A little something different here for “Catching Up On: Marvel Comics” before I move into the month of March. Because of the Marvel #1 promotion, I put off reading and or buying certain books as I moved through the months. But, now that Marvel #1 has come and gone, now seems like a good time to put those issues behind me. So, here’s the list, divided between the books I’ve previously bought or obtained through Marvel #1, and the books I actually bought for this edition of “Catching Up On: Marvel Comics”.

Reading List

Cable and x-force #1
Minimum carnage alpha
Minimum carnage omega
Punisher: war zone #1
Scarlet spider #10-14
Venom, vol. 2 #26-31

Buy List

Alpha: big time #.1-1
Cable and x-force #2-4
Guardians of the galaxy #.1
Nova #1
Secret avengers #1
Uncanny x-men #1-2
Punisher: war zone #2-5

  1. wwayne says:

    Cable is an awesome character. He really is a natural born leader: he’s self confident, he always has everything under control and he always knows the right thing to do.
    Cable, exactly like his creator Rob Liefeld, became a symbol of 90s comics, a period usually remembered as full of excesses — excessive violence, excessive masculinity, excessive pouches and so on.
    I don’t think the 90s were so terrible: yes, the characters became ruthless instead of light hearted, manly instead of teen aged and so on, but I liked this process, and I don’t think it was as ridiculous as many readers describe it.
    Also, some changes the 90s introduced in comics definitely are positive. For example, before the 90s it was impossible to see a decent action packed scene: neither the superhero nor the villain used weapons, so they used to fight by using only their fists. In the 90s, both of them started using guns, submachine guns, bombs and so on, so the action packed scenes became less predictable, more varied and more spectacular.
    Another positive innovation the 90s gave us: the characters became less politically correct. Before the 90s, a superhero was supposed to be irreproachable, so all of them were so full of political correctness that they became ridiculous. When they started holding weapons, killing their enemies and acting in a ruthless way without any resentment, they became more realistic and enjoyable, in my opinion.
    I think that all these changes the comics faced in the 90s were due to the success of the movies Arnold and Sly used to make during those years. Boys loved those movies, so they wanted to see the same things in the comics they used to buy: both Marvel and DC decided to give them what they wanted, and, while many readers think it was a wrong move, I did appreciate it. Maybe it’s because I started reading comics exactly in the 90s, or maybe it’s because I love action packed comics and movies – especially when Arnold or Sly is involved.
    To make Cable’s connection with that resentfully remembered period more flebile, Marvel subsequently modified his outfit, making him less manly, removing some pouches from his costume and so on. I didn’t appreciate it: it’s like drawing a smile on the Punisher’s T – shirt instead of the skull. The costume is part of the identity of the character, so, if you change it so much, you distort him, in my opinion. Give us back Cable’s pouches, Marvel! : )

    • Like any decade or genre in art, 90’s comics absolutely have their merits. To call everything produced during the decade bad would be just as wrong as calling it all good. I’m with you, I definitely enjoy a darker, grittier, more “realistic” tone to my superhero books, if not all the time, then probably a great deal of it. Now while the action movies of the time certainly played a role in the tonal shift of comics during that time, you have to give a great deal of the credit to 1986’s Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller and 1987’s Watchmen by Alan Moore as well.

      Since you bring up action movies though, I have to say that I’m personally more a fan of the martial arts of Van Damme’s movies then the gun fights of Arnold and Stallone’s, so I have to dispute the assertion that it’s impossible to have a decent action packed scene with only fists. Guns and other weapons do add a nice variety to fights though and without guns and swords we wouldn’t have Deadpool or Deathstroke and I’d be sad.

      On the point of Cable’s new look, I’m not going to argue more the return of all his pouches, but I would like see his old arm brought back. The new one just looks ridiculous to me.

      • wwayne says:

        You’re right: I completely underestimated the influence that Miller and Moore had on 90s comics. Which is odd for me, because I’m a big fan of Frank Miller.
        I never watched a 90s movie starring Van Damme, and probably if I had seen it I wouldn’t have written that a decent action packed scene cannot be created with only fists.
        I agree that Cable’s new arm is the worst part of his latest outfit.
        Talking about Moore again, at the beginning I decided not to support the Before Watchmen franchise, because I think that DC created it not because Watchmen left some things left unspoken, but simply because DC wanted to exploit one of his biggest successes. I saw the Before Watchmen line as an obvious publicity stunt.
        And then I went to a convention. While I was doing the line at the DC stand, I saw Before Watchmen: The Minutemen # 1 on the shelf near to the cash desk, so I picked it up and gave it a look. I was so lucky to bump into it: it had an old fashioned style that immediately talked to my heart.
        So far Minutemen and Dollar Bill are the only Before Watchmen comics I bought (and I thoroughly enjoyed both of them, especially Dollar Bill), but I recently ordered the Comedian/Rorschach TP, because I read some interesting reviews about both these series.
        Talking about publicity stunts, another good example is the return of Carrie Kelley. She’s related to one of the best comics ever made, so, now that DC decided to make her come back, I don’t think she will be a wallflower: even if Tomasi said that she’s not exactly the new Robin, I’m sure (and I do hope) she will be strongly present in Batman’s life from now on. How do you feel about her return? And which role is she going to play in Batman’s life, in your opinion?

      • I haven’t picked up any of the Before Watchmen books either, for much the same reasons as you mentioned. However you are the second person to give me a favourable report on them so many I’ll have to give them a chance at some point in the future.

        I’m not sure how I feel about Carrie Kelley being brought into The New 52 yet. I did like her debut appearance though. The role they slotted her into in that issue worked very well for the Requiem storyline. And besides being and obvious nod to Dark Knight Returns, the visible impact seeing her in the Robin costume had on Bruce was just fantastic. Going forward I have a feeling her biggest role, at least in her early appearances is going to be helping Bruce to move on after Damian’s death.

        And since you’ve opened us up to speculation on the next Robin. I have to go with Harper Row. She’s more or less been set up in a role where she’s doing the crimefighting/helping Batman thing already. And they’ve also positioned her in a very similar situation as they had Tim Drake before he took the Robin position, actively tracking and seeking out Batman. And it seems pretty clear to me that, if she wanted to, which she’s outright stated that she doesn’t, she could figure out Batman’s secret identity. Carrie Kelley on the other hand I’d expect to see in a role closer to that of Batgirl when she actively served with Batman and Robin. I don’t know that I actually want that though, at least not yet, as the Bat Family is already pretty large. As for dear, departed Damian, I’ve been guessing from the moment they killed him that he’ll be back by the end of 2014 if not sooner. And when he does I’m guessing he’ll be under his mother’s control and possibly under the identity of Nobody.

  2. wwayne says:

    You’re not the first blogger assuming that Carrie is going to play a “Oraclesque” role, and I think that most people are thinking that simply because, after Babs ceased to be Oracle, readers are feeling that something is missing in Batman’s world, and they hope that this gap will be filled by Carrie.
    Also, I think it’s funny that before the reboot Oracle seemed so important that all the Gotham vigilantes used to call her on a daily basis, and after the reboot they suddenly learned how to make it all by themselves. Funny in a “hahaha” way, not in a sarcastic way.

  3. wwayne says:

    P.S.: 2 months ago I read a retelling of the first encounter between Babs and Dick (it was collected in this volume I bought some years ago: http://www.dccomics.com/graphic-novels/batgirl-the-greatest-stories-ever-told). The plot is pretty simple, but what makes that story so enjoyable is the unique chemistry between the 2 leading characters. It succeeds in showing us that Babs and Dick are kindred spirits, and to some extent they understood that from their very first encounter.
    After reading such a sweet and heart warming story, you feel very happy for having read it, but also very sorry, because you know that the relationship between Babs and Dick didn’t have a happy ending. Yes, of course they remained friends, but the chemistry that story showed us so well doesn’t exist anymore. You feel ridiculous for being so sorry, and you tell yourself “Hey, they’re comic book characters, not real people!”, but you can’t help it, you feel sad anyway.
    When you watch a movie, it’s more or less the same situation: you know there’s nothing real in it, but it stirs up emotions in you anyway. Unless it’s a very boring movie, of course. But I’m going off the point, as usual, so I’d better stop myself. : )

    • Wow, now I’m disappointed in myself, I hadn’t even thought of Carrie filling an Oracle-type role. I’d been thinking of her more for the straight up Batgirl role, the second sidekick sort of spot, maybe rekindle the type of chemistry, not necessarily romantically, that you take about Dick and Barbara having, with whoever fills the Robin spot. But now that Oracle is in my head, that actually makes a lot of sense and I want that to happen. As it is now, the best they’ve managed is to have Alfred fill that role on occasion, particularly during the Night of the Owls.

  4. […] The Stack – Catching Up On: Marvel Comics 4/19/13 (kehtaamungetal.wordpress.com) […]

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