Sorry about that, everyone, I meant to have this blog post ready to coincide with the comic going up, but I ran into some internet problems. And then, kinda…fell asleep.
But no point in burying the lead any longer; Comic Critics is indeed going on hiatus. Right now we’re thinking something like a year, but it’s a “loose” year. Maybe a little less, maybe a little more, sorta depends how it goes.
You’ve no doubt noticed the comic has been updated less frequently in recent months. Just a result of real life getting in the way for both of us. And squeezing in the time to publish the twice-a-month we’ve been managing has sorta reduced the whole thing to a grind, leading to a bit of burnout. Long story short, it was tough to carve out time for the comic even when it was brand-new and we were super into it, and it’s just become that much tougher 5 years later. So we’re taking a step back, letting the creative batteries recharge a little, working on things with less of a time crunch in the meantime. The CC site will stay up for the archive, and we’ll also update the blog with any projects we find ourselves taking on. One of which may very well be a Comic Critics OGN we’ve been toying with for a while. (And feel free to yak at us on Twitter at either @ComicCritics or @SeanWhitmore…they’re kinda like the web comic, but with less text and no pictures)
For now, we just want to thank you all for reading, those of you who’ve been here from the beginning and those of you who discovered us somewhere along the way. And even those of you who didn’t discover us until after reading this! You’ve made everything worth it, because Brandon lives to entertain, and my soul is actually a black hole that feeds on adulation the way that Galactus feeds on worlds. Where even is Galactus, anyway? I haven’t seen him since…ah, never mind, I’m going off on a tangent.
One way or another, Comic Critics will be back, so we’ll see you then!
Guardians of the Galaxy #1:
Or, as people who know how to count might like to consider it, “Guardians of the Galaxy #2.” Amazingly, this “first” issue actually hits the ground running. As a Bendis/McNiven joint on its own terms, it’s not bad, if a little slight. But the real selling point of this new GotG series, to my mind, is the early look at what the Marvel movie cosmic stuff will feel like.
Cause think about it; this is the first time Marvel’s been able to take a property with nothing currently invested in it and make it resemble the movieverse before the movie’s even come out. Just as a minor for-instance: check out the “Council of Galactic Empires”. We’ve seen this kind of thing a lot, but not with this lineup. Right off the bat, Spartax–which has been about as relevant to the MU in recent years as the planet Melmac–now has a front-row seat. Star-Lord even refers to his father as “king of the galaxy”. He’s being flippant, but the issue makes it seem like it’s not that far off. The Brood are also present, which is weird. I can’t imagine, say, the United Federation of Planets ever inviting Xenomorphs to their club. And then there’s Annihilus, who should not only be at the top of every planet’s hit list, but isn’t even technically part of our galaxy. All of which means little except to reinforce my point that Marvel obviously views their cosmic mythology as particularly malleable. If nothing else, I’d wager Spartax will be a major cosmic player in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, akin to the role the Shi’ar usually play.
G.I. Joe #1:
Well, I gave it a look because the movie’s coming out. And that right there should tell you I deserved whatever I got. It wasn’t terrible, but I lost patience with the “GI Joe by way of Youngblood” concept real quick. I mean, like, Page 3 quick. And while someone may have used that “famous/infamous” line before Jonah Jameson, it’s his now, by god. It felt hollow at the end of this. And there isn’t much beyond that. Duke and Shipwreck had a couple good lines. The Sunbow jokes felt forced. Hashtag is ridiculous. The end.
Superior Spider-Man #2-4:
I wonder what it says that I’m finding myself liking Doc Ock as Spider-Man more than Peter. First of all, it’s entertaining as hell to see him react to everything with two different, conflicting sets of memories. Secondly, nearly everything Ghost Peter has been chiding Otto about has made him sound like a ridiculous child.
Uncanny X-Men #2:
I liked it better than the first issue. Bendis’ characterization of Scott and Emma is better than I’d feared. My biggest fear remains Bendis unilaterally deciding, “Hey, Cyclops is crazy. He was totally crazy THE WHOLE TIME, you guys!”
Batman Incorporated #8:
Holy shit, Bat-Cow is gonna be PIIIIIIIISSED.
Goddamn. That’s how you end a good Joker story right there.
As much as I hate pushing Brandon’s gorgeous Cyclobama image further down the page, I figure I’ve had a long enough vacation from these blog posts that I stress over even though I know in my heart nobody could possibly care about them.
Our current strip can be taken several different ways, which is something we encourage. I like to think Comic Critics! never goes for the most obvious point of view (whether we do or not, who the hell knows, I just like to think we don’t). But for the most part, it came from a place of just really wanting to point out how insane DC has been lately. Like, dangerously insane. Like, if DC was a person it would need to be locked up in Creedmoor before it wandered naked into the middle of the Macy’s Day Parade and started fucking the big Underdog balloon.
And I know what you’re thinking, “What do you mean ‘lately’?” But seriously, just look at their track record since the New 52 reboot, and you’d think DC actually stopped trying to run a legitimate comic book company and has been filming a This is Spinal Tap-like mockumentary for the past year. Solicited creators being kicked off books before they even came out, scores of creators quitting over editorial interference (some of them almost immediately), a very public series of accusations by Rob Liefeld, a heckuva lot of cancellations, the firing-and-immediate-rehiring of Gail Simone….
And then the triple-play that spawned this comic. Andy Diggle was hired to write Action Comics and quit before his first issue hit the stands. The very next day, it was reported that Josh Fialkov walked off both of his Green Lantern books. The very NEXT day, it was revealed why; DC wanted him to kill off John Stewart, a move which they would have needed more fan goodwill than they even had before the reboot to pull off successfully. It’s like all the comic news sites suddenly turned into The Onion for a day.
I almost can’t wait to see what wacky thing happens next. Anyone care to take any action on this? I’ll lay odds that it’ll have something to do with Stephanie Brown again, like someone will erase her from a Greg Capullo flashback montage and replace her with a crudely drawn Bette Kane, causing Capullo to leave the book.
Here’s a bigger version of the Cyclops/Right Obama/Hope image.
So, I’ve been a bit lax in doing these. I meant to do one about Amazing Spider-Man to go along with that strip, but my review could never decide if it wanted to be focused on the movie itself or on comparing it to the Raimi movie or on reboots in general, so I ran out of steam and let it lapse.
And at that point, Dark Knight Rises was almost upon us, and like most people, I was all “Amazing what?”
Anyway, to sum up: Amazing Spider-Man was decent, did a couple things better than the Raimi movie but overall not as epic. Dark Knight Rises was a fantastic end to the trilogy, but if you haven’t liked Nolan’s take up till now (and I can totally understand why some don’t), it won’t change your mind.
On that note, we chose not to focus on any of the common nitpicks of Nolan’s Batman (his lack of detective skills, his perhaps over-willingness to retire, that goddamn voice) and instead focus on the fans. Not all the fans, mind, just the ones that make discussing the Nolan movies so goddamn annoying. You know the ones. The ones that are a bit too into it. The ones who suck all the fun out of the discussion…and I’m gonna reiterate that part, because it’s vaguely important…the ones who take the FUN OUT of talking about BATMAN.
(And just to preempt any weird suspicions, none of this has anything to do with the tragedy in Colorado. Discussion of that magnitude really has no place in a strip as goofy as ours, or a blog as half-assed as this, except to say that our hearts go out to the victims, and that that guy should already be hanging from the end of a rope by now)
Quotable quotes from @JoshCritic:
“Dark Knight Rises saved a lot of time by adapting Dark Knight Returns, Knightfall, and No Man’s Land all at once. That’s bang for your buck.”