Variant Covers. This is the venue for me to wank to the comic books dropping in a particular week that I’m interested in. It’s generally capes heavy, because when I was younger I myself was heavy. As always, you folk are encouraged to share the shit you’re checking out this week. Peep the deets at ComicsList. It’s show and tell without the creepy Uncle and lollipops. Bummer about the lollipops, agreed.
“In a few weeks’ time, you’ll be gathered around the Thanksgiving table, breaking bread with your friends and family in honor of Pure Pilgrims’ triumph over the Scary Savages. Before you stab your kid brother in the neck with the salad fork, take a peek at all of the celebrants – each one of them is a goddamn gamer. Your meathead, pigskin-huckin’ cousin is a Call of Duty fiend. Your fat little sister gets down with DDR. Gramps delays death with WiiFit. Hell, even Auntie Craggy plays Farmville and Fat Uncle Drunkard has a Sudoku app for his mobile. This is the future. And we’re all gamers.”
This is Press Start.
[images & words is the comic book pick-of-the-week at OL. // caffeine powered note: I begged rendar to let me write about shield #6. I had such a hard-on I needed to ejaculathink about it. He'll be back next week.]
The final issue of the first volume of Jonathan Hickman and Dustin Weaver’s Shield came out this week, and it struck me at the very core of my philosophical soul. An imbecile dabbling in impracticality, I spent a good portion of my twenties floundering through school and accumulating credits in various philosophy classes. Modern philosophy, medical ethics, existentialism, Ancient Greek, Medieval, and Social Ethics among others.
I absorbed them all but I did so with a problem lingering in the back of my head. The brightest philosophers, the most powerful thinkers, my very heroes; they were all, to an extent, full of fucking shit.
In ways both gorgeous and clinical, Hickman and Weaver make this argument in the final issue of the first volume of Shield. In a way I never could. I don’t have the components, I lack the wiring. But I know a classic when I see it.
Hellboy does it doggy style? Jesus Christ, I’m not even trying anymore. And I have the gall to attack Mark Millar! Whatever, fuck me. Welcome to this week’s rundown of the comic books I’m most likely pulling tomorrow. Bringing home, covered in a brown paper bag. Then, more than likely, reading under a pile of Cheez-It crumbs, my body slathered in euphoria. Get some!
Captain America #611
Shit stays real for Bucky this week! After getting exposed as the Communist son of a bitch, the Winter Soldier, by Baron Zemo, Jimmy has to stand trial. Does it matter that he was brainwashed? I suppose we’ll find out in the forthcoming storyline. Captain America seems to always be about an the struggle to make amends with the past. Whether we have Stevey helming the shield or Bucky, both of them seem continuously consumed by a past they either never experienced, or sinned upon.
Of course, in true comic book fashion, this sort of relatable internal struggle is made super-external through various comic tropes. Falling into an ocean and being frozen alive, or being the pawn of a nefarious agency. I’m hoping that at some point in his run as Captain America, Bucky gets to more than juggle his anxiety at owning a title that was previously his mentor’s, and his guilt at his actions as the Winter Soldier. Is that his defining point as a Captain America?
It’s not that I mind it, but rather I’m interested in seeing Brubaker carve out a legacy for Bucky as Captain America outside of those two extentuating circumstances. Dude has a robot arm, and wields a gun. I mean, that’s a hell of a start to a legacy. Let’s get a smidge past the brooding, before the Captain America movie (presumably) forces the position back to default.
Fantastic Four #584
Benjamin Grimm and Henry McCoy both suffer under the same continual cocktease: that of being able to regain their human form. Whether it’s sloughing off a body cast of shitty orange stone, or ditching the claws and feline attributes for something a bit more hairless, the two poor dudes are perpetually enticed by this possibility. Well, tomorrow it seems that Ben is going to get the ability to push the flesh. Detailed a couple of issues back, Reed’s little think tank of young geniuses found a way for Grimm to regain human form for a week a year.
It’s only going to end in tears, folks. Tears.
Hickman’s F4 is continuously fantastic – puns a-fucking-hoy! But seriously. It’s as wondrous as it is insightful, and as epic as it is rooted in heart. As both a dork, a philosophy nerd, and a fan of narrative, it milks all my important glands.
Also from Marvel: New issues of Secret Avengers and Avengers to munch on. As much as I malign Bendis’ recent work, Scarlet aside, I’ve enjoyed his time-bending introductory arc to the relaunched Avengers.
Beasts of Burden/Hellboy
I caught onto Beasts of Burden via a strong push by the peoples over at Comics Alliance. I’ve yet to read it, though it’s been safely ensconced in my bookmarks folder for a while now. Good lord, and e’gads! I only have so much god damn time/money/concentration left in these faulting synapses of mine. But this week, I’m snapping up the Beasts of Burden/Hellboy crossover. I’m hoping my virgin Beasts experience won’t be tainted by lack of knowledge pertaining to the universe, but we’ll see.
I’ve been on a huge Mignola kick lately, with Baltimore: Plague Ships being about as much carefree fun as you can get in a comic book. So here’s hoping his teaming up with Beasts writer Evan Dorkin can continue the run. The artwork is courtesy of Beasts penciler Jill Thompson, and from what I’ve seen from the previews of Beasts of Burden and this issue, it appears both tasty and delicious. That’s my utterly depthless insight into this title.
File under: hopeful, moderately-blind buy.
This is the dopest shit I’ve heard in a long time. I remember reading on Kotaku a couple of weeks ago that Mikey Neumann, the creative director behind Borderlands, promised to hook gamers up. His deal was that if you preordered Borderlands on a particular day, he’d play the game with you and give you epic loots.
Then there was a bunch of hoopla about whether or not he was serious.
Turns out, he fucking was.