Monday 22nd December 2014,
Comic Booked

Stir the Pot Saturday: Week 1

Jeff Hill 01/05/2013 Reviews

Happy new year, all! To celebrate another year of success, I’m going to be bringing you something new, something unique, and something very personal each and every Saturday. A little column I like to call: “Stir the Pot Saturday.” But this will not be a rant on my end. In fact, it will be just the opposite. I might chime in every now and then on the site, the twitter account, or even the facebook page, but for the most part it’s going to be your show.

That’s right.

Every Saturday, I’m inviting you to participate in something new. I’m asking you to stir the pot and cause some ripples in the industry. So welcome aboard. Let’s do this!

Stirring the pot is the act of causing trouble for the sake of your own amusement. Whether it’s Marvel’s Loki or DC’s Mr. Mxyzptlk, comic books have had their fair share of meddling troublemakers throughout time. And whether or not you admit it, like us, you secretly love them. So we here at Comic Booked would like to formally invite you to discuss, debate, and start some shit talkin’ about the characters, the creators, and the storylines given to us from the industry we all know and love, hate, and love to hate.

This Saturday’s question: Which “top comics moment (or moments)” of 2012 were the worst?

Stir The Pot Saturday - Amazing Spider-Man #700 Stir The Pot Saturday - Return of the Joker

Did you absolutely hate the ending to The Amazing Spider-Man? Are you displeased with how DC is handling the return of the Joker? Did you rip The Walking Dead in half at any point this last year? Does the very concept of Before Watchmen still hurt your very soul? Or is there something else… something far more sinister that still keeps you up at night?

So go forth and debate! But be sure to back up your responses. Don’t be scared. And don’t give up. After all, no one likes a quitter. And you’re not a quitter, are you?

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About The Author

Jeff Hill is a moderately reformed frat boy turned writer/teacher living the dream in Lincoln, Nebraska. He does freelance work and writes fiction, none of which is about corn or the husking of corn. His work has appeared in over a dozen publications and his mom has a binder full of printed copies for any doubters. Plus, he's the Chief Creative Officer of Comic Booked. So that's pretty neat, too.

  1. Scorp_Moonopoly 01/05/2013 at 12:08 pm

    I didn't read Amazing 700, I just wasn't paying for it, so I can't really speak to how it was written. On principle I don't really like it, the idea is fine, it's basically Spider-Man's Knightfall, but I don't care for the execution. Ending a long running title and literally calling the new one Superior is just way too smart-alecky. I'm all for letting characters grow and evolve, but there has to be a core that remains, you can only change so much until they literally aren't themselves anymore. I have absolutely zero interest in reading Doc Ock Spidey, and so I won't, but the whole thing is convoluted in all the wrong ways – so much for being friendly to new readers, or even old ones for that matter.

    • jeffhillwriter 01/05/2013 at 3:46 pm

      Agreed. Marvel seems to be all about their movies and not really give a crap about their comics. It's obvious by their prices, multiple-issue months, consistently bad creative teams, and endless "jumping on points" that seem to be more and more rooted in obscure comic lore. Make Mine DC.

      • Skott_Jimenez 01/06/2013 at 3:17 am

        #700 is a great example of what I WANT from Marvel. It goes against the grain of making comics in hopes of getting them made into movies. I'm sick of Marvel always forcing readers to accept the garbage we get from their movies as status quo. Blade isn't a vampire, Ghost Rider was NEVER an 80 year old man and NEVER a bounty hunter for the devil, Doom NEVER went into space with the Four and never dated Sue Storm. Don't get me started on the Silver Surfer…
        But they make the horrible movies then Marvel turns the comics into the movie. That's one thing I'm hating about Marvel NOW! All it is is Marvel's way of forcing the 616 to look like the movies. The new Avengers book was reeking of it. From making the movie version of the team the new 616 Avengers to putting that god awful looking movie costume on Cap in the comics for absolutely NO good reason.

        I give my fair share of criticism to Marvel every day but once in a while they do something special, something groundbreaking like ASM #700. That goes against the grain. They have that horrible new movie franchise Amazing Spider-Man that mocks the history of Spidey. The comics no longer reflect the history that the movies are supposedly based off of. And they did it without having to reboot the entire history of their universe and make things more confusing than they were before.

    • Will 01/05/2013 at 6:25 pm

      At what point were they sitting around discussing this, and thought oh I know! Let’s scrap it after 700! Boneheads.

  2. Emma_Kathryn 01/05/2013 at 12:50 pm

    If I'm honest, I've been a little let down by the Death of the Family franchise. It doesn't really feel like anything new, it just seems like a way to get readers of Bat books reading all of the Bat family books, too. In fact, it's not even about the reading, it seems to be about the BUYING of these issues. Bit too pricey for me, I'm afraid.

    • jeffhillwriter 01/05/2013 at 3:52 pm

      I feel your pain. Or, rather, my WALLET feels your pain. But I feel that it has been worth it so far. And it could be worse. It could have included ALL Batman titles. At least we don't have to get crossovers for Birds of Prey, The Dark Knight, Worlds' Finest, Batwoman, Batwing, All Star Western, Justice League, etc. Granted, I'm getting all of those anyway, but still. Crossovers are, at their very core, a gimmick, though. I still stand by DC's decision to do this event. I just hope that it doesn't scare too many fans away.

      • Emma_Kathryn 01/05/2013 at 5:33 pm

        I really think it will put new readers off. Am starting to wonder whether or not to just hold off until the TPBs come out but then I feel left behind!

        • jeffhillwriter 01/05/2013 at 10:04 pm

          Stay strong, Emma! I'm sure it'll all be worth it in the end!

    • kcassidy 01/06/2013 at 8:23 pm

      Although I agree to an extent, I am liking the story. That said, I think they tried to go TOO grandiose with this one. Why be in every book? Or why cross it INTO all the books? Look at events DC has done such as Blackest Night… Instead of plugging it into the mainstream book, there is a miniseries instead so the main title can continue on. I loved that idea, more than the crossovers everywhere (especially when, in some cases, the writing of the characters are jumbled and the impact is lessened since THE JOKER IS EVERYWHERE AT ONCE). Ahem. DC appears to be doing this en masse – look at Rise of the Third Army, H'el on Earth, and the upcoming First Lantern saga in the GL family soon as well as the Trinity War coming to DC. It makes it hard to enjoy a book when you have to get 6 others to keep up. The Superman ones are confined to 3, which I can deal with, but it's getting out of control.

      • jeffhillwriter 01/14/2013 at 3:17 am

        I don't think it's getting out of control yet because DC seems to be doing something that Marvel has long since forgotten: making editors do their jobs. Throne of Atlantis, for example, acknowledges that the heroes are all doing stuff, so they cut the team down a bit while those stories wrap up. And as for Batman's involvement, well, A) it takes place in his town, so he kinda has to help and B) he's Batman, so he boosts sales and is awesome. The Joker APPEARS to be everywhere at once, but only briefly, and who's to say that it's always HIM anyway? I see your point, but I think crossovers, if done correctly (which DC is currently doing, in my opinion) are a good thing. Hopefully Trinity War is awesome as well and doesn't make me eat my words.

  3. Skott_Jimenez 01/05/2013 at 1:52 pm

    I absolutely LOVED ASM #700. By far one of the best single comics I read in 2012. The fact that Slott was willing to let the story progress rather than give us the same old 'Peter pulls out a last minute save and everything is fine' just shows me everything is on the table now.
    With Otto in Perker's body is opens up so many interesting things. Like the first issue of Superior Spider-Man when he gets his first taste of fighting villains.
    Heck even the name 'Superior" gives you an idea of how this new series is going to feel. That Otto still has his ego and now has the genius, powers, and eventually morals of Peter Parker to add to that, along with his genius, is just exciting on every level.
    I'm on edge waiting for the 9th to get here!

    • jeffhillwriter 01/05/2013 at 3:53 pm

      Glad someone liked it. Not my thing, that's for sure. Were you a fan of "One More Day" by chance? Talk about status quo changer…

      • Skott_Jimenez 01/06/2013 at 3:05 am

        OMD/BND was, in my opinion, perfect. It's what Amazing Spider-Man needed to get some life in it again. It took the book back to it's basics and made it fun again.

        • jeffhillwriter 01/06/2013 at 1:32 pm

          I actually didn't mind Brand New Day… One More Day just seemed so, I don't know, insulting. Here I was along for the whole J. Michael Straczynski whirlwind ride, which was one of my favorite long runs of Spidey ever, and then it just… Didn't happen. And neither did most of the stories I loved. I feel like that was the last time I really cared about Peter's journey. But then I found myself picking up issues sporadically after that retcon and finding some of them amusing. But then Slott took over. I think I'm in the obvious minority, but I can't stand what he's been doing. I still remember him as the writer of that terrible Ren & Stimpy comic and his horrid attempt at team writing on Avengers: The Initiative. I'm sure people out there hated the Straczynski stuff, though, so there's always that.

  4. NickFurious 01/05/2013 at 1:54 pm

    I feel like the material in nearly all DC and Marvel has been "meh", but it doesn't really seem to be something that is going to change anytime soon. Even with DC and Marvel taking big risks and huge chances it seems to be falling flat. I enjoy reading our favorite heroes adventures but they are just losing steam.

    • jeffhillwriter 01/14/2013 at 3:18 am

      I think Marvel has all but lost me. Not forever, because I get that these things go in cycles, but seriously… I haven't read anything that I've actually ENJOYED from Marvel in ages. Hopefully they can get that steam back sooner rather than later.

  5. Tony_Cal 01/05/2013 at 3:09 pm

    I haven't picked up ASM #700 yet so I can't really comment on that. Plus I'm soooo out of the loop when it comes to Marvel books. I'm not sure what has been happening. It sounds like an interesting read though.

    Now to Batman. I am enjoy Batman so far. I haven't read many of the other titles that go along with Death in The Family. I am digging Snyder's style of writing when it comes to the Joker. I still think he has a trick up his sleeve with this story. So I will keep going on this ride while it last!

    • jeffhillwriter 01/05/2013 at 3:54 pm

      Don't waste your money on Spider-Man's "epic" conclusion. Wait until it's in the bargain bin if you must complete a collection. Take that 8 bucks and buy a couple more Batman comics!

      • Skott_Jimenez 01/06/2013 at 3:07 am

        No way! It's one to read ASAP! Of the books I picked up in 2012, ASM #700 was definitely the single biggest and best one I've read.
        Unlike the Batman books, we didn't have to suffer through a confusing reboot of the whole universe either.

        • jeffhillwriter 01/06/2013 at 1:41 pm

          Batman and Green Lantern didn't reboot. And didn't Spider-Man just reboot during One More Day / Brand New Day not more than a few years ago? Talk about confusing!

  6. jeffhillwriter 01/05/2013 at 3:42 pm

    It's no secret that I am LOVING the Death of the Family event so far… But I can't say the same for a lot of other things that happened in 2012 and are bleeding into 2013. Needless to say, I'm glad Amazing Spider-Man 700 was the final issue. The "ending" and the price gave me a great way out. Thanks, Marvel, for making it easy. That being said, I did read the issue. And man oh man am I glad I didn't dish out 8 bucks for that piece of garbage. I normally don't trash talk writers or artists, but I think Humberto Ramos should be ashamed of himself for his interpretation of the wrinkled inhuman Doctor Octopus and Dan Slott will undoubtedly be remembered as one of, if not THE worst writer in Spider-Man history. Pot… Stirred…

  7. Christian_J 01/05/2013 at 5:07 pm

    I'm glad Amazing Spider-Man ended its run. There was absolutely no character progression for Peter after a certain point. Each story arc he just seemed to plod along without any real purpose, not to menion the fact that giving him a sidekick (a attempt to sovle this problem) was a total failure on all fronts. So yeah… needless to say I really wasn't bothered by the Spidey 700. Yes, it was a bit off putting at some parts, but over all, 700 was an adequate way of ending Peter Parker's story.

    • jeffhillwriter 01/05/2013 at 10:06 pm

      I agree that it has been quite some time since anything important or even interesting has happened to Peter, but I blame that almost entirely on the writer. He went from one of my favorite Marvel characters to one of my most hated in the last few years, primarily because his own flagship title was just plain boring. Boring and pointless end to a great character that had been ruined by lack of imagination. Nothing new was told with this story. It was an embarrassment to the industry and the character.

      • Skott_Jimenez 01/06/2013 at 3:08 am

        I think you must be thinking about Ultimate Spider-Man, lol, AMAZING Spider-Man has been very entertaining since Brand New Day. Really the only story I can remember that wasn't any fun at all was The Grim Hunt. That was really hard to get through.

        • jeffhillwriter 01/06/2013 at 1:45 pm

          I actually didn't read The Grim Hunt. Sounded pretty bad. But I think you bring up a good point that we can both agree upon: Ultimate Spider-Man. Bad. It was really good for the first 20ish issues, but then it drug on to 130-something and rebooted (twice) and now is some random kid that I don't even care about. Someone as Spider-Man that isn't Peter? Weird… That sounds like a unique idea! Oh, wait…

  8. davidgillette 01/05/2013 at 9:10 pm

    ASM 700 is just another in a long line of sales stunts. Over it.

    • jeffhillwriter 01/05/2013 at 10:07 pm

      But how long will it even last? I think people are getting tired of this. Yes, I get that they have to do SOMETHING to generate buzz, but what ever happened to the idea of getting good stories to generate that buzz? It seems so simple…

      • Skott_Jimenez 01/06/2013 at 3:11 am

        That's what #700 was. A great story that generated buzz. The best part is this story would have happened regardless if Marvel NOW! had happened. I don't know if it would have shelved Amazing the way it has but the story was a natural progression of things established in ASM #600. Now we enter an even more exciting era with Superior Spider-Man and, yes, it won't last forever. I already see a way they can return Peter Parker to the lead role and have it make sense. Until then I'm going to fully enjoy the ride… even if it means I have to deal with Mary Jane again.

        • jeffhillwriter 01/06/2013 at 1:46 pm

          I think I can agree on one thing you've been saying about Slott's Spidey… It was a natural progression. Which means it wasn't a surprise. Or unique. I will say I am glad that MJ is back, though. Not glad enough to actually buy the issues when the come out, but at least it's a step in the right direction. Now if only there can be some sort of other lazy deus ex machina ala One More Day… Fingers crossed!

  9. victorecorrea 01/05/2013 at 10:24 pm

    Worst moment in 2012? I wasn't a fan of the rogues absorbing the abilities of their weapons.

    • jeffhillwriter 01/05/2013 at 11:21 pm

      Yeah. That was kind of dumb. Seemed pretty pointless.

  10. Adam Snape 01/06/2013 at 6:31 am

    I wasn’t a fan of Gail Simone being taken off Batgirl but that only last a couple of weeks.

    I don’t think AVX lived up to the hype at all. It was a good series but people were talking about it for about 6 months prior to release and it just didn’t warrant that kind of discussion.

  11. kcassidy 01/06/2013 at 8:14 pm

    This may sound strange but… DC's Dial H. Although a great concept in the 70s, the concept today is kind of… meh. A phone dial that changes people into a super hero. In today's society, how many people have phones with dials? And who randomly dials H-E-R-O to make it happen? … That's what I thought. Although what this title DID do was answer an age-old question – where do these heroes come from when they appear? (Check out issue #0 to see that one…) So although I think the concept is dumb and one of the worst ideas to come out of DC in a LONG time, at least they put some kind of spin on it to give it that thought-provoker.

    • jeffhillwriter 01/14/2013 at 3:19 am

      Never even bothered to pick it up. Looked dumb. Guess I was right. :)

  12. jeffhillwriter 01/14/2013 at 3:19 am

    What else made you angry in 2012? These don't just have to stay to weekend of posting only! Feel free to make 2013 your complaining year!

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