Thursday, July 02, 2015

This page is great; the rest of this comic can go straight to hell...

So, the other day I was able to use my blog to remember which issue of Livewires I was missing, which seems like the sort of vaguely constructive thing I should be doing all the time but actually don't. And then I stumbled across my tag for "terrible comics," which I've somehow only used three times in almost a decade's worth of posts? Really? I didn't even trot that one out for Starblast, I didn't hit Genesis with it, so obviously my standards are mighty low.

The books tagged with it I hate like they keyed my car, because laziness, bad writing, and characters acting uncharacteristically can turn what should be a sure-thing into an also-ran: a bargain-priced 80-page mystery with the Blue Beetle clawing his way back to respectability that ends badly, an X-Men team-up that wastes my favorite character and John Cassaday art, and a Warlord comic that I own a good chunk of the print run of, in order to keep it out of the wrong hands. As in, anyone's. Seriously, I have like six of it; per the Beat Warlord #10 sold 10,539 copies.

Today, we hit another terrible comic, that's basically an issue of Warlord, except not really. Or good. From 2015, Convergence #5, "Liberty?" Written by Jeff King, pencils by Andy Kubert, inks by Sandra Hope.

If you managed to miss Convergence...you didn't miss much. With DC Comics moving their editorial offices from New York to California, the 'event' was basically filler to cover until they got their main staff up and running again; and featured characters and creators not seen in the New 52 relaunch, in a scenario involving stolen cities and heroes from different continuities forced to fight to the death. (Just on the orders of an unseen voice, so if you have a megaphone you can probably get your average DC character to punch the person next to him if you yell from out of sight.) Kinda fan-servicey, then; but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Lazy fan-servicey, on the other hand...

The big-bad of the series was Brainiac--no, Brainiac's flunky, Telos? No, by this issue, long-time Warlord villain Deimos was in the driver's seat, with most of the Earth-2 heroes standing around gaping as he reveals to Telos his true nature, and how Brainiac had enslaved him. Machiste makes a go at Deimos, and gets his heart torn out for his trouble; the other heroes are even less effective, even as the Dick Grayson of Earth-2 narrates maybe three pages of this issue, like he wasn't paying attention the rest of the time.

Meanwhile, the Warlord, Travis Morgan--wait, didn't he die? Killed by his own son, who replaced him for like three issues? Nope, it's Travis, fighting his way to his arch-enemy, although his beloved wife Tara is killed on the way. Travis should be full-on berserker rage here, but instead, calmly rides a dinosaur through Deimos's wall.

Cool, huh? Unfortunately, inside of a page, despite Travis leaping from atop the dinosaur onto Deimos; Deimos still is able to age Travis Morgan into an old man, then dust. Mariah, who loved Travis for about 150 total issues, is looking the other way and worried about tremors as this happens; and the Earth-2 heroes bravely run like hell. As Dick finds a Batarang, and the heroes try to get other, possibly better heroes to help, Deimos chats up former Wildcat and Crisis veteran Yolanda, and proclaims to all the cities crammed together that he will protect them...for a price.

I kinda blame the Hurting's Tim O'Neil for telling me about this issue basically being an issue of Warlord. Not a good one, but still. And I was likewise looking forward to Deimos being the big-bad: at one point, the guy was down to pieces of an animated corpse, his head on top of a hand, and he managed to come back from that! To get jobbed by Parallax in the first few pages of the last issue of this crapfest, I understand. Using Deimos like this doesn't make a lot of sense to me; you could just as easily sub in Skeletor or the Warlock of Ys or Blackbriar Thorn since there's absolutely no characterization to get in the way.

By the way, Andy Kubert drew a couple issues of Warlord, back in the 80's. It's early work, rough, but still this seems like a bit of a slap in the face...

2 comments:

SallyP said...

How can he even do his fighing thingie, with that woman clinging to his leg? That would really be awkward!

I did manage to completely ignore most of Convergence, thank goodness.

Dale Bagwell said...

Yeah, Warlord and his friends got dissed and jobbed out bigger than hell. They didn't reall give him a fitting ending either, which makes me wonder if it was the fault of editorial or the writers for how badly Warlord was written. Demios probably should never have been "The" big bad ever. At least not in a world where highly powered inviduals and teams like Superman, Dr. Fate, etc exist. And yet he was. I don't get any of that really. Definitely one of the worst examples of character assassination from DC yet.

You definitely need to highlight more of these terrible comics though man. I know you've got have more than a few in your collection.....whenever you finally find them;)