Friday, September 23, 2016

Comic Book Conglomeration #4

Earlier this week, I read three books and three comic books within three days. It was wild and refreshing. I haven't had that much time to read in ages. Thus I have plenty of material for this week's Comic Book Conglomeration.

(I know I skipped a week recently. I had only one completed comic to discuss at the time, and I was busy camping [read: getting rained on] with the girls from my church. So forgive me, please?)

The Star Wars by. J.W. Rinzler
This comic was super interesting. It's basically the rough draft version of George Lucas' Star Wars. Thus, it's crazy. Well-known characters started off differently (like Han Solo is a giant, green alien and the Wookies live like the Ewoks?), the plot is vastly different yet has threads that were kept in the final script (Save the Princess, Save the Galaxy), and there is a lot of concepts and ideas throughout the graphic novel that were definitely used in later movies (Skywalker, Starkiller), even The Force Awakens. Let's just say, this is a pretty cool comic book.

It was fascinating to read all the differences and to be introduced to a unique science-fiction story line. Obviously there are major flaws with the story, the dialogue, everything. It was a rough draft! But it makes me wonder how the story would turn out if some of this was salvaged into an edited version. I wonder how long it'll be until someone decides to fix this up and make it into a movie. I mean, the Wookie does get a medal at the end...

The Immortal Iron Fist: The Complete Collection Vol. 1 by Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker
I read this giant collection on a car ride, so that could have affected my judgment. It wasn't necessarily bad, it was just long and not what I was expecting. The entire collection follows Danny Rand as he juggles being a billionaire (another one?) and the vigilante/superhero Iron Fist. We get a lot of backstory throughout this collection. Like the entire backstory of his father and the entire backstory of the man who raised his father. And like backstory on a few other Iron First incarnations. It was a lot. A lot was packed into this without a whole lot of explanation.

Iron Fist is based on mystical martial arts lore and crazy stuff like K'un-Lun, which is a city that doesn't exist on Earth (or something). And tons of other crazy mystical martial arts masters. Basically, I was confused a lot because I'm not familiar with these topics. (Though, I wish this comic could have introduced me to them. It didn't.) It was long, but it wasn't necessarily bad or good. It was just kind of... okay, what?

This doesn't mean I won't read more Iron Fist comics in the future; I definitely will. It just means I will try my best to look into finding the right comics to read. Something that introduces me to Iron Fist slowly and simply. Even after reading almost 500 pages of the comic, I didn't feel like I had a good grasp on who Danny Rand or Iron Fist was.

Final Crisis by Grant Morrison
So this comic follows the DC heroes as Darkseid (or whatever) tries to take over the world/galaxy/something and... succeeds. What? The Bad Guy wins?! I guess so? You know what, I'm actually not really sure what happened. And I think that's a much bigger crisis.

You see, I don't like comic books that confuse me. (See Iron Fist above and Fear Itself and The Defenders.) And this one confused me. A lot. I got characters mixed up (Who is narrating this section? Who ????), I didn't know what was happening most of the time (Wait, we're in a state of limbo but not?), and the ending left me thinking "Whaaaaat?" Now, I know I'm not a comic book expert or anything, but I know how to read comic books. I've read tons of comic books in my lifetime. I can read and understand them as long as the plot line makes sense and the characters' actions are clear. Final Crisis? Not so much. It was confusing. I'm still not sure what happened.

Yes, there were good moments. There were heroic moments and memorable moments (like when Batman--ah, spoilers). But a lot of it was crazy and confusing and just... poorly executed. Crisis, indeed.

Lumberjanes Vol. 1 by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Shannon Watters
Ah, sweet relief. There are no words to accurately describe my adoration for the Lumberjanes. It was refreshing to read this hilarious, stinking adorable, perfectly written comic after the other disappointments. Lumberjanes follows five butt-kicking pals that get into all sorts of crazy trouble at "Miss Qiunzilla Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's camp for hard-core lady-types." (I want to go to this camp so badly.) They fight three-eyed foxes, fall down secret caves, meet hipster yetis, and deal with the boys' camp...

Basically, this comic is adorable, hilarious, wonderful, magical, and amazing. 10/10 would recommend, read again, and devour the rest of the series once I can get my hands on them. Each of the five girls are unique and well represented. None are too similar, cliche, or boring. They are all rad and butt-kicking. I love them all. And their wild adventures are fantastic and funny. The layout of the comic is clever and perfect. Basically, there is too much to list everything this comic did right. I love it all. Give me more now.

If you love comics or laughing or fun female characters, you should read this. Also if you ever did anything similar to summer camp or Girl Scouts or whatever, this is too much perfection. Go read it.

What comic books have you been reading lately?

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