Monday, October 26, 2009

The Chopping Block

I rarely cut titles from my pull list. Once I get started on a series, I find it very difficult to convince myself to drop it - it's the completist in me.

That said, with as many titles as I collect, there will be occasional drops. Today, I'm going to discuss the two most recent.

Vigilante - Holy 1980's, Batman! Marv Wolfman returns to the character he made.. readable.

Okay, maybe that's not fair. The 80's incarnation of the Vigilante was, essentially the Punisher - if Frank Castle were sane enough to contemplate the awfulness of his actions. It's a niche that was worthy of exploration. The 50 issue run of that version of the character culminated with the Vigilante committing suicide - which, again, is novel.

So, I guess DC was either A.) envious of the success Marvel has with the Punisher or B.) really struggling to find something for Marv Wolfman to do, because they decided to reintroduce the character. The person behind the mask is the brother of the 80's Vigilante, taking up his sibling's crusade against crime. Trouble is, there's no more of that nuance left. Dorian (the new guy) gets a few self-analyzing voiceovers every issue, but he's not really grappling with the problems of vigilantism so much as simply acknowledging them.

The emotional crux of the main character and the main appeal to the series seems to be nostalgia : "Remember that other Vigilante? This guy's not as interesting as him, but will think about him - a lot." I dropped the title after it finished the little crossover with the two Teen Titan titles.

House of Mystery - I just dropped this one this week. I may end up with another issue or two as the comic shop has likely ordered the next month or two worth, but I'm done. I badly wanted this title to be a new Sandman, and it just isn't. It started out promisingly enough as a kind of horror/fantasy/science fiction anthology title, with an interdimensional bar as a kind of framing sequence. Relatively entertaining.

Then, the series started to change - focusing more on the POV character and her strange imprisonment in the bar / house, and we get more of her backstory, and it's all interesting, but not especially entertaining, anymore. I almost dropped this series a few months back, but then they revealed that the titular House was, in fact, Cain's House of Mystery. And he's been looking for it. And he's pissed. So that renewed my flagging enthusiasm for a while, but I think it's time to let this one go.

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