WEDNESDAY COMICS Way Back Review 7-8-09

Wednesday ComicsWEDNESDAY COMICS #1
Writers: Lots of Guys at DC
Artists: Likewise
Publisher: DC Comics (Obviously)
Reviewer: Rob Patey ( aka Optimous Douche – Ain’t It Cool News)

The View from 2012: Still hate this for every reason I mentioned in my review. Although, I’ll admit a reading of the trade might be more tolerable.

This was a lot like dry humping for three hours. Damn enjoyable in parts, mildly chafing in other parts and a climax that you know is just seconds away, but sadly never cums (bar-um-pum). Why? Because you have to wait until next week for 8 more panels, the next stream of consciousness, a new character to enter and have enough time to maybe introduce themselves. In an age of immediate gratification and an ever increasing fan-base of trade waiters salivating for full completed stories, this cartoon strip newspaper concept defies all logic. There’s some good stuff inside these pages, but this format is simply painful.

Also, not to be cheap or anything, but…$4.00 for 15 pages of stories on paper quality so poor that Ben Franklin could have used it to roll his joints seems like an egregious screwing of the fan-base. The last time I was taken advantage of like this, she/he at least bought me dinner first, was kind enough to give me a roofie and I never had to pull out my wallet once. The big houses have always justified price increases by delivering a more polished product; how they justify the spartan WEDNESDAY COMICS at $4.00 an unfolding simply boggles my mind.

Now perhaps there is a demographic out there that has a nostalgic fondness for receiving this rationed depression-era style of doling out a story. Well, demographic, this run-down is for you.

When you transform WEDNESDAY COMICS from its Comic Shop News layout (did your comic shop confuse the two? Mine did) to newspaper format you are greeted with an…ad. Granted it’s a really cool ad announcing the DVD release of “Robot Chicken”’s Episode II, but yeah, it’s still an ad. Keep unfolding and the first story presents it self:

BATMAN: Azzarello/Risso: “Every time I turn this on it’s like I’m signaling failure.” Wow, what a great line delivered by Jim Gordon about the Bat signal. Batman basically agrees and we find out a millionaire has been kidnapped. The millionaire will be killed at midnight and there are no ransom demands. Midnight strikes on the clock…end! Batman is obviously Bruce Wayne (he’s a douche) and by the bat graphic in the intro panel we can assume this vignette is a nod to the golden age. Risso’s art supports my theory, and quite well I might add.

KAMANDI: Gibbons/Sook: The last boy on earth laments being the last boy on earth as he paddles through a submerged New Your City. I’m not a huge fan of dialogue free, narrative heavy comics, but I won’t fault anyone for this approach. Unless Kamandi has a volleyball in front of him with a face painted on it, it would be rather silly for him to speak out loud. This piece ends with Kamandi meeting a mysterious stranger.

SUPERMAN: Arcudi/Bermejo: Superman is fighting an alien that ends up reaching out to him telepathically. Yeah, that’s pretty much it. Bermejo’s art, though, is spectacular – where have they been hiding this guy? He’s not The Gimp, let him out of the basement and put him on a real book please.

DEADMAN: Bullock/Heuck: Again, too much narrative. I now see a pattern forming and I’m reminded of why I’m not a big fan of the Silver Age, where narrative ruled over dialogue. Basically, you learn who Deadman is.

GREEN LANTERN: Busiek/Quinones: One of my two favorites in this comic newspaper. I was a huge fan of NEW FRONTIER and this takes the same tonality and approach. Busiek does what he does best, telling the story from the vantage point of the little people instead of the hero.

METAMORPHO: Gaiman/Allred: My second favorite; I simply love good old deprecation. This was like a trip back to X-STATIX and JUSTICE LEAGUE EUROPE all rolled into one. METAMORPHO pays homage to the Silver Age while unmercifully mocking it. Misogyny and sexism abound; this was like a modern day sensitive metrosexual visiting AMC’s MAD MEN.

TEEN TITANS: Berganza/Galloway: I hate the DC “kid book” style of art, so I went into this one with a bad taste on first glance. However, Berganza takes a page from Johns’ portrayal of Lex Luthor, which I found interesting. Are the bad guys really bad or just misunderstood?

STRANGE ADVENTURES: Pope: I love Paul Pope, but I’ve never been a big ADAM STRANGE fan. Basically Ranagar gets attacked by space pirates.

SUPERGIRL: Palmiotti/Conner: OK, so Supergirl is back to being a cute kid instead of a role model for camwhores. Cool. She chases Krypto and her cat.

METAL MEN: Didio/Lopez/Nowlan: If the Metal Men have the mentality of children why didn’t Rex Hunter shrink them in stature? Because right now they come across as mongoloid adults. Rex takes the metal gang to a bank to learn how the banks will collapse in the next few years. A heist occurs, yet Rex holds the metalloids at bay, except gold…naughty, naughty gold.

WONDER WOMAN: Caldwell: Look, kids, Wonder Woman is now a 14 year old Japanese girl that drops acid before bed. I don’t know what was going on in this thing. The panels bleed together more than a suicidal hemophiliac and Wonder Woman floats while talking to some birds. Pass…

SGT. ROCK and EASY CO.: Kubert/Kubert: Nazis beat the piss out of old Sarge.

FLASH & IRIS WEST: Kerschel/Fletcher: Probably the most complete story of the collection, Grodd has Barry Allen by the short hairs chasing the electrical current of a bomb. After chasing to the supposed destination, Allen learns that Grodd pulled a fast one and is going after his girl Iris. Iris’ story is more of her whining that Barry is never there for her and the bitch leaves a note to end their marriage. Ahh, only in the 60s was divorce so void of emotion.

THE DEMON & CATWOMAN: Simonson/Stelfreeze: OK, my whole Silver Age theme theory is blown out of the water when Selina Kyle is casing the Demon’s house and she mentions how she Googled him. Boy, will she be in for a surprise in three weeks when we get to part 1 of 12 of the actual robbery.

HAWKMAN: Baker: I loved the POV on this one letting the story be told by one of the eagles under Hawkman’s control as they go after an airliner that has been hijacked.

One of the reasons I read comics is for the consequences and how they transcend throughout the entire universe. While each story had some palpable danger, with so many Silver and Golden Age nods to coincide with the delivery format, nothing really seems to matter in WEDNESDAY COMICS.

I had some fun with several of the vignettes, and perhaps in a “$2.00 – 10 pages a week” format I would be more enticed to stay with the more enjoyable stories. But in this format, with the hefty price tag I’ll just keep buying my regular comics on Wednesday…not WEDNESDAY COMICS. You know what? Even the fucking name is confusing. I’m done…

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