Well, I can say one good thing regarding Chuck Austen’s upcoming gigs on Action Comics and The Avengers – it’ll save me an extra couple of bucks every month. While his thoughts on what to do with Marvel’s Greatest Heroes sound like a watered-down interpretation on the stupendous work Peter Milligan and Mike Allred have performed in X-Statix, they’re thoughts worthy of superfluous praise and adulation compare to the soap-operatics he’s got planned for good old Clark Kent. Oh no a hotshot reporter is going to steal Clark’s thunder! Oh no Lana Lang is going to try to come between Big Blue and that gold digging Lois Lane bitch! I’m sure tapping into the homoerotic tensions of the Jimmy Olsen / Perry White dynamic will be next on Austen’s Hott List.

It’s not the ideas that have me up in arms – reducing Grant Morrison’s initial New X-Men storyline to “Cassandra Nova, mastermind behind the destruction of Genosha, and Professor Xavier’s twin sister (who he tried killing while in the womb) has her plan to destroy mutantkind thwarted by being tricked into placing her consciousness into a powerless mitochondrian-looking construct” – sounds pretty ludicrous, but turned out to be a fantastic read. No, in Austen’s case, it’s the mind executing the ideas that has me rolling my eyes. Over in Uncanny X-Men, it’s Clorox Plus as Austen has weddings broken up mid-vow because the groom (Havok) just realized that he’s in love with the nurse that cared for him during his coma – this, of course, causes the bride (Polaris) to go apeshit & start wreaking magnetic bedlam all over the mansion grounds. Austen also has teenage characters respectfully coping with the loss of a dear friend by having one of them stand at the gravesite wishing ALOUD she could’ve had sex with the deceased. Meanwhile, the group is licking their wounds after foiling the Church of Humanity’s plot to install Nightcrawler as the Pope and … oh, hell, The X-Axis does a much better job of explaining all this. Needless to say, it seems as if Austen’s ideas are at the same subterranean level as his characterizations and his plot executions and just about every other aspect of his writing.

For the record, the Avengers interview is even-keeled and surprisingly restrained, while the Action Comics interview features Austen in full-on irrational spew mode – assuming you’re one of those 12 internet trolls Austen continually rants about, you’ll definitely enjoy the spew.