Comics Load: Jumping the Shark in Roller Skates

The Comics Load is back! Brian and Chance catch you up on all your favorite titles, as well as some you may not have heard of yet. Be sure to let us know what you’re reading and recommending in the comments section. Or, if we’re not reading your favorite title, be sure to let us know. We’ve gotten some great suggestions recently and will be adding them in upcoming weeks. Now, on with the Load!

Brian‘s Load

image Birds of Prey #10
What’s not to like about an issue that showcases how Black Canary’s sonic scream is the ultimate weapon? The girl can knock out huge evil dudes and shatter handcuffs, all with the power of her throat. I myself have some pretty amazing throat-based abilities, as well, only mine never cause anything to shatter, but they do, however, almost always result in an explosion.
image Brightest Day #21
That manipulative uber Martian bitch D’Kay meets her well-deserved fiery end! Thank the stars! She even thought she was all knocked up with the Martian Manhunter’s green baby, only it turns out it was a crazy-lady hysterical pregnancy or something. What is this, an episode of Glee? Also, I kinda laughed out loud when I saw Aquaman’s severed hand just floating lazily along the coastline as a bevy of superheroes rush to help all the wounded citizens after the sense-shattering AquaWar. Wouldn’t, I dunno, one of the heroes wonder why a green-gloved hand was just hanging out at the shoreline and maybe stick it in some ice in case Aquaman needs it? Oh nooo, they have to be seen on the beach saving people and being all helpful and crap. Whatever. Some heroes are just so self-involved. Sheesh!
image Heroes for Hire #4
You know what I just realized? This comic is a total Birds of Prey rip off! Misty Knight is so totally Oracle; there’s even a moment in the story where she can’t feel her legs (Really, Marvel! Serious?). This comic is SO blatantly biting BoP that Misty lurks behind this computer interface where she calls on random heroes to perform various jobs and junk. Wow. Just wow. That being said, and I loathe myself for typing this, I actually kinda enjoy the book. Eeeeek! I should be shot, I know. But in my defense, I actually LOVE Birds of Prey, and I only sorta like this Heroes for Hire comic. So there! I’m not a total sell-out.
image The Li’l Depressed Boy #2
The Emo hipness of this very enjoyable, quirky comic chugs along in a clever, Rom-Com-y like way. Man, I sure do wish I could find a near-faceless, dough-boy, ragdoll-like depressed friend for my very own! He seems so fun, in a depressed boy kinda way, that is. Oh, and extra point to this issue for the cool invention of the “style points bowling” game – where extra points are added to your overall bowling score based on the way you throw the ball. The next time I go to Utah to visit my BF’s family, and we rock the bowling rink and I lose like I always effing do, I’m SO gonna institute “Style Bowling” into the mix. Those straight Mormons only wish they had a tenth of the eye-shearing flare I emanate just by strutting down that bowling lane! Game on, Mo’s!
image Veronica #205
Welcome back, Kevin Keller, Archie Comic’s main, openly gay character (I said openly, so don’t fret, Jughead, I’m not outing you). There’s something special about how sweet and cheesy and innocent these stories still are after all these years. And throwing a homo into this world only helps to elevate the Archie Universe beyond being a dusty old relic and into something more modern, fresh and fun! But that’s just like us gays, right? We come into a neighborhood in need of severe repair, and we bust out some major modernizing and turn that bitch out! How awesome is it being gay? SO awesome!
image Wonder Woman #608
I have a small beef with this comic. And it’s not Wonder Woman’s much hated outfit, or the new “exciting” direction, or the fact that there seems to be a new artist every issue (or mid-way through every issue), or the fact that the original writer ditched the book after, like, two issues. No, my beef is that Giganta isn’t and wasn’t ever an Amazon and therefore cannot be considered one of Diana’s “lost sisters.” Oh, and neither was the Cheetah. Soooo, what the hell, DC? You think you can toss the star-spangled panties out with the bathwater and completely rewrite the origin stories of Diana’s biggest enemies and not have us long-time Wonder-Fans notice? Whatevs! I’m also slightly bugged by the fact that Wonder Woman seems to always get gored, shot with arrows and pummeled in every issue, only to shrug it off in the following issue like nothing happened. Give the gal a break, DC. She doesn’t need to be penetrated by pointy objects every issue to prove how tough and badass she is. She be freaking Wonder Woman, people! The name alone connotes her status as comicdom’s greatest female hero. Can I get a “what-what?”
image X-23 #7
Finally a whole issue with one artist! What a revelation! It’s odd how much a single artist throughout a comic helps set a tone for a story and makes the writing connect to the reader so much better than three or four artists on a title can. I recently found out our beloved site runner Chance isn’t reading this comic. WTF, Chance! I can’t stress enough how great X-23 is. I mean, helllloooo, in this issue alone, X-23 fights sharks! Sharks! Like actual water sharks! When’s the last time you saw a sexy, dark-haired, emotionally-crippled, former deadly assassin super-clone take on a school of sharks? At least a few months, right? So get into this, Chance! Or I’ll sic the sharks on you next!
image X-Factor #216
Wait, is Shatterstar really talking golden showers with Monet? In a round about and totally, hilariously Three’s Company sort of way, yes! I implore you, gentle reader, can this book get any more awesome? Uh, shee-yeah it can, and it does in the very same issue, when “Imp the Troll” is caught “trolling” the internet, posting hateful comments about the writers who create comics. Haha. I love it. All this and Spider-Man shows up! Thoroughly enjoyable stuff.
image X-Men: To Serve and Protect #4
Lots of fun stories here, including a little exploration of X-team gay Anole (the lizard dude) and X-team straight Santo (the loud-mouthed rocky dude) and their straight/gay friendship. There’s also Hellcat and Gambit’s cray-cray date with some weird genie mermaid monster thing. And, BEST OF ALL, Dazzler and the Daughters of the Dragon roller skate for their lives against a plethora of goober villains – including M.O.D.O.K.! The best line in this Dazzler-infused story (and quite possibly in all of comicdom): “I’m the world’s greatest roller-skating mutant pop star, son! What more could I want?” Nuff said!

Chance‘s Load

image Batgirl #19
I can’t believe I’m the only gay boy who wants Wendy Harris to become a megalomaniacal supervillainess in an atomic-powered wheelchair with crazy Mad Max spikes all over it. She’s well on her way to taking on the mantle of anti-Oracle. All she needs is one final push, and she’ll be a new role model for differently-abled evil geniuses everywhere! If you doubt me, just check out this panel. Come on! That is not the face of a benevolent computer geek. Believe me, I’ve seen that face on my IT guy. Total supervillain.
image Birds of Prey #10
Wait, what happed to Cassandra Cain? I must have missed an issue somewhere. Barbara says she’s excluding her from Oracle’s services because Cassandra’s “got enough to deal with right now.” What is she dealing with? Last time I remember seeing her, she had worked up the courage (and verbal skills) to have coffee with a classmate. This new selfish Oracle kind of scares me. It’s like when I found out my friends had a party and didn’t invite me, because “we know how busy you are.” So, the only people invited to Oracle’s party are the rich Bat kids? F**k you, Oracle. I didn’t want to go to your stupid party, anyway. And, for the record, if you didn’t want me to find out about your party, you shouldn’t have posted it on Facebook. I can’t wait for Wendy Harris to take you down.
image Daken: Dark Wolverine #6
I just learned that someone called Rob Williams is taking over writing duties on Daken from Daniel Way and Marjorie Liu. Obviously, I’m concerned. Will Daken still be the sexually ambiguous psychopath we know and love? Rob Williams told Newsarama, “I’m not going to come in and just ignore it. He’s a nuanced, complex character. Exciting and dangerous. We want to retain the elements that attract people to him.” Translation: “He’s going to be straight from now on, but will still kill the occasional effeminate gay guy.” I’m watching you, Williams. Oh yes, the eyes of FBOTU are on you. And in the words of RuPaul: “Don’t f**k it up.”
image Emma #1
You probably already know that when I’m not reading comics or making veiled threats against comic book writers, I’m reading Jane Austen novels. I also love movies based on Jane Austen novels. I could probably write a few pages about why I’m a Jane Austen fanboy, but one of the big draws is the aesthetic. Everyone and everything is lovely in the Austen world, and no where is this more evident than in Emma, my favorite Austen novel. So, imagine my surprise when I bought and opened the first issue of this new Marvel series to find the artwork so…unpleasant. Character designs differ from panel to panel, and the overall troll/Hobbit look of the characters brings to mind Rankin/Bass’s animated Lord of the Rings. Jane has survived Gwynneth and zombies, so I’ve no doubt she’ll survive this, as well. But if the creators of this series were hoping to reach a younger market, why not do an anime-style Emma? Or a full-on bodice-busting comic book-style Emma? Little troll people Emma just isn’t doing it for me. And this is coming from the guy who has the audiobook on my iPod and the ebook on my iPad. Jane Austen fanboys, assemble!
image Superboy #5
Remember last month when I dismissed this book as poorly written, and you all came rushing to defend it? Well, get your defending hats on, because here we go again. Conner/Superboy broke up with Cassie a couple of issues ago, so he could spend more time in Smallville and with himself. Fine. So, why is he falling apart because Cass didn’t come to his silly race? He broke up with her. Dumped her. Told her to take a superheroic flying leap. This is the problem with hot guys. Even after they break up with you, they still want you to love them and follow them around and drive around and round the high school football field during practice, hoping they’ll see you and come over and say hi. P.S. I do love that Lori is now this bitter, old chain-smoking has-been. See? See what hot guys do to you? (Call me, okay?)
image Titans #33
Would it be so bad if Arsenal and Cheshire actually killed Slade? I know they won’t, and some goody-goody in tights will show up to remind them that heroes play by different rules and every life is precious and blah blah blah. But, seriously, does Slade play such a pivotal role that he’d really be missed? They can always bring him back in Blackest Night 2: Blackest Night-ier. So, just do it. Seriously, this story hasn’t been any fun since Roy’s cat-swinging days.
image Ultimate Spider-Man #155
I’m not spoiling anything by telling you that Spider-Man is going to “die” somehow in this book, sometime soon. I mean, “Death of Spider-Man” is right on the cover. So, it makes sense that before Peter and/or Spidey croaks, things would really start to come together in his life. J. Jonah Jameson finally confesses his inappropriate affection for the boy; Iron Man sends him a high-tech set of goo shooters; and MJ puts out. So, yeah, he’s totally going to die soon. With any luck, he’ll take Aunt May with him.
image Veronica #205
Isn’t is amazing that Kevin is such a huge success and he’s getting his own title, and he’s only appeared in one issue? This issue marks his triumphant return, and we get to learn a little more about him. He’s an aspiring journalist. He’s an army brat. He’s not a fan of Lydia Lohan. He likes binge eating, but hates show tunes. He’s a dominant top who doesn’t believe in safe words. And he enjoys marathons of Laguna Hills. Just kidding. One of those isn’t true. He’s not a binge eater at all. He’s just a glutton, like Jughead. We love you, Kevin!
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