Every week I do a column full of comic book reviews as I've done since March 2003 and currently published at Comic Book Resources. Then, after the reviews post, I try to come over to Komplicated and expand on the thoughts and ideas listed there. Why talk about stuff at some other site? Oh, like you've never done any private projects when you're at work! Sometimes things get profound, sometimes it's gibberish, but it's always about comics … let's see what we get this week!
What? This week's reviews …
In two Avengers annuals, finishing up today, he (violently) disagreed with the mandate of Steve Rogers, Thor Odinson, Tony Stark and their compatriots to have any license for, essentially, extralegal vigilante operations in the borders of the United States. Once upon a time, the Avengers had a government sanction, which meant less-than-effective oversight from the likes of unctuous federal functionary Henry Peter Gyrich or exasperated toadie Dr. Valerie Cooper. However, even under those periods, Stark snuck off with a number of his pals (Namor, Reed Richards, Chuck Xavier, Stephen Strange and Black Bolt) to make decisions for the species and the planet that led to catastrophic damage and pretty considerable body counts. There's an argument to be made that Secret Invasion might not have happened if the so-called "Illuminati" hadn't tried some cowboy diplomacy and, in the words of Obi-Wan Kenobi, "aggressive negotiations."
Then, the erstwhile Wonder Man took his case to the American media, using his "celebrity" status to command news cameras. Then it's not just him asking "who watches the watchmen?" It becomes Nancy Grace, Piers Morgan, Fox & Friends … and (as we saw when Norman Osborn did it) paints Captain America's black-and-white morality into a decidedly gray corner that can't be punched into submission. Steve Rogers was born in the same era as the Great Depression. He's dangerously ill-equipped to fight a data war. Tony Stark, Reed Richards, even Hank Pym for all their futurism and acumen, lack "street smarts" and a comprehension of their own hubris, generating a blind spot big enough to hide a Terrordrome. The fight becomes one the Avengers cannot win with their speeches and pugilism.
Am I saying "we don't need costumed heroes?" Not necessarily. Earth-616 is chock full of masked wackadoos like Count Nefaria or Mammomax, so sure, you need somebody tougher than Captain George Stacy to take ’em on. As well, you might not need something as easily corrupted as the Fifty States Initiative, but you need something when the Asgard’s under siege in the Midwest and the Blue Marvel’s sitting at home watching a Ken Burns documentary.
“Steve Rogers is Nick Fury now, isn’t he?” some might ask. “He’s America’s top cop, isn’t that what he does, answer to somebody?” If he’s not on one of his “I represent an ideal” shticks that week, sure, and even there, on his watch we’ve had a rogue Ultron for sale, we endured Fear Itself (which almost lost Paris and Vegas) and have both an ongoing mutant rights struggle and a loitering Celestial in San Francisco bay. Things are clearly not right, and both Simon and Norman Osborn make good points that no one has effectively countered.
… yes, I self-identify as a super-villain … what of it?
THAT'S THE NEWS, AND I AM OUTTA HERE: Grinding …
Playing (Music): "Crazy For You" by Madonna
[Source: Comic Book Resources]