Hey there MONDOcomics readers.
If you read the internet like I do you might have already looked down and realized that this isn’t your typical MONDOcomics. You might have feelings of panic, anxiety and disorientation — those are natural. They will pass as you come to love our new, permanent-for-now format. After 81 weeks of snapshot reviews, it was time for a change. Personally, I was getting burnt out trying to be uniquely witty on four to seven different titles every week. Also, sometimes there’s only so much you can say about your favourite guilty pleasures. So, we’ve decided to open it up and change the format drastically. Now, it’s up to each writer what they want to write about that week. That means you might get a long dissertation from Isaac one week or a series of short hit-pieces from me or a couple of picks of the week from Owen. The idea is to write about what we want to write about. Expect experimentation, new formats and love-ins. Hope you enjoy.
While I’m still concerned about how quickly everything has been handed over to Peter Parker for this storyline (a high paying science job when he most needed it), this problem is somewhat mitigated by the fact that they’ve added a very intriguing wrinkle — the return of Phil Urich. Beyond it being a nice nod to history, I didn’t think much of Phil’s appearance last issue, but now I realise he was in the exact same position as Parker, aimless and just scraping by. In this issue his fortunes change, arguably just as fantastically as Peter’s, but along the criminal alignment. I mean, Phil even has an Uncle Ben of his own! Phil’s story has always been told in relation to Spider-Man’s — now they’re taking that story and making Phil a dark version of Peter. Naturally there’ll be a fair amount of people who’ll cry foul at this; if they were a big fan of Phil as the heroic Goblin either in the past or not-too-distant, “what if” future of the Spider-Girl series, or they may have a problem with him just having a sonic scream when before it was a hardware ability in his mask. Maybe that’d only bother me. Regardless, I can understand not liking this characterization, but I’m still really impressed by this move from a thematic stand point. S’alright? S’alright. — Isaac Mills
It’s for single issues like this that I was always (and in fact, still am) reluctant to add titles to my weekly pull list. Yes, I may be a devoted follower of comic “X”, but maybe six months go by and a creative team is introduced that you just don’t like. Fair enough — it’s a little awkward — but I can ask the comic guys to drop that title from my pull list. How about when it’s just an issue or two, a quick filler arc that you don’t want? It shouldn’t be a big deal to get a temporary hold on collecting a book — and yet it always is. My sympathies are with Paul Cornell. For whatever reason, he’s had to create a filler comic while we wait for the previously advertised Peter J. Tomasi arc, and yes, it’s the first story after the much loved (by me anyways) Grant Morrison run. Cornell’s story idea itself is good, but suffers from an attempt at mimicking Morrison’s style — chiefly, the story structure being told out of order, the use of an obscure character (Una Nemo, though seeing as I’ve never heard of her it’s likely she was created with a mind to SOUNDING like an obscure character), and making a villain that leaves clues in the same way as a silver age Riddler or Joker. These are tough things to make work, even without a time crunch, or, I suspect, an editorial mandate to keep this book sounding like Batman and Robin. The cover art by Guillem March is fantastic (channelling Frank Quitely a little bit, I dare say) but when I opened up to find Scott McDaniel on the interior artwork I gave a little cry of “no!” McDaniel has become DC’s go to guy for filler material, and his use as such is a disservice to me as a consumer, and to himself as an artist — I’ve seen him do good work! Give him more than an hours notice to draw a book. — Isaac Mills
Justice League: Generation Lost sort of caught everyone off-guard. It was less-trumpeted than DC’s other bimonthly title, Brightest Day, but has developed quite the following. In my opinion it’s easy to see why. This comic is fun, well-paced and features an amazing blend of nostalgia and new directions for the cast.
Ah, the cast… I love the Justice League International years. They were hilarious and a blast to read, all without sacrificing great action. It’s fantastic to see these characters reunited (minus one or two and with a couple of great additions). Booster Gold aside, these guys have been stuck in limbo lately, with only the occasional crowd scene pulling them out. It’s great to see them get their due again. Winick is doing a fantastic job of writing them. He seems to get them and their dynamic, building on what was there before rather than just reliving their glory years. Booster’s development over the last few years has been noticed, and he’s serving as a leader of sorts to the group. Heck, even Captain Atom (my least favourite) has grown on me!
This issue is a Captain Atom issue. We’ve had one before, similar to this one, where he is sent through time. Last time it was the best issue I’d read up to that point, this time… well… it’s giving last issue a run for its money. Watching Captain Atom explore the alternate future portrayed here is immensely satisfying. One of the main reasons for that is that DC is portraying a dystopian future that ISN’T Kingdom Come. For the last few years DC has been leaning extremely heavily on Kingdom Come. There have been constant references to it, characters from it and hints that it might come true. That’s cool and all, but at a certain point I just start to think: “we get it, it’s awesome and popular. Move on, please.” That’s what was so much fun about this issue: I got to see things I hadn’t seen before! New versions of characters I love! A new mystery about what caused this world!
Which leads me to Lopresti’s artwork, and it is awesome. The new characters designs on the future’s Justice League are tons of fun, with hints as to what might have happened in their past. I especially loved the OMACs here, which were incredibly cool. Overall, this entire series has been both a love letter to the JLI days, but also a push to move them into the modern DC era. It’s great to see the characters used so well, reminding me why I liked them in the first place and even helping me to warm to some I was never that fond of before (Captain Atom). I hope that this series is successful enough that we’ll see some sort of follow-up when it ends with issue 24. And you know what? I’d love it if Winick were to write it. — Owen Craig
I got really upset when I read that this comic was going to be cancelled after issue eight. Mostly, I’m sad because this is a really great comic and it’s sad when quality product goes to the place that so much quality product goes — no where. The other reason I was upset: reading comic book message boards.
I have a problem where I read the opinion of the people who write on message boards. The problem is that I know they’re going to enrage me but I do it anyway. Here was what pissed me off — people blaming this on Joe Quesada.
First, he works in editorial. When a book is cancelled due to low sales it’s not editorial’s call. It’s sales call, it’s the publisher’s call. Ultimately, it’s Dan Buckley’s call. So, if you want to put a name to your rage direct it to him. Despite what you might think, Quesada is not a moustache twirling villain. He doesn’t want to cancel this book. Michale Horwitz, Nathan Cosby and Sana Amanat (the editors) don’t want to cancel this book. They worked hard on it. They wanted to see this book succeed. You think you’re disappointed? Try being them.
Second, Marvel probably lost money on this book. They’re a big company and have a lot of overhead. How much do you think Marvel got in revenue on this book? Maybe $12,000? That’s generous. There are 10 people listed in the credits of this book, which is not a lot of money to divide between them. And that doesn’t even take into account the cost of Marvel’s marketing staff, or their maintenance staff, or the cost to print the bloody thing. So you hear anyone blaming Marvel for not supporting this book, ask them how much money they want Marvel to loose on it.
This is our fault. This is the fault of a stupid fan system that rewards pandering to the ugliest sides of consumerism. It’s our fault that this book is going to die.
But here’s where we can redeem ourselves, nerds. We can save this comic. It’s worked in the past. Buy this comic. Tell your friends to buy this comic. You know what would make a great gift for a reader over the age of 8? This comic. Buy it. Buy it a lot. It’s the kind of comic you can give to a “non comic reader” and they would love it. You can’t say that about most of the comics I buy. And that’s a better way. That’s a better type of comic. We should support that kind of comic. It will make you a better person. — Miles Baker