleading thing ever!
#20 through 22 are Amazons Attack and Countdown tie ins. They don't make sense w/o reading the main titles. This wouldn't be a problem if it was a one off, but it's been happening all the way through the series.
#23. is this a tie in to somewhere else? Cos lord knows where it came from. Clark and a Green Lantern ask Kara to follow a space ship. This one has lots of good art, but little dialogue.
#24. Continues the weird story from last issue, and we get to see into the past so Kara gets to lay more demons to rest. Which is Good and all, except that her visions of the last moments of Krypton are different to those shown in #16 and 17. I thought she killed her mother?! Good art here though.
#25 - Reactron man. I like her and Kara's discussions. I like Kara's reactions and questions, I like the way her brain is working. her helplessness at not knowing how to help everyone was heartbreaking.
I don't like how this led to 6 issues of Kara trying to saving Thomas. Except for #30, which has jack all to do with the rest of the issues it's sandwiched between. And is yet more Kara coming to terms with her past. On the plus side, Resurrection Man and Kara's interchanges are very good.

Foe some reason I'm missing #27. :(

So there you have it, that's a list of what I think's wrong with this Supergirl run. part of the problems were caused by having so many different creative teams*. The other thing that may have helped was to include Kara coming to terms with her past and her origin in one story arc, maybe spanning 6 issues? Then move on to the Thomas arc, where she grows up and learns you can't fix everything, and have the odd few issues, separated from other plot lines, where she meets Reactron and has some stand alone adventures.
Currently, it looks like a hack job. Only die hard Kara fans like myself are still reading. I re read all these issues thinking I'd find plenty of ways to defend these issues. And I went the other way.
The way I make sense of these is to create my own story in my head and keep each little distinct plot arc separate. But it would be nice to not have to do that.

Currently listening to the Wildhearts' Stop me if you've heard this one before covers album. Current favourite - Understanding Jane (originally by The Icicle Works) and The World comes Tumblin' (originally by The Distillers).
*Linked from Maid of Might, for all your Supergirl needs.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Share the (musical) love

For about 2 months now I've been getting out of my mind excited about a gig I'm going to on 20th September. The band in question is The Wildhearts and I've been a fan of theirs for about, ooh, must be getting on for 14 years now. They are proper rock, sweet melodies, hard drinking, hard sounds, hard living awesome. Proper Geordie* rockers.

This particular gig is the 15 year anniversary of the earth vs the Wildhearts album, and they are going to play every track on the album plus the b-sides to all the singles. Every one of which is a cracker. Now I've seen them many times before, so I know I'm in for a treat, as they have never disappointed.

Their singer is a 6 foot plus ginger bloke with dreadlocks, at least he used to have dreads. I've met him once and it's the only time I've ever got proper fannish. I giggled like a 12 yr old and couldn't say anything, (well not after I'd got him to sign my boob anyway ;) ). I didn't even do that when I met the other band that got me through my teenage, utterly depressed years (teh Manic Street Preachers since you ask). That could be cos the manics suck now, but the Wildhearts are getting even better.

The other awesome thing about this is that I'm going with old school friends I haven't seen for at least 5 years, some I haven't seen for 8 years. I can't wait! :)

If you like metal, puck or rock I really really urge to check out their stuff.** 'Someone that won't let me go' is a current favourite. And they are still working their arses off and producing records and touring constantly. I wish more bands has a work ethic like that. These guys will be touring till they're dead.

*For the non Brits of you, Geordies are people who live in Newcastle, it's a northern city in England.
** Their best stuff isn't linked on that site. Earth vs the Wildhearts and PHUQ are fan favourites and heavier than the songs linked on their site.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Damn viruses

We got a virus (turns out it's entirely my fault, I really should get more computer literate), which means I've lost all my favourites and rss feeds... which is really annoying. Thank god the feminist comics reading community is so incestuous because it's not too bad trying to track everything down!