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AICN COMICS! Blistering IDENTITY CRIS@$$ Controversy! Plus, CAP AMERICA, SHE-HULK, Indie Reviews, and More!!

Published at: July 21, 2004, 1:47 p.m. CST by staff

Hey @$$holes, Greg Scott, aka AICN's Village Idiot here.

See our masthead? Although at first glance that may appear to be a picture of Tetsuo from AKIRA, that's actually a picture of AICN's Cormorant shortly after reading IDENTITY CRISIS #2. It's true.

Or no, wait -- maybe it's AICN's Ambush Bug after hearing Cormorant's views on IDENTITY CRISIS #2.

I don't know, these guys tend to look alike after a while.

The important thing is that there was a lot of controversy in the inter-office memos this week, and now we're having it spill into this week's column with our special IDENTITY CRISIS feature, IDENTITY CRIS@$$ 2: An @$$ Divided.

We also have AICN's Jon Quixote taking a look at the recent CAPTAIN AMERICA #29. Apparently, it's safe to read CAPTAIN AMERICA again. Someone alert Michael Medved.

Tired of having the punk rock cashier at the comic shop secretly sneer at you during check-out? AICN's Lizzybeth is back, talking about the cool independent comics which are the surefire antidote for that little weasel's passive-agressive attitude problem.

SHE-HULK, ESSENTIAL SPIDER-MAN, Cheap Shots and more - The column's a doozy this week, so let's get started.


Table of Contents
(Click title to go directly to the review)

Special Feature: IDENTITY CRIS@$$ 2
Plus
CAPTAIN AMERICA #29
MCSWEENEY'S ISSUE 13
SILVERADO #1 & SPARTANS #2
EGG STORY
ESSENTIAL SPIDER-MAN VOL. 6
TRUE STORY, SWEAR TO GOD: 100 STORIES
SHE-HULK #5
Cheap Shots!


I Hated It! Really!

Cormorant on IDENTITY CRISIS #2

IDENTITY CRISIS is that rarest of rare superhero stories: a truly must-read event comic.
--Dramatic closing from my own review of IDENTITY CRISIS #1, circa a month ago

Man am I gonna be pissed if that ends up on the inevitable IDENTITY CRISIS trade paperback.

Is it to late for take-backs?

Oh well, at least I had a caveat in that review, and that was my marked distaste for the trigger event of the series: the murder of the Elongated Man's wife, Sue Dibny. She's never been much more than a supporting player, but alongside Ralph Dibny she represented one of the very rare happy couples in superhero comics (Who's left? Lois and Clark, Reed and Sue...maybe Jack Knight and Sadie?). And then there's the incongruity of her demise as juxtaposed with her role in the DC Universe. Here's a character whose last regular "gig" was playing den mother to the wacky JUSTICE LEAGUE EUROPE...whose husband is the Elongated Man fer Chrissakes...and suddenly she's being burned alive? While pregnant?!

Dramatic? Well, yeah, but so is clubbing a baby seal. Still, IDENTITY CRISIS #1 was a damn well-written opener, brimming with emotional scenes, scattered with clever new angles on DC villains, unashamedly reveling in the wild tapestry of DC's costumed heroes. It won me over at the time.

But it turns out writer Brad Meltzer wasn't done with Sue Dibny yet, and so my least favorite aspect of the first issue became the focus of IDENTITY CRISIS #2. The Justice League has split up to track down weak leads on her unknown assailant, but a small contingent of Leaguers are secretly convinced the culprit is the villain known as Dr. Light. When I was reading comics in the '80s, Dr. Light was something of a buffoonish bad guy, a white-haired oldster who was afraid of the Teen Titans and played the role of comic relief in THE SUICIDE SQUAD. I can only gather he was more of an A-list threat in his early days, though, as writer Brad Meltzer gives us a flashback to his last great act of villainy:

HERE COMES THE BIG SPOILER, KIDS. JUMP TO THE NEXT REVIEW NOW IF YOU DON'T WANNA READ IT! .
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Raping Sue Dibny.

A retroactive rape scenario, mind you. Nothing in Sue's past has ever indicated she's a victim of rape, but who knows...maybe that'll be a story element. In any case, this is the part of the review where I put aside any pretense of objectivity, shift into editorial mode, and say straight-up that I think this is a horrible fucking mistake for DC. I say this as someone who enjoys the R-rated crime stories in SLEEPER, who appreciates the mature depiction of sexuality, both gay and straight, in Eric Shannower's AGE OF BRONZE, and who tore through Frank Miller's hyper-violent SIN CITY with manic glee.

But then again, those books don't take place in a fictional setting founded as juvenile adventure. IDENTITY CRISIS does.

But what about the virtue of realism, you ask? Isn't that what grounds so many of the best superhero stories and makes 'em great? What about DAREDEVIL: BORN AGAIN and THE KILLING JOKE? What about the death of Reed and Sue's baby in FANTASTIC FOUR #267?

The answer, alas, isn't simple. Yes, varying degrees of realism have been a major part of the appeal for superhero comics since Lee, Kirby, and Ditko wove their magic in the '60s, but can we at least agree that there's such a thing as stepping over the line sometimes? It's a different line for everyone, but I think we'd all of us agree that full-penetration shots of Sue's rape would've been a no-no, right?

RIGHT?!

Well Meltzer refrained from that, but he did give us Light chasing and blinding her, the sound of him tearing her pants, some close-ups on her screaming mouth, a close-up of her hands apparently burning where Dr. Light has her pinned, and two panels of her head shaking as Light presumably thrusts away behind her. Later Dr. Light recreates the assault holographically (off-screen, at least) to taunt the Justice Leaguers who caught him.

It soooooooooo fucking crosses the line.

I almost can't imagine how anyone could view it otherwise. Woman raped by once-wonky supervillain (in the Justice League headquarters, no less!) in the midst of DC's most mainstream and ballyhooed event of the summer? Gimme a break. But I forget that the vast majority of superhero readers are 20-and-up (skewing ever closer to 30-and-up), and given their historic devotion to superheroes to the exclusion of all other comic book genres...I guess I can at least see the novelty of this particular crime making its way to the capes 'n' cowls books. Myself, I'd equate it with the novelty of seeing Bugs Bunny cracking sex jokes or the Hardy Boys working "The Case of the Mysterious Snuff Film." The superhero genre might be pretty malleable, but when it comes to Marvel and DC's worlds specifically, I'm gonna dare to say there are some taboos worth keeping. You keep them not to shield readers from grim truths, not to hide from reality, but because there are far better genres for exploring grim truths and reality than fucking superheroes!

This is especially true for the Marvel and DC Universes, where the franchises are built on an essentially upbeat vision of heroism. I'm already sick of those stories where the Joker touts his body count (Jason Todd, Sarah Essen, Barbara Gordon), but at least Batman's world is sort of its own dark subsection of the DC Universe. IDENTITY CRISIS casts a pall over the entire Justice League, the greatest heroes in the company's line-up! Can't you just hear the morose angst this'll inspire? "Flash, you've got to stop Professor Ivo from escaping! After all, we don't want another...(dramatic pause)...SUE DIBNY!" Just the thought of that makes me want to drop every single DC book I buy.

The big question, then, is whether Meltzer's writing is somehow so good that it makes this ugly situation work. I'd say Frank Miller managed to pull off such a feat in the amazing "Born Again" storyline in DAREDEVIL, as did John Byrne when he wrote Sue's miscarriage in THE FANTASTIC FOUR. Exceptions do most certainly exist, the how's and why's being a discussion for another time. But for me, newcomer Brad Meltzer doesn't have the chops. I found his blend of Silver Age trappings with realism to be novel in the first issue, but now it's starting to look like the worst kind of fannish conceit. How can I take a rape seriously when the issue ends on a corny cliffhanger straight from a Republic serial? Or when the heroes maintain their Silver Age morality even when Dr. Light is taunting them with a holographic recreation of the rape? (Even in the DCU, I think Green Arrow or Hawkman would've offed him.) When Meltzer's main technique for giving credibility to goofy old villains is to sleaze 'em up? (Shadow Thief addicted to his own powers, Captain Boomerang peddling superpowered drugs, etc.)

Folks, that ain't maturity. SLEEPER is mature. AGE OF BRONZE is mature. SANDMAN is a mature. LOVE & ROCKETS is mature.

Even some of the qualities I liked about Meltzer's first issue melt away in the second one. The scores of DC insider references are beginning to appear obsessively fannish on repetition. Also fannish is Meltzer's use of the rape and the surprise incident that follows to justify something no one but a geek could ever care about: Dr. Light's transition from A-list bad guy in the '60s to jackass in the '80s. Even the central drama is looking more and more contrived, with questions arising as to why junior JLA'ers Flash and Green Lantern figured out something was going on with an inner circle of the team...but hotshot detective Batman and award-winning journalist Superman didn't. And in retrospect, what the hell kind of stakeout was that in the first issue, with two heroes simply sitting on a building ledge, one of them literally on fire because of her powers?!

I don't think I've ever turned on a promising book as quickly and fiercely as I have with IDENTITY CRISIS. I see it as an increasingly bad mystery, a waste of the amazing talents of artist Rags Morales, and as a massive stumble down a slippery slope to "gritty up" DC's characters.

You'd think DC President Paul Levitz would've had a better understanding of the fictional world he presides over.


Oh yeah? Well I Loved It!

Ambush Bug on IDENTITY CRISIS #2

IDENTITY CRISIS is one of those series that you read and it makes one want to read more comics. It offers a glimpse at the entirety of the DC Universe and shows how fascinating a place it really is. I've had similar experiences while reading comics like CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS, the first SECRET WARS series, CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, KINGDOM COME, THE OFFICIAL HANDBOOK OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE and its DC counterpart WHO'S WHO. More than posters, movies, and toys, these comics were the perfect advertisements as to what to expect when you read a Marvel or DC book and encouraged me in my youth to become the comic book ink-bleeding fanboy that I am today. These comics offered snippets of what makes these universes the best in the biz, tempting the reader to seek out the individual titles these characters star in and read more and more and more. As far as marketing goes, a good story with just enough info to tease the reader to look deeper at the books on the shelves is what will guarantee a more interested readership more so than variant covers and "event" books.

But forget Comic Book Marketing 101, IDENTITY CRISIS is one of the most powerful reads I have read in super hero fiction in quite a long time. Issue one hit the comic book industry like an emotional warhead. The series promised something ugly and it delivered. But it wasn't the gross out gratuity that we've seen decorating the shelves from the likes of Mark Millar and Garth Ennis. Sue Dibney, a secondary character, was killed and the comic world was hit hard. Not because of the horror of her death (although the death scene was pretty horrible), but because of the power of the set-up and expert writing that went into its execution and the gut-wrenching events that followed. No one gave a shit about Sue Dibney before reading IDENTITY CRISIS #1, but after putting the book down, you would have to have a heart of stone not to feel for Sue in her final desperate moments and not to grieve with Ralph Dibney as we sat right next to him during that painful funeral scene. There are those who are pissed because it was only a secondary character that died. They think that they were jipped because they wanted some spectacle like the death of one of the icons. But instead of a spectacle of those proportions, we were given one of the strongest stories I have ever read starring these characters and I'll take that over a spectacle "event" any old day. The focus was not on the body count, but on the power one death can have on the rest of the heroes. Death resonates in this story. Meltzer made us care. He made us cry. He made us feel true loss right next to Ralph. In that, he did his job better than most writers have done in this entire medium when it comes to dealing with death in comics.

Another thing that impressed me about the first issue (don't worry I'll get on to issue two soon) is that it was chock filled with little details that were just so damn cool. Casting the Calculator as the evil equivalent of the Oracle was a work of sheer genius. The aforementioned funeral scene was one of the most beautifully executed and jaw-droppingly breathtaking splash pages I've ever experienced in comics. And who wasn't impressed with Ollie's clever version of Super Hero CSI investigating the crime scene? All of these things embrace the world of the DCU and deal with them in a smart and fresh way. Like I said before, this book highlights what makes the DCU special.

So on to issue #2 and we get more of the same. I don't want to give away too much, but this issue is filled with more moments of coolness like a super villain meeting spot and a monologue centering on the hierarchy of evil in the DCU. We get to see heroes and villains interacting in ways we have never seen before. And we get one of the most shocking scenes I have seen in comics in quite a while.

Things have been in quite an uproar here at @-hole HQ since the release of IC #2 regarding the scene in question involving a rape. It seems as if the clubhouse is split over this one. One side is pretty disgusted with the severity of the scene that makes up the central part of this issue and has distaste for the book because of it. The other recognizes the disgusting nature of the crime, but feels that it makes for some damn good reading. No one is debating that the act in question is utterly heinous, but some seem to think that actions such as these have no place in the super hero world. That, I believe is a discussion best left for the Talkbacks and I hope they become as spirited as the inter-office comments that have been going on around here. But I'm of the mindset that people wouldn't be in so much of an uproar about the events that occurred in issue two if it wasn't written so well and prefaced so effectively in issue number one. We were told that something horrible was going to happen; that some dark secret was going to be revealed. And that is exactly what happened in issue two. Did we want it to happen? No. By this time we have learned to care for the characters in this book. But it did happen and Meltzer handled it without going over the top with it. Had an Austen or an Ennis written the scene in question, the act would have been played out with devilish glee. Meltzer recognized the severity of the crime, made it memorable and horrific, and then moved on to focus on how the scene effected the rest of the heroes and how they reacted to it.

This is a story about horrible crimes; crimes that do not have easy solutions or punishments. It is a story about a crime that cannot be wrapped up in a bow and dealt with by simply dropping the bad guy off at the downtown sheriff's office. The heroes are faced with tough choices; choices they normally do not have to deal with in the black and white world of spandex and capes. Meltzer is challenging these heroes in ways that test their core systems of belief. He's not doing it in a tasteless, wanton manner (the villain may be depicted as crude and disgusting, but that's what a good villain does). Meltzer is telling an effective tale of moral questions and real world horror while respecting current four letter words like "continuity" and "character." He's not cut and pasting Saddam Hussein or Osama Bin Laden in the DCU like Marvel did when they decided to "keep it real" with Captain America. He's not laughing behind his keyboard and saying "Look at what fucked up shit I'm doing to everyone's favorite icons! I can do it simply because I can!" like Millar does with ULTIMATES or Ennis did with PUNISHER. No, he's not doing that at all. Meltzer's taking a terrible real world crime and having these icons deal with it within the confines of the fantastic DCU in a serious manner that respects these long-standing characters.

Simply put, Rags Morales is doing the best artwork in his career on this series. Since his work on BLACK CONDOR all those years ago, I've watched this artist evolve into one of the most talented artists in the biz. Everyone looks at comics and says, "Man, this art is pretty good, but what if "so-and-so" drew this title?" You can't do that with this book. Rags has the talent to make these heroes in garish costumes look dynamic and powerful. There are a lot of scenes where the heroes are standing around and debating. The challenge here is to make these scenes look interesting enough so that these guys don't look ridiculous. Rags choice of angles and attention to detail makes every scene elegant and fitting in context. This is the work of a true talent in the comic book field of art.

Dynamic storytelling, respect for continuity and character, beautiful artwork; this book is the total package. Love it or hate it, this is the book everyone is talking about. It forces its characters and the reader to deal with tough issues in a fresh and smart way and throws in some uber-cool details to boot. Whether the actions depicted in the book offend you or not, you have to admit that Meltzer did his job by posing the tough questions and making us all debate our little fingers off about it. If you haven't read IDENTITY CRISIS, check it out and join the debate.


CAPTAIN AMERICA #29

Written by Robert Kirkman
Art by Scot Eaton & Drew Gerasi
Published by Marvel Comics
A JonQuixote Review

I want to go on the record as saying that I liked this book. A lot, actually. After two-plus years of Marvel Knights Cap, "real world" Cap, preachy boring topical Cap, speaks-in-cliches & thinks-in-rhetoric Cap, I've been dying for a story where the Living Legend throws his shield at guys dressed up like snakes.

I don't know about you, but the reason I read superhero comics – the most important reason – is 'cause I want to have fun. I want to laugh or bite my nails or whisper "cool" under my breath. I like other stuff too, of course: stuff that resonates, stuff that packs a punch, stuff that makes me think, stuff that makes me cry, but if I'm not having fun, why the hell am I reading CAPTAIN AMERICA or SPIDER-MAN?

So with the MK mandate out the window, Cap is fun again. Real fun. The art is bright and boisterous, and Cap throws a punch or his shield on what seems like every page. His girlfriend wears pink spandex. Nick Fury hovers outside his window. There's a big bad villain working behind the scenes. And the Hydra dentist is going to be working double shifts for the next few weeks.

I love it.

But about the time I hit the page where Cap swoops in on his jet back, dodging the fire from an anti-aircraft gun manned by a Hydra goon chanting "Die! Die! Die!", I got to realizing that the only reason I was loving it was because I've been starving for it.

OVER THE TOP ain't just the world's greatest Arm Wrestling movie anymore. This book is crazy goofy. It's pixie sticks. Too much exposure will give your brain diabetes. It's not that it's without a brain in its head – there's a neat idea at the center of the plot, and a cool "gotta read the next one" hook at the end – but we're talking some seriously Willy Wonka stuff here.

I'm going to speculate and say this is a result of overcompensation. Like when you're fifteen and your mom catches you watching THE SOUND OF MUSIC while wrapped in her curtains and pirouetting on the linoleum, so you hurredly wallpaper every inch of your room with pictures of Shannon Doherty so she doesn't send you back to that special camp where they make you wear blue. I'm going to guess that the mandate was, "we want to bring back the 'super' to Captain America" and the good Mr. Kirkman nodded so hard his head fell off.

I'm hoping that the goal isn't to make we who have been bitching about MK Captain America look really, really stupid. Because if a proponent of John Ney Reiber's run - and by 'proponent' I mean 'his Grandma' - wanted to throw this at us and go "see, look at what you have wrought" my defense would consist of little more than a lot of shrugging and some serious blushing.

Captain America works best when the primary goal is to have fun, but the people spinning his adventures know to keep his feet on the ground. This is actually true of most fantasy, but essential to one predicated on the idea of a single man in a world of gods and monsters.

Hopefully this take on Cap is merely transitional. Kirkman and Marvel screaming from the top of their lungs that ding-dong, the grim & gritty experiment is dead. And that once they put away their trumpets, we'll get back to Cap as we all know and love – still fun and exciting, but hold the self-parody. Then all will be right in the world. Or at least these pages.

But it is fun. And it is a welcome change of direction. So if you like your superheroes, and you're able to grin like an idiot at something loud, flashy, and a teeny bit silly without feeling too self-conscious, then this is your stop.

It is mine. It might not be ideal, but I'm just really happy to be buying Captain America again.


MCSWEENEY'S ISSUE 13

Edited by Chris Ware
Published by McSweeney's Inc.
Reviewed by Lizzybeth

BECAUSE YOU DEMANDED IT!!

Okay, maybe it was just two or three Talkbackers who demanded it, but it was because of your requests for review that I picked up this thing. Thanks, guys. This book is about eight pounds of awesome, which I will detail after this little diversion –

Revelation Concerning My Opinion Of MCSWEENEY'S
and Related Publication THE BELIEVER:

Writing pretentiously isn't that hard. You just go on in a stream-of-conscious manner and try not to come out and say anything meaningful even though you're thinking about it really hard. Meanwhile, in the back of your mind, behind an armada of commas, is the sneaking suspicion that all of this is ultimately meaningless, which of course, by realizing it, the act of realizing it, this elusive truth behind all of our artistic graspings etc etc etc, has given it all meaning. In a way.

Yes, this is what reading MCSWEENEY'S is often like when left to its own devices. Don't get me wrong, I like Dave Eggers, who despite himself actually has something to say once in awhile. But the literary publication/"Quarterly Concern"/doorstop can be pretty tedious sometimes because of its hollow anti-style postures. In it's own double-negative kind of way, it's much too proud of itself just for being different without often managing to be interesting. At the same time, I have to commend MCSWEENEY'S for the following attributes:

  • Terrific production design. Inventive, attractive, and interactive, these are books you want to own, if not for their contents then certainly for how they'll look on your coffee table.

  • The above quality, and self-published. That's no small feat, since usually production values are the first thing sacrificed by a small press. Nice.

  • It may sometimes be annoying, but MCSWEENEY'S certainly has character, and in that way it holds together anthology material in a very readable way for those of us who haven't read short stories since high school.

  • In a time when 99% of literary magazines have an average readership of about 20 people, god bless 'em, they're TRYING. The magazine has stuck a number of good ideas to the wall in the past 13 issues, and that's better than the rest of the newsstand could say.

Which brings me to ISSUE 13, the comics-centered issue put together by guest-editor Chris Ware. Here we have, if not the best literary magazine in the country certainly one of the only games in town, dedicating a quarter of 2004 to presenting comics, strips, and comic-related articles, helmed by one of the most acclaimed "Literary Comics" creators of the current decade. Is it good? Well, for those who are turned off by the above, here's what you need to know:

Basically this is a compendium of the alternative comics industry as produced and commemorated circa 2004. There is a little bit of everything in here, to a mind-boggling degree - it's like one of those candy stores where you only have a little bag and every kind of candy in the world standing in front of you. You only wish you could have more. For the comic-historians, there are articles and sample strips from some of the very first comics by Rodolphe Topffer, along with amazing original drawings and roughs for comic strips MUTT AND JEFF, KRAZY KAT, and PEANUTS. There are essays on comics by writers like John Updike, Glen David Gold, and Chip Kidd, and new work by creators like Robert Crumb, Daniel Clowes, Lynda Barry, Art Spiegelman, Kim Deitch, Julie Doucet, Debbie Dreschler, and a cover by Chris Ware that's driving me crazy. I want to unwrap it and read the enormous Acme Novelty Library spread but I just know I'll never be able to fold it up and get it back on the book again. There are samples from comics I've never seen before but just love here, such as UNDERWORLD COMEDY, THE LITTLE NUN, HOTEL & FARM, and a fantastic and apparently unnamed story by Richard McGuire. I must find all of these immediately. Then there are stories from current titles FRANK, SOF BOY, BLACK HOLE, THE FIXER, LOUIS RIEL, SULK, CLYDE FANS, LOVE AND ROCKETS, and OPTIC NERVE (some interesting selections, maybe not the segments I would have picked, but they stand alone quite well). Not to mention some surprising inclusions like the eye-opening paintings of Philip Gustave, an article on the early alternative publisher Nova Comics, and two mini-comics tucked into the outside pocket of the book jacket.

In other words, YES. It is good. It is genuinely a collector's item, and an enlightening read for comics fans and non-fans alike. If there are any copies left at your story, better pick them up fast.


SILVERADO #1

Written by Andrew Warren
Penciled by Fred Reyes
Inked by Michael Collins
Published by Black Bolt Entertainment

THE SPARTANS #2

Written by Adam Messano
Penciled by Fred Reyes
Inked by Aaron Leach
Published by Black Bolt Entertainment

A
JonQuixote Review

A while back (Holy crap, a year ago! Where did my life go?), I lucked into getting a copy of an independent comic called THE SPARTANS. I reviewed it HERE.

Now if you're like me and you hear the word "Independent comic," you immediately start thinking of stories featuring people with goatees, talking about coffee and making BATTLESTAR GALACTICA references, rendered so beautifully so as to make SOUTH PARK look like the Sistine Chapel.

You're probably not thinking of old school superhero stuff with some of the peppiest, purtiest pictures you've ever read. But you'd be wrong. You stupid, stupid dumb person.

Animator/pencilist extraoirdinaire Fred Reyes & Co. has not one, not two, but…okay it is two new comics out just in time for the San Diego Comic Con. And they both feel like they fell out of Stan Lee's mustache. There is another exciting chapter of THE SPARTANS, a team of crimefighters with the classic infighting of The Avengers, and the borderline ineptitude of Chuck Austen's Avengers. And the very first issue of SILVERADO, a Batman meets the Lone Ranger hero patrolling the streets of Meridian City!

And they're fun. And in this post-modern age where deconstructionists rein and hipsters polish their scepters, these comics are refreshingly pure and devoid of self-consciousness. Just superheroes doing their superhero thing.

I'm not going to lie to you, the scripts here aren't going to win any Eisners. SPARTANS writer Adam Messano actually sharpens up from his last kick at the cat, but he's still saddled with a fairly rote story about an attempted assassination. SILVERADO writer Andrew Warren actually spins a cool story about a monster movie and a bank robbery that would feel right at home in a Paul Dini Batman cartoon, but provides a very clunky script that is almost sunk by the weight of some labored banter, but there's nothing a good editor couldn't smooth out. And to their credit, both offer up a share of some seriously cool moments – like Silverado pulling out a gun engraved with the word "Bolo" and shoots…*spoilers*…bolos. That one had me grinning.

And both writers provide an excellent showcase for Fred Reyes's pencils, which are the real standout here. Seriously, if this guy was handed the duties on my favorite comic, whatever it is this month, I'd be thrilled. If he took over the art on a comic I had in my personal top ten, it would automatically contend for my favorite. The work here is crisp and fluid and energetic. It's simply a joy to look at and that's what makes this stuff a joy to read.

It's very clear that these books are labors of love. Love for spinner racks and mustache-twirling bad guys and right hooks. There's enough raw enthusiasm and talent here to make you forget all about the latest marketing driven crossover or hipster writer trying to sleaze up your favorite icon, and just remember what these guys & girls in tights used to do to your heart when you were eight years old.

If you're lucky enough to go to the San Diego Comic Con, be sure to swing by Reyes's table and check out his stuff. And if you're not so lucky, but still interested, check out Boltstrike.com for a peek.


EGG STORY

By J. Marc Schmidt
Published by SLG Publishing
Reviewed by Lizzybeth

Now, here's something that's just so off the wall that I don't know where to begin. Let me just throw a few things at you.

  • The main characters are, as the title promises, a bunch of eggs.

  • A carton of eggs, to be exact.

  • But the story follows an egg named Feather who leaves the nest (or actually is removed by a farmer) and escapes a refrigerator to pursue his dream of becoming.. a ninja.

  • Yes, a ninja.

  • He has a little ninja costume, too.

  • And while Feather pursues his quest, the comic manages to sneak in some romance, some grim and gritty (another despondent egg considers ending it all via eggbeater), some brotherly love, an adventurous takeover of the kitchen, and the wisdom of weeks-old broccoli.

Well, there's just not a whole lot that I can add to that. This is the kind of comic with a weird but relentless logic that sweeps you along without complaint. Sure, you could be an anal Comic-Book Guy and say, "Wait, why do they have arms all of a sudden?" But then you would remember that this is a comic about talking food products, and get on with your life.

Basically, you can't spend a better 4 bucks at the shop this month than EGG STORY: it's unique, very nicely drawn, and awfully funny. And I guarantee you don't have anything else like it.


ESSENTIAL SPIDER-MAN VOL. 6

Written by Gerry Conway, Len Wein, Stan Lee
Art by Ross Andru, John Romita Jr., Gil Kane
Published by Marvel Comics
Reviewed by Essential Buzz

I owe several people apologies. And these aren't just those kind of apologies that I have to offer the @$$holes every Monday, like, "Hey, if I tried to kill at any point during my blackout this weekend, uh, my mistake, 'kay?"

I sincerely apologize to Sam Raimi. To Stan Lee. And Toby Maguire. And Kirsten Dunst. And Rosemary Harris. And J.K. Simmons. And Dr. Octopus. Not so much to James Franco for some reason... I'm sorry to Alvin Sargent, Miles Millar and Alfred Gough. Sincerest apologies to Michael Chabon. Regret to Avi Arad. To Joe Quesada and the whole Marvel family.

You see, I hoped to review this volume of ESSENTIAL SPIDER-MAN prior to the movie's premiere and maybe give the franchise a much needed boost. I know that with a @$$holes Comics Reviews endorsement, particularly from me for some reason, I could have helped this film become a hit. I was lazy, I admit it. I took my time. I guess we'll never know how successful SPIDER-MAN 2 could have been.

Also, in my own defense, I'd seen a screening of a rough cut months ago and I'd been sworn not to report to AICN. I must say, I was shocked to find that this scene had not made it into the finished film:

INT. LECTURE HALL -- DAY

Every single member of Spider-Man's rogues gallery fills the seats.

SANDMAN: I don't get it. Why'd he invite us all here?

LIZARD: Who givesssss a sssshit?

ELECTRO: I just hope we get out in time for the Vulture and I to make rehearsals for our brothel scene in the adult MK SPIDER-MAN. Eh, Vulchy.

VULTURE: I didn't guzzle all that viagra for nothing.

SHOCKER: Shut up, here comes somebody.

PETER walks across the stage wearing his Spider suit, without the mask.

PETER: Hi, guys. I just wanted to reveal my secret identity to all of you.

RHINO: Issat the kid from DONNIE DARKO?

Ah, the ESSENTIALS. Just when you want to smack everyone at Marvel from the guy who got Jemas' job down to Sanchez in the mailroom (is Sanchez still in the mailroom? He used to get mentioned in the lettercols as someone who terrorized new staffers. They should have made him editor-in-chief), they go and put out a bunch of ESSENTIALS and you remember why there was a time when the only comics you'd read were put out by Marvel.

This one has some key Spidey stuff. The death o' Gwen Stacey. The death o' Norman Osbourne. Aunt May's wedding to Doc Ock. The first appearance of the Punisher. The first appearance of the Jackal, the guy who cloned Spider-Man. Harry Osbourne becoming the Green Goblin. J. Jonah Jameson's son, John Jameson, who never even met Mary Jane Watson, turning into the Man-Wolf (supposedly, a moonstone did the trick, but I think it was Marvel's early '70s horror wave). The Spider Mobile.

Gerry Conway wrote most of these stories. He's sort of forgotten in the history of Spiderdom, but damn! He was good. Ross Andru came aboard when the stories in this volume ran. I started reading Spider-Man exactly 11 issues after the last story in this volume first ran, so for me, Ross Andru IS the Spider-Man artist. But we all know that John Romita Sr., maybe even more than Spidey co-creator Steve Ditko, IS the Spider-Man artist and he proved in some of the earliest stories printed here, especially the first round of Doc Ock vs. Spidey vs. Hammerhead. Gil Kane, always an awesome Spidey penciller, also shows up.

I enjoyed the inclusion of a trio of stories from Marvel's GIANT SIZED series, where you'd get the equivalent of an annual every month or two. GIANT SIZED SPIDER-MAN was really GIANT SIZED MARVEL TEAM-UP. Horror was huge in those Bronze Aged days and we see Spidey tackling a team up of Morbius the Living Vampire and Man Wolf. Later he meets Dracula, star of Marvel's TOMB O' DRACULA. Coolest of all, he teams up with SHANG CHI, MASTER OF KUNG FU. Which reminds me, this being the '70s, Spidey fought and befriended Luke Cage, Power Man early on.

Marvel has put out a lot of ESSENTIALS lately. Look for upcoming reviews of ESSENTIAL TOMB O' DRACULA VOL. 2, ESSENTIAL DAREDEVIL VOL. 2, and ESSENTIAL AVENGERS VOL. 4.

I just hope that everyone involved with the production of SPIDER-MAN 2 can forgive me for what my lollygagging may have cost their livelihood.


TRUE STORY, SWEAR TO GOD: 100 STORIES

By Tom Beland
Published by AiT/PlanetLar
Reviewed by
Lizzybeth

The reviews have come in on Tom Beland's comic book, TRUE STORY, SWEAR TO GOD, and Tom's wife Lily excitedly reads them aloud. "Brilliantly helps fill in the gap in the current market of romance comics", she recites, "inspiring!... real emotion!.. The magic of love and romance.. – Great!" she exclaims, looking at her hubby. Tom's cartoon persona looks thunderstruck. "Oh my god.." he deadpans, "my book is a chick flick".

Which is the other reaction to Beland's relationship-centered autobiographical comic, and not without cause.The comic is essentially a long mash note to Beland's wife and the unusual way the two met and married, and is chock full of introspection and feelings and swooning and whatnot. While I find the comic to be sweet and charming, I have to tell you that the real gold is in Tom Beland's mini-comics. These minis, full of strip-format slice-of-life humor, started years before TRUE STORY broke into full-comic format and focus on some other aspects of Beland's life dating back to early childhood up through his cartooning career to his move to Puerto Rico to be with Lily. The minis are more entertaining not because of their greater variety of topics or a lack of chick appeal (there's still romance aplenty) but because they're really, really funny.

100 STORIES collects a number of these strips into one volume, with subject headings like "Family," "work," and "play." Beland draws from a rich store of experiences, some from his youth, some from his many working experiences before making a go at cartooning, and some from his current career. While many of these experiences are expertly mined for comedy, some are in a more tragic vein. As you know if you read TRUE STORY, Beland lost both parents to cancer as a teenager, and even his happy memories of that early family life are colored with a sweet sadness. His tributes to their memory, and his continuing love notes for Lily, may occassionally make this book uncomfortably sentimental for, say, your average teenage boy, but most everyone else will find that they add richness and character to the strips. And like I said, he has The Funny. If the "crabs breathe air?" strip doesn't make you laugh, I don't know what will, seriously. This is a nifty collection for anyone still trying to hunt down those minis or just looking for a better laugh than your local Funny Pages can manage.


SHE-HULK #5

Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Paul Pelletier
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Reviewed by Cormorant

I try really hard to be first on the scene when a bitchin' new comic debuts. Nothing better than bragging rights to the tune of, "Yeah, I was there before it was cool to be there. All the rest of y'all are X-Men-readin' posers who wouldn't know 'new and cool' if it bit you on the ass. And you're impotent too."

What?

But sometimes instead of being first, you're, like, the forty-thousandth person on the scene. That's me on SHE-HULK. Apparently I'm an X-Men-readin' poser who wouldn't know "new and cool" if it bit me on the ass. I am impotent.

BUT I'M HAVING A FABULOUS TIME WITH THIS BOOK!

Okay, so the first issue was a little shaky. A few of the gags fell flat and I made a knee-jerk assumption that the glimpse of She-Hulk's healthy sex life was indicative of a slutty future for the character. My bad. Not only did the humor get much stronger, it got stronger within the space of single issue – this book found its legs fast! For you newbies, the premise is simple enough: former lawyer Jennifer Walters (aka She-Hulk) is back in the courtroom again. She was hired under the stipulation that the firm get Jen Walters, not She-Hulk, but in reality she's gotta flex the ol' green muscles every once in a while because she's working the firm's newest division: the superhuman law offices. Good times and adventure ensue, like this latest issue fer instance...

Remember the New Warriors? Somewhat forgotten but somewhat fondly-remembered teen superhero team of the '90s? The book opens with them taking down a 15-year-old supervillainess sporting a powered arm-gauntlet that Witchblade's lawyers might want to look into. Now I've never read a single NEW WARRIORS book in my life, and I still got a kick out of their appearance here! Writer Dan Slott clearly has a love for the Marvel Universe, obscure characters and all, and it's easy to plug into that enthusiasm because we haven't seen it coming off other Marvel writers in years! There's more continuity in an average issue of She-Hulk than in the entirety of Bill Jemas's tenure as company president. So what if it's of the tongue-in-cheek variety?

Slott's also the Anti-Bendis when it comes to pacing, so this teaser confrontation is actually resolved to amusing satisfaction in a mere two pages. Two pages! That's economy, my friends, and then the issue gets really fun...

The aforementioned 15-year-old villainess goes by the name of Southpaw, and as luck would have it, she's the granddaughter of the senior partner of She-Hulk's firm. Before the firm can get involved, though, we see her incarcerated at a new supervillain prison center whose concept is simultaneously genius and hilarious. I hate to spoil the idea, but not enough folks are reading this book, so... The place is Pym Experimental Penitentiary Number One, aka "The Big House." As the ironic name will suggest to longtime Marvel readers, the prisoners are actually shrunk down using the same Pym Particle gas that Ant-Man uses, thus minimizing costs, staffing, and the danger level if the little guys break out! As She-Hulk later notes when peeking through a miniature window to see the Wrecking Crew mopping a hallway:

"Who's the cutest little Wrecking Crew? You are! Yes, you are!"

It's funny as hell but it also make perfect sense in the Marvel Universe. Where Slott keeps things from getting too lightweight is in putting Southpaw in the cell next to the Mad Thinker. He's an old FF villain with bad hair, an outdated green jumpsuit I hope he never loses, and a computer-like brain able to calculate probabilities to superhuman degrees. Slott makes him a total badass:

"Southpaw, allow me to introduce myself. I am The Thinker. I have anticipated the likelihood of your arrival. And now that you are here... I have plan that can liberate you, myself, and one-tenth of the prison's population. Interested?"

Damnation, I love when writers find ways to make old villains cool without just upping their body count, and Slott is delivering the goods! The breakout itself is fantastic, again finding the book's smooth balance of humor and inspired Marvel Universe high concepts.

And that's just the main plot. There's also all kinds of fun stuff percolating with the firm for the first time requesting Jen in She-Hulk form – just so as to abuse her Avengers status for a little legal rule-bending, the weasels! Better yet, there's the romantic sub-plot with J. Jonah Jameson's astronaut son, John Jameson, much to the consternation of Slott's original character, nice-guy lawyer Augustus Pugliese. Somehow - and I'm not sure just how - but Slott actually made touching a scene where Pugliese restrains a half-man/half-chimp created by the High Evolutionary(!) while Jen heads out for a date with John Jameson. That's some crazy-ass writing mojo.

Such a refreshing book, this new SHE-HULK, and on so many levels. It's got characters I find truly likeable and a charismatic, sexy lead who's nothing like the caricature I was afraid of getting. It's a fun-loving legal drama firmly entrenched in the Marvel Universe and not afraid to make the setting a major hook for the series. It's got the laughs, it's got the heart, and it's got more neat ideas about supervillains and superpowers than anyone this side of Grant Morrison. Even up-and-comer artist Juan Bobillo is impressing me, though he takes a break this issue with artist Paul Pelletier providing a strong fill-in.

I know I should probably have at least one criticism to maintain my credibility, so let me just say that a few of Slott's jokes still fall a little flat for me or are too broadly played. And that's it for my blistering criticism. Everything else about the series is fun, fun, fun, and I'm ready to go out on a limb and call this Marvel's best new book since RUNAWAYS. Dig it!

Try out the entire issue for free right here.


Cheap Shots!

AQUAMAN #20 - Well, Will Pfeifer's first story arc is over and done with. Although at times this book has reeked of the snail-paced attributes of your average Marvel book, I have to give credit where credit is due and say that the last few issues have been some of the best Aquaman stories I have read in quite some time. This issue establishes Aquaman with a new role; that of protector and king of the newly sunken section of San Diego, dubbed Sub Diego. I like the way Pfeifer wrapped this one up. There are some truly gruesome moments involving some sharks. And the art is top notch. But it is the final montage depicting how the humans are adapting to their new environment and how they work with their fishy friends that sold me on this issue. Aquaman has always been torn between the undersea and surface world. Now he has a kingdom that is just as torn. I like this new dynamic that Pfeifer introduced. The last few issues have not been flawless, but I get a feeling that now that Pfeifer has established his new city under the sea, he now has a chance to teel some truly interesting stories and I'm willing to stick around for a while to see if I'm right. – Ambush Bug

FALLEN ANGEL #13 - I've recommended this series on many occasions, and while this particular issue's not a personal favorite, it's still a strong one-shot for those wanting to give the book the shot it deserves. It revolves around a woman's first visit to the book's creepy fictional city of Bete Noire. As minor subplots brew in the background, she asks the Fallen Angel for help in tracking down Asia Minor, drug kingpin of Bete Noire and one of my favorite sleazy supporting players. Has some neat twists, some gore, the series' typically unsettling moral compromises (so much more at home here than in IDENTITY CRISIS), and...well, maybe one or two too many instances of Peter David quippiness. Very readable though. Why don't you try an issue? If you like it, get the recently released trade. If you don't, don't! – Cormorant

NIGHTWING #95 - So what do you do lose your job, break up with your girlfriend, lose most of your friends when your apartment building explodes, and you play a part in the death of the biggest crime boss since the Kingpin? Why, you get hitched to the closest vigilante hottie you can find, of course! Nightwing is scraping rock bottom these days. Writer Devin Grayson has finally found a comic that she can show her stuff on and I'm liking the stuff she's showing. The last few issues have been said to be the Nightwing version of BORN AGAIN. And it's true; Devin Grayson is dragging Dick Grayson through the mud, but the point of BORN AGAIN was the redemption and we've seen no indication of that happening yet. So far it's been an interesting downward spiral, but it's easy to tear a person's life apart. The challenge is going to be making it just as interesting when we see Dick pull through this funk and put his life back together. Grayson has her work cut out for her if Dick's rise is going to be as interesting as his fall (god that sounds perverted). – Ambush Bug

SCURVY DOGS #5 - This colossally wacked-out series wraps with issue #5, and if it didn't turn out to be quite as consistently hilarious as the first issue had me hoping for, it was still a welcome read each month. For the grand finale, the modern-day pirates of the series go Hollywood, lured by the wiles of a besotted Rod Stewart controlled by frisbee-like computer Dr. Theopolis from the old BUCK ROGERS TV show. Random pop cultural references are losing their zip for me these days (thank you, VH-1), but this is still some funny shit. From the revelation that Dr. Theopolis was secretly Flavor Flav's big-ass neck clock to a TV show featuring pirate cooking with shrunken badger heads...there are some excellent gags here. Loved the fictional video games too ("Marion Barry's Civilization," "Man From O.K.L.A.H.O.M.A.", and "Corolla Rampage"). SCURVY DOGS is cheap laughs, but it's good cheap laughs. - Cormorant

FIERCE #1 (of 4) - THE DEAD ZONE meets THE LOSERS, this story of a Jamaican born psychic is pretty bad ass. While it's not the most original idea you're ever going to find, it is fun, exiting, and has some pretty damn good art. This first issue hits all the right notes, and I'm damn sure going to be there for the next three. - Vroom Socko

GOTHAM CENTRAL #21 - I can't believe how good this book is of late, and with a Mad Hatter storyline no less. I mean, I hate the Mad Hatter! Turns out, though, that as an incarcerated Hannibal Lecter-type manipulator, he's creepy as hell. But Hatter's culpability in an unsolved crime is just the most unnerving part of the mystery, which features some great scenes of classic detective work from story leads Marcus Driver and Josie Mac. Ed Brubaker made one of the best decisions the series has yet seen in focusing on the pair of 'em over the sometimes hard-to-track ensemble cast, a decision outdone only by the return of Harvey Bullock. The slovenly but effective Bullock is a much needed larger-than-life personality for GOTHAM CENTRAL, though its his low-key and emotional conversation with Renee Montoya that's one of the high points of the issue. I honestly wish Brubaker were the sole writer of this series because his storylines are so much stronger than Greg Rucka's. I'm on the edge of my seat here, folks. Buy the trade and catch up! – Cormorant

THE MIRROR OF LOVE - Well, boys and girls, what we have here is a book that used to be a comic, once upon a time. THE MIRROR OF LOVE was originally illustrated by Steve Bissette and Rich Veitch in 1988, using a poem by comic book genius Alan Moore. In this edition, the text of the poem is set to images by photographer Jose Villarrubia, in a lovely hardcover volume. The two sets of illustrations illuminate the text in different ways – in the original comic version (somewhat hard to find these days, but also worth digging up) a parallel plot is generated in the images to go with the story in the text, while in the new edition, the photographs focus on particular details of Moore's verse (a string of pearls, a tongue of fire). This edition also includes a really nice appendix which gives a short bio of all of the artists, poets, writers, dancers, and others mentioned in the text. Unfortunately, this list is limited only to individuals mentioned in the poem, and do not bring in other prominent homosexual men and women throughout history. Entire books, of course, have been written for just that purpose, and Appendix III helpfully lists some of them. The final appendix takes a time out for us non-Brits to explain Clause 28, a discriminatory English law which makes a prominent appearance in the poem. This is a very attractive edition of a powerful piece of writing by Mr. Moore, and a heartfelt visual poem by Mr.Villarrubia.. It makes a wonderful gift for our gay friends and their families, or anyone who believes that neither art nor love can be limited.

FREAKS OF THE HEARTLAND #4 - I've tried to stick with Steve Niles' latest horror miniseries from Dark Horse, but it's just not worth it. The story surrounding a hulking, mutant child kept in secret on a farm sounds great on paper, but in practice it moves all-too-slowly and without any bite or real horror. The art from Greg Ruth remains stunning, but it's wasted on a forgettable story. – Cormorant

THE PULSE #4 - Sometimes I wonder about the stakes in comics. The Green Goblin's killed the first love Peter Parker ever had. He's manipulated Parker's life, even taken his daughter from him. But killing his own employees? That's what finally has Spidey saying "no more?" Please. Then why did I enjoy this issue so much? Because the moment between Luke Cage and Jessica Jones is magic. Because Ben Urich and Spidey have the best damn conversation that's ever seen print between the two. Because Bendis, unlike Millar, knows just how to use Robbie Robertson, AND can prove it with only one line. And because Bagley's last three pages just plain fucking rock. - Vroom Socko

FABLES #27 – It's the denouement to the "March of the Wooden Soldiers" storyline, and oddly enough, it's my favorite issue of the whole arc. There's a great battle between two witches (note guest-appearance by the bed from old LITTLE NEMO comic strips!), a number of surprisingly touching scenes between Snow and Bigby, and about a half-dozen other post-battle vignettes – each of 'em, great. It almost makes me nervous when writer Bill Willingham shows his more humanistic side as in this issue, fearful he's soon to counterbalance it with some darker stuff. But for now...easily one of my favorite issues of the entire series. The whole ensemble cast has become very well-defined and just about anything they do is a joy to watch. - Cormorant

JSA #63 - Jerry Ordway's on the art, Dr. Fate is clearing house, The team's going on a journey to the center of the Earth, and there's a guest appearance from The Sandman. More than one Sandman. What more do you need to know? - Vroom Socko



Readers Talkback

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  • July 21, 2004, 3:02 p.m. CST

    Cormorant should get over himself

    by themidnighter23

    you're a douchebag that cant even tell he's reading something good. Let go of the past and just deal with it. Superheroes isnt all shiney happy people I seriously hope you stop reading the book, this way we dont have to hear your whinning and crying because the writer didnt write the story your way. a big fuck you to you Cormorant, go watch I love the 90s you stupid bitch!

  • July 21, 2004, 3:08 p.m. CST

    Just a BIT exploitive

    by oddity

    Gotta say that Cormorant sums up my feelings perfectly. I had a hard time putting my finger on why it felt so wrong, and this is it: it's just not in keeping with the best traditions of the DC Universe or the JLA, and it's certainly a callous and exploitive way to treat a decent character. What's next, Meltzer? Will we discover that Sue actually had a breakdown and killed herself? I don't think we've knocked her around enough. Let's pile on the misery. So no, I won't be buying the rest of the series.

  • July 21, 2004, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Rape=$$$

    by mattb127

    It just doesn't work. Raping a character whose biggest exposure was as a comedic figure--I mean, why do it? What's the point? Just to show "this is grown up stuff, here!" And it came out of nowhere... was THIS the reason Sue was so acerbic and witty in the old Justice League series? Was she hiding her secret shame? And is that why the Elongated Man was so wacky? This couple always reminded me of Dick van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore. And it feels like Meltzer just had Alan Brady rape Laura Petrie. That's how off key it is. It's a stunt. This is just a rape to sell some comics. It's a fricking RAPE. I mean, come ON. Are people at DC sitting around concocting a "rape list" or something? "Hmm, who should we rape next? Martha Kent? That'd sure be some good rape! Get Meltzer in here... hey, Meltzer, what do you think if we had Monseiur Mallah abuse the Changeling? You know, retroactively, when Changeling was a kid, and we're just finding out now that Robin cut out a piece of his monkey brain?" How could you not be cynical about this?

  • July 21, 2004, 3:36 p.m. CST

    Just like Janet at the Superbowl -

    by ejcarter9

    - it's just not the right venue for that stuff. I know some of you are like "fuck the children," but as a parent and a comic reader I have to say that this crossed the line. It could've been avoided if they just slapped a Mature Readers Only warning on it.

  • July 21, 2004, 4:12 p.m. CST

    As a non-DC reader...

    by roadcaesar

    I don't seem to be having the same problems a lot of people are having with the series. I never read DC growing up, so I don't really have any preconceptions or attachments to go with these characters. As a result, the events don't clash with my expectations of what the DC world should be. Everything seems to fit fine to me. I can definitely see where you guys are coming from, though. I'm a big fan of G.I. Joe, and if Cobra Commander raped Scarlett, I would probably react in the same way you guys are. And I agree, this should probably have a mature readers stamp on it.

  • July 21, 2004, 4:36 p.m. CST

    then read ID Disc bisnatch

    by AlgertMopper

    if ID Crisis hurts you little mind, then co whine to mommy, and make her pick you up ID Disc, and some diapers

  • July 21, 2004, 4:48 p.m. CST

    It's spelled Gypped, AB.

    by Squashua

    Not Jipped. Sue Dibny had it coming. Not. I am surprisd yet glad tht Keith Giffen has decided to not do the sequel to his "Justice League" mini. Well, sort of glad, and sort of not. I'll pick up his new book, but it bugs me that this hit him so hard.

  • July 21, 2004, 4:53 p.m. CST

    I hate hate hate what they did to Sue Dibney.

    by riskebiz

    Did I have an affection for Sue Dibney as a character ... EVER? No. I didn't have to. But she's been around for a long time and she is a big part of what makes the Elongated Man a great B-list character. To me, they didn't just kill Sue Dibney, they killed the Elongated Man, too.

  • July 21, 2004, 4:59 p.m. CST

    I'm with Corm

    by xsi kal

    I enjoyed the first issue of Identity Crisis, but the rape scene in #2 was way over the line. I finished the book anyway, my wife stopped reading immediately... neither of us will bother with #3.

  • July 21, 2004, 5:17 p.m. CST

    evolution of comics

    by Dr Farragammo

    While I agree IC should have a mature readers tag on it, I have to say it is one of the BEST series I have read in years. How do I know this? Because I keep rereading it, and I'm going crazy waiting for the next issue to come out. Was the rape over the top? I guess my question is, I can't believe we're just getting around to discussing rape in comics. Sure it makes you pissed, it makes you feel vioated, it makes you ...care. That is what rape is and if we weren't angry by this then why would this be an event book? The writing, pacing, art, and character development in this book is great, and we're only on issue 2! Have you ever seen Hawkman, Green Arrow, or Elongated man depicted so gritty and fully realized? This is a landmark book, taking comic characters and putting them in the grey zone of The Shield,24, and The Sopranos. Complex family dynamics, morally ambivalent dilemmas, no clear cut black and white. In other words, contemporary. Recently I read one of the silver age samplers of the jla. great fun, quaint,harmless, and dated. Comics most adapt and develop for each generation or they will die out. They're already in danger of it as we speak. This book has me excited in a way, no mainstream title has in years. My other fave book is Supreme Power, and this is taking the lead. This is great gripping stuff, and though I fear for my fave characters , I'm in this till the end.

  • July 21, 2004, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Dan Slott

    by sideshowbob

    I liked his Arkham Asylum mini-series but ultimately I felt he had too many good ideas (what a problem!), and tried too hard to force them all into 6 issues. With an ongoing series, this "problem" is now an asset, and he now has to be one of the finest new writers out there. There is one criticism Cormorant didn't mention: these covers. While nice pin-ups taken on their own, they are super cheesy compared to the material inside. Isn't Marvel in the business of selling books? Why not show the "Big House" or any number of these great ideas on the cover?

  • July 21, 2004, 5:59 p.m. CST

    I wonder if LizzyBeth...

    by Shigeru

    ...has dyed black hair that sweeps in front of her eyes, maybe back with a pink barette? Cuffed jeans? A black Blood Brothers shirt? A guy can dream...right? Umm... oh yeah, who the hell is Sue Dibny again?

  • July 21, 2004, 6:01 p.m. CST

    re : keith giffen

    by Dr Farragammo

    I love keith giffen's work, and can understand him being pissed off at killing one of his beloved characters, but he should undertstand. Hell this is the guy that killed Santa Claus!!!!!! talk about a hypocrite.

  • July 21, 2004, 6:13 p.m. CST

    Hey, Dr. Ferragamo...

    by SleazyG.

    ...Giffen may have killed Santa Claus, but he did it out of DCU continuity. ;)

  • July 21, 2004, 6:29 p.m. CST

    Midnighter23 Is Right! "Superheroes Isn't Just Shiney Happy Peop

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...but are in fact fictional characters. I'm always amazed when someone gets so pissed off because you didn't like a comic book they liked. Here's a thought, Midnighter, since you like to read the grown up comic books, how about thinking and reacting like a grown up? If you notice, we have a guy who really liked IDENTITY CRISIS and he didn't need to call the guy who didn't like it a douchebag. Okay, bad example, because Ambush Bug and Corm call each other "douchebag" all the time, but my point is still valid. My best to Apollo!

  • July 21, 2004, 6:31 p.m. CST

    I hate IC #2...

    by Fantomex

    But it had nothing to do with the "controversy". I think it was grossly unnecesary. I don't think Meltzer even remotely realized what he had with #1. I had never *HEARD* of Sue Dibney or The Elongated Man and I found her death moving. This entire issue seems overboard, and doesn't really add anything to the story you couldn't get last month. But really why I didn't like it was because of the last two pages, which didn't make a god damn bit of sense. SPOILERS FOLLOW ------ Okay, so Sue was dead before she was burned? SO WHAT? Dr Light is still the most obvious suspect and he could have easily bypassed the security. How does the autopsy automatically lead to him being innocent of the crime? Is my issue missing a page or two? Hell, we already knew she was dead when she was caught on fire, what the hell is supposed to be going on? I can ignore small to medium size plot holes, but this looks like the early script read "Insert plot twist here" and Meltzer wrote it on the fly. You can make all the snide Millar jokes you want, but Meltzer can't seem to get a basic plot right here.

  • July 21, 2004, 7:20 p.m. CST

    Some thoughts

    by Daredevil

    I don't have so much a problem with the rape of Sue as her death. As someone else already said, that was what made Elongated Man original: He was one half of a husband and wife team. The closest we've ever had other than that was the Green Arrow/Black Canary thing, but that's been on again off again, not the committed relationship the Dibney's had. I just wonder what repercussions this will have on the Elongated Man's character in any future appearances. If I were Giffen, I would rewrite the Justice League mini to revolve around a reckless, foolhardy mission by Ralph and some of his closest friends going back and keeping her from dying (against the recommendation of some of his other friends, of course.) Now THAT would be a cool story. Oh, and on a side note: does anyone else think Aquaman REALLY, REALLY, REALLY needs a beard? I could care less about his suit (although the gold chainmail is better than the shoulder armor. The completely shirtless costume from the Justice League cartoon is best) But he looks so much better with a beard (I also like the long hair...the "flowing underwater" effects are just too cool). What exactly do comic artists have against beards? How many superheroes have facial hair: Green Arrow, Lobo, Thor, Hercules, Dr. Strange, Wolverine (the chops are big enough to count), guys like Luke Cage and Arsenal do the soul patch thing... Then there's the one who have facial hair but it's obscured by a mask: Black Panther, Iron Man, Steel... Now, I don't expect Superman and Spider-Man to go out and grow a goat (besides, a beard on certain half-masked heroes like Batman could look silly), but those few that the beard works on should keep it!

  • July 21, 2004, 7:23 p.m. CST

    Buzz Maverik, you ignorant douchebag

    by themidnighter23

    here's a thought, why dont you go and fuck yourself in the ass? Im not upset with his review, Im upset for the reasons. He says that it shouldnt be that way, that the DC universe isnt supposed to be dark and realistic. What a fuckin douche. Everything has to be upbeat? If that were true all the stories would be boring dont you think? what? you dont think? sorry, i thought you had a brain but your skull was full of shit. so buzz, go have sex with your sheep

  • July 21, 2004, 7:40 p.m. CST

    Fantomex is correct about the autopsy in IC2

    by the G-man

    All the autopsy scene demonstrates is that Sue died before she was set on fire. Since Dr. Light's powers aren't flame based, this doesn't exonerate him in the least. In fact, since Dr. Light's powers are radiation based, the injuries described in the autopsy are actually CONSISTENT with being killed by him: burns without smoke=radiation burns, kids.

  • July 21, 2004, 7:42 p.m. CST

    Make Up Your Mind, Midnighter...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...am I supposed to have sex with sheep or myself? First you say one, then the other. Boy, some people.

  • July 21, 2004, 7:44 p.m. CST

    Reading Comprehension: F-

    by creepyCritic

    Midnighter, you're an absolute imbecile. Sorry to call you a name without 'fuck' or 'ass' in it, but there are these things called 'dictionaries' where you can look it up (and OTHER words, too!) Amazing that the point of Cormorant's argument was so completely lost on you. That's not his fault, genius.

  • July 21, 2004, 7:44 p.m. CST

    Besides, The DC Universe Is Dark & Realistic. Just Read The Com

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...or the guy in the Robin Hood suit who uses arrows. If that isn't realism, I don't know what is!

  • July 21, 2004, 7:52 p.m. CST

    Dark gritty comics

    by Gislef_crow

    Part of the problem is that Sue Dibny _wasn't_ a dark gritty character. Never. Nor has she ever appeared in dark gritty stories (even before Keith Giffen). That's the reason for the outcry. DC has done rape and molestation stories before. The point is that comedic fictional characters (comic book or otherwise) don't have to be dark and gritty. And most people don't want them to be. What would the uprorar be like if they had decided to do a Phoebe-rape story on Friends? Frasier on Frasier? Peggy on King of the Hill? Marge on Simpsons? Nobody seems to think that, say, Will & Grace needs to become dark and gritty by having someone rape Grace, but hey, comedy sidekick character Sue Dibny and her husband Ralph? Dark and gritty, sure.

  • July 21, 2004, 7:55 p.m. CST

    Identity Crisis #3...

    by creepyCritic

    ...will feature the double rape of Wendy of Marvin and Wendy, and Jana of the Wondertwins - you heard it here first.

  • July 21, 2004, 8:03 p.m. CST

    "All the autopsy scene demonstrates is that Sue died before she

    by JonQuixote

    You may very well be right. But also there remains the possibility that there is more information from that autopsy forthcoming, and we the readers of IC#2 just aren't privy to it yet.

  • July 21, 2004, 8:05 p.m. CST

    Maybe, JonQ, but then...

    by the G-man

    ...why do the "big reveal" on an apparently irrelevant bit of information?

  • July 21, 2004, 8:55 p.m. CST

    Sheep

    by themidnighter23

    Buzz Maverik, you are a sheep. you follow the heard. You cant think for yourself. You are a sheep. god your dense... now run along and go have sex with yourself before Harry finds you and eats you

  • July 21, 2004, 9:02 p.m. CST

    I agree with Roadcaesar

    by sideshowbob

    As a non-DC reader (for the most part, although I read JLE and know Sue Dibny through that), I could sit back and enjoy this issue for what it is: a well-written, well-drawn, compelling read. The rape didn't bother me so much, perhaps just as the attempted rape in "The Watchmen" didn't--I don't have a history with these characters and don't really know them, so how do I know this isn't how they act? It's a story! It's drama! It's not realism. Throwing all the superhero stuff aside, how many people in the real world break into the houses and rape the wives of the people they don't get along with? It's drama, a plot device going back as far as drama goes back. I can appreciate Corm's qualms about it not belonging in a superhero book, when there are many genres out there. And ultimately, if you ask yourself "if he had merely beaten her, or even *threatened* her, would it have changed the story much?" the answer would be 'not really'. But...I can live with the choice they made. PLUS--this is only issue 2 of a 7-part MYSTERY. Who can say if *any* of this is as it seems so far?

  • July 21, 2004, 9:07 p.m. CST

    midnighter...

    by sideshowbob

    You are cracking me up...

  • July 21, 2004, 9:12 p.m. CST

    Yeah Jon but...

    by Fantomex

    The guy doing the autopsy specifically said the fact that she was killed before being set on fire exonerated Dr. Light completely. Perhaps when he was talking about "other tests" that was supposed to mean he knows how she was killed, and that method links her death to someone else in particular. But that isn't even close to what was written on the page.

  • July 21, 2004, 9:17 p.m. CST

    by themidnighter23

    i really should proof read my rant. bah bah bah bah baaaaaaaaaaaah anyone read Flash 212? Is ok if villains have bad habits or is that too realistic for shiney happy superhero world?

  • July 21, 2004, 10:02 p.m. CST

    by cyborgsquirrel

    Flash was great. Anyone who loves heroes (and villains) needs to read this book. IC2 was also a great read, albeit, it could use a mature tag so that the real <i>mature</i> readers that can handle such matters can enjoy it without hearing whining about exploitation. However, since kids aren't reading comics these days, it's no big deal. I bet half of everyone here who claimed they are done with the series will still read it.

  • July 21, 2004, 10:18 p.m. CST

    G-Man & Fantomex

    by JonQuixote

    "why do the "big reveal" on an apparently irrelevant bit of information?" *** Certainly a long CSI-type speech would really interrupt the flow of action. Basically all we know is that Dr. Mid-Nite determined that Sue was dead before she was burned, and that he knows that Dr. Light wasn't the killer. We don't know that he made that deduction for the sole reason that she was dead before she was burned. In fact, that would be really really stupid. I hope I'm not wrong, but I have faith that Bestselling Crime Novelist Brad Meltzer isn't that stupid. But in order for the mystery cliffhanger to be effective, we don't need to know that Dr. Light isn't the murderer because (blank). All we need to know that the murderer isn't the prime suspect.

  • July 21, 2004, 10:57 p.m. CST

    stop reading IC and start reading Fallen Angel

    by Tall_Boy

    kthanksbye.

  • But thanks for the posts anyway, Midnighter. Your muddled responses, grade school misspellings and general dipshittery undermine the praise for IDENTITY CRISIS better than I ever could. Hell, you're such a failure for your cause that I'm tempted to suspect you're just one of those AICN trolls looking to stir up shit with controlled leaks of idiocy. Whatever the case, delighted to have ya as the opposition!

  • July 21, 2004, 11:18 p.m. CST

    Cormorant douchebag cumguzzler

    by themidnighter23

    You stated yourself that you hated Identity Crisis because it goes against what DC should be.... why should it be? Why can't they have serious situations? Why can't they have heroes having a moment of weakness and giving in to doing something ethically wrong? and as for pointing out my misspelling and my "dipshittery", do you feel better about yourself? You really told me... OVER A FUCKIN MESSAGE BOARD. OOOOOOOOh, YOU ARE SO FUCKIN COOL. DOUCHEBAG!!! You are a typical fanboy loser that wants his comics written his way and if he doesnt get it he writes about how shitty it is on a message board. You dind't write about how badly the book was written, you wrote how bad they treated a character that you apparently felt shouldnt have been raped, killed, or any other sick twisted thing they can come up with... so again GO AND FORNICATE YOURSELF WITH A HOT METAL STICK YOU STUPID SHEEP!!!!

  • July 21, 2004, 11:21 p.m. CST

    Comedy's hard, but SHE-HULK's succeeding so far..

    by FrankDrebin

    But I don't really get why she's under orders to stay in "Jennifer" form. The office is pretty much crawling with super-humans anyway ("Awesome Andy" the intern?!), and she never makes it more than 2 pages without having to power-up because of some threat. And the Mike Mayhew covers are works of art, at no extra charge.

  • July 21, 2004, 11:23 p.m. CST

    Identity Crisis 2. I didn't like it.

    by el zar

    Too much for me. But I'd like to see Deathstroke get his ass kicked in 3.

  • I guess it wins points for having one of the more lurid depictions (yes, even WITH much of it being off-screen), but plenty of other titles have dealt with it. The first one that comes to mind is the Dark Phoenix Saga, which didn't depict the physical act of rape but certainly found a chilling analog to it in Mastermind's psychic seduction of Jean Grey. That, to me, is a far superior use of this larger-than-life genre to touch on real world issues. Like Busiek says, superheroes are all about metaphors; literalism doesn't become them. Another example is one of Miller's old issues of DAREDEVIL where DD's tracking a muscle-bound freak in a bondage mask. Bondage-boy is specifically targeting women and the issue only speaks overtly of him battering them, but rape is heavily implied when the issue's read with adult eyes. Miller even found a way to depict the helplessness of it for Daredevil: while scouring bars for informants, DD gets jumped and pinned by a bunch of thugs who proceed to pour their beers on his face. Of course he wriggles loose and kicks the shit out of 'em eventually, but the humiliation of the moment is no accident. THAT, to me, was a mature way to broach the subject without compromising the Marvel Universe. And going by Gail Simone's "Women In Refrigerators" website, apparently both Ms. Marvel (aka Warbird) and Starfire have been raped, so there's two more. I seem to remember the same was true of one of the New Mutants, too - Shan, I think. And these are just a few of the superhero books to touch on rape - Vertigo, Marvel's original Epic line, and indies galore have given the subject much more substantial looks, as befits the freedom they have from adventure genre strictures. Anyway, Doc, I disagree with you that pushing DC's frontline heroes into a morally gray realm is a landmark to be lauded, but I appreciate that you're making a cogent argument in favor of it. For my own part, I think I'd rather superheroes as a genre die out than become a format catering exclusively to adult needs. That seems wrong to me on a fundamental level. Superheroes at their core - at least the Marvel and DC ones - present an appealing fantasy of "good versus evil" and vigilantism without major consequences. Definite wiggle-room within that format, but when its core is eroded to the level of, say, an adult cop drama, I'd have to say the genre's lost its most unique element. And without that...it's just redundant - a cop show with capes and tights.

  • But that's who it was responding to, dammit.

  • July 22, 2004, 12:23 a.m. CST

    re : Cormorant's comments

    by Dr Farragammo

    1st off to those who enjoy gritty, dark comics I must implore you (if you haven't already) to start buying Vertigo's Human Target. It is excellent storytelling but it is selling poorly and could use the boost .I hate to see another intelligent , entertaining series get the axe. Now back to IC. Cormorant, I think the key that Identity Crisis is onto something is the debate and rancor it's drudged up. I honestly didn't think we'd see a heated debate like this again in the realm of the DCU after Dark Knight and Watchmen. I think one of the reason this series is pissing so many people off is DC is rare to do this kind of book , so the impact is more intense. It's also amazing that a minor , underused character now has everyone up in arms. But that to me is a good thing. The tears Ralph cried in isuue 1 was truly moving , and rare in comics. Just that fact alone is exciting. It's always hard to say what is TOO FAR in the entertainment medium, I certainly can respect those who find the rape scene uncomfortable and distancing. I found an element contradicitng one of my fave character's on The SHIELD this year. I also was furious the way Thomas Harris's novel HANNIBAL ended(the movie was only marginally better) , and thought it was completely inappropriate to the story. I guess for me this is too early to see if this was gratuitos . I am into it, and for me intensity is the most important element in storytelling. And I am really looking forward (through my fingers) to seeing where this goes. I enjoy that Meltzer is trying different angles on the way the heroes and villiains operate and it strikes me as fresh and provoking. And realize, in another 10 years or so, we'll probably be banging our arthritic fingers on the keyboard again when they do their next controversial status quo shaking series. I'd like to pick up that Daredevil arc, sounds interesting.

  • July 22, 2004, 12:31 a.m. CST

    I meant gratuitous

    by Dr Farragammo

    we need a spell check on here. I meant gratuitous . the new Wolverine is pretty groovy too, by the way.

  • July 22, 2004, 12:38 a.m. CST

    Corm, I can see what you're saying

    by Ribbons

    But I also agree with Ambush Bug. Sometimes you take the good with the bad. Although I would like to hear exactly what makes the sullying of other caped and costumed properties so successful. Why is that a discussion for another day? I know you're not gonna make good on that promise...no offense, I'm just interested is all.

  • July 22, 2004, 1:01 a.m. CST

    "We don't know that he made that deduction for the sole reason t

    by Fantomex

    Yeah, it is really stupid. That is what is written on the page. There is no artistic interpretation on my part. He states a single fact (that sue died before being burned) as the reasoning behind his conclusion (Dr. Light did not kill her). No wiggle room. No "I'll explain later..." Maybe he'll fix it next issue. In any case its poor writing.

  • July 22, 2004, 1:04 a.m. CST

    You talking about the episode with Dutch and the cat, Doc?

    by Dave_F

    'Cause if you are, I'm right there with ya. Thought it was a real betrayal of his character, though thankfully forgotten in subsequent episodes (well, mostly forgotten). On the other hand, I totally bought Lem going apeshit with the money toward the end - that was some great stuff. ****** But, oh yeah - IDENTITY CRISIS. I'm not willing to give it too much cred for getting people all worked up - after all, DK2 had tongues a'wagging too, but that book's likely to become forgotten save as a bogey man story of a comic creator gone loopy. WATCHMEN, on the other hand, provoked debate not so much about the appropriateness of the story itself, but about the issues it discussed - the nature of power, the connectivity of seemingly random events, vigilantism as a reaction to feelings of impotency in the modern world, etc, etc. I don't remember too much hullabaloo, for instance, over Rorschach putting that cleaver through the dog's head. A horrific scene, no doubt, but it fit the world Alan Moore had created, didn't it? Does Sue's rape and murder fit the world that birthed FORMERLY KNOWN AS THE JUSTICE LEAGUE just last year? ***** I'll give Meltzer this, though: much as I dislike what he's done, I definitely see some raw talent in him, and he's got some really strong individual scenes. I was moved by that first issue, too, and that's why I recommended it at the time despite my reservations. With issue two laying on the melodrama even thicker, though, AND continuing the continuity geek-outs, AND engaging in some questionable characterization and plotting...issue number one suddenly doesn't look as winning as it did a month ago. Now it looks to me like the promising teaser to a movie that ultimately turns out to be a blunder. ***** Among some of the questionable scenes: What kind of stake-out is it that involves sitting in plain sight on a ledge next to a woman on fire? Must come from the same school of thought that had the good guys staking out Dr. Light by standing on a ledge outside his hideout and talking for half and hour... And presumably Barry Allen's always worn his wedding ring under his costume, so howcome Light is the first villain to ever spot it? Why did the more aggressive JLA'ers (Green Arrow, Hawkman) just stand and take it when Light regaled 'em with his rape hologram? Wouldn't they have cracked his head open, or do only 1960's *villains* get to go post-modern ultraviolent while the heroes retain their LEAVE IT TO BEAVER morality? How is it that Kyle and Wally figured out something was going on but Batman and Superman didn't? ****** By the way, Doc, the DAREDEVIL in question was a self-contained issue: #173. It feels a bit dated now, but the same could be said for the entirety of Miller

  • July 22, 2004, 1:09 a.m. CST

    Ribbons

    by Dave_F

    The reason I described it as a discussion for another day was that my review was already approaching a bloated 1500 words (Avg. @-Hole review: 'bout 800 or 900 words)! But we 'Holes have been talking up the very topic you were asking about, so I'll try to quantify my explanation...tomorrow! Hey, even an @$$hole's gotta sleep...

  • July 22, 2004, 1:20 a.m. CST

    That's cool

    by Ribbons

    Man, I'm getting all excited now. @$$hole theses? Shweet.

  • July 22, 2004, 1:27 a.m. CST

    Thesis?!

    by Dave_F

    Holy shit, NOW I've set myself up...

  • July 22, 2004, 1:34 a.m. CST

    "There is no artistic interpretation on my part"

    by JonQuixote

    And yet, I read the same scene you did and interpreted it differently. What happened? One would think that, in the course of performing an autopsy, Dr. Mid-Nite wouldn't just rule out the suspected cause of death, but actually find one too, the true point of an autopsy. Since we don't know the cause of death (but presume that Dr. Mid-Nite does even if he doesn't say it out loud. we also presume he has an internal monologue in which he can think things but not speak them), we don't know in what direction that evidence points, and what conclusions can be drawn from it. *** But maybe you're right. Maybe Meltzer errs in giving his readers too much credit in knowing what the point of an autopsy is. Or maybe you're right and Dr. Mid-Nite just goes 'cause of death...*not* carbon monoxide poisoning? Well, I'm stumped'. Which, yes, would be very stupid. I hope I'm right and you're wrong. But we'll find out in a month's time.

  • July 22, 2004, 2:55 a.m. CST

    I hope you're right too. And, all things not IC #2

    by Fantomex

    It would be neat if the autopsy showed Sue was killed in some specific way linking to another supervillian, but perhaps too simple for the story. Who knows. When people read the trade, they probably won't even have enough time to think about it between the last page of #2 and the first page of #3. Month to month is unforgiving. ***ANYHOW*** I miss the old "real world" Captain America. While awful, it had potential. Whereas now I can't imagine the comic becoming readable. And that age old question "How many glowingly postitive reviews of She-Hulk do you have to read before you finally pick the damn thing up?" is answered this week. I'll be picking up the trade the second it comes out. I don't think I've ever seen so many different reviewers from across the spectrum agree this much. But I mean, cmon, its SHE-Hulk.

  • July 22, 2004, 3:22 a.m. CST

    identity dutch

    by Dr Farragammo

    yeah it was the shield episeode with Dutch , Cormorant. good call. that unnerved me to no end. Plus, when is shane gonna get his ass kcked? sick of that hayseed. back to topic : as far as hawkman, GA, and co not killing Dr. Light, I guess it setems from the , "makes us no better than them", category. plus if they killed him, the rest of the league would surely figure that out. As for Batman and Supes not being onto them, Batman was in the lab running tests, and Supes is too much of a boy scout to think the other's would be up to someting of that nature, he's on to bigger more obvious clues. Plus Wally and Kyle are nosy and get into trouble all the time, I think it makes sense. Plus, we still don't know if batman and superman don't know for sure. maybe they do, and are going to confront them on it. As for Firehawk? I'll chalk it up to suspension of disbelief, lord knows comics are full of little glitches like that. I guess we'll have to see where it leads with issue 3... p.s. i miss captain carrot

  • July 22, 2004, 7:54 a.m. CST

    ebonic_plague

    by themidnighter23

    oh no, someone I dont know made a funny about me... oh no, what to do. You madam are a loser of the highest degree. You are the shit stool sample of an old man. You are the crusty twat of an old droopy boobed lady. Now go back to your trailer and go watch your wrastlin and drink your Coors lite

  • July 22, 2004, 8:47 a.m. CST

    My turn now!

    by rev_skarekroe

    I liked "Infinity Crisis" #2, but it wasn't nearly as good as the first one. I also think it's too easy to use rape whenever you need a really shocking scene. I thought the new "Captain America" was kinda stupid, but then wasn't there an issue recently where Cap fought a midget Galactus at a comic book convention? "Scurvy Dogs" #5 may have been the weakest issue yet. Even so, I hope the creators' hiatus doesn't last too long... sk

  • July 22, 2004, 8:52 a.m. CST

    Confidential to Cormorant.

    by rev_skarekroe

    I told you I'd give you my opinion on MK Spider-Man #4 after I read it, so here it is. Firstly I thought the book was far too depressingly violent. Millar understands that Spidey needs to be put the wringer, but seems to have forgotten that Spidey should also be a fun read, which this book was not. I understand he plans to bring back the Spider-Mobile, so I haven't given up hope yet. As for the last scene, I was concerned about it too until I realized Millar is almost certainly playing us. It's the old funnybook switcheroo, like when it appeared Professor X shot Cassandra Nova, or when it looked like Hush was really Jason Todd. I won't REALLY know if Robbie was acting out of character until I know what really happened in that scene. At any rate, I plan on reading the book until we find out who kidnapped Aunt May. Then it will depend on how much I liked up to that point. sk

  • July 22, 2004, 9:34 a.m. CST

    new Cap sucks

    by vnv01

    i actually liked seeing what a grown white man dressed up in a flag outfit did in the real world. At least I got to see him interact with more black people than the Falcon, but i guess that was too much for people to handle, and now its back to the regular quotas.. Now that Cap has whitened up again, I will be dropping, and going back to living in the real world. Have at him comic geeks, and enjoy living in your mother's basement.

  • July 22, 2004, 9:41 a.m. CST

    Why can't (mainstream DC) have serious situations...?

    by Gislef_crow

    "Why can't they have serious situations? Why can't they have heroes having a moment of weakness and giving in to doing something ethically wrong? " Why can't the Simpsons have serious situations (serious in this case = rape)? Why can't Joey on Friends see Phoebe get raped and have a moment of weakness and give in to do something ethically wrong? Nobody seems to want such things, and would probably find them upsetting and/or worthy of protest. So why the need to "deconstruct" the JLA and make them dark, gritty, "moment of weakness" type heroes? And why use a comedic sidekick as the impetus by having her raped? Does this mean DC in its entirety can't be dark and gritty? Of course not - there was no fan outrage over rape in Watchmen, or Nigthwing, or L.E.G.I.O.N., or whatever. Beause those are (for lack of a better term) appropriate. And in this instance, Metzler is using an inappropriate setting (the Satellite era JLA) and the wrong character (Sue Dibny) and the wrong impetus (rape) to go dark and gritty. The satellite era, like Frasier, or Will & Grace, is simply an inappropiate venue to go "dark and gritty" and realistic with.

  • July 22, 2004, 9:43 a.m. CST

    rev

    by sideshowbob

    When was the last time any Spidey book has been a fun read?

  • July 22, 2004, 10:11 a.m. CST

    Identity Crisis = Problematic

    by DoctorSpectrum

    When I read issue #1, I was saddened by Sue's death, but it was so well written I couldn't wait for the next issue. When I read issue #2, I just felt...dirty. Quite frankly, in retrospect, these are the sort of cheap shots I would expect from the MAX line. I'm not sooo opposed to more grit and 'realism', but this series is just leaving a bad taste...Cormorant verbalized the reservations I was having. I think I'll just re-read "Formerly Known as the Justice League" again rather than pick up issue # 3.

  • July 22, 2004, 10:45 a.m. CST

    Excellent point Sideshow Bob.

    by rev_skarekroe

    I suspect the last time Spidey was a fun read was somewhere in Webspinners. However, the subject line said CONFIDENTIAL to Cormorant! Have you no shame, you peeping Tom! sk

  • July 22, 2004, 10:52 a.m. CST

    And Michael Chabon...

    by greenscarob

    McSweeney's #13 also had a short story from Malachi B. Cohen - Michael Chabon's comic name. "Cohen" is also writing stuff for Chabon's Escapist (Darkhorse) and it is pretty great. Chabon is really creating a cool sort of deconstruction of comics over the last 75 years through The Escapist's various stories. He is definitely a fan ("Kavalier and Clay" was perfect), someone I would love to take on a project like "Identity Crisis". DC - give Michael Chabon a huge project at DC!!!

  • Take note of Giffen's little hint of events to come in IDENTITY CRISIS. Happens toward the end when Elongated Man's talking to Plastic Man and jokes about him having an "identity crisis." That his next line mentions a "therapist" (just look at the word) is surely no coincidence...

  • July 22, 2004, 11:30 a.m. CST

    Therapist?

    by Gislef_crow

    Judging from the fans, they're a pissed allright... (in best Chico Marx voice) :)

  • July 22, 2004, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Therapist indeed...

    by TempusFugitive

    ... I'm just going to pretend that "hint" didn't exist. Yep... that's what I'll do. Anyway, I had passed on IC #1 orginally because "event titles" give me hives. But I read some spoiler-free positive reviews, so I figured I'd give it a try. I can say that it's the first comic book I've re-read immediately in many many years. Now don't get me wrong, it had plenty of issues. I too wondered why the hell you'd be on a "stakeout" with a flaming woman, and I thought that the apparent murder of Sue was powerful and moving enough without the pregnancy test. Little did I know that they were just STARTING to pile it on. You know, I buy the premise that the old school JLA might have tried to "fix" a bad guy after he/she did something horrific. I could see that departure from the norm. But key-rist, rape of a supporting character? "That's right folks, not only was she murdered along with her unborn child, but years ago, she was brutally raped!" I mean really, Sue AND Ralph certainly handled that experience extremely well afterward, based on all their previous.... errr subsequent.... whatever appearances. Of course, I'm still not convinced there isn't at least one big twist to come. Maybe Sue also had her mind/memory adjusted... or maybe the body found ISN'T Sue. Oh, oh, I know... it's all a horrible dream, and Ralph will wake up and see Sue walk out of the shower. Feh. The thing that pisses me off the most is that I WILL read #3. They sucked me in, and I don't like what I saw, but it's got my attention and interest. Bastards!

  • July 22, 2004, 1:37 p.m. CST

    Comics were not originally for kidz!

    by NeoSamurai

    You guys talking about superhero comics being aimed at kids do realize the only time that was really true was in the mid-sixties and mid-80s, right? When they first came out, comic books were aimed primarily at adults. Only with those movements that sought to prevent the corruption of America's youths and the formation of the Comic Code Authority did comics start becoming more "kiddie." This had more to do with one class degrading another class of people's entertainment. That's like saying Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck have a tradition of entertaining children (which they do, but remember, these were marketed to adults as well!). Heck, even the satelite era had some adult-themed stories. They just never covered the fare that IC is even hinting at. Comic books have always been for adults and have recently gained enough recognition to be treated seriously. Look at the writers that most comics have writing for them (Bendis, Rucka, Meltzer, MSJ, King, Smith) and the big Hollywood names that help legitimize the industry (Affleck, Cage, Nolan, Goyer, Singer, Raimi, Shamalyan). Those are people that have made their names in what has been "deemed" legitimate media who are showing that comic books are also a legitimate media by kicking up the stories for the people who buy them-- mature minds with the capital to spend for a good story that does not focus on feelings of nolstalgia or four color action. Sure the story is too mature for most children, but then that's not DCs job to tell parents what their children need to read--that the parents' job to get involed in their kids life. However, most children aren't even buying the book. I have yet to see IC sold at anyplace other than a comicbook specialty shop. Comics were originally never intended to be for kids, society pressured the medium into that role and is only now reemerging as a legitimate storytelling medium with complexities in both plot and art.

  • July 22, 2004, 1:56 p.m. CST

    Midnighter's False Pretense

    by mattb127

    Hey, grim n' gritty is great...as long as there's an actual point somewhere in there. As Midnighter so eloquently stated, Superheroes shouldn't be all fairy-dust and rainbows. But that, I think, everybody agrees with. It's sort of self-evident. Real tragedy is part and parcel of the superhero biz. Who doesn't think that all of these are "justified" from a story sense: The rape in Watchmen, the crippling (and implied rape) of Batgirl in the Killing Joke, the beating and weird dress-up of Catwoman in Dark Knight, the dismemberment and freezer-stuffing of Green Lantern's girlfirend, the deaths of Uncle Ben & Gwen Stacey? I think everyone says "ok" to all that, because in these instances, you could understand the tragedies, they had meaning and resonance. Those moments defined all the characters--from the Silk Spectre's weird love affair with her rapist to the Batman going over the edge with the Joker. But how did this event define anyone? NOW it defines them, after 40+ years of stories to the contrary? It just doesn't make any sense. If it happened in the present tense, maybe, but having it happen ten years ago in continuity is just weird, cheap, and easy. And voyeuristic, too.

  • July 22, 2004, 2:17 p.m. CST

    Uh... Identity Crisis is just bad writing

    by God's Brother

    Rape and murder can get pretty heavy in comics, ESPECIALLY when the vicitms are almost always women. I have a pretty open mind when it comes to what "should" and "should not" take place in the funny books, but one thing I can't abide by is female characters getting the raw end of the deal 99.99999% of the time. People have said, "Oh look, nobody cared about Sue dibny before, but Meltzer made us care about her and Ralph again." So yet again, a male writer has no idea what to do with female characters so he de-humanizes them for the sake of a quick and thoughtless plotpoint. What a load of shit. That said, rape has been used in the past in mainstream comics (sandman, watchmen) and it has WORKED. You know why? because the writers cared about the victims as much, if not more, than the survivors. Also the act of rape in those cases had enough weight to give meaning to the overall story and character arcs. Raping and killing Sue Dibny (after years of her not really being around) was a pretty weak idea, and the execution reeks of ignorance and misogyny.

  • July 22, 2004, 2:22 p.m. CST

    huh huh

    by God's Brother

    Now that that's off my chest, I just want to say that this is the best damn comics' review site around, and I look forward to it every week. Lizzybeth: thanks for reviewing McSweeney's! Everone here in this talk back should mix a little comix with their spandex, and this book is a good way into that world. So "mad props" to y'all...

  • July 22, 2004, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Watchmen?

    by Fantomex

    I've heard reference in the talkback to both an attempted rape and rape in Watchman. I'm smack in the middle of reading, and unlike IC #2, the scene with the Comedian and Jupiter's mother wasn't that clear. Are we supposed to think the hooded man came in just in time, or too late? Does this get revealed later on?

  • July 22, 2004, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Oh geez--- not another misuse of misogyny

    by NeoSamurai

    That term does not apply to Meltzer and the continued application in reference to Meltzer and IC is to demonstrate one's ignorance. Misogyny is a hatred of women. Meltzer showed powerful women characters in much of his comic writing (i.e. Green Arrow and IC). The only woman that has been harmed was Sue (1 woman, not 3, not the entire population of women in the DCU, but 1!). Z was demonstrated as having the power to change a man's personality/mind with magic. Black Canary was seen as heroically standing as opposition to what they did to Light. Hardly seems misogynistic. Or how about what happened to Bolt. He was shot repeatedly in an alleyway--gasp!--bleeding and near death parallel to Sue's beating in IC 1. How come that's not being referenced as hating men? Or how about the "Torment" storyline spanning Spiderman 1-4 (or was it 1-5?) where Spidey gets torn up, beaten nearly killed and shredded? Isn't that very humiliating to see a man beaten up so badly by the plans of a woman over 4 or 5 issues? If you're gonna use a term to reference the suffering on Sue, use sexist as it happened because she was perceived weaker than Jimmy Olsen or Alfred and because rapes tend to happen more to women.

  • July 22, 2004, 2:53 p.m. CST

    "Superheroes shouldn't be all fairy-dust and rainbows..."

    by Gislef_crow

    Superheroes shouldn't be "all" anything. By the same token, superheroes shouldn't be all dark and gritty, either. But thanks to IC, we have one less "light" comedic superhero & wife, and one more dark & gritty superhero & dead wife. Well, we actually have several less "light" superheroes - we've got the Atom, Flash, and Zatanna cast in a darker, grittier light. And indeed the entire Satellite era - I'm not impressed with Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Green Lantern just standing aside but remaining on the team because they're outvoted - way to be "heroic," guys!

  • July 22, 2004, 2:59 p.m. CST

    dude...

    by God's Brother

    I never said meltzer was a misogynyst, I said his writing in this series "reeks of" misogyny. You can love and respect women all you want, but when you use female characters as objects just to move a story along, I gotta say, it's pretty uninspired, and yes, disrespectful to women, if ONLY because it happens far, far too often in comics, for no real reason. In this case, however, I don't even buy that Meltzer treats his male characters with dignity. Basically, the guy's a hack, IMHO.

  • July 22, 2004, 2:59 p.m. CST

    Now that, I could agree on

    by NeoSamurai

    However, this isn't even the end of Act I and the heroes have a chance to become greater than what they once perceived themselves as almost akin to the "journey of the hero"

  • July 22, 2004, 3 p.m. CST

    That last post was to agree with Gislef

    by NeoSamurai

    Comics shouldn't be all 1 thing or another. They should be a mix and the Greens and Canary should've done something.

  • July 22, 2004, 3:04 p.m. CST

    yeah, rev, i have to admit i felt dirty reading that confidentia

    by sideshowbob

    ...but in a good way...

  • July 22, 2004, 3:06 p.m. CST

    misogyny is hate--not disrespect

    by NeoSamurai

    while misogyny can result in the sexist portrayal of women, disrespect of women (or 1 woman) is not in itself misogyny.

  • July 22, 2004, 3:19 p.m. CST

    language

    by God's Brother

    see, yes, they're just words, and the dictionary gives them slightly different meanings, but really, having disrespect for women and "hating" women is all in the same ballpark, to me. Disrespect leads to hate, and it's all interchangable, blah blah blah. It ain't so cut and dried, and it never will be, but by your rationale, how could a misogynist ever get married? Yet it happens all the time, followed by the spousal abuse, which, unfortunately, also happens all the time.

  • July 22, 2004, 3:30 p.m. CST

    oh jeez

    by God's Brother

    that last post was pretty unintelligible. Basically, my point is that, to me, demonstrating a disrespect towards women (or 1 woman, though it makes no difference how many) is akin to "hating" them. Our problem is that "misogyny", to you, seems like such a dirty term because "hatred of women" is a pretty strong assertion. But it's like trying to tell the difference between someone who is racist and someone who is intolerant. Both mean you can't stand people who aren't like you.

  • July 22, 2004, 3:49 p.m. CST

    Sue Dibney and rape

    by RenoNevada2000

    OK folks, I want to chime in on something I saw mentioned but not addressed by anyone else. Specifically, the idea of ret-conning the rape incident into the character's history, when she never seems to have displayed any kind of indication that this has happened. I think that's a load of hogwash. I know two women who have been raped and I would defy any of you to be able to tell that this traumatic event happened in their past by the way they act today. In fact, I didn't know about either incident, both happened before we met, until much later after we became friends. Both women are bright, strong individuals who know that what happened wasn't their fault. The way Sue has always been portrayed as a strong willed gal who pretty much matches her husband in the brains department. While I'm sure that it is a traumatic experience, I don't see Sue as allowing it to affect her life in any great way. Not all women who are raped take the Torti Amos rouyte and write three or four albums worth of songs wallowing in their misery.

  • July 22, 2004, 3:50 p.m. CST

    by NeoSamurai

    I can show a lack of respect for somebody's viewpoint. Does that mean I hate them? I could show disrespect to my parents, does that mean I hate them? I could disrespect my friends. Does that mean I hate them?

  • July 22, 2004, 4:18 p.m. CST

    I was thinking that same thing, Reno.

    by rev_skarekroe

    When someone is raped they don't necessarily go around with a big scarlet "R" sewn to their shirt. sk

  • July 22, 2004, 5:09 p.m. CST

    I could disrespect my friends. Does that mean I hate them?

    by JonQuixote

    Varying degrees of disrespect. Do you disrespect them to the point where you consistenly depict them as victims of violence? *** These semantic arguments are pretty stupid, no? 'I mean...' 'I think that means...' 'You mean...' Blah. Whatever. You're going around in circles and never going to accomplish anything. But I think there's certainly room to examine the disproporationate victimization of women in fiction, and comics, and I think that it approaches the point where one can use the word misogyny to question it. Not saying that Meltzer himself is a misogynous or his work is misogynous, but it certainly seems to fit into what *could* accurately be hypothesized as a misogynous trend.

  • July 22, 2004, 7 p.m. CST

    Hey Corm...

    by DarthRidiculous

    ...I think I speak for many of us when I say "Shut the fuck up." Thank you.

  • July 22, 2004, 7:21 p.m. CST

    what JonQuixote said.

    by God's Brother

  • July 22, 2004, 8:49 p.m. CST

    Late again

    by Darth Kal-El

    Damnit i missed all the great discussion!Oh well I havent read IC yet cuz i was going to wait for the trade but looks like im going to have to go out and get it now!If anyone is left,when in continuity does IC take place?I saw someone say 10 years before current?And much thanks to Vroom Socko for making it easier for me to read comic reviews without having to be in AICN any more than absoloutely needed.Vroom your help was much appreciated!Great reviews as usual guys!

  • July 22, 2004, 8:51 p.m. CST

    She Hulk.....

    by Darth Kal-El

    ...and the New Warriors?Im so there!!be nice if this opened the door for some NW trades or a new series.Sorry I always creamed over this book

  • So I mentioned in my review some of the darker superhero storylines of the past that I felt worked, including Miller's "Born Again" in DAREDEVIL and Byrne's "A Small Loss" in FANTASTIC FOUR. While I'd love to be able to cite one specific reason why these books get a pass from me, with their depiction of violent murder, prostitution, drug abuse, and the miscarriage of a baby...while IDENTITY CRISIS doesn't...like most matters worth discussing, the answer is more complex than that. There are any number of reasons a more adult-oriented superhero story might be acceptable, and some stories fulfill several of these reasons, others just one of 'em. One of the easiest to spot: >>ISOLATION<< I think that if a story occurs in isolation from the mainstream setting, its potential inappropriateness is mitigated. ELEKTRA: ASSASSIN is a perfect example. No one's gonna confuse an eight issue miniseries...painted by Bill Sienkiewicz as part of Marvel's Epic line...with the world of Galactus, the Rhino, and Rom the Spaceknight. Technically maybe the same setting, but not so you'd know it, dig? Getting a little closer to the Marvel Universe, we'd have something like the Marvel MAX title ALIAS - distinctly in-continuity, yet clearly not for children and largely staged on the periphery of Marvel's setting. Same for Alan Moore

  • July 23, 2004, 2:34 a.m. CST

    SHE-HULK covers...

    by Dave_F

    You're absolutely right, Sideshowbob, the SHE-HULK covers are colossally lame compared to the contents within. I'm reminded of ELEKTRA when Rucka was writing it. Ultimately even his writing failed, but there was a time when he was doing some pretty interesting stuff - very serious stories - and yet the cover enticements where these cheesecake pieces of shit from Greg Horn, half of 'em seemingly toying with the threat of rape. There was Elektra, bound and helpless with a menacing shadow looming toward her, or lying unconscious on the floor in tattered clothes, or tied up in a straightjacket even as she flashed her nekkid legs...geez, I normally don't see that level of fetishism outside manga! Unfortunately, pin-up style covers are pretty much the status quo at Marvel these days, and boring as they are, I can't really accuse them of failing to lure readers. Marvel *did* just clear out of debt, right? Artistically, though, they're mostly unimaginative crap. That I didn't mention SHE-HULK's weak covers is probably just because I've become inured to the trend. That said, I do like this upcoming cover: http://comics.toonzone.net/solicitations/2004-09/marvel/shehulk07.jpg Amusing B-grade characters running around in the background, and even I must admit: nice legs.

  • July 23, 2004, 3:58 a.m. CST

    Random responses (YOU might be in here!)

    by Dave_F

    TO MATTB127: I think you can interpret Barbara's nudity as implying rape in THE KILLING JOKE, but I'm more inclined to read it as just an added humiliation in and of itself. Nice Rob and Laura analogy, by the way. "Tonight NICK AT NITE will be airing a *very special* lost episode of THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW. We suggest that your children leave the room..." ***** TO ROADCAESAR: The "Cobra Commander rapes Scarlet" analogy is a pretty good one too. Perfect, really. Would adult fans love it for making the comic "more real and sophisticated", or (hopefully) recognize such an event has no place in the military fantasy that defines that world? Howsabout if Major Bludd decapitated Flint on videotape? Are we having fun yet?! More to the point, I'm glad to see someone who's enjoying the series but who's able to understand the perspective of those who're upset. Thanks for throwing in your two cents, Caesar. ***** TO SQUASHUA: You mentioned Giffen's problem with IDENTITY CRISIS - has he commented on it specifically or are you talking about the interview where he touched on it obliquely and promised not to work with the characters ever again? For those who haven't read the interview, here it is: http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=3901 The first relevant passage has him talking about his new superhero humor book: "There

  • July 23, 2004, 5:10 a.m. CST

    A true crisis

    by BillEmic

    I just want to throw out: anyone been reading GOTHAM KNIGHTS? It's the semi-sequel to "Hush" right now but don't let that dissuade you. No joke, it's probably the best Batman story I've read in years. Taut and violent as hall. Sure, it focuses more on the villains than Batman but...that's understandable as Batman's villains have always been more colorful and pro-active. But trust me, this book has pushed the Joker farther than I ever thought he'd go. Reading Gotham Knights now, there's a sense of danger to it. You don't know what's coming next and the writer sets it up like anything could happen. It's a must read for anyone who likes Batman.

  • July 23, 2004, 5:10 a.m. CST

    A true crisis

    by BillEmic

    I just want to throw out: anyone been reading GOTHAM KNIGHTS? It's the semi-sequel to "Hush" right now but don't let that dissuade you. No joke, it's probably the best Batman story I've read in years. Taut and violent as hall. Sure, it focuses more on the villains than Batman but...that's understandable as Batman's villains have always been more colorful and pro-active. But trust me, this book has pushed the Joker farther than I ever thought he'd go. Reading Gotham Knights now, there's a sense of danger to it. You don't know what's coming next and the writer sets it up like anything could happen. It's a must read for anyone who likes Batman.

  • July 23, 2004, 5:15 a.m. CST

    Oops

    by BillEmic

    I meant "taut and violent as hell". Which is something you could use to describe Identity Crisis. Well, maybe not exactly "taut". Anyway, I was shocked by #2 just as much as anyone else. I'm not offended, though, and I don't think they're really "dirtying up" the DCU. However, I must say that I find myself siding with a previous comment in the Talkback...in that I think the point could have been made without using rape. Surely a severe, near-death beating would have sufficed? And, really, Hawkman should have crushed Dr. Light once he showed his little light show of the event. Oh well, I'm going to keep reading this series to the end...simply because it's one of the best written books out there, regardless of its plot developments. I mean, come on - IC has EVERYONE talking. When is the last time you could say that about, oh, an issue of Iron Man or something? IC is great for the comic book industry because it gets fanboys fired up and ranting, inspiring debate about these characters we all love so much. This book has people feeling passionate about DC's characters again.

  • July 23, 2004, 8:25 a.m. CST

    To Cormorant, if you're still reading this.

    by rev_skarekroe

    1) I never said the Spider-Mobile was the key to redemption - I just think it might make things a bit more fun. 2) I think those She Hulk covers are hot. Sometimes I can't stop staring at them... sk

  • July 23, 2004, 9:01 a.m. CST

    Golden Age Comics for adults

    by NeoSamurai

    Corm: I'll give you the point for the pulp reference about comics, but even the pulps were designed for adults moreso kids.

  • July 23, 2004, 10:29 a.m. CST

    Retconning Sue?

    by TempusFugitive

    I don't think I implied any "scarlet R" type of situation. But as stated before, Sue's been a comedic sidekick for a LONG time. Much of which theoretically took place after a brutal beating and rape in the JLA HQ at the hands of on of their enemies. Would that not have impacted the way she and Ralph worked within that world? No? If you say so.

  • July 23, 2004, 10:49 a.m. CST

    Sex crime survial/recovery

    by NeoSamurai

    First off, Sue has not become crippled by the experience. It was tragic that it happened, but it did not destroy her sense of self, her chances for happiness, or anything like that. Try this little exercise: 1. Go to google.com (or some other search engine- doesn't matter) 2. Type in a search for rape victims/victims of sexual assault or anything similar 3. Some of the pages you may get will show pages on the testimony of victims overcoming their experiences and becoming stronger (not letting it rule their lives).

  • July 23, 2004, 11:34 a.m. CST

    <sigh>

    by TempusFugitive

    For the record, I did not say, nor did I intend to say that Sues character shoud have been crippled, destroyed, or had the events rule her life. And I am familiar with a few people who successfully overcame similar events (no need for a Google search). I just continue to see this event running contrary to the casual involvement of Sue's character in future JLA events. A person does not have to be crippled by an experience to have it affect them. One of the things I liked best about the first issue was how well it communicated Ralphs feelings for his wife. It seems counterintuitive that he would continue to be party to her involvement in such a dangerous environment after it resulted in her rape. To me, at least... especially in the "comedic" fashion in which it was presented at the time.

  • July 23, 2004, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Didn't mean to take a jab at you, Tempest.

    by NeoSamurai

    Just wanted let others know that they can look around to see that you can fully recover from such trauma.

  • July 23, 2004, 12:09 p.m. CST

    OK, maybe I'm an idiot...

    by sideshowbob

  • July 23, 2004, 12:30 p.m. CST

    Sue's Retroactive Rape Problem

    by the G-man

    It isn't even so much that Sue couldn't have moved on, it's the fact that the League acted like it didn't happen. I ask you: if that had happened do you think the League would have allowed Sue to keep hanging out in JLA HQ (or JLI or JLE) in all those subsequent adventures? Unlikely.

  • July 23, 2004, 1:49 p.m. CST

    Exactly...

    by TempusFugitive

    G-Man... that was basically what I was trying to say, except you actually managed to communicate it. I never thought that it would break Sue, but that you'd think it would have changed some things around her. And Sideshow, I was unsure at first too... but I think that was partly to do with the fact that I was thinking "nahhh... they couldn't be showing THAT happening.... could they?" But the horror and reaction of the JLA made me assume that it happened. And for the record, for all I know, they'll address this all in upcoming issues. And it'll all make more sense. As I said before, they sucked me in, and I'll be reading the rest of the title (unless it turns to crap, of course.)

  • July 23, 2004, 7:19 p.m. CST

    sex & rape in comics

    by hanksummers

    I was pretty shocked at this too, but I'm probably more shocked that this hasn't happened more often. Superheros wear suits that are totally skin tight, every bulge, muscle and boob is on display. And we're supposed to think that the whole lot of criminally insane villains are supposed to keep off the merchandise??? Like Wonder Woman, Black Canary (in Fishnet stockings!) aren't like chum to the sharks? Please. So naive to think that these super heros who are so sexualized in their appearance aren't seen that way by their foes.

  • July 23, 2004, 8:10 p.m. CST

    hanksummers

    by Darth Kal-El

    you may not have meant it that way but that kind of sounds like the 'she shouldnt have been wearing that/she asked for it argument'.

  • July 24, 2004, 1:52 p.m. CST

    well damn hanksummers, when you put it that way...

    by Fantomex

    I'm not sure how I feel about this happeneing to Sue Dibney (who I assumed has always dressed downright conservatively for a woman in comics). Would it have been somehow better if it happened to one of the many superheriones who dress like whores? I don't think so, but I do think that kind of thing should be address (actually, it should be done away with). It awful to say but thats a fact concerning rape.

  • July 26, 2004, 11:22 a.m. CST

    Shulkie and the I.C.

    by Homer Sexual

    I am so glad to see so many others appreciating She-Hulk, as well as dogging the trite covers. I am surprised so many people are upset about Sue getting raped. Hmmm. Not so many people upset about her getting murdered, but raped--that's going too far! I have to side with those who think it brings a level of realistic intensity seldom seen in these characters, and the scenes themselves are subtle enough. My brother and I grew up saying "That's so DC!" which meant, how lame and square, etc. Just a bunch of dorks in tights. So any move away from that is, in my opinion, refreshing. The only person I can see really having a beef is Giffen, because he's the only creator who ever used her and now she's gone. Too bad, though, as I loved his Justice League books. However, I don't think nearly as many people read his work as IC. And I also have to say that the poster who said that the sexuality of some of these characters should be acknowledged. I was thinking the same thing, two female JLA'ers--Canary and Zatanna--and both are in fancy swimsuits and fishnets, come on! Blatantly hyper-sexualized, but no mention of anything sexual in any way allowed. Bring these characters into the 21st century, says I!

  • July 29, 2004, 4:49 p.m. CST

    I didn't mean she was asking for it

    by hanksummers

    I in no way meant Sue was asking for it, deserved it for how she was dresses, etc. I was merely commenting that I find it odd that people are so shocked this would happen in a world were the super heros are so sexualized, and you have dozens of psychopaths running around and we expect them not to fixate on this? I've read posts where the readers go on and on about Electra and Wonder Woman's bodies, in a less than respectful manner if you get my drift, yet we're all shocked (SHOCKED!) when a super crazy villain does something like this. Yes, I know that this crime is about violence and power, not sex, but I think you know what I mean.