It's a special Sunday Edition of "Five Things I Think I Know!"
5 Things I Think I Know, The "Better Late Than Never" Edition
Week of 7/18
The Preamble That Almost Didn't Get Done
Ah, summertime. The smell of bratwurst and hamburgers on the grill, a county fair providing ice cream and freshly squeezed lemonade...why, "5 Things" even learned a little something this season: exactly how something called a "heat dome" could basically fry three-quarters of the freaking United States like the Human Torch letting loose a Nova Blast.
Speaking of the Human Torch: Rest in peace, Johnny Storm. Rest in peace. The old-schoolers wish you were around, still. We know there are good stories that can be told with you. We know.
But I digress.
Back to summertime, which is also a time for...vacation. As hard as I tried, "5 Things" just couldn't get done before Mrs. ElijahSnowFan, as she is wont to do, put her foot down and demanded that I get my arse on a plane and hang out with her on the beach. Sometimes, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do to keep a happy home, complete with a Comics-Reading Den that somehow, some way, miraculously cleans itself when I'm not around...what? She takes care of that? Oh. OK, then.
But I'm back in the mix now, complete with a little access to the Internet...and this whole "San Diego Comic-Con" is going on, complete with all kinds of news...and it just wouldn't be responsible to shirk my duties. Again, "5 Things" strives to be many things, but first and foremost, consistency is the key.
First, a confession: I've never actually been to a comics convention. That's not for any reason other than I've never quite had real life line up with when a big one is taking place. I fully intend to go to one at some point, and while I don't exactly know what I would do there, I feel it is important to do so.
Because I have a feeling, if I did go, I would be able to humanize some of the creators who would be in attendance. Perhaps, depending on whatever events I would be able to attend, I might even be able to get a feel for how they think that would go a little deeper than the interviews that we all can read after the fact -- and for which I am grateful, I might add. Better to know something than nothing, when books cost as much as they do.
Would that make me more or less of a fan of anyone's work? No, not at all -- the work is the work. Good and bad is subjective, but at the end of the day, you're likely going to have an opinion about something you've read.
But at the same time, the worst feeling in comics collecting is the feeling you get when you think that creators and companies are simply evil people, or staffed by evil people, who simply tell stories that aren't what you want to read...simply because you don't want to read them. Sometimes, it's a little too easy to get nasty in our approach and critiques -- I'm as guilty of it as anyone -- and perhaps, by being able to hear someone talk about why they do what they do, in person, it would fill in that gap between "patience" and "message-board bitching."
Plus: "5 Things" wants some of the swag that has to be available at these things -- that many nerds (and I say that with love, because I am one) in one place have to create some cool stuff to snag and wear...
So, understanding all that, what could possibly be the five things I know this week?
Well, in catching up with some of the news and preview pages from the week that was, there are some initial things that have caught my eye that I wanted to mention, things that I will pick up, more likely than not...then, come Monday, I'll have another edition of "5 Things," where I'll wrap up my take on some of the biggest news from the rest of the weekend. Sound fair? Then let's make this happen, people!
5 Things I Think I Know, The Week That Was Edition
5. So...um, er...you really call yourself "Batman," then?: No matter how many times DC can beat me over the head with it, it's going to be downright bizarre reading the first arc of "Justice League." Comic books were a hell of a lot simpler back when a huge number of these concepts first appeared, where team-ups could be as simple as, "let's work together to end this menace!" Reading the first encounters of some of these characters is going to be...awkward. I'm going to try, but it's going to be challenging to not think of longstanding interactions when doing so...
4. I had forgotten just how much I hated Lois Lane not knowing who Superman is in comic books: The end of Lois and Clark's marriage isn't horrifying to me...this stuff does happen at the Big Two, unfortunately. And unless my memory is failing me, the DC Animated Lois Lane never did know Superman was Clark Kent, right? So the concept isn't foreign, at all. But man...in comics, it just feels different. I could go another billion years without seeing the sequence I read for the introduction of Jonathan Carroll, where mild-mannered Clark Kent shuffles off to an elevator while using his super-hearing to listen to Lois talk about him. I said this when Spider-Man rebooted into Brand New Day: Nobody wanted to see Peter Parker running out of web fluid and not having a job AGAIN. Nobody. And Marvel got that hint in a hurry -- they put a stop to the web-fluid garbage FAST
There are some things that are classic about characters, that are important. Peter Parker being a genius, including how to design web shooters and fluid in the first place but not knowing how to create ANY kind of system where he doesn't run out when his life is in danger, was not one of them. Clark Kent walking around like a neutered puppy who gets beaten with a rolled-up newspaper whenever Lois Lane is around...Good Lord, DC! Who do you think wants to read any of that? I sure hope that crap stops FAST. Go on a freaking date, Clark! She's out doing her thing! For the love of God!
3. I will absolutely read Avengers Origins: Man, until Roy Harper got served up as the character who will never live down the worst aspects of the stories told about him, Hank Pym was the poster child of how one sequence can impact a character far longer than anybody would have realized. But I've always liked Pym, and I've always thought his powers and intellect were interesting, and it will be nice to read an updated version of his and Janet Van Dyne's history. There's something to be said for respecting the history of characters, even if they don't quite fit into your present as a company, and I think these stories are a good way to connect with some of the old-schoolers who would like to see a little more sophisticated storytelling applied to some of these origins...I'm also looking forward to the Vision's and Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch's as well. Again, all classic characters, classic Avengers, not all of whom have found a place in today's group, but still are important historically.
2. Marvel's not going to be left behind by Digital Day & Date: I don't really know when the day of reckoning will take place, but at some point, the decision will be made to scale back the print products of these companies, if not eliminate them altogether. Day & Date releases are the first step, and that's fine -- things change. You don't see spinner racks at the local 7-11 anymore. Because things change. Readers have the option of deciding whether to change with it...or not.
1. I liked the new kid playing Peter Parker!: I don't ever get my hopes up too high about comic book movies, but for whatever reason, I felt some kind of connection with the new Peter Parker in the trailer for "The Amazing Spider-Man." Look, that matters a great deal, for this reason: I didn't go see "Spider-Man 3." I didn't really enjoy "Spider-Man 2." "Spider-Man" was...not bad. But I haven't watched it since. Soooooo...what I'm saying is that rebooting this franchise totally works for me, because while "5 Things" tries to be fair in this space, it is safe to say that I just didn't feel any real connection with the previous trilogy.
That's it for this week's edition...everybody have a nice weekend, and I'll see you guys on Monday!
Written or Contributed by: ElijahSnowFan
The Outhouse is sponsored this week by Late Nite Draw. Recently featured on ComicsAlliances' Best Art Ever, he is a Chicago-based commissioned artist with a self-published Digital+Print one-shot coming out in October about the abominable snowman called ABOBAMANIMABBLE, and is also available for commissions. Check out some amazing art by clicking here or by clicking the banner at the top, and support the people who support The Outhouse.
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About the Author - Christian Hoffer
Christian Hoffer is the exasperated Abbott to the Outhouse's Costello. When he's not yelling at the Newsroom for upsetting readers or complaining to his wife about why the Internet is stupid, he sits in his dingy business office trying to find new ways to make the site earn money. Hoffer is also the only person in history stupid enough to moderate two comic book forums at once.
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