Sunday, April 22, 2007

If you can't say something nice...

The past few days, I'd been thinking of the last meeting of the Comic Club here in Columbia, SC. One of the things that stood out the most did so because it happens fairly regularly. My friend
Chad, among others, was accused of hating modern comic books because a lot of what he has to say at our meetings is critical.

I'm pretty sure that everybody was kidding him... but it's a fact. The more you like some form of entertainment, the faster you become a critic of it. I love movies, but my fiancee hates to go to movies with me because as soon as the lights come up a little and the credits roll... my mouth opens, and a torrent of criticism rolls out. I seem physically unable to talk about anything I liked about the movie, if there was even a single thing that held it back in my eyes. And I got to thinking about the wave of negativity these past few days that was the result of 52, and moreso the sloppily executed World War III. So I thought a nice, easy post for today (on account of being exhausted) would be to try to think of three comics that left me with positive impressions this week. I bought a ton of books... three good ones shouldn't be too hard... should it?

Brave and the Bold #3

This first one's an easy call. I picked upt the first issue of the new Brave and the Bold series on a whim. I think it's probably the most energetic and purely fun DC title I've read in at least a year. (Probably longer, and certainly going back prior to Infinite Crisis.)

Batman teams up with the new Blue Beetle, who's coping with a big case of literal hero worship. Batman's portrayed seriously, but not all full of grim darkness. Meanwhile Blue Beetle adds something that's generally sortof lacking in the DC department... inexperienced teenage heroes.

The two team up to retrieve a weapon called the Haruspex, which scans probability and launches an attack most likely to incapacitate/kill it's target. This goal crosses their path with the Lord of Time and the Fatal Five. There's a lot of action, and fun to be had. It's not much of a thinker, but it's a good time.

This next one involved a little more thinking. Peter David's current X-Factor series is kindof like a guerilla commando. It's not frequently at the top of my pile when I sit down to do some reading, but it ambushes me, causing me to remember that it really is a good book.

It takes characters who aren't Marvel's top-tier mutants, and spins a good tale with some pretty decent surprises included. This is also quite possibly the only Marvel title that hasn't forgotten that just a few months ago (in the Marvel Universe) that a whole lot of mutants recently lost their powers for no easily explainable reason. (You'd think people would still talk about that some.) This book's letting us see some former mutants trying to get by without their gifts, convinced that the government is to blame.

On top of which, though Jamie Madrox is the group's leader, the whole team frequently follows the instructions of young Layla Miller, because she "knows stuff". Stuff that leads to a lot of 'happy accidents'. Now if I can just remember that I like this book when the next issue hits.

I think I'll finish up with Cable & Deadpool.

The fact that I ever read the first issue of Cable & Deadpool was a happy accident. I'd been subscribed to Gail Simone's title Agent X, so the folks at the local comic shoppe I frequent added this to my sub form after Agent X's sad cancellation.

I should fall to my knees and thank them.

The title has focused primarily on Deadpool lately, and I don't regard that as a bad thing. He narrates the entire book to the reader through his caption boxes in a rambling stream of conciousness that frequently has me laughing out loud. The intro page of the book frequently has Deadpool breaking the fourth wall to bring the readers up to speed, sometimes with special guests. I can't recall an issue of Cable & Deadpool that's failed to bring a smile to my face. It might not quite be bear-punchingly good, but watching Deadpool fight an enemy who knows how to counter his every move... including his caption boxes... made for a fun read.

Well, I made it through a post that was, by and large, positive! And having said something positive for the week, I now feel entirely justified in being as negative as I want. It wasn't even too hard to manage. If you disagree with my thoughts, feel free to post your comments. I may cry like a little girl, but when I'm done, I'll try to see about responding.

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