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This Week in Geek 4/23

by Matt Baum (04/25/08).
Cover to Godland 22
Cover to Hulk VS Hercules
Cover to Batman 675

Now that Pennsylvania has muddied the waters of the race for the Democratic Presidential Candidate even more it’s time we as Americans focus on something that matters. Batman is going to die! Or maybe that sentence would read better as “Batman is going to die?”. The issue before Batman RIP, which starts next month, hit the stands today and nerds everywhere fell for the same trick we always do when a comic company says they’re going to kill a major character. We all rushed to the comic shop and bought our Batman like good little nerds and then immediately went to the Internet to started screaming. Some of us are praising Batman series writer Grant Morrison, others want him strung up and beaten with socks full of nickels. Regardless of which side you’re on chances are you bought the prequel to Batman RIP. Which brings me to the first pick of the week. But first, an open letter to Wildstorm Comics fans: If there is anyone out there that cares at all about the “Number of the Beast” event that came out today I ask that you email me. The reason being is that I’m relatively convinced that no one cares about Wildstorm Universe anymore and who ever let it sink to this point, and I’m talking to you Dan DiDio, needs to be held responsible. Any Wildstorm fans out there? Cricket cricket… If I’m wrong then post in the Comic Book Community forums at Worthpoint.com and convince me. Anyway, where were we:

Batman #675, DC, Written by Grant Morrison with art by Ryan Benjamin
I am decidedly in the Pro-Grant Morrison camp and thusly very excited for the upcoming RIP storyline. I trust Morrison, yes he’s taken us on some roller coaster rides to nowhere in the past, (“Seven Soilders” being the most recent) but he has more wins than losses. Morrison is to Batman what Manny Ramirez is to the Red Sox; a mouthy self satisfied jerk that may not knock the ball out of the park consistently but he’s always good for double. I’m waiting on third Grant, now bring me home.

Hulk VS Hercules One-Shot, Marvel, Written by Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente with art by various artists
Now if you are like me then you love “The Incredible Hercules” and can’t get enough of the herky stuff. However, I am aware a small but vocal group of nay-sayers who cried foul, don’t worry I’m not launching into another baseball analogy) when the Hulk left his book to be replaced by the Son of Zeus. First of all you people are idiots who obviously don’t like to read great comics. OK, maybe that came off as harsh but seriously, if you don’t love “The Incredible Hercules” then don’t pick up the “Hulk VS Hercules” because it’s written by the same great writing team, it’s excellent and you obviously don’t like excellence in your comics. I would recommend picking up the Wildstorm “Number of the Beast” crossover that came out today which should cater perfectly to your crappy comic tastes.

Godland #22, Image Comics, Written by Joe Casey with art by Tom Scioli
If you loved anything that Jack Kirby did at either Marvel or DC then you already love Godland. This is seriously the best comic on the stands that nobody is reading. If you’re a fan of Casey’s work then you know of his witty dialog and visual storytelling style. Paired with art of Tom Scioli, albeit his aping of Kirby, makes “Godland” a wacky-psychedelic-sci-fi masterpiece that makes me smile every month.

So I’m serious about the Wildstorm fans. I want to hear form you guys. Get on Worthpoint.com and post! Personally I used to love Wildstorm and I still, to this day, get made fun of for the letter I wrote to WildCATS when I was sixteen. Now the DC-owned imprint just seems like an experiment gone wrong trying to cash in on characters I used to love. I feel like it’s over for Wildstorm and the only thing left to do is look the company in the eyes, admit that you used to love it but it’ll never be the same again and shoot it in the head Old Yeller style. “It’s my dog Ma, I’ll do it”. BLAM!

Feel free to post to the forum topics in the comic books community and tell me what you’re reading/collecting. Also check out my other blog, The Comic Speculator, where I discuss classic yet still affordable back-issue comics. If you have any questions about these books or anything else in the comic book world feel free to contact me or post your question in the Comic Book community forum. Want to know what your comics are worth? Join Worthpoint for free and post your titles in the “Ask A Question” section.

3 Responses to “This Week in Geek 4/23”

  1. Legend Comics Omaha says:

    Matty-poo-

    So to carry your Manny Ramirez analogy further, Batman and Final Crisis is just Grant being Grant?

    I have really come around to liking Morrison-heck I just re-read Seven Soldiers and I thought it was pretty darn good the second time around.

    As far as Batman #675, Ryan Benjamin has to be the worst artist in comics today. Check out the page w/ Merlyn, Talia and Damien. What the heck is going on with her left leg and eyes? Is she a zombie? Is Ryan Benjamin an alias for Rob Liefeld?

    Story wise not much really happens until the end. The big surprise at the end has really only one way it can go forward, which isn’t good news for Jezebel Jet, a character I’m starting to kind of like.

    Hulk Vs Herc sold out by 4pm-we will see what the reorder does….

    I REALLY need to catch up on Godland-it is the best Kirby riff since early Jim Steranko.

    As far as Number of the Beast goes, I have reduced my order to ZERO via Final Order Cutoff. I am interested to see if anyone, anywhere is reading that. How many hits do you usually get anyway?

    Did you see Wildstorm is re-launching Wildcats AGAIN?

    There is one AWESOME Wildstorm book: Welcome to Tranquility by the misandrist herself, Gail Simone.

    You missed the clear book of the week though….Mighty Avengers. NICK FURY!!!!!

    So, until the Cubs win a World Series, Make Mine Matt!!!! Or should it be the Merry Matt Marching Society? ‘Nuff Said. Excelsior!!!

    I leave you with the immortal words of Mean Dean: “You could have chosen a leader, instead you got a follower”

  2. Matt Baum says:

    I used to like this guy. Correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t he one of the Wildstorm Jim Lee clones that came out of the 90′s. Nothing he did in the past is jumping out at me but I know he used to better than this. My only thoughts is that Benjamin is trying some new art style or DiDio dropped this issue on his desk with a 24 hour deadline. Either way, not impressive.

    mb

  3. Legend Comics Omaha says:

    Benjamin did some Wildcats back in the day-that is all I know of. He is certainly a Lee wannabe, although you can see McFarlane and Liefeld elements as well. Unfortunately, we are seeing a new wave of ’90s Image-inspired artists, guys that grew up reading that stuff (aka mid 20′s guys). Personally, I can’t really stand ANY of them, with the possible exception of McFarlane’s Spider-Man 298-305.

    I’d give Benjamin the rush-job excuse but the issue of Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul he did (I think it was Batman or Nightwing) was terrible as well.

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