Sunday, August 22, 2010

Random Trains of Thought 8/23/10

- So, FrankenCastle is ending. We're going back to the standard Punisher. Who, you know, no one can accept put into outlandish situations despite the fact that he is all the freaking time. Rick Remender talked about having two years of stories with FrankenCastle back in the spring of this year. Looks like that won't happen now.

Some days I wake up and absolutely hate my fellow comic fans.

- Comic fans sometimes amuse me in a "my god you're all focusing on THAT" sort of way. Take the cover by Yanick Paquette for Batman, Inc. #1. It's a very well drawn cover - actually, so is the Andy Kubert variant and I hope Kubert's on tap for Batman, Inc. after Yanicks five issues - but the one thing people focus on? Batmans junk.

An artist draws a superhero outside of the norm - the norm being drawn like the heroes have no genitalia - and everyone immediately focuses on that like a bunch of tittering kids.

Here I was thinking the attention and furor over Wonder Womans new costume was ridiculous and people trump the whole thing by focusing on whether that's really Batman's junk or a codpiece.

- I've recently been replaying Resident Evil 4 since I picked up the Wii version for dirt cheap. As you may know, I'd played and reviewed RE5 about a month back - short version is that I was massively disappointed in the sequel - but as I play through RE4 again I'm starting to get almost mad at Capcom. The number of things they tossed from RE4 in developing RE5 is just absolutely ridiculous; Playing RE4 again makes it feel like Capcom wasn't even truly trying with RE5.

I think I mentioned before in the review how RE5 felt like Capcom was bored with the franchise and just wanted to end the current continuity. Now I'm all but sure of it. Maybe they were bored and couldn't even keep their original continuity straight anymore - a friend of mine notes that they had at least one retcon per game after RE3 - maybe they're just sick of the whole original universe they'd created. Maybe RE4 was such a radical shift so as to inject more life and love for making RE games into the mix instead of doing the same old thing. Regardless, I don't think it's too much of a coincidence that RE 1-3 had a pretty tight continuity, everything after held together alright and suddenly RE5 seems in a rush to wrap the most important stuff up.

Either way I hope they are considering a reboot; RE5 was so lackluster I'm not sure I could muster much excitement for a 6 anymore unless they REALLY wowed me.

- I swear, I'm not going to be surprised if Gotham City Sirens and/or Batman: Streets of Gotham is on it's way towards cancellation. Paul Dini seems busy as hell. No one - not even DC - seems to know what is going to happen at a given time with either book, as well. Literally, the plans and solicitations are so screwed on these titles that no one - retailers or readers - seems to know what's going to happen in any given issue until previews are distributed the week of release. See Paul Dini being mentioned in the solicits, but then suddenly a co-feature will be taking up the entire issue or he'll be nowhere to be found.

Honestly, Sirens should just be canceled or handed off to someone else while Dini continues to work on Streets and Zatanna; I can't see the situation getting any better with the workload he's been having lately.

- Man, people are really jumping on the "superhero movies are on their way out", huh?

Which is funny, because the movies that prompt these remarks are... Scott Pilgrim and Kick-Ass, two properties no one knows a bloody thing about unless they've read the comic, which is less likely considering both are indies. Scott Pilgrim isn't even a superhero flick. Kick-Ass has little star power; much as I like Nicholas Cage, he's not near the draw Angelina Jolie was for Wanted, at least not these days.

Oh, yeah, and Iron Man 2 made double the money the first one did - and that's more of a straight-up superhero flick than either of those - and say what you want about Wolverine Origins as far as quality goes, but it made some decent money.

If anythings likely to screech to a halt, it's probably companies throwing money at people to acquire any old indy comic (or something by Mark Millar), hoping to stumble upon box office gold like in the past. DC had a decent amount of success with comic adaption films, but a lot of the ones done from their non superhero imprints had modest budgets and very little marketing. Meanwhile some company out there is figuring that if they spend sixty million on production and a small fortune on marketing, an indy comic like Scott Pilgrim is going to strike gold in the box office. Not to mention putting its opening weekend up against something with the ridiculously star studded cast of The Expendables when the only thing you've got is Michael Cera, who's polarizing to say the least. As cool as the Scott Pilgrim film looks, I think the results speak for themselves; I'm pretty sure I could have guessed way beforehand which film people were going to see.

Everybody loves a little doom and gloom, so I guess that's where bloggers are at right now. Whatever, I guess. If Captain America or the Avengers flops, then yeah, there's cause to be worried about the future of superhero flicks, but at the moment it feels like Chicken Little braying that the sky is falling.

- Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #4 had Georges Jeanty instead of Cameron Stewart on art. Apparently said art was mediocre. I bring it up mostly because I wish DC would have bit the bullet and moved the books schedule back so Cameron Stewart could have drawn the issue while keeping the rest of the line rolling along. Sure, you'd end up with a situation like Captain America Reborn where the character is back and interacting with the universe again before the mini itself is finished. But honestly? We knew what will happen by the end from the start. It's in the freaking name.

Obviously this wouldn't go over well with DC's usual "fans" - hell, Marvel was the brunt of jokes for a bit for Steve Rogers chilling in other books before Reborn was finished - but they'd get over it. In the end the product would be better off for it; no offense to Georges Jeanty, but he was clearly on a tight deadline. But I guess DC's been scared off doing that since the debacle that was the "Last Son" arc of Superman.

- In a shockingly abrupt change from about a year ago, I'm actually looking into reading comics fronted by female heroes. Honestly, gender isn't a factor in what I read, but to tell the truth quite a few of them in the past have sounded about as exciting as a wet brick. But something good must be going around the DC offices, because I'm seriously considering dropping change on a bunch of the female fronted series because they sound awesome. I'm already nabbing Power Girl in trade, but now I'm looking at Batgirl, Supergirl (which was a monthly 22 page atrocity for the longest time), Batwoman and Birds of Prey.

Unless JMS weaves magic I'm still unlikely to touch Wonder Woman, however; outside of team settings she's always been good for putting me to sleep.

- My X-Box 360 is starting to give me problems. Second one I've had. Warranty's gone. I'm not going to be too shocked when it suddenly doesn't turn on anymore.

I'm reminded of how much I hate Microsoft.

- Watching some people talk about their love of the Spider-Marriage is kind of like watching someone say they really loved the 90's in comics.

- Sometimes I feel like I'm the only person not on Twitter.

- Iron Maiden's got a new album out. The Final Frontier. Naturally, it's completely awesome and should be bought post-haste.

- So everyone knows the story of Jason Todd's death, right? DC held a phone vote and the votes barely came in favor of killing him. Well, what I didn't know that Denny O'Neil later admitted was that a fan had set up their computer to dial in the thumbs down repeatedly, skewing the vote by hundreds of numbers (see the "Death of Robin" section at the bottom of the link). If they hadn't been there, apparently Jason Todd would have lived. DC went through with it anyways, knowing this, so as not to seem like they were copping out.

Also, Pipeline shows the internet circa 1991 and it's reaction to Infinity Gauntlet.

The point? Well, there isn't one, I guess. I just think it's nice to have the occasional reminder that fans online and off were always assholes and that it's not just a recent phenomenon.

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