Thursday, April 29, 2010

Chronic: Week in Reviews

Coffee, tea......or me? Well, that's me. With tea. Twinnings Irish breakfast tea, actually. Thanks to Cian for putting me onto that little delight, and thank you Ireland for being populated entirely by hilarious and angry people.

I was going to sit down and start hammering out another lengthy, dull review for nobody to read. I've decided that I would very much like to spend my evening watching episodes of Fringe while drinking more of this tea, so instead prepare yourself for a slew of items touched upon quite briefly.

The first thing I need to get to is Fantastic Four # 578, which was extraordinary as per usual. My love affair with this book is now well documented, so I should probably just shut up about it. Nah.

Eaglesham paints a scene in this issue when Johnny brings a bimbo home that is so deliciously just have to see it. And by the way, that little bimbo was part of yet another layer that Hickman is layering onto this cake, which is already about 70 layers deep. This is the must read book in Marvel comics right now.

And remember those "home page" epilogues at the end of the last several issues, that read almost like a historian's recap of connected events? Turns out that our little Valeria has been creating those notes. It's also implied that she's worked out the "four cities" on her own, and I'm not convinced that her father has pieced that together yet. Clever girl, clever girl. I repeat: this is the must read book in Marvel comics right now.

Not far behind is Matty Fraction's Invincible Iron Man # 25. Or as I like to call it these days - Iron Man: Undouched! Tony Stark's recently uploaded mind doesn't contain any of the completely absurd crap that Mark Millar made him do, and voila! It's a brand new day, only without the Mephisto fisting.

Incidentally, Fraction is self-effacing enough to admit inside the book how silly it would be for Tony Stark to leave himself with an incomplete memory when he could have very easily had it refresh itself daily. I like that, actually.

That issue also contains a new foil in the form of Detroit Steel, some Machiavellian hijinx from the Hammer girls, and a cannot miss conversation between Tony Stark and Thor. This is mainstream superhero comics done correctly. Why this won't be offered at movie theaters across the nation on May 7 is beyond me.

Siege: Secret Warriors is kinda fun. This is about as good as you can hope for with these obligatory event tie-ins. There is a scene in here with Cap and Nick Fury that is so over the either love it or you hate it. Maybe it's just my man crush on Jonathan Hickman, but I choose to love it.

This was my first exposure to Phobos, being that I don't read Secret Warriors regularly. I just picked this up for friend of the show Nick, and the tax he paid for me buying this was me reading it. At any rate, the Phobos stuff was directly related to the events of Siege # 3, and an interesting avenue to take, and executed with some care. I particularly liked the letter to the President at the end. Hall of fame? No. But these things are so often a crime against God and Man, so anything better than blind rage is probably a huge win.

I finally did score a copy of X-Factor # 204 at the Source. Bleeding Cool is feeling some market heat on this one with the unadvertised first appearance of the New New Avengers. I guess I can see that, although I'm not convinced that's why I had such a damnable time finding one of these. I honestly can't explain it.

Incidentally, X-Factor continues to kick seven shades of ass. The cliffhanger ending in this one can't possibly be true, and that's fine. The hook is finding out how Mr. David button-hooked us next month. This isn't pathetic false emotional gravitas a la X-Factor # 26. This is a showman at the top of his game having fun.

I like Peter David a lot. I just bought the Soulsearchers and Co. trades - that's how much I like Peter David.

I've recently decided that I need less money and have started collecting comic shop promotional posters! My first purchase was this Miracleman ad from 1985. It's got a DNAgents advert on the other half of it. I'm going to display mine with just Miracleman showing.

Why would I do this to myself? I don't know. I guess because I don't have the funds to collect original art, and something feels special about certain items. I look at this thing and say to myself "This could have been on the walls at Shinders 25 years ago, and nobody would have known how much trouble this little no-name UK character would cause for everyone." I would imagine Miracle Keith would be super jealous that I have this, except for the fact that he probably has three of them. Signed by Alan Moore. In the blood of Glycon.

I'm sure there's nobody in this boat, but for those of you whose first exposure to Hack/Slash was issue #'s not always like this. Wow. I'm not mad or anything, because Seeley is on his way out of DDP and needed to get these things on the rack so he could move on to Image.

This comic doesn't really contain any pencils, we're pretty much left with the breakdowns. Seeley's cover looks like it was created by his 13 year-old self in about 15 minutes. It's kinda sad in that way. The silver lining is that everybody got paid, and this little gem can shine again at Image very soon. Good news!

I forgot to give Mike my copy of DV8: Gods & Monsters # 1 so he could read it. This is Brian Wood rebooting the concept, which was basically Gen 13 kids only really, really naughty. The concept is actually quite good. The team is dropped onto God knows what planet and left to their own devices in what looks like some kind of a "Trading Places" dollar bet about what would happen to the poor natives.

The concept is indeed good, the execution to this point has been lackluster. It's a set up issue, so I'll give benefit of the doubt on that. I'd really rather wait for the trade on this...but we'll see. I think part of the problem is that I have no prior love for any of these characters, so there's no juice for me in seeing how they've grown/twisted since I last saw them.

We just recorded the first real edition of "Nerds of the Round Table", and idea born from Mike and Mike mostly in which a rotating cast of podcast stalwarts tackle varying subjects as time and interest permit. We decided to tackle Iron Man 2, which is coming out in about a week, and the show went pretty well.

For some reason the blog won't create a clickable link for the podcast, so here's the gobbledygook:

For the record, I'm predicting disappointment for the film. I have great faith in the director and the cast. I have zero confidence in Justin Theroux, and the reports I'm hearing about the rushed, shifted on the fly, clusterfucked nature of this production leave me more than a little concerned. They went in with essentially no script, and their non-script got wholesale re-worked right up to about.....five minutes ago.

It's one thing to allow yourself the flexibility to let better ideas creep in and the talent to shine in unexpected ways. It's another thing to go in without much a plan and make crap up as you go along. That's a good way to run an episode of Chronic Insomnia. It's a really dicey way to produce Iron Man 2. Don't get me wrong...I'm anticipating this film more than anything else in 2010, and I'm going to go see it in the theater. I'm scared, though.

Good night y'all! I'm off to watch the adventures of Olivia Dunham and Walter Bishop....



Tom said...

On the breakfast tea kick myself...discovered something quite good at work the other morning. I was having my tea and I busted out some blueberry nutragrain bars...for whatever reason (the sweet and the more bitter taste of the tea), seemed to complement each other. I actually stopped what I was working on and took notice...give it a try.


Chronic Insomnia said...

Blueberry bars and tea...check. Although I think blueberries have like antioxidants in them and are actually good for you, so I'm not sure how my system will react to that...