Thursday, September 15, 2011

Old Habits Die Hard

As anyone who even dabbles in comic collecting can tell you, DC has relaunched all of their titles and reset everything to #1. I, like many people, thought it was a marketing gimmick. On the other hand, I've been wanting to dive in to DC for a long time, but have always gotten lost in the mire of storylines, history and references that come along with characters that have been around for 50+ years. I know my Batman and Lobo well enough, but as much as I want to really dig in to titles like The Flash or Green Lantern, I get left behind when I realize I have no clue who these bad guys are or what's so monumental about what they're saying / doing. DC relaunch? Hmmm. Sounded interesting, but I was skeptical. I figured, just give it a few issues and they'll start referring back to shit that happened 16 years ago.

I've always been more of a Marvel guy. Spidey got me into comics when I was a kid and Punisher drew me back in when I was in high school. Marvel answered back to DC's move by relaunching all their Ultimate titles, but I'm just not interested in anything but The Ultimates and maybe Hawkeye. That leaves new Spider-Man and X-Men in the dust. Wha-HUH????

So I read Justice League #1. I loved it from the first panel. Awesome art. Great interaction between Batman and GL. Amazing run-in with Superman that leads to the inevitable Bat / Supe fight next issue. I've heard plenty of bitching form the DC fans already. The cool part is, I seriously AM jumping on right now after being put off by the dozens of layers of back story which contradicts itself anyway. See also: X-Men. My mind is a clean slate (as always) and so far these reboots are making me excited for DC stuff! Superpowered beings are looked at with suspicion and hunted by the Army / authorities. Last night, I read Men of War which looks like it'll be showing that fight from a soldier's perspective and that soldier is SGT. ROCK!! For some unknown reason, I was pumped to read a title called Frankenstein: Agent of SHADE. Ok. Not really a strange reason. A bizarre comic with monsters shooting and ripping folks apart led by f'ing FRANKENSTEIN. Actually, it's Frankenstein's MONSTER, but I won't pick.

This is the biggest point. I read comics for over-the-top, escapist fiction complimented by great art. I'm not into the black-and-white graphic novels focusing on someone's spiral into depression or their lovelife (which usually leads to a spiralling depression) and I'm not interested in tearing everything down as an analogy for life. You like that kind of thing? Fine. Enjoy. Give me monster armies and people with super powers any day. For anyone who's read SKINNERS, this should be no revelation about my psyche. Say what you want about how the new DC titles fit into existing history. To me, it feels fresh and most importantly FUN! Marvel's, on the other hand, seem like more of the same.
Seriously, if I have to read one more time about how sad and picked on the mutants feel before Prof. X or whoever bands them together, I'll gag. They killed off the original Ultimate Spider-Man and now there's some new kid who will just happen to get the SAME powers that Peter Parker got BY ACCIDENT? I was there for the first reboot when Marvel launched their Ultimate titles in the first place. I loved them then and love them now. ANOTHER reboot?? ANOTHER kid gets to swing about joyously until he learns about responsibility? Next thing you know, there'll be yet ANOTHER X-Men storyline where someone develops a "cure" for mutations.
Some random mutant who's brooding: "Don't you want to be NORMAL? This (fill in the blank treatment) will give us our normal life back. It will cure us all!!"
Some other mutant: "Being a mutant isn't a DISEASE!!! (tear rolls down their cheek) It's who we are."

Maybe this is the same sort of bitching that longtime DC people are saying about this reboot. I guess the Marvel ones seem stale because I've been with Marvel for as long as I've read comics. Have I given up on Marvel? Hell no! Have I jumped onto this DC bandwagon? For now...hell YES! So far, I like what I see. It's cool, well written / drawn, and fun. That's all I want in my comics. It's a win-win situation for me as well as the dude who runs my local comic shop.

One little caveat to my Marvel rant: I went to the comic store after having talked myself into taking the higher road and letting that new Ultimate Spider-Man swing right by me. Then I saw there was only one more issue of #1 on the shelf and it was in a cool plastic cover. Just ONE LEFT!! Maybe I should at least read the first issue before I complain. Give Spidey a chance. I bought the damn thing, but haven't read it yet. I think that comic shop dude saw me coming and hid all but one of those Ultimate Spideys. Evil freaking genius. Ultimate X-Men #1 will NOT suck me in!!!!

This is what happens without editors

I'm Marcus Pelegrimas, author of the SKINNERS series. Here you'll find various ramblings about movies, video games, TV, and...oh yeah...those books I write. If there's anything you'd like to discuss, just let me know. I try to update whenever the mood strikes me, so feel free to leave comments. There may be some occasional foul language, but anyone who's too easily offended probably doesn't read my stuff anyway.

Free Stuff

Here's how it goes. As usual, I've got my truckload of promo covers from EOS Books. I'll be going to some conventions, so I hope to see you there and I'll gladly sign your books. If you can't make it to a con, just email me your name, address and any inscription so I can send you a signed cover.

BONUS ---> If you would be so kind as to write up a review for any or all Skinners books and publish it on a site like, Barnes & Noble, Borders, or any other major review site, I can send you something extra. I made up some bookmarks (which I'll sign) and I've even put together some Shimmy's VIP passes (which I'll also sign). Can't guarantee the passes will get you into a real strip club, but I think they look pretty cool. Send me a link to your review along with your name, address and inscription, and I'll get these out to you as well.