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AICN COMICS! SHE-HULK! JUSTICE! INDIE JONES! AND MORE!

#22 10/12/05 & 10/19/05 #4

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

JUSTICE #2
SHE-HULK V2 #1
HACK SLASH: FIRST CUT TPB
FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN #1/MARVEL KNIGHTS SPIDER-MAN #19
CHIAROSCURO: THE PRIVATE LIVES OF LEONARDO DA VINCI TPB
Indie Jones presents…
CHEAP SHOTS!

JUSTICE #2 (of 12)

Writer: Jim Krueger
Artists: Doug Braithwaite & Alex Ross
Publisher: DC Comics
Reviewer: Prof. Challenger



Damn. Has it been 2 months already?

I was somewhat concerned about these guys’ ability to maintain the quality level from issue to issue, but I guess I shouldn't have been concerned. If anything, issue 2 is better than issue 1.

It's a good idea to choose the narrative style that they've chosen for this series, considering that it is going to be bi-monthly for 2 years. What it looks like they're doing is choosing a different character to narrate each issue's stand-alone, yet interconnected, story. Last issue was Luthor and set the stage for the overarching storyline, but this issue is narrated by Batman as he works to take down the Riddler, who's just downloaded a lot of very important secrets out of Batman's batcomputer. And it works. Just as last issue presented the most revealing presentation of Luthor's character I think I've ever read, this issue does the same for the Riddler. Krueger sets up for the reader, through Batman's narrative, enough of the Riddler's backstory to inform all of us as to the demons that drive the Riddler to do what he does. What I thought was so clever was that his pathological need to provide riddles as clues is really his attempt to get around an unfortunate inability to ever lie ~ beaten into him by his abusive father. So sue me. I thought that was a fantastic way of establishing an understandable motivation to the character.

Visually, the look that Braithwaite and Ross chose for the Riddler was unique to this series but evocative of past designs. Gone are the Gorshin-esque tights, but maintained is the bowler hat and sunglasses of the Bruce Timm design from BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES. Retained as well is the big Question Mark staff wielded by Jim Carey in BATMAN FOREVER. Now Riddler wears a heavy trench coat that glows green from within. When the Riddler throws open his trenchcoat a blinding barrage of glowing question marks fly out and render his opponents utterly senseless just long enough for him to escape. I'm assuming it's one of those sensory stimulation devices similar to say….the Vortex, where you try to walk through it while your visual and aural senses are assaulted and your equilibrium gets thrown totally out of whack and you feel like the earth is turning around under your feet. That's what it looks like Batman experiences from Riddler's assault.

Even though the focus is on this conflict between Riddler and Batman, there are enough little tidbits that advance the overarching storyline. The nesting dolls and recurring mention of toys that indicate a strong chance that these villains may not be acting entirely of their own volition ~ can we say…Toyman? Also, there's a panel that seems to indicate that Joker's appearance cannot be too far on the horizon. Capt. Cold's work in issue 1 is followed up on here, but at this point is confounding Flash. But the best reveal of the issue was that last creepy panel with Aquaman about to go under the knife at the hands of one nasty looking Brainiac. {{{shudder}}}

This is some damn good superhero comics here. Definitely worth picking up, even if you've never been particularly a fan of DC comics. As opposed to INFINITE CRISIS where you'd need an encyclopedia of DC to know what's going on and who's who, this series seems written on two levels so that it can be totally penetrable by the new reader, but embraced and enjoyed by the longtime fan. I think it succeeds on all counts. Nearly perfect work.


SHE-HULK V2 # 1

Writer: Dan Slott
Penciller: Juan Bobillo
Published by: Marvel Comics
Reviewer: superhero



OK, let’s just get this out of the way right now: Dan Slott is a genius.

There, I said it. Dan Slott is the best writer (along with Joss Whedon) that Marvel has writing their books right now.

Why, you ask?

Because with the new issue of SHE-HULK #1 Slott has brought me back to the days of John Byrne’s SENSATIONAL SHE-HULK.

Yes, someone out there has finally, FINALLY recaptured the crazy, goofy spirit of John Byrne’s classic run on the She-Hulk. Miracle of miracles! And it took only say, what, more than ten years for someone to get it right again? Well, get it right is what Slott does and I, for one, am happier than happy to have been able to enjoy this latest issue of this new SHE-HULK run.

See, back in the day (Has it really been that long?) John Byrne reintroduced the world to the long lamented character of the She-Hulk by making her the newest member to join the Fantastic Four while Ben Grimm was off chasing otherworld adventures on the Secret Wars planet. This move ticked a lot of fans off but as the book progressed Byrne managed to inject some personality into Shulkie that other writers had never been able to. Through a combination of great writing and art Byrne made SHE-HULK a fan favorite before you could say “Hulk Smash!” and eventually steered her towards a really great graphic novel adventure (Aped from a segment in the movie CREEPSHOW) and a really funny series of her own. Byrne used She-Hulk in an innovative and humorous manner by placing her in situations and putting her up against foes that other books wouldn’t touch. Camp and cheesy humor were the name of the game during Byrne’s run and this book held its own against another humorous super-hero book of its day, Giffen and DeMatteis’ run on Justice League. In my opinion Byrne’s SH even surpassed some of the Bwa-ha-ha’s of the Justice League mainly because he actually used some really different storytelling techniques to add humor to his stories. One classic bit had She-Hulk ripping through one page and walking through a price guide layout on the next double page spread to continue the story on the third page following. An even better bit was when She-Hulk gave in to the fans’ demands for cheesecake and skipped rope in the nude just to please them. Of course, her naughty bits were covered up by the rope’s speed lines as she skipped but it was a great joke and made up for the fact that horny teenage comic fans everywhere would never get to see Jen Walters’s alter ego in the buff. Almost.

But all good things must come to an end and Byrne was off of SENSATIONAL SHE-HULK almost as soon as he began the book. By around issue eleven J.B. had quit the book. Rumor had it that he left because of his wanting to use a character that greatly resembled his own creation ROG 2000 and Marvel editorial had a problem with him using a character that wasn’t owned by Marvel. Whatever the reason for his departure no one ever recaptured the spirit and fun of Byrne’s run. Heck, Byrne even returned to the book later on and restored the fun of the book that no one else could duplicate if only for a few issues.

Well, no one was able to duplicate it…until now.

In this first issue Slott has crafted a fantastic first issue which recaptures the feel of Byrne’s SENSATIONAL run. There’s humor to spare in this book and at the same time Mr. Slott has captured Jen Walters’ personality perfectly. Not only that but he takes advantage of the fact that She-Hulk is an actual attorney by trade and uses that to his advantage. He uses this aspect of her character to introduce some new and fantastic elements such as a law firm that has a division which specializes in superhuman law and leads to some really, really interesting story elements. In this issue alone the court has to use a time machine to pull jurors from the past to try a case in which her and her partner feel it would be impossible to get an impartial jury. It’s stuff like this that makes the book interesting and will more than likely keep me coming back for more. While the book does have some typical superhero moments it all takes place within the framework of Jen being a lawyer in a world with superheroes and just how ridiculous and surreal that would actually be. Not only that but he also pulls elements from Byrne’s run, such as the constant breaking of the fourth wall, that make the book seem familiar to a fan of the aforementioned run. Slott seems to know what old-school fans would want and yet is able to craft a story that wouldn’t alienate a casual or newer reader. Who’da thunk it? New characters are brought in and yet there are enough touches of what made She-Hulk unique to fans so that every base is covered. Slott knows how to maintain the balance between new and old and stick in a twist of humor without making it overly crass or sprinkling curse words everywhere. Once again: who’da thunk it?

The other element of this book that really helps is Juan Bobillo’s art. Bobillo’s style is cartoony and energetic enough to keep the action flowing without getting distracting. While some of the characters have a touch of anime to them, particularly in the eyes, it’s a welcome touch that adds some softness to their faces, Jennifer Walters in particular. As a matter of fact I actually thought that Bobillo’s rendition of Ms.Walters was probably the best I’d ever seen. So many artists just made her always seem like a plain Jane without any character but Bobillo was able to add that touch of feistiness to her appearance that the She-Hulk always had so that you get to see some of that famous She-Hulk personality shine through even before she’s transformed. The opening page where Jen begins her morning jog set the tone for the whole comic and a lot of it is due to Bobillo’s art. He adds character to the page which is something not a lot of artists are able to do. My only problem with his style is mostly when he actually draws the She-Hulk. His anatomy is a bit off here and there and there can be some really wonky foreshortening in some places but those small weak points are made up for in spades because of the vibrancy his style brings to the page.

In the end SHE-HULK seems to be just what new and old comic fans may be looking for. It’s a book that’s fun without being boorish and that’s accessible enough to new fans without spitting on everything that’s come before it. If there’s any justice in comic book land this book will be a runaway hit. But then again, I’ve seen lots of great books slip through the cracks so maybe SHE-HULK’S too good for the comic fan at large. I’m hoping the comic community proves me wrong, though, because if there’s one thing we need it’s fun comics that respect fans and are interesting enough to suck in new readers and SHE-HULK is a book that does and could do just that.


HACK SLASH: FIRST CUT (TPB)

Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Stefano Caselli & Federica Manfredi
Publisher: Devil’s Due Publishing
Reviewed by Dave Farabee



Barring John Carpenter’s original HALLOWEEN and maybe the SCREAM movies, I always thought of the “slasher” subgenre as the lowest rung on the horror totem pole. Ironically it’s paved the path to one of the most entertaining horror comics on the stands: HACK SLASH. Because where I could never quite get my mind into the right place to enjoy nutjobs dismembering teenagers, it turns out I can find a good deal of amusement in watching the nutjobs receive some karmic payback. Go figure.

Taking its cue at least partly from SCREAM’s tongue-in-cheek self-awareness, HACK SLASH collects a series of one-shots following the vengeful young Cassie Hack. She’s a tough, Gothed-up chick with the looks of a Suicide Girl and the monster-stomping skills of Buffy Summers. I know these qualities are a dime-a-dozen these days, but…

Have I mentioned that the introduction to the trade is written by none other than Craig Thompson of BLANKETS and CARNET DE VOYAGE fame? If you were getting nervous that this was a review of some total trash comic, let Craig’s good name keep you onboard long enough to learn that…

HACK SLASH is actually a good kind of trash comic!

In the fast-paced first outing, we learn that Cassie was a troubled teen whose own mother was a “slasher,” the book’s jargon for supernatural murderers in the Michael Myers/Jason Vorhees/Freddie Krueger tradition. As Cassie describes ‘em:
“It’s a type of undead, I guess…sort’ve like a vampire or zombie. They’re so full of anger that they don’t wanna die. They hate love, youth, sex…things they miss from life.”
Flashbacks fill in the details on Cassie’s psycho momma, a killer dubbed “The Lunch Lady.” The long and short of the origin flashback, though, is simply that Cassie’s driven by guilt to seek out other slashers and put ‘em in the grave where they belong. Her right-hand man’s a Frankensteinian behemoth she met on her travels – “Vlad” - a simple soul she first mistook for a slasher but who later proved to be her greatest asset (and the closest thing she has to a friend). For all her tough-talk (think Faith from BUFFY), Cassie’s actually got a bit of depth that comes out during the course of the trade. She misses a love life, for one thing. And she’s afraid the hatred built up in her might even be enough to turn her into a slasher one day. Not bad for a comic that does more than its share of reveling in the prurient side of the genre, heaping blood and gore a’plenty and waltzing a good deal of T&A in front of the camera.

So how do Cassie they find their prey, you ask? By watching for the right kind of murders. “Slashers love a good ironic kill,” Cassie explains - the smoker who burns to death, for instance, or as one story goes in HACK SLASH, the horror comic writer who gets offed PSYCHO-style in the shower. Rather amusingly, in fact, said horror writer is real-life superstar Steve Niles, best known for 30 DAYS OF NIGHT. He’s in the story, Robert Kirkman’s in the story, Skottie Young’s in the story…and all are threatened with violent, horrible death! The killer stalking ‘em is particular effed-up in that outing – so bizarre that I don’t want to give his secret away – but my favorite bit has the show’s promoters, clearly modeled on WIZARDWORLD staffers, trying to keep the show afloat even after the murders begin. They’ve got perpetual “Stepford Wives” grins and play the same role as the mayor in JAWS: no closing the beach! Keep packing ‘em in!

Other stories feature a slasher who commands an army of undead pets and a religious loony slasher out to croak all the naughty girls at a GIRLS GONE WILD-style beach party. All follow a broad mystery build up, interspersed with killings and usually racing headlong towards violent, creative showdowns. I can’t really claim there are heaps of great ideas at work- hey, it’s still the slasher genre - but I like the post-modern tone, and Seeley’s dialogue is genuinely fun.

Good art, too. The first story’s drawn by Stefano Caselli (G.I. JOE – AMERICA’S ELITE), and you know he can draw good horror ‘cause he’s Italian. Don’t look at me like I’m stereotyping, smart guy. You go watch some Bava or Argento and you’ll know that horror is in Italy’s blood. And Caselli’s got a great style for it: realistic, with a touch of an animator’s exaggeration, and made vibrant with coloring rich enough that it wouldn’t be out of place in a European comic album. The other two specials don’t have that lush coloring – displacing it with something like muted cel-shading – but the art’s just as good. It’s courtesy of another Italian, this time a lady, this time named Federica Manfredi. She actually continues very much in the same vein as Caselli, but the net effect with the coloring is that the book looks more like the stuff from the Luna Brothers – GIRLS and ULTRA. Tops marks for art all around, and no shyness with the gore and boobery!

For all the book’s murders, swearing, and babes, though, you might be surprised that the feel is almost more PG-13 than R. This is a book that wants to have darkly comic fun with its genre, embracing the stuff that makes you laugh in slasher flicks over the stuff that makes you wince. No Rob Zombie extremism here, in other words. The book even flirts with a bit of heart in some of the moments between Vlad and Cassie, the both of ‘em likeable oddballs.

But don’t fret – you’re never more than a page off from a dismemberment.

Fine Halloween fun here, and easy on the eyes to boot. It’s the kind of high-concept that lots of folks come up with in the comics biz, but precious few execute with wit or craft enough to make it worth your time. If you’re a horror fan, HACK SLASH is worth your time.


FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN #1

Artists: Mike Wieringo and Karl Kesel<

MARVEL KNIGHTS SPIDER-MAN #19

Artists: Pat Lee and Dream Machine

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #525

Artists: Mike Deodato Jr. and Joe Pimentel
All written by Peter David
Publisher: Marvel
Reviewer: Ambush Bug



For those of you who can’t get enough of all of this HOUSE OF M-ing and INFINITE CRISIS…er-ing business, Marvel has smartly scheduled a Spidey mega-crossover running through the months of October, November, and December. For a solid month, each of the three Spidey book writers will write four consecutive issues tying into a twelve part storyline. Basically, Peter David will be writing the first four issues, Reginald Hudlin will be handling the next four, with J. Michael Straczynski wrapping the whole thing up with the final four. We’re three issues into this thing, so I figured I’d pick them up and give them a look. Confused? Good. So am I. Let’s move on.

Peter David offers up the first arc of this crossover and starts out strong with FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN #1. The issue has a fun little sequence where Spidey squares off against a new villain named Tracer who proves to be tougher than his gaudy costume looks. The conflict ends with Spider-Man taking a bullet, forcing him to seek medical attention, which is where the dourness begins. Turns out Spidey has some kind of “condition,” the kind of condition that kills you. Through MARVEL KNIGHTS and AMAZING, Spidey begins to come to terms with his condition as he fills in those he loves about it. MARVEL KNIGHTS focuses on MJ, Spidey’s wife, while AMAZING puts the spotlight on Aunt May.

Each of the three issues has their memorable moments. Writer David does a good job of making each issue a full read with a set-up, conflict, and resolution occurring in every one. David always has been a master at the little moments. In FRIENDLY, these moments occurred as Spidey is treated by a doctor and when Captain America teaches Peter and MJ how to focus their chi. In MARVEL KNIGHTS, MJ has a moment to shine when a stalker approaches her. And in AMAZING, Aunt May shares a tense lunch with Tracer. Little moments like these make this whole thing readable. Again, David shines at this type of thing. Each issue has at least one great sequence involving either the conflict for the issue or the advancement of the overall plot. This is good comic book storytelling told by a man who has mastered his craft.

The problem is that the overall threat isn’t very interesting. Spidey has a blood condition. He’s having blackouts. A JMS creation, Morlun, is looming in the background. It’s all pretty ho-hum here. To top it all off, the characters seem forced. All of a sudden, MJ is a worrying ninny on all things Spider-Man. She’s frantically pleading with Pete, psychoanalyzing his methodology, and questioning the strength of their relationship. I guess you could say that MJ is reacting in this way because she is faced with Peter’s mortality, but Spider-Man puts himself in danger every day. What’s the difference if he dies from a weird “condition” or from being battered by the Sandman? The entire threat isn’t as jaw-dropping as the writer or his characters are making it out to be. It isn’t something Spidey hasn’t faced before and it certainly doesn’t warrant a multi-part crossover. The title to this crossover, THE OTHER: EVOLVE OR DIE is pretty laughable in and of itself and adds to the melodrama heaped upon the reader in heavy doses by the writer. Hmmm, I’ll bet Marvel’ll choose DIE for their mult-billion dollar, toy/lunchbox/movie franchise carrying property. Yep, that’s what’s going to happen.

This “condition” everyone is hemming and hawing about is rather annoying as well because no one is really talking about it specifically. Few details have been provided in three issues. This lack of information regarding this “big threatening condition” makes the impact of it all pretty weak. If I knew what exactly Spider-Man has wrong with him, I might give more of a shit about it all.

The art is pretty solid throughout. I’m not a fan of Pat Lee’s manga style, but Mike Deodato Jr. turns in some impressive work, as does Mike Wieringo. Both of these artists are suited for pitting the drama high and keeping the action fast and interesting to look at.

The true victim of this crossover is the book FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN. It’s too bad that this more lighthearted series had to start right out of the gates with a downer crossover before developing its own tone or name for itself. FRIENDLY had the type of in-continuity Spider-Man that I was looking for and if David sticks with the title after this crossover business is over with, I can see great and interesting things with this title which would separate it from the “edgy” MARVEL KNIGHTS and Spidey’s flagship AMAZING title. I know this because I have faith in David as a writer, but that’s not the case for many readers who will see FRIENDLY as just another #1 Spidey issue (tied in with all the other Spidey issues none-the-fucking-less) and more than likely pass it by. If Marvel really wanted to give Spidey a shot in the arm, they should hand him over to the uber-talented and mega-funny writer Dan Slott, not put the readers through another tired crossover. He’d be the perfect choice to handle FRIENDLY.

One last thing: I noticed that the ratings from part one of this crossover to part two and three are different from one cover to the next. FRIENDLY receives an A rating, while MARVEL KNIGHTS and AMAZING get a T+. Now, I’m not sure what all of this means. Maybe A is for All Ages or Adults or Aardvarks or maybe even Asthmatics. Maybe T+ may be for Teens and Up or Pregnant Teenagers or Turtles who like Addition. I guess a rating system is a good thing to have in comics, but if you’re scheduling something like a crossover, you probably want to coordinate things so that they are all rated the same. I know if I had a little one, I’d be confused with this system. Lucky for me, I do have a Pregnant Teenage Aardvark and an Asthmatic Turtle who likes Addition so I think it’s okay for them to follow this entire “event.” And that’s a good thing, because that wheezing tortoise loves him some Spider-Man.


CHIAROSCURO: THE PRIVATE LIVES OF LEONARDO DA VINCI TPB

Writers: Pat McGreal & David Rawson
Artist: Chaz Truog
Publisher: Vertigo / DC Comics
Reviewed by Dave Farabee



“Chiaroscuro,” Italian for lightdark, is one of those words you pick up when you study art history. Refers to a technique for depicting forms using extremely contrasting light and shadow. Very hoity-toity, but a pretty neat title for a biographical tale of Leonardo da Vinci, the original “Renaissance Man” and one of the pioneers of the technique.

Or as Da Vinci’s handsome male assistant (and perhaps lover) Salai might have summed it up:
“Pompous shit!”
That’s Salai’s assessment of Da Vinci’s intellectual pontifications just a few pages into this trade, which collects a lesser known, ten-issue Vertigo miniseries from the mid-90s. It’s also a pretty quick indicator of Salai’s personality – dismissive, crude, and self-centered. He plays a central role in CHIAROSCURO’s historical fiction as both the muse and tormentor of Da Vinci, the story even positing he was the model for Michelangelo’s statue, David, during an estrangement from Da Vinci. It’s all speculative fiction, as the authors freely admit, but evidence does seem to favor the interpretation, and well…it makes for a good story.

I actually missed CHIAROSCURO during its first run, but discovered it in a back issue bin some years ago and am much pleased to see it collected. Could the rationale for its reprinting be as base as Vertigo trying to hawk a few books amidst DA VINCI CODE mania? Probably, but you won’t catch me complaining. This is a legitimately daring and complex work, to my mind far more interesting than one more Vertigo crime book, one more HELLBLAZER collection, one more SANDMAN spin-off.

But it’s also surprisingly approachable. For all that Da Vinci carries himself as a high-minded artist, the story paints a bawdy picture of his world in Renaissance-era Italy, chock full of casual sex, crude swearing, cut throats, cadaver dissections, and court dwarves taught to piss themselves on command to amuse the nobility. In other words, I think HBO would be only too happy to produce CHIAROSCURO as an original series. Hmm, and I bet Adrian Grenier from ENTOURAGE would make a pretty good Salai.

In Da Vinci’s early years, we see the establishing tragedy of “The Maestro’s” life – a father who casts him off as a result of his bastard birth. But you can’t help but sense that it’s this very tragedy that lends Da Vinci the drive to excel at all his passions: painting, architecture, engineering, music, invention. Certainly it’s part of why he brings Salai into his life, rescued as a boy from a parental beating on the streets of Florence and established as Da Vinci’s project. What writers Pat McGreal and David Rawson posit, however, is that Da Vinci cannot help but become something of his father. This leads Salai to grow increasingly resentful even as he’s constantly aware how intimately his own fortunes are entwined with Da Vinci’s. Therein lies the meat of a book that follows the artist from birth to death, through a number of his major artistic endeavors – the Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, and the Gran Cavallo horse statue he sees as his masterwork but never completes.

The interest throughout CHIAROSCURO isn’t so much in getting into Da Vinci’s head or unraveling his creative process as it is revealing him through Salai, his other assistants, and his various patrons. Writers Pat McGreal (I, PAPARAZZI) and David Rawson show him as a man always on the run, many of his projects left unfinished or lost. The bronze for his beloved horse statue ends up melted down for weapons to fight the French; Salai’s treachery nearly sabotages the Mona Lisa; a storm destroys the plans for a massive mural. And harshest of all, Da Vinci’s own artistic fame ends up eclipsed by that of Michelangelo.

It’s honestly fascinating as hell. It’s an alien world of patrons and political maneuvering, of Da Vinci’s strength of character and the pragmatism that forces him to serve as a military engineer. At times Da Vinci is every bit the genius we think of him as, at others a bitter old bastard, outdone in callousness only by Salai (a nickname meaning “Little Devil”). Even for your average joe with no knowledge of art history, this is compelling stuff. If I were to pick a musical analogue, it’d be Milos Forman’s AMADEUS.

On to the art!

Well, it’s not exactly the work of The Maestro, but I can say that artist Chaz Truog does fine work on this series. I know Truog best for his work on ANIMAL MAN, where truthfully I thought his stuff didn’t live up to Morrison’s brilliant story, but here he seems much more in his element. Only makes sense – he actually came up with the premise for CHIAROSCURO – and even this test sketch from the book suggests the detail and eye for the period he brings to the project. His Da Vinci is always visually commanding, with his massive beard and sagelike features. His Salai, appropriately eroticized and cruel. I also enjoyed the coloring by Carla Feeny and Lovern Kindzierski, notable for sporting a brighter than usual palette for Vertigo – one perfectly suited to dramatic stylings of Renaissance-era costuming. On a few occasions I thought the coloring veered slightly into gaudiness; by and large, though, it’s a nice change of pace from Vertigo drabness.

Meticulously researched, devoid of sacred cows, and dotted with memorable moments of dialogue, many derived verbatim from Da Vinci’s vast journals, CHIAROSCURO is ultimately about the power of art to transform men both for the better and for the worse. Unspoken but implicit is the human toll that lurks behind those masterpieces whose creation we rarely dwell on unless they show the artist with his ear lopped off. That makes CHIAROSCURO an obvious reading choice for all the art history fiends out there, but I’d warrant it’d be even more enlightening for the casual reader.

Sometimes, the reader will find, the artist can be as fascinating as his art.


GIANT MONSTER #1
Publisher: BOOM! Studios

Comicdom’s king of horror, Steve Niles, serves up another tale of misery and terror with his re-imagining of the AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN, ATTACK OF THE 50FT WOMAN, GODZILLA, and other creatures of mammoth proportions running amok genre. Although this first issue starts out slow with a boat-load of discourse for the reader to swallow, Niles smartly dives right into the scares and carnage and uses said discourse as motivation for this astronaut turned ravaging, meat-eating goliath to destroy a lot of stuff and eat a bunch of shit. This issue, more than any of Niles previous works, reads like a screenplay and screams to be adapted into celluloid. Sure there are clichéd characters: the gruff general, the innocent yet smart-assed pair of kids, and the beast’s wife weeping, handkerchief in hand. But this issue is worth the price of admission for the shark attack scene and the aircraft carrier/navy diver sequence. This is some scary tense action that I’d love to see played out on screen. And since nearly all of Niles’ properties are being optioned for film these days, it wouldn’t surprise me if this story didn’t make it to Hollywood soon. Nat Jones turns in some extremely kinetic artwork. His sketchy lines and attention to detail make this an even more enjoyable read. Given the awe-inspiring scenes of destruction, I’d love to see what this guy could do with a Hulk comic. BOOM! Studios continues to churn out one great project after the next and GIANT MONSTER is another one that doesn’t fail to impress. - Ambush Bug

7 DAYS OF FAME #1 (of 3)
Publisher: After Hours Press

“A Reality TV Show…About Suicide!” barks the cover, accompanied by an image of a woman with a gun in her mouth. Sounds trashy, but this small press offering surprised me with some genuinely interesting moments. Follows an ambitious, oily host for an ailing talkshow as he makes a bid for shock-success. What he does is clear a week’s worth of guests, bring an old woman with terminal cancer onto his show to spend the week discussing her personal life in intimate, shockingly candid detail…only to have her commit on-air suicide on the final day, actually at peace with herself before she goes. It’s surprisingly thought-provoking, with subsequent issues presumably poised to follow both the macabre notion of this becoming a regularly scheduled event for the show and the kind of people who’d be willing to do it. I can’t ignore some hokey dialogue, the “meh” art, and the cliché of a buoyantly gay co-worker offering sage advice, but I turned the last page and thought to myself, “File under possibilities.” - Dave Farabee


SOMETHING SO FAMILIAR
Publisher: The New Radio Comics

In UNDERSTANDING COMICS, Scott McCloud adamantly states that the most important section of the page in graphic storytelling is the alley between panels. It is in this space where the reader puts together the panel they are reading with the one they previously saw. This is a detail that many creators fail to recognize, much less master. Instead, they feel the need to over explain and fill each panel with the talkity-talk. Alex Cahill is no such creator. He shows much promise as a sequential art storyteller in his stand alone story, SOMETHING SO FAMILIAR. The story deals with disappointment, rage, sadness, loss, and contentment in a mature and heartfelt manner. What made this book so appealing to me is the fact that Cahill relied on the pictures to tell the story. This silent tale of a normal man who deals with his grief through dreams resonated with me long after I put the book down and makes me glad that I have an Indie Jones section in this column to tell you all about it. - Ambush Bug


BANANA SUNDAY #3 (of 4) Publisher: Oni Press

A smaller-press book like BANANA SUNDAY you don’t want to say anything bad about, but frankly, it’s meandering. I love the characters, love the art, and I think the first issue was damn close to perfection. None of which means this series about a teen gal and her talking monkeys couldn’t use some structure. - Dave Farabee




SHAOLIN COWBOY #4
Publisher: Burlyman Entertainment

The cover to this issue proudly states that this book is a 2005 Eisner Award Loser. That’s the type of humor you’ll find in this book. Not afraid to make fun of itself. Not afraid to rip on the industry. Not afraid to feature a dangling pair of hairy donkey nuts in a full splash page. Geof Darrow serves up another issue full of rambunctious ramblings and rumblings. After reading and reviewing every single issue of this book, you’d think I would run out of things to say about it, but the term “a picture is worth a thousand words” was made for Darrow’s hyper-detailed art. You’re doing yourself a disservice if you whiz right through this book without spending time absorbing the insane amount of detail that goes into each panel. On top of all of the eye candy, Darrow serves up some of the most irreverent non-sequiturs this side of a padded cell. This series has been interested in the exploration of the visual and verbal aspects of this medium and it’s been doing it to perfection. For three issues, the Monk has simply ridden through a desert and kicked a lot of @$$, but in this issue, the teasings of an actual plot are beginning to form. Darrow is too smart a creator to have a completely vapid and plotless story. Usually, plot-lite books are a turn off for me, but I have such a good time reading through the manic dialog, scanning the panels for details that I missed the first go-around, and watching the Monk kick the @$$ of each and every lowlife that crosses his path, I didn’t mind the lack of direction. Now that the Monk and his talking donkey have a purpose, I’m even more interested. Highly recommended to lovers of dialog and art. - Ambush Bug


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.


LIVEWIRES (TPB)

Well, damn. There’s a part of me that wants to disown this trade. I love the material it collects - a tech-heavy action series staged in the Marvel Universe, gleeful in its amorality and rich with cyperpunk mindbending – but I have some major issues with the cheap printing. The paper stock’s just plain weak (same shit they used on the first few RUNAWAYS trades) and the shrinky digest size does the visuals no favors. More specifically, it renders all but unreadable the smaller of the Windows-style pop-ups that Adam Warren peppered throughout the story to identify which character is the source of intranet transmissions bouncing around between the robots. And, y’know, I was fortunate enough to have my own quote on the back of this trade and I don’t regret a word of praise I gave it…but there’s just no excuse for printing that actually infringes on a book’s content. As it stands, I can only give the collection a marginal recommendation. It still works, and at a glance the art holds up reasonably well. But the devil is in the details, and the details are…blurry. - Dave

ASTRO CITY: THE DARK AGE: BOOK ONE #4

This may be the first issue of ASTRO CITY that I was disappointed in. Not because it didn't look great. Not because it didn't have a lot of action and characterization. I was disappointed because I honestly don't know exactly what happened. It's clear that Silver Agent disappeared out of his cell and jumped forward slightly in time to save the world from Madame Majestrix. But there was nothing that I caught that let me know exactly what caused SA, of all the heroes, to bump forward in time to do this. Neither was there any explanation for exactly how SA suddenly grew into a giant and was able to float. I'm sure Kurt's planning to reveal this stuff later, but for this reader, it seemed like a lot to just leave out of this story right now. The "resolution" scene on the last page between Huggy Bear and Danny Glover was right on the money though. Not what the reader wanted to see, but exactly what would happen. - Prof.

GHOST RIDER #2 (of 6)

See? I told you it sucked. - Dave

THE WALKING DEAD #22

In this issue, Carol breaks off her relationship with Tyreese after she saw Tyreese and Michone having sex in the gymnasium. Herschel comes to terms with Maggie’s relationship with Glenn. Rick gets his bandages off and sees the extent of his injuries. And Axel ponders life, love, and farming. Wait a minute…isn’t this book supposed to be about zombies!?!? - Bug

TRANSFORMERS #0

I took a gander at a preview copy of this a few months back and found it surprisingly…worthy! The full review. - Dave

BREACH #10

After last issue's heartwrenching death of a child story, this issue's salvation of a child was a welcome balance. Next issue is the last issue of this excellent series and while I'm disappointed to see the series end, I'm glad to have it end without ever once compromising its own quality. BREACH may have spun out of a cancelled idea for a new CAPT. ATOM series, but it reached a level of sci-fi excellence that puts it in a class like no other DC Universe comic out there. And this issue was just more proof that even the best comics out there don't always find that all-important audience. - Prof.

X-MEN/POWER PACK #1 (of 4)

I always had a soft spot for the earliest issues of POWER PACK. They were Marvel’s pre-teen superheroes, and before Marvel overexposed ‘em, they had some pretty kick-ass sci-fi adventures in their first few arcs. Had the series continued in that vein, with the kids going on space adventures and fighting aliens, I almost could’ve seen it as the sci-fi HARRY POTTER, but instead the kids ended up forced down the throats of Marvel readers, even appearing in the death-drenched “Mutant Massacre” arc of UNCANNY X-MEN. Da fug?!

So the team’s recently been relaunched with a more kiddie-centric focus, and this issue…well, it’s got ‘em teaming with the most violent X-Man of ‘em all, Wolverine. Will we never learn? Still and all, the book’s got some cute charm, even going so far as to spoof Wolverine’s overexposure when half the kids at a Halloween party dress as him. The real Wolvie shows, the real Sabertooth shows, the kids help out in a bloodless fight, and lessons are learned. The curiously named GuriHiru makes with the clean-line art, somewhere between Bruce Timm’s style and Mike Wieringo’s, and I have to say he’s quite good. I still wish the series would return to its early Judy Blume/Madeleine L’Engle underpinnings and skip the neutered superheroics, but if we’ve gotta have the latter…this ain’t bad. I expect younger readers might enjoy it quite a bit. - Dave

THE LONELY TOMBSTONE

Okay, I’m torn with this book. I can acknowledge the preciousness of the fact that this is a dinky little comic about a dinky little girl who befriends a dinky little tombstone. There were some really tender moments in these pages as horror writer, Steve Niles, and his daughter Nikki take us on a tour of the life of a lonely little girl named Darla. The artwork was pretty amazing too, by Benjamin Roman, who seems to be channeling styles ranging from manga artists, to Rick Mays, and even the legendary Fred Hembeck with those squiggly elbows and knees. There’s a Shel Silverstein THE GIVING TREE vibe to this story that endears me and that alone makes me want to love it. And I did…up until the last two pages. I’m trying not to be heartless here. I know this is Niles’ daughter’s tale and that in “kid logic” all of this may be entertaining and make some kind of sense, but the delicacy and sincerity of the first 23 pages of this book was kind of shattered for me with the final two. The potential for something truly original and great was there, but it just didn’t make it to the last pages. - Bug

RUNAWAYS #9

I think this might only be the third comic that Brian K. Vaughan’s written with Cloak & Dagger, but can there be any doubt that he’s adopted ‘em? With so many heroes getting casually offed or distorted these days, Vaughan’s work with Cloak & Dagger is a shining example of how even the most C-grade characters can prosper under a bit of loving care. Take note: this is what it’s like to see a creator nurture rather than destroy, and wouldn’t it be nice if that was the norm?

And now for the bad news: Vaughan kicks off the issue with an old-school riff that actually should be forgotten: the misunderstanding-that-leads-to-superheroes-beating-each-other-up. In this case, the New Avengers jump Cloak, having seen the irrefutable proof of…get this…a videotape…that he nearly killed his partner, Dagger. Yeah, ‘cause in a world of mind-controllers, Skrulls, and technology that gave us Ultron, the premiere superteam is gonna dogpile on a known good-guy over the evidence of…a video tape. Why, Brian? WHY?!! It’s the same dopiness that had even longtime RUNAWAYS fans cringing when the relaunch kept forcing the kids to fight the Excelsior team! Dig it, my man – I’m gonna let this one slide because of the good work with Cloak himself and the keen Runaway/Cloak interactions after the New Avengers dipshittery is out of the way, but we gotta work on evolving the old clichés. There’s good tradition and there’s dumb tradition… - Dave

GREEN ARROW #55

Judd Winick writes a kick @$$ battle royale issue as Green Arrow and Black Lightning face off against Killer Frost and Mirror Master. This is one hell of a slugfest and Winick deserves attention for giving obscure character Black Lightning a chance to shine. BL really cuts loose against the villains in this issue, proving that he is very much a Big Gun in the DCU. There’s also some sort of plot going on with GL and BL tracking down Doctor Light leading to another cliffhanger which once again sets off my Connor Hawke Mortality Sense. But I like the way Winick is focusing on the action instead of preaching for the cause of the month (a problem a lot of his early work at DC fell into). If you’re tired of the talkity and just want to see super heroes beating the spit out of one another, give this issue a try. - Bug

GODLAND #0004

Each issue I dig this series more and more. This comic is as cosmically whacked out as any of Kirby's craziest concepts, but it's much smarter than anything he ever produced. This issue (and the series as a whole) works because it's not making fun of itself or winking at the audience. It has set a tone and an attitude and it treats it seriously ~ even when having fun. Our hero, Archer, is in quite a fix by the end of this issue trapped by the deadly Discordia. Highest compliment for a cliffhanger is that the reader doesn't want to wait a whole 30 days to find out how it resolves. That's how I felt when I finished this issue. For old-school fans, this comic's a real treat. - Prof.

ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR #24

Is it just me, or is Ultimate Johnny Storm turning into the Greatest American Hero? Compare the hair at your earliest convenience and discuss. Meanwhile, Johnny and Sue’s mother turns up much less dead than she’s supposed to be. She’s all milfed-out like a good little Greg Land girl, and she wants her kids to help her find Atlantis. As concepts go, that’s perfectly superhero-y, but for whatever reason, Sue’s angst over mommy dearest’s surprise return and manipulation just felt contrived. What jumped out at me in the issue, though, was the underwater scenes. Land’s long since gone nutty with the photoreferencing, but aided and abetted by the gloomy indigo coloring of Justin Ponsor, his undersea scenes are rare in comics for actually conveying the gloom of the deepest oceans. For a few lovely pages, there’s actually some of the mysterious, unearthly feel of James Cameron’s ABYSS, and for that, a hearty, “Well done!”

And then Namor has to come along and fuck up all that good atmosphere. Ankle-winged asshole! - Dave

CONAN #21

I’ve already seen the Robert E. Howard story “Tower of the Elephant” adapted by Roy Thomas through the magic of Dark Horse’s CONAN reprints, but no offense to Roy…Busiek’s take one-ups it. Written almost as a medieval breaking-and-entering procedural, “Tower” teams Conan with a master thief named Taurus on a seemingly suicidal mission to steal the whispered treasures of an impregnable tower. Taurus is a nice change of pace from Conan’s regular enemies and allies because he actually seems to be better at his “trade” than Conan – even shuts Conan down a few times with his mad thievin’ skillz. Not bad for a fat dude. What’s funny is that the infiltration plot is hypothetically about as clichéd as they come – hell, it’s pretty much the basis for Dungeons & Dragons! – but with good art, good writing, and good characters, it becomes one of the strongest outings in a series that’s been terrific from the get-go. - Prof.

NICK FURY’S HOWLING COMMANDOS #1

Although Keith Giffen is one of my favorite creators, I have to admit that he does have some annoying tendencies when it comes to writing team books. First and foremost, Giffen often starts out his stories with floating word balloons from off-panel characters. Lengthy conversations are held without seeing who is saying these lines. Now when you’re writing established characters like Hulk, Doctor Strange, and Sub-Mariner, that may be okay, because one can distinguish who is who without too much trouble and follow the lines of dialog. But when you have a cast of new characters (as we do with this book), this is maddening beyond belief. Aside from the confounding dialog, penciller Eduardo Francisco and inkers Kris Justice and Terry Pallot made reading this book difficult, with crowded panels, Lefield-ian character designs, and an uneven sense of space and plane. I like the concept behind this book (SHIELD recruits supernatural operatives to take care of supernatural threats) but I can’t recommend it. - Bug

FABLES #42

Sometimes the simple idea are the great ones. And brilliant simplicity is what’s at work with this start of a new story arc, one that sees the Adversary taking his ambitions to the magical lands of the Arabian fairy tales and forcing their inhabitants to take refuge amongst the Euro-centric lads and lasses of Fabletown. Page one has a series of repeated panels showing a limo parked outside the Fabletown city hall. Hours pass, and from within the limo: “No reception committee? No pomp or ceremony? Not even a train of courtiers to express the dignity and majesty of the occasion?” Ah, Prince Charming, did you go and forget that Sinbad and his entourage were coming today? Oh yes you did, and the culture clash to ensue is gonna have me glued to my favorite comic every step of the way. - Prof.

GREEN LANTERN CORPS: RECHARGE #2

I love this book. Plain and simple. I want this book to be an ongoing. The concept: a space police procedural series is a brilliant mix of the sci fi and cop genres. All that and the fact that we get to see great characters like Kyle Rayner, Guy Gardner, and Kilowog bounce off of one another and you have a surefire hit. Plus this issue features a guest star…or is that guest planet? That’s right: Mogo the Green Lantern Planet makes an appearance. A lot of mystery, a lot of cop drama, and a lot of fun sci fi is going on in this book. Plus it’s not bogged down with all of this INFINITE CRISIS business. Can’t recommend it more. - Bug

Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 29, 2005, 8:01 a.m. CST

    No question to ponder?!?

    by chrth

    How about this: create a superhero that doesn&#39;t suck, and tell us why he or she deserves to have a title.

  • Oct. 29, 2005, 8:52 a.m. CST

    about damn time...

    by blackthought

    but on a friggin&#39; saturday...:(

  • Oct. 29, 2005, 10:06 a.m. CST

    I hated Byrne&#39;s She-Hulk series

    by Logo Lou

    Bryne is the worst when he is at his most self-indulgent. But I LOVED the new series, and can&#39;t wait for volume two. Hack/Slash is just plain good times.

  • Oct. 29, 2005, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Re: Banana Sunday

    by Prof C

    From an adult perspective, Dave may be bothered by the "meandering" but if my two little kid&#39;s incessant giggles, outloud laughing, quoting of favorite lines, and repeatedly rereading of every issue are any indication, there&#39;s not a funnier or more enjoyable book for kids out there right now. Even though my little girl was a big fan of POLLY AND THE PIRATES last month, she squealed when I walked in with BANANA SUNDAY 4. :)

  • Oct. 29, 2005, 11:35 a.m. CST

    Ultimate Johnny Storm is NOT William Katt

    by jocutus

  • Oct. 29, 2005, 11:38 a.m. CST

    He is a young Willie Aames

    by jocutus

    Opps, posted that one a little early. Land takes his photo references a little too literally.

  • Oct. 29, 2005, 12:11 p.m. CST

    i&#39;m photo-referenced!

    by blackthought

  • Oct. 29, 2005, 12:23 p.m. CST

    George Takei will own your ass !!!

    by jesuschrist

    Then Evil Sulu will take your ass over to the alternate dimension and your ass will become evil and probably kill a guy.

  • Oct. 29, 2005, 12:36 p.m. CST

    I have suprisingly little comment

    by Fantomex

    Vaughn writes an amazing Cloak and Dagger (I haven&#39;t read a comic with them since Maximum Carnage). And, sorry, I won&#39;t be tricked into buying anymore she-hulk.

  • Oct. 29, 2005, 12:51 p.m. CST

    How Long Before Shatner and Nimoy Come Out?

    by ZombieSolutions

    only a matter of time.

  • Oct. 29, 2005, 12:53 p.m. CST

    Land wouldn&#39;t have anything to do if not for internet porn..

    by kintar0

    Whenever he uses Elecktra in an illustration, he just googles "Aria Giovanni" and finds a good pose and traces it. He doesn&#39;t even bother to change her face. He&#39;s shit, he knows it, but sexy comic book chicks sell books.

  • Oct. 29, 2005, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Speaking of sexy comic book chicks...

    by kintar0

    JSA Classified is fucking rad.

  • Oct. 29, 2005, 1:31 p.m. CST

    Nice selection of Indie Jones...

    by RezE11even

    Shaolin, Giant Monster, and 7 Days look great. As for Spiderman, I&#39;m liking everything a lot more since he joined the New Avengers. I hope things continue to go uphill, instead of the past 2 years constant down.

  • Oct. 29, 2005, 1:36 p.m. CST

    Nice review of JUSTICE.

    by Mr. Anderson

    As a very casual, continuity-shy DC reader, the whole concept of INFINITE CRISIS scares the shit out of me. But that&#39;s also exactly why I love JUSTICE. But what the hell kind of "review" of GHOST RIDER was that? I thought the issue was good. Ennis copying his own best work is still better than a lot of other junk that passes for storytelling in modern comics. See? THAT was how you write a short review...

  • Oct. 29, 2005, 1:52 p.m. CST

    She-Hulk

    by docfalken

    I was looking forward to this new series but if you say it reminds you of the fun days when Byrne was doing the title, then I&#39;m especially pumped.

  • Oct. 29, 2005, 3:06 p.m. CST

    Amazingly Repetative Spider-Man

    by Jinxo

    I&#39;ll tell ya what the problem is with the current Spider-Man "event". It&#39;s just the same thing over and over and over. I get the feeling so far that they are trying to write a multi-title event where you can still follow along if you chose only to buy one of the titles. So these first three issues do the job of giving out the exact same info and plot points three times, once for each title. I can summarize all three books with one summary: we see Peter is seriously ill, we are introduced to the villain Tracer and to what his general powers are, old villain Morlun is shown as being back from the dead but in an amorphous I-have-no-impact-on-this-issue foreshadowing sort of way. Then the end is the near reveal on Peter&#39;s condition pointing to the real reveal in the next issue. We never find out what his condition is? Well duh. Because each title is teasing that for the next issue of that title. So next month I&#39;m guessing we&#39;ll sit through echoingly similar plots in all three books where one of the plots in each will be the reveal of Peter having the plague. Then in one book we&#39;ll see Peter anguish over it, the next will have Mary Jane anguishing over it and the third Aunt May. I will be anguishing through them all. Assholes! You put us in a position where we have to buy three titles or risk being screwed by not being able to follow along in any of them. So the readers buy them all and what do you do? You punish us with redundancy built in for those not buying all the titles. Either do a buy-every-issue crossover event or don&#39;t do any at all. This is just annoying in triplicate. "Peter&#39;s sick, Peter&#39;s sick, Peter&#39;s sick... Here&#39;s Tracer, here&#39;s Tracer hers&#39;s tracer... zzzz...zzzz...zzz..."

  • Oct. 29, 2005, 4:41 p.m. CST

    i have a feeling...

    by blackthought

    spider-man only has indigestion.

  • Oct. 29, 2005, 6:59 p.m. CST

    Don&#39;t like "TheOther?" Here&#39;s a wild idea...

    by 3 Bag Enema

    Don&#39;t buy or read it. The only good Spider-book is Ultimate, anyway.

  • Oct. 29, 2005, 7:16 p.m. CST

    Justice #2

    by The Heathen

    The BEST Batmobile I&#39;ve seen. Coolest Riddler I can remember. I&#39;m really enjoying this book so far, can&#39;t praise it enough right now. Seriously wish that was the defacto Batmobile. *** blackthought, did Spidey eat some of you banana bread? Maybe that gave him indigestion? He better evolve, cause if not, he&#39;s totally going to have heart burn.

  • Oct. 29, 2005, 8:26 p.m. CST

    anybody on this talkback forum a fan of don knotts?

    by jig98

    just asking since chicken little is on friday and will make a shitload of money and don knotts is the voice of turkey lurkey and this is his first disney film in 30 years...k?

  • Oct. 29, 2005, 8:33 p.m. CST

    Dan Slotts in Chicken Little? Sweet!

    by The Heathen

    What? Oh, okay.

  • Oct. 29, 2005, 8:58 p.m. CST

    I&#39;ve been looking forward to a Don Knotts/John Waters collab

    by 3 Bag Enema

    Waters wants to use him, but can&#39;t afford him.

  • Oct. 29, 2005, 8:59 p.m. CST

    they should give slott the keys to marvel!

    by blackthought

  • Oct. 29, 2005, 9:01 p.m. CST

    but what would he open?

    by The Heathen

    a bunch of awesomeness I bet he would!

  • Oct. 29, 2005, 10:04 p.m. CST

    for starters...

    by blackthought

    maybe slott wouldn&#39;t have wolverine as some uber-powered mutant that has to be on every single super-hero team and sometimes hydra too...after that...only slott knows.

  • Oct. 29, 2005, 11:24 p.m. CST

    A FUN She-Hulk book? That be nice for a change!

    by RickSlamu2

    That&#39;s the main thing i thing many of us a forgetting about when we read comics! This isn&#39;t collectibal shit like they went crazy for in the 90&#39;s. The story is what pics you up from the funk that is the so-called real world. you get to escape! You get to have fun! A good story that&#39;s why i&#39;m here! Cramer is all about the money. I&#39;m all about the story! Launch what ever personal attacks against Bryne you want. There is one thing, The ONLY THING, that a big ego can be forgiven for. (Mind you i&#39;m not convinsed he has one but for the sake of argument lets say he does) Wehater or not your stories are fun!!! That&#39;s what AUTOMATICLY DISQUALIFIES THE SELF IMPORTANT TRIPE of Morrison! (GOt to stop befor i get that going again.) butAnyway She-hulk, Spideys "THe outher" series and the X-Men and power pack all look like fun!

  • Oct. 29, 2005, 11:26 p.m. CST

    OH and i forgot again BOYCOTT X-MEN (and outher x titles) FOR 3

    by RickSlamu2

    (Is their a pattern with my posts or am i in a rut) Just make sure Marvel has an X-Sales rut come December January and Febuary!!!!

  • Oct. 30, 2005, 12:09 a.m. CST

    as a mighty cog smooch...

    by blackthought

    i hereby boycott all boycotts!

  • Oct. 30, 2005, 1:22 a.m. CST

    Slott&#39;s She-Hulk smashes Byrne&#39;s

    by Decepticon

    Byrne&#39;s She-Hulk wasn&#39;t funny, it was juvenile softcore pandering for fanboys. Slott&#39;s Jen Walters/She-Hulk is a fully realized character who is complex, sexy and funny. The law firm angle is inventive and hilarious. Heads above Byrne&#39;s book. I am thoroughly enjoying The Demon (about as much as I detest Doom Patrol), but I don&#39;t go to John Byrne for the funny. While we&#39;re at it, I don&#39;t find Keith Giffen that funny at all and I wish Peter David -- a good writer -- would stop trying to be a comedian. Kyle Baker, Evan Dorkin, Christopher Priest, Eric Powell, Garth Ennis (when he&#39;s not phoning in arse jokes) -- these guys can consistently create funny mainstream comic books . Add Dan Slott to that shortlist.

  • Oct. 30, 2005, 3:12 a.m. CST

    Look, whatever you think of Byrne&#39;s She-Hulk he IS the guy w

    by superhero

    And, yes, it WAS funny...so there. :OP

  • Oct. 30, 2005, 3:58 a.m. CST

    Why do you care about She-Hulk?

    by John Rambo

    Why?

  • And now on a completely unrelated note: I just realized that two of the Cheap Shots I posted I accidentally credited to Prof while I was doing some cutting and pasting. It&#39;s the ones for FABLES and CONAN. And Prof don&#39;t even read those books! Or maybe he does, but he&#39;s doing it on the sly and never reviewing &#39;em as some sort of master plan. Anyway, they&#39;re MY reviews, dammit! I&#39;d fix the attribution, but here in @$$hole-Land, our ability to edit pretty much ends the moment we send in the column. Ain&#39;t that a kick in the head?

  • Oct. 30, 2005, 10:28 a.m. CST

    by WaltersComics

    I like Dan Slott. He&#39;s going to be a definite BIG talent in the future. ------------- Comic Pros Gaiman, Johns, Mahfood and others answer: "What Scared You As Kids?" http://tinyurl.com/cd6zx

  • Oct. 30, 2005, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Byrne&#39;s run on She-Hulk was pretty funny, but unfortunately.

    by Lone Fox

    ... It signalled the downward spiral of his work in general. The art became rushed, he relied increasingly on Zip-A-Tone, and the scatter-shot storylines (suited to that book) became his shoddy blueprint for all later works. Byrne hasn&#39;t equalled his own run on FF since... though his work on Superman was pretty consistent. He&#39;s still the best Shulkie ever had though. Not sure if I want to read her book without him (again).

  • Oct. 30, 2005, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Gorshin&#39;s Riddler also wore a bowler from time to time.

    by rev_skarekroe

    I think he also had the question-mark staff. He&#39;s still the best Riddler ever.

  • Oct. 30, 2005, 12:27 p.m. CST

    Lone Fox, have you READ the Slott She-Hulks? Because they&#39;r

    by littleknownfax

    I understand how you liked the book under Byrne&#39;s signature run, but to not give the book a shot because Byrne&#39;s NOT doing it might mean that you&#39;re missing out on ANOTHER great She-Hulk run. Imagine if people stopped reading Daredevil after Miller left. They would have missed out on the Bendis run. Or if people stopped reading Flash after Waid&#39;s run. They would have missed out on the Johns run. No one would&#39;ve given Gaiman&#39;s Miracle Man run a chance after Alan Moore&#39;s departure. And so on. This new run of She-Hulk is really good. I&#39;d challenge anyone to read She-Hulk #4 (with Spider-Man) or She-Hulk #9 (with Hercules) and say it isn&#39;t.

  • Oct. 30, 2005, 1:09 p.m. CST

    if you hate slott&#39;s shulkie...

    by blackthought

    then that means you hate awesome andy as well...poor andy.

  • Oct. 30, 2005, 2:08 p.m. CST

    Well...it was good

    by El Vale

    Don&#39;t know if it was worth the wait. And as for the talkback, well i say you judge creators by their work, not their public persona.

  • Oct. 30, 2005, 2:10 p.m. CST

    why does everyone keep mistaking don knotts for dan slotts?

    by jig98

    i never mentioned dan slotts, i just mentioned don knotts because of chicken little, that&#39;s all.

  • Oct. 30, 2005, 2:17 p.m. CST

    littleknownfax, not yet...

    by Lone Fox

    My post was really my gripe with how Byrnes work has deteriorated. I&#39;ll certainly be taking a look at the new book, though I suspect the art will stop me buying. Also, I didn&#39;t really like Byrnes run on the book THAT much, it was kind of trashy, but yeah... it was entertainingly trashy.

  • Oct. 30, 2005, 3:24 p.m. CST

    jig98

    by El Vale

    Dan Slotts has nothing to do with Chicken Little dude!

  • Oct. 30, 2005, 3:55 p.m. CST

    fables 42

    by v1cious

    i wonder if something&#39;s gonna develop between Beauty and Charming. i had no idea Sinbad the sailor was a slave driver

  • Oct. 30, 2005, 4:21 p.m. CST

    BoP thoughts, anyone?

    by Thalya

    Anyone? Bueller?

  • Oct. 30, 2005, 5:30 p.m. CST

    el vale, i thought the subject was changed...

    by jig98

    my bad, the don knotts/dan slotts thing was a silly coincidince.

  • I think the story was ok, and I would let an 11 yr old read it no problem, but the Friendly tag makes it sound like a return to the Electric Company&#39;s SPIDEY book from way back. Very Very kid friendly. Power pack was ok, very clean very nice looking art. The name is strange because I think it is the name of two Japanese artists . Check me out at http://comicsintheclassroom.net

  • Oct. 30, 2005, 7:05 p.m. CST

    i sit here and wait...

    by blackthought

    for blake and lawton&#39;s 1 hour tv show to start...i just can&#39;t seem to find the channel.

  • Oct. 30, 2005, 9:40 p.m. CST

    Yeah, but George Takei is gay???

    by Orionsangels

    George Takei, best known as Capt. Hikaru Sulu in the Star Trek movies, has told the Los Angeles gay/lesbian magazine Frontiers that he is gay. Takei, a Los Angeles-based actor who is also a community activist, made the revelation in an interview published this week. "It&#39;s not really coming out, which suggests opening a door and stepping through," Takei, 68, told the magazine. "It&#39;s more like a long, long walk through what began as a narrow corridor that starts to widen. And then some doors are open, and light comes in, and there are skylights, and it widens." Takei said that he has been in a relationship for 18 years with a man he identifies as "Brad," but that this is the first time he&#39;s spoken publicly about his homosexuality. He also admitted that he continues to have problems with his family as a result of being gay. "I&#39;ve not had a good experience with one sibling," Takei said. "And I won&#39;t be specific, because it&#39;s still a problem. My mother, initially, had some adjustments to make, but she got to like Brad very much. She got Alzheimer&#39;s, and it got very difficult for her, so we moved her in with us. Brad was wonderful. He was a saint. It&#39;s very difficult when you&#39;re dealing with someone with Alzheimer&#39;s. And some of the stages were ... horrific. And Brad helped throughout that. She was with us for the last four years of her life. And I owe so much to him."

  • Oct. 30, 2005, 9:57 p.m. CST

    Which makes me wonder...did Captain Kirk really fuck EVERYONE in

    by superhero

    :O)

  • Oct. 30, 2005, 10:03 p.m. CST

    um...

    by blackthought

    no, he just gave them roofies and then said he did when he truly had a phobia for that sort of physical relations and didn&#39;t want to be made fun of since he&#39;s a captain of some intergalatic ship...i read thiss off a napkin...so i&#39;m not sure if it&#39;s true.

  • Oct. 30, 2005, 11:37 p.m. CST

    Just have to say

    by KryptonsLastSon

    I picked up "The Iron Giant" SE DVD, for a bargain 9 bucks, this weekend and watched that flick again. I can now say it is the best superhero film ever commited to celuoid. Bravo Mr. Bird, "The Incredibles" is fun but you really got it right the first time. When the Giant closes his eyes intercepting that ICBM knowing that the inevitable will happen... well it just summed up what is wrong with comics today. Every hero today is about the self loathing, whiny, deconstructionist crap. Why can&#39;t a hero be a hero anymore, embrace their power, destiny, lives, have fun with it? Oh well, its a bit off topic but I have to say there is a reason the Cartoon Network plays it for 24 hours at Thanksgiving... Wish that it had done better in theatres to warrant a sequel.

  • Oct. 31, 2005, 12:53 a.m. CST

    No one has anything to say about BIRDS O&#39; PREY, Thalya...

    by Dave_F

    They&#39;re all just too darn busy talking up the pyschosexual art history drama of CHIAROSCURO. And who can blame &#39;em? Fine arts mania is sweeping the industry.

  • Oct. 31, 2005, 1:13 a.m. CST

    Dave...

    by blackthought

    with your love of fine art...can you answer this question that has stumped me? I have to figure out who this artist is but I haven&#39;t yet. Here&#39;s what I was given...... "For the painting of inanimate objects, grapes, peaches, plums, and musical instruments, she is without rival." Who is she?.......now I&#39;m trying to recall if someone qouted that and who it refers too. No luck so far. For fine artists of such things such as fruit I&#39;ve gone with the sisters Peale, Margarita and Sarah...whose family were supremely talented...but I didn&#39;t see them paint any instruments...so I&#39;m stumped.

  • Oct. 31, 2005, 4:36 a.m. CST

    She-hulk

    by TheGinger Twit

    I remember her from an old star Trek episode.

  • Oct. 31, 2005, 5:16 a.m. CST

    Sulu is Gay??

    by TheGinger Twit

    for the last 18 years?? and he and his boyfriend &#39;offed&#39; his mother??? wow. Good to see he&#39;s kept himselve busy since signing off of Trek. So he and Shatners albums, Nimoy&#39;s films and voice cameo&#39;s, Poor ol Doohan and Kelly decided they&#39;d die. Nichelle will be next. Incidently, does anyone else think shatner killed his wife? I love that round fucker.

  • Oct. 31, 2005, 9:10 a.m. CST

    *hangs head, sighs* oh well..

    by Thalya

  • Oct. 31, 2005, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Geoff Johns is a Zen Master

    by Thalya

  • Oct. 31, 2005, 12:04 p.m. CST

    Man, it&#39;s been awhile since we&#39;ve had a comic book talk

    by rev_skarekroe

    Captain America is right to hate the French.

  • Oct. 31, 2005, 12:46 p.m. CST

    But that&#39;s not even controversial..

    by Thalya

    The darn cheese-eating surrender monkeys..

  • Oct. 31, 2005, 12:47 p.m. CST

    BoP!!!

    by The Heathen

    Heathen&#39;s here!!! I read #87 a few days back and really liked it. I wanted more of Calculator and his search for Oracle, but good non-the-less. I picked up #73 (didn&#39;t have #72) but I have not read it yet due to seeing Death Cab For Cutie last night at the Hard Rock Live Cafe in Orlando, which totally rocked btw. The Blake and Lawton show is on WNH, which stands (saadly) for Will Never Happen. : ( But, hopefully we&#39;ll get some sort of series with those two. *crosses fingers* Happy Halloween everybody.

  • And superhero books are already among the most inconsequential out there. Discuss.

  • Oct. 31, 2005, 1:17 p.m. CST

    from last tb

    by Darth Kal-El

    i love me some old school hip hop heathen.yeah im a huge pac and biggie fan so i would have fallen in love right there with you.i love outkast and dre of course and em and 50 cent and g-unit.love scarface(i used to live in houston) love nwa,ice cube the pharcyde. and i know what u mean about the krunk ying yang dominating the airwaves. i like south hip hop but it gets out of hand sometimes.its all over the place.i think paul wall is probably my fave right now from the new southern stuff popping up

  • Oct. 31, 2005, 1:27 p.m. CST

    Vale

    by Thalya

    :P

  • Oct. 31, 2005, 1:34 p.m. CST

    Heathen (and Prof C if you&#39;re out there)

    by Thalya

    What&#39;d you make of Noah&#39;s characterization in this one? And Gail really wrote this and VU? And as if his characterization hasn&#39;t jumped all over the place, his look jumps at least twice in the same book because of two pencillers.. oi..

  • Oct. 31, 2005, 1:54 p.m. CST

    thanks for crushing my...

    by blackthought

    lawton/blake dreams dreams heathen.

  • Oct. 31, 2005, 2:07 p.m. CST

    BoP redux

    by The Heathen

    This was only my third issue I&#39;ve read of BoP, so I&#39;m a bit confused on Helena&#39;s role with the mob and what not, also seems like the Birds had recently broken up or argued or split, but I&#39;m fuzzy on that as well. Overall, I wanted more of Noah&#39;s search for Oracle and liked his characterization, but then again I haven&#39;t studied up on him like you have Lady C. Your thoughts?

  • Oct. 31, 2005, 2:08 p.m. CST

    *crushing sound*

    by The Heathen

    no prob, but maybe Fox will air it and then cancel it immediately.

  • Oct. 31, 2005, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Bobillo&#39;s artwork sucks ass

    by Firedrake

    I&#39;ve seen better work from high schoolers doodleling in study hall. Get a decent artist on the book and give it a chance.

  • Oct. 31, 2005, 2:56 p.m. CST

    BoP stuff

    by Thalya

    Hmm let me see... 1) Helena and the mob is a somewhat recent development. You might know that she&#39;s a blood heir to the Bertinelli crime family (her parents were gunned down before her very eyes in what was her origin story). In her hunt on crime she&#39;s recently decided to bring down organized crime from the inside using that detail (after a split with Oracle and the Birds, though she&#39;s back now). 2) Helena had split for awhile but in issues 85 and 86 they all came back together, kicked butt, and had warm fuzzies. 3) Noah&#39;s characterization was pretty much on in this case for me, but the whole OCD niggles at me. I&#39;m not sure how well it fits with past characterization like in Identity Crisis. I guess I worry because it seems like his arc is going to hinge on that detail and he&#39;s really got something at stake here. Gah.. I just want him to survive Infinite Crisis, but who knows? On one hand, it looks like they&#39;re really trying to make the universe more cohesive and he&#39;s a great bit of glue in that respect and a great character, but on the other hand it&#39;s a hell of alot of power in one person and TPTB might find that intolerable. Plus, who knows if Oracle&#39;s even going to be Oracle after all this, so what happens to her archnemesis? (look at JLA #121: Aquaman&#39;s building a metahuman database from Watchtower backup logs, she might not be needed..)

  • Oct. 31, 2005, 3:07 p.m. CST

    helena dad&#39;s is a mobster...if my memory serves me...

    by blackthought

    and yeah, fox would cancel anything remotely fantastic...i&#39;m surprised they haven&#39;t x&#39;d arrested developement. i&#39;m currently rereading crisis on infinite earths just so i&#39;m able to be fully freshed on little details on this upcoming crisis. yay me...and how was everyone&#39;s weekend?

  • Oct. 31, 2005, 4 p.m. CST

    Latest WW-Is it just me, or does the whole "WW is a murderer" re

    by Homer Sexual

    Well, I did not buy Justice #2 because #1 was so boring (IMO)and I didn&#39;t even like this issue of She-Hulk as much as the previous run, but it was still good. I thought Bobillo was acceptable on pencils, but She-Hulk in that stupid looking dress? Ugh! Now, what I really wanted to comment on is the latest WW. I am so exasperated with the overdone handwringing about her offing Max Lord, I am on the verge of dropping WW and Crisis. "Humanitarian and Philanthropist." Just like on Nip/Tuck. On the worst episode ever, Julian was accused of being the Carver and suddenly everyone just believed it. Same thing with Wonder Woman. It is pedestrian and ridiculous, and really makes it difficult to buy in to the whole story line. Yes, I can accept unrealistic concepts like the OMACs, but not unrealistic behavior.

  • Oct. 31, 2005, 4:10 p.m. CST

    hey guys

    by Darth Kal-El

    i finally caught up. good weekend for me but as usual on mondays its crazy busy here. they even cancelled our regular one hour lunches and made a mandatory half hour lunch today.at least the bastards brought us pizza. thanks for the lyrics heathen.im going to go home and download some songs.anyone that likes pac and biggie cant be too far off from my own tastes.****good reviews @$$es.

  • Oct. 31, 2005, 4:57 p.m. CST

    Weekend at Heathen&#39;s

    by The Heathen

    Death Cab For Cutie rocked. They were really good live and played all of but two songs that I wanted them to (see last tb for those posts for Kal-El for the songs they didn&#39;t play). The band that opened for DCFC was Stars. A band from Montreal that has a male & female lead singer(s) and they also have a chick that plays violin and the male lead singer plays the trumpet some too. They were actually quite good imho. I bought a couple of their cd&#39;s to listen some more. Stars is a moody, indie, pop, love, rock band. It&#39;s a bandyou would have seen at The Bronze. Death Cab came out for an encore and played 3 more, the first being acoustic of "I Will Follow You Into The Dark." Also, there was a bunch of Halloween Horror Nights stuff going on at the time too, so it wsa kinda surreal in the regard. What else for the weekend? Oh, UF beat Georgia 14-10, and I worked, but I&#39;ll spare you those details. I also read an indie comic called "Boneyard" to try and get me into the holiday spirit. It&#39;s like Buffy for 10yr olds, and I mean that in a posotive way. It helps to have read the crisis before hand blackthought, it will connect a lot of dots. And Paul Wall is the only "trill" type krunk rapper that I have any interest in as well Kal-El, but I haven&#39;t heard a lot of his stuff from his album, but I know that Kanye did some of his tracks. Anyone else? Any plans for tonight? Being Halloween and all.

  • Oct. 31, 2005, 5:09 p.m. CST

    Yeah, ignore the spelling

    by The Heathen

    it&#39;s been a long day

  • Oct. 31, 2005, 5:14 p.m. CST

    no plans-might go to the movies thats about it

    by Darth Kal-El

    and in the tradition of the psynapse tasteless joke-what does the lesbian vampire say? "see you next month".it even had a holiday theme!

  • Oct. 31, 2005, 5:33 p.m. CST

    I HATE YOU ALL

    by Psynapse

    Okay well, maybe not hate so much as envy. What with your free cash for comic books while all of mine is currently tied up in this stoopid house thing-ey I&#39;m buying making me put off picking up books for 3 freaking weeks! 3 weeks! I ask you, what kind of hell are we creating when a man has to forego comics for 3 FREAKING WEEKS just cause he&#39;s buying a house?!? Huh?? huh? Where&#39;s the justice........And Thalya! Yeah you! What with the obscure BoP angle that may reveal who the secret baddie of Ic is but nooooo, I can&#39;t buy it for 3 FREAKING WEEKS to even try to figure out what you&#39;re talking about!!3 FREAKING WEEKS! (But then, I DO own my own house now) (*_^)

  • Oct. 31, 2005, 5:56 p.m. CST

    The Heathen - Stars and the Canadian music threadjack

    by AstroThunder

    Those guys are awesome. Saw them earlier this year when &#39;Set Yourself on Fire&#39; got realeased in the U.S.; played that show with labelmates and fellow countrymen Apostle of Hustle (also good). So many great bands have been coming out of Canada in the last few years: Stars, Broken Social Scene, Wolf Parade, The Arcade Fire, The Constantines, Caribou, Metric, Feist, The New Pornographers... what have those dirty puckers been putting in their water? * * * But on the note of comics, man, I can&#39;t pick up my books for this week and last week until I get paid next week. Rent, bills, credit cards, and wining, dining, and planetariuming a dame cost tons of money.

  • Oct. 31, 2005, 6:31 p.m. CST

    Re: AstroThunder

    by The Heathen

    I got &#39;Set Yourself On Fire&#39; and &#39;Heart&#39;, but they didn&#39;t have their first album which I wanted a great deal because they opened with an awesomely moody song from it. My girl and I really like Feist. I&#39;ve heard of The Arcade Fire and Wolf Parade as well. Thanks for the heads up on all these cool Canadian bands! *** I&#39;ve been reading issues that I&#39;ve saved for such dollar bill (scrilla) problems that you and Psynapse and myself are currently having. And I don&#39;t even own my house!!!

  • Oct. 31, 2005, 6:57 p.m. CST

    &#39;Going, going, gone&#39;

    by The Heathen

    The song Stars opened with. Found the album &#39;Nightsongs&#39; as well. Anyway, comic stuff - Simone doing an JLA: Classified arc. That&#39;s cool. How about the coolest Batmobile and Riddler ever in Justice #2? Walking Dead had a bunch of stuff happen, even though Zombies were only seen in the background once. If you could call it a &#39;calm&#39; issue and I&#39;m not saying that Bug did (I&#39;m not quite sure if he liked this issue or not), but it would be the one before the storm because I have a feeling that a bunch of stuff is about to go down - beginning with Rick picking up his teeth next issue. Overall, this is still probably my favorite comic out right now

  • Oct. 31, 2005, 7:08 p.m. CST

    Psy- where&#39;s Justice?

    by Thalya

    It&#39;s in the comic shop, dude. Second issue just came out. ;)

  • Oct. 31, 2005, 7:15 p.m. CST

    Oh, and..

    by Thalya

    Dude, you&#39;re on the internet. dcuguide.com/BoP/BoP.php (issues 72 & 73), if you just can&#39;t wait..

  • Oct. 31, 2005, 7:35 p.m. CST

    so diverse...

    by blackthought

    are the cogs that they are able to drop words like "scrilla" down.

  • Oct. 31, 2005, 8:32 p.m. CST

    Sulu Is Gay?

    by buster00

    Gee, no shit. Next you&#39;re gonna tell me Sheryl Swoopes from the WNBA is a lesbian.

  • Oct. 31, 2005, 8:54 p.m. CST

    in shock...

    by blackthought

    lady calculator, no cog cheats at scrabble...maybe monopoly or heaven forbid jumanji...but never scrabble! words are our friends...and our batsuits. on bobillo&#39;s she-hulk art...well i&#39;m not really that big of a fan...i think it&#39;s ok at times...i kinda hate his shulkie rendering...so squat and the foreshortening is crazy at times. otherwise the book is golden. and awesome andy is a cog smooch reserve though we sometimes run out of chalk for him to communicate to us via of his chalkboard neckchain. and i guess our cog smooch mansion/watchtower thingy will be spinning alot of durty south rap.

  • Oct. 31, 2005, 11:38 p.m. CST

    Thalya re: Noah

    by Prof C

    Don&#39;t read BoP. Sorry. :( Truth to tell, outside of the guilty pleasure called VILLAINS UNITED, I have yet to come around to appreciating Gail Simone&#39;s writing style. So, really, my only real appreciation for BoP was that I thought the gal who played Batgirl/Oracle on the BoP TV-series looked exceptionally hot in the Batgirl costume during that one flashback. Why don&#39;t you post me a recap on what happened in the issue that&#39;s got you so jazzed up or shoot it my way on email. It may not be an informed opinion, but I can at least ruminate a bit on whatever tickled your fancy.

  • Oct. 31, 2005, 11:41 p.m. CST

    Dave re: FABLES and CONAN

    by Prof C

    You just THINK you wrote those reviews. I actually wrote them tommorrow then psychically transmitted them back in time to you whereby you put pen to paper Joseph Smith-style and recorded my god-like words verbatim. I know you would like to lay claim to your thoughts, but alas they are going to be mine...tomorrow.

  • Nov. 1, 2005, 6:48 a.m. CST

    All-Star Superman is nigh!

    by Gus Nukem

    The singularity of all that is kick-ass in the universe is drawing to a closure.

  • Nov. 1, 2005, 7:31 a.m. CST

    oh sweet...

    by blackthought

    all-star catman and deadshot!...awesome...err...oh...superman...ok.

  • Nov. 1, 2005, 9:51 a.m. CST

    Ronin, Ronin, Ronin...

    by hamgravy

    Not all that interesting, but, did anyone else notice that the Ultimate Guide to The Avengers that came out last week revealed the identity of Ronin about a month before it appears in comic form?

  • Nov. 1, 2005, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Back in Black

    by hamgravy

    Bejeezus, BPRD: The Black Flame #3 rocked my world. Besides actually caring about these characters, who seem fully fleshed out to me with sparse dialogue and character-driven action scenes, the whole Hellboy world is about to blow up and satisfy readers with the big story Mike&#39;s been hinting at since day one. Guy Davis&#39; art took a huge leap forward this arc and I think it&#39;s the first time a number of HBoy compositions are built around white space and limited shadows instead of Mignola&#39;s base black. It works. The team also has a love for the titular villain that pays off with a transformation he makes this issue. Titular villain - phrase of the day.

  • Nov. 1, 2005, 10:16 a.m. CST

    It&#39;s Alex Ross&#39; world...

    by hamgravy

    The 3-in-1 hybrid Batmobile from Justice #2? Not so much. As possibly the world&#39;s most powerful fanboy, there&#39;s something about Alex Ross&#39; designs when he tries to re-conceptualize an icon or put out his "definitive" version of something that falls flat for me. Like they&#39;re just over-thought and uninspired. Look at his re-design of the X-men costumes he&#39;s been floating for a few years now. They look like, and he says, they&#39;re the answer to the problem of translating superhero spandex to the big screen and vice-versa. The solution? Trenchcoats. Sure his Ross-real style can be a lot of fun, but his original designs are far from iconic. I wouldn&#39;t even mention it if everything he says didn&#39;t come across with such pomp.

  • Nov. 1, 2005, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Sure, Ross can let his ego get in the way, BUT

    by The Heathen

    the Batmobile in Justice #2 is far cooler/gothic/sleeker than this ** http://tinyurl.com/bt4w5 ** and imho looks better than 95% of the ones featured in the timeline ** http://tinyurl.com/9abjw **

  • Nov. 1, 2005, 11:26 a.m. CST

    Buttmobile

    by hamgravy

    Ross&#39; Batmobile actually has the face of another Batmobile on its butt.

  • Nov. 1, 2005, 1:12 p.m. CST

    Well hello there!

    by El Vale

    How&#39;s things my fellow cogs? I know i haven&#39;t been on much or shared my amazing wisdom with you but i&#39;ve been real busy writing some stuff for Maria. We got some sort of award for one of our comics and we got a one page comic deal for a national newspaper in Portugal, which is awesome. Be happy for me. On the other hand...3 weeks?! No offense psynapse but you&#39;re a vagina, i am the ultimate comic book martyr! But not so much now that i&#39;ve downloaded so much stuff. Ok so tell me stories people, keep me entertained. Darth that lesbian vampire joke was awesome, keep&#39;em coming.

  • Nov. 1, 2005, 1:20 p.m. CST

    That&#39;s my point hamgravy

    by The Heathen

    the other ones are so ugly that the only way to look good is if they are on the ass end of the car. *** Congratulations Vale!!!

  • Nov. 1, 2005, 2 p.m. CST

    Heathen that is so weird

    by El Vale

    I was about to give you guys the link. Here it is, enjoy: http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/24706981/

  • Nov. 1, 2005, 2:04 p.m. CST

    congrats vale!

    by Darth Kal-El

    thanks for the porn link btw.dont worry i havent been on much either.its been crazy busy here too.how was your weekend?

  • Nov. 1, 2005, 2:04 p.m. CST

    congrats vale!

    by Darth Kal-El

    thanks for the porn link btw.dont worry i havent been on much either.its been crazy busy here too.how was your weekend?

  • Nov. 1, 2005, 2:05 p.m. CST

    im so attention starved i post twice

    by Darth Kal-El

  • Nov. 1, 2005, 2:10 p.m. CST

    Mature Content filter is ON

    by The Heathen

    any way to turn it off on that site Vale? Because I&#39;m on my own computer right now and I don&#39;t have any parental blocks up. Let me know, I&#39;ve waited months to read this with Maria&#39;s pencils!

  • Nov. 1, 2005, 2:17 p.m. CST

    We all need attention Darth

    by The Heathen

    check out Alexandra Duponts ROTS DVD review for people who are starving for some

  • Nov. 1, 2005, 2:17 p.m. CST

    Canadian bands (yeah yeah I know I&#39;m late as shit)

    by Shigeru

    Godspeed You Black Emporer? Can I get an amen?

  • Nov. 1, 2005, 2:22 p.m. CST

    amen

    by The Heathen

    although I haven&#39;t heard of them, but I have now!

  • Nov. 1, 2005, 2:31 p.m. CST

    Shigeru - A big amen. I love Godspeed!

    by AstroThunder

    I was weirded out when one of their songsd appeared in 28 Days Later. I mean, aren&#39;t they supposed to be anti-sellout mofos who live in an abandoned train car? First time I heard Godspeed You Black Emperor was in high school. Driving around late at night, a college radio station played the second song on "slow riot for new zero kanada." Blew my damn mind.

  • Nov. 1, 2005, 2:39 p.m. CST

    Green Lantern Corps ongoing

    by holidill

    This will be coming out after the mini series. It has all ready been decided. So Hurray!

  • Nov. 1, 2005, 2:50 p.m. CST

    I love "slow riot..."!

    by Shigeru

    That album rocks my socks. Heathen--listen to this and then Mogwai&#39;s "My Father My King" EP with headphones on and your brain will melt. And I heard that the Godspeed guys got arrested in like Nebraska or something cause they were at a gas station and some lady called the FBI and said they were terrorists. Right on.

  • Nov. 1, 2005, 2:53 p.m. CST

    Will this All Week survive until next

    by The Heathen

    Technically speaking, we would get a new one tomorrow, but since we got this one on Saturday

  • Nov. 1, 2005, 2:56 p.m. CST

    I like what I&#39;ve heard of Mogwai

    by The Heathen

    sounds like a plan Shigeru, that and Blankets come winter. I&#39;m really loving &#39;Set Yourself On Fire&#39; by Stars btw. I&#39;ve listened to nothing but it for the past 2 days.

  • Nov. 1, 2005, 4:47 p.m. CST

    Sorry Heathen

    by El Vale

    I don&#39;t know how to help you in that department. Anyone care to help Heathen? As a last resort i could email you the images amigo! What did everyone think of the comic? Come on, read it!

  • Nov. 1, 2005, 7:11 p.m. CST

    cogs...

    by blackthought

    you have to be a deviant art member to turn off the adult filter. congrats vale, always nice to have successful colombians from our cog smooch order since i&#39;m dropping the ball serverly :)...and i do like that batmobile too.

  • Nov. 1, 2005, 8:09 p.m. CST

    finally some time to breathe!

    by Darth Kal-El

    its the first of the month so its been hectic here in mortgage land! i read loveless and liked it tho i had a moment where i thought it was going in a different direction with the &#39;drop your britches thing&#39;.***i think ill pick up episode 3 after work.best buy is giving away a free lithograph if u buy it so thatll be worth it.plus deleted scenes of yoda at dagobah?!! im fuggin there!***vale im still at work but i will get to the porn as soon as i get home***on a work related note, psynapse whose your mortgage company? if its mine i can help with any kind of late fees as well as keep u up to date on products that may be beneficial to u

  • Nov. 1, 2005, 8:10 p.m. CST

    blackthought

    by Darth Kal-El

    but did u drop the ball as effectively as lono?

  • Nov. 2, 2005, 9:35 a.m. CST

    Whenever I get a mortgage, I&#39;ll surely need to go with Darth

    by The Heathen

    because I&#39;ve been in late fee city this month with every one of my bills! *** I&#39;ll register at deviant later. Thanks for the heads up blackthought. And I still owe Vale a &#39;boob&#39; variant cover. *** Kal-El, I got ROTS last night (with my lithograph from Best Buy) and watched the first 30 min of the movie last night. I got a question about the sound during the opening space and lightsaber battle: Doesn&#39;t it sound kinda muffled? I mean you can barely hear the laser blasts from the ships and the lightsabers turning on as well. I thought the same thing at the theaters, but figured it would be fixed for the DVD. Anybody feel the same, or am I just crazy? Thanks Cogs.

  • Nov. 2, 2005, 9:49 a.m. CST

    the bit with the mule was pretty damn funny

    by The Heathen

    I&#39;ll give it a go, it&#39;s not like I&#39;m broke or anything. Gotta support the habit!

  • Nov. 2, 2005, 12:50 p.m. CST

    i was rather meh on rots...

    by blackthought

    and yes,darth i dropped the ball just as effectively...sighs...now and heathen...there&#39;s no sound in space!...i think...er...

  • Nov. 2, 2005, 12:57 p.m. CST

    heathen a heads up re:late fees

    by Darth Kal-El

    dude i work in a call center so believe me this works. with any late fees you get call up the customer service line and request they waive your fees as a one time customer courtesy.if the rep tells you no ask to speak to a supervisor. youll actually get a team lead or higher level rep on the phone. then give them some kind of story,it literally can be anything, and request a one time courtesy waive.the team lead does not want the call to escalate any further,i.e. to a REAL supervisor so they will waive your fee 99% of the time.****i didnt get a chance to make it to best buy but i think tonight i will.ill let u know if i notice the sound thing.***yeah the bit with the mule was funny***vale i dug the porn your a really talented artist and im not just saying that because your a friend and a cog. i payed your porn what i think is the ultimate compliment...

  • Nov. 2, 2005, 12:58 p.m. CST

    vale

    by Darth Kal-El

    scratch that you are a talented WRITER and maria is a hell of an artist! sorry the cofee hasnt kicked in yet

  • Nov. 2, 2005, 1:06 p.m. CST

    i wonder if well get a column today

    by Darth Kal-El

    if not lets keep this one going!

  • Nov. 2, 2005, 1:09 p.m. CST

    no column this month...

    by blackthought

    obversing asshole holiday you know.

  • Nov. 2, 2005, 1:17 p.m. CST

    youre right blackthught--

    by Darth Kal-El

    after all hallows and the feast of all saints the next holiday is the feast of all @$$holes

  • Nov. 2, 2005, 1:18 p.m. CST

    Do we fast, then?

    by Thalya

  • Nov. 2, 2005, 1:25 p.m. CST

    no fasting for me!

    by Darth Kal-El

    im starving! i get my break in 15 minutes and im hitting the vending machine like it stole from me

  • Nov. 2, 2005, 1:31 p.m. CST

    i can&#39;t fast either...

    by blackthought

    if anything i need to eat...i need food...i need to put weight on...i&#39;m nothing but bone and my batsuits too big...sighs.

  • Nov. 2, 2005, 1:41 p.m. CST

    "Blackthught"

    by Darth Kal-El

    every time i misspell his name a new villian arises in the DCU bent on INFINITE CRISIS

  • Nov. 2, 2005, 1:42 p.m. CST

    Vale, really nice job. And of course we&#39;ll keep this going!!

    by The Heathen

    Tell Maria she&#39;s awesome as I&#39;m sure she already knows. The look of the pages with the tears on them and the dirtiness of them really shows that it isn&#39;t just a porn, but a story first. You guy&#39;s did a really good job. *** Darth, thanks for the heads up on the courtesy waive. Best Buy has been having a bunch of stuff for Reward Zone people lately. I got season 2 of Arrested Development for $10 less, a Cinderella & ROTS lithographs, and a Batman Begins w/ a hologram cover. Hey, what&#39;s your thought on the 360? I&#39;m debating, but I&#39;m not sure.

  • Nov. 2, 2005, 1:56 p.m. CST

    if you could buy one...

    by Gus Nukem

    I can buy only one of these TPBs. Which do you recommend: 1) Animal Man, v.2 (have read the 1st), 2) Doom Patrol, v.3 (have read the first two), 3) Top Ten, v. 1 (have read only the Smax limited series and enjoyed the hell of it - it bothers me though that there are a few Top10 stories not collected in the two SC/HC collections currently available) and 4) something else you desperately wish to recommend to me. Please add a brief explanation why.

  • Nov. 2, 2005, 2:02 p.m. CST

    gus

    by blackthought

    i&#39;d go with top ten...i just like that series better than i did animal man or doom patrol...i am a moore accolyte so these things are to be expected. animal man is worth finishing though, i really enjoyed it. i&#39;d recommend alot of things but i don&#39;t know what you have in your collection. vale...as much as i hate cristiano ronaldo and his prevelance for diving...i can&#39;t fault the portuguese women with excellent art abilities...someone, please teach me to draw. and darth...villain blackthought, blackthught and the rest shall be...but cog smooch villains.

  • Nov. 2, 2005, 3:49 p.m. CST

    blackthought

    by Gus Nukem

    Hmm. I &#39;d like to finish my Grant Morrison JLA library as well with the 5th and 6th TPB. **** If you recently read something mindblowing, worth not much more than the aforementioned TPBs, shoot.

  • Nov. 2, 2005, 4:55 p.m. CST

    Wow, no new Lost, no @$$holes, not even any trolls, and rarely a

    by The Heathen

    What are we to do? Hey Vale, when does Lost air for you? Gus, I can&#39;t think of anything at the moment. Thalya, you busy too? blackthought, I knew Firefly and 2001 were right

  • Nov. 2, 2005, 5:53 p.m. CST

    and uneventful wednesday to say the least

    by Darth Kal-El

    should we discuss anal sex at case de X?

  • Nov. 2, 2005, 5:56 p.m. CST

    something i forgot to share with u guys

    by Darth Kal-El

    http://tinyurl.com/anfej. check this site out! u can upload mp3s and pictures and send them to your phone for free! ive been messing with it the past 2 days and it works freaking awesome!i now have unique ringtones for everyone on my call list.check it out

  • Nov. 2, 2005, 7:46 p.m. CST

    there is a new lost tonight!

    by blackthought

  • Nov. 2, 2005, 7:50 p.m. CST

    i kid...

    by blackthought

    i wish though

  • Nov. 2, 2005, 8:39 p.m. CST

    I believe that&#39;s my cue for another tasteless joke.....

    by Psynapse

    QUESTION: What kind of meat do priests eat? ANSWER: Nun. *ba-dump bump* Apologies fellow Cogs this whole moving into the new (and owned!) house is a total time sucker. Damn I have WAY TOO MUCH crap! 32 half size comic boxes, 74 graphic novels (lotta trades), 239 action figures, 22 statues, 40 busts and that&#39;s just the beginning. Oy but I do be a collectin&#39; fiend. And just how weird has your life been when you can honestly claim that one of the things you own is the silver plated thighbone of a Tibetan monk?

  • Nov. 2, 2005, 9 p.m. CST

    i hope one...

    by blackthought

    of them busts psynapse is a hellboy one.

  • Nov. 2, 2005, 9:04 p.m. CST

    Hellboy AND Abe actually.....

    by Psynapse

    Though strangely the one I&#39;m most fond of is the one of &#39;Hot Stuff&#39; from the old Harvey comics. OMG...I just read this tasteless joke on the web: There was a guy who was struggling to decide what to wear to go to a fancy costume party... Then he had a bright idea. When the host answered the door, he found the guy standing there with no shirt and no socks on. "What the hell are you supposed to be?" asked the host. "A premature ejaculation," said the man. "I just came in my pants!"

  • Nov. 2, 2005, 9:51 p.m. CST

    ive got that one beat

    by Darth Kal-El

    a girl couldnt decide what to wear to a costume party so she painted herself all white and went naked. when people asked her what she was she threw herself on the floor and spread her legs and said "a tooth with a cavity"

  • Nov. 3, 2005, 8:19 a.m. CST

    oh jeez...

    by blackthought

  • Nov. 3, 2005, 12:43 p.m. CST

    Thank you

    by El Vale

    Thank you for all the kind words gentlemen, and thanks for readin! Means a lot. And keep the jokes coming.

  • Nov. 3, 2005, 4:27 p.m. CST

    sweet

    by blackthought

  • Nov. 16, 2005, 5:22 p.m. CST

    embittered

    by Gus Nukem

    with all those hacks who try to post last. (you know who you are). LAST!

  • Nov. 16, 2005, 8:03 p.m. CST

    uh-huh...

    by blackthought

    LAST

  • Nov. 18, 2005, 3:27 p.m. CST

    damn right

    by Gus Nukem

    LAST!

  • Nov. 18, 2005, 3:49 p.m. CST

    sure...

    by blackthought

    LAST!