November 19th, 2015
JLA Classified: New Maps of Hell
Written by Warren Ellis, drawn by Butch Guice, inked by Mike Stribling, coloured by Dave Baron, covers by the unforgotten nightmares of the 1980s
I struggled to get past the first few pages of this, felt totally scunnered by the pissy, huffy Clark Kent of the story’s opening. I mean seriously, just take a look at this dick:
As someone who disdained the guy who ran our local comics/toy corridor for his enthusiastic blather about how Clark Kent/Superman represented a perfect combination of action and humility, patience and wit, even I can’t get behind this version of the character now. The opening of this story, in which Clark throws a hissy fit when he gets fobbed off during a murder investigation, is one of those moments where you can feel the comics’ authors looking up you from the page, so sure of their superior intellectual position, of their mastery of facets of the adult world beyond the ken of your average comics reader that they want to look you right in the eye and teach you how to be a grown up.
The fact that this ascended mastery is demonstrated through the (metaphorical) detailing of Superman’s ironing arrangements is not supposed to concern us – somewhat remarkably, we are simply supposed to marvel at the fact that someone has actually thought about this shit!
So: don’t get me wrong, there’s much in this world to get angry at, I just expect this character to be a little more witty and subtle in his machinations. But no. Clark Kent, he’s a journalist right? He’s a hard-ass, he’ll keep on pushing the point until something breaks, he probably drinks too much coffee and complains about being an old man with all the other technogoths down the pub at night, he’s… just another hack prick, basically. Acht, it “makes sense” I guess, but not in a way I’m particularly interested in. Guice needs to take as much of the blame as Ellis for this, given that his Kent expresses his frustrations with the honking venom of a man who’s not shat right in weeks.
November 14th, 2015
Yes, it’s ANOTHER THOUGHT BUBBLE LIVEBLOG!
This one is a three-hander, commissioned by Ruan S, who wants me, Illogical Volume, and Bobsy to write six hundred words on We Are Robin #4.
This is a DC Entertainment comic-style product, written by Lee Bermejo and with art by James Harvey, Diana Egea and Alex Jaffe, and it is almost precisely as “good” as you would expect from a DC Entertainment comic-style product. There are many young people dressed as Robin, who are angsty about angst-making things — one of the young people has apparently died.
There’s narration told in Tweets, because in DC Entertainment comics-style products, Twitter is used by the young persons, rather than middle-aged angry people in the media.
There are inspirational speeches about Batman, and symbols, and legacies, and how important symbol legacies are important and symbolic. There are scenes set in a high school, and there are teenagers who use “Facespace” and perform minor crimes to attract superheroes so they can take selfies.
It is, in short, precisely the kind of desperate attempt to appear cool that one would expect from the talented people at DC Entertainment. I’m a thirty-seven-year-old fat bloke with a beard, and even I know that this isn’t how the kids talk and act.
Over to Illogical Volume…
Kids today, with their anti-social medias and their secret identities, doing the troll dance under a bridge as big as the whole world… they sicken me.