Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fast Thoughts - The Week of 10/15/08

Picked up quite a few IDW titles special this week. Let's see if I regret it...

COMIC FOUNDRY MAGAZINE #4 - Quite a lot to appreciate and quite a lot I could care less about. Your typical issue of Comic Foundry, in other words; something for everyone and that's what makes it the best magazine about comic books on the market.

If you're like me and you don't want to read an article about Mark Millar's begging and pleading for a chance to write a Superman movie, you can go on to read Tony Harris talking about his moving on to creator-owned projects only (unless something REALLY good comes up). If you could care less about an exclusive preview of Greg Rucka's latest project, there's a Gail Simone interview. Don't much care what Jimmy Palmiotti's office looks like? Take a gander at some TP reviews which tell you about a more obscure title you should check out if you enjoyed a more famous one. (Like Walking Dead? Check out Wasteland). And, of course, there's a lot of articles on politics and superheroes.

CONAN THE CIMMERIAN #4 - A half-way decent cover this time. I can't believe it's Frank Cho though - there's no unclothen bootylicious wenches! As for the comic itself, it's the same as before - a lot of Conan grandpa flashbacks and precious little Conan action. Still a good read, but enough is enough!

DOCTOR WHO: THE FORGOTTEN #2 - Second Doctor and Third Doctor flashbacks this time. Thankfully, these take up the better part of the issue so the Martha-taint is relatively minor. Lots of fun fan-fic ideas here, such as the 2nd Doctor using the recorder he played for fun as a weapon... and the 3rd Doctor fights greyhound men from outer-space (funny if you know that The Brigadeer's call-sign was Greyhound One) behind the wheel of Bessie. Good Whoish fun.

FABLES #77 - Lots of goodness here as always, which is to be expected. What wasn't expected, however, was a parody of Fritz Leiber's fantasy heroes Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser... here presented as "Freddy and Mouse".

FINAL CRISIS: ROGUES' REVENGE #3 - A perfect and wonderful comic... up until the very end when we find out that not only is Barry Allen coming back, but that he's going to be going after The Rogues - who just want to be left alone at this point - with a vengeance. Which is a real shame because this series spelled out - in no uncertain terms - why The Flash has the best villainous characters of any hero in comics.

Spider-Man may have a more varied Rogues Gallery. Batman may have a scarier one. But for pure complex characterization, nobody can touch The Rogues - the guys who go out of their way to bring to justice (albeit rough justice) the villain who actively was trying to kill Bart Allen.

GHOSTBUSTERS: THE OTHER SIDE #1 - This comic reads just like an episode of the old cartoon series... after J. Michael Straczynski quit in disgust. The only things missing are a cutsey, dancing Slimer, thank goodness. But everything else - including the hokey jokes - is intact.

Seriously - you can hear the second-rate Dave Coulier impression of Bill Murray as you read the precious few pages that Venkman is in.

Here's the story in a nut-shell; The Ghostbusters crash a meeting of ghostly gangsters only to have Peter get possessed and forced out of his body. Dragging their catatonic comrade back to base, the rest of the team determine that the lights are on but nobody is home - body is alive but soulless. Eventually they figure out that Peter is in Purgatory only to be gun-downed by tommy-gun wielding poltergeists, who got approval from the heads of the ghost Mafia (including the ghosts of Lucky Luciano, Bugsy Malone and Meyer Lansky) to put out a hit on The Ghostbusters.

The plot, such as it is, shows just why The Ghostbusters mythology has always equated ghosts to monsters and never chose to explore the serious issues regarding the nature of The Afterlife and rarely dealt with the ghosts of re-world figures. Ignoring the touchy religious and spiritual issues regarding the details of how the afterlife is structured, it's just creepy to consider that lost souls are being prevented from going to Heaven, Nirvana or wherever by a bunch of scientists out to make a buck on supernatural pest control. This issue also neatly sidesteps the issues as to just what ghostly gangsters steal and how they hurt their rivals... issues that have never stood up in the purely comedic rules of physics that back The Ghostbusters universe.

Avoid like the plague, children. Wait for the video game and a Ramis/Ackroyd written story.

GRANT MORRISON'S DOCTOR WHO #1 - If you like Grant Morrison, you should pick this up. If you like Doctor Who, you should pick this up. If you, like me, like both, you really should pick this up. And if you don't see the beauty of a comic that features a shape-shifting alien penguin as The Doctor's sidekick... well, why are you reading comics?


  1. I was afraid that the new Ghostbusters comic would blow. Glad I didn't take the chance. I do love "Ghostbusters: Legion", which uses the tone of the movies to set its own tone, rather than relying on the cartoon.
    I'm excited to see where Fables is going in the next few issues. I'm especially interested in what it is that's causing harm to Boy Blue. As Bigby's not having similar side effects, I'm wondering who's putting the screws into Blue.

  2. Yeah, good stuff.
    Weird thing is I heard people slamming Legion while talking about this comic. And here I thought Legion was a pretty good story. At least it fit the rules of the world, unlike this one - which...
    ... well, I said it all already, didn't I? It's getting into weird religious territory.
    And this is nowhere near as cool as The Ghostbusters taking out Cthulhu with an electrified Ferris Wheel.

  3. And this is nowhere near as cool as The Ghostbusters taking out Cthulhu with an electrified Ferris Wheel.
    Yeah, but what is, really?