Monday, August 16, 2010

Random Comic Book Thoughts

Okay, I found that image over at Jim Lee's deviant art page. He did that in 10 minutes on a graphics tablet. Ten minutes. I try to draw and something similar would take me about three hours and would look absolutely shitty in comparison. Ten minutes! Seriously, I'm amazed, and I've got that image as my desktop wallpaper right now.

I read Blackest Night (DC) finally. My review: not fuckin' good. Seriously, I've been reading DC for 20+ years now and the story was all but incomprehensible to me, and I can only imagine what that mess would of been like for a first time reader. The art though, was AMAZING. Ivan Reis did amazing work. The story seemed like it was an excuse to create a bunch of awesome variant costumes of major DCU characters to sell toys rather than show character. In that sense, it worked well. Reis' designs for the Black Lanterns, Orange Lantern Lex Luthor and some of the others are really cool, and his art reminds me alot of Jim Lee's... which as you can see from the image heading this post, I consider a VERY good thing. So even though the story was crap, the art more than redeemed it, and I can flip through those issues and be entertained.

Still, the story.... I've shit out things better thought out than this non-sense. The whole 'zombie superheroes raised by a necromancer' has been done before. I remember a great LOSH story from the 5 Year Gap era about Mordu doing that. Story was done in 5 issues of the series, had genuine repercussions, was creepy as hell and made sense. Blackest Night was the exact same thing, but MADE NO SENSE!

First and foremost the main villain of the piece was the least original thing I've ever seen. Now, he's a necromancer raising superhero zombies so I can't expect much originality, but come on: His name is Necron, he's a big zombie Satan thing with a scythe that wears all black. Skeletor had a more compelling and original design than this dude. Plus, I don't actually think he was sentient, but more on that later.

It also seemed like the 'rules' for zombies kept changing. First the black rings raise the zombies. Than it's revealed that Necron can control anyone who has ever died and come back... somehow. Never really explains that one. And then Donna Troy gets bit and starts turning. Is that how it works now?

Also, the whole point of the story was to bring back a lot of dead Silver Age heroes at the end of the whole mess, which means displacing and often killing the more racially diverse successors to their names currently holding the job. I think Comic Alliance did a great post about the racial politics about this, and I sorta discounted it up till now. But seriously: you completely fuck up the new Firestorm, kill off his girlfriend in a really, really horrific scene, and replace him with the old white-guy Firestorm.... who by the way actually killed the girl while zombified. And in the end the zombies are driven back by the White Power of the White Lantern Corps... which is composed mostly of resurrected white superheroes. Seriously, are you fucking JOKING? Did nobody in the DC office catch the unintentional subtext to that one?

And while we're on the subject of bad writing, lets forget that during the middle of this huge zombie invasion, the heroes would stop, pause and have heart-to-heart and slightly snarky dialog about the nature of heroism. Seriously. Fucking stop it, Flash. Just go punch a fuckin' zombie, you asshole. And the Purple Lanterns. A bunch of self-righteous space Communists who can supercharge the other lanterns so they can hurt the zombies... which talk mostly in gibberish. Seriously, take your NOK, NOK and shove it up your utterly boring ass.

And where the FUCK did all these other lantern corps come from anyway? Since the beginning of the DCU we've got the GLC. Then the Sinestro Corps form, and I can sorta buy that, a rival army staging a galactic rebellion. But now there's Red, Purple, Blue and Orange (but I really think that's just one guy).... it's getting ridiculous at this point.

And the end. Aside from the rise of White Power! (HEIL!)... the hero's plan was to resurrect the Anti-Monitor to stop Necron? Seriously, that's your idea. Necron doesn't seem all that bad by comparison: he just wants to kill everybody in one universe and make them zombies to... eat God or something. By comparison, A-M successfully destroyed millions of entire realties and ate millions of alternate Gods. By that scale, Necron is a chump. It's like ressurecting Hitler to chase down Osama Bin Laden. It just isn't going to fucking WORK.

What did I like? The art, as mentioned. And the Atom gets some great lines. His explanation of how the Black Lanterns' rings worked, and the structural similarities between dead bones and dark matter was kinda chilling. I've always liked Atom and his amazing levels of sheer COMPETENCE, and they're on full display here.

I also kinda got the idea that Necron isn't really sentient. He can talk, sure, but I don't think he is genuinely intelligent. I get the impression he's more like a virus. He uses his preys' emotions to replicate the black lantern rings (as he did by having Zombie-Firestorm feed on Jason's emotions) so he can create more zombies/vectors for infection. Necron can replicate himself endlessly from any zombie in his horde, and his whole plan seems to be simple exponential spread, until he destroys the host body... in this case the "host body" is the entire universe/God. I kinda like the character more as some kind of cosmic HIV rather than a thinking being.

Anyway, what I've been up to work wise:

I just finished the draft for Sexually Transmitted Future, the meta-porn sourcebook. It's about 40K words, and the Eleusinian Covenant sourcebook is about 30K. I'm waiting for art to trickle in on both of them.

I've got about 4K words of a short sourcebook about Lifer street criminals/cyberpunks done, and will be expanding that one, maybe out to 10K or 15K words. Expect this book first, because I can illustrate it exclusively with stock art.

Just last night I finished a 3K race splat about Goblins as Pathfinder PCs. It's fucking HILARIOUS. I wrote the thing entirely in character, and I'll be laying it out tonight or tomorrow. Expect it by this weekend if all goes well.

Blessed Be,

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