Another month, another Star Trek: Khan comic from IDW Publishing hits the shelves. Writer Mike Johnson has used the first two issues fairly well in most respects, adding to the entirely new continuity of films that Director J. J. Abrams established with his two blockbuster movies and showing off how Khan as he was in Star Trek: Into Darkness came to be. Its not something that I’ve particularly liked, since I’m a fan of the older established continuity, but I’ve been fairly interested in it all the same.
The third issue here goes into much more depth about Khan’s reign during the Eugenics Wars and gives a lot of information on the state of the world at the time. So far, we had only seen the private moments for the most part and with the new issue Johnson expands the scope of the story and the events so that he is properly contextualising Khan as a product of his times, more than anything. Nature AND nurture so to speak. So, as a character study, this issue definitely holds some weight. But its not all song and roses.
This was a really busy comics reading week, primarily because I read two graphic novels this time around, both of them for Marvel no less. I have finally dipped my toes in full in Dan Slott’s Superior Spider-Man and the first taste has been quite interesting and fun. On the flip side, the somewhat older Immortal Iron Fist proved to be a bit of a mediocre book, but no less intriguing for that fact and I’m quite interested in the character now. Other than, a lot of the DC comics this week were really good and this is quite pleasing in fact. And Zero Year tie-ins are finally over so I look forward to a month of no such tie-ins.
I still have a big backlog of graphic novels to burn through, so I have that to keep me busy further I suppose. More on that as it happens.
Coming right on the heels of Marvel’s biggest and grandest event of the year, Infinity, is a tie-in issue for one of its longest-running series at present, Wolverine and the X-Men, which I started reading thanks to another event and am kind of liking thus far. I haven’t read Infinity till now, aside from the first couple issues which I found really confusing and laborious reading, but I do plan to go through it soon since all the issues are now out and I can read them back-to-back without any gaps. Seeing the Infinity logo on this issue made me think that this would be a direct tie-in, but its a side-story at best and focused on a single character.
With Battle of the Atom over now, I’m seeing that Wolverine and the X-Men is quite an ensemble book of various X-Men characters, young and old, inexperienced and experienced. That seems to be at the heart of this book, so its a bit strange to get an issue like this, which is focused exclusively on Kid Gladiator. But all the same, as an “extra” issue, it kind of does make sense in the end, particularly when by all accounts writer Jason Aaron is bringing the character back after a long absence. In the end, this issue has my thumbs-up.
Managed to read a handful of more comics this week, since there were a lot of titles released that I was really interested in, and a couple from previous weeks that I hadn’t been able to get around to at the time. As usual, it was all a mixed reading experience, with some really good comics mixed in with some bad ones and a few that straddle the fence between the two extremes. More positive ones than negative ones.
No graphic novels this week sadly, since this week was a real slog in reading, again, and I was struggling for time in general with everything else too. Perhaps this coming week can be different!
About three weeks ago, I wrote a post about my plans for my NaNoWriMo project for this year, an Indian space opera story tentatively called The Veergati Codex. I talk about it in some detail here. That post also talked about some of the negative reactions I’ve seen against the entire event, established authors basically deriding the efforts of the “dilettantes” and the “dabblers” since “real authors” write all year, not just for one month a year. Its a fair criticism I guess, but its undeniable that many of the published authors of today are these same dilettantes and dabblers who’ve made it big. I know of at least three currently published authors, from major publishers no less, who took their first steps with a NaNoWriMo event and have reached all the way to where they are now. So the derision this year really rubbed me the wrong way.
But anyway, that’s not what this post is about. In the previous post, I’d said that my goal for this year was to do 30k words instead of the usual 64k+ I’d pulled the last years. With some personal things going on, not to mention some other commitments and my reading, I couldn’t afford to spend that much time on the writing for the event this year. I was all resigned to it too.
But then the first day came, and I was a mean writing machine, if I do say so myself.
Jason Aaron’s Thor: God of Thunder has been one of the biggest successes of Marvel’s line-wide reboot. A lot of that undoubtedly has to do with the Thor franchise in the Marvel Cinematic Universe being such a big breakout success as well. The second movie, Thor: The Dark World, which launched last week has so far proven to be another big hit and has broken several box office records of its predecessor already. Jason Aaron has been going all-out with the series and its an approach that has clearly worked out.
The current arc stars the long-forgotten Thor villain Malekith, one-time leader of the Dark Elves of the realm of Svartalfheim. Broken out of his prison in #13, he has been waging a guerrilla war across the Nine Realms and it has fallen to Thor and representatives of some of the other realms to hunt him down and bring him back in chains. In #14 we see the League of Realms form, an Avengers-like team-up of warriors from across the Nine Realms, and we see their first outing together. In #15, we see them a second time and this time, a lot of emphasis is placed on the character drama between the characters, rather than on the action.
Being a fan of the character of Khan Noonien Singh from his original appearances in Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan, reading the first issue of Mike Johnson’s new series from IDW last month proved to be an interesting experience. It changed a few things, but kept others the same. The core of the character did not, thankfully, need any redefinition, but his backstory was indeed rebooted to fit what the recent Star Trek: Into Darkness did with him, and where the character is meant to go.
I read the second issue last night and I have to say that I am somewhat disappointed in that it is just not as strong a comic. We continue to get more on the character and the supporting cast, but there is something that is distinctly missing from this issue. Which is a shame since the series is quite promising otherwise.
Zero Year has finally kicked off for the non-Batman titles for DC and its been pretty good so far. Lots of interesting stories to say the least and this coming week promises to be even better with Batman #25 and Batgirl #25 hitting the stands as well, so good times to be had. Didn’t read too much outside of DC this time around, which is fine with me since I like my superheroes a particular way and other comics don’t interest me all that much really.
Read another graphic novel this week, mostly to catch up with a series I’m following right now, so that’s a bonus for the most part. I’d say I have a good thing going here if I can scrape in a graphic novel a week. Could be more, depending on certain things, but I’m fine I suppose.
As the larger cosmic event Infinity begins winding down, so do the various tie-ins and current arcs going on in the related books. Mighty Avengers, a book which launched in synchronicity with the event in September, ended its first arc this week, and it has been doing quite decently from what I’ve heard of the sales for the first two issues. Of course, there’s also the matter of the exact make-up of the team, which has generated no small amount of buzz itself.
This is a book that showcases the minority characters, and characters that are seemingly overlooked by the rest of the Marvel universe considering that most of the books the publisher is putting out right now are X-Men books with largely similar teams, and Avengers books that are all about the high-profile heroes. Al Ewing has done great in bringing together all these characters and telling a really fun story involving them, partnered up with some decent artwork,
Joining the ranks of all the Vertigo titles I’ve been reading of late is the first in a “new” series by noted SFF author Neil Gaiman, The Sandman: Overture. This series is a prequel to The Sandman that Vertigo used to publish a few years back and is one of Gaiman’s earlier works of fiction, and one of his earliest successes to boot. From what I gather, The Sandman is very much a classic series in the industry, and of its greatest successes and yet owing nothing to the superhero genre at all.
I’ve never read anything by Neil Gaiman before, and this pretty much my first experience of his work as a result. Its been mixed. There are some great strengths of this issue, but there are a lot of weaknesses as well. But as someone approaching this world, this setting for the first time, I’m often left in the dark as to what is going on.
In just a few short days will begin another Nation Novel Writing Month where tens of thousands of people all over the world will make a head-start on their novel projects, aiming for a monthly word-count of 50,000. Thousands will fall way short. Thousands will make that target, and thousands still will surpass that and end up much higher. From personal experience, its been *relatively* easy for me to break past the goal. In my first year, in 2011, I ended the month with a word-count of 65,866. In my second year, in 2012, I ended the month with 64,001 words committed. But this year, its going to be much different.
There are certain personal things going on that make it a impossible for me to be able to carry on this level of productivity this year. And its not just one thing, its a lot of different things, none of which are the topic of discussion here. Simply put, I’m aiming only for 30,000 words by the end of the month and even then I’m doubtful if I can make it.
No, the topic of discussion here is the reaction of some published authors with respect to this yearly event. To sum, its derision and arrogance and dismissal of the efforts that people make in November every year for this event. And that is something I have a big problem with.