And, of course, shops that were supposed to order me things routinely did not do so, or if they under ordered, somehow it seemed I was always the one who got shafted.
This evening I made my monthly run to ABC, and walked out with a fairly serious stack of books. I picked up:
- the 3rd Rucka Punisher trade
- the first volume of Ennis's Fury: My War Gone By
- Action Comics #17
- Red Team #1
- Shadow: Year One #1
- Masks #3
- Stumptown #5
- Happy #4
- Fearless Defenders #1
- Joe Kubert Present#4
- Batman, Incorporated #7
- The Answer #1
- Superman Family Adventures #9
- and the latest issue of Saga
It's a healthy stack, to be sure. It's also a greatly decreased stack from my monthly haul two years ago. You can see I wanted to try some things, you can see I have some loyalties to folks like Rucka and Kubert and Ennis in there, and my interest in some of the pulp stuff Dynamite is doing.
I'm an Alex Ross fan, and can't understand you people who don't care for his work. And I love his voers for The Shadow, up to and including this latest.
|That, people, is how you draw Margo Lane|
I sincerely wish Dynamite would consider a print portfolio series or something from his work on The Shadow, Masks and their other licensed pulp properties. The problem is you also have guys like Chaykin, Samnee, Francavilla and others working on covers, too, but at $3.99 a comic, I'm only buying one. So, some softcover collection of all those covers would be greatly welcome.
You'll note that I have a few #1's here, and that's to see if I'm at all interested in a series I'll pick up later as a trade. I used to give series up to 3 issues before deciding if I wanted to follow the new book, but anymore, I'm a 1 and done guy. A $12 investment is just way too steep to see if I might want to follow a book. And, frankly, I can do that with digital comics. I just don't usually scan Comixology all that much, and maybe I could or should. Most of my Comixology purchases are still things I know I need to go in and fetch (see: the line-up at MonkeyBrain).
I've only read a few of the comics so far that I brought home, including that issue of The Shadow, but once again I was almost breathtaken with Morrison's editorializing, in-story, on DC's management of Superman in the pages of Action Comics.
Our villain presents himself in Morrisonian declarative expository dialog, which all seems oddly at home in a Superman comic. "Do you know what I am?" asks the monstrosity. "An unstoppablekiller franchise from a parallel reality! A thought that gets bigger and bigger the more you think about it! The thought that there's a Superman better than you!" the monster blares as he blasts our Superman with eye beams, tosses him around like a rag-doll.
The New 52 version of Doomsday is:
...THE THOUGHT OF A BIGGER SUPERMAN. A STRONGER, MORE RUTHLESS SUPERMAN! .... POWERED BY A SINGLE CORPORATE DIRECTIVE: ANNIHILATE THE COMPETITION!
"Look at me!" says this version of Doomsday. "Your replacement! The Last Knight of Tomorrow!"
Between you, me and the wall, I really don't know how else to interpret this other than Morrison's commentary on Superman at DC comics these days. It's not too hard to see the direction editorial thinks the character should go, and the management of Superman by DC broadcasting their fear that there's a better Superman out there, in some other reality, and that Superman is something that our Superman is not. That better Superman - this mash-up of Batman and Superman, a faceless monster created and driven by corporate directive - is demolishing the idea of Superman, even as multi-handed imps reach back through time, out of sequence, out of joint, twisting and turning Superman's history to suit their needs and have their way with Superman.
It's not the first time Morrison has commented on Superman in-story (see: Action Comics #9), and depending on how DC's current regime likes all this, it may be the last as we've only got one more Morrison issue to go.
Morrison has said these are all the ideas he had for Superman, but one has to wonder if he's moving on and might not be back when the environment is better for a Superman that he clearly believes in that the current regime at DC is doing everything in its power to wipe off the map.
I do think its worth noting: As much as I'm enjoying monthly installments of Morrison's Action run, this storyline was written for the collected edition, just as much as Batman, Inc. and his run on Batman, in general. I'm actually okay with that. He's not alone. I've more or less quit reading Rucka and Waid except in trade collections. I'm still picking up Action monthly mostly out of habit, but it's increasingly difficult to find a reason to warrant the purchase of paper monthly comics.
It's not that I think DC should make it policy to print whatever criticism artists and creators feel like tossing at management right in their stories, but it does highlight what's possible in a superhero comic when it's not just writers reacting to editorial bullet points and directives. At the Big 2, there are maybe four or five writers given that freedom. It does seem The Big 2 gave up on the idea that their comics could mature with their audiences (see: the gutting of Vertigo), and exploring new ideas and allowing for exploration is far from the order of the day.
Superman works particularly well for allegorical stories, and you see creators trying that out, be it James Casey, Morrison or even JMS (obviously there are varying degrees of success). With Morrison shuttering his run on Action, however, it's going to be a while before we can see anything like it in the pages of Superman.