Yes, despite the fact that I only bought two new comics last week (hey, where did Franklin Richards: March Madness go? I refuse to believe that it sold out in a morning) it still took me most of a week to sit down and do my reviews. Hey, there was Clor to write...and jigsaw puzzles to finish...and snowflakes to catch on my tongue. Don't you be wagging your finger at me!
52 WEEK 45: This comic is fun...sorta. I didn't get a chance to review last week's 52, but take it from me: it was in many ways as gruesome and full of violent imagery as the week before, the first 52 I really didn't care for. How gruesome? Let me put it this way: I may never eat barbecue ribs again. (Naw, I'm jus' kiddin
...they're too yummy!) The gore level is ratcheted down a notch but the violence still is kickin' into high gear as Black Adam goes absolute ape-crap over the deaths in the past issue, becoming a one-man invasion and destruction force of vengeance. The timing aspect doesn't quite work for me here: taking place over several days of one week, as so most issues of 52, makes Alan Scott and Mr. Terrific looking a little slow on the uptake. World's third smartest man, maybe, but work on the reflexes, Michael. But it's not irredeemable: there's a real sense of threat and danger and this really is the Black Adam we've been expecting would roar across the pages of 52 since the first few weeks. It's capped off by a dandy cliffhanger with an absolutely nutball Dr. Sivana (and his scared-to-pants-pooping crew) signaling next week's complete rout of Oolong Island...or maybe Sivana has something up his baggy sleeve? Hmmm, I wouldn't mind if he did!
WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?! GO WEST YOUNG MAN #1: This comic is fun. I spent all last week peering very carefully at old issues of Marvel Spectacular trying to figger out if I could erase the purple prose of Mister Stan Lee and put in a Lindsay Lohan joke. Then I read What Were They Thinking?!That's how the guys who get paid for itthe professionalsdo it. I've spoken before about what a big little fan I am of Mystery Science Theater 3000, but I'm also fond of a much-overlooked and earlier TV project sorta in the same vein: Mad Movies with the L.A. Connection. This half-hour TV show (syndicated and then re-run on Nick at Nick in the early 1990s) took old public domain films, chopped 'em up and rearranged 'em, and replaced the soundtrack with new dialogue and music. (If you haven't seen the show, you may have seen similar shorter improv bits of Whose Line is It Anyway?.) Mad Movies was an often-hilarious show (a bit hampered by some very amateur host segments), but as there seems to be no sign of it ever coming out on DVD I'm quite pleased I taped a buncha them on VHS. The What Were They Thinking?! series takes the same approach: cheesy comics of yesteryear redialogued with brand-new comedy jokes. Now, like those panelists on To Tell the Truth that would occasionally excuse themselves because they knew the mystery person, I must in fairness to little stuffed reviewing admit I know Kevin Church, writer of half this issue, guru of BeaucoupKevin(dot)com, co-creator of webcomics The Rack and Nitroglycerin, and a personal friend o' the Blog of Bull, but honestly, because of my remix-love I woulda picked this up even if Kevin hadn't contributed to it, because when I sat down with my tacos and chips to read this, I was snorting sour cream through my nose by page two. And I think we all know how painful that can be. There's four funny remixes in here: my favorite was "Savage Steel," the dramatic love story of an Indian for a Viking or something like that...geez, I dunno, there were a lot of Ikea jokes and words with that o with the slash through it that there isn't a proper HTML symbol for. In the end, this is good silly fun that's great value for money, with a lot of laughs packed on each page: it took me a good half hour to read it rather than the five minutes to read a normal comic. If you like your comics oh-so-serious, then walk away, bub, walk away. But if rappin' cowboys and Indians spouting chronologically-improbable non-sequiturs about iPods tickles your funny bone, well then, like me you'll find WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?!: GO WEST YOUNG MAN the most fun comic of the week.