Tres Komikeros 46

EJ, Alex, John, and Migs… that’s right… the whole zoo crew returns for some spankin’ reviews of Invincible Returns #1, Turf #1, and SHIELD #1.

After a round of quick shots, find out who the Tres Komikeros would rather be stuck with in a post-apocalyptic world: Grant Morrison or Jeph Loeb.

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Tres Komikeros 44

John, Alex, and Migs volt in to bring you reviews of Millar and McNiven’s Nemesis #1, Green Lantern #52, and Uncanny X-Men #522! After a round of quickshots, the boys discuss the official news about Evans being Captain America, the Image Guardians of the Globe teasers, and the Scott Pilgrim movie trailer. Lastly, the panel discussion has the boys asking the question: “Which comic character should already die of old age?”

Also look out for the new segment entitled “Spoil Me” interspersed throughout the show. Deal with it, kids.

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Tres Komikeros 43

John and Alex team up to bring you reviews of Brave and the Bold #32, Green Hornet: Year One #1, and Siege #3! After a round of quickshots, the boys discuss the rumor about Evans being Captain America and then go serious to discuss the trend of violence in comics and how it hurts the industry.

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At the tail end of the show, John makes a personal announcement and introduces the TK Book Club — the monthly group reading activity that TK will spearhead to expand comic fan interaction. April’s TK Book Club Pick is Alan Moore’s Saga of the Swamp Thing (volume one). Listen to the show to learn more.

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Tres Komikeros 42

John, EJ, and Migs volt in this week (but not the way you would think… sicko) and review Flash: Rebirth #6, New Avengers #62, and Blackest Night #7.  After a round of Quick Shots and War of Thumbs, the bastards discuss the possibility of burn out caused by an over-saturation of comic book films in the cinemas.

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Tres Komikeros 41

John, Alex, and Migs return with a boatload of reviews with their spotlights (eew?) shining on Power Girl #9, Devil #1, and DoomWar #1. After a hefty round of quick shots, the boys discuss the recent big changes in the big offices with Dan Didio, Geoff Johns, and Jim Lee each getting title upgrades. The show is capped off with a panel discussion about the komikeros’ expectations for the New Heroic Age and Brightest Day. Listen and learn, kids.

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Reading: Dark Detective

Sure a lotta people see Miller’s Batman as the real Batman, with its grit and cynicism, but that rendition was Bruce Wayne at the end of his career as the Dark Knight.  But what about Batman at his prime? Call me out as old-fashioned, I don’t give two tugs of dead dog’s cock, but I tend to pay attention to Knight more than Dark, in Batman’s moniker.  And with that medieval analogy must also come a sense of chivalry and, dare I say it, romance.

Batman DD1Steve Englehart and Marshal Rogers’ run on Detective Comics, and more importantly their return in Dark Detective (which I’ve just been lucky enough to flip through), definitely has its share of Gotham’s most gushingly insane criminals.  No, no… this Joker doesn’t just crack jokes related to whatever evil he’s plotting, he’ll lose himself in tangents and wordplay in mid-sentence, delightfully disappearing into himself, and then somehow find his way back to whatever mischief he was in the middle of before he left.  He is, for all intents and purposes, bat-shit crazy.  And that’s not even counting Two-Face and the Scarecrow, who show up to give the shit a healthy gust as it hits the fan.

Batman DD 5But as thoughtfully written as the baddies are, so too is the romantic side of the story.  Silver St. Cloud, a great love interest to Bruce, assumes a pivotal role throughout the six-issue mini.  And if you read into things enough, you can start to see how a lot was taken from this book and shot into Nolan’s arm for The Dark Knight.  You see it.  It may have a different label on the jar, but it’s there.

Strictly speaking, I’m a child of the IMAGE generation of comics, but reading this book is like discovering Frazetta when all you’ve been looking at was Bisley.  And that’s not a knock on Bisley on any level, I’m loving his Hellblazer stuff, but it just amazes me how strong some of the older stories were despite having to work within classic boundaries and comics codes.  Especially when it comes to Batman, it’s nice to know you can look back and not have it all be nipples and bad sets.

What’s Wrong with Comics?

My buddy Sully and I have had many discussions revolving around qualms and drawbacks with the comic medium, and he just recently found a chunk of time to dump it all onto a work journal mega-entry of sorts.  Being a fledgling writer more than just an avid collector, he has a bigger stake in caring about the sequential art form than most, so it makes for a pretty comprehensive read.

Check out the entries, you might even learn a thing or two:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Our own discussions often devolve from How can we fix things to How can we fix what we use to fix things… and then to boobies.  There’s also the occasional and unavoidable comparison between comics and manga… also he’s a gamer… so be warned… he tends to wander.

Dyslexic penguins go, “ploo ploo ploo…”

Post-Iconic

So do I sound like a bigger douche than usual if I say that I feel like comics grew up with me right around the last yelps of my college years? No? Yeah? Kindasortamaybe. Sure I missed the really important stuff, given that I’m only twenty-five… but I think what so many call the Modern Age ended right around the time I left university, and comics became this new animal that was just rife with this manic purity and self-awareness that I got sucked back in after a withdrawal from the medium around the mid-to-late nineties.

When I think of the Golden Age (late thirties to early fifties), I think of the invention of the superhero and the birth of the icons.  I think of comics catching on as portable war-time pamphlets egging troops on with stories of good winning over evil. After all, comics were the iPods of the forties… if iPods indirectly conditioned you about the dangers of radiation and the terror of atomic energy… but no yeah, you get the idea.

When I think of the Silver Age (mid-fifties to early seventies) grounding the tales in science more than magic, what with everyone obsessed with nukes, I think of space cop Hal Jordan replacing mystic Alan Scott.  I think of the Fantastic Four.  Heroes became more flawed, and we got Spider-man.  Art became a bigger factor, and we got Kirby.  DC started becoming the legacy universe, while Marvel grew into the Wild West.

The Bronze Age/Dark Age (mid-seventies to the late eighties) saw a growing appreciation for serious real-life issues being filtered through the comic lens.  Schwartz took over for Weisinger to scale Superman’s ridiculously near-infinite powers. Speedy on speed.  Minority heroes.  The Dark Knight Returns.  Watchmen.  Vertigo.  The picture of justice became less and less stark black-and-white, but a thick muddled gray.  This was when I started.

And then came what I like to call the Image Era—the nineties. Not to point any animosity on Image the company or anything, but I feel like the term really captures that decade’s mood as well as the perceived superficiality of the medium at the time.  Superman’s death.  The Spider Clone Saga.  Inter-company Crossovers. Amalgam?  Need I go on?  It felt like a very events-for-events-sake time. This was when I stopped.  Sure, feel free to call me out on the occasional Gen13 and Battle Chasers splurge in the middle of it all, but hey man…. hormones.

Then when it felt to me like comics were all but tits up, someone lent me the trade for Grant Morrison’s  X-Men run.  And all at once, it all felt right again. Fresh again.  New again.  Like the first time I heard the Beatles.  And it wasn’t so much that Morrison was simply introducing new ideas—no, he completely and respectfully was building on old ones, expanding the mythos, broadening the scope.  And up until then, I had felt like no one had really even tried to do that in a while.  Then we got Identity Crisis and things just started to happen. Brave things. Fists in your fucking face things. The Authority. The Ultimates. Planetary. All-Star. Civil War.  And I wasn’t sure if it was Bendis’ DD run or Last of the Independents that made me say it out loud, but comics had grown its fucking balls back.

tony_was_right
When the boys and I drink, I tend to bring up how exciting comics are right now… and how this is probably the most energetic time for the medium since the Golden Age.  A new Golden Age, if you will.  It’s always fun to watch people play when literally no one is afraid to break their toys anymore—Steve Rogers is dead!  And there are real efforts to make things like that mean something now, and that to me makes this a fascinating ride.  The one term mentioned more often than “superhero”? — “status quo.” There is a fearlessness about creators today that make them unafraid to really torture their characters. But at the same time, what I love most about this era is that creators, on the whole, respect the creative lineage enough to make sure that how they piece their heroes back together absolutely earns them the way in which they broke them.  Here’s hoping it keeps up.