“THIS Is Because I’m Not a Cop. Now, If You’re Real Quiet, I’ll Call One, and Tell Him Where to Find You…”

A few lingering titles, a few continuing titles, and some bumped off the list, but here’s my planned back-issue reading for the week:

I’m still reading the Giffen/DeMatteis run of Justice Leage [_____], but I’ve passed their first cross-over (“The Teasdale Imperative”), so I guess that’s some achievement or other. The two books are shaping up nicely with independent voices, though DeMatteis has, by “now”, left Europe in the hands of Bill Messner-Loebs (who I know best as scripting cohort of Sam Kieth for The Maxx). All the unpleasantness that Giffen’s own Ambush Bug mocked in Ambush Bug: Year None makes this a very weird read–knowing what was done with Lord and Sue Dibny in particular (though I utterly ignore the latter, as fuck Identity Crisis¹). At least semi-shoehorned, that.

That’s a semi-arbitrary issue of X-Factor, except that it is the last issue before the X-Men reformed, X-Men started, and X-Factor became Peter David’s first run, the one without any of the original X-Men who were the book’s reason for being, previously. I’m trying to reasonably lead in to it, but stopped setting issues down over editorial notes when I realized I don’t have Uncanny X-Men #274 (which apparently involved at least Guido). Started this this morning, as the sheer volume of X-Factor books I have is absurd. Almost their own box, unique amongst the x-books in that respect for my collection.

That’s the next issue of Green Arrow on my agenda. I’ve got The Longbow Hunters and the first six issues down already, and it’s shaping up quite nicely. I buy a lot of this stuff semi-blind–reputation, character involvement, or some other not-necessarily-meaningful aspect (writers, too, of course) will draw me in, and I start collecting it just to have enough to really read it over. Not necessarily the smartest approach, but it’s my own.

I never got around to Spectacular at all, but I keep circling it. I imagine I’ll get down to it this week for real.

Hellstorm, Prince of Lies is a book that, by all rights, should’ve been included in the whole “Midnight Sons” grouping/imprint, but wasn’t. It’s another reboot of a weird, occult 70s character (Daimon Hellstrom, Son of Satan²). I’ve been meaning to read it (thanks to, well, my love of the Midnight Sons books) but never got around to it. I haven’t quite got the entire run (a measly 17 books) but the first 10 issues seems like a reasonable start.

Ah, yes. I’ve read the 1990 miniseries Deathlok which introduces the Deathlok of the 90s–Michael Collins (no relation)–but this was his ongoing. I’m literally missing one issues (#33), which is a far cry less than Darkhawk which I picked up for similar reasons and read the first 30 issues of already. They’re just those characters that were kind of bubbling off in the vein of Ghost Rider and Punisher and everyone else “extreme”, without ever breaking through. Sheer curiosity, honestly.

And, to break up all the Big Two love, here’s Jhonen Vasquez’s Squee!. Only a four-issue miniseries, Squee himself was initially a sort of backup feature in Vasquez’s Johnny the Homicidal Maniac–another 90s thing, that weird “I’m going to write about an indie book about a psychopathic murderer who may or may not be supernaturally motivated” (see also: Evil Ernie) thing. This was the only Squee-featuring book, and I couldn’t resist getting all four issues easily as I did.

My intention is to move myself toward more varied coverage of my pop culture loves, as the slowly increasing number of “About” pages on the left increases. Movies are probably next–probably my most well-received approach to review–with music to follow, if I can figure out how to do all this and not find myself hating any of the three things I love the most (music, movies, and comic books). Games are, have been, and will be a more random thing, simply because, well, that’s how I do it.

Until next time…!

This also means I’m going to start shifting my quote/title approach. This actually comes from Green Arrow #6, the last issue of the series I’ve read so far. Ollie’s got a smart-ass gang-related kid suspected of being responsible for a series of gay-bashings who thinks that telling a vigilante he has “rights” will somehow allow him to be silent about the gang’s reason for doing this. The lead-up might be even better: If you’d been paying attention, you might have noticed I’m not playing by the rules, asshole.”

¹Seriously, fuck that book. Brad Meltzer is an asshole.

²Apparently, DeMatteis has said, of his writing the character for The Defenders: “[Daimon] was absolutely my favorite character. Characters like Son of Satan are a wonderful metaphor for what we all contain, good and evil, high and low aspirations. He’s literally the son of the Devil, trying not to be what his father is. For a writer like me, how can you not feast on that?” Oooh!