Before I chat up today’s great great great thing, I wanted to deliver a couple of exciting updates that relate to previous topics.
First off, that Swiss guy with the jet-pack, Yves Rossy? Yves Rossy Well he did it. He crossed the English Channel in something like…15 minutes or something. Well done, Yves! Now get on those alterations that I suggested and bring the asking price down a couple of hundred thousand please.
The second thing that I wanted to call attention to is this true-crime involving hot pockets. It feels like I should mention it since I just blogged about Jim Gaffigan/Hot Pockets recently. Here’s my link. Gaffigan and Hot Pockets
Now, here’s the link to what might be the most violent snacking incident of this decade. Trust me. You’re gonna wanna read this one. This Just In!
What do you say to that? I guess some things are worth fighting (stabbing?) for. At any rate, lock your doors. They never found that guy. He could still be out there, hungry for hot pockets and looking for a tussle.
Anyway, on to today’s topic:
44. The Twelve
It’s a comic book today for those of you that are unschooled in nerdery. The Twelve is a relatively new series (we’re only on about issue 6) with a novel concept–reviving a dozen of Marvel Comics currently unused (and mostly unheard of) properties. Actually, the characters all date back from the 1940′s, back when Marvel was known as Timely Comics. Some of them have fantastically dated names, like Master Mind Excello and Phantom Reporter. Some of them only ever featured in one issue of a comic like this fella here:
The point is, unless you were around for The Golden Age of comics and have a great memory for throwaway characters, you’ve probably never heard of any of these guys. But, leave it to J.M. Straczynski, a successful television and film writer who branched out into comic books in the late 1980′s, to revive them. Straczynski is kind of like a king of concepts. He’s launched several creator-owned properties and reinvigorated some stale properties for Marvel. Not all of them pan out, mind you. I was a big fan of his Rising Stars series from a few years back. It started out incredibly strong. But, by the time he was bringing the storyline to a conclusion, I had cut it from my subscription list. He’s also currently writing Thor right now for Marvel. It’s a run that’s had both high praise and high sales…but I’m just not digging it.
Having said that, he wrote the most amazing (no pun intended) issue of Amazing Spider-Man when 9/11 struck. Amazing Spider-Man 36 will go down, I think, as one of the most tasteful and heartfelt artistic responses to the events of that day. You can even find videos on youtube that people have posted of image scans from that comic set to music. Like a homemade little music video. That’s how good it was. That’s also, an example of how some people have too much time on their hands.
J.M. Straczynski has an asteroid named in his honor. So, he’s definitely done right by the sci-fi set. He wrote the majority of the Babylon 5 television series. His credentials, therefore, are not in question…just his ability to stick the landing.
The Twelve, thus far, is kicking major ass. I’ve even gotten my girlfriend to read it. That is a major compliment to the series. If you ever try to explain comic books to a non-comic fan, you could use this as an example. It’s one of those good reads that has a similar structure to other forms of episodic storytelling. Every issue of the comic tells two things: a bit more of the major story arc and an origin story of one of the twelve characters. Like the first season of Lost.
The premise is this. The Twelve aren’t a superteam that chose to group up together, they just all happened to share the same fate. In fact, in creating the story-line, J.M.S. looked over between 40-50 currently unused Marvel characters. Out of that lot, he chose what he thought would be a viable group to work with. Anyway, the story goes that they were in Germany, swathing their way through the Nazi’s, when they all fell victim to a trap. Captured by the Germans, they were cryogenically frozen for study at a later date. Then, the Germans lost. The super-specimen remained hidden to the world for decades, revived only when a construction team stumbles upon them.
They all share one thing in common and that’s the fact that their lives have passed them by. They are forgotten relics from a bygone era. It’s a storyline that compares today’s world with that of society nearly seventy years ago. How they are coming to grips, what choices they make, and the hook of an incredible murder in the first issue, make this a stunning series.
I can’t stress how much I am digging it.
My girlfriend and I are both particularly interested in The Black Widow’s story-line.
We suspect that she is a gayer…only time will tell.
I’m counting on J.M. Straczynski to pull this one off. I’ve got my girlfriend invested now. Don’t let a potential new comic book fan down! Or we’re taking that asteroid back!