Saturday, 13 March 2010

A to Z: J is for Jubilee

Ugh... It's really no lie to say I've been dreading this. Thankfully I had Young Allies to squee over like a child recently to fill the gap in updates, because if I honestly had to churn this out two weeks ago like I intended I would have gone stark raving MAD! But still we all have to knuckle down and face the music at some point and right here, right now, is me doing just that. So let's dive into the final A to Z of block two, shall we?

The immediate issue that anyone has to face when they make a schedule such as I have is that if you haven't ACTUALLY read every title you're going to review in your attempt to highlight 'underrated series' you will inevitably hit something that is so unequivocally SHIT that your only course of action is to punch yourself square in the face till you finally pound it into yourself that you should ALWAYS make sure you know what you're going to write about before you do.

Because this is shit. It is REALLY SHIT (seriously my twitter followers will know of the pain I suffered reading this garbage. In fact this A to Z might suffer for that venting as I've gotten a lot of the pain out of my system). This comic is in fact one of the worst titles I've ever read (and I've read Ultimatum, Countdown to Final Crisis, The Incorrigible Hulk AND Anita Blake, so I know from shit), featuring some incredibly STUPID art (something that's hard to diagnose art with, I might add) and writing that can only ever come from someone so detached from the reality of being a youth as Robert Kirkman is (a statement I'm sure would provoke disagreement from Invincible fans if they actually read this blog).

This is Jubilee and it almost made me quit writing about comics.
Ugh... Not a wraparound AND it makes me feel sick to look at. Bravo Jubilee, bravo.

Okay, how does this template I attempt to use go? Um.... PLOT! What's the plot of this heap of stinking crap? Well I'll tell you! Jubilation Lee has decided to look even more like a stereotyped cartoony Asian than ever before and followed that up by moving to Bel-Air to live with her rich Aunt who is of course an assassin. Still, credit where credit's due, at least she's not a kung-fu ninja assassin. I think.

Anyway, so Jubilee starts to go to school, becomes friends with the resident unpopular geek who LOOKS JUST AS NORMAL AS THE NEXT PERSON, starts crushing on the first white jock she sees (a theme throughout until she eventually ends up kinda into the black teen gang leader of the tale, which is OH SO MUCH MORE LESS STEREOTYPED THAN THE ARYAN JOCKS, AMIRITE?! (aside: he actually is)), causes some typical trouble, retcons the use of her powers down a fair bit from fusion-reaction based pyrotechnics to... flashes that kinda blind people a bit for a while. I mean obviously, right? Anyway some boring crap happens, Jubilee ends up being forced to be some sort of youth counsellor and does such impressive feats as getting a rebellious youth to leave the gang he's in and fighting another gang leader and... Well that's about it. Oh and Wolverine turns up at the end, which coincidentally is when the crappy artist for the first 5 issues fucks off somewhere.

Remember when Jubilee decided to look like a horrible whorish stereotype drawn by a crazed artist who really didn't know how to draw anything remotely well following the death of her friend Angelo? Me neither, but here it is.

You really can't make this stuff up. Because if you did you would be an awful writer who needs to be slapped on the wrists and told to come back when you have the ability to write something relatively palatable about a new ant-man, or even a brilliant series about a forgotten golden age character called Destroyer. And if you're that person, you're also Robert Kirkman.

Now, I've already fielded the fact that Kirkman and Phillips brought me back into comics with Marvel Zombies, to the point that I essentially wrote a love letter to Phillips back in my Incognito entry in this exercise in futility. But sadly whilst Phillips gets endless love from me, Robert Kirkman has been out to make me attack him at various points in time. Jubilee is the worst example, but such works as his mediocre Captain America material, his utterly shite Ultimate X-Men (though the title never exactly had that much going for it anyway), the frankly boring selection of comics from Pilot season and a kinda hit and miss run of his beloved Image title Invincible (that I usually like but really seems to not understand how teenagers talk and behave).

Not to say he doesn't do good. I like Haunt, and I bought volume 1 of Astounding Wolf-Man and didn't HATE it. Though most of his comics have a freakish obsession with OMG THE MENTOR CHARACTER HAS BETRAYED THE PROTAGONIST AND IS NOW A VILLAIN HOW CAN THIS BE, including Wolf-Man, so obviously any praise is hard to give. I'm serious on that trope though. Think about it: Invincible (Invincible's Dad), Wolf-Man (the Vampire bloke), even Marvel Zombies: Dead Days to an extent (Reed betrays EVERYONE). I mean sure you can say that Chew has the exact same trope but at least it jazzes it up a little by involving an ear being bitten off.


Anyway I'm only covering the basics of everything here because too much exposure will surely kill me, and this taking over two weeks to write is evidence of that. I will however quickly name the artist of Jubilee, Derec Donovan. He starts out in the first issue with some art that looks relatively nice, but within PAGES it deteriorates into some god-awful crap that was actually painful to look at. In fact going through the comic that fateful first time I found only ONE good page from Donovan before the final issue's change to the cover artist Casey Jones and that was when Wolverine appeared in the final page of the final issue Donovan drew! I mean really! In fact here it is:
There I just saved you what would have been like $18 or something.

Ugh... Anyway, as you all know by now the point of A to Z has been to point out comics that you should read and tell you why. And honestly it's been hard to work out why. But there is a reason. And this is it: to truly understand the importance of good, nay, GREAT comics, you must first expose yourself to the worst of the worst. This is down there with them, and by reading this you can truly take your first steps to truly understanding comic books as a literary art form. And that's something.

This time around I'm not going to link you to a place where you can buy this comic because I'd feel bad showing you where to waste your money. Instead I'll leave a tidy little link to a much better comic beginning with J that I really should have written about if it wasn't quite well known.

This comic right here. I love it, and it's criminally cheap.

Now I need to go weep and lash out at the world, as I've been far too tame here.

And that's J. Next is K, which could be ANYTHING that begins with K at this very moment. But what's important is that it's not Jubilee, because I can't deal with that right now. And of course A to Z has now finished block two and will be back after a short break for block three. Because I like to have excuses to wait a while before being productive. Still, daily updates of some fashion are starting soon. Which is nice. Read More ..