Thursday, September 13, 2012

Grifter #0

Can this poorly sketched cover be blamed on editorial as well, Liefeld?

Besides Liefeld's guns barely looking like guns, his guns (and swords!) are the only weapons in the New 52 that have grips like the one above in Grifter's right hand. "Fuck drawing fingers! Look at how badly I fucked them up in the left hand! I'll just draw a grip to cover the right hand!" At least Liefeld didn't have to spend time on Grifter's face. He just drew a tube with hair coming out of it.

And to have something nice to say about Liefeld's art here, if it wasn't for the awful depiction of the hands and the weapons, I would chalk everything else up to being stylized. And I wouldn't have a problem with it! But that's the difference between stylized art and the art of someone who really just can't draw very well. Also, if this were drawn on the book cover of a classmate's algebra book during a class instead of commissioned art appearing on the cover of a professional comic book, I might say, "Fuck, dude. That's pretty good! With some serious practice, you could become a pro!"

Oh, and this issue of Grifter is drawn by an artist that Liefeld thinks does horrible work! Holy fuck, what is Rob trying to do? Tear a hole in reality? But I think because Liefeld tweeted how he felt about Scott Clark's art (and then subsequently deleted that tweet), Scott Clark isn't really trying very hard this issue.

Okay, so Grifter had that stupid mask a full year before he actually had that stupid mask? Or was I completely mistaken about how he got it? Was he wearing it regularly before he was infused with Daemonite DNA? Why? The mask was supposed to be a symbol of the face that the Daemonites should fear. Should I just chalk this up to Liefeld not giving a shit about the history of any character he writes? And by history, I mean New 52 new history and not the Preboot history of Grifter.

The next two pages are simply one full panel shot of this same scene but in profile. Fuck, Clark really, really doesn't care about this story.

Apparently Grifter is on Team 7 business right now. Because two years ago he was a member of Team 7 and not a con man. I have a feeling Cole Cash's history is going to just be a pile of random bullshit now. Good thing I don't give a fuck about him.

Grifter is also confused by this scene since his brother Max and some guy named Lynch shouldn't be the ones with him.

I don't know where I read it now but someone suggested to Liefeld his Hawkman story (in Issue #0?) should be a dream and he said he believed the fans deserved better than a story like that. But he's going to go the dream route in Grifter? Do Grifter fans not deserve any better? Maybe I'm jumping to conclusions here.

Here's the dream conversation which I decided to actually look up:
Ann Nocenti, God bless her, read my Hawkman #0 and suggested that it be a dream, uncertain, something we could drag out… I said NO, the readers deserve clarity and certainty, a reward for their investment of the last 6 months.
So technically, Grifter fans don't deserve clarity and certainty if this issue ends up being a dream.

If I never read another Liefeld written comic book, I'll never read another Liefeld comic book. Ha ha! Surprise tautology!

So Grifter was a member of Team 7. Does that mean the Team 7 comic will be telling stories from the past since all the members have moved on to other assignments? And what happened to Grifter after he left Team 7? Why did he become a conman? Why did the government want him killed after the plane incident from issue #1? If I didn't hate this comic book so much, I'd probably reread it to point out that Cole Cash as a member of Team 7 two years ago doesn't make any sense. I think that's what DC's editors are relying on.

Oh, I forgot to talk about the panel above! Really, Liefeld? A New Coke joke? I think his pop culture knowledge stopped developing at the same age as his drawing ability stopped developing. I only wish that a super hero or covert team went on missions that meant nothing more than corporate espionage. The main problem is that every fucking story arc does revolve around the world about to end. It's as if comics escalated to a point where every story has to be the next Crisis on Infinite Earths and the writers have no idea how to deescalate this shit and still provide tension in a story. Tension in comics now is only derived from the knowledge that the Earth will explode if the hero doesn't do his job.

Having lived through it, I can actually see the importance and feel the tension of a story that revolved around a black ops team trying to steal the formula for new Coke so that it never happens. Not that I cared much being a Dr. Pepper fan. But my dad fucking stockpiled cases of the old formula. Shades of his reaction to Y2K, I guess!

Okay. It turns out it's a simulation and not a dream. I was really worried about that Team 7 nonsense that made no sense!

And maybe Liefeld was paying attention to the earlier story and he's actually trying to make it make sense since it didn't make any!

Although just mentioning the seventeen days Grifter was missing doesn't automatically clear anything up. What reset? What programming? What's going on? Good thing the comic book isn't over yet.

So these humans are not humans at all. They are Daemonites trying to program him, splice his DNA, and build him into a weapon against Helspont. So this entire comic book is about the seventeen days he went missing as he was turned into a Super Hero. The Team 7 memories must be from many years previous to Grifter being caught by the Daemonites though. I guess the Team 7 comic book is going to be stories from The New 52's past.

Inside Grifter's mind, a hooded man named Warwick keeps appearing to help him fight the Daemonite programming. This must be why Grifter becomes such a loose cannon and doesn't actually end up fighting for the Daemonites but against them. Although it all ends up in the same place anyway with Grifter butting heads with Helspont. But this Warwick guy isn't just in Cole's head. He's also outside on the street about to break in to the Daemonite's lab.

Warwick manages to escape with Cole Cash but they're followed by one of the Daemonite guards. This gives Cole a chance to demonstrate his new-found abilities!

Perhaps they should have spent a little more time on the "one-liners" and "retorts" modules.

Warwick takes Cole and dumps him in a room that's probably supposed to be the warehouse that he woke up in at the beginning of Grifter #1 but now is a hotel room. Or maybe it's just a different place because this seems to happen to Grifter on a regular basis if this Warwick guy is to be believed.

I suppose his mask was left in the bag and wearing that stupid mask is one of the few things he tends to remember about his Team 7 training. So now it looks like maybe Team 7 will just be the team getting called back together occasionally for missions of world shattering importance. Like if Nike were going to change their logo.

Grifter awakens and finds a short note from W to "See you soon." He remembers this happening before a few other times and he remembers his Team 7 days. So the beginning of Grifter #1 is either this same thing happening to him again and he loses 17 days fighting the reprogramming again but doesn't remember even this much when he awakens or this is just a slight variation on the beginning of Issue #1. And since I can't invest any more time in worrying about this shit character, I'll end it here.

Grifter #0 Rarting: Warwickapediastic!

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