I certainly hope so: I plan on swearing a lot today, in order to emulate my newfound hero: Jamie McDonald, the Crossest Man in Scotland.

Here’s Jamie exemplifying really what, in substitute of wit, insight, that sort of thing we’ll pursue today, Toosday.

Spider-builder? Batbuilder?

It’s still going to be relatively sedentary compared the House of Stone’s latest meisterwerk, built about a concept that has about 20 people [in the Atomised/Super-serial crossover zone] right in its demographic G-spot. I am one. He’s giving the fans what they need, man, not what they want. So, you want to see how the professionals do it, go there. Strictly amateur hour in this shit.

As usual, I read a fuckton of Marvel Comics this week – five* to be exact, two of which I will review - which I realise is not the done or fashionable thing in comics critique circles, probably because the corporation is a parasitic bubo on The Industry that has long since taken control of its host, and everybody has to imbibe from its swinging cock, tough balls. If we were talking about Celtic or Rangers, about something that really fucking mattered like poisoning the best sport in the world in its birthplace with idiot sectarian venom – then, I might give a shit. As it is, I love free-market winners, and drape my tongue for drippings from the megacorp subsidiary’s cock on a weekly.

To wit:

Here’s Deadpool #900; it’s a sort of joke number, not a very funny joke really (this is a hint as to how the comic will turn out,) I think Marvel mistitled Hulk #600 or whatever and it was actually the 598th issue oh god oh god who gives a fuck. And also, the chance to publish a monthly comic – yes, 2000AD, I know  – with the numeral 900 before Superman gets there, which… good. Hooray. One in the eye for etc. Anyway, the mystique, the allure of the carcinogenically-skinned mercenary Wade Wilson, a/k/a Deadpool, eludes most, including Caleb, but here’s how it be: in 1998-99, Marvel Comics published an ocean of shit, utter shit, and about the only bright spark on the horizon was a writer called Joe Kelly, who X-editorial soon sorted out on his X-Men stint into produced meandering pish, but who had the good fortune to have a relatively free reign for 33 issues on an ongoing title of a character no-one gave a fuck for, not really, unless they were delusional, but hey, the guy had a kind of funny manque Spider-Man look about him – he is naturally funny to look at – and was preternaturally obnoxious, and not much of a goodie at all. I do like those comics, partly as evidentiary of my sublimation to the Marvel-cock even when utterly flaccid, and partly because they were just about a sole peardrop in said ocean of shit. Peardrops are okay sweets, if there’s nothing else, aye? Blah blah, Deadpool catch up – a ‘dead pool’ is a morbid celebrity sweepie (you always bet on Thatcher, but the ticket never fucking comes, does it?) though I suspect the character’s creator, comics absolute premier moron/liar (follow Caleb’s link for details on i. and elsewhere discover the true lessons of the founding of Image Comics which is, ii. hey, what if some popular creators could make a break from the big two and set-up they own shit, wouldn’t that be great, or would it be same-as-it-ever-was and they’d create a latterday sweatshop, fail to fully credit or pay employees, steal/’not return’ original art, etc.) Anyway, the comic ain’t much cop, except Joe Kelly writes a script for Liefeld which highlights his two major contributions to superheroes – pouches and an inability to draw feet. I like to imagine Liefeld did not get the joke, given he must have had a script which calls directly for a giant foot, and still makes an utter, utter cunt of it. The turbocunt.

There’s some internal narration stuff with – Deadpool used to have as a tagline ‘Breaking down the Fourth Wall, brick by brick, Stan Lee presents…’ as I recall – and there’s an editor or writer is one of two internal narrators, nowhere does the comic make this terribly clear who it is, the other has the same lettering as Deadpool’s word balloons but dialogues with them, and it’s clumsy as fuck throughout (I speculate one can only understand the point of that if one read Kelly’s final arc on the character, as I did, a decade ago: accessible! Even then…) until the final story, where Kyle Baker – no letterer credited, so I assume that’s Baker too - manages to make Charlie Huston’s script segue perfectly into something decent. There’s a ton of the pop-culture referencing innate to the property too, elsewhere, and the standard is generally abysmal, nowhere more utterly fucking so than Duane Swierczynski’s effort, which is a… I think it’s supposed to be a takedown of CSI? I don’t watch that shite. Jesus fuck, I’d actually be professionally embarrassed to hand that script in. Jason Aaron disappoints, too, unusually. Artwise - Kyle Baker does a brilliant job, as I say, Damion Scott and Dalibor Talajic do themselves no harm. Talajic draws an 80% silent script, which is the final bit of Marvel lore my spasming arsehole is pressing me to release unto you, that Deadpool – in the final issue I bought, lo many years past – had been encouraged by a letter writer or writers to emulate the formally-quite-impressive silent GI Joe issue which it did, and ultimately, one imagines, acted as a bridge to the ‘Nuff Said event. I don’t want to read anymore Deadpool comics, mummy. ‘Nuff said.

punishermax75

Then there’s Punisher: Frank Castle MAX #75, the last in an increasingly awkwardly-titled series, soon to be replaced with – moronically – PUNISHERMAX. Roll that about the tongue for a minute, hehn? You’ve to say it very fast, but: oh no, still sound like a cunt. You dickhead.

This isn’t very good either, but also has some bang up art-jobs, along with Ken Lashley, possibly the fifth-or-sixth best penciller to lend his skills to Excalibur. His Bagleyesque job, coming after a number of post-John Paul Leon (urban, chiselled, heavy on the chiaroscuro) jobs and some rather lovely water-coloured brain-explodo from Das Pastoras quite possibly mirrors the title’s greater arc: 4/5ths brilliant, 1/5 what-the-fuck-is-this. I don’t know, I’ve not read the last 14 or so, however many since Ennis left issues; judging by their contribs here and on Deadpool the post-Ennis crew – Gischler, Swierczynski, Hurwitz - crime writers to a man, though cartoonish and not of the post-entertainment stripe of my man David Peace, whose Occupied City is, you know, genuinely harrowing and stylistically masterful; the post-Ennis crew were on a hiding to fuck all.

What this comic succeeds in doing, the only thing it succeeds in doing, seeing they’re fundamentally all the same story and surely after killing the Mafiosi post-it note delivery guy Frank Castle has killed abso-fucking-lutely everyone even remotely tangentially involved in his family’s death, surely now – all it succeeds in doing is emphasizing just how much of a post-Dirty Harry 1970s right-wing wet-dream the character is. ‘If Anyone Hurt My Family I’d…’ The new Gerard Butler joint, Law Abiding Citizen, promises much the same of this particular crawling, pernicious and ceaselessly replicating fantasia where one man, by the power of his ennobled cock (gun(s)) holds the fucking world to ransom, blah shitting blah. I absolutely loathe and abjure this rifling wankery, because If Anyone Hurt My Family I’d – much as I’d like to kick their cocks until reversible, this seems impractical and unlikely - I’d probably perform the mental equivalent of sealing myself in a black cube and dropping it down the Marianas Trench. If you really fucking loved them, that’s what you’d actually do, I feel. The Punisher is about the sickliest form of wish-fulfilment the Western comics industry has, thus far, produced and in the hands of one man (Garth Ennis, obvs) this worked. I really do wish Jason Aaron the best with pnshrmx, and look forward to it, but he’s got hella big shoes to fill and I’m not sure he’s yet escaped the massive shadow of influence Ennis presently casts over him as is.

*I also bought Ultimate Spider-Man #3 (really very good,) Marvels Project #3 (you know, I am getting a bit concerned with the whole Bru-is-boring meme because it’s beginning to feel a bit, ah, true,) Uncanny X-Men #516 (continuity makes it impossible to give a qualitative review; it’s pretty good X-Men, which is not necessarily the same thing as pretty good comics) and Scalped #32 (excellent, again) this week.

12 Responses to “Coo! Is that the Tuesday review, turning wires blue?”

  1. Bob Temuka Says:

    Oh man, Jamie McDonald was my easily favourite character in that movie, even if the wife now keeps threatening to hole-punch my face. I just liked that fact that Malcolm Tucker is such a spectacularly foul-mouthed and angry Scot, but he’s put right into perspective when Jamie shows up and is an even more spectacularly foul-mouthed and angry Scot. That poor fax machine…

    Now I just need to see that bloody TV show.

    Top reviews, as always. Nice perspective on the wrongness of the Punisher too.

  2. James Says:

    Punishermax will end up being like Ultimate Comics, won’t it? (i.e. for solicitation text only – it was/is supposed to be Ultimate Comics Spider-Man and Ultimate Comics Avengers, but it’s still just Ultimate Spider-Man and Ultimate Avengers, because OF COURSE IT FUCKING IS)

    It’s like it’s just there so the obsessive nerdy twerps like me – who spend all day listlessly clicking on CBR and Newsarama oh god anything to just not work – can easily demarcate volumes, while being of no use to any actual human.

    Nice reviews, man! Was Dalibor Talajic’s story the thing with the mimes? That looked lovely, art-wise.

  3. James Says:

    P.S. – Sorry, forgot to tell you great post!

  4. Zom Says:

    Lulz

    Love your rejection of the Punisher on the grounds that it says more about a certain kind of wish fulfillment than it does about the way victims of crime and their loved ones actually feel, because, you know, you’re absolutely right. Yes, I’m sure I would want to invent a whole new kind of torture-death for anyone who dared hurt my wife or son, but I would also have to deal with all the other stuff, the bigger more ghastly stuff that would make up the bulk of my brain-horror. The Punisher is a middle class revenge fantasy, it’s got nothing to do with real responses to tragedy

  5. Duncan Says:

    Punishermax will end up being like Ultimate Comics, won’t it? (i.e. for solicitation text only – it was/is supposed to be Ultimate Comics Spider-Man and Ultimate Comics Avengers, but it’s still just Ultimate Spider-Man and Ultimate Avengers, because OF COURSE IT FUCKING IS)

    I hope you’re right, James. Inside we are twins.

    Talajic did the mimes, yeah; I’m assuming he’s probably Croat, judging by the name, certainly former Yugoslav/Balkan area – I don’t think they make bad comic artists that part of the world (no, Igor Kordey is good, it’s just those X-Men were done over a weekend.)

  6. bobsy Says:

    Am I reading depth into Ennis’ run that wasn’t really there (wouldn’t be the first time perhaps), or was that always bubbling along in the background? Mad Frankie ‘Coriolanus’ Castle does what he does because he’s addicted to violence, the whole family thing (which this issue really wasted itself rerereiterating) is just the convenient excuse, a literal removal of the returned veteran’s option for a suburan existence.

  7. Bob Temuka Says:

    No, that’s definitely there, bobsy. Every now and then during Ennis’ run you’d see Frank from the perspective of another character that showed him as a horrifically violent individual who moved off his path of vengeance a long time ago and now does what he does because he can’t stop himself.

    And the worst thing was that Frank was well aware of this, and carried on regardless.

  8. Duncan Says:

    Yeah, it’s absolutely explicit in an ‘It’s the Angel of Death, Azrael, if you really want it to be in him, most don’t, I kind of do for tidiness sake’ way in Born, which preluded the MAX run.

  9. The Beast Must Die Says:

    I still think the final page of ‘Born’ is one of the best sucker punches in comics.

  10. Red Scharlach Says:

    Come on, that Milligan story wasn’t bad at all, especially for a retrospective. And besides, Ennis knew what he was doing when dealing with Frank Castle and had no delusions as to how horrendous an individual he is. Didn’t stop him from being an interesting character, considering how one-note he is, or from Ennis crafting smart stories around him. Honestly, I think Aaron is the only writer out there who’s right to take on the series post-Ennis.

  11. Botswana Beast Says:

    I thought the Milligan story was probably the best constructed, but it is just a clipshow. I have high hopes for Jason Aaron in general, and he’d probably have been my first choice to take on the series, too; his XMAX Punisher special was incredibly violent.

  12. Mindless Ones » Blog Archive » We du Tu. re-vu fa yu Says:

    [...] do the Punisher and Samael* forbid you disrupt his stylistic integrity which is - as I discussed last time about – absolutely made of perfection, and in no way [...]

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