Never let it be said that Geek in the City is above doing these “end of the year” recaps. I’ve done them the past, why stop now? Looking back upon 2007, I’m struck with some rather interesting trends and I wonder if they’ll continue into 2008. Spanning the worlds of comics, movies, and television, here are the various thoughts and observations about 2007.
Marquee Comic Events Suck, Under Publicized Crossovers Do Not…
Case in point, can you honestly claim any of DC or Marvel’s highly promoted crossover events were worthy of fandom? Even worse, these market spanning crossovers promised so much and then delivered so very little. Think about the hype and excitement you felt in the comic world felt with Marvel’s announcement of World War Hulk. Hell, even people that had long since grown sickened with all things within the House of Ideas were waiting with baited breath. Quesada and the rest of the gang at Marvel were promising to clean house and they were going to use the Incredible Hulk to do it! Coming off the fantastic Planet Hulk (Marvel’s 2006 sleeper hit), World War Hulk was going to kick ass. And, it did for the first couple of issues. Then, something happened. Painting them into a corner, World War Hulk turned into nothing but a return to the status quo and one massive promotion for all the new books coming in 2008. Meh. Thanks Marvel, thanks for giving me my own “Drink your Ovaltine” moment with that series. Jerks. Thankfully, they’ve got this quiet little crossover called “Annihilation” starring Marvel’s often forgotten cosmic heroes. (Plus the Silver Surfer). Annihilation is how one handles a crossover. Compelling stories. Actions that have repercussions and true character development. I just wonder what will happen when it all hits Earth 616. (Ha, suck on that Quesada. I will forever call it Earth 616). I know I didn’t go into details regarding the event, but I don’t want to spoil this fantastic crossover event for readers.
Then there is DC and their major events. Do I even need to talk about the still-ongoing “Countdown” or is it “Final Countdown”, wait, they call it “Countdown to Final Crisis” now. Regardless, the series is painfully lame. Don’t even get me started on all the other “Countdowns to Blah, Blah, Blah“. Look, I get it. “52” sold bank and while there were a couple of weak issues, it was a solid story and kept readers interested for an entire year. That doesn’t mean you need to pull off a weekly book every year. What can we except in 2008? I don’t know, maybe “Alfred’s Weekly Chore List” – Thrill to the weekly cleaning tasks of everyone’s favorite butler… Starring the ripped Alfred from the Frank Miller’s All-Star Goddamn Batman and Robin with guest letterer and New York Time’s author Brad Metzger! (Come on, you can see Didio pulling that card). Oh yea, there was a crappy crossover titled Amazons Attack. No one liked that one either. Save for the fantastic art by Pete Woods, that event was ass. (Especially because it was meant for a 2005 – 2006 crossover event).
Thank the New / Old Gods for writers like Geoff Johns! His 11 issue (yes, only 11) tale The Sinestro Wars was better than the last two years of Mega Event Crossovers from both companies combined. Sure, some folks joke about the evil Lanterns calling themselves the Sinestro Corp. However, what else should they call themselves? The Yellow Lanterns? That’s just begging for a snarky comic from an indie paper where Hal Jordan has to drink from Sinestro’s…well, you get the picture. (And, if you don’t, hold onto that innocence as long as you can). Seriously, 11 issues, all told through a couple of titles and some one-shots. Please, anyone that wishes to write a universe-shattering event, take from notes from Johns. With little build up and even less promotion, The Sinestro War turned into the event of 2007. Period. Plus, it was able to drop a teaser for coming events that had the fans drooling for more. Also, massive credit to all the artists involved with Sinestro War. Those fighting lanterns and insane images couldn’t have been easy to draw, although I bet it was a blast. (Also, major props for sneaking in a Predator, a Xenomorph, and Dan Didio in a couple of issues, badass). Take heed all un-tested Editors-in-Chief:
Beware your fears made into light
Let those who try to stop what’s right,
Burn like his power… Sinestro’s might!
Horror vs. Horror…
2007 was a strange year in the world of horror films. The genre itself is experiencing it’s own bizarre civil war. One end, there is the continually rising “torture porn” sub-genre of horror. Made on the cheap, these films are capitalizing on our societies growing voyeuristic tendencies. Movies like Hostel, the Saw franchise, and the wholly terrible Captivity are cranking in the dough. Then, on the other end of the spectrum, we have the slow build horror. The horror that lives in your mind and doesn’t resort to cheap gore effects to generate fear. Films like 1408 and The Mist instantly spring to mind. (30 Days of Nights to a smaller degree).
We will just have to see which horror style wins out in the end. My money is, sadly, on the torture porn. Besides, if thoughtful horror wins, I’ll be all the more surprised.
Perhaps, when this strike finally ends the writers will finally get the credit (and compensation) they deserve. However, I think this strike will go down as the moment when traditional broadcasting started to die. The WGA strike of 2007 will mark the rise of the direct subscription programming. It won’t happen over night, but it will happen.
Yes, I know these observations got shorter as the article moved along. What can I say; I get excited when I write about comics. Plus, free pizza just arrived and if I don’t haul ass, all I’ll get is that crappy single vegetarian pizza for the two employees out of 40 that don’t eat meat.
Hope everyone has a safe but not sane New Years Eve. We’ll see you all in 2008!
Critt’n! (Dammit, I’m gonna’ make that word stick even if it kills me).