Monday, July 30, 2007

Comic On Comics #1: Bendis Truly Needs To Suck It

[BE WARNED: This is a super-long comic book rant. Non-Marvelites would do well to skip this one-shot issue]

Okay, I like comic books. I don't have enough money to actually BUY the comics but I will go to a store and read as many comics on the racks as I can. I feel bad doing this so I buy a comic or two I really like off the rack to show support for the franchise.

I just started getting into non-X-Men characters (and comic books in general) about 2-3 years ago and I try to broaden my horizons. Hell, I wanted to advocate comic books as a valid piece of literature. And then I read Brian Michael Bendis' Avengers--cue horror theme music.

I read older Avengers stories done by Kurt Busiek, skimmed stuff by Geoff Johns, read some Steven Englehart and was blown away. I assumed I would like Bendis' take too. But between the super-fugly-assed art in New Avengers and the complete lack of story in both New and Mighty Avengers, I am so tempted to stop buying anything from comic book stores. Mr. Bendis, I'm sick of you!

For those of you who don't know comics, here's a brief recap of the Avengers As Written By Bendis. In the beginning there was a super-team of A-list Marvel heroes. They did things like stop super-villains from taking over the world, or foiled the long-term plans of cosmic entities, or travelled through time to stop despots. Then Bendis came along and, for reasons too convoluted and retarded to get into, superhero and Avengers backbone Scarlet Witch has a massive power boost and goes ape-shit crazy (because in the Marvel-verse, that's what women do when they have too much power) and tries to kill all of her teammates. The Avengers disassemble.

Then, a couple of A-Listers decide they want to work with C, D, and F-List superheroes and be pro-active. These heroes call them the New Avengers (because THAT'S original). The first story arc involves them tyring to stop a breakout where the Sentry (think of him as gold Superman) fights a villain in space. The second arc has a fight with random thug super-villain #1077 while the Sentry angsts about...uh...something and then goes into space to hit things.

Then the Avengers fights ninjas, for no reason, oh wait there is a reason, it's to prove that one of the Avengers is a traitor. Cut to two pointless issues with loads of talking that doesn't go anywhere (though I give +100 points for dusting off Ms. Marvel - whose comic is effing awesome and restores my faith in humanity - go Brian Reed!).

Next a big energy creature attacks the Avengers and the problem is solved by (you guessed it) Sentry throwing the energy ball in space.

Then the New Avengers disassemble (and for those of you who are celestially inclined, yes there is a scene with the Sentry in space...thinking!). After a godawful one-shot issue that does a "Where Are They Now" with Scarlet Witch and one of the Avengers she killed and the much-maligned Marvel Civil War (more on that another time), we now have two sets of Avengers (one New and the other Mighty!).

The New Avengers are fighting an assload of ninjas again (Seriously, how are there so many ninjas in the Marvel-verse? Do they get good dental?) and the Mighty Avengers are fighting a hot naked robot chick trying to destroy the world using (wait for it) space. Cut to: Sentry in space hitting things.

Seriously Bendis, can you go for one story arc without having a super-powered hero dash into space to rip something apart? Oh wait, you can if it involves a never-ending army of ninjas (and note: mentioning IN COMIC that fighting ninjas is stupid does not make ninja-fighting deeper or more relevant). Can you just write a story with a beginning, middle and end?! Can you not spend issues showing off your innovative (and shittily stilted) dialogue?! Can you not do a rush-job plot-dump issue after wasting time with overly long and mostly irrelevant flashbacks? Can your characters DO SOMETHING?

I understand that most people who complain about Bendis are supposedly dinosaurs who can't get used to a changing world. But I'm only 23 and I just started seriously reading comic books. I picked up older stuff by Kurt Busiek and it's very gripping, mainly because he had things like A PLOT and GOOD PACING and MYSTERIES THAT WERE SOLVED and A SENSE OF CHARACTER AND CONTINUITY. It did not resort to tactics like "I'm going to break the internet in half by having characters talk for 5 issues" or "Hey look remember when you haven't seen this character do anything useful in 15 years?! Well I'm going to make up a new backstory and then refuse to do anything remotely interested with that character."

Wow, I can't believe this man is being touted as the best thing to ever happen to Marvel. And the artwork in New Avengers is abysmal. It's drawn by a gimp monkey with a stick dipped in ink. My God! Ugh, I mean before Bendis the only comics writer I hated this much was Reginald "Hey I'm black and all black superheroes know each other and need to segregate and move to pan-Africa" Hudlin (God those early Black Panther issues made me want to strip away my melanin - Marrying Black Panther off to Storm, a character from a completely different part of Africa, because they're both dark-skinned? Dr. Doom racist AND sexist??? Seriously????).

Bendis, you need to learn how to move characters from point A to point B in ONE ISSUE. You need to actaully explore and use character histories. And until you can write a half-decent plot that doesn't involve space or ninjae, you need to suck it. 'Nuff said.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Hypotheticals (or Even In A Dream, I Can't Stop Doing Schtick)

So I had a dream where a friend of mine asked me "If you were a crackhead, would you rather suck dick for crack or take it up the butt for crack?"

And I said "Well if I'm a crackhead, wouldn't I just prefer crack? That's like the definition of crackhead; crack trumps everything."

And then I thought, "Wow, this is something I should write down in my notebook, and subsequently my blog because that could be spun into some comedy gold."

And then I thought, "When did I become so self-important that I feel a need to tell the world that I came up with a shaky premise for a joke, and why didn't I lie and say I was actually talking to a real friend than a dream friend? That makes me look like I have no friends."

And then I realized that I didn't actually think those statements, I said them out loud. In the office I work at. So now everyone thinks I should be straitjacketed. And a straitjacket would be nice, because this office gets really cold in the mornings.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Something To Check Out

In case you've ever had one of thsoe nights and need to understand what the hell just happened, check this out

It's so sad that Wikipedia has articles to define everything. Seriously did you know there is an article focused on the Hadouken. And the fireballs are rated by amount of immolation. Who cares? It's a guy in a headband doing something that is physically impossible. W-evs!

I'm also trying to test how effective these hyperlink deals are. Also, I'm wasting precious work time. But I have to stay late anyway so I don't know what's up.

Life Irony: Is it bad when you're procrastinating at work by reading about procrastination?