Wednesday, 23 September 2015

The December 2015 Solicits!!!

So, this post is going to be a fairly short write up as, having looked through the solicits for December at the big four, I wasn't really able to see much which appealed to me.

Therefore, my wants in the run up to Christmas consist of:

Black Magick #3 (Image) - At this point there is very little I can say to endorse my reason for buying this book besides 'it's created by Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott'. However, that's all I've got and I have enough faith in such a team to buy the first three issues without fully knowing what's going on (because the solicits doesn't exactly spill the beans).

Black Science #18 (Image) - I'm still two months away from seeing this book return from hiatus and still it has me haunted with questions regarding what happens next. This is no better proven that the mention of 'the last surviving dimensionaut'. So, what happened to the others? Image better stop toying with me and release this book pronto.

Superman: American Alien #2 (DC Comics) - Much like Black Magick, with no issues under my belt, wanting this book is more about faith than actual enjoyment. However, unlike Black Magick, I know what's being sold here and reading about pre-Superman Clark Kent is still as enticing to me now as it was last month and seeing him in early ''Smallville' mode sounds pretty awesome. Also, this issue has Tommy Lee Edwards on art and, based on the variant, that's more than enough to hook me.

Unfollow #2 (Vertigo) - After last month's debate between Huck and Unfollow, I decided against either, feeling the decision was too difficult. Unlike Huck though, Unfollow was less willing to let me go without a fight and so here is issue 2. This second issue sounds like it will take a larger scale form of ten little Indians in that 140 people will have to kill each other or something. In truth, the synopsis doesn't really tell me much about this book, but I find myself following Unfollow nonetheless.

And that's it. Once again, Dark Horse couldn't release anything to take my fancy, like Marvel whose All-New, All-Different banner began with nothing which could make me reverse my views on their titles.

Hopefully, when 2016 arrives they'll be a lot more which entices me to read it.

And, touch wood, I'll have more funds with which to pick up more of these books.

Friday, 18 September 2015

If Terrigen Mists are toxic.....

So, I read this article on Comics Alliance yesterday morning that Marvel are using the Inhumans to kill off the X-Men in a roundabout way of screwing Fox even more over their control of comic book movie rights. However, it wasn't until the walk home yesterday that I realised the fundamental flaw in the plan they had announced.

As per the link, the basic idea that Marvel has dreamed up to propel the X-Men's story forward (which, based on the article, is obvious code for get rid of characters Fox has film rights to so they get no free advertising. Yes, I'm still bitter about FF) is that the Terrigen Mists, those fancy crystals used to make Inhumans Inhuman, are actually toxic to mutants, killing them on contact. Not only that though but, not only do the mists kill mutants, they also make them sterile, meaning no chance of more mutants being born.

Now, this is pretty obvious to me that it is a plot device designed to cause more friction between those two warring film studios (at the expense of a set of characters and, by extension their fans) but I have to admit that it's a smart way of doing it. By using the Inhuman's origin method as the X-Men's extermination method, it subtly implies superiority.

However, it has occurred to me that there is a flaw in this idea, all based on previously established backstory.

This backstory comes in the form of the Son of M storyline from the Decimation event (yes, I was that guy who bought that series). The story there was that Quicksilver, now powerless after M-Day steals Terrigen Mists from the Inhumans to re-power himself and various others, which actually works (in a fashion).

Based on this story, how can Terrigen Mists be toxic to Mutants? Now it could be argued that, after being depowered, those mutants were now simply regular humans and this is true but if that is the case then how did they get repowered unless they were Inhuman descended? If Marvel are going on the presumption that Mutants and Inhumans are fundamentally different then they can't claim that these characters are a bit of both.

Of course, that then brings me to Luna, the part-mutant, part Inhuman daughter of Quicksilver and Crystal who, in the same series, received powers via the mists. Now if the mists were toxic to Mutants then wouldn't Luna have had a toxic reaction to them instead of developing powers?

At the end of the day, these are just thoughts which crawled into my head and while I'm sure the X-Men writers will fully explain the plot when it is released, I just wanted point out the elephant in the room and say that these continuity points were here.

That said, this is comics so who cares about continuity?

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Crap box!

I was part of a Facebook conversation the other day which got onto the subject of crap boxes.

To clarify, a crap box (well, to me anyway) is a box which contains the dregs of a comic book collection. The unloved, under-appreciated and truly awful (in my personal opinion anyway) books which are picked up are subsequently relegated to this box.

The crap box is the one selection of any comic collection where its only destiny is to stoke the fires on a cold winter night (or cook the food on a barbeque, but whichever)!

So, reading through this conversation and seeing what everyone has in their own crap box's, I got to thinking about my own 'crap box'. Though, in truth, crap boxes is a more accurate term because I actually have THREE short boxes which I would classify as my 'crap boxes'.

Within these boxes, the contents are split into two categories. First there is the single issues, the individual comics (many being issue 1) which I have picked up and, realising I don't actually enjoy them as I thought, cut from my pull list without a second thought, though one or two may also have issues 2 and/or 3 to join them as I had wanted to give them another shot.

This box contains a fair few books from the NEW 52 (Mr Terrific, Batwing, Justice League), Marvel Now (New Avengers, Thunderbolts), All-New Marvel (Silk, Spider-Gwen and DCYOU (Martian Manhunter, Dr Fate, Black Canary) as well as indy books like The Rinse and Five Ghosts amongst many others.

As for the other two boxes, within these are the series, the multiple issues and arcs of a comic book run which, while I may have enjoyed at one time, I've since reread and realised that those particular titles just do not appeal to me.

In these boxes, there is a varied palette including the Massive, Ten Grand and Indestructible Hulk amongst others as well as the one series in there that I consider truly bad, Countdown to Final Crisis (which, to this day, I still don't understand why I picked it up. It must have been a youth thing).

No doubt, everyone's 'crap box' is different, but after thinking about what was within mine I've begun to wonder 'what the hell do I do with them all?' Because while comics are very much a trial and error hobby, picking up boxes you think you'll enjoy but realsing they aren't your thing, they are also very much a space and money consuming one. I guess the only options are to either put up with this crap or sell them off.

However, if my crap box is anything like everyone else's, I suspect no one will buy any of what I have... they'll be too busy shifting the very same comics from their own.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Why I'm avoiding Marvel titles.

A few weeks ago, while talking about what I would like from the November solicits, I mentioned that Marvel had been completely cut out of my pull list for the foreseeable future. While I had said this with (what hopefully came across as) great conviction, I didn't specify the why, instead saying that I might elaborate later.

Well, here's me elaborating.

To be fair, I'm not saying that I'm boycotting Marvel or anything, because they still do have a lot of talented people making up great concepts as well as making some of the best comic book movies I've seen. However, at present (and most likely for the foreseeable future), there are certain reasons which really don't endear me to what they put on the stands and, not wanting to go back on myself over them, I thought I'd make them clear to myself and anyone else who is interested.

1. Increased cost - This seems as good a reason as any to avoid any comic, but it seems to apply more to Marvel these days. During my last scan through of the solicits, more and more Marvel comics were priced at $3.99 than there ever had been when I first started collecting. While I get this is inevitable (damn inflation) the fact my income hasn't increased with prices means I have to be picky about what books appeal to me. This, conveniently, leads to my second reason.....

2. Too much synergy - now, I get it. Marvel films are big, like REALLY big, and so altering their comics to better reflect the films which make them tonnes of cash makes sense. I, however, cannot stand it! I miss the original Fury and I'm annoyed by the appearance of the TV S.H.I.E.L.D. team but what really gets me are major character changes such as Star-Lord's appearance and party dude attitude (I preferred his grim ways in Annihilation) or Ant-Man reverting from a cool guy (as seen in FF) to someone a little less wholesome (in Ant-Man), both more in line with their big screen counterparts. Of course, this is all based on my perception of things so I could be totally off, but this is how I see things at present (though I'd love to be proven wrong).

3. Too much Iron Man - Of course, while my prior two reason made some rational sense, even if others could argue them, this is undoubtedly a more 'personal' reason, one devoid of rational thought. For me, Marvel has Iron Man everywhere!! I mean like the way Wolverine was before he died. Now, while this shouldn't bother me, I've failed to relate to the character since Civil War and the fact that, I think, the whole Marvel film universe seems to hinge on his existence only compounds the irritation to me. Maybe I'll get over it but for now I think that Tony Stark's alter ego is in too many books for me to be able to avoid.

4. - No Fantastic Four - that said, while irritating characters being everywhere, comics and movies merging together and prices increasing are big reasons, I think the biggest of them for me is the loss of the Fantastic Four comic. The FF is my most favourite book, I have more issues of that than any other, and so seeing it cancelled, for an obviously bullshit reason of not giving a Fox film advertising, was heartbreaking to put it mildly. This hasn't been helped by the characters being split in other books, Reed Richards seemingly dead (he's not mentioned for post Secret Wars) and the Baxter Building being handed over to Spider-man just adds salt to the wound. Maybe I need to let it go, they are unlikely to come back, but I'm not quite ready to just yet.

So, those are my reasons. Now, none of this deserve any book or creator on Marvel's roster to be burned at the stake or anything, these are all my personal views relating to my personal tastes. However, the one which sticks most is the missing FF and I'm highly unlikely (though it's not impossible) to come back to their fold until the first family get their book back (picking up from the numbering if that's not too much to ask).

Like I said though, I doubt it will happen (certainly not just to keep me quiet) so for now I will simply entertain myself with other comics and keep an eye on Marvel to see if they do release anything which picks my fancy.

I'm not holding my breath on it though.