Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Heads Will Roll!

It would be remiss of me not to make some comment on the first issue of Justice League of America, one of DC's most anticipated events.

While I certainly didn't enjoy the issue as much as H of Comic Treadmill, it was engaging. I don't like Brad's writing of the Big Three; it reeks of fan fic. And if he's trying to show that the Big Three are friends, he's hiding it pretty well; above all, friends should share respect for one another, not the eye-rolling indulgence that seems to infuse their interactions in Brad's writing. Brad read too much Marvel growing up, I think, and while there are few people I know who love DC's character's more than he, his idea of writing them as realistic adults is colored by 'the Marvel Way'. Read Identity Crisis again and pretend it's a Marvel book; you'll see immediately what I mean.

Brad, if you're reading this, no offense, man; you know I love ya, and I'll see you soon on the DC trip.

But as much as I don't love his writing of 'greater' characters, whom he humanizes to their detriment, I do love his writing of 'lesser' characters, whom he humanizes to their betterment. In the case of the Red Tornado, the humanization is literal and I'm delighted. I've never been interested in the Red Tornado, a tragic Marvel rip-off if ever there was one, and a nearly obscene bastardization of a Golden Age character. But Brad has changed that for me in one issue, and that's impressive, simply by removing the stereotypical qualities that RT had always been reduced to: he's a robot and he blows up a lot.

Speaking of robots, he writes the Metal Men beautifully. They aren't ridiculous cartoons, but they aren't really complete people either. They're basically intelligent creatures, but their range and focus is more limited then ours; they're not simple, just simpler. Platinum, for example, can't just "get over" Doc Magnus or even understand why her love is futile; it's not in her nature. I suppose ... the Metal Men are sort of like dogs.

As for humans, well, he's nailed Vixen (but, then again, who hasn't?). More interestingly, he's found a unique angle for Black Lightning that not only gives him exciting story possibilities but still harkens back to his origins as a 'hero of the street'. Bravo on that one, Brad.

And Brad knows how to write villians, too. While Gail Simone has probably done the most for revitalizing DC's villains, Brad started the trend brilliantly in Identity Crisis and is obviously continuing it in JLA. I'm happy finally to see "Dr. Impossible" in person, a character I knew was in the works (I actually suggested that name...!) and who seems a lot cooler than I was expecting.

So to celebrate Dr. Impossible and the rolling heads of the Metal Men...



Model Gold: Offline.
Model Platinum: Offline.
Alarm engag-ed.

Okay, so I had to cheat to get the last line to work; it was worth it. How many opportunities for Head Rolling Haiku does one get?

Does this robot decapitation inspire any haiku from you?

39 comments:

Mike Loughlin said...

Could it be... the return of Haikuesday?!? Oh, frabjous day!

Metal Men scrapped! Noooo!
"That's o.k.," says Doc Magnus,
"I have spares out back."

Or:

Gold and Plat'num dead?
Why them? Why not Tin or Lead?
One of the cheap 'bots!

Bill Meisel said...

issue number one
why does she love john so much?
we now understand

Loren said...

I agree that Indentity Crisis had a little more of a Marvel feel to it, but I have faith that he's going to bring these characters (Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman) back to the faith and trust that they once had in each other. This is really their first meeting back together and I can imagine that there would still be a little tension. I imagine that when they remember to work together as a team, they'll become more cohesive in the true DC style.

As for the secondary characters, I totally agree with you. I'm looking forward to seeing how these characters evolve, particularly Black Lightning, since he's one of my faves.

Oh, and here's my contribution to the haikuesay mania...

Hal and Roy have talk.
Arsenal asked to join team.
Green Arrow is sad.

Chris Laffoon said...

JLA is very like a Marvel comic you say...hmmm. Maybe I'll get it then. I usually hate everything DC has ever put out. Let me put it in terms that DC folks might understand...I'm BIZARRO!!! I like Marvel and hate DC stuff...exactly the opposite of the blogging community. But I still read your stuff everday anyway...love ya now...buh bye.

Ariel said...

Doc Impossible
is the sensational find
of 2006

I loved JLA 1 as well, and it is an interesting line up. I'm happy to see Vixen, but suspect trouble for her since she 'isn't ready'. As much as I love Jonn Jonzz, it's refreshing to see a line up without him in it. Like Devon, I'm also glad to see more women on the team.

Scipio said...

Nice one, Ariel.
When are you coming to visit me in DC?

Rorschach said...

Hey, Chris, I write in a blog, and I like both companies. Though it's not a blog about comics. or in english.

Chris Laffoon said...

Rorschach...I'll check out your blog...but probably only for the pictures..I can only read English..I'm stupid. I don't mind people liking what they like, I just always thought it was interesting how the blogging community is swayed towards either DC comics or "artsy" independent stuff and I've always been almost exclusively Marvel with a few Image and DH stuff thrown in.

Anonymous said...

You say that Red Tornado is a Marvel rip off if you ever saw one..His appearance pre-dates the Vision by a month. Who is he supposed to be a rip off of?

He's also got that Tornado/Air elemental thing going on for him...but yeah he does blow up a lot...

Zaratustra said...

I love how your excuse for any crappy DC comic is 'The writer must have read too much Marvel comics.'

Bill L. said...

Magnus's Robots
Learn too late how not to get
Ahead in the world

Steven said...

ow

Unlike Pantha's head,
Gold and Platinum's noggins
can be re-attatch'd.

Otter said...

Two fellow dartmouth alums were wondering where you bought your comics while in Hanover?

Also, what do think of John Byrne's FF run straddling the void between DC and Marvel characterizations? They seemed every bit as iconic and godlike as your DC heavy-hitter...

-Chris and Hugh

Dave said...

Platinum's hairdo?
WTF? Ugly.
That's not my Tina, Doc.

rafi-el said...

Metal Men lose heads
That's nothing new -- Kanigher
Often destroyed them

Scipio said...

Otter:

Sig Ep.

Haven't read Byrne's FF run...

Scipio said...

"I love how your excuse for any crappy DC comic is 'The writer must have read too much Marvel comics.'"

Oh, good; I'm so glad.

I'm also glad you've learned so much from reading this blog.

Ariel said...

Hey Scip, pretty soon I hope, I'm due for a fun weekend in DC! I need to come up and learn how to play 'Clix...sometime in October perhaps? When is the next big Monkey event?

David Cutler said...

Sometimes I wonder what the heck you think a Marvel comic is.

Des said...

Platinum and Gold
Just like a rap video
That's just how they roll

Scipio said...

"Sometimes I wonder what the heck you think a Marvel comic is."

I should think if you read this blog regularly, that would be pretty clear by now.

And please don't try to convince yourself that I'm simply not familiar with them. I am. I have been reading them since before many of you were born. I own comic book stores and make it a point of following the major publishers. My opinion of Marvel's comics, whether you agree with it or not, is not based on ignorance but on familiarity (more, in fact, than I would like).

Scipio said...

"I need to come up and learn how to play 'Clix...sometime in October perhaps?"

Sounds good; just give me a call and we'll set up an appropriate weekend.

Ariel said...

Hey, anyone see the alternate endings to 52 #15?

It's so over the top, you gotta love it. It's the Rolling Better Half of Booster!

Rick Jones, really said...

Speaking of Pantha's rolling head, it was excised from the latest TEEN TITANS TPB. I kept looking for one last glimpse of the famous rolling head, but it was nowhere to be found.

Bully said...

The new Justice League?
Uh uh. I say it's spinach
And to hell with it.

Jamie Ott said...

Ariel said:

"Hey, anyone see the alternate endings to 52 #15?

It's so over the top, you gotta love it. It's the Rolling Better Half of Booster!"

I saw it and I don't buy it. The whole layout was put up yesterday, I'm guessing to pair up with 5.2 Questions. First, the DC logo is the old bullet and it and the DC offices address are skewed in slightly different angles. After a few years, one would think that they would have phased out the old letterhead.

Secondly, the hole punches on the side are the exact same on each of the 'alternate ending's' pages. Slightly more to the left or the right in each case but they are the same double-punch each time.

Third, why the use of red 'Do not use"? It just seems really weird that they used the red.

Add to the fact that DiDio gave that whole arrogant interview about Booster not being with the times and his story is fully told, I just get the sense that this is all an elaborate misdirection.

Or I could just be nuts. I need some hobbies.

Jamie

rinkjustice said...

Ok, here's my haiku:

Captain Canuck's back
A series call Legacy
Buy your copy now

totaltoyz said...

Wait a minute, I just remembered something.

Hasn't Metal Man Gold been dead (I mean, really most sincerely dead) since that horrible Metal Men miniseries of the early 90s, when it was "revealed" that the Metal Men were really human beings' minds in robot bodies? Or did Superboy-Prime punch that one out of continuity?

jamawalk said...

the villian revitalization thing you speak of actually got started waaaaaay before IC by Geoff Johns. Check his run on flash if you don't believe me.

jacob munford said...

Fight Scott Free villains
without Scott or Big Barda?
What's up with that, dog?

Steven said...

Totaltoyz (dale?),

It was also the series that made Magnus a Metal Man himself, and he's been seen as human in 52. Though they haven't said whether the change back is an untold tale or Superboy Punch, yet.

Jamawalk:

Are you actually suggesting Scipio HASN'T read Johns run on the Flash? From THIS VERY SITE!

Scipio said...

"Speaking of Pantha's rolling head, it was excised from the latest TEEN TITANS TPB. I kept looking for one last glimpse of the famous rolling head, but it was nowhere to be found."

Are you FREAKIN' KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?!?!

PLEASE send me a scan of the appropriate page. If I find out that at this is true, I will be ragingly unhappy, and, well

...

heads will roll.

totaltoyz said...

Totaltoyz (dale?)

Yep, Dale is my name, custom Heroclix is my game. A complete set of the Metal Men is available at the Big Monkey eBay Store!

Dekko said...

I'm pretty sure the results of that Metal Men mini, like Power Girl's baby, were wipied out, never to be spoken of again. Thank God.

Interesting point on the writing of the major characters versus the "B" graders. I don't necesarily agree (Metzger is one of the few writers whose take on the "big three" I actually enjoy) but I can see your point--especially in the case of Tornado, a character that, despite being a JLA fan for over 20 years, I've never really given a crap about until now. Kind of amazing what a few pages of decent dialogue can do.

Now if only we can get The Yazz in there somewhere...

Peter said...

Won't be buying this.
How long until next reboot?
So depressing. Sigh...

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

There are two versions of the Metal Men, Doom Patrol, and Jonah Hex seen in the fragments caused by S-Prime punches. I took it to mean certain versions are New Earth history, period. No untold tales re: Magnus turning back, etc.

totaltoyz said...

Oh, yeah, everything is sooooo much less confusing since 1985....

Jon said...

What is Power Girl supposed to tell the JSA? "I got a better offer?"

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