These are the manic ramblings that go through my head at all hours of the day or night.

 

Remember the twist I mentioned at the beginning of this conversation, this is what I was talking about. MJ unknowingly beat Mephisto at his own game. By agreeing to MJ’s terms, Mephisto has actually wiped himself from ever having been involved in their lives. In fact, looking at it linearly, those four issues never happened. Along with the wedding, “One More Day” and Mephisto have been wiped out of continuity and Peter and MJ never made that bargain.

Ooooooh, me hears something breaking.

Joe Quesada on the secret brilliance of “One Moment In Time” and “One More Day.”

OK, Joe, I need to be square with you: I hope one day to work for ya or Marvel. I confess, like a large number of the fans, I didn’t quite care much for OMD, for reasons that I’m going to not get into here. Still, Brand New Day has been handled well you guys have proven your point admirably: Spiderman doesn’t need to be married to tell great stories (I might add that he doesn’t need to be SINGLE either to tell the stories you told, but I might just be being contrary).

Now, I read OMIT and I have to say, I didn’t much care for it. Not because there was anything outright wrong with it, it just seemed… redundant. Explaining the mechanics of an event that was unsatisfying. It just didn’t seem relevant. Still, you’re the EIC, you tell the stories that you think we as fans need to read.

My word of advice though: don’t bait the fans and don’t be self-congratulatory. You got a lot of good will by old-fashioned hard work post OMD and I think most of the readers who were irked by it were happy to get passed it with decent stories and art. All this picking at the sweater that is OMD is uncomfortable and irritating. It was an idea, you implemented to some effect, LEAVE IT THERE. You don’t need to (and in fact, CAN’T) prove to the haters that they should thank you for hat you consider a well-crafted storyline that they simply don’t like. Haters gonna hate. 

My Thought's on this Whole "Donal Glover as Spiderman" thing:

Quick Rundown: there was kind of a joke twitter campaign to have Community’s Donald Glover play Spiderman in the upcoming reboot. The issue? Donald Glover looks like this:

and Peter Parker, up until this point, has been drawn to look pretty much like this:

Cue nerds FLIPPING THEIR SHIT.  

I love this whole thing so much. It’s kind of great see people, mopping the proverbial sweat off their brow, trying to defend their covert racism by insisting that their issue is that the character wouldn’t be followed “faithfully” if he was black.

Hey, racists: IT’S A TOTALLY ARBITRARY LINE. What is being “faithful” to the character? What defines Spiderman? Is it him wearing glasses? Is it him having an aunt named May? Is it him wearing the same exact silly vest that Steve Ditko drew on him back in the 60s? It is him talking about how much he loves Aunt May’s wheatcakes?

The fact of the matter is, there are all sorts of things done to update or revise or reinterpret a character, issue to issue, year to year, and maybe 90% of them go unobjected to because they are all seen as honoring the core sensibility of what we perceive “Spiderman” to be. The character of Spiderman/Peter Parker is not EXACTLY the same character that appeared in Amazing Fantasy 15, for better or for worse. Things change, big things. He got married. He got unmarried. He AGED. 

Why aren’t we up in arms that he’s being played by ANYONE, not say animated, or even just left alone as a comic? Sure this is not a dramatic leap (you can argue that comics are a representational media and meant to represent reality in some way), but baggage may have shifted during the flight.

And every comic fan who cares enough about the character to have opinions about his interpretation at some point draws a line in the sand and says, “These are things I think are important about Spiderman. Change them, and I don’t consider it, at heart, Spiderman.”

I’m not trying to get people back down. I just want them to admit that their understanding of the character is that Spiderman MUST BE WHITE and that this is what makes them uncomfortable about the whole Donald Glover thing.  It is because a black man would play a character they feel MUST BE WHITE. 

Donald Glover said a great thing about the whole incident. I’m paraphrasing, but it was along the lines of, “Spiderman’s a kid growing up poor, in Queens, no parents, taken care of by a sickly aunt, an’t he’s supposed to be WHITE? That’s kind of ridiculous.” He’s 100% right. All of those things (to this humble fanboy) ARE the essence of the character, and NONE of them are white exclusive. 

What he touches on, in fact, is more interesting: whether we like it or not, all of those things are actually more believable as part of the BLACK experience (at least from a modern perspective). As a former NYC native, I can attest to the fact that Queens has changed quite a bit since Stan Lee’s day (if it was ever that way at all, and not just the product of media whitewashing) and seeing a black (or latino, or korean) take on the character is, frankly, more believable from a modern perspective. 

Then again, this is all assuming that the consensus is that him being young, poor, in Queens, no parents, taken care of by a sickly aunt are what defines him. Maybe they aren’t. Maybe it’s just about a kid slinging webs. Maybe it’s the costume. Maybe it’s the storyline “Kraven’s Last Hunt.”

The point i’m making is that IT’S ALL SO INCREDIBLY ARBITRARY. We can argue until judgment day, but it’s all subjective. And that subjectivity, if leading you to a conclusion that, indeed, SPIDERMAN MUST BE WHITE (because so-and-so drew him that way, because he’s “always” been white) that is, indisputably, a RACIST and arbitrary assertion. So yeah. Enjoy that. 

New Comic Book Day Reviews, THE NIGHT BEFORE! BWAHAHAHA!!!

After playing the Gulu, I stopped into Harrison’s Comics in Salem, MA. Since this week was all kindsa fucked up from the holiday, they were open late and had already set out tomorrow’s comics. I grabbed a few, in addition to some awesome and cheap classic LPs (will post about those on Sunday). Here are my reviews.

Batman and Robin #13 - I think I’d be happy if all books were Grant Morrison writing about Batman. The thing I like best about Morrison is that (unlike, well EVERY OTHER CURRENT BATMAN WRITER) he gets the difference between Bruce and Dick in terms of characterization. Most writers tend to write Dick Grayson Batman like Bruce Wayne Batman; grim, gritty, Dark Knight yadda yadda. Morrison writes Dick as someone playing the part of Batman (as he says in this issue, “keeping the costume warm”), but making it his own, making jokes and using his unique skills. Insisting on calling Jim Gordon “Commissioner Gordon” was a really nice, subtle touch. It’s actually a rather skillful way to brig back the more campy, hammy Batman of the Silver Age without basically neutering two decades of Batman stories. 

The wring in the issue is superb, which is beginning to go without saying. I wasn’t sold on Frazer Irving’s art when I saw the preview (plus Simon Hurt seems to have a really racists chinese caricature for a lawyer) but pages like this (forgive the shitty pics):

sold me. Plus this:

Hurt may or may not be Thomas Wayne, but he is certainly a PIIIIIIIIIIIIMP.

Shadowland #1 - The more I read about this, the more interested I am. I like the idea of a sort of localized crossover, a street-level event. I’m genuinely excited about the concept of actually having the Osborn administration be held culpable (if only in this book) for the batshit crazy stuff they did. I’m just not exactly sure how it’ll be pulled off, even after reading this issue. 

The Marvel universe (like all comic book universes populated by supertypes) can be hard to navigate when it comes to events. The fact is, you’ve got a world where Gods and demons and Hulks and aliens walk around doing feats of daring-do, often fighting alongside street-level guys like Spiderman and Daredevil. This means that, when shit goes down company-wide, you need something that’ll keep everybody busy. And when I say everybody, I mean EVERYONE, including the Big Guns. Big alien threats work well for this, big Hulk smackdowns, also having the heroes fight each other is nice. You just need something. Otherwise, you’ve got an event where Daredevil starts running a street-gang made of ninjas and everyone’s bitching about it and the Avengers looks like they don’t give a shit when they could probably slap the whole thing down over the course of a long weekend.

They try to hang a lantern on the issue by having a scene where the big three (Iron Man, Thor, Cap) make Iron Fist and Luke Cage be their bitch errand boys, implying that if DD doesn’t play nice they’re going to gangbang his candy ass, but it doesn’t quite read right. DD was almost in the Avengers, fer realz yo (remember back at the beginning of Bendis’ run? He got a formal invite!). Not to mention the fact that they last time they thought DD was in trouble, the whole crew of them piled in a jet and flew to Japan to help a brother out. Now they wont even take the C train to Hell’s Kitchen to talk to the dude? THOR CAN FUCKING SEE SHADOWLAND FROM AVENGERS TOWER, AND THAT NIGGA CAN FLY!!!

We’ll see how the rest of it pans out. Art is OK. Little sketchy for my taste, but whatever. 

The Boys # 44 - Not entirely sure why I picked this up because I haven’t been following the book that closely, but still great stuff from Ennis. Pretty easily accessible, less cringeworthy than usual. Russ Braun is a stellar artist and really really good addition to the book, so I hope he sticks around. Given how Robinson seems unable to make deadlines on the book (a fact I don’t begrudge him, just stating the obvious) and, frankly, I don’t think this has been his best work. He set the bar high with Transmet, and I’ve been a little underwhelmed with his pages. Braun, on the other hand, has a style that’s almost identical to Robinson, but more dynamic and I really can’t get sick of it. He’s a much better fill in than the incredibly talented McCrea and Snej (who are both artists I love to read drawing to Ennis but never really jived with here).

 

That’s all she wrote for now. Might check out a few more tomorrow ad letcha know what I think.