I like to bitch about comics. A lot. Sometimes you might wonder why I still read the damn things with the amount of bitching I engage in. Sometimes I might wonder why.
Mostly, I was simply born to bitch. Everybody has a function. Mine is to analyze whatever passes in front of my face, find whatever faults are available and then run to a microphone so that I can complain about it. It's what I was put here to do.
The reality is that I love comics. I love them with the same child-like obsessive passion that I did when I first grabbed Uncanny X-Men # 163 off a spinner rack, or perused through Avengers # 128 laying around at Donnie Kempkis' cabin.
I love the comics, never you worry about that. It's profitable to occasionally remember that, and remember the why. So I thought about it today, and I've put together five moments in my recent comic reading history that I adore. It's not really a "best of" ranked in order. It's just five random kick-ass reasons why comics are still the shizznite!
1) Larfleeze Makes A List
Folks, the universe does not need to take a pounding in order for Green Lantern to be entertaining. You don't need to cross over into any other books, and you don't need to promise that things will never be the same.
This is what the medium needs, and still does well - character moments. Larfleeze in an Orange Lantern, powered by greed. So if you're an avatar of avarice and you find yourself on Earth, what do you do for fun?
Well Larfleeze checked into the local mythology and discovered a magical old dude in a red suit who will give you whatever you want if you mail a list to the North Pole. (apparently he skipped the part about being a good boy, but don't we all tend to filter out the minor details that annoy?)
I'm sorry, but that's awesome. That's called knowing your characters and taking advantage of the available ingredients. Why wouldn't Larfleeze believe in that? He's got a ring that can crack planets? This moment brought to you by the still extraordinary Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke in Green Lantern # 56.
2) Dick Is Worried...For The Joker!
Just in case you forgot, Grant Morrison is a bad ass and Batman is still a great character. When Dick Grayson finds out that Damien might be taking a meeting with the Joker, he freaks out. Gordon feels sorry for Robin, but Dick has the situation assessed correctly: be afraid for the Joker!
Batman, Jr. is not to be trifled with, folks. He's teetering on the edge between following in his father's footsteps and becoming a complete sociopath like his mother. Right now he's teetering with a crow bar in his hands and a helpless Joker in front of him. This is what it's all about, brought to you by Grant Morrison and Frazier Irving in Batman & Robin # 13.
3) Val Teaches The Academy Kids About Rabbits
The Avengers Academy kids need guidance, and they have the best instruction available. It's not all about punching people and fending off mind control, though. When you're young and learning the ropes, sometimes you just need to know how to be a woman.
Now granted, men are bound to be colossal disappointment across the board. But Valkyrie has the answer, or at least she would have had one if Tigra didn't bust in right after that and ruin everything.
Comics are fun, and funny, and a lot more like real life than most people think. This particular grin brought to you by Christos Gage and Mike McKone in Avengers Academy # 3. Keep em' coming, lads!
4) Heart To Heart With Johnny Blaze
Deadpool will have little bouts of self awareness before reverting to his natural state of cracking wise and puncturing lungs. This is a fantastic little quiet moment between 'Pool and Johnny Blaze after Wade suffered through Ghost Rider's penance stare.
Another gem comes in the splash page after this where Deadpool stares off into space and simply says "Thanks, man." Ah, only Deadpool. And only Daniel Way and Carlo Barberi could have provided it. Or at least, they're the ones that did. In Deadpool # 26.
5) Nobody Home
You didn't think I was going to leave this list without getting to Morning Glories, did you? A ton of great moments in that first issue, but here's the one where it turns from like a Weird Factor 7 to a Creepy Factor 10.
Things have been a bit odd with the Morning Glories Academy from the get-go, (all the kids got roofied on the way over, for crying out loud) but things turn undeniably sinister when Jade calls home....and her father doesn't know who she is!
Who could possibly do something like that? WHY would they do that? Maybe because they want you on an island to do what they like and nobody will ever be the wiser? Who else did they get to? What the hell have I gotten myself into???
That's the beauty of Morning Glories # 1 as presented by Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma. And it is seven shades of splendid.
And that's why we love comics.