Host Derek Coward returns to answer the seemingly simple question “What are your thoughts on Milestone Comics?”, but things are never that simple.
Host Derek Coward returns to talk about where he’s been, what he did during Black History Month and why he pissed himself off, and follows up on the Freshman Challenge.
Why Buck Wild? Why not?
From Icon’s Wikipedia Entry:
Rufus T. Wild/”Buck Wild, Mercenary Man” – First appeared in Icon #13 “It’s Always Christmas” (May 1994); Buck Wild possessed “belief defyin’ strength” and “tungsten hard skin”, but spoke as if he came from a blaxploitation film. He was a hero to the local folks, but he also took money for his work. It was revealed in his first appearance that when he received his powers in 1972, his brain had been frozen, which explains his outdated speaking patterns. Wild was clearly a parody of Marvel’s Luke Cage, complete with afro, gold headband and yellow shirt unbuttoned to the navel. In his next appearance, he is recruited to take Icon’s place—costume included—when Icon returned to his home planet. Rocket (Darnice) used her Inertia Belt to carry him, making him appear to fly. Buck’s time as Icon II was short-lived, as he gave his life in order to stop Oblivion, a mass murdering alien foe of Icon. In an issue devoted to his funeral, it is revealed in a series of eulogies from his enemies (although it is unclear how trustworthy these eulogies are) that he had taken several other costumed identities, all of them parodies of other famous black superheroes. According to these eulogies, Buck once used an experimental growth serum which turned him into the gigantic “Buck Goliath” (a pastiche of Black Goliath). While working with a Captain America-type known as Patriot, he called himself “Jim Crow” and wore a winged costume allowing him to fly (as with Falcon). As “Buck Lightning” (Black Lightning), Buck wore a wrist apparatus that generated lightning bolts. At the funeral, Kingfish (a take on Kingpin) used the legendary Ruby Begonia gemstone to bring him back to life, now able to generate green smoke, the sound of drums tolling doom, and a ghost-like double which could possess others and make them do his bidding (Brother Voodoo). Darnice, however, tells him that his time on earth is over, at which Buck removes the Begonia stone and allows himself to die. Icon recounts that Buck serves as an example to all of us of how we can be heroes wherever we are.
Icon has been labelled as The Black Superman and this seeming redundancy causes him to get disregarded. (Even though Superboy, Superboy Prime, Supergirl, Captain Marvel, Black Adam, Mon-El/Valor/M’Onel and the whole planet of New Krypton don’t seem to have that problem).
Hardware has already made an appearance in The Brave and The Bold teaming up with Blue Beetle and even though he was the typical “angry black hero” who doesn’t want to team up with Jaime, at least he was being used. AND the issue hinted at what could possibly be a long term storyline for Hardware. Personally, I just want him to start a new company with John Henry Irons because I’m sick of Lexcorp stuff being everywhere.
Blood Syndicate isn’t technically one character, but they have almost always been treated as one monolithic entity and a lot of creators have rarely used just one or two of the individual members. Not to seem to glib about it, but I’m not even sure if most people are aware they have names.
Of course, the one Milestone character (outside of Static) who will probably get used in the DCU is the top Milestone villain (sorry Alva): Holocaust. Not only is he an angry black drug dealing gang banger with a secret middle class background but he has the added benefit of being offensive to a lot of the Jewish population.
Of course there are other characters, but these are the big ones.
Like I said, I just hope DC does a better job with the Milestone character than Marvel did with the Malibu characters.
Simply put, this book was a joy to read. I had almost forgotten how much I liked these characters. This might not be a good jumping on point (Someone who is jumping on will have to make that determination), but for those who read the original stories, this is either the beginning of a good jumping BACK on point or the beginning of a last hurrah. I’m not sure what’s going to happen with these characters or the Milestone Universe as a whole, but I am going to sit back and enjoy the ride.
BTW: It seems like Dwayne McDuffie had a lot more fun writing this issue than his entire Justice League of America run. I could be wrong but that’s how it seemed to me.
Mike, Micah and Bill discuss tossing Pizza, fancy sodas, Strange Tales, Stumptown, Punisher The List, Icon, Milestone, Young Liars, Ninja Cowboy Viking, Haunt, Sweet Tooth, Titanium Rain, RASL, Growing Up with Comics, Streets of Gotham, Gotham City Sirens, Vengeance of the Moon Knight and much much more. TV discussion includes Cougar Town, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Clone Wars, Flash Forward and Glee. Not too many movies but we talked about Trick r’ Treat. Grab you iPod and join us for fun in the sun. Wahoo!
Top Of Pile (the comic that I am looking most forward to reading): Criminal #10 is the conclusion of the second story called Lawless. This was another great chapter and it is easy to see why it won Eisner Awards for Best Writer and Best New Series. This Ed Brubaker guy can put together a pretty good story. The ending of Lawless was not what I was expecting, but that is a good thing. Too often crime stories either end with everybody dead or with an ending that the Comic Code Authority guys would be happy with. I’m happy to say that Lawless ended logically. Unfortunately, the next issue of Criminal won’t be out until February while Sean Philips finishes Marvel Zombies 2. However, I’m not complaining because when it comes back, there will be a longer page count. If you haven’t been reading Criminal, pick up the trade of the first story arc called Coward, which is out now. The Lawless trade should be out in time for Christmas.
Bottom Of Pile (the comic that I have high hopes for and I want to take my time and savor it): There’s something that I want to set straight about this title. The writer is Si Spencer who everyone touts as a writer of the BBC series Torchwood. The only problem is, his story was never actually made for Series One and it doesn’t look like it is on the schedule for Series Two. This is a minor point and doesn’t really affect the quality of Vinyl Underground, but in almost everything that I have read about this series, that fact is thrown out there. There are a few similarities between Torchwood and Vinyl Underground, but nothing that could be considered blatant trademark infringement. The first issue entertained me enough to want to really read the second one. The story that is being told seems like it would be better suited as a BBC show simply because of all the references to music. I like it so far and I will be sticking around for at least the first story arc. This book should be read with some Northern Soul or Stax R&B in the background.
Read Of the Week (The best thing that I read this week): I know that this is supposed to be a superhero comic book, but it reads like a Kung-Fu epic. I wasn’t really into getting this title because as much as I liked the old Power Man/Iron Fist series and the Iron Fist mini by Jurgens and Guice, I was done. I didn’t think that there was anything that could be done with the character that could make him interesting again. I was wrong. I am a big believer that the way to rejuvenate superheroes is to strip away all of complexity and focus on their core. It has worked for Batman (who is more detective than he has been in a long time), Hulk (forget the MPD and spy stuff, once he got back to smashing things he started to regain his popularity) and now it is working with Iron Fist. He’s a Kung Fu guy and he should be doing Kung Fu things. Now that he’s back to doing Kung Fu things, he’s good again. Of course it doesn’t hurt to have Matt Fraction and that Ed Brubaker guy writing those Kung Fu things. And David Aja should be the biggest star in comic book art. I never read much by the guy before, but now I’m a fan. The first six issues are collected in a trade called The Last Iron Fist Story, pick it up.