Thursday, June 14, 2007

Classic Cover of the Week

"He'll Never Make Me Cry"

Chris Claremont has taken a lot of flack in recent years for certain quirks of his writing style but his run on X-men is largely responsible for so many things that I think are awesome. Not to mention responsible for the still growing number of long boxes in my closet. This issue, in particular, is the one that I'll hold up as defense exhibit A when people knock Claremont.

Its a beautifully crafted issue that addresses the fall-out from previous stories, advances sub-plots and tells a done-in-one tale, mixing character bits with a knock down, drag out between Colossus and the Juggernaut. The comics trifecta. Everything in it works. From Kitty's pain, to Kurt and Logan's attitude towards Peter, to the handling of Cain Marko and Selene (1st appearance), this is Claremont in his prime. Uncanny from around 158 through 228 is the high point, for me, of Claremont's X-men. And this issue is just note perfect. Its a level of storytelling I'd love to reach some day.

Oh, and even though it has nothing to do with this issue, in the crazy alternate universe where I get to write a run of X-men comics I'll be dropping a reference to Rogue's poppy allergy. And a shiny Selective Continuity No-Prize to the reader that picks out the reference.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Phantom Menace

It's on HBO today, and well... I'm the kind of guy who tends not to do himself many favors. I realize what the real lesson of the movie is though.

Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should.

Gungan speak. The underwater sequence. Poodoo humor. Little orphan Ani. Cartoon aliens. Obi-Wan disappearing for the entire second act. Midi-fucking-clorians. C-3P0's secret origin. Anakin's vigin birth. "Wizard!" Pit droid humor. The Padme/Amimdala dupe that fooled no one. The Sidious/Palpatine dupe that fooled no one. The clumsy way Shmi got left behind on Tatooine. Padmé is the 14-year-old democratically elected Queen of Naboo. Seriously? The senate sent the Jedi to mediate the dispute, but didn't call them to session to report on the situation? Why doesn't Qui-Gonn use the virgin birth as a selling point to the council? Anakin tagging along in a war zone. Every time Jar-Jar opens his mouth. The Gungan cartoon army and it's energy shield technology. A child flying a starfighter. The plot device energy shields that separate Obi-Wan from Qui-Gonn and Maul. The boy is too dangerous, but it's okay for a freshly minted Knight to train him?

There is some awesome though. Cutting through a blast door with a lightsabre. Droidekas. Natalie Portman and her sexy, sexy kabuki make-up. Qui-Gonn's attitude. The honestly touching parting of Shmi and Anakin. Theed. Darth Maul. The music. "Wipe them out. All of them." The N1 Naboo starfighter. Kiera Knightly. Wow? That's it?

You know, I think I just made one of those "should we stay together" lists. And with a final tally of 23-11 it looks like "The Phantom Menace" and I are breaking up. I guess the only appropriate thing to do, since I'm on the rebound, is to get drunk and make out with my "Firefly" DVD boxed set.

If only Anakin was, at the least, 15. If only Amidala was, at the least, 21. If only Jaxxon had the Jar-Jar role. If only Maul didn't go down like a bitch, succumbing to cliched falling bad guy syndrome. If only the movie was't so jarringly different in tone and style (and I'm looking at you here, Preponderance of Special Effects) from the Holy Trilogy.

Sigh. If only.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Classic Cover of the Week

So, there was this comic book store that opened up in my hometown when I was a freshman in High School. It was a cool little store front that encouraged the local skateboard punks (myself included) to hang out after school. It was sitting in the battered leather chair in that shop where Grant Morrison first blew my mind with this very comic.

Posting will be light while I try to make a script deadline. Yeah, I know, like that's any different from how?