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#11 7/27/05 #4

The Pull List
(Click title to go directly to the review)

ESSENTIAL KILLRAVEN VOL. 1
SILENT DRAGON #1
GODLAND #1
JLA: CLASSIFIED #10
RUNAWAYS VOL 2 #6
FLASH #224
THE PULSE #10
HELLBLAZER #210
FANTASTIC FOUR #529
DOOM PATROL #14
Indie Jones presents SUPER REAL #1
CHEAP SHOTS!

ESSENTIAL KILLRAVEN VOL. 1

Written by Don McGregor, Gerry Conway, Roy Thomas, Bill Mantlo, Marv Wolfman
Art by P. Craig Russell, Neal Adams, Howard Chaykin, Herb Trimpe, Gene Colan, Rich Buckler, Sal Buscema
Published by Marvel
Reviewed by
Buzz Maverik



No, it's not essential. Not with so much beautiful Marvel history uncollected. But I'm glad it's here and here's hoping for ESSENTIAL DEATHLOK, too!

Reportedly, Marvel Suit and deluded movie producer Avi Arad is a big Killraven fan. We all have our favorite obscure characters. When you run the company, yours becomes Essential. That's okay. AMAZING ADVENTURES FEATURING WAR O' THE WORLDS STARRING KILLRAVEN was a fun piece of bronze. Let's face it, it's not like Marvel would launch a comic based on a classic novel now unless they inserted the same old superheroes they insert into everything.

If you're familiar with H.G. Wells' novel or the recent Tom Cruise debacle, you know the back story of Killraven. The Martians invaded. They had those tripod things that you apparently can't take out with any number of weapons that should be able to do the job. They started snacking on the human race.

"Not my blood. Not my blood."

Shut up and go be liberal, Tim.

Here, though, they didn't die out from the germs. They took over and started using humans as overseers, gladiators, and the like. Jon Raven was raised to be a gladiator, but rebelled, escaped, and lead the usual ragtag gang of survivors in the resistance.

This series was created by Roy Thomas and artist Neal Adams, whose art is slightly less spectacular for the lack of color (unlike that of Gene Colan, who has turned out to be even better in black and white). Most of the series was written by Don McGregor, who did fine work on BLACK PANTHER and LUKE CAGE stories as well. Mr. McGregor never met a caption he didn't like, but that's a strength in his case. Read his work here and you'll see that modern comics have missed many opportunities to take us inside the character's minds, except for the now over-used first person voice over captions.

The real treat is a ton of art by Craig Russell, who added the "P" initial after AMAZING ADVENTURES was canceled. Mr. Russell never did much Marvel work in those days, probably because even then the House of Ideas leaned more heavily into the superhero camp. His artwork is exceptional and amazing. While it might be even better in color, it looks damned fine in black and white.

The best thing included is an entire, full length graphic novel by Mr. McGregor and Mr. Russell. The worst thing, sadly, is the front cover by the great John Romita Sr. It's good artwork, but Killraven looks like a male stripper from the 1980s.

As we all know, the type of Martian invasion here never took place. Mars' only act of aggression toward the planet Earth was a scouting trip of Edwards AFB near Boron, CA, in 1954. Many famous USAF fighter pilots such as Leroy G. Cooper and Virgil I. Grissom participated in the skirmish, in which the Martians held the upper hand until Chuck Yeager downed one craft. While the Martian crew was killed, the craft was still operable and was soon hotwired by one Neal Cassidy, a beatnik who was in the desert just "being" with a group of pals that included Jack Kerouac, Alan Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs and Cassidy's wife Caroline.

In a matter of public record that was, strangely, never classified, the Beatniks repelled the Martians and prevented the kind of events depicted in ESSENTIAL KILLRAVEN VOL. 1.


SILENT DRAGON #1

Writer: Andy Diggle
Penciller: Leinil Yu
Publisher: DC Comics/Wildstorm
Reviewed by Humphrey Lee



When I first saw this title solicited in Previews a couple months ago, it immediately triggered in my mind that this could just be the greatest thing ever. You've got easily the best action writer in comics today doing essentially a samurai story. You've got an artist with some of the best dynamics and details in all of comicdom as well. Add in some futuristic stuff and a love story and you've got yourself the perfect mix for a great read. But sometimes things just don't always work out how you would hope.

Now what we have here is a book that still has great potential, but it’s off to a shaky start. The main problem that I personally have with the book is that while it looks and feels original due to the way it's set up, a lot of it comes off as typical material throughout. We've got a lead character, Renjiro, who is big on honor. We've got a crime boss hungry for more power and territory, and we have a love interest, Lady Takara, that is of course involved with said Crime Lord, also Renjiro's Boss. As the book develops the main focus is showing us how honorable and loyal Renjiro is, even to the point where he denies his true feelings of love towards the wife of our resident baddie, Lord Hideaki. Lady Takara, though, isn't going to stand idly by. She wants Renjiro, and is unhappy being lorded over by Lord Hideaki and plans on doing something about it. Something fatal. So Renjiro is forced to decide between her or his Oyabun, his lord he has sworn fealty to.

But there is hope. See, the book is set up so that the first few pages are in the "present" (which is about 60 years in our future) with the events of the rest of the book being a start of the unfolding tale. What's so interesting is that in those first pages our Protagonist is, well, not our Protagonist. You see, the Renjiro we see for the majority of the book, well, he doesn't really have the greatest of luck when Takara tries to nix her husband. Needless to say, it backfires and our boy Renjiro gets caught up in a scale nine shitstorm that, well, he just plain doesn't survive. So now we have a hero that's apparently back from the dead and with a huge mad-on for somebody. Therein lays a nice little twist to what could have been a typical romp of betrayal and forbidden love.

So there you have it, we have a book that still has a tremendous amount going for it, but is somewhat diminished. We have a solid story that isn't the most original but does have a nice twist to it. And like I said, Diggle is probably the best action writer in all the business now, but that action is sorely lacking in this issue. But then again it is a set up for something bigger. And I think the setting--a mix between futuristic spires and older Japanese Architecture--is a fun one, and one that looks absolutely gorgeous in Leinil Yu's very capable hands. All said and done, I think this was a very enjoyable read that still has a great road ahead of it.


GODLAND #1

Writer: Joe Casey
Artists: Tom Scioli
Publisher: Image Comics
Reviewer: Prof. Challenger

”Jack Kirby lives monkeymugger!"

-- Vroom Socko paraphrased
GODLAND is not what I expected. Based on the title alone, I expected pretty much a straight-forward parody of Jack Kirby's NEW GODS concept. Co-creators Joe Casey and Tom Scioli surprised me by taking Kirby as a genre unto himself and presenting an original concept within that genre while not making their comic a direct pastiche of any previous Kirby comic. GODLAND looks a whole lot like a Kirby comic. It's got some Kirby-esque names throughout. It's got an astronaut lead hero, Archer, whose body is covered from head to toe in patented Kirby-crackle when he goes "cosmic." There's a grizzled army general named Brigg, who looks a good deal like Kirby. Archer and his adventurous sisters operate out of the middle of Manhattan from their skyscraper headquarters called "The Infinity Tower," which is an appropriately Kirby-esque name.

This is an origin issue, but it doesn't dwell on the origin. Instead, the story kicks off like FANTASTIC FOUR #1 where the characters and headquarters are already set up and going strong. The origin of Archer's powers is shared through flashbacks. This adventure, though, indicates that the mysterious Mars-based origins of Archer's cosmic powers are intertwined with his current encounter with a cosmic-powered alien dog that just knocked a big hole into the Great Wall of China. At the same time, we get the barest glimpse into the outside universe of continuity that lets the reader know that there are other superheroes and super villains in this world, including a hero named Crashman and a villainess named Discordia. And remember that old Captain America villain with the huge face for a torso? Well, Basil Cronus is kind of in the same bizarre design mode. He's got this big fishbowl for a head that has a green skull floating around in it...sideways! Great visual!

Everything from the design of the cover, to the logo design work, to the paper stock made this an attractive publication that I thoroughly enjoyed. Casey's writing kicks off the story with a kind of informal 70s-style narrative where the omniscient storyteller speaks as if he's directly addressing the reader. It's a nice way of immediately evoking a different tone for this book in a crowded marketplace of indistinguishable titles. The story is told through lots of two-panel and four-panel pages, but not in the "wide-screen" storyboard style that's so popular nowadays. I halfway expected Casey to start throwing in lengthy expositions and lots of pointless Kirby-style quotation marks in his bubbles and captions, but he didn't go that route with his writing. He did throw in a few very un-Kirby-ism exclamations like "Good Christ!" and "Jeezus Christ!" Those kind of took me out of the moment, so to speak, just because they seemed out of place in a "Kirby" comic that looked and read otherwise like a comic from some 20-25 years ago.

Scioli's artwork is a pretty good Kirby homage, especially the scenes on Mars and that full-panel shot of Archer blasting into the sky out of the Infinity Tower. Nice. Critically, though, I'd say that he suffers from an all-too-common Kirby-copier problem that dates at least as far back as when Keith Giffen Kirby-cribbed onto the scene in THE DEFENDERS – a bit too much Kirby-squiggling. It's a true art, I admit, to be able to replicate the look of Kirby without falling into the trap of packing each awkwardly put-together figure with Kirby-squiggles. I think Steve Rude would be my pick of those guys who is able to look like Kirby without burying his figures in abstract squiggles. But, even with that minor criticism, Scioli's really good at telling the story in such a way that a cursory glance, even by the well-informed, would cause the reader to think this was a new Kirby comic. I retroactively wish Topps Comics had brought in Scioli when they tried to introduce Kirby's posthumous SECRET CITY SAGA and .... Which reminds me, how come nobody's done anything with those concepts since Topps went under? I'd be interested.

GODLAND is a visual throwback not to the days of Kirby's work at DC or Marvel. It's more of a throwback to the days when he was pumping out CAPT. VICTORY and SILVER STAR for Pacific Comics. And for this reviewer, that's not a bad thing. GODLAND's not a perfect homage to Kirby, but it's sure good enough for me. Can't wait for issue two and beyond.


JLA: CLASSIFIED #10

Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Butch Guice
Publisher: DC Comics
Reviewed by Dave Farabee



I like having a book like JLA: CLASSIFIED around. It’s not overtly out-of-continuity, though it seems it can be (anyone expecting to see subsequent references to Morrison’s Batman-in-a-UFO or Keith Giffen’s wacky “Super Buddies”?), and it also allows for some slightly skewed continuity (this issue occurs when Luthor was still El Presidente in the DCU). That kind of flexibility is ideal for fickle readers like myself. Provides a venue to enjoy some DC superheroing even at a time when all of DC’s other books are pockmarked by a level of continuity so obsessive that reading ‘em makes me feel like I’m in a straitjacket.

An itchy straitjacket.

This time around, it’s Warren “Pissy Bastard” Ellis who’s unleashed on the JLA. And the issue is just laden with Ellisisms, from cynical reporters to rampant smart-assery and even an opening suicide where the victim just has to fall through an American flag on his high dive from the top of a building. Subtle, Warren! And yet it works. JLA: CLASSIFIED seems to be defining itself as an esoteric book, and in that context a JLA story with heavy creator personality works. In fact, it’s probably what I liked best about the issue, with a little competition from Butch Guice’s classic-illustrator artwork. Is this guy the modern Alex Raymond or what?

So how cynical is the book? Well for starters, Ellis writes Clark Kent as cynical, if that’s any indicator! But I dig this Kent. He’s a take-no-bullshit newspaperman – a characterization that’s occasionally existed in the past, though usually as a backseat to the Milquetoast Kent or the Naïve Farmboy Kent. As Kent and wife Lois Lane investigate the suicide, it’s Kent who surprisingly puts the heat on a dismissive investigator for information, even going so far as to threaten working up a police expose if he doesn’t get some answers he likes.

“See,” Lois Lane notes with an innocent smile, “People always think I’m the bad cop.”

I have to admit, I loved it. Loved seeing Clark played as smart and assertive, and loved the sharp banter between he and Lois back at the Daily Planet. Lois winds Clark up by gabbing about a hunky new intern, Clark cracks wise about cooking the intern with his heat vision (“…and then I stole his coffee.”). It’s almost a revelation that these characters can get a little smart-ass and edgy without losing their central “goodness.” Clark goes hardboiled as a reporter, but it’s after a scene where we see he’s genuinely upset that he wasn’t around to prevent the suicide in the first place. I sure hope other writers will pick up on this approach.

And Guice is there to back it play-by-play, drawing Clark with steely resolve and a Lois made all the more attractive for the fact that her hair gets a little rumpled during the course of a hard day’s work. I swear, between Gail Simone’s Lois and Clark work on ACTION COMICS and Ellis’s work here, I can almost forget how wrong the whole marriage thing is. Was. Might be.

Now Warren does almost slip up once or twice, notably in characterizing Perry White as a cartoonish J. Jonah Jameson type (“Lane. Kent. I am your editor. Prepare to die.”). But it’s just so “Warren Ellis,” and yes, such a nice change of pace to see some energy bouncing around the familiar newsroom that you end up forgiving it. I did, anyway.

The central Lois and Clark plot revolves around the jumper, revealed to be a Lexcorp employee and the latest in a series of Lexcorp suicides. Interleafed with this mystery is Batman’s investigation in Gotham of the murder of a defense contractor. Batman’s scenes let Warren do his hi-tech thing and showcase Batman’s criminal profiling chops. There’s a slightly awkward action sequence that might be on Guice’s end, might be on Ellis’s end, but it’s nothing terrible. And Wonder Woman rounds out the Big Three triumvirate, hosting a study group visiting Paradise Island. Even Wonder Woman’s got a little snark, joking to the newcomers about the boring ritual gift exchange to come. Her sub-plot’s the one I’m most nervous about, and not for that, but for an act of sabotage that struck me as one of the worst clichés you pull on Paradise Island. Got my eye on that one.

The net effect, though, of these three sure-to-link-up plots, is a compelling mystery and a refreshingly arch take on a trio of heroes who are, frankly, a little too whitebread most of the time. Making these characters interesting needn’t mean writing ‘em as assholes or compromising their values, but showing ‘em as human? Having them let their guard down or crack a joke? Man, that I really like. Has me really looking forward to this arc in spite of perpetual reservations about how much Warren gets the superhero ethos. Right now, optimism far outweighing reservations.

Addendum #1: The story’s title, “New Maps of Hell”, seems to be taken from an early ‘60s book that was an overview and defense of science fiction as a genre. The connection? Who knows, maybe Ellis just thought it was a cool-sounding title. I see that the title’s also been used by some bands, so there’s another possible connection. Speculate away!

Addendum #2: Pay no attention to this issue’s skeevy CGI cover. I don’t know why DC put an ugly-mask on such a sexy book, but don’t let their Machiavellian art experiments deter you.


RUNAWAYS VOL 2 #6

Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Penciller: Adrian Alphona
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Reviewed by Humphrey Lee



Oh my, how the mighty have fallen.

Okay, I'm exaggerating, but after last month’s tour de force, this issue is a little bit on the anti-climatic side. To recap, last issue we discovered who exactly was the father of one Victor Mancha, a teenager destined to become one of the Marvel Universe’s greatest and most powerful villains, and who would end up murdering the future line up of the Avengers, which is basically our little band of RUNAWAYS all grown up. That and we got more insight into the lives of team Excelsior, a band of once teenage superheroes all grown up and hoping to help those who are in the same shoes that they used to be, and see if maybe they can steer them from "the life."

This is by no means a bad issue, but it shows some proverbial "chinks in the armor." The biggest problem is the lead-in. Last issue’s revelation of Victor's father was an absolutely fantastic twist, both totally unexpected and yet inspired. And as I said in my review of that last issue, it ended with a very powerful and dread-inducing panel. But this issue doesn't lead in right off of that moment. No, the theme of this month’s start is exposition, exposition, exposition. Pretty much the first third of the book is dedicated to Victor's papa telling Vic how it came to be that he met his mother and how Victor came to be birthed, with plenty of word balloons to match. And no, this isn't some Birds and the Bees type tale so it is pretty original, but my does it drone on. And then, after said exposition, the conflict to take down Father dearest is way too swift, given the power level of the villain and how easily he handed our heroes their asses last issue.

But then our Mr. Vaughan brings us back from the brink of a *gasp* potentially "bad" issue with some developments that again just bring back the fun and joy reading this book can be. We finally get the reveal of just who team Excelsior's benefactor and financer is, and again it's a great reveal, one I had no clue to, but it just makes a lot of sense. Plus we get some great dramatic bits once the violence is all over as Victor starts to come to grips with just what and who he is, and the death of his mother from last issue finally sets in his head. Combined with what appears to be the reappearance of "The Pride", the group of baddies that started it all for our RUNAWAYS, and again I'm back to being glued to my seat in anticipation as to where this book is going next.


FLASH #224

Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Howard Porter/Livesay
Publisher: DC Comics
Reviewer: Prof. Challenger

"Lisssten to himmmFlash. Listen to the PROFESSORRR."

-- Zoom
Why thank you for the recommendation, Zoom.

What an intense comic. Geoff Johns excels at building tension in his stories. I would equate the feeling I had reading this comic positively with the experience I had watching Spielberg's WAR OF THE WORLDS. WOTW was not by any estimation a "great" movie. It was, however, a "good" movie simply because Spielberg knows how to direct a movie and build tension in the audience. With a lesser director and the same script, the movie might've been unbearable to sit through. However, with Spielberg using sound and imagery to heighten audience anticipation throughout the movie, he turned it into a watchable flick that was more than moderately successful in a weak summer of movies. Now, here's Johns kind of pulling the same trick here in THE FLASH. He's taking a story idea that in other hands (I'm unfortunately thinking about that awful creative team that crapped out HOUSE OF "M" #1) would be dull, witless, and derivative. Instead, under Johns' skilled writing the penultimate issue of this 6-issue ROGUE WAR story arc roars through a tour-de-force story that pulls the reader right into Wally’s harrowing encounter with both Reverse-Flashes and never lets go.

For those not in the know, Zoom/Hunter Zolomon is the Flash's BIGGEST obsessive fan. He's so fanatic about his respect for the Flash that he believes that Wally can only become the hero Zoom thinks he SHOULD be by causing him to experience great tragedies in his life. You know, the "whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger" mindset filtered through the brain of a crazy man. In the past, Zolomon has killed Wally's unborn baby, for example. This time, Zolomon has plucked the original Reverse-Flash, Prof. Zoom, out of the time stream before his death at the hands of Barry Allen. Appearing in front of Wally, Zolomon has got Kid-Flash in a death grip and Prof. Zoom has got Jay Garrick. Now Wally's faced with a horrible Sophie's Choice-type decision – can he save both of them at once when both of the villains are essentially just as fast as he is? I won't spoil it for you, but Johns is pretty smart about what these speedsters can and can't do. Hint: Some of these speedsters can tap into that mystical speed-force, but not all of them. And those who do, might, just might, have an advantage over those who don't. The story doesn't stop there, though, it's in continuous movement along with these speedsters. We wind up reaching a point where all three speedsters (Flash and both Reverse-Flashes) are whirling into the past on Barry's old Cosmic Treadmill. Zolomon uses Prof. Zoom to power the Cosmic Treadmill so that he can force Wally to live through his greatest tragedies over and over and over. Wicked evil.

Porter contributes wonderfully to the relentlessness of this story. Every panel with a speedster on it is moving. Never a wasted static image. He really makes me feel like there is energy and movement on and off panel. Which is how it should be in a story like this. It also looks like Johns is taking advantage of this all-important venture backwards through the time stream to adjust and fix a few things. Geoff "Mr. Fixit" Johns at work once again. Let's just say that Johns does something with Capt. Boomerang that has left this long-time FLASH reader still smiling. Where he's ultimately going with this trip through time I don't know, but I have my suspicions. That last panel, though, is dynamite. Oh yeah. Memo to DC Comics: Please send Prof. Challenger a preview copy of FLASH #225 today! Thirty days is way too long to wait.


THE PULSE #10

Brian Michael Bendis: Writer
Michael Lark: Artist
Marvel Comics: Publisher
Vroom Socko: Hawkeye Lives, Motherfucker!



What sort of issue of THE PULSE is this? No Jessica Jones, no Luke Cage, just a bunch of new mutants running things at the Daily Bugle. Except for Kat Farrell, that is. And then there’s our cover boy, Clint Barton. How can I dislike a book that showcases my favorite Avenger? That’s right, Hawkeye lives, motherfucker! And boy is he pissed.

This is the first tie-in book to the big House of M event that I’ve read, and I must say that as a stand-alone issue, there are a lot of blanks to be filled in. If you’ve been keeping up on all things M, however, then there are still a lot of blanks to be filled in. Mostly it’s little things, like Hawkeye not believing a word of what Logan was telling him in issue #4, yet now he inexplicably remembers dying. Still, Clint’s returned memories give us the best line of the issue. “I thought I died a hero in a blaze of glory. Seems I died a spaz not knowing who was pulling my strings, which sucks by any measure.”

Hey Clint, I’ve been saying that for fucking months, man!

In any case, this issue does its job as an ancillary title to the HoM miniseries, giving us a measure of insight into the mind of one of the major players. Clint is one messed up archer here. Of course, you would be too if you could remember two lives, one where you were a subjugated minority and another where you get blown up. This certainly explains why Clint is now a cold-blooded killer, with a particular murder on his mind. I can remember a time, (well, an issue actually. #22 of Thunderbolts,) when Hawkeye stopped Hercules from killing Atlas, the man who beat him into a coma in the classic Under Siege storyline. Hawkeye said then that the Avengers aren’t killers, and that murderers are never heroes. I lament the fact that this is no longer the case, (both here and in the current Crisis at the other “big event,”) and yet I can’t help but notice that everyone who’s remembered life before the House of M has had the same reaction. Perhaps their minds aren’t as free as they think.

If there is anything I can recommend unequivocally about this issue, it’s Michael Lark’s artwork. The book gets darker and moodier as the issue progresses, and it’s all thanks to what Lark brings to the table. That last page, goddamn it’s a doozy.

In the end, however, this is only a book for those of you who are already neck deep in the House of M, as anyone who hasn’t been keeping up will be totally and completely lost. Then again, if you’re a dyed in the wool Hawkeye fan you’ll probably want to give this a look see. If anything, it’ll reassure you to know that even Hawkeye thinks he died like a fucking chump.


HELLBLAZER #210

Writer: Mike Carey
Penciller: Leonardo Manco
Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo
Reviewed by Humphrey Lee



Y'know what reading this current arc of HELLBLAZER has made me realize? We just don't see enough of Hell in comics anymore. And really, it seems like only Mr. Carey here is the one willing to give us our glimpse of damnation in comics each month, between this and his god-like opus, LUCIFER. And that's just a shame. Where else are kiddies going to be scared back onto the straight and narrow each month by giving them visceral images of damned souls being tortured, torn and rendered, drowned, and other such nasty things for all eternity? At the very least, I think HELLBLAZER should be used as a public service announcement to the youngin's of today. But I digress....

This issue continues the rundown to the end of Mike Carey's stellar HELLBLAZER run with part four of an arc called "Down in the Ground Where the Dead Men Go." And what we have here is a nice little story showing us the typical HELLBLAZER thoroughfare, y'know, demons, witchcraft, possessions, disembowlings, and the occasional bit of dry British wit. This issue takes us, and Mr. John Constantine, further into the bowels of Hell as John traverses the landscape to make his way towards the house of Nergal to hopefully put down the demon, Rosa, and her offspring that have been making his life "hell" (yay for puns) since the landmark 200th issue. But as always with Constantine, things can't even be that simple in his life. You see, the demon at hand is the daughter of Nergal, a demon who has a particular bit of hatred for Constantine due to past aggressions, but has been deposed of his territory by his own offspring. Now John and Nergal have to work together as they make their way to Nergal's former home to teach Rosa a lesson, and to reclaim the soul of John's own sister.

Yes, I know that all sounds a bit complex, but it’s in no way overwhelming, really. In fact, Mike Carey takes the time today to give us a bit of history on Nergal as he, attached to John, makes his way to take out his wayward daughter. And if there has been anything I have loved about Carey's run on this book is that how he seems to revel in the lore and history of John Constantine. Seeing him give background on a character that has been around since the beginning of the book but never really had much else going for him besides that is very welcome. Add in Manco's fantastic renderings of the Hellish landscape around them, and this book has just been dead on in oozing the horror and dread that made this book so special in the beginning. I could definitely use much more of all of this, as Carey has hit a stride on this book that to me is only rivaled/surpassed by the legendary Ennis & Dillon efforts that helped define this book, and the Vertigo line, over a decade ago.


FANTASTIC FOUR #529

Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Pencils: Mike McKone
Inks: Andy Lanning
Publisher: Marvel
Reviewer: Ambush Bug



Okay I wanted to start this review out by noting that this is the very first time I wrote J. Michael Straczynski’s name without having to look at it in print. You’ve gotta give me some props for that, folks.

Now on to the review (where I will more than likely misspell JMS’ name numerous times).

I really don’t understand the phenomenon that is J. Michael Straczynski. Loved MIDNIGHT NATION and SUPREME POWER. Hate DOCTOR STRANGE. Had a torrid up and down affair with the inconsistent but brilliant RISING STARS. Loathed AMAZING SPIDER-MAN to it’s very core. Now JMS has been unleashed on FANTASTIC FOUR and my thoughts on his stint on the book so far are complex.

That’s right, folks. Prepare thyself for one of them thar mixed reviews.

JMS is all about the high concept. Like few others in the industry, the guy really can hit a homerun in the big pitch department. In FF, JMS has been mapping out a complex storyline involving the resurgence of a storm of cosmic rays that have the exact same properties as the one that created the Fantastic Four in the first place. The government, of course, wants to take advantage of this and recruits Reed Richards to oversee the project since he’s the Big Brain in the Marvel U and has been through this type of thing before.

Meanwhile, two subplots have been interspersed with varying results. There’s a dull one and an amusing one. The dull one involves a social worker visiting the Baxter Building and evaluating the Richards Family to see if they are parents fit enough to take care of two young children. This is one of those supposed real world subplots that simply opens a can of worms that shouldn’t really be opened. Hell no, Reed and Sue should not have custody of their kids. In the last few years, both have been kidnapped by Doom, Franklin has been terrorized by demons in hell and Valeria was possessed. These kids should have been brought to the attention of DCFS long ago. But given the parameters of the story and the ongoing theme of family in that permeates this book, Franklin and Valeria should always be with their parents. But apart from that minor annoyance with the real world treatment of this situation, the scenes involving the caseworker and Sue are just plain dull and I found myself forcing myself through these panels in order to get back to the other plots. On top of that, to see Sue diminished to that of frantic protective mother is a disservice to a character who has proven herself to be one of the strongest in the Marvel Universe.

Now the second subplot involving the Thing and his recent discovery that he is richer than Bill Gates piqued my interest and had me chuckling throughout. This is a light-hearted challenge for the Thing that is befitting for his character and offers new obstacles for the heart of the team to take on. The only character who gets shortchanged in this most recent story arc is Johnny, who doesn’t have much to do other than tag along with the Thing as he discovers how his new money will affect his life.

But the star of this issue (and this arc so far) is Reed. In his run, Mark Waid admitted that Reed was his favorite character and it appears that he may be JMS’ as well. One of the main problems I had with the first few issues of this series is how easily Reed went along with this government project to harness the cosmic rays. I mean, this is the same stuff that has cursed his family for years and now he flippantly agrees to oversee an operation which, if successful, would result in the creation of a Fantastic Forty or even Four-Hundred. In this issue, we find out that is just not the case and Reed is acting more true to form than he has in previous issues. Plus we get a re-appearance by the Fantasticar in all of its cheesy glory. Great stuff.

One of the things that impressed me the most about this issue was the escape sequence. The army acknowledges Reed as one of the smartest people on the planet, but is very quick to dismiss him as a threat because “as far as powers go, he got sort of the short end of the stick. He can stretch. Big deal.” Well, I had to smile as JMS cleverly makes these guys eat those words and proves that Mr. Fantastic can truly be that when he wants to be.

Mike McKone’s pencils and Andy Lanning’s inks only add to the pleasure of this reading experience. I like the way he has rendered the main scientist to look just like Paul Giamatti. This is a good looking book and McKone sure can stage a nice action sequence. It’s just too bad that he makes the Thing look like a midget.

All in all, this issue was a great change of pace from the talkity-talk issue that preceded it. Despite the annoying social worker subplot, this issue was filled with some big ideas and has some great moments of high action and depthy character. Top it off with a hell of a cliffhanger, and you’ve got a winner of an issue.


DOOM PATROL #14

Writer: John Byrne
Artists: John Byrne/Terry Austin
Publisher: DC Comics
Reviewer: Prof. Challenger



Stick with me here. This is a positive review. But I've got to place it in a bit of historical and personal context.

I have a real fondness for the DOOM PATROL. I'm too young to have read the original DP during their original run, but I caught a number of their adventures in reprints back in the 70s. While many longtime hardcore comics fans have expressed a love for that original DP, it was cancelled after 5 years while competitors like FANTASTIC FOUR and even JLA have continued publishing on into today. Anyway, what I saw in those reprints was an unusual team of heroes who were all normal human beings until accidents turned them into physical "freaks." Sort of like the Fantastic Four if all the members were like the Thing. Weird enough of a concept back then to intrigue me. Then around 1977, SHOWCASE PRESENTS hit the stands with the NEW DOOM PATROL (I believe, if memory serves, that it was written by Paul Kupperberg and drawn by Joe Staton). I totally bought into it. This attempt at reviving the DP concept sprung out of the last adventure of the original team where they were all blown up by the villainous Gen. Zahl and Madame Rouge. So, Robotman was revived with a funky new body (provided by Doc Magnus, right?) and he pulled together a new multi-ethnic DP made up of the African-American TEMPEST, the Indian CELSIUS, and the Russian NEGATIVE WOMAN – you know, the blond with the extremely plunging neckline. I'm guessing that the SHOWCASE run didn't sell enough to warrant a new DP ongoing series and the characters sort of disappeared outside of a cool Keith Giffen drawn guest-star appearance in DC COMICS PRESENTS. Well, except for the Robotman and Mento appearances in a NEW TEEN TITANS story that finally dealt some good old-fashioned retribution to Gen. Zahl and Madame Rouge for the death of the original DP and returned Robotman to his old-style body.

Fast forward a few years and John Byrne, hot on the heels of his career highs of X-MEN, FANTASTIC FOUR, and SUPERMAN drew an excellent retelling of the origin of the DP for SECRET ORIGINS ANNUAL as a sort-of prologue to Paul Kupperberg and Steve Lightle's upcoming relaunch of the DP. I'm not sure what happened there. It started off well. In that new series Kupperberg kind of found a way to bring back the original DP and sort of combine them with the new DP. But the narrative just fell apart over the course of about a year/year-and-a-half for some reason and rather abruptly Kupperberg was gone. The series continued without him though, and that's when DP started their first and only rise to a true level of popularity among fans since the first few years of the original series: the Grant Morrison era. Morrison turned the DP surrealistically upside-down and inside-out taking the basic concept of "freaks" as heroes and seeing just how "freaky" he could make them. At this point, I tuned out – too freaky for me – and other than knowing vaguely about his incorporation of the most bizarre superhero character ever, Danny the Street, I don't know too much about Morrison's DP other than that it got bizarre enough for DC to move it into the Vertigo line for the duration.

Back in 2001, DP re-launched once again, this time with Robotman and a group of new heroes. Somehow, for god knows what reason, the title actually lasted almost two years before it was cancelled. The less said about that run, the better. Within six months of this incarnation's demise, word leaked out that John Byrne was going to reboot the DOOM PATROL.

Now, this is why Byrne pisses me off sometimes. Reboot? OK. OK. Don't want to get anal about that. I figure, if anyone can do it right, he can. After all, he's the man who returned the FF to a level of greatness unparalleled since the Lee/Kirby days, rebooted Superman post-CRISIS, and produced DANGER UNLIMITED – a top-notch series that owed a lot to the DP and the FF. Here's the problem, though: the original DP characters have consistently proven to be non-sellers in the marketplace. The only version of the DP that has ever sold well other than immediately spinning off from MY GREATEST ADVENTURE was Morrison's version, and it was "DOOM PATROL" in name only. So, truth be told, mulling it over between the time of the series announcement and the time the first issue hit the stands, I came to think Byrne should've avoided the reboot and simply relaunched with a new team made up of pre-existing DC Universe freaks. Imagine Robotman reforming the Patrol with other DC freaks like Metamorpho, Creeper, Shade: The Changing Man, and Rose/Thorn. Something like this would've at least had some goofy, fun potential and provided ample opportunity to, say, pluck the original DP out of the timeline or something and reintegrate them into modern continuity without a frustrating reboot. However, as the series was launched I was onboard with a "show me" attitude, daring Byrne to prove my unsettled instincts wrong.

Unfortunately, it turned out to be a reboot full of creative missteps.

Misstep Number 1: Byrne introduced the characters in a multi-issue story arc in the JLA.

Misstep Number 2: He made the villain of that story an unthreatening fop of a vampire who looked like George McFly with fangs.

Misstep Number 3: The DP relaunch kicked off with the END of the JLA story. What?

Misstep Number 4: Rather than focus the first year, if not at least the first story arc, on reintroducing modern readers to the original four members, he pads the series out with uninteresting new characters with stupid one-word verb names like Nudge and Grunt.

Misstep Number 5: Making one of his new characters a four-armed gorilla.

Misstep Number 6: Obnoxious narrative story-telling schtick involving anti-climactic time-jumps. Nothing worse than repeatedly ending a comic on a cliffhanger then neglecting to resolve that cliffhanger immediately in the next issue, or worse, starting the next issue with a "three hours ago" plottus interruptus. And doing it over and over and over.

Misstep Number 7: In his redesign of Robotman's armor, Byrne gives him a golden metal groin area shaped like, well, pubes. Very distracting visually, in my opinion – and pointless.

Misstep Number 8: Giving the new DP costumes that look nearly identical to the original X-MEN costumes – even going so far as to assign them the black and white color scheme originally intended for those X-MEN costumes.

But I hung in there waiting for them to "patrol" some "doom." By issue five I bailed. I was bored by the vampire crap that kicked off the series. I hated the rehash of JOHN CARPENTER'S THE THING story that followed. And I was angered by the stupidity of the Battle-bots story that followed that. DOOM PATROL is a comic that Byrne should've hit out of the ballpark on the first page and never stopped going and as a fan I felt burned (pun intended). So, other than seeing the covers I've not been exposed to an issue of DP since issue five. But I caught the advance press for issue 14, thumbed through it, went "hmm" and bought it. Well, well, well, I may have been too hasty in my criticism. It's pretty darn good.

Unfortunately the first page includes Grunt and that's always a bad thing. Worse, apparently Grunt has some old couple's little boy Henry's brain transplanted into his four-armed gorilla body. All I could think while looking at that was "Look at you. You baby gorilla." (You Howard Stern fans know what I'm talking about - the rest of you, sorry for the esoterica.) Apparently, however, Byrne's already taken some corrective steps in the interim between the issue I bailed on and now, because Negative Man is sitting there all wrapped in bandages rather than the sado-masochistic leather mask he was wearing back at the beginning. That's a good thing. (Though, I still hate the Negative Skeleton, and I know I'm the only one – but I ask you, why on Earth would NEGATIVE Man be a skeleton? Shouldn't he be X-RAY Man? Just askin'.) Anyway, by page three Byrne kicks into high gear and never lets up. I was hooked from that point on wondering where he was going.

You see, it's an old tried-and-true Byrne plot-device – time-travel. Motivated by reciprocated romantic love for Rita (Elasti-Girl) Farr, Robotman has gone all love-crazy and hooked himself into a time-travel doohickey of The Chief's. Robotman wants to go back and prevent himself from crashing his race car and ever being forced to become a robot in the first place. That way he can have human lips to properly smooch Rita with. Robotman's time-traveling causes ripples in time that allow Byrne to play with various DP timelines. This means we, the readers, get to finally see the "real" Doom Patrol again when Robotman interacts with the team back on the infamous island right before they get blown up. But there's a clever twist this time that longtime fans should be pleased with. We get to see a post-apocalyptic version of the DP where Rita's running around mostly naked in leather with a butch cut and the Chief is a villain. Then the real fun occurs when Robotman winds up in Byrne's GENERATIONS continuity circa mid-60s with Dick Grayson as Batman and Bruce Wayne Jr. as Robin. Not only does it offer up another glimpse into GENERATIONS but it allows Byrne an opportunity to indulge us with a glimpse of the DP in their original green costumes. I for one appreciated everything about these time jumps.

Ultimately, Robotman has to make one of those heart-wrenchingly horrible time-paradox decisions that only a superhero could really do. The ending was touching and not trite. DOOM PATROL issue 14 was really a very good issue all on its own. The inks by Terry Austin were very good as well. He didn't overwhelm Byrne's pencils; neither did he take an overly light touch. There's a tendency among lesser inkers to allow some of Byrne's more recent figure-drawing to come off as weightless or rubbery. Not so with Austin's pen. Backgrounds and figures were consistently weighted appropriately. I also appreciated the little things, such as the textures Austin would bring to the art like the white flakes in Negative Man's skeleton or the designs on the sofa and curtains.

Now, the charm of an issue like this is that it puts the "reboot" into a context that allows it be a part of current continuity but also acknowledge the old-school readers out there who get frustrated by a perception of needless continuity trashing. Even though Byrne didn't say as much directly, this comic was an exploration of Waid’s HYPERTIME concept. The paradoxical ramifications of an issue like this are such that the reader can internalize it a number of ways. One person can take it to mean that all the old stories they enjoyed, pre- and post-CRISIS are still out there in one of the ripples. Another person can take it to mean that the reboot itself was the unexpected result of Robotman's time-tampering. In other words, this series' own continuity folded in upon itself. The old DP stories existed, then Robotman time-tampered and this caused the DP to retroactively disappear out of the main timeline and reappear "for the first time" many years later than they had before. Which is where the characters stand right now.

This issue should've hit the stands some eight or nine months ago.


SUPER REAL #1

Written and Drawn by: Jason Martin
Published by: www.superrealgraphics.com
Reviewed by: superhero



If you’ve ever gone to the Newsarama.com message boards you’ve more than likely seen Jason Martin’s posts that have a signature graphic advertising his independently produced comic book SUPER REAL. If you’re like me the graphic may have even caught your attention enough to click on the banner and go to his website and see what his book was all about. The basic fact that Martin was smart enough to add this banner to his posts shows me that I’m dealing with a creator who’s savvier than the average bear. It’s a brilliant ploy and I have to say that I’ve got to give Martin props just for devising that gimmick to suck people into his world.

So when I hit the floor this year at the San Diego Comic-Con SUPER REAL was very much a book I wanted to check out. I liked Martin’s quirky manga-like art style and the concept of the book itself seemed really interesting even if a book like Image Comics’ WILDGUARD had explored the idea of a superhero reality show before.

So is it any good? Was this an independent book with something different? Would I be ultimately disappointed in another independent comic book that seemed to offer a decent amount of promise?

Well the answers are: Yes, Yes, and No.

As I stated before, SUPER REAL is a comic about a reality show about superheroes or, I should say, superheroes to be. While the Image comic WILDGUARD focused more on a reality show where individual superheroes showed up to join a team based on their power sets and the strength of their character, SUPER REAL seems to be taking a different approach. SR sets up the situation as several reality shows such as “Survivor” and “The Apprentice” do: winner takes all. Not only that but the contestants aren’t superheroes to begin with. See, as part of agreeing to participate in the show, all of the individuals signing up must subject themselves to a possibly risky experimental procedure which may, or may not, give them super powers.

Now that would probably be enough to scare many people off from participating in the contest but Martin is smart enough to realize what type of person the “average” reality show attracts. This is a big part of what makes SUPER REAL a really good book and sets it apart from not only WILDGUARD but other comics as well. His protagonists aren’t particularly likeable. As a matter of fact, some of them are downright vapid and if any of you out there have ever watched a reality show you’ll know that Martin’s characterization of reality show contestants isn’t too far off the mark.

The thing is, even though some of these characters come across about as smart as a thumbtack, Martin is able to keep interest in them because of the fact that their lack of intellectual capacity can make for character quirks that come across as quite funny. Martin’s artwork sustains this because his style is energetic and original enough to make the characters pop to life even though there are no major action pieces throughout the book. His artwork is eye catching and different from almost anything out there right now and it’s able to suck the reader into his world where a lesser artist might lose their interest. Kudos go to Martin for trying something different with his style and actually being able to succeed with it.

Now, I’ve mentioned that the book contains no major action pieces. As a matter a fact, there’s no action in this book at all. This first issue functions mostly as set up to what will hopefully be a much longer story, but the set up is solid. You’re introduced to all the major players, you get the lowdown on the whole show’s concept (including the mechanics of how it came to be), the dialogue is tight and amusing, and it gets you interested enough to want to know what’s coming next. This is pretty much mostly what I want a first issue to be like. Sure, I could’ve dealt with a slam-bang bout of fisticuffs, but that would have ruined the flow of the story as presented and, quite honestly, the book doesn’t need it.

My only complaint (and it’s a minor one) was that the books that Martin was selling at the convention were all black and white interior when SUPER REAL, when it’s released, is actually going to be in full color. I was able to see an advance of the full color run and it looked to me like it’s going to look great when it comes out in shops on November 5th. I actually love black and white comics, but the copy I got was obviously meant to be printed in color so the quality of some of the images were lacking. Either way, it didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the book at all and I’ll be sure to make sure that my retailer pulls me a copy of the full color SUPER REAL when it hits the stands. Sure, I already own the black and white copy, but I’m willing to buy another if only to support a truly independent creator who seems to have a good thing going.

Remember, if you have an Indie book you’d like one of the @$$holes to take a look at, click on your favorite reviewer’s link and drop us an email.


SPIDER-MAN/HUMAN TORCH: I'M WITH STUPID DIGEST

The back cover has a quote from some loon, calling this the best Spider-Man comic of the last ten years. Well, they're only half right, since this is also the best Johnny Storm book of the past ten years. Not only is each chapter self contained while being successful parts of a larger story, not only is there a sense of fun firmly rooted in Marvel continuity, not only does the last chapter have the best use of thought balloons I've seen in ages... but the story also features the most wondrous product placement in a mainstream comic. (three words: Hostess Fruit Pies!) Writer Dan Slott is to Marvel what Geoff Johns is to DC: a writer of immense talent who absolutely understands these characters in his bones. If in the next five years he doesn't become Marvel's go-to scribe, then there's something seriously wrong. - Vroom

RED SONJA #1

Unlike Kurt Busiek over in the pages of Dark Horse’s CONAN, there’s not much original Red Sonja material out there. Robert E. Howard only included her in one story, which means most of her stories come from legends like Roy Thomas and John Buscema. These guys have taken on a pretty daunting task, but they’re off to a decent start. It’s nice to see that Sonja’s a deadeye with a bow along with being handy in a sword fight, and since Mike Carey’s involved we don’t have to wait too long for the sorcery and weirdness to join the sandals. You also know somebody’s a badass when their idea of a nice dinner is an owl they shoot down and roast. The series has potential, so I’m going to stick around for a while and see where things head—the return of Thulsa Doom is a helluvan incentive, after all. The only real drawback to this series is that relative newbie publisher Dynamite Entertainment is run by Nick Barucci of Dynamic Forces. Since DF is all about “comics collectibles” (i.e. overpriced alternate versions of stuff you either already own or wouldn’t even bury in your nemesis’ long boxes) the series is already overrun with unnecessary variants. Sure, the five different covers for #1 all look good, but seriously—nobody’s gonna bother tracking them all down when it’s a new book from a new publisher and an unproven commodity. Another four covers for issue #2 not to mention the two “fiery red foil” variants means in the first two issues alone we’re looking at eleven covers. ELEVEN. I can hardly believe it. A year’s worth of covers in two issues reeks of overkill, Barucci—try focusing your promotional team more on the top-notch talent and stories. My advice to fans? Pick up the issue, but don’t bother with the flashy distractions. -- Sleazy G

OUTSIDERS #26

Editor Pete Tomasi sits in the writing chair for this issue and boy is this one doozy of a story. Those of you who are staying away from this book because Judd Winick is writing it should pick up this issue featuring the return of the original Outsiders: Metamorpho (the real one), Black Lightning, Katana, and Batman. Now this is the Outsiders tale I want to read. Tomasi starts off with some hilarious “getting’ the band back together” scenes. Most of the story is told in flashback focusing on an unsolved case from the Outsiders past. Having the chance to see this team in action and together again made my fanboy freak meter shoot off the charts. If you ever read any of the old BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS books, this is required reading. Those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, pick up this issue and see how the Ouotsiders can be done right. Here’s hoping Pete Tomasi steps out of the editor’s box more often and treats us with more stories like this one. - Bug

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #522

Holy shit! After years of absence, the Spider-Tracer has finally returned! Blessed be! Not only that, but with a fun as anything Spider-Narration, Wolverine being taken down a notch, some great adjustment moments for the Parker family, and a HYDRA setup reminiscent of the Steranko era, what you've got here is the best damn storyline Straczynski's written for Spidey yet. - Vroom

WONDER WOMAN #219

Could we see the ending coming a mile away? Sure. Was the story contrived? Yup. Was Superman’s reaction at the end hypocritical and idiotic given what he was trying to do in the entire issue? You bet your red round rump, baboon-boy. But I have to admit, this book thoroughly entertained me. There’s just something about seeing these two icons battle it out that really thrilled me. Sorry, folks, but I’m completely caught up in this big DC mega-crossover event. It’s a hell of a lot more thrilling than watching Colossus plow a field for an entire page. That’s for sure. - Bug


Hey folks, Ambush Bug here with a special announcement. Wizardworld is making its way to Chicago this weekend (click here for details) and it turns out that quite a few @$$holes are going to be in attendance. So if you’re a creator who wants to gab about comics or peddle your merchandise or if you’re a reader who feels the need to throw praise or rotten tomatoes in our direction for something we said online, drop us an email and we’ll be sure to look for you. You’ve been forewarned. The @$$Holes are storming Wizardworld Chicago. Look for us there. (Hint: I’ll be the one wearing pants.)

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
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  • Aug. 3, 2005, 8:06 a.m. CST

    First

    by doonae

    And that.

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 8:20 a.m. CST

    Boxer/briefs don't count as "pants," Bug.

    by rev_skarekroe

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 8:50 a.m. CST

    John Byrne is God

    by docfalken

    It has been a while since we've had this many regular titles coming from the master.

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 9:27 a.m. CST

    apropos Red Sonja

    by DocPazuzu

    Not to be an annoying, nit-picking, long-time REH fan, but I couldn't help but add a bit of info regarding Red Sonja. Howard did indeed create a character by the name of Red Sonya of Rogatine who appeared in the short story "The Shadow of the Vulture." However, the tale takes place in sixteenth century Vienna and Red Sonya is a Russian who shares the adventure with a certain German knight by the name of von Kalmbach. Roy Thomas kept the basic nature and look of Red Sonya of Rogatine, but changed the "y" into a "j" and transformed her into a Hyrkanian of the Hyborian Age. When the story "The Shadow of the Vulture" was adapted by Marvel (and Thomas) they turned von Kalmbach into Conan and set the story in his time as well. Technically, Howard's Red Sonya and Marvel's Red Sonja are two different characters but remain in essence the same. However, if you're into Michael Moorcock's "Eternal Champion" way of seeing things, they might actually BE the same person.

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 9:43 a.m. CST

    Needermeyer? DEAD! Doom Patrol? DEAD!

    by RenoNevada2000

    Sad to see that DOOM PATROL picked up, at least according to the reveiw here, a little too late. I absolutely hated Byrne and Claremont's JLA arc and the first issue of DP left a tast in my mouth akin to having played the ol' Rusty Trombone on someone who had just been eating Mexican food for a month. Still, might pick the most recent issue tosee what Byrne's done...

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 9:43 a.m. CST

    I think in WOTW, Tim was referring to the Republicans.

    by cookylamoo

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 9:46 a.m. CST

    By the way, WOTW failed because we lost big time to the fucking

    by cookylamoo

    and the germs had to pull our asses out of the fire. Too bad Tom didn't have an Apple Computer.

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Give Dan Slott one of the Spider-Man books!!

    by Steve Rogers

    Seriously - the guy write sthe best Spidey I've read in years. If Marvel don't let him get his mitts on a Spidey title in the next couple of years (maybe when JMS quits, and this 'Spidey-in-the-Avengers' bullshit is done with) then they're IDIOTS.

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 10:34 a.m. CST

    The Flash

    by LeckoManiac

    Geoff Johns has done some amazing work on the Flash, I for one will be sad to see him go...however if DC is really giving him a Superman title...than there truly is justice in this world...I am holding my breathe for the Flash title, but hot damn if I am not excited for Johns at the helm of Superman!

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 10:55 a.m. CST

    Is "SPIDER-MAN/HUMAN TORCH: I'M WITH STUPID DIGEST" a reprin

    by Voice O. Reason

    If so, that was the best use of thought baloons I've seen in long time. If not, go out and find those issues! They were great!

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 10:56 a.m. CST

    silent dragon sounds cool

    by fried samurai

    Very cool premise and I love Diggle's work on THE LOSERS.Will definetly keep an eye on this and pick up the tpb when it comes out.I need another series to read seeing how Y THE LAST MAN and 100 BULLETS will probably be ending soon.Dont care much for superhero comics anymore but this Dan Slott that everybody keeps raving about sounds interesting.I may have to pick up one of his trades...peace

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 10:57 a.m. CST

    Doom Patrol's 8 missteps

    by Voice O. Reason

    Thank you for reading my mind.

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 11:14 a.m. CST

    But Prof...Cliff didn't go back in time because of his love

    by superhero

    He actually just went back to stop himself from getting into the racecar that caused his accident. He finds out that Rita's been in love with him AFTER she goes back in time to find him and stop him from screwing up the timestream. She confesses that she's been in love with him since she was a kid when she finds him. It was all played out in the DP issue before this one. Either way, great analysis of why DP flew completely off the tracks in Byrne's new series. Can't say I enjoyed this issue as much as you did, as a matter of fact I was quite disappointed...Man, I used to love the concept of The Doom Patrol. They were quirky and fun without being overly moody like the X-Men became. Ahhhh...I miss the lightheartedness of the original DP. Sure they didn't make much sense but they were weird in a GOOD way. Talk about a superhero movie that NEEDS to be made. You could have all the corny fun that the FF movie tried to have and have some high adventure at the same time...better yet, a DP TV show would just kick ass...

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 11:16 a.m. CST

    Comic Book Movie news

    by RichJohnston

    Over at Lying In The Gutters, there's an announcement that Akiva Goldsman is producing "Top Ten" and a Spider-Man 3 casting piece, with a major plot spoiler... enter if you dare... http://litg.comicbookresources.com

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 11:17 a.m. CST

    Oh, and didn't I just read somewhere that Doom Patrol is bei

    by superhero

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 12:18 p.m. CST

    No, you read a *rumor* that DP is cancelled.

    by DukeOfSpiders

    DC hasn't said anything official, and Byrne himself says he hasn't heard from DC at all one way or the other.

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 1:32 p.m. CST

    jesus Ambush Bug... I don't read Doom Patrol

    by BurlIvesLeftNut

    And I know nothing about them, but that was a great review! That's the kind of shit that makes me want to devour old stories. Great job!

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 1:56 p.m. CST

    Thanks, BILN, but...

    by Ambush Bug

    I can't take credit for the reivew. That review was Professor Challerger's, not mine. I reviewed FF this week. It's okay though. Most people mistake the two of us because we often wear the same colored socks.

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 2:04 p.m. CST

    Doom Patrol #14

    by cookylamoo

    "City on the Edge of Forever" with Robotman filling in for Joan Collins. If Harlan Ellison is anywhere near a lawyer, look out.

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 2:14 p.m. CST

    Do my eyes deceive me?

    by DocPazuzu

    Or did moviemack - famously M.I.A. in the Batman Begins talkbacks since movie came out - just use the term "cowarded-out"?

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 2:16 p.m. CST

    Do my eyes deceive me?

    by DocPazuzu

    Or did moviemack - famously M.I.A. in the Batman Begins talkbacks since the movie came out - just use the term "cowarded-out"?

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 2:27 p.m. CST

    Prof's Obscure Stern Reference

    by RenoNevada2000

    That story Artie told convinced me there should be a two-disc DIRTY WORK special edition with tons of deleted footage/bloopers and a Norm/Artie/Bob Saget (he directed the thing) commentary.

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 2:50 p.m. CST

    oh damn... Sorry Challenger

    by BurlIvesLeftNut

    Great Doom Patrol review. Should have known it didn't come from Ambush SLUG. I kid! I kid! I do it because I have a low self esteem!

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 2:57 p.m. CST

    killraven IS essential...

    by duanejones

    ...if you want to get a flavor of 70's maverick restlessness at der haus der ideaz. p.c.r.'s art really begins to coalesce in this series -- some of his more psychedelic collage work compares favorably to similar stuff from steranko, although you'd never see him as an influence in his work at this point. also, let's face it -- don mcgregor is a transfixingly, rubbernecking-at-a-four-car-pileup-ly awful writer, whose prolix fulminations probably belong nowhere else but in comics, albeit trying for something different than most fanboys-turned-authors. his didactic, graceless style coalesces here, as well. i will mention, tho, that their graphic novel together in the 80's "concluding" the kilraven "saga" was very good, maybe don's best work. these "essential" reprints, tho -- isn't COLOR sorta essential to the comic book experience (b&w mags notwithstanding)? although, those thinner marvel reprints that do include color (steranko's run on s.h.i.e.l.d., say) are new colorizations that contain such needless "modern" coloring innnovations like airbrushing, patterns, etc... oh, for marvel reprints that contained marie severin's old-school, vivid coloring!

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 3:33 p.m. CST

    Oh shit DocPazuzu, you just opened a bag of annoying ass hell wo

    by The Heathen

    moviemack I think eventually came out of hiding in the Batman Begins talkbacks. He was hiding in an older one, then he jumped over to Harry's review when it cooled down some. He's lately been spewing his homophobic rants on the Superman Returns talkbacks. I think he needs a new hobby.

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 3:38 p.m. CST

    Is it me?

    by El Vale

    Or did there use to be a lot more @$$holes? I remember there was this girl who reviewed all the boring comics. And Buzz used to review more than one book a month.

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 3:40 p.m. CST

    Hey Moviemack

    by El Vale

    Did you know JMS is a homosexual and is also a colored person? Get ranting

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 3:52 p.m. CST

    Carey leaving Hellblazer,you say? YES!!!

    by Homer Sexual

    I quit reading Hellblazer a year or two ago, as well as Lucifer after about 8 months, because Mike Carey is just a boring writer. I think every comic I've read by him has been dull. I read Hellblazer for many years, and though I didn't really care for Ellis relatively brief stint, it was Carey who led to me dropping the book. If someone new comes on, I'll give it another try.

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 3:58 p.m. CST

    review reactions, and a little anti-BMB ranting

    by Homer Sexual

    I thought the Wonder Woman and Omac books were both pretty good, and as I've stated, I agree with Bug that DC is doing better with its big event than Marvel with its, um, "event." And I really prefer Marvel historically. I also loved this month's Outsiders, and agree that Slott would be a great Marvel counterpart to DC's Johns. Speaking of Johns, he is the only writer who ever piqued my interest in Flash. Good reviews this week, btw. Interesting to learn that Bendis writes resurrected Hawkeye to think he died like a chump. Backing off his own sh!tty story already? Well, the sooner all the terrible things BMB is doing to Marvel end, the better.

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 4:03 p.m. CST

    JLA Classified's "issue

    by kintar0

    Is how the Batsuit should've looked in Batman Begins. If it looked more like that and less like it did, one could overlook the massive bad that plagues that movie, even if everyone in their haste to harken the first Batman film better than the Shumacher films pretends it isn't there.

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 4:05 p.m. CST

    good comeback moviemack

    by The Heathen

    no really, it was

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 4:18 p.m. CST

    moviemack

    by DocPazuzu

    Nice try, but the "I work and don't have all day, every day to post here" horseshit sure didn't prevent you from doing just that BEFORE the film opened. The fact is you were totally clowned once the film came out and you know it. It doesn't matter if you continue posting here for the next ten years on a variety of different subjects - you'll always be known as "that Batman asscock."

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 4:25 p.m. CST

    I call "bullshit" moviemack

    by The Heathen

    $196,590,195 in the US, and $352,781,195 worldwide is not "moderate" business. FF is only at $138,065,785 in the US so far and its % drop off every week is much higher than Batman Begins ever was, or still is for that matter. FF is not better. Pretty much everybody say's it either sucks, or it was a light comic movie with some laughs. From the director of Taxi and Barbershop. BB was directed by the guy who did Memento, Following, and Insomnia. At Rotten Tomatoes FF is a moldy 26%, Batman Begins is at 83%. You can say whatever peon minded thing you want about the faults of BB, but FF is far worse

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 4:43 p.m. CST

    Actually Moviemack's right

    by El Vale

    Every OPINION he has on Batman begins is the absolute truth about it and none of us who liked it are right. Thank you Moviemack, what would become of us if it weren't for your guidence? I wuv you :hug: *** I hear Morrison's JLA Classified had Batman riding a UFO. That's why Morrison kicks everyone's ass.

  • ...where's the Essential D-Man collection? Also, is Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers gay?

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 6:18 p.m. CST

    Anyone ever read "Oddly Normal"?

    by crtjester20

    Because if not I highly recommend it. It's a very charming comic with artwork that greatly lends itself to an almost Saturday morning cartoon look. Anyway, it's well worth a look guys n gals.

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 7:02 p.m. CST

    great reviews guys

    by Darth Kal-El

    is this one going all week long too?

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 7:47 p.m. CST

    Darth

    by El Vale

    Up to us, as usual

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 7:48 p.m. CST

    darth

    by blackthought

    like you have to ask...it will go all week, plus if moviemack starts whatever it is he does here, it will either spark the talkback for more subsequent weeks or piss everyone of into not returning. on another note...no porn comic reviews this week?

  • Man, I was just REALLY impressed with the promise of this book from the ads, but that first issue felt like a major letdown - not because it was terrible, but because it was average and the potential was so much higher. If I had to sum up the problem, it's simply that I found no characters to care about. I think writers sometimes get to thinking their plots are so clever that they forget to populate 'em with characters we want to watch. Here's hoping subsequent issues showcase the Andy Diggle I know to be capable of better.

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 8:34 p.m. CST

    count me in as always

    by Darth Kal-El

    hey vale where is the porn comic?

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 8:37 p.m. CST

    hey dave the cover is not so bad

    by Darth Kal-El

    kinda reminded me of that computer generated batman graphic novel from back in the day.of course now i might look at it and think its crap but i remmeber i dug it as a kid.also i have friends from work who are also comic geeks(some to a higher degree than others) and everyone seems to feel the same way:DC big event:"Wow cool!" marvel big event:Not so much

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 8:40 p.m. CST

    and on something from the bottom of last weeks board

    by Darth Kal-El

    i like that our talkback is friendly and supportive of each other. this one is so unlike the other talkbacks on aicn.on that note why did u guys have to go and get moviemack started?i for one would rather not have to read through negative bullshit to get to the comics posts.

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 8:51 p.m. CST

    El Vale

    by Gus Nukem

    I highly recommend JLA Classified # 1-3 by Grant Morrison and Ed McGuiness. Those issues kicked ass. Too bad you hadn't experienced the flying saucer first-hand and read about it elsewhere.

  • It's completely irrelevant. But never mind me, i'm in the crappiest of moods.

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 10:56 p.m. CST

    Remember...

    by IRuleAll

    Did anybody else like the John Arcudi run on Doom Patrol in the early '00s? That was really cool stuff with great art and a reverence to both the classic and Grant Morrison era of the team...no wonder it got shitcanned. Fuck Byrne.

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 10:56 p.m. CST

    Killraven... so many memories. Thanks for the spot on review, Bu

    by Spacker Dave

    Why the fuck did I like Raven so much as a kid? ...that's right- Gladiators!

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 11:31 p.m. CST

    I think I'm going to pick up that OUTSIDERS comic

    by Prof C

    Bug made it sound too good to pass up!

  • Aug. 3, 2005, 11:52 p.m. CST

    I liked Bug's FF review

    by sideshowbob

    I feel the same on all counts. And I'm a bit glad Johnny's getting the back seat after being a bit overexposed with the end of the Waid run, the Spidey mini, and the movie. I'm not a fan though, of the gold-digging women who pop up to throw themselves at Ben. Did JMS have some bad experiences with women in LA or what? Besides, despite the poor lonely way they like to portray Ben, in reality women would be throwing themselves at him even if he wasn't a zillionaire. There are enough women out there into kinky stuff to go for it. He's a good guy. And he's as famous as a rock star. Time to move past the "only a blind woman could love him" schtick.

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 12:26 a.m. CST

    true

    by blackthought

    ben is a good guy, but um, how is he able to satisfy a woman ahem?

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 12:37 a.m. CST

    sideshow

    by Ribbons

    You're definitely right, but if you think about what kind of women would be attracted to Ben for being either a freakshow or a celebrity, he might have deliberately chosen to stay away from them. Which isn't to say that blind women are the only women interested in platonic relationships; I think the idea was nice at the time because Alicia had a better idea of who been was based on what she heard rather than what she saw, but it's not like women are inherently shallow. Maybe it's that he feels more comfortable around someone who he knows can't see his "ugly mug?" But that's rationalizing. Yeah, women would want to date him, and giving him a semi-normal relationship wouldn't be a bad idea.

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 12:38 a.m. CST

    Huwoops

    by Ribbons

    "Ben," not "been." Tee-hee.

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 12:40 a.m. CST

    He has a rock-hard penis

    by El Vale

    Litteraly. Ouch.

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 1:05 a.m. CST

    Ewwwww....we're literally talking about Ben Grimm's "thi

    by superhero

    Every once in a while...these talkbacks get too weird for words... :O) although I noticed they completely brushed over the issue in the FF movie while they were MORE than willing to address the issue of Reed's malleable member...:O)

  • Not to get all boy's club, jock-scratchin', loogie-hockin' here, but can a girly-girl (ewwwww!) possibly write the biggest male bastard in all of comicdom? Will Constantine be used to personify all her jerk boyfriends and therefore lose the "jerk-cool" thing that makes him such a likeable bloke to all us, err, blokes? Is he going to become...sensitive? I'm just a guy talkin' here...

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 3:44 a.m. CST

    And by the way, Rich Johnston...begone from our TalkBacks!

    by Dave_F

    Before someone drops a house on you too. (That's a Yank reference to WIZARD OF OZ, guv, just so's ya know! And actually, you're my favorite industry lowlife, so keep up the good work.)

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 4:01 a.m. CST

    Duanejones, loved your post.

    by Dave_F

    And I'm torn on the "color issue" in the ESSENTIALS too. Really those things just exist to bring Silver Age stories to the masses in their cheapest form short of downloading (and like Buzz notes, a few artists - Gene Colan, fer inst - actually shine in black and white). Anyway, that's a noble enterprise and I've picked up several volumes myself, but there's something about reading, say, an AVENGERS story in black-and-white that just feels *wrong* to me. Newbie doofuses crack wise about classic comic book coloring, but the truth is, there was a lot of art to what the colorists did in those days. In fact, I still find myself preferring the overall visual aesthetics of the Silver Age coloring to modern superhero coloring on many an occasion. The ability of computer colors to mimic reality is hardly the instant improvement it might seem, and one look outside the Big Two (and sometimes within) will confirm that computer coloring can be a horrific crutch and produce as many spectacular eyesores as a high school student with his first airbrush. And yeah, I hate most of the recolored oldies collections coming out, the new colors rarely jibing with the style of the artist. Hell, I don't even like the MARVEL MASTERWORKS and DC ARCHIVES because of their pristince white pages, but there are much more egregious outings. Example: there's a new trade reprinting of all those early Ra's al Ghul stories with newly computerized coloring, and I did a side-by-side comparison with the previous trade used the original colors. The newer one stunk to high heaven. There's one page where Neal Adams drew this bad-ass, monolithic mountainscape, and what did they do with it in the new version? Paint it in with a photo texture of a real fucking mountain! I kid you not - the artistry of Neal Adams displaced by some douche's PHOTOGRAPH OF A REAL MOUNTAIN. Dear Lord. I suppose some younger kid looking at the material might, just *might*, actually relate to it better for the new glossy coating, but is that possibly worth subsuming the artistry of one of the all-time industry greats?

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 4:43 a.m. CST

    Actually Robert E. Howard *never* included Red Sonja in any stor

    by JackBurton

    He had a similar character called Red Sonya of Rogatine (notice the subtle spelling name change of using a 'y' instead of a 'j') that he used once as a supporting character in one of his tales of German Knight Gottfried Von Kalmbach, who's adventures took place in the 1500's, and Marvel comics writer Roy Thomas cribbed the character, slightly changing the name and re-inventing her as a Conan era character, when he adapted one of the Von Kalmbach stories into a Conan story for the 70's Marvel Conan comic (something he did a lot in his original Marvel Conan comics run, turning non Conan Howard tales into Conan ones). The new Red Sonja character was an immediate hit, and actually went on to have quite a long life in many Marvel comics, not just as a regular in Conan and Savage Tales and the like, but also two, albeit comparitively short lived, series of her own for Marvel, as well as a mini series and one shot. Plus, when they came to make a movie they clearly based it far more on the Marvel character (and called it Red Sonja, not the 'Sonya' of Howard's character) than on Howard's one shot supporting character creation.

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 5:16 a.m. CST

    Red Sonja

    by Ribbons

    I might have this wrong, but wasn't there an issue of Spider-Man, or something, or maybe an episode of Spider-Man, where Peter and Mary Jane are in a museum, and she somehow gets turned into Red Sonja and some security guard gets turned into some wrinkly Egyptian guy? I have the vague sensation of that actually being real, but I'm not entirely sure.

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 7:14 a.m. CST

    I Agreed. Byrne= COMICS GOD

    by Judge Doom

    UNlike Miller who produced a mega-crap(DK2) Byrne never had a bad run in any title. He had Great one, good ones and regular, but never bad. And always fun

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 8:04 a.m. CST

    Ribbon

    by Prof C

    You're right. That was an issue of MARVEL TEAM-UP and it was gorgeously drawn by a young John Byrne.

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 8:29 a.m. CST

    I got OUTSIDERS last night...

    by Squashua

    You were SOOOOO RIGHT. I mean, I really don't understand the last 3 sentences of the issue (or at least the context of the last sentence), but I assume it's because said person was not "let in on the dirty secret", which I guess was really not explained well other than I guess they left people alive. Shift in the gutter was great.

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Dave, could you tell me what trade it was that messed up N. Adam

    by The Heathen

    I'd like to hunt down the original and compare like you did. I can't believe they would *replace* someones art like that. I thought when books were being re-colored, it was usually done under the supervision of the original artists eye? Thanks for pointing that out though.

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 9:43 a.m. CST

    You know I'll be here all week.

    by The Heathen

    Good point Kal-El, on both accounts. These week long talkbacks are nice (going on 4 now isn't it?) and I won't feed the kid sugar no more. **** Vale, I think DC's big event is better. And it's not completely irrelevant because there's a comic related to the big events every week. I'll explain why a like DC's better. (1) it's structured better. I have a feeling of where it's going without knowing what's going to happen exactly. With HoM, I don't know what the fuck is going on, and right when I do - I don't. (2) Continuity. I know it is a gift and a curse, but I like when you can understand what's happened in the universe without counting forwards and backwards weeks or months for the characters & stories to match up. For instance, I was reading Donna Troy Special #2 last night, and I understood what had happened to Superboy, Indigo, and Nightwing calling it quits because I had read "The Insiders" crossover between the Teen Titans & The Outsiders. The only crux to DC's continuity in this big event is that there's so much of it in so many books. But you know what? I want to pick up all those books. With HoM, I've picked up a few tie-ins, but haven't really liked them. (3) The main event book itself. I really liked HoM #3 & liked #4, but were halfway through the story and I don't know where it's going. Infinite Crisis isn't even out yet, but I'm ready for it. That's what I think, how about you?

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 9:48 a.m. CST

    Dave, I'm no newbie doofus...

    by sideshowbob

    Or at least not a newbie. And I'm cool with the B&W art. Way I look at it is, Kirby poured all his heart and imagination into these amazing creations...and then they were colored with what, 8 different colors? I know the colorists back then did a great job with what they had, but the final product is flat enough that I don't mind the B&W. I don't read the Essential Avengers...though I am intrigued about reading it in B&W now that you mention it. It'd be nice to look at the Vision or Iron Man or Hawkeye's costumes without my eyes bleeding.

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 10:23 a.m. CST

    Oh, allow me a *little* snobbishness, Sideshow...

    by Dave_F

    And I love black and white, too. In fact, the best guys - Kirby, Ditko, et al. - look phenomenal in black and white, but I still miss the artful/garish/whatever coloring that originally was laid over their work. In a very real way, superheroes simply = color in my mind. Think of the classic color schemes - Hulk's green and purple, Iron Man's red and gold, Superman's red, yellow, blue - and the colors are nearly as suggestive of the characters as the lines that define them. The ESSENTIALS are cool for getting the stories cheap, and they're also cool for zeroing in on the aesthetics of the greats, but for me at least, they sublimate some of the larger-than-life qualities of the Silver Age with the lack of color. And I *definitely* notice its absence on the lesser artists, the Don Hecks of the world. Heck wasn't terrible by any means, but color made his "eh" art pop in the same way that color saves the day for lamers like Michael Turner. I guess what I'm saying is that the eye-bleed is part of the deal for me.

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 10:30 a.m. CST

    I agree Ellis nailed the way Clark and Lois could work.

    by cookylamoo

    Even if you're from Kansas, a few months on the crime beat in big town is going to toughen you up. This is the George Reeves/Golden Age Superman that many have tried to invoke but only Ellis has found.

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 10:32 a.m. CST

    Heathen, the Neal Adams book of the damned is...

    by Dave_F

    ...the newly recolored BATMAN: TALES OF THE DEMON. Check out page 35 for the pain of Photoshop-meets-Neal Adams. And the sad irony is, some of the other computer coloring looks decent, but more and more I just find myself a fan of classic creations being viewed in as close to their original contexts as possible. The stuff was what it was, and certainly nothing to be ashamed of (you hearin' me, Lucas?).

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 10:38 a.m. CST

    Thanks Dave.

    by The Heathen

    I'll check that out when I make a trip to my shop later today.

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Dave you right on with Computer Coloring...

    by superhero

    I actually hate, HATE what computer coloring has done to so many comics. I, for one, LOVE black and white books because I can see the actual artist

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 11:10 a.m. CST

    Where's the love for 100 Bullets?

    by the flashlight

    Just started reading this thing a couple of months ago, and it's hands-down the finest comic book series I've read the past 15 years. Yet I don't remember ever seeing it reviewed by the a$$holes. What gives? I want to see a 100 Bullets review next week!

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 11:18 a.m. CST

    The last time we reviewed 100 BULLETS...

    by Dave_F

    ...was a ways back. November '04 to be precise. But ya can't say Sleazy didn't give it the love: http://tinyurl.com/azbyq He loved it long time.

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 1:48 p.m. CST

    A-ha!

    by Ribbons

    So I'm not crazy, eh? Thanks for the help Prof. C

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 1:53 p.m. CST

    I Reviewed 100 BULLETS Once.

    by Buzz Maverik

    Don't really want to debate about it, though. For me, it was one of those books where you can see the quality and the talent involved but the so-called gritty and realistic viewpoint is too unreal. Our bud "Yukon" Jon Quixote summed up my own feeling for Azzarello once by saing, "I can tell he's a gifted writer whose work I don't like." It's all perspective. Hell, I found THE INCREDIBLES to be more serious and realistic.

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 1:56 p.m. CST

    You Can Read Howard's Red Sonya Tale..

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...in an out of print volume called THE SOWERS OF THE THUNDER, which was Howard's historial-adventure fiction (no magic, no fantasy).

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Marvel Essentials

    by Buzz Maverik

    In the more recent volumes of ESSENTIAL AVENGERS, I really missed the color. I forget the numbering, but we entered a long stretch where Roy Thomas and most of the artists were just winging it. That group badly needed DISASSEMBLING. In a way, it happened when Neal Adams did the art for Ant Man's journey through the Vision's android body and the start of the Kree-Skrull War. There, Adams was fine even in black and white (although his first KILLRAVEN story was lacking; now P. Craig Russell, who just e-mailed me to thank me for my review and who is a cool guy, did great black and white work). Some artists, like Don Heck whom Dave mentioned and George Tuska, a fan fave at the time, were saved by their colorists even more than by their inkers. Gene Colan was even greater in black and white. Read his ESSENTIAL DR. STRANGE VOL. 2. Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Jim Steranko and Barry Smith were just as good without color.

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 2:27 p.m. CST

    100 bullets

    by fried samurai

    I also think its the best comic being written right now.I remember I bitched awhile back when I didnt see any reviews on this site.The biggest problem is people who just read the first tpb or first couple of issues might not think theres much to it.I even thought after I read the first tpb that it was basically gonna be the same story told over and over.Graves gives someone an opportunity to get revenge on the person who screwed up their life.Boy was i wrong.Its in the second trade that you realize theres this huge story with twists,turns, plots and subplots and everything is connected in this world Azzarello has created..good stuff..peace

  • ...You know, in the good ol' days before Clark was portrayed as a complete tool. And even better, Ellis and Gail Simone seem to grasp the concept that Lois doesn't have to be depicted as a totally self-absorbed bee-yotch. Lois is the love of Superman's life, so it makes no sense to have her behave in a way that turns off every male comic reader. Thank Rao that Berganza's off the Superman titles shortly...

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 3:30 p.m. CST

    JackBurton

    by DocPazuzu

    You may have missed my earlier post...;) Nice to see another Hyborian nerd in talkback, though!

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 6:43 p.m. CST

    In a better mood

    by El Vale

    Ok first of all Heathen sorry if i was rude. I'm not that interested in either of the big events (nor will i get a chance to buy them) but if i had to choose i'd go for HoM because i've liked the art i've seen and i'm a Bendis fan, whereas i'm not a Geoff Johns fan or big on DC heroes and shit. As for computer coloring check out Dave Stewart for some of the best. Like everything in life some of it is brilliant, some of it good, some of it bad and some of it awful. Generalizing does no one any good. And 100 bullets is one of my favourite reads and looking at the way people talk in it and Risso's brilliant exaggerated artwork...i'm not sure it was ever meant to be reallistic. Hyper real i'd call it. I also really really liked Azz' Hellblazer run, thought it was his most human work to date. Your turn to say i'm wrong and talk about dog sex.

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 6:45 p.m. CST

    I'm also diggin' the Lois/Clark stuff

    by superninja

    in Gail's Superman as well as Ellis here. JLA: Classified was one of the more enjoyable reads from DC of late. Even Ellis' madcap Perry White. Guice's work looks a little rushed, though. Which is too bad because you know how good it can be. I like Superman married. Just like I can't imagine Reed Richards single, it's hard to imagine Clark without Lois anymore, even though Lois has been portrayed as somewhat unlikeable at times. None of the other broads hold a candle.

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 6:50 p.m. CST

    Buzz, 100 Bullets is supposed to be realistic????

    by sideshowbob

    I know you just said you didn't want to debate, but I think with that book it's realistic like Mamet--those people talk and act in a way that is grounded in realism but way cooler than real life. *** I do agree with you about the Essential line. Once we get into the 1970s, superheroes need the color. For that reason I'm holding off on any Spider-Man volumes past the second ones, in hopes that someday Marvel puts the Romita & Stern issues out in color. I also agree on the Roy Thomas Avengers. I think I even made a comment on Thomas's FF a couple weeks back. I like Thomas, but he tended to be a bit fast, loose and out of control, and not always in a good way. A lot like DeFalco's writing, I suppose.

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 6:54 p.m. CST

    computer coloring...

    by sideshowbob

    I think it's hurt Weiringo most of all. I'm a big fan of his, but the coloring was too over-the-top in his FF run, and it overshadowed his terrific linework. Since that's his biggest strength, it even made his stuff look genuinely ugly at times.

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 6:55 p.m. CST

    The Batman CGI cover is terrible

    by superninja

    It makes Batman look slight and the perspective sucks. He looks like might transform and roll out. I think the WW cover for the next issue is an improvement: http://www.dccomics.com/comics/?cm=4012

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 7:02 p.m. CST

    transform and roll out

    by Darth Kal-El

    that made me laugh out loud

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 7:04 p.m. CST

    i dont know superninja

    by Darth Kal-El

    the WW cover makes her look too greek. i dont want to think of diana as that swarthy chick eating gyros

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 7:07 p.m. CST

    Hmmm, you mean Shaved-Mustache Wonder Woman?

    by superninja

    Well, at least she actually looks like a woman here. That's always a nice touch.

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 7:14 p.m. CST

    yeah shes got the curves

    by Darth Kal-El

    but definately looks like the upper lip needs constant waxing.my big fat amazon princess

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 7:20 p.m. CST

    I've always liked Wonder Woman

    by superninja

    more on the feminine side myself. Since her powers are essentially magic-based I'm not sure why she needs to look like Fabio with lipstick.

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 7:33 p.m. CST

    oh i agree

    by Darth Kal-El

    i just thought the cover made her look too greek.i like her feminine too.she shouldnt look like a bodybuilder chick just because shes considered one of the 3 big heavy hitter at DC. and on that note i still cant think of who i can see taking the role for the movie.

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 7:49 p.m. CST

    Wheedon rumor says

    by superninja

    he's not going to have her fly, just jump around. To that, I say: lame-o. Not something you can't live without, just takes the fun level down a notch. Always thought the idea of her floating on air currents (gliding, I guess) a neat idea that made her stand out. Apparently Wheedon is looking for a tall, statuesque woman who can do most of her own stunts and act. To which I'm sure someone will say, "Who isn't?" Most Hollywood actresses don't fit the bill. I thought for a moment Katie Holmes might be a good choice, but she comes with Tom Cruise.

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 8:03 p.m. CST

    Wonder woman is a hard cast

    by El Vale

    I can't think of ANYONE. A good actress that looks WWish? Jennifer Conelly. But i don't think she fits the athletic tone they should go for. This one's interesting, what do you guys think?

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 8:44 p.m. CST

    wonder woman

    by Darth Kal-El

    the jumping thing sounds lame. if thats the route theyre going to take it does definately lower the fun qoutient.i cant even think of anyone i can see in the role.not katie holmes she always struck me as too girl next door type.i would say katherine zeta jones if she where a bit younger but i guess if demi can do the ultra tone thing so can she. thoughts?

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 8:59 p.m. CST

    Whedon says they're looking for a youg'un

    by El Vale

    Thinking about the franchise and all that. So Zeta Jones...ok she actually has the looks but, i don't know, not convincing. And Demi's too busy having Ashton Kutcher's grandkids. Oh i got one! One of the most beautiful women out there, Heather Graham. *sigh*

  • Aug. 4, 2005, 10:33 p.m. CST

    WW

    by blackthought

    played by kathy bates.....er......

  • Aug. 5, 2005, 1:19 a.m. CST

    Jennifer Connely IS Wonder Woman!

    by superhero

    No ifs ands or buts! Sorry but she's fucking perfect pardon my French. She's gorgeous, has a great body, can tone up if she wants, is femenine,and has blue eyes to boot! I've been saying for years and years and years that Connely is the real deal as far as Wonder Woman is concerned. She's the closest you'll get to a modern day Linda Carter type...If Whedon dosn't cast her he's on crack!

  • Aug. 5, 2005, 1:21 a.m. CST

    Ooooff...and that Wonder Woma cover is AWFUL...is she wearing NY

    by superhero

    That's what it looks like anyway...

  • Aug. 5, 2005, 1:22 a.m. CST

    I meant "Wonder Woman"...sorry...tired...long day...:O)

    by superhero

  • Aug. 5, 2005, 2:33 a.m. CST

    DocPazuzu

    by JackBurton

    By Crom, I did indeed somehow miss your post, sorry mate. Stay cool.

  • Aug. 5, 2005, 2:38 a.m. CST

    Oh no. Oh no no no

    by El Vale

    I've mistaken! LAUREN Graham. Not Heather! Ok, off to bed

  • Aug. 5, 2005, 9:48 a.m. CST

    Wonder Womens

    by The Heathen

    Glad you said Lauren. Heather always plays a slut in her movies. Although Lauren Graham is still a choice I didn't see because she seems to have too much fun and is aging for a franchise. I do like her in general though. J. Connely is a good choice, can't complain too much about that. I also like Morena Baccarin. She's part Greek, beautiful, young, and could put on some muscle if required. **** I didn't think you were being rude Vale. I was just trying to give my two cents to your question because nobody else chimed in and that's how I honestly feel about the two big events. No worries and no offense taken.

  • Aug. 5, 2005, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Serenity #2, New Avengers #8, Outsiders #26

    by The Heathen

    They all owned my ass! Damn these books were good. For anyone who is a fan of Firefly this issue is amazing. There's a big surprise, an old aquaintance, and the best page of dialogue in a comic with Wash talking to Mal. I don't want to ruin it, but it is damn good. Loved the issue. **** New Avengers #8. When Bendis is good, he is really good. This is my favorite issue of NA so far. The opening was awesome. Great to see some old school stuff mixed into the new. Sal Buscema! The back and forth through the timeline worked really well too. Especially with Wolverine going from the Hellicarrier to being thrown by the Wrecker. His dialogue was noted perfectly when he lands. The continuing fight with the Wrecker? Awesome. And the last page spread? McNiven nailed it

  • Aug. 5, 2005, 11:58 a.m. CST

    dave_f

    by duanejones

    thank YOU, sir -- you have the historical context to appreciate the point(s) i was trying to get across. no question, no matter how flat and, uh, un-processed ms. severin's silver age colors were, they are lightyears ahead in composition, balance and flat-out vibrancy than any young colorist's first dabbling in computer-based gradients. you know, i never dropped the dime -- or, what?, 499 of them? -- on those hardback marvel masterworks collections, which i think hew pretty much directly to the originals, color included. can some more $$-flush talkbacker who actually bought one/several confirm this? i also remember marshall rogers' experiments with color overlays in the early 80's on _dr. strange_ -- not real successful, especially since this was back in those bygone days when comics were printed on the paper-stock equivalent of toilet paper. that series really cries out for a dusting off and quality color repint -- watch and see, they'll probably re-color those, too! no question, either, that the mighty mr. colan's work looks great in black-and-white: hell, it looks great uninked in pencil! and i'm glad i can read those _tombs of dracula_ all in two ESSENTIAL shots -- peak work from messers. colan, palmer and wolfman. personally, i'd choose gene as an artist on the silver surfer (cf. the "legendary" _tod_ #50) any day over most artists more than half his age. along those lines, take a gander at that recent collection of colan's work, _secrets in the shadows_, with the cover done this year by that freaking octogenarian -- damn! he's only getting better! & how funny-sad-funny about the mighty mr. adams' work being supplanted by photography. i say, don't stop there! why not replace EVERYTHING neal's done with photographs? pose people with well developed deltoid muscles extending their left hands with a big spread between the fingers, have them contort their tongues...bingo! instant adams characters, without having to deal with the unfortunate issue of royalties...

  • Aug. 5, 2005, 12:27 p.m. CST

    i just recently discovered firefly

    by Darth Kal-El

    i know i know i should be stripped of at least one geek medal but i just never got into it and only got it because i ws out of sopranos or the wire to get on my blockbuster rentals.but damn it was tight! and i second morena for WW.i was going to say her the other day but couldnt remember her name. although jennifer conely is also a good choice. dont know who lauren graham is but when u said heather graham i nearly shit myself!rollergirl playing princess diana?!!The hell?!!glad u clarified!i ahvent gotten the new books yet but new avengers sounds good thanks for the heads up heathen. anything else of note come out this week or do i have to buy a couple of trades?

  • Aug. 5, 2005, 12:54 p.m. CST

    JSA #76, Justice #1, Daredevil: Father #1, and

    by The Heathen

    a few others, but those are the main ones. If you can track down the Serenity books, you owe it to yourself to read those. Issue 2 is excellent. Justice was alright. I think I might enjoy it more when it get's rolling, but it has an interesting premise: The world is going to end, the JLA couldn't save a single person, villains keep having nightmares of it happening, and they think that they have to take the league out in order to ensure their survival

  • Aug. 5, 2005, 1:01 p.m. CST

    sounds cool thanks heathen

    by Darth Kal-El

    i wanted to start getting the justice series but its a bi monthly 12 issue which means its going to take 2 years to finish.thats lame!but who am i kidding im getting this for sure. i hear the sereneity books are cool but theyre constantly sold out so i think im stuck waiting for trade. i know morena is the hottie on the show but i also dig the hell out of the mechanic girl.i dont remember her name yet but her face is so damn cute!

  • Aug. 5, 2005, 1:21 p.m. CST

    Kaylee is her character's name.

    by The Heathen

    Jewel Staite is her real name. Jo Chen drew the cover she's on. Tim Bradstreet did the cover of Book, and hype machine Joey Q. did the cover of Zoe. All real nice too btw. I haven't read DD: Father yet (it's in the mail) but I thumbed through it a little bit yesterday and liked Quesada's art more than I usually have. Yeah, it suck's that Justice is bi-monthly, but like you, I couldn't not pick it up.

  • Aug. 5, 2005, 1:34 p.m. CST

    We gotta pick up the pace

    by The Heathen

    I feel like they have been slowing down after the second week. Do we need a controversy? When's All-Star Batman come out next? We even tempted an angry talkbacker and Bendis has two solid issues out with The Pulse #10 and NA #8. The hell are we gonna do?

  • Aug. 5, 2005, 1:38 p.m. CST

    the week long talkbacks I mean

    by The Heathen

    Hawkeye lives mother fucker!

  • Aug. 5, 2005, 1:50 p.m. CST

    Rollergirl IS Wonder woman

    by El Vale

    I can't believe i said that. And i wasn't drunk! Lauren Graham does look the part and is a great actress but yeah she's thirtysomething...that won't do.I have no idea who Morena is but she has a funny name. How bout Nia Vardalos? She's greek.

  • Aug. 5, 2005, 1:51 p.m. CST

    Vale, google Morena Baccarin

    by The Heathen

    and thank me later.

  • Aug. 5, 2005, 1:53 p.m. CST

    Boobs for Heathen

    by El Vale

    Try drawing the left one and the right one. Ok by the way if you guys are interested i have another porn thing that i did, altho hopefully it's not what you'd expect. Read if you have the time! http://daniel04.deviantart.com/journal/6137708/

  • Aug. 5, 2005, 2:32 p.m. CST

    Heathen- Re New Avengers last page was a total "-The Hell?" Mome

    by RenoNevada2000

    Unless you can explain what the hell the Inhumans are doing there? Aren't they off farting around in the Blue Area of the moon?

  • Aug. 5, 2005, 2:54 p.m. CST

    Re: RenoNevada2000

    by The Heathen

    read my earlier post about Marvel's continuity titled "You know I'll be here all week." We know New Avengers #8 is after Millar's Wolverine run, because of Stark's conversation with Logan, and I think Uncanny X-Men is set a few weeks ahead of Astonishing X-Men. The current Captain America arc I believe is a few months before the New Avengers. Amazing Spidey is a few months after New Avengers, and, and

  • Aug. 5, 2005, 3:13 p.m. CST

    "The Second Cumming"

    by The Heathen

    Damn good stuff Vale. You have quite the talent. And as Susanah Breslin say's, "everything goes better with bukkake."

  • Aug. 5, 2005, 3:24 p.m. CST

    Thanks Heathen!

    by El Vale

    I appreciate that. And you know she's right!

  • Aug. 5, 2005, 3:30 p.m. CST

    just in from WW Chicago:

    by Shigeru

    Joe Mad returns to marvel (hell, returns to comics, period)!! Sweet! I just stole some of shoot the messenger's glory!

  • Aug. 5, 2005, 3:35 p.m. CST

    New Gen13 to be written by Gail Simone.

    by The Heathen

    There's some more shoot the messenger glory that's stolen!

  • Aug. 5, 2005, 3:37 p.m. CST

    I liked Joe Madureira during Age of Apocalypse

    by The Heathen

    After that I didn't. Hope he's tamed his style some.

  • Aug. 5, 2005, 3:40 p.m. CST

    Wildstorm has something planned?

    by The Heathen

    Majestic, Wild C.A.T.s, Gen13. Is it all too much?

  • Aug. 5, 2005, 3:55 p.m. CST

    thanks heathen

    by Darth Kal-El

    between googling firefly hotties and vales porn im going to go blind for sure!

  • Aug. 5, 2005, 4:10 p.m. CST

    No problem

    by The Heathen

    I might chime out for today. It was a longer than usual Friday at work. I'll see if I can pop in later tonight. Carry the torch guy's!

  • Aug. 5, 2005, 5:53 p.m. CST

    Wonder Woman Is Difficult Casting.

    by Buzz Maverik

    Some would say "hard" casting. I think Zeta-Jones would have been the choice about five years ago and believe it or not, she's younger than Connelly. She just didn't grow up in front of the camera for us. I'd pass on Connelly and Katie Holmes. I don't buy Wonder Woman as an all-American girl next door. You can't look for a Lynda Carter because that'd be like looking for an Adam West over a Christian Bale for Batman, and I don't mean age-wise. As with Superman, Wonder Woman could be an unknown. I'd probably try to cast a British or Australian (lot of Mediterranean influence in Australia) if they could play without accent. That's why you want to avoid actual Greek or Italian actresses for the part (you could make 'em think they getting the part until, you know...). Also, they should forget the bodybuilder physique. It's not necessary (not really necessary for Superman either when you think about it, but ya gotta have it)and not enough guys want to see that anyway. She should be on the tall side which isn't hard because lots of actresses are tall while lots of actors are short for some reason.

  • Aug. 5, 2005, 6:16 p.m. CST

    i agree buzz

    by Darth Kal-El

    the more i think about it the more i could see connely doing it. and yes in my mind the perfect wonder woman is zeta jones. an unknown could be a good thing although routh still hsnt fully convinced me as the man of steel. also,i think a consideration should be the costume.we havent seen anything as to how its going to look which i think will determine to a point who they should cast.did that make sense?

  • Aug. 5, 2005, 9:40 p.m. CST

    i'm with buzz too

    by blackthought

    zeta jones would of been the perfect wonder woman...though i have visions of monica belluci in the wonder woman outfit...then again i just have monica belluci in very little outfits as well...mmmmm...and baccarin is fine, i love firefly, she'd be good too.

  • Aug. 6, 2005, 3:04 a.m. CST

    Blackthought you just read my mind

    by El Vale

    Monica Belucci, i was just thinking (after seeing Malena tonight) she'd be so great as WW. You need a woman who can make you awestruck and i think dear Monica can definitely do that. She's not prettier than Connely or Zeta Jones but there's something about her...like she's so perfectly built. But ok after seeing her raped in Irreversible i feel like shit every time i see her.

  • Aug. 6, 2005, 10:54 a.m. CST

    indeed

    by blackthought

    monica bellucci has a gorgeous body with many fine curves that would be scrumptous in the wonder woman get up...i agree she is not as pretty as zeta jones but her body is most agreeable...most most agreeable. it is a tough role to cast though...and when will a catman movie be made?

  • Aug. 6, 2005, 2:43 p.m. CST

    El Vale, blackthought

    by Gus Nukem

    "She's not prettier than Connely or Zeta Jones" -- are you insane ? of course Mrs. Bellucci would be perfect for WW PS stop pestering with the last position in the comics talkbacks

  • Aug. 6, 2005, 4:04 p.m. CST

    Monica Bellucci and Connely kick the living shit out of Zeta-Jon

    by superhero

    Sorry, but it's true...I hate Zeta-Jones. Don't think she's all that talented and there's an air of snobbiness about her that I just can't get past. She would defenitely NOT be Wondar-Womany enough. She's just doesn't have that down to earth quality that WW needs. WW needs to have a slight balance of both regality with the ability to not be too threatening to the average person. Jones comes across as a snob and, quite frankly, a bitch...so she's out for WW for me. An unknown'd be great though...especially with some Mediterranean influence. And as far as Lynda Carter goes...sorry but she fit that outfit perfectly and MADE it work. Plus she was mind-numbingly beautiful enough to make you stop and look more than twice. To compare LC to Adam West is pretty ridiculous. Yes, the actual shows were campy, but West and Carter are night and day as far as faithfulness to the design of the character are concerned. I agree that the new WW movie needs to veer more towards a Batman Begins feel but if you cast someone who had what Lynda Carter had in that type of movie...you would have movie gold.

  • Aug. 6, 2005, 8:16 p.m. CST

    4 talkbacks of ultimacy: prelude

    by Gus Nukem

    This talkback is 5' from dying. Thus, only the true believers should gather the essential information. In the last 4 'AICN comics' talkbacks, I strategically placed (in the ultimate position, of course) messages of global - and dare I say, infinite - importance. Both my uncovering the said information and the way that I chose to reveal it to the chosen few is monumental to the human race. It is to my liking and to the benefit of the truly fragile masterplan that you absolutely refrain from spoiling the * LAST! * order of my comments in the last 4 threads. Any comments and congratulatory messages should - for heavens' sake - be posted in * THIS * thread. Thank you and remember: your universe relies in your chastity, * your CHOICE * to refuse to disturb the last 4 comics threads ending with my posts being LAST.

  • Aug. 6, 2005, 10:01 p.m. CST

    well

    by blackthought

    gus, you are gonna kill me, i went in refuse order,not seeing this prelude post...so i have probably destroyed the universal masterplan crumbling heaven and the human race, sighs....so heavy are these shoulders...

  • Aug. 7, 2005, 2:43 a.m. CST

    They'll prolly end up casting Katie Holmes

    by El Vale

    Just to piss us off.

  • Aug. 7, 2005, 3:06 a.m. CST

    Seriously

    by El Vale

    If Loeb and Madureira take over Ultimates i'll shit on someone's ovaries

  • Aug. 7, 2005, 11:35 a.m. CST

    so....

    by blackthought

    bryne is the devil? or is it loeb/madureira?

  • Aug. 7, 2005, 1:51 p.m. CST

    Definitelly the latter

    by El Vale

    Loeb/Madureira on Ultimates is the work of Satan. Please agree with me.

  • Aug. 8, 2005, 8:53 a.m. CST

    l/m on ultimates?

    by Homer Sexual

    I like Maduriera in general, but I agree that he and loeb on Ultimates will create great suckage.

  • Aug. 8, 2005, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Long weekend

    by The Heathen

    Is that what they revealed? Just looked at that last issue in my shop and that ending was fucked up. How's the go going? We still got a couple of days left to squeeze out of this talkback

  • Aug. 8, 2005, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Luna Brothers on Spider-Woman origin mini

    by The Heathen

    Good news to me. I like the Luna's. I hope this doesn't delay Girls though. I'm really enjoying that series so far, especially issue 3.

  • Aug. 8, 2005, 12:15 p.m. CST

    Monday's suck

    by The Heathen

    I would join in for the LAST post battle, but I think blackthought and Gus have re-invigorated that battle for two. Besides, it's much too early to call last on a mid-Monday. Is it morning in Cali Kal-El? What time is it in Colombia Vale? Just read a shit load of stuff at Newsarama. Brubaker & Lark on Daredevil, AS Bats Lee stays on until 9 or 10 and then somebody else comes in to draw with Miller still writing, Michael Turner at Marvel, and Loeb & Mad on Ultimates?

  • Aug. 8, 2005, 12:32 p.m. CST

    Where's the Joker?

    by The Heathen

    Last time I saw him, the Red Hood was beating him with a crow bar, but hear's what Rucka said when asked,"and asked where the Joker was (he has not been seen in the story, or even as one of the villains the Society approached in regards to membership), both Rucka and Hilty responded that it was a very, very good question.

  • Aug. 8, 2005, 1:04 p.m. CST

    George Perez's cover to Infinite Crisis #1

    by The Heathen

    is over at Newsarama. Damn good cover. I like both, but Perez's looks like it was thought out a lot more. You can look at it for minutes and find new things in it.

  • Aug. 8, 2005, 1:08 p.m. CST

    hey guys

    by Darth Kal-El

    sorry for the lack of post on my end.it has been a busy ass weekend! on saturday it was my sisters b-day as well as my brother's band performing their first gig at a local bar.i bought a huge stack of comics on saturday but i havent been able to sit down and read them. the ones im looking forward to the most are justice and 1602 new worlds although im loving the moon knight arc in ultimate spidey and i got that too. ill jump with thoughts on the books i bought later this week.yeah its day here in cali heathen.its 11:00am right now and god i hate mondays. oh be sure and check out my brother's band website www.crostworld.com in the photo section my brother's name is pablo.the show was awesome and the crowd really seemed to like them so hopefully theyll be getting more recognition

  • Aug. 8, 2005, 1:39 p.m. CST

    yay

    by blackthought

    mondays suck

  • Aug. 8, 2005, 1:59 p.m. CST

    which one is Pablo?

    by The Heathen

    I didn't see any names on the pics. That's cool that the crowd was into the band. Hope for the best. Monday's do indeed suck. It's ten till 3pm here.

  • Aug. 8, 2005, 2:07 p.m. CST

    I like mondays

    by El Vale

    It's sundays i don't like. Altho i had a pretty good weekend. It's currently 2 pm here in Bogota. Loeb/Madureira on Ultimates wasn't revealed per se, it was just said there would be more Ultimates after Millar/Hitch and Loeb/Madureira were working on a high profile gig of sorts. So people speculated. Brubaker and Lark on DD could very well be amazing. It could be something Catwoman-like in tone and that would just make me happy cause i miss Catwoman. Ok so i'm waiting for your reviews Darth

  • Aug. 8, 2005, 2:12 p.m. CST

    pablo is the one in the pic with the gold background

    by Darth Kal-El

    yeah it was a good show man! im hoping they get more exposure. i like joe mad i think him on ultimates would be cool. i hate sundays too but mostly because they lead to mondays which i hate most of all. dont worry vale the reviews are coming.tonight is dedicated to reading comics

  • Aug. 8, 2005, 2:14 p.m. CST

    Well, Superhero...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...I guess some us don't find Zeta-Jones threatening and others do. I'm not so sure that a down to Earth Wonder Woman is what is needed to make a good movie.

  • Aug. 8, 2005, 2:31 p.m. CST

    ive never thought of her as down to earth

    by Darth Kal-El

    i guess it makes sense tho because shes an ambassador

  • Aug. 8, 2005, 2:43 p.m. CST

    I picked up the first two Goon trades

    by The Heathen

    and I haven't read my Invincible HC yet, nor Vol. 5 of Y: The Last Man. Oh, and I'm trying to widdle down The Half Blood Prince in between. So much to read, so little time. **** I agree about Brubaker on DD. Maleev on Spider-Woman ongoing I'm not so hot about. **** Anybody check out that cover of Infinite Crisis? What about Serenity #2 (somebody had to have read it) NA #8 ? **** I don't think WW needs to be down to earth either, but Zeta-Jones has an heir about her that I think is important to have "if" she is offered the part. **** Is Pablo sans goatee? Or not? I got confused with the background colors. I'm hoping to dive into a bunch of books tonight as well. **** And although I don't loathe Loeb as many do, I don't think he'd fit on the Ultimates.

  • Aug. 8, 2005, 3:03 p.m. CST

    this is my brother

    by Darth Kal-El

    sorry i should have just linked the pic http://www.crostworld.com/photo6.html

  • Aug. 8, 2005, 3:06 p.m. CST

    Zeta Jones: Too much of her own thing

    by El Vale

    With WW you need someone who IS that character and perhaps isn't recognized as anything else. It has to be seamless. You can't have people sitting in the theater looking at Zeta Jones dressed as Wonder woman and wondering if Michael Duglas fucked her in the ass right before she shot that scene. I think the right way to go is the unknown, much like the new Superman.

  • Aug. 8, 2005, 3:12 p.m. CST

    Zeta-Jones doesn't THREATEN me...she just SICKENS me...

    by superhero

    :O)

  • Aug. 8, 2005, 3:17 p.m. CST

    You can't have people sitting in the theater looking at Zeta

    by Darth Kal-El

    Fucking priceless!

  • Aug. 8, 2005, 3:18 p.m. CST

    Speaking of which Vale

    by The Heathen

    How are your comic projects going? Morena Baccarin would be good for those reasons. Even if Serenity is a huge hit, I don't think she will be too recognizable. She'd probably be ripe for the picking (oh sweet fantasy) for new star, kinda how Ratchel McAdams is right now. And no problem Kal, I shouldn't have been so color blind. I listened to a couple of songs. Pretty good. I liked Pyramid of the Moon especially.

  • Aug. 8, 2005, 3:20 p.m. CST

    And I have thought it too

    by The Heathen

    lucky bastard.

  • Aug. 8, 2005, 3:49 p.m. CST

    Comic projects

    by El Vale

    I'm currently working on a bunch of stuff with MAria my artist...I'm working on developing a sort of portfolio with her for this agent to pimp us around...and also working on this huge sci-fi project with her, one of those european albums we're gonna show Humanoids, see if they bite. Cool huh?

  • Aug. 8, 2005, 3:53 p.m. CST

    Yes it is!

    by The Heathen

    Good luck man.

  • Aug. 8, 2005, 3:57 p.m. CST

    That's A Good Thing, Superhero...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...a man's gotta know his limitations and still find a way to feel good about himself!

  • Aug. 8, 2005, 5:04 p.m. CST

    Well, if thinking Connely and Belluci are hotter than Zeta-Jones

    by superhero

    Then I consider myself guilty as charged! :OP And yeah, I still feel pretty good about it!

  • Aug. 8, 2005, 5:36 p.m. CST

    Are We Gonna Play Who'd Win In A Fight Between Connelly & Ze

    by Buzz Maverik

    First, they'd need to get oiled up, which is the only way I'm gonna do this. Didn't I pretty much say that if I was casting, I'd probably nix all three of 'em? Belluci only works as exotic babe here in these United States. She's not going to be the lead in Wonder Woman. "I weel fly my inveeseble plan now". Howard Stern could get a week of gags on that. The farthest you want to go with an accent for this part is slight British (which doesn't work for the character but would work in a movie). Likewise, you don't want her to sound like a mall chick from the Valley. Connelly: can you really picture her hitting anybody? And I'm not just talking spanking fantasies here. She's got that beautiful, vacant stare. See the above mall chick reference. Plus, she's too old for the part, too serene. She's not an Amazon. CZJ is simply about five years too old for the maxium age for the part, in my opinion. But around the time the original Zorro, yeah, I could see her tossing a CGI car or two. She's not the girl next door in any neck of the woods. That's why Wonder Woman is going to be a problem unless they go camp, which they shouldn't do. She's gotta be a fantasy and really, an Amazon is an Alpha-male fantasy. The average fan is going to know he can't handle the ride, unless it's a submissive sort of thing which I don't think your average fan is really into. It's gonna take a helluva an actress to convince us that she's an Amazon we can tame. Like I said, they should go unknown and concentrate on British and Australian actresses who can either lose or heavily tone down any accents. Meanwhile, everyone sticks to their own tastes in unattainable actresses.

  • Aug. 8, 2005, 5:50 p.m. CST

    good points buzz

    by Darth Kal-El

    and very clearly stated.i agree about connelly looking to vacant.its almost for sure to go to an unknown

  • Aug. 8, 2005, 5:51 p.m. CST

    heathen

    by Darth Kal-El

    i told my brother u dug his songs and he extends his thanks.

  • Aug. 8, 2005, 5:55 p.m. CST

    Wonder Woman Casting Always Ends Up...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...to be whom each geek would rather pooch. I'd tell 'em all, "Back off, sister, I'm married!" So, if I was casting, I'd be directing or writing/directing or writing/directing/producing, which means I'd be getting several million dollars, a custom made Purdy shotgun or two and a new H2 fully packed with Cuban cigars, as well as final cut, casting approval, etc. So I'd want to make an excellent film that was also a colossal hit (the two are often vastly different). Which is why I'd want to hire an actress that will attract the core audience (horny comic book geeks) and at the same time win over all the secondary and mainstream audiences, while delivering an excellent and believable performance. Can you think of anybody we know who could really do all that? I can't. All of these women we're talking about are hot, but I don't think any of 'em can do the part right. In fact, I can't think of any known actress who would be perfect. Ya'd have to go unknown. I'd get about three candidates who could do the part, then I'd do the Don Simpson thing and pull in guys like, well, all of you and ask the million dollar question: "If you could score with one of these babes, and only one, who would you pick." That's how Jennifer Beals (not a candidate here, so settle down, Beavis)beat out Sean Young and a 19 year old Demi Moore for FLASHDANCE.

  • Aug. 8, 2005, 6:18 p.m. CST

    Bad call on FLASHDANCE...

    by SleazyG.

    ...19 year old Demi Moore was fantastic. I still fondly remember that photo spread she did for OUI back when I was a kid. Hands down (ha ha) the better choice over Beals and Young, and I think the passage of time backs that up, fakies or no.

  • Aug. 8, 2005, 6:34 p.m. CST

    Beals, Moore & Young.

    by Buzz Maverik

    I tend to agree with you, Sleazy, about Moore. But I've always found her beauty to be this thing that comes and goes. At times, she's been the most beautiful woman in the movies and others, maybe when the surgery wasn't working out, sort of deformed looking. The too thin, too chisled look doesn't do it for me. CZJ is sorta going through that. She looks great as Mrs. Zorro in the previews, but on some of those phone commericals, she's looking downright weird. Young was okay in that flick where Kevin Costner nibbled her foot, and I remember telling my buddies that I would have picked her over PJ Soles when we saw STRIPES, but that's kinda it for her. Beals, I always dug the hell out of. She sorta seemed like the ideal '80s girlfriend (as if)but I think that had to do with her seeming more girlish than womanly to us undergrads at the time. A more mature Buzz would have picked Demi, but if I'd been in Simpson's test audience at the time (well, I would have got thrown out for pitching him screenplays) I'd have picked Beals too.

  • Aug. 8, 2005, 6:50 p.m. CST

    I don't think Whedon will go campy with Wonder Woman.

    by The Heathen

    He said he couldn't see how her costume in the comics would adapt well on screen without being changed. He wants "Greek Godess" and "Amazon Princess" to be more of a theme than stars on blue panties. Hopefully we'll get something that's classic but fresh looking w/out people laughing. I still say Morena Baccarin overall, but that's just my opinion.

  • Aug. 8, 2005, 7:06 p.m. CST

    I'm not saying they should cast Belluci

    by El Vale

    I'm saying she's the only woman i can think of who really has the "wonder" part down. But while thinking about all this i realized i don't even like WW. So i don't care anymore.

  • Aug. 9, 2005, 12:22 a.m. CST

    yay

    by blackthought

    monday is forking over!

  • Aug. 9, 2005, 2:26 a.m. CST

    You're right

    by El Vale

    It was a fucking awful day. Had a headache and my contact lens rebelled against me and everything seemed to itch. Ugh, going to bed, i hate averything.

  • Aug. 9, 2005, 10:35 a.m. CST

    Now it's Tuesday!!!

    by The Heathen

    Also known as new release Tuesday for movies and music. Unlike neww release Wednesday (which is humpday) for comics. Funny isn't it? And yesterday did suck. Today is looking better.

  • Aug. 9, 2005, 10:51 a.m. CST

    um

    by blackthought

    tuesdays are better than monday....go buy kung-fu hustle dvd.

  • Aug. 9, 2005, 11 a.m. CST

    Hip Flask - The Big Here & The Long Now: Mystery City

    by The Heathen

    Holy shit! Check this book out. It's a pulp science fiction book done by Comic Craft with awesome art by Ladronn. Check out their website at www.hipflask.com It's an insane read, but I really liked it. From what I hear it is dreadful with delays, but Hip Flask: Mystery City issue 1 of 3 is out now. It's 48 pages and excellent paper quality, but it costs $5 (although well worth it in my opinion.) Anybody else heard of this? Let me know. Check out the website.

  • Aug. 9, 2005, 12:23 p.m. CST

    so glad monday is over

    by Darth Kal-El

    it was a horrible day for me too.i did finally get a chance to read a couple of the comics i bought so here goes ***New Avengers 8-I will have to agree with the post from last week stating that this is bendis at his best. from the discussion between iron man and wolverine to the heroes reaction when they learn about spider womans pheremones this issue had some great dialogue that actually moved the story along in my opinion. i loved how it started out like an old comic book and then was replaced by the grittier looking modern art.all in all a very good read and im looking forward to next issue. ***Ultimate Spider Man 81 Im still loving the warriors arc and this issue was no different.it was great to see the interaction between shang chi and danny rand and the whole exchange with dewolffe on the rooftop was cool too.ive always loved bagleys art so i cant say too much about it other than it rocks. that last splash of the black cat was sweet! im liking this series more and more evry month.thats it for what i read yesterday becasue i was so tired but ill jump in later with my thoughts on 1602 new worlds and justice.

  • Aug. 9, 2005, 12:31 p.m. CST

    Glad you liked NA #8 Kal-El

    by The Heathen

    It really was a great issue. Dialogue can be the greatest thing in the world IF it moves the story along like this issue did. I like the way McNiven draws his faces on Logan during his talk with Tony. **** Check out that art for Hip Flask people. Crazy cool stuff I tell ya!

  • Aug. 9, 2005, 12:34 p.m. CST

    Going against the grain

    by mortsleam

    Jessical Biehl or Eliza Dushku. This comes from an avowed anti-fan of Buffy, Angel, Firefly, and everything Whedon-related that doesn't have an X in the title. And yeah, Blade: Trinity wasn't a great movie, but between that and Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Jessica Biehl actually struck me as an actress who can play vulnerable and still kick ass when required, plus she can sorta even act. The main problem with Dushku is that she's too short. But she looks a lot like a "real" Diana to me. Everyone else is too old. Sorry. I'm not being cruel here, I'm just stating a fact. Like Buzz said, Zeta-Jones-Douglas (shudder) from around the time of Zorro would have been good. From the time of "The Darling Buds Of May" would have been perfect. But now she's 36, and married to a sixty year old, and couldn't pull it off.

  • Aug. 9, 2005, 1:05 p.m. CST

    Dushku is hot, but

    by The Heathen

    she's too pissy and naughty for Wonder Woman. I don't think I'd buy it. MAYBE (and this is a big MAYBE) Biel could pull it off, but they'd have to color her hair of course. She does have a good frame for the character. The only thing about her so far is that she's usually death on film. With the exception of Cellular and hopefully Elizabethtown. But she has minor parts in both of those, she's not the star driving those movies. We're not going to talk about Wonder Woman all day again are we?

  • Aug. 9, 2005, 1:59 p.m. CST

    yeah new avengers was cool

    by Darth Kal-El

    im really getting into this series.the hip flask stuff looks pretty cool too heathen.and i vote no for talking about wonder woman all day long

  • Aug. 9, 2005, 2:02 p.m. CST

    Please no

    by El Vale

    Nothing we say is gonna make a difference. *** Ladronn's art does look fucking amazing...just enough Moebius to make me smile.*** I can't believe Sin city is already out on DVD and it only hits colombian theaters this week.

  • Aug. 9, 2005, 2:44 p.m. CST

    HEATHEN:

    by Shigeru

    Dude I just saw your post in the movie theater article...and you are not gonna believe this but I have been to that theater in Maine many times. It's awesome. First Gainesville, now this...??

  • Aug. 9, 2005, 2:47 p.m. CST

    Dushku and the "who farted" face

    by docfalken

    Ummm... no thanks. I'll take an older Jennifer Connelly Wonder Woman over Dushku any day of the week. And she is too short besides.

  • Aug. 9, 2005, 3:03 p.m. CST

    i dont think elisha dusku is hot at all

    by Darth Kal-El

    ill always remember her as the fugly little girl in true lies

  • Aug. 9, 2005, 3:10 p.m. CST

    Yeah Dushku isn't hot at all

    by El Vale

    And what the hell kinda last name is that? People have no respect

  • Aug. 9, 2005, 3:21 p.m. CST

    People have no respect

    by Darth Kal-El

    vale you crack me up

  • Aug. 9, 2005, 3:37 p.m. CST

    SHIGERU:

    by The Heathen

    Holy shit!!! Dude, that's amazing. Tell me the name of the place if you remember. I forgot the name. Small world isn't man? Cool though. **** I'm ordering all the Hip Flask stuff I can find today. That art is awesome.

  • Aug. 9, 2005, 4:33 p.m. CST

    I'm done for today folks!

    by The Heathen

    Hit us up w/ your reviews when you get them Kal! No more Wonder Womens stuff, I agree. And tell me the name of that theater if you remember Shigeru. Cool little town if I remember. I like Maine, that was my first and only time there so far. I'll chime in tomorrow. Carry it on guy's.

  • Aug. 9, 2005, 4:48 p.m. CST

    have a good one heathen

    by Darth Kal-El

  • Aug. 9, 2005, 8:10 p.m. CST

    I'd Send The Script To Kate Beckinsdale

    by Buzz Maverik

    You can insult her if you want because it's not like she's my CREEM Dream or anything. I think she's got the combination of looks, class and self possession. With those stupid vampire movies, she can do genre stuff and may have an audience.

  • Aug. 9, 2005, 8:46 p.m. CST

    heathen

    by Shigeru

    sorry a bit late, but I think what you are talking about is Chunky's. Maybe. Remember what town it was in. Maine rules. The whole state has one phone number area code, which is amazing. And uh...wonder woman....star spangled panties.....yeah...

  • Aug. 10, 2005, 10:38 a.m. CST

    anyone

    by blackthought

    figure out the wonder woman casting yet? and how bout catwoman for bale's batman...who'd be good for that? i.e. who's the hottest in black leather.

  • Aug. 10, 2005, 1:45 p.m. CST

    What about Harvey Dent/Two Face?

    by The Heathen

    Maybe I'm way off, or I'm dead on, but what about Russel Crowe? Talking about the 2-3 new Batman characters is better than wondering over Wonder Womens day after day. But be careful, you know who we might lure over here if we start talking about Batman Begins related stuff. Nah, I think school's started in a lot of places already so the 'lil guy probably has homework to do. Long division can be such a bitch.

  • Aug. 10, 2005, 2:09 p.m. CST

    Ok now Batman casting is interesting casting

    by El Vale

    First of all, what's the best name for it? Batman continues? And no one better to done the feline black leather next to Bale than Halle Berry, are you with me people?! *cough*

  • Aug. 10, 2005, 6:18 p.m. CST

    Are we ready to jump over yet?

    by The Heathen

    I hope it's not Batman Continues, because the only title for the third could be Batman Ends. And although that has a nice structure, I don't like "Ends" because it sounds so definite

  • Aug. 10, 2005, 7:40 p.m. CST

    I have jumped

    by El Vale

    But Catwoman, whoo boy...she has to be very very hot. Very sensual. And she has to look like Brubaker's Selina Kyle or i'll be pissed. That's my first ever comic book crush.

  • Aug. 10, 2005, 9:51 p.m. CST

    i love catwman...

    by blackthought

    i mean ms. selina kyle...and it's never too early to speculate on casting for the nxt bat flick.

  • Aug. 15, 2005, 3:10 a.m. CST

    LAST

    by El Vale

    That's right!

  • Aug. 16, 2005, 10:40 a.m. CST

    you wish

    by blackthought