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AICN COMICS REVIEWS! A LOT OF BENDIS STUFF! JONAH HEX! CAPOTE IN KANSAS! & MORE!

#24 11/2/05 #4

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

HOUSE OF M #8
7 SOLDIERS: BULLETEER #1
FEAR AGENT #1
ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #85
THE WINTER MEN #3
JONAH HEX #1
BART SIMPSON'S TREEHOUSE OF HORROR #11
POWERS #14
WILDSIDERZ #2
TALES OF THE CREVICE: CAPOTE IN KANSAS
CHEAP SHOTS!

HOUSE OF M # 8

Written By: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencilled by: Olivier Coipel
Published by: Marvel Comics
Reviewer: superhero



Well, it’s over and what can I say?

All I can muster up is a hearty “meh”.

But the thing of it is I don’t even think it’s even Bendis’ fault. See, unlike some people in @$$hole land I actually really like Brian Michael Bendis’ writing. Sure it’s self indulgent. Sure it gets too wrapped up in itself with the talkity-talk. But I think that, for the most part, he’s done some really interesting stuff here and there. Like a lot of writers with his amount of output, he’s had a lot of misses, but he’s also had some really great moments. If anything I’ve had the feeling for a long time that Bendis is a really, really good comic book writer, but I think he’s overextended himself. I don’t want to make excuses for him, but it seems like he’s trying to emulate Stan Lee’s history with Marvel in that he wants to write almost every book in the Marvel/Ultimate Universe. Hell, even his own book POWERS has suffered because of it. If BMB would just focus on fewer projects I think we’d see some really stunning work like his independent books were. But for now, I guess the bills have gotta get paid so we’ll get what we’ve received with HOUSE OF M: sub-par Bendis.

I have, however, really liked the art in House of M. Oliver Coipel’s artwork has been the best part of this whole mini. His style evokes some of Marc Silvestri’s work but has enough of its own character so as not to come off as a complete clone. His storytelling ability is tight and he’s able to illustrate action and dialogue sequences (which, let’s face it, with a Bendis book is a MUST) equally well. Coipel’s got the goods and he was able to prove it with this mini-series. Yep, even with the She-Hulk’s “wardrobe malfunction”, Coipel could be one of the better artists that Marvel’s got in its stable and that’s saying a lot.

So if Bendis is a good writer and Coipel is a talented artist what’s the problem with HOUSE OF M?

In this issue all of our heroes wake to a world where almost all the mutants of the planet have had their genetic sequences changed so they are no longer mutants. This provides some really powerful moments for some of the characters. Hell, Spider-Man has some of the best lines in the book and he’s not even a mutant. What Bendis does with Wolverine and Magneto alone is truly inspired. There are instances with the kids at Xavier Academy that make the loss that mutants are feeling hit home. On top of that Hawkeye may be alive and well. So why does HOUSE OF M come across as so weak?

I blame Chris Claremont, John Byrne and Marvel greed.

See, the damage, for this fan and probably a lot of others, has been done. For years, and years, and years, and years the X-Men books have been the most convoluted, confusing, absolutely frustrating reads in the history of comics. The X-Men have been put through lame crossover after lame crossover, had plot threads opened up and left hanging, and had so many alternate realities/futures/pasts that they’ve ceased to be relevant. Where the X-Men were once the rebels of the Marvel Universe that you read because no one else knew about them they’ve become, because of having a bajillion books on the stands, the fat, bloated rock stars of the comic world. Heck, the X-Books are almost on par with the pre-Crisis Superman where there’s just such a mess of jumbled continuity that it’s almost impossible to care anymore. So if HOM is the series that’s supposed to clean up the Marvel mutant madness why doesn’t it feel like a breath of fresh air?

Probably because it’s too little too late.

Bendis is a good writer but he’s just not good enough to undo the years and years of damage that Claremont and Marvel have done to the X-legacy. I actually think it reaches all the way back to the “Days of Future Past” storyline that Claremont and Byrne introduced in their legendary run on UNCANNY X-MEN. With “Days” they opened up the proverbial genie in the bottle which gave the Marvel Universe its own multiverse in effect. After that, all bets were off and Chris Claremont and the writers that followed were free to abuse the concept at random. You had characters from alternate futures running amok in the Marvel Universe so that after a while the future wasn’t so bright anymore. What was once a cool concept just developed into a mess that made fans roll their eyes in frustration. And once it leaked into the rest of the Marvel books with the “Heroes Reborn” stunt from years ago there really was no going back. The Marvel U was officially a mess. So why am I supposed to believe that HOM is going to fix it?

We’ve been through so many universe reboots in the X-Books that I’m supposed to believe that this one is special? Yes, the story itself is good, but it can’t escape the cheapness of previous events before it. Especially when it’s not that well written to begin with. There actually happens to be a big, gaping hole in this whole thing. If the Scarlet Witch can change the universe once, twice, three times a mutie, then how the hell am I supposed to believe that THIS change is one that’s going to stick? It just doesn’t resonate because of the X-books’ mess of a past and a plot hole that you could drive a Fantasticar through. So how long before Marvel editorial decides to reboot the universe again and why should I care? HOUSE OF M is par for the course in the Marvel U and Bendis, no matter how talented he is, can’t make it come across as special because it’s not no matter what the Marvel hype machine wants us to believe.

It’s too bad because Marvel really does need something to give its core universe a shot in the arm. HOUSE OF M just doesn’t feel like it’s going to be it. Who knows? Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe getting rid of almost all the mutants will make them interesting again but as it is HOM just comes across as just another story to be forgotten along with the other “Mutant Massacres” and “Ages of Apocalypse” that made no real difference in the past. If anything it just seems like Marvel realizes just how much they wrote themselves into a corner with the apocalyptic mutant future scenario and just decided to hit the reset button. The problem with the reset button at Marvel is that it’s been hit before again and again and each time it’s been less and less of a satisfying experience.


BULLETEER #1 (of 4)

Writer: Grant Morrison
Artists: Yanick Paquette and Michael Bair
Publisher: DC Comics
Reviewer: Prof. Challenger



Yowza! I think Power Girl's got some competition in the Seven Soldiers corner of the DC Universe. Phallic symbolism and huge breasts run amuck in the kickoff to another excellent mini-series from the twisted mind of Grant Morrison. This time he tells the story of how a beautiful young woman named Alix Harrower (exceptionally clever and foretelling in that this whole Seven Soldiers thing is part of an effort to prevent a worldwide slaughter called "The Harrowing") unexpectedly finds her entire world turned upside down as she is thrust into the world of the super-hero against her will.

But first, look at that cover. Is there any possible way for your eyes to stray away from those two huge, metal coated boobs thrusting out at the reader? None at all. Neither is there anyway to avoid dwelling on the splash page overly long at the Bulleteer, in all her booby and nipply glory wearing nothing but an expensive Victoria's Secret bra and panty set. And is it just chance that Yanick Paquette has a crack running through the mirror that constantly draws the reader's eye down right onto Bulleteer's boobs?

The thing is that even in the midst of the in-your-face T&A, Morrison manages to craft an interesting twist on the idea of how new super-heroes come into existence in a world where super-heroes have become fairly commonplace. Turns out that Alix was married to a guy, Lance, obsessed with late-night online liaisons on kinky websites where the girls pretend to be oversexed teenage super-heroines. As a result of his obsession with his fetishistic compulsive desire for the illusory lives these virtual super-heroines have tempted him with, he becomes dissatisfied with his wife. Which explains a bit why Morrison had Paquette and Bair make Alix so extraordinarily sexy and sensual. They wanted to drive home the point that Lance has gotten so pathologically screwed up that he doesn't even appreciate what he has at home for real; he prefers the illusion to the reality.

Lance even tries to draw Alix into his fantasy, but being level-headed and grounded she recognizes how absurd his obsession has become. So, she rejects his invitation to try out his new "smartskin" bulletproof metal skin so that they can become a modern-day version of Bulletman and Bulletgirl by becoming virtually indestructible and immortal. Lance has already tried the smartskin out on a lab rat who now runs around all metal and superstrong because his smartskin bonds with "collagen and copies tissue growth." However, in true comic book fashion, Lance has to try it out on a human subject so he injects himself.

Bad idea.

Like King Midas' worst nightmare, the metal smartskin doesn't just bond with his skin but changes his insides as well, effectively suffocating him and stopping his heart after a prolonged, and apparently painful, period of time. As for Alix, when she called 911, Lance reached out and touched her which led to the smartskin jumping on to her as well. Don't know why it affected her differently but now she's covered head to toe in smartskin ~ kind of looking like a female Capt. Atom with sexy red hair. She's now completely indestructible and superstrong. There's no indication of whether she will somehow gain the power to fly, but she does put on a sexy red and white costume that includes a nice phallic-shaped…I mean…bullet-shaped helmet. It seems odd that a character called The Bulleteer would not be able to fly but, then again, Grant Morrison's kind of odd I think.

Here's the thing though. Beyond the fact that she looks good, I really just liked Alix Harrower as a character immediately. When she discovered what her husband's secret life online was like, she was justifiably pissed off at him post-mortem. She's a woman who's smart, funny, and a take-charge person who struggles with the changes wrought upon her life in an admirable way. A nice change of pace and a book I thoroughly enjoyed cover to cover.


FEAR AGENT #1

Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Tony Moore
Publisher: Image Comics
Reviewed by Dave Farabee

“Science fiction has lost its stones,” writes Rick Remender in the afterword to his blue-collar, sci-fi auctioneer, FEAR AGENT #1. His goal, alongside artist Tony Moore (the wunderkind who drew the early issues of THE WALKING DEAD), is to take comic sci-fi back to days of aliens you dealt with through the business end of a ray gun, not a lot of touchy-feely talk.

Not a bad concept – I’m definitely one who snoozed through the trade federation stuff in the STAR WARS prequels and snorted at Picard’s appeasement-heavy negotiations in STAR TREK - but as with most of Remender’s stuff that I’ve read, the execution left me cold.

Our hero is one Heath Huston, the last of a breed of alien exterminators from Texas (a’yep!) whose ultimate fate is one of the first issue’s mysteries. Mostly we see Heath on the job, sporting the kind of geared-up spacesuit Wally Wood drew and Ridley Scott’s ALIEN brought to the big screen. I got tired of Heath’s hardboiled routine pretty fast, though, front and center as it was with his ongoing first person monologue. His musings are a bit like what I might expect from a Walter Hill movie character (48 HOURS, THE WARRIORS), but I don’t think Remender measures up to Hill’s testosterone-fuelled conviction or his jerky wit.

As Heath blasts his way into the lair of a tribe of aboriginal aliens that look like cavemen with dreadlocks, he tells us things like, “This morning, Annie wakes me from a good drunk…” and “Set phaser to ‘Cowardly Monkey’” and “If I survive this – I’m never gonna come anywhere near this shit-hole again.” In short, his thoughts are nothing to write home about. I found myself thinking that if our hard-drinkin’ hero had funnier exchanges like this one from 48 HOURS…
Reggie Hammond: What's this?
[[he pulls a wad of money from a redneck’s pocket]]
Redneck: Tax refund!
Reggie Hammond: Bullshit! You're too fuckin' stupid to have a job!
…I’d have been a lot more tolerant of the whole macho asshole riff. Heath gives a brief hint of being something more than a SIN CITY extra when he breaks out some wit and wisdom from Mark Twain during one of his digressions, but mostly he gripes about his job and talks repeatedly about wanting to get drunk. That kind of material I can get from my friends.

The book’s saving grace is, unsurprisingly, its visuals. Tony Moore’s clearly having a ball with all the pseudo-retro sci-fi trappings, rendered with loving detail and the aesthetically-pleasing grit WALKING DEAD fans came to love. You can read a preview here. WALKING DEAD readers will note the art looks a bit different, a bit slicker, and it’s possibly the result of Moore’s own artistic evolution, possibly the effect of working with an inker. It’s sharp, in any case, and pops wonderfully as a result of Lee Loughridge’s coloring. Loughridge uses highly saturated tones and minimizes showy airbrush effects in favor of flat swaths of color. Well, not completely flat – there’re definite gradations in there, but they’re of the subtle sort, like early Steve Oliff work on LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT. I was particularly impressed with one of the big alien reveals toward the end, a rare instance of heavy f/x use in the book that ranked among the best I’ve seen since Cassandra Nova’s ectoplasmic transformations in NEW X-MEN a few years ago.

Still, I keep coming back to story and character, and that’s where FEAR AGENT falls down. This first issue is pure action, and on a moment-to-moment level, it’s solid enough. There’s just no hook. We’ve seen heroes like Heath, for whom it’s “just a job,” and the mystery of what’s leading the caveman aliens to attack colony settlements to steal equipment is a little…slight. I think the book will probably rely on nostalgia for retro-spaceman stories to grab its audience, with its space-truckers, aliens with names like Zlasfons, and raygun-blastin’-action. Nothing wrong with that, though I can’t help but recall that the EC stories from which the series purportedly takes its inspiration were often a bit more thoughtful about their alien-zappin’. At their lightest, they were pulp sci-fi variants on O. Henry yarns, but there were plenty of humanist underpinnings (the famous WEIRD FANTASY story “Judgement Day” comes to mind), even a few Ray Bradbury stories adapted. It’s hard not to recall EC’s humanism as FEAR AGENT’s lead kills caveman after caveman with about the same concern you’d give a stomping a cockroach, no irony present.

Struck me as odd. Even for a book with a mission statement to give sci-fi back its “stones,” offing dark-skinned aliens with a grin seems a little empty-headed. EC’s sci-fi was definitely more than just its visual trappings, but it remains to be seen whether FEAR AGENT is.

And for some folks that might be just fine. After all, brainless action wrapped up in high-octane visuals is what made the original STAR WARS trilogy a hit. S’just not for me right now, not without a more compelling lead or a story with fresher twists ‘n’ turns.


ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #85

Brian Michael Bendis: Writer
Mark Bagley: Artist
Marvel Comics: Publisher
Vroom Socko: All Webbed Up



Goddamn! Bendis pulled off a conclusion filled with great moments, wicked action, genuine shocks, and a major setup for the future of his characters, and it wasn’t even HOUSE OFf M! Really, this is the book that Bendis fans should be talking about this week.

You want action? How about Hammerhead versus Electra, and Electra versus the Black Cat. This is some of the rawest, nastiest, bloodiest fighting I’ve seen in this book. Bagley has honestly outdone himself here.

You want character development? Take a look at the conversation between Spidey and the Cat. This, after all, is where Bendis is a Viking. It’s grounded, yet stylish, both witty and grandiose. It’s a little bit heavy-handed in all the right places. Perfect comic book dialogue, in other words.

You want laughs? The Black Cat finally sees who Spider-Man is under that mask, and her reaction is priceless. Priceless, I tell you!

You want building story development? Just look at what Aunt May has to say here. It looks like the time is fast approaching when she’ll have to learn the truth about Peter and his extracurricular activities.

You want a genuine surprise? Check out that splash page at the end. Totally didn’t see it coming. It’s not that there’s a character being such a duplicitous conniving swine that’s a shock, it’s that it plays out in a way that anyone familiar with the original character would never expect. Between this and the Annual, Bendis is playing to the greatest strength the Ultimate universe has: these are not the same characters we’ve been reading about for forty years. The character involved in this particular twist served as my introduction to Spidey comics as a wee lad, and I was not only not offended by this change of personality, I was thrilled to bits. At the very least, it’s going to make for some damn good stories.

You want a just plain kickass superhero book? ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN is one of the best.


THE WINTER MEN #3

Writer: Brett Lewis
Artist: John Paul Leon
Publisher: WildStorm Signature Series
Reviewer: Sleazy G



THE WINTER MEN is the kind of high-concept story that can sound great on paper but runs the serious risk of blowing it in the delivery. It’s a story of former Soviet superheroes who are now trying to make a living in the cold, hard, crime-ridden reality of “democratic” Russia. It’s part espionage thriller, part noir, part crime novel. The idea has a lot of potential, but there are a lot of pitfalls, too. We’re already three issues in, though, and so far Lewis is doing a great job with the balancing act.

THE WINTER MEN is told from the perspective of Kris Kalenov. Kalenov used to be a member of Red 11, a squad of five mechanized “rocket machines”—super soldiers in armored suits. Now, though, he’s just working as a drunk, washed-up cop of sorts. He’s working for the city of Moscow, often at the specific beck and call of the mayor of that city (among the world’s most corrupt). Early on in issue #1 he encountered one of the other members of Red 11, Drost, who is still a professional soldier. He’s also working doing “security”, but as a representative of Western investors in businesses in Moscow, which explains why his jurisdiction overlaps with Kalenov’s. We get a glimpse into the kind of back-room deals that have always been far too common in Moscow—the haggling, the false sincerity and deceit with a smile that I’ve seen first-hand there. It becomes pretty clear that while their time in service together made them “brothers”, they know they can only trust each other so far.

Kalenov is then called to the Mayor’s office to investigate the kidnapping of a young child who may be tied to a different secret military supersoldier project referred to only as “Winter”. It seems that competing organizations in the Soviet military would have similar projects running in tandem, often to keep each other in check, and Red 11 was there to provide a counterbalance to a Soviet Superman of sorts called “The Hammer of the Revolution”. It’s implied that Red 11 might have needed to take him down at some point, and now they’re terrified this little girl is tied to experiments like those that created The Hammer.

In issue 2 Kalenov’s search takes him to Brooklyn, home to many a Russian criminal working both in New York and with comrades back in Russia. It turns out his trip there was a distraction and a set-up, so by issue 3 he’s back in Russia and pissed that somebody tried to cap him. He then leads a team on a strike into Georgia to recover the girl. In a scene reminiscent of those on “Alias”, there’s some ass-kicking, some tension and a sudden turn of events when they find out the girl has a disconcerting power of her own.

Throughout the first three issues we get to meet the other members of Red 11. There’s the aforementioned Drost. There’s also a jovial but highly dangerous gangster named Nikki (he’s a dude, so don’t get the wrong idea), a bodyguard named Nina (a woman and clearly and ex-lover of Kalenov’s, so feel free to get the wrong idea) and someone referred to only as The Siberian, who has yet to put in an appearance. Kalenov’s narration of the events is clearly right out of the noir playbook, the kind of washed-up, grizzled commentary you get when you read Chandler or watch “Blade Runner”. It’s also firmly grounded in the kind of detail about pre-and post-Soviet Russia, though, that tells you Lewis really did his research. Lewis also does a great job of capturing the unique mindset and sense of humor that exists only in the Russian people, and that spirit really makes this book stand out from others that have worked with similar material. More than anywhere else, this deadpan irony and sense of resignation shines through when Kalenov is faced with his failed marriage or when dealing with the ex-team members who keep cropping up in his investigation often enough for Kris to realize there’s no way in hell it’s purely coincidence.

John Paul Leon’s art is a great match for Brett Lewis’ writing as well. A little rough around the edges, sure, but the expressions are pretty dead-on and he does a great job of capturing the feel of both NYC and Moscow in winter. Major cities get a stark yet filthily drab look to them that time of year, and between Leon’s linework and the coloring of longstanding pro John Workman the title’s appearance matches its mood and characters wonderfully.

I was quite surprised to find this was a WildStorm title at first (under their fairly new Signatures series) considering the subject matter, appearance and the involvement of Vertigo editor Will Dennis. The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized the only recent series it has even the slightest similarity to is the Ed Brubaker classic SLEEPER. It looks as if WildStorm may be trying to do something similar to Image, starting the Signatures line as a place for creators with ideas that come from different genres or present a distinctly individual vision outside of an established universe. If that’s the case, and they’re going to keep bringing us series like these two, I’m all for it. THE WINTER MEN is a book with a singular voice and style the likes of which I haven’t seen in quite a while. Brett Lewis is almost halfway to the finish line, and so far every chapter has moved along at a steady clip, incorporating action, tension, and a dry sense of humor that provides a lot of characterization for the protagonist. If he’s able to sustain this level of quality throughout the series, it’ll plant him firmly on my list of writers to watch out for.


JONAH HEX #1

Writers: Justin Grey & Jimmy Palmiotti
Artist: Luke Ross
Publisher: DC Comics
Reviewer: Ambush Bug



Jonah Hex is one of my favorite characters in comics. Next to such obscurities as Moon Knight, Daddy Longlegs, Ragman, Connor Hawke, and Red Tornado, you can’t get any cooler than Jonah Hex in my book. The character’s intrigued me ever since I first saw his ugly mug in an old issue of JLA where the JLA take on the Master of Time and he plops the team into the old west where they meet DC Western obscurios; Hex, Cinnamon, Scalphunter, and Bat Lash. It’s the grey uniform, that hatchet scarred face, and that despicable temperament that made me root for ol’ Jonah every time. Throughout the years, DC has tried to resurrect this Western hero who was first introduced back in 1972 in ALL STAR WESTERN #10 (which just so happens to be the very year this Ambush Bug was born). Some have been interesting (I didn’t mind the Jodorosky influenced Tim Truman Vertigo tales), some were horrid (the present day super-model possessed by the soul of ol’ Jonah in the last SUPERBOY series), but none of them lived up the sheer bad-assery that exuded from this character when I first laid eyes on him in that issue of JLA. When I heard that Hex would be given a breath of life with a brand new series, all at once, I gave out a loud yippee and was bathed in a wave of dread. You see, I love this character so much and am delighted to hear about the new series, but I’d hate to see him be bastardized the way a character like Ragman was handled in DAY OF VENGEANCE. So when I picked up this first issue of JONAH HEX, I was filled with hope that one of my favorite characters was going to be done right, but prepared myself for the worst, just in case.

So after reading it, what’s the verdict?

They got it right!

Writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Grey have shown that they can write tough in recent issues of HAWKMAN, but even that ballet of brutality and bravado seemed superficial at times. In JONAH HEX, Palmiotti and Grey break out the big guns. This book is a real deal Western full of blood and bullets and bite. This Hex is the Spaghetti Western anti-hero to beat all. Grey and Palmiotti establish that in the first few pages with this melodramatic, yet scene establishing and ominous intro:
Twilight faded when the desert finally went silent…
In full light of the moon, James Ronnie’s face showed all the contortions of a coward who has lost the resolve to continue masking his fear.
And yet, he still clung to hope…like a drowning man with a fistful of straw.
The irony stood marked by the fact that it was James Ronnie’s guns that aligned with Hex on the side of justice earlier that night.
But as any man, woman, or child knows, he had no friends, this Jonah Hex…but he did have two companions…
…one was death itself…
…and the other, the acrid smell of gunsmoke.
Now, if that intro doesn’t pump you up for some gun slinging mayhem, I don’t know what will.

After a phenomenal first few pages, the writers don’t hesitate in flinging Hex into the middle of a mystery involving a lost boy. This stand alone tale is filled from cover to cover with intrigue, violence, action, and mayhem. Palmiotti and Grey do a great job of establishing an episodic feel, not unlike an episode of a well done TV drama. The action, when it unfolds, is brutal. Hex is not your typical hero. He’s a man of his time. A Confederate survivor of the Civil War. These were brutal times and a hero was the guy who would do anything to survive and accomplish his goals. Jonah Hex was such a hero and in this issue, Palmiotti and Grey go out of their way to show just how far Hex will go for the name of justice and honor.

Luke Ross first raised my attention when he penciled WEST COAST AVENGERS. Since then, he’s evolved into a powerful storyteller. His characters are distinct. His style is aged and timeless, as if these stories have been unearthed for new eyes to see for the first time in years. There’s a silver image, daguerreotype feel to the panels. Lines have soft edges and are slightly blurred. The art is further enhanced by colorist, Jason Keith’s rich palette which range from the sickly oranges and tans reflecting the brutality of the dog fight arena to the moody, silver luminescence of the desert at night. This is a truly beautiful book.

I can’t recommend this book more. For those of you who are hesitant to step outside of the comfort zone that is mainstream comics, but want a taste of something other than the same old spandex stuff, give this book a try. Palmiotti and Grey seem to have been saving the good stuff for this series. Each issue will be stand alone, and if they are as good as this first issue, I can’t wait to dig into the stories of one of my favorite heroes done right.


BART SIMPSON'S TREEHOUSE OF HORROR #11

Writers: Various
Artists: Various
Publisher: Bongo Comics
Reviewer: Prof. Challenger

Every comic book fan weaned on comics in the 70s must pick this comic book up. Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan contribute the story THE SUB-BASEMENT OF DRACULA with Mr. Burns as Count Dracula. Teaming up to fight Dracula are Homer Harker, Carl LeBlade, Santa's Little Killer, Bart Drake, and Lisa Van Helsing. Marv should get to write more Simpsons comics because he had a real feel for the dialogue and style of humor. My favorite bit was when the team of vampire hunters entered Moe's Belfry and came face to face with nasty-looking "vampires" with bugged out bloodshot eyes, slathering tongues, and fangs. Woops. Turns out they're not vampires after all, they're COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS! As one of the Publisher's "victims" informs Bart Drake: "We're comic book writers and WANT them to SUCK OUT the very essence of our creativity so one day they'll let us write our favorite super-heroes."

Brutal.

There's also a fantastic tribute to the EC horror comics that includes multiple short stories from THE CREEPY CRYPT OF HORROR HOTEL introduced by the "Creepy" Captain. Contributors to the EC stories include the great John Severin and Al Williamson. There are nods to EC's army books, suspense books, and sci-fi books, as well as the horror books. All very funny.

But, the best thing in the entire comic is SQUISH THING by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson. Maybe the most perfect parody of a single comic book story I can remember. Not a spoof of the SWAMP THING comic book, this story spoofs the original Swamp Thing story that appeared in HOUSE OF MYSTERY. In this version, Homer Simpson gets blown up and falls into a huge vat of a beer and lime squishy mixture he's invented, turning him into a walking, lumbering lime Squish Thing. God, the narrative is hysterical. Narrated by Homer as the Squish Thing, Wein delivers the reader such hilarious nonsensical literary thoughts as this: "Night descended like an elephant on an escalator…and a full moon hung in the sky like a fat lady on a swing…" Or how about "Like a spitwad sliding down a blackboard, I shuffle across the room." Man, that's funny stuff. And Bernie Wrightson delivers Simpsons style horror in sheer perfection.

SIMPSONS just doesn't get any better than this comic. I know it's a week out from Halloween, but humor knows no holiday boundaries. Buy this book.


POWERS #14

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciler: Michael Avon Oeming
Publisher: Marvel Comics/Icon
Reviewed by Humphrey Lee



I have to say that this is the first time I've really enjoyed an issue of POWERS in a long time. I don't know what it is, but ever since the jump to Marvel (well, ICON) it just hasn't had the same feel as before IMO. It's been good, but not great. All the elements that made me love the first volume of this book have definitely been present, but it just never seemed to mesh like it all had before. I don't really know how to define it... maybe it has just felt like it was going through the motions or something. Add in tons of random shipping delays and it just has fallen to the wayside to me. But whatever, this one feel right. This one feels like the book that made me a huge Bendis and Oeming fan, and made this book one of my favorites on the stands.

This issue starts the "Cosmic" storyline and begins like most POWERS story arcs do... with the death of a superhero. In this case it's a character known as Milennium, apparently some kind of "cosmic enforcer", guarding over a certain sector of the galaxy, like a Green Lantern or whatever. While investigating the crime scene, our resident detectives Walker and Pilgrim run into a bit of a snag with their investigation when it's taken over by an Agent Marcus from the Federal Bureau of Powers. And also, little Miss Deena gets an impromptu visit from a member of the Internal Affairs to ask her some questions about the abrupt "disappearance" of her ex-boyfriend a few issues go... and with that the shit has officially hit the fan.

But yea, like I said, this is definitely a return to form. The dialogue and witty banter between our main characters is just as good as always, and really hasn't ever faltered on this title. But the case set up is definitely more in the vein of what this book is all about, and this was a very good setup to get the ball rolling. We get some new characters thrown into the mix who definitely add a bit of flavor. And the interrogation scene between Deena and the I.A. officer at the end of the book was very riveting. The game of cat and mouse the agent plays with Deena is very tight and tense, and the bomb she lays at the end of this issue is an extremely good cliffhanger. And the art is tops as always. I've always really loved Oeming's style, and this issue brings him on his game. I think at first when this book moved to the glossy paper his pencils just didn't seem to sit right on it, but now it's all in order and looks wonderful.

So, again, one of the best books on the market has got its groove back and looks to stay that way (as long as it can keep some semblance of a shipping schedule). If you were feeling the same apathy towards this book as I was the past few issues then fear no more. The little crime comic that could is back. Oh, and it's back with a misprinted price on the cover. It says $3.95 when it should be only $2.95. Make sure you point this out when you purchase it to avoid getting ripped off.


WILDSIDERZ # 2

Written by: J. Scott Campell and Andy Hartnell
Art by: J. Scott Campell
Published by: Wildstorm/DC Comics
Reviewer: superhero



So when I reviewed the first issue of WILDSIDERZ I was very enthusiastic about this new book. It seemed to me like the book was going to be full of energy and fun and that it might have something interesting to offer. The design of the first issue was great as well as the artwork itself. For me the first issue of WILDSIDERZ was a fun read and I was looking forward to more.

Unfortunately WILDSIDERZ # 2 doesn’t show the promise of its predecessor. With this issue the potential that WILDSIDERZ # 1 showed is all but squandered. Oh sure, the art looks fantastic. The coloring is great. Heck, the glowing animal bits that give the characters their powers are even less distracting. But the second issue of WILDSIDERZ fizzles out in a big way.

What’s the reason for this? Well, while the first issue was just a fun filled not so serious romp the second issue just starts to delve into complete stupidity and the characters just begin to really come across as completely shallow. I mean the whole main thrust of this issue is the characters using their newfound powers to win a football game! Didn’t they sort of cover this bit last issue? I guess not because in issue two we get a rehash of the last couple of pages of issue one only this time it takes up a larger chunk of the book. This wasn’t the only thing in the book that bugged me, though.

In this issue the main character discovers that his inventions may be used for nefarious purposes by a corporation that’s trying to obtain them. So what does he do? HE DECIDES TO TRASH THE WHOLE PROJECT!!!!! Talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water! We’re talking about an invention that can be used for truly miraculous things just one of which would be to give people who have become paralyzed the ability to walk again. And because he’s afraid that some nasty people might take the project from him and use it for less than humanitarian efforts he decides to destroy it completely? Something that’s taken up years of his life and helped him finally get popular with the in-crowd? Somehow, I don’t think so.

Then there’s the revelation that the Wildsiderz technology which endows its wearer with super-human animal like glowing bits has an invisibility setting. Meaning that the glowing animal bits don’t have to be glowing at all! They can be tuned so that people won’t see them! So the question becomes…why even have the glowing animal parts at all? If you can turn them invisible why even make yourself conspicuous at all when you’re out super-heroing? Why even give anyone a hint of the fact that your powers aren’t really coming from you but from some device you carry? Not to mention that the one character who IS paralyzed and uses the machine to walk has a glowing grid over legs at all times. Why would you do that if you could just make the grid transparent? Just this one bit alone shoots the whole reason for making the protagonists have glowing animal parts which give them their powers to holy hell! What could the writers been thinking? Oh, I know: glowing animal parts will make the book unique and will give the graphic designers something cool to do with the appearance of the book. Forget about the part that the superheroes in the book don’t NEED the glowing bits. Seriously, who was editing this book? It’s stuff like this that editors are for! Campell should fire the one he has now and get a new one and soon ‘cause he needs some serious quality control.

And then there’s the problem of the main characters. While the first issue presented them as your typical average teenage stereotypes in this issue they come across as completely vapid airheads. I mean, there’s no character growth whatsoever and instead of them being endearing they just come across as annoying. One issue of teenage vapidity is enough. Once you get to the second issue you should be getting to the deeper parts of the characters but it seems like the writers here don’t have the capacity for that. Maybe Campell and his friend Andy Hartnell should pick up a few issues of ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN and RUNAWAYS to get some pointers. As it is right now I’m hoping that the villain clocks all of these kids because they’re coming across as complete brats and brats do not make characters readers root for.

As it is WILDSIDERZ # 2 has disappointed me immensely. I love Camplell’s art and it may be enough for me to pick up another issue of this book but if there’s more of this mess to come I may not even do that. Give the WILSIDERZ some heart and brains to go along with the zest you gave me in the first issue or I predict that this book is going to end up far from being the wild ride it’s hoping to be. Last time I compared this book to BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. I take that back. If this issue is any indication it’s heading into CHARMED territory and that, my friends, is not a good thing.


By Vroom Socko


I thought he was a very nice gentleman. Soft-spoken. I thought so right up to the moment I cut his throat.

That is the most chilling line from the most chilling scene in the most chilling book ever published. The person speaking is Perry Smith. The man he’s talking about is Herb Clutter. And the book, the book is In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. To those of you that haven’t read it, get the fuck off the Internet and go buy a copy.

What, you think I’m kidding? FUCK OFF!

All right, assuming the rest of you have read it, I’m sure many of you have also seen Philip Seymour Hoffman earn himself an Oscar in the film Capote. Some of you may have even read the book of the same name by Gerald Clarke.

Quick, how many of you have read the comic book by Ande Parks?

Published by Oni Press, CAPOTE IN KANSAS covers similar territory to the movie. Similar, but not exactly the same. Oh sure, Capote still strides into town like the cock of the walk, claiming that he doesn’t really care if these killers are caught. And yes, once he finally meets Smith his whole world changes. But there’s a small measure of something I hate to call hope, but there’s definitely something in this book that the movie doesn’t have.

This book has Nancy Clutter.

Nancy makes up quite a bit of this book, in fact. Capote spends whatever time he’s not interviewing Smith in the company of… I’m hesitant to call her a ghost. Let’s refer to her as a memory. It’s these (admittedly wholly fictional) moments that make up the heart of the book. Not just because of Parks writing, but because of the starkly beautiful artwork of Chris Samnee. If his work on the closing two pages doesn’t get to you just a little, there must be something wrong with you.

I’ve lost count of the number of original graphic novels and digest books I’ve reviewed from Oni, but in all of them there’s not a one that I’ve regretted reading. I actually had to tell editor James Lucas Jones that he should publish something substandard; he’s making the other companies look bad. CAPOTE IN KANSAS maintains their 1000 batting average quite nicely.


Question For Discussion

What’s your favorite comic based on a true story?




JSA #79

Slowly but surely I can feel this book getting back on track. After countless interruptions from "TEH CRISIS!!" this book is finally starting to tell its own stories again...some with lead-ins from INFINITE CRISIS... yea. Anyways. The story continues with half the team locked up by Mordru in yet another face off with the evil wizard, while the other half is in the Fifth Dimension trying to find Jakeem Thunder and question him as to why he's been causing so much havoc in that particular dimension. All I can say is that there is some good old-fashioned superheroing going on in this book, and that's good. It's what made the title so great in the first place, and is slowly regaining that glory. On the downside, there's Mordru, a-fucking-gain, and it's just a well that's gone dry. After getting his ass handed to him by the team so much he just doesn't feel like a threat anymore. Hell, the team even points out that he's not as powerful as he once was. And while there's some really clever little tricks committed by the team in this book, there's also a good bit of cliched dialogue and antics to even the writing chores back into the realm of "slightly above average." All in all, it's not a perfect issue by any means, but it's a might bit better than what came before it. - Humphrey

SUPREME POWER: NIGHTHAWK #3

Three issues in and the intensity of this series has not faltered. Although this series should be called JOKER ANALOG instead of NIGHTHAWK since the focus of this story rests firmly on the villain’s shoulders, I have to say I am firmly entrenched in this story. Similar to Burton’s BATMAN film, writer Daniel Way gives the clownish madman center stage, shortchanging the hero, but entertaining nonetheless. Way also throws in a political slant as the politicians bicker about the fact that the only people succumbing to this madman’s rampage are drug dealers and users. Way walks the fine line between telling a story with a political message without being preachy or one-sided. He’s allowing the reader to form his or her own opinions. And I have to commend him on that since this is the day and age when everyone uses every outlet as a soapbox for their own personal beliefs these days. A worthy accompaniment to the amazing and thought provoking SUPREME POWER universe. - Bug

SHOWCASE PRESENTS: JONAH HEX Vol. 1(TPB)

I’m still working my way through this 500 page+ mega-tome, so if there’re some real stinkers to be found in the end, I can’t speak of ‘em. Based on what I’ve read, however, it gets my highest recommendation. These tales of DC’s premiere Western hero have aged extremely well since they first appeared in the early ‘70s, maybe because they had so many filmic Westerns to draw upon, maybe just because the creators were enamored of doing some non-superhero material. I mean, this art is bloody brilliant, a match for E.C.’s big guns like Wally Wood and Al Williamson. It’s the work of creators, many of them seemingly Spanish and Italian, many little known today, who draw with the conviction of early 20th century illustrators. They know how to draw horses and infinitely detailed canyons and different facial types and saloons that look good ‘n’ worn. If only to see these masters at work, I’d recommend this volume, but the stories are a happy find too. Hardboiled, rich in Old West dialects, and dotted with a winning sense of black humor, they have the unique quality of serving up a hero seemingly fleshed-out from the get-go and needing no time to grow into the memorable scoundrel that he is. Want tough? Just sneak a test-read of the opening yarn at the store and watch Jonah Hex ride off into the sunset telling some luckless schmuck of a kid that he hates him like poison! Hell, I don’t think even Sergio Leone himself could have served up a more ornery cuss. - Dave

THE PUNISHER #27

This is the “quiet before the storm” issue that Garth tends to do in his story arcs. I can’t recommend this single issue, but this current story arc is particularly nasty and it looks as if Frank is going to exact an especially vicious form of vengeance on the sex slave traders that he’s been tracking down since the beginning of this arc. Ennis often takes his time in these arcs to flesh out the new baddies which usually leaves the arc to be one or two issues too long. There is a particularly brutal fight scene between a pair of cops against the rest of their squadron, but aside from that scene, the bulk of this issue could have been trimmed down for a tighter read. I’m loving what Garth Ennis is doing with the Punisher lately, but I have to say that not all story arcs need to be six issues. A tight, entertaining, and to the point three or four arc would make this a truly great read. - Bug

DETECTIVE COMICS #813

Three simple words to describe my feelings here: It's Almost Over. Seriously, while at first I was all about Lapham's take on the Dark Knight, now this "year long" arc is just dragging its heels to get to a finish. The story has been at least three parts too long so far, IMO, and combined with the three issue delay it had to go on thanks to the *wonderful* WAR CRIMES crossover and setup... it just needs to stop. Lapham definitely fits the tone and darkness that a Batman title should have, but he's just taken his sweet time with it to get to any sort of resolution. Add to that, that his new villain "The Body" really isn't all that interesting, and the arc just feels all for naught. This might end up reading really good once it's in trade and you can put it down all in one sitting, but it hasn't held up when stretched out over almost a year and a half. - Humphrey

OUTSIDERS #30

This issue made me want to take a bath after reading it. Maybe it was the gay prison sex scene. Or the scene where evil genius Psimon hits on Arsenal. Or the way baddie Sabbac has just a tweense-bit too much body hair for my comfort. Or when Katana slices Shift in half. Or maybe the way the Kevin Nowlan-esque art by Matthew Clark threw it all out there in great detail. I’m not sure. I guess a story about a bad guy who utilizes the Seven Deadly Sins as a weapon is supposed to make you feel a bit dirty, but this issue kind of did a cannonball over the edge for me as far as pitting DC heroes into “adult” or “mature” situations. The fact that this issue centers on badass cutie Katana is a plus. The fact that it also features the most lame character in the DC or any Universe, Captain Marvel Jr., is a big minus. Heap on the fact that “unstable molecules” are referenced in this book and I have to say that I smell a stinker of an issue. Unstable molecules? Wrong U, Winick! - Bug

EXALTED #1 - I’m a sucker for the fantasy genre, but when I see books like EXALTED, with all their glitzy visuals but a storyline that’s pure nonsense, I can see why some folks look at it like it’s Sanskrit. Lavishly illustrated by Udon Studios, EXALTED is based on a mythic fantasy setting in a roleplaying game of the same name. The game and the comic are very anime-influenced, with characters plying their magic and swordsmanship at almost superheroic levels, but it’s all sound and fury without a story and characters to hang the cool stuff on. And EXALTED doesn’t deliver on that count. Rather it introduces a host of characters, none of whom get more than a few pages to earn any interest, and then offers a back-up story of snooze-inducing history of the era in which it’s staged. The one thing I thought was kinda cool was the inclusion of game stats for the lead character – the kind of bonus material the old D&D comics from DC used to include – the supreme irony being that the character’s bio was more interesting than his actual time in the story. In the story, we just see him as a thief about to be executed by some cruel guards for reasons unknown, but in the bio we find out that he’s an aspiring actor, that his provincial talents haven’t been enough to earn a living in the metropolis he ran away to, and that his poverty has forced him into a life of begging and thievery. Y’know, that ain’t half bad! Would’ve been an infinitely stronger first issue had this one kid been the focus rather than a host of characters. - Dave

Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 9, 2005, 2:07 p.m. CST

    First?

    by rockgolf

    Not possible!

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 2:13 p.m. CST

    First

    by mattb127

    Hee-haw!

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 2:14 p.m. CST

    Sorry rockgolf, honor's all yours.

    by mattb127

    I brought this up in last week's talkback, but anyone have thoughts on this--if Power Girl is really Earth-2 Superman's cousin, shouldn't she be insanely powerful? Like, moving planets and flying-back-in-time powerful?

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 2:25 p.m. CST

    Gorram it!

    by Gus Nukem

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 2:29 p.m. CST

    Powers has lost it's oomph

    by holidill

    I haven't read the new issue yet, but I feel the same way, it does not have the oomph it once did since it moved to Icon/Marvel. Here's hoping it gets better.

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 2:41 p.m. CST

    "And yet, he still clung to hope

    by cookylamoo

    Although I enjoyed Jonah Hex #1 immensely, I really wouldn't hold forth the above quote as a symbol of great writing. What straw? And how would straw give you hope if you were drowning. WTF??? Seems like a horribly mixed simile to me.

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 2:45 p.m. CST

    I'm a Bendis fan...

    by MasterWhedon

    ...but I was hoping for a little more with House of M. It's not even that I didn't like what happened, it's that I wish there was more there to chew on, especially after eight issues. I love the dude's rat-a-tat-tat talking, but he seriously bogged down the story in places. I like what's happened to the Marvel U, the possibilities it presents, but, like the reviewer, I just hope they stick with it. Biggest problem facing comicdom is that the key franchises never end. How do you plot massive stories when there can be no true conclusion, just a pause until the next thing? It's a pickle the try to fix time and again but hitting the reset button or faux "The End" events, but you just end up with jilted fans. The true miracle of life is that it ends. Let it go, Indiana...

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 2:54 p.m. CST

    HOM crap

    by AlgertMopper

    You Bendis apologist are so damn funny. "It's not his fault he sucks, it's someone elses." You owe me a new keyboard

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 3 p.m. CST

    but mostly he gripes about his job and talks repeatedly about wa

    by Darth Kal-El

    still working my way throug the reviews but i had to coment that that line was classic!

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 3:07 p.m. CST

    HEY!

    by Nairb The Movie

    There was only 2 bendis reviews. Bendis is actually Luthor of Earth Prime. Thought you should know.

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 3:11 p.m. CST

    HOM, Ult Spidey, and Powers.

    by Shigeru

    That's 3 but no worries. Anybody else wonder if Maleev's Bullseye is based on Bendis?

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 3:11 p.m. CST

    MasterWhedon

    by Ribbons

    I totally see what you're saying, in fact I sort of wish that completely lame story arcs would just go away as well, but that's probably the scariest thing in the world for comics. Imagine X-Men, Spider-Man, the Hulk, Iron Man, and Captain America just ended. Okay... now what? So they flog the franchises into the ground and then push the 'reset' button when they think somebody else has a perspective on the characters that can get the book's focus back. And even when they suck, people will buy them, so they can get away with it to some extent. Eh, I don't know.

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 3:13 p.m. CST

    Best moment in HoM?

    by Ribbons

    When Wolverine jumps off the Helicarrier. I don't know about you guys, but that page made my jaw drop.

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 3:27 p.m. CST

    hey Ribbons

    by Gus Nukem

    Which issue was that in?

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 3:33 p.m. CST

    Gus Nukem

    by Ribbons

    I think issue #3

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 3:50 p.m. CST

    I like Tony Moore's work better in black and white...

    by superhero

    I'm just sayin'...God how I wish he'd go back to WALKING DEAD...

  • Is this the end of the world? I hate people.

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 4:03 p.m. CST

    This is the best column in weeks! No, make that months

    by El Vale

    Lots of reviews, that proved to be good reading. Nothing even remotely similar to last week's Daredevil "review". Let's hope this is a return to form for the @$$holes.

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 4:03 p.m. CST

    he did have two companions

    by cookylamoo

    but he did have two companions

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 4:06 p.m. CST

    definately...

    by blackthought

    that's all

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 4:09 p.m. CST

    So let me get this straight:

    by SleazyG.

    They decided the problem with the Marvel U. is that there were too many mutants, so being a mutant wasn't unique or special enough and drained them of their impact as a metaphor for minority groups. Then they decided the best way to increase their impact was to get rid of most of them (that must be why the white man got rid a' all them injuns!). Then they decided that writing about the mutants had lost its meaning...but everybody would want to read a bunch of books about people who *used* to be mutants? But now they aren't? Wow. That's a ballsy approach. And by ballsy, I mean stupid. It's not that I don't see ways it could be done that would be really interesting and challenging, mind you. It's that it's not gonna happen under the current writing/editing regime.

  • Look, it's a basic flaw in the logic: if you think people got bored with reading about thousands of mutant characters, why in god's name wouldn't they get bored reading about thousands of mopey everyday people who *used* to be mutants? It might be a good idea for one character, or even a handful, but for the whole Marvel U? Bleh. Poorly conceived, planned and executed. No surprise, though, really. And please, for pete's sake, don't let that bright light have anything to do with Phoenix or Jean Grey or whatever. Or anything else with Wand and her "mutant" magical abilities, either. Geez, enough already.

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 4:28 p.m. CST

    You miss the point,,,,

    by cookylamoo

    If all these people are mutants you will be forced to show them doing incredible things like blasting each other with eyebeams, bounding around like animals and turning into ice and stuff. If they're just normal humans, there's more reason to write talking head panels where the engage in pointless banter. Then, when you make the next x-men movie, you save all kinds of money.

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 4:37 p.m. CST

    Great reviews all around guys, good reading

    by Thalya

    Anyone else think alot of the JSA characters need books of their own to actually have character development? Sand's been a walking block of static potential since nearly the very beginning and ok, cool stuff to do in the latest issue, but none of them are going to get depth on a team book. Makes me wonder if we're all junkies or something because we celebrate if a book doles out an ounce of characterization, but otherwise put up with Return of Big Bad #47 part 6, just to get that one little bit..

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 4:44 p.m. CST

    Ribbons

    by MasterWhedon

    Totally agree, and I guess I didn't mean that they should end the entire Marvel U. Actaully, please don't. But the thing about these heroes, all of the big ones, is they're heroes forever and to a fault. They're heroes to the point where they beat down and break their personal lives in pursuit of truth and justice. That's great, that's wonderful, that's noble. But when is enough enough? How much does Spider-Man need to go through before he can retire happily? When is his debt paid? When will he let himself off the hook for Uncle Ben? I don't really want to see Spider-Man quit, but I think Peter Parker deserves it. These heroes deserve a little happiness. Hell, I think that'd be an interesting story to tell, one you could stretch out over two, three years of dramatic arcs. Let Parker retire and live in NY and maybe once in a while pull him out for a small adventure. It'll never happen, of course, but something like that feels more fitting to me than, "Hey, Peter and MJ have been together, let's split them up. Let's have them have a baby, have it kidnapped, and make Peter into a clone." I don't buy that bullshit. It seems like confusion. I would much prefer narrative closure and something of an ending to a sprawling mess with no true direction.

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 5:01 p.m. CST

    Byrne was NOT responsible, superhero

    by Boru999

    When 'Days of Future Past' appeared it a stand-alone story arc, and a wildly creative one at that. Byrne left the book almost directly after that. You want to blame someone for the convoluted crap-fest the X-Men became, then blame Chris Claremont and marvel editorial. Byrne gets enough unecessary criticism as it is, he doesn't need to be unfairly blamed for the downfall of the X-Men, too. In fact, in many ways, he was the best thing to ever happen to that series.

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 5:05 p.m. CST

    Yeah, this week's reviews were all top-notch.

    by Heywood Jablowme

    Top-notch I say! Expecially the Capote in Kansas book. Kudos to Ande Parks, who really did an exceptional job with the material and really giving the reader an emotional investment in the characters. It's a hell of a long way from inking (tracing, heh) a guy who fires an arrow with a boxing glove attached to it. I'd like to see him keep going in this direction. My man Vroom is right on, go pick up that book! "In Cold Blood", that is, then read "Capote in Kansas". And hell, while you're at it, you might as well go see the movie too-I've heard nothing but good things about it. As far as the question goes, I've got to give it to From Hell. That book just sucks you in and fascinates (here it comes...) the hell out of the reader. Sorry, I should be flogged for that one. Anyways, that's my fave. Have a good one. I'm out.

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 5:23 p.m. CST

    I second From Hell

    by El Vale

    Nothing more to say. If you disagree you're probably wrong.

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 5:28 p.m. CST

    Tone it down a bit Boru...

    by superhero

    Read my review. I said Byrne and Claremont OPENED up the genie's bottle...I never said that Byrne was responsible for what they did with the genie afterward. Yep, that blame rests on Marvel and Claremont's shoulders. Now go give Byrne a kiss on the forehead for me, take your ritalin, and count to ten before I have to overwhelm you "with the power of my psychic knife" and show you that "I'm the best there is at what I do..." :O)

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 6:16 p.m. CST

    Nah, Nah, It Couldn't Be Bendis' Fault...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...Stan's and Jack's! If they hadn't created everything, Bendis couldn't do sucky things with their characters. No, no, Siegel and Shusters! No superhero comics, no lousy Bendis writing! Wait! Let's blame Phillip Wylie because no GLADIATOR, no Superman, no X-Men, no HOUSE OF M. Moses! No Moses, no Bible...back up! The Assyrians! No Assyrians, no EPIC O' Gilgamesh, no Bible, no heroic fiction, no comics, no HOUSE OF MOUSE. Let's take some detours and blame whomever thought up Beowulf...But for God's sake, how can you say that when Bendis doesn't deliver, Bendis had anything to do with it?

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 6:18 p.m. CST

    Do you guys take requests?

    by rev_skarekroe

    I'd like to see reviews of the new Captain Universe book and "Top Ten: Beyond the Farthest Precinct." 'Cause frankly, I'd rather not buy 'em unless they're really good. I don't mind if YOU buy 'em, though...

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 6:23 p.m. CST

    Ouch

    by El Vale

    Superhero's taking some shit today. I thought he meant Bendis didn't deliver because it's practically impossible to deliver in this scenario. Not saying i agree (or disagree) with him but i think he makes a valid point. But...yeah i hate people.

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 6:56 p.m. CST

    It makes no sense

    by Nairb The Movie

    It doesnt make sense that MUTANTS would be a minority now because obviously now it means they arent the next step in evolution. So they are just like the other heroes in the Marvel Universe right? Just people born with gifts. So then why would they persecuted?

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 7:33 p.m. CST

    That's OK, I'm willing to take some shit even if I DID s

    by superhero

    Thanks for the concern Vale. Oh, and personally, I just NEVER understood why mutants would be persecuted in the first place. Feared, yes. Persecuted, no. If I was kid and you told me the possibility existed that I'd be able to fly or be super strong or walk through walls I'd probably have said something like, "kewl!" That's why I liked X-Statics so much. It made mutants celebrities which is what our culture would probably make them if anything.

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 7:42 p.m. CST

    great reviews guys

    by Darth Kal-El

    i actually read the whole thing instead of skipping to the books im interested in. im looking forward to checking out the jonah hex thing and might give fear agents a try. also winter men sounds interesting but im waiting for trade.i found the sleeper issues read much better in trade format than month to monthi loiked powers a lot and agree that it feels like a return to the old powers that made the book so popular. yeah house of m left me unimpressed and kinda pissed that i spent money on 8 issues that were essentially a prologue to whatever new GIANT CROSSOVER EVENT THAT CHANGES EVERYTHING AND THIS TIME WE MEAN IT marvel has planned. sorry marvel im sticking to the ultimate u

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 7:44 p.m. CST

    i meant i "liked" powers

    by Darth Kal-El

    i only loik things when im in my warnagler

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 7:44 p.m. CST

    i meant i "liked" powers

    by Darth Kal-El

    i only loik things when im in my warnagler

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 7:55 p.m. CST

    I think Darth is malfunctioning

    by El Vale

    Now on the subject of mutants being persecuted...it pretty much points to the persecutors being stupid idiots. Jesus lord in heaven, this guy can KILL me with the rays that shoot out of his eyes! I'd better go arrest him or something. I think the stupidest thing Marvel has done in a while is not paying any sort of attention to Morrison. The guy took over the X-Men and actually EVOLVED the concept of mutation...thinking about it it wasn't even all that brilliant to begin with, it was pretty obvious stuff. The whole point of the X-Men is to draw paralells between mutants being persecuted and racism and maybe even homophobia, right? But those ideas have changed a lot, socially, in the past few decades. Morrison just took that as ground work to take the X-Men into the 21st century and what did Marvel do? They told us it never happened. Thank you, that's nice, now let's go back to telling the same fucking stories over and over again. I shouldn't even be surprised, i know...it's superhero comics. Superhero comics are inconsequential pretty much by definition.

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 7:55 p.m. CST

    shigeru re:pooping in the volcano

    by Darth Kal-El

    i actually did cackle at my desk and it got stuck in my head and kept me laughing throughout the day. as i look back now it still hasnt lost all of its humor...

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 7:58 p.m. CST

    malfunctioning tho i may be

    by Darth Kal-El

    i agree with what u said about new x-men vale.it seemed like the next logical step to take but of course they had to close out with more phoenix shenanigans. you know what would be surprising?if she actually didnt come back from the dead!and are u feeling any better vale?

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 8:07 p.m. CST

    response to superhero

    by Boru999

    It wasn't my intention to have my tone "up", so keep that psychic knife away from me!:) So, regarding "Days..." being used as a set-up for a bunch of X-stories set in the future -- ok, I'll take your word for it. It seemed to me, If anything, that Claremont was fixated on Phoenix, as he kept dipping into that well over and over (Madelyne Pryor, the Teen Titans team-up book, etc.)Maybe he kept the time travel crap in the back of his mind for use at a later date. Admittedly, I gave up on the book right before he brought back Rachel Summers and Forge and Cable and God knows who else. I'm with you though, those writing/editorial decisions took a great book, a great set of characters, and demolished them both. I don't really think of Byrne being involved. At any rate, I'm just splitting hairs at this point. Overall, that was a great point you made about the genesis of this mess of future X-Men, etc. and how even the most gifted writer seems unable to repair it. Cheers @ssholes. I loved all the reviews (as usual). Completely psyched for the Jonah Hex book.

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 8:26 p.m. CST

    um... no, superhero...

    by omarthesnake

    (way too generic screen name btw)... you DID blame Claremont and Byrne, which is like blaming Siegel and Shuster for that lame "Death of Superman" story arc. It's an asinine argument you made, and ridiculously apologistic of Bendis's writing flaws. I've always liked Byrne (well, moreso in the Alpha Flight days), and I run hot and cold on Claremont (mostly lukewarm), but their X-Men run was brilliant pretty much all the way through, especially the "Genie out of the bottle" you're referring to, and they don't deserve a frickin' iota of blame for what later lamer writers have done with their concepts.

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 8:35 p.m. CST

    I, too, would like to say "nice job this week"

    by sideshowbob

    I think I need to pick up that Simpsons book.

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 8:43 p.m. CST

    I think superhero hit on something with:

    by sideshowbob

    "the X-Men were once the rebels of the Marvel Universe that you read because no one else knew about them". It's amazing to think of this now, but through most of my childhood, maybe up until Jim Lee and Wizard came along, I thought the X-Men were fairly unpopular and the best-kept secret in comics. They weren't everywhere like Spidey and Cap and Hulk and the DC heroes. They were my own little thing that I knew were great but few other people did. *** Anyway, my point here is: who wants to bet that's most of the reason kids read manga instead of our American Superheroes, which are saturated into our culture well past the point of ever being obscure or cool or rebellious again?

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 8:43 p.m. CST

    the 900th...good job on the reviews post...

    by blackthought

    and i'm psyched that jonah hex is back in the house...i think the last time i really dug everything in the book was lansdale and tim truman's work...two-gun mojo folks.

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 8:47 p.m. CST

    fave comic based on a true story?

    by Boru999

    Hands down, it has to be "300" by Frank Miller. From what I've read he played a bit loose with the facts, but it's still a riveting story, beautifully drawn and colored, and even funny in parts ("Stumblios"). Miller's last great comics achievement. The way things are going, I doubt we'll see that level of craftsmanship from him again.

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 8:56 p.m. CST

    good one boru...

    by blackthought

    i love 300...awesome work from miller...hope snyder can make the movie up to the books lofty standards.

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 8:56 p.m. CST

    fave comic based on true story

    by Darth Kal-El

    when i was a little kid my parents took us on a trip into mexico via train. it was one of those experiences that i remember to this day.it was so awe inspiring! we visited the old aztec mayan(?)pyramids and it was just a doozy of a time.at one of the train stations my dad bought me a comic to read on the trip.it was in spanish and it was in black and white(or black and yellow,the paper quality was atrocious)and it detailed the life of pancho villa. was it any good?i dont remember.but it stands out in my mind as one of my first times being exposed to comics.i havent really read any other "real life" comics so that one will have to be my answer***new lost tonight!!!!

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 9:04 p.m. CST

    Listen, it seems like you people aren't listening to me

    by El Vale

    I told you if you picked any comic that wasn't From Hell you were wrong!!! GAWD!***Darth, i'm feeling much better (even tho it doesn't read that way), thanks a million!

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 9:04 p.m. CST

    blackthought re:who pooped on who from last week

    by Darth Kal-El

    the column had gone up and shigeru came in and posted 'first'right away.well right after that gus comes and says 'first'.then he read he had been beat so he posted something to the effect of " NOO!!! /throws himself in volcano" to which shigeru replied "/laughs and poops in volcano". i know it sounds silly and it was probably one of those u had to be there moments but it kept me in stitches all day long.i would be taking a call and this image of a dude pooping into a volcano would pop in my head and there id go laughing again

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 9:14 p.m. CST

    Blaming Claremount for House of M is like blaming Bram Stoker fo

    by Voice O. Reason

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 9:25 p.m. CST

    oh darth...

    by blackthought

    i remember that actually...i was just like "huh" i don't remember being pooped on...thus i was not...it twas gus...and HOM...we could just blame bendis and coipel...i was under the impression they wrote and drew it...i might be wrong. IC #2!

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 9:56 p.m. CST

    Omar and Voice...your comparisons are flawed...

    by superhero

    Omar said..."you DID blame Claremont and Byrne, which is like blaming Siegel and Shuster for that lame "Death of Superman" story arc." Voice O. Reason said..."Blaming Claremount for House of M is like blaming Bram Stoker for Blade 3." You're BOTH wrong. Sorry. Siegel and Shuster CREATED Superman. Stoker, for all intents and purposed CREATED the vampire horror genre in modern fiction. So if you really wanted to make your point correct you'd have said something like, "Blaming Stan Lee and and Jack Kirby for House of M is like..." and then you could use your Siegel and Shuster/Stoker comparisons. But you're both wrong. Either way if you'd actually READ the review I actually blamed both of them and Marvel for creating the one incident in the Marvel Universe that started the "reality retrofitting" that seems to occur every other year at Marvel and the jumbled continuity mess that the X-books have become. Not only that, but I continue to blame Claremont AND Marvel for setting up an environment in the X-Books that has made them lackluster for years therefore making ANY big events at Marvel lack relevance. I do not dispute that the Byrne/Claremont years were some of the best in comics history but they did create the Marvel multiverse whether you choose to believe it or not and Claremont exploited that story and its effects until he himself never really seemed to care about it. But is House of M itself bad BECAUSE of them? Well, its power is certainly depleted that's for sure. But as I said in my review...Bendis couldn't pull it out but to make him the sole villain of the whole piece is like ignoring EVERYTHING that's come before and I refuse to do that because no X-Book stands on its own these days and Marvel's made sure of that. Oh, and Omar...don't call people out on their screen names when yours is just as absolutely just as pathetic as mine... :O)

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 9:59 p.m. CST

    But, of course, if we wanted to blame ANYONE for multiple realit

    by superhero

    I believe we'd have to go after Gardner Fox...since he set up the whole mess over at DC from the beginning... :O)

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 10:45 p.m. CST

    News on Superman Returns front (in case you must rely solely on

    by Heywood Jablowme

    The official website is up. And quite frankly, it's awesome...for something put together in your 11th grade computer class. Hopefully it'll get some kick-ass features in the coming months. Also, the teaser trailer will be attached to the new Harry Potter. So there. Thanks to the ever-vigilent folks at superherohype. And yes, unfortunately, the HoM fiasco just opened up a motherfucker of a can of worms. Ugggggghhh.

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 10:46 p.m. CST

    dammit superhero!

    by blackthought

    i told you to get those surveilance cameras out of my crib...how'd you know?...i am actually right at this moment re-reading crisis on multiple earths by gardner fox (great name) and mike sekowsky so i'm super fresh for all crisis events, especially the sweet ish of IC #2 that just came out. mmmmm....banana bread

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 10:58 p.m. CST

    JSA Solo Books

    by hamgravy

    Although I agree that there are enough JSA characters that merit their own stories and room to breathe AND the Power Girl story in Classified was a lot of fun, most solo books wind up just watering down the source. Maybe the marvel mutants would still seem unique if each c-lister didn't get their own series. Why are those books always so bad? Partly because each character serves a particular function in a team dynamic and outside of that it'll take a really talented writer to make a full character. I won't go near the Colossus or Nightcrawler or Rogue or...series but with Madrox (???) Peter David made a concept book and a character as fresh as Ex Machina or any other creator-driven book. The mutants are SO big that this was an isolated genre tale within the whole mutant story.

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 11:01 p.m. CST

    my first experiences with comics

    by Gus Nukem

    Asterix, Lucky Luke, Mickey Mouse & Duck Tales. - I quite vividly remember reading Claremont & Byrne's X-men. I was five. I found them really strange and perplexing and remember being scared with them.

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 11:04 p.m. CST

    Too Much Information

    by hamgravy

    Remember when Wolverine was cool and all he did was drink beer and pop his claws? I never asked for much more than that. And I definitely didn't need to know that Nightcrawler became a priest but really dreamt that he was a priest and his dad was a demon who was seduced by Mystique posing as someone else or something ... I don't know, I only half paid attention. BAMF!

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 11:14 p.m. CST

    True Grit

    by hamgravy

    The first X-Men book I ever picked up was #162 with a purple cover and a yellow alien bug and this half naked beast man screaming in agony http://tinyurl.com/9yzwd. Then he runs around the whole issue escaping even wierder aliens in the carcass of a space whale. Man that was lurid. Then, when the X-Men returned to Earth I found out who they were and as a kid got this gritty comic introduction to NYC. Between that and Daredevil there was a dirty city that made Metropolis and Gotham look like back-lot sets.

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 11:19 p.m. CST

    In Case Anyone Finds This Mini-Review Helpful...

    by buster00

    "Ghost Rider" #3 pretty much sucks. The Crain art is keen, but the rest is Ennis going over the same old shit he went over in "Preacher." I SO wish I hadn't commited to this one...

  • Nov. 9, 2005, 11:30 p.m. CST

    tonight's lost...

    by blackthought

    ...swaddling...hmmm....

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 3:07 a.m. CST

    USM's "Warriors" was the best damn arc that book had since i

    by Tall_Boy

    That is all, but I loved Warriors so hard, I can't quite explain why. Buy the trade.

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 3:51 a.m. CST

    House of M...

    by vroom socko

    had one good issue, number 3. The rest was a bloated waste. The mutant "loss" was just stupid, (the X-Men are only just starting to asess what's happened, and there's already full news coverage? The hell?) and it is the gravest mark of moronic management when Iceman, an original X-Man who was one of the few to actually be improved a smidge in the 90's, loses his powers but we still have X-23, a character who's LITERALLY a clone of Wolverine. Shenanigans! Also, after both Dissassembled and this, the Scarlet Witch has become to the new millenium what the Infinity Gauntlet was to the 90's and the Beyonder was to the 80's: an arbitrary rule changer in stories that sold in the top ten, then were loathed and ridiculed mercillessly within five years. Bleagh. May Bendis never touch her again. Someone get Dan Slott to put her to rights.

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 7:09 a.m. CST

    What

    by rev_skarekroe

    "From Hell"

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 7:28 a.m. CST

    What

    by hamgravy

    "Your Mother"

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 8:18 a.m. CST

    hmm...

    by blackthought

    how bout favorite true story based on a comic book?

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 8:27 a.m. CST

    True Stories

    by hamgravy

    As far as autobio stories go, I really liked Epileptic by David B. In it, he depicts his brother's illness like a demonic possession. I cannot stand any comic about collecting, creating, or otherwise being obsessed with comics (Joe Matt, Seth, and their ilk). True story based on a comic? The Spider-Man guy who climbs landmarks barehanded.

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 9:11 a.m. CST

    Just finished House of M, The Day After

    by cookylamoo

    Came to the conclusion that Mutants without powers are much more boring than Mutants with powers. My favorite spin off series has to be the one about Quicksilver who was dull as dirt before depowering. It's kind of like a series called Richard Nixon, Adventures of an Ex-President, or Bud Abbott, America's funniest straight man.

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 9:24 a.m. CST

    "AH HATE YOU LIKE POISON!!!"

    by Flansy

    I'd never even heard of Jonax Hex prior to last-week but bought the new #1 and DC's Showcase collection on a friend's recommendation and they're probably the best things i'll read for the rest of the calendar-year. Best bit in that first vintage Hex story you quoted: The one final lash-out at the town's sign as he rides away from it forever, not to mention that the official sign-punching soundeffect in the DC universe is "BLAG!!!"

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 10:19 a.m. CST

    Of molten magma turds and other such tomfoolery...

    by Shigeru

    I must confess I broke down and bought the Jim Lee cover of IC #2... can't...resist...boobies.. *** Anyone else think this week's Walking Dead spun its wheels something fierce? I finished it and was like "okay where's the other half??" It left me cold, and that fucking letter column has GOT TO GO. like 13 pages of bullshit "Love your book, what is your favorite zombie movie?" letters?? GOOD LORD STOP IT. /end rant. *** EFF!!! I forgot to pick up Polly & The Pirates #2!

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Okay

    by Shigeru

    Well I can see how what happened in WD was important to the story, and a big turning point, and things coming to a head, but I would have liked those things to happen in concurrance with something other than the 2 characters standing there yelling at each other and occasionally punching.

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 10:45 a.m. CST

    Did you really just say "Mutant Massacre" was a story to be forg

    by Fantomex

    You don't understand X-Men. Even a litte. The problem isn't alternate universe characters. Those were GREAT... in the 90's. Marvel hasn't written X-Men into a corner, they just refuse to take any of its characters to their logical conclusions. Bishop, Cable, Gambit. All hot 90's properties with wonderful stories that would be remembered fondly if they had gone away when their story finished. But they get dragged along. I hear they're bringing back Apocolypse next year. You think they'll keep pretending Cable isn't Scott's son? ::: Bulleteer was disappointing. It pains me to say that, because Morrison manages to tell a story with strong thematic undertones without going over the deep end and blowing the ACTUAL story itself. But he isn't saying anything we haven't heard about big breasted women in comics. I guess if 7 soldiers is truly going to encompass all of comics, you have to confront this issue. But I would have been more than happy to see it skipped. The portrayal of women in comics is stupid. Move on. We have 3 more issues of this? ::: I'm enjoying Winter Men but the narrative is strained. Although I was glad he brought the book back to Russia. I REALLY didn't feel like reading an 8 issue fish-out-of-water story that takes place in New York.

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Yes, I am talking to myself on a comic book message board. So w

    by Shigeru

    A thought about Marvel: Ult. Spider-Man "The Warriors" slays 616 "The Other". I will take The Ultimates and Wanda Maximoff's slightly-incestuous relationship with Pietro over Disassembled or HOM anyday, too. I like Supreme Power, but that's not set in the 616 universe either. The only regular Marvel U title I like is Runaways, which has little to do with other books. Hmmmmmm!

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 11:05 a.m. CST

    X-Men

    by Shigeru

    All I can say is, I miss X-Force/X-Statix and I miss Morrison's New X-Men. Does that mean I miss Bill Jemas? Maybe.

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Why getting rid of mutants is such a bad bad bad bad bad bad bad

    by mortsleam

    The only way someone could be exposed to gamma radiation or cosmic rays or be bitten by a radioactive spider and not die horribly from radiation poisoning and also develop a gigantic green alternate personality or super stretchy powers or spider sense is if there's some underlying genetic mutation which provides resistance to radiation. Also, Henry Pym and Tony Stark have IQ's and creative abilities far beyond the range of normal humans. Mutants, I tell you. And anyone that can stand being injected with a super soldier serum and subjected to being frozen in an ice berg for 20 years must have a mutated immune system. They're all mutants. The whole fucking Marvel Universe. *** No offense, supes and prof and humps, but I miss the old @$$holes. I never came here for cogent reviews with token recaps of the events therein, I came for the personalities.

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Shigeru

    by El Vale

    Sadly it was Bill Jemas who turned Morrison off Marvel in the end, when he refused to follow Morrison's ideas for a Marvel Boy sequel because it wasn't Hollywood enough. At least that's What i THINK Morrison said. For grounded and professional journalism, turn to Vale.

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 11:26 a.m. CST

    OK, Bendis Is Off The Hook. HOM Blame Traced Back To A Guy In Th

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...who told a story around the fire of "Mighty Hunter". Sadly, he asked Bok to draw "Mighty Hunter" on the cave walls, thus inventing work for hire. Bok later claimed creation of "Mighty Hunter". Realistic cave artist Alex Thak completely sided with Bok, denying that Tor had anything to do with Mighty Hunter. Fortunately, shaman Kevin Smo sided with Tor.

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 11:44 a.m. CST

    Blaming Tor for HoM is stupid

    by El Vale

    None of this would've happened without the Big Bang and you know it! HoM pretty much disproves "Intelligent design"

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 11:51 a.m. CST

    Days Of Future Mutants

    by Buzz Maverik

    Wow! So they made a bunch of mutants non-mutants? See, this is why I'm glad the @$$holes have a court order forbidding me to review comics! Now, I only read comics that I'm absolutely sure I'm going to love which means that I'll be picking up a Marvel Essential sometime around Feburary or March! And they're still going to tell stories about these demutated people? That sounds really stupid and like a lot of people at Marvel don't understand comic books or the superhero genre. Of course, it will only last until the next big event which gives 'em their powers back. ...Now, while I liked Superhero's review and thought it was very well done (what do I know, I liked the DD review in the last column) I find the whole "it ain't Bendis fault, blame Claremont/Byrne" thing lame. C'mon, that's just saying it can't be the cool modern guy's fault, let's blame the out of vogue guys. Too bad you couldn't have stuck it to Rob Liefeld. Byrne, of course, has rabies and his fans have rabies so they'll all be out in force, but nobody will stick up for poor Chris Claremont. I'm convinced that comics are a young man's game. You hit 30, you should be into something else or editorial or something. Young Chris Claremont had more skill with plot, pace, action and even character than Mamet McKee ever had or ever will have. Even the dialogue...a year or two from now, people are going to look at Bendispeak like they do their old mullets. In DAYS O' FUTURE, Chris and John had the innovation to RIP OFF HARLAN ELLISON several years before James Cameron put it on film. I'm surprised that Harlan didn't raise a fuss. Maybe he did. If he didn't, he probably didn't know about it but if I know Harlan (and who'd really wanna?) there's little in the geek world that escapes his notice. He probably considered it insignificant. Just as DAYS was before THE TERMINATOR, it was before the big crossovers, THE SECRET INFINITY IDENTITY CRISIS ON INFINITE WARS. The writers, artists and editors didn't think in universal terms in those days. They just told the story they were paid to tell as best they could...or could get away with. Claremont and Byrne often raised the stakes for their characters, as guys like Bendis are still doing. The reason their alternative future became a problem is the nature of superhero comics. It is a wonderfully derivative genre. Every good idea is beat to death until it sucks, even by the guys who used it originally. I'm guilty of feeling hostility toward Frank Miller and the Dark Knight for all the lame ass, can't pull it off grim and gritty shit that is still following in its' slime trail. But thinking it over, that doesn't change the fact that DKR was a work of great originality and that Frank is a talented man who now does bad comics. Bendis, another talented man who occasionally does bad comics and who will do them with greater frequency from now on (see the over 30 thang) took the money and wrote the story so he and his editors and publishers are responsible, not the guys who first thought of ripping off Harlan Ellison about 25 years ago.

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 11:53 a.m. CST

    Good reviews @$$holes, etc.

    by The Heathen

    Not to give superhero more shit, I thought his review was good, but I'm really not digging Coipels art. "Coipel could be one of the better artists that Marvel

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 12:01 p.m. CST

    I have hooker issues

    by El Vale

    Where had you been Heathen? The Fountain teaser kicked my ass too.

  • I mean, you go back to the pre-ICE AGE stuff, and it's like, to understand MIGHTY HUNTER you had to know about the death of his longtime love Ayla, the reformation of the villainous Lascaux, and about Gor being thawed out after the Glacier Crisis to help Mighty Hunter form the Sabertooth Society. I still dig all the Pleistocene art that looks so retro today, though. Way better than all that glitzy Cro-Mag shit that came later.

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 12:06 p.m. CST

    I blame Crisis on infinite caves for all this crossover bullshit

    by El Vale

    That one opened up a can of worms.

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 12:12 p.m. CST

    Heathen, I had a 'hooker' issue once...

    by Shigeru

    but then I stabbed her and threw her in the dumpster!

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 12:20 p.m. CST

    Bet you pooped in the dumpster too

    by El Vale

    Didn't you, you sick bastid?

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 12:23 p.m. CST

    damn you vale, beat me to it!

    by Shigeru

  • I cried at that part.

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 1:08 p.m. CST

    'hooker' issues and Shigeru's pooping

    by The Heathen

    You guy's never fail! I've been working Vale : ( That and my girl had yesterday off so we spent some time together *awww* We watched Layer Cake and I got even more upset over the X-Men 3 production that could have been directed by Matthew Vaughn. Dammit! I have a bunch of stuff to read from a few weeks ago, and no new stuff from this week yet, so I'm kinda stuck in a weird spot on my comic discussing schedule. But one things for sure, The Fountain teaser owned my ass. Makes me glad that I pre-ordered the HC 'graphic novel' a month ago. Yesss! And we have a shoot the messenger column too! @$$holes bringing it hard!

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 1:15 p.m. CST

    Claremont should take the blame (or credit) for all the dark com

    by cookylamoo

    Because he had Wolverine kill that guard in the Savage Land. Comics have never been the same.

  • Ahhh closure.

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 1:49 p.m. CST

    More than one person has to be responsible for Streisand

    by The Heathen

    but I'm sure Claremont's one of 'em

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 2:06 p.m. CST

    Barbarah Streisand has more talent in her little finger than Cla

    by superhero

    Discuss...

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 2:08 p.m. CST

    I think getting rid of mutants is a good idea.

    by JonQuixote

    Of course, we know it's temporary. But the x-verse is filled with so many mutants that Grant Morrison whacked an entire *nation* of them without so much as an eyeblink from the rest of the MU. And Morrison *still* found enough freaky weird mutants to fill up Xavier's school to the point where there wasn't enough room for the X-Men. Too many goddamned mutants, too many goddamned irrelevant and disposable mutants. *** And I don't mind if they're starting a comic or three about these depowered mutants. I don't have to buy it. Even if I was still buying comics, I wouldn't have to buy it. But I'm not buying comics anyway, because they're not that good. Not that they were ever really that good, but at least they were fun. Now they're just as 'not really that good' as they've ever been, but they've sacrificed the fun in exhange to pretend that they're something good or deep or profound. Gack. *** But, still, slashing the number of disposable mutants running around is a good idea. Note that the X-Men are still largely intact. It's just the Maggots and the Floating Brains and the Fish-boys that went away, right? Good riddance.

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 2:20 p.m. CST

    JQ

    by Shigeru

    Wait a sec. You really don't buy comics anymore? Cause "they're not that good"? I'm assuming you've read all of the non-mainstream and indie books that get praise heaped on them and not just abandoning an entire medium just because of Marvel and DC. That would be like me saying "I just got out of Fast and the Furious 2 and man I am NEVER watching another movie EVER again!"

  • I mean you've got this art form, right? And you can basically do ANYTHING with it, whatever you want...and you're gonna start exploring real ideas like every other art form does, instead of bringin' the fun and idiotic but not-so-good stories that i used to enjoy when i was a kid? What next?

  • I congratulate you, Shigeru!

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 2:41 p.m. CST

    haha thanks Vale

    by Shigeru

    I spew enough bullshit and sarcasm around here myself I felt like throwing a little change-up. Tho I have noticed the Vale bitter-factor is turned up lately. Is it just IC getting ya down?

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 3:02 p.m. CST

    You're the second person to call me bitter today, my friend

    by El Vale

    Gonna have to look into that.

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 3:19 p.m. CST

    I can't hide my sarcasm

    by The Heathen

    but I can't think of anything witty to say either, but JonQuixote, whaah??? That sounded like Earl's brother Andy from 'My Name Is Earl' trying to discuss something without sounding

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 4:44 p.m. CST

    So You Guys Read Comics Even If They're Bad?

    by Buzz Maverik

    Lots of fans stop for periods of time. Most come back. I've stopped about a dozen times. I'm currently in a stop mode. And realistically, is JQ supposed to go out and read everything with pictures just so he can keep reading comics? Most fans(and critics: JQ was an original @$$hole, this crap just didn't start when you guys started)read Marvel, DC and maybe dab in some indie or MON-GA or whatever. If that doesn't do it for 'em, adios. Relax. Not everyone has to do what you do, ya know. It's like somebody pipes up here every couple of weeks who's never read the column: "Duh, if you don't like the comics, don't buy 'em." Well, if you don't have to review 'em, that's the option a lot of folks take. Omigawd! He stopped reading comics? Will I have to stop?

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 4:45 p.m. CST

    That was a little Randy-like, wasn't it?

    by JonQuixote

    When I said I bailed on comics, I meant my monthly habit, which was largely big publisher superhero. And I bailed for a number of reasons, not the least of which was that the comics I was reading were, by and large, a) Not that Good, and b) Not that fun. Now, the comics we grew up reading were, we can be honest here, by and large not exactly highbrow. And that's okay - they weren't supposed to be. And I'll point out that with everything I'm saying, some exceptions apply. But the WATCHMENs, the BORN AGAINs have never been the norm when it comes to monthly superhero adventures. You pull out a random comic from, say, the mid 80's, and the best you can reasonably expect to pull out is something fun. If you're lucky, it was fun AND touched on or flirted with something cool or profound or deep. But most of the time, it was just Spidey punching Electro and if it was fun, it was enough. *** Now, where El Vale got lost on the way to the snarkiness was the fact that he tried to rebut by talking about "exploring real ideas". I know what he was trying to say, and I have no problem with that. My problem is that the average superhero comic that goes that route...well, it just isn't very good. Not the concept or the idea they wanted to explore, but the execution. I have no problem with TALKING HEAD LAWYER COMIC - I don't even have much of a problem with DAREDEVIL becoming TALKING HEAD LAWYER COMIC - but obviously I'm going to expect different things. The standard for character-driven melodrama or for legal thriller is very high, and Bendis's work here doesn't measure up. It's not that good. (I don't mean to pick on Bendis, I could say the same about a lot of comics & writers these days, it's just that Bendis is the strongest, most prolific example). There is better angsty melodrama out there - on tv, movie theatres and in the library. So I wasn't getting what I normally would come to DD to get, and what it was delivering I could get much better elsewhere. *** Of course, none of this has anything to do with the number of mutants. You guys fixated on an aside in my previous post and came to the defence of the comic medium. And good for you. If you're still having fun, great. But please don't fool yourself into thinking that DAREDEVIL or IDENTITY CRISIS is "exploring real world ideas like every other art form does" in away that competes with the best "exploring real world ideas" that other art forms have to offer. It rarely does.

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 4:53 p.m. CST

    I blame Dickens

    by sideshowbob

    That whole "Ghost of Christmas Future" thing in "A Christmas Carol" TOTALLY opened a can of worms that can never be closed with all that alternate-timeline future crap. I know he was mostly doing it for shock value and to boost sales, but come on. Because Scrooge bought Tiny Tim a Christmas ham he's not gonna die now? WTF?!?

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 4:56 p.m. CST

    Best Comic Based On a True Story...

    by buster00

    Does "From Hell" count? Cuz that whoops all kinds o' ass.

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 4:58 p.m. CST

    I'm almost done with monthlies too...

    by sideshowbob

    Put it this way: this week I spent $7(!) dollars to read 2 issues: one about Spider-Man having cancer, and one about a hapless, depressing Superman facing off against a dickhead old man Superman. Wheeeeee!!!

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 4:58 p.m. CST

    hmm...

    by blackthought

    marvel might as well go all out and wipe out sequential storytelling peroid and just have scripts on the stands...and i'm with heathen on coipel's art...i fail to see the "OMG...THE NEXT BIG THING!...ONE OF ZEE TOP DAWGS AT MARVEL!" yada yada...and who's bitter?

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 5:01 p.m. CST

    Get your details right, sideshowbob..

    by Thalya

    It was a Christmas _goose_. Scrooge goosed Tiny Tim, but you kinda figured it was coming, what since Tim was in the kid sidekick role and everything..

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 5:02 p.m. CST

    Whoops, I also bought DMZ...

    by sideshowbob

    But I haven't read it yet. And I would've gotten Polly & The Pirates if Oni didn't screw up their shipment. But superheroes...if they aren't at their absolute nadir right now they're getting pretty fucking close. And monthlies, seriously, is a dead format that we're all clinging to.

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 5:03 p.m. CST

    An apology is due (No sarcasm in this post)

    by El Vale

    I thought you were talking about comics in general...comics as a medium, Johhny da Q. Clearly you were talking about superhero comics, and i will have to agree with you...superhero comics are supposed to be fun. If you aren't getting that then there's no reason for you to spend money on them. Now i happen to think Bendis' Daredevil is fun. Well not fun as in YAY ACTION! Fun as in...it entertains me and i find it well crafted (good times indeed). But that all depends on what your needs as a reader are and if those needs are being fulfilled. Totally understandable. Final notes: *Superhero comics aren't the only comics, and i know you know that...just saying. *Buzz sucks.

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 5:05 p.m. CST

    Sorry, Thayla, I was thinking about Earth 2

    by sideshowbob

    In Earth 2, Scrooge buys Tiny Tim a ham. And in Earth 3, he takes Tiny Tim into the shed behind his house and...well...we don't talk about Earth 3 much.

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 5:10 p.m. CST

    What happened in the shed uncle Bob?

    by El Vale

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 5:13 p.m. CST

    If it was just the Maggots and the Fish Boys...

    by SleazyG.

    ...it'd still bug me, but I could at least come up with a justification. It's not, though. Bendis just made Bobby Drake not Iceman any more. It's not that I can't see the potential, it's that the story will never live up to it, and we know he'll get his powers back, but not until we get lots of empty melodrama. Sure, go ahead--take an original member of the X-Men, take away their powers, have them cry about it, then give 'em back. Poor Archan--I mean Angel--will he ever fly again? Oh, wait, it's Iceman this time? My bad. Considering how horrible DISASSEMBLED was, and NEW AVENGERS is, and HOM was, why should I think this tale of mutants who lose and then regain their powers will be any better? It won't, and I'll tell you why: Bendis is trying to write these big, overarching stories, and he's sure they're really emotional for the characters, but they're not. They're boring. All-caps, balls-in, full-stop, dead fucking BORING. It's easy to sit around and talk about how rife with potential the idea is, but we're talking about a writer who's squandered the potential of every major story he's written for Marvel in the last half-decade. That being the case, I find the idea of more of his Universe-spanning, "permanent" changes an act in pointless futility, which is why I'm saving my money and using to buy something that really matters: bourbon.

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 5:26 p.m. CST

    Why getting rid of the minor mutants is a bad idea

    by SleazyG.

    Look, I think X-Stacy should never have cleared the planning stages. It was tacky and juvenile, and frankly, I exepected better from Casey. Maggot? Lame. Cable? Lame. Shatterstar? Lame. Lots of lame characters. But you know what? Blame the writers and creators. Kill one here and one there, or...gasp...actually tell a story with them that has a beginning and an end, and when their story's done they go away. There are lots of characters people used to think were lame until a good writer did something unexpected with them. But beyond that, here's the real problem with it: IT'S STUPID. Really, really, unacceptably, cart-before-the-horse-only-there's-no-horse STUPID. Mutants were an evolutionary branch. That's right there in the definition, and that's what everybody from the inception of the X-Men has worked with. They were a natural outgrowth of the process, our species' way of trying to advance and defend itself. You thought Wanda needed to die before? Guess what: she just doomed the human race by stunting its evolutionary development. Somebody needs to go back in time and kill Magneto so he can never have kids so Scarlet Witch can never serve as BMB's proxy and singlehandedly destroy the entire fucking Marvel Universe by neutering its Avengers, eliminating its mutants and turning its magic users into drooling morons. The engineers of HOM from the writers to the editors have clearly shown they lack even the most basic grasp of the crucial underpinnings of the 40-years' worth characters and stories they just violated. David Hine's DISTRICT X showed just how much potential there was both for solid storytelling and for the ongoing power of the metaphors established in the early tales of the X-Men. This was just a brutally ignorant idea from beginning to end spinning from the minds of people who don't even understand the characters or universe they're working with.

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 6:05 p.m. CST

    Top Ten?

    by hamgravy

    Are X-Men and Uncanny still in the top ten every month? If so, who's buying them? If you have to kill something to make Mutants seem relevant, start with canning one or several of the books. Just by numbers, we're just bound to get terrible stories when there are so many versions out there (each with Wolverine on the roster). The number of actual mutants never seemed like a problem to me. Mutants with useless and ugly powers in Morrisons's run is way cooler than no powers or hard core, ass blades, gonna kill you powers. I take it back, ass blades are cool.

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 6:08 p.m. CST

    Am I the only one mourning the loss of the mutants because of wh

    by SleazyG.

    This whole situation is a result of small-minded literalists who missed the point entirely. "Oh, there are too many mutants to keep track of, so we'll kill 'em all off." Uhh, okay, look: maybe editorial shouldn't have allowed so many new characters so quickly, or so many lame ones. Once they're out there, though, you have two choices: ignore 'em or have the writers tell better stories with 'em. Thing is, The X-Men were created to serve as a metaphor for the way minorities are treated in a society. They represented the wrongly oppressed, struggling for respect and acceptance when bigots assaulted them. They were there to reflect the civil rights struggle of racial minorities, homosexuals, the disabled, etc. So then somebody decides "there's *millions* of 'em! Their struggle has become meaningless! Let's kill most of 'em all, so the few left have something to offer!" Yeah, that's what I was thinking about all my gay, latino, and black friends, too. Wait, WHAT?!? Exactly. There was still plenty to be done with the mutants. All it took was a writer with enough intelligence to adapt to the current day and tell stories that addressed the struggles in a different way. Wanna talk about illegal immigrants? Sure, you can do that--just use the waves of mutants who fled a wrecked Genosha but had nowhere to go, and the way NYC or Chicago or Phoenix reacted. Wanna discuss gender issues? Use a shape-shifter, or somebody born with a third, unknown gender or something. David Hine did a helluva job with everyday mutants struggling to get by in DISTRICT X. It's really not that hard. The writers and editors claim that by reducing the number of mutants so drastically it makes the struggle of the few left more dramatic. Horseshit. There were hundreds of stories yet to be told in hundreds of ways, but they were too narrow-minded to see it. They've destroyed the *message* behind the characters, and that's where the real problem is.

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 6:20 p.m. CST

    Mourning a Metaphor

    by hamgravy

    Agreed Sleazy. There is tons of wasted potential, IMHO especially in throwing away all that Morrison started. There was a Mutant Genocide without much of a whimper. The idea of popular, or on the flip side, average non-superhero mutants should have generated more than it did. Keeping the focus human always allows character to shine and the threats seem more real. One of Alan Moore's critiques of The Killing Joke was that it was about nothing more than Bat Man and the Joker. And they don't exist in the real world. Now, with HoM Wolverine remembers "everything" in his life. Not a story I want to read. Here comes Big Bad Apocalypse and his Double Ass Blades.

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 6:21 p.m. CST

    They didn't destroy anything...

    by JonQuixote

    It's just a story. We all know that we're going to see third-tier mutants again. We all know that we're not going to go to our graves reading about a powerless Iceman. And hopefully, in the telling of the story, it gets mutants down to a more manageable level. They've been disposable and irrelevant. As you so keenly point out, Sleaze, they're metaphor fodder. Who the hell wants to read about the ongoing adventures of a metaphor?

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 6:21 p.m. CST

    Hmmmm...does that mean that humand are like the Kree in the Marv

    by superhero

    Meaning that humans are at a dead end evolution-wise? Of course, if you believe in intelligent creationism we've been dead end all along, right? Not that I believe in that crap but if you do and you live in the Marvel Universe then, well, the whole X-men being the next step in that crazy theory of evolution thing never made sense in the first place right????

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 6:26 p.m. CST

    I meant "humans"

    by superhero

    Once again...my typing sucks...

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 7:58 p.m. CST

    great discussion so far

    by Darth Kal-El

    i wish i could chime in more but once again its super busy here at work.keep it going tho guys this makes for some great reading in between calls!

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 8:23 p.m. CST

    Sleazy forgot to say "IMHO"

    by El Vale

    I mean that's fucking stupid, making grand statements like "a writer who's squandered the potential of every major story he's written for Marvel in the last half-decade". Well i fucking love Bendis' Daredevil and a lot of people think Ult Spidey's great, so i wouldn't dare call it squandered potential by a mile and think i'm making a righteous and objective statement.

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 8:25 p.m. CST

    And yes, i would call Daredevil and Ult Spidey major stories

    by El Vale

    Not only in size but in importance.

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 9:04 p.m. CST

    in unrelated news...for my cogs out there...

    by blackthought

    the supremely intelligent beings that head the FOX tv network have decided to cut this season's arrested developement from 22 episodes to 13...i sense calcelation looming...i guess fox has to keep it's track record...if it's good and original it must get canceled...and the wb too!...i will never forgive ye for axing angel...bastards...all of you!

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 9:07 p.m. CST

    Fair enough, El Vale.

    by SleazyG.

    Just remember that when we're writing this column or in the talkbacks, it's really all just IMHO. There's not really a right and wrong, other than what we each *think* is right or wrong. It wasn't just an off-the-cuff "grand statement", though. It's something I can back up with solid reasons I think that way. Did you read ULTIMATE SIX? Garbage. How about Bendis' shitty ELEKTRA relaunch a few years ago? Bleh. How about DISASSEMBLED, NEW AVENGERS and HOM? How about SECRET WAR, which is only five issues spread out over 15 months...that is still running six months late? What about the way he ruined his best book at Marvel, ALIAS, over to THE PULSE and then did nothing but tie-ins to incomplete crossovers? How about the fact that his adding extra chapters to NEW AVENGERS because nobody edits him caused a several-month delay in Warren Ellis' ULTIMATE SECRET because Steve McNiven had to bail off the project and get replaced? Sounds to me like Bendis' story is just sooo much more important over in NA that he got to completely derail a major event in the Ultimate Universe, no? I personally think he's completely botched DAREDEVIL, and the reveal of who Ronin is this week makes me want to spit sulfur. Good work he's done? I'll give him this: ALIAS was really good, and he writes Spider-Man exceptionally well. I also think ULTIMATE X-MEN was fair to middling. Oh, and I kinda liked the way-under-the-radar ULTIMATE TEAM-UP. Everything else has been deeply flawed and dull. It's the supposedly "big" stories with the best-known characters in the event books that always fall flat. He's good with the small character moments, but lousy with the big stuff, and that's why he's so consistently disappointing. Like I said, it's not "fact", but it's an opinion it's taken me a long time to reach. I've spent a lotta money on a lotta books I didn't like to get to this point.

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 9:49 p.m. CST

    LEt's cut a deal and say most doesn't mean every

    by El Vale

    I personally wish he'd do more stuff a la Daredevil, Alias, Powers, Jinx...he's got a right to try his hand at stuff that isn't crime-related, of course, but i think everyone agrees he doesn't quite excel at it.

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 9:55 p.m. CST

    Not everyone agrees, Vale

    by sideshowbob

    Certainly not the people at Marvel, nor the 80 to 90,000 people who buy New Avengers or House of M. *** By the way, Sleazy, what is wrong with the Ronin reveal that it evokes such a strong reaction? (CODED SPOILER HERE) I actually like that character, and I think it's cool he's basically putting an obscure but interesting charcater by his good friend in there with the big guns.

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 9:57 p.m. CST

    I

    by sideshowbob

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 10:02 p.m. CST

    Oops, did i just say i hated generalizations and then made one m

    by El Vale

    I'm still not well then. And i hope all those people love the books, actually. What's the point if they don't?

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 10:31 p.m. CST

    Let me put it this way, Bob:

    by SleazyG.

    I don't think a team needs to remain static. I understand the value of rotating in new characters to keep things fresh. It'd be nice, though, if The Avengers had one more early Avenger on the team. Right now it's Cap and Tony. They're followed by the two most best-selling but overused characters, followed by a bunch of second-stringers and nobodies. Do they deserve a chance to shine? Maybe. But that's not what's happening, since the Avengers have had their messes cleaned up by everybody but them. I'd just really like to see one or two more people who the fans think of as "Avengers" to strike a better balance. Sentry, Cage, Spider-Woman, and now a strange new member? Not the premier Marvel team comprised of their strongest characters, is it? As for my problem with Ronin, it's simple: I don't like being lied to. If it's who the current rumor suggests, we were all lied to in a big way. Look at Ronin's physical build, especially the shoulders and thighs. Then think about the character in question and ask yourself what the hell kinda doping and workout regime woulda been needed for that transformation to happen. Of course, if that rumor is dead wrong, I'll retract everything I said on the subject.

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 11:06 p.m. CST

    I'd Rather See Marvel Mutants As What They Are.

    by Buzz Maverik

    Metaphor for downtrodden minorities my tattooed white ass. That's the pretentious, exploring the issues answer. They are teenagers, even if they are 100 years old. They're weird, even banded together. No one understands them. The norms are the adults. The evil mutants are the bullies and valedictorians and prom queens. They feel alienated and destructive but inside they're wonderful but no one knows it. The Hulk is a character that would make a great metaphor for a teenage boy. Ugly, misunderstood, no communication skills, no one likes him, everything he tries to do he fucks up....Hypocrisy department. I read the Walrus' post about all the superheroes being mutants and I thought, "They're just characters man. They don't have to be realistic." Then, I read someone else saying mutants are the next step in evolution and I get all fanboy realistic: "In science, mutants are never an evolutionary branch. Most mutants are sterile, most could not attract mates, most mutants are not beneficial." Etc. El really sucks.

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 11:11 p.m. CST

    is wolverine in every book or team group in marvel yet?

    by blackthought

  • Nov. 10, 2005, 11:53 p.m. CST

    He's not a Cog yet

    by El Vale

    So there is hope.

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 12:18 a.m. CST

    wolverine will never be a cog!

    by blackthought

    and vale...i hope urugauy loses...go aussie.

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 1:31 a.m. CST

    STACY X WAS A HOOKER?!?!

    by Fantomex

    I kid. Cable lame? SLEAZYG LAME! The only example that supports your theory is one you didn't even mention: Deadpool. Very lame when he first appeared, was made awesome later. The other 90% of x-characters never come close to being as good as they were in the first 30 issues. So I agree with your basic conclusion. Tell a story. Move on. Remember that lame Phalanx story line, Blink was only in 4 issues, and yet, somehow, she got this freaking huge following. (I will never understand that but okay). And people were demanding she come back. Its like what you read on the covers, "BECAUSE YOU DEMANDED IT", only for real. I was actually shocked it took Marvel so long, but sure enough, if there is a buck to be made. So they bring her back. I'm getting sidetracked. People are actually complaining that HoM fallout sucks because they know it won't last? It would suck if it DID last. Hopefully we get some interesting stories in between that aren't written by Bendis, much like HoM itself. I wasn't looking for an Infinite-Crisis like reset because I knew Marvel didn't have the stones, so I'm only half as disappointed as everyone else.

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 7:08 a.m. CST

    SleazyG and Ronin

    by Prof C

    No need to wait and see if the rumor's true or not, just run down to the local bookstore and flip to the New Avengers section of the DK GUIDE TO THE AVENGERS where the secret ID of Ronin is revealed matter-of-factly. Or you can just go to my SHOOT THE MESSENGER column and go to the end of the Marvel panel and I spoil it for anyone who cares.

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 8:44 a.m. CST

    Ronin Schmonin

    by The Heathen

    I haven't read a lot of Daredevil, so I don't know or care who this characters identity was revealed to be. But, this if for certain a) it wasn't worth 12 issues of seeing 'Ronin' on the covers of New Avengers, Pulse, etc. b) Sleazy is right about the build of the character being wrong c) it was a lame choice, I mean, c'mon, really it was. *** Otherwise, I now see more clearly what JonQuixote was trying to say, and he's partially right (although I still like a lot of my superheros) especially with stuff like the aformentioned Ronin. *** Wolverine asked if he could join the Cogs, but I told him 'No' because I couldn't get the image of him and Nightcrawler out of my head. *** blackthought, Fox is making room for stellar programming like 'The Sarah Connor Chronicles' because that franchise wasn't screwed up enough by the last movie. And the Dubya B? They finally canned 7th Heaven! It only took a friggin' decade. *** Buzz as "fanboy realistic" is good times indeed.

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 9:30 a.m. CST

    what's with all these nonsense titles?

    by v1cious

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 9:32 a.m. CST

    by v1cious

    there's better things you could be reading than this superhero tripe, like 100 Bullets.

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 9:56 a.m. CST

    When I first heard

    by Shigeru

    that Spider-Man and Wolverine were joining the Avengers, I laughed and laughed....what? That wasn't a joke? Or a parody of Marvel oversaturating those 2 characters to the point of no return?? Bendis writes Daredevil....Bendis writes Ult Spider-Man.... Bendis writes Avengers...therefore: SPIDERMAN AND DAREDEVIL MUST JOIN AVENGERS. LOGIC!! arrg this day is not going well. /joins Vale in his bitter tent.

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 10:34 a.m. CST

    Make room Shigeru and Vale

    by The Heathen

    wanna roast marshmellows?

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 10:42 a.m. CST

    Uhm, yeah, I thought it was pretty obvious my post was meant in

    by mortsleam

    Guess I gotta put some huge sarcasm warning sign on there. Although I thought that my user ID would be warning enough. It does seem pretty shitty that Decimation is basically a response to the writers and editors at Marvel not being able to think of a way to follow up what Morrison was doing, although personally I didn't unerstand why he nuked Genosha in order to get rid of lame mutants only to introduce even lamer ones. Although I did have a wierd soft spot for the brain in the jar. Removing Bobby Drake

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 10:49 a.m. CST

    While on the subject...

    by Shigeru

    What was everybody's favorite Morrison freak-mutant? I liked the dude made of gas personally. *** bitter marshmallows and cynical hot dogs coming up Heathen!

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Teenage Daydream

    by hamgravy

    Thing is, the X-men haven't been teenagers for a while and neither has Spider-Man. When I read Spidey he was in his post-college years trying catch a break, fighting villains in a dirty costume and having to sneak by sunbathing hotties to crash in his ratty apartment. Not so bad as far as pre-adolescent fantasies go. I feel for the kids who have to follow along with totem spider married teacher spidey. It wasn't until the Mutant Massacre years (and the subsequent splintering of Uncanny off into more and more books) that all of these characters started living and dying and being reborn by the hype. Makes me think that for all of its faults the Ult. U. really was necessary for abandoning the mess. And despite the occasional cool run (Morrison, Whedon, Slott) we're not going to recapture what we read back when and I'll have to go on ignoring these books.

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 10:55 a.m. CST

    Morrison Freak

    by hamgravy

    The blobby clear wax guy. An oaf who didn't have much by way of powers until someone else heated him and he could throw his drippy skin. It burns! Or, the girl who did or didn't exist.

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 11:31 a.m. CST

    I loved the cuckoos. But that's just because I love Village

    by superhero

    The original, that is, not that crappy Carpenter re-make...bleagh...

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 11:42 a.m. CST

    but Superman was in the Carpenter remake!

    by The Heathen

    and Luke Skywalker too, yeah it was pretty bad. Freakin Kirstie Alley.

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 11:57 a.m. CST

    Favorite Morrison X-character?

    by SleazyG.

    Xorn. Seriously.

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 12:12 p.m. CST

    Seriously?

    by mortsleam

    What part, the concept, the execution or the revelation? The supposed concept was too trippy for me. A guy with a star for a head. Really makes the X-Men outlike schmucks for believing it. The execution was actually pretyt good, in that "Xorn" was written as an intriguing charcter with a true outsiders perspective on the X-Men. His standalone issue (which did or didn't happen) was excellent. His revleation that he was Mags was well done and a suprise and made sense of all the clues that Morrison had dropped, but in the end, his depiction of Mags as a confused drug addict who didn't know what to do once he achieved victory was poor, not true to the character, and wound up being undone immediately in an even worse way. Or did it? Did they explain that whole thing in HOM?

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 12:18 p.m. CST

    I used to be able to spell

    by mortsleam

    Fucking crack.

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 12:26 p.m. CST

    What would you do if a girl who was just a brain in a jar came o

    by mortsleam

    Hey Martha, uh, yeah, sure I like you fine, just, ya know, not in that way. No, I'm not shallow, it's not a body thing. How can it be? You don't have one. Ow, stay outta my mind, you freak! Owhghgjgdd! I like puppies.

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 12:27 p.m. CST

    Morts...EVERYONE knew that Xorn was Magneto at my shop. It was s

    by superhero

    But the weird thing is apparently Morrison DIDN'T want Xorn to be Magneto but had it forced upon him by editorial...that's the rumor anyway. I'd have like Xorn a lot more if he hadn't turned out to be Mag-neat-o...

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 12:29 p.m. CST

    Oh actually yeah I change my answer to Xorn too.

    by Shigeru

    Xorn, NOT Magneto-Xorn. Like mortsleam said, his standalone ish was the bomb. Tho the revelation itself was pulled off well, I couldn't help but feel a bit disapointed because I felt like Star-for-a-Head Xorn had loads of potential for awesome stories. And does anybody else kinda guiltily want a "Magneto Was Right" poster or shirt (that showed up kinda recently in Runaways)?

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 12:50 p.m. CST

    I'd sport that shirt

    by The Heathen

    and here's my Morrison on X-Men confession: I haven't read any of his issues except that last "Xorn as Magneto" or "Return of the King" arc. I had recently gotten back into comics and decided to give my childhood fave X-Men another go. I was really dissapointed with that story and haven't read any of the others. But, even Dave likes them, so I may have to one of these days, that and Ult Spidey.

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 1 p.m. CST

    true...

    by blackthought

    it's always shocking when dave likes anything that has to do with capes.

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 1:09 p.m. CST

    oh please

    by Fantomex

    if by "telegraphed" you mean "leaked on the internet". I bet everyone at your shop saw the ending to 6th sense a mile away too. And no, that was not a decision forced on Morrison. Get New X-Men Vol 1 hardcover and read the bonus material. And the Iceman/Emma Queen storyline was great, it just never went anywhere. just like everything from the early 90s. And I liked him much better as a translucent ice cube too. Just kill him already.

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 1:14 p.m. CST

    Moorison X-Character

    by El Vale

    Got 3 hours? This is how big New X-Men was for me: The X-Men in comics start and end with Morrison. I think he wrote an awesome Wolverine, anyone with me here? Jean Gray too, loved his Jean Gray. Freak Character? One of my fave issues is "When X is not X" when Xorn takes the freaks camping. So...all of them? I did not know Xorn was Magneto. Seriously. Does Cassandra count as a freak charactyer? She had the best lines.

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 1:17 p.m. CST

    Nope we knew it was Mags way before word came out on the 'ne

    by superhero

    Therefore leading to my extreme disappointment when it actually did happen...it was predictabel...sorry you didn't see it.

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 1:23 p.m. CST

    I didn't know Xorn was Magneto either.

    by Shigeru

    I, too, would hardly say "telegraphed". Maybe in hindsight, but then we all know that's 20/20. Oh, and uh, spoilers, Heathen.

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 2:15 p.m. CST

    Xorn as Mags

    by hamgravy

    If it was telegraphed then can you cite some clues we should have noticed rather than apologizing for our ineptitude. Cause I didn't see it coming. And, I don't think they ever did resolve the Magneto imposter bit in HoM. Even though he did (Spoiler) kill Jean Grey.

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 2:32 p.m. CST

    The big clue was a brand new character with no X-history being i

    by superhero

    Who's the guy in the mask? Oh, who's the big X-villain that's missing that would "gasp" shock the readers if he were really the guy in the mask???? Pretty obvious...

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 2:59 p.m. CST

    Nope, never noticed

    by El Vale

    Stop being such an ass about it just because your brain is superior to ours, or whatever gets you through the day. I guess Morrison did such a good job developing Xorn as a character all his own that i never expected him to be "shockingly revealed" as anything.

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 3 p.m. CST

    Not buyin' it

    by hamgravy

    Using that logic, we can safely assume that the little girl from HoM is actually...Apocalypse!!! Wait, we still don't know who she is exactly or why she's so special and since he's about to make a comeback I'll put out a firsties on saying that that's who she is. As I read the books on the racks of course.

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 3:05 p.m. CST

    5 bucks says hamgravy is right

    by The Heathen

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 3:06 p.m. CST

    Maybe it was our differing mindsets...

    by Shigeru

    For example, when YOU see a new mysterious character introduced with no relation to the X-Men, you think: "How could Marvel editorial handle this situation in an as-usual trite way? Have him be their arch-villain in disguise!" And when I see it, I see the potential that new intriguing characters bring to the table and am excited for fresh, innovative stories. Maybe in the back of my head I thought that it could be Magneto, and perhaps I pushed that thought down into the recesses for fear of YET ANOTHER X-Men fight Magneto storyline. Make sense?

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 3:06 p.m. CST

    5 bucks says Wolverine becomes a Cog

    by El Vale

  • Maybe it was just wishful thinking on my part.

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 3:19 p.m. CST

    158 and counting, but it looks like even Marvel is getting tired

    by The Heathen

    and Wolverine will be a Cog only if he jumps into a volcano, which he would do, but then he quits because Shigeru took a poop on him.

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Well

    by mortsleam

    I took the panel with Magneto looking straight at an incoming nuclear missle, followed by Jean telling Xavier that Magneto was dead, to mean maybe he really was dead. And since Morrison introduced about twenty new freaky mutants in those first few issues, I sort of thought maybe Xorn was just another one of them. If not, then should I have assumed that Cassandra Nova was really Destiny back from the dead? Or John Sublime was a new incarnation of Sauron? Or Angel II was some bizarre fusion of Boom-Boom and Jubilee and Marrow and Stacy-X and every other crappy "sassy" teen character?

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 3:30 p.m. CST

    No healing factor can withstand the volcano-poop!!

    by Shigeru

    and on that note, I am off for the weekend. Good luck cogs and @$$'s. Nuthin but love for you all!

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 3:50 p.m. CST

    I didn't know that Xorn was Magneto

    by JonQuixote

    I do know that the online consensus was a lot closer to "THAT MAKES NO FUCKING SENSE" to "THAT WAS SO FUCKING OBVIOUS".

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 4:06 p.m. CST

    Two Questions

    by MasterWhedon

    1) I know the "616" is the standard Marvel U, but I've never heard why it's called the 616. Anyone? 2) I didn't read of the newest Excalibur, so how in the blue fuck did Magneto survive a beheading by Wolverine? Was it some lame-ass clone contrivance? And of Morrison overall, I left comics for a bit, then came back and read through all of his stuff after hearing the hype. I found it pretty ambitious and occasionally nearing brilliant, but much of it felt greatly confused. And Quitely's art reaaaly sucked. Only good art was the three issue Fantomex shit that Chris Bachalo came in and did. That guy's been one of the best since Generation X.

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 4:22 p.m. CST

    Vale, ham...Not trying to feel superior...but Shigeru is right..

    by superhero

    That's EXACTLY what happened. I, and a lot of other people, saw Xorn and thought "Magneto". Trust me, my friends and I WANTED to be wrong because we thought it was lame but it made a weird sort of sense...It was really disappointing to see an X-arc that was finally original and interesting get ruined by the lame-assed villain-back-from-the-dead-device. And, honestly...did ANYONE really think that Marvel would actually let MAGNETO stay dead? Colossus, yes, Magneto...nope. And we even knew Colossus was coming back at some point didn't we? As I've said before...in comics dead is never dead no matter what Joe Quesada says.

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 4:47 p.m. CST

    Earth 616

    by mortsleam

    Was so named in an issue of the Captain Britain UK comic from the early 80's and came from the number assigned to Brian Braddock as the Marvel Earth's Captain Britain. Once Claremont brought Psylocke over to the X-Men, then featured Captain Britain and Meggan as part of Excalibur, the designation stuck.

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 4:48 p.m. CST

    Xorn

    by sideshowbob

    I read somewhere...I forget where but it was a legitimate source, that the "Xorn is Magento" thing was in Morrison's original X-Men pitch before he was even hired. *** My favorite Morrison X-characters were Beak and Angel. Somewhere along the way Marvel forgot how to do teens; these characters were a major exception to that.

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 5:01 p.m. CST

    Xorn as Mags Part2

    by hamgravy

    As far as I understand it, Marvel balked at the notion of Magneto getting beheaded and summed up that Xorn was an imposter Magneto posing as this new character (AND responsible for (spoiler) the death of Jean Grey). Magneto actually survived the Genosha Genocide and has been there the whole time. Then they also introduced a totally different Xorn as a character in his own right. Most readers suspected all this chaos would be revealed as a result of Scarlet Witch's Chaos Magic in HoM. No such luck yet.

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 5:05 p.m. CST

    Never suspected the Xorn/Magneto thing m'self...

    by Dave_F

    ...and I'm actually having a hard time buying that anyone did. I was watching the message boards at the time, and it seemed like eeeeeeveryone was surprised. I know I was. And not even plesantly at first, since there seemed to be too much evidence that Xorn was his own man for him to possibily be Magneto. Besides which, Magneto has *never* struck me as the kind of guy who'd pull off an infiltration over the course of months just to get at the X-Men -- it'd almost be like Dr. Doom going undercover! Way beneath him! So never in a zillion years would I have guessed Magneto, but I could *easily* see Xorn as the kind of new-agey hero that Morrison would create and try to work into the team. His weird origin, his pacifist philosophy, his gimp-mask...all seemed perfectly Morrisonian. So I was quite surprised and rather annoyed when Magneto was revealed. Of course, it became clear by the way that Morrison wrote Magneto once he'd been "outed" that this was supposed to be a Magneto driven to great extremes, a man on the verge of breaking. That justified his actions reasonable well, and I think it was an extended look at Xorn's history from comics commentator Paul O'Brien that sold me on the various hints that Morrison had dropped over the course of a year or two. In any case, I don't remember a single person who guessed at the reveal, so I wonder if Superhero and his friends might be like the handful of folks who guessed at the SIXTH SENSE ending where most everyone else got taken. But maybe it was a common guess amongst X-fandom or something and the boards I was following were too general to've focused on it. I'm not the type to try to outguess storylines, m'self, so I don't tend to throw myself at mysteries with a passion - I'd rather wait for them to reveal themselves. And in the case of Xorn, I don't even remember thinking of him as a mystery. To me he was just Grant Morrison's self-indulgent avatar in the X-Men, and not a particular favorite. At least at first. As longtime TalkBackers here know, it took me a while to warm up to NEW X-MEN, and when I did, I came to very much enjoy the Xorn/Magneto thing. ******* As an aside to Heathen, you should definitely give the first arc of Morrison's run a go at some point. His run, in its entirety, really does tell one massive story, and I feel certain it works best if you begin at the beginning.

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 5:06 p.m. CST

    Thanks for the explanation, hamgravy.

    by MasterWhedon

    That said, that explanation sucks. How many dead-ringers and imposters do we have in the Marvel u?

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 5:13 p.m. CST

    Was poking around for Magneto/Xorn info and...

    by Dave_F

    Came across one guy's quick breakdown of the entire run. His comments on Magneto/Xorn are pretty interesting (BIG OL' SPOILERS): "Ah yes, one of the frequent criticisms has also been Morrison

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 5:24 p.m. CST

    The X-Men Characters Don't Have To Be Teen Agers On The Page

    by Buzz Maverik

    Simply put, teenagers feel like mutants. The mutant is different from the parent, in any case of mutation. In comic book mutation, the mutant is also an outcast from society and pretty much even the captain of the high school football team, the head cheerleader, the class DJ and the guy that got accepted to every school he applied for also feel like outcasts from society. The whole goddam Breakfast Club, ya know? The same with Spider-Man. They could make Spider-Man fifty freakin' years old, but no freakin' fifty year old is gonna dress up in webbed tights and swing around the city even if he could unless he thinks it's gonna get him money and chicks. I've always said that the only two Marvel heroes who consistently came off as adults were Daredevil and Iron Man. They represented the kind of adulthood teen Buzz comic reader could aspire to. Cool jobs that never seemed to require a lot of work but yielded bread. Lots of chicks. And cool hobbies like dressing up in funny clothes and beating the hell out of people without anybody calling the cops on you. And Daredevil got to go to crappy areas of a city to do it! Everybody else at Marvel was and is a kid, no matter what. The FF? Buncha kids left home alone to get into mischief. Hulk? A giant spoiled brat/ultimate misunderstood teen. Captain America? Cap, you're living in your own world. When are you going to face reality? Black Panther? Kid with the best toys. X-Men? I'll hang out with my weird ass friends all I want, Mom! ...Bobby Drake was best portrayed as a hot head. I know everyone calls Johnny Storm a hot head but that's the obvious nickname for the Human Torch. Johnny is actually the cool kid of the Marvel Universe. As my brother Crash Maverik said when we saw the FF movie: "All the really need is the Rock and Flame On. Nobody gives a shit about the other two." But Drake was even more of a hard ass, which worked well for someone called Ice Man. I first encountered Angel and Ice Man in CHAMPIONS # 1, but a few weeks later Marvel reprinted Neal Adams Sentinel stories from the hippie days for GIANT SIZED X-MEN # 2 and we got the best Ice Man. Bobby thinks that a green haired mutant babe named Lorna (Polaris)is his girlfriend, but it was clear to even me at the time that she had no interest in him. This relationship has been touched on several times in Marvel history, most recently to my knowledge by John Byrne is X-MEN: THE HIDDEN YEARS. I think that this may be a little painful for us comic book types because we've all thought that someone liked us just because we liked them. Bobby and Hank take the X-Men's vehicle and leave the rest of the team stranded in Egypt just because Sentinels are attacking mutants in New York and Bobby is worried about Lorna. Bobby even gets himself captured so he can help her, or so Hank can bring the rest of the team to help her. But in the villain's lair, it is clear that Lorna already prefers another captive, Alex Summers (Havok). He's older than Bobby, smarter, cooler, etc. Bobby starts screaming at Alex for making a deal with the villain to save Lorna's life. "He could have fought!" In perfect lingo for the time Alex shrugs and says, "Fighting's your hang up, Drake, not mine." Yet when a Sentinel menaces Lorna, Bobby sees that Alex is a far more powerful mutant than he is and is the greatest threat the Sentinels are facing. Interestingly, after that, Bobby is stuck in a tube and doesn't appear again in the story. Scott, Jean and Hank show up and spring Alex (who at this point we can all call Not-Bobby) who sort of turns the whole tide (although it's his brother who plays with the Sentinels' computer minds and tricks them into flying into the sun). Since I purposely never read X-Factor and stopped reading X-Men before Drake rejoined the team, I've only seen a few portrayals but I haven't liked them. They de-aged him, made him too much of a kid again, etc.

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 5:38 p.m. CST

    I Don't Know. While Maggy Wasn't Exactly Undercover...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...he did once go into hiding for an extended period of time and had a robot double tormenting the X-Men, mostly by bossing hypno-mutant Mesmero around and claiming to be Polaris' father. These were Jim Steranko stories with sparse writing and gorgeous art. And he was taken in by a disguise, with Cyclops undercover as Erik the Red in order not to tip the X-hand. This kind of writing is full of disguises, secret identities on top of secret identities. Captain America says, "A...friend of mine called Nomad took down Krang and the Serpet Society" but Racally Roy told us in an editorial caption that it was actually Cap himself. You're reading heroic fantasy. Magneto disguises himself as Xorn. Hey, nothing else has worked to destroy these utter fools, maybe a disguise! I can see Doom undercover. He's a great actor. He played a cool Nathan Detroit in the Latveria Prepatory Academy production of GUYS & DOLLS.

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 7:12 p.m. CST

    I LIKED X-Factor

    by sideshowbob

    I mean, I liked it a lot...there were about 20 issues of the Simonson/Simonson run that got me hooked on superhero comics. *** But now, looking back, yeah, bringing Jean Grey back into an all-new title did more to ruin the X-books forever than "Days of Future Past". *** They didn't really make Bobby into a kid in X-Factor though, Buzz. Weezie's too good a writer for that.

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 7:23 p.m. CST

    that whole marvel 158...

    by blackthought

    stands for the number of monthly x-titles right? right?

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 7:25 p.m. CST

    wow so much has been said i dont even know where to coment

    by Darth Kal-El

    like i said earlier good discussion all around. work has kept me buried all week long.hope everyone is doing great!***thoughts on this weeks lost?

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 8:02 p.m. CST

    Well Xorn, because of the iron mask, was a mystery from the begi

    by superhero

    I'm not saying I'm particularly smarter than anyone or anything like that because, obviously, I'm not. I'm just saying that to me and my friends it seemed like Xorn WAS a mystery because he was locked in a mask. Therefore we just thought...it's probably Magneto. Now, to be fair I hadn't been following the X-books regularly before Morrison for years so maybe it was just being removed from the books that set up my guess...I don't know. I'm just saying we guessed it...it was a guess... and that's it. Just seemed obvious to me and my pals...

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 11:07 p.m. CST

    Re: one of the Cheap Shots

    by Chaotic Blue

    Well, Having read the Exalted Issue #1, I'm gonna have to concur. It realy was trying to cover too much ground, trying to be interesting the the newcomers and the fans--who were really where this thing was going to begin. If you're on the forums at White Wolf's website, you've been looking forward to this for months. If you've perused the Sorcery section, you might recognize the Infallible Messenger spell. If you'd read Issue #0, you know what the Dragon-Blood was ranting about. If you've followed the books--specifically Caste Book: Dawn--you might have cheered when we saw that wide-brimmed hat on Demetheus. We know him. On the other hand, most of them are unknowns, original characters. The art did a good job of capturing the visual feel, but the dialogue was more flat. It's hard to manage to write a story in a setting so deeply established and try to appease ongoing fans and newcomers. It really is. Just look at this.

  • Nov. 11, 2005, 11:59 p.m. CST

    Where's My Head?

    by hamgravy

    Thanks for the fuller re-cap Dave. I'm slow, so, who exactly was beheaded then? And I see what you're getting at Buzz about the characters being kids, but they're not anything anymore once the cross-overs make them pawns or plot devices. Once the X-stories got multi-part huge, they are only about going through the maze and getting to the end (of sorts). There are no moments like you righteously sited regarding Ice Man. Even the "that was cool" moments got fewer and fewer as the stories got louder. Before that, even at full throttle, the team was smaller and a reader could actually see their own identity struggle play out between the clash of archetypes on the team. Toe the line or pop your claws. In hype mode, everyone is just screaming for air time. And, if part of being a teenager is about getting the girl and getting the cash - the search for it and not having it, Spidey's got the girl and he got a dream job and pad with the World's Most Admired Co-Workers. Now what does he have to mope about? Terminal illness! Like that's on every teenager's mind. Characters don't have to be the Young Avengers or the Runaways to be "teenagers." The just have to be a little dangerous and a little fun.

  • Nov. 12, 2005, 10:20 a.m. CST

    Allred's Solo

    by hamgravy

    I read it after my last post and it's great. His artwork never looked better and he varies it up depending on the story. Supercute image of WonderGirl on the cover. There are these laugh out loud sight gags and the writing goes from completely silly to skewering the current crop of comics. In fact, this, along with what seems to be the M.O. of Infinite Crisis as of issue 2, DC is shining a light down a very long dark tunnel. Tying into something I said earlier, Alfred has this quote "Youth. Equal parts Idealism and Nihilism." As it should be.

  • Nov. 12, 2005, 7:44 p.m. CST

    I'll check it sooner than later Dave

    by The Heathen

    Thanks for that explanation of who was who when and where, but hamgravy poses a good question: who was beheaded by Wolverine? *** LOST was good. A death of a character and the aformentioned swaddling, but I'm really anxious for next week, I think it's going to be awesome. *** I was a little fuzzy about the 616 thing too, thanks for clearing that up. MasterWhedon, I haven't seen a lot of Quitelys New X-Men run, but besides the drastic change in style from earlier X-Men books with costumes and overall appearance I think he's one of the best artists we got right now. All Star Superman! We3! BUT, I gotta disagree with you on Bachalo, he's my second least fav artist. I really liked his earlier stuff, but now he just draws all males with huge noses and feet ** http://tinyurl.com/cdja3 ** I think his art style changed after the first few issues of Generation X. *** blackthought, 158 was before HoM, the number for X-Titles is now 187, because it's fun to read about mutants with no powers. *** About Spidey currently. I just read the first three parts of "The Other" because I'm a stooge, but anyway, is MJ going to leave Peter? Didn't JoeyDaQ hint at something like that? Well, that's it for now, have a good rest of the weekend @$$es and Cogs.

  • Nov. 12, 2005, 8:57 p.m. CST

    damn....187 now...hmm...

    by blackthought

    i think they could add a few more...it's not like it's water-downed yet. and i think quitely art rocks...his work on we3 is fantastic...and lost was pretty dang good this week...sweet ending...can't wait for what happens next week.

  • Nov. 13, 2005, 3:45 p.m. CST

    I would just like to say...

    by Dave_F

    ...that I think Olivier Coipel is one of Marvel's better artists at the moment as well. Reminds me a bit of Mike Mignola's early days in books like COSMIC ODYSSEY or even the ROCKET RACOON MINI. I actually miss that Mignola just a bit. He was a long way from being the archly-great sylist he is now, but his characters were more energetic, his layouts looser. On a purely personal level, I think Mignola's late-80s stuff was probably my favorite period for him. That FAFHRD & GRAY MOUSER mini he did that Chaykin wrote? Man, that was the *stuff*. Anyway, Coipel reminds me a touch of Mignola of that era. I see some of the same push and pull between representative art and the artist's inner voice. Square heads? Yeah, and Mignola's guys had skinny ankles... ****** As for the guys Heathen named...definitely a talented bunch, but excepting Romita Jr. I think I'd prefer Coipel on a superhero book to most of them because they don't convey the energy I'm looking for in superhero titles. Well...they do at times, but their devotion to realism undercuts it. IMHO. Epting might be an exception too, but he's been getting *awfully* photoreferency lately. When it comes to realistic superheroes, I think the late John Buscema still hits the highest mark. He had a lot of the same drafting skills that Epting does, but he wed that skill with Kirby's dynamism. In fact, I remember him saying he'd outright swipe Kirby layouts and poses when he got in a rut. It worked!

  • Nov. 13, 2005, 3:59 p.m. CST

    WINTER MEN

    by Dave_F

    I gave this book a few issues, and honestly, it impressed me. I outright hate the "cynical detective" cliche these days, but WINTER MEN served up an iteration on it that seemed genuinely "Russian", and as such, it had an alien quality that gave it a renewed vitality. That and I loved John Paul Leon's art. I think this guy is the artist Bendis's cronies Maleev and Gaydos *wish* they could be. Nevertheless, I went into wait-for-the-trade mode a few issues in because the story was quite labyrinthine. Remembering everything that'd gone on in previous issues was making my low-wattage brain hurt, so I figured "best to wait." Seems like a pretty damn good book, though.

  • Nov. 13, 2005, 4:06 p.m. CST

    Jonah Hex...supermodel?!!

    by Dave_F

    Bug, tell me I didn't read that right in your review. You were joking, you had to be. A supermodel possessed by the spirit of Jonah Hex in the previous SUPERBOY miniseries? Say it ain't so! ***** By the way, I didn't know that each issue was planned to be standalone, Bug. Is that set in stone? Y'think they'll really be able to maintain it? I mean, I'm all for more standalone issues if we're gonna keep serializing these things, but if any genre calls for the occasional epic three or four-parter (six-parters and such reaaaaally push it), it's the Western.

  • Nov. 13, 2005, 5:22 p.m. CST

    Dave, do we agree about Bachalo?

    by The Heathen

    Coipel (as of now) isn't as moody or artsy like Mignola is IMHO. I think he could be, but the evolution of artists can sometimes be unpredictable. And look at some of those heads, maybe not perfect squares, but like I said earlier on a tb, they look like a 4:3 aspect ratio stretched to 16x9. I think that's a fair comparison. Epting has been doing a little too much phot referencing, especially with the backgrounds, but it's still accceptable. Speaking of John Romita JR., I just read the first two Sentry's and I found his art to have not been on par with his recent work in Wolverine and Spidey. I dunno? I just picked up IC #2 Dave, be warned!!! : )

  • Nov. 13, 2005, 8:17 p.m. CST

    i love discussion on artists...

    by blackthought

    heathen...IC #2!...and how has the weekend gone?

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 8:48 a.m. CST

    Mornin' fellas..

    by Thalya

    And blackthought, I concur. IC #2 (!) owns the naysayers @$$es!

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 9:04 a.m. CST

    Never took a shine to Bachalo...

    by Dave_F

    But then again, he's never drawn much of the stuff I read, so I wouldn't figure him to. I've seen his older stuff, though - that DEATH miniseries and SHADE - and it looks nice enough. Definitely hit a change for the arcane somewhere down the line, at least by STEAMPUNK, but probably before. Did he discover a new artist or something? Sort of like Keith Giffen's big stylistic change-up in the late-80s? Anyway, I found his stuff just tolerable on NEW X-MEN, but I like him less and less as style overwhelms storytelling. Bachalo over Quitely? Not on Bachalo's best day!

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 9:12 a.m. CST

    I've already forgotten what happened in IC #2...

    by Dave_F

    ...but I do remember being vaguely intrigued that it continued along the lines of IC #1 to so specifically call out the downward slide of DC's heroes. Still weirds me out. I mean, on one hand, IDENTITY CRISIS probably brought more new readers into the DC fold than even Kevin Smith's GREEN ARROW run -- AND it set the tone for everything that's come since. And now DC's got their actual characters calling this tonal shift out? How is DC going to reconcile these two utterly polar movements? What I think is funny is all those folks calling for Grampa Superman to beat some heroism into his current, wussified counterpart, but I don't think many of those folks actually want a return to what Grampa Superman represents. They've sort of talked themselves into thinking they do, but you look at sales on IDENTITY CRISIS, and you have to wonder where this supposed Golden Age/Silver Age love was then.

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 9:49 a.m. CST

    IC is definitely getting Kingdom Come-y

    by Thalya

    Superman with gray on his temples comes back after a decade or two holed up someplace no one will find him, sees what's happened to the world and decides to kick butt to straighten everything out? The Trinity broken into factions about how to deal with things? hmm..gee.. We're getting an Earth-2 out of this, is my best guess. COIE went too far in trying to simplify everything down to one earth, but the duplicates between E-1 and E-2 created too many complications and gave the shaft to a large portion of readers. The way it's happened, that supposedly created a rift based on tonal differences and in some minds, story quality, but I think it's a bit of a false dichotomy. The rift still would've been there if the tone had remained the same, there just would be other differences to blame. The fact remains is that, especially in comics, people follow characters, it's just that a) some people got disenfranchised when their favorite characters got shafted because they didn't fit with the new tonal shift happening and b) some people are more willing to be dragged through the mud in seeing what happens to characters while still holding out a spark of hope for them. I loved Identity Crisis, not because of the tone but because of what the tone allowed the storyteller to do with all the little mundane details that added depth to these characters, character flaws totally aside; that they got so grounded just made what they do that more wonderous. That was something new and apparently people were hungry for that.

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 11:21 a.m. CST

    "some people got disenfranchised when their favorite characters

    by The Heathen

    Well put Lady C., and good to hear from you! That worries me, because I'm not sure if I would like another world or Earth-2 to split up the DCU. I'm even more worried about what would happen to the trinity, specifically Batman. Have you seen the cover to issue #3 ** http://tinyurl.com/c64nc ** I wouldn't want that, at least not now. IF this does happen at leat the two worlds will be connected in some way. I don't like to split up universes. That's why I've never read a lot of the Ultimates line. IC #2 was a well structured issue and I think it will help those who haven't read COIE. But, I do feel that Earth-2 Superman might be a little off his rocker. Not that there's not any truth to what he said, but that's a bold thing to say regardless.

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 11:23 a.m. CST

    Winter Men. Yes.

    by hamgravy

    Maybe genuinely the weirdest book on the shelf because of the "russian-style" storytelling. Elliptical and pulpy plot with dialogue written to be like poorly translated subtitles. The sum effect is distancing but achieves a mood stronger than plot or character. JPL did Earth X right? Great use of blacks in that book and his art may have been even stronger for it.

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 11:31 a.m. CST

    Chris Bachalo. No.

    by hamgravy

    I can't make out what's going on in his art and it makes me feel old because of it. These kids today. Most of the great artists have a style that isn't totally there out of the gate but forms over the course of their career. Jae Lee, Mignola and Mazzuchelli are great examples of artists who outstripped their influences and pared down to the essentials of their trade. JRJR, like late Byrne or Frank Miller, just looks like he's on auto pilot. His peak for me may have been the weird Inferno plot in Daredevil where he just cut loose but never fully reclaimed it.

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 11:34 a.m. CST

    IC#2 Art

    by hamgravy

    Am I alone in thinking that the multiple inkers on the issue cause the quality of the art to tank after the first issue? I felt the epic sweep of the book peter out a little with the inconsistencies. Like it lacked that history in the making swagger of the original and issue 1 of this one.

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Yes, Dave, there was a supermodel Hex there for a while and let&

    by Ambush Bug

    I never followed the supermodel title, but because of my love for the Jonah Hex character, I picked up the series when I found out he would be making a re-appearance in some form. Turns out, Jonah took posession of a female descendant. When she was first introduced, she was just this hot redhead who talked like Hex. Later, her face was scarred similar to Hex and she just got harder to swallow. File that one under Bad Ideas and move on.

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 12:09 p.m. CST

    SUPERBOY title...not supermodel...

    by Ambush Bug

    Damn typos.

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 12:15 p.m. CST

    You're absolutely right hamgravy...and Bachalo's art...

    by superhero

    Yep, whenever an art team changes during a mini-series...even slightly...it starts to deplete the luster of any mini. They really should have had one team locked in for the whole thing. I remembered when it happened to INFINITY GAUNTLET when Perez was replaced with someone else and it just destroyed the whole feel of it. My problem with Bachalo isn't his art per se it's his lack of storytelling ability. his characters look great and his pages have crackle to them...he just can't get a great grip on actual sequential storytelling. If you take the words away from the page you have almost no idea what the heck is going on. Great to look at but hard to understand what the characters are doing...

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 12:56 p.m. CST

    It's funny

    by El Vale

    When someone says Chris Bachalo is their second least favorite artist you just KNOW the first one is Liefeld.

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 12:59 p.m. CST

    Thanks Heathen.. *IC #2 spoilers*

    by Thalya

    Wish I could've added more to the earlier discussions, but I haven't really read any recent/current Marvel and the company seems too much in a quagmire to try right now, despite some pockets of goodness like Joss or Dan Slott. DC may be throwing 40 years of history and characters at readers all at once, but at least it has its House in order. *** As for IC, E-2 seems like only solution to deal with the tonal differences, Kal-L, the JLA and JSA being on the same world and the general glut of superheroes and villains there are, without killing off too many viable properties.. And yeah, Kal-L is definitely off his rocker, probably Johns' intent to portray him so. As for Batman, I have a theory... It's all Frank Miller's fault. Well, actually, it precedes Miller: if the singular DCU wanted to reconcile the Trinity from the different earths by merging them in some fashion or somehow (besides implying that Kal-El missed out on Kal-L brand heroicness), then perhaps it did something with E-2 and E-1 Batman. That darkness that Kal-L mentioned, what if it was brought in through a dead E-2 Bruce Wayne merged with E-1 Bruce Wayne? It would explain why there's also a sensed 'darkness' in Supergirl, Jason Todd's back and darker, and there's a dirty cop Jim Corrigan on the Gotham PD. If you look at those retrospective panels about the bad stuff in the 90s and then the bad stuff since IDC, it all starts with something close to Batman: death of Jason Todd was first and IDC reveal of his mindwipe was first. The more bad shit happens to Bats, the more the universe goes to hell? What happens if he dies? And was it just me, or a page earlier than that, did you notice how in the JLA/JSA pictures, Bats is positionally the same as the Spectre? And how might E-2 Bruce factor into that equation now?

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 1:20 p.m. CST

    Chris Bachalo vs. Humberto Ramos

    by Shigeru

    who would win in a fist fight?

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 1:29 p.m. CST

    You just broke my head, Thalya.

    by Dave_F

    I don't get too much into "Marvel vs. DC" stuff because the differences always prove to be superficial and transitory, but just at the moment, if I had to chose between DC's Joycian complexity and Marvel's contuity-lite approach...gotta go with the latter. I don't think I've ever enjoyed reading a story meant to explain, fix, and/or nudge contuinuty into a particular direction. That stuff always feels like the crap I have to wade through on the way to actual stories.

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 1:40 p.m. CST

    Hmm, that sounded harsher than I meant it to.

    by Dave_F

    I mean, I understand the *appeal* of these crazy-encompassing dramatic tapestries. Makes it all feel sort of real, lends a certain weight to the proceedings based on their interrelationships. I guess I just feel that it's all ultimately futile because of the nature of Marvel and DC. That is, with so many hundreds of freelancers manipulating these colorful puppets, I have to think that trying to organize everything into a coherant whole is as elusive as a Unified Field Theory for physicists. If anything, these kinds of sweeping events expose just undermine the uniqueness of titles for me, turning them into mere facets of overarcing stories that don't necessarily jibe with their sensibilities.

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Bachalo/Ramos Smackdown

    by superhero

    This is Bachalo*http://tinyurl.com/axz5o* This is Ramos*http://tinyurl.com/bm8zu* You decide.

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 1:49 p.m. CST

    skull-crushingly off topic.

    by Shigeru

    Anyone else find it a little interesting that during Millar's Wolverine run, the word "Jeezus!" was exclaimed many times, but most definitely the word "Jesus!" in a script would not pass editorial? Either way, cool dude. Jesus that is, not wolive.

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 1:54 p.m. CST

    And the victor will be...

    by Dave_F

    Man-mountain, Jim Shooter! With his pockmarked face, towering stature, and bitterness over the failure of thirteen or fourteen comic companies under him, there's simply no stopping him! Even if Ramos knows Capoiera or something.

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 1:57 p.m. CST

    Jim Shooter would slay everyone.

    by Shigeru

    Okay new question of the week! If you could have one comic creator in your corner in a street fight, who would it be?

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Infinite Creezus

    by hamgravy

    You may have not been participating in the earlier Marvel discussion Thalya but in some ways I feel you said all ther is to say. Except for who the beheaded Magneto really is. So Infinite Crisis will be the antidote to all the editorial department bandwagon jumpers who went dark after a few mega-successful stories and characters. Blame it all on Wolverine. And on the off-topic, I'm still amazed that quasi-religious slang is still censored from TV broadcasts of movies when ass and bitch have entered the acceptable lexicon. Dang!

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 2:15 p.m. CST

    Battle of the poorly groomed nerds

    by El Vale

    Tell you who'd win if they killed eachother: Everyone

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 2:16 p.m. CST

    Street Fight Comic creator...

    by superhero

    John Byrne...he's crazy when he's pissed...plus he's got all those leagions of fans on his board to back his ass up. Byrne without a doubt...

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 2:18 p.m. CST

    even "shit" has aired a few times on network television

    by The Heathen

    well the word at least, cause there's shit multiple times every night on the networks. As for Bachalo vs. Ramos? After seeing Bachalo I like him even less - go Ramos! And Vale, you know me all too well. : )

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 2:22 p.m. CST

    In a fight? Igor Kordey.

    by Dave_F

    He's scary, he's cranky, he's ex-military, and I once commissioned some original art from him so I'm sure he's got my back. Bonus points: name is fucking *Igor*. Behold Igor looking like a DIE HARD villain: http://tinyurl.com/c8h7d "You WILL talk, McClane." On back-up, I'd of course have Army Ranger Micah Wright...

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 2:30 p.m. CST

    Thalya Re: Darkness *IC Spoilers*

    by The Heathen

    I see what you're saying. The reapperance of Jason Todd, Supergirl and Corrigan in a darker tone to what their characters once were. But why are all these events based around Batman? Do you think this is why the universe or whatever might want him to be taken out and take over as Spectre? But, as the cover to IC #3 showed, it looks like the E-2 characters might want Bruce to join them. Join them in bringing the end to E-1 or following them to E-2 or both? *rubbing head* My head hurts too. The Joker had a good scene didn't he? "Jokers

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 2:30 p.m. CST

    I was gonna say that Igor Kordey draws like crap, but...

    by Shigeru

    after seeing that pic I get the feeling that he might track me down and stab me in the neck. John Byrne vs. Erik Larsen? Who could out-pissed off the other?

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 2:34 p.m. CST

    "If you take the words away from the page you have almost no ide

    by The Heathen

    Well said superhero, and isn't that the main goal of an artist? Igor Kordey DOES look like a DIE HARD villian, but Byrne's still cranky - and he has his "Legion" of fans.

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 2:35 p.m. CST

    Byrne.

    by The Heathen

    Larsen's pissy?

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 2:43 p.m. CST

    You 'n' me gon' have words, Shigeru.

    by Dave_F

    No one trash-talks Kordey while I'm on watch. But what is it you don't like about his stuff? If it's "his characters look ugly," I got no response and I recommend avoiding artists like Bill Sienkiewicz and Rich Corben, but if it's "he can't draw" then I'm going to have to give you a stern talking-to.

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 2:52 p.m. CST

    Like I said, blame Frank Miller *IC spoilers*

    by Thalya

    I'm not sure if the universe wants that, for Batman to be taken out or to be the Spectre, but the darkness seems to be working its way in through Batman. Maybe it's because Kal-L is still around instead of having his details merged in with Kal-El so there's an insufficient lightness to balance Batman's darkness.. I dunno about the cover to IC 3. It seems as if Kal-L is being extremely misguided in thinking he can offer Bruce a life he's always dreamed of (as the solicit goes). Animal Man, Booster and Joker all had good scenes (though now I'm so worried.. why use precious pagespace on Buddy unless he's gonna kick it? no..)

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 2:52 p.m. CST

    Igor Kordey draws like crap?!

    by El Vale

    Shigeru you need your eyes checked, pronto!!!

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 2:55 p.m. CST

    David F

    by Shigeru

    Aight, now I'm going to have to dig out some of those old New X-Men issues to examine them. Maybe it was the fact that he was a fill-in for Quitely, which is a tough act to follow. But I remember thinking at the time that all the characters looked kinda grotesque, like their faces were made of throw up--(okay yeah that made little to no sense). Now where did I put those ish's...

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 2:57 p.m. CST

    "You just broke my head, Thalya."

    by Thalya

    I consider that a compliment, actually, Dave. Thanks. :) And no biggie, or harshness detected. You have your bag, I have mine.

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 3:23 p.m. CST

    they better not kill animal man!

    by blackthought

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 3:23 p.m. CST

    Who was my bag?

    by El Vale

    Can't seem to find it

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 3:24 p.m. CST

    by El Vale

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 3:25 p.m. CST

    I think Kordey was the perfect way to follow Quitely

    by El Vale

    They would've pulled it off had they not given Kordey every other comic in the Marvel U to draw. Those first Kordey NXM issues were incredible, says i.

  • I'll still stand by the underlying draftsmanship in 'em, but they were definitely hurried. Can't pin all of that on Kordey, though. He was called in to pinch hit for the series' many slow artists. Do a Google image search on him, though, for a broader perspective than that one high profile project. NEW X-MEN wasn't his strongest work, but unfortunately it was his most high profile outing so he's been profiled with it. His recent work on SMOKE was particularly nice, even though I wasn't so much into the story.

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 3:58 p.m. CST

    If Booster shall pass

    by The Heathen

    A tear from my eye I will wipe. I think his scene had particular impact. He seems like he's the only one that's really trying to fix things you know? Everything's gone ape-shit here, my best friend was murdered and nobody would help me out until after he was dead, the JLA is disbanded and the big three are spread way too thin

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 4:30 p.m. CST

    Gold Bond

    by hamgravy

    Booster saves the day and shines a light on the shadows of the DCU but when he returns to the future he's condemned to live in The Day's of Future Past.

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 4:36 p.m. CST

    That was deep...

    by Thalya

  • Isn't that too much? I hope it's not the case, it'd be unintentionally hilarious.

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 5:43 p.m. CST

    DC Cancellation Tally

    by hamgravy

    Books for February are up and a number of titles are being weeded out. Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Gotham Central, and Batman:Gotham Nights are all last issues. Plus, Superman2 takes the lead in 3 Superman books and this is also rumored to be the last issue of JLA. And Marvel could have gutted the X-Books but added 57 more (plus one more Spidey).

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 6:33 p.m. CST

    Gotham Central gone?????? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    by superhero

    That sucks! UGH!

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 6:48 p.m. CST

    A round of applause for Superhero

    by El Vale

    I love it when someone stretches the talkback.

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 7:12 p.m. CST

    Anytime Vale...glad to oblige...

    by superhero

    Oooops...didn't mean to...doesn't look that stretched out to me...

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 7:38 p.m. CST

    hey guys

    by Darth Kal-El

    great posts! as most mondays its crazy busy here so i will have to coment more later!***i felt like ic 2 shed a lot more light for people like me who are not that familiar with dc or the previous crisis***good breakdown thalya and it sounds acurate***id take todd mcfarlane to back me in a street fight. he looks like a pussy but every time ive seen him at a con hes rolling with these huge bodyguard types as if he was a real celebrity.so id take him for his hired muscle.***cant wait for this weeks lost!

  • Nov. 14, 2005, 8:44 p.m. CST

    hamgravy...

    by Thalya

    You missed one actually, 'cause it wasn't even on the lineup: there is no Flash in February. As for those other cancellations, anyone think they're gearing up for a magic-wasteland Gotham to be patrolled by the Bat-Spectre? And why are the villains centered there too? Why is Gotham being such a central location in this?

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 5:15 a.m. CST

    Thalya...

    by buster00

    My money is still on crooked Gotham cop Jim Corrigan to become The Spectre (like his 1940's namesake), unless I end up with a face full of red herring. As to exactly WHY Gotham is the scene for this subplot, who can say? Maybe they have a kick-ass mall.

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 7:48 a.m. CST

    Wally West R.I.P.

    by hamgravy

    Good catch Lady C. I never really read Flash, and I think it's a red herring, but it raise a question. Following two definitive runs, discussed a few talkbacks ago, do Flash fans mind if Wally hangs up the suit and raises his kids? I don't think he should be killed cause that's just cheap. But a lot of what's wrong over at Marvel is the overexposure of its characters and years of baggage and here's a chance to recognize that a character's story has been told and that the mantle can be passed on. I know that's tied to being a Flash in particular since it has never stuck with any other character, except maybe Robin. Also, my DC knowledge is pretty weak, is the new Supergirl the one from the original IC? How was she re-born or is this another super-cousin?

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 9:01 a.m. CST

    Paul Pope's Year 100

    by Gus Nukem

    Fuck, yeah! - PS Any news on the next volume of the League: 'The Black Dossier' ? When will it be released? Anyone? - PPS What happened to the TB's height?

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 9:12 a.m. CST

    Save Wally! Save Booster!

    by Thalya

    I think people would be very accepting if Wally retired. DiDio at the Crisis Counselling panels has been laying it on real thick about how "it isn't a Crisis without a Flash [dying]", so just so long as Wally lives, and might even get a bit of a happy ending, people will be satisfied. My theory is Wally might surpass Barry thanks to some urgings of Zoom and 1) save Barry from dying or 2) use his vibrational abilities to separate Earth-1 and Earth-2. About Supergirl, she's Kara Zor-El but still wondering about the circumstances surrounding her arrival (which, this time, mirrors Power Girl's arrival to a T). Also, Power Girl says she senses a 'darkness' in Kara. Answers will most likely be forthcoming in her title (which I think will actually get cancelled after February's issue, unless it switches to a Power Girl title).

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 10:23 a.m. CST

    all crazy theories, and all may be true

    by The Heathen

    My opinions? a) Wally won't die, but he might not be around either. b) Something will happen to Bruce, I'm leaning more & more towards him being Spectre (Thalya was right about his positioning being the same as the Spectre's in that one panel, and where was Supes in the left one?) and Gotham certainly feels like it's going to be full of ghosts and goblins. c) Wonder Woman - dead. Replacemnt - Donna Troy. Or something like that. The only thing I can think of that would prevent something from happening to Dianna is that a Mr. Joss Whedon is getting ready to make her first feature film and DC may not wan't to confuse any new readers, but then again, if people can keep up with the current stuff, then they might just off her. Btw, Serenity comes out Dec. 20th. Not even three months after it's release. d) Booster lives

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 12:14 p.m. CST

    Sideshow & Ham Gravy Are Right.

    by Buzz Maverik

    While I personally stayed away from X-FACTOR because of its' inception (the first time I realized that the guys making the comics were no smarter than my friends)I have no doubts that the Simonsons did their usual superior work. They weren't the ones that de-aged Ice Man. It was Claremont, in the last X-book I'll probably ever read, which was that series he launched just before he got fired the first time. An out of character Kitty was making cracks about "Drake's sheets" when a few years earlier, we'd seen Bobby portrayed as a fairly realistic college senior. Ah, Chris, you should have moved on more than half a decade earlier. And Ham is right about the characters becoming game pieces which is actually a good argument for reducing the number of mutants in the Marvel Universe. There should be canon, the untouchables, which ought to at least include the original X-Men. Everyone is going to have their favorites, so where do you draw the line? I know where I'd draw it, but someone might have fond memories of stories that came after that point. Which is a good argument against revamps. It's like Dave F. and I have discussed: they should keep ALL the shit and just ignore what they want to so that someone else can use it without a pain in the ass later.

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 12:14 p.m. CST

    No way in heck Bruce stops being the Bat.

    by Shigeru

    Ain't gonna happen my friends. Actually I think the Big 3 are safe. Nightwing getting offed and Tim taking over that mantle? Maybe. DiDio has been joking around about Flash being dead for so long no way it could be Wally. Maybe Jay Garrick bites it. Kid Flash or Impulse or whatever isn't ready to take the mantle yet...(or he would have been getting lots more page time). Anyone else see the cover to IC #5? I believe newsarama has it. Earth-2 Supes is definitely wonky-crazy...his is NOT the right path. Whee this is fun.

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Way, especially if Gotham becomes a porthole to heck..

    by Thalya

    DiDio, if I remember correctly, also said something to the effect of, at the WW Chicago Crisis Counseling panel, "Who here actually thinks we'd kill off Batman?" (granted, my hand was the only one that shot up, but..). I wish I could remember the semantics on that exactly.. *** And anyone else think that the trajectory for the IC mini means that we're going to get major climaxes in #5 and #7, but the denouement will have to wait for 52? I have a feeling the same complaints about IDC might be made here..

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 12:47 p.m. CST

    Who's Bart Allen?

    by El Vale

    Or is that a typo and it should be Barry?

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 1:14 p.m. CST

    Bart Allen=Impulse.

    by SleazyG.

    He's from the future, dontcha know.

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 1:40 p.m. CST

    Thanks Sleazy

    by El Vale

    I won't tell you who he becomes, but here's a hint: Not slow.

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 1:43 p.m. CST

    sorry Darlin,

    by Shigeru

    I'm stickin to my guns. Yeah it's kind of an interesting concept, but it ends there. We've already debated on this here board the finer aspects of why The Bat-Man is most symbolic when Bruce wears the outfit. But let me tell ya, if one of the big 3 dies, they will be back within months. We can all agree on that right? And I really think Geoff Johns has more planned than a meaningless "Death of Super(Bat)man" story that is just going to be rendered void and null in a half year's time. That and the fact that all 3 of the Trinity have major movies coming out and immense licensing deals. Even if Geoff and Dan D wanted to off Bruce for good, no way in HELL a Time Warner Exec would okay it. And trust me, they have say in these things.

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 1:44 p.m. CST

    It's the mojo risin'..

    by Thalya

    Heathen, I think I'm with you on Diana dying (though she's done it before, and she is made of clay, after all). Whoever snaps an enemy's neck pre-Crisis must get offed, it's cosmic justice (Barry and Professor Zoom, much?)? Selina as Batwoman? How tragically romantic would that be if Bats was Specs?

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 1:54 p.m. CST

    This could be a fun back and forth, Shigeru..

    by Thalya

    I'm stickin' to mine as well. I have no idea how it would end up, but Bruce would definitely be back before long (just before the Batman Begins sequel at latest), I do agree. But Bruce the character has some big issues he needs to work out and the Spectre is the best device the universe has to offer him to do just that. Besides, why do you think Bats has got this feud going with former Spectre Hal Jordan (that apparently climaxes in February's GL, no less)?

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 2:44 p.m. CST

    Tragically Romantic

    by The Heathen

    That would be Thalya, but I don't think itt will happen. It sure is tragically romantic though. Shigeru, I gotta go with Lady C. on this one, but don't worry, Bruce as Batman will be back probably before 2008 for the sequel to Begins. The main reasons: The not too subtle artistic "hints" in IC #1 & #2. Bat-singal on chest, Spectre and Bruce sharing the same spot on different Earths. Gotham as magic-central = Bruce as Spectre. And then there's Bruce in GL in February as Thalya said. Btw, where is the new issue of GL? If Nightwing doesn't take over for Bruce, or dies, what if someone else took over? Perhaps Jason Todd? Nah, it'll be Nightwing as the "fill in" Batman. And I think Jay Garrick will bite it.

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 2:50 p.m. CST

    You're both out of your effing tits.

    by Shigeru

    But I do really like the idea of Selina as Batwoman!

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 2:53 p.m. CST

    Walking Dead #23 (to break up the Cogtable of IC #2)

    by The Heathen

    I read it in literally 10 minutes (with my usual inspection of the art) I even counted the pages to make sure they were all there. Yep, 22 of 'em. Not a zombie even scene this issue and only a few "scene" last issue. BUT, it still was compelling and I can't wait until the you know what appears in the next few issues. And thank the maker the letters pages were cut down (still too much) to get the issue out. I'd gladly take not having to read the letters pages in order to get the issues quicker. Brutal fight though and Rick really has changed over these 23 issues hasn't he, haven't all of them?

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 2:53 p.m. CST

    i must say, i do love the crisis talk...

    by blackthought

    and heathen, that JLU episode was really stellar with booster gold and also uped my appreciation for the character and they better not whack him seeing how like the rest have said he's the only one trying to do anything right now...and good god, no one kills wally west...haven't we killed enough flashes yet? i don't think bart is ready for the mantle yet either though wally retiring to raise them kids would be nice...and the whole batman as spectre...big red herring? or big clues? and diana dying? don't know...who's the definate woman for bruce bats? catwoman? talia? wonder woman? katie holmes?

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 3:02 p.m. CST

    What if Batwoman replaced Batman?

    by Thalya

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 3:03 p.m. CST

    Bats 'n' Cats 4eva!

    by Thalya

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 3:04 p.m. CST

    which episode of JLU?

    by Darth Kal-El

    i keep looking for the show so i can tivo it and have not been able to find it! when does JLU come on?

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 3:16 p.m. CST

    darth...

    by blackthought

    the episode was "the greatest story never told" i believe...and JLU hasn't been on in a while...it came back and they aired two episodes back to back like for a good month and vanish to whatver crap they show on CN now...i miss the show...it's the closest i get to the BTAS. and yeah...selina kyle and bruce seem quite a pair but there's competition between the women of wonders and his well one time wife talia al ghul and can never forget silver st. cloud of sliver rover something something...

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 3:26 p.m. CST

    oh and darth...

    by blackthought

    they really should collect that show in proper season boxes instead of the crap 3 episode release here or there with nary a care...oh rhymes...of order...

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 3:44 p.m. CST

    Anybody read the incredibly bitter interview w/Devin Grayson ove

    by SleazyG.

    She didn't even bother hiding her contempt for IC. I can understand her frustration, but she could've handled it a bit more diplomatically. Good luck finding a new day job, Dev--you just polluted the DC pool, and Marvel never gave you much work anyway.

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 3:55 p.m. CST

    Acan't find a single Devin Grayson article @ Newsarama

    by El Vale

    Got a link there Sleazy?

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 4:08 p.m. CST

    Last Sith of Krypton

    by The Heathen

    THANK YOU. Kal-El, I did the whole customer courtesy thing today and it saved my ass. Thanks again buddy. Naruto is the stupid show that is airing instead of JLU. Iknow this because I had JLU set up for a weekly timer and every time it goes to "Naruto" or "Super, Monkey, Robot, Force, Team, Go" (and I'm not even kidding about that title. Then there's "Bo, Bo, BoBoBo ~ something or other" Bring back the Justice League! The season with the Legion of Doom! Ahh! And proper box-sets are a must. Adios D. Grayson!

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 4:12 p.m. CST

    oh god...bo bo bobobobob is god awful

    by blackthought

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 4:36 p.m. CST

    Walking Dead

    by hamgravy

    My girl and I read the first trade based on a lot of positive feedback but, even as zombie fans, we weren't overly impressed. The plot was zombie 101 with some convenient family melodrama thrown in. It did show promise in a number of sequences (zombies in the rain and son with a gun) and the impression I'm getting is that the subsequent trades are better. Is true?

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 4:51 p.m. CST

    Scrooge McDuck et al

    by hamgravy

    Arguably one of the most popular comic characters in the world, still really big in Europe, over 500 issues strong, AND he essentially is unchanged in the course of his entire run. When done right, he's also accessible to kids and adults. That Don Rosa Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck trade more recently mined all of the richness from the stories behind stories that go into the making of the icon but without diluting him. It doesn't do the numbers of an X-Men but it's a good example of not messing with source material to tell a good story.

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 5:30 p.m. CST

    "She didn't even bother hiding her contempt for IC."

    by Dave_F

    *Applause* Sorry, but that's the kind of unprofessionalism I can get into. Tired of all the work-for-hires toeing the company line on destructive, wrong-headed turns with beloved characters, and even if it's writers I don't care for calling 'em out (sorry, Devin), I gotta give 'em respect for standing up. And, yes, I know if Devin had her way, Bruce and Dick would be giving each other a lot more massages, but "the enemy of my enemy is my friend", y'know? So at least for today, I give a mighty thumbs-up to Devin Grayson. Hey, Sleazy, make with the linky-link so I can confirm my solidarity.

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 5:42 p.m. CST

    Oops...Devin Grayson wasn't at Newsarama.

    by SleazyG.

    It was at comicbookresources, and can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/98gh7

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 5:45 p.m. CST

    Dave, it weren't no Newsarama...

    by El Vale

    It was a CBR article. here's the link: http://tinyurl.com/98gh7

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 5:48 p.m. CST

    The enemy of your enemy isn't your friend.

    by SleazyG.

    One of the most trite, overused and inaccurate concepts out there. Two ex-husbands of the same wife, for example, may both hate her--but that doesn't mean they don't wanna pound each others' heads in. Or, to totally dork out, Black Mask and The Joker may hate each other, but Bats ain't goin' bowlin' with either one any time soon. Which is the long way 'round saying "Just because a shitty writer is upset that the fans hated her on a title doesn't mean she gets to shift the blame to a company-wide crossover". Fans of the book have wanted to her off NIGHTWING for at least a year, and I don't recall hearing any vocal defenders along the way. Seems likely that's the *real* reason she's not getting to do what she wanted: it wasn't working and nobody liked it. Helena tries to infiltrate the mob in BOP? Sure, you betcha--she belongs to one of the crime families. Dick Grayson, mobster? And working for Deathstroke even after he impersonated Batman to the Outsiders? I gotta call bullshit on that. Much like Rick Veitch's train-wreck of a year relaunching AQUAMAN, I gotta say: just cuz the writer planned a huge, overarching storyline doesn't mean it's any good, and if it's not DC needs to take action to get things back on track.

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 6:03 p.m. CST

    Devin did suck on Nightwing...that's why I dropped the book.

    by superhero

    But kudos to her for speaking her mind and not just towing the company line...

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 6:07 p.m. CST

    All I Know About Devin G. Is Her GHOST RIDER Mini Was Puke Awful

    by Buzz Maverik

    Okay, Devin. I understand you've never seen a Ghost Rider comic before. And Joe, you may have looked at a Ghost Rider comic, but you certainly never read one with Johnny Blaze. Here's the problem: I have. It was in those days when we were supposed to pretend that we'd never seen these characters before (SILVER SURFER) so these creative geniuses could create them. It may have been before the @$$hole thing because I would have crucified it, it was so bad. But not long ago, I reviewed the first issue of her Wildstorm series THE MATADOR and kinda liked it, though. But like Dave said, good for her for stickin' it to the man.

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 6:13 p.m. CST

    thanks for the info blackthought

    by Darth Kal-El

    yeah i miss jlu on saturday afternoons and i too have been getting naruto or other crap instead.and yes a box set is a must! i got a disk through my blockbuster online that has the episode u mentioned! im going to check it out tonight.i just saw one and it was the superman's bday with mongul one which i loved. they really need to either bring it back to CN or give us better box sets.***im glad that worked heathen! and the truth is its called a one time courtesy waive but if u did it every other month they would most likely do it for u.just ask for a supervisor!

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 6:30 p.m. CST

    Oh, Sleazy, you literalist.

    by Dave_F

    I'd have thought evoking an adage so melodramatic as the "enemy of my enemy" would've told you I'm not some rabid Grayson devotee! Geez Louise. No, it actually goes a little something like this: I'm on the losing side in my distaste for DC's current direction. Like, WAY on the losing side. Like, I'm Hiroshima and I think I maybe see a big bird or something circling overhead. So call it petty, but I'm interested in just about anyone willing to take their shots at my enemy. Don't really care about their talent, their motives, whatever. The characters and stories are, of course, bigger than ANY writer in the grand scheme of things, so what do I care if it's a crap writer calling DC out? At least it's fucking *someone* with a little more clout than a fan. Seems like Giffen almost did the same, but then he backed down. Big disappointment, because based on interviews I've read with him in the past, I don't buy his sudden reconcilliation with DC at all. He was right to be pissed about IDENTITY CRISIS and everything being done to characters he developed in the '80s, but let's face it: the man got bought off. DC put him back on the payroll, ironically as one of the masterminds of the *fallout* of abusing his characters. Ah, it's a thing of beauty in its ugliness! What I wouldn't give for Kurt Busiek to pipe up as a voice of opposition in all this, but alas, Kurt's always been a good team player and I need me some cranky bastards.

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 6:32 p.m. CST

    On a brighter note...ALL-STAR SUPERMAN hits tomorrow.

    by Dave_F

    A lot of my waning interest in DC rests on this book. Here's hopin' Grant and Frank come through better than Frank and Jim did.

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 9:08 p.m. CST

    Hey Dave..

    by Thalya

    How sure are you that you're not being played by the hype out there? I'm at least 50% sure that Blue Beetle's coming back.

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 10:35 p.m. CST

    So if Blue Beetle's coming back...

    by El Vale

    Why did he get shot in the head (gruesomely) on panel? Maybe it was the sock factor, but not really.

  • =)

  • Nov. 15, 2005, 11:29 p.m. CST

    hmmmm....

    by blackthought

  • Nov. 16, 2005, 12:09 a.m. CST

    I think it's going to be another Blue Beetle...meaning NOT T

    by superhero

    I think I'd heard the new Blue Beetle was going to be female...

  • Nov. 16, 2005, 12:25 a.m. CST

    Wait, Dave...you didn't read an advance copy of ALL-STAR SUP

    by SleazyG.

    Cuz I read mine yesterday, and it's definitely waaay better than AB&R. 8p

  • Nov. 16, 2005, 12:30 a.m. CST

    Ted Kord is dead and not coming back.

    by SleazyG.

    When they've wanted to string us along, they've said "hmm...well, ya know, Flash might..." or "yeah, what about that?" What they've been quite clear about, however, is who can or can't come back. They've stated unequivocally that while Blue Beetle may return, Ted Kord won't. He wasn't the first BB, and the return of the old BB's mystical amulet makes it clear there will be another BB. Who will it be? Who knows. Not Ted, though. I'm hoping it'll be somebody completely new, not an existing character, but I still think it'd be funny if Booster Gold became Booster Blue, retaining his old personality and traits and adding a bunch of new ones.

  • Nov. 16, 2005, 3:26 a.m. CST

    Sleazy, you bastard. Who's your connection?

    by Dave_F

    You got DC sending you black-and-whites or is your local comic shop hookin' you up? I got that latter thing goin' on, but only just got my hands on ALL-STAR SUPES. What shop gets 'em before Tuesday? Anyway, the verdict on ALL-STAR SUPES, and I hesitate to pronounce one because I usually need to revisit a Morrison book beyond the initial reading to make a full judgement, but the verdict is..."eh." It's not the miracle cure I was hoping for, that's for sure, so maybe it's a final sign to cut my ties with the capes 'n' cowls. I'm trying to think of a single superhero book going right now that's really got me hooked, and I'm coming up empty. Former stalwart RUNAWAYS has been losing my attention, GREEN LANTERN is good, but not vital, and I think YOUNG AVENGERS just lost me too. And it's not like I haven't noticed this trend before, but right now is maybe the first time I've realized there's not a single superhero book attracting me right now - this in spite of the fact that I know full well I still got love for the genre. I never wanted to become one of those people that only looks to the past for superhero goodness (you know, like Buzz), but I think that's my course. Kind of a bummer, but not overly much.

  • Nov. 16, 2005, 9:28 a.m. CST

    dave...

    by blackthought

    not even invincible can keep you with capes? and nice new column by the way...giving gotham central the pub it deserves...i'll dearly miss that series since it's getting the arrested developement treatment...sighs. and another new column plus...posted on a wednesday morning...the stars must be aligned properly or it might be the end of the world to have a column posted so efficiently early.

  • Nov. 16, 2005, 12:55 p.m. CST

    OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!! Blackthought!

    by El Vale

    Australia beat Uruguay and eliminated them!!! THIS IS THE BEST DAY EVER...i'm gonna go cry tears of joy. I heart Australia :D

  • Nov. 16, 2005, 6:55 p.m. CST

    Not even INVINCIBLE =(

    by Dave_F

    I started to waver with the Big Reveal about Invincible's dad, and I never really got drawn back into the fold afterward. ***** Also: GO AUSTRALIA! SUCK IT, URUGUAY! (I got no effin' clue what I'm talking about)

  • Nov. 16, 2005, 8:10 p.m. CST

    i'm with you there vale...

    by blackthought

    i was totally rooting for the aussies and they pulled it out after the uruguayin's were all cocky and tried to screw them by getting FIFA the kick off times too...go aussies...and the swiss are in too and after the game with the turks there was a nice brawl...still sad we didn't make it thought vale. i'll forgive your cynicism dave cuz you love scrooge mcduck and thats good enough for me.

  • Nov. 18, 2005, 3:32 p.m. CST

    I'm here with you Vale and blackthought

    by Gus Nukem

    and not to mention LAST! :p

  • Nov. 18, 2005, 5:28 p.m. CST

    welcome back...

    by blackthought

    and LAST!

  • Dec. 1, 2005, 11:14 p.m. CST

    Dad?

    by buster00

  • Dec. 3, 2005, 12:10 p.m. CST

    by blackthought