Funnybook Babylon

June 25, 2008

Final Crisis #2 – “Ticket to Bludhaven”

Filed under: Blurbs — David Uzumeri @ 3:58 pm

You know the drill. Let’s roll. Massive spoilers ahead.

Note: I’m going to be largely talking about the book without Countdown; sections that relate to events in Countdown or Countdown-related series or really anything outside of the Johns/Morrison/Rucka axis will be discussed separately, since anything “learned” in Countdown is suspect.

Okay, double note: Note the text on both covers is rougher and misaligned – I assume this is the beginning of the “dissolving effect” Chip Kidd was talking about.

Triple note: Oh, hey, Douglas Wolk was timely too! His annotations are up here.

Page One:
We kick off with another letterboxed page similar to last issue, this time outside of a harajuku club in Japan. I’m afraid I can’t read any of the signs, but I imagine it’s just referenced from a real location since that appears to be a Blade advertisement on the billboard.

Flash #163

Flash #163

The kids outside the club are all wearing mishmashes of superhero iconography, per Morrison’s descriptions of the culture in the Sketchbook. The guy in center is wearing a shirt of Batman TV show sound effects, next to a guy wearing the cover to Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s The Killing Joke on his back.

Of the most note, however, is the bouncer, whose plea – “STOP! You must be SUPERCOOL to proceed! YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT!” – mirrors (literally!) the cover of Flash v1 #163, cited by Morrison as his favorite comic, where he declares to the reader “STOP! Don’t pass up this issue! MY LIFE DEPENDS ON IT!”. This is especially important given the event at the end of the issue.
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June 19, 2008

FBBP #62 – The 9¢ Revival

Filed under: Podcasts — Joseph Mastantuono @ 6:22 pm

Chris and I had a long chat this weekend detailing the impact of former Marvel Head Honcho: Bill Jemas.

It’s really quite likely that quite a few of you out there would not be reading comics today were it not for Jemas, so check this out. Chris brings us a wealth of info about the late 90’s – early 2000’s period at Marvel Comics.

She Used To Love Y.O.U.

Filed under: Articles — Tags: , , , , , — David Brothers @ 8:30 am

NRAMA: And so you were left with a handful of continuity issues as result – – why didn’t the Guardians call a 1011 when all the other New Gods died? Why didn’t Superman recount his experiences in Death of the New Gods when he was talking about the New Gods to the JLA? How did the villains capture J’onn? Obviously, if you dealt in all the minutia of every storyline since Identity Crisis or earlier, you’d go nuts – so what was your personal line in the sand that you used in writing Final Crisis in regards to what “mattered” and what didn’t?

GM: What mattered to me was what had already been written, drawn or plotted in Final Crisis. The Guardians didn’t call 1011 when Lightray and the other gods died in Countdown because, again, Final Crisis was already underway before Countdown came out.

Why didn’t Superman recount his experiences from DOTNG ? Because those experiences hadn’t been thought up or written when I completed Final Crisis #1. If there was only me involved, Orion would have been the first dead New God we saw in a DC comic, starting off the chain of events that we see in Final Crisis. As it is, the best I can do is suggest that the somewhat contradictory depictions of Orion and Darkseid’s last-last-last battle that we witnessed in Countdown and DOTNG recently were apocryphal attempts to describe an indescribable cosmic event.

To reiterate, hopefully for the last time, when we started work on Final Crisis, J.G. and I had no idea what was going to happen in Countdown or Death Of The New Gods because neither of those books existed at that point. The Countdown writers were later asked to ‘seed’ material from Final Crisis and in some cases, probably due to the pressure of filling the pages of a weekly book, that seeding amounted to entire plotlines veering off in directions I had never envisaged, anticipated or planned for in Final Crisis.

The way I see it readers can choose to spend the rest of the year fixating on the plot quirks of a series which has ended, or they can breathe a sight of relief, settle back and enjoy the shiny new DC universe status quo we’re setting up in the pages of Final Crisis and its satellite books. I’m sure both of these paths to enlightenment will find adherents of different temperaments.

Grant Morrison, 2008

Oh, Grant. This sounds like trouble in paradise. Let’s see what wrong, okay? We’ll talk you through this.

I met her last week, this insane tart
We been swimmin’ in each other with the same heart
I mean, I think we might be sections of the same part
And we don’t separate at all until the day’s dark

–El-P, “Oxycontin Pt 2”

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June 18, 2008

Long Summer Days

Filed under: Blurbs — Tags: , , , , , — Jamaal Thomas @ 2:24 am

Wow, I haven’t written anything in a while. I need to adopt Dave’s work ethic, but work is all consuming at the moment. Since I missed the recording of the podcast this week (a compelling discussion of the Bill Jemas era at Marvel), I decided to put some thoughts together in a typically long-winded (and hopefully somewhat coherent) fashion. Come join me for the DC Pile-on!

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June 17, 2008

Final Cluster@#*!: DC Comics is Like a Videogame Boss Where You Blow Up The CPU and Then Every Other Part Functions Independently With No Teamwork

Filed under: Blurbs — David Uzumeri @ 1:59 pm

And we’re gonna go yet another round in the “What the fuck is going on at DC” sweepstakes, thanks to Warren Ellis’s latest Bad Signal (stolen from Schwapp!!!):

People like talking shit about Dan Didio online. The truth is that he’s actually a smart guy who, on entering the company, had to make some tough decisions fairly quickly. It’s also true that some lifers at DC editorial are very resistant to any kind of change. Are some of them just plain nasty and dumb enough to say, “screw Morrison, we’ll do our own story, and if it blows his big reveals, well, fuck ‘im”? I would hope not, but it does seem to have happened anyway.

Aw, shit. I was wondering why Death of the New Gods #5 was so revelatory.

For those of you who missed my original article about it, see here. Basically, in DONG5, Starlin said that the Source was behind killing the New Gods, and the creation of the 52 worlds, and all of that crap. This always seemed like a hell of a plot point to drop there, so at NYCC I asked Geoff Johns if he wrote Infinite Crisis with DONG5’s retcons in mind. He quickly said he didn’t know what I meant and wasn’t caught up and couldn’t answer. I thought that was pretty damn weird, and judging by Ellis’s comments, I was right.

So – putting the pieces together – Morrison’s stated before that the villain of Final Crisis won’t be obvious, and won’t be revealed until the last issue. Within the framework of Final Crisis alone as we know it so far, the Source isn’t an obvious villain. So let’s take a look at the history of blowing secrets over the course of this project: Jim Starlin’s New God-killer, Infinity-Man, had his identity blown by a silhouette in Bedard’s first issue of Birds of Prey. Then, Jim Starlin blew the even BIGGER villain of Morrison’s Final Crisis months in advance by, uh, giving him a motherfucking Bond Villain Speech months before the miniseries even started. Wow.

WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON AT 1700 BROADWAY? Do Marts and Berganza just hate each other? Did Didio know this was going on? Does anyone read all their comics? How does Ian Sattler still have a job? Will Geoff Johns take me up on my pony keg offer? Did, as Huxford seems to think (but then again Huxford is like the comics blogging equivalent of Mel Gibson in Conspiracy Theory), Carlin sabotage all of this? With all this lead time, why does the book need Carlos Pacheco? Can’t the Marvel offices just work three days a week and still win? Tune in next time, in DC Publicly Falls Apart.

June 15, 2008

Narrative Darwinism, Dan Didio and Final Crisis: The Future of Comics Continuity

Filed under: Blurbs — David Uzumeri @ 12:44 am

There has been – to understate – a bit of a storm around Morrison’s recent Newsarama interview regarding the lack of connection between the 51-issue weekly Countdown and the series it was leading to, his 7-issue (plus tie-ins!) opus Final Crisis. For those who didn’t read it, it essentially goes like this: Grant Morrison writes Final, submits it to DC; DC decides that like its predecessor, Infinite Crisis – and its far more distant ancestor, Crisis on Infinite Earths – it can’t show up out of nowhere, and needs to be led up to. There needs to be anticipation beyond the normal solicitation cycle.

Except, instead of the random Monitor appearances for COIE or the well-orchestrated miniseries and one-shots leading up to IC, it was tacked on without the participation of the primary architect of the event. I’ve seen a decent number of people claim that this was Morrison’s fault for not paying enough attention to Mike Carlin’s office and the fairly badly-received weekly comic they were outputting. This frankly utterly confounds me, as it’s not like Morrison is a writer unused to working within larger editorial dictates (‘Nuff Said Month, Invasion, etc.). He knows the system, he’s worked within it for quite a while, he’s used to having other people shit all over his stories. I mean, look at Xorn. He didn’t fail the system; the system failed him. This also isn’t the end of the world.
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June 13, 2008

Morrison’s Warcop: Not new?

Filed under: Blurbs — David Uzumeri @ 9:04 pm

Anyone who follows Morrison’s career likely remembers his announcement of numerous new Vertigo projects at the New York Comic Con. Well, by numerous I mean three (maybe technically four): Seaguy 2 and 3, Atomika & Me (which was apparently a surprise to even the panelists – I’m afraid this was the one panel I missed so I have no eyewitness experience) and… actually, here’s what he said:

as well as a brand new book called Warcop, about everything that’s happened since 9-11: “I was interested in the fetishism of soldiers,” said Morrison. “It’s about how media, video games, comics, movies, etc., are basically primers for teaching people how to kill. It’s about one soldier who goes off to war and comes home looking for a new war; it turns into a conflict between kids and adults for control of the planet.”

Now, I’m not discounting the possibility that he just reused the title, but I was browsin’ Morrison’s website (since he was promising a redesign later this week – where the hell is that, G-Mo?) and I noticed this under screenwritingcredits:

‘WARCOP’

(Treatment for aborted Todd McFarlane/Madonna project 1993)

What? This… should be… interesting. It’s not ridiculous, since Morrison penned an issue of Spawn, but… Madonna?

This… yeah. Any ideas?

June 12, 2008

Pull List Analysis & Reviews for June 11, 2008

Filed under: Pull List Analysis,Reviews — Tags: , , — Chris Eckert @ 11:00 pm

Hey, lots of things happened (Memorial Day, Travel for a Wedding, MOCCA) that conspired against a Pull List last week. I trust everyone got to the store okay anyway. This week I am late enough that I actually got to the store before posting this, so reviews will be intermixed! A friendly reminder to Those That Like Them, these should be on the shelves:

  • 100 Bullets #92 by Brian Azzarello & Eduardo Risso
  • Booster Gold #10 by Geoff Johns, Jeff Katz & Dan Jurgens
  • Local #12 by Brian Wood & Ryan Kelly
  • Tiny Titans #5 by Balthazar & Franco
  • Young Liars #4 by David Lapham

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June 11, 2008

Salvation Run and Gotham Underground: Letters from the Edge of Failure

Today saw the end of the DCU-villains-are-mysteriously missing plot line that has been running since around the quarter mark of Countdown. Both of these stories were promised as major status quo modifications for the cadre of villains that DC has, of late, become increasingly enamored with. Both of these stories were, supposedly, born out of the planning sessions that led to the lead-up that led to Final Crisis, and the creative process behind these books must have been as circuitous as this sentence.

Salvation Run is like some sort of paragon of editorial mandate, the sum total of all unnecessary top-down plotting that, invariably, falls flat on its ass in the end. This is the end, and damn, has it fallen flat. Looking at Salvation Run as a project on its own merits, it started out as a decade-old Elseworlds pitch proposed by fantasy writer and geek paragon George R.R. Martin. His original plan was a long-term look at a society founded by the DCU’s villains on a sort of cosmic Australia. This pitch sat in DC’s “maybe we’ll use this shit sometime” files until it was inexplicably dragged out as part of the lead-up to Final Crisis. Of course, there’s one major problem with adapting the premise for this purpose: If it takes place before Final, and it’s in continuity, the villains sort of have to get back at some point. And if the villains get back, then they can’t do any of the long-term sociological view. And if they can’t do that, then what the fuck is the point of the book?
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FBBP #61 – Comics Are Hot as Hell (MoCCA Recap)

Filed under: Podcasts — Funnybook Babylon @ 5:23 pm

And so was NYC this weekend. Jon was in town, so we blame him, but we understand. The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA) art show/convention/whatever was down at the Puck Building downtown on Saturday and Sunday, so that’s what we’re mostly on about, but we also talk DC’s Trinity, Cam Stewart and Catwoman, and the Post-Boom conference held on the Friday before MoCCA (which they possibly sponsored; they were at the very least fellow travelers). And 90’s rap.

There was also a short, positive segment about Juliacks and her graphic novel Swell which was a casualty of editing, so as a mea culpa, here’s her website, which you should check out, unless you have epilepsy or an aversion to giant Flash objects. What the hell, Juliacks??

June 3, 2008

FBBP #60 – Attack of the Scots

This week’s podcast featured more Scotsmen than a Mel Gibson fight scene!

  • Grant Morrison! (All-Star Superman! Batman! Final Crisis!)
  • Frank Quitely! (All-Star Superman too!)
  • Mark Millar! (1985!)

Joining us on the podcast is FBB’s own David Uzumeri, an expert on this exotic species.

Back in America, Marvel is pushing Fred Van Lente and the Periscope Studios Crew. Under Mark Paniccia, they’ve been all over the Marvel Adventures line, Incredible Hercules and the newly announced Marvel Zombies 3 and The Age of the Sentry, We talk about the different style they bring to the Big Two, and what kind of fans that might be attracted by their books.

Finally, FBB proudly announces a new sister corporation, FBB Publishing! Listen to learn the terms of our “pact”, and its advantages over our competitor’s contracts who want to take advantage of impressionable youth! Deviant Art creators, join us! We pay $20.25 for a finished page: just enough to keep your self-respect.

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