Invincible Iron Man #24
Matt Fraction continues to rock. Even though there were moments in the dream sequence of Tony regaining his will to live/recovering from his operation where it was a little slow, Fraction is a consistently quality writer, the overall ideas and arcs of this book are great, and this issue ends with the perfect little twist: Tony Stark, after systematically deleting all of the secret information in his brain so that HAMMER and Osborn can't get it, re-booted his brain and came back to life (simple version of what happened). But, we ask, when did he actually make the back-up copy? Guess. I love it. I love the idea that when Tony rebooted his brain it was an old copy and he didn't know Captain America had died or anything. And I can't wait to see where it goes next.
I've been *ridiculously* behind on all things Deadpool, mainly because a) as stated, I've been ridiculously behind on ALL my comics, since my comic book store is not within walking distance and I have no car, which means I only go about once a month or, in WINTER BLIZZARD SEASON, once every 3 months (Trufax. Although that's probably the longest I've gone between visits. Hey, we had 3 feet of snow around here!); and b) there are SO GOSHDARNED MANY books with Deadpool in them these days that once I get them, just sorting out what order I might or might not be supposed to read them in kind of makes me feel tired. Not that I don't love reading Deadpool stuff. It's just that I don't always have time to read 15 at one go. This behind-ness may also be one reason why I haven't answered many questions on ask_deadpool in awhile. My OCD self doesn't like to answer them without being up on the current stuff. Anyway.
Deadpool Merc with a Mouth # 5 - 9
Let me start this review by saying that I rant for about 1.5 passages before talking about how awesome Victor Gischler is. I say this so you know that I really do love this book. It's just that nothing's perfect, you know? Except Victor Gischler's pop culture references. So.
The book continues to be fun and not take itself too seriously while still having a plot to drive it along. I continue to be extremely annoyed and not-so-secretly disgusted by Dr. Betty's over-the-top pinup appearance, and, later on, Professor Veronica's. I'm sorry - I know you men out there probably can't comprehend this - but every time I see a woman in comics drawn THIS ridiculously Barbie/pornstar-like, I just wince inside for the comics industry as a whole. I can get behind having nice-looking women in spandex in comics. I mean, we have nice looking MEN in spandex in comics, too. And I appreciate that. And I can get behind the non-superhero women wearing, you know, the fashions of the day, even if that includes short-shorts. But where I get all "urgh comics still needs to catch up to the fact that women read this stuff on a daily basis and it's not just about fanservice to the guys" and "urgh I feel vaguely objectified just by seeing this" and "URGH I JUST FEEL DISGUSTED NOW" is where the women pictured either have outfits that are completely impractical for fighting and also often skimpy (read: female superheroes with spiked thigh-high boots, eXtreme cleavage, freakin' leotards, etc. Besos, Ms. Marvel.), and/or they are drawn extremely, excessively busty and curvy beyond the point where any normal, plastic surgery-free woman would resemble them, and/or when the (non-superhero) women are dressed like every day is Slut-o-ween. I actually enjoy the art on this book in general, but seeing stuff like Dr. Betty in obvious porn poses EVERY SINGLE PANEL (Really. EVERY panel. WHY.) and with her bra sticking out half the time or whatever just turns my stomach. In some of the panels she's wearing a dress that's so short it's actually a shirt. The Fug Girls would take one look at this outfit and immediately yell, "PANTS. SHIRTS ARE NOT DRESSES. YOU ARE NOT LINDSAY LOHAN. YOU NEED PANTS." Seriously, guys: EVERY. SINGLE. TIME I see this stuff, I am taken out of the story by my disgust at how she's being portrayed, even though I fully realize that it's intentional and sometimes part of running gags (although I can't see how Veronica being the vaguely less porn-star version of Betty adds anything at all). And I actually like Dr. Betty's wry character. And I'm not some kind of "delicate flower, OMG you offend me by looking at me, how dare you infer that women are attractive" kind of person, either. (I mean, look at who my favorite character is: Deadpool. It's not like he's the most PC thing ever.) I am ok with attractive women (and men. Definitely ok with the men!) in comics. I just...can't stand THIS. Doing this negates whatever substance the character has for me. And almost pulls her completely out of character, because the personality exhibited through the writing is much more practical than to walk through a swamp wearing a shirt and underpants. There's a disconnect that my brain can't reconcile. I also think that outside of that one Lady Death comic I read once, this book might be the worst offender in this regard that I have ever seen. And that's saying something.
Sorry, I had to get that out. I think it's been building up, page by page, since Issue 1. So, to talk about the actual story and writing now: first let's talk about The Schizophrenic Voices. This is what came with the Pool-o-vision crap that Daniel Way dreamed up, possibly while on some very bizarre drugs, back in Deadpool's appearance in whatever-I'm-too-lazy-to-wade-through-ol
What I love about Gischler (other than the aforementioned laugh-out-loud exchanges) is that he actually gets Deadpool, in a way that others (you know who I mean) don't. He pulls from all the classic material without rehashing any of it. So we get stuff like Deadpool struggling with whether to complete his merc job or save the world. We get snappy dialogue in the classic on-the-mark pop culture references, rambling Deadpoolian manner (defined in part by being actually relevant to the storyline as well as just being silly, i.e. Deadpool singing the West Side Story "Jet Song" as HYDRA and AIM are about to encounter each other in a fight). We get really subtle moments of fourth-wall-breakage. We get references to Pismo Beach (a callback to both other Deadpool writers and Ali Baba Bunny.) We get great conversations between Deadpool and Headpool (seriously, they're kinda cute in their twisted friendship: Headpool: "Aww, you missed me, didn't you?" Deadpool (while rescuing Headpool): "Meh."). We even get some fun new side characters, not that that's directly to do with understanding Deadpool. But HYDRA agents and AIM agents with unique personality are so rare that it's fun to see, and also, of course, harks back to Nicieza's writing of Bob in Cable and Deadpool (and there's a direct shoutout in the character of Bill). And there are hilarious little throwaway moments of dialogue (like an AIM agent telling his dying AIM commander he loves him (Commander: "What?" AIM agent: "Nothing.")) to add to the overall fun. So we get all that, and also a fun story that keeps moving at a good pace.
- "Shaggy McGardenHoseFace," in the spirit of Big McLargeHuge.
- Deadpool opining that one of the alternate dimensions might be "the land of cotton candy hookers and chocolate beer."
- Headpool (referring to the alternate-reality Deadpools): "I just assumed we were generally awesome in every reality." Sorcerer Supreme (with a sourface): "No."
- Using a pertinent pop culture reference I actually had to look up. Expanding my horizons!
Finally, d'you know what I find really amusing about catching up on Merc with a Mouth? That I wrote this before I read any of the alternate universe stuff (I'd just seen the cover), and the different Deadpools 'Pool met behaved pretty much exactly how I envisioned them.
Even though I have complained about Deadpool being in every book in the universe right now, it's a shame that this one's ending at issue #13. Ah, well - at least Gischler is writing other Deadpool books. Because despite my dislike of Dr. Betty's appearance, I really love the writing. So A+, Mr. Gischler.
OK, first of all, while I like the idea, this book suffers from having different writers every issue and no ongoing plot. It's a collection of one-shots of Deadpool teaming with others. This also makes it kind of hard to review as a whole; so I'm just going to go with a few lines for each one so far.
Fred Van Lente writes a fun adventure, and I liked the bit where Deadpool stabs himself in the head and what it does to him. I also enjoyed seeing Arcade, who doesn't show up too much (in the books I read at least) but is usually weirdly fascinating when he does. Sadly, he was a bit stock-villainish here, but that's because he was mostly a plot device to explain how Herc and Deadpool got thrown together. This happens a lot in this series, because of the aforementioned one-shot aspect of it. Van Lente's dialogue is good and the story overall was one of the stronger ones.
I like the Zapata Brothers' interactions a lot here. Mike Benson is a great writer. However, 1) Deadpool is kind of upstaged by their banter, and that should NEVER happen in a Deadpool book; and 2) "conversations" can be oral contracts, Zapata Brothers. I know this is just me and my lawyeryness being nitpicky over here, but technically, if you had a conversation in which you agreed to exchange services for money, you had an oral contract. Although good luck getting any judge to enforce a contract that included handing over a dead drug dealer's head!
Anyway, other than that, the fact that the Zapata Brothers are big Deadpool fanboys is pretty funny. (Favorite: "I got a Bowen bust of your head!" Yeah, I wish I had one, too.) And the story overall was a fun read, as I'd expect from Mike Benson.
Don't think I've read anything by Adam Glass before. This one started really slowly, and I don't read the Ghost Rider stuff, so I didn't have much of a clue who the brothers were or which was supposed to be which half the time, but around about when Deadpool entered the freakshow tent and got possessed by a demon stuff got awesome and continued to be for the last few pages. Not my favorite, but decent overall.
The tiny knife in the Deadpool-symbol sheath on his boot was a win. Also the bromance joke. Other than that...Eh, well. Truckers and killer racoons apparently don't really do it for me. Which is probably a good thing, now that I think about it.
It! The Living Colossus:
Why is half of it randomly 3D? Or did they just have a REALLY bad print run? Anyway, if it IS 3D, where are my funky-cool glasses that should have come with it? Also: why is 3D so goshdarned big these days. Movies, comics, you name it. Weird. Anyway. I know I've read something by Christopher Long before, but I'm too lazy to look it up. The story started really slowly, again (I think this is a problem with the premise of the series more than necessarily the writers' problem) but once Deadpool was "fighting" as It! The Whatever That Is, it was a pretty fun and cool fight scene. That was pretty much the best part, though. I don't really blame Long; again, I think the nature of the series is a lot of the problem.
First off, a holla out to my friend NATHAN "AWESOME GUY" MASSENGILL, who inked on this book. It makes me happy whenever I see Nathan doing more Deadpool. Woo! Oh, right. Story. The story was actually pretty confusing. I had a hard time following what was supposed to be happening when, and Deadpool's narration was more disjointed than necessary. I did enjoy the joke after he took the meds: "Side effects may include hiccups and being murdered by a reanimated monstrosity." I just...I have a hard time getting into what are essentially one-shots unless they are really compelling. This was an okay story, and the little twist at the end was fun. It just wasn't my favorite.
Still to read (and maybe talk about? Maybe? If anyone's interested?): Cable, Deadpool, Deadpool Corps, Doomwar, and some other assorted stuff.
OK, if you haven't seen the newest stupidity from Insane Clown Posse ("Miracles") yet, you really have to. Not only because it's hilariously bad in itself, but because some hilarious stuff has come out of people watching it.
Insane Clown Posse: Miracles
The lyrics in themselves are just laugh-worthy. I particularly like the line about the pelican running off with Clown #1's cell phone. Other people were also amused.
Matt Fraction is amused by the idiocy of "Miracles"
(read up from bottom)
Other people on Twitter were having fun with it too, although I can't find all of the tweets now. Here are a few.
And then Oh No They Didn't got in on the fun:
A Juggalo-Friendly Textbook
"Miracles" song explained
In other things, Reilly Brown (Marvel artist) has been doing something really neat over on his DeviantArt page. He offered to critique the portfolios of aspiring artists who want to get their work published in comics, and is now posting his portfolio reviews. Even though I am not an aspiring comics artist, I am really enjoying reading these. They're interesting, and his tone of critique is sometimes a little funny, too.
Also, don't forget to check out his awesome art on there. I find Reilly does a really good job of getting emotions across in his work, as well as drawing dynamic action. He posted a cool Harry Potter pic recently, and of course he continues to post various Deadpool sketches, and is now up to (I think) #51. That's a lot of Deadpool goodness (and another reason why I like Reilly - he clearly LOVES drawing the character. Often with shurikens in him. And katanas. And on fire. Heh.) This continues to be one of my favorites. Now, if only he'd put all the Deadpool stuff in a gallery together...
Speaking of comics:
March 2010 Deadpool Sales Data, via The Deadpool Bugle, and sales data for Deadpool vs. other characters.
Neil Gaiman's appearance at C2E2 in pictures
All-New 'X-Men' #1 Sets Mutants Against Vampires [C2E2]
I have no idea what is going to happen here, but I love Victor Gischler and Paco Medina, so it could be...fun? Maybe? Hrm.
P.S. Vampire Jubilee
Speaking of vampires,
NYPD Chief Accused of Twilight-Themed Harassment
And now, randomosity sets in:
Cutest. Picture. Ever.
Growing Up Gaga
The Green Men at the playoffs vs. the LA Kings
...There may be no words.
Rhianna Pratchett: Games writers get no respect
Full interview with Rhianna Pratchett
Her "Mirror's Edge" comic from DC/Wildstorm
'Anonymous' Anti-Scientologists Subject of U.C. Academic Paper
Fee-weary air travelers get a break - for now
Geez, I should hope so. Look, airlines, I know you love the idea that "hey, people should pay for their luggage to be shipped along with them, because if they shipped something via UPS they'd pay for it!" But here's the thing: we already do pay for it. We pay for the seat, the hopefully vaguely decent food or snack and drink, and the space for our luggage. That is what is included in an airline ticket. Or at least what WAS. Why does the whole system have to be changed now? Because airlines need more money? That's nice, but you also need to have some kind of customer service and understanding that flying is NOT the same as going to UPS to mail a package, and bringing stuff along with us when we travel is a necessity, not a frivolous thing. Gah.
Less Baggage, Big Savings to Airlines
Good for you, airlines. But seriously? This kind of thing is what makes me take the train if the train-time is reasonable. Keep in mind that there is a point at which people will have had enough of your cost-cutting methods, and will switch their mode of travel. Loss of customers? Doesn't save you money. Oh, and I LOVE the Irish airline's Director of Communication: Mr. McNamara said the airline had as a goal nothing less than changing passenger behavior. “People are packing way too much; women bringing four pairs of shoes, hair dryers, that sort of thing.” Oh, right. WOMEN are to blame for your airline's expenses! They like their hair to look nice! They like to wear shoes that match their outfits! Well, hey, Mr. McNamara. When the whole of society changes its expectations and it isn't necessary anymore for, say, a professional woman to have neat hair and shoes that match her suit in order not to be judged (which would be NICE, but let's face it, isn't happening anytime soon), then maybe they will only pack three pairs of shoes instead of four. But EITHER WAY, you are an ass. And next time you fly, if you bring a pair of tennis shoes AND a pair of dress shoes? You will be executed by firing squad. I'm just sayin'. Also? If you pack either a) hair gel; b) more than one tie; or c) more than one suit/pair of pants (everyone knows men can get by on the same suit with different shirts for *weeks*) you will also be shot on sight.
When Cupid Strikes at the Cubicle
I read this and thought of Bones. Heh.
Alexander Waugh on the real family that inspired Brideshead Revisited
I just put this here to scare Cleolinda.
Also because it's funny.
Eric Kripke's Supernatural Drinking Bingo
From awhile ago, but I found it again and it made me laugh.
Why Jeff Timmons left Twitter
I had to look up who Jeff Timmons was (he was in 98 Degrees), but this was an interesting read. Even for us practical people, it can be hard to remember sometimes that celebrities (big and small; I don't know what Timmons counts as) have A LOT going on, and don't necessarily have time to sit around replying to strangers all day. It's great that some of them do make the effort, but heck; even *I* don't have that kind of time, and I am not someone millions of people want to talk to! So, you know. This is just a little reality-check like post I found interesting.
P.S. And we should remember, celebrities are people too. Mostly.
This is so weird.
And finally, to wrap this post up,
I got SHINY GREEN COMBAT BOOTS and wore them for the first time yesterday. Wanna see?