Wacking It (or, 52 Pick-Up)

Welcome, True Believers, to Tact is for the Weak, the column that would defect to a rival website in a heartbeat if Julian Darius wasn’t holding my family hostage…

As the more internet-savvy of you already know, this past week has seen some major upheaval in the comics industry. Steve Wacker, the editor of DC Comics’ weekly title 52, announced earlier this week that he was jumping ship mid-project and defecting to DC’s cross-town rival, Marvel Comics. While no word has yet been issued as to what Wacker will be doing now that he’s joined the “House of Ideas,” one thing is certain: DC is a man down with 3rd and long when it comes to 52. While DC representatives (such as Dan Didio and Mark Waid) are reluctant to admit it, Wacker’s departure has put an incredible amount of pressure on an already tough situation. With 52 being the giant gamble that it is (the last weekly title DC attempted was the ill-fated Action Comics Weekly), there is nothing more urgent than keeping the title on its necessary weekly schedule (as opposed to, say, Green Lantern or All-Star Batman and Robin, which are averaging about one issue every six and a half months). DC’s editors seem to be in denial, making repeated claims that the “well-oiled machine” Wacker and cohorts have aready installed should keep 52 running all the way to its conclusion with no problems.

So, who’s taking Wacker’s place at the helm of what is easily the most unenviable editing position in the world of comics (well, besides Bovine Feces Quarterly)? Well, earlier today, DC announced that it had found its patsy in Michael Siglain. Siglain is a fantastic choice for the position; in addition to having held various sundry editing positions on big-name titles (although mostly in an associate-editor capacity) such as Green Lantern, Identity Crisis, JLA, Batman, and Aquaman (to name a few), he has also been a heavily-involved player editing DC Comics’ other mega-series, Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers of Victory (which should conclude any day now…). Still, despite the sheer numbers and lateral thinking involved in SSoV, Siglain will find out soon enough that being held accountable for a lengthy weekly title such as 52 will be like juggling three girlfriends at once: he’ll be overworked, sleep-deprived, and held accountable for far more than the average workload, and when it’s all said and done, everyone involved in this mess will leave bitter and unfulfilled. Plus, there’s always the strong possibility of contracting VD…

Essentially, 52 will be running smoothly for maybe another few issues, but before we hit issue #25, something is bound to happen that will reveal whether or not Siglain can fill Wacker’s shoes. Meanwhile, Wacker is setting up shop in a nice, cozy corner office at Marvel, where he has yet to be given any responsibilities. Still, DC fans continue to feel a bit shocked at the seemingly sudden switch, and while DC staff have made a point of explaining that Wacker’s departure was on amicable and discussed terms, there is still a vague feeling of rejection being felt not only by DC fans, but surely by DC as well. Just remember, Mr. Wacker: the grass is always greener on the other side. For your sake, I hope Marvel’s grass is at least a healthy shade of emerald; otherwise, you’ll be stuck at a soylent-green position for the next few years…

Well, for now we’ll leave Wacker alone, but that doesn’t mean Tact is for the Weak is finished yet! For the next few weeks, the features introduced in the 25th issue spectacular will all remain on-board in a limited-capacity, probationary status. That means that each feature will only be a fraction of its ideal length, which will come to fruition once the decision has been made as to which features to keep and which to throw out like week-old sushi. So, for now, enjoy the following sampler buffet goodness that is…the WEEKLY FEATURES!

The War Journal of Dagoth, the D&D Master

September the 27th, 10:17 in the morrow.

The two hundredth and thirty-second day of the thirty-second year of my life could have started much better than it has! It seems that my great adventures of the previous evening have cost me dearly; in order to fully power the new automatic dice-roller that I had purchased for our latest D&D tourney (which was held last night in my mother’s basement to rave reviews from my elfish and dwarvish peers!), I was forced to extract the AA batteries from my alarm clock. Unfortunately, so caught in the heat of battle was I, that I forgot to replace these batteries most infernal into my alarm clock, and thusly awoke much later than intended! I must not tarry; in order to make haste and sojourn to the comicks shoppe, I am forced to write only a brief journal entry while I forgo my weekly shower and grab only the paltriest of vittles (cherry Pop-Tarts) for the journey.

September the 27th, 10:34 in the morrow.

Alas, I was on my way out of my castle when my mother accosted me and demanded that I oartake in my weekly shower. Comport myself heroically did I, yet my arguments fell on deaf ears, and I was forced to delay my departure even farther as I made haste to the washbasin. However, Dagoth the Nefarious has had the last laugh on the lady of the manor; while she may be able to coerce me to waste my time bathing, she is utterly incapable of ensuring that I waste time with silly things such as shampoo or soap! Water is good enough for this sorceror, and if I happen to develop the Plague, I shall simply cast a health-restoring spell to heal my ailment! Once again, the wiles of Dagoth have proven superior!

September the 27th, 10:41 in the morrow.

As I hastily dismounted my Volkswagon Rabbit and ran to the doors of the comicks shoppe, it struck me that arriving at this late hour did have one advantage: the couriers have already come, and I am not forced to wait in anticipation for the day’s bounty. Still, I will be sure to arise next week at my regular hour (5:00 in the morrow); for every minute I am absent from my post outside the shoppe’s gates, a minute has gone by that I have not had the chance to parlay with the shopkeep’s fair sister, Lisa (whom I have affectionately nicknamed “Fairywhisp.” While she may not admit it openly, I am sure that she is utterly flattered by the attentions of Dagoth). Sure enough, Lisa has graced the shoppe this day, as her vile brother the shopkeep is apparently ill.

September the 27th, 11:59 in the morrow.

Lisa has insisted that she must close the shop for her lunch break, and that I am encouraged to make my purchase now and not return when she re-opens later in the day. Ah, my lady; while you treat me with skin-deep scorn this morrow, I sleep well, assured that your love for me grows with each passing day! Some day, you shall be mine, and when we are betrothed, I shall cast the finest spell-weavings in your honor! Perhaps a level 13 Elemental Fury will sweep her off her feet (haha! I meant figuratively, not literally!).

Snapshot Reviews: all you need to know about this week’s comics in a nutshell!

52: Wacker’s released, Steel can’t make peace, and a demon gets fleeced. With Dr. Fate in tow, Ralph Dibny embarks on a quest to hell, hog-tying a demon in the process. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor’s team gets a new name and loses a member, while Steel is offered help from the Teen Titans in the face of his niece wanting him to go away. Overall, the art is pretty good and consistent (as is Joe Bennett’s wont), but the plot largely focuses on an uninteresting (and [pointlessly bloody) chapter in Natasha Irons’s story. All the interesting bits (the “new” Teen Titans, Ralph Dibny, Steel, and the whereabouts of Red Tornado’s body) are too few and too short in the face of an as-yet irrelevant story focusing on the new “Infinity, Inc.” B+ for art, but a C- for the overall book, thanks to a lackluster story.

Moychendising: sh** we wish we could buy!

A Dr. Fate helmet (cape and amulet optional).
A “Doctor Faustus” action figure with psychiatric evaluation couch accessory.
A doctor’s note from Professor Ivo (although a letter of condolence from T.O. Morrow or Will Magnus will suffice).

Where were they then: a brief look at the yesteryears of comics creators.

Steve Wacker: Fourty years ago, Wacker was just a bubbling grade-schooler with aspirations to build a bigger sand castle. However, he quickly defected to the soccer field when the kickballs came out, and again left for the monkey bars when he got bored. This indecisiveness remained with him through college, where he pursued a total of seven different majors before settling with international affairs (with a special focus on Khandaq legislation).

Ten Years Later: the comics headlines of 2016…today!

It was announced that Kevin Smith, renowned director of the 2006 Oscar-winning film “Clerks 2,” has severed ties with his current writing partner, Judd Winick. Smith and Winick have been working together on Marvel Comics’s “Liberal Action Force Now!” title since its inception three years ago, when Winick defected from DC in exchange for more attention.
Sadly, filmmaker Bryan Singer was taken to the hospital this week and is in critical condition. At last Monday’s Chicago-Con 2016, Singer had the opportunity to participate in a question/answer panel along with Richard Donner. Days later, he reported symptoms akin to those experienced from “testiculitis,” which is an oral disease contracted by licking someone’s nutsack for extended periods of time. Since Donner has publicly acknowledged that he is a carrier of this disease, it is assumed that Singer contracted testiculitis from the director-turned-comics writer. Geoff Johns is currently awaiting test results to see if he, too, had contracted the disease from Donner.

Hoo, boy! Pretty soon, we’re gonna have to have some eliminations! Tell you what; write in your opinions on which segments should stay, and each week we’ll knock off one feature until a happy medium is reached! However, here’s one feature that will never be on the chopping block: the Tactless Book of the Week Award!

This week, the award goes to DC Comics’s Justice League of America #2, by Brad Meltzer and Ed Benes. AS indicated by the special “Zero Issue,” writer Meltzer definitely views the “Trinity” (Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman) as the core of the new JLA. However, this is the second issue since then, and all these three have done is mull over who to invite into their new club. MEANwhile, veterans Green Lantern and Black Canary, along with relative newcomer Roy Harper (who still is sporting that ridiculous “Red Arrow” outfit), have decided to take some action, regardless of what that self-concerned “Trinity” says. Toss in a few side plots about other soon-to-be Leaguers, and you have a nice story- but NO LEAGUE! It seems that, along with The Flash, there is a new trend at DC to relaunch titles that don’t actually portray their main chaacters in their primary roles until a few issues into the series! And, on top of that, readers are treated to a REVIEW QUOTE on the cover of the issue! As if printing a chapter out of Meltzer’s new novel in last month’s issue wasn’t self-serving enough; now we’ve got to deal with media hype sullying our covers? Next thing you know, Meltzer will take out an ad in the center of the issue pleading for a Pulitzer.

Okay, troops, that’s enough for this week. As a reminder to those of you that don’t keep your eyes on the comment boards, for an indefinite period of time, Tact is for the Weak will release at 10:00 P.M. EST on Fridays, to accomodate the increased content (as well as the author’s sh**ty schedule). Remember to write in; it’s your votes, America, that decides the fate of this column! Also, if someone wants to submit a graphic for any of the features, feel free to e-mail them to me at thebriboy@yahoo.com !Until next week, keep it real!

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