Grim_Noir Joins the Free Mark Waid Movement

Insufferable - Launch Announcement

Title: Insufferable (ongoing weekly)

Writer: Mark Waid

“Cover”: Peter Kause

Art: Peter Krause

Colorist: Nolan Woodard

Letterers: Troy Peteri

Published by

Reviewed by Grim_Noir

Hey, Kids! What if I told you that you could have a FREE comic book? And what if I told you that you could get another one EVERY single week for the foreseeable future? And what if I told you that book was written by Mark Waid? THEN, what if I told you that this comic book was available digitally for ANY DEVICE?

Well, if you’re me, your BVDs look like a Jackson Pollock and your head is between your knees breathing slowly into a paper bag. It’s all for naught, however: Once you see the first few pages online, you’re going to pass out anyway.

Because Mark Waid and his business partner, television producer John Rodger’s site, Thrillbent, is truly something special. Waid believes that digital comics are the future and has put his money where his mouth is. Whether you chose the downloadable CBZ or PDF files or read it directly from the site, the “pages” positively dance in front of you.

The frame set-up is “widescreen,” first of all, so everything fits on the screen and has the feel of a cinematic event. Secondly, Waid & company understand that this is an online comic. They did not scan a comic book and reformat it. The files are somewhere between a standard scan and a motion comic: panels change, facial expressions transform, and secrets are revealed at the click of a mouse. This could have given the storytelling a certain “slight-of-hand” feel, but Waid and his former Irredeemable artist, Peter Krause, handle this narrative flow with the wink-and-a-nod of an internet Penn & Teller.

Insufferable - Issue Two

Start with the short story, Luthor. This will not only give you a feel for what Thrillbent is all about visually, but it is decent story in its own right. In a handful of pages, Waid out-Kirkmans Robert Kirkman by taking the Dawson’s Creek out of The Walking Dead while injecting the zombie genre with hopefulness like it hasn’t seen since the end of Shawn of the Dead.

If you’re “all in” at that point, move on to the main event: Waid’s and Krause’s Insufferable. I have described this book to friends as Batman and Nightwing in the movie The War of the Roses. Fortunately, Mr. Waid’s own words at the 2012 Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo explain it much more eloquently:

“It’s about what happens when you have a [kid] sidekick who grows up to be a completely ungrateful, self-aggrandizing douchebag of a man who will not shut up about how much of a genius he is and how the world is a better place now that you guys are broken up because now he can do it all the way he wanted to do it. Then the story is, what is the one case that comes up where they have to put their heads together even though they have been broken apart for years and they hate each other? What is the one case that could bring them back together again?”

What case, indeed? One that involves a violent supervillian who is rounding up all of our protagonists’ (Nocturnus’ and [Kid] Galahad’s) rogues gallery to form a gang. Simultaneously, he is using his knowledge of our heroes’ past to play them against each other. And their already mutual distain for each other’s methods doesn’t help things.

Insufferable - Fathers and Sons

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a serious writer-crush on Mark Waid. He has successfully written every character you can name for almost every comic publisher. The key to his success is in his characterizations and Insufferable is no exception. At first, you might think, “This is obviously the Batman and Nightwing archetypes, why didn’t he just write a Batman and Nightwing tale?” But, in very short order, you realize that the unique backstory and relationship he has created for Nocturnus and Galahad would have been impossible to tell with all the prior lore in which Batman and Nightwing are steeped.

I had a discussion with Bodhi Zen this past summer about how sometimes the investment of time is a higher cost than you are willing to pay for an item. However, in the case of Waid’s Thrillbent website, the investment of time yields serious dividends. Consider this little tip my Holiday gift to you.

Happy Holidays, everyone! I’ll talk at ya again in the New Year!

Ol' Grim Hisself* GRIM_NOIR is convinced that the internet a figment of his imagination. Please comment below and/or follow @Grim_Noir on Twitter to end his self-delusions.


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8 Comments to “Grim_Noir Joins the Free Mark Waid Movement”

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  1. Mr. Satan says:

    NO thanks! Its Waid. He has all these grand ideas and then he doesn’t deliver. I will not be hoodwinked again. Especially after Incorruptible and the main title Irredeemable. I just can’t do that to myself, how do you not know how to finish your own story. He should have had the end in mind before he ever started. It’s like he just thinks well time to end it (spoiler ALERT) Lets make him the bad guy the inspiration for Superman. That’s one of the biggest cop outs I’ve ever seen. So I’ll pass.

  2. Grim_Noir says:

    I think you are letting one bad experience color your perception, Mr. Satan. Just because the “Irredeemable”/”Incorruptible” storyline became too “meta” for you does not make it a bad, or even ill-planned storyline.

    Waid’s work on “The Incredibles” made me wish that Disney would use any one of them as a sequel script. “Ruse” was one of the best titles CrossGen had. And his current work on “Daredevil” has revitalized the title. (Not to mention the “Strange” mini-series with Emmas Rios or his “Kingdom” work that laid the blueprints for 20 years of DC stories.)

    SO, what about the rest of you PopTards-aholics? What say ye?

  3. jaydee says:

    @Mr Satan: While I agree with you on both Incorruptible and Irredeemable AND the ending (I got bored waaaay before the series ended and dipped back in for the finale ….ooopha, that was rough)

    His Daredevil series has been top-notch. If you haven’t given that a shot, I HIGHLY recommend it! SOSOSO good, lol.

    @Grim: I haven’t read RUSE yet, but I’d like to.

    I won’t mince words here: Kingdom Come is one of the greatest comics in history. I LOVE that book. It’s as lasting testament to a perfect pairing of writer and artist. I can see no flaws with it.

    The Strange series…was that the one with the Night Nurse? That is one of the only Strange series that I genuinely enjoyed, not being a Dr Strange lover.

    What did he do with Incredibles? A tie-in comic?

  4. jaydee says:

    I’m just starting City of the Dead over at Thrillbent…

    My, a little heavy on the references, only a couple “pages” in and there’s Romero, Kirkman, Adlard…

  5. Grim_Noir says:

    Try “Cthulhu Calls,” JayDee. The artwork is only crude pencil work (deliberately), but I haven’t laughed so hard at Lovecraft references in years!

    (And, ‘Yes” Waid did some terrific Tie-in graphic novels of “The Incredibles” for BOOM! ( incredibles) which continued the family’s story beyond the film. Good stuff.

  6. Mr. Satan says:

    I’ll give you Kingdom Come. That was exceptional story telling. And Irredeemable/Incorruptible weren’t to meta they were herky, jerky and disjointed. He introduced an angel and the story went nowhere. I see that he had ideas but he just let them go on and then drop them. I have been reading Daredevil lately it would have been better without all the deux ex machina with the heads and moving his body around with out a head. I don’t ask for much just don’t insult what little intelligence I’ve accumulated through the years.

  7. Rob Truthfeld says:

    I love me some Mark Waid. I enjoyed his run on Captain America and his Rocketeer stuff among others. That’s why I’m putting my vote in for him doing a Rocketeer/Cap crossover.

  8. jaydee says:

    OH that’s right, I really enjoyed the first issue of Rocketeer, but haven’t had a chance to move forward on it….
    and I JUST read the Coyote issue last night, I thought that was bone-chilling, the head stuff. I like that “the spot” came up with a more disturbing way to use his power (IF that is indeed The Spot)

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