All posts by Derek Coward

I am the host of the Comic Book Noise podcast.

OK, punishment’s over

I decided to end Marvel’s punishment early because I kept hearing about Civil War #7. (Don’t judge me, a good parent knows when to cut a wayward child some slack and when to be a hard ass.) The very first review I read was by the esteemed Augie DeBlieck and he was underwhelmed by the final chapter to Marvel’s latest event. The forum postings that I read (which I consider to be short form reviews) and I got the same sentiment. The only people who seemed to even like it was the same small bunch of Marvel apologists that have been saying how great Civil War has been since BEFORE the first issue.

It seemed like I could not get an unbiased review of the thing. The people who hated the series hated the ending. The people who loved the series loved the ending. The people who were ambivalent about the series were ambivalent about the ending. So if I wanted to get a good sense of the final issue, I would have to read it myself.

I read it and I thought that it was easily the best chapter of the story since the first issue. There were things that I just didn’t get (like the prison guards "locking" the doors and trapping everyone in the Negative Zone… huh?) and a couple of things that I thought required a little too much of a suspension of disbelief (I can buy a marauding Atlantean army lead by Namor, but how in the hell did they know where to go when it seemed like Cloak was teleporting them to an almost random location?) and something that I just flat out hated (Tony Stark wouldn’t build protections against the Vision into his armor? Come the f–k on!)

However, all of the bad things were outweighed by a single scene. The scene that a lot of people didn’t like. The scene where Steve Rogers had Iron Man down (after playing dirty) and he could have ended the life of his friend turned foe. He was stopped. Not by his seemingly vanished moral compass or his tiny little conscience, but by the people. I loved the fact that it wasn’t a superpowered gang of costumed thugs that stopped him, but a bunch of brave Regular Guys.

These were guys who could have been killed at any moment because they were in the middle of a war that they didn’t cause, a war that they had absolutely no control over (We can recall, impeach or elect the other guy in the real world) and ultimately a war that was dumped right on their doorsteps. They were right in the middle when other people were being moved out of the way. Unlike everyone else there, they had no belief that they were going to survive the next few minutes. And when the time came, they did what everyone else around there thought they were doing–The Right Thing.

Captain America Steve Rogers was a supervillain at that moment and he had a superhero who had the trust of the people in his clutches. (It reminded me of that scene in Spiderman 2 on the subway when the New Yorkers got in Doc Ock’s way. Only better because it didn’t have a bullshit "We won’t tell anyone" scene.) Only when he was confronted by the realization that he was on the wrong side did he finally snap out of it.

When I say he was on the wrong side, I mean that he wasn’t on the side of the innocent people. He wasn’t trying to make a bad situation better, he was trying to protect a skewed view of what was right. The series started with children dying. Rogers lost sight of that fact. He only saw that someone was telling him to do something that he didn’t want to do. Throughout the series, you saw times where Iron Man wasn’t sure if he was doing things the right way. You NEVER saw that with Steve Rogers, you only saw the single minded adherence to the idea that "I’m right because I see how things are supposed to be." That is only a short step away from the "Do this because I say so" mindset that a lot of fascists, dictators and tyrants hold.

I’m glad that the "character" of Captain America remained inside of Steve Rogers. I’m also glad that Rogers did some jail time. Anything else would have been insulting to anyone reading it. I liked the way that they established a bunch of new heroes. The Fifty state initiative looks very interesting and I am actually looking forward to some of the stories that are going to come out of this.

A lot of people said that this issue was anticlimactic and I can’t see that. I hate to compare this to anything else and would prefer to let it stand on its own, but I think that the last few pages of this issue can be compared favorably to the last few pages of the last issues of Crisis on Infinite Earths, Infinite Crisis and even Watchmen. The endings of all those stories weren’t about ending or finality, but rather they all gave a sense of beginning that was just starting.

Civil War wasn’t a perfect event and I didn’t like most of the story that was told, but this issue was a great first step towards the future of the Marvel Universe and for the first time in a long time, I’m curious to see what that future is.

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DNCBNoise Redux?

I want to take another look at the Deliberate Noise: Comic Book Edition episodes and see if I still feel the same way about those issues.

The thing that really got me to wondering about that stuff was this post I saw on Loren Javier’s site (One Diverse Comic Book Nation).

I will admit that my early ideas about “re-working” Milestone Comics was built upon a desire to bring the titles more into the mainstream, but this post clearly reminds me about what the mainstream was back then and how brutally insipid the pre-Milestone ideas about non-white (or green) characters were. The funny thing about that time period is that I knew of more Black comic book characters who rode skateboards than actual Black human beings who rode skateboards.

Now comes the painful part: Listening to the old episodes with the bad equipment and the host with ABSOLUTELY no idea what he was doing. 🙂

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How would you react?

Let’s say you have two friends: Marvin and Dick.

Now Dick is older, a little more set in his ways, tells some really long, bad stories and tries to be funny a little too much. Dick is also a little full of himself at times. He also has a tendency to fart uncontrollably and has at times crapped himself. He always apologizes and tries to real hard to not crap himself again, but the farts always fly.

Marvin is younger than Dick and, in a lot of ways, is a lot more together. He is funny, talented, has a way of making you feel like a long time friend from the first time he meets you. At the same time, he can be more than a little abrasive and does things without thinking them through.

Like I said, these are your friends and you’ve been through a lot with them. There have been times when you thought that they were your only friends.

Lately, Dick has been on the straight and narrow. He has gotten his shit together and you’ve noticed that Dick doesn’t smell as bad and his long stories aren’t as bad. He still farts a lot, but not to the point of crapping himself.

Marvin, on the other hand, has gotten increasingly more abrasive and obnoxious. He thinks he’s still witty, but he is becoming more and more boorish as time goes on. It’s like he’s going out of his way to alienate people and although he’s been your friend, he looks at you and says “I don’t care what you think of me. I may have my faults, but at least I don’t stink like Dick does.”

My question to you is, how would you react?


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Comic Book Noise No. 3 is now online

Welcome to Comic Book Noise No. 3 featuring a look at the term “Golden Age”, a Random Comic Review of Quantum Leap 13, a Creator Profile of Michael Avon Oeming and a change is made to the current trivia contest. 21 minutes.
Here is the direct download link: Download Link

Comic Geek Speak podcast website
Don Markstein’s Toonopedia
Michael Avon Oeming’s website
Here is the picture of Foot Soldiers No. 1 (coming from Dark Horse in January 2006):
Foot Soldiers No. 1 by Alex Ross

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Comic Book Noise No. 1 is now online

Welcome to Comic Book Noise No. 1. The show features an explanation for the name change, a Creator Profile on Stan Lee, a Random Comic Review on Gotham Central No. 3, and details for the October contest. Here is the direct download link: Download Link

Here is Stan Lee’s Wikipedia entry, click here, which was one of the sources for the Creator Profile.

Here is a link to Gotham Central No. 3 at Mile High Comics:
Gotham Central 3
click here for details

Here’s a link for the next Random Comic Review:
Quantum Leap No 13
Click here for details

Sorry about how my voice sounded at points. Almost as soon as I started the show, my asthma started to flare up. If you listen very closely, you can actually hear me wheezing. Next time, I’ll use my inhaler before I start. Continue reading Comic Book Noise No. 1 is now online

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