Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Positivity Instead of True Detective and Batman

I was all geared up to write a negative post tonight, venting my frustrations with the New 52 Batman's first two arcs, and discussing how these frustrations were similar to those I had with True Detective. In a nutshell, what bothers me about both is that the heroes in them lose and fuck up repeatedly, but in the end both the protagonists and, in my opinion, the series themselves believe that the good guys have won. What they actually accomplish is barely surviving, but they call it victory and I'm supposed to buy it and I don't.
     That could have been paragraphs but I'm just not in the mood to be that negative in that much detail for that long. Plenty has been said in favor and against both subjects, and I'm in a good mood. I debuted on Comics Should Be Good today, which is a literal dream come true. CSBG was one of the first blogs I discovered when I went searching for criticism on comics, which I'm sure is true for a lot of people. I respect the hell out of everyone who writes for that site, and now I get to be part of it, and that's real nice. It makes the piss-poor endings of True Detective and "Night of the Owls" seem pretty unimportant, even though both involved the good guys defeating personal villains but not the larger forces of evil behind those villains. Batman, at least, says he'll keep looking in-story, but in real life the effect is the same. Half-hearted, small-time, ultra-violent win and then boom, story over, on to the next one.
     I also went to the comicbook store today, because it's Wednesday, and was pleasantly surprised by several of the titles in my box. I didn't realize the new Ultimate Universe comics were coming out already. I stopped paying attention in the middle of Cataclysm but I'm so into all of the All-New Ultimates cast (lame title but it's what they're doing) and the creative team and cast of Ultimate FF are all so interesting that I went ahead and signed up for all the new Ultimate titles anyway. I have faith the universe can come out the other end of a crappy crossover and be good, because if the rumors are true, that's happened before. I was hoping that would be the case when "Night of the Owls" wrapped up, but it swiftly moved into an even bigger and worse crossover, "Death of the Family," which is a story about how Batman and Joker are both just playing for funsies, not for realsies, guys, c'mon!
     To top things off, the comics I bought today were from the last two weeks because I failed to go to the shop last week. And then to go right ahead and overflow the cup, I still have comics from the previous two weeks I haven't read because I keep doing or reading other things instead. So there's a meaty pile of new stuff to dig into over the next few days, and looking ahead, my schedule seems just free enough for me to do it. So that's exciting, and the icing on what was already a delicious cake of comicbook happenings today. I don't want to dampen that mood by going on and on about how True Detective is a brilliantly-performed character study of the two least likable or original characters I've seen in a while, dressed up as an equally uninspired mystery story that never even gets solved.
     I think that negativity in criticism is a good and necessary thing, but I know I tend to skew positive in my own, and that's because I generally have more energy and patience to explore the things I like. If I plan to review something, read it, and hate it, I'm more than happy to say so, and sometimes I do use the blog just to rail against whatever's on my nerves. That's what it's for, in part. But I have to really be in the right place to put that kind of effort into negativity, whereas when I'm picking apart my reasons for liking something, that in itself is energizing. I imagine for some the opposite is true, and for others neither apply and they operate on a whole different spectrum, and that's also a good and necessary thing. But despite plans to the contrary, I find myself unable or unwilling to devote this space to tearing anything apart right now. I'm too pleased with comics at the moment.
     Even though, sadly, none of the comics I follow have Batman in them anymore.

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