WLG #380.2 "Goodbye Summer, Hello Rocktober!"

A column article by: Kyle Garret

October is the greatest month of the year. Besides the fact that October brings us wonderful things like OctoberFest, Halloween, and my birthday, any month that can be so easily turned into "Rocktober" automatically wins the calendar.

So it is that I eagerly say good-bye to September, but not before looking at what this last week brings us.

"Nu" Makes Me Want to Hit Something

I can’t stand the term "DCnU." I hate it with the fiery passion of an English major who listens to heavy metal, and still remembers when people were using this word to describe bands that stomped all over the proud tradition of metal. And let’s not forget that, during the Jemas years, Marvel was often referred to as "Nu Marvel." It physically hurts me to write that.

Anyway, this week brings us the last batch of #1’s from the fine folks at DC.

I’m not a huge fan of westerns, but I’m looking forward to All Star Western #1. I’ve heard good things about Palmiotti and Grey’s Jonah Hex stories and I’m a big believer in genre diversity (seriously, count how many times I use that phrase over the next few months of this column – it will be ridiculous), so picking this up is a must.

Flash #1 stars the guy that most people think should still be dead. Listen, if you need retcon in angst to make a character interesting, then you don’t need to bring said character back. I think there’s an easy fix to making Barry Allen, and this book, more interesting: Barry is gay.

Think about it.

Imagine DC having a gay character be one of the founding members of the Justice League. They wouldn’t dare do such a thing with Batman or Superman. Hal Jordan has established himself as a robust heterosexual. Wonder Woman would come across as fan fiction. Aquaman has been entrenched with Mera. And Cyborg already gets grief for being the token minority on the team. Barry Allen is the perfect character to be gay. Besides, it will also allow me to make Scrubs references when I review this book. DC! Make it so.

There was a lot of speculation going into the DC relaunch as to which books would be sleepers (no, not the giant robots that the Red Skull uses). Now, depending upon how quick DC is with the cancellation trigger, there are a few titles that also have the potential to be cult hits.

Sadly, cult hits generally don’t sell a lot of copies, but they do have the advantage of being rabidly adored by a select group. I have a feeling I, Vampire will fall into this category. Vampires will be a hard sell to the average comic book reader. The average comic book reader probably hasn’t read the indie books that Joshua Hale Fialkov has written, either, although they should.

Echoes alone will show you why I’m looking forward to this book.

Cullen Bunn Is Taking Over

Funny enough, I associate Fialkov with another indie writer doing Bit Two work. His name is Cullen Bunn and his big breakthrough book was The Sixth Gun, the fifteenth issue of which comes out this week. Remember how I said earlier that I wasn’t a big fan of westerns? Well, I’m a horrible liar, because The Sixth Gun is a western and it’s probably one of my three favorite comics on the stands.

It’s chock full of all the things you’d want from a western, plus a whole bunch of supernatural and horror elements. If you can’t find something to enjoy in this book, then you have been reading superhero comics for too long.

Bunn also seems to be getting a lot of event-themed books handed to him by Marvel. While my complete ambivalence towards “Fear, Itself,” will prevent me from reading that crazy, bi-weekly spin off title, it apparently won’t stop me from buying Fear, Itself: The Deep #4. I’ve enjoyed this book well enough, which is why it’s so surprising to me that Bunn isn’t writing the upcoming Defenders book.

30 Minutes or Less

I find myself watching a lot of half hour comedies all of a sudden. That just kind of snuck up on me. One of the best of the aforementioned sitcoms is “Happy Endings,” which returns this Wednesday. Those who enjoy the wit of “Community,” but don’t enjoy the metafiction should give this show a shot.

I will also be watching the premiere of the unfortunately named “Suburgatory.” It’s gotten good reviews, but if I’m being completely honest, I’m only watching it because in a few weeks I am, in fact, moving to the suburbs. And that terrifies me.

Day and Night Music

Given my musical recommendation from last week (Blind Pilot’s We Are the Tide), my first suggestion for this week would seem to indicate that I’m some kind of dirty, folksy, hippie. Because Wilco has a tendency to produce music that is both folksy and not unlike something hippies would listen to. While there last few albums have been inconsistent, the little I’ve heard from The Whole Love suggests that they’ve started getting weird again, and that’s really when they produce their best music.

And just to completely throw off any ideas about my musical tastes, not to mention bring this full circle, we have Mastodon’s latest album, Hunter. It’s too bad they didn’t wait another week to release this, as it would fit perfectly during Rocktober. Mastodon is a metal band, a real metal band, which means I can go into this album confident that I will not hear a DJ or any rapping. Not that there’s anything wrong with those, I just don’t want them in my heavy metal. I can also expect crazy, heavy riffs and almost painful, guttural vocals. They’re not called Mastodon because they’re poppy.

With that, we say good-bye to September, and hello to Rocktober!

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