Over the past month I’ve been busier than I have been all year. I’ve moved into my new house, travelled to the coast for my friend Ross’s 40th and worked more late nights than a man on my salary should. I’ve still been a good husband and taken my wife out to dinner and to the movies. I’ve managed to get my 30 minutes of cardio. But one thing I’ve neglected and that’s my comics.
My challenge for the week: to sit and read comics. I know how to aim high!
It’s been eating away at me over the past month. All those great stories I’ve been missing, the escapism I only get from a comic book, and how huge my standing order must be at my local comic shop. I still prefer paper comics. They keep comic book stores in business, and honestly if there weren’t comic book stores I’d have one less reason to leave the house. It was giving me so much anxiety I even stopped reading my regular emails from the comic shop that list that week’s new comics – something I love doing when I receive the email on a Tuesday afternoon. It’s great. I’m sitting at my desk, then my phone buzzes and I spend five minutes not thinking about deadlines as I go down the list seeing what will be in my order and seeing what else might tickle my fancy. But when you haven’t been to your store for weeks, it starts to feel more like a list of expenses you have to worry about. It’s like bill after bill coming in.
Well anyway last Friday, despite the terrible weather I went to my local comic shop and forked over the $120 to pick up my bloated standing order. I left skipping down the street like only a person with a bag full of comics does to my wife’s office where I talked her into having a night in. The weather was horrendous, so it was an easy sell. We had pizza on the couch and watched the first two episodes of Safe. It was OK, but it’ll still take a while before I can fully except Dexter with a British accent. Full of pizza and glued to the couch, I pulled my stack out of my backpack and put them on my bed side table and had that dreaded thought – when am I going to have time to read all of these. I still hadn’t even started my pile from free comic book day from a week ago (the queue at my local store was too crowded so I went to another to pick up my free comics that weekend).
So that’s when I came up with my pile challenge. In one week I will make my way through the pile of 30 comics and be able to go back to a more manageable number. I know what you’re thinking, ‘dude it’s only 33 comics, you can do that in a couple of hours’. But not me I’m the type of guy who needs to get all his stuff done before I can just relax and read a comic. It’s my treat and I can only enjoy a treat if I feel like I’ve earned it. Damn you Eastern European grandparents!
I’ve made my through five comics so far. DC Nation # 0 (one of the comics I picked up on free comic book day) and (this is really embarrassing) Mister Miracle # 1-4. I know Mr Miracle #1 came out in October last year, but I was too dumb to pick it up then, and when I saw my local store had reprintings of # 1 & 2 I grabbed them along with the six other issues that had come out and said add this to my total.
My thoughts on DC Nation #0 are that it’s a fine preview comic. I like how DC put these out each year. I’m not a regular reader of their mainstream superheroes so it’s nice to get a free update on them each year. This issue was divided into three stories one previewing Batman, the other Man of Steel and the third Justice League: No Justice.
The Batman preview covered the Joker holding a random man at gunpoint in his own house awaiting an invitation to Batman and Catwoman’s wedding. It all took place within the confines of the house and Clay Mann’s art was amazing. His Joker looks like a cross between Crispin Glover and a syphilis victim. Totally creepy. Especially after he cracks a bad joke, then waits for his victim to laugh.
The Man of Steel preview was focused in the Daily Planet newsroom and focused on Clark Kent’s skill as a journalist. It was great to see how he and Perry interact and Clark’s inner monologue on how he sees the world was compelling. It’s amazing that after 80 years that this character can still give us something new and fun. The story ended on a cliff hanger that is making me strongly consider buying Man of Steel #1.
The third installment previewed DCs next big event. It’s a threat so big that all our heroes must team up with villians to defeat it. We have four teams – Team Entropy led by Batman, Team Mystery led by Superman, Team Wonder led by Wonder Woman and Team Wisdom led by Cyborg – who are going up against the Omega Titans – Four giant beings who absorb galaxies for energy. Large enough to crush Earth in a fist (damn comics are cool). The crossover looks epic. I might wait for the trade to read this though. If I still remember it by the time the trade comes out. It’ll take a big stretch of the imagination to accept that Robin (Damien Wayne) and Harley Quinn were the best candidates for Team Wisdom, surely you could pick someone better than a rebellious teenager and an insane criminal.
So far the first four issues of Mister Miracle have been..wow. Hopefully I can give you my impression of all the first 8 issues tomorrow.