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Posts tagged “Ambush Bug

Last Week’s Pulls (2-2-22)

Suicide Squad #12 looks like they’re still trying to exploit any possible synergy between last summers movie and the current Peacemaker series on HBO Max. We have Rick Flag assembling his own squad, consisting of Peacemaker and Bloodsport to take down Amanda Waller. In the meantime, Waller has the actual squad fighting a battle on Earth three. And that’s fine, because quite frankly, as long as they keep Ambush Bug around, I’m still sticking with this title.

Back in the Marvel versus DC days of the 90s, I remember constantly saying that the one real versus match I wanted to see what does Ambush Bug versus Marvel’s Slapstick. Well, this issue is about as close as I’m gonna get to that! Buggy describes their opponents as Thunderbolts – referring to the Marvel title. Well, he doesn’t see the entire word, he explains that he’s prohibited from finishing that sentence for legal reasons. It’s great stuff. Honestly  though, they feel less like Marvel ‘s Thunderbolts and more like one of those big teams of one-note villains with two word names that Rob Leifield would create for every other Youngblood issue back in the heyday of Image comics. (you can say what you want about Leifield, but when it comes to character creation, no one’s more prolific than him. And very few people have the aptitude to squeeze as many characters on a page as he does… while obscuring all their feet at the very same time!) Ambush Bugs opponent is a clown faced jokester with lots of pouches. He feels a lot like Slapstick, and the matchup goes almost exactly how I expected. I know, I know, this isn’t even the best storyline, it’s basically just background gags, but like ambush bug says, I do skim through this book every month just to look for his bits. I’m just so happy to see him in print again, and in what has traditionally been one of my favorite titles.

I also decided to pick up Daredevil, the Woman Without Fear this week. This has been a fairly good Elektra story, expanding on some themes that we were getting last year’s in Daredevil. It almost feels like they’re running the series because there were some side quests that they never managed to quite get around to in the main book. That’s not surprising, because despite the fact that Elektra‘s female Daredevil was on the cover of every issue, her arc was really more of a b storyline than it was anything else. I read that run, mostly because I’m a big fan of prison stories. Unfortunately, the premise, that the court would separate the superhero identity from the main identity, and that Matt could go to jail as a daredevil… It’s ridiculous on its face. It’s such a bizarre and implausible concept that it taints everything else. It also doesn’t help that the story had been done better 15 years ago in at Brewbakers Devil in Cell Block D, or that the middle of that run had to take a break for a couple months to participate in the company wide carnage storyline… A pause that killed their momentum dead stop.

But then again, there’s the real elephant in the room. See, this idea of Elektra taking over for Daredevil might have worked better in a different climate, Especially considering we just had the “We are all Daredevil” bit right before Matt goes to jail. It could’ve led in smoothly, with her trying to prove herself to him and prove that she can work with his ethics and his methods. But in this current era where characters are constantly gender swapped it’s become passé, it’s predictable and just tiresome. It reeks of being done for political reasons rather than an organic evolution in the story.

But that’s not the real problem.

See, Elektra is one of the worlds deadliest assassins. She’s the perfect ninja, and an amazing martial artist. In terms of skill, strictly speaking, she’s better than Matt. Becoming gender swapeds Daredevil? This is actually a demotion. It’s a step down, and really, they (the writers) know it. Reading through the woman without fear miniseries, we’re an issue three, and I don’t think they’ve actually referred to her as a daredevil ones. And they shouldn’t, she’s Elektra. She’s already an empowered, unique, highly skilled hero… And anything else really just takes away from her character.

I like the suit, but take the DD off of it and lose the blunted sais. They look remarkably stupid. If you’re going to use a stabby sword, just use the stabby sword. Put the points back on them, remove the DD, and let’s just call her Elektra. Just admit who she is, instead of trying to make this gender swap work. She already is somebody. She already is a name character… And considering that Daredevil isn’t that crazy high profile, I would be willing to bet that Elektra has just as much name recognition is Daredevil. We don’t all need to be Daredevils, after all, isn’t diversity our strength?

We don’t need lady Daredevil, we need Elektra!



Last Week’s Pulls 11/13

Man, remember ten years ago when i wold do these kind of “this week’s pulls” fairly regularly? The thing is, I don’t read a lot of new comics. New 52 REALLY broke the habit and comics have been in a sort of slow decline. But there’s DECADES of back issues and fifty cent/dollar bins out there for me to keep feeding the habit….

I got my dates mixed up. CnJ’s big indie sale was LAST week. But while I was out there, I figured I’d hit the recent release racks and fill my alliteration quota at the same time.

I’d been eagerly awaiting Batman 89, and then completely forgot about it. While I was at it, I picked up superman 78… even though I’m not a huge fan of the Christopher Reeve movies, (yes, I know that’s sacrilege). Nevertheless, playing around in these movie continuities seems like a really interesting idea and I wanted to explore them. Then, my jaw dropped. Ambush bug was on the cover of Suicide Squad. Ambush Bug! I love Aambush Bug. He’s underused (then again, that may be a blessing. Once Marvel started doing more and more Slapstick stories, they completely lost what was funny about the character in the first place) but I think his two mini series back in the 80s are some of the funniest stuff DC has ever put out. He pops up from time to time nowadays, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. His appearance of new 52 was amazing. Ambush Bug year none on the other hand, was less than triumphant.

This is… Interesting.

I like Suicide Squad, I really do. And I feel like the title is starting to get back on track what with the new movie out. It went wild in bizarre directions for a little while there, and while nothing will ever top the 80s Ostrander run, this isn’t terrible stuff. Ambush Bug is really weird here in issues #7 and #8. He’s goofy, but not quite as wacky as usual. Still, the fourth wall jokes all land, and the fact that he keeps changing costume and dressing up like the various squad characters… To see him in a Captain Boomerang costume and then a Harley Quinn one… It’s absolutely worth the price of admission.

Batman 89 on the other hand, I’m shocked that I’m so underwhelmed. I don’t understand when exactly this movie supposed to be. They’ve got Michael Keaton looking old here. White streaks on his temples like Mr. Fantastic, and it just doesn’t line up. The haircut’s weird. Michael Gough’s Alfred has a mustache and Commissioner Gordon is just a bit more fit. Still big, but that sort of 50s barrel chest big instead of Pat Hingle beer belly big. It all just feels off.

We do have to congratulate them though, they are doing the thing we all wanted, giving us more of Billy Dee Williams Harvey Dent. We’re definitely going to see him transform into his version of Two Face, and that’s got me holding on. And they’re also trying to introduce a Robin… this is one of the things I’d like to know more about. Is this supposed to be the Robin Chris Rock was up for? Because they’re calling him Drake… Tim Drake wasn’t Around yet in 1989. Certainly not as Robin. And it’s a weird costume. I’d like to know what it was influenced from.

All in all, I’m not sure I’m into this. We’re only two issues in, but it’s just too flat and too off for me. If you promise me Batman 89, I want everything to look like Batman 89. It’s a high bar.

Superman 78 on the other hand, I can’t believe how much I love this book! 

As I’ve stated previously, I’m not a huge fan of the Donner films. I don’t dislike them per se, but the gawky bumbling Clark Kent, and the chain-smoking, raspy voice Lois Lane do nothing for me. In fact, I remember liking parts three and four better because Clark got different love interests that actually cared about who he was! Things were going that direction in the comics at that time as well… With Superman and Lois Lane breaking off their long standing romance, while an adult Lana Lang, Clark’s co-anchor at WGBS, was starting to take notice an interest in him. I really enjoyed them exploring that towards the end of the pre-crisis run.

That may be what really charms me about these comics. It’s not so much that they feel like the Donner movies, as much as it is they feel like Superman comics in the late 70’s And early 80s. I’m very much a post crisis John Byrne, Jerry Ordway kind of guy, but I do have a certain nostalgia for those old days. There’s something fun about them, fun about seeing Lex Luthor as a chubby evil doer, and throwing back to a time when they actually had Brainiac well defined a knew what to do with him.

Superman 78 sees Brainiac coming to earth to collect the last Kryptonian to store him in the bottle of Kandor. It’s a perfectly straightforward set up, and gives us an excuse to visit with Marlon Brando as well as Gene Hackman, Jackie Cooper, Margot Kidder, Marc McClure and Christopher Reeve. They manage to sneak in the skeletal super powers version of Brainiac as well, and the whole thing just works. It hangs together, and pulls at the nostalgia heartstrings just perfectly. And they manage to do it all without any politics, social justice or any of the other drags that so anchor down to many modern comics. I am absolutely following Superman 78 all the way.

By the way, speaking of avoiding a lot of those things that dragmodern comics down, is anybody watching Star Trek Prodigy?

Seriously. I think He-Man gave me some renewed hope for some of these “kid” Versions of the series, so I sat down and gave this thing a try.

I’m genuinely loving it.

It’s not trying to be cynical or deconstruct anything, in fact I don’t even know what time period this is taking place in. We’re not necessarily bound by the non-confrontational and optimistic nature of humanity at the time, because we’re not dealing with humanity. It’s a rogue group of aliens who have discovered a lost starship and are learning how to fly it. Yet we still get the optimistic hopeful evolution of humanity in the holographic representation of Katherine Janeway. She feels very Star Trek. In fact, it almost feels like she is there on the bridge with these guys, trying to steer them into becoming Star Trek… I mean Starfleet. The whole thing is absolutely the most enjoyable Star Trek I have watched since the license was handed over to Bad Robot and Secret Hideout. Once again, the show is fairly devoid of social agenda and identity politics, opting instead for an interesting adventure, with moments that are adorable and other moments that are absolute punch the air events. We’ll talk more about this I think, once I get around to catching up on Stargirl again and doing a proper TV post!

Still, the comics thing was fun. We should do this again.