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#38 2/02/05 #3

Howdy folks, welcome to AICN Comics! Ambush Bug here, proudly presenting…

BUZZAPALOOZA!

That’s right, our very own Buzz Maverik worked double-triple-dipple overtime this week to provide you with an @$$load of reviews. Sleazy G pops in for a peek at the new Morrison book and I Cheap Shot every little thing under the sun in the end, but for the most part, this week’s column belongs to Buzz. Check out this week’s pull and enjoy the Buzz!
Table of Contents
(Click title to go directly to the review)

BLACK PANTHER #1
VIMANARAMA #1
THE TWILIGHT EXPERIMENT #1
SHANNA THE SHE-DEVIL #1
MORA #1
DAREDEVIL: REDEMPTION #1
CHEAP SHOTS!

BLACK PANTHER # 1

Written by Reginald Hudlin
Art by John Romita Jr. & Klaus Janson
Pulbished by Marvel
Reviewed by Buzz Maverik

I'm beginning to worry that I'm not White enough. I lack ...well, it wouldn't be street cred. What would it be? Country Club cred?

Nothing about BLACK PANTHER # 1 pissed me off. Everybody else who has reviewed this book seems to be a little pissed off that a WW II Panther defeated Captain America. Hey, Captain America gets beat sometimes, ya know? Marvel heroes sometimes lose. DC guys, too, now. If it makes you feel better, my fellow people of no-color, tell yourself that Cap probably just got his job, was still wearing his trainee badge, and this Panther was T'Chaka in his prime.

Also, I didn't mind Mr. Hudlin's Bush administration parody because I happen to feel that the Bush administration is a parody. It just seems that if I had the right degree of Whiteness, this stuff would bug me.

The only thing that really bugged me was this Nu Marvel thing of nobody knowing the Black Panther. Hel-lo! Black Panther! Avenger! Saved the world! Daredevil's buddy! You know, the Black Panther.

I missed most of Priest's now classic PANTHER run. Read one issue and thought it was really good. Many, many people I know are crazy about the Priest version.

Me, I came aboard way back in JUNGLE ACTION STARRING THE BLACK PANTHER, which was the first of the super-arcs with the two year long "Panther's Rage". A guy named Erik Killmonger was trying to conquer Wakanda with the help of dinosaurs, the original Venom, the original Malice, and this weird little thing called King Cadaver. He also had a couple of cool foot soldiers named Tayete and Kazabe who kept calling T'Challa "Panther Devil." T'Challa would always tell them to stop calling him "Panther Devil" and then would proceed to step on their heads. This storyline was written by a guy named Don McGregor who always filled up his comics with dozens of dense captions. McGregor also wrote a lot of LUKE CAGE, POWER MAN so I assumed he was Black for a long time. I know the artist, Billy Graham, was Black. His cool Marvel Bullpen name was "The Irreverent" Billy Graham. For me, even though I later learned that Jack Kirby created the Panther, Graham will always be the definitive Panther artist. His art, even more than McGregor's writing, made T'Challa one of what I call the "grown men" of the Marvel Universe, the others being Daredevil and Iron Man. Those three seemed like the kind of adult I aspired to be, with cool jobs, cool hobbies (superheroing), and cool chicks.

Now, the issue at hand. Mr. Hudlin gives us a look at Black Panthers, the guardians of the nation of Wakanda, through the ages. It's pretty cool, although it's mostly how others view the Panther. I am interested in how our Panther, T'Challa, views himself and others.

This issue contains some of the finest JR Jr. art I've seen to date, and his art is usually damned fine! It looks like a movie storyboard. Maybe it's because the book, as we all know, is scripted by the director of HOUSE PARTY and BOOMERANG. There's a lot of motion in these panels. Somebody may have been studying the best of manga and it shows.

I've always dug the Panther. Cool costume. Cool powers. A cool life. We haven't done our Casting Couch feature in a long time. Wesley Snipes has long talked about playing T'Challa. A few of my friends say Djimon Hounsou...well, they type it because I don't think they can pronounce it. A few years ago, I would have said Mr. Hudlin's BOOMERANG star, Eddie Murphy, who sort of played T'Challa in COMING TO AMERICA. Who knows? Eddie can't be much older than Snipes. Get him in the weight room, into his action hero mode... Get his COMING TO AMERICA rival Eric La Salle to grow his jeri-curl mullet back and don some spikes and you've got Killmonger. It'd beat the shit out of THE HULK, THE PUNISHER, DAREDEVIL or ELEKTRA.

Damn, this White thing is just too much work.


VIMANARAMA #1

Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Philip Bond
Publisher: Vertigo/DC Comics
Reviewer: Sleazy G

There’s been some discussion in the reviews and talkbacks lately about Grant Morrison and his writing style. I’ve always liked his work. Sure, not everything he does is perfect. He’s had some slip-ups here and there. It’s never been for lack of trying, though. Any time Morrison’s failed, it’s been a noble one where he was trying to accomplish something new and push the boundaries of what’s possible. His work from ANIMAL MAN through to FLEX MENTALLO and THE INVISIBLES has always been an intelligent blend of traditional superheroing and ideas incorporated from other media, not to mention his own cracked but intriguing psyche. THE FILTH suffered from a slightly weak finish, but I have a lot of respect for it as it comes off as the most coherent distillation of a lot of Morrison’s big ideas to date.

There’s that whole other side of Morrison’s writing, though—the crazy, over the top, blockbuster side. He’s been infatuated for a while with the concept of pop comics that restore a lot of the color, imagination and hope of the comics everybody grew up reading. That’s what he was doing in his JLA run, as well as the just-ended story in JLA: CLASSIFIED. Sure, it was a little short on characterization, but that wasn’t the point of the story. It was supposed to be a big, fun, loud, flashy ride, and it pulled that off pretty well. It also serves as an indicator for what he’s got coming in the near future at DC.

Before he moves on to all of his big new projects, though, he has one more Vertigo miniseries to wrap up. After the recent end of WE3, we’re now seeing the start of the last of those series, VIMANARAMA. The first issue is interesting in that it seems to be a hybrid of the style of a lot of Vertigo books and the big, fun DCU stuff he’s working on. It feels like a bridge between some of his Vertigo-style work and the much brighter mainstream material that’s fast approaching.

The story takes place in Bradford, but with my somewhat limited knowledge of the UK I couldn’t begin to tell you where that is. It follows a young Indian guy named Ali whose family runs a local convenience store. Ali’s father has selected a bride for him and he’s due to meet Sofia for the first time in a matter of hours. When the floor caves in at the family store, he goes down to help his brother Omar and run him to the hospital. While Ali is gone, his baby nephew Imran goes missing, and it’s up to Ali to find him. Imran seems to have wandered off into the hole that opened up beneath the store, so Ali follows him (and Sofia, who he’s not met yet) into the opening. He ends up in an abandoned train tunnel where he finds some strange markings and bumps into Sofia. The two of them then stumble across a mysterious cave with huge columns and a cable-less elevator car that drops them through a pool of black water and into a giant underground city that is half Taj Mahal/half alien technology. And then things get a little weird.

It turns out that Imram’s toys were somehow possessed by demons, and lead him farther into the city where he accidentally unleashes them. The demons decide, as demons tend to do, that they want to eradicate all human life on the planet and quickly blow town in their flying ships, some of which look kinda like glowing shrimp. Fortunately Ali, Sofia and Imran also unleash the good guys. The Ultrahadeen are sworn enemies of the unleashed demons, so they oughta be able to clean things up, but they make Ali’s life just that much harder: apparently Sofia is the millennia-old love of the leader of the Ultrahadeen, Prince Ben Rama, but she only remembers him in her dreams.

Philip Bond’s art is fantastic. It’s very clean and detailed. He has an ability to fill in details from panel to panel that serve not just to illustrate the dialogue, but also to flesh out the story and add extra dimensions to the characters and events. The designs for the underground city, the demons, and the Ultrahadeen are strongly based in traditional Indian architecture and art, but Bond has spiked the images with a strong sci-fi slant as well. The cross between the ancient and the futuristic make for a great set of visuals. Brian Miller’s coloring is also a major player here. The palette and style used in the first ten pages, set in the real world, are completely distinct from the coloring utilized once Ali and Sofia enter the strange world under the convenience store. It draws a clear dividing line between the life Ali used to lead and the journey he’s about to embark on and makes Bond’s work really sing.

There’s also a laidback, pleasant sense of humor in this series the likes of which I’m not used to seeing in a Grant Morrison title. It’s actually pretty refreshing to see characters that are a little less cynical, edgy, and cocky than the ones that usually turn up in his stories. There’s also a hint of the culture clash between Old Country and New World. Each ethnic group encounters its own unique problems, but it’s a familiar enough issue to be relatable to anybody who reads the story. This looks to be the most accessible and lighthearted of the recent miniseries Morrison has worked on, and it seems like it’ll be fun enough to make it worth picking up.


THE TWILIGHT EXPERIMENT # 1

Written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti
Art by Juan Santacruz
Published by Wildstorm / DC
Reviewed by Buzz Maverik

Normally, the books the Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti have a hand in as writers/co-writers/artist/ inker/ hula dancers always knock my brains out. My psychotically rave review was either quoted in an ad or on the back of the first trade for their brilliant 21 DOWN, although it just said AICN Comics. When the PREVIEWS ad for REX MUNDI quoted me, they said, "Buzz Maverik." I can't remember whether that added "AICN Comics" or our former "AICN Comics Talkback League of @$$holes" which used to be our "Donna" names. Maybe the 21 DOWN people didn't believe that Buzz Maverik is my real name. Hey, do you think Dick Cheney is that guy's real name?

I probably won't get quoted for this review, which should prove that we're not just a bunch of frustrated comic book pros. If I was a comic book wanna be, I'd kiss everyone's ass. I used to be a filmmaking wannabe, and would have kissed producer or agent ass. Now, I'm a novelist wannabe and will kiss publisher, editor, literary agent ass. Comics are just the hobby that I love.

If they wanted to quote me, I guess they could do what they do with film ads and say: ...the books that Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti have a hand in ... knock my brains out ...brilliant ... love. I have an ego the size of an International Harvester CXT 4x4 and would like to see my name and our group's name somewhere.

It's not that I hated the book. I rather liked it. It just seemed about 8 years out of date. It sort of fell into that KINGDOM COME superheroes are real and effect their world genre. Not a bad genre, but I'm looking for something else. We have a Phoenix/Starfire type babe battling a Wylie over a city. People die. People grow up to mourn the dead. Our heroine keeps her son on a space station and neglects him.

The coolest angle is one of time. You'll see. I think I know whom everyone is, but I'm usually wrong about these kind of things.

Artist Juan Santacruz is a find.

There's nothing wrong with any of this stuff. I have no clear idea why, but I'm sorta "Eh" on the whole thing.


SHANNA THE SHE-DEVIL # 1

Writer & Artist Frank Cho
Published by Marvel
Reviewed by Buzz The Me-Devil

Shanna is a punk rocker, Shanna is a punk rocker, Shanna is a punk rocker now.

Our apologies to the Ramones.

Alright! Jungle girl comics! A great funny book tradition dating back to SHEENA, QUEEN O' THE JUNGLE which was immortalized in film by former CHARLIE'S ANGEL/THAT 70'S SHOW mom Tanya Roberts riding a horse painted to look like a zebra.

The appeal of jungle girl comics is easy to see, if you're a straight dude (and there's probably a camp value if you're a gay dude). Scantily clad (or unclad in the 21st Century) babe running around in a comic book. Works for me.

Marvel's original version of SHANNA THE SHE-DEVIL was before my time. And I wasn't really reading comics in that part of the '80s where Shanna married Ka-Zar and helped him do whatever he did in the Savage Land. All I really know about Shanna is from THE OFFICIAL HANDBOOK OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE. She was supposed to be some sort of doctor or scientist, don't ask me, I hate research.

In Frank Cho's new, beautifully illustrated SHANNA series, there's some sort of Nazi connection. Probably one of those hidden bases that Hitler had under the North Pole where he kept all his flying saucers. In this issue, we have those sci-fi liquid filled tubes full of clones. Ya gotta have those. Especially when there's a naked blonde shiksa floating around in one.

In one of the truly stupidest acts I've seen in comics, one of the military men who discovers this base, shoots Shanna's tube. He could have killed her. The good thing is, I have a feeling that Frank Cho is writing this guy stupid on purpose. With a lot of writers, you'd have to worry. Let's just say that when Shanna falls out of her shattered tube, you'll envy the "Doc" character...if yer a guy and straight.

The rest of the issue. Cho must be a Spielberg fan because we get homages to JURASSIC PARK and JAWS. By homages, I mean rip offs that we're meant to recognize. Some ALIENS, right down to the dialogue ("Stay frosty") is thrown in. I liked the comic tons, but I'm sick of homages. Do something new!

This is a fun book. An excellent book. A book filled with truly exceptional artwork. We've got naked jungle babes, dinosaurs, hidden Nazi bases, and an idiot running a military unit. No Ka-Zar in sight, but I never really dug Ka-Zar -- in the Stoned Age, the dudes always called him, get this, K-Mart.

So knock yerself out. BTW, in addition to Mr. Cho's gorgeous cover with Shanna and her bagonzas, I have to say the logo had some of the coolest lettering that I've seen since...well, the Stoned Age.


MORA # 1

Written & illustrated by Paul Harmon
Published by Image
Reviewed by Buzz Maverik

I cannot help but support somebody who truly believes in what they are doing. How can I not get behind someone with such passion in their work; somebody who is doing it for the love of it?

Paul Harmon, creator of the new Image comic MORA, is clearly a true believer.

MORA may remind you somewhat of the works of Alan Moore...or, more appropriately, Neil Gaiman. It had that SANDMAN and CORALINE vibe. The storyline is not easy to lay out. We're following the parallel lives of two little girls, Mora and Anandra. We're also following the growth of a monster lion cub. And we are presented with Tarot-like images of the Snake, the Bat, the Wolf, and the Witch. A MIDSUMMER'S NIGHT DREAM cast of fairy folk and goblins pop up in the background. And it's all narrated by the Tortoise and the Rabbit (not the Hare?).

Mora's parents, who are up to some mysterious business, neglect her. She turns to communicating with supernatural things that initially come in the forms of small animals. Some are benign. Some are not.

Mr. Harmon is a gifted artist. His black and white pages are alternately scary and whimsical. Our storytellers may be animals from AESOP'S FABLES, but they are scarred, bizarre, and vaguely creepy. In the art and the story, Harmon's delving into mythology and folklore that are apparent but never overpowering. He's done his research but he's showing us the product, not the research itself.

Mood is very important in this comic. Harmon has even included a poem called WITCH that is filled with evocative imagery.

Room for improvement? Always. Too much Tortoise and Rabbit. I hope that in future issues, their roles will be cut back. Also, I had a hard time distinguishing Anandra from Mora. I think that may have something to do with parallel lives, duality, etc., but simply from a visual standpoint, it was distracting.

I think the main reason I feel Mr. Harmon is the real thing and very cool is that he included photos of the gray markers he used to color the book and the brush pens that he used to ink his pencils. How's that for a true believer?


DAREDEVIL : REDEMPTION # 1

Written by David Hine
Art by Michael Gaydos
Published by Marvel
Reviewed by Buzz Maverik

Dear Future Comic Book Writer,

Congratulations! You will one day take over the scripting chores for the Marvel comic book DAREDEVIL. No doubt you are familiar with the title and avidly follow the current stellar run by Brian Michael Bendis. You've also read the various trades collecting Frank Miller's work. You've devoured other back issues and trades by the likes of Stan Lee, Gene Colan, Denny O'Neil, David Mazzuchelli, Ann Nocenti, John Romita Jr., and others. Recently, you have picked up DAREDEVIL: REDEMPTION # 1 written by David Hine with flawless art by Michael Gaydos. More on that one later.

I'm asking you, one fan to another, to consider why and when DAREDEVIL ceased to be any fun at all. Why do the publishers, editors, writers, artists, and fans insist on Daredevil being a dark, morose crime comic? Now, I don't have anything against dark, morose crime comics, but I can't really get behind one, especially based on the real life murder of a child, when it features a character dressed in red sweats with horns on his mask.

Don't get me wrong. I love superhero comics. I prefer them to crime comics. I dig the mystery men, dressed up as bats or devils or panthers or psychological tests as they carry out their larger than life campaigns of terror against twisted, maniac gangsters and madmen. As a writer, you know that these stories are archetypical and appeal to our yearning for power over the forces of evil. You also know that no matter how much the current spin doctors tell the message boarders that characters like Daredevil and Batman aren't superheroes, that they fit the bill. They're not Wylies. They're their own breed.

Look at DAREDEVIL: REDEMPTION #1. It is an extremely well written comic book. If Marvel published books that weren't about their 40 year old superheroes or if Mr. Hines had gone to Vertigo with the story of a lawyer investigating the supposedly Satanic murder of a child and the search for justice for a heavy metal dork, this would be an awesome, can't miss book!

But on page 31, Matt Murdock puts on his DD costume and walks through the darkened streets of a small, Alabama town. Mind you, this is a town where if you listen to heavy metal and imitate the Satanic poses of some of the older bands, you're accused of ritual murder. Frank Miller did a one-shot of DD as the Continental Op in a corrupt town, but he had Matt out of costume the whole time. For that matter, Matt was only in costume for a few pages out of the 1980’s BORN AGAIN arc. Mr. Miller, like you, knew that if you go realistic, you stay realistic as long as the suits will let you.

Granted, this is only the first of six issues. Unfortunately, it already had me wondering why an insomniac didn't peek out of his shades, see Matt dressed like Anton Le Vey on his way to church, and say, "Hey, Ethel! Bill Z. Bub just strolled on by."

Another side to Daredevil exists. It's been ignored for a couple of decades. Currently, you'll hear of Stilt-Man referred to as a guy on stilts. What about the super-powered armor controlling those stilts that lift Wilbur Day hundreds of feet into the air? What about the extreme, twisted personalities that would cause men to dress up like matadors or frogs to commit their crimes?

Personally, it makes more sense to me that a blind acrobat/martial artist would battle gladiators, torpedoes, and guys throwing paper clips. I have a harder time fathoming this character investigating the 1993 murders and mutilations of three little boys.

Who knows? You may have to write this kind of story when you get your shot at DAREDEVIL. An experienced writer like Brian Azzarello had to write HULK and POWER MAN minis when he slummed at Marvel. I'm sure he enjoyed it. BANNER and CAGE were cool. But no way in hell was he going get to do anything like 100 BULLETS at Marvel. To be fair, I know he does Superman and Sgt. Rock at DC. Ennis does FURY and THE PUNISHER for Marvel. Where is Marvel's PREACHER? Or FABLES or PLANETARY? It's just not going to happen.

Future Writer and Current Writer Mr. Hines, I hope you're both open to other sides of Matt Murdock and other kinds of story telling. You're talented guys in need of the right project.

Finally, I hope you always get artists as great as Michael Gaydos.

Yer favorite critic,

Buzz Rosco Maverik

P.S. Did you catch how the accused killer character quoted Aleister Crowley, Matt called Crowley a Satanist and the kid agreed? Crowley did not believe in Satan or Jesus, but had nothing against either. We know he was more than initiate in both Black and White Lodges, but he had to know how to battle the forces of evil, didn't he? Why do you think we won World War I?


JUSTICE LEAGUE: ELITE #8 (of 12) - Lately, I’ve found this title to be more interesting than the regular JLA book. The usually fascinating Busiek is losing me in his “Crime Syndicate” story. Meanwhile, over at stately JL:E, Joe Kelly has crafted a pretty tightly knit, character-driven super hero tale of morals of different shades and how they fit into the hero biz. This cast of do-gooders and not-so-do-gooders bounce well off of each other and each issue is building to something big. As always, I have a soft spot for Kelly’s re-creation of Apache Chief and this issue features a doozy of a scene with our chronologically misplaced Native American. With the return of Superman baddie, Manchester Black on the horizon, I have to say, I’m excited to see how this miniseries turns out. - Bug

SUPREME POWER #15 - Say what you will about JMS’ cheap shot to DC in last week’s AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, but he’s writing one hell of a story in SUPREME POWER. This issue focuses on Redstone, the serial killer brought to justice by Hyperion, Nighthawk, and the Blur in the previous issue. This well-paced and intriguing spotlight shows just how sick an individual this guy is and just how twisted the government is for using him. Biggest treat in this issue: the first re-appearance of Tom Thumb. Let’s hope this trash-talking, pint-sized powerhouse will be appearing in future issues. - Bug

THE QUESTION #4 (of 6) - Like his AQUAMAN run before this series, Rick Veitch continues to make my eyebrows raise when I read his concept, but the execution makes my eyelids weigh. Not knowing anything about the Question made me pick up this miniseries, but after reading issue one, I let issues 2-4 sit in my pile until recently. After reading three issues in a row, I have to say that I’m not really impressed. The Question is shambling around the streets of Metropolis, listening to snippets of conversations and rambling like a haiku lunatic throughout the entire series. I get enough of that on the subway on the way to work. The photo-refrenced art is better than average, but even that isn’t enough to make me pick up the rest of this bland miniseries. - Bug

NEW AVENGERS #3 - So you expect me to rip into this one since I’ve been critical of Bendis’ past work, huh? Oh ye of narrow minds. Think again, Bendii. Although this book continues to be wordy and highlight action of minimal proportions compared with threats the Avengers have faced in the past, I have to give BMB credit for gathering a group of interesting heroes and tossing an interesting challenge at them to face. I like the twists BMB is introducing with Spider-Woman and the Sentry. I love it that Cage is finally getting the respect and status he deserves. And the longer Wolverine stays away the better. - Bug

ADAM STRANGE #4 (of 6) - This is one of my favorite miniseries of the last year. Andy Diggle never fails to please with his space-spanning adventure epic. Adam Strange and the Omega Men are on a direct collision course with Vril Dox and LEGION (the modern version of the Legion of Super Heroes). OMEGA MEN and LEGION were some of my favorite comics in the eighties and to see them back and handled with such respect and ingenuity makes me smile so big I can taste my ears. Pascal Ferry’s art continues to be some of the most gorgeously elaborate renditions of retro-futurism I have ever seen. This miniseries is getting everything right. - Bug

THE GOON #10 - I know this review is a little late, but this is my favorite GOON comic to date. A retelling of the old Ebenezer Scrooge story cast with characters from the Goon mythos, but that’s not the reason I’m flipping for this issue (even though the scene where Tiny Tim craps on Scrooge’s leg had me rolling). The back-up short story starring Frankie is the real treat of this issue featuring our tiny tough guy on a bizarre quest for a fabled train car filled with shoes. Hilarious writing and superb art. If you aren’t buying this series, you don’t know how fun comics can be. - Bug

FIRESTORM #10 - This is a fun little series and in this issue a major new twist makes me think that the fun is just beginning. On the big last page reveal from last issue, Ronnie Raymond the original Nuclear Man, not the new Firestorm, appeared when Jason triggered his powers. In this issue, it looks as if more than just Ronnie’s powers transferred into this new kid the night Firestorm “died.” This series isn’t a barn-burner, but it has the energy and feel of a good old fashioned comic; focusing on the conflict a young man has with these new powers and the responsibility of doing good with that power. A fun read. Pick this one up and save it from the same fate as recent DC cancellations-too-soon; HERO, BLOODHOUND, and MONOLITH. - Bug

Readers Talkback
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  • Feb. 10, 2005, 10:17 a.m. CST

    No fanboy racism

    by UES

    Nope, no such thing. Black Panther, one of the strongest, fastest, smartest, best trained humans beating Cap = absurd. Red Skull, ordinary joe and a heavy smoker beating on Cap = totally natural. Never mind that the modern Panther basically handed the (vastly) superpowered FF their collective asses in his first appearance.

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 10:23 a.m. CST

    "New Avengers"...

    by KOLOBOS REXX

    ...Is a LOT of fun... Despite some folks whining about the lack of Hawkeye, Giant-Man, ect. I can say personally that the new line-up is a lot more interesting. And Sentry is fascinating, kind of Marvel's take on Moore's "Miracleman". Speaking of which, can we get "Miracleman" the movie? Jude Law was born to play that part, dammit... It would be amazing! It just makes more sense to have the "big" guys on one team, i.e. Iron Man, Cap, Spidey, Wolverine... Just get Wolverine out of all the damn X-books he's spread across every month! And throw one of the two "Ghost Riders", i.e Blaze or Ketch, into the team for supernatural fun, since they are both just riding the highways of comic-book limbo right now... And bring Back Moon Knight, while you're at it!

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 10:32 a.m. CST

    What was this shot JMS took on DC?

    by Ford Fairlane

    What was this shot JMS took on DC?

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 10:36 a.m. CST

    JMS' shot at DC

    by Ambush Bug

    see the review in the last column for details

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 10:37 a.m. CST

    Ooops forgot the link

    by Ambush Bug

    http://www.aintitcool.com/display.cgi?id=19311#3

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 10:37 a.m. CST

    Black Panther ROCKS

    by AlgertMopper

    Black Panther was AWESOME, and this is coming from someone wo works at a Tractor Dealership in Alabama. can't wait for more. My biggest problem with New Avengers in that issue 3 basically ended by page 5.

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 10:44 a.m. CST

    I have an ego the size of an International Harvester CXT 4x4

    by cookylamoo

    After reading five reviews where instead of talking about the comic, you went on and on about your tastes as a fanboy, I can't help but agree with that statement. Buzz (critic 101) It's not about YOU!!

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 10:50 a.m. CST

    Bush parody?

    by lonesomerhodes

    How original. <yawn> But I agree with Kolobos, throw a Ghost Rider into the New Avengers since they're not doing anything else right now.

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 10:54 a.m. CST

    "Goon" backup story

    by rev_skarekroe

    You forgot to mention that it was written by Thomas Lennon of "Reno 911," "The State," and "Viva Variety" fame.

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 10:56 a.m. CST

    Bug- Forget this new QUESTION miniseries

    by RenoNevada2000

    Track down Denny O'Neil's series from the late 80s. Damn good comic.

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 11 a.m. CST

    Black Panther

    by SID 8.0

    Djimon Honsou is the best person for the role of T'Challa. I can see it now, him and Snipes as Blade kicking vamp ass in Africa. That would kill at the box office for weeks. It would finall get the whole hero crossover thing rolling.

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 11:31 a.m. CST

    voicebox5

    by Pair a'dice Lost

    When they repeal the "Freedom of Speech" that grants us the right to openly criticize our misleadership, then and only then would I consider leaving this country. Until then you can sit back and listen to all the social commentary that is a result of this half-assed administration.

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 11:39 a.m. CST

    voicebox05

    by Shigeru

    Constructively critizing the way our country is run is our patriotic duty. If we see a problem with our government, we have no choice but to speak out. It's called the first amendment. Oh yeah, Eddie Murphy for Black Panther?? I'll have what he's smoking!

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 11:56 a.m. CST

    slow week

    by Fantomex

    I didn't buy a single comic last week and only 2 this week. ouch.

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 12:01 p.m. CST

    Don't worry Buzz, your whiteness is intact.

    by Homer Sexual

    See, your ridiculous suggestion that, ahem, Eddie Murphy (!) could play Black Panther (!!) assures you of total whitey status. Despite that absurd comment, your review convinced me to go back and pick up a book I rejected because A. I loved the Priest run and this seemed like the new, dumbed-down Black Panther, and B. Not a big Romita fan, loved the main artist who worked with Priest but can't remember his name--was it Velluto? On tangents, Voicebox says if you don't like Bush (and who does, really?) you aren't a true American. And, in a fresh turn of events, SeeThroughThis finds a way to attack Ambush Bug. I hate to bash on other posters, but geez! p.s. New Avengers seems like a great "wait for the trade" book, which I will pick up if this storyline manages to keep Wolverine out. Wolverine=X-Man.

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 12:11 p.m. CST

    Quick gripe now, cogent stuff later...

    by Dave_F

    So how pathological is Bendis's need to "out" superhero secret identities that he actually had Daredevil make an oopsy and blab Spider-Man's secret identity to Cap? It's pretty fucking ridiculous, veering into self-parody even. I guess it's not enough that everyone in the Ultimate Universe knows Spidey's secret ID - now Bendis has to out him to everyone in the mainstream setting. And from Daredevil of all people! The same Daredevil whose life has been fucking DESTROYED - on multiple occasions no less - based on the revelation of his secret identity. Jesus! I don't care that it was Cap he told - it's just one more example of Bendis thumbing his nose smugly at classic conventions of the genre. I thought the first two issues of NEW AVENGERS were a reasonably entertaining prison break story, but this is the kind of stuff that really puts me off. What an ego on this guy. ******* Oh yeah, and on an unrelated note: GRIMJACK reviews to appear next week. Meant to cover the trade and the new series for this column but I was unavoidably detained by customs.

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 12:25 p.m. CST

    Bendis self-parody?

    by bizarromark

    Dave....as bad as the self-parody of Daredevil blowing Spidey's ID, check out the Quesada-Bendis mutual interview on "Newsarama". Probably one of the greatest unintentional self-parodies I've seen in awhile. Their insular desperation to convince each other that internet fandom is a "loud minority" is worth the read in and of itself. Here are the links:____Part 1: http://www.newsarama.com/Qrama/Qrama2.htm ______Part 2: http://www.newsarama.com/Qrama/Qrama5.htm ___Part 3: http://www.newsarama.com/Qrama/Qrama8.htm ____ Part 4: http://www.newsarama.com/Qrama/Qrama9.htm (a wacky conversation with the dead Hawkeye!) ____ The funny thing is, this kind of stuff is more grating than any of Stan the Man's schtick was to these self-professed Cool Cats. The sheer effort to sound so effortlessly cool must have been exhausting.

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 12:26 p.m. CST

    If critizing the president of the US is "hating America" then da

    by Big Bad Clone

    Oh and about Cap getting his ass whipped by the Panther. Well, they are both guys who got all suped up taking drugs, er... super soldier serum and "magic herb", respectively. But only as strong as a really strong human. So, I'd imagine the Panther and Cap are pretty welled matched.

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 12:44 p.m. CST

    Shanna Nude!!!

    by holidill

    At first the Frank Cho Shanna Series was supposed to be under the MAX banner with lots of Shanna Nudity. But Marvel decided to turn it into a Knights title and Cho had to redraw panels. However they are saying if it sells well, they may release a "Directors Cut" of Shanna in the original Max style. So buy your Shanna now!!!

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 12:48 p.m. CST

    Ok, that's why sometimes one shouldn't read interviews

    by Homer Sexual

    I used to love Joe Quesada's art, starting when he did the Ray miniseries. And I have loved many issues of Powers. Yet that interview is just grating and wankish. Quezada seems unctuous, if that's possible for an EIC, and Bendis appears bound and determined to confirm that the criticisms leveled at him are, indeed, valid. I said I wouldn't read creator interviews anymore after reading interviews showing that Frank Miller is borderline insane. I thought I had learned my lesson, but nooo.....

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 1:01 p.m. CST

    Here is a real gem

    by Homer Sexual

    I must be the laziest employee ever, but WTF, I must share this tidbit for those who don't want to read all those newsarama interviews. They say that Astonishing X-Men is the "Watchmen of X-Men." For real! They also say that the ONE criticism of Identity Crisis they have seen is that Meltzer hadn't earned his stripes as a comic writer, and that only about 5,000 people go online to comic-related sites out of "200k loyal readers." It's rich!

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 1:08 p.m. CST

    Shanna MAX

    by Shigeru

    Well I figured that they would cover up her naughty bits with convenient bubbles and shards of glass, but what threw me for a loop was the graphic violence with no warning on the cover. The dude gets half his jaw ripped off and his eyeball pops out!! That's not MAX material??

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 1:15 p.m. CST

    Buzz, what gives?

    by sideshowbob

    I finally took your recommendation and bought NOTHING (well, adam strange last week--which i didn't even finish--and ultimates this week). And now you're back to reading 4-5 books a week? **** I like Bendis. I only read a couple of his books, but I enjoy them very much. His fetish for outing Spidey is silly, though. It's not compelling to me, or suspenseful, or funny, or anything good. It's tired. Brian: Marvel is paying you a shitload of cash and they don't want you to out Spidey. So drop it! For one issue at least...

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 1:15 p.m. CST

    QuesadaBendis

    by bizarromark

    Yeah, Homer.....that part of the "interview" was probably the most entertaining...as both Joe and Bri try to convince each other than the internet fan community doesn't really matter much. They kinda reminded me of the High Priests of Old Media (TV news & newspapers) sniffing at the new information channels emerging on the internet (via the Blogosphere).....desperately trying to ignore the fact that the world is changing around them as they speak. Of course, it's just as easy to OVER estimate the impact and influence of the internet fan community, but Quesada and Bendis are clearly not living on that end of the spectrum.

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 1:22 p.m. CST

    Who talks about the way Cho draws Shanna's bazongas then doesn't

    by mortsleam

    Seriously. *** Cap recommended T'Challa for membership in the Avengers, didn't he? Possibly because he knew that twenty some years earlier he had his ass handed to him by his father? *** I was born and raised in Detroit, have dated women of color, am undeniably and proudly liberal, so bear that in mind when I recite the following quote from Chapelle's Show: "Rick James used to call me an' Eddie 'Darkness,' 'cause until Wesley Snipes came along we were the darkest bruthas in Hollywood." Makes me laugh every fucking time.

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 1:25 p.m. CST

    Oh....and the anti-Rich Johnston stuff was great, too.

    by bizarromark

    The Quesada & Bendis hand-wringing over Rich Johnston was one of the best bits in those Newsarama "interviews". I'm certainly no big fan of Johnston myself (primarily because his column has become about as interesting as reading an lawn mower owner's manual), but their pissing and moaning about how Johnston routinely destroys their best-laid plans is stunningly "playground" in its sulking victimhood vibe. "Hello?" guys...we're in the internet age here (with no such thing as a "secret") and you're making Johnston the Fall Guy for your busted plans? Puh-leeeez.

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 2:02 p.m. CST

    says you

    by AlgertMopper

    bendis and JoeQ. were complete assholes in that "interview" plain and simple, they also shitted on the internet community aswell

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 2:27 p.m. CST

    Eddie Murphy as Black Panther

    by Mr_Furious

    Why not just go with Wayne Brady with Will Smith as Killmonger? Make it a musical. www.theletterd.blogspot.com

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 2:38 p.m. CST

    Internet Criticism

    by JonQuixote

    To be fair to JoeQ and Bendis, I think they do have a point. While they do deflect and ignore salient and legitimate criticism of stuff like DISASSEMBLED, sales figures of these titles suggest that either we who bitch on the internet are an insignificant minority, or the despite our bitching and gagging we're still swallowing what they give us with what can only be described as enthusiastic willingness.

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 3:03 p.m. CST

    An Idear

    by IRuleAll

    There are, sometimes, really good discussions on here-for instance the discussion as to whether Mark Millar was paying tribute to, or mocking typical red-states patriotism in the Ultimates, that I'd like to see continue. Would any of the @ssholes be interested in forming a group on Yahoo or something?

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 3:18 p.m. CST

    Jon Q: "Insignificant minority" vs. "enthusiastic willingness"

    by bizarromark

    Jon Q said: "sales figures of these titles suggest that either we who bitch on the internet are an insignificant minority, or the despite our bitching and gagging we're still swallowing what they give us with what can only be described as enthusiastic willingness."____I would lean toward the latter as the possible explanation. The AICN reviews are the classic example of this sort of thing, where someone will publish a negative review of a title, yet still continue to buy and review it. A classic example of this was the Bruce Jones run on HULK, as well as the familiar observation that (gasp) Bendis comics have ALOT of dialogue. We're talking about a hobby that's more of a habit to many of us, so negative reviews don't necessarily translate into sluggish sales figures. In fact, I think we can all admit to buying comics that we don't like simply because we'll be able to chainsaw them online.....come on....ADMIT IT! Also, I think official sales figures always need to be taken with a big, fat grain of salt.....since the number of copies printed and sold though the publisher-distributor-dealer channel don't always translate to "sell-through" numbers...or copies customers (like us) actually buy and remove from the store. The slabs of "Avengers Disassembled" and "Green Lantern: Rebirth" I still see at the comic shop I frequent is testament to these slippery numbers.

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 3:21 p.m. CST

    see?

    by IRuleAll

    This is the type of quality discussion that could be found on an additional group where it could be maintained long after this column disappears from the top to make room for reviews by nobodies!

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 3:37 p.m. CST

    yes, I am guilty of enthusiastic willingness

    by Homer Sexual

    I think many of us here do exactly what you said, we continue to subsidize crappy books we don't even like. I have been a big bitcher about Avengers Disassembled, but I bought all the issues. I am even dying to buy New Avengers, but am holding out due to the Wolverine issue. Big Event comics draw in all the various people who buy their few favorites regularly. I am a perfect example of a comic fan who buys my favorite, maybe less popular books, but also blows cash on the big mainstream books. I am trying to be more selective and save a few bucks in the process, but its difficult. "Habit" is a perfect description.

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 4:15 p.m. CST

    The comic habit

    by Fuzzyjefe

    I am a recently recovering comic addict. Over the last year or so I finally did a long-overdue culling of my comic pull list. My main criteria for continuing to buy a title? Re-readability. If I found that I could (and wanted to)go back to a book and read through it again, it stayed. If not, it was gone. Goodbye Daredevil. So long Ultimate X-men & Spider-man. Welcome to the list Walking Dead. This works for me. I'll give a new book a try for a few issues. If it isn't something that I feel I'll want to revisit, I give it up. An interesting trend I noticed: very few superhero books made the cut. Supreme Power did. Planetary did. Fallen Angel too. Not your typical long-running, years of convoluted history funnybooks. Give me the books with a definite goal, however far off that may be. DC really made a wise decision with Vertigo. Many of the titles under that banner are stories that are going somewhere. They will end. Actions have consequences. Dead is dead. Characters grow and change. There's no need for "THIS ISSUE CHANGES EVERYTHING!!" Anyway, I've rambled long enough.

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 4:19 p.m. CST

    shananana selling well?

    by Fantomex

    for some odd reason my local comic shop ordered about 25 copies of this (5 times as many copies as most titles). and they're all still on the rack... despite the "HOT PICK!!!" decal put in front of it.

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 4:33 p.m. CST

    come on....ADMIT IT!

    by JonQuixote

    Nope! I drop comics like a hot potato. The only way I'll continue to buy something that's frustrating, disappointing or angering me is if the current team has earned my trust previous with some impressive work. Like, when JMS's wrap up of the EZEKIEL storyline in AMAZING SPIDEY indicated that he was as bored with it as the rest of us were, I forgave. And when he responded by retconning Gwen Stacy into a (insert potentially misogynistic descriptor here) in a clunky, salicious attempt to grab headlines, I couldn't run, run away from the title fast enough. *** Of course, this attitude made me a poor reviewer when it came to journalistic responsibility. If, after eviscerating HULK once or twice I drop the title and fail to to review it anymore, people might have started thinking that it actually got good again! (Or, more aptly, Not-Repugnant again!) My poor, poor readership. They deserved so much better than what I gave.

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 4:39 p.m. CST

    Heavy on the brow weighs the crown of reviewership

    by Fuzzyjefe

    Well, JonQ, the buying habits of those who review must differ from those who read purely for personal enjoyment. I, for one, am glad that yourself and others like you are there to absorb all the crap so that we won't have to.

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 4:44 p.m. CST

    I 2nd what Fuzzyjefe said!

    by Fantomex

    Then again if I really wanted to read something thats not worth paying for I'd download it, *if*.

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 5:50 p.m. CST

    Official Watchmen movie site is up

    by PoliMan4

    www.watchmenmovie.com I figure it's pretty important, ya know?

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 6:48 p.m. CST

    real quick because its busy here at work

    by Darth Kal-El

    new avengers:really dug the story but agree about how corny it was for daredevil to 'out' spidey. i think snipes should stay away from black panther as he is associated mainly with blade. it eould be like Hugh Jackman taking a role as iron man or some other character from the same universe. and did voicebox really just say if you dont like it here go back to africa?! thats TOTALLY AmeriKKKan!

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 7:04 p.m. CST

    thanks poli man

    by Darth Kal-El

    looks sweet!

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 7:57 p.m. CST

    Don't you people realize . . .

    by fucumber

    That you MUST truly believe that B.P. would hand cap his flag-clad butt. If you don't, THEN YOU ARE A RACIST!!!! I mean, sure, you never mentioned either characters' race in your criticism, but it's definitely YOU who is racist. I know, I know. You may have just thought that Cap is supposed to be the world's most perfect soldier, and he's beaten MANY more powerful characters in his day, but, alas, that just means that you are a racist and you may not know it. Sorry to break it to you. Anyway, I guess I better sign off; I have to go defend my opinion on another internet site where I had the audacity to suggest that I thought that Captain America would beat Batman in a fight. Will I ever live down this Bat-ist label?

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 9:28 p.m. CST

    voicebox

    by Darth Kal-El

    as was pointed out earlier one of the freedoms that we as americans do have is the freedom of speech and the right to speak up if we feel our country is being mishandled. i dont agree with the bush administration but im not bashing america. your earlier post came accross as "america:Love it or get the hell out".that may not have been what you meant but thats the gist of what i got. i dont feel that disagreeing with the current administration and questioning the decisions that are made using my tax dollars makes me unamerican. as for the africa thing i got what you said but it did sound like 'go back to africa'.again,may not have been your intetntion. to me the 'love it or leave' approach is simplistic and doesnt invite productive discussions on how things could be better. but enough about that im here to talk about comics!

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 11:10 p.m. CST

    Psssst. Voicebox5 is right.

    by fucumber

    Yep. 100% correct. Let's see what we've got in the way of political commentary coming out of comics these days, specifically at Marvel. We've got George W. Bush urinating on himself and cowering on the lawn in front of Magneto in UXM. We've got Captain America being intentionally frozen in ice by the evil U.S. government because any real soldier/true American was against the use of nuclear weapons in WWII (lots of genuine research behind that one). We've got Tony Stark admitting he's a "closet liberal". Peter David's upcoming Hulk run is billed as blue state banner (you know, the intelligent scientific rational half) vs. red state Hulk (the inhuman rage-filled id-driven monster) - that's PD's own comparison with the red state vs. blue state thing. It doesn't stop there. There's plenty more from other companies too - how about Doc Frankenstein from Burlyman? Okay? So, let's take a look at the other side of the fence. A complete list of pro-Republican comics includes . . . And then there's always . . . Let's not forget . . . Anyway, the point is that this whole schtick is pretty one-sided. I'm not sure if you guys remember this or not, but there was a federal election just a few months ago. In that election (kook-pot liberal election-fixing theories aside), Republicans did pretty well. I know you don't want to believe it, but G.W.Bush got more than half of the votes. So, you would think being supposedly smart businessmen, Joe Q and the gang would at least consider putting a fair and/or balanced political view in SOME of their comics. Nope. Can't do it. What does this have to do with comics? Well, it would be nice to be able to open an issue from a company whose comics I have collected for over 20 years and NOT be insulted or called a moron because of my political views. I'm not saying they should put out an "O'Reilly Factor" #1 or anything, but how about a little fairness? It just seems like good business not to call OVER HALF of your potential audience idiots, cowards, and psychopaths on a regular basis. Maybe that's just me, though.

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 11:11 p.m. CST

    Looking forward to a Walking Dead review next week

    by Fuzzyjefe

    'Cause the new issue rocked hard.

  • Feb. 10, 2005, 11:49 p.m. CST

    People are making too much of a fuss about Cap America going dow

    by Ribbons

    The germ of racism is probably started by the question "Why would Reginald Hudlin pick Captain America, of all people, to be vanquished by Black Panther?" A fair enough question. What escalates from it, and the knowledge that Reginald Hudlin is himself black, is the idea that maybe Black Panther is challenging Cap's throne because hey: mama and apple pie doesn't deserve to be the most potent force in the world. Well, besides for the fact that Captain America would be eminently beatable were it not for the prejudices that dictate he MUST be Top Dog in the Marvel Universe, the real throne that Cap is pretending to is not one of power but of ambassador. T'Challa is a real king; it makes sense that the leader of one country would clash with the "leader" of another. At least, I'm willing to give Hudlin the benefit of the doubt as far as intentions go. Then again, who's to say that Black Panter can't beat Captain America anyway? For my money it's something near racism that makes him so untouchable in the first place.

  • Feb. 11, 2005, 1:09 a.m. CST

    voicebox i think youre looking too deep...

    by Darth Kal-El

    ...maybe it has nothing to do with america or anything other than cap getting his ass beat! why does it necccesarily have to be about an agenda either left or right? but let me ask you this, would it be such an issue for you if it had been someone other than black panther doing beating? as far as captain america beating a black or hispanic guy, if the story called for it and it was something not done out of character then i wouldnt bat an eye. i dont read into comics so deeply that my enjoyment is hindered by these kinds of things. i want to read about 2 super powered individuals fighting and go "wow cool!". im sorry i cant sit there and think "gosh darn it that negro just beat up a man wearing an american flag.the writer must be an american-hater!he should go back to africa or some other place because gosh darn it the good ol U. S. of A is a swell place to live." Im hispanic by the way and that wasnt me stealing your rims but if i hear anything ill let you know...

  • Seriously. You clowns are the ones who brought up race. Just because a person doesn't see the fictional outcome of a fictional fight between two fictional characters the way you do, that doesn't mean they're a racist. Nowhere in voicebox's post does it say anything about "because so-and-so is black" or "Captain America is white so he can't lose!" You made that up to further your agenda. The fact is that in today's Orwellian thought police America, it is not acceptable to think that a white person could possibly ever beat a minority person at anything under any circumstances. If you don't agree with that, then you are a racist. Quick story (and 100% true, by the way). I am a state employee at a public hospital. That means my salary and those of my bosses (yes, it's like Office Space, I have more than one) are paid by taxpayers. Well, one of my bosses is an Indian Muslim. Well, she hates white people. How can I say that? Simple. She's said, in front of me and others, "I hate white people." (No, not in a joking or friendly way.) This was her answer when another Muslim employee asked her if she was going to hire a (gasp) white person who had applied for a job (she is not in charge of hiring for my particular position, which is how I ended up working there). On a separate occasion, under similar circumstances, she stated that "All Americans are stupid and lazy." Well, it didn't seem right to me that I had to work under these obviously racist conditions and have to listen to this kind of garbage so I went to the head boss. His response? I have to get "used to the fact" that minorities don't like white people, and it's okay for them to say things like that. I was stunned. I asked what would happen if I came to work and said "I don't like Middle Easterners" or "All blacks are stupid and lazy." "You'd be dismissed", was the reply. So, that's the world we live in, folks. Double standards are totally acceptable as long as they're liberal. I can see where you're coming from, SeeThroughThis, you and your gestapo liberal thought police know that anyone who doesn't admit that Luke Cage would beat the Hulk is clearly a racist and must have his or her opinion shouted down and personal integrity questioned. Obviously, you are quite the advocate for free speech and free thought.

  • Feb. 11, 2005, 11:56 a.m. CST

    yikes

    by Shigeru

    this is getting crazy. I didn't mention a thing about race in my post against you, voicebox. And fucumber, you lost me when you mentioned "fair and balanced"

  • Feb. 11, 2005, 11:56 a.m. CST

    U go, seethroughthis

    by Homer Sexual

    I know, I bashed you for ongoing attacks on Ambush Bug, but you are doing an admirable job as the first line of reason (or attempted reason) with voicebox. I must admit I let my ACLU membership lapse due to some philosophical differences, but to call them racist and a big real threat? Threat to what? People who want to push their beliefs on others and deny existence to those who don't fit into the "norm?"

  • Feb. 11, 2005, 12:27 p.m. CST

    Fuel to the fire: my beefs with BLACK PANTHER #1...

    by Dave_F

    A) No actual Black Panther. Bummer. B) I'm hip to the concept of translating decades-old colloquialisms into a modern idiom, but I don't think Hudlin did a good job picking his words in the opening sequence. Too flippant to convey the seriousness of tribal war. C) The political stuff was just clumsy. Gotta say, I just don't like political analogs in superhero comics ("Dondi Reese"? C'mon...) - either go totally real world (remember Reagan in Priest's FALCON mini from the '80s?) or create some original characters. And on a less subjective level, if the Wakandans are such power players, why the need for a briefing like the White House staff is comprised of sixth graders? Exposition's fine and necessary for new readers, but surely there are better ways. Come to think of it, a glimpse at a sixth-grade history class discussing Wakanda might've been interesting... D) The "Cap thing." Black man beating white man? Who cares. What rubbed me the wrong way about the scene was that it was part of the first issue's heavy-handed goal to hype Panther and the Wakandans up to such an extent that...well, it's hard to feel danger for these protagonists, and that's just bad drama. Klaw's supposed to seem menacing at the end? After 21 pages of Panther and the Wakandans defeating Nazis, rival tribes, foreign political interests, Cap, and the Fantastic Four? Riiiiight. It speaks to me of an inferiority complex in regards to the character, one that I worry will have Panther portrayed in the same overpowered style Batman is sometimes portrayed in over at DC. And speaking of Batman, here's a snippet from the Hudlin interview that really suggested the inferiority complex aspect: "When you think about, for example, the prominence of Batman in the DC Universe. Batman is a normal human with incredible fighting skills, a brilliant strategist, and he

  • Feb. 11, 2005, 12:36 p.m. CST

    Sentry as "Marvel's Superman"

    by Dave_F

    Not a fan of this idea. Doesn't it just dilute the elements that make the companies unique from each other? I always liked, for instance, that Marvel's heroes were mostly "capeless" - they don't need a Superman clone. Not that there isn't a small tradition of analogs like Hawkeye (Green Arrow), Moon Knight (Batman), etc., but it's not something I think you want to draw attention to. When you do a riff on the Big Blue...no hiding it.

  • Feb. 11, 2005, 1:01 p.m. CST

    IRuleAll...'bout that idea...

    by Dave_F

    I think it's a good one, but if I had to guess, setting up an additional forum isn't something the 'Holes would have time to set up. We've dabbled with ideas for our own website - including forums, of course - but right now it seems the grind of the weekly column is our main focus. I notice Harry's been fixing up a lot of TalkBack stuff lately, though - chronological postings at last! And a quick-post option! - so I'm hoping there might be some improvements along the lines of what you were thinking of too. A simple link to forums as their own section might do wonders for these extended discussions/arguments/mud-wrasslin' events.

  • Feb. 11, 2005, 2:08 p.m. CST

    wow i never said racist

    by Darth Kal-El

    that was a conclusion you jumped to all on your own voicebox! kinda like the conclusion you jumped to that two fictional characters fighting is a hidden political agenda. and yeah was it really neccesary to bring the aclu and naacp into it?thats reaching man. then again ive talked to plenty of right wing conservatives with their gung ho america slant on things and i guess thats to be expected. and did we get called left wing comunists?! talk about being stuck in the 50s yelling "Commie!" at anyone who has a different lifestyle than you.but truth be told you will continue to feel the way you do even tho there is definately some backtracking going on. as for me it was always just about two guys fighting in a comic.no agenda,no blacks on whites none of itoh and i made the rims comment because i honestly thought from your previous posts that that was going to be your next statement. voicebox wake up! its the 21st century and were not minorities anymore.were quickly becoming a majority and as much as youd like us to "go to canada" were here to stay

  • Feb. 11, 2005, 3:19 p.m. CST

    yeah...

    by Shigeru

    so how about that young avengers?....um ...yeah....

  • Feb. 11, 2005, 3:32 p.m. CST

    Young Avengers

    by Homer Sexual

    Hey! For some reason such as an embolism in my brain while shopping, I actually picked up Young Avengers. But I did learn my lesson, and won't be doing that again.

  • Feb. 11, 2005, 4:31 p.m. CST

    Thoughts

    by JonQuixote

    1) BLACK PANTHER VS. CAP. It would be a doozy of a fight. I suspect there would be no clear cut winner, or that any victory would depend more on wind direction and who got more sleep on that particular day. However, while the CAP/PANTHER fight in BP#1 is readily written off as a rookie cap against a veteran Panther, in the context of the Hudlin interview (that Dave excerpted for us), there is something a little disturbing about it. 2) Now taking bets on the color of voicebox & fucumber's necks. Well, at least somebody is vigilant enough to point out that the American Civil Liberties Union now represents the clear and present danger to society once occupied by the KKK. 3) Although it does bear pointing out that my admittedly liberal stance on Free Speech has been thoroughly challenged by YOUNG AVENGERS. Sure, the issue picks up towards the end, but there's something intellectually indefensible about that opening where Jessica Jones and J. Jonah Jameson engage in an 8 page GILMORE GIRLS-riff on Bucky. If the ACLU ever winds up defending Alan Heinberg in court, I think I'll be caller #1 on that day's Limbaugh, bitching about how it's time to tweak the save haven for terrorists, heathens, and hipster dialoguists that is the U.S. Constitution.

  • Feb. 11, 2005, 5:20 p.m. CST

    "To each their own, yes?"

    by JonQuixote

    Yes. A very ACLU friendly motto! :oP

  • Feb. 11, 2005, 5:53 p.m. CST

    "... YOU stupid bastards ...","your turd-like intellects..."It i

    by Darth Kal-El

    I like when they degenerate to name calling and yelling...

  • Feb. 11, 2005, 5:57 p.m. CST

    hotbed of liberal ideology

    by Darth Kal-El

    I just want to talk about comics! IS THAT SO WRONG? YOUR INTOLERANCE IS REPUGNANT TO ME!lol...its just comics dude

  • Feb. 11, 2005, 6:35 p.m. CST

    the last hotbed i was in...

    by Darth Kal-El

    ...was your mo...oh never mind.too easy

  • Feb. 11, 2005, 7:55 p.m. CST

    Cap vs. Panther...

    by KOLOBOS REXX

    ...This is all really interesting, really... But in an effort to get the conversation back on track: As far as who, technically speaking, would win a sudden impromptu fight between a surely experienced Black Panther & a relatively "green" Captain America... I'd guess out of pure logic that the Panther would have the better odds! As far as what the possible symbolism of the fight may or may not mean, well... I honestly can't say. Yes, "beating on America" is very hip, very now, uber-trendy, especially among the ultra-liberal. But honestly EVERYBODY needs to learn to try to keep things in their proper perspective: If BUSH is a bad man, so be it. Blame BUSH, not the country as a whole. Blame the folks who voted him back in if you really must, but honestly... When in history has blindly throwing blame around ever accomplished a damn thing? EVERY country in the history of the Earth has, in the end, ALWAYS been out for its own best interests. America isn't the first, Nor will it be the last. It's a sad fact of not only humanity, but the very core of nature in itself: Survival of the fittest. It's an inherant, irresistible part of the nature of all living things. "Survive, and be Happy... No Matter who you step on to do it." It takes a deliberate effort on the part of humanity to be anything but selfish & self-serving. We all want the world to be a better place, but that involves actually getting off our asses, finding ways to do things the right way, and hopefully getting the rest of the world to notice and follow our lead. I don't see a single nation, civilized or otherwise, on this green earth that honestly can say it really gives a damn about anyone beyond its borders, and within those borders, it's every man for himself anyway... This is simply the nature of the human "beast"... And to tame that beast and teach it new tricks, so to speak, we have to open our eyes & our minds to reality. Politics & Religion divide us all and set us at each other's throats, and until we find some way to see past skin color, sexuality, gender, & personal ideaology, we're all going to be at war with each other... Until finally there isn't anything left.

  • Feb. 11, 2005, 8:35 p.m. CST

    way to get things back on track

    by Darth Kal-El

    seriously,i dont give a rats ass about the rest of you guys politics. im just here to shoot the shit about comics!cant we just move on?doesnt anybody want to talk about new avengers?have you guys read pheonix:endsong?! Anybody? please...?

  • Feb. 11, 2005, 9:42 p.m. CST

    on comics

    by IRuleAll

    I kinda dug Young Avengers...I want to see where Heinberg goes with the last page. Also, I kinda am digging FF:Foes. That last scene in the first issue where Reed talks about mathematically they will all be dead within two years was heavy metal. As for my Yahoo group idea, I'd be more than happy to set something up if there's any interest from the peoples on here. I love-intelligent-discussion about comics. Like I said, that political discussion involving the Ultimates was a high point, while this racist name calling arguement from both sides is kind of a low one...no offense to the parties involved...

  • Feb. 11, 2005, 9:48 p.m. CST

    i havent gotten to my box yet

    by Darth Kal-El

    but i have a copy of young avengers set aside so im looking forward to that this weekend.the art looked pretty sweet from what i saw in the marvel previews.as for the yahoo idea im all for it! i also love having discussions about comics! in truth i do this during lull times at work.since i work at a call center sometimes it will be a good ten minutes between calls.nothing beter to do with it than talk comics!keep me posted irule...

  • Feb. 11, 2005, 10:06 p.m. CST

    Yahoo group

    by IRuleAll

    Enjoy and never fear the talkback falling to the bottom again...http://groups.yahoo.com/group/theaholeinthewall

  • Feb. 11, 2005, 10:11 p.m. CST

    Picked up Vimanarama

    by Fuzzyjefe

    base on Sleazy's review and really enjoyed it. Sometimes you guys ARE a force for good. But don't get cocky.

  • Feb. 11, 2005, 11:53 p.m. CST

    Sure, I'll talk about NEW AVENGERS #3

    by Ribbons

    I thought it was good. You want more? Fiiiiine...I know some people on this site aren't the biggest Brian Michael Bendis fans in the world. I recognize what it is that they don't like about him and I try to be diplomatic about it; I figure it's a fair trade-off considering you can practically feel the @$$holes being browbeaten by his proponents. All the same, he's without a doubt one of the most talented writers working under a major publishing unit today. Even though his dialogue has a bit of a cutesy feel to it at times (which is fine by me, really, but I'm a Whedon fan if that helps make my opinion easier to dismiss), he manages to give each character in the book (or most of them, anyway) their own distinct personality without being coarse about it. You can actually get an idea of what The Avengers means to Captain America without just having to take it in faith. You can tell he gets, or at least his his own take on, Peter Parker's loner complex. You can tell he's interested in the character of Luke Cage by the way he tries to make him a hero while resisting familiar archetypes (Peter and Cap are back at work a day after The Raft jailbreak whereas Luke sleeps in. At the same time, the scene isn't played for fish-out-of-water yuks nor is Cage made to look overly "surly"). I have this image of Bendis as a kid with a box full of action figures creating stories with them, in which he steps over or tries to create history, trying to refine the adventures until he can buy into his own escapism. It's an image that can be construed as megalomaniacal by some, I suppose, but if I was given the keys to Marvel's kingdom I'd probably wish I had the imagination to do the same. This "observation," mind you, is about 94.37% conjecture. I know next to nothing about the man, but it's the image his (Marvel) comics always leave me with. The only thing about the issue that left me cold, and that I believe has been mentioned somewhere farther up this talkback, was Daredevil's "letting slip" Spider-Man's alter ego. Oops! Lack of consequence aside, I don't think he would have had a brain fart like that, especially considering how sensitive he is to the matter of late. Ah well. To put a ribbon (wokka wokka wokka!) on it, this is one of my favorite titles (I say titles because I'm special) of the moment, and I'm looking forward to seeing what the deal with this "Mystery Ninja" is (my guess: it's NOT Daredevil! hehe), what the deal with The Sentry is, and how Spidey and Wolvie will fit in with The Avengers. Also, MAD PROPS!! to David Finch, whose art is truly a feast for the eyes. The tiny panel of a conversation between Jarvis and Captain America that Spider-Man lowers his head into was note perfect and, of course, the writing style is one where the panels don't exactly draw themselves. So, I just spent I think close to 10 minutes writing this post. Hope someone reads it.

  • Feb. 12, 2005, 12:23 a.m. CST

    Dave, your question about Black Panther beating Cap in hand-to-h

    by superninja

    I can't say for sure, but I think Priest did this first in his Black Panther run. It's T'Challa's father, not T'Challa, and it was when Cap was sort of new to the game. It was a flashback arc that demonstrated Cap had a deep respect for T'Challa's father who was also (if you follow what Hudlin's doing) a Black Panther in a legacy of Black Panthers. Hudlin did an interview over at Newsarama (relating to the issue being reprinted) where he mentioned fondness for Priest's run and liked a lot of his ideas. For instance, the fighting concubines (their official Wakandan title escapes me right now) which Rudin intends to include in his new run. He also basically classifies this as a reinvisioning of Black Panther, but then smartens up and reduces it to a Year One (a la Batman) context based on fanboy touchiness - "Is this Ultimate Black Panther"? Uh...no, it's Year One.

  • Feb. 12, 2005, 12:42 a.m. CST

    This is what I found the most offensive about Black Panther

    by superninja

    is that Rudin would write "Dondi Rice" (as if we don't all know who that is) standing for a member of the administration she works for calling Africans "junglebunnies" in front of her and just taking it. This is not just a comment on the current administration (I'm used to the bashing regularly surfacing in comics since 9/11). This is a personal attack on Condi Rice as being a supposed "Uncle Tom". Because, Rudin, like his friend Aaron McGruder (of Boondocks fame), has portrayed Condi Rice (and also Colin Powell) as "Uncle Toms" and "house slaves". To me it's disgusting.

  • Feb. 12, 2005, 3:46 a.m. CST

    ribbons...

    by Darth Kal-El

    nice breakdown of new avengers! i have a very insightful,detailed reply but it will have to wait til tomorrow cuz im pretty drunk and i dont want to come off as a voicebox...i mean an ass.peace love and chicken grease

  • Feb. 12, 2005, 5:41 a.m. CST

    Fuzzyjefe, I'm not cocky...

    by SleazyG.

    ...I'm just glad to hear even one person picked up a title based on something I said. Honest. Thanks, and I'm glad you liked it.

  • Feb. 12, 2005, 5:46 a.m. CST

    Superninja--the Wakandan lover/fighters...

    by SleazyG.

    ...are the Dora Milaje. They're also technically virgins and the eternally betrothed of the Wakandan patriarch. One of the more intersting things about the Wakandan society for me in Priest's run was that for all the advancements they had made in some areas they were painfully behind the times in others. To wit: technologically advanced, extremely crafty strategically...yet treated their women like chattel. Hardly the highly evolved intellectuals one might otherwise assume. In many ways I appreciate what Hudlin is reaching for, but I feel that if he ignores this basic preestablished gender-based issue (which affects 51% of the population) in favor of his own ethnically based agenda he will be making a grave mistake.

  • Feb. 12, 2005, 10:44 a.m. CST

    a humble request...

    by IRuleAll

    Everybody shut the funk up about who is racist and who is evil. Nobody is ever going to meet anybody on here in real life and this is for geeky discussions on nerdy habits, so for the record...shut the funk up and join my group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/theaholeinthewall. Thank you.

  • You know that SPIDER-MAN: INDIA miniseries Marvel's running? Turns out it feels like nothing so much as ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN with a handful of Eastern trappings - sad because I was really looking forward to something wild and trippy based on the previews ("Green Goblin as a Rakshasa demon!"). VIMANARAMA? Now that's what I was hoping for! Quirky as hell, and the lead even reminds me a bit of Peter Parker in the way he accepts his misfortunes with quippy resignation. Oh, and it turns out Morrison had a fun interview preceding this one, too: http://newsarama.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=5087 I like this quote: "Islam frowns on representational art and I

  • Feb. 12, 2005, 7:51 p.m. CST

    its not just seethrouhgthis...

    by Darth Kal-El

    ....you you come across like a flag wagging douche bag.

  • Feb. 12, 2005, 10:31 p.m. CST

    I don't think that voicebox5's initial post was racist

    by Ribbons

    The fact that the "conversation" slid into some statistics about the NAACP being a threat to this country's civil liberties is a little disquieting, but the shot that started all this madness was, I think, just him expressing confusion over why American citizens write about the defeat of America. I'm not even so sure he was questioning free speech as some people think was his intent. It's kind of unfortunate that fucumber got involved, because that guy clearly IS a jingoistic, racist douchebag. Hell, voicebox5 might be racist as well (like I said, the whole NAACP paranoia struck me as a little out there), but I don't know if the argument should have even gotten to this point in the first place.

  • Feb. 13, 2005, 3:37 a.m. CST

    SleazyG re: the Dora Milaje

    by superninja

    I've read almost all of the articles on Priest's website, and now he's switched to a blog, which I don't follow. Anyway, Priest has made repeated comments about how he doesn't like the way Black women are portrayed in Black culture, but he's really talking more specifically about hip-hop culture. http://phonogram.us/viewpoint/ostracized.htm. He's also a Christian, and the Bible speaks about chastity as an important virtue. Based on those things, I tend to think that the Dora Milaje are meant to be positive portrayals of Black women. Them being both put on a pedestal and also glorified for their chastity in Wakandan culture. But they're still beautiful and dress modern (I guess, as far as comic book fashion goes - ick!) and are able to hold their own with the men in combat. They're not exactly chattel it's more like an elevated position for a certain type of woman in Wakandan society - the kind of woman that is a worthy companion for their king. Basically, it's a refutation of the hip-hop female with Black Panther a substitute for the hip-hop male, who Priest refers to in the article I linked to above as "anti-intellectual" thug-lifers. Priest's T'Challa was a very cool, complex character. He's also an Old-Testament kind of dude. :)

  • Feb. 13, 2005, 4:01 a.m. CST

    Seethroughthis

    by superninja

    Okay, so ya got me on the Reese vs Rice thing. We all know who Rudin is referring to. But I'm curious about how she "put him in his place" other than he realized Oops! Dondi is black too! and she continued talking (leaving his comments out of it) and then Wallace blushed. To me this is not putting someone in their place but pretending that "Dondi Reese" would put up with someone like that. The fact that she didn't off on him in a comic book about building powerful Black themes is just pointing out that she's on the side of the Man. Add to that Rudin mentioning he's a pal of McGruder in a newsarama article, I think it's quite reasonable to draw that conclusion as McGruder shares the same view of "Dondi".

  • Feb. 13, 2005, 10:09 a.m. CST

    worst talkback EVER

    by Fantomex

    I'll accept arguments to the contrary.

  • Feb. 13, 2005, 10:28 a.m. CST

    SeeThroughThis

    by Ribbons

    I didn't say that they couldn't, I said that's what I think that voicebox5's first post was about.