Q: Does it ever bug you that comics characters don't age in any significant manner? --@sackobooks
A: I'm not gonna lie to you, Sacko: The first time I looked at this question, I dismissed it almost immediately, because to me, the answer seems pretty obvious. I mean, I am a guy whose career is defined by being super into a guy who's been in his early thirties for the past 74 years, so it's clearly not that big an issue. But then I got to talking to Matt Wilson about it, and he made me realize that there's actually a lot there to talk about.
After all, some characters do age. But do they need to?
If recent revelations can teach us anything, it's that Americans will always have a shadow behind us. Since the end of World War II, we have invested so much money and power and authority in our military-industrial complex and clandestine forces that it's categorically absurd to believe that our privacy has been anything but compromised, our national innocence -- if it ever existed -- anything but forfeit. For at least the last twelve years, American soldiers have been engaged in seemingly perpetual wars across the world, while potentially every electronic conversation we've had has been stolen and scrutinized, and the lie we've been told is that it's all been in the name of American freedom.
The truth is much worse. Like the titular character in Garth Ennis and Goran Parlov's just-concluded Fury MAX series, we simply love war, and we cannot stop ourselves from waging it.
Over a lifetime of reading comics, Senior Writer Chris Sims has developed an inexhaustible arsenal of facts and opinions. That's why, each and every week, we turn to you to put his comics culture knowledge to the test as he responds to your reader questions!
A few weeks ago at HeroesCon, I was going through quarter boxes when I found a run of Punisher 2099. I bought the whole thing as soon as I saw it, and while that might just sound like a normal comic-con impulse buy, keep in mind that I was so excited that I forgot I already owned a full run of Punisher 2099. Admittedly, that might say more about me than it does about these comics, but I don't really mind having extras, because Punisher 2099 is amazing. Seriously.
I'm starting to get the feeling that Garth Ennis doesn't like heroes very much. I don't mean superheroes, either. His ambivalence toward the spandex set is well-established and can easily be taken as read at this point. But heroes? The men and women we've built up to be larger than life and forces for good, immaculately moral and righteous? I'm starting to notice that he's pushing away from that concept in his work more and more often. He treats heroes like we would treat stereotypes or urban legends. He wants to debunk our idea of a hero, and it shows in his work.
The launch of two new books saw the return of Marvel's cosmic titles at yesterday's Marvel Cup O' Joe panel at New York Comic-Con -- but we were told not to think of them as "cosmic" anymore. The panel led by Marvel chief creative officer Joe Quesada also featured many of Marvel's bigwigs, including editor-in-chief Axel Alonso, publisher Dan Buckley and Marvel TV head honcho Jeph Loeb, most of whom took the opportunity to deafen the crowd by shouting "NOW" into their microphones...
Video games based on comics have always been a pretty risky proposition. For every Arkham City, there are two or three Superman 64s out there making life hard on anyone who just wants to punch out super-villains...
It's always a pleasure when a comic like this one comes along, and it's been a while, too. With the two big superhero comics publishers doubling down on their attempts to transform the ramshackle issue-by-issue chronicles of costumed mystery men and their bizarre adventures into slick franchise-ready "IP," it's becoming harder and harder to invest oneself as a reader in the Marvel and DC universes if you aren't interested in following along with the books' overarching master narrative...
Despite the movie's considerable flaws, I really, really enjoyed Thomas Jane in his role as Frank Castle in the 2004 Punisher movie. In fact, I'd be lying if I said it was anything other than his laconic voice-overs in the accompanying video game that motivated me to read every single Punisher comic I could get my hands on and led me to becoming such a big fan of the character.
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