AFD 2006: chris's vulnerable emo blog
[For the weekend of April 1, visitors to the ISB were instead greeted with "chris's vulnerable emo blog," and an allegedly heartfelt, earnest review of Ultimate Spider-Man #78. Here it is for posterity, along with the header logo that ran for those two days, but click here for the full effect.]
usually, i only talk about graphic novels by Jeffery Brown, whose raw, emotional work is totally not insipid or self-indulgent at all, but unfortunately, the market's still dominated by the so-called "super-heroes."
i'm not sure what kind of loser is out there actually reading super-hero books, since most of us should've grown out of the hulk punching iron man or whatever by the time we hit seventh grade and got our first Cure albums, but whatever. the only thing that matters is that sometimes they get super-heroes RIGHT.
and that's why you should all go out and get a copy of Ultimate Spider-Man #78. or at least leaf through USM volume 13 while you drink some coffee at Barnes & Noble.
writer Brian Bendis is probably the only comics writers you should be reading. unlike a lot of the hacks out there, he can write five titles a month without suffering an immediate and noticeable decline in quality. and what's more, in this book, he's totally redefined spidey for the modern era by having the stories consist of the same head-shots over and over, accompanied by repetitive dialogue that doesn't come off as forced OR make a mockery of his earlier work.
even better, he infuses the stories with emotion. that's why i like this story in particular, even better than the thrilling "Ultimate Carnage" storyline. after the events of #71, which was probably the single best comic since coheed put out second stage turbine blade and had the single best moment in modern comics when peter cries in his basement, we get a story that doesn't feature any super-villains or fighting at all.
instead, we get this:
it's powerful stuff. i mean, we've all been there, right? crying in the bathroom, wondering why
and bendis isn't afraid to keep her in that bathroom for sixteen panels, incidentally. that's masterful pacing.
when she finally pulls it together enough to get to class, she sees peter, who shows us all why we like him so much.
at first, this might seem like peter's just being a petulant jerk to his teacher, but he's right: he could teach that class, and that teacher could never understand what peter's dealing with in his life. nobody could understand.
after that, mj goes to the mall, and bendis gets a chance to show off his amazing ear for teenage dialogue with scenes like this:
that's totally like me and my friends when we hang out to play old nintendo games and listen to death cab.
anyway, mj ends up going to a show with a guy she meets at the mall, mark raxton. i'm pretty sure he's an original character for the series, but he's somehow even cooler than geldoff, who worked as a great metaphor for how explosive we all are just beneath our calm surfaces. plus, raxton plays guitar, and so we hear some of his music which--unlike the way a lot of comics writers treat music--totally sounds like a real song that would be great to hear. check out these lyrics:
And I'm melting on youuuuuuuuu! /
its like he he captured all the intensity of my chem on the page.
anyway, mj ends up making out with him in his car before deciding she's still in love with peter, which is the most true-to-life thing in the book. because, i mean, sometimes your girlfriend will
we can still be together forever.
Current Mood: malaise
Current Music: Reggie and the Full Effect - Fought and Won One