Pop Culture Gadabout
Monday, May 07, 2007
      ( 5/07/2007 09:40:00 AM ) Bill S.  

THE FIFTEEN-MINUTE COMIC – In the future (to misquote a once-famous purveyor of Pop Art Productions), every comic will be famous for fifteen minutes . . . more or less. So let's look at a few recent titles, to test out whether this'll be a good thing or not . . .
  • Amazons Attack! #1 (DC): Figures that Rockford, IL., resident Will Pfeifer'd open this grandiose six-ish mini-series with an attack in the Lincoln Memorial: live in the Land o' Lincoln for any amount of time, and it's hard to not fall under sway of the Cult of the Great Emancipator. With a title and cover blurb meant to recall both the classic Topps gum card series and the not-so-stellar Tim Burton movie made from same, this series promises to be over-the-top fun. First thing we see is a father and son (the only two visitors to the memorial? now that's a tad unbelievable) play First Victims to the attacking Amazon horde, then we're taken to a White House where everybody but the president seems to have the day off (it's lonely at the top). Led by Wonder Woman matriarch Queen Hippolyta (and presumably abetted by the villainous sorceress Circe – who, though it isn't stated, must've helped this massive array of flying horses, cyclopean giants and big-breasted babes in armor suddenly show up in the U.S. capital), the angry army of Amazons has apparently come for blood after Diana Prince was reportedly captured and tortured By Men!!! back in her own title. Artist Pete Woods doesn't always communicate the chaos of the battle situations with as much histrionic glee as you'd hope – the bit where Queen H. speaks to her troops while the capital dome explodes behind her isn't as spittle-flecked as you'd want it to be – but he's good in the quieter moments. (Especially liked the one-pager where Circe casually offs a Amazon soldier for misspeaking – how'd this woman get to be the Queen's trusted confidante again?) Meanwhile, those of us in the audience who recall that the Mars of Men's World has long been a WW enemy will have to ponder just how much this mini-series title is just tribute . . . or something more????

  • Justice League of America #8/Justice Society of America #5 (DC): Received the first JSA entry in this mini-crossover as a review copy – and was inspired to go back and pick up the chapter so I'd have a clearer sense of what's going on in "The Lightning Saga" (s'not like having to catch with 49 issues of 52, after all!) Can't say that my efforts entirely cleared things up, but it helped. (Seems to me I recall Red Tornado just turned human at the end of the last big Event Comic I read, but so it goes.) This crossover mini- concerns the two super-team's quest to find seven scattered "soldiers" from the Legion of Superheroes, who mysteriously have shown up in the 21st Century. In the JSA outing, Batman, Geo-Force(?), Starman and the umpteenth version of Sandman enter Arkham Asylum to save the pre-cog Dream Girl from faceless Doctor Destiny. Pretty straightforward, though Starman, for reasons I can't determine, appears flipped out, dispensing non-sequitars like the DCU version of Zippy the Pinhead. As an example of the old reliable super-team scavenger hunt plotline, "Lightning Saga" does the trick nicely: it even opens with members of the two teams playing games to remind us how often these team-up books are actually unacknowledged competitions. Nice touch . . .

  • Supernatural Origins #1 (Wildstorm): A prequel to a CW series I haven't watched in over a year, this comic takes us back to series' heroes Dean & Sam Winchester's boyhoods right after their mother was slain by supernatural agents. (Neat Tim Bradstreet cover showing the moment – mom floating near the ceiling as her body bursts into flames.) As scripted by Peter Johnson, you thankfully don't need to've kept up with the teevee series to follow this, though I suppose regular viewers'll get much more out of the proceedings than I did. Me, I enjoyed Matthew Dow Smith's art, which uses heavy blacks to give all the adults deeply sunken eyes and highlight the bags beneath 'em, giving the impression that no one in this book – especially distraught father John Winchester – has slept for days. Additionally, the first issue contains a short five-page back-up story by Geoff Johns & Phil Hester: doesn't really add anything about the characters that even a non-series fan like me doesn't know, but it effectively conveys how our series' heroes' lives were turned upside-down by their mother's unusual death. A nice respectful comics spin-off, in other words, though placing the story during the leads' kid-hood pretty much quashes the potential for a lotta funny wisecracks.
Also Briefly Noted: Ish #3 of Shazam!: The Monster Society of Evil continues Jeff Smith's delightful run with the Fawcett characters (I'm especially enjoying his take on little Mary Marvel, who for the first time gets to really be a kid). Why is anybody else but Smith at DC even allowed near these characters? . . . Was under the mistaken impression that Brave And the Bold was a "Green Lantern With ______” book until I got ish #3, centered on Batman and Blue Beetle – my mistake. Bringing in the Fatal Five as adversaries in the Lords of Luck plotline makes some sense, but, gee, those future types are all over the DCU these days, aren't they?

More later in the week with a special FCBD edition of "The Fifteen-Minute Comic."
# |

Pop cultural criticism - plus the occasional egocentric socio/political commentary by Bill Sherman (popculturegadabout AT yahoo.com).

On Sale Now!
Measure by Measure:

A Romantic Romp with the Fat and Fabulous
By Rebecca Fox & William Sherman

(Available through Amazon)

Measure by Measure Web Page

Ask for These Fine Cultural Blogs & Journals by Name!

aaronneathery.com News
Aaron Neathery

American Sideshow Blow-Off
Marc Hartzman

Arf Lovers
Craig Yoe

Sean T. Collins

Barbers Blog
Wilson Barbers

The Bastard Machine
Tim Goodman

The Beat
Heidi MacDonald

Kevin Church

Big Fat Blog
Paul McAleer

Big Mouth Types Again
Evan Dorkin

Laura "Tegan" Gjovaag

Blog This, Pal!
Gordon Dymowski

Rod Lott

Cartoon Brew
Amid Amidi & Jerry Beck

Cartoon Web Log!
Daryl Cagle

Clea's Cave
Juana Moore-Overmyer

Collected Editions

The Comics Curmudgeon
Josh Fruhlinger

The Comics Reporter
Tom Spurgeon

Christopher Butcher

Comics Waiting Room
Marc Mason

Comics Worth Reading
Johanna Draper Carlson

a dragon dancing with the Buddha
Ben Varkentine


Electromatic Radio
Matt Appleyard Aaron Neathery


Eye of the Goof
Mr. Bali Hai

Fred Sez
Fred Hembeck

Greenbriar Picture Shows
John McElwee

The Groovy Age of Horror
Curt Purcell

The Hooded Utilitarian
Noah Berlatsky

Hooray for Captain Spaulding
Daniel Frank

The Horn Section

The House Next Door
Matt Zoller Seitz

Howling Curmudgeons
Greg Morrow & Friends

The Hurting
Tim O'Neil

I Am A Child of Television
Brent McKee

I Am NOT the Beastmaster
Marc Singer

In Sequence
Teresa Ortega

Innocent Bystander
Gary Sassaman

Irresponsible Pictures

Jog - The Blog
Joe McCulloch

The Johnny Bacardi Show
David Allen Jones

Dirk Deppey

King's Chronicles
Paul Dini

Let's You And Him Fight
One of the Jones Boys

Mah Two Cents
Tony Collett


Michael's Movie Palace

Nat's TV
Nat Gertler

Ned Sonntag


News from ME
Mark Evanier

No Rock&Roll Fun
Simon B

Omega Channel
Matt Bradshaw

Pen-Elayne on the Web
Elayne Riggs

Peter David

Dorian White

Progressive Ruin
Mike Sterling

Punk Rock Graffiti
Cindy Johnson & Autumn Meredith

Revoltin' Developments
Ken Cuperus

Marc Bernardin

Matt Hinrichs

Self-Styled Siren

Spatula Forum
Nik Dirga

Tales from the Longbox
Chris Mosby


The Third Banana
Aaron Neathery & Friends

Thrilling Days of Yesteryear
Ivan G. Shreve, Jr.

Toner Mishap
B2 et al

Trusty Plinko Stick
Bill Doughty

TV Barn
Aaron Barnhart et al

Unqualified Offerings
Jim Henley

Various And Sundry
Augie De Blieck

Video WatchBlog
Tim Lucas

When Fangirls Attack
Kalinara & Ragnell

X-Ray Spex
Will Pfeifer

Yet Another Comics Blog
Dave Carter

A Brief Political Disclaimer:

If this blog does not discuss a specific political issue or event, it is not because this writer finds said event politically inconvenient to acknowledge - it's simply because he's scatterbrained and irresponsible.

My Token List of Poli-Blogs:

Roy Edroso


Jane Hamsher

James Wolcott

Lance Mannion

The Moderate Voice
Joe Gandelman


Amanda Marcotte & Friends

The Sideshow
Avedon Carol

Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo

Talking Points Memo
Joshua Micah Marshall

This Modern World
Tom Tomorrow

Welcome to Shakesville
Melissa McEwan & Friends

Blogcritics: news and reviews
Site Feed

Powered by Blogger

    follow me on Twitter