I started blogging thinking that this is where I would review whatever media I felt like ranting about. It quickly changed direction. So this is my online diary. Comments are welcome.
There isn't anything better than a good horror story this time of year. So that's exactly what I went in search of at a recent book sale at our local shopping mall. I found a lot of titles that caught my attention, most of which were authored by Stephen King. However, I didn't find anything that had that nagging pull to pick it up and read it.
I've been reading a lot of comics lately. I'm a big fan of "The Walking Dead" by Robert Kirkman and this month's issue left me feeling a little bit hungry for some gnarly zombie action. I've also been reading "The Sixth Gun" by Cullen Bunn & Brian Hurtt. So far this is a great western story about six revolvers with supernatural powers and the terror they raise. I'm only three volumes into it and the main characters have met with ghosts, ghouls and a giant mummy. I suppose this is filling my need for spooky, but I just can't seem to be satisfied.
I've also been reading a superhero story by Kirkman called "Invincible." It's an original story that tends to mirror some of our favorites from DC and Marvel. I finished reading Vol. 11 recently, and I immediately remembered a story I had entirely forgotten about...
Almost two years ago I stumbled upon a Kindle Single while browsing the Amazon book store called, "Ex-Heroes" by Peter Clines. This book was amazing! It combined all the things I love; zombies (here called "Ex-Humans"), superheroes, giant-robot-mech suits and all of it set in a post-apocalyptic world. Genius! There are two sequels to "Ex-Heroes." "Ex-Patriots", and most recently, "Ex-Communication." I have these in digital format and somehow I had forgotten about the most recent sequel that I'd downloaded around August. I intended to read it right away, but I've been busy reading a lot of other fiction and learning my new job. But now I can say that this Fall is off to a great start. The new season of "The Walking Dead" is on AMC, pumpkin spice lattes are back, pumpkin/seasonal ales are here, the Kansas City Chiefs are undefeated, the World Series is starting and now I have something to read this month.
I have not played any version of this game from collaborators at DC Comics and Mortal Kombat's NetherRealm Studios. The idea, I felt, had already been explored as the dark side of the Justice League was shown in the not-so-popular fighter game, "Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe." (I would like to state that I thought that game was fantastic.) I personally know fans of the game that are giving it two thumbs up with recommendation. I know. I get it. Superheroes, the "good guys", punching each other. Fantastic. I will add it to my must play list. I'm not here to review this game.
I have been a comic book fan since I picked up my fist telephone volume of Silver Age Superman when I was in high school. Until then the only exposure I had to comics were some oldies my uncle had, like Scrooge McDuck, and something cheap Dad would buy from the second hand store. I remember thumbing through some Bloodshot, Legion of Super-Heroes, Metamorpho, The Outsiders, Blood Syndicate, The New Mutants, Transformers and many more. It was enough to sink my teeth into the art and story telling, but mostly just action. Which was exactly what I wanted when I was 9 or 10 years old. No matter how cool those heroes and villains were, (and some of them were just down right cool) Superman is the one that stood out to me the most. Maybe it's because his legend is instilled in me as an American midwestern boy. Maybe it's because the Super Friends were on Saturday morning cartoons. Whatever the reason I am a life-long fan.
After reading books like Alex Ross' Kingdom Come and Crisis on Infinite Earths by Marv Wolfman, Superman was cemented as my favorite character ever. I love the mythology. I'm a huge fan of his sincerity and gentleness; of his versatility and confidence. (Read Superman: Red Son) I am a fan, to say, of Superman - the hero.
Let me be clear Injustice: Gods Among Us is a beautifully drawn and exceptionally written series. See for yourself. Now, Tom Taylor must be an absolute freakin' genius. Through only 35 issues he has managed to break down and dispose of everything I have come to love about my favorite character. So much so that I literally cringe when I see Superman in a panel. I start thinking, "what awful thing will he do next?" And to Mr. Taylor's credit he delivers exactly what you aren't expecting week after week.
I don't want to be one of those reviewers that just summarizes the story for you and then tells you to read it or save your money. I want to be the guy that says, I like super heroes and everything they represent and parody. This is one that actually hits metaphorically without the blatant attempt at satire and it keeps hitting all the way through. This is a story of bad blood and friendship turned sour. This is a story about how the world will end. I am ready to ride this one out. The stories continue to build into what I can only hope is a climax for the record books.
On the skeptic side I am a little disappointed with the lack of character arc. Let's take the seat of a reader with little to no DC or Justice League exposure. There are characters popping in for an issue and killed, or never seen again, that you won't have any story to wrap around them. I understand the reasoning behind this, but at some point I'm afraid we'll look back and ask, "who's left to stop the madness?"
If you want my suggestion I say read it. It will destroy your naive perception of Superman, but it is a good read. You can pick it up on Amazon or Comixology for .99¢ an issue or try a local comic store for the current volume in print.
Thank you Tom Taylor and Jheremy Raapack and those at NetherRealm Studios for bringing my greatest fear to life.
I discovered reading and writing for fun when I was in the 4th grade and I haven't been able to stop. I discovered my musical talent when I was 12 and started a band with my brother and my best friends. I have been on a journey of discovery that has shaped and molded my tastes for music, reading, writing, art, food and extracurricular activities since I was a high school freshman. And I'm not quite finished, so come along.