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#16 8/31/05 #4

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

BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHTS #68
ASTONISHING X-MEN #12
TRANSFORMERS: INFILTRATION #0
YOUNG AVENGERS #6
GREEN LANTERN #4
Indie Jones presents: RUNNERS Vol. 1: BAD GOODS
CHEAP SHOTS!
Casting Couch: THE DEFENDERS

BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHTS #68

Writer: A.J. Lieberman
Penciler: Al Barrionuevo
Publisher: DC Comics
Reviewed by Humphrey Lee



So the last time I checked in on GOTHAM KNIGHTS I was at a bit of a crossroads for myself. On the one hand I was beginning to find this whole "Hush saga" dragging out too long and meandering a lot along the way. But if you remember my commentary on the last issue I found myself slightly intrigued by the cliffhanger of that particular issue. The focus of said issue was on a two-time loser who randomly came across some footage of Bruce Wayne fighting Hush, and thereby connecting the dots towards him figuring out Bruce Wayne = Batman, and then trying to blackmail the hell out of him. After some stern warnings from Wayne/Batman, our Caped Crusader decided that the best way of dealing with this was actually to just throw some money at the kid, figuring that he probably wasn't worth the time to break... yet. Batman is a busy man these days, so he probably doesn't have the time to deal with such a chump, which is also why he sends in good ole Alfred (still reeling from a bout of amnesia after a run in with Hush) to give the jerk his money. But things didn't go as expected. After trying to talk our little extortionist out of doing what he was to Batman we were left with an image of the blackmailer dead and Alfred coolly walking away with blood on his lapel. And given Alfred's old spy training or whatever it is he has, and his devotion to Master Bruce, I saw this as an interesting and very feasible turn of events... Until now.

Why the sudden change of opinion? I've got two words for ya: New Clayface. As if everything surrounding Hush wasn't getting overly complex enough, we have yet another Clayface, one who is apparently working for Hush, to throw into the mix. So we've got the possibility of Hush still being Bruce's old school chum-turned-psychotic-murderer Tommy Elliot. But we've also got a plot thread still out there of Alfred being captured by Hush and during his captivity finding himself tied up next to "Tommy Elliot" on said boat. But Alfred also has no memory of the event. Until now!! But wait! Hush has a Clayface working for him now apparently, so now we have a game of "Who's who" going on. Is Tommy Elliot Hush? Is he someone else and using a captured Tommy as a scapegoat? Was the Clayface playing Tommy on the boat? Was the Clayface playing Alfred when he killed the blackmailer from last issue? Did we really need another goddamn Clayface?!?!? All these questions and more are raised with this issue... and my brain hurts now and doesn't want to deal with it.

I was really hopeful for this arc. I figured that, finally, we could get back on track with this whole long-running Hush mystery. After two+ years in GOTHAM KNIGHTS following his year long reign of terror in BATMAN, I was thinking we could finally get towards putting this thing to bed and moving on. But nope. Now anything is fair game. And with this new Clayface, God knows how much longer they can and will push this storyline. Given the kind of circumstances now around the character, I'm betting it will be a long time before we get even the slightest bit of truth towards a definitive answer to the question "Who is Hush?" And I think I'm going to wait and find out via message boards and news site spoilers than by reading the issues from now on.


ASTONISHING X-MEN #12

Writer: Joss Whedon
Artist: John Cassaday
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Reviewer: Prof. Challenger



Okay. This is the X-MEN series that has got me reading an X-MEN comic once again for the first time since probably 1990. If I took my job seriously, I'd probably take out the last 11 issues and read the whole thing through to remind myself of what's gone on. But, no. I'll review this thing on its own and take a stab at recapping what I remember.

This is how it's gone down for me. For the first time in 15 years, Cyclops sounded and acted like Cyclops; Wolverine sounded and acted like Wolverine; Beast sounded and acted like Beast; and they all wore super-hero outfits rather than movie-inspired leather battle-suits. That hooked me in issue 1 and stayed consistent throughout the last year or so. When Colossus was brought back in, he was portrayed consistent with my memory and Kitty Pryde, while not the young lady she was when I stopped reading X-MEN comics, was a well-written presentation of the person she might have grown into. Not to mention the fact that John Cassaday's just one of the best comic book artists out there right now. I almost feel like I'm reading storyboards for a movie when I'm reading this comic, which means sometimes the panels can "feel" too static. But this issue Cassaday changed up something and added some real movement to his work. This was active storytelling throughout.

The gist of the past year hinges on the fact that the Danger Room became sentient and started causing havoc, including the death of at least one of the younger students at the school. Then the Danger Room, now calling itself "Danger" and assuming a feminine gender for some inexplicable reason, lured the X-Men, including Prof. X himself to the island of Genosha. Sorry folks, I have no idea what Genosha is or what went on there. I'm guessing some godawful drawn-out storyline happened some time ago that probably crossed over with ever damn X-book in existence and involved mutants setting up their own version of Liberia or something and ending with a nuke wiping out the vast majority of inhabitants. Am I right?

Anyway, at the end of the last issue, Prof. X apparently killed (or nearly killed) Danger but not before she activated some gi-normous Sentinel the size of Godzilla who looks like he's been through a nuclear blast. For the first time in a long time, I felt a cheer well up inside me when I realized what Kitty was about to do to prevent everyone from being utterly incinerated by Sentinel-zilla. Good stuff. Then we got a "fastball special." Haven't seen one of those in a looonnnng time. Way to go, Whedon and Cassaday. Better yet, we get to see a "curveball special" where Pete goes and reluctantly flings Kitty right into the head of Sentinel-zilla to save the day.

What makes a human a human? It's one of those unanswerable philosophical conundrums. Because of that, it becomes food for writers to examine, especially in science-fiction. At its core, what is H.G. Wells' ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU except an examination of what makes a human a human? The first STAR TREK movie clanged the viewer over the head with it. Even the HELLBOY movie is essentially about whether nature over nurture determines your humanity. Likewise, Whedon has spent the last year setting up the same such exploration within the pages of the latest comic chronicling the adventures of Homo Superior.

What is self-awareness, or sentience? When and how did Danger attain it? If mankind attained sentience at the point that God Himself breathed life into his lungs, doesn't that imply (whether literally or metaphorically) that spark of the divine (sentience) passes from parent to child unendingly? Here we see Danger give sentience to Sentinel-zilla when she reactivates him. Then, like God, she shields him from the fullness of truth (in this case, his memory of his past actions murdering millions of people in Genosha). But, as with Adam and God, once the veil is lifted (in Adam's case eating the fruit of the knowledge of Good and Evil, in Sentinel-zilla's case when Kitty unblocks the memory chip), Adam/Sentinel-zilla see themselves with full-on knowledge of their sins. And both try to run away and hide because of their sins.

The metaphorical analogy is pretty clear. But here's where the uncomfortable twist comes into play. Turns out that while Danger's sentience may have been evolutionarily spontaneous, the sickening reality is that Prof. X realized it had happened years ago and chose to ignore her because his "teams needed to be prepared. Mutantkind needed to be protected. Whatever the cost."

That's unsettling.

It really puts Prof. X in a morally relative position that sets him up as much more like Magneto than unlike him. I've gotten wind, from fellow commentators here even, that this development has totally pissed them off and turned them off the series. Not so with me. Maybe it's the fact that I moved on from these characters 15 years ago, but given the context, I can totally empathize with Prof. X. He's not Superman. He's never claimed to be perfect. In this particular situation, he did not immediately realize that Danger had attained sentience, and when he did it was rather easy for him to rationalize it away. It's not like a computer program could actually do any real harm . . . he thought.

In a way, he reminds me of the Confederate General Robert E. Lee who was at heart an abolitionist but continued to possess slaves and fight for the sovereignty of the southern states. However, as we know from his personal letters, Lee was in constant turmoil over the moral conflict raging within his own heart. After the war ended, Lee fell on his knees in a Black church and begged for the forgiveness of his fellow Christians there. Difficult as it was, they embraced him and the healing could begin -- they could all start moving forward with their lives.

At this point in the series, Prof. X is too stoic and guarded to truly ask for forgiveness from his students and teammates. But, if they have the family relationship they should have, and Whedon writes these characters honestly, this will come. I'm not going to give up on the series because of this. Also, I've got the freakin' Hellfire Club to look forward to next issue!


TRANSFORMERS: INFILTRATION #0 (preview copy)

Writer: Simon Furman
Artist: E.J. Su
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Reviewed by Dave Farabee



I managed to put my hands on a preview copy of TRANSFORMERS: INFILTRATION #0, scheduled to hit stands in October with an incentive price of 99 cents (for IDW’s adjusted prices, that’s practically like offering it for a nickel). Didn’t have much enthusiasm for jumping into it, though. I was a middle class kid with a decent number of the toys in the ‘80s, so naturally I’ve still got Energon in the blood and nostalgia for the supremely bitchin’ visuals of those big-ass robots, but we’ve all seen how nostalgia’s worked out in recent years, right? If you’re willing to sift through the crap, there’s the barest, most fleeting chance you’ll turn up something worthwhile – I’m thinking of Dan Jolley’s riff on John Carpenter’s THE THING in G.I. JOE: FRONTLINE, one or two of those Peter David NINJA TURTLE comics, and…uhh…

Blanking here. That’s probably it.

And now that I’ve hopefully convinced you guys that while I am a geek, I’m not Hasbro’s butt-boy…I can confess that TRANSFORMERS #0 gives me a spark of hope for Optimus Prime and company. It’s just a sixteen page story supplemented by some interviews and sketches, but the vibe I got is that vet Transformers writer Simon Furman really has a story to tell - a story constructed to re-mythologize the dusty ol’ robots and provide easy access for newbies and lapsed fans. That’s in sharp relief to the recent Transformer titles of imploded publisher Dreamwave. When I dabbled with them (some of which Furman wrote), I saw story sacrificed in favor of a never-ending series of impenetrable, continuity-heavy vignettes. Lots of stuff happened, scores of robots clashed endlessly, but damned if I cared about any of it.

Interestingly enough, TRANSFORMERS #0 reinvigorates the license’s possibilities with the intro of an old Transformers saw that sometimes induces groans: the human intermediary. Used to be the Transformers’ human pals were blue collar salt-of-the-earth types, mostly notable for providing a sense of scale for the robots, but also kind of annoying. Fans wanted robots, dammit, not dopey mechanics and their precocious kids!

The new human link, seemingly the first of several, is Verity Carlo, a tomboyish teenage runaway. She’s not quite salt of the earth – more like petty thief - as the intro sequence shows her swiping a laptop from a businessman snoozing on a bus. Seems Verity’s tech-savvy, not just looking for something pricey to pawn, but the laptop’s the story’s MacGuffin so of course it’s going to land her in trouble. Anyway, she’s a likeable loner and I like the Dickensian name “Verity” for a character about to get caught up in a world of “Robots in Disguise.”

And the “disguise” hook is something Furman is looking to play up. In this particular re-imagining, the Transformers are most definitely unknown to the public. But Verity ends up hitching a ride with a conspiracy theorist who just might know about ‘em:
Conspiracy theorist: “I run this web site, see, and it supports a theory – widely-held – that two or more years ago we were invaded [he hands Verity a printout]…by extraterrestrial mechanoids!”
Verity: “And what? We just haven’t noticed?”
Conspiracy theorist [panel tight on his cagey eyes]: “They’re…in disguise!”
Verity: “HAAH! Of course!
I actually laughed at the silly fun of the sequence and the clever updating of the mythology of the Transformers. That’s one of the goofier exchanges (intentionally so), but I was pleasantly surprised with the high level of craft in Furman’s writing throughout the prelude. His storytelling is concise, his exchanges witty without veering into hokey, and he intersperses just enough coy glimpses of the big ‘bots throughout that a sense of conspiratorial foreboding keeps the lighter moments from getting out of control. Furman also serves up a single fine action sequence that bodes very well for his stated intent to return a sense of awe to appearances by the Transformers. The sequence suggests that the first Transformer to get the spotlight in the book will be a somewhat lesser-known Autobot (not Bumblebee, not Optimus), and I like that too. In the accompanying interview Furman talks about some of the characters due personality tweaks or overhauls (even as some, like Starscream, are slated to remain almost wholly intact), and this is one I’m looking forward to.

More controversial, I suspect, will be the art by E.J. Su. Preview here. It’s slightly manga influenced, professionally colored, and the storytelling is impeccable, but it ain’t glam. Dreamwave’s TRANSFORMERS books? Those were glam. Ultra-detailed and saturated with rich computer coloring, they fetishized their robots with a zeal usually exclusive to Japan. Problem was, Dreamwave’s storytelling was for crap. All the detail in the world meant zilch when you could barely tell what was happening in a given panel for all the airbrush effects and overdesigning. But I do know many a Transformers geek loved it. Me, I’ll take the cleaner, infinitely more readable look Su’s working in a heartbeat, but it’s gonna be an uphill climb to win over the Dreamwave acolytes.

There’s also sure to be some resistance to the fact that, once again, the Transformers are getting a rebooted continuity. That complaint I can understand. Between the Transformers cartoons, Transformers toys, and multi-company Transformers comics, Transformers continuity is like toydom’s answer to the LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES. I can only speak to the casual fan on this front, because I don’t favor one continuity over another – I just want a fun story. And from my point of view, even as I remain cautious (it is only sixteen pages), my gut reaction is, “Gee, I sure wouldn’t mind if the pending Transformers movie kicked off this well.”

Is it Ultimate Transformers? Ultimate Ultimate Transformers? Ultimate All-Star Transformers?

Mebbe. Whatever.

I just know what I like, and this I like.


YOUNG AVENGERS #6

Writer: Allan Heinberg
Penciler: Jim Cheung
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Reviewed by Humphrey Lee



Last issue left us with Kang the Conqueror being run thru the back with a sword at the hands of, uh, Kang the YOUNG AVENGER. In a story that could easily make your brain aneurism if you think about it too hard, we find with this issue a very concise and somewhat touching ending. The whole premise of this series opening arc has been that a young Kang (pre-Conqueror days) has been confronted by his future and despotic self. After learning what he is destined to become the younger Kang uses Kang's armor to flee to the past to find help from the Earth's Mightiest Heroes and to hopefully fight off his fate of becoming the greatest tyrannical threat the world has ever known. Since that setup we've seen the team fully come together, come into conflict with Captain America and Iron Man over what it is they are doing with their lives, and cross swords, so to speak, with the mighty Kang.

After the ending of last issue that I mentioned, this issue is dealing with the fallout of young Kang's murder of his older self, namely the effect it has on the time stream. As we all know by now, the time continuum is a very delicate thing, especially when it comes to someone who uses it as his own personal playground like Kang. With such a major player now dead out of his time and place, the time stream starts to unravel. As I said before Heinberg and company keep this resolution short and simple, which is probably for the best. The more I've read comics over the years the more I've learned that if you go into to great a detail with time-jumping and continuum effects, and the more you try and spell out possibilities, the more the writer just tends to dig themselves a hole rather than help themselves out. In order to jump start Kang's decision to have to become Kang the Conqueror, Heinberg does a nice job of pulling at his emotions by showing that without the influence of Kang on the world the Avengers may all have died at some point, and with their destruction, there can therefore be no YOUNG AVENGERS, and so on, leaving Kang no choice but do the inevitable. It does all wrap up a little too neatly, but again, there's always some sort of huge mess than can stem from these things, and the writer did a great job of writing pure emotion behind Kang's ultimate decision to move it along. Though I have to admit seeing a couple panels of Kang together with Cassie Lang (the deceased Ant-Man's daughter) and the supposed intimacy that they are supposed to share took me out of the moment, because I just reread the past five issues with this current one and by all rights Cassie and Kang have known each other for like, four hours tops--how you can get that close to have that big an emotional twist in such a short amount of time seems to defy more logic than half the randomness I see in most of your average superhero comics.

But overall the issue is very solid as usual. The book still looks great, and though some of the events I mentioned above may have been a bit stifling, the dialogue is anything but. If Heinberg brings anything to the table, it's a very smooth transition between characters when it comes to his talking heads. Sometimes during the dramatics it drifts more towards the cheesy side, but all in all it comes off very natural, despite the subject matter. We're also treated to a "reassembling" of the team towards the end that is a fun and quirky little read, we get some new and definitive codenames for some of the team members, and we get a glimpse of "YOUNG AVENGERS HQ" for the time being.

I still say this is a very underrated title that is doing a good job of defying my initial expectations. There's a lot of untapped potential ahead as we still have to find out just exactly how some of the remaining members are tied into Avengers continuity, plus (for better or for worse) we have a social/religious hot topic at hand between two of the male members of the team and their closeness (which has already gathered the ire of some of the book's readers, as noted in the letter's column), and we've got the Vision somehow tied into all the backstory. That's a lot of room for moving forward, and I'm happy to say I'm along for the ride.


GREEN LANTERN #4

Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Ethan Van Sciver
Publisher: DC Comics
Reviewer: Prof. Challenger

"I got a fever. And the only cure is more Cowgirl!"
-- Bruce Dickinson (paraphrased)
My all-time favorite episode of THE X-FILES is “Jose Chung’s ‘From Outer Space.’” Charles Nelson Reilly's performance as Jose Chung is an utter tour de force of acting. His body language, the cock of his neck, a raised eyebrow, even how he holds a pencil - everything contributes to his characterization. You totally forget he's just old HooDoo from LIDSVILLE or that guy from MATCH GAME. He becomes Jose Chung.

”Jose Chung’s ‘From Outer Space’” is all about the relative differences between "truth" and "facts." It's so good at showing how difficult it can be to glean truth from different witnesses’ varying versions of the same event that I show the episode to my Legal Research & Writing students as a springboard for my lecture on disseminating Key Facts from just interesting tidbits. Now, why do I start my review of the latest GREEN LANTERN by reflecting upon an obscure episode of an old cancelled TV show? Because Geoff Johns is also obviously a fan of this episode.

When I turned the first page and saw that Air Force pilot come face to face with a bug-eyed gray alien on a desert road and he starts muttering, "This isn't happening. This isn't.” I laughed out loud. That's a classic line right outta the episode. That bug-eyed alien's last words are "I just went out for a cigarette." Har! Way to suck this old Green Lantern fan right into the story.

There's so much going right with this new GREEN LANTERN series. Remember when Kurt Busiek wrote the well-received Amalgam comic merging Iron Man with Green Lantern (IRON LANTERN)? Word came out around that time that one of Kurt's "dream jobs" was to do IRON MAN. IRON MAN was about to restart and Marvel smartly thought Kurt would be the perfect guy for the job. Made sense to all of us readers too. But, for some inexplicable reason, it didn't work. I can't explain why. And Kurt was off the title relatively quickly as compared to his rather healthy AVENGERS run. I was worried this sort of thing might happen with Johns on GREEN LANTERN, but I haven't read a stinker in the bunch and issue four might be the best yet.

That alien-hit-by-car kickstart to the issue is part of the setup for the gruesome return of one of GL's most dangerous villains. The issue also has some nice interaction between Hal and Kilowog on Oa where Kilowog is training the newest bunch of GL recruits. Word from Kilowog is that the reconstituted Guardians also includes some females. Hmm. Nice to see N.O.W. has extended their reach to the great planet Oa.

The characterization of Hal is consistently arrogant once again. But not obnoxiously arrogant like, say, Guy Gardner. In a nod to the vocal contingent of fandom out there who did not grow up with Hal Jordan as GL, Hal is shocked that a vocal majority of the new Corps recruits have no idea who Hal Jordan is other than that he looks like he may be one of those humans they've heard about. That's kind of a nice humbling change of pace for someone like Hal. Before he'd even been GL for very long he was being called the greatest of the GLs in his comic. It was like a mantra almost. The title is not one that precedes him anymore. If anything, he's now more infamous than famous galaxywide.

I loved Hal's encounter with Hector Hammond in Belle Reve Prison. Evocative of Clarice and Hannibal Lector in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, Hammond wants to trade information relating to the dead "alien" for a slice of Hal's memories. Lasciviously, he wants Hal to let him experience telepathically one of Hal's one-night stands. That big-headed creep is nasty. Once again, a notoriously lame villain is given the modern DC once-over and turned into an extremely threatening and interesting character.

The dead "alien," it turns out, is actually a modern human being who has been instantly "evolutionized" millions of years into the future of potential human evolution. And what other GL villain experienced near-instant "evolutionization"? The Shark! As I thought, that dorsal fin off the coast of Coast City was foreshadowing. The Shark returns by attacking a young couple nightswimming off the beach at Coast City. When the boyfriend disappears under the bloody water in the middle of a pack of ravenous sharks in a feeding frenzy, the girlfriend scurries for the safety of the shore. The shocking last page triggers memories of the old "Land Shark" skits on SNL, but not in a good way, as the horrified girlfriend looks up into the open mouth of The Shark to see her dead boyfriend's head staring back at her. *shiver*

Geoff Johns is showing a real talent in this series of balancing a light touch where needed and building real tension when desired. The nods to TV and movies were fun in this issue, but the encounter between GL and Hammond at Belle Reve was seriously disturbing - and appropriately so. Likewise, the sickening appearance of The Shark was downright scary. All of this was helped by the exceptional artwork of Ethan van Sciver who just knocks my socks off every time I see his stuff. There appears to be real thought given to page design demonstrating effort on his part to most effectively tell the story first and making the pictures nice to look at a close second. I highly recommend this issue and this series for all fans of good old American super-heroes. The only downside was that "Cowgirl" only gets a one-line mention. I've seen Pacheco's version, now I wanna see van Sciver deliver me some "Cowgirl."


RUNNERS Vol. 1: BAD GOODS

Writer/Artist: Sean Wang
Publisher: Serve Man Press
Reviewed by Dave Farabee



This here is my Happy Surprise of the Week.

It’s also a book that I’d completely passed over in its serial form (a five issue mini) and even as a trade for several weeks. But I was hearing some buzz. A number of friends that I trusted were telling me it was the real deal: a rousing, space opera comic in the tradition of the O.G. Star Wars and Joss Whedon’s rip-roaring FIREFLY. Even at a glance I could tell the art was phenomenal – character designs out of Disney’s best, architecture to match Europe’s tradition of stunning sci-fi draftsmanship, and the best gray tones I’d seen since Mark Crilley’s AKIKO…but there was just something about the packaging that was keeping me away.

I think it was the cover. Frankly, it’s a little bland and the colors don’t pop. It’s the one and only part of the book that looks a little cheap, and I guess I’m superficial enough that that was a barrier. Luckily my friends persevered in foisting it upon me, the occasional cry of “dumbass!” urging me on. Finally one of ‘em just lent me his copies of the single issues. I read ‘em.

Bought the trade the next day.

RUNNERS is about the adventures of a crew of five intergalactic smugglers, one of its novelties being that there’s only a single human among ‘em. If you can believe it, he’s not even the central character, giving writer/artist Sean Wang the opportunity to showcase the kinds of swanky alien designs cartoonists live for. They’re still from the humanoid school of space opera beasties, but within those boundaries there’s some wonderful diversity. You can check out the core crew on this page.

Now. It must be said that the meat-and-potatoes of the book could be said to be derivative. You’ve got a ragtag crew, plenty of smart-ass camaraderie, space pirates on the prowl, space dog-fights, last-minute escapes, and even a clunker of a ship whose asymmetrical design calls to mind the Millennium Falcon…but let me tell you, if all derivative works were this well crafted, we wouldn’t sling the term around with disdain.

RUNNERS is pure, unpretentious fun.

Every beautifully-rendered page is bursting with love of the genre, and if the witticisms and heart-of-gold scoundrels feel a touch familiar, it’s an easy familiarity. A comfortable familiarity that only a curmudgeon could turn his back on. I’d even go so far as to imagine it as a sci-fi analog to the pure, all-ages adventure of the much-loved LIFE AND TIMES OF $CROOGE MCDUCK, recently reviewed here. RUNNERS also shares with $CROOGE some of the best “cartoony” cartooning I’ve seen all year. Just take a gander at a few of these pages…

Alien shoot-out in the rain!

The artist puts his architecture degree to use.

More amazing cityscapes.

A glimpse of one of RUNNERS’ many chase sequences.

The story follows the trouble the crew gets into when they salvage a mysterious cargo that puts them in the sights of both the law and a legion of bounty hunters. No curveballs there, but the book hooked me by bringing in the troubled conscience of its captain over an old mission gone wrong, by revealing a loyalty schism between the original crew and the newbies, and by showcasing an overall geniality that bucks industry trends. You simply can’t dislike the players on this stage. There’s the lovestruck human, the happily grinning alien gunslinger with five eyestalks…hell, even their bounty hunter nemesis has a likeable brand of evil, obsessing as much over his own good looks as his calling for vengeance.

Like STAR WARS at its best, though, RUNNERS is the kind of space opera where character plays second fiddle to balls-to-the-wall ACTION. As a result, we get some of the best space-based chase and dogfight sequences I’ve ever seen in a comic. And because the Runners are constantly outgunned and usually being chased by at least two factions, they’ve got to get pretty innovative. They’ll fly their ship through dense city streets, pop the bay doors on their ship to use hand weapons on pursuers, and even launch escape pods as weapons. If launching escape pods into bad guys doesn’t make you think, “Cool!”, then the simple pleasure of RUNNERS probably aren’t for you, but if it does, then consider this book the place to be to fulfill that space opera void you’ve felt since REVENGE OF THE SITH either left you wanting more or left you disgusted.

It’s also worthy of note that RUNNERS has some exceptional bonus features: a pronunciation guide to some of the aliens, planets, and ship names; a reprint of the first RUNNERS story from the Small Press Expo anthology; and a sketchbook section worthy of George Lucas’s designers.

Definitely a surprise worth discovering.

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.


SHINING KNIGHT #4 (of 4)

Wait. What? I clearly need to re-read this series from the beginning, ‘cause right now Morrison has me feeling like I’m too dumb to tell what happened. He’s really good at that. Anyway: one big twist in the finale, some very entertaining action, and a clear indication that this miniseries won’t really resolve until SEVEN SOLDIERS #1 arrives to wrap it up in…err…April, 2006. I want to believe, but I’m definitely sensing that Morrison might’ve delved too deeply into esoteric self-indulgence with the SEVEN SOLDIERS mega-series. Doesn’t mean I’m giving it up, as Morrison’s brand of self-indulgence can be pretty entertaining, but it does mean I’m left once again missing the more coherent Morrison of ANIMAL MAN. Guess I’m a little too literalist for Morrison unchained. - Dave

DAREDEVIL: FATHER #2

Hey, Joey Q finally got the second issue out of his 6-part over-hyped, but underwhelming DD miniseries! And this is me not giving a shit! Maybe I’ll pick up the trade when the big guy finally finishes passing this turd…somewhere around fall of 2025. Way to set an example of professionalism to the rest of your staff at Marvel, Mr. EIC! - Bug

REVELATIONS #1 (of 6)

So bad it’s almost comical. Ostensibly a murder mystery staged in and around the Vatican, REVELATIONS has ex-SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN scribe Paul Jenkins writing an awful John Constantine wannabe of a conspiracy theorist cop (“I want to smoke a cigarette and strangle the idiot in charge…though not necessarily in that order.”), cartooned with all the gravity of CALVIN & HOBBES by Humberto Ramos. There’s a pretense of sophistication, but when the shady types are drawn like Snidely Whiplash, it’s a little like having Pixar animate THE DA VINCI CODE. I’ll say this: Ramos is a talented cartoonist and Jenkins…well, I dislike most of his stuff, but as a result of three or four brilliant SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN stories I know he can achieve greatness in small bursts. Pairing ‘em together over a Vatican mystery, though? Quite possibly the weirdest idea since Loeb and Madureira on ULTIMATES Vol. 3. - Dave

SUPREME POWER #18

Holy shit hitting the fan Batman!! After a couple issues of meandering and slow-playing the plot development, things are finally starting to hit the ground running. This issue we see the revelation to the public of Mark Milton's (Hyperion) extraterrestrial roots and "throwing him to the wolves" so to speak. Now we finally are starting to see the true potential of the character, as the once hero and savior of millions of humans now finds they meet him and his gestures of good will with hatred and fear... and he's not taking it well. Despite the orchestration that has been his life, and years of manipulation at the hands of the government, all Mark still wants is to help people and to fit in. But now he'll never get that thanks to those same people that manipulated his life for him all those years... and by god is he pissed. All of this culminates towards one of the more inspiring monologues and displays of power I have seen in a comic in a long long time. Add to such a big event a bunch of cool little asides giving us a nod towards other "SQUADRON SUPREME" characters like Nuke, and Arcanna, and so on, and we've got everything I could have hoped for from this book out on the table. I was seriously skeptical about this book with it's move to the Marvel Knights line looming on the horizon, but if this book is going to be of this quality (and except for a couple random f-bombs this issue itself was pretty much MK legal) then I no longer have any reservations. - Humphrey

SOLO #6

Such a cool series. This time out the spotlight’s on a Spanish artist I’ve never even heard of – Jordi Bernet - but he combines qualities of both Alex Toth and Joe Kubert, so let’s just say he’s damn well worth knowing. First story’s my fave: a twisted, blackly humorous tale of a monster in small-town Texas, written by regular HELLBOY contributor John Arcudi. Then there’s a tawdry potboiler in black-and-white (love the “no rules” approach to SOLO) written by Joe Kelly, Andy Helfer on a tale of imprisoned revolutionaries, Chuck Dixon penning one helluva grisly grizzly bear story, and Brian Azzarello doing a Poison Ivy mood piece that gives Bernet a chance to show off the love of curvy femmes that informs the book’s cover. Simply put: SOLO is the book lovers of comic art need to be flocking around. Sometimes the story vignettes rock, sometimes they flounder a bit, but damn, man…they always look good. - Dave

RUNAWAYS # 7

This issue of RUNAWAYS was such a good experience for me that I'm going to go pick up the RUNAWAYS hardcover right away. It was that fun. I have no idea who these characters are or what their deal is but with this one issue I WANT to find out more about them. If that isn't what a single issue of a comic is supposed to do then I just don't know what the function of good comic is...- superhero

B.P.R.D.: THE BLACK FLAME #1 (of 6)

There’s been so many of these B.P.R.D. minis that the book almost feels like an ongoing monthly at times…and that’s not a bad thing at all when you’ve got a team as consistently entertaining as Mignola, Arcudi, David, and Stewart. This issue’s one big action sequence as new B.P.R.D. top dog Captain Daimyo leads an assault squad through a frog-monster-infested sewer system. Highlights: Roger the homunculus hilariously learning to mimic Daimyo’s tough-guy mannerisms and a gory egg-sac sequence in the tradition of the queen alien in James Cameron’s ALIENS. Who doesn’t love exploding egg sacs? - Dave

FLASH #225

God bless you, Geoff Johns. - Prof.

WHA…HUH?

About a zillion years ago when this thing was solicited, I thought it would actually be really funny. Brian Bendis and Jim Mahfood heading a pack of talents spoofing the Marvel Universe through a series of WHAT IF?-style scenarios? Of course it would work. One of the best things Bendis does is bring the funny!

Many moons later, after vast delays due to some mysterious legal wrangling, the thing finally sees print…and it kind of sucks. Bendis’ strong sense of humor needs the kind of pacing that takes several pages, but here he’s mostly working in single-panel and one-page gags. Other contributors, notably Mark Millar, fare a bit better (“What if the Avengers all had beards?”). There were also some good non-PC laughs in Brian Vaughan’s “What if Black Panther were actually white?”, and Mark Waid’s got two winners. Alas…the high points are vastly outnumbered by the kind of groaners you might expect from CRACKED MAGAZINE: “What if M.O.D.O.K. had an itch?” (see, he can’t scratch because of his little arms – a-hyuck!) “What if DC let us do BATMAN/DAREDEVIL?” (accompanying image of – HAR! – Hell freezing over!). Also, Bendis and his pals are cartooned into so many of these strips that you kind of end up wanting to clock ‘em for being so self-aggrandizing and smarmy.

But that’s just me. You might think it’s funny. - Dave

JLA: CLASSIFIED #11

The first issue of Warren Ellis’s JLA: CLASSIFIED arc packed surprising charm, with Ellis’s trademark acerbic wit well-suited to showcasing reporters Clark Kent, Lois Lane, and Perry White. In the second outing, his approach gets a bit more shaky, never more so than when he shows us Flash’s internal monologue as he runs up to his wife: “Four steps and I need to slow down now, or else the bow wave from a dead stop will explode Linda’s internal organs when I pause to…” Jesus H., Warren, NOT EVERY CHARACTER IS YOU. There’re still some good bits, though. Lois and Clark continue to generate sparks under Ellis’s pen, Kyle Rayner’s intro has a neatly terse overview of Green Lantern history, and artist Butch Guice makes all the cinematic explodo look great. As ever, the pacing screams “trade”, especially the extended explodo bits, and you want to forgive and prep for the next issue of the slow-burn story, but then Oracle appears on the last page in a scene that evokes GLOBAL FREQUENCY’s annoying “You’re on the Global Frequency” catch phrase. And then you just feel kind of sour about the whole thing. - Dave

CAPTAIN AMERICA #9

Great action sequences, but after nine issues I’m just weary of yet another book where the hero seems to win only the most pyrrhic victories at every turn. And Cap needs to take the stick out of his ass. Even Jack Bauer unclenches occasionally, y’know, and 24 sure feels like the model for Brubaker’s approach to the series. - Dave


Hey folks, Ambush Bug here and I’ve refurnished the old Casting Couch. For those of you just joining us, the Casting Couch is a place where a fanboy can be a fanboy. One of my favorite things to talk about is who should play what comic book character if adapted to the big screen. And it seems like I’m not the only one. I know there are a lot of comic book movies being made these days, but there are plenty more properties that deserve the silver screen treatment. This week we’ve reserved a seat on the couch for one of my favorite non-teams in comics. Yep, I’m talking about…


The Premise

When the evil forces of the Dread Dormammu and his devious sister Umar threaten the very fabric of reality, four of the most powerful heroes in the universe reluctantly band together to protect the Earth. Inspired by this union of titans, a team of wannabe heroes attempt to sidle up to these greats and form an all powerful super-team. Unfortunately, the big four’s egos are almost as powerful as their fists, everyone hates each other, and the only thing they agree on is that they want no part of this super-team business. The Defenders could be humanity’s only hope, if they don’t kill each other first.




The Cast

Gathering this band of heroes together is Dr. Stephen Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts. After seeing him in DARK CITY, I knew Rufus Sewell was the guy who had the acting chops to shout out exclamations like “By the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth!” and keep a straight face.







Say what you will about Ang Lee’s THE HULK, but I think Eric Bana did a pretty decent job as Dr. Bruce Banner. I think this Aussie actor deserves another chance at playing the timid doctor and his angry green alter ego. Since he’d be CGI Hulked out most of the time, Bana would have little screen time anyway.







Namor, the Sub-Mariner is an @$$. He acts like he’s royalty (well…because he is). When he’s not trying to steal Reed Richards’ wife, he’s attacking the surface world. I don’t know a single person who likes the actor Olivier Martinez. He’s made a career of playing pompous, weaselly pricks in such films as SWAT, TAKING LIVES, and UNFAITHFUL. So why not cast him as the most pompous, weaselly prick around? Yeah, the role of the King of the Atlantis belongs to this guy.






Rounding out our Big Four is the former Herald to Galactus, Silver Surfer. He’s the alien of the bunch, unsure of the ways of Earth, but filled with a sense of duty to use his Power Cosmic to protect it. Since this character would be done best in CGI, I’d go with a pretty recognizable, but alien-like voice and you don’t get more alien Christopher (I’ve had more cameos in movies than god) Walken.




In casting the big four heroes of the Defenders, I went with serious actors to play it straight against a set of more comical and eccentric characters making up the wannabe heroes.




Nighthawk is probably my least favorite character in the Marvel Universe. I mean, look at this unbelievable douche. A bird on his head, fake Wolverine claws…and are those nipples at the top of those wings? What a douche. I’d cast Ben (MEET THE PARENTS, ZOOLANDER) Stiller as this wannabe hero, who’s heart in the right place, but he doesn’t have the power to prove it. He’d be good at trying hard as hell to rally this all powerful team together. Sure, it’s reminiscent of MYSTERY MEN, except this movie would be good.







At Nighthawk’s side is the striking Asgardian warrior, Valkyrie. Riding a winged horse and brandishing the powerful sword, Dragonfang, this is one powerful Viking cutie. Staying with the comedic vein, I’d cast the statuesque, yet hilarious Kristen Johnston for the part. She’s played the warrior role for laughs on 3rd ROCK FROM THE SUN and would bring that same type of humorous charisma to this role.



The last three heroes to join our team are about eccentric as you can get, an offspring of the Devil, a supermodel, and a guy trapped in the body on an animated statue. We need some talented, yet off-the-wall character actors for these meaty supporting parts.



In Daimon Hellstrom, the Son of Satan, I went with Ben Foster of SIX FEET UNDER, HOSTAGE, soon to be playing Angel in X3 fame. I think this guy is a powerful, yet odd actor, a bit like a young Brad Dourif, always bringing his all to any performance he takes. And I’ll bet he’ll bring that extra oomph to play someone who claims to be the son of the horned one.











You have to have a few circuits busted to marry the Son of Satan. Former teen supermodel Patsy Walker, AKA Hellcat, always wanted to be a superhero. And this is her chance to shine. For this role, we need an actress who is young and beautiful, yet has a devious side to her. Playful, but deadly. Sounds a lot like LOLITA actress Dominique Swain. From that picture over there, she seems to fit the bill nicely.








Hellstorm and Hellcat’s noble lapdog, Gargoyle, is a tortured human trapped in the body of a monster. This tragic soul belches fire and may look like a demon from hell, but has a heart of gold. Actor extraordinaire John C. Reilly (MAGNOLIA, BOOGIE KNIGHTS, CHICAGO) has made a living playing this type of character. Plus he has a pretty memorable voice, which is important since Gargoyle would be yet another CGI creation in this epic film.








The Villains

In keeping in the vein of this being a adventure with some laughs, I think it is just fitting to have a comedic actor play the voice of the Dread Dormammu. There’s something about these universe conquering villains that makes me think that beneath all of those flames and power, there is a tiny, angry man. Maybe it’s because Dormammu reminds me of The Wizard of Oz. I dunno. Having played a tiny, angry man in both AMERICAN SPLENDOR and SIDEWAYS, I think Paul Giamatti is the perfect choice.






And we can’t forget Umar, Dormammu’s deadly and equally powerful sister. This sultry seductress has enough power to take on the Defenders by herself, but teamed with her flame-headed brother makes her virtually unstoppable. The gorgeous Ling Bai (aka Bai Ling) from SKY CAPTAIN and THE CROW exhibits equal parts beauty and deadly to do this character some justice.



Well, there are my picks for the Defenders movie of my dreams. As always, I invite you all to agree, disagree, tear us a new one, or put together your own cast. I’m sure every @$$hole in the Talkbacks has an opinion or two. Let’s hear them.

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 8, 2005, 5:39 p.m. CST

    ASTONISHING X-MEN #12 WAS F-IN' AMAZING!!

    by MasterWhedon

    That is all.

  • Sept. 8, 2005, 6:12 p.m. CST

    AXM #12...

    by Aaron Weisbrod

    I second that. WOW. What a friggin' ending. Best wishes, Aaron Weisbrod

  • Sept. 8, 2005, 6:14 p.m. CST

    Genosha...

    by Law Talkin Guy

    Sorry, Prof, I think you're wrong about that. As I recall, Grant Morrison blew up Genosha in a couple of pages in the first issue of his run. And speaking of Morrison, I have to say I hope Whedon isn't planning to replace Morrison's bitchy-but-basically-good Emma Frost with a bitchy-but-secretly-evil version. Or did that just happen?

  • Sept. 8, 2005, 6:15 p.m. CST

    the only one

    by verge

    astonishing x-men is the only x-title i read, and it has been consistently wonderful. glad for the good reviews here for that and gl, which i also like. i like the casting couch, too. i'd like to see some more. no ideas to enhance this one though, personally. also, anyone who hasn't read supreme power should immediately go and buy it. it may be the best comic i've read in the past five or so years.

  • Sept. 8, 2005, 6:21 p.m. CST

    6 reviews and 4 reviewers

    by El Vale

    Hmmmmmm. I'd complain, but...no ok i'll complain, but later.

  • Sept. 8, 2005, 6:24 p.m. CST

    THANK YOU!!

    by Darth Kal-El

    We can finally stop talking about anal sex at the x-mansion! fuck it why stop?lets incorporate it into this talkback as well!

  • Sept. 8, 2005, 6:40 p.m. CST

    First!!

    by Gus Nukem

    Almost. -- but only after dealing with every 'ultimate post usurper' wannabe (my english rawks!111!)

  • Sept. 8, 2005, 7:16 p.m. CST

    On your casting.

    by fiester

    I enjoyed it. It's a fun game. But as I noted in a previous talkback, not just any actor can pull of the superhero/comic book role. It takes a unique actor who can meld seamlessly into the alternate reality being created and not everyone can pull it off. If you are judging an actor's chops based on his/her performances in past reality-based work, you may be in for a rude awakening, even if they were fantastic in those roles. That being said, I think you had some interesting casting ideas with the exception of Stiller and Walken: you want strong character actors for superhero/comic book roles. You DO NOT want stars who will make the role their own. You want a good character actor who will become the role and who also fits comfortably into the alternate reality that's being created. Because it's very delicate and can be disrupted and shattered, this verisimilitude, by the smallest bit of camp or bristling discomfort that some actors bring along as baggage to these types of films. Good examples for comic book superhero films are Shakespeare and shows like Deadwood--some actors can pull it off and some cannot.

  • Sept. 8, 2005, 7:19 p.m. CST

    great reviews

    by Darth Kal-El

    actually stuff i was into this week. runners sounds cool as hell im going to be looking out for that one. loved AXM as well.it just really felt like the x-team i know and love interacting in the way that made them so cool. the ending with the whole "hellfire does" thing blew me away. ive always loved the hellfire club stories from back in the day and im glad theyre back. also, great action scenes in this book. the way beast jumps at danger with the claws slashing and snarling like a, well like a damn beast was great! the jump back to catch the professor with catlike reflexes awesome! same for the wolverine versus the swarm-"i killed a city once.funny story".yeah i loved this book. i agree with the prof about being glad that theyre taking prof x in this direction.personally he has always struck me as that kind of person. the fact that hes the most powerful telepath on the planet and hes constantly reassuring people he would never use his gift improperly cuz it ouwld be morally wrong,blah,blah,blah.it always made me a leeetle suspicious of ol charlie. cant wait to see where this goes.young avengers i liked but not that much altho its definately a good thing to show a positive gay-or any other "outside the norm" for that matter- relationship in comics because if handled properly can help broaden people's minds. ill probably read wha huh? in the store-i figure i can skip bathing for a couple of days and carry a huge backpack and be in everyone's way and breathe through my mouth-ill blend right in with the "rack readers"

  • Sept. 8, 2005, 7:44 p.m. CST

    Emma's going to stick with the good guys.

    by rev_skarekroe

    You just wait and see.

  • Sept. 8, 2005, 7:55 p.m. CST

    the casting...

    by sideshowbob

    Isn't that something Wizard does? I can't say I'm really a fan of it. REAL fanboys are too busy bitching about the things they love to play hypothetical casting games. *** Whoever reviewed SOLO (Dave?) is spot-on. That may be the best book on the market. How I wish it was more indicative of where the industry was heading, rather than a fun diversion from the industry.

  • Sept. 8, 2005, 8:23 p.m. CST

    does it always have to go that route?

    by Darth Kal-El

    the board for the movie "The Man" turned into a discussion on sin city for some reason. someone posted a negative coment on sin city followed by a link to a blog that said basically the same thing.so,when u read the blog it turns out this is a pregnant woman. so some poster who disagrees with her views on sin city wishes a miscarriage on her! the fug?!!thats why i like our talkback-yeah buzz called me ugly and said i was not one of the cool kids(that hurt btw)but no one has wishe a miscarriage upon me!

  • Sept. 8, 2005, 8:25 p.m. CST

    also

    by Darth Kal-El

    loved the casting couch! the guy for namor actually made me laugh out loud.i can see him doing it because he comes across like such a huge cock!

  • Sept. 8, 2005, 8:47 p.m. CST

    How sad

    by Fantomex

    The only good review I've read of Astonishing 12 is by someone who hasn't read X-Books since 1990? Thats even before the sucking began. Nice work. Shining Knight 4 was disappointing, not because of the lack of conclusion, but because of the "twist" which simply DOES NOT work in comics. Its simply impossible for anyone to pull off. Morrison is smart enough to know that, which is probably why he went ahead and tried it anyway. Thats Morrison, for better or worse. It really feels like a setup for a Shining Knight ongoing written by someone other than Morrison, which wouldn't be a horrible idea.

  • Sept. 8, 2005, 8:58 p.m. CST

    Perfect Namor Casting

    by killthebride

    The best choice for Namor would most certainly be Hugo Weaving, look at that bastard! Hes got the hairline, can do the angry face, and we know he looks decent with pointy ears. He's perfect!!!

  • Sept. 8, 2005, 8:58 p.m. CST

    Hal Jordan

    by IRuleAll

    still boring. And if the rumors are true, and they are indeed replacing Wally West...DC, you're even more creatively bankrupt than I thought.

  • Sept. 8, 2005, 9:19 p.m. CST

    Defenders casting

    by Artistgreg

    Inspired casting! I would see that movie in a heartbeat.

  • Sept. 8, 2005, 9:44 p.m. CST

    WHA

    by Heisenberg85

    In defense of WHA

  • Sept. 8, 2005, 9:52 p.m. CST

    Johnny Depp for Dr. Strange?

    by docfalken

    I think someone with the camp of George Clooney and pseudo sophistication of a Kelsey Grammer would be good here.

  • Sept. 8, 2005, 9:52 p.m. CST

    Oh yeah ...

    by docfalken

    the @$$holes rule.

  • Sept. 8, 2005, 9:56 p.m. CST

    Astonishing Morrison

    by hamgravy

    IMHO, this series is the only X-continuity book out there. I wish I hadn't read any X in the 90s and just wound up here. But, I did go back and look at the first few issues of Morrison's run and there is still something cool happening there. With the mutant genocide, secondary mutations, and popularization of mutants in the media, Morrison took the mutant/ race analogy to the next logical level. Plus the team acted like the jaded and hardened soldiers they might be after everything they've been through. Then, Morrison had one brain fart too many and it all got bogged down in the end. Fantomex, a fan of the Weapon XIII character? Also, anyone interested in spilling the Spoiler twist from Shining Knight? I read the first few issues before it got too boggy for me.

  • Sept. 8, 2005, 10:33 p.m. CST

    Bug, you just notched up a few points in my cool book.

    by Heywood Jablowme

    First you totally nailed the review on DD Father. Then what happens? I scroll down and BAM! you've got your own logo now. Humphrey, I'm totally feeling you on the Gotham Knights book. Going nowhere. It got the handoff from Lee & Loeb and they have done a piss-poor job. Piss-poor I tell you! As far as casting, well, somebody mentioned Will Ferrell for Dr. Strange a while back and my sides are still sore from thinking about it. I know it would totally piss the purists off, but come on, you know you ca hear him drop, "By the hoary hosts of Hoggoth" and "Eye of Agomatto" ala Anchorman-style. For Pete's sake, they casted Pig Vommit as Dormammu! Pig Vommit! Great stuff @ssholes. Totally redeeming yourselves and making AICN Comics something to look forward to reading.

  • Sept. 8, 2005, 10:57 p.m. CST

    ".....it

    by ian216a

    Good - god. The only way you could look more retarded than saying that, is to sit hunched up in a wheelchair and dribbling! I have one thing to say to you Ambush Bug, if that IS your real name, and that is "Zot a fine - elegant - Harvey Zulbanger!"

  • Sept. 8, 2005, 11:16 p.m. CST

    Don't worry about Professor X's character...

    by RenoNevada2000

    He won't be around much longer...

  • Sept. 8, 2005, 11:53 p.m. CST

    Nico and Karolina

    by v1cious

    wow... what an awkward moment. i can't wait to see what develops between them in the coming issues of Runaways.

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 12:10 a.m. CST

    Calamity Jane IS Rogue

    by TheMostHorrible

    Robin Weigert would have been perfect as Rogue. She played Calamity Jane on Deadwood, and if you haven't seen any other images of her, trust me, she cleans up real nice. Fiester was right when he or she suggested shows like Deadwood or Shakespearean productions might have actors that could inhabit roles like the beloved comic characters we're talking about. Ian MacShane (sp?) is another actor you can spend time plugging into your favorite character roles. When I saw Rogue for the first time she was mature (not 12 or however young she has become these days. She was mean, unpleasant and spent her days trying to KILL Dazzler. She was wicked. Robin Weigert would have rocked. I don't miss that Rogue, but I wish she was at least a part of the Rogue we know today. It'd make for a more complex and interesting hero...the kind of hero that Weigert could nail, just like she did Calamity Jane...cocksuckers.

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 12:23 a.m. CST

    Apparently this insect has forgotten that Quasada turned Marvel

    by 3 Bag Enema

    "Hey, Joey Q finally got the second issue out of his 6-part over-hyped, but underwhelming DD miniseries! And this is me not giving a shit! Maybe I

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 12:40 a.m. CST

    Astonishing X-Men is lame...

    by kintar0

    But the art's kickass. All the dialogue is "buffyized," especially that last issue. Wedgie? Fuck that. If Whedon wanted the Buffy cast to be X-Men, why didn't he just write it that way? It wouldn't have been any dumber than what's going on now.

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 12:45 a.m. CST

    and here's my stack for today:

    by kintar0

    Manhattan Guardian, Marvel Team Up, Uncanny X-Men, Villains United, Battle Pope, Superman, Aquaman, Ghost Rider and Superman/Shazam: First Thunder. Don't any of you buy your comics on new comic book day?

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 12:52 a.m. CST

    Olivier Martinez...

    by halfmadjesus

    ...is actually a pretty solid casting choice for Namor. They probably wouldn't be able to get away with casting Martinez in Namor's OWN film - in my opinion, they're going to have to go with a recognizable face for that, because the budget won't be small and the name recognition of the character is virtually nil - but in a DEFENDERS movie, where the other characters are a draw and the budget money has to be used for FX, he'd be perfect. Like Jude Law, Martinez is a pretty-boy who comes off like an arrogant dick most of the time. That's the Sub-Mariner, kids - not Hugo "I'm old and fugly" Weaving.

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 1:45 a.m. CST

    namor

    by blackthought

    a not pretty boy but who is pretty much the ultimate prick...sean penn...combine him with a young weaving/marinez hybrid and there you go.

  • Hey i found this Green Lantern interview and i thought it was pretty interesting. http://www.buzzscope.com/reviews.php?id=4871 Read on. And like Darth said i think this board is the best one i've seen, but ok tell me something guys: Maybe i'm just being paranoid here but it seems to me like this Gus Nukem character's been throwing some random jabs at me as of late. Am i completely out of my head? You know what Spider says: A paranoid's just a person with all the facts.

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 3:42 a.m. CST

    Was Jordi Benet the guy...

    by Steve Rogers

    ...who illustrated the Torpedo strips? If so then he is one talented bastard. Torpedo was about an Italian immigrant who goes to America and grows up to become a gangster and hitman. I picked up a couple of collections here in the UK but I don't know if they're available in the US? Plenty of violence, swearing, nudity and great artwork. Anyone else out there read this series?

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 4:15 a.m. CST

    You are correct, Steve Rogers

    by Dave_F

    But, no, I don't think TORPEDO is generally available in the US of A. I'm sure I've seen it in the Bud Plant catalog before, where it's probably an import item, but I think that's it.

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 4:47 a.m. CST

    El Vale =

    by Gus Nukem

    http://tinyurl.com/9qv9r and http://tinyurl.com/cmplm . What are talking about ? /jabs El Vale

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 5:44 a.m. CST

    Lo, There Shall Come a Player Hater

    by Dave_F

    I'm with Darth Jesus on the ASTONISHING X-MEN front. I'll grant that the bare bones storytelling is rock solid, the characters pretty close to in character, and Cassaday's art is...well, actually I'm not a big Cassaday fan. His stuff's immaculate but sterile to me, almost overly structured where I prefer a little artistic improv/sloppiness/elbow room or something hard to define like that. But, really, it's Joss's Buffyisms that get to me most on that book. I was reading the latest issue, and I kept thinking of how much it reminded me (annoyingly) of all the other creators who've tried to ape Whedon's snarky gab in comics over the last few years (Waid on FF, fer inst)...except this was actually from Whedon! What can I say, his dialogue stamp on the characters just grates too much, surely as Ellis's JLA:CLASSIFIED lines rang particularly false this issue. That bit from Kitty about getting a wedgie - mumbled midway through a Fastball Special, no less! - liked to've killed the whole issue for me. At least Joss gave her some good scenes. BUT...as Prof referenced in his review, the real deal-killer for me was the revelation that (SPOILERS, Y'ALL) Professor X had been secretly sitting on a chained sentient life form for years. In a way, my beef isn't with Whedon in particular here (though the moment still rang supremely false to me), but with this arrogant trend of writers digging up "deep dark secrets" on superheroes. Seems the worst offenders come from outside the industry or at least the superhero genre, looking no doubt to place their stamp on these characters with cheap shockers. There's Meltzer with his IDENTITY CRISIS rapes and mindwipes, JMS with his "Norman 'n' Gwen" lovefest, Willingham with "Leslie Thompkins: Pacifest Murderer!", Brubaker with Bucky The Throat-Slitter, and now Whedon...Whedon who I really thought would show more respect...coming in to reveal in essence that Prof X owned slaves. Well, that's just GREAT. I'm so GLORIOUSLY TAKEN with the identifiable realism of it all! Taken, I tell you! Used to be superheroes, even the down-to-earth types, represented pinnacles and ideals, but more and more often, superheroes are just like all the schmucks and feet-of-clay hypocrites I see in the real world now! Hmm...occurs to me then that I could get the same story motifs by just watching my friends, and their deep, dark reveals are actually FREE. That deal's looking better all the time. ******* Sidebar: I'm sure there're fans out there digging up past Xavier appearances to "justify" this big reveal. They'll note that he was more of a bastard back in the old days or that he used to mindwipe foes all the time, and Meltzer-like, they'll have their justification, ignoring the fact that many of those instances were products of the time. Doc Savage operated on some of his bad guys' brains to make 'em docile and the intelligent reader will recognize this act as the throwaway pulp novelty it was meant to be, not as something we should dwell upon to indict Savage as some kind of fascistic Mengele. But the latter's the escapism-damning approach that cripples many a superhero comic these days, and I fully expect to see it applied to Xavier's action. "Oh, he's ALWAYS seemed shady to me. Even see that old X-MEN where he was pining for Jean Grey? CREEPY, DUDE!!! Bet he's a closest pedo." ****** The bigger picture on the X-Men: like so many comic fans, I'm a victim of nostalgia. But sometimes you really can't go home, and I think I've determined that's the case for me with Marvel's "merry mutants" (love how Stan's hokey old phraseology is so completely at odds with the direction the license has gone). With a single character like Spider-Man, a post-JMS write - say, Dan Slott - could just pop right in and make everything work again, generally ingnoring the bad stuff. But with the X-Men? It's just too big, too sprawling, too hamstrung by two decades of bad decisions. The movies, ironically enough, feel like the last bastion of classic X-Men greatness to me, but I think the comics are essentially a lost cause. Morrison's NEW X-MEN, in retrospect, was probably the last chance to make it work, but that would have required following in Grant's evolutionary footsteps and I've never seen anyone pull that one off. For all that Morrison was playing with classic X-Men themes in that run, his idiom was so completely fresh that it miraculously dangled the possibility of updating the team as surely as Claremont did in the '70s. Hell, even the cavorting of Morrison's Mary Sue character, Fantomex, was preferrable to Whedon's uninspired, "Look, the Hellfire Club...IS BACK!" Cool thing about Morrison's run, though, is that for all Marvel's after-the-fact shitting on it, it stands alone as one mega-story, and even works as a finale to the concept. So while I groan at JMS's oh-so-shocking reveal as part of an industry trend, I really can't stay pissed about it as it relates to the X-Men. I got a largely inspired ending to the X-Men saga through Morrison. I did get a little sucked in by Whedon's stuff fer a bit, though. In other words, I just need to find someone to sell this first ASTONISHING trade to...

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 8:41 a.m. CST

    Dave F...

    by Delete Me

    What you said, and then some.

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 9:22 a.m. CST

    Whoa I just thought of something....

    by Shigeru

    Everybody has probably already thought of this, but anyone else think that the Seven Soldiers of Victory grand overarching theme of a group of 7 protecting the planet just might have to do with a certain 7 members of a certain League of Justice? Maybe kind of obvious, but oh well. And I dunno what kinda crack Dave is smoking, but all the SS issues to come out so far have been quality in my book, crossing over into each other without being obtrusive or obvious, I think this whole thing is suiting up to be subtle yet pretty damn epic...if that makes sense. On a completely different note: anyone remember in Runaways when the future Gertrude came back to warn the team about Victor (remember she said that she loved him too, so much for Chase!) and Nico couldn't revive her because she'd already used that spell trying to bring Alex back? And it looks like it worked, according to that one panel an issue or two back....

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 9:36 a.m. CST

    Astonishing!

    by sideshowbob

    With a new Cap, Astonishing, and New Avengers book last week, I'm realizing that I'm still buying superhero books, but I'm not really liking many of them. Marvel have a couple of good superhero books that have risen to the top, DC doesn't have any at the moment. It's all big revelations, and fights that don't solve any problems. What are superhero for, if their fighting doesn't make anything better, or solve any problems in their lives? When did Dr. Phil become the Editor in Chief at both companies?

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 10:38 a.m. CST

    Jesus, Darth Jesus. The new books get reviewed a week out, in c

    by Heywood Jablowme

    And 3 Bag, while Joe Q has definitely done great things for Marvel since taking over, Bug is right about this DD Father thing. He's drug his feet with it. So's his buddy Kevin Smith. Apparently, if Kevin gives you a cameo in one of his movies, he can come to your company, do whatever he pleases with the product, take his sweet-ass time with a project, AND probably get paid more than any of us make in 3 months. Bendis did the same thing with Secret War. So when Bug says Quesada is setting a bad example, well, you can reply when you get your copy of Spidey/Black Cat or DD Father #5. Until then, open mouth, insert cork.

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 10:42 a.m. CST

    I would like to be the first to mention something:

    by Shigeru

    PENIS in Y the Last Man. Penis penis penis penis. Kudos to BKV and P Guerra.

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 11:31 a.m. CST

    Spoiler for Shining Knight #4

    by Fantomex

    Stop reading now if you don't want to be spoiled rotten....... .......... ............. .......... ............. ........... Shining Knight is actually, Shining Princess! Yeah, he's a girl. Except, she was drawn as a guy right up until the big reveal, and then drawn as a girl. It simply can't work in comics, because you aren't "fooling" the reader, you're just lying. I went back and read the first 3 issues to see if maybe there was any hints (like xorn being magneto), I didn't find any obvious ones, and they should be obvious at this point. Amatuer hour all around.

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 12:16 p.m. CST

    Secret War's not slow because of Bendis.

    by rev_skarekroe

    It's slow because it takes the artist guy forever to do the stuff. That was my understanding anyway.

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 12:31 p.m. CST

    i read the first tpb of astonishing x-men awhile ago

    by fried samurai

    I wasn't to impressed.Mind you I havent read an X-men comic since the Claremont/Bryrne days.And Whedon just seems to take the best of those two glory days and add a little Buffy dialogue.I'll admit the art is really nice.But people are acting like Whedon's run is the second coming.It's not Alan Moore calibre(but then who is)...peace

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 12:40 p.m. CST

    Casting Couch: Defenders

    by Brother Zag

    Love the Casting Couch! Love The Defenders! Your picks? Meh... s'okay. Not a big fan of most of your choices, but I did like John C. Reilly as The Gargoyle. My picks? Dr. Strange: Alan Rickman; The Hulk: Guy Pierce as Bruce Banner/Hulk (Bana? Bah!); Namor: Julian McMahon (I KNOW he's Doom, but he'd make a better Namor); Silver Surfer: voice of Gilbert Godfried (kidding!)I'm thinking Keith David (w/a little less menace than Spawn); Nighthawk: Ben Affleck (hate Stiller, sorry); Valkyrie: Miranda Otto (LotR); Damien Hellstrom: Matt Damon; Hellcat: Lindsay Lohan; all ready covered Gargoyle... as for villians? Dormammmu: Gilbert Gottfried (kidding, again... but maybe he could quack "Affleck", that'd be funny) I say go for greatness, get Christopher Lee if you can, best of both worlds, camp and drama! As for sexy sister Umar: Moreena Baccarin (Firefly), especially if they include the shower scenes from the last new Defenders issue... heh heh heh...

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 12:50 p.m. CST

    Fantomex

    by Shigeru

    Actually the Shining Knight artist Simone Somethingorother used his sister as the model for Sir Justin (and for Glorianna Tannenbrae--the Sheeda Queen-- as well, ironically enough) for the entire series. Revealing a noble warrior to be a woman in disguise is not a new concept and I was wondering exactly why you think this was such a failure. The end of the issue, with Sir Justin being knighted by her secret love Sir Galahad, coupled with the fact that she was forced to kill him was a nice touch, I thought. Seems to me like you might be missing the forest for the trees?

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 1:31 p.m. CST

    "Missing the forest for the trees" Yeah, I really don't kno

    by Fantomex

    I didn't find the revelation completely unemotional, and the final scene with Sir Justine being knighted by Galahad was moving, but a reveal like this should have you slapping your head saying "of course! it was so obvious how could i miss it". There are 2 problems. Problem 1: Morrison. He couldn't risk a few people actually cracking it so he doesn't foreshadow or give any hint, so when it turns out that "he" is actually a "she" all I can say is "yawn". Morrison's biggest hang up is he wants everyone to think he's oh so smart, and I think secretly he thinks he's too smart for his readers, and maybe the medium itself; it cripples him. Maybe he is smart, he certainly was on X-Men, but here he didn't have the stones to do it honestly, and so disappointment was virtually guaranteed. Problem 2 is simply the medium. Its a Comic. That is very different from an actress playing a man for 60 minues on screen and fooling the audience. The difference between the way Justin(e) was drawn before and after the reveal was as clear as night and day. The difference should have been our perception. "Oh I see it now, he totally looks like a girl!" I didn't think that for second. They used the medium to cheat, and the book is cheapened by it.

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 1:43 p.m. CST

    Thanks for the clarification rev, but late is still late. And S

    by Heywood Jablowme

    But that's what I've come to expect from Marvel lately. This always happens to all their "tentpole" projects. Re: Origin, The Ultimates, Truth, DD Target, DD Father, Spidey/Black Cat, House of M, Secret War, and I'm sure there's more, but you get the point. I can understand being late if it means the artist(s) are going to deliver something special, but you can't really argue that for any of the above books. In the end, they were "okay", not, "Damn that took forever but was worth the wait". Joe Q., you are the freaking EDITOR. Get the damn books out in a more timely manner. A month, sure I could see that, but six? A year? A year plus? That's ri-goddamn-diculous. Bug's right. Set an example.

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 1:54 p.m. CST

    Every issue of the ultimates has been worth the wait.

    by Shigeru

    for my 2.99 at least.

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 2:14 p.m. CST

    Forest: 30-issue-long Seven Soldiers series. A branch on a tree

    by Shigeru

    That's what I meant. This was a FOUR issue lil' arc in a pretty big maxi-series with tons of shit going on (at least enough to confuse Dave!). Shining Knight was never intended to be some "who is the killer??" big mystery series with a huge Bruce-Willis-is-really-a-ghost reveal. (or your Xorn = Magneto example). Morrison tells very dense stories and quite frankly (Frank Quitely? weird) I don't think there was even enough room in 4 issues to build up the 'reveal' of Justine. If Shining Knight was a stand-alone series and had gone on for a dozen issues all with this big reveal being the entire point and climax of it all, then I too would complain a bit. The reveal as it was told didn't punch me in the cock, but like I said, I don't think it was supposed to in the least. I really can't fault Morrison for much of his comic work at all except maybe letting Marc Fucking Silvestri pencil the conclusion to his X-Men run. I doubt he thinks he's too smart for the medium, but if he does to be fair he kinda has earned it.

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 2:19 p.m. CST

    all that said...

    by Shigeru

    I love debating comics, it makes me feel warm and squishy inside!

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 2:21 p.m. CST

    Bug, You Have Nighthawk All Wrong.

    by Buzz Maverik

    For the best version of Nighthawk, you have to go back to Steve Gerber and Sal Buscema's DEFENDERS. Nighthawk isn't a wannabe superhero. He's Batman as a snothole, rich kid fuck up. Sort of Bruce Wayne as a Kennedy or a Getty or a male Hilton. This was back when Marvel was really innovative, riffing wildly off the DC paradigm without telegraphing it. Marvel Universe Earth Kyle Richmond was a filthy rich brat who's Mom died and who's Dad stuck him in prep school. Like the best non-powered heroes, Kyle is mostly exteme personality, as defined by THE WATCHMEN. Initially bullied, he developed a violent temper, a mean streak and complete disregard for authority and safety. Plus, he was exceptional with his dukes. He beat up the bullies and bullied others, even beating up the head master and using wealth and family connections to buy his way out of trouble. Shades of Ted Kennedy and Chappaquittik, as Kyle narrated when his brain was held prisoner by the Headmen (don't ask): "I got a car. I got a girl. I got drunk. She got dead." Wracked with guilt and self disgust, Richmond tried to enlist in the Marines, hoping to get killed in the war du jour. But he had a heart murmur. By that time, his old man had kicked and Kyle was in charge of the vast estate. A self-destructive, mean spirited Tony Stark at this point. Perhaps the extremity of Kyle's personality is what drew the cosmic sadist The Grandmaster to him. The Grandmaster was turning MU citizens into supervillain versions of the Justice League to form the original Squadron Sinister. On an alternate world, these people were forming the Squadron Supreme because Roy Thomas liked this idea and was bored. Kyle became their Batman, aided by a serum that cured his bad heart and probably generally boosted him into the super-arena. The Squadron tangled with the Avengers, Daredevil and Iron Man on a few occasions, but by then, Marvel seemed to realize that the Squadron Supreme was a better idea. Anyway, it was in the DEFENDERS, that the Squadron sold the Earth to Nebulon the Celestial Man. They agreed to melt the polar ice caps and flood it for Nebulon's alien race. Burnt out at that point, Nighthawk tried to contact the Avengers for help. Prevented by Nebulon's technology, he learned of the Defenders who had recently joined forces with the Avengers. After the mission, Namor vowed to no longer ally himself with the Defenders and recommended that they call of Richmond instead. Nighthawk, guilty from a lifetime of being a schnook, agreed because he had a lot to make up for. He was always kind of surly, sarcastic and cynical. He suffered tragedy when his girlfriend Trish Starr lost an arm from a car bomb, planted by her supervillain uncle, Ant-Man's foe Egghead which temporarily brought Yellowjacket into the Defenders. Maybe the most significant Nighthawk story was when the Headmen attempted to destroy the Defenders, surgically stealing Richmond's brain and allowing Chondu the Mystic to inhabit his body. Even in the middle of all of that, Nighthawk was sort of outraged, even paying the husband of the woman who'd been turned into Valkyrie half a million to leave her alone. He was great in MARVEL TEAM UP, getting fed up with Spider-Man who couldn't see the sense in simply leaving the Looter alone and sucker punching Spidey. David Anthony Kraft also wrote Nighthawk well in his DEFENDERS stories, capturing the lonliness, longing and harshness of the character. I'd probably cast Hayden Christianson or Ryan Phillipe, but not a comic actor.

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 2:30 p.m. CST

    Plus, The Cool Thing About Nighthawk Being Rich Was...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...that he was able to hire Luke Cage to be a Defender, which, cooly, Cage hated. Answering the phone: "The Defenders? Not again...Okay, Richmond, I need the bread..."

  • It's like you actually *become* Young Buzz. It's quite cool and it makes me want to get get a Slurpee with my comics.

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 2:52 p.m. CST

    Dave, can you give me the trade for free?

    by El Vale

    Come on! Remember i'm a tragic figure.***I think this whole having the heroes behave like assholes and idiots and dicks "trend" is, really, a reflection of our times. I'm pretty sure the writers prefer to write them as complicated and morally ambiguous people rather than sentient ideals in tights. I would too, so thank god i'm not writing your superhero comics eh?***Really there was a penis in Y? I've only seen penises in Watchmen and i believe there was penis and bush in Powers.*** Gus Nukem: Haha fuck you, asshole! I've been nothing but polite to everyone in this board, so i'm pretty sure i don't deserve all your shit. Fucking idiot.

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 2:57 p.m. CST

    gus and vale

    by Darth Kal-El

    i dont get the links gus.what exactly are u trying to say? i noticed the jabs about speaking english vale.is that what u meant?hey blackthought do u speak spanish too?

  • Which is, i'm afraid, thoroughly disproved. But maybe it's not about that, maybe he thinks he's "hitting me were it hurts" or something. Still my point is...it's totally uncalled for. Even when he told me what i could and couldn't say in a completely diminishing and condescending fashion, i was as nice to him as i could possibly be. So it must be personal right? Except how personal can you get when he doesn't even know my name? Or anything about me for that matter?

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 3:17 p.m. CST

    vale

    by Darth Kal-El

    que entendiste de las imagenes que puso? para mi no me hicieron sentido

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 3:32 p.m. CST

    im trying to practice writing my spanish altho im sure i butcher

    by Darth Kal-El

    i said-Vale, what did u understand from the images he(gus) posted? to me they made no sense.

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 3:32 p.m. CST

    Pues supongo yo...

    by El Vale

    Que esa era la idea. Osea, como que me esta diciendo q soy estupido...o que el que no lo entienda lo es. O tal vez era, no se, como al azar? Mi problema con la vaina es que atacarme a mi porque el ingles no es mi idioma nativo es como atacarte a ti y a Blackthought tambien. No? Yo lo tomaria asi.

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 3:36 p.m. CST

    Kal-El, I'd never wish a miscarriage on you

    by The Heathen

    Hey, what's up w/ this Gus and Vale thing? And I STILL haven't got my books btw. After work today I'm going to spend the $15 in gas to get them (damn, that's like 5 books) and I'll chime in on more review related topics, but until then what other X-Mansion freaks are getting the Cog Smooch treatment this week? *** Glad to see the casting couch back, it was more thought out than I had expected it to be. Giamatti as Umar? That's an interesting choice. The best one I think was Olivier Martinez for Namor. spot on w/ that one. Walken as Silver Surfer's voice? The hell?

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 3:36 p.m. CST

    si de acuerdo

    by Darth Kal-El

    y tambien como dijiste fue un atace sin provocacion.

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 3:41 p.m. CST

    Que?

    by The Heathen

    Crap I'm going to have to bring in my girlfriend to help me translate. : )

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 3:43 p.m. CST

    I see we're going to have a bilingual bloodfest!

    by Heywood Jablowme

    Como estas, bitches!?!

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 3:46 p.m. CST

    The Gus and Vale thing sucks

    by El Vale

    I hate it. This is such a great place to discuss comics and anal sex...i don't want some guy randomly attacking me every time i log on, you know? Especially if it's uncalled for. But you know what? Let's move on...I thought the casting couch was cool, even if it was a bit too reminiscent of Wizard. And i agree, the Namor choice was spot on! I hate that guy

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 3:47 p.m. CST

    Heathen where u been man?

    by Darth Kal-El

    i understand not getting your books yet.i actually havent been to the store in at least 2 weeks.i wouldnt have even been up to date except a friend of mine from work loaned me his stack of books.yeah the casting couch was definetly spot on! im glad its back. as for who will get outed as a bisexual this week i think it all depends on the boredom level next week while we wait for the new column

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 3:55 p.m. CST

    Ai yi yi!

    by rev_skarekroe

    No me gusta!

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 3:57 p.m. CST

    Had to fix girl's car, unpack more shit, etc.

    by The Heathen

    You know how it goes. I hope I don't fall too far behind w/ everything comic related. Hopefully I'll catch back up after tonight. And here's hoping to be being bored! Or we could come up w/ more quips about the Miller cover to AS B&R #2, that's always entertaining.

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 4:02 p.m. CST

    Going to get books!!!

    by The Heathen

    You guy's play nice. Heathen out.

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 5:47 p.m. CST

    Gus Nukem

    by astronato

    I never did get to ask you, what does tLoEG stand for?

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 5:51 p.m. CST

    Emma's return to evil=Red herring

    by Psynapse

    I've seen enough (as in all) Buffy to sincerely believe that Evil Emma is a red herring that Joss is planting to further his upcoming Hellfire story. Anything else would be an utter hack job given this deeeply layered character's history. Unlike the cheese that was Venom's or SabreTooth's redemption, Emma's is very human and I can't see Joss crapping on such a rich character evolution. Cuz y'see while if Kitty equates to Buffy (something Joss himself has said) Emma is Cordelia and anyone who watched the show saw exactly what he did with that Ice Queen, he gave her soul, depth, and compassion beyond means. (At least I'm hoping I'm on the right track cuz if I'm not I'm afraid I will have to send Mr. Whedon a Fonzie doll and a rubber shark as a subtle hint that he's effed the pooch on this one.)

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 5:52 p.m. CST

    No!!!

    by Gus Nukem

    "Almost. -- but only after dealing with every 'ultimate post usurper' wannabe (my english rawks!111!)" -- this is my writing style I am making fun of, not yours. Slightly mangled english and certainly a language no (sober) native English speaker would use. I am not a native english speaker, as well. As for the links they referred to your hypothesizing whether you were paranoid ("am I out of my mind?") about my jabs at you. I was not (referring to you). So, I used some pictures about 'being out of one's mind' to show you were wrong about it, ie "out of your mind". I hope this made sense. I have not been making fun of you, or of your english; the irony was being directed towards me.

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 5:54 p.m. CST

    Oh and as for bilingual bitchfests...

    by Psynapse

    http://babelfish.altavista.com/ Translate and regulate, bitches! (*_^)

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 5:54 p.m. CST

    tLoEG = the intellectual's LXG

    by Gus Nukem

    the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen aka tLoE-o G-m

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 6:11 p.m. CST

    alright vale and gus,you guys hug it out

    by Darth Kal-El

    im glad it was all a misunderstanding. btw sorry about starting the bilingual bitch fest.im seriously trying to practice my spanish writing.

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 6:27 p.m. CST

    Aww!! - I, first

    by Gus Nukem

    how things should (and will) be: http://tinyurl.com/ex6d5 *** PS thanks for: "Gus Nukem: Haha fuck you, asshole! I've been nothing but polite to everyone in this board, so i'm pretty sure i don't deserve all your shit. Fucking idiot."

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 7:01 p.m. CST

    that was cool!

    by Darth Kal-El

    made me laugh too! good job gus

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 7:42 p.m. CST

    and that, my friends, is the way things should be in the new Hou

    by Gus Nukem

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 8:38 p.m. CST

    ahhhhh....

    by blackthought

    *cringes at House of M reference*...any what's new boys? how goes the world of comics?

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 8:44 p.m. CST

    kudos to dave,psynapse and fantomex

    by Homer Sexual

    I really enjoyed what you guys had to say. I think Astonishing is like House of M. They are both fine, but so very overrated that I have some internal backlash against them since they are far less than they are purported to be. did love all members of the House of M this week. And the "big" reveal of Xavier/Danger was just weak, I didnt like it at all, but did think to myself, as a verrrry looongg time reader, "so, it's asshole Xavier again." If Emma is handled badly, I swear I will drop this book. Whedon fine, but Morrison was much, much better. HE was original and was actually coherent on that book. I loved it until the final arc, and miss those days. ps, not to be an ass, but how can this site, supposedly so fanboy, have a reviewer who is unfamiliar with Genosha? I have never even liked the concept of Genosha, but how can anyone with any familiarity with all things X not know about Genosha?

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 9:13 p.m. CST

    Did Someone Actually Defend "WHA...HUH?"

    by Van Damned

    Instead of what folks normally do around here (like call the person names and rant off-topic), I'm simply going to say this comic book should never have seen the light of day. I picked up this week NEEDING a laugh on the way home from work. After 10 precious minutes on the train that I will NEVER get back, I simply placed it on the seat next to me and got off. $3.00 go bye-bye. Marvel, don't do that to me again or I'll seriously think about taking my business elsewhere.

  • Sept. 9, 2005, 10:28 p.m. CST

    that sucks van damned

    by blackthought

    i also fear for whoever picked up the book after you left it.

  • Sept. 10, 2005, 2:07 a.m. CST

    Hey Vale...

    by Dave_F

    Drop me a line with your address (or the address of the correctional institute you currently call home) and I'll send you my ASTONISHING X-MEN trade. My e-mail's up there in my reviews.

  • Sept. 10, 2005, 2:45 a.m. CST

    Gus

    by El Vale

    I'm sorry i called you a fucking idiot and hoped you'd have a miscarriage. I WAS being paranoid and crazy and all the things you said. I'm actually very very glad you weren't actually being a dick cause it was hampering my enjoyment of the board. I really am sorry for saying those things. And it turns out a paranoid is NOT a person with all the facts.

  • Sept. 10, 2005, 2:53 a.m. CST

    Dave

    by El Vale

    Ok now that's three of you who've offered to bring/send me comics. You guys are so cool it makes me wanna cry like a little girl. It's a big deal for me, it really is. It's not about the trade, Whedon or anything, it's the gesture like you'd be willing to give me something you spent money on, just like that. So seriously thanks a million. Means a lot. I'll drop you a line.

  • Sept. 10, 2005, 10:38 a.m. CST

    oh my

    by blackthought

    so much love in this talkbalk...no where else can you find this.

  • Sept. 10, 2005, 10:39 a.m. CST

    Flash

    by Homer Sexual

    I did not like the last two issues of the Rogue War story arc. The last issue, in paricular, somehow managed to be both confusing and predictable. Not to mention hokey. And, I hate time travel ret-con b.s. So, anyway, I have only been a sporadic reader of Flash anyway, and that was it for me.

  • Sept. 10, 2005, 1:57 p.m. CST

    Off-topic : Space opera in Scientology doctrine

    by Gus Nukem

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_opera_in_Scientology_doctrine *** today's wikipedia featured article. Unbe-effing-lievable. And I thought these guys were simple con-men or something.

  • Sept. 10, 2005, 2:01 p.m. CST

    abstract

    by Gus Nukem

    In Scientology doctrine, space opera was the term used by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard to describe extraterrestrial civilizations and alien interventions in Earthly affairs. It forms a major element of the beliefs of Scientology. Hubbard claimed that the modern-day science fiction genre of space opera is merely an unconscious recollection of real events from millions of years ago. Scientology's doctrines famously include the story of Xenu, the ruler of the Galactic Confederacy who brought billions of frozen people to Earth 75 million years ago, stacked them around volcanoes and blew them up with hydrogen bombs. However, Xenu is only one small (though important) element of Scientologists' beliefs in alien civilizations. Such beliefs have existed in Scientology since its beginning, with Hubbard writing and lecturing about civilizations such as Helatrobus, the Espinol Confederacy and Arslycus in the 1950s and Xenu's Galactic Confederacy in the 1960s. He described repeated instances of them using brainwashing implants on hapless beings. He also spoke of alien invasions of Earth, such as that carried out around 6235 BC by the Fifth Invader Force, who were "very strange insect-like creature[s] with unthinkably horrible hands." **** and a picture caption : "Xenu's victims were transported in interstellar space planes which looked exactly like Douglas DC-8s"

  • Sept. 10, 2005, 2:19 p.m. CST

    My opinion of Astonishing is

    by The Heathen

    that I like it very much, and I think it's the only X-Men anything that's worth reading right now (besides Millar's Wolverine run) and I wait every month for it. The representation of the characters is great. Especially Kitty, Scott, Logan, Hank, and Piotr. So what if Whedon gives Charlie a little "dark secret" from his past. This is the guy that STILL hangs out w/ the X-Mens arch enemy Magneto. And look what he caused - the shitfest of HoM!!! (Hated #6 btw, I just want it to end) Like Dave said, the X-Men have had sooo many bad things happen in this sprawling universe that it seems impossible to fix. And (I might get shit on for this) I don't think having secondary mutations, wearing leather "movie" outfits, or having Xorn be Magneto did anything else to help out the X-Men either. I'll take this Whedon and Cassaday run gladly. I also don't mind how the characters talk (despite the wedgie line) everything flows good. The dialogue between Piotr and Kitty in this run, Scott and Emma's discussions, Logan's one liners all seem fitting to me. And how could you not like Kitty saying, "That all you got

  • Sept. 10, 2005, 9:56 p.m. CST

    by Ryogam

    Just my $.02 on Whendon's Astonishing, but I had a hard time enjoying the "Danger Room comes alive and goes evil" idea because the same thing happened to Cerebro a few years back and the idea seems repetitive. Next story arc? The X-men's microwave burns Wolverine's pizza pockets, maybe...on purpose? And the "Emma may be a traitor" idea is too close to the Mystique, Sabertooth, Juggarnaut, storylines from years back. But, his Kitty and Collosus are well-written so he gets alot of slack from me.

  • Sept. 10, 2005, 10:19 p.m. CST

    Isn't Gargoyle supposed to be an elderly man?

    by JonQuixote

    I also agree with Buzz about Nighthawk, who in my experiences has been a really interesting character. One of my first comics was a Marvel Team Up with him and Spidey, where he confronted his not really dead ex-girlfriend. He's got a lot of potential, anyway. *** I like the Sub-Mariner & Surfer casting though not the Doc Strange. Doc Strange is one of those characters who needs to be commanding, a veteran presence. I think Superninja once suggested Daniel Day Lewis on these very boards and I've never been able to get it out of my head. Kenneth Branagh was my initial selection; I think he could do the trick also.

  • Sept. 11, 2005, 12:03 a.m. CST

    i think

    by blackthought

    elijah snow should play doctor strange...err...or someone human maybe...like vincent price...hmmmm...i'm high on muffins right now...i'll throw out names like sean penn (shudders)...or pierce bronsan...or russell crowe...or the honorable bruce campbell.

  • Sept. 11, 2005, 12:06 a.m. CST

    oh wait

    by blackthought

    the rebirth of chevy chase rising from the ashes to play doctor stephen steven stefano strange.

  • Sept. 11, 2005, 1:34 p.m. CST

    Yeah, yeah,YEAH!

    by TheMostHorrible

    I agree with Ryogam re: the similarity of the Cerebro/Danger stories. Kinda makes you wonder why X wouldn't pull the plug on the sentient Danger room considering what happened (using the danger room tech) when Cerebro came to life back then. And re: the "baddies turning goodies, but they're really baddies still, maybe or maybe not," storylines...I agree it gets kind of tired. I think it's okay for Magneto to be redeemed and join the good guys. He doesn't have to go bad again, then good, then bad then get his head lopped off, cept not really... The path to redemption is one storyline that's as old as storytelling, but doesn't necessarily have to get old, especially in stories about HEROES. Same goes for Sabretooth, Juggy, Mystique, ROGUE, GAMBIT etc etc. It's kind of what the X-men started getting good at: Taking those "evil" mutants and turning them around, or at least trying. The path to redemption doesn't have to be a quick one, or one without the occasional twist and turn. But the revolving door of redemption is weak. I saw the Juggy redemption coming down the chute YEARS ago, and couldn't wait for it. I encourage writers and editors to allow Cain Marko to stay on that path. Let it be a winding one, with hills and valleys, sure. But flicking a character's "evil" on and off like a kid at a lightswitch is just empty and half assed storytelling. And re: Gargoyle, yes, he was an old dude transformed into the Gargoyle. I always liked that. It was different. He wasn't a brainy teen bitten by radioactive statuary. And re: blackthought's muffins...can I have a bite? It sounds like fun, and I'd love to grok what the hell that Chevy Chase biz is all about.

  • Sept. 11, 2005, 6 p.m. CST

    some kick-ass Grant Morrison interviews at

    by Gus Nukem

    comicon.com/pulse and at silverbulletcomicbooks.com *** "I

  • Sept. 12, 2005, 12:21 a.m. CST

    Grant's my all-time fave comic book interview subject.

    by Dave_F

    Even when I disagree with him on stuff, he makes me want to be a believer. Take 52 for instance: no way in hell I'll be reading it, but Grant's actually got the power to make me think I could be missing something. He's the ultimate bohemian PR man.

  • Sept. 12, 2005, 12:56 a.m. CST

    is he the only one?

    by blackthought

    or is there anyone else who makes DAVE_F waver into things?

  • Sept. 12, 2005, 1:44 a.m. CST

    I think it's only Grant, truthfully.

    by Dave_F

    I've read some great interviews with comic creators whose work doesn't particularly appeal to me (Jim Woodring comes to mind), but Grant's got a special means of persuaveness that would have me marching beside him to overthrow the government. If. you know, that's something he felt like *doing*. I still think one of the best things about his first NEW X-MEN trade is the inclusion of the proposal that landed him the job. And I'd pretty much written off ARKHAM ASYLUM as horribly misguided pretentiousness years ago, but repackaged with Morrison's original script and notes, it became a terrific rediscovery a year or so back. Funny, though: half the time I can't tell if the guy's bullshittin' or not in his interviews and retrospectives. For instance, he's taken shots at Alan Moore before, but are they sincere? Is he taking the piss, or is this some in-joke between he and Alan? And I'm honestly not sure if Morrison's enthusiasm for the big "52" event is real. And if it *is* real, might it just be enthusiasm for the project as a novelty-based experiment or even an exercise in PR rejuvination? I remember reading some liner notes for a Talking Heads CD once, where David Byrne refuted accusations that the band had no real passion for music and just saw it as some kind of intellectual exercise. Seems I've heard similar criticisms of the Coen Brothers, too - this sense that these minds might be great, or might just be housing some kind of Kaufman-esque pranksterism. Ultimately it's difficult, maybe impossible, to devine the inner workings of creative minds, so I guess the best we can hope for is simply that they entertain us, actual intent be damned.

  • Sept. 12, 2005, 12:46 p.m. CST

    Damn, I had to actually search for this link

    by The Heathen

    Eh, what's up doc? Another long weekend for myself, how about you guy's? *** I don't know Dave, I'm so curious about 52 and how it's going to play out from week to week that I'll be along for the ride. Plus it's one book that I can get the story quicker with and I like the creative team behind it - I'm there. Morrison is pretty damn awesome at selling something though. I mean if you, jaded spandex, manga lovin' Dave_F are almost convinced nobody else stands a chance to resist reading it!

  • Sept. 12, 2005, 12:59 p.m. CST

    Supreme Power #18

    by The Heathen

    DAAAMMMNNN!!! I love this book. I read issues 13-18 last night after reading the HC a month back and I just love it. The only thing I don't like is the delays of the book coming out, but that's why I read 6 issues in a row last night. I can see why you couldn't get into it on a monthly basis Kal-El, but try reading it straight through. What Mark does at the end of the last issue is incredible and the coolest way of saying, "don't fuck with me." I think I've ever scene. When is this moving to MK? I wish it never would. I think we need the fuck you's and raw violence and the reality of being nude after causing a huge explosion or getting into a big fight. How are the going to cover up Kingsley? I think it's a bad move and I hope it doesn't take anything away from the gritty details of the story.

  • Sept. 12, 2005, 2:25 p.m. CST

    about Morrison

    by Gus Nukem

    I believe Grant Morrison is always honest, in a Silver Age way. I don't think he undertakes projects when he has nothing important to say, just to pay the rent. *** Alan Moore is always honest, but more like in a Dr. Manhattan, omniscient and omnipotent being way. These gentlemen speak their mind and do comics, only that they fancied to do. *** Dave, I read your Previews column at the 4thRail and I can't see how none of you guys chose All-Star Superman as your Pick of the Month. How can it fail to be that ? / Also, as an editor here you should make sure the link in the main page's main column also appears in the comics link section.

  • Sept. 12, 2005, 2:27 p.m. CST

    SP

    by Shigeru

    I too love that book, but I wish something would...y'know... HAPPEN. Tons of cool character stuff, cool concepts and cool little teases as to larger storylines (Kingsley seeing the demon outline around Joe when he's talking to hot power princess chick)... but it all feels like it's leading up to something, and I have this dreadful feeling that it's going to fizzle out once it moves to MK. Oh yeah there was that fight with the superpowered arm-ripper-offer dude...but y'know it's all building up to something... And if the move to MK means Kingsley suddenly has a costume or bikini on for no reason...well eff that.

  • Sept. 12, 2005, 2:42 p.m. CST

    I agree Shigeru

    by The Heathen

    I have the same worries about it building up in the MAX line and then nothing happens in MK. I also thought the same thing about Kingsley wearing a bikini. How many more issues are going to be MAX? Please don't screw this series up Marvel.

  • Sept. 12, 2005, 2:44 p.m. CST

    Serenity #3 was

    by The Heathen

    good as usual. Good bits with Mal and his enemy and dealing w/ his feelings for Inara. I'm reallly anxious for the movie now. Good thing it's only a few weeks away!!! You finished watching the series Kal-El?

  • Sept. 12, 2005, 2:51 p.m. CST

    Fell #1 was

    by The Heathen

    a good first issue w/ a nice "easier on the wallet" concept w/out sacrificing the story length or quality due to the 9 panels grid layout and the art of Ben Templesmith. I'm there for the next one.

  • Sept. 12, 2005, 3:48 p.m. CST

    Outsiders #28

    by The Heathen

    I didn't think I'd pick any more issues of this up after the cross-over w/ the Teen Titans that didn't thrill me with the art and story, but then there was a 2-part story that I really liked and now there is a new artist (Matthew Clark) with this latest issue that peaked my interest and I'm glad it did becuse I liked this issue. I enjoyed the art a whole lot more and Winick seemed to be having a good day too, so I might check back in. Liked Metamorpho and Shifts interaction and Nightwing w/ Starfire was cool.

  • Sept. 12, 2005, 4:05 p.m. CST

    HoM #6 was

    by The Heathen

    CRAP. I'm finally fed up. I don't like the square heads of Wolverine, Cyclops, and Luke Cage especially. Fuck Wizard for saying this guy's one of the top ten artisits right now. The story is more of the same besides the planning of an attack which I've never been so bored reading. I hated Logan's, "you're going to regret saying that" or whatever the way Bendis wrote it one-liners to Jessica. By the time the attack was on the page I was completely bored already and didn't give a shit about it. How can this be the same writer who's had two really good issues of New Avengers out in succession, but I'm tired of HoM. What makes it worse is that this is going to have a big effect on the Marvel U. Shame, damn shame. It's doubtful the last 2 issues will resolve anything properly.

  • Sept. 12, 2005, 4:15 p.m. CST

    Villains United #5 was

    by The Heathen

    Kick ass. Catman is cool. Gail Simone rocks as usual. I doubt the Secret Six survive the battle next issue with about 50 villains from Luthor's Society, but I can't wait to see what happens. And did I mention that Lex found Pariah from the original Crisis. And Pyscho Pirate was in JSA Classified #2 last week too wasn't he? Hmmm?

  • Sept. 12, 2005, 4:29 p.m. CST

    Hello? Anybody? Are people in shock from watching The Man With t

    by The Heathen

    I know I am. Dammit, I thought Alien Apocalypse was bad, but sheesh Bruce, I'll never get that time back from either of these pieces of shit!!! I woke up a few times on the couch and saw a crash test dummy walking around and thought i was in a weird nightmare, which I guess I was technically. Anyways, back to comics

  • Sept. 12, 2005, 4:31 p.m. CST

    All Week Cog Smooches ASSSEMBLE!!!

    by The Heathen

    and as I type this I'm leaving work

  • Sept. 12, 2005, 5:05 p.m. CST

    i played hooky today

    by Darth Kal-El

    one of my best friends is moving to texas for a few months so weve been partying all weekend long! i took today off to rest a little bit.ill be dropping in to say hey throughout the day.im on the last disc heathen!do the comics take place after the series and then go into the movie?man im in love with inara and kayle!

  • Sept. 12, 2005, 5:57 p.m. CST

    Gus

    by Dave_F

    A few months back, I could've sworn ALL-STAR SUPERMAN would have to be my pick too, but even Morrison's not above the law. I was finding myself disappointed with the resolutions in SEVEN SOLDIERS and, honestly, the WIZARD preview of ALL-STAR SUPES didn't wow me. I think Morrison's particular brand of neo-Silver Age dialogue affectations can be just as self-indulgent as Bendis's Mamet-wannabe routine or Byrne's ultra-retro or Ellis's "everyone talks like me, you rabid shitstain." No one gets off scott free if they overindulge, and I think Morrison, God love his alien mind, is overindulging. ALL-STAR SUPES may end up winning me over like NEW X-MEN did, though. I'm still looking forward to it, and expect, at minimum, flashes of brilliance. ****** By the way, SERENITY dorks, I'll finally be reviewing the series in its entirety for this week's column. Call off your dogs. ****** And regarding Catman's coolness...could you ever imagine someone commenting on it before now? I've actually been kind of digging Gail's VILLAINS UNITED, the one bright spot in the build to INFINITE CRISIS. I love it's bizarre mixture of amorality and black humor and day-glo villains. That said, Catman shoulda stuck with his tribal Tarzan look. As cool as Gail writes him, that yellow and orange shit is the worst costume since Wonder Man's original digs: http://tinyurl.com/9bamz

  • Sept. 12, 2005, 6:35 p.m. CST

    Serenity: Kal-El and Dave_F

    by The Heathen

    Yeah Kal, the comics take place after the series (probably a few months after) and the mini ends right before the movie. Dave, I almost gave you some more shit about not reviewing Serenity again and then I saw your post. It's like you knew what I was thinking ya manga nerd! And I never would have thought of Catman as being cool before VU. Even w/ his costume he's my favorite character in that series. Hope he survives next issue. If it's a superhero

  • Sept. 12, 2005, 8:06 p.m. CST

    i'm with you heathen

    by blackthought

    baccarin is heavenly...only way she can get better is if she um consents to my company. and for god yes, i love catman, glad others do too...he better live.

  • Sept. 12, 2005, 11:38 p.m. CST

    Morena Baccarin is a dirty, dirty tramp.

    by Dave_F

    Now Jewel Staite on the other hand...Whedon's greatest girl-next-door quirky/sexy goddess since Alyson Hannigan. There was this one episode where Baccarin was brushing Staite's hair, though. I think it almost gave me a hair-brushing fetish. ****** Oh, and another aside to Gus: we don't have the power to archive our front page stories into the li'l archive section. Done by the modster types, and I'm sure it'll happen with this latest column shortly, but it's out of our hands. We just write the stuff, send it in, and make a wish.

  • Sept. 13, 2005, 1:29 a.m. CST

    ...

    by Gus Nukem

    I pray for the inclusion of this column's link into the main page's comics box. My thoughts are with whoever will fix this. Be well. **** If possible, you guys should ask for the addition of italics, bold characters, a fix to loooong urls and a preview of your post. **** It's Quitely, Morrison and Superman. The first manned expedition to the surface of the Sun. Quitely. How can this fail? As for Morrison overindulging, I don't think he 'll fail to deliver. IMO, so far the best Superman stories are the Silver Age ones. The (infantile) SF-ional feel, the Boy Scout (but in a good way - as Mark Waid remarked) feel, the kindness and simplicity that are the core, or if you prefer the heart, of what makes Superman great; I think Morrison has an excellent grasp of that. He nods to the best elements of other eras and creators, but - I am certain - he 'll go much much further. He rescues the first manned solar expedition - what else do you need? I love Quitely's art and, from what I 've seen, I 'll love how he has reinterpreted the simplicity, clarity and fun of the Silver Age Superman art. **** Any news on Year 100 ? Or ... the new League project by Moore/O'Neill ? It will feature a cd with Moore singing and speaking, right ? Wasn't this to be released by the end of 2005 ? (I know, it *is* a blasphemy to call the aforementioned gentlemen by their last names) --- Forgive me, but I am dead tired (I simply *had* to finish Doom 3 (anyone played 'Resurrection of Evil' through?)) and my english is (are?) betraying me. End of post.

  • Sept. 13, 2005, 2:54 a.m. CST

    I gave up on DOOM 3 after about an hour.

    by Dave_F

    Hated the ALIENS V. PREDATOR-style attempt to make it scarifying when everyone who's played the original DOOMS knows what's at the heart of the series: unchecked, power fantasy carnage in the heart of some metalhead's vision of Hell. Sure, those early games had their scares, but their scares were along the lines of "a hundred doors just opened and unleashed a hundred of those pig-dog things." It was all about the ungodly carnage, the massive firepower, and one man going toe-to-toe with the assembled forces of the underworld...not creeping through corridors with lightbulbs stolen from the set of SE7EN. So I went and played HALF LIFE 2 instead. Infinitely more satisfying. ********* About Superman: even as a kid, I hated the Silver Age SUPERMAN stories (well, reprints of 'em anyway). They were painfully uncool with their lame-ass villains and contrived endings and deus ex machina uses of Superman's powers. I can sorta dig the Golden Age stuff, where Supes was this roughneck type hero who cracked wise like all heroes of the era and took down gangsters and war profiteers, but he never really connected with me (beyond a certain iconic connection) until Byrne made him over. To me, Byrne captured the central "goodness" of the character, but brought some of the same sci-fi appeal as did Elliot Maggin in LAST SON OF KRYPTON. I need that grounding for the character to work. That was the genius of Marvel at its best - that it could ground its characters without losing too much of their vintage Silver Age heroism. Waid, for me, grounded Superman *too much* in his BIRTHRIGHT mini - the action too limited, the vibe too New Agey - and as for Rucka, the less said the better. Rucka turned Superman into a mouse. But jumping back for a sec, DC's Silver Age seemed to treat sci-fi concepts the same way it treated magic: anything goes; there are no rules. But I prefer some structure. When there are no rules, you get your deus ex machinas and a feeling of randomness. It can be *too* irreverent to reality, which might be a surrealist's dream, but not necessarily a dramatist's. And when I say "self-indulgent" of Morrison, I mean lines like "Fear is the sauce on the steak of life!" coming from an astronaut. Morrison's a little in love with his esoteric irreverence, and when I sense the authorial voice to that degree, I feel the *character* is being done a disservice. I see more Morrison than Superman, and isn't that just a bit conceited? The same way Tim Burton put his stamp on Batman to such a degree that it was a Tim Burton movie first, a Batman movie second? Is it so humiliating for writers to step back their idiosyncrasies in deference to creating a little verisimilitude in their world settings? I don't think so. And I said "step back", note, not eliminate. But we shall see. I did enjoy the sequence with Luthor in the prelude, and the one thing I unabashedly loved was the one-page summation of Superman's origin: http://tinyurl.com/bgtgu ******** As for the message board stuff, Gus, all I can say is: folks are working on it. Stay patient and hopefully we'll all be rewarded before too, too long.

  • Sept. 13, 2005, 10:34 a.m. CST

    Anyone out there in New England??

    by Shigeru

    I am thinking I am breaking down and actually going to go to Wizard World Boston... fucking John Cassaday is going to be there! I shall grab him by the scruff of his neck and say to him verily: "WHEN IS THE NEXT ISSUE OF PLANETARY COMING OUT YOU STINKING HIPPY?!? WHO DID WILLIAM LEATHER SHOOT ON THE NAUTILUS??" Okay so yeah I get a little upset when someone mentions Planetary... what? I brought it up? okay fair enough, I need more sleep.

  • Sept. 13, 2005, 1:12 p.m. CST

    finally finished firefly

    by Darth Kal-El

    whats the story is the series cancelled?and yeah its official i am completely in love with morena bacarin.

  • Sept. 13, 2005, 3 p.m. CST

    whoops shigeru

    by blackthought

    that might of been me who mentioned planetary or elijah snow at least...only cuz i just re-read the first 2 trades for its goodness.

  • Sept. 13, 2005, 3:04 p.m. CST

    no prob...it IS pure goodness, isn't it?

    by Shigeru

    I am seriously gonna ask him when the next ish comes out. I probably won't throttle him, but yeah I dunno even know if I'll get a book signed, I'll just ask when it's coming out. FUCK drawing Kitty Pryde and her wedgie metallic anal dong fetish! I want E. Snow freezing genetalia!

  • Sept. 13, 2005, 4:56 p.m. CST

    FIREFLY lives now only in our hearts.

    by Dave_F

    Yeah, 's cancelled Darth. Shame, huh? Only made it eleven episodes, and if you saw thirteen or fourteen then you were seeing a few bonus unnaired episodes. Now: what many a fan will tell you is that the network killed the show with bad time slots, out-of-order episodes, and pre-emptings. Partially true. BUT...I was into the show when it was originally running, and what I saw was that it simply didn't click for some people - even BUFFY/ANGEL fans, who theoretically would've made up its base - and some were just quick to write it off. They didn't like the space western motif or they thought it was too cheesy or...well, whatever. And then it suddenly hit DVD and word-of-mouth was strong enough to turn it into a hit. That in turn paved the way for the upcoming SERENITY movie, but even if that's successful, it's doubtful the show will ever be re-instated. It was the ideal format, obviously, but Whedon's as much as said that if the movie succeeds...it just means more movies. No serial fun. And me, I put some of the blame on the fans. Maybe they were pissed Joss seemed to have abandoned BUFFY and ANGEL for FIREFLY? And I just want a little geek accountability: they fucked up a good thing too. "A western in space? I don't git it!"

  • Sept. 13, 2005, 5:34 p.m. CST

    Dave - Re: Morrison, Doom 3 and 1989 Batman

    by Gus Nukem

    Well, I 've played through both HL2 and Doom 3. These are quite different games. Both very good, well crafted and enjoyable. HL2 was mindblowing. But Doom3 was a game that really lived up to its name. A feeling of dread permeated the whole game and the ending where you managed to walk away, was a release. I am pretty sure that this is how things would be if one had to survive an invasion from hell. I don't see why this game should be an update to the gameplay of the first two. That would be boring and too simple; you can mock compare it to Se7en all you like, but I suppose you 'd find 'Painkiller' and its expansion very close to your Doom 2-affectations. **** I see your point abour Morrison's self-indulgence not about his works, but regarding himself. The SBCBs interview had a few odd moments. --- ""Fear is the sauce on the steak of life!" coming from an astronaut" - where did you read that? Anyway, his work has never failed to live up to his (Morrison's) hype, at least as long as I can remember. And I still haven't read something from him that underestimates the reader's intelligence, or taste, nor sth. that lacks a bit of the author's breath (in the biblic way). **** As for Burton's Batman, it could be regarded as a fine Elseworlds tale, just like the Nolan one. Not necessarily the canon Batman. Its production design and score were excellent. Gotham city was an expressionist, mythic labyrinth. Not to mention that I watched it in a cinema at the tender age of 7 and was completely blown away.

  • Sept. 13, 2005, 6:02 p.m. CST

    thanks dave

    by Darth Kal-El

    i am truly sorry to hear that there will be no more.i kept hearing about it from other comic book geeks but i honestly thought it was going to be some kind of star trek or babylon 5 type of thing.i was not expecting to like it and came away very pleaseantly surprised.i am defintely going to be there opening night for the movie.it would be so cool if this came back.there are still so many unanswered questions!has the comic started to adress anything or is it just a setup for the movie?im going to have to try to find the gorram comic now!i see what u meant in your erlier post about jewel staite having the inoccent girl next door quality.her and morena are so damn attractive! even summer glau is attractive in a creepy way

  • Sept. 13, 2005, 6:04 p.m. CST

    Here's a link to some scans of WIZARD's preview, Gus

    by Dave_F

    It's the first place I could turn up that had 'em (just some guy's blog) and includes the steak sauce line: http://tinyurl.com/89f4m Note that the second scan, obviously, is just some random other thing and NOT from ALL-STAR SUPERMAN. Anyway, some stuff I like, some stuff I don't, but even if it ends up just existing as some weird Superman opus, I'm quite likely to pick it up.

  • Sept. 13, 2005, 6:07 p.m. CST

    Summer Glau should have a future career...

    by Dave_F

    ...in playing forest nymphs in the Greek mythological tradition. She's got the creepy/wispy thing quite down.

  • Sept. 13, 2005, 6:16 p.m. CST

    i agree dave

    by Darth Kal-El

    i think everyone on firefly was perfectly cast and played the roles great but she pulled off the creepy headcase chick so well!part of the appeal of the series was, to me, the cool characters.some of the dialogue clunked a bit but for the most part it was good.i love me some of Jayne's one liners. "Thats why i never kiss 'em in the mouth"

  • Sept. 13, 2005, 7:08 p.m. CST

    thanks Dave

    by Gus Nukem

    I 'd have liked to see the scans, but forgot to ask for links. So, thanks. **** About the contents of these pages... wow.

  • Sept. 13, 2005, 11:46 p.m. CST

    oh jayne

    by blackthought

    can you imagine a spin-off show or movie all bout jayne and his wonderful personality?

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 1:12 a.m. CST

    that would be cool

    by Darth Kal-El

    id like to see a jayne show about his days before the serenity. wow its been almost the whole week and nary a discussion of anal sex has emerged.

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 2:28 a.m. CST

    Eye yam back!

    by El Vale

    My computer tried to crap out on me and i almost...i mean i came very close to losing every file ever. But there is a god! How are you guys? Thanks for the All Star scans, i've been waiting for those a long long time. Now one thing that i don't want people complaining about is ASS being late. It's gonna be late, everyone knows this.***Writers and their quirks: I know how infuriating they can be. Bendis-speak never bothered me on Powers or Daredevil. I obviously noticed the Bendis speak but it never got bad...but there were parts in Alias where it felt forced. Azzarello calls too much attention to his clever dialogue, up to the point where it stops sounding clever. You've seen it "Well Lono, life is a funny thing..." separate panel "...when you're dead". What i mean is that, by spreading it like that, a single cool sounding sentence can lose its coolness because you can just feel Azzarello going "Look! See how clever i am?! See?". Warren Ellis pissed me off in Transmet when he just got too weird and too blasphemous for the sake of weirdness and Blasphemy. "The cumridden dickwad shat on the virgin mary until a million baby jesuses sprung from her throbbing vagina and drowned the world back in 2045, and i can asure you it was the most fun the planet had that decade". Still it's when these creators rise above that shit that they're able to create something significant, and i'm a big fan of all of them for it. Some creators are quirks and quirks only...just look at Claremont nowadays.

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 8:34 a.m. CST

    new column...

    by Shigeru

    I wonder if we'll see a review of Y the Last Penis in the new column?

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 10:43 a.m. CST

    i just wonder

    by blackthought

    if we'll have any reviews at all.

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 12:30 p.m. CST

    welcome back vale

    by Darth Kal-El

    sorry to hear about your computer man.did u manage to save the porn?!on a related subject the new column is not up so are we doing anal sex at the x-mansion again? psylocke-most definately freaky! a repressed british girl suddenly put into the body of a hot asian chick? talk about conflicting emotions! probably let logan slip it in the pooper on those lonely uneventful nights on graymalkin lane.

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 1:02 p.m. CST

    N.E., Firefly, and screwy links

    by TempusFugitive

    For what it's worth (nothing) I'm in New England / the greater Boston area. Don't have any plan to attend Wizard world though... just can't get myself interested enough to go. I went into Firefly (the series) with hope, and the first episode seemd a little screwy to me. But I kept watching, and within a couple weeks, I was deeply hooked. When the DVD set came out, and I watched all (including the unaired) episodes in the right order, I'm convinced it would have worked better aired in order. I can completely understand a tv viewer more fickle than I giving up afte rthe first aired episode. Finally, what's up with this weeks @$$Hole posting? I see it lited on the "Cool News" page, but it just send me to an old Superman Returns "scoop" by Harry. Stupid interweb!

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 1:06 p.m. CST

    'I am a vagina!!!'

    by Gus Nukem

    A perverted version of Mr. Mxyzpltk says that in 'the Authority: the Magnificent Kevin #1'. Is that a reference to something ? Can anyone explain it ?

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 1:45 p.m. CST

    Gus

    by Shigeru

    It's a reference to women's anatomy. Their sexual anatomy. yeah I'm a dick. (hey look that works in context!)

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 1:58 p.m. CST

    Hey Shigeru, I FINALLY found that movie theater in Maine

    by The Heathen

    www.criteriontheater.com *** Located in Bar Harbor. I'd like to go back there some day, but can't afford to anytime soon. : ( *** I think whenever a link screws up it goes to that Superman Returns scoop page. Weird. Sounds cool that the messsage board stuff may be different soon

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 2:07 p.m. CST

    yes, but why does the imp say that?

    by Gus Nukem

    n/t

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 7:50 p.m. CST

    Robots in a redesign.

    by Paddy O`Really

    I was a bit unsure of what IDW were going to do with the Transformers redo, I am beginning to really look forward to them being back in comic`s once again.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 7:08 a.m. CST

    THERE'S?

    by blackthought

    VAGINAS IN SUPERMAN?

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 10:38 p.m. CST

    vagina's in superman

    by Darth Kal-El

    not the LAST time i checkd

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 1:11 a.m. CST

    Yes there are vaginas in Superman

    by El Vale

    I mean..there are female characters in it right? I'm pretty sure Lois Lane has one of those.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 9:33 a.m. CST

    vaginas & the Magnificent Kevin #1

    by Gus Nukem

    A **perverted** version of Mr. Mxyzpltk says that in 'the Authority: the Magnificent Kevin #1'. Is that a reference to something ? Can anyone explain it ? **** This comic sure is a joke on the readers/buyers (but not on the downloaders ;-D ) - just like most of Ennis's 'superhero' stories (a natural paradox, by all means), but it sure has some laugh out loud moments -- like, the Alien sequence, a hillarious satire on the Northern Ireland conflict and Kevin's wet dream.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 10:27 p.m. CST

    nothern irish wet dreams...

    by blackthought

    hmmmmmm.....

  • Sept. 19, 2005, 9:49 p.m. CST

    Ok so

    by El Vale

    LAST

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 6:46 p.m. CST

    um no

    by blackthought

    LAST

  • Sept. 22, 2005, 4:52 p.m. CST

    nice job, lads

    by Gus Nukem

    but NO CIGAR. LAST!

  • Sept. 22, 2005, 10:17 p.m. CST

    don't need one

    by blackthought

    thanks, LAST.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 11:15 a.m. CST

    close call

    by Gus Nukem

    but no LAST post for you. LAST.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 6:30 p.m. CST

    oh, it is closer then you think my friend

    by blackthought

    LAST

  • Sept. 26, 2005, 8:37 a.m. CST

    it gets even more

    by Gus Nukem

    while I stay LAST!

  • Sept. 26, 2005, 3:43 p.m. CST

    YAWN'S...

    by blackthought

    AND LAST!

  • Sept. 28, 2005, 6:26 p.m. CST

    go back to bed, sir

    by Gus Nukem

    it's my turn to keep watch, out here in this *LAST* outpost.

  • Sept. 29, 2005, 12:52 p.m. CST

    i'm here to relieve you...

    by blackthought

    of the LAST duties, when you come back for your watch, please bring some snacks, i'm slightly hungry.

  • Sept. 29, 2005, 3:29 p.m. CST

    yeah, sure

    by Gus Nukem

    LAST!

  • Sept. 30, 2005, 5:34 p.m. CST

    ....

    by blackthought

    LAST!

  • Sept. 30, 2005, 5:49 p.m. CST

    not to mince words, are ya?

    by Gus Nukem

    Guess what... nor am I. LAST!

  • Sept. 30, 2005, 5:49 p.m. CST

    oops: read not one to...

    by Gus Nukem

    and once more...L@ST!

  • Oct. 1, 2005, 2:55 p.m. CST

    ......i'm feeling.......

    by blackthought

    LASTFUL, sorta like lustful, but with LASTing.

  • Oct. 8, 2005, 7:17 p.m. CST

    hold them horses, buster

    by Gus Nukem

    LAST!

  • Oct. 8, 2005, 11:16 p.m. CST

    sorries

    by blackthought

    no horses to be held...but still LAST!