03
Jan
15

New Year’s Readsolutions! Kurt Busiek’s Superman and Wolverine The Best There Is DECONSTRUCTED

First things first: Happy New Year!

As is obvious from my rigorous dedication to my craft – groundbreaking, conspiracy shattering, journalistic blogging which resonates like God’s Breath through 10 dimensions once read –  I’m the type triple-A-A-Alpha male who gets shit done. I set goals, handily beat those goals into submission, and briefly think about stealing those goals’ women before assessing them as Sub-Elevens and moving on.

This blog, and its blogger, are not so much about success as the literal translation of success – all its savory smells, pulsing tactility and liquid luxury – into the written word. Within these pages the simplest haiku transcends a mere verbatim description of the constant, grinding semi-sexual success you probably have only seen on TV or in your deepest comatose wet dreams. And I must, out of civic obligation, reserve essays and more scholarly think pieces to the “Saved but Unpublished Vaults.” Our world’s current disaster preparedness programs couldn’t handle the explosive forces of so many minds blown simultaneously. The dinosaurs, having mastered interstellar colonization, thought they could handle this type of stuff. All that’s left to show for that nonsense is a bunch of useless fossil fuels which, in reality, are just the transmogrified remains of their shocked and frightened souls.

You need welder’s goggles to read this blog.

And to write it I need balls the size of Jupiter with the density of neutron stars, a saddle forged of gleaming adamantium with sabre-toothed tiger fur padding, and a pair of spurs sculpted from Mt. Fuckin’ Everest in the mysterious shape of BLAZING NEURONS.

Check, check and check-fucking-mate.

So, as you can imagine, it’s a rare moment when I take time out of my busy schedule crushing life’s obstacles to really sit down and search my soul for possible shortcomings.  But even Superman needed a day job to force him to occasionally keep it real. He really didn’t need the gig as a cover – that was just comic book gobbledygook. What he really needed was the soulless grind of a 9 to 5 to interrupt his life’s journey to the top of Mount Par-Excellence. Walking into the office bathroom Monday morning, discovering Jimmy Olsen’s explosive, oil-painted homage to the weekend’s debauchery splattered across the linoleum prison-walls will make the greatest pause to reflect. Perry White pissed all over the toilet paper roll, Lois dumped her used tampons in the break room garbage can. X-Ray vision can not save you from these sordid surprises, and you don’t need super hearing to hear those wails of quiet desperation.

That’s what The Greats realize. Challenges hone our skills. And since the majority of our peers offer little more than window dressing in our personal, perpetual parade routes, we must challenge ourselves. That’s what makes The Greats the The Greats. That, and generations of unfettered Atlantean Eugenics.

New Year’s Resolutions are perfect for this. They only come around once a year, which is just about the frequency we ubermensch need to fiddle with our master plans. Plus, you create your own rules. Let’s be honest, who else is capable of doing a better job of creating a challenge for me? The barista at Starbucks? She never even realized that “dolphin” tattoo on her inner wrist is just a thinly disguise spurting penis, how’s she going to assess my glory?

Long story short – time is money – my New Year’s Resolution for 2015 is to read and review more comic books. Perfectly reasonable and plausible, given all I’ve just said. Yes, yes!

SUPERMAN: Back in Action (TPB) – Kurt Busiek and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez. 2 out of 5 stars.

I’ve read and reviewed Busiek’s works before and it’s always been a pleasure. His style and substance is both wholly unique and rewarding. He’s a top notch story teller with a master’s touch in developing characters and theme. To quote The Bard “He doth polish yon turds.”

It’s more of the same with this sparse trade paperback. Sparse. Trade paperback. SPARSE. Busiek takes what should be a turd – Earth invaded by intergalactic Auctioneer who steals landmarks and superheroes with the standard impunity while spitting satirical jargon and interacting with slapstick cohorts – and turns it into a tropical smoothie. It’s not his standard gourmet meal but, hey, it’s pallatable, and it’s decent filler material which rises above the mediocrity it was destined for.

Busiek’s trademark inner monologues, realistic dialogues and sense of introspection add a touch of depth to what should have been a bland rock-em-sock-em frag fest. There wasn’t much space, not enough pages, to turn this into a proper Busiek masterpiece, but he salvages (pun!) what he can, and gets a high enough price for it.

As a standalone story, this arc would deserve a 3 out of 5 star rating as it borders just a notch above average and is ultimately enjoyable. However, the decision to make this into a deluxe TPB, and then pad out the length of the book with throwaway vintage Superman work (while gorgeous, it certainly not essential here, thematically or logically) was a poor move. The value for the dollar just isn’t here at all, and it’s existence is unjustified. Rent it from the library, borrow it from the internet, but don’t buy this book unless you’re an absolute completionist.

WOLVERINE: The Best There Is – The Complete Series (TPB) – Charlie Huston and Juan Jose Ryp. 1 out of 5 stars.

Wow, what a s###er this is! But in a way, I guess I’m OK with it.

At least this dredged offal has the courtesy to barf all over the reader in the first few pages. It saved me a couple hours of reading, and thankfully the book was a free rental (shout out to the wifey on the surprise gift, I owe you one!). It’s just garbage man. The publishers could have discovered a 1980’s preteen metal head’s collection of peachy-folder artwork and classroom doodles and released them interchangeably. This stuff reminds me of when a lot of comics were just DUMB stuff produced to fill slots on metal grocery racks and nothing more.  I’ve had a better time reading the backs of straight to VHS horror film boxes than this. Check out some photos:

wolverine the best there is

As grown men who wrote and drew this panel, the authors have much to be ashamed of…

wolverine the best there is

This beautiful piece gathers the Holy Trinity of shitty juvenilia in one panel: Sophisticated Takes on Alcohol Consumption, Severed Goblin Head and Swarm of Flesh Eating Mice-Rats. 

My back issues of Deadworld and Gore Shreik are ashamed for me.

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