fifty-seven years is a pretty good streak

I bought comic books pretty much every week of my life, starting with whatever week Fantastic Four #26 came out (which may have been around May 1, 1964). As I reported before: “I Got Hooked on Comic Books by Superman’s Grandmother

That weekly habit stopped with the beginning of the pandemic, since there aren’t any comic book stores anywhere near me, and in any case comic book publishing went into a temporary hiatus for a while, because of the lack of functioning comic book stores.

I sort of assumed that I’d pick up the habit again when the pandemic was “over” (whatever I imagined that state of affairs would look like), but I’m finding that I don’t have any desire to resume buying comic books whenever “over” actually does happen. (Well, I do read Captain Marvel on my tablet — I’m not sure why that’s the one I decided to continue to follow.)

I think one I’m fine with the new status quo (at least as regards comic books) is that I’ve been finding my comic book pleasures elsewhere these days.

1) Legends of Tomorrow:

I’ve written about this show before, and I enjoyed, with increasing glee, seasons one through three, but I was never able to get any real momentum going with season four.

But now season seven is about to begin, so I’m planning to try to jump back on board with that.

I have watched the last episode of season six, and it was pretty good, even apart from the really touching wedding of Sara Lance and Ava Sharpe (co-captains of the Waverider and co-leaders of the Legends).

(The ceremony was somewhat less formal than initially planned, because it ended up being performed in the middle of an alien invasion in the 1920s, but that’s appropriate. Their first date ended with a big fight with Blackbeard and some of his pirates, after all.)

The show is on the CW, which I can watch on an app. It means commercials, but I can deal with that.

(By the way, I do think it’s hilarious, in an awful sort of way, that there are commercials about expressing yourself without worrying about what people think, and they’re ads for Facebook. Which is a feeling that nobody has ever had about the actual experience of being on Facebook.)

2) Doom Patrol:

I wasn’t really on board with the second season. The first season was funny and tragic and bonkers in pretty much equal portions, which is perfect for Doom Patrol, but the second season lost most of the funny and that threw the recipe off.

However, I’ve watched the first episode of season three (which was supposed to be the last episode of season two — but, you know, pandemic), and it was pretty good, including some wonderful moments, one of which made me cry. So, definitely worth sticking with, at least for the moment.

Unlike Legends, Doom Patrol is not on any broadcast TV network, so I subscribed to HBO Max, which I know I said I wasn’t going to do, but it’s a cheap rate for the first six months, so we’ll see after that. Also, the animated Harley Quinn series will move to HBO Max for its second season when that comes out.

3) The Suicide Squad:

As Harley Quinn says at one point, “Wowzers.”

I liked the first Suicide Squad movie more than a lot of people did, but there’s a big difference between “I liked it” and “it was good.” This movie is actually good.

Full of over-the-top violence, wild humor, people who are “bad” vs. people who are “evil,” and excellent music. This may be the first superhero movie to include Louis Prima on the soundtrack (to wonderful effect).

And, like the first movie and Birds of Prey, it’s a delivery system for Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn (with full credit to her stunt double in this movie, Ingrid Kleinig — there are some great stunts here). The whole cast is good, but there’s a reason Harley was the one character everybody was sure would survive this movie (it was pretty generally known that a lot of characters wouldn’t).

Anyway, definitely not to everybody’s taste (as the trailer indicates), but if your taste runs in those directions, it’s a hoot, and it has a lot more heart than you might expect from a movie with so much blood. (But, as I think of it, “blood” and “heart” do go together. 🙂 )

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