Sure, this blog is about my love and interest in comics and pop culture from the 60s and 70s, but I do read some current comic books! I follow mostly the small handful of working artists I'm interested in, like Bruce Timm, Kevin Maguire, and Jerry Ordway, but I also get books that simply have strong storylines, like CAPTAIN AMERICA (consistently good for the last decade). The problem is that my time is limited, and books, magazines, and older comics always get my attention before the few newer comics I have on the rack! However, on a recent week-long vacation, I eagerly grabbed big chunks of my long-waiting, pre-ordered new comics, some going back a year (I told you I was behind on my reading), and gave them all a thorough read.
Here's what I experienced:
I started with the new run of CAPTAIN AMERICA, by Rick Remender and John Romita, Jr.
Not a bad storyline, one that finds Cap out of his usual urban comfort zone, fighting for his life (and for the lives of others) in a strange and hazardous land. However, over the next twelve issues, I was treated to page after page (click images to enlarge) of this:
Now, I don't shy away from violence in entertainment. Loved (for example) the KICK-ASS comic (also by Romita Jr.) and the films. But over a year's worth of issues of this?! I also know that today's comics tales are told in a longer, "decompressed" form, as comic firms try to mimic modern action films and video games (and also financially soak their loyal readers), but this entire storyline woulda been told in one large annual back in the 70s. JUST TELL THE FREAKING STORY ALREADY! Altho I've always liked the junior Romita's art (but certainly prefer his dad), I gave up on this series, sorry to have wasted my money.
So, what was next in the batch of minty new funny books? This gem:
I've been a fan of Jae Lee's style for a few years, and gave this a shot. Confusing and murky art and storytelling awaited me inside, as well as endless pages of fight and confrontation (above, right). I didn't even make it to the middle of that first issue.
Surely, the next group of colorful silly books would be better, right?
Think again. I picked up this new masterpiece, since two old faves, Klaus Janson and Bill Sienkiewicz were involved:
Not bad, then I got to pages two and three:
That's right, frantic one. Daredevil gets his own billy club weapon rammed savagely and graphically thru his head, ear-to-ear, all depicted in tenderly-rendered close-up detail! Who is this for?! I gave up (sensing a trend here?) on this and went no further with this series.
But wait! I still had another DAREDEVIL min-series in the batch! One drawn by the impeccable Lee Weeks! Here it is:
A great storyline, involving an injured (when is he not these days?) DD rushing thru a snow-blanketed NYC, in an attempt to speed a transplant donor heart to a hospital and a needy recipient! Great, right? It was, until these two pages in issue one:
You read right. DD refuses to help the desperate man, feeling that "it'll probably work out OK for him..." This is a hero?! How many times have we seen DD take down big groups of thugs in seconds?
I gave up, went to the nearest Books-a-Million, grabbed the newest issues of FILMFAX, MOTHER JONES, and SKEPTIC magazines, along with David Cross' new book, and was set for the rest of the (very enjoyable) vacation.
See ya at the back issue bins, folks! That's where all of my comics money will now be go going, as I think I've finally learned my lesson!