Once every 6 months, I get that urge again. The need to sit my ass down with a pile of the latest in buzzword comics that I keep hearing about.
Buzzword comics, you ask?
Blackest Night. Shadowland. Siege. Dark insert-Marvel-title-here. Flashpoint. Final Crisis.
You know, the kind of stuff mainstream comics still keeps putting out, probably hoping that their latest offering will cause hordes of unbelievingly masses – the kind of sinners that do not read comics at all, or worse, read those fancy graphic novelly titles, or horror of horrors – manga – will suddenly discover a copy of Dark Avengers (not to be confused with Dark New Avengers, or Dark Mighty Avengers) in the spinner rack of their local bookstore. And then their eyes will pop and their hearts would beat faster, when they realize what they have been missing all along, at which point they burn their copies of Strangers in Paradise and Azumanga Daioh, and spend the rest of their lives finding out every single issue where the Avengers have appeared in, just so they can understand Dark Avengers completely.
Yes, I probably went overboard with the sarcasm. But seriously?
Fuck. This. Shit.
My latest incursion into this buzzword comics mess was something called Shadowland. All I knew about it was that it deals with Daredevil being more and more miserable, which has kind of been the theme of every Daredevil comic since 1979 (incidentally, I was born that year. That does not relate to anything I am saying right now, but just thought I would put it out there.) Apparenly this is what happened – Daredevil suddenly figures out that he owns The Hand. Which sounds vaguely dirty, but what we’re referring to here is a medieval group of ninjas that’s been a thorn in Murdock’s path ever since Franky Miller did things his way, mashing up Hell’s Kitchen with repeated readings of Lone Wolf and Cub. Ninjas in the Marvel universe, just so you know, refer to human-looking characters that jump off rooftops and then die. They are also known for talking in genre-speak – the way someone from India thinks a waitress’s speech patterns by watching True Blood, or an writer from the USA thinks a Ninja would sound like. Or, to put it more simply, Ashok Banker’s writing. Kind of like this.
Something as badly-written as Shadowland does not even require the kind of effort I am putting into explaining it, but let me see if I can break it down easily.
Oh yeah, and somewhere in the story, just to show how dark and edgy Daredevil has become, this happens.
Yes. Nothing that says ‘serious comics’ like a big fat kill.
There’re a bunch of tie-in books too, like every self-respecting crossover title should have. Needless to say, they add nothing to the story except for some more convoluted posturing of various characters who nobody would give a shit about. Moon Knight? Power Man?
I hate to think that there are people paying for this crap, or that there will be actual paper wasted to reprint these books as hardcovers and then trade paperbacks. That a bunch of ‘creative’ people still get together to come up with storylines like this, and there are editors who allow dialog and plot twists like this to tell a story, in this Age of Postmodern Irony, shows a lack of storytelling sense 101. Rating: 4 stars, out of a possible 4000.