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Saturday, December 09, 2006 

Comics may make good holiday gifts...

But that doesn't mean that what the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is talking about makes for good ones. Nor does it mean that they should exaggerate, which, from what I can tell, they are:
Superhero comics still dominate the industry - they have the biggest sales for their books and the biggest grosses for their movies.
Well I'm afraid that remains in question. Sales overall may be a few million dollars, but what is that really when compared to what movies and even novels make?
DC is in the midst of publishing an ambitious interconnected yearlong weekly comic - appropriately titled "52" ($2.50) - that focuses mostly on six obscure heroes.
Ambitious? Ha. I've looked over the plot synopses for what's been published so far, and to be quite honest, I don't see what's so great about it. It seems to me that the only purpose it has for Ralph Dibny is to put him throught the paces of madness in trying to get his wife back, and then even that's done very irriratatingly. We're even being annoyed with the idea of that Vic Sage will be replaced as the Question with Renee Montoya, a character whom Greg Rucka, whose credentials are iffy, turned into a lesbian a few years ago. Aside from turning her into a cliche, I've never considered Montoya very interesting. I vaguely recall reading some of the Batman x-over, Bruce Wayne: Murderer?/Fugitive, and she came across very annoyingly, due in part to the editorially mandated storyline.

Regarding the question of if the Question will be replaced by this cardboard character: if DC had really wanted to, they could've hired a writer who could breathe new life into Vic Sage, given him some new supporting cast members, and even returned him to Hub City, which mostly crumbled in the past decade for some new human interest stories. Denny O'Neil's take on Steve Ditko's late 60s creation was very good, and his 1987-90 series was also famous for not using sound effects like "BAM! POW!", not even for the telephone ringing.

Unfortunately, in today's dumbed-down world of comics writing, where human interest stories are almost non-existant, ditto anything even remotely thought-provoking, it seems as though they cannot think of anything more creative to do than to kill off the character who makes the role of the Question work, and replace him with another one whom they may not even try to muster any genuine character development from. That's right, something tells me that, if they really do try and replace Sage with Montoya, that little's going to come of it, if at all.

Whether or not that's what'll happen, I do not support it, and it's one of the reasons why I decided not to buy 52, which, despite what they say here, doesn't look very appealing at all.

Now, what's this the Journal Sentinel is recommending as a holiday gift:
Jonah Hex, DC's Wild West bounty hunter, is enjoying a bit of a renaissance. The first six issues of his current series were recently collected as "Face Full of Violence" ($12.99). And the Showcase Presents series of "telephone-book-size" black-and-white reprints published a Hex volume with more than 500 pages of his earliest Western shoot-'em-up action, for $16.99.
Wow! A work of violence, that's what's being promoted as a holiday gift? Frankly, I find that to be more than a bit irresponsible.

The Journal Sentinel's recommendations for holiday gifts are slapdash at best, but then, with the way comics have become so dumbed down, I guess not much else can be expected of them.


About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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