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POP! Reads

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1 POP! Reads on Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:49 pm

flux336

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Hello, hello reader friends. Our very first POP! Reads book is:



SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!

Let the discussion begin!! Smile

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2 Re: POP! Reads on Sat Jan 02, 2010 3:05 am

Denim

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I don't have the hardcover version of this, but I did read the individual issues when they came out.

I enjoyed the first part of this alot, but the second part just kind of fell flat for me. I really enjoy Gaiman, but for me, it seems when he does regular superheros it just kind of is flat to me. I perfer him when he writes the things that he creates better. I think part of the problem is that there is too much expected because he is Gaiman and when the expectation for something spectacular is put out there and turns out to be just good and not spectacular, then folks have a tendancy to stick to the negatives.

It is a good read and maybe I will get the hardcover for whatever extras they added into it, but for me, it's good not great.

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3 Re: POP! Reads on Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:08 am

flux336

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I think Gaiman's superheroes can fall flat sometimes because DC (and other comic companies) won't let him cut loose and do what he does best. They give him a bit of room to work with, but they always want their heroes to go back to status quo. Gaiman is all about irrevocable change and most mainstream superhero comics are about keeping their characters very contained and "recognizable".

As a writer, it's very difficult to write something interesting and compelling in such a restrictive environment. Look at The Sandman, Gaiman made the choice to
Spoiler:
let Morpheus die.
Most writers would have ridden that character into the ground for as long as possible and then beyond. I think Gaiman writes some great stories for mainstream comics and then editorial comes in and says, " Hey Neil, that's great but we need Character A to do XZY." And that can ruin a great story.

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4 Re: POP! Reads on Sun Jan 03, 2010 3:28 pm

Denim

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flux336 wrote: I think Gaiman writes some great stories for mainstream comics and then editorial comes in and says, " Hey Neil, that's great but we need Character A to do XZY." And that can ruin a great story.

I agree with this 100%. I really enjoyed 1602 that he did for Marvel, but I will not read anything Marvel did with that universe afterwards, to me it was complete with his last issue. His Eternals series to me was good, until they incorporated the goings on in the Marvel Universe into it. It just seemed forced to me.

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5 Re: POP! Reads on Sun Jan 03, 2010 3:34 pm

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^ Agreed. I loved the whole 1602, but the end. Eternals was okay, but a little bit messy. Worst was when Marvel revisited the 1602 reality and when the events in Eternals were used in other books.

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6 Re: POP! Reads on Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:31 pm

comicgeekelly

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I just read the single issues and I have to ask, what the hell happened? I enjoyed what I was reading, but it confused the hell out of me. When the issues first came out I bought and read them and I thought I understood it, but now reading them back to back I don't know.

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7 Re: POP! Reads on Sun Jan 10, 2010 4:58 pm

BlueMaxx

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Tomer Soiker wrote:^ Agreed. I loved the whole 1602, but the end. Eternals was okay, but a little bit messy. Worst was when Marvel revisited the 1602 reality and when the events in Eternals were used in other books.
Gaiman's Marvel is, IMHO, his weakest works. Not to say they were bad. Much better than what is out there for Marvel. And I enjoyed the A New World and Fantastick Four, they were fun. Haven't read the latest mini--think it was Spider-Man? Which they already did for A New World, basically.

comicgeekelly wrote:I just read the single issues and I have to ask, what the hell happened? I enjoyed what I was reading, but it confused the hell out of me. When the issues first came out I bought and read them and I thought I understood it, but now reading them back to back I don't know.
Gaiman, in a good few of his works, like many writers, likes to incorporate allusions to other literature. In this one, he bluntly alludes to Goodnight Moon, the book his mother would always read to him, and that he'd read with her. Oddly, retconning it into the book they shared before going to see The Mark of Zorro, in which after the show would be the most iconic moments in literary and pop-culture history. The reason for this is because of endings are always the prelude to beginnings. With his mother, Martha (Who I totally guessed was her in part 1! Go me!) telling him that everything ends and that he can't return for a couple of years, is sort of a way of saying that he'll be back. Also, the fact that they don't have his body and such. I mean, it is a given that he'll be back, but it seemed to me as if Gaiman, for DC, was showing that it wasn't for gimmick. His death and return in the future has/will have meaning. So, can't wait for that. Hope they keep their "word".

The reason it plays out the way it did is that Gaiman loves playing with concepts as a whole, rather than going for tangibility in the mainstream continuity of the DCU, he told a concept story based on the entire mythos of Batman and his changes, his past adventures. From Golden Age to Modern Age, he explained what The Batman was, not necessarily who he was like you and I, and probably many others, thought it'd be like. All those deaths were puzzling to me at first, but my theory is that he was trying to show that this mortal should have had many deaths many times over, but didn't because he's The Batman, a hero beyond that is beyond the man behind the cowl. I know that sounds pretentious, but if you're a Gaiman fan, you have to be prepped for a little poeticness, which I like. Gaiman has a way of writing that never feels like he's full of himself, keeping it comfortable as you take it in. My opinion, anyway.

Now, with all that said, the story did feel a little lackluster with the closing. Like the book, Goodnight Moon, it was supposed to be a peaceful farewell, but it half-seemed silly. At least it wasn't, "Goobye, Cruel World." Heh. I believe the "rebirth" by looping him back was a way of saying, again, that there are no finalities, and that he'll be back. And/or the memory of the symbol, the mantle, and the travails that went along with it transcends through memory.

Not Bruce Wayne, not a man--The Batman is the quintessential hero; the epitome of.

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8 Re: POP! Reads on Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:30 pm

Thought this was very touching (and relevent to the topic). Neil Gaiman is getting married!
http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2010/01/telling-world-official-announcement.html Smile

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9 Re: POP! Reads on Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:37 pm

BlueMaxx

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^ Good for him. I've always wondered what happened to his last marriage, but I usually don't care for gossip. Seemed mutual with the divorce with his wife.

But, good for Palmer and Gaiman. Friends were telling me that she has a great band, The Dresden Dolls.

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10 Re: POP! Reads on Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:26 am

flux336

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comicgeekelly wrote:I just read the single issues and I have to ask, what the hell happened? I enjoyed what I was reading, but it confused the hell out of me. When the issues first came out I bought and read them and I thought I understood it, but now reading them back to back I don't know.

My interpretation was that Bruce Wayne is reborn time and again and becomes Batman each cycle. He has no afterlife to speak of. His reward is his few years of true happiness with his parents before they die. There is no heaven and hell for him, he is always destined to be The Batman.

The funeral eulogies reveal the lives that Batman has lived before and how each ended. Each story explores a different era of Batman history. Each era displayed was supposed to be a tribute to the different Batman artists from his history: Bob Kane, Dick Sprang, Jim Aparo and Neal Adams among others.

The entire story for me was heartbreaking and bittersweet. I loved it.

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11 Re: POP! Reads on Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:11 am

shining knight

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I thought it was terrible

I get the whole point of the story but it doesn't stop it from being a confusing mess.

Lovely art though

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12 Re: POP! Reads on Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:21 am

flux336

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Has anyone read Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? I rather expected Gaiman's story to pull together the different Bat eras because they'd done so in "...Man of Tomorrow..."

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13 Re: POP! Reads on Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:20 am

BlueMaxx

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^ Never read it. I imagined, since Gaiman titling it that way, that it would take the themes from te Superman title.

flux336 wrote:
The funeral eulogies reveal the lives that Batman has lived before and how each ended. Each story explores a different era of Batman history. Each era displayed was supposed to be a tribute to the different Batman artists from his history: Bob Kane, Dick Sprang, Jim Aparo and Neal Adams among others.

The entire story for me was heartbreaking and bittersweet. I loved it.
*claps* Never put that much thought into the writers/artists of each era for The Batman.

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14 Re: POP! Reads on Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:07 am

flux336

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BlueMaxx wrote:^ Never read it. I imagined, since Gaiman titling it that way, that it would take the themes from te Superman title.

flux336 wrote:
The funeral eulogies reveal the lives that Batman has lived before and how each ended. Each story explores a different era of Batman history. Each era displayed was supposed to be a tribute to the different Batman artists from his history: Bob Kane, Dick Sprang, Jim Aparo and Neal Adams among others.

The entire story for me was heartbreaking and bittersweet. I loved it.
*claps* Never put that much thought into the writers/artists of each era for The Batman.

When I saw the older Selina Kyle, I knew for sure that we would be revisiting the different eras of Batman's history. The older Selina also reminded me of Catwoman: Nine Lives of a Feline Fatale, which reprints classic Catwoman stories. Wow, DC is really self-referential. Laughing

One thing I did have to look up was The Death of Robin Hood. I'd never read it. I found the poem online, you can check it out here. The Child Ballads

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15 Re: POP! Reads on Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:32 pm

Denim

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The going through the differnt era's of Batman was a huge high point for me in the first part.

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16 Re: POP! Reads on Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:51 am

BlueMaxx

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I liked the Robin Hood death. A man so wealthy that all he can think to do is give.

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17 Re: POP! Reads on Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:50 am

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18 Re: POP! Reads on Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:32 am

BlueMaxx

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^ The first one was funny, but the other was pretty exaggerated.

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19 Re: POP! Reads on Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:44 am

flux336

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Any other comments regarding the book? A new poll should be up soon so we can vote for our Feb. book.

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20 Re: POP! Reads on Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:26 am

flux336

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One thing I have found is that the book grows richer for me over the course of several readings. Each time I find something else within the story. It's one of those books I think I'll read again in later years. The following review really says a lot of things I was thinking but couldn't quite express. HeroesOnline

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22 Re: POP! Reads on Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:08 pm

BlueMaxx

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^ I enjoyed the ComicAlliance article. Guess there is someone out there for everyone that'll shit on them. Glad the writer brought that to light. I've honestly never met a gothic Neil Gaiman fan. don't know

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23 Re: POP! Reads on Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:22 pm

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I actually did, on the line for a signing of his couple of years ago. Most of the people looked "normal" but there were also many Gothic girls, at least two of them in front of me. I'm not surprised, though. The generalization doesn't do Gaiman nor his fans a justice, anyway.

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24 Re: POP! Reads on Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:44 pm

BlueMaxx

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^ Yeah, no, that doesn't surprise me, but his fandom is much more widespread than kids in black and/or leather. That's such a irrational stereotyping.

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25 Re: POP! Reads on Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:47 pm

BlueMaxx

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