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AICN COMICS REVIEWS THE EXTERMINATORS! IRON MAN! BIG EYES FOR THE CAPE GUY! AND MORE!

#33 1/5/06 #4

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

THE EXTERMINATORS #1
AVENGERS: THE SERPENT CROWN TPB
DETECTIVE COMICS #815
TEEN TITANS #31
IRON MAN #5 & IRON MAN: THE INEVITABLE #1
Big Eyes for the Cape Guy presents…
Indie Jones presents…
CHEAP SHOTS!

THE EXTERMINATORS #1

Writer: Simon Oliver
Art: Tony Moore
Publisher: Vertigo DC Comics
Reviewer: Ambush Bug



Man, there’s been a slew of new Vertigo ongoings being released lately. Every week this month, I seem to stumble into one “new and edgy” concept after another over in the Vertigo section of my comic store. I’ve bought all of these number one issues to take a taste. I want to see if they can produce something as special as PREACHER and SANDMAN or as innovative as Y: THE LAST MAN or FABLES, or even as entertaining as HUMAN TARGET or THE LOSERS.

DMZ was first on my pick-up list and while I can understand why a concept focusing on the division of politics and beliefs set in a war torn America would be a timely topic for an ongoing, the first issue failed to grab me. I’m sticking with this one for a few more issues to see how the story turns out, but this definitely wasn’t the one that was going to blow my socks off.

Next was LOVELESS. Now, I’m an @$$-hole, not an Azz-head. So while I can understand the appeal of the uber-violent/ ultra-gritty Azz’s books, I have yet to read one that has compelled me. To me, I feel a disconnectedness in his stories. There’s an awful lot of contempt and anger in there and it’s proven to be a place where I just don’t feel like being. The stories I have read focus on very ugly concepts and I haven’t found them to be entertaining. As with DMZ, I have decided to read the first arc and then make my decision, but as of right now, with a few issues under its belt, LOVELESS doesn’t look to be on my pull list for very long.

TESTAMENT was next on the list and again, while I can understand that a modern retelling of biblical tales set against the backdrop of social consciousness and peppered with a dash of conspiracy thrown in for good measure may be appealing, I found the delivery to be dry and too heady. Kind of like Grant Morrison’s stuff without the accessible superheroes to draw you in. Again, not the Vertigo book for me.

Up until last week, I thought this new helping of number ones was going to be completely dissatisfying. Sure, the talent and quality that has been associated with Vertigo was there, it’s just that none of these new books were able to grab me by the throat and balls the way a LOSERS or a Y: THE LAST MAN or a PREACHER did from issue one. That is, until I read THE EXTERMINATORS #1.

THE EXTERMINATORS #1 follows a young man new to the exterminator business as he learns just how important the job really is to the delicately balanced war between man and nature. Issue one starts out with Henry James acting as the fresh set of eyes in this struggle. He’s newly out of prison and just landed a gig at an exterminator company called Big-Bee-Gone Co. At first, you get the feeling that these are just a bunch of guys who take their job way too seriously. We’ve all seen these types of people. They make their job out to be so important that without them doing what they do, the world would stop spinning. The thing is, as this story progresses, what first seems to be delusions of grandeur soon turns into something far more dire and real. Turns out that this ragtag group of exterminators may be humanity’s last hope.

What I liked about this issue is that I had no idea where it was going or what it was about. Whereas books like DMZ or TESTAMENT or even LOVELESS are so firmly planted in their respective genres and seem to adhere and/or twist the conventions that go with such a genre (even though I’m sure these books will push the boundaries of these conventions as most Vertigo books often do), THE EMTERMINATORS doesn’t have a specific genre that it falls into so easily. With every turn of the page, I had no idea where this story was going. Hell, if the lead would have lifted his hat revealing that he was actually a man-sized cockroach, I wouldn’t have been surprised. The sheer uncategorizable quality of this book immediately rockets this read far above the rest of other books on the shelves.

Adding to the quality of this book is Tony Moore’s amazing art. Some of you may remember Moore’s work on THE WALKING DEAD. Others won’t. But once you see this artist’s talented line work and expressive characters, you won’t forget him. Moore’s work has even improved since his TWD day, with his expansive use of “camera angles” and clever transitions from one panel to the next. And with the amazingly iconic cover image from trippy VIMANARAMA artist Philip Bond, this book has top notch artwork all around.

At the end of the day, I’m just looking for something I haven’t read before. And Vertigo is usually the place to find it. Even though some of these new Vertigo books may have their faults, they are still above and beyond most of the bland stuff on the market today. But THE EXTERMINATORS #1 blew me away and it just may be the only one of Vertigo’s new ongoings that survives the cut to my pull list. Jump onto this book now. Don’t wait for the trade. I think you’ll be as surprised as I was.


AVENGERS: THE SERPENT CROWN tpb

Written by Steve Englehart
Art by George Perez
Published by Marvel
Reviewed by Buzz Maverik



Let's start with a discussion topic for the talkbacks. Which comic story (we don't use the term "story arc" here in reviews by Buzz Maverik) or graphic novel do you feel the need to share with receptive parties? And why?

Most fans, when proselytizing, trot out the high brow stuff. Usually MAUS and WATCHMEN, things that transcend their medium, that would be powerful works no matter how they were presented. Excellent choices, recommended reads!

Fanboys used to wave THE DARK KNIGHT in non-fan faces. Usually, the non-fans were polite and frightened but the bolder ones would say enthusiastic things like, "Oh, yeah, Batman."

KINGDOM COME was another one like that. I've heard non-fans say, "Hmm. I used to watch SUPER FRIENDS when I was a kid. Neat art. I'm calling the police now."

I'm usually against forcing comics on people unless I'm already stoned because I hate missionaries. Even their position is boring. Missionaries deserve to have their heads on poles outside the hut of the tribal chief, whom in pulp fiction always turned out to be some Maverikian white guy who delved too deeply into the barbarous lands and conquered his own little kingdom.

If, like myself, you are a geek (and you're mostly straight), you've probably tried to get girls to read comics because what could be better than a comic reading girl? Well, a comic reading girl who's a beer spokesmodel and gets all the free brew you can guzzle. But that's just silly. You're lucky enough to get a girl when you're...you know, you're you. What do you do? You give her all your favorite comics to read. Do you like not getting laid or something?

"But, Buzz, I gave my girlfriend THE SANDMAN : SLEEPY SEEDS & MOUTH DROOL and she loves it. She asked me to get her THE SANDMAN: NIGHT TERRORS & STICKY SHEETS. And she goes into the comic shop with me!" you say.

Well, bubbe, she likes you. For the time being. I was on the other side of this, in one of those THREE'S COMPANY situations. I'm a closeted geek, as most geeks my age are and always have been because we know better. I had this job in a cubicle which meant that I collected a salary while writing screenplays at my desk and having the secretaries of agents and producers hang up on me for eight hours each day (I'm not sure what the hell I was supposed to be doing). A hot chick worked in the cubicle across from me. Instead of doing whatever she was supposed to be doing all day, she complained to me about her horrible boyfriend. He was into comics. He gave her THE DARK FUCKING KNIGHT for her birthday. He would read comics in bed after sex! He sent her action figures holding flowers. But he was a rich guy and as soon as she could find another rich guy...I realized he was a buddy of mine from the local comic shop. Cool guy. Spent hundreds on comics each Wednesday but would pay for beer when we geeks hit the bar down the street to talk comics. (In case yer wondering, my buddy the rich geek dumped her for an even hotter chick! Hooray! The good guys win for a change!).

The moral is: unless you're rich, you should only share your favorite comics with the truly receptive.

I'm not rich, and none of you are truly receptive but the recent tpb AVENGERS: THE SERPENT CROWN collects one of my all time favorite comic book stories. Released in 1975 and 1976, these stories feature some early Marvel art by George Perez. Mr. Perez knew how to guide our eyes, knew what to make us look at! He eschewed backgrounds but put the characters right in our faces. His figures are about half-realistic and half-stylized, which seems to work in superhero comics because they are half-exciting and half-relaxing to behold.

The story by Mr. Englehart was steeped in Marvel continuity, but we're helped along by flashbacks and editorial notes. There was a lot less continuity to deal with in those days, but these kind of stories made you want to read the earlier books, to know what had gone on. They lack pretense at realism, but I find them like real life in that events lead to further events. There's a sense of progression.

Avenger's plebe, the Beast, is attacked by an army of mercs, stemming from events in his 1972 series AMAZING ADVENTURES. Captain America is tailing the mercs for their misdeeds in his book. The mercs are a private army belonging to Marvel corporate baddies Roxxon Oil and the Beast's former employer the Brand Corporation (Englehart's sly take on real life think tank the RAND Corporation). In earlier issues of CAPTAIN AMERICA & THE FALCON, Roxxon president Hugh Jones had been captured by Krang and the Serpent Society and forced to wear the Lovecraftian Serpent Crown, which controlled his mind. He was saved by a ...uh, friend of Cap's called Nomad. But Jones remained a disciple of the Crown, simultaneously repaying Cap for help with information, while using Cap to eliminate competition from the Red Skull.

While the Beast worked at Brand, he mutated himself into the blue and furry hairball we know and love today (originally, he was black and furry but Marvel changed that after a few poor selling issues). Disoriented, he collapsed on the doorstep of his boss, schnook Buzz Baxter. Buzz' wife Patsy once had her own Marvel teen romance comic PATSY WALKER COMICS. She was obsessed with becoming a super heroine and agreed to keep Hank McCoy's secret if he would help her attain her goal.

As the Beast and Cap prepare to lead the Avengers against Brand/Roxxon, Patsy shows up. Hank decides to take her on the mission, as a ride along, to scare her straight. Too bad that Crown wearers from all the alternate universes are connected, and counter-Earth US President Nelson Rockefeller sends the Squadron Supreme to help out Jones. The Avengers are captured and imprisoned in a cage created by Dr. Spectrum.

Meanwhile, a few issues are devoted to Thor, Hawkeye and Avenger-recruit Moondragon in the Old West, teaming up with Marvel's gunslinger heroes to finally put a stop to Kang's crazy schemes. Alternate-Kang, Immortus, does the job for them.

Back at Brand, the Avengers escape. They find a super-suit that will give the woman wearing it the powers of MIA Marvel heroine, the Cat. Patsy dons the duds and becomes the Hellcat. Cap figured they needed her help against the Squadron. Yeah, if he and Iron Man and the Scarlet Witch and the Vision and the Beast got their asses kicked, Hellcat should be just the thing against Hyperion, Dr. Spectrum, the Whizzer, Lady Lark and the Golden Archer. Jones zaps them all the Squadron's Earth, where Wanda steals the Serpent Crown from President Rockefeller.

Poor Wanda. Even then, her mind was being screwed with. The Crown makes her crazy. The Vision has to track her down alone and ends up squared off against the Squadron (he kicks Hyperion's ass!). The Beast gives the Squadron a good talking to, gets them to reexamine their lives, etc. Problems still await the Avengers on the Brand end of the portal, but fortunately, Thor and Moondragon are back in the 1970s.

Suggested music: since these are '70s AVENGERS comics put on Led Zeppelin. I'm talking LZ I; II; III; ZOSO; PHYSICAL GRAFFITI, PRESENCE, HOUSES OF THE HOLY, and IN THRU THE OUT DOOR.


DETECTIVE COMICS #815

Writer: Shane McCarthy
Art: Cliff Chiang
Publisher: DC Comics
Reviewer: Ambush Bug



Because of all of the Hush and Red Hood and multi-mega-crossover crap that goes on between the Batman titles, it’s hard for me to review just one issue of a Batman comic without going into a rant focusing on what’s wrong with all of the Batman comics today. But when a comic like DETECTIVE COMICS #815 comes along and does things so right, I have to say something about it.

You see, I absolutely hated the previous arc that ran through DETECTIVE COMICS for the last year. David Lapham’s “City of Crime” had me at hello with an intriguing literary take on the city of Gotham and its dark inhabitants, but lost me just as quickly with the introduction of an ambiguous villain, a loosely threaded plot, and endless panels of monotony. When this arc came to a close last month, I gave a sigh of relief for the passing of an arc that clung to life waaay too long.

After reading the next issue blurb of issue #814, I immediately became excited for three reasons. One: because it was the beginning of a new arc. Two: because this arc promised to be simply two issues long. And most importantly, three: that this arc would focus on one of the most intriguing members of Batman’s rogues gallery, Mr. Zsasz.

I was first introduced to Mr. Zsasz back in SHADOW OF THE BAT #1. In that issue, he was just this crazy voice from a prison cell in Arkham. He was Batman’s Hannibal Lecter, captured and in the process of being punished for his crimes, but his story was relatively untold. It was this mystery that made me interested. Who was this guy? What made him tick? Why is Batman so disgusted with him? I soon came to find out that Zsasz was a serial killer with the demented habit of carving a tick mark into his flesh and scarring himself every time he killed someone. Not only was this a truly evil madness that afflicted this particular villain, but he was a visually frightening character as well since his body was covered in these tick marks. Since that first issue of SHADOW OF THE BAT, Zsasz has had a few stories dedicated to him, but he has yet to strike the fear and fascination in me as he did when I first laid eyes upon the character. That it, until now.

DETECTIVE COMICS #815 starts out with Bruce Wayne witnessing the stabbing of his butler Alfred by the notorious Zsasz. After this shocking first panel, we flash back to see who Zsasz is, what makes him tick, and how he escaped from Arkham. It’s the type of textbook storytelling that you have seen before (starting with a shockeroo, then backpedaling to set up how we got to that first panel), but in this day and age of drawn out stories, it’s good to see a story use this method of storytelling effectively, without seeming stale. I haven’t read any of Shane McCarthy’s work in the past, but he structures this story extremely well and keeps the ball rolling from cover to cover. This is a tightly packed issue, moving quick and leaving us with a cliffhanger that played right into Zsasz’s twisted methodology and highlights just why Batman is labeled the world’s greatest detective.

I really can’t wait for the conclusion to this story next issue. This isn’t one of those issues that needs a huge cast or a mega event crossover or any bells or whistles. It’s just solid storytelling which takes full advantage of the fact that it is an issue of a comic and not a chapter in a book or a snippet of a movie. I’m going to be keeping a close eye on this Shane McCarthy and an even closer eye on the final issue of this arc next month.


TEEN TITANS #31

Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Tony Daniel/Marlo Alquiza (TT story) & Todd Nauck/Richard Bonk (Capt. Carrot story)
Publisher: DC Comics
Reviewer: Prof. Challenger



Comics like this one just piss me off. It's not that there was anything wrong with the story itself. Basically, we have the conclusion of the fight between the Titans and Brother Blood (using his zombie Titans West) and the introduction to the series of a kind of cool "take" on the old Fawcett character Kid Eternity. We also have the conclusion of the WHATEVER HAPPENED TO CAPT. CARROT story I reviewed a few weeks back. And I know the big reveal of Alley Kat Abra as the killer of Little Cheese has basically cheesed off a bunch of us Capt. Carrot fans out here, but even that's not what pisses me off.

What pisses me off is that this comic book made it out of production and onto the stands as is. Unprofessional glitches throughout this book make me wonder why this issue was not delayed a week or two so that the fix could be put to it. The only conclusion I can come to is that either DC does not hire professional proof-readers anymore or the editorial system is content and satisfied to put out sub-standard fare with no apologies. And that is just plain unfair to the consumers who pay the $$$$ that keeps titles like this going month to month and generates ill feelings toward the publisher, which can never be good in a business like comics.

So, what am I talking about? Well, the most obvious is the fact that the cover boasts Scott Shaw! as providing the artwork for the Capt. Carrot story (as he did so brilliantly in issue 30), yet the interior art is actually done by Todd Nauck - and an apparently very rushed Todd Nauck at that. For someone like me, this is like going to a restaurant and ordering the finest filet mignon and having them bring out some meatloaf with ketchup on it and forcing me to eat it. Not that there's anything wrong with meatloaf with ketchup on it, but when you're expecting filet mignon….well…you get the drift. As a reader, I'm sitting out here pondering what's going on here. Ultimately, I wound up moseying on over to Scott Shaw's! ODDBALL COMICS discussion board to see if he could shed some light on it. Apparently some sort of production problem cropped up and HIS artwork never made it to the printer and DC must've grabbed Nauck and had him quickly knock out some replacement pages. Color me ignorant here, but in this day of digital transmission, how in the world can Shaw's! pages just be lost???? Even if the original scans disappeared, wouldn't they have some photocopies or colorist proofs or…shock…original art??? Somewhere? I just can not imagine the editorial/production ineptitude in this day and age that leads to the disappearance of 4 pages of a high-profile comic like this, and worse, that the editorial staff of probably the largest corporate comic book company would be content to allow this book to go to press with rushed second-stringer art rather than just delay the issue a few more weeks to let Shaw! work up the replacements ~ or better yet, get their collective heads out of their asses and find his frickin' artwork! Sheez! I'm pissed about this type of unprofessionalism. GAH! You'd think DC could've at LEAST run an apology on the letters page ~ oh yeah ~ "we don't do letters pages anymore." Screw you. How about a simple press release then, ya numb nuts. GUH!

Anyway, so the shock of that horridly mediocre opening page with the sledgehammer to my face screaming "NOT SCOTT SHAW! ART!", I then get to the big Kid Eternity reveal page and there's this weird little dialogue bit: "My power is opening this door. But I wasn't raised in a barn. I'd close it after I was done." To which I'm going "Huh? Maybe DukeofSpiders is right 'cause I don't have a clue." Then the very next page has a narrative balloon from Kid Eternity that says "Then one day, Chaos messed my life up again a sorcerer saying he was collecting Chaos Power killed me." Again. "Huh?" I can't tell if there's just a missing comma in there making the sentence incomprehensible or if there's actually more missing. No way to know for sure here, but it's damn annoying. I mean, we're not talking about a bunch of yokels out here chatting each other up on email, im, or message boards where incomprehensibility reigns supreme sometimes because of the lack of an edit feature *blink blink*. We're talking about comics that are supposedly completed months in advance and presumably have gone through an editor, a proofreader, and an editor again, before going to press. Jump a few pages later in the same damn comic and Brother Blood spouts off "It will all mine now." Yep. Supposed to be "It will all be mine now." But somehow this got through editorial and proofing. Come on. This isn't an indie press, this is flippin' DC Comics guys. Totally unacceptable.

What else is unacceptable is that the stupid Capt. Carrot story also reads like it's missing a page. Check this out. At the end of the third page in this installment, the remaining Zoo Crew members, plus American Eagle realize that the President knows who killed Little Cheese and they take off to pick up Alley Kat Abra so that they can take on the Government of the United Species of America. Yet the first panel of the fourth page has them just standing there announcing that Alley Kat Abra killed Little Cheese and the cops are arresting her. ???? In two issues, this was an 8-page story so there has to be a certain economy to the storytelling, but completely leaving out the entire event upon which the big reveal hinged? That was much more disappointing than the actual reveal that Alley Kat was the killer. Within the context of the storyline, I could deal with that. What I cannot deal with is the sloppy writing and editing. Even without the production problems, the dialogue was weak this time out throughout the entire issue. Conceptually, the story was top notch, but the execution was weary.

I get the feeling that Geoff Johns is, perhaps, stretched a bit too thin right now and his writing is beginning to suffer for it. I know he's writing TEEN TITANS, GREEN LANTERN, JSA, and INFINITE CRISIS and is cowriting GREEN LANTERN CORPS and 52 as we speak, not to mention he's also working as the guy trying the wrangle the whole Crisis and post-Crisis DC Universe. And that's all we KNOW he's working on. As a professional writer, he probably has a few more irons in the fire that we don't even know about. So, I'm not so down on him about this unfortunate turn of events, but I firmly believe that the editorial staff needs to step up and give the guy the support he needs and not let him go to press with an issue like this. No professional writer wants to see his name attached to a project that is full of glitches and misfires and it is the responsibility of his editor and the production team to make sure the book hits the newsstands as the best product possible. This month, they failed miserably and I'm pissed about it. Get with it, DC.


IRON MAN #5

Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Adi Granov

IRON MAN : THE INEVITABLE #1

Writer: Joe Casey
Artist: Frazer Irving
Publisher: Marvel
Reviewer: Ambush Bug



Next to Moon Knight, Hulk, and maybe Captain America, there isn’t a cooler character at Marvel in my book than Iron Man. There’s something about the flawed hero masquerading as his own bodyguard in a shining suit of red and gold armor that just exudes everything that I love about comic books. It’s just too bad that Marvel has handled this character so piss-poorly in recent years. When I heard that futurist writer Warren Ellis was taking over the regular writing duties of a new IRON MAN ongoing series, I couldn’t wait to see his whacked out version of the character, but this series has been anything but ongoing and therein lays my biggest beef with the current IRON MAN title.

You see, on November 17th, 2004, issue one of Warren Ellis and Adi Granov’s IRON MAN series was released to the public. I know this because our beloved Buzz Maverik reviewed it right here . That was over a year ago. Since then, we failed to review the second issue, but I reviewed issue #3 in April of last year and Dave cheap shat #4 in August. Now it’s January 2005, and the fifth issue of this series (which happens to be the fifth installment of the current and only story arc) is being released. Now I’m all for getting the best possible product out of an artist, but when it takes an artist over a year to finish five issues, that, my friends, is not a comic book artist. Adi Granov may make some dynamic panels with some beautifully textured images, but at this point, that’s beside the point. I don’t know what Adi Granov has going on. Maybe he’s had some personal issues, keeping him away from his work. Maybe his goldfish is sick. Or he has a hangnail. Maybe he’s having trouble taking time off of his day job. Or maybe his dog has a tendency to dine on his finished masterpieces. Whatever the case, looking at a comic that has taken 15 months to release five issues, especially one coming from the biggest comic book publisher in the world, I don’t care if the artwork gives me beer and a blowjob every time I look at it, the sheer unprofessionalism of it all is going to turn me off. But I guess this is what we’ve come to expect from Marvel, given the fact that not even its EIC can put out a book on time.

So you’d think that since this comic comes out about once every time @$$hole mascot Schleppy gets his seasonal deworming, writer Warren Ellis would pack every issue with as much goings on as he possibly can to make up for it. But no. Along with the delayed release schedule, Ellis’ storyline is trickling along about as fast as sloth snot. Thick mucusy sloth snot at that. In this issue, a “much needed” recap of the Iron Man origin is retold. The plot is advanced an inch, with Tony Stark absorbing this Extremis virus and modifying his relationship to his armor to the ultimate degree.

The thing is, Ellis is the guy to go to with all of the techno-future blab. Sure he makes these innovative advances to Tony’s armor and imaginative additions to Iron Man’s origin, but it’s just too bad he’s taking forever to do it. If this book were on time, it’d be somewhat disappointing, but what we’ve come to expect from a typical trade-paced Marvel book, but since the book is dragging in both plot and distribution, the final product is just a complete waste of all of our time.

A much better way to get some quality Iron Man time was released two weeks ago in the Joe Casey miniseries IRON MAN: THE INEVITABLE #1. Not only is this a clean cut superhero tale punctuated throughout with action and adventure, but it marks the return of not one, not two, but three classic Iron Man villains. Casey is a strong storyteller, able to grip you from page one and get the ball rolling. The art by Frazer Irving is beautifully colored and visually dynamic all at once. Irving’s use of color to add texture and space to his panels is a truly eye-popping sight to behold. This issue sets up an all out slugfest between Iron Man and three of his most deadly villains (villains that have been out of the limelight for way too long). More stuff happens in this issue than in the first five issues of Ellis’ series.

So if you’re interested in some Iron-Manning, skip his unreliable ongoing series and give the much more entertaining miniseries a shot instead. IRON MAN: THE INEVITABLE isn’t interested in changing the status quo or egotistically making its mark on the character or changing Tony Stark into something utterly unrecognizable. It’s just some straightforward adventure storytelling. And BONUS! It’s seems like it’s going to be released on time too.


LADY SNOWBLOOD

Writer: Kazuo Koike
Artist: Kazuo Kamimura
Publisher: Dark Horse
Reviewer: Dan Grendell



Overview: Volumes 1 and 2

Reviewing this manga is tough for me. I'm a huge fan of LONE WOLF & CUB and SAMURAI EXECUTIONER, two series written previously by Kazuo Koike. In fact, LONE WOLF & CUB is my favorite manga ever. So going into LADY SNOWBLOOD, I expected to enjoy it on the same level. And I just don't. The question is, why?

Was it the difference in artists? Kamimura's art is strong, more fluid and graceful than Goseki Kojima's from Koike's earlier series, but that fits well for a book with a powerful female protagonist. His panel-to-panel storytelling isn't as practiced, but it isn't bad, either. In a few cases I had trouble following what had just occurred, but it was easy to decipher on a second read. Overall, the art works well. So no, that wasn't the problem.

Was it the story? Lady Snowblood is the daughter, born in prison, of a woman horribly wronged by four people. Conceived just to bear vengeance for her mother, she carries the burden of her hatred as her reason for living and works as an assassin to pay for ways to find those people and kill them. Okay, a revenge tale carried to extremes - but then, so is LONE WOLF & CUB. That wasn't the problem either.

Ah ha! I had it. The problem was the character herself. Lady Snowblood has no redeeming features. Ogami Itto and his son bond in LONE WOLF & CUB, they help people when they can, and you can relate to their struggles somewhat. Yamada Asaemon of SAMURAI EXECUTIONER struggles to live a life by his own code of honor and still help people as he can. He's a Samurai with a capital S. Lady Snowblood, on the other hand, hurries innocent sick women along on to their deaths to get hold of the death registry, sets fires in a city made of wood to get in nice with yakuza, and forces servants to rape their mistresses so she can blackmail them later. Why do I care about her vendetta? I don't. The manga is just a series of well-drawn, intellectually-interesting assassinations.

It may seem like I have issues with LADY SNOWBLOOD because it isn't LONE WOLF & CUB or SAMURAI EXECUTIONER, but that isn't the case. It's simply that looking at Koike's earlier works helped me realize what was missing from this one. Its lines on a page, with no heart. And it kills me to say it.


PSY-COMM

Writers: Jason Henderson and Tony Salvaggio Penciler: Shane Granger
Inker: Jeremy Freeman
Publisher: Tokyopop
Reviewer: Dan Grendell



Corporate warfare- It's all in your mind

War is horrible, for any halfway-sane person. How much more horrible would it be if you could see a short time, just seconds even, into the future? Enough to save yourself and people around you. But you couldn't save everyone; someone, eventually, would slip through your protection. And the guilt would eat you up inside.

Meet Mark Leit, a Psychic Commando in a future where corporations rule and fight televised wars for ratings. Mark is a pre-cognitive haunted by the loss of his friend Raven years before. Partnered with telekinetic David Jerold, he is a superstar - until they infiltrate an enemy Psy-Comm school and he meets Snow Lucente, who reminds him of Raven and ignites in him a need to escape the war and everything it’s done to him. Problem is, Snow isn't very cooperative...

Henderson and Salvaggio have a great story on their hands here, a commentary on corporations, the media, war, and relationships, all wrapped in an interesting action manga with a driving plot and compelling characters. The artwork is also strong, particularly the military vehicles and battle armor, which are interesting but still look like they would actually see use on a battlefield. Granger and Freeman do great battlefield scenes as well, never leaving me wondering as to what was happening, though they did tend to focus more on small squad shots than larger ones, which tended to give the impressions that the battles were smaller in scope. The number of vehicles shown seemed to imply that wasn't the case. The facial expressions are done quite well; Mark has a haunted look, David a cocky smirk, and Snow an angry indignation that really brings their characters home.

Overall, I'm very impressed, and looking forward to another volume.


KEIF LLAMA: XENOTECH #2.2 & 2.3

Writer/Artist: Matt Howarth
Published by: MU Press
Reviewed by Dave Farabee



Issue 2.2

The cover you see in the thumbnail image up there…it nearly scared me off. Girl in a garish yellow jumpsuit looking like the one the Ninja Turtles’ gal-pal wore back in the ‘80s, combined with a big, sluggy thing whose alien head Freud would’ve loved. And that funky title…“Keif Llama”…what the hell is that all about? Looked like some kinda underground comix, and much as I like to think my comic tastes are diverse, my interest in the undergrounds only goes as far as my R. Crumb collection of Blues-themed stories.

Something, dunno what, compelled me to go ahead and take a look, though. And I struck gold, bay-bee! On the cusp of a malaise over the dwindling indie side of the biz, I found in KEIF LLAMA a reminder, a very happy reminder, of just how original and wonderfully crafted creator-owned books can be. I actually loved the damn thing.

And what KEIF LLAMA is is a sci-fi comic by Matt Howarth. Not “space opera,” which is what most comics purporting to be sci-fi are, but real, actual, no-laser-guns-or-evil-alien-empires sci-fi. The particulars of the series fall somewhere between hard sci-fi (emphasis on alien concepts, alien technology) and soft sci-fi (sci-fi as vehicle for exploring humanity and social issues), with a welcome emphasis on the former. Oh, and there’s a good bit of Dr. Seussian goofiness, so don’t fret that it ever gets too heavy-duty.

As for the funky title, “Keif Llama” happens to be the name of a the lead character (the gal in the yellow jumpsuit), and her profession is “xenotech.” As the text piece on the inside-front-cover explains, “In a galaxy overcrowded with alien cultures (some of them so different that communication between them is forever impossible), three things are required for these cultures to productively interact.” The first is faster-than-light propulsion technology (“It’s surprising how many of these there are,” quips the text piece). Second is a universal translator – those are available too. And third and most crucial is the ability to comprehend totally alien thought processes so as to put the first two items on the list to use. It’s extremely rare, but those like Keif Llama who have the gift are called xenotechs, and in her case she plies her skill for the galactic government known as the Confed.

Them’s the bare bones of what the book is about, but a bare-bones description hardly captures the charm of Howarth’s approach. His art in particular…well, I can’t say I’ve ever seen anything quite like it. Imagine Robert Crumb’s elaborately crosshatched visuals with the grungy, three-dimensionality dropped in favor of crisp, stark, geometric designs (still with the crosshatching!) and you’re getting there. Here’s a single panel. Howarth’s approach brings an abstraction to the proceedings that proves to be truly welcome in dealing with all the alien concepts. See, I think literalization of the strange and unusual can make them conventional – that’s my central issue with Alex Ross’s art – and so I found myself very taken with the approach to sci-fi that leaves something to the imagination. And in place of uber-detail on specifics, Howarth esoteric art creates an aura of strangeness that imbues everything. In that sense, KIEF LLAMA feels more alien than just about any sci-fi comic I’ve ever read.

Oh yeah, the story – don’t let me forget that in my giddiness over the concept!

The entry point for the book is that Keif’s job is just that to her – a job – and while she enjoys it and carries herself with good humor, she’s still got to deal with red tape and bureaucratic nonsense. Anyone can relate. In issue 2.2, the standalone issue I randomly picked up, she finds herself on a mission to “Narl’s Point,” an asteroid in the early stages of terraforming. Her partner’s a cranky, professorial alien (the phallic-headed dude from the cover), and one faster-than-light ride on an organic ship later, they’re there. Neat bit: they shuttle off from their ship a ways off from the asteroid so the asteroid’s gravity doesn’t damage the living ship’s cellular structure – cool! Their hosts are a trio of amusingly dopey, plant-based life forms who discovered an ancient base embedded in the asteroid while conducting geological surveys. Inside is a mysterious artifact they consider blasphemous, and the mystery is afoot.

“Mystery” being the operative word, because this issue is essentially an alien science procedural, though with a minimum of jargon and a nice jolt of energy from the action of the finale. My favorite moment has a group of the plant aliens panicking and spontaneously “popping” in their excitement, plant spores spraying everywhere. Inadvertent death becomes absurdly hilarious as Keif dashes from the room, holding her breath to avoid inhaling any of the alien “children.”

What a great surprise KEIF LLAMA is - serious sci-fi concepts delivered with wit and a style of bravura cartooning that honestly feels like nothing I’ve ever seen before. So far as I can see, even with a few of its darker turns, it’s still all-ages friendly. I’m hesitant to say this till I’ve read a few more issues, but y’know what? If ever I’ve read a comic that feels like the industry’s answer to the HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, this is it.

Issue 2.3

If you’re going to sample the series, I’d say the previous issue is ideal, but since 2.3 just hit this week, let’s give ‘er a quick look-see. Unlike 2.2, this is a series of short stories – mostly tongue-in-cheek and just as winning - but a better fit for someone who’s already familiar with Keif than someone just checking out her adventures for the first time. Still, you get a lot of material in its 32 pages…

The first story has Keif reluctantly trying to curry the favor of a group of xenophobic aliens at a diplomatic cocktail party. One of the aliens turns out to be suicidal for the strangest of reasons: he’s taken a drink at the party (“I have ingested non-Bunnian mass!”) and when you come from a planet that worships a set weight for its planet, that’s a major no-no. Keif wades in a with a fun solution.

The second story has Keif desperately racing through an alien landscape to find a dropped card that identifies throughout the galaxy what kind of foods she can eat safely. It has my favorite visuals of the issue and a fun musing on “rude aliens.”

Third story puts Keif in the role of negotiator between a group of plant-based planet-dwellers and the sentient plasma flows in their sun who want to tax the sunlight that sustains them. Very wry humor, as you might expect.

The last few stories feature, among other things, an alien mugging involving a gasbag creature brandishing a lizard-on-a-stick, Keif taking a bath on a long spaceflight with indeterminate gravity, and Keif musing with her girlfriend on whether guys are stranger than the aliens she interacts with.

Greart concepts, fun characters, trippy-cool artwork. I have not one bad thing to say about this series.


LIVING IN INFAMY # 1

Written by: Benjamin Raab & Deric A. Hughes
Penciled by: Greg Kirkpatrik
Published by: Ludovico Technique
Reviewer: superhero



Every once in a while there’s a comic that makes creators and fans scratch their heads and say, Damn, I wish I’d thought of that idea.

LIVING IN INFAMY is just such a book.

LIVING IN INFAMY deals with what happens when super-villains enter the witness protection program.

See? Great idea right?

Taking his lead from the final scene of the movie GOODFELLAS (even the first issue’s cover image borrows from that famous bit of cinema) writers Ben Raab and Deric A. Hughes take it to its logical next step, except that his criminals once had super powers. What we’re introduced to in the pages of this book are several individuals who once had their own bit of power but now have to live within the confines of small town Americana in a burg actually named Infamy. For the most part it seems as if most of them get by and are fully resigned to their situations but there’s enough resentment left over from the bad old days that adds some truly humorous moments to this book. The central comedic bit of this issue of LIVING IN INFAMY involves a group of ex-villains playing a game of cards and the interaction between them all is truly amusing. There’s one particular bit at the card table involving an ex-villain who appears to be host to a disembodied alien intelligence which came off as particularly funny. The great part about the scene is that no matter what amount of power they may have or have had or how much they puff their chests the scene still just comes off like a group of average joes bickering at a card table. That’s what makes this book special. It’s that these people aren’t average joes and it makes their acts of petty normalcy resonate even more than if it were just a book about, well, average joes bickering at a card table. Much in the same way that Ray Liotta made us feel at the end of GOODFELLAS that life was just never as great for him after he went into the witness protection program, the writing during this scene hit the point home that these characters are not completely enjoying having to play the part of Mr. and Mrs. Average American.

But LIVING IN INFAMY goes beyond just being a gimmick book in that there’s also something sinister going on while everyone’s trying to fit into the everyday roles they’ve been forced to assume. See, there’s a reason people go into the witness protection program and it’s no different for the villains who are hiding out in the town of Infamy. While the government has taken certain steps to make sure that these unscrupulous characters have been shielded from whomever they ratted on we all know that nothing is forever. Eventually a loophole in the shielding manifests itself during the course of the book due to something that the government and its captives never accounted for. I won’t go into what that loophole is here but it is something that makes complete sense in the scope of the book.

Penciler Greg Kirkpatric does a really good job with the art and the overall storytelling of INFAMY. His and inker John Lucas’ line work comes off looking smooth and professional. My only small criticism is that some of the dialogue scenes towards the end of the book come off as a bit stiff. It could just be me but we are talking about a book in which there’s a LOT of dialogue and little action so I’d suggest just looking into ways of making the scenes where people are relating to each other flow a bit more. Either way, the art is perfect for this sort of book and I hope that my opinion on the dialogue scenes doesn’t take away from the fact that Kirkpatric and Lucas are doing some really tight work on LIVING IN INFAMY, especially when you consider that we are talking about an indie book.

I do, however, have a bit of a problem with the coloring of the book. While colorist Allen Passalaqua does an incredibly professional job and actually makes the comic look great for the most part, the palette used on this book was a little dark for my taste. It seems like Passalaqua leaned more towards the brown end of the spectrum throughout the book and while it does add to the small town feel there are elements of the coloring job that just make certain panels and pages come off a bit too flat for the lack of a better term. It’s not that he’s doing a bad job, far from it. It’s just that I don’t think some of the images pop off the page as they should because of the overall color palette.

Despite these criticisms LIVING IN INFAMY looks to be the little indie book that could. It’s got enough of a unique idea that it’s set apart from a lot of the other books out there on the stands. While this first issue, like many other first issues, is pretty much just set up it has enough humorous and mysterious elements to keep me interested in picking up subsequent issues of the mini-series. That’s actually saying a lot for someone like me who stays away from mini-series like the plague as I prefer to wait for trade collections when looking at minis if I ever pick them up at all. LIVING IN INFAMY has got what it takes to make a really compelling story and I, for one, am looking forward to making more visits to the town of Infamy in the future.

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


DAY OF VENGEANCE: INFINITE CRISIS SPECIAL
DC Comics

What did I like about this special? Walt Simonson cover. Blue Devil getting his original trident back. The identification of all the players on the two-page spread so I didn't have to wonder who everyone was. The introduction of Rex The Wonder Dog into the magical side of the DC Universe. Ghost Patrol looking like they were drawn by Bernie Wrightson. Mary Marvel back in her dress reds and going by the name Mary Marvel instead of Capt. Marvel also. Capt. Marvel Jr. going by the name Capt. Marvel Jr. instead of CM3. Detective Chimp. Madame Xanadu. Spectre reduced in power back to a need for a human host again. The helmet of Nabu allowing "fate" to decide who will next take up the mantle of Dr. Fate. The realization that the upcoming SHADOWPACT series has the potential to kick magical ass as long as it is as well-done as this stand-alone. What did I not like about this special? Nothing. -Prof.

SABLE & FORTUNE #1 (of 6)
Marvel

I got a pretty good kick out of this first issue, teaming glam merc Silver Sable with the even more off-the-beaten path Dominic Fortune, a ‘30s pulp detective somehow still kickin’ around (or is it the original’s grandson or somesuch?). It’s a weird mix and writer Brendan Cahill is a newbie whose biggest claim to fame is a web comic, but there’s an easy lure in the painted art of John Burns. He’s a Brit artist whose art’s got a slick, ‘60s sexiness to it, his only quirk being the sheer size he gives over to Silver Sable’s hair. Fellow @$$hole Dan Grendell said she looks like a refugee from ‘80s hair band, Poison, and he’s right, but since the art’s a bit retro and the ‘60s had its share of bouffants too, it works. The premise has Sable’s mercenary agency slipping into disrepair and failures amidst rumors of a traitor in the ranks, and the sly (but less combat effective) Dominic Fortune stepping in with a plan that may be mutually beneficial. And I like the mix. Bit of action, bit of romantic repartee, and Sable’s written with a larger-than-life toughness that’s endearing in an age of boring subtlety. So far, so good. - Dave

JSA # 81
DC Comics

OK, seriously, DC Comics needs to bring back STARS AND S.T.R.I.P.E. Just bring back the damn book already and stop giving us crap books like SUPERGIRL and BATGIRL. This issue of JSA is a testament to how great Stargirl is as a character and how great Geoff Johns is at writing her. Just give Stargirl her own damn book again already! Really, if you plan it right you’ll bring in teenage girls from all over the comic book reading universe and increase your readership. I mean, really, I’m beginning to think that Johns IS a teenage girl he writes Stargirl so well. Oh, and if Eaglesham and Thibert are the new permanent art team on JSA that’d make me happy too. All around great job on this issue. Now BRING BACK STARS AND S.T.R.I.P.E.!!!!!!! - superhero

SUPREME POWER: NIGHTHAWK #5
Marvel MAX

Almost finished with the first Daniel Way written story arc I have ever read and I have to say, the guy isn’t letting me down with this miniseries. The serial killing clown continues to torment our Batman analog and as his fascination with the grim warrior of the night deepens, those around Nighthawk are in greater danger. This is a take no prisoners, no holds barred showdown between two people with nothing to lose. Next issue’s confrontation between these two arch-nemeses is bound to be a doozy. This is basically a Batman story that could end in any way. There’s no guarantee of what will happen and who will survive. Can’t wait till this wraps up next month. - Bug

SEVEN SOLDIERS: FRANKENSTEIN #2
DC Comics

Artistically, just flat out the best illustrated comic I've read this month. Frankenstein on Mars kicking evil butt to save a bunch of kids hijacked to Mars. Just plain cool. Lots of imagery surrounding the remains of Martian Manhunter's civilization establish a consistent landscape of continuity with the broader DC universe. At the same time, other bizarre Martian creatures are shown creating an eerie horror-version of John Carter, Warlord of Mars with Frankenstein in the Carter role. Villainous Melmoth pulls one of those Darth Vader moments where he tries to freak Frankenstein out by revealing that it was not the lightning that gave Frankenstein life, but a transfusion of Melmoth's own immortal blood that brought him to life. Frankenstein's no Luke Skywalker, though. Frankenstein basically just gives him the proverbial finger and tears him apart and feeds his pieces to some Martian scavengers. Frankenstein is DC's best badass this side of Jonah Hex. -Prof.

ESSENTIAL OFFICIAL HANDBOOK OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE (TPB)
Marvel

This is it, ladies and gentlemen: the gold standard for superhero encyclopedias. The last few years have seen hordes of unworthies, with over-written entries, power graphs that rank even the likes of Aunt May on her “energy projection” (what if she has mace in her purse?), and ass-ugly visual aesthetics that include paintings alongside traditional line drawings and spastic poses alongside static poses with little rhyme or reason. Not so with the originator! Though over 20 years old and 20 years out of date with its information, the original MARVEL UNIVERSE (Or OHotMU as the acronym-happy like to call it) is a masterpiece of design. Entries are uncluttered, text quick and to the point, and the info in the write-ups clearly set the tone for all to come. What you get: Real Name, Occupation, Legal Status, Former Aliases, Identity, Place of Birth, Marital Status, Known Relatives, Group Affiliation, Base of Operations, First Appearance, Origin, Height, Weight, Eyes, Hair, Unusual Features, Powers, and Weapons. The art, while boasting talents ranging from John Byrne to Jack Kirby to Frank Miller, emphasizes conservative pose shots to best show off costumes and comparative physiques, while still giving enough artistic leeway for touches of character – the heroic stance, the villainous hunch, the slight smile, the brutal scowl. Nearly all the art is original, with only a few swiped from issues, though there are some nice insets of issue art showing some of the characters in action (the DELUXE MARVEL UNIVERSE that followed on the heels of the original 15-issue series would expand in this area). And here’s just a handful of the highlight features: the masterful technical illustrations of Elliot R. Brown, with their believable cutaway views of everything from the Avengers’ Quinjet to Moon Knight’s truncheon to the Stilt-Man’s battlesuit – he makes it look like it could work!; the maps, ranging from Asgard to the Eastern stronghold of K’un-Lun to key Marvel sites in Europe; the layout schematics of locales like Dr. Doom’s Castle and the X-mansion; the catch-all appendix of unlisted characters and Marvel terminology like “vibranium”; the full listing of Marvel’s alien races; four issues devoted to spotlighting Marvel’s dead and inactive characters; one entire issue spotlighting weapons and hardware; and last but not least…reprints in the back of how all the old covers looked when linked up (they connected!)

I don’t care if these entries are out of date. Even viewed with objectivity, the ‘80s were just a ridiculously damn great era for Marvel comics – yes, objectively better than the ‘90s or 2000s – and datedness becomes far less important when the entries were conceived in such a creatively fertile and professional era. Plus, all fourteen jam-packed issues for just seventeen bucks? Sells itself, it does. Hell, I’ve got all the original issues and I still bought it just for the awesome convenience of having ‘em all in one fat-packed volume. Highest recommendation available - they don’t make ‘em like this anymore. - Dave

JONAH HEX #3
DC Comics

Three issues in and Jonah Hex has not disappointed yet. I absolutely love the single-issue stories and hope they stick with it. It feels more like watching episodic television than reading comics, but that works for this series. This issue out has Jonah teaming up with the old west daisy, Bat Lash, to take down some creeps dressing like Apaches to rob and kill some wagon train folks. Roll into the mix a corrupt sheriff and a brutal but satisfying twist ending and you've got the best JONAH HEX issue so far. The characterization of Bat Lash was hilariously spot on (though I was disappointed that he wasn't in his fancy pants white suit) and the unlikely pairing of the grim 'n grizzled Hex and the con-artist with a heart of gold Lash made for story gold. -Prof.

Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 12, 2006, 12:51 p.m. CST

    FIRST?

    by irishfella

    HOPEFULLY.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 12:54 p.m. CST

    Yes you are

    by Sizable Newt

    bitch

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 1:11 p.m. CST

    Yeah, I bought the Essential Handbook yesterday...

    by superhero

    And I, too, was BLOWN AWAY with how great it was. Not to mention the talent of the contributors...a lot of them people I'd never heard of. There is some great, great work in that book! Bring on the second volume!

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 1:26 p.m. CST

    Byrne's Hulk in OHotMU

    by BurlIvesLeftNut

    Does anyone remember Byrne's drawing of the Hulk in the Official Handbook? I think it scarred me because I shall never forget. He must have done a 10 second sketch right before he left the project to go work on Man of Steel because it is the single worst illustration of the Hulk I have ever scene.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 1:27 p.m. CST

    Still wanting the ESSENTIAL PLANET OF THE APES

    by riskebiz

    Those b/w magazine size POTA comics were awesome. The original stories in the front of the book were wonderful and I'd love to see a big ESSENTIAL dedicated to those original stories (not the adaptations of the movies in the back).

  • Abe rocks!

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 1:36 p.m. CST

    DMZ

    by AlgertMopper

    DMZ is OK, but it's just another comic written by someone who thinks their politcial views are completly right and everyone who thinks different is wrong.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 1:37 p.m. CST

    Hey Ambush Bug, listen to Prof. Challenger...

    by Squashua

    ...use a spellchecker/proofreader. I agree with Exterminators (excellent) and Teen Titans (crappy editing, missing a CC&HAZC page). I wonder what AB will say about issue #1 of "American Virgin", and how he will spell it.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 1:40 p.m. CST

    Props to '80s comics

    by fiester

    When they were fun and 60 cents and didn't drag story arc on for years! The two-issue story of Spidey vs. Juggernaunt remains a classic battle. You got Frank Miller Daredevil. MacFarlene drawing--and only drawing thank goodness--Hulk, but grey and green, and also putting in the best Spider-Man art, you got Beta-Ray Bill and th amazing art of Bill S., you got Byrne doing FF, Secret Wars, Dark Knight Returns, V for Vendetta, Watchmen, Sandman, X-Men before things got so fucked up no one cared anymore...a good time for comics.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 1:45 p.m. CST

    Hrm, since Gaiman comes at the end of the 80s ...

    by chrth

    Is he the last gasp, or is he the death knell?

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Day of Vengeance - Finally not crappy!

    by Squashua

    The special was much better than the six-issue miniseries. Still want to know how the Eclipso diamond got in Jean Loring's cell.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 2:05 p.m. CST

    I am gonna drop Teen Titans

    by ChorleyFM

    The book seems to have been drifting for the last year or so, since Identity Crisis really. Johns seem soff his game to me on TT, almost everything else he writes is fantastic, but I am fed up, Tony Daniel's art doesn't help either, what a step down from McKeone. Also Nighthawk is kicking serious arse. Oh and it is nice of you to focus on Marvel's late titles only (see the All Star books, Green Lantern Rebirth and regular, and others). Warren Ellis books are so frustrating, the best are so very good, yet so often late.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 2:13 p.m. CST

    5 issues in a year? That's about a "Planetary" average.

    by Shigeru

    I've given up on even hoping that that series might maybe possibly have even the slightest most miniscule chance of EVER coming out again. *** Tony Daniel? Someone remind me...did he use to be a crappy 90's artist?

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 2:15 p.m. CST

    Does the Essential Handbook

    by JonQuixote

    reprint the original Marvel Handbook or the later Deluxe Editions?? The latter, imho, was overwhelmingly superior.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 2:22 p.m. CST

    What JonQuixote said

    by rev_skarekroe

    Also, how much is reprinted? Weren't there something like 20 giant sized issues? Does it include the '89 Update? I want details, dammit.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 2:26 p.m. CST

    Shigeru, don't worry

    by El Vale

    Planetary shall end, i've seen Ellis mention a couple things i can't remember on his Bad Signal. I think the word "spectacular" was uttered. Me, i don't have a problem with comics being late as long as the end product is good. I think the final issue of Watchmen was late, who gives a crap about that now?

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 2:40 p.m. CST

    Actually, Johns based Courtney on his sister...

    by Kid Z

    ... who, sadly, died in the TWA Flight 800 plane crash off New York in 1996. That's why the character is so "real"... Johns obviously has great feelings for the character.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 2:49 p.m. CST

    Ultimate Extinction

    by PVIII

    ...was pretty good. I liked the Silver Surfer's new look. I mean, a surfboard is pretty nerdy to begin with.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 2:51 p.m. CST

    I never blame Warren Ellis for late issues.

    by SleazyG.

    It has always been, to the best of my knowledge, due to delays with the artist. His IRON MAN arc was completely written a year ago, it's just that Granov takes forever. Who do you blame for the late issues, then? EDITORIAL. If you have an artist who needs three months per issue, don't put out the first one until the last one's in hand. Period. And yes, GL is late, and it bugs me, but no one else in the industry has the record of Marvel. Just SPIDEY/BLACK CAT, that DD/BULLSEYE thing and DD: FATHER alone burn through any good will they had in the bank, and then there's everything else that's late like IRON MAN. Editorial needs to start doing one of two things: A.) wrangle your artists and writers into submission so they turn shit in on time or B). undestand that they are both highly talented and very slow and then schedule accordingly. Marvel, far more than DC, needs to start doing both of the above.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 2:59 p.m. CST

    The Art in Jonah Hex is a bit too photographic for me.

    by cookylamoo

    I miss the scrachy Tony Djunga art from the seventies, and Tim Truman's downright weirdmess. There should really be a touch of horror in Jonah's world and ever since issue #2, they've missed it.

  • I don't know every behind-the-scenes story, but it does seem that when you're late every damn time, there's gotta be something going on on his end. And he IS late. Every single time.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 3 p.m. CST

    Are we supposed to believe that Ambush Bug reviewing "The Exterm

    by Chastain-86

    I smell conspiracy.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 3:04 p.m. CST

    Kid Z...wow I didn't know that...is that for real?

    by superhero

    No wonder Stargirl is such a great character...she's based on real life...sorry such a tragedy had to be resposible for such a great comic character WHO NEEDS TO GET HER OWN BOOK! Too bad other writers can't use the women in their lives to come up with interesting female superheroine characters.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 3:05 p.m. CST

    Well...

    by Ambush Bug

    I do kind of look like that bug on the cover...

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 3:10 p.m. CST

    Yeah I was assuming it was the art.

    by Shigeru

    I mean, both Granov and Cassaday's art LOOKS like it takes forever. But then again Dave's got a point. A little too much coincidence with Ellis. Plus, anyone have the figure of how long it took 12 issues of Astonishing X-Men to come out vs. 12 issues of Planetary? *** Vale, I certainly care when it comes to a intrigue-laden series like Planetary. And its been like #$(*%&@ 3 issues in the past 2 years.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 3:13 p.m. CST

    Nah, Dave...

    by SleazyG.

    ...as I recall, Ellis' work-for-hire at Marvel and Malibu were generally on time. TRANSMET was for a very long time, too, gradually slipping near the end. I'm on his mailing list, though, and when he says something like "I just sent the last script of IRON MAN off to the editor and artist, and here's the next five books I'm working on right now", I see no reason not to take him at his word. As for on-time right now? Just look at DESOLATION JONES and DOWN. FELL. will fall a few weeks behind due to Templesmith being ill for a few weeks last month, but they're taking a bye month in a few issues so they can get back on schedule. PLANETARY was late for the same reason as anything else the artist works on: he's slow as hell. Looks great, but takes forever. ASTONISHING X-MEN, anyone? Like his stuff or not, Ellis is a writing machine. He's doing at least four scripts a month right now between work-for-hire and creator-owned stuff. I've seen him talk about things that take literally a year or more after he writes them to hit the stands, by which time he's another four projects along. The key is it's never in the form of an excuse later: it's always "just finished this, on to the new", and then the "this" in question turns up six months later due to artist or publisher issues.

  • There's a joke in there somewhere. But that is extremely sad about Geoff's sister... it's good to know he's honoring her memory in a way, though.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 3:16 p.m. CST

    Ellis has been waiting for Cassaday all this time.

    by SleazyG.

    PLANETARY gets squeezed in to Ellis' schedule when Cassaday is between other engagements. That said, we're supposed to get three issues in a row from Feb.-April give or take to wrap the series up, with a possible one-shot as a postscript to the series. The series should be done by end of summer or early fall, though.

  • Those who read Optic Nerve know what I'm talking about

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 3:26 p.m. CST

    Sleazy

    by Shigeru

    I'll believe it when I see it. here's to hoping.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 3:28 p.m. CST

    I thought Planetary only had one more issue.

    by PVIII

    Let me know if I'm wrong.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 3:49 p.m. CST

    PVIII:

    by SleazyG.

    You're wrong. 8p

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 4:01 p.m. CST

    Is Quesada losing it?

    by mattb127

    Okay, first, I have to say: Big Quesada fan. not of his comics, which are okay, or his art, which personally, I think is great. But he has handled Marvel so well, with the Ultimate Line and the Supreme Power stuff, the initial refusal to reprint comics, Joss Whedon's X-Men. For a while, the movies were going great, too. And he hired Bendis, and that shows some smarts. But what is up with Spiderman these days? And today...have you seen the "Iron Spidey" thing at marvel.com? Is he kidding? And the movie deals? I think Marvel's going downhill quick. Right now, DC is producing better books and better reads. Thoughts?

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 4:43 p.m. CST

    Quesada's been going downhill...

    by Thalya

    ..since he egged on Bendis to write down a terrified fan's worst fear: Wolverine in the Avengers (the guy was asking a question about keeping the Avengers focused on 2nd tier characters). And Spider-Man in a new costume? Didn't these guys _learn_? Hollow gimmick, much?

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 5:07 p.m. CST

    I think "Iron Spidey" is a fake that was leaked...

    by Dave_F

    Marvel's just trying to confound expectations. No one could possibly come up with a design that ugly and think, "This is the next big thing!"

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 5:16 p.m. CST

    new spidey costume...

    by blackthought

    sucks.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 5:23 p.m. CST

    Link?

    by Ambush Bug

    Anyone have a link to the new Spidey costume? I haven't seen the suckiness of it yet.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 5:45 p.m. CST

    Taste the suck, Bug...

    by Dave_F

    No way this thing ain't a plant: http://tinyurl.com/d2ka6

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 5:58 p.m. CST

    "Overwhelmingly superior," JQ?

    by Dave_F

    Well I don't know about thaaaaat. To answer your question, though, this ESSENTIAL is indeed reprinting the original MARVEL UNIVERSE, not the deluxe version. There's actually a ton of overlap, and the deluxe one I believe will also be reprinted shortly, but for completeness' sake, it seems the original's being reprinted first. ****** Now, my question, not having done a side-by-side of the original and deluxe editions in quite some time: what's the big diff? Based on memory, the deluxe editions had slightly longer write-ups, more entries overall, and a few more instances of reprinted interior art, but I don't recall much beyond that. I know the basic format remained almost identical, so while I don't have anything bad to say about the deluxe edition, I'd have to call it a *great polish* of the original...but not overwhelmingly superior. It also doesn't have everything the original did. Looking through this collected edition, I see plenty of entries that didn't make the deluxe cut - even some of those great Elliot R. Brown schematics. ****** To the Rev: The original MARVEL UNIVERSE was 14 issues (I actually mention it in my write-up) and the deluxe edition was 20 issues. The '89 update was 8 issues - I'd forgotten about that one!

  • And I believe DESOLATION JONES is running a bit behind too. And weren't the Apparat books late too, screwing up their simultaneous release plan? OCEAN? Ran late. GLOBAL FREQUENCY? Big lateness problems toward the end. And Ellis is certainly setting some lateness records with books like IRON MAN and the legendary gap between MINISTRY OF SPACE issues. I couldn't swear to it, but I do believe even RED and TOKYO STORM WARNING had some lateness to 'em. Look, I know artists are all lazy fuck-ups, but come on, Warren doesn't need to be mollycoddled. No writer has so many late books so consistantly, and while I've no doubt Ellis is always writing *something*, I don't believe for a minute that he's not in some way contributing to the lateness of his books. It's a preponderance of evidence. He just couldn't possibly be so unlucky as to have nearly every artist he works with be a late fuck-up.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 6:17 p.m. CST

    So let me get this straight, Vale...

    by Dave_F

    Warren Ellis...*the creator* of PLANETARY...says the ending is going to be "spectacular"? Wow, there's an unbiased source!

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 6:21 p.m. CST

    Byrne's Hulk...

    by Dave_F

    Is this the drawing you're talking about, Burl? http://tinyurl.com/c4yek Looks fine to me. Maybe not inspired, but nothing horrific. 'Pears Byrne was paying homage to Kirby, if I had to guess, what with Hulk look sort of stocky and bulky, but not bursting with muscles. Only thing I want to know is...where're his nipples?

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 6:35 p.m. CST

    Cooky, I'm with ya on the art in JONAH HEX...

    by Dave_F

    It's a good book and the craftmanship on the art is high, but...it's just a little too purty for a Jonah Hex story, innit? Loved Bat Lash this issue, though. I've never encountered the character before - has he always been portrayed as a dandy? I presume never to the extent of entering "Rawhide Kid" territory, but was he always a...err...fancy-man?

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 7:31 p.m. CST

    Dave

    by El Vale

    I wouldn't take my word on that Ellis "quote" that i said he MIGHT or MIGHT NOT have written even tho' i DIDN'T REMEMBER what the actual messages said. Not reliable, is what i'm saying. But i think maybe Ellis was talking about the Cassaday art, but i guess you're not supposed to say anything nice about your collaborators, right? Sorry bout that Dave. I mean just cause Ellis says Cassaday's art might be good doesn't mean it's true, cause when's Cassaday ever been "good"? Ellis wrote the first 5 or so issues of Desolation Jones years ago, without even knowing who the artist would be. Oh and i really don't see what the problem is, here. OH NO! Warren Ellis' books are late! How dare he?! I mean i can see why it'd anger you regarding Iron Man cause you're supposed to have monthly issues of Iron Man, that's just the way it goes. But Ellis' creator owned projects and stuff? Man, that's his problem. You don't HAVE to buy them or be outraged by their lateness. Ok so you like Planetary and you hate waiting so much for issues to come out. Big deal. Soon the series will be complete and collected and you can read it all in one sitting if you like and it won't make a difference, like it doesn't make a difference with Watchmen. Gonna do what Maddox does: Here's some shampoo i highly recommend http://tinyurl.com/8l6gw

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 7:47 p.m. CST

    I'd definitely pay for an OHTMU Deluxe edtion reprint.

    by Voice O. Reason

    Far superior to the original because it has a section called "History," which details character development, rather than just "origin" which only told how the character got their powers.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 7:58 p.m. CST

    Thanks, Voice.

    by Dave_F

    I notice that some of the origins get a fair amount of detail, bordering on "history", but yeah, they definitely expanded that for the De-Luxe version. I still recommend the originals for the stuff that didn't make it into the deluxe edition, though. And, yep, I'll be picking up the deluxe edition too. Wonder if they'll include the '89 update? That'd be 28 issues, and weren't the deluxe edition issues longer than a regular issue? Like 32 pages instead of 22? That might be too much material even for the ESSENTIAL line, though it seems like too *little* to split it into two. Hmm.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 8:03 p.m. CST

    Vale, I'm just sayin'...

    by Dave_F

    Ellis ain't no Alan Moore, and PLANETARY ain't no WATCHMEN. I actually don't care a lot about Ellis's lateness personally since I don't read much of his stuff outside of WATCHMEN, but I think it's BS that he gets a free pass on on it time and again. The guy's way too loudmouthed in griping about the world to be immune to criticism himself. And I'm inclined to think he's full of shit anyway, the way the guy's excoriated superheroes in the past only to become a total whore for Marvel in recent years. Oh wait, I'm sorry - he's not lowering himself to writing superheroes, he's engaging in a "writing exercise." Or he's doing "science fiction", not superheroes. Ugh. What a phony.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 8:35 p.m. CST

    Aw Goddamnit!

    by thatguyoverthere

    Civil War? House of M? Iron Spider???? Jesus Christ, I think I'll just sit here quietly and mourn for the good ole days of comics back when things made sense....

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 8:41 p.m. CST

    I hear you Dave

    by El Vale

    I'm not the biggest Warren Ellis fan in the world either AND i haven't read a single Planetary issue. Oh and he's no Alan Moore either, that's the part i agree with the most. But i've never heard him complain or gripe about books being late so he's not being a hypocrite. And about being a phony...i don't know man, i mean i've read Come in alone (thanks btw) and i never saw him criticise superheroes per se. I know he hates most superhero comics for being lame and washed out and derivative (i do too) and he hates the fact that the friggin superhero rules the market, but i don't think he has a major problem with the genre itself and what it encompasses. And about him taking superhero work as a "writing exercise"...i can see that happening and i have no problem with it. Approaching UFF as a Sci Fi book? No problem with that either, that sounds cool. Sounds a lot cooler to me than doing the Dan Slott thing or the Geoff Johns thing and doing "the same old thing but with a modern twist". Bleh. And i can understand Wllis selling out. I mean i've got my standards and my hatred for the superhero and all that but if JoeyQ called me tomorrow and told me he was gonna pay me thousands of dollars to write some lame, washed out and derivative superhero fare i'd jump at the oportunity. Hell i'd even kill off a couple beloved characters just to spite people and "leave my mark". But mostly to spite people. Go Warren Ellis! (I've only read 2 Warren Ellis comics: Authority and Transmet. Authority was fun but Millar kicked Ellis' ass. And Transmet was underwhelming and too "i'm over the top and i know it. Boy i tell you, i'm crazy" for my tastes. Guess less really is more. I hear Planetary's good, tho')

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 8:45 p.m. CST

    Spidey's new apparel...

    by DuncanDisorderly

    This re-imagining leaves me feeling, how do I put it?, oh, yeah, UNDER-WHELMED! Marvel dropped a bollock ( quaint British expression! )when they changed Spidey's costume back in 1997. The Ben Reilly Spidey costume, as re-designed by Mark Bagley, was a brilliant design. It was 99% similar to the classic Spidey suit but updated it and mate it look more sleek and yet still instantly recognisable as Spider-man. Why on earth they changed it back to the original design defies logic. On another note, including all the Identity Crisis costumes, this means that old Petey has now had at least 9 new costumes in the last 9 years; Marvel please step in front of your own bandwagon and once it has ran you over please hope it doesn't reverse!

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 8:55 p.m. CST

    Spidey's new duds

    by El Vale

    Peter Parker designed it to make his enemies throw up. Just like Minority Report's Sick sticks.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 9:35 p.m. CST

    'Bout Ellis's hypocrisy...

    by Dave_F

    I don't know if I could pin down a precise point when Ellis has said superheroes suck, but many a sentiment from him is dripping with disdain for the genre. I do know that he's decried their dominance of the genre on many occasions, so for him to be writing IRON MAN and NEXT WAVE and ULTIMATE EXCTINCTIFICATION for Marvel right now...what's that but hypocrisy? Hey, at least he's always doing some other stuff too...I'm just sayin' he's suckling at Captain America's teat. ***** Funny thing: COME IN ALONE is probably the best thing I've read from Ellis. There's hypocrisy in it and an occasional overabundance of his oh-so-practiced cynicism, but it's mostly pretty interesting stuff. And when I said some nice things about his Apparat material a few months back, I'm pretty sure I mentioned that part of the kudos were due the interesting text pieces he wrote in the back. What I like about the text pieces is that it's just unfiltered ideas discussed with style. When he's writing comics he does pretty much the same thing, but he forces his words into other characters' mouths. Constantly. It's really the same thing Claremont started doing about the mid-80s and that Bendis occasionally does now. For the lot of 'em, it's bad writing.

  • ...would they be popular sellers amongst the bulimia crowd? Would Kate Moss have her own licensed version? See, now there's something Ellis could've written about in TRANSMET.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 10:19 p.m. CST

    Yes Dave F

    by BurlIvesLeftNut

    Sorry, I find it horrific in its mediocrity. The anatomy is WAY off and I am especially freaked by the depthless toes. WTF.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 10:37 p.m. CST

    Byrne's always had some issues with depth...

    by Dave_F

    Ever noticed those times when his characters look "flat"? Like they were projected sideways on a screen or something? Over the years I've actually come to think of him as a fairly average draftsman, less obvious in his early years because he was really good with what he calls "bells and whistles" (all that extra detail stuff that fans eat up - see also, McFarlane). What he's quite exceptional at, however, is storytelling, at least the traditional Marvel variety. All that said, the Hulk drawing looks fine to me. Nothing to write home about, but I don't see the anatomical problems you mention (beyond that odd nipple-lessness. He's simply...squat. Where we're used to seeing abdominal muscles (the ol' six pack), he's just got a thick, tree-trunk waist. I actually kind of prefer that old "fat Hulk" to the bodybuilder look.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 11:09 p.m. CST

    That Hulk image is laughable!

    by El Vale

    What the fuck's going on in that image? I mean jesus, where'd Byrne leave his ability to portray proportion accurately the day he drew it? Hilarious stuff.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 11:11 p.m. CST

    Just saw Lady Vengeance

    by El Vale

    Ahhh the wonders of the internet! The movie kicked me in the nuts and then made me eat them. With chopsticks.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 11:15 p.m. CST

    Warren Ellis doesn't hate superheroes

    by sideshowbob

    He just hates the fact that superheroes have such a stranglehold on the Western market.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 11:17 p.m. CST

    2006

    by sideshowbob

    I haven't bought a single comic yet this year. Gone in to the comics shop three times, came out empty handed every time.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 11:19 p.m. CST

    Buzz, your friend reads comics in bed after sex?

    by sideshowbob

    God, that's horrible. I mean, *I* would never do such a thing...um....er....

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 11:24 p.m. CST

    So, did any characters get raped this week? I haven't been

    by Heywood Jablowme

    Sorry, I know that was LAST week. But I don't read every book; and I just want to make sure that I didn't miss out on any characters being degraded or debased. Except for Spidey, I saw that pic on Marvel's web page. Way to go, House of Ideas. I thought the idea of "Spider-armor" went out back in what, 1993? Someone help me fact-check here. I say that Sal Buscema drew the best Hulk and that Bill Mantlo wrote the best stories. The Savage Hulk stories, classic.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 11:27 p.m. CST

    Go buy KEIF LLAMA, Bob.

    by Dave_F

    You know I've been pretty burned on comics lately. Mainstream's gone to hell and the indie's are pretty dry too, some of their best and brightest lost to the mainstream and few bright spots otherwise. That said, I was exceptionally taken with KEIF LLAMA. Almost reminds me of the good part of the 90s when I'd discover something completely new and different like BONE and just get knocked on my ass. KEIF's a quieter revelation than that, but a revelation nonetheless.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 11:34 p.m. CST

    Right on about Mantlo and Savage Hulk, Heywood.

    by Dave_F

    I read some of Peter David's stuff and it was a'ight, but I don't like Hulk with an ever-changing personality. Nebulously-defined leads lose their iconic status too easily, and if ever a character worked best as an icon, it's Hulk.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 11:44 p.m. CST

    Warren on superheroes

    by sideshowbob

    Here's a pretty column that sums it up. You can see here that while he's full of piss & vinegar, he doesn't hate superheroes so much as the corporate structure that props them up. The crotchety old bastard actually makes a lot of excellent points such as "Fuck the old corporate-owned characters. They can look after themselves. They are artificially supported by the corporations during periods where no-one is buying them. You think they're all doing that for the creator-owned works that are building the medium's future? Marvel would keep their core characters in print even if the sales were so low that it'd be cheaper to phone the audience to tell them what happens in each issue, but they shot Epic dead without blinking." http://tinyurl.com/75atx

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 11:48 p.m. CST

    thanks for the link...

    by blackthought

    i personally love planetary...and i'd use a sick stick...wait,i wouldn't...i am the sick stick.

  • Jan. 12, 2006, 11:49 p.m. CST

    keif llama?

    by sideshowbob

    Hmmm...I dunno if my LCS will get that one but I'll poke around. By the way, Dave, is the "Down the Line" column on fourthrail dead now that Randy has retired and presumably moved to a luxury condo in Florida to play canasta, wear funny shorts and drive with his turn signals perpetually on? I always liked that column.

  • But the motherfucker's writing three books featuring those corporate-owned characters he so self-righteously told to fuck off in that tract. And here's another winning excerpt: "Frankly, the creative community is not a slave race designed solely to service old copyrights." Or are they? Seems Warren's sure calling Marvel "massa" a lot these days. So he's shaking stuff up? So the fuck what. He's shaking stuff up for that same thirty/forty/fifty-something audience that can't let go of a bunch of children's characters and just needs progressively edgier interpretations of 'em to get 'em hard. Does that seem harsh? Well, to use a little of Warren's own rhetoric, "No, I'm not playing fair. Neither does anyone else in the real world." And here's the best part: I actually agree with much of what he wrote in that article. I'm utterly sick and tired of the sudden fan adoration for writers like Brubaker and Bendis and Rucka on superhero books when 90% of the fans out there wouldn't give them the time of day on their non-superhero work. But for Warren to take that stance only to end up pickin' cotton for Marvel? Just ball-less.

  • Seriously, you'd be surprised how much time stuff like that takes - precious time that I can now spend playing GUITAR HERO! But thanks for the kind words. I was a fun few years of doing it, and I always appreciated Randy letting me sully his site's good rep with my presence. ****** As for KEIF...yep, it's a bitch to find. I've been trying to get back issues through Diamond and it's a definite no-go at the moment. I think there's one lone issue in print, and that's it, meaning I'll probably have to order back issues directly from Matt Howarth's site: http://www.matthowarth.com/ Come to think of it, I have no idea why I didn't post the link in the review.

  • Jan. 13, 2006, 12:15 a.m. CST

    Yeah, Dave, I thought it funny too

    by sideshowbob

    Especially since he ended up doing a bunch of Ultimate books too! *** As far as the man's craft goes, I think he's very talented (aside from character development) but the more you read his stuff, the more a sinking "read one of his books, you've read them all" feeling creeps in.

  • Jan. 13, 2006, 12:27 a.m. CST

    Dave, the way Ellis sounds on his Bad Signal

    by El Vale

    I think the way he sees it, Marvel's servicing him by giving him money, creative freedom, and a sandbox to play in. Creatively i think it's a great spot to be in, aided by the fact that he's pursuing other interests in the medium with his creator owned work.

  • Jan. 13, 2006, 12:34 a.m. CST

    Wait, all these years, that was YOU Dave?

    by El Vale

    I thought it was the other Fourthrail guy with Randy on Down the line. That's like a totally different voice! Oh and i agree with you on Mouse Guard.

  • Jan. 13, 2006, 12:47 a.m. CST

    where's the art in getting paid?

    by blackthought

    i kid, show me where to sign...i know where to sign checks.

  • I mean, Randy only introduced me by name in every column. And every entry I wrote was preceded by "DAVE" in all-caps. But y'know what? Unlike that whoreson, Ellis, I'm not in it for the money and fame, so I'll abide. I'll abide.

  • Jan. 13, 2006, 1:31 a.m. CST

    Both names start with a D

    by El Vale

    But ok that wasn't fair, i'm sorry. Still is nice to know i've been reading you for a long time Mr Farabee. :heart:

  • Jan. 13, 2006, 1:41 a.m. CST

    Yeah, but Dave...

    by Ribbons

    ...you yourself acknowledged that he's got other, non-superhero stuff in the can already, pretty all of the time. If he doesn't hate superheroes but wishes that more genre stuff was popular, I don't really think it's that big of a crime or a hypocrisy for him to write superhero books so long as he doesn't write them exclusively, although to what extent he's compromising his morals in order to make a quick buck is an endless debate waiting to happen. So where's the fire?

  • Y: the last man. or anything with kittens that don't die in it.

  • Jan. 13, 2006, 3:33 a.m. CST

    Warren Ellis article

    by proper

    Nice 1 for posting that Sideshow,interesting."and last time Marvel tried a big power-concentrating exercise, remember, it crippled them and poisoned their name and made Diamond the biggest power in comics)".Could somebody please explain this to me in further detail please,what did Marvel attempt to do?.Thanks in advance.No tumbleweed please in the y2k6 I beg ;).

  • Jan. 13, 2006, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Who is Jeff stone? and

    by emeraldboy

    Has any one heard of Holy Cow?

  • Jan. 13, 2006, 10:54 a.m. CST

    Ellis superheroes

    by Shigeru

    I'm with Dave mostly on this one. I wouldn't mind him writing Superheroes at all if he didn't talk so much shit about the genre and the big 2. And I REALLY woulnd't mind him writing Superheroes at all if the books were anything but mediocre. Ult. FF? Ultimate Nightmareextinctionthingy? Nigga please! Look what Grant Morrison is doing to both subvert and breathe incredible new life into the genre with Seven Soldiers or his JLA Classified. That Ultimate FF run looks downright run of the mill in comparison. *** Vale, download all of Planetary. IMHO, that book will cook you a great dinner, give you a sensual foot massage and then cuddle. Or hump your brains out.

  • Jan. 13, 2006, 11:53 a.m. CST

    shig is definately right about the humping part

    by blackthought

  • Jan. 13, 2006, 1:42 p.m. CST

    I like the Iron Spidey design

    by rev_skarekroe

    Just not for the original Spider-Man. Maybe for an alternate-Universe Spider-Man or something.

  • Jan. 13, 2006, 2:12 p.m. CST

    Check it!

    by Shigeru

    Doop gets some lovin: http://tinyurl.com/9ra8t ALL HAIL DOOP!

  • Jan. 13, 2006, 4:40 p.m. CST

    Huh. I guess maybe "Iron Spidey" is legit after all...

    by Dave_F

    Here's a fancified Quesada drawing of it for an upcoming convention poster: http://tinyurl.com/7vco9 What's with the spider arms popping out of it? Clearly more brilliance from JMS!

  • Jan. 13, 2006, 4:59 p.m. CST

    Right about Lady Snowblood

    by SoupDragon

    I bought the first volume and decided to drop the series for the exact reasons mentioned above. I don't neccessarily mind an outright immoral protagonist, but the story only really works when its focused on a more compelling individual.

  • Jan. 13, 2006, 7:14 p.m. CST

    um...

    by blackthought

    continuing on last week's rape theme comes this qoute... "Bendis has a new book called Ultimate Baby Rape. It's not like the old Baby Rape, you know, where there's so much continuity you can't tell what baby's raping who. It's a new take on the concept of Baby Rape and they're starting it from the zero point so new readers can hop right on and jump right in."

  • Jan. 14, 2006, 2:02 a.m. CST

    LemmiWinks

    by Ribbons

    Calm down, man. The Byrne comments were not all that harsh. Even if he's a "legend," people have a right not to like his take on Kirby. And have you seen the picture? I know he was drawing outside of his comfort zone, but still. ************* Anyway, say what you will about Quesada (and there are plenty of things you could say), but I love that guy's artwork. The fact that an EIC grinds that stuff out just seems cool, to me. Not really feeling "Iron Spidey" though.

  • Jan. 14, 2006, 3 a.m. CST

    Hey LemmiWinks...

    by Dave_F

    I think you may be confusing...well, everyone with everyone else. Fer inst, it was one lone TalkBacker baggin' on the Byrne art. And me, I don't much like Ellis and Bug was critical in his review, but fellow reviewer Sleazy G was takin' bullets for him like he was Clint Eastwood in IN THE LINE OF FIRE. And I think Prof gave OCEAN much love a few months ago. Shit, even *I* was all over Ellis's Apparat material. As for Bendis...even that's not a unified front. Vroom likes him about 50% of the time, and Superhero or Humphrey Lee or one of our new guys (I forget which) likes him even better. Think we're overly negative in general? Go re-read the reviews. Scorecard goes like this: EXTERMINATORS - postive. AVENGERS: THE SERPENT CROWN - positive. DETECTIVE COMICS - positive. TEEN TITANS - Negative. IRON MAN/IRON MAN THE INEVITABLE - negative/positive. LADY SNOWBLOOD - negative. PSY-COMM - positive. KEIF LLAMA - positive. LIVING IN INFAMY - positive. DC OF VENGEANCE SPECIAL - positive. SABLE & FORTUNE - positive. JSA - positive. SUPREME POWER: NIGHTHAWK - positive. SEVEN SOLDIERS: FRANKENSTEIN - positive. ESSENTIAL MARVEL UNIVERSE - positive. JONAH HEX - positive. To sum it all up, 17 books reviewed, only 3 of them negatively. Shit, ya ask me, we're practically cheerleaders!

  • Jan. 14, 2006, 3:03 a.m. CST

    P.S. LemmiWinks

    by Dave_F

    I liked THE HECKLER too. But don't forget to credit Giffen's co-writers, Tom and Mary Bierbaum.

  • Jan. 14, 2006, 3:09 a.m. CST

    Hehehe LemmiWinks is funny

    by El Vale

    Yeah, fuck you people! All you ever do is complain!!! And what the hell is up with that new Spider Man costume?! It sucks ass!

  • Jan. 14, 2006, 3:43 a.m. CST

    I'll tell ya where the fire is, Ribbons:

    by Dave_F

    In my pants. But getting back to Ellis, I should note that I also HATE his Marvel/DC superhero stuff for the most part. The cynical, acidic sensibilities that work on books like TRANSMET or even THE AUTHORITY don't translate well to the Marvel/DC settings. And I've read enough Ellis interviews to see that the guy really, REALLY doesn't give a crap about said settings. That's why he always distances himself from those gigs, using the aforementioned code phrases like "it's sci-fi, not superheroes" or "it's a writing exercise." And if that's not clear enough for ya, here's a more specific line from another COME IN ALONE column: "I haven't read anything by John Byrne in a very long time. That should not be seen as a slight on his work, but an expression of the fact that I don't really like superhero comics." Are we now going to argue that "not liking" and "hating" are two different things? Look, the point is that Ellis ain't a superhero fan, and I am. Therefore, I want him out of the superhero biz. All the more so because he's so frequently goddamn snotty about superheroes in interviews (http://tinyurl.com/cfhqd). I'll be happy to entertain his writing in just about every other genre out there, and frankly, I suspect he'd be happier *writing* in just about any other genre out there. He'd just be a little poorer.

  • Jan. 14, 2006, 4:28 a.m. CST

    A "writing exercise," eh?

    by Ribbons

    That's a pretty lame excuse on his part. Sounds like the cat that ate the canary.

  • Jan. 14, 2006, 5:02 a.m. CST

    Planet of the Apes

    by Wormie

    I would love an Essential Planet of the Apes. I don't know if Marvel hold the rights though. A company called Mr. Comics put out the first ish of Revolution on the Planet of the Apes last month. It's set after the fourth movie and is pretty good.

  • Jan. 14, 2006, 5:12 a.m. CST

    Speaking of licensed properties...

    by Dave_F

    I noticed in the ESSENTIAL MARVEL U. that Rom still got his entry. I know Marvel doesn't currently have the rights to the character, and supposedly some smaller press guys are currently vying for it, but maybe Marvel can still reprint their old stuff? Or the MARVEL U. entry is a special clause? Anyway, was good to see him. They even had write-ups on all his funky gear in the weapons handbook. ***** As an aside, does anyone know what happened to Rom at the end of his series? Was he able to ditch the armor? Hook up with Brandy?

  • Jan. 14, 2006, 7:05 a.m. CST

    hmmm...

    by blackthought

    i "writing excerise" i didn't need to read...and i have no clue about rom...this sounds up buzz's alley.

  • Jan. 14, 2006, 4:41 p.m. CST

    to add to this "Elliscentric" tb

    by The Heathen

    As for his lateness: Jack Cross has been on schedule. As for Cassaday on Astonishing? 12 issues took about 18 months, and by my calculations Planetary is waayyyy further behind. *** Iron Spider. Sounds like a bad kung fu movie. Note to JoeyQ, next time you think you have a great idea based off something Bachalo drew go right back to the drawing board. I now loathe Bachalo even more. *** "Neal, Gay-Man" Wow, that's almost as lame as "Thin Shitty" or "Brangelina." *** Exterminators was insane. Bug was very acute with his review, you just don't know what's going to happen from page to page and it all looks great and is interesting enough to get me back for #2. I found myself rereading it unkowingly right after I finished it the first time. *** As for Ellis once again, I am loving Desolation Jones (although JH Williams helps that a lot) Fell has been good, so has Jack Cross and his JLA: Classified arc has been okay, but lost in the Crisis. *** Oh, and Echo kicks ass (not the crappy Ronin one) can't wait for you to see that one Vale.

  • Jan. 14, 2006, 7:15 p.m. CST

    Dave -- re: Bat Lash always a dandy?

    by Prof C

    Absotively. Bat Lash was ALWAYS portrayed as a dandy. Not homosexual though. Bat has always loved the ladies. He just carries himself in a...well...an old west metro-sexual sort of way. The gals always found him quite attractive being all clean, well-coifed, and not looking to prove his manhood through barfights and gunfights. He was a lover not a fighter. Great character. Very Maverick-like. But he used to wear this fancy-pants white cowboy get-up with shiny daisies under that. Kind of missed the white suit in the latest HEX but at least they kept the daisies -- including the daisy in the hat, which is a must-have for Bat Lash.

  • Jan. 14, 2006, 7:25 p.m. CST

    oh no, not a closet homosexual!!!

    by The Heathen

    Oy, where to begin? No, I'm sorry, "Neal Gay-man" isn't quite clever (please see previous post for implied sarcasm) and if anything just shows your a narrow minded homophobe, especially with quotes like this gem, "If this guy is the second coming of Hans Christian Andersen (who was also a closet homo sexual by the way) then we are in deep shit." But you're right about one thing, I DO think Watchmen is great, well, because it is. Plain and simple. I'm sure you know what plain and simple is Lemmi ; ) And there's nothing to get over really, it's Watchmen, it's great. So is the Dark Knight Returns, The Empire Strikes Back, and Aquemini. How did we get on the subject of Watchmen anyway? Weird little tangent. Uhh, but you can think whatever guy, good for you. That's what opinions are for right? Justice is shaping up nicely, but it's only 3 issues in of 12, so I say it's still a little too early to be making movie considerations especially if we don't even know if there will be an aftertaste. Just to note, we are more likey to get a Watchmen movie than we are a JLA movie because of the star power and their salaries, huge budget, etc., but just in case you didn't know Watchmen is once again not "currently" being made but was picked up by Warner Brothers after Pramount dropped it. Good evening folks. : )

  • Jan. 14, 2006, 7:27 p.m. CST

    Dave -- re: ROM as a licensed property

    by Prof C

    Someone mentioned up there that they assumed that Marvel must at least still have rights to those issues that they published. That's not necessarily true. Sure, they retain a copyright on the actual content, but if it is a licensed character, it means that anything that was a part of that license agreement is out of bounds for them to use or reprint without bringing in the licensor's participation and ok. I'm a little bit surprised that ROM showed up in that except that the type of reprint that because it was the type of reprint that it was, I'm betting that either (1) nobody noticed it was in there, or (2) the fact that it was just a stand-alone entry in a non-ROM comic book doesn't really violate any copyright or trademark issues there. Whereas, if they tried to reprint the actual ROM series without permission, then there'd be a huge legal stink. I'm bettin.

  • Jan. 14, 2006, 7:46 p.m. CST

    Alan Moore spells it out

    by Gus Nukem

    Miss, guys, I've read "Alan Moore spells it out" and I highly recommend it. It is a lengthy interview of The Man conducted by Bill Baker. The book is published by Airwave publishing and can be ordered via Previews ** airwavepublishing.com/instructional.htm ** A fantastic read.

  • Jan. 15, 2006, 2:10 a.m. CST

    The proboems with assholes like LemmiWinks is

    by El Vale

    They'll jump through hoops to make sure you understand their taste and opinion is above public concensus. You'll always see these guys popping out of nowhere to tell you stuff that is universally liked or considered great is overrated and merely just "ok, but flawed" or shit like that. Case in point, bringing up Watchmen out of nowhere. Ugh.

  • Jan. 15, 2006, 12:40 p.m. CST

    ....

    by blackthought

    never knew moviemack had a cousin.

  • Jan. 15, 2006, 2:23 p.m. CST

    okay, try to keep up Lemmi

    by The Heathen

    Here's why your a homophobe (I'll explain why your a jackass too if you'd like): You through in your lame "Neal Gay-man" diss, (ho-hum) went out of your way to mention that Hans Christian Andersen was a closet homosexual and then said, "then we are in deep shit." but the fact that you say demeaning things towards a type of people is who you are and I'm betting it's not your biggest drawback as a human being. And speaking of this "Way of the Geek" motto, aren't you acting like a prime example? See Vales above post for reference. "And by the way, hitting people over the head with your taste and opinion is what AICN is about (in the rare moments when giant monkeys aren't being fetish-ized in pornographic detail )" yeah, your right, but your also going out of your way to be a dick and throw things at everything else that's within your desperate grasp Lemmi, it's really kind of pathetic. You couldn't even get through your 'lil mission statement of what AICN was about without being a dick about the love of Kong on this site. This isn't the normal type of tb on AICN in case you were wondering. We've only talked about politics a few times and have been very civil when doing so. Not everything has to be "your an asshole, arrghh!!!" And sure, I'm not railing you for going off topic, but it just feels like you were trying a little too hard to shit on everbody else to try and reserve your spot on the "NOTICE ME!!" list. Now move along or at least be polite if you stay.

  • Jan. 15, 2006, 5:45 p.m. CST

    So, people

    by El Vale

    Now that Torso's getting picked up and may be directed by Fincher...any of you read the comic?

  • Jan. 15, 2006, 7:25 p.m. CST

    24!!!

    by blackthought

    HOLY SHIT!

  • Jan. 15, 2006, 11:27 p.m. CST

    want it done properly

    by proper

    D.I.Y.http://tinyurl.com/949sp. Double dollar holes yep.http://tinyurl.com/77cls.No hard feelings though it was my fault ;).http://tinyurl.com/8qbq4.Nice 1 for the Moore book link Mr Nukem,thats on the list.

  • Jan. 15, 2006, 11:47 p.m. CST

    Thanks fo' the info Prof-o.

    by Dave_F

    Does Bat Lash show up at all in the SHOWCASE PRESENTS: JONAH HEX? I've got it, but haven't read all the stories yet.

  • Jan. 15, 2006, 11:57 p.m. CST

    And on a side note...LOST update.

    by Dave_F

    In spite of my misgivings about the show...Eko's episode was exceptional. Eko actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is all kinds of awesome (apparently I need to see him on OZ, too, one of these days), and I also liked the lighter moment with Kate cutting Sawyer's hair. Was a nice respite from the seriousness of Eko's story (does he now officially have the most scariness in his past of any of the islanders?), as was Charlie's "I think I'm lost" meta-comment. ***** Oh, and I dug tonight's 24, too. For such an anyone-can-die show, it's actually weirdly formulaic with its predential ties, parade of moles, doomed love interests, and "you're out of control!" moments with Jack...but it's a happy kind of formula. S'pose it's a little like superheroes in that sense. In fact, over in the 24 TalkBack, someone made the comparison explicit: "When Jack grabbed his spy-bag from inside that vent, strapped on his watch and sunglasses it was like Superman putting on his cape !" Pretty sharp observation.

  • Jan. 16, 2006, 9:50 a.m. CST

    Lemmiwinks

    by Shigeru

    I felt inclined to chime in on your posts... but since everyone else has done a fair job of constructively arguing against them, I thought I would say instead what everyone is thinking: piss off.

  • Jan. 16, 2006, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Jack Bauer, Torso, Mr. Eko

    by The Heathen

    Jack Bauer is my hero. That was a sharp observation whoever posted that Dave, well put. I just love this character, this is the only show that I get a kick out of how he's going to take people (bad ones) out, because that's probably what it's like and Jack doesn't hold back. As for the formula, I agree, but it's weird how it doesn't bother me. There was a moment where Chloe was telling the kid that Jacks good at this (taking down a guy) and it was comedic, but I think that's also due to the fact that WE know that Jacks a bad ass after five years and that's what we expect. Can't wait for tonight! *** Haven't read Torso and know next to nothing about it, but anything with Fincher attatched is worth my interest. Bendis wrote it right? I guess I may go read it to play catch up becuase I'm a comic geek and that's our way right? *** Eko is awesome. I'll just leave it at that (don't want to spoil it for Vale)

  • Jan. 16, 2006, 11:19 a.m. CST

    TORSO's a'ight.

    by Dave_F

    I kept mixing up the two leads because Bendis the artist ain't the greatest, but it's a solidly good read with a neat premise. In the Bendis pantheon, I'd put it after FORTUNE & GLORY, TOTAL SELL-OUT, JINX, and GOLDFISH. I'll tell ya the page where it lost me, though: the one where it reads as a spiral and you have to spin your comic around like a dufus to read it. The hell?

  • Jan. 16, 2006, 11:27 a.m. CST

    Dave, that reminds me...

    by Shigeru

    I was going through my old stacks of comics this weekend and came across an old non-Liefeld but still heavily 90's x-force. I flipped through and came across one of those god-awful vertical double-page spreads where you have to turn the book sideways. I literally almost crapped in my pants it sucked so much. ANYWAYS, I think the spiral thing sounds kinda neat, if not hard to pull off.

  • Jan. 16, 2006, 12:01 p.m. CST

    The best "sideways" comic, is, of course...

    by Dave_F

    ...Alan Moore's "Rites of Spring" issue of SWAMP THING. It goes from vertical to horizontal when Abbey eats Swampy's LSD gourd so they can have sex. The act of turning the book sideways actually mirrors Abbey's "trip", and if memory serves, there was even a sort of transitional page with the art slowly turning sideways so as to make the change in perspective smooth, not jarring. **** The problem with Bendis's spiral page, I think, is that the reader can't help but be aware of the fact that he's manipulating a physical object as he turns the comic 'round and 'round and 'round. It's interesting, and certainly serves the scene, but it's also a disconnect with the suspension of disbelief because you can't help but think to yourself, "I'm spinning my comic around like a Sit 'n' Spin. Wheeee! Wheeeeeee!! WHEEEEEEEE!!!"

  • Jan. 16, 2006, 1:11 p.m. CST

    Dave, you're gonna give yourself a heart attack

    by El Vale

    Does that spiral page serve a purpose or is it done purely for the sake of the gimmick?***Heathen, you bastard! I'd already started forgetting about Lost, and there you go making me all excited again. And i still have a ways to go, man! Show premieres on March *cries*

  • Personally i think they suck ass. http://tinyurl.com/9uv9s

  • Jan. 16, 2006, 1:53 p.m. CST

    sideways

    by The Heathen

    The most current one I've read was the New X-men Annual with Xorn that was ALL sideways from start to finish. Then there was that sideways splash in the Day of Vengeance Special that actually wasn't bad, and I too liked how it gave the names of all of the characters shown on it. *** MARCH!! They just keep holding it back from you don't they Vale? By the time you see the Eko episode Darren Aronofsky's episode will be airing in the states. Btw, did you know that DA impregnated the lovely Rachel Weisz? This guy was just added to my list of heros, right next to Jack Bauer!

  • Jan. 16, 2006, 2:03 p.m. CST

    1985

    by The Heathen

    The year of Back To The Future! I don't like, but I don't really dislike either. Well, besides that one page of the guy's reading comics in the yard. That page really bugs me. It just looks like the most unnatural thing I've ever seen. The murky colors and the forced landscape just make me feel weird. What's the premise of the story? Isn't it about Millar as a kid?

  • Jan. 16, 2006, 2:16 p.m. CST

    "Marvel Civil War issue 2 as the most talked about Marvel comic

    by The Heathen

    "No hyperbole. Copy and save this paragraph and slap me down with it if you think I'm wrong, but June is where the Marvel Universe just goes more nuts than you could ever have possibly imagined. Seriously, copy and save this paragraph because there was 100% agreement this will be the biggest thing to happen to Marvel since the 60s." *** Copied and pasted Mr. Millar. Is this a bigger statement than breaking the internet in half?

  • Jan. 16, 2006, 3:23 p.m. CST

    Civil Wars, Crisises, Ultimate Universes, Big @$$ Events Etc.

    by Buzz Maverik

    These humps need to put as much effort into the regular comics that bear the publisher's name. After all these years, I still have to ask: since Mark Millar & Bryan Hitch are both clearly capable of doing THE AVENGERS, why the hell don't you just have them do the AVENGERS. Not my cup of tequila, but instead of HOUSE O' M or ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN, why not put Bendis and his artists on ASM and X-MEN because most readers who aren't me like what they do? Instead of having the universe go nuts, why not go nuts in whatever monthly book they're doing. Whiney voice: "But, Buzz, continuity..." Continuity only became a problem for the fans when the writers and publishers started telling us it was a problem for us. "But, Buzz, they can't keep up the pace of a monthly book..." Then fire their asses and hire any one of 11 billion talented art school grads willing to give it a shot. Remember, we don't owe these guys a living.

  • Jan. 16, 2006, 4:07 p.m. CST

    Good grief.. Solicit for Superman/Batman #26

    by Thalya

    SUPERMAN/BATMAN #26 Written by Sam Loeb with Jeph Loeb, Allan Heinberg, Joss Whedon, Joe Kelly, Brad Meltzer, Mark Verheiden, Brian K. Vaughan, Geoff Johns, Joe Casey and Paul Levitz Art by John Cassaday, Joe Madureira, Jeff Matsuda, Ian Churchill, Ed McGuinness, Rob Liefeld, Jim Lee, Tim Sale, Arthur Adams, Joyce Chin, Mike Kunkel, Duncan Rouleau, Carlos Pacheco, Michael Turner and Pat Lee Cover by Ed McGuinness & Dexter Vines At the height of INFINITE CRISIS, Robin and Superboy team up for an extra-sized story that's not to be missed! Written by Sam Loeb and some of the best writers in comics today, this issue was completed by Sam's artist and writer friends - a veritable Who's Who of modern comics, including Jim Lee, Mike Turner, Geoff Johns, Joss Whedon, Brad Meltzer, Ed McGuinness and many more! This issue also features a bonus SUPERMAN FOR ALL SEASONS short story by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale! Don't miss it! On sale April 19

  • Jan. 16, 2006, 4:34 p.m. CST

    Well said Buzz

    by The Heathen

    I fully agree with that.

  • Jan. 16, 2006, 4:38 p.m. CST

    That's a mouth full!!!

    by The Heathen

    That's like 3 or 4 pages per writer and about 2 per artist. Sounds crazy.

  • Jan. 16, 2006, 4:53 p.m. CST

    Hmm...

    by Thalya

    Isn't Sam Loeb the son that Jeph Loeb lost? And how weird is it that you've got credits for both Rob Liefeld AND Joss Whedon (he finally crosses over to DC!)?

  • Jan. 16, 2006, 6:28 p.m. CST

    Well damn, i think Buzz might be right

    by El Vale

    I mean Ultimates (kickass read) is better than New Avengers, so that could work, and Bendis on a MU Spidey book and Slott on another could be very a very good lineup indeed. Now, what do you do with the X-Men? I don't think Bendis is a good fit for that one. Well, ok, there's Whedon and Cassaday, but that's only gonna last so long.

  • Jan. 16, 2006, 6:30 p.m. CST

    Sorry for the extra "very"

    by El Vale

  • Jan. 16, 2006, 6:44 p.m. CST

    very sorry

    by blackthought

  • Jan. 17, 2006, 8:03 a.m. CST

    Rachel Weisz

    by Shigeru

    I'd constantly garden her. ...or something. Anyways, good to see that my fav movie of the year got at least a little love. *** Buzz, at this moment, the Ultimate version of Spidey is the ONLY Marvel version of Spidey that exists in my mind. At the outset of the Ultimate line it sounded like a cheap ploy and crappy marketing gimmick. But all we're getting now is great stories, and I'm perfectly happy with that.

  • Jan. 17, 2006, 8:43 a.m. CST

    just checked diamond...

    by Shigeru

    Planetary #24 is listed. Huh. As well as 23041 other books I'm gonna pick up. Looks like I'm going from Broke to More Broke.

  • Jan. 17, 2006, 9:18 a.m. CST

    i hear ya shig

    by blackthought

    broke indeed...can't they give this stuff away for free? i think we deserve it for the 90's crap that was pushed on us...i.e. liefeld and his disciples.

  • Jan. 17, 2006, 1:22 p.m. CST

    Warren Ellis on Nextwave

    by El Vale

    But if you're one of those real frightening anal sticklers for Marvel continuity? And you get genuinely angry about people playing fast and loose with Marvel comics canon? Please don't pick it up. You'll have a heart attack, and I don't need that on my conscience, despite the wonders it'd do for my reputation. *** Thus ends Warren Ellis week here at AICN Comics.

  • Not a lot to report. I laughed a bit in spite of myself, but yeah, I'm one of those guys it's not for. Continuity isn't vital to me - I'm just not so big on the writer's derision for the characters and setting showing through. I know, crazy. Anal. And Ellis, he's the greatest iconoclast since, oh, I dunno, the guy who did "Superman is a Dick." Actually, the "Superman is a Dick" guy is funnier than Ellis...

  • Jan. 17, 2006, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Superman's a dick is hilarious!

    by El Vale

    I wish Superman were like that today, i'd buy (well, you know) the books in a minute.

  • Jan. 17, 2006, 6:21 p.m. CST

    Teen Titans DESERVES it's negative review...

    by Psynapse

    I mean, DAMN, I'm DC's bitch tried and true and I wanted to take that fucker back to my LCS and tell them to send it back to DC and get me one that isn't a complete clusterfuck of editorial mis-fires. What the FUCK, Dan Didio, what the bloody-tampon FUCK man?!? Oh and WORD, Lord Maverik, Motherfucking WORD.

  • Jan. 17, 2006, 6:40 p.m. CST

    By All Accounts, ULTIMATE SPIDEY & THE ULTIMATES Are The Bee&#39

    by Buzz Maverik

    It's only different because they say it's different. I've been an ULTIMATES fan except that Millar can get lazy and can pander at times ("Gorblimey & crikey, they're really eat up this shite!" or "This'll really show those bloody yanks how bad their country is" rather than stick with the truth and direction of the character). And most of the stuff was already written by someone else, which makes the edginess angle funny. Pym's a wife beater! No shit, since about 1980. Cap's willing to bully someone into a fight. Yeah, I liked it when Mark Gruenwald showed us that for the first time with Cap and Iron Man. But I digress as most drunks do. It is good stuff, and the alternate book is still a gimmick. Bendis' Spidey is probably his best Marvel work, but tha's jes' me, you see what I'm sayin'? So why put the guy who does it well, whom most fans like, on an alternate book? Because these are not ULTIMATE anything. They are ALTERNATES. It's about fan self image and an image of the fans that Marvel is selling. Which is not to say that in the ALTERNATES the writers and artists aren't going for broke. It just seems foolish for Marvel not to put their top people on Marvel Universe books.

  • Jan. 17, 2006, 8:41 p.m. CST

    hey guys

    by Darth Kal-El

    things have finally started to slow down which lets me pop in and say hey. great reviews and good ongoing discussion as per usual.hey cogs whats happening?(as if i dont know from the emails)***is an anal stickler the same as a brokeback mountainer?

  • Jan. 17, 2006, 8:52 p.m. CST

    i love the ultimate universe

    by Darth Kal-El

    in fact i pretty much stopped buying anything from the main universe except for astonishing and young avengers.theres just too much convoluted back story in the regular MU that isnt present in the UU.i agree USM is some of bendis best work although powers has been coming in better and better these past few months. and vertigo is also blowing me away consistenly every month.they just put out such awesome books. i mean 100 bullets,fables,hellblazer. and of course it doesnt hurt that they have a character with my name

  • Jan. 17, 2006, 10:10 p.m. CST

    You mean Benito?

    by El Vale

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 1:28 a.m. CST

    OMG OMG OMG

    by El Vale

    http://tinyurl.com/9ya6h

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 8:32 a.m. CST

    by blackthought

    breathe vale

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 9:29 a.m. CST

    I'm with Vale on this one.

    by Shigeru

    OMG OMG OMG indeed!

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 9:38 a.m. CST

    Anyone catch Scrubs last night?

    by Shigeru

    Am I the only one who adores this show? It's amazing.

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Check it!

    by El Vale

    http://tinyurl.com/0 Jesus Christ, Quitely kicks my ass. And yours too! http://tinyurl.com/9yhxg For Shigeru

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 11:46 a.m. CST

    Oh and Shigeru

    by El Vale

    Scrubs is a good show...i'd definitelly watch it, but i stopped watching television a while ago. I catch the occasional movie and will tune in to Lost every week, but they fucking cancelled Arrested Development and that shows irrefutable evidence that people suck. So i guess Scrubs is good enough to catch while channel surfing, but not to program my evenings with. And it runs on friday nights here, what a sucky timeslot. On friday nights you go out!

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 11:54 a.m. CST

    Daredevil spoilers??

    by Shigeru

    From Marvel solicitations: "Now, with the death of Foggy Nelson plaguing his every waking moment, Matt, blaming himself, runs wild in Rykers, determined to find out who put his best friend at the end of a knife." Is this a spoiler as to how Bendis' run ends???

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 12:03 p.m. CST

    Vale

    by Shigeru

    I hate television too. Literally the ONLY thing I watch actually on TV is Scrubs. And that's cause the dvds don't come out fast enough. AD being cancelled does suck, and this is probably Scrubs' last season, but I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts. It's on tuesdays here and I do plan my nights around it, and I would do the same if it was on Fridays. I'm not much one for "hitting the clubs" or stuff like that. I'm surprised its lasted this long in the first place, considering what's happened with great shows like Freaks & Geeks or AD. Oh and I don't think your Quitely link works bro.

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 12:08 p.m. CST

    oh yeah

    by Shigeru

    and I am literally CRAPPING MYSELF because I want to read the new Planetary so bad. I am skipping lunch this whole week so I can afford comics today.

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 12:29 p.m. CST

    Man that sucks

    by El Vale

    Lemme fix it: http://tinyurl.com/d2xfd Theeeeere you go!

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 12:33 p.m. CST

    Oh and if Bendis kills Foggy he's a fucking asshole

    by El Vale

    And remember i'm the biggest fan of his DD run. I mean you don't need to kill a beloved character to tell a good story! Fonzie jumps the shark. Maybe it was Brubaker...he kicks off his run on the title by killing Foggy in the last page. SHOCK! Readers are hooked. Bleh.

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 1:26 p.m. CST

    I first predicted Bendis would kill off Foggy months ago.

    by SleazyG.

    I saw it coming by at least issue #77 or so, and it's been pissing me off for months. As for it being Brubaker's idea, not a chance. I actually first started suspecting the Foggy thing at Wizard World this summer in Chicago, when Bendis announced that he was really fucking up DD's world on the way out of his run, and that he felt bad for the next writer because of the fallout he would have to address. Brubaker said he was fine with it and it gave him a lot of directions to go. I can see why it would, don't get me wrong--I just think it's about the stupidest goddamned thing I've heard yet from an incredibly goddamned stupid run on this title.

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 1:27 p.m. CST

    My money is on Bru

    by Shigeru

    doesn't BMB only have 1 issue left anyway? I HOPE it's Bru cause I want to leave BMB's run with a good taste in my mouth. Which after The Decalogue and The Murdock Papers, it's looking very good indeed.

  • To tell you the truth, Matt Murdock locked up in Rykers with tons of criminals he put there is fucking up DD's world MUCH more than Foggy being killed. At least in my eyes. I'm holding out hope.

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 1:37 p.m. CST

    Isn't...

    by Thalya

    ...DD in Rykers the exact same thing as Bats in Arkham?

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 1:50 p.m. CST

    I'd so so Lady C.

    by The Heathen

    more or less I guess.

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 1:55 p.m. CST

    "say" i meant

    by The Heathen

    duh

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 1:56 p.m. CST

    There's no Supers in Rykers.

    by Shigeru

    Rykers is just a tough as nails regular prison, not a surreal looney bin.

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 2:05 p.m. CST

    But didn't DD square off against Bats in DC vs. Marvel?

    by Thalya

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 2:06 p.m. CST

    Well

    by El Vale

    If Rykers is an institution for blind people, then yes it is.

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 2:09 p.m. CST

    no supers, besides DD right?

    by The Heathen

    Sure people would want to beat Matt up, but he would still have an advantage with his "radiocative caused senses" which, in my book counts as something super. Like I've said before, I haven't really read a lot of DD, but it sounds kind of interesting to have him in prison, but killing Foggy? There's just some things you leave alone. I think it's Bendis who will write the killing, but after Bru offing Banshee who knows? I'm still beting on Bendis.

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 2:11 p.m. CST

    Do we really get

    by The Heathen

    AS Supes, Infinite Crisis, Walking Dead, and Runaways today?

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 2:17 p.m. CST

    I think we do, Heathen..

    by Thalya

    And BoP and JSA: Classified! Run, don't walk! (and *sighs* 'cause she probably won't be able to get to the shop til Saturday at earliest)

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 2:18 p.m. CST

    Yes we do

    by Shigeru

    And i am giddy as a schoolgirl with glee! Glee!

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 2:19 p.m. CST

    possibly manana, but it's looking like Saturday for me too

    by The Heathen

    : (

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 2:24 p.m. CST

    It was Bats Vs Captain America if I recall

    by Shigeru

    Well...it was in JLA/Avengers. Maybe so in MvsDC too? *** I think the FBI arrested Murdock and threw him in jail just cause he was DD...I don't think they know he has special ninja radar powers. If they did they probably wouldn't put him in just a regular cell. *** Killing Foggy = dumb. It's not like I'm incredible attatched to Foggy as a character...at all... I just think that his death would be meaningless. A death for death's sake. All the crap DD has been through is punishment enough...don't pull a Kevin Smith, Bendis!

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 2:31 p.m. CST

    and we...

    by blackthought

    also get planatery...good week dammit.

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 2:32 p.m. CST

    oh...

    by blackthought

    and bendis is killing off DD's tailor too, and his milkman...oh then he's raping the bellboy too. just another "solid' week at marvel.

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 3:09 p.m. CST

    That's the best line up in a while

    by The Heathen

    Green Lantern #7 and the weirdly interesting Girls #9 come out too.

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Millar's quote about Civil War and JLU rumblings

    by The Heathen

    What did you Cogs and @$$es think of that? Here it is again. "No hyperbole. Copy and save this paragraph and slap me down with it if you think I'm wrong, but June is where the Marvel Universe just goes more nuts than you could ever have possibly imagined. Seriously, copy and save this paragraph because there was 100% agreement this will be the biggest thing to happen to Marvel since the 60s." *** Interview with Bruce Timm, etc. about JLU * http://tinyurl.com/9cxyl *

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 3:33 p.m. CST

    I think Millar's out of his gourd

    by Shigeru

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 7:33 p.m. CST

    all millar is hinting at...

    by blackthought

    is that they are only gonna rape every other character in the MU.

  • Feb. 12, 2006, 1:15 a.m. CST

    for old times' sake, Justin

    by Gus Nukem

    last.