Wednesday, 15 February 2012

CLiNT 14

You may or may not be surprised to learn that I am still reading CLiNT. Two issues ago I came THIS close to stopping except that Mark Millar promised in an editorial that a full episode of Kick Ass 2 would appear next time after months of drip feeding readers the story with tiny glimpses and on this occasion his boast stuck. (I actually renewed my subscription because of this, meaning that I get a twenty percent discount on a £4.25 issue.)

Since I last wrote here about CLiNT, the good news is that it’s no longer pretending to be a lad’s mag and has come out as a comic. The bad news for the team of features writers is that most of the their content has been dropped. All that remains is the Badass Cinema column and, more fittingly, a major article on comics. So far we’ve seen pieces on upcoming Millar projects and an interview with Garth Ennis. In this issue, there’s a big twelve page piece on contemporary Marvel taking the form of interviews with three high ranking editors. I skimmed through that one and there was little of interest there that I could see although it was accompanied by some nice artwork. The illustrations seem to fall into two categories; 1) groupings of superheroes assembled using random-generator software and 2) various different versions of Spider-Man.

Thankfully, it’s another big episode of Kick Ass 2 this issue which sees the start of the big, bloody show down between the good guys and the bad guys. One of Millar’s boasts about Kick Ass which never stuck is that it is a whole new level of realism in superhero comics. Really, what we have is a hyper-violent version of early Spider-Man but without much of the humanity. Millar doesn’t want his bad guys to be anything more complicated than arseholes for fear that it will compromise that moment of exhilaration as they get their just deserts.

It’s seemingly a big penultimate episode for Superior too. Just like in Kick Ass 2, the bad guys are indiscriminately taking innocent life en mass without being burdened by something as inconvenient as a conscience or doubt. One of the bad guys is an empowered twelve year old who never once stops to think that maybe he’s going too far in his slaughter and, disappointingly, Millar never once stops to wonder why he doesn’t. It’s a twenty-four pages long fight scene built for the big screen and even tributes the climax of the second Superman movie. It’s a shame because despite what can be achieved using modern special effects, superhero fight sequences are still something comics can do better.

Zombies/war mash-up strip (yawn; zombies), Graveyard of Empires, I consider to be out of CLiNT’s scope. I understand now that the comic is limited in the amount of originated material that it’s able to run (despite often soliciting for submissions that, probably, never get looked at) that it needs to run reprint material but does it have to be non-UK? Another of Millar’s boasts that didn’t stick is that CLiNT is a British comic continuing the tradition of The Eagle and 2000 AD but surely he can at least run Image Comics material with more of a British feel to it such as Bulletproof Coffin by David Hine and Shaky Kane or Mud Man by Paul Grist.

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