Maybe I’m just cynical. Perhaps I’m unnecessarily interested in dark tales. I might even be down right evil to the core. All because I get absolutely giddy as a school girl (a really hot one wearing a catholic school uniform... you’ll need to bleach your brain to wash that image away) when a bad guy gets the spotlight, a chance to shine, or their day in the sun.
My interest was piqued when I saw Lex Luthor has recently received this treatment in the pages of Action Comics. Unfortunately, comics cost a lot and I haven’t been able to pick up the first few issues due to me being dirt ass poor. Luckily, fortunes change and I found myself Oprah rich this week with an extra five in my pocket as I entered my new local comic shop.
I decided to blow my greenbacks on Action Comics #892. After all, it’s starring the original bald baddy, himself. I realized I was coming in smack dab in the middle of a story, but really, what is there to know? Science, saving the world from Superman, ruthlessness, it’s Luthor and even a bit of Deathstroke thrown in for flavor. I could fill in the gaps as I went. And I did.
Turns out L.L. and friends are looking for a big black energy ball. They find it, fight each other for a few panels and then everyone leaves. That’s absolutely it. Oh, and the cover is pretty sweet.
My job as a critic is to critique, so here goes: I spent $3.99 plus tax on twenty-some pages of filler. It’s not crap, it’s not good, it’s just there, and I just didn’t care.
Luckily, there is a back-up starring one of my guilty pleasure characters, none other than Superboy... who also happens to be in the middle of a story, one that leads into Superboy #1 and has no resolution this ish.
What the hell DC? I realize long-form stories of the incredibly decompressed variety are the new black, but c’mon. These books aren’t cheap, and going home with this garbage makes me not want to take a shot at one of your products unless I happen to start on the first page of the first issue. I keep hearing publishers crying about slowing sales. I wonder why that’s happening guys? You know what? Take away the question mark, take them all away, because that was totally rhetorical.
People are staying away from comics because they are just like this issue, boring, and totally without merit and only accessible to readers with encyclopedic minds able to follow narratives drug-out over several months. If a customer drops this much money on a few very short minutes of entertainment, it should at the very least be a full experience. We want a beginning, middle and end.
Perhaps I’m being unfair to judge this practice in mediocrity so harshly. After all, it’s little more than a symptom of a greater disease. Then again, I wouldn’t give a herpes breakout a pass just because I already had several in the past.