Tuesday, January 31, 2012


My pal Alan David Doane submitted the above logo within hours of my
announcing the “DESIGN A NEW LOGO FOR TONY” contest.  While I like
it, I think the “A” and “B” are too similar.  Of course, the major
flaw is that, as Sainted Wife Barb knows all too well, no one can
make me presentable.

Keep the logos coming my friends.


I’m as current as I’m going to get on Iron Man comics until I get
the next batch from the good buddy who lends me his comics.  Here
are my notes:

The Mandarin’s origin was more or less told in Invincible Iron Man
#1 [August 2010].  It was unrelentingly brutal, which is a
common trait in many super-hero comics.  Writers get their hands on
a villain and try to make him more insane, more murderous, and more
vile.  The Mandarin was a creature of his era.  I’m not convinced
he needed to be brought back into the Iron Man comics. 

If I were writing Iron Man comics, I would’ve revamped the Mandarin
completely and tied him to the Chinese government.  The deplorable
conditions in the Chinese sweatshops from whence comes the products
Americans so eagerly buy, our massive debt to China, and the sheer
size of their population and resources, all those strike me as far
more scary and filled with story possibilities than what Marvel’s
done with the character.

The “Hammer Girls” storyline in Invincible Iron Man #25-33 wasn’t
bad until the end in which two additional villains were revealed.
Comics writers, even really good ones like Matt Fraction, need to
be more creative.

Invincible Iron Man #500 combined various Iron Man titles to reach
that lofty number and focused on a future version of the Mandarin.
Big yawn there.  But issue #500.1 was just a wonderful little tale
of Tony Stark going to an AA meeting.

It was all downhill from there.  A Doctor Octopus story felt flat,
save for some nice moments with Pepper Potts.  Then we got into the
vile “Fear Itself” crossover issues.  Ugh!

Fear Itself is pretty much everything I hate about big crossovers
and Marvel’s asinine “break the toys again and again” concept of
super-hero storytelling.  In the Iron Man issues, the citizens of
Paris are turned to stone, smashed, and, near as I can tell, wiped
out.  It’s the big body count and violence of Hollywood’s failure
of creativity and imagination.  One of the great cities of Europe
has its people slaughtered and its cultural heart ripped out of its
steaming ruins.  Wanna bet Marvel doesn’t come close to examining
the ramifications of that?  Oh, yeah, and Tony Stark jumps off the
wagon again.  Ick and double ick.

Fraction’s first years on Invincible Iron Man will keep me reading
the title for now, but it’s on notice.


Iron Man 2.0 stars War Machine and is written by Nick Spencer.  If
I had to describe my overall reaction to it, “ambivalent” would do
the job.  It’s a so-so comic book in a world where I don’t have the
time or inclination to read so-so comic books.

The “Palmer Addley is Dead” storyline isn’t awful.  I figured out
what was going on in the first issue, but I’m something of a writer
myself so that’s no big.  However, even taking into account a trio
of dumb “Fear Itself” issues, the story has been running too long.
I think I read somewhere that the title has been canceled, so I’ll
probably stick around through its final issue.  If it hasn’t been
canceled, it would take a stellar conclusion to the “Palmer Addley”
stuff to keep me reading it.


I read some more issues of Action Comics and Batwoman.  Here are my
brief notes on them.

Grant Morrison’s Action Comics is losing its luster for me.  Issues
#3 and #4 didn’t focus on “Superman the Young Rebel” as much as had
previous issues.  If Superman is not the authority-defying champion
of the oppressed and he’s not the big blue boy scout, he’s not
interesting to me.  My preference would be for more down-to-Earth
stuff and what we’re getting are alien monsters. 

Action Comics #3 bugged me because DC charged readers an extra buck
for promo material.  Issue #4 bugged me because the Steel back-up
read like an afterthought.

What bugged me even more about Action Comics #4 is that the story
will be continued in Action Comics #7.  This is why I thought doing
52 new titles at once was a bad idea.  An interrupted story within
the first half year?  That’s pathetic.  I’ve been there, done that,
still feel bad about it.

I enjoyed Batwoman #2-4 with the exception of one plot development.
I’ll get to that after I tell you how much I’m still digging J.H.
Williams III’s art.  From a storytelling standpoint, it’s not what
I generally enjoy, but it’s so moody and powerful that it draws me
in.  I’ll read Action Comics because it’s hard for me to turn away
from a Superman comic book.  I’ll read Batwoman because I want to.

That one thing? Cameron Chase.  I am bored silly with hero-hating
government types.  If I were writing this character, I’d give her
greater super-powers, have her try to use them to help people, and
get hunted down, captured, and tossed in a stateside Guantanamo by
obsessed feds like herself.  It’s probably not healthy to wish bad
things on characters I dislike, but, believe me, she’d be getting
off easy compared to what I do to some others.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2012 Tony Isabella

1 comment:

  1. I was reading the Bob Layton "Armor Wars" paper back collection a month ago. If they did this today it would be drawn in the ultra realistic style all cartoonists are required to have. The new wave of artists just make me want to look the other way. My current comics purchases are restricted to the DC and Marvel animated movies that are relased a few times each year.