I know what you’re thinking. You’re reading this and saying to yourselves ‘why would Gerald do an addendum to WK 31 when he already gave us 3 good books to check out PLUS a few honorable mentions’, right? Perhaps you may also be saying ‘c’mon Thomas…this week is pretty much done—let’s look forward to next week’s books, yada, yada, yada’. Well…if in fact you feel that way, and that I’m merely filling space here on this Ology, then for you I have no retort, except to say ‘PLPLPLPLPLPLPLPLPLPLPLPLPL!!!!’ I’m not sure if Webster would agree if that’s the proper way to spell the sound of a raspberry, but hopefully you get the idea. Fellow comic-nuts, I came across a few books when I made my ‘I’ve-nothing-else-to-do-on-a-Saturday-afternoon comic store trip…and after hearing the proverbial word on the street. Not to mention there’s also a book or so that I felt remiss in not mentioning a few days back. So, to paraphrase David Allen Grier’s Calhoun Tubbs character from ‘In Living Color’ (which btw is THE greatest sketch comedy show of all time)…I wrote another Ology about it….here it goes…’Uuuuuuuuuuhhhh Haaaaaaaauuuuuuh!’
If not for that book…oh what was it—oh yeah Saga—Earth 2 could easily be my favorite title. From the rip, you get covers from Ivan Ries. No, he’s not the guy who did Ghostbusters (can we PLEASE get a 3rd movie, Murray?). However he HAS done some top-notch covers for Blackest Night, Infinite Crisis, and a few Marvel books, including Avengers Assemble #5. The Scott’s Nicola and Trevor give outstanding interior art which all helps to nicely move along the story that’s penned to perfection by James Robinson. Does his name ring a bell? It should, since he was the mind behind Action Comic’s final pre-Flashpoint run (you know, when it was still…good?), currently doing the He-Man revamp, and most notably The New Frontier. With his work on that last tittle being an exalting homage to the iconic and legendary silver age, Robinson with each issue of Earth 2 proves he is more than up to the task of modernizing a classic character without losing what makes them….’them’. Oh and by the way? Jim Lee designed most of the costumes.
Why it’s good:
For starters, save for the 5-7 pages of Captain Marvel…sorry...SHAZAM that we get in the back of Justice League, Earth 2 is completely pulling down its' proverbial superhero tights, and simply defecating all over it. So, as far as team books go in the DCU, this is the best. Period. Furthermore—reboot or not—there’s only SO much you can do with characters that your grandparents read like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman (who I affectionately call Dub-Dub), and that ilk. However with ‘OG’ characters like the original Flash (Alan Scott), the original Atom (Al Pratt),Hawkgirl (who is NOT Shierah, but Kendra—who in the old five-deuce was Sheirah’s niece) and of course, Green Lantern (Alan Scott) whose histories and origins have been either ret-conned to the point of obscurity or were just forgotten since they first debuted, there’s a LOT more leeway to create a truly new world while maintaining some of that golden age familiarity. If anyone out there is familiar with the original Earth-Two, you know that while the characters were great and just as iconic if not more so than the silver-age heroes that proceeded them. However you may also know that the first foils of the golden-age-gang was trying to fit that WW2 era group into then-1960s Earth as being castrated by what to do with Earth two’s Trinity. Well…those problems got solved REEEALLY quick as you learn from the start that THIS new Earth “2” (not spelled two as the old one was to probably further differentiate it, I’d assume) is just as modern as Earth One. Oh and the Trinity of the original Dub-Dub, Batsy, and Big Blue? Yeeeeeah. No worrying about whether or not Diana was formed from clay, if Bruce would ever become commissioner of Gotham, or if Superman will grow old with Lois and eventually die in Final Crisis, since all three of them bought-it in the first issue—hard. This bold move of killing what is basically the DCU’s first big heroes and not keeping them around was ballsy as all Hell, as many comic writers don’t like killing characters that came out before they were born. However this guarantees a clean break from their golden age baggage, which makes it a lot easier for fans that aren’t as familiar with this crew to hop right in. Yet there’s juuuust enough of the ol’ school there for people like me to pick up on, like the fact that Alan Scott’s ring didn’t work in issue 4. Know why? I’m assuming because traditionally his ring doesn’t work on wood (stop laughing) and there was plenty surrounding Grundy to go around.
Speaking of the GL of Earth 2, I know that he’s basically the big, green…and gay elephant construct in the room that no one wants to talk about, or are simply pissed about. Well to those folks I reply thusly: WHO CARES????? Kudos to Robinson for being progressive enough to have a prominent character who is morally and magically strong also happen to be gay. Folks…it’s 2012—there is no more ‘black-and-white’. There are interracial/bi/tri-sexual/homo/heterogeneous relationships out there, and many of you reading this are either in one or are close friends with someone in one, so just shut the bleep up and deal with it. Comics as a medium are supposed to provide a comedic and at times satirical reflection on reality. That one of Earth 2's most powerful heroes just so happens to also be gay (and ironically the best dressed) seems pretty damned real to me. Furthermore to those who say ‘oh, you’re changing the character’s origin yada-yada-yada’ I answer this: Um…it’s only Alan Scott here, folks!! We’re not making Superman a homo-sexual, or Bruce Wayne a black man (because then he’d be Black Panther), or Wonder Woman a lesbian. It’s Alan…bleeping…Scott. Please, relax. Though…I DO want to know how, if at all, they’re gonna bring his daugherJade into the new 52 now and well...you know...how, but I digress.
Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe
Fellow comic fans…how should I say this? Well, I’m sure we can all agree there’s an endless amount of crappy comics, a lot of titles that are just plain good, and a few books that are actually great. Add to this mix the infinite amalgam of podcasts, magazines, geek freaks, and TV shows all saying what to buy and what not to buy that quite frankly...it’s easy for some books to slip under the radar. This is especially true with some of those ‘alternate-reality-non-cannon-what-if’ books, but please….this is DEADPOOL we’re talking about here!! For those of you unfamiliar with the asinine assassin, Take all the intelligence and cunning of Batman, the deadly and raw killing ability and healing factor of Wolverine, the unpredictability of The Joker, and the hilarious quips of Spiderman and Wally West’s Flash and COMBINE them, and well…then you have Deadpool—one of Marvel’s most beloved (and until recently underappreciated) characters. This books is It’s written by Cullen Bunn, who you may recall did work on the super-hot, pre-52 Superman-Batman books (are they gonna come back, btw?) and insanely graphic and gory art by Dalibor Talajic, who did some work on X-Men and waaaay back in the day-Dead World.
Why it’s good:
Well first of all, true believers...it’s only slated to be 6 books long. Ready for this kicker, too? It comes out EVERY WEEK. Yeah….Oh and it’s already better than AvX in that PEOPLE ACTUALLY DIED…like HEAVY HITTER HEROES IN THE FIRST 5 PAGES. Yeah. Remember how you felt when you read Marvel Zombies that first time? This had that same, Old School, Stan Lee/Jack Kirby ‘What-If’ kind of feel. Folks…You may or may not agree with a lot of things that I write here, but I truly feel that this comic—in its’ gorily gratuitous and gruesome gushing of blood, interestingly intriguing plotline, and absolutely disturbingly hilarious ‘hero’ that’s been pretty much turned loose on the ENTIRE Marvel U—may be beyond the shadow of a doubt THE quintessential sleeper comic of the summer. Yes, I absolutely just wrote that, so please allow a moment for that to sink in. Still with us? Good!! Seriously gang, I stumbled across this book by hearing someone talking about it in passing, and then heard about it again being mentioned in a quick blurb on one of Marvel’s own podcast in between the person who I shan’t name’s incessant slurps on AvX’s overrated Johnson. Even THEY treated the book like it was the Rodney Dangerfield of the Big ‘M’. After following my gut, I went to two comic stores to find it, and fans…it was well worth the trek. This is the comic that fans of the Merc with a Mouth have been waiting for! I don’t want to spoil it, but the cat he kills in the last few pages…leave you like ‘wow…(S/HE) can be killed…by HIM…like THAT??...Deadpool is a BADASS’. I know..I know it’s not giving you much and believe-you-me, I’d LOVE to say more. However unlike some of those comic shows and podcasts, I WILL not spoil this book ‘till the next one comes out. Please though, gang…check this mess out. This along with Daredevil and Spiderman are probably the only Marvel comics worth your time (and yes, that includes the incredibly underwhelming AvX). It’s a damned shame it’s only a 6-shot, but that's still five-bullets better than that OTHER Marvel summer 'event'.