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Sunday Reviews #1

Posted on November 4, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Here's my qualifications as a reviewer:

I read a lot of comics, I can type and the internet exists.


If you want to critique my reviews, feel free, but first realize I'm only marginally more intelligent than your average chimpanzee. And secondly, I can't afford a decent editor for stupid shit like this. So take a look, waste some of your precious time on paying attention to even more bullshit. And try not to be too embarrassed about reading a review about He-man and the Transformers as a grown man.


MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE #1 

The Origin of Skeletor

When I was a kid of about 7 years I had He-Man, Master of Arms, Ram-Man, Mer-Man, Cyclops, Battle Cat and Castle Greyskull toys. Those comics that came with the He-Men characters were probably my first actual comic books. I loved those things. I actually spent my own allowance on He-Men figures. One of my earliest memories was of walking into an Acme store on Waterloo Rd. in Akron, OH and taking a few minutes to decide which Masters of the Universe character to buy. If I remember correctly I bought another He-Man character, but this one was different from the original cause he had some kind of golden armor or something like that on him.


I never got the Skeletor figure before I put down my He-men figures for the Transformers. Back then the Transformers were actually made of metal for the most part. That first Optimus Prime was a solid piece of metal. It was heavy and expensive. It was decidedly better than the plastic He-Man figures, with the arms constantly falling off. 


I'm 38 years old and I still read Transformers comics sometimes. My nostalgic feelings for Transformers has held on my whole life. I'm not embarrased to admit this. Optimus Prime is one of the greatest heroic characters in fiction. I don't care if you agree with me or not. I'm secure in my nerd status, not everybody can be cool like you.


I have no nostalgic feelings for He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. But I am a fan of the artist Frazier Irving. When I saw he was drawing a Skeletor comic, I was a little bit embarrased for him at first. So I downloaded Skeletor #1 for the hell of it, figuring Irving probably turned in a halfway decent job anyway.

Well he did, but I soon learned that Skeletor doesn't come from a race of skull faced people. Disappointment #1. No rather he gets his face burned off and has some secret deal with some really creepy extra-dimensional creatures. The evil creatures are the best thing about this comic. Those are some really creepy looking creatures. My faith in Irving while at first wavered, was redeemed with the drawings of those extra creepy looking creatures. So once I realized that the writer was putting a "Wicked" spin on Skeletor (Disappointment #2. The "Wicked" spin is where the evil dude is written in a manner as to garner sympathy for them rather than being written in a manner just making him some really evil dude for the hell of it, like we all really want anyway).


To summarize, the writer Joshua Hale Fialkov took the idea of a toy called Skeletor too seriously and created some really angsty weird comic where once upon a time Skeletor was a blue faced dude who then got his face burned off and lived.

If I was the writer of this comic, I would probably be a little embarrassed having written this. 


SAGA #'S1-6

By Brian Vaughn and Fiona Staples

Yeah you probably have heard all you need to know about this comic and have already decided if you like it or not, but I'm gonna give my two bits anyway.


First off I'm largely not a fan of Vaughn's work. Besides the Pride of Baghdad, nothing of his has really impressed me. So when Saga was released I passed it up. I kept noticing though the previews spread about on the internet on every new issues release. The art looked amazing, but I kept telling myself it was written by Vaughn, it's going to be disappointing. Much like most of Brian Wood's work. I really believe Wood and Vaughn are the same guy. Great plots and ideas, but weak delivery.


Of course I had heard of Fiona Staples, but I had never seen her work before till this book. So I got the first six issues off the internet and gave em a read. Staple's work first off is amazing. Mind numbingly awesome. And Vaughn's characters while largely vapid are starting to charm me. The secondary character The Will in particular. The Will is an intergalactic hitmen wearing a cape and mask, except the mask is never on. He's a sourpuss, down on his luck cowboy type, but with a heart of gold. While the main characters story is what is driving this book, The Will's story has me coming back for more.


When the new issues are available for free on the internet I will be on it. 


TRANSFORMERS: AUTOCRACY

Published digitally by IDW Summer 2012. Print version this winter sometime.



This was a digital exclusive comic published in 12 parts through the IDW website this past summer. I hear it's getting a collected edition print version this winter. I don't spend much actual money on comics anymore, but I may pony up for a copy of this book when it's released. It's sure to be a gorgeous book.


As a long time Transformers comic fan, this series hit all my geek buttons. It combined all the better plot points from most of the diverging Transformer continuities which I am sure was no easy thing to do considering once upon a time we had a librarian Optimus Prime. The Autocracy is basically the origin of the war between the Autobots and the Decepticons in a nice new handy all in-conclusive version. The story of the beginnings of the Autobot/Decepticon war has been hinted at and show in bits and pieces in lots of previous Transformer comics, but the Autocracy gives it a thorough breakdown.


We see how cop Optimus became Optimus Autobot leader. At first making Optimus now a cop is kinda disconcerting to me. Considering I had gotten used to the odd idea that Optimus was a peace-nik librarian. How a librarian all of sudden goes from book collecting to ass kicking always seemed odd to me, but now that quandry is erased as Optimus is a full fledged ass kicker right from the start. I'm honestly not a fan of cops because I live in Florida. 99% of the cops down here are complete ego-maniac hot head assholes. So making Optimus a cop brings with it some negative feelings for me. But you know, whatever, it's better than him being a hippy lettuce smoking librarian.


Autocracy is also about Megatron and how he wins over a majority of the Cybertronian citizenry after his revelries in his series All Hail Megatron. While the story made me forget that Simon Furman was no longer the authority on Transformer writing duties, (seriously how many of you knew that Simon Furman no longer wrote the Transformer comics?) it was the art which completely won me over. It's possibly the best Transformer comic art ever. The page above is a good sampling, but it was page after page of nerdy delight with this guy as artist.


Of course we already know how this story will end, but the story was still fascinating to read in it's own way. I know I won't win over new readers to Transformer comics if you aren't already, but for Transformer comics, this is high art. Good, good stuff here. Loved every bit of this story.

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