This time on Heroes and Villains, we’ll be looking at a variety of comics out this week and last, from a variety of genres and companies. Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on The Doomsday Clock #1, Cross #1-6, Rick and Morty #32, Rick and Morty: Pocket Like You Stole It #5, Kaijumax Season Three #5, and more… be warned, as always, there may be spoilers…
This comic came out last week, and caused quite a bit of controversy. One either loved it or hated it. This is a comic that begins the bridge between the world of Watchmen and the DC Universe proper. I have never cared all that much as whether these streams should cross, but that said, I have always viewed Watchmen as a complete story with a definitive ending, and to show us the post-Watchmen world is tantamount to blasphemy, and does nothing really but taint and dilute that work of art. Ask Alan Moore, he would be the first person to agree with me on that. Do whatever you want before Watchmen, do those mini-series from a few years back, do the game modules from Mayfair, do “The Button” as a Batman/Flash mystery, even intimate that Doctor Manhattan caused “Rebirth,” do all of that stuff, but leave the end the end.
Here’s the thing, why do the Justice League and the Watchmen need to fight or team up? Why do any of our heroes need to meet ‘God’? Those stories never work out. Remember when Grant Morrison met Animal Man, yeah, that was absolutely brilliant, but then later on somebody made ‘the writer’ a member of the Suicide Squad. Remember when the Flash visited the DC Comics offices and left a Cosmic Treadmill behind? Yeah, that was great too, until Cary Bates fought the Justice Society, and later Earth-Prime birthed Ultraa and its own Superboy. Things go too far, and they get out of hand. Sooner or later, Watchmen just won’t be special any more. No one wants that.
Now don’t let me discourage anyone from picking up Doomsday Clock. Rendered by the masterful Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, this comic is as good as it could be, and apart from making the Watchmen Earth circa 1992 far too close for comfort to Trump’s America in 2017, an error that did not help Marvel Comics’ Secret Empire in comparison, there are no complaints I could possibly have. Much like Secret Empire, this is very subjective to me. I think the Watchmen story is over, and should be left alone.
Of course I could be completely wrong here. Doomsday Clock could very well be a Flash of Two Worlds moment for readers of younger generations than me, but nevertheless I will remain a curmudgeonly old comic book guy on this. After all, there is no one breaking down the walls bringing back my Silver Age Earth-Two Justice Society, or my Dave Cockrum/Mike Grell Bronze Age Legion of Super-Heroes, are there? No one is giving me my Cary Bates/Irv Novick Flash, or my Earth-One Superman and Batman, or my Len Wein satellite era Justice League. You kids enjoy your Watchmen, I’ll be over here reading my much older comics. And don’t forget to check out JP Fallavollita‘s thoughts about this comic on The Wednesday Run.
As long as we’re talking about parallel worlds and the multiverse, this might be a good time to talk about Cross. Creator and writer Dennis Knight is not just a friend, and a frequent guest on The GAR! Podcast, but he is also one of the coolest guys ever, period, so my opinions here might be somewhat biased. Cross is a hitman who is thinking of getting out of the game and going straight, and that’s when he discovers that his doppelganger in an alternate universe is an evil terrorist out to take over the world. How do you stop yourself, in more ways than one?
Dennis’ words and ideas are brought to life by the rough and unique power of the pencils and inks of Kirk Feretzanis, in whom I see a bit of Bill Sienkiewics’ early style, just as Dennis brings a lot of street and Quentin Tarantino to the page. They are a power combination, and make Cross a rocking scifi noir adventure for mature readers. Cross has six issues out so far with a seventh coming in 2018. You can learn more about the publisher Pronto Comics at their website, and Cross can be purchased there, or at Indy Planet. Despite my bias, this book is well worth checking out, seriously amazing stuff.
Rick and Marty
We get a double dose of Rick and Morty this week, which is fine by me as who knows if and when we’ll get more on television, right? I have found the show, although I’m a latecomer, to be be quite addictive, and a hell of a lot of fun, and much more engaging and serious than it at first appeared. All that said, of course the two books out this week are at the top of my list for must get and must read. Again, bias, but hey, reviews are just opinions, and you know what they say about opinions, right? So, everyone still mad about my comments on The Doomsday Clock, simmer down now.
Rick and Morty #32 offers up the deeply disturbing and yet poignant tale of Summer and her relationship with the space car. Like the previous spotlight on Beth, this is so good, so wrong, so funny, and so perfect. Pocket Like You Stole It #5 concludes the epic adventure filled with all the madness of a regular episode, just with more space to play. Must reads for fans and soon-to-be-fans, Rick and Morty rule.
There is a scene in Ghidrah the Three-Headed Monster that I love where Mothra tries to convince Godzilla and Rodan to join forces against the new monster Ghidrah, while her fairies translate the discussion to the human leads, and one of the humans comes to the conclusion that the monsters are just like people, just as stubborn and stupid. That’s what I think of while reading Kaijumax, these monsters are just like people. Creator Zander Cannon gives us a world of kaiju, but he overlays the problems of man and the world today seamlessly onto them, and it’s pure brilliance. As with Rick and Morty, I came late to Kaijumax, but I am enjoying catching up and reading the new stuff. I love this comic, another must read.
There is not much out there this week, friends, as traditionally the last week in November is sometimes considered one of the skip weeks of the year when it comes to distribution because of the Thanksgiving holiday. There are Pink Panther and Labyrinth specials out on the shelf, as well as a handful of Annuals from DC Comics, like Aquaman, Batman, Green Arrow, and Super Sons, to name a few. And IDW brings us Star Trek Discovery #1, and if it’s anything like the TV series, it will rock! Now, where’s our Orville comic? What are y’all reading? Let us know!