Is it just me or does it feel like all of pop culture is suddenly in a huge creative slump?  Tv, Music, and most especially Movies seem to be stagnant puddles of derivative over hyped excess that cost too much money and provide very little in the way of return on my entertainment investment.

I just can’t get excited about ANY of it anymore.  I had the absolute fever for THE WOLVERINE until 20th Century Fox and Machinima released an extended look at a train fight sequence that defies both the laws of elementary physics and competent CGI compositing.  I think it looks horrendous and now I could hardly care less about it.

Now I’m hearing rumblings from folks I trust that even PACIFIC RIM – the flick that seems like it should be the patron saint of Summer Movie fare is just sorta – “ok”.  Just sorta “ok” is not ok with me when an IMAX ticket is 19 bucks.  Just sorta “ok” sounds absolutely SUCKTACULAR at that price point.

So I moped around for a week lamenting the fact that maybe it’s me.  Maybe like Danny Glover in the LETHAL WEAPON movies – “I’m getting too old for this shit” and I should just tap out and start watching MATLOCK re-runs on Cable Tv or something.  I was just about to turn in my License to Geek when it occurred to me that I haven’t read a comic book in a good long while.  I’ve read ABOUT Comic Books lately – and keep an eye on whats happening in the industry but I think the last time I actually purchased and read a comic book purely for the sake of reading a comic book was when DC’st New 52 launched . . .

Suddenly I was hopeful.  If there was anything out there that was going to turn my nerd frown upside down, surely it would be the SOURCE of all things geek right?

Gameplan was simple.  Don’t overdo it. Pick three books. One Marvel, One DC and one “other”.  Buy physical PAPER copies from an actual comic book store so as to get the whole sensory experience.   Bring them back to my secret lair, open my mind to whatever they might have to offer and . . . read them.  Since I am an ego-maniac by trade I will now of course share my thoughts with you.

Wow. That was a whole lot of crap to read through for what is essentially just some comic book reviews.  If I do this again we’ll for go the long rambling intro and just jump right in.  Like this:


batman superman #1 coverBOOK ONE:   BATMAN SUPERMAN #1 (DC PUBLISHER)

CREATIVE TEAM: Greg Pak, Jae Lee and Ben Oliver

Price: $3.99

WHAT I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE WHEN I PICKED IT UP:
As a lifelong fan of the Batman I was drawn to the fact that this appears to be a new series in the vein of WORLD’S FINEST set in the New 52 Universe. The fact that it’s a #1 book made me feel like I should be able to jump right in and figure out any changes that entailed.

WHAT IT ACTUALLY IS:
A really pretty mess of stuff I don’t understand.  So much for being able to jump right in with a #1 Issue.  As the story starts, Clark Kent is doing some sort of investigative reporting about murders that leads him to Bruce Wayne who is hanging out in a park watching bullies pick on a kid. Only he’s not really because after a few pages the whole thing is some kind of dream where Batman and Superman are fighting in the real world (I think – maybe not – seems like a different reality) but something is wrong because Batman doesn’t seem to know it’s the NEW 52 world because Superman is wearing jeans and apparently Batman doesn’t know that he does that now.  Also – Catwoman is there but she’s “possessed” or something and I’m not sure why or if it matters.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON THIS ISSUE:
As crazy as it was and as much as I have NO idea what the hell is going on – I actually DID enjoy it and I will seek out #2 if for no other reason than to see if they start to hint at WHICH version of these characters are in the REAL world. I have a feeling the NEW 52 is not going to be around for that long . . . or maybe it will – I really don’t know and that’s probably a good thing.


hero bear and the kid #1BOOK TWO: HERO BEAR AND THE KID (KABOOM! Publisher)

CREATIVE TEAM: Mike Kunkel

Price $3.99

WHAT DID I THINK IT WOULD BE WHEN I PICKED IT UP:
Fun. The white and red cover with a real cartoony Polar Bear wearing a Superhero cape grabbed me from six feet away and a quick flip through the pages suggested that this may be something in the same vein as one of my cartoon heroes – Spumco founder and creator of Ren and Stimpy,  John K.

WHAT IT ACTUALLY IS:
Sadly, it’s a kind of cheesy Calvin and Hobbes type thing that is almost totally by the numbers as far as pacing and story go. There are no surprises to be had here and every single joke is flat and unworthy of the art that supports it. Mke Kunkel draws some gorgeous characters that are visually interesting to look but the story itself about a boy who inherits a “magical’ stuffed polar bear toy from his grandfather that “comes to life” as a superhero and takes him on adventures is actually kind of boring.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON THIS ISSUE:
I feel badly saying it because the guy obviously has some heart in this book but it just needs to be more original than it is and twice as funny.  I cannot stress enough though how absolutely beautiful his art is. This dude can draw a superhero polar bear that you want to hang on a wall and the “polished sketchbook” quality of the art in the book is fun to look at. READING it on the other hand is not a third as much fun. 🙁


guardians of the galaxy tomorrows avengers #1BOOK THREE: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY – TOMORROW’S AVENGERS #1 (Marvel – Publisher)

CREATIVE TEAM: Bendis, Oeming, Beredo, Doyle, Rodriguez, Del Mundo 

Price: $4.99

WHAT DID I THINK IT WOULD BE WHEN I PICKED IT UP:
An absolute lost cause. The cover of this book looks like somebody thought it up in a junior high school art class. Seriously. Who is the green dude with the swords who wishes he was the Hulk? Why is She Hulk with him and what does she need a rifle for? Is that a damn tree with a face? Does it throw apples at Dorothy and the Tin Man? A Racoon with a laser rifle. Really? Really?  THIS is the direction the Marvel Movie Universe is headed in? THIS is going to somehow tie in with my beloved movie Avengers and all of the geektacular awesomeness that Marvel has brought to the screen. Blech. I guess I’ll pick it up and see what they could POSSIBLY see in this goofy looking thing.

WHAT IT ACTUALLY IS:
A damn good introduction to the Guardians of The Galaxy team. Set up as a proper #1 issue should be, it provides small introductions to each character as they are brought together to face some kind of large threat from Thanos himself.  The intros manage to that tell you what you NEED to know, HINT at the fact that there is a lot more TO know and make you WANT more.  This is a really fun book that made me feel foolish for dismissing it so quickly sight unseen.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON THIS ISSUE:
I will definitely pick up #2 and will be looking into the back issue  bins for these characters as I feel like I may have missed something in the past that might be worthwhile . . .


FINAL THOUGHTS ON ALL:That was a lot of fun and reminded me of why I loved comic books in the first place.  The prices of these books are ridiculous though. $4.99 for a Marvel Comic Book monthly issue seems obscene.  GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY would have to be a pretty awesome title for me to justify spending $60 bucks on it over a year . . .

About The Author

When not working hard to protect democracy against the forces of evil or training to be a Jedi Knight like his father before him, New York Writer/Artist/Scribbler of Nonsense, Brian McKevitt spends a lot of time drawing superheroes and zombies and his friends. Occasionally he confuses them and ends up drawing his friends as zombie superheroes.

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