Monday, July 28, 2003

Looking To The Stars: Random Thoughts

First of all, my apologies for my lack of a column last week. Those of you who didn’t notice, five points from your house. Those of you who actively cheered my absence and hoped that it was a sign of my retirement, fifty points from your house.

Yes, I did read the new Harry Potter book. Rather liked it, thank you.

Anyway, personal issues with class, work and family concerns kept me rather busy last week and I missed being able to give my two cents on a number of items in the comic news and commenting upon the writings of some of my colleagues.

To that end, here are some Random Thoughts….

  1. The Hulk

Still haven’t seen it yet. Been too busy, but I heard it wasn’t that great and the special effects were horrid. Will write a full review once I do see it.

  1. LXG

Did manage to get a night free to see it. Rather liked it, despite it being nothing like the book and totally getting the story of Dorian Grey wrong. Still, if you aren’t a total fanboy or literature geek and take it on the level of an adaptation and not a translation, you won’t find a better movie.

  1. Mark Waid’s Departure From Marvel.

Based on the writings of Paul Sebert and Jesse Baker, I am one of the few who feels that Mark Waid’s firing from Marvel will go down at the latest nail in the coffin that Bill Jemas is making for himself.

Simply put, Waid’s run on Fanastic Four has revitalized a long-dull title and anyone who says otherwise must not be reading the same comics that I am. Personally, I have no idea where this whole “Waid is a prima donna” thing came from and I’ve only heard nice things about the man. But I could care less about the personality of a writer, so long as they deliver a good story. And I don’t think any comments about Waid’s ability to deliver good stories can be taken seriously.

On that note…

  1. The DC Coup De Tat.

DC just snatched up Grant Morrison, Jeph Loeb, Tim Sale and Greg Rucka with exclusive contracts and I couldn’t be happier. Okay, so I will miss hearing all the X-Men fans complain about not understanding Morrison or the Wolverine fans who don’t like the new detective-based stories and want to go back to Wolverine slashing up ninjas. And goodness knows I’m not going to object to any more Tim Sale/Jeph Loeb team-ups.

But this isn’t enough DC. You need to nail down more of the writers with exclusive contracts. Mark Waid is free of Marvel now and is already working for you on Empire and Birthright. Give that man a contract and put him and Morrison to work on Superman, like they wanted to do a few years back. I’ve been reading Superman and I don’t care HOW radical their proposal was- it can hardly be worse than the Supergirl daughter from the future story that can be going on right now.

For that matter, give Gail Simone a contract too. I can’t keep Birds of Prey on the shelf at my comic shop and goodness knows she’s just as worthy of keeping around as Geoff Johns and Judd Winick.

And Speaking of which.

  1. The Judd Winick/DC Pimp Slap

Okay Judd. I defended you when you turned Kyle Rayner into a clone of yourself; successful artist loved by the media because most of your stories, continuity issues aside, were pretty good. I sat through all of Blood and Water, which started out brilliant and unique but degraded into another generic World of Darkness vampire brawl comic. But I cannot be silent about your turning Oliver Queen into the man-whore everyone thinks he is.

As anyone who read my recent“Your Cheating Heart” article or the last ten issues of Green Arrow could tell you, Oliver Queen may be a world class flirt but he has never once cheated on Dinah Lance. Hell, not five issues ago he was ready to propose to her! And now he’s had a one night stand with the niece of a friend for no readily apparent or believable reason other than “he’s a horn dog.”

Then again, what IS the status between them now? Birds of Prey hasn’t said anything about Dinah’s dating status. She dumped Dr. Midnite to figure things out in JSA, but nothing has been said there. And the last I checked in Green Arrow the two of them were dating and maybe back together. Smith definitely suggested they were at the end of his last story. Hester pretty much ignored it, except to show Ollie preparing to propose to her. And Winick? Canary wasn’t mentioned once until Ollie was making an excuse to cover what he was doing to Connor.

So maybe Ollie isn’t really cheating… but it sure makes me crawly thinking he might be. So could someone from DC please make a definitive statement one way or the other on where my favorite couple stands?

And as long as I’m feeling combative.

  1. Jesse Baker: The Anti-Starman

Fellow 411 writer Jesse Baker has revealed himself to be the dreaded Anti-Starman. Yes, this strange being from a parallel anti-matter universe has declared J. Michael Strayczinski’s run on Spider-Man to be “hit and miss”, Mark Waid’s The Flash run to have missed the finish line and generally shown himself to disagree with me on every major point of comicdom.

Except that Rawhide Kid #1 wasn’t funny. We both agree on that. Take that, Ron Zimmerman! Ha!

Seriously, Jesse and I do disagree on some books but we get along just fine. If nothing else, we have someone we can argue comics with and that bond goes much deeper than any disagreement over whether or not Mark Waid writing Superman would be a good thing.

Tune in next week. Same Matt Time. Same Matt Website.

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