Comics Say The Darnedest Things – due
It’s a simple trio-stack of comics this past week and they’re all itching to ask a few things, so let’s not pussy-foot around, let ‘em have their mike. Here’s Conan: The Weight of the Crown.
Conan: Ryan, what is best in life?
I want to say a Darick Robertson one-shot about you, sir.
Conan: That would be correct.
But I don’t think I can say it, gracious Cimmerian warrior. It’s a simple set up, a nice done-in-one, Darick Robertson’s blood spattered art all through the times before the oceans drank Atlantis, he’s even on writing so it’ll have a pure tone. I want to say it is what’s best in life, but it just isn’t. It’s certainly good, though.
Conan: Name me three things good about the issue and you may keep your head, whelp.
Well, no pressure…the cover is good. A nice iconic image and we get to see instantly how Robertson will draw the mighty barbarian. Sometimes Conan isn’t always drawn to my liking, he’s like Matt Murdock in that respect, but Robertson seems to have a good handle on him. The brow is low, the body is thick but not completely freaky, and the expression is always grim, or at least real.
Conan: Good continue, tell me more that you liked about us this week. Two more.
The battles look good, Robertson knows how to capture just that right moment as someone is killed, torn apart, skewered on a sword, or decapitated. He gets that right freeze frame that tells so much. I must also commend Robertson on his ending. It rang very true for me, Conan was gracious yet still real about the death that he could mete out, if necessary. Oh, and the sketches at the back were fantastic, because it’s a one-shot there’s no need to hold the extras for the trade, just give it to us then and it’s very much appreciated.
Conan: Very well done, that’s four things. Whelp, come have a mead.
I’m actually working right now-
Conan: I was not asking.
Then I most certainly was not telling. Sorry.
Conan: So you thought the story was good? Grand, even?
How many meads have you had?
Conan: I care not to count my drinks, but wenches, ah, that’s a number to always whittle onto something nearby. Why?
No reason, I wasn’t wondering if I would be able to outrun you. Anyway, here goes; the story is okay but it just didn’t ring true. Sure, Conan is a mercenary, a barbarian, but I never really saw him as being this much of a prick before. I know he just lost his love and he’s upset, it happens to the best of us, but watching him ruin this village just so he could get a few rounds into him, some easy treasure and a fine bevy of wenches seemed counter productive to the Conan I know who would never let his guard down.
Conan: Ah, yes, those particular wenches were fine.
With Robertson behind them, yes, sir. But Conan would surely never get himself into a position where soldiers were dying, the village had no supplies, and innocents around him suffered for his pride and ignorance. For me, and I’m no exact Conan expert, it just seemed a tad off. Right for a barbarian, perhaps wrong for this barbarian.
Conan: Have you ever buried the woman you love?
No, I haven’t.
Conan: THEN YOU KNOW NOTHING OF GRIEVING AND EMOTION! Give the Cimmerian his due, it was a rough time and his head was elsewhere. You know he goes on to be a king later, and a mighty splendid one, so where do you think he learnt these lessons?
Probably in this one-shot.
Conan: Good answer, whelp. Now, fetch me what is truly best in life.
How shall I fetch the crushings of your enemies as they are driven before you? And the lamentations of the women may be a tad hard to procure.
Conan: No, idiot. Fetch me more Conan comics, perhaps some drawn by that divine Cary Nord.
Can do…later. Thanks Conan, now here’s the third issue of one of the greatest comics ever produced, S.W.O.R.D. How’s things S.W.O.R.D?
S.W.O.R.D: Not so good, my friend. Times are tough.
I do not know what you are talking about, sure Gyrich is putting all of the aliens on Earth into custody and planning on shipping them out, including Agent Brand, but you guys work on it and it’s a great issue.
S.W.O.R.D: You think so?
Yeah, I do. S.W.O.R.D. is one of the few titles where I really just enjoy the heck out of myself while I’m in there. You bring the laughter, the awesomeness, and a great story matched by writing and art from sure to be superstars (well, already superstars, but only getting better) Kieron Gillen and Steven Sanders. This is one of those little secrets that I can see growing into a real cult phenomenon across the Marvel U.
S.W.O.R.D: I think it was a little too small of a secret, Ryan. We’ve been cancelled.
WHAT‽ That’s ridiculous, you’ve only had three issues out, how can this have happened?
S.W.O.R.D: Sales started at 15 and just kept the usual decline. There was apparently no hope that we’d ever bounce back.
Absolute garbage. Three issues and cancelled. You were barely given a chance.
S.W.O.R.D: We’ll go til the fifth issue, a nice rounded arc, and then we’re gone.
But there’s so much story that you could go on with. What about S.W.O.R.D., what about Lockheed, what about Unit? Where will these things go, and will Death’s Head pop up anywhere else?
S.W.O.R.D: There are no certainties for the future. We’ve not been told what happens after we break up, we’ll probably never see each other again.
How is Lockheed taking this news? First they say Kitty is coming back in another title, then this. He’d be pissed.
S.W.O.R.D: No one’s told him yet, he was already so angry about so much.
Can we take this movement underground?
S.W.O.R.D: McCoy’s working on something, but don’t tell anyone.
Mum’s the word. As is AWESOME and COMIC and I’ve been saying those for ages about you but nobody managed to hear that, so we should be safe. I guess all I can say is that I’m excited to see where this arc will end up.
S.W.O.R.D: You know what I think the problem was, Ryan? People just said the comic was awesome and didn’t always explain exactly how and why. I want you to give it a go for me, consider it a parting gift.
Hey, don’t talk like that, man, we still have two more issues to celebrate. But, for you, anything. Here goes, and listen up people; issue three of S.W.O.R.D. starts with Agent Brand in jail, all a part of Gyrich’s stupid scheme to rid Earth of every single alien entity. Gyrich acts like a dick and Beast shoots him down a lot in some very good writing. Agents try to capture Lockheed but he’s not having any of it and trashes them while getting away, and even in that scene we get a good joke in. Beast discovers Unit has been helping the other team as well, and we get the crazy origin of Unit and what he’s really about, it’s an exercise in patience, a lot of power, and one wicked little brain. Very well written, and drawn. Gyrich has Beast arrested for collusion and then Beast works his plan out. The plan has to do with life-support goo and Death’s Head. It’s well done and the back and forth between Brand and Beast is always quick, and the characterisation of Death’s Head really is one of the best comebacks in a long time. Anything else I should add?
S.W.O.R.D: Yeah, the Mysterious Spooky Signal from issue one finally makes it’s origin known as the Metroliths hit Earth.
Oh, yeah, those things look awesome, great splash page. Wow, that’s one packed issue, I can’t believe so many people missed it to read Cry For Justice and whatever comic has Ultimate at the start of it.
S.W.O.R.D: Well, to be fair, even Bendis and Maleev opened Spider-Woman to a relatively small crowd. Everyone’s got it tough all over.
You’re a gentleman to the end, S.W.O.R.D.
S.W.O.R.D: A very near end at that. I’m off to go mail some more S.W.O.R.D. postcards to Marvel.
Good work. I’ll go chat to Daytripper again. How are you, you crazy Brazilian comic?
Daytripper: Life is good. Our main character is back alive this month.
He was resurrected? Wow, death in comics really doesn’t mean a thing.
Daytripper: No, he’s not back from the dead, we just looked back into his life. The first issue had him much older, this time he’s just 21.
21, a great time to be alive. I like that Bras is obviously the same person, we can see who and how he’ll become the man from issue one, but he looks and acts slightly differently. You’ve nailed that progression of time aspect, and that people do change over time and are affected by their circumstances.
Daytripper: That’s exactly what we were going for.
I figured as much. I read this issue and then went back and read the first. I wanted to see how things connected. Do you think this will read better in trade, so people can instantly flip back, or will still have the information and names in their head because they just read the issue prior, or do you think the floppy experience will stretch it out a bit better?
Daytripper: I guess that depends. Would you rather just be told about your entire life, right now, everything that will happen, in one big sit down chat, or would you prefer to live your life for the next sixty years, or so, and slowly amass all the pieces that make up who you are.
I know my answer, but others will differ.
Daytripper: Then they will have the other option to wait for, won’t they.
They certainly will, well put. This issue shows us Bras as he travels with his best friend. We see how little things, minor decisions, affect Bras so deeply and strongly. It’s such a snapshot of life. I’m really digging the vibe, it’s laid back and meaningful at the same time. Like being told a historic tale over a fine ale at a beer garden on Sunday morning. It’s not didactic, yet if you pay attention you’ll really pick up on things. I get the feeling like I’m learning more about Bras, more about Brazil, and a lot more about the creators, Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba.
Daytripper: I’m sure you are.
The story mesmerised me as Bras spent a day with this mysterious girl he finds in a boat out in the water. He gets to know her, and I guess he also gets to know more about himself, cliché as it sounds.
Daytripper: Clichés are just that for a reason, because they happen a fair bit. Bras is living his life, and sometimes you have to be shown how to do this to the best of your ability.
I guess so. So, where will we see Bras next?
Daytripper: You will most assuredly find out next month, I could never ruin such surprise.
I wonder if he’ll be ten, or late twenties. It offers up possibilities for such varied stories.
Daytripper: And such diverse lessons.
Nice. I love that there’s a smart comic on the stands that’s literary, well drawn, and it makes you think. Think about so much.
Daytripper: To think is to eventually know, or at least try to, and sometimes they’re the same thing.
Nice, let’s end on that. Thanks for coming along guys.
Posted on January 17th, 2010 by ryan
Filed under: comics