Where My Money Went: December 10th
Every Wednesday, I push the limits of my budget for my comic addiction. This is where my money went this week:
I hate Superman. He just doesn't do it for me, but in the few stories I do enjoy (Birthright, For All Seasons, a few others) are about him as a sad character, not a hero. I don't want to see him as this cry baby all the time, just the dude is possibly immortal, will out live everyone he loves, and has to save the world five times a week and still hold up a day job. I have a hard time doing anything productive with my free time and I don't even try that hard at my job. I want to see his humanity over his super-humanity.
Last issue Supes finds a boy he thought he had saved from Vampiredom stealing plasma from a hospital. Feeling a debt to the boy (and I'm sure himself) Superman takes him to Dr. Langstrom (aka the Man-Bat) to try and extract the Vampire genes inside him. While there, Werewolves attack and Langstrom does the unthinkable, becoming Man-Bat again by taking an experimental batch of his serum. Superman fights off the Werewolves, but since he's vulnerable to their attacks, isn't much use unless he kills the Werewolves, but Superman isn't a killer, he's a hero.
Man-Bat rips flesh and throws the Werewolves around, proud of each kill and eager for more. Superman can only fend off the monsters long enough to wait for an opening to throw them to his ally. He could never bring himself to kill the beasts but knows what needed to be done, despite his farm boy morals, aiding in their deaths. Feeling guilty, he gives Langstrom the antidote and returns his attention to the boy, someone he can save instead of kill. These are times I like Superman.
This comic was $3.99 for what you could have figured out from last page of Secret Invasion #8, a bunch of ads (including two double pager spreads!), and three previews. The art is awful, quite frankly worse than last week's What If: House of M bullshit, I mean come on, Namor a jewish guy with a receding hair line? With a five o'clock shadow? I'm basically this Marvel stooge but even I couldn't get into this one. What a waste of money.
Speaking of poorly drawn Marvel comics, let's get into What If?: Fallen Son. Marvel is just allowing amateurs to do the current run of What If? books, which is the only explanation for how terrible this comic looks. The pages are full of incomplete faces, bodies and limbs, hidden or drawn only in part with bad coloring for cover up. At least Rob Leifeld drew faces and chests, there are twenty one feet in this issue, but only four of which make sense.
In Batman Confidential: "Do You Understand These Rights?" we're given The Joker and Batman at their best. The Joker is a murdering unknown psychopath who can't be trusted with anything from a peanut to a pillow, making jokes and laughing while killing everyone around him. Batman is in the shadows and wearing disguises, exchanging notes with Gordon who is still unsure of the new masked vigilante.
Joker is declared guilty, and shortly after kills another with a banana peel. Taken to a Psychiatric Hospital where he will no doubt escape, he manages to look dangerous with that smile and hair. Gordon takes a bullet from a cop who is sick of the super-crime freaks in his city, just adding another case to Batman's plate.
The colors are classic, as in 1987 comic vibrant, Joker jumping off the page while Batman stays in the back, Gordon and other "normal people" making a perfect middle ground. It's writing is light enough for anyone but keeps you at an arm's length, never giving you too much information about where the series is going while still keeping you interested. It's everything a comic should be.
After all my Marvel hate this week, it's only fair I review Wolverine: Flies to a Spider. A new Wolverine comic comes out every week, but not all of them are worth it, this one being exceptional. Even for being the "best at what he does", Wolverine still has a heart, especially around the holidays, the issue taking place on New Year's Eve. Wolverine walks into biker gang "Road Dogs" regular bar, takes out everyone wearing colors, and sits down. No matter how many people they send in, he takes them out quick and easy, not uttering a word. The gang's leader calls in for a favor from the man they run drugs for, a big time Mob Boss who is currently paying off local law enforcement to cover up the death of a young girl caused by the Road Dogs.
Wolverine goes through all the muscle sent after him while being kept company by an old drunk trucker, the uncle of the young girl killed, who is just happy to see someone fighting for the right thing. Not even remembering the murdered girl's name, the boss blows Wolverine off as another tough guy and decides to come out with the big guns to take care of him. Logan turns the dead gang's bikes into bombs with their gasoline and flares, killing all the hired muscle and badmen who came for him. Standing over the dying Mob Boss' body, he reaches into his back pocket and pulls out a newspaper article, uttering his only words in the comic "Her name was Ruthie Jordan."