Two books this week, not so good, plus highlander over at The Miserable Annals of the Earth has a post - titled "The Abyss Gazes Back" - that set me off a bit. It's not that I disagree with him that the Silver Age, as a whole, had better work than what he calls the Modern Age. I couldn't tell you, I haven't read enough Silver Age to make a fair judgement, plus what I have read is mostly characters, such as Superman, that I don't care for, so objectivity is not really possible. It's more the shots he takes at kalinara, as he apparently feels that if someone does a post about slash fanfic between sentient planets, then it's okay to paint them with a broad brush, describing her as having a taste for 'mindless carnage, and contemptible non-heroes'. I've read basically every post kalinara has made, I've seen little, if any, evidence of that. She's shown an interest in the strong familial bonds present between characters and their parents throughout DC, or in Robin's ability to adjust his personality to mesh with whoever he's around, be it Batman, Nightwing, the Titans, etc. Yes, she likes that Ron Marz often left Kyle Rayner tied up, or in a tattered costume. And yeah, she does posts (that I think are mostly humorous) about Ben Grimm and Sand hooking up. But mindless carnage? Not so much.
Mostly though, it's his comment that 'it's all very well to say with enormous if unconscious smugness, while still in one's teens or early 20s, sitting in one's happy comfortable little bed or dorm room safe within the sheltering wings of daddy's paycheck, with all the heroes one has treasured since childhood still being happily and cheerfully published pretty much exactly as they have always been, that "times and audiences change". And yes, I just removed that one paragraph, I know how much highlander loves that.
Still, he wants to talk about unconscious smugness? Well, that right there is conscious condescension. Really, all he's saying is "You'll understand when you're older." Boy, didn't we all love hearing that when we were kids? Well, you may have, as for me, not one of my favorite phrases.
The sad thing is, highlander is probably mostly right about the state of comics. Hell, I suppose as someone in their early twenties, though I live in a two person apartment where my half of the bills are covered by me getting an assistantship, I'm one of those fans who eats the crap the comics shovel. I even know I am. I'm reading "The Other". I know it's bad, but I keep reading, hoping they'll get back to the Spidey I liked, from either the late '80s (pre-Venom/Macfarlane), or the first few years of Stracynzski and Jenkins doing the writing, on Amazing and Peter Parker, respectively.
The problem is, that when you post your feelings/beliefs in the way he did, I'd say you risk alienating people who might agree with you, or be willing to listen, but are put off by the feeling that you're looking down your nose at them, which was my gut reaction.
But you want to know the really sad part? Kalinara laughed it off. Had no problem with it, but me, I'm going off the deep end. I guess I just don't like that he decries that comics are being written as if the readers are morons, but he then proceeds to write a post from which I infer he believes that Modern Age comic readers are morons for reading what's put out today. What can I say? I hate feeling talked down to. Anyway, on to the reviews of the crap that came out this week.
Ultimate X-Men #66 - Oh crap. Not the Phoenix saga. This is one of those things I've had enough of, right up there with "Hank Pym beat the Wasp". It's done to death people, go somewhere else. And the Shi'ar show up. And everybody is out on dates, and it looks like Jean is messing with people's minds. Great. I think I may need to drop this book until this story arc is over, but to be fair, I'll see what happens next month. 1 "oh boy here we go" out of 5.
Ghost Rider #5 - And this is what happens when you decompress. Now that we get to the fighting, everything is rushed. What was going on in that elevator with Ruth (don't say tentacle rape)? Why did she go back out and fight Hoss? Why not focus on her primary objective Kazaan, then trash Hoss after. And this Father Adam just managed to show up at the right time to take a shot at Ghost Rider? How? Oh well, at least Blaze is back on his bike. Still, remember how I said Ennis would have to completely screw this up for it not to take 2nd on my "Best Mini-series of 2005" list? Looks like Garth is going to test that. 3 out of 5.
Man, it's bad enough "The Other" is terrible. You'd think they could at least keep it on schedule. Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Creature #4 was supposed to come out this week, and of course, it didn't. Perfect.