I am currently starting off this blog aboard an airplane heading back to my hometown of Roanoke, VA for a little R&R. So, let’s talk about how much delayed flights suck. I’m joking, of course. I am, however, counting down the few hours I am missing in Roanoke. Time is precious when I’m home. I don’t want to waste it on stupid things like flight delays. Fly through the rain, Mr. Pilot. It’s cool.
If there is one thing I am certain of is that I need a bit of a break from the 3.93 GPA grind of my life right now. I enjoy school, and also the work. Don’t get it twisted. I need this vacation. It’s been an interesting first half of 2015. Although I’ve been entertained in both positive and negative ways, lack of familiarity is the prognosis. Roanoke is my cure. A week of family and friends, beer, pizza, and Wiffleball is what I have in store.
There is also work that still needs to be done. I am currently editing the first two episodes of MATTYLOVESPODCAST. I mentioned briefly last week that I was entering the podcasting world. I mean, why the hell not? Everyone else is doing it. And I have listened to some pretty crappy podcasts. I hope mine is crappier. But for serious, I had a blast recording with “Dr.” Tom Lucas–author, teacher, scholar, mentor–and I feel this show will be a regular occurrence. If I can post weekly, I will be exceeding my expectations. So here’s to MattyLovesPodcast and it’s bright future. (There are jingles too. C’mon, it me.)
I went to the MAGIC KINGDOM last Friday. First timesies. Back in November I managed to hit up all the other parks at WALT DISNEY WORLD but didn’t get a chance to ride all of the ‘Mountains’ of Disney. I always thought each park had its own ‘Mountain.’ Does that make any sense to you? It did for me. Although the thrill rides of the Magic Kingdom are fun and nostalgic, they all sort of feel the same. Not that I’m complaining. How much money have I spent on tickets to Disneyworld? $0.00. So, yeah, not complaining. If you know what you’re doing, (and know people with season passes) you won’t ever have to pay for tickets. SPACE MOUNTAIN is still Space Mountain–“Oldest ride, still the longest line! Whoo!”
The best part of my recent Disney experience was seeing the fireworks in the Magic Kingdom. I would watch shows like The Wonderful World of Disney as a boy and see the fireworks and wish I could experience what they were like just once. I finally got the chance and it was wonderful. If you think the eight-year old in you disappeared and you’ve never been to the Magic Kingdom, that’s where your eight-year old has been this whole time. You can pretty much find them instantly. (Super thanks to my pals Mayra and “Blonde”.)
I guess that’s all I have regarding my recent goings on. Now let’s get to the really important stuff. That stuff being: I WON’T GET NEW COMICS UNTIL FRIDAY! I thought maybe I would delay the blog a few days but comics come out for everyone else today. Why be selfish? It’s not like I have that many books to pick up this week.
Oh, wait a minute.
My list for 7/1/2015
ACTION COMICS 42
DARTH VADER 7
DEADLY CLASS 14
DETECTIVE COMICS 42
FUTURE IMPERFECT 2
GIANT SIZE LITTLE MARVEL 2
HE-MAN THE ETERNITY WAR 7
JUPITER’S CIRCLE 4
SECRET WARS 4
ULTIMATE END 3
WE STAND ON GUARD 1
X-TINCTION AGENDA 2
YEARS OF FUTURE PAST 2
Good grief. My heart sinks as I notice I’m having less and less DC titles being pulled weekly. But who’s not going to argue with me that the ‘DCYOU’ is just weird? And we’re only a month in! I’m not talking cool-weird; I’m talking weird-weird. Have I had my head in all the issue 41’s? No. But I have focused on the DC titles I think matter more than others (JL, BATMAN, SUPERMAN, FLASH, etc.). Ten years ago, I considered myself a lifelong “DC guy,” but looking back on my life of reading and studying comic books, I’ve spent a lot more time on the Marvel side of the spectrum. Although I must say that DC has the heavy-hitters. I have come to this conclusion over the past two years: the Marvel titles are just more entertaining. Plus, Marvel has an actual plan. Does Hollywood have some influence? Of course, but at least Marvel comic books are comprehendible. This new ‘DCYou’ stuff will leave you scratching your head. I have examples of two should-be meaningful titles from last week.
SUPERMAN #41 starts off with Superman riding an airplane to (where I guess is) work. Not riding in the plane, but straddling the tail and leaning back as if it were a recliner. Not only that but the former writer of AVATAR THE LAST AIR-BENDER is helming the book. Surprise. Superman reads like a Nickelodeon cartoon. And they still have yet to explain Supes’ new fangled power depletion. He uses his “solar flare,” but then says something to the extent of, “I’m figuring out how to restore my powers quicker.” So why in the hell does DC tell us that Supes is going to be powerless in the midst of all the DCYou hype? Bleh.
AQUAMAN #41 has changed settings to St. Louis, Missouri. What? Why? There isn’t a speck of sea life anywhere to be found, but apparently there is yet another pack of Atlanteans hidden away below the Miller Brewing Company who have been awaiting the arrival of Arthur. They’ve been getting wasted on the High Life. I’m kidding. They’ve locked themselves in some stupid chamber, I don’t know. Aquaman has fallen off a great deal since GEOFF JOHNS decided to pack it in. Oh yeah, Arthur can teleport now, and control ice. Plus he’s wearing a black lifejacket. Or is it a vest? Or more importantly, WHHHHYYYYYY?
Anyway, I’m going to end my DC rant there. Misery loves company and the JUSTICE LEAGUE is fist-bumping with KATHY BATES. What? Oh, of course I’m going to still give those jerks my money. Duh. I’m dumber than WONDER WOMAN’S armor. I know this. They’ll turn it around. (I hope.)
I haven’t been able to tackle a lot of my Marvel stuff from last week (saving for vacay). I did read X-MEN ’92 (of course) and E IS FOR EXTINCTION. Both book were super-entertaining. If you liked the X-Men cartoon on ‘FOX KIDS!’ when you were younger, this book is what’s up. The comic does a good job of exploiting all of the ridiculousness of the cartoons. Like CYCLOPS always referring to any male character as ‘mister.’ Gotta love, the goody two-shoes Scott Summers. There is no doubting that CHRIS BURNHAM and RAMON VILLALOBOS are going to knock E out of the park. The art is spectacular as well as the humor.
(Originally, I went on a rant about the new direction of the X-Men books. But that ended up turning into a blog post itself. Posted yesterday. CHECK IT OUT.)
Another comic book Wednesday has arrived! Let’s look to this week’s titles.
As I said earlier, I’m reading less and less stuff from DC. I just don’t trust it. Outside of the major titles, it seems that no other titles mean anything in the end. Yes, many are entertaining, but it always seems like 75% of DC titles are null and void once they’ve decided to restart their engines yet again.
That said, ACTION COMICS #41 started up a new story about Superman and–wait a minute. I can’t remember. Oh, great. All I can remember is the distraction of references to future issues of Superman that were weeks (or months) away from hitting shelves. Hopefully I won’t have to go back and peruse through #41 as I get into today’s issue 42. But you see what I mean? It’s Superman. You’d think I’d have a grip on what’s going in his books. Nope. A lot of forgetful stuff is being published.
One of DC’s most underrated series for the past few years has been HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE. The recent series, HE-MAN THE ETERNITY WAR, is fantastic. I grew up a huge fan of MOTU. I had the toys, the Golden Books’ SUPER ADVENTURES, the magazines, and the cartoons, of course. I honestly enjoyed playing with my toys and reading my He-Man books more than watching the syndicated cartoon (which does not play well 25 years later, by the way.) DAN ABNETT, who we all know can spin quite the cosmic adventure, writes the new series. His approach to He-Man and SHE-RA is a mix of new heroics and new discoveries that make this canon for He-Man totally awesome. If you’re not looking for the typical DC super hero stories, and want to pick up something different, all the new He-Man and the MOTU is one way you can go. Volume one was done by JAMES ROBINSON and PHILIP TAN. Check it out, especially if He-Man ruled your five to ten-year old life.
Marvel hits us upside the head with SECRET WARS #4 today. We’ve had to wait a minute on the next chapter, but if it’s as kickass as the first three it’ll be well worth the month off. The same goes for A-FORCE. The first issue was like a dream come true for the 14-year old Matt de. I hope #2 will be even dreamier. Is anyone reading ULTIMATE END just because you may have initially rolled your eyes at the ‘Ultimate Universe’ when it first arrived in 1999 and wished it ended years ago? No? Um, alright. Nevermind. I mean, I didn’t think most of the Ultimate Universe was a waste of time and money or anything either…
As for our friends at Image Comics, I’m picking up four books from them this week. Two of which I can’t wait to read, those being JUPITER’S CIRCLE and OUTCAST. Despite being extremely irritated with MARK MILLAR’S conclusion to CHORNONAUTS, I have enjoyed JC just was much as I dug JUPITER’S LEGACY. We all know Outcast is eventually going to be a television series on Cinemax. When the news of a TV show first broke after only one issue, I deemed it ridiculous. After reading the first nine issues, I deem this series necessary. Demon possession, literally punching the devil out of people, and uncovering mysteries of the past are what Outcast is all about. ROBERT KIRKMAN and PAUL AZACETA are an awesome creative duo. Azaceta’s art is a perfect fit to tell the tale of KYLE BARNES and his quest to stop demons from possessing the Earth.
The other two titles, BLACK SCIENCE and WE STAND ON GUARD I have yet to read. I have every issue of Black Science but am waiting for a rainy/sick days to rip through those. We Stand On Guard is the new Image book from BRIAN K. VAUGHAN. So yeah, I’m buying it. I don’t even know what it’s really about. Don’t care. He’s one of those writers all comic readers should trust. I still need to read more Vaughan, admittedly.
All in all, I’m going to have a busy Friday once my plane lands back in the sweltering heat of sunny Orlando. Lots to read. Then next week, hopefully, lots more to be excited about. But until then, I’m going to enjoy the 75 degrees of Roanoke, VA and eat some of Dad’s lasagna. I have missed his cooking so.
Matt de Simone is the host of MattyLovesPodcast, a new podcast on the interwebs in which he and “Dr.” Tom Lucas tackle the world’s most important issues like: “What did Rob Liefeld do to become Tom’s ‘Satan of Comics?’” Or maybe, “Could Pod-People take over the Earth?” All those answers and more answers to more questions about more cool stuff. We’re in the Golden Age of Geekdom. MLP offers up a delicious perspective. Check it out.