Hey everyone, welcome to our 2nd edition of what used to be called “F&$# That Noise”, which has been renamed “Flush That S#!t” in a more productive manner.Â This week we talkÂ Avengers, Avengers, Avengers! (okay, not that much Avengers…)Â and Fantastic Four, and like…one thing from DC.Â Ooh, we also have a very special guest.Â You’ll have to read on to see who though.
Tony: Welcome readers to another edition of Flush That Shit…tonight Keb and I are joined by The Lord of the Monkeys. Tonight’s first topic will be the solicitations released by Marvel and DC this week. Anything jump out at you guys?
Keb: Yeah, Ultimate Spiderman. What’s up with Marvel releasing the “Clone Saga” story in premier hardcover before TPB?
Simian: I personally was disheartened at the fact that Ultimate Spider-Man is joining the ranks of books that hit HC before coming out in TPB. It’s a turn from the new-reader friendly format to the collectibility aspect that bothers me.
Keb: How does it affect collectibility?
Tony: they may be out-pricing their intended audience
Simian: Your average new reader, the kid buying the book in Barnes and Noble. I think he’s more likely to buy the TPB. Itâ€™s a paperback, it’s cheaper. HC is a collector’s format.
Keb: Not just that, it’s isolating the reader. DC releases a lot of their “hot” titles via HC before TPB and it hurts. By the time the TPB hits shelves, people lose interest.
Simian: Exactly. My barometer on this is my little sister. She doesn’t read comics. But she devours the Ultimate Spider-Man trades. When I told her this, she expressed that she would be less interested if she had to wait that long…
Tony: I think Marvel may be relying on the audience the title has already built up
Simian: Which is fine, I guess. But the point of the Ultimate universe was to make Marvel more accessible to outsiders. Are they giving up on that, just a bit?
Keb: It feels like it. The stories are getting repetitive and the appeal is wearing off.
Tony: I think they are. I’d rather see new story ideas than rehashing old ones that weren’t that good the first time.
Keb: Did either of you guys read the Clone Saga story in Ult. Spidey?
Tony: I am. It’s been fairly good so far.
Simian: I must admit I did not. I was waiting for the trade.
Keb: I lost interest in the title with that Deadpool arc. When I saw that Bendis was writing a Clone Saga story I lost interest.
Tony: I did not like the Deadpool arc.
Simian: I’m looking forward to it, but yeah, I also lost interest in the monthly right around the Deadpool arc. It just felt phoned in, to me.
Tony: Phoned in and not thought out well.
Keb: I feel like this title is starting to run its course. Marvel may be thinking the same and that’s why they’re going to the hardcover format before paperback with the releasing of this story.
Simian: That’s certainly possible, and very probably true.
Tony: It still sells well
Simian: So do The Wiggles DVD’s. Speaks little of quality.
Tony: True. I think Ult. Spidey is still good but it needs a new voice behind it.
Keb: Speaking titles that are bound for an end, what about Y: The Last Man? The final arc before the last issue starts in February. Thoughts?
Simian: I’m torn, myself. I’m sorry to see Y go, but since I’m only buying it in trade, its nice to know how many I need to buy to get the whole story.
Keb: I’m excited
Tony: Can’t comment
Keb: You don’t read it?
Keb: It’s a good series.
Simian: It used to be my favorite book, but I lost interest somewhat once the ninjas started showing up…
Keb: I think Vaughn will pull out all stops on this final arc. If you look at past Vertigo series, they usually end on a very high note. I have a feeling Y will do this too.
Simian: I don’t know. I think this isn’t really a series that will have a hugely happy ending. I think it’s going to be a “ride off into the sunset” type thing.
Keb: Well, with a series like Y you don’t have much of a choice. Either you end with a bang or you end calmly.
Simian: As long as Ampersand comes out ruling the planet, I’m happy.
Keb: Bloody apes…
Simian: Well, for myself, another thing which jumped out at me in the solicits was the new lineup for the Fantastic Four. Apparently, the new team will consist of Ben, Johnny, Black Panther and Storm. Thoughts?
Keb: Black Panther and Storm?
Tony: I like the Johnny and Ben mix but I’m not sold on Panther and Storm. It seems Marvel is unsure of what to do with Storm.
Keb: I think it feels a bit forced.
Simian: Well, Panther I don’t have a huge problem with, as he has a long history with the FF. And if Storm is to be his wife, I guess it makes sense. Bring in a new family to this broken one?
Tony: Good point. I hadn’t thought of it that way.
Keb: What happened to Reed and Sue? Did they split?
Tony: They are indeed split up over Civil War.
Simian: According to the solicitations, they left the FF to try to patch things up.
Keb: Oh, okay. So this is Dwayne McDuffie bringing a new twist to the Fantastic Four. I have trouble with this, actually.
Simian: I think, if written well, I normally wouldn’t have a problem with it. The FF has had many many lineups, not all good, in the past. My problem is it is so OBVIOUSLY a short term patch.
Keb: And that’s my trouble with it
Tony: Yeah, it feels like a forced gimmick.
Simian: Why should we become engaged in this, when we KNOW it’ll be over by August?
Keb: It feels like they’re adding characters for the sake of having misplaced members.
Tony: If not sooner. Look how long Magneto stayed de-powered after House of M.
Simian: Well, I assume August just because of the summer movie. I’m sure it could be sooner, at that.
Tony: That’s my problem with big events that promise long lasting changes. They never stick.
Keb: It’s a strange move too. FF has always been the mainstay team, without much of a rotating cast, unlike the X-Men. Storm and Black Panther are being put in because they’re Marvel’s OTHER married couple.
Tony: Agreed. The FF is Reed, Sue, Ben and Johnny.
Simian: But they haven’t. They always come BACK to a certain lineup, but there have been MANY times when they shake the lineup up.
Tony: Like Ghost Rider, Wolverine, Hulk and Spidey?
Keb: That’s a 90’s mistake…
Tony: That whole marriage felt forced and from left field.
Simian: Or Ben, Johnny, Crystal, and Sharon Ventura. Or the She Hulk years. I think the fact that so many of those stories aren’t so great, is why people forget that. Damn you, John Byrne and Roger Stern.
Keb: Well, they’re the only big name married superhero couple who aren’t on any teams.
Simian: Do you realize that, before the announcement of the upcoming marriage, Storm had more of a romantic history with Victor Von Doom than T’Challa?
Keb: They had a thing that apparently took place before Storm became an X-Man.
Simian: Eww… I smell the stink of forced retcon….
Tony: That’s why I don’t like their marriage Simian. Personally, Iâ€™m tired of retcons.
Keb: I think Marvel has been forcing it with the marriages for a while. I’m to the point where I don’t feel comfortable with their policy on marriage.
Simian: Yeah, I agree. It seems like they arbitrarily decided to marry the two most famous black characters. And what happens when they decide to undo it later?
Tony: Seriously, the best Storm stories are when she was single.
Keb: Ummm…settle down there Joe Q. In a perfect Marvel Universe, no heroes have love-lives.
Tony: I just don’t see why this marriage works where another is limiting a character.
Keb: I hate to sound racist, but I feel the marriage is forced because they’re both African(-American) characters. Kind of like “Hey this chick’s from Africa and so is this dude. Okay let’s marry them.”
Tony: I’ll probably drop FF when this change happens. I agree Keb. Storm works better with Forge.
Simian: And I’ll go you further. I think they’ll suffer the bad PR when the marriage is ended. “Oh, so all black marriages end in a broken home?”
Tony: Yeah, I can see that happening.
Keb: I wonder if T’Challa thinks Storm is “Bootylicious”?
Tony: I don’t. She has a flat ass.
Simian: Damn you too, Micheal Turner!Â
Keb: Michael Turner draws all of his women anorexic and all of his men like muscle-mag covers.
Tony:Â I’d love to see Cho draw Storm.Â Then she’d be bootylicious.
Simian: That is true, she really would be, except she’d be Brandy, colored brown. Cho’s women all look alike to me.
Tony: They do but they look so damn good.
Keb: Tony, stop wanking to your Cho comics. I find the new FF lineup forced because of the forced marriage.
Tony: I don’t wank to comics.
Keb: Hey, speaking of Frank Cho, what about the new Avengers title? â€œMighty Avengersâ€
Tony: I’m looking forward to Mighty Avengers.
Simian: Have they revealed the full lineup yet?
Tony: I think they have: Iron Man, Black Widow, Wasp, Woner Man, Ares, Sentry and Ms. Marvel.
Keb: It’s nice to see b-list Avengers back in the mix.
Simian: I have to tell you… I have no real interest in that lineup. Except for Wonder Man, I don’t really like anyone there. But I agree that it’s good to see b-listers spotlighted again.
Keb: I think it’s bad.
Tony: Will Tony Stark still be Iron Man is the question.
Simian: I don’t think he will. But who will be? Is Rhodey still around?
Tony: My guess is Rhodey as well. Honestly I’m buying the book for the art.
Keb: Remember, two years ago when Bendis came out with the New Avengers, they were supposed to be something new and fresh, Marvel’s version of the JLA. This seems like another Avengers West Coast.
Tony: New Avengers had a great line up.
Simian: Which I never had a problem with. My problem with the b-listers was the same with the Avengers as it was with JLA: When they took over the whole book. You see, I love having big names and b-listers on the team. But when, for example, your biggest name on the Avengers is Crystal, that’s not the Avengers. When Bloodwynd is running the JLA… it’s just not the JLA to me.
Tony: I agree.
Keb: Well, I really don’t like Bendis helming this Avengers project. His writing on the Avengers got stale by the third arc, and this title doesn’t even grab my interest.
Tony: I read JLA and Avengers for the big names. Quit hating on Bendis. His Spidey and Luke Cage were great in NA.
Keb: But his plotting and pacing are horrendous.
Simian: Yeah, I love Bendis’ work, normally, and by the arc where Alpha Flight gets busted up…. I was left cold. Yes, his Spidey and Luke were AWESOME. But his storytelling seems… again, not all there.
Tony: So are some others who are praised for great dialogue and character moments.
Keb: Yes. I’d also like the point out how much Mighty Avengers feels like a companion reading to New Avengers.
Tony: I disagree. I think it’ll have a much different feel than New Avengers.
Simian: True enough. Will a reader be able to follow one without the other, or will they need concurrent numbering, like the Superman books in the 90’s?
Keb: Not even that, it seems so secondary to New Avengers. NA is your A-listers and MA is your B-listers book.
Tony: Ronin and Spider Woman are not a-listers.
Simian: Ok, your a-listers and the Bendis-Faves.
Keb: Yeah, they’re Bendis favourites.
Tony: Fair enough.Â But who knows what line up New Avengers will feature.
Keb: At this point, I don’t care.
Tony: I do.
Simian: I do too, but solely because I love the Avengers.
Tony: What line up would you guys like to see?
Keb: Hawkeyeâ€¦like ten Hawkeyes as the Avengersâ€¦
Keb: So Bendis can kill each one.
Tony: Mine would be Cap, Spidey, Cage, Hawkeye, Wolverine and Spider Woman
Simian: I personally like the JLA style approach of Bendis. I’d take Tony’s line up, replace Spider-Woman with Black Widow.
Tony: I also like the JLA approach.
Simian: Maybe Wanda, instead, if we can fix they nonsense they’ve made of her…
Keb: No, that would mean Bendis made a mistake.
Tony: Yeah…they ruined her.
Simian: You have to figure, whoever Joe Q’s eventual replacement is, Wanda will be HIS Genie to put back in the bottle.
Keb: Maybe Wanda can make it so that Spiderman was never married.
Tony: Quit it Joe!!!
Keb: ke ke ke
Tony: Speaking of Avengers. It was announced that Dan Slott would be writing a new mini titled Avengers: The Initiative. Thoughts?
Keb: What’s it about?
Simian: Well, apparently, all that talk about how the registration wasn’t a draft? Well, it was a draft.
Keb: When is this Registration stuff going to end?
Tony: I’m curious to see where it goes.
Simian: Not any time soon, I’m afraid, maybe not until the Hulk comes back and smashes civilization into the Bronze Age.
Tony: I can’t wait for that and I’m not even a huge Hulk fan.
Keb: Oooh, I’m actually looking forward to that Hulk crossover. I haven’t read Planet Hulk, but I think it’ll do some damage.
Simian: Indeed, I’m so dissatisfied with the current story; all I want is Hulk to smash everyone…
Tony: I want lots of Hulk Smash!!!
Keb: Okay, back to the initiative. Now they’re sending superheroes to war? It seems like Marvel wants to push this Civil War theme to the point that it plays out.
Tony: I think The Initiative follows a logical process from registration.
Simian: Yeah, I agree. You’ve drafted them into this super-army. What do you do with them?
Tony: Exactly. You put them to use.
Keb: I think their “Cross-over” strategy has killed their creative process. You don’t get the same ideas when every other title is following some major cross-over.
Simian: Yeah, and it’s something both companies need to learn. I mean… remember Joker’s Last Laugh? What the hell was the point of that?
Tony: I think Civil War has been one of the better crossovers.
Keb: Yeah, but Marvel’s milking it to death.
Tony: Both companies do.
Keb: Avengers: The Initiative is proof.
Tony: So is 52.
Simian: Well, how many mini-series did we have leading into Infinite Crisis?
Keb: Too many!
Tony: 4 and one mini that required you to buy 4 other issues
Keb: Honestly, this just pushes me away from Marvel and DC books even more. I don’t care about the big picture and the unified universe. I want to read a good story.
Simian: Yeah, and it’s getting more and more like you can’t get that from mainstream comics. It’s not a good course for the industry.
Tony: This is what happens when people bitch that something that happens isn’t reflected in other titles. Crossovers are like the 90’s all over again.
Keb: I will say this much for the Initiative. It’ll show us whether Dan Slott can write a serious comic series.
Simian: I hope he can. I like his writing style.
Tony: I think it’ll be good.
Keb: It will definitely be one of the Marvel titles I skip over at the shop. Oh wait, that’s almost all Marvel titles…
Tony: I’ll be picking it up.
Simian: I’ll look for it, give it a chance.
Keb: Alright, I’m hella tired, so I think that’s a wrap folks. On behalf of myself, my fellow host the Dashingly Handsome Tony Mourlet and our special guest Robert Lord Simian, we is out. Monkeyboy, you get the last word.
Simian: I want to thank you guys for allowing me to come in here and spread my malformed thoughts and opinions. MWO 4 Life, folks!
Go here if you like talking.
Posted originally: 2006-12-18 04:06:52