Secret Six #1
Brad Walker/Jimmy Pamiotti
My favorite thing about this comic is that the North Korean prison camp is supposed to be this horribly evil place because they kill your family and your baby and everything. But I happen to have just read a bit about North Korean prison camps, and you know, the thing about them is that there aren’t actually families, because people spend their entire lives in them, and the jailers more or less put couples together, and the kids never actually really know their parents. In fact, they don’t even necessarily know that there’s a world outside the prison camp at all. Which just goes to show that you think you’re being evil and cruel, and then it turns out you just haven’t really done your research. But fuck it, North Korea is really just there so that the anti-heroes can look good in comparison, like how we all love Ronald Reagan because of George W. Bush. Of course, it’s maybe a little callous to use the horrific experiences of actual people as a way to make your boring baddies seem soulful, but hey, the North Korean prisoners probably aren’t allowed to read Secret Six anyway. Their loss; nothing cheers a bleak, brutalized existence like a largely incomprehensible mish-mash of portentous pithy proclamations leavened with continuity porn. I can just see that North Korean child now, beaten to a pulp, bloody snot dripping onto each page, shivering to himself, and then getting to the last panel, smiling with joy because….
…it’s a guest appearance by the Mad Hatter! That makes it all worthwhile.
Wolverine: Worst Day Ever
This is a book, not a comic, and it’s actually pretty good. Barry Lyga has simple ambitions — he wants to be mildly touching, he wants to be amusing, he wants to have a story with Wolverine in it. And hey, mission accomplished; young mutant narrator Eric, whose mutant power is that nobody notices him, is both funny and winsome. He’s lonely because, well, nobody notices him, but he’s also sufficiently acid to notice that, for example, Professor X ‘s penchant for covering everything in the entire compound with Xs reeks of egomania. And there’s also lots of Wolveirne…being noble, being tough, fighting Sabertooth, singing “These Are a Few of My Favorite Things” and drinking strawberry milk. Perfect.
Oh, and the book also provided me with multiple epiphanies.
1: Wolverine is, like, Han Solo and Chewbacca at the same time. No wonder everybody loves him.
2: I fucking hate Wolverine.
Cry for Justice #2
I haven’t actually read this. I’ve just seen that one page everyone is up in arms about:
And yeah, I have to say I’m pretty offended too. Let me count the ways:
1. Ollie and Hal (can I call you Ollie and Hal? Aw, thanks.) are totally out of character here. Because…hello? They’re dead. Dead, dead, dead. Even if they hadn’t been wiped out multiple times in various storylines, they started, what, 50, 60 years ago? If they’re not dead, they should be in wheelchairs, not posing like plastic action toys and making frat boy jokes about who put his green wiener where. Those wieners are old and shrivelled, fellas. A mountain of viagra, even abetted by ridiculous facial hair right out of Look At This Fucking Hipster, isn’t going to get you up out of your underwear, much less onto that rooftop.
2. Man-Bat is completely out of character. Last time I checked, he was a doting family man, who would cover his ears and emit high-pitched squeaky noises if anyone started to tell him an off-color story. Besides, he’s way too busy trying to subjugate the mammals to his reptilian will to hang around swapping locker room….
Or, wait, is that the Lizard?
Anyway, whoever he is, he’s out of character, and it makes me sputter.
3. James Robinson is out of character. Continuity has clearly established that he doesn’t even know what women are, much less how to surf to YouPorn for plot points.
Also, he’s lent his toupee to Hal, and it looks ridiculous.
Also, as long as I’m mangling poor Tucker’s zeitgeist, I might as well point out that I noted an error in his last column.
“Abstract Comics is a tremendously random (as opposed to “diverse”) collection of graphic design pieces and black and white sketches, only a few of which might conceivably have a place in Kramer’s Ergot or one of those other anthologies people look at but don’t read. The rest are in the same category as the Buddha Machine, or Rafael Toral’s Space series–a specific, niche creation for a specific, niche audience. The only real difference is that the guys who make the Buddha Machine don’t start calling people idiots when they say they’d prefer a little more music with their purchase of sound.”
But what he meant to write was:
“Abstract Comics is boring, except for those two pages by Noah Berlatsky! Man, when I saw those, my cynical eyes beshat themselves, and my hectoring anus voided salty tears. I was such a mess I had to use leaves from the book to clean myself…but, fear not, for I saved those two pages by Noah Berlatsky! I have stapled them now to the visage of my true love, that I may contemplate them whenever I see her, and know that, even in this fallen world, beauty and truth are not forsaken.”
So, there. All fixed now.