Sunday, May 27, 2007

Hoopla! - Episode 23: The Leader has a theme song???

Hello and welcome to Hoopla!, the weekly comic-book review column that dares to engage in reckless hyperbole!

Well, I have looked over the DC and Marvel solicitations for August 2007 (why don't other companies post their upcoming comics too so that people can actually pre-order them???) and I am officially unimpressed.

Whereas I normally use this space to display all the good things coming our way, I thought I'd do something a little different this time and two of the most... er, unusual covers for August's solicitations.

Let's begin with...

Now, I think we can all probably agree that red is a very nice color. I myself have enjoyed, on occasion, the splendiforous sight of red rose petals in full bloom, the splotchy red of blinding rage, and the consistent, though under-stated, dark red of a nose bleed.

However, I think the ideal comic-book cover - the Platonic ideal of a comic-book cover, if you will - should also include a picture of some sorts.

Yes, red is nice, and I salute DC for having the courage to promote it so strongly on the cover of their Nightwing series, but still I am left wondering... might this not be a case of too much of a good thing? In their (admirable!) effort to promote the color red, is it not possible that they have, perhaps, gone a bit too far?

Just a thought...

Marvel is featuring an homage of their own in August, though not to a color. No, Marvel is taking the month of August to celebrate the humble forehead. Oft neglected in comic-book covers, passed over for rippling muscles, titillating breasts, and finely defined, muscular buttocks, the forehead is full of dramatic potential just waiting to be unleashed.

And, as with so many good things, it would appear that one can never have too much forehead.

Case in point...

Um... it's a good thing that he's wearing that fetching tiara, because without it he might bear an unsettling resemblance to his erstwhile foe, the Leader.

Incidentally, in searching for a suitable picture of the Leader, I happened upon this web-site. It's worth visiting just to hear the theme song for the Leader.

Seriously. Click on it.

I'll wait right here for you.

As regards my brand new The Best and The Worst of the Month That Was, I've decided to make a small change. Instead of the three best and the three worst of the month, we're going to focus on the one best and the one worst.

One, much like the number three, is a prime number. So you may not even notice the difference.

But... this one time, since I did promise it, we'll finish doing the three best of the month that was...

Last column, I listed two of the three best (Detective Comics and Marvel Adventures: The Avengers).

The third winner in this triumphirate of glory was The Brave and the Bold #3.

Why? Well, I'm glad you asked...

Reason #1: The Fatal Five.

I love the Fatal Five.

And I mean hearts-and-roses kind of love.

I think they rock.

[The source of the above illustrations is this site. I'm not sure who the actual artist is, but the page contains everything you ever wanted to know about the Fatal Five but were afraid to ask.]

One of the very first comics I remember reading was a Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes that featured a big fight with the Fatal Five. This was back in the late 70's and the story confused the heck out of me because I didn't quite get that it was set in the future. And I didn't know who any of the Legion were.

It didn't really matter, though. Despite my confusion I loved the Fatal Five.

Seeing Batman (and Blue Beetle) go up against the Fatal Five was like a dream come true!

(Yes, that's the kind of thing I dream about. What's your point?)

Reason #2: George Perez.

Love that guy's art. I don't what it is that he does that makes the characters seem so alive, but it's really a very neat trick. Phil Jiminez has mastered the art of making illustrations that look exactly like Perez's, but he lacks that particular thing that Perez has that makes his art so damn cool!

Reason #3: Mark Waid.

It's been a long while (too long!) since Waid has done anything I've really enjoyed, but with this series he's back in top form. Hurray for Waid!!!

Reason #4: It's the third chapter of a big, old-fashioned, cosmic epic but no one is getting their limbs ripped off in a spray of blood, no b-list characters are being introduced just so they can be killed off, and there are no cross-overs to follow, no limited series detailing how the man in the streets is being affected (I'm looking at you, Frontline: Civil War and Frontline: World War Hulk)... it's just a story.

Told in a single comic-book series.


Who'd a thunk it?

Reason Five: The Fatal frickin' Five!!!

See? That's how much I love them. They're on the list twice!!!

In an ideal world, I would now tell you about the three worst comics of the month that was.

This is not that world, however.

On this world - let's call it Earth-Q - I just picked up two jobs for the summer, which means that in addition to trying to make some progress on my dissertation, I also need to work 40 hours a week on this other stuff.


Good for paying rent (and buying comics!) but not so good for Hoopla!

But, the good news is that I have an extra-special treat for next week. As is so often the case with these extra-special treats, it has nothing at all to do with comics.

In fact, it's about rewarding and recognizing employees.


Oh, you will be...

Until then, here's hoping that the Fatal Five doesn't show up at your door!

- Paul

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