Sunday, October 01, 2006

MONTHLY PUNCH-UP #10 (October, 2006)
Crawling Through the Wreckage Part One: "New Sheriff In Town!"
Where: Green Arrow #60 When: May 2006
Why: Judd Winick How: Scott McDaniel

Quick Fix...
Judd Winick is a really peculiar case.
He seems to be one of those writers who has his hand in many pots, some considerably high amongst the annals of comics writing -- but he still evokes that of a mid-tier guy.

I probably stradle the fence somewhere between.
His work with Doug Mahnke on Batman went from a six issue step down from Jeph Loeb and Brian Azzarrello, to liquid brilliance.

Winick wrote Gotham in the kind of way I would want to.
A very editorialized style that's as much about the map of the city, as it is the pawns that are moving around the battlefield.
It was about motivation and agenda, and that's the kind of writing style I have a great interest in. Lots of moving cogs, all turning at different speeds and interacting accordingly.

This is something Ed Brubaker has probably taken considerably further with his earlier work on Daredevil. Stuff that's wound particularly tight as it operates within the confines of a single locale - a prison.
As for this fight:

It's one year later in Star City, and Oliver Queen has run for mayor, which presumably leaves him less time to patrol the streets as Green Arrow.

Thus, under circumstances unknown, Danny Brickwell has become a lethal guardian to the patrons of a city that has been decimated by disaster.

Whilst taking care of goons, Brickwell finds himself the victim of a sneak attack that encases much of his head in a sticky solidifying solution.

"Who's dumb enough to do this!?"

A second arrow makes the goo brittle, and attached is a note: Nice work but stop killing them.
The Brick is reminded exactly who's the bitch.

I've got to admit, something that bothers me about Winick's Green Arrow work is that it's kinda laced with cheats. Brickwell had the potential to be a fantastic villain in Star City, but was really forced into that spot without any kind of legitimate growth.

Now you have the ultimate cheat across the DCU, where writers and editors were free to unleash any amount of carnage and disaster on a city, with the luxury of skimming over it all to move one year later into the future.

The Brick's a great new character, but it's a shame he's been cheated into being a hero now, barely a heartbeat since being punked as crimeboss. [Green Arrow #45 - Mickey Blue Eyes]

The Fix: 4 The Issue: 3.5

The Monthly Top 5...
#1 Batman (-) (10) (DC Comics)
Well, after ten weeks I'm sure we're all very surprised by this.
If you've been paying attention, you'll notice Secret Earths has fallen into something of a Marvel slump. This isn't necessarily a reaction to Batman's dominance in our top five, but as you can see, it's not really changing much.

That recent bias, based purely on spontaneous interest, will probably offer up a slim chance that Batman will be knocked off, but if I should happen to get a hankering to try to balance things out... Batman's probably a safe bet to represent DC.

Don't hate the player, hate the game.

#2 Spider-man (-) (2) (Marvel Comics)
Spidey kinda swept into the top five without my even anticipating it, so it's probably a surprise to see him hold his spot, despite not appearing.

Spider-man 3 buzz isn't going to hurt his momentum, but one has to wonder if he can truly be the one to knock Batman off his perch.
Spidey, like previous front-runner Daredevil, has a well-known capacity for defeat, which makes him a strong, but outside chance.

#3 Iron Man (+1) (2) (Marvel Comics)
Despite only scraping in with a draw against Venom, Iron Man manages to continue his forward momentum on the chart.
You'd have to say this mirrors the character's franchise movement. Not only is he frontrunning the Civil War universe-wide crossover, he's also generating buzz with an upcoming feature film in 2008, and a direct-to-video animated film release coming up very soon.

Iron Man's always been a favourite of mine, but these things have helped pique my interest in the character, which means he could be the legit contender to topple the Batman.

#4 Daredevil (-1) (9) (Marvel Comics)
Well, the site favourite continues to slide downward. A bitter defeat at the hands of his arch-rival Bullseye facilitates the switch between he and Iron Man.

Previously the great white hope, it begins to seem unlikely that this urban ninja will have the legs to take what has become a race to beat Batman.
All it would really take is a couple of good wins, but with December looming, it might just be too much to ask.

#5 Hulk (-) (4) (Marvel Comics)
Hulk still live off glory of Hulk month in June! Hulk not mind!

There's nothing keeping the Hulk in the top five right now.
World War Hulk, whenever and whatever that may be, could definitely turn things around for the jolly green giant, but for now, it's blandsville. Planet Hulk has looked as green as they come.

Hulk go bye-bye, soon enough.

Super Stock...
1. Batman (-) (DC)
3. Iron Man (+1) (M)
4. Daredevil (-1) (M)
8. Captain America (-) (M)
9. Thor (+6) (M)
10. Green Arrow (+4) (DC)
13. Mr. Fantastic (+13) (M)
17. Venom Symbiote (+2) (M)
22. Invisible Woman (+64) (M)
24. War Machine (+20) (M)
25. Human Torch (new) (M)
44. Civil War Thor (+1) (M)
45. Thing (+54) (M)
46. She-Hulk (-) (M)
51. Thundra (-11) (M)
55. Bullseye (+104) (M)
56. Venom (+3) (M)
105. Luke Cage (+41) (M)
161. Super-Skrull (new) (M)
162. Sub-Mariner (-4) (M)
165. The Brick (-52) (DC)

The hammer...
Well, here we are! The beginning of October, and today is actually December 17.
Still, three posts yesterday. You've got to admit, that's pretty damned good!

The interesting point to note is apparently that we've been getting more hits this month that was without updates, so many thanks to everyone checking out the site.

Obviously December will retain the regular Friday schedule, rather than the additional posts I had hoped to make. By abandoning the schedule and posting spontaneously, hopefully we'll get more comic booky goodness up here.

The White Ghost besieged in the parking lot. The Kirby Martin Inquest #2, page 7. Written by Mike Haseloff, pencilled by Pedro Cruz.Speaking of comic booky goodness, I did mention I had been busy working on my own projects. It seems things are actually finally wrapping up on what will be my first venture in self-publishing comics. We're also working simultaneously on the follow-up issue, where I've begun dabbling in lettering.
Not only does this speed things up, it makes me happier as a writer/editor. I can format more specifically, and make edits as I please.

That said, penciller/inker extrodinaire, Pedro Cruz, has done a fantastic job lettering the first issue.
It's a bit of a weird issue, and has undergone so many rewrites I sometimes forget which version it is, but I think as the story unfolds in following issues, it's going to be a great read.

Since it's what I'm working on now, I'll chuck up a page from issue #2, but let's just keep it between us. We don't want everybody getting spoiled prematurely! Wink wink, nudge nudge.
Not that it's too spoilery. I decided to go with an action scene, that really shows off Pedro's pencils more than my script. It's also one of my favourite scenes, and it only gets better from this page!

If you dangle the mouse of the pic (before you click to enlarge), you'll be informed that this page features intrepid hero The White Ghost, besieged by Anthony Romano and his armed goons in the parking lot. How will he get out of this one?!
You'll have to hold your breath, and pick the book up when it's out in order to find out!

Anyway, I better get to updating again!
Thanks for all the support guys, and if I don't see you before then, happy holidays and a sweet Christmas to you all!

Also, a quick gracious shoutout to Any Eventuality! A comics blog that's linked Secret Earths among other prominent comics blogoverses. Cheers!

NEXT: No schedule! Just comics!!!
September Hit Count: 2028* (+307)

* Hit count was recorded October 1. Hits for September posts may be reflected in November and December count.

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