Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hoopla! - Episode 12: In which my teeth hurt. A lot.

Hello and welcome to Hoopla!

It's been a while, huh? Before we get started on the comic-book goodness, let me tell you what I've been up to the past few weeks...

1) My girlfriend, Mie, moved to New Jersey

2) I've been working on my dissertation



5) Oh, yeah... today I went to the dentist and now that the novacaine has worn off, my teeth feel like someone dug deep into my gum tissues with a metal pick and scraped at the roots of my teeth for a couple of hours.

Which, in fact, is precisely what's happened. So, I guess that's a good sign, huh?

Also, in a somewhat humorous oversight, I've realized that although I'm scheduled to defend my dissertation on July 24, I'm actually required to finish my dissertation 15 days before defending it. So, whereas I thought that I had about a month to finish it, I actually have about two weeks.



Anyway, enough about me... let's talk comics, shall we...?

First of all, I wanted to post this link from Newsarama. You may recall me attempting to calculate, about a month ago, how much it would cost to read all the parts of Secret Invasion. Well, someone's actually done a much better job of it than my half-assed attempt, and it's pretty entertaining, in its way. Apparently, to purchase all of the official tie-ins, cross-overs, and related limited series would cost $316.98.

So, start saving.

Final Crisis, which is DC's big summer event, would only cost you $115.14 according to the calculations done in that Newsarama article, but I think they overlooked a few things in figuring that out. Like, for example, Countdown to Final Crisis, the 52-issue story that was supposed to be the prequel.

In all fairness, the guy who wrote the article notes that he left out stuff like that... so I guess it's not really an oversight, per se... he just didn't want to get into all the prelude-y stuff.

For what it's worth, although I have no intention of purchasing even half the Secret Invasion tie-ins and stuff, I am enjoying the actual limited series quite a lot, and also the Avengers tie-ins. I also picked up the first issue of Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four, because it was one of the "less than a dollar" comics offered by mailordercomics.com for that month and, I've gotta say, it was far more enjoyable than the regular, ongoing Fantastic Four title, which I complained about last month. Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four is not the stuff of genius... it's not the comic that's going to revolutionize comic-book writing... but it is a lot of fun. And that aint all bad...

Final Crisis, on the other hand, I'm not so enamored of. I found the first issue rather self-important and dull. There was no single character that seemed to be important to the story... they're all just sort of there to narrate the HUGE AND SIGNIFICANT EVENTS that are occurring.

Maybe that will change as it goes along?

Then again, maybe I won't keep reading long enough to find out.

Here's the cover for issue #4, due out in September...

So, is it me or does this cover sort of look like Darkseid is going to a boxing match?

Every time I look at it, I have that same thought.

There was a really funny interview with Grant Morrison, by the way, in which he was asked why there was such a huge disconnect between the conclusion of Countdown to Final Crisis and the beginning of Final Crisis, the story that Countdown was supposed to be counting down to...

Example: Countdown to Final Crisis ends with the deaths of all the New Gods. This was also shown in Jim Starlin's recent "Death of the New Gods" limited series (I'm not sure that's the actual title, but it was something like that).

And yet, Final Crisis #1 opens with one of the New Gods being murdered and it's a big mystery. So, obviously, they weren't all dead. In fact, it appears that none of them are dead, despite the fact that they were all killed off one month earlier.

Grant Morrison basically says that the people who were responsible for Countdown to Final Crisis ****ed up and there was nothing he could do about it because he'd already written his story by the time that the year-long prelude to his story was finished.

Silly DC comics...

So, here's something that I'm genuinely looking forward to... issues 1 and 2 of Marvel Apes, both due to come out in September.

Here's the solicitation text:

MARVEL APES #1 & 2 (of 4)
Written by KARL KESEL
Pencils by RAMON BACHS
Flingin' feces, True Believer-- the entire Marvel Universe has gone APE! Just when he thinks life can't get any worse or weirder, Marty Blank - a.k.a. that lovable loser, the Gibbon -- finds himself and the brilliant-and-beautiful Dr. Fiona Fitzhugh transported to a world where monkeys rule and humans don't exist! SEE the spectacular simian city of Monkhattan! MEET the hominoid heroes and villains - SPIDER-MONKEY! DOC OOK! IRON MANDRILL! SIMIAN TORCH! THE APE-VENGERS! And more! THRILL to the return of Speedball! CONTAINS No-Ads, as we are thrilled to present you backup tales exploring the Apeiverse! LEARN the dark secret of the primate planet! WORRY that the fate of the entire universe is in the hands of the Gibbon! Not a hoax, not a dream, not an imaginary story - just the most not-to-be-missed mini-series of the season! If you only buy one (well, two) comics this month about super-powered, intelligent apes-in-capes, it must be MARVEL APES! 40 PGS.(each)/ Rated T+ ...$3.99 (each)

See... and that's why I love Marvel.

I don't want people to think I'm picking on DC, though, so here's something lovely that they're publishing in September...

Written by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray
Art and cover by J.H. Williams III
Featuring spectacular art by J.H. Williams III (PROMETHEA)! Jonah Hex joins a posse hunting a gang of murderous outlaws, but when the guns fall silent, Hex finds himself faced with a peculiar proposition, as a marshal named Roth and his pretty young wife invite Hex for the strangest dinner of his life. On sale September 3 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Man... what is the deal with Jonah Hex??? A couple of months ago, there was a solicitation for an upcoming issue with art by Darwyn Cooke, and now they've got J.H. Williams III doing an issue???

I don't understand it, but I like it... I like it a lot.


Well, I'm going to have to cut this shorter than I'd planned because my gums are beginning to throb with pain... I have this little mini-pack of Advil that the dentist gave me as I was leaving, but it's in one of those metal-ish packages that you're supposed to somehow open with your fingers but which, in reality, cannot be opened by hand unless you happen to be Edward Scissorshand.

Which I do not.

So, I'm forced to choose between continuing this column or going home and getting a frickin' frackin' scissors and opening the frickin' frackin' package and taking the Advil before all the nerve-endings in my mouth explode...

On that happy note, here's hoping that your girlfriend hasn't left you to move to New Jersey, that you haven't suddenly lost two vital weeks of dissertation-writing time, and that your gums haven't recently been slashed open.

Marvel Apes, you can't get here soon enough....

- Paul

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