John Buys Comics, the Cad

Dungeons & Dragons – I just picked up issues 0 through 2 this week, and as a – and I’m surprised how tentative I am about admitting this, given the forum – as a Dungeon Master I am enjoying it a great deal. The basics of the plot are similar to those in basically any comic based on any RPG: a party has some adventures in the official setting. Unlike a lot of the RPG adaptations that I’ve read in the past, however, this one actually reads true – goals are reached despite all parties involved following their own semi-random course of action, party members are added with little to no preamble and larger-than-life tactics are constantly employed. Plus: a lot of bickering.

Aside from the “Perry White vs. the Internet” aspects of Superman no 706 (news-bloggers! You are wrong even when you have noticed a legitimate pattern of interview bias! Also, you will leap onto a low-paying position at a newspaper at the drop of a hat!), this issue is remarkable for the truly ridiculous level of fake swearing. (examples, separated by periods). This is unacceptable.

Green Lantern, Green Lantern, Green Lantern – I was set to make a snide remark about Emerald Warriors No. 5 being maybe the hundredth time that someone’s been barfing on the cover of a DC comic in the last year, but looking at it now I choose to believe that this specific instance is actually a Christmas thing. Green/Red Lantern is the jolliest being in the DC Universe! Plus, bonus barfing both in this book and in the regular Green Lantern title, which features people upchucking entire metaphysical entities! Gross!

Meanwhile: a Green Lantern/Plastic Man one-shot, and it’s a yawner. No, scratch that – it’s okay, but it utilizes Plastic Man’s Lazily Clever Story Idea. You know, like Spider-Man Almost Gives Up or Batman Relates Current Events To Memories of his Parents or Superman Doubts His Humanity Even Though He is the Most Human of All (currently ongoing!). Every character has one or more – they’re the plot ideas that lie somewhere in between a story where the character acts exactly as he usually does and a legitimately clever idea. In this case, it’s Overly Serious Character Teams Up With Plastic Man and Treats Him With Contempt Because He’s Goofy Until He Realizes That Goofiness Doesn’t Preclude Effectiveness, and it’s been done before and better (Morrison’s run on JLA and recent episodes of The Brave and the Bold are good examples).