Archive | February, 2013

Cutting the Sub List

11 Feb

goodbye vampire

The other day, I was reading a blog about a woman’s attempt to pare down her comic book subscription list. Her fiancée demanded it as a cost saving measure. As a comic book aficionado, I wanted to email her and demand that she stand up for her reading list. As a married man, who has already been there (and returns there every year though), I understood. So what follows is my examination of my reading list. Several books are being dropped and several potentially are being added. This will probably not mean anything to anyone but me, but it’s my blog so here goes.

Books I am definitely dropping

Two easily made this list. Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. and I, Vampire are ending (or just ended) and thus I don’t have to worry about them. Both were books I tried on a whim and fell for quickly. Sadly, I would have dropped Frank’s book soon anyway, as I don’t feel it had the same joy when Lamire left but I was really sad when I heard I, Vampire was ending. It may be a terrible name for a book but it was almost a perfect comic.

Next up was another book I just bought digitally. Suicide Squad is a book I wanted to love. Ostrander’s book from years ago was a true gem, and currently something I am trying to hunt down odd and end issues I missed. Simone’s spiritual sequel, The Secret Six, was a dark book that I loved. Over the last few months, though, I realized I was just buying this for what I wanted it to be, but never what it really was.

The final two books are print edition books that I WILL miss. The Flash and Superman though have got to go. I have loved pretty much every Flash story I have ever gotten until this series, including Geoff’s truncated run recently that returned Barry but kicked away Wally. I enjoy the art in the book a great deal, but don’t feel the writing has worked. Likewise, Superman is actually the first character I ever collected myself (my brother used to pass along his Spidey books but I never bought it). But Grant Morrison is not my cup of tea, so I stuck with just the Superman titled book. Writers I cared for came and left with alarming frequency and then came Scott Lobdell, the man who killed the Titans for me and Superboy. I tried to give his first major story a chance but I suffer through each issue. Exiting now!

Books I am considering dropping

Batman and Robin was an impulse subscription. One of my book’s last year was cancelled and my subscription was transferred to this title by DC. I like Tomasi, so I thought I would give it a shot. I cannot stand the art though, which is a major problem for a visual medium, but I have stuck around with that problem before on books. The major issue though? I CANNOT stand Damian. This will probably be moved up to the previous list before I am down typing this blog.

Demon Knights however has very good odds at sticking around. It is a strange book and one I would not normally consider buying. I am conservative male and this book is definitely not written for conservatives. I don’t like demons for obvious religious reasons but the Demon by Kirby is a fun character if handled correctly. So much could have went wrong with this book, but Cornell made it a must by. He is now gone. I am waiting to pick up my first post Cornell issue digitally when it drops a dollar. That will be the make or break point.

Books I am keeping

Aquaman, Justice League, and Green Lantern are Geoff’s books who just so happens to be my favorite writer currently in the game. I have not been thrilled with the last two like I had hoped. Until War of the Green Lanterns, I would never question Geoff on the Lanterns, but since then he seems to be cruising (and as I was writing this, a blog announced his coming departure from the book after nine years). And his Justice League book has been weak. But Aquaman has been phenomenal and I am willing to give him a little more time with the other two. Hal better be back amongst the living soon though!

Scott Snyder’s Batman is one of my favorite runs on ANY character in a long time which is surprising given my typical love/hate relationship with Batman. When he is written right, he is truly one of the greatest characters in comic books. Otherwise, I can’t do it. Snyder gets him so I am in for the foreseeable future. Wonder Woman is a similar situation. Rarely do I like her books, though I love the idea of them. I must say, though, the current book has such a fun vibe thanks to the Greek gods and Orion being around. And the art is wonderful! Though I must say, DC should have put Amanda Connor on a contract for this book day one.

I plan on staying on Green Lantern Corps and Justice League Dark for a bit longer also. Both have concepts I love and both have great writers on them. They aren’t top tier books for me but are fun on a regular basis.

The final book I will be keeping on my subscription list is the Legion of Super-Heroes. If there was ever a book I have a serious issue with it is this one. Once again, when written well, you have some of the most amazing comic books out there. However, when written bad, you wind up with something like the rebooted Legion Lost series. Levitz understands this better than anyone else, but DC tends to screw it up. Like taking seven of the most interesting characters and sending them to the present for an extended stay written by anyone but him. So the new main book has floundered. I have faith though he will get his footing, especially with his frequent collaborator on the way.

Books I plan on adding/trying

Though it defeats the point to add books, when trying to trim books, it never seems to fail. Two recent adds have happened. I will always give Giffen a trial run, so I tried and enjoyed his first issue of Threshold. Sold! Unfortunately, the current DC management seems content to not really give new ideas much more than a mini-series trial run (though they market them as on-goings) and my tastes rarely match the marketplace, so this will probably be cancelled in six-eight months and I will be sad. The other book I just added is Phantom Stranger, a book Didio has already screwed up. His origin is supposed to be a mystery! That’s the point. He is the STRANGER. And what do we know about strangers? That you don’t know who they are! So right away Didio and Geoff Johns gave him an origin and not one of the four classic ones from yesteryear, but a really bad one if you ask me. So why am I adding it to my must haves? J. M. Demattias is the only other author I will add anything he writes for DC. He came on last month and I just read the first issue. Though it wasn’t perfect, it has definite potential now.

Two books I will be adding when they debut are Justice League of America and Scott Snyder’s Superman book. Geoff has put some interesting characters on this new league book (Martian Manhunter, Catwoman, and Hawkman) and added some characters frankly I don’t care for at all (like everyone, but Geoff, I mean Vibe). So this could be a good book. And Snyder completely gets Batman, a character I truly think is difficult to write, so I think he should do great on Superman, a character I believe should be one of the easiest characters to write.

The final book I plan on adding is Green Arrow when Jeff Lamire’s debut issue hits the digital discount point. He saved JLD for a me, which was a book I wanted to love but was lacking. He also wrote an awesome book with Frankenstein, which still amazes me. Green Arrow is a character I love but who just hasn’t been hitting the target (terrible pun intended) so I hope to really love this.

The new 52 is now over a year old and many books have come and gone. Many mistakes have been made and many more have been corrected. Even more new books are on the horizon (most of which sound unbelievably bad) but Constantine could be great. As a whole, though, I am picking up a few more books now than when it began. Looking forward to what the new year has to offer.

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