Thee Comic Column #34: Bendis’ All-New X-Men

Brian Michael Bendis X-Men

image courtesy of ifanboy.com

When I first heard Brian Michael Bendis was jumping from writing Avengers to X-Men I was pretty interested. However, I learned early on with his Avengers run that I just could not keep up. I’ve gone back and read the first few trades of New Avengers and really dig it, but BMB writes A LOT of the Marvel Universe and I’m weary of books/arcs that are too close to the main continuity, as when you read them you tend to get pulled into crossovers. And although I trust Bendis I don’t 100% trust the overall editorial department at Marvel. Sorry, but I have my reasons, chieft among them dating back to around 2007. At that time I had disavowed crossovers for well over a decade but with all the run-up on Civil War at the time I truly thought things had changed (i.e. the crossover formula: a major, world-or-universe-threatening menace that is defeated in the last few pages of the last issue so that status quo can be re-instated). I decided to give Civil War a chance and though I enjoyed most of it the end left me walking around mumbling the old, “Fool me once,” parable, and that made me look crazy.

Thee Comic Column #33: The Cobra Files

image courtesy of thecomixverse.com

Thee Comic Column #32: Fare Thee Well Saucer Country

image courtesy of comicvine.com

It was only about three weeks ago that I pulled my head out of my ass and found out that Vertigo had cancelled Paul Cornell and Ryan Kelly’s BRILLIANT, Hugo-nominated comic Saucer Country. I’d fallen a bit behind my reading, plowed through what I didn’t know at the time was the penultimate issue (#13) and stood with mouth agape at the massive reveal on the final page. I don’t want to spoil that surprise here because if you’re reading this but have not read the book it means you’re at least remotely curious, and if you’re remotely curious my advice is to read Saucer Country in trade – currently unfinished or not it’s a brilliant mish-mash of the X-files, The West Wing and the kind of dark suspense you get in movies like Mothman Prophecies and Shadow People.

Thee Comic Column #31: GIJOE Retaliation

image courtesy of mycomicshop.com

Okay, at first glance you might think, “Hey, why are you reviewing a movie in a comic book column?” Valid point, however this isn’t so much a film review as it is a commentary on how the just-released GIJOE movie sequel drew heavily on the Marvel comic GIJOE series from the 80’s, written by the all-powerful Larry Hama. I wanted it to be more of an exploration, however to really do that I’d have to sling out a bunch of spoilers and honestly, if you are reading this you’re probably somebody on the fence of seeing this flick and despite some fairly heavy problems I think those spoilers – and the aha moments they created in me as a fan of that comic – are worth the price of admission.

Thee Comic Column #30: Thanos Rising

image courtesy of artrocker.tv

Well, ask and you shall receive.

It was only last week when I contemplated the admittedly classic yet undeniably flawed Infinity Gauntlet. In said article I waxed philosophical about attempting to re-read the juggernaut event book from the perplexingly uneven year in comics 1991, only to find it’s not really all that good.

What? Blasphemy? Don’t worry, I’m not as hard on it as it sounds. Read the original article here before you brandish hate.

Spring Breakers

image courtesy of tumblr

This past Friday a friend of mine and I went to see Writer/Director Harmony Korine’s newest film Spring Breakers. I have to admit, when I first heard about this film – or perhaps I should say with the first images I saw of the film – I was taken aback. If one were to believe the trailers and ads or contemplate the mainstream selections for the cast (Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens) then fairly avant garde filmmaker Harmony Korine had just made a mainstream film.

Rule #1: Never trust the trailer

Thee Avid Reader #2: Joe Hill’s NOS4A2

image courtesy of amazon

Wow. Just wow.

THEN – Although I still have not read Joe Hill’s debut, the anthology 20th Century Ghosts, I’ve read and loved both Horns and Heart-Shaped Box, the latter being one of the best modern horror novels I know of. I was late getting into Mr. Hill, had in fact somehow kept him perpetually on ‘The List’ despite several friends’ rabid recommendations/threats to “Get to it already!”. This continued until an advance reader copy of Horns fell into my lap sometime around 2009/2010. I loved that book and considered it quite different than anything else I’d ever read. In a pinch the closest comparison I could come up with was Palahniuk, not for the rhythm or perverse obscure knowledge but for the tone. However comparisons can be dodgy, and I’d never want to do Mr. Hill a disservice by branding his book with one that wouldn’t really represent his deftly wrought tale of love and loss, regret and revenge and of course that creepy, creepy extra-sensory awkwardness that in different ways claims both Ig and Lee in the book.

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