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AICN COMICS REVIEWS THE LOSERS! WEREWOLF BY NIGHT! A WHOLE MESS OF MANGA! AND MUCH MORE!

#34 1/11/06 #4

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

ESSENTIAL WEREWOLF BY NIGHT VOL 1
ARES #1
ULTIMATE X-MEN #66
Comics Catch-up: THE LOSERS #26-30
Big Eyes for the Cape Guy presents MIDORI DAYS
Big Eyes for the Cape Guy presents DRAGON HEAD: BOOK ONE
Big Eyes for the Cape Guy presents THE WORLD EXISTS FOR ME V.1
Indie Jones presents…
CHEAP SHOTS!

ESSENTIAL WEREWOLF BY NIGHT Vol. 1

Written by Gerry Conway, Marv Wolfman, Len Wein, Mike Friedrich, Doug Moench, Tony Isabella
Art by Mike Ploog, Don Perlin, Gil Kane, Tom Sutton, Gene Colan, Werner Roth
Published by Marvel
Reviewed by Buzz Maverik



MARVEL SPOTLIGHT must have been considered artist Mike Ploog's book, what with WEREWOLF BY NIGHT and later GHOST RIDER. Mike Ploog was the cornerstone of Marvel's horror wave in the early to mid-1970s. Sure, Gene Colan's TOMB OF DRACULA had an elegance and beauty, but it was Mr. Ploog's books that made everything drive-in gaudy (with the illusion of drive-in gory). In addition to the horror series launched in SPOTLIGHT, Mr. Ploog's pencils also produced the brilliant MONSTER O' FRANKENSTEIN series for Marvel.

It's no slight to Mr. Ploog to say that you'll miss the color (although the black and white is better than using the modern color process for these kinds of books. They should be the old, colored dots on cheap paper for the proper effect). His work is the comic book equivalent of Hammer films. In fact, the movie werewolf that Jack Russell most resembles is Oliver Reed in Hammer's CURSE O' THE WEREWOLF. With Gene Colan's work, you can see how the color just sort of got in the way. In WWBN, you can only imagine how the color added to the mood.

Marvel's '70s horror wave. To be able to appreciate it, you'll have to free your mind from the concept of the comic book shop. In comic shops, the mutant/alien is normal, sort of like at Xavier's School. Maybe comic shops are some sort of twisted experiment designed to ghettoize the geeks and keep them from interacting with normal people. Put all the geeks in one place and no one else has to listen to them. Come to think of it, comic book review sites and their message boards serve the same function.

But WEREWOLF BY NIGHT and its' ilk bayed at the moon from inside convenience stores. You know, where normal people went for a pack of cigarettes between cartons; a beef jerky stick, a Moon Pie and a Slurpee when they have the munchies; overpriced milk when they'd run out after the supermarket has closed for the night; PLAYBOYS; sodas and rolling papers. These places always had either a spinner rack or a 2-4 bin wide hanging rack crammed full of comics. Usually, these racks were place near the front of the store within view of the clerk because we geeks (at least then) were notorious shoplifters.

I personally assisted in the theft of an entire spinner rack when I was 12 years old.

I had a geek friend at the time, a guy who is now a California Highway Patrol officer, who turned out to be an even bigger shoplifter than I was. He claimed to shoplift all his comics, which I respected. The guy was a great shoplifter. Once, after a particularly successful convenience store raid, we went into a donut shop across the parking lot. The crazy sonuvabitch reached around the case when the donut lady wasn't looking and snagged four glazed.

Then came the day when he told me about an older friend who was into comics, and had both a car and a plan. There was an actual newsstand in the next town over, extremely rare in Southern California. They kept a spinner rack on the sidewalk with an incredible selection of comics. Would I like a third of those comics for free? I think I nodded and said, "Fuck yeah."

My friend and I waited in his front yard until this primer Barracuda turned the corner and almost jumped the curb. My friend's friend, a 14 year old whose parents were stupid enough to buy him a car, yelled at us to get in. He drove like he was already trying to get away with the haul. Running lights, cutting off people for no reason, crossing the double yellow into the oncoming lanes to pass. I wished my Dad drove like that.

We were going to pass the newsstand, scope it out, then circle back. But no one was outside. Our driver pulled up within six feet of the curb and my buddy and I jumped out. I was scared but there were a ton of comics in the rack. Comic lust is more powerful than fear. We grabbed the rack, spilling comics all over the sidewalk, the driver shouting swear words at us like he was some kind of drill sergeant. The whole rack went into the back seat. Then only problem was that I had to ride back there with it, which was kind of uncomfortable and risked messing up the comics. The advantage was that I could pick the best ones to start reading. I didn't see anyone coming out of the shop until we were turning the corner. We got away with it, and I still have some of those comics in my garage here at El Casa Del Maverik. I wish I had the spinner rack but my buddy sold it to this other geek friend of ours and it stood in his room at least through high school.

This ought to illustrate why convenience stores thought it was important to keep an eye on their "customers" who came in for comics. For a time, those spinners and wall racks were grisly places, plastered with the images of living vampires, man-wolves, golems, sons and daughters of Satan, one very important Lord O' The Vampires, and even a man-thing. Often, these covers were brightly colored because these weren't written from the vampire's point of view but from the geek's point of view. For example, as with Hammer films, pulp fiction and most B-movie horror, the monster was often menacing or carrying off some gorgeous babe.

Aside from a TOMB OF DRACULA crossover, maybe the most famous story featured here is a GIANT- SIZE CREATURES which told the origin of Tigra the Were-Woman (which means man-woman, but Tigra was more of a cat-woman or tiger woman). The bad news is that all Marc Spectre fans will have to wait a couple of months for ESSENTIAL MOON KNIGHT VOL. 1 to see our favorite silver clad vigilante / Batman ripoff's first appearance, because this book doesn't go that far into WWBN's run. And I just can't imagine ESSENTIAL WEREWOLF BY NIGHT VOL. 2, which would contain a battle between the Werewolf and Iron Man, something too stupid even for me.

Soundtrack: HOW WILL THE WOLF SURVIVE? by Los Lobos, HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF by Duran Duran, WEREWOLVES OF LONDON by the late Warren Zevon, and BARK AT THE MOON by Ozzy Osbourne.


ARES #1

Writer: Michael Avon Oeming
Pencils: Travis Foreman
Inks: Derek Fridolfs
Publisher: Marvel
Reviewer: Ambush Bug



I’ve always been a huge fan of mythology. I discovered the Big Book of Greek Mythology in my school library when I was in the fourth grade and I don’t think there was a week in grades 4 through 6 that I didn’t return the book only to check it out again. I loved those tales of morality and heroism, explaining events like the rising of the sun, the changing of the seasons, and all of the gods, heroes, and monsters in between. In middle school, I dove into the world of comic books and found that, like the Greek and Roman myths of old, these modern tales of heroism held me in rapt attention, and do so to this day. One of my favorite heroes was Thor, God of Thunder. Hopping on during the classic Simonson run, I began to fall in love with the world of Asgard. At the time, Norse mythology was unfamiliar to me, but I soon gobbled up every book I could find about the Thunder God and the family. Even through the tough times, when Thor became Thunderstrike, when he fought the armies of Set with the Captain, through the Thor Corps and Code:Blue and the death of Odin and the TALES OF ASGARD series where the Asgardian Gods were sent to live as humans on Earth, I followed the book religiously. Then Michael Avon Oeming came onto the book to write the end of the Thor saga and I found myself, for the first time, hating the book. So when I first heard that Oeming was set to write the adventures of a new deity in the Marvel U, you might say that I was less than interested.

But I gave ARES a shot. The art looked cool enough and I thought it wouldn’t hurt to pick up the first issue. And I’m glad I did.

This book starts out with a bang as an epic battle between Hades and the rest of the Greek Pantheon at the base of Mt. Olympus takes place, leaving the gods in despair and forcing them to call upon the help of their wild dog of a war god, Ares. Ares is not well regarded throughout Olympus, but after the war is over and Ares stands victorious, he goes to Olympus to take his rightful place among the higher gods. But the gods deny him this right. Ares, hurt and pissed, leaves Olympus forever and decides to live among the humans. And this is where the story starts getting interesting.

I have to give Oeming credit. This guy really does do a great job with this single issue. The action starts hot and heavy. The quiet parts resonate beyond the page. Oeming is starting fresh with Ares and making him both a sympathetic hero and one to be feared. I really enjoyed the set-up, casting Ares as someone who is looking for acceptance and approval from his peers and being denied of it. Once Ares is on Earth, there are a lot of little moments that stand out as both original and thought provoking. Ares has a half-human son who is starting to take on some of the aggressive tendencies of his father. Ares himself is struggling with living in a modern world when faced with everyday things like parent-teacher conferences, the IRS, and issues regarding the equality of all humans. Oeming also sets up a truly palpable threat that happens towards the end of this issue, one that will make me tune in for the next issue for sure.

The art was huge factor in my liking this book as well. Travis Foreman does a great job of making Ares look like an imposing figure. I love the fact that Ares is a good two feet taller than everyone else in this book. He really is an imposing figure in the panel and the shock of seeing such a massive monstrosity of a man is conveyed effortlessly on the faces of all of the rest of the human cast. The collaboration between the artist Foreman (inked impressively by Derek Fridolfs) and the writer Oeming is extremely well done. The placement of panels is especially cinematic, pacing the page, not the entire book, for the maximum in suspenseful effect. There’s an expecially well done series of panels as Ares suits up for battle towards the end that really gets the blood pumping. My only complaint is that the panels Foreman uses in the opening battle sequence are a bit too small. I can appreciate the fact that he wanted to convey so much action on a single page, but some of the panels are so small that I can hardly make out what that action is. It was an especially brutal battle scene opening the book and the fact that some of the action was obscured is a shame.

I seriously can’t wait to read the second issue of this miniseries. Oeming has improved greatly since he dropped the ball on the final issues of the last THOR series. This issue is almost enough for me to forgive him for that. Now if only Marvel could just get their act together and put out a new THOR series as good as this one.


ULTIMATE X-MEN #66

Writer: Robert Kirkman
Penciler: Tom Raney
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Reviewed by Humphrey Lee



Okay. Brand new creative crew time. Time for the shit to hit the fan and us to go in a "BOLD NEW DIRECTION!!" right?

Wrong.

First issue out on his limited run and our new storyteller Mr. Robert Kirkman instead decides to take the time to set the stage a little. This issue, Part One of an arc titled "Date Night", is basically all setup and the opportunity for Kirkman to show us that he understands the personalities of all these characters to a 'T'. He understands things like the little hitch in Cyclops' "fearless leader" persona and how it all crumbles down when it comes to his Jean Grey. Wolverine = quiet badass and tough guy but with a heart of gold. Nightcrawler is an outcast amongst outcasts due to his appearance, and so on and so forth. It's a very good exercise in showing that he knows his material and that he knows how to write them in the proper light. All of that understanding plus just the right amount of teenage angst, ala INVINCIBLE, and the tone of the book is already pretty dead on.

The other thing of note in this mostly low-key story is the new Ultimatization of a longtime Marvel Universe character, Lilandra of the Shi'ar. Though, like most things ultimate, the circumstances are a bit different around this version of Lilandra. Instead of being a part of Charles Xavier's past and a longtime love of his, this is his first encounter with her. And instead of being the Empress of a large alien empire, this time around she's the leader of a rather radical church movement... well, for now she is anyway. We'll have to wait and see what Kirkman develops with this.

Also, we get some side developments like the return of Sabretooth, and a major turn for the better with Rogue, as it seems after the incident with Gambit in her final encounter with him in the ULTIMATE X-MEN ANNUAL, she can apparently touch other people now without the normal drawback. And boy, is she eager to put it to use. There're other developments all over the place too, but they're more little personal moments than anything driving the main flow of the storyline so I don't want to bother describing them all. Just know that given the premise of the issue they're all very fitting, and again, all very well depicted by Kirkman.

Oh, and since I went ahead and did all that gushing over one half of the new creative crew, I'd feel bad if I didn't mention that Raney brings some very good artwork to the table too. Now, given all the work I've seen from the man on OUTSIDERS and STORMWATCH I think it's safe to say that his best attribute is his knack for very kinetic action. Well, obviously there's none of that here, but he still turns in a very good effort. He does a great job of conveying the proper emotions via the facial expressions of the characters and brings a lot of details to the settings their in to make the pages feel a lot more "full" instead of seeming like it's just a bunch of talking heads. And even though he isn't doing anything kinetic, the splash page where draws in the returned Sabretooth just has the character oozing bad-assery. When the action gets going I only expect things to get better. This is definitely a great crew they have here. The longer it lasts the better.


So many comics, so little time. As much as I love to read ‘em, I just can’t seem to catch up with my stack of comics. Pretty soon, I have quite a few issues of the same series stacked up. When that happens, I like to sit down for an afternoon and play catch-up. Comics Catch-up, that is.



THE LOSERS #26-30

Writer: Andy Diggle
Artists: Jock, Colin Wilson, Lee Loughridge (Colors)
Publisher: DC Vertigo
Reviewer: Ambush Bug




THE LOSERS is one of those comics that I wish I would have reviewed on a more consistent basis since discovering it. It’s one of those books that you kind of take for granted. It’s so damn good, everyone who is anyone must know how good it is and praising it on a monthly basis seemed to step into the realm of stating the obvious. Well, we’re smack dab in the middle of the last arc of this series, and THE LOSERS looks as if it will end its #32 issue long series with one hell of a bang.

Basically, THE LOSERS is a story of adventure, betrayal, loyalty, conspiracy, friendship, honor, and what it means to be an American in this day and age. The Losers are a rag-tag band of soldiers, set up for a crime they did not commit. The government they served proudly is now after them. They don’t know who their allies are, but they know who their enemy is. His name is MAX and his vile acts have plagued the Losers since they came together many years ago. MAX’s pockets run deep and so do his filthy dealings. He’s Kaiser Soze. He’s the unseen evil behind all of the Loser’s troubles. He’s the one they want to get ahold of. THE LOSERS is about one group of soldiers’ pursuit of revenge and redemption.

Powerfully told by the modern master of comic book action, Andy Diggle, THE LOSERS’ arcs read like movies with edge of your seat thrills, big-budget action sequences, and situations of dire circumstance. All of the events that play out are set in the real world. No one has super powers. No one does stuff that a human with the proper training couldn’t do. Diggle firmly plants this story in the world outside our window. A world where suspicion rules, where allegiances are fluid and untrustworthy, where the government cannot be counted upon.

One of the things that makes this comic truly special is the cast of characters. Clay is the leader of this group. He’s a man whose life is the mission and nothing else. He’s someone who has lost so much and would do anything to keep this team together and safe to achieve their goal. Cougar is the silent warrior of the group. He’s the Wolverine. The Snake-Eyes. The man of few words. The one whose every action counts for something. Jensen is the tech guy. Nerdy, annoying, chock-filled with snark and smart-assery. The rest of the group would kill him if not for the fact that they need him. Pooch is the loyal driver and mechanical guy. Always the one to say “I’m too old for this shit!” but his sense of loyalty always brings him back into the fray. And Aisha is the x-factor. She’s the newbie to the team, equally, if not more so deadly, with an agenda of her own. Reading that last paragraph seems like the cast synopsis of just about every action movie from the eighties and nineties. But that’s what makes this book so endearing. It takes those tired clichés and makes them fresh and fun. Not by modernizing them or twisting them in some ham-fisted, square-peg-round-hole sort of way, but by just telling straight-up, intriguing and intense stories. Andy Diggle is a phenomenal action story teller. He’s one of those guys who could read the directions on a frozen pizza box and make it sound like a knuckle-biter. With just a few years of experience in the big leagues, Andy Diggle has proven to be the premier action storyteller of today.

A three-issue story arc called “UnAmerica” can be found in THE LOSERS #26-28. These issues pull back the curtain to reveal MAX’s plan and true face. This plot has been hinted at from the very first few issues of this series and it’s a doozy. Paying close attention to shifts in the tectonic plates in the Persian Gulf, MAX becomes a world threat as a new island rises due to undersea earthquakes. Dubbing this land New Jerusalem, MAX declares this land his and officially becomes a world power by declaring war on anyone who enters his airspace. At the same time, the Losers are on the trail of nuclear missiles stolen by MAX’s troops from a sunken Russian submarine. The Losers find themselves in a ghost town in the heart of Chernobyl, the perfect place to hide nuclear weapons. This arc is a race against time, as MAX comes closer to nuclear retaliation and the Losers get closer to the missiles. Diggle juggles action on a personal level involving a captured Pooch and the Losers’ fight to get to him in time and action on a bigger scale involving MAX and his interaction with the United States government.

Issues #29 and 30 literally deal with the fallout from the events of “UnAmerica.” This is the Losers’ last stand against MAX. This final arc of the series seems to be wrapping everything up into a perfectly plotted package. As MAX and the Losers courses come closer to collision, it is apparent that this will be the last Losers mission and not everyone will come out of this intact. Alliances are broken, dreams are shattered, people will die. And we still have two issues to go in this final arc! Entitled “Endgame”, this series proves that a truly great comic can come to a truly great conclusion.

Rounding out the excellence in this book is the art. The man known only as Jock is a true visionary in today’s comics. The relationship between story and art is seamless. Jock’s vivid action scenes communicate intricate movements in just a few panels. He has given each member of the Losers an instant recognizability without making them look as if they always have to wear the same clothes to do so. Lee Loughridge’s colors have complimented Jock’s art from the get go, plainly texturizing the panels to fit the mood of that section of the story. The panels are angular and vivid during the intense action and square and cool at times of calm. This art team is a master of highlighting the story and making it all work together. Artist Colin Wilson stepped up to give Jock a rest for the “UnAmerica” arc. His work is reminiscent of late Frank Miller and early Steve Leialoha. Very expressive. Very thick figures. Very nicely done and a worthy substitute for Jock. But this series has always been Jock’s and it will be his stellar interiors and iconic covers that will always be tied to THE LOSERS.

Although the creative team of Diggle and Jock may have one of the most “Beavis and Butthead”-like giggle inducing names, there isn’t a creative team out there that can top what they have accomplished with this series. They did this without bells and whistles, without hype and selling out. They told the adventures of the Losers the old fashioned way, through rock-solid storytelling. I’m not sure why this series is set to end in two issues. Maybe sales were low. Maybe the creative team told their story and wanted to move on. Whatever the case, THE LOSERS is a true standout in DC’s Vertigo line and it’s definitely a book that will not be forgotten when it reaches its final issue. Pick up the trades. Pick up the last two issues. Don’t miss this series. It’s one of the best.


MIDORI DAYS

Creator: Kazurou Inoue
Publisher: Viz
Reviewer: Dan Grendell



An Overview of Volumes 1-3

This is a strange manga. I can hear you now, "All those things are weird. They have crap like Freddie Mercury in a Japanese high school and kids who carry animals around in balls." And you wouldn't be wrong. This, however, is really odd. And that's what drew me to it.

Seija Sawamura is a badass. He beats people up with his "Devil's right hand", and then goes home and thinks about how lonely he is because no girl gives him the time of day. What he doesn't know, though, is that a girl named Midori has had a crush on him forever. She's always wished she could be a part of him, so one day he wakes up and she is his right hand. A little miniature Midori, naked from the waist up, where she kind of merges with his wrist. Makes sense, right? Wrong! That doesn't make any sense! What are you smoking?

Anyway, the manga is about Seiji dealing with his new 'problem' (including scenes like the one where he does a bunch of pull-ups one-handed so Midori won't be hurt and then is so sore he can't hold himself to pee with that hand, so Midori takes care of it. Yep, it goes there) and the burgeoning relationship between the two. It seems Midori's larger body is in a coma while she moonlights as a hand, and she occasionally returns to it so as not to worry her family, but she always goes back to her Seiji. It's really pretty creepy, in a goofy way.

In fact, that about sums up this manga. Pretty creepy, but a hell of a lot of fun.


DRAGON HEAD: BOOK ONE
Written and Illustrated by: Minetaro Mochizuki
Published by: Tokyopop
Reviewer: superhero



I’m a huge fan of survival/end of the world horror. Everything from movies like Romero’s LIVING DEAD films to TV shows like the BBC’s 70’s show SURVIVORS to novels like Robert McCammon’s SWAN SONG to comics like Kirkman’s WALKING DEAD; I love them all. If there’s anything that creeps me out more than society completely falling apart and leaving humanity defenseless against the unknown I can’t think of what it is. If a story’s got some sort of awful disaster that leaves a small band of people to fend for themselves against monsters/demons/crazy humans I’m pretty much all in. Yes, a lot of the time I end up being incredibly disappointed by a lot of material spawned from this genre but every once in a while I come across a gem that just gives me the heebie-jeebies. Sure, it’s the idea of survival horror that freaks me out but it’s rare that something is presented intelligently and skillfully enough to really follow through and leave me with a lasting impression, especially in the medium of comic books. As a matter of fact there are only two comic projects that I can think of that truly got to me enough to send chills down my spine. The first being the aforementioned WALKING DEAD (at least the beginning of the run) and the other being Alan Moore’s FROM HELL. Heck, FROM HELL even gave me nightmares the first time I read it. It sucked me in that much.

So how does DRAGON HEAD hold up when compared to the previous works I’ve mentioned? Well, let’s just say FROM HELL and WALKING DEAD need to make room on my bookshelf for this fantastically creepy manga by Minetaro Mochizuki. That’s high praise, I know, but DRAGON HEAD deserves it.

DRAGON HEAD is the story of three teenagers who have survived a train crash. On the way to a school outing the train that they are on heads into a tunnel and due to some unknown disaster it never manages to make it out. The train becomes trapped in the tunnel and the ensuing crash kills everyone on board except for the three protagonists who, before this incident, were complete strangers.

And that’s it. That’s pretty much the story. Well, at least for this first volume. Doesn’t seem too scary does it? But think about it. You’re in a dark tunnel, in a train crash, surrounded by dead bodies and there’s no way out. Now that is scary.

Now normally the situation itself wouldn’t be enough fodder for a horror comic but Mochizuki is an absolute master at setting a dreadful mood through his artwork. Actually, Mochizuki is smart enough to know that the less you show the more there is for the reader to be afraid of. The creator of DRAGON HEAD truly knows the worth of a still or quite panel. Throughout the book Mochizuki uses large chunks of black panels to interrupt the narrative and give the story its moments of tension. Not only that but he’s also able to skillfully use shadows in his panel work to set a mood. As I continued reading this book the sense of absolute foreboding and helplessness were palpable within its pages as you’re reminded over and over again that these kids are totally screwed. For them, they are in an absolute no-win situation and the author knows how to convey that brilliantly. Hell, for most of the book it’s just two of the kids discovering each other and getting the hint that no one’s coming to rescue them. By the time they’ve discovered the third teen one of the first two is on the edge of sanity and seems about to spill over into LORD OF THE FLIES mode as if things weren’t already bad enough.

For the most part this book centers around three teenagers figuring out what they’re going to do while trying to navigate their way through a train crash in a pitch black tunnel. I know this doesn’t sound like the stuff of true horror but the storytelling is so well paced and the situation so well presented that I found myself not being able to put the book down. DRAGON HEAD sucked me in and wouldn’t let me go. It focuses on the terror of being in an absolutely horrible situation and it does it incredibly well. I mean, honestly, who needs monsters when the things that most of us are really afraid of are things that could possibly happen in real life? What DRAGON HEAD does is present a scenario that many people could imagine being in and uses that to bring fear to the forefront. It’s a real testament to the skill of the author that he’s able to pull it off because in many hands I’m sure this book would’ve come off as a complete snore. Instead it ends up being a brilliant piece of comic book horror.

One final note to those of you who’ve seen the Japanese film which is based on this manga. Do not let that tepid piece of filmmaking dissuade you from picking this book up. Trust me. They are complete polar opposites. While elements of the story seem the same (I’ve only read the first volume of the manga after all. The film condenses all ten books into about an hour and forty-five minutes.) the techniques the director of the film uses are in complete contradiction with what the author of the manga presents. While the manga uses dark shadows and still panels to convey his work the film is turned into a lousy, over the top action piece. The film and the manga could not be more different in terms of presentation.

As far as I’m concerned DRAGON HEAD is a book that I’ll be eagerly awaiting new volumes of. It is comic book horror at its finest. It’s just too bad that I’ll have to wait until April for the next volume but if volume two is as good as this one then it’ll be more than worth the wait.


THE WORLD EXISTS FOR ME V.1

Story: Be-PaPas
Artist: Chiho Saitou
Publisher: Tokyopop
Reviewer: Dan Grendell



S&M what now?

I'm confused, and my head hurts a little. That's my reaction to this time-traveling romance manga, whose premise just left me scratching my head. It goes a little something like this: A devil named "R" (why he doesn't have a full name, I don't know) had as the source of his powers the Book of S&M (I know, but he was a devil after all). Then some guy stole it, cut it up, and made two papier-mâché dolls out of the book - a boy named "M", and a girl named "S".

Cut to a girl on a school trip outside Paris, rejected by a boy. Immediately afterwards, the train crashes, a kid who looks 8 years old named Sovieul saves her by using the "S" doll to take her to 17th century France where she is immediately arrested as a witch. She discovers she now has a green gem in her chest linking her to the doll, meets Machiavello, another time-traveler who has a red gem in his chest that links him to the "M" doll, escapes to the 15th century and is chased there by Machiavello who wants her body so he can have the 'full power' of "R", and continually pines for the boy who rejected her initially on the train.

Yeesh. Oh yeah, and Sovieul is in love with her too.

There was so much happening in this book and so much of it was just plain odd that the romance aspect just got lost for me. And that's a shame, because Saitou's art really lends itself to a romantic story. Very Gothic but expressive, with a lot of focus on costumes and the eyes, this is classic romance manga art. It's just pretty. I was reminded of REVOLUTIONARY GIRL UTENA, and that really isn't a surprise - that's another Chiho Saitou work, though she has definitely progressed since then. Action is stronger, and details too. Be-PaPas also wrote UTENA, and though this has a similar feel, the writing is more confused and overfull, like too much is being laid in at once.

Overall, I found this to be pretty to look at, but the story got in its own way. Is it a romance with fantastic elements, or a fantasy with romantic elements? Right now, it's just confusion.


ELK’S RUN #4
Speakeasy Comics

I first heard about this book after reading Vroom Socko’s excellent review of issue #3 last summer. Since then, I have digested every issue of this series and found it to be one of the most spine-tingling reads I have read in ages. Never have I been more invested in the outcome of a story than I am with this one. The secluded town of Elk’s Run is threatened with interference from the outside world. Recognizing that their parents are a little bit of bat-shit crazy, four kids decide that they need to get out of town…and fast. This book has a tempo, a heartbeat that is ever-present. And as each issue goes by, the beat gets faster. Search out the first three issues of this series and buy issue #4 released last week. You won’t be sorry. - Ambush Bug

SCATTERBRAIN #1
Writer: Brendan Deneen
Artist: Szymon Kudranski
Publisher: Markosia Comics
Reviewer: Prof. Challenger



Generally, when given the opportunity to review a new Indie comic, my self-imposed rule is to write it up only if I have something positive to say. That's not to say that the review does not sometimes contain negative criticism, just that I have to feel like the positives dominate and the negatives would be improved by constructive feedback. Now, I will confess that I've read a lot more Indie comics than I've reviewed here at AICN, and this is simply because either (1) it was good enough but did not inspire me to comment, or (2) I just did not have anything overly positive to say on the record. The standard I set for an Indie comic is still the same as what I would expect from one of the big 3 or 4 publishers…but I filter it through the fact that the creators are usually fresh to the comic book profession.

And now that I've gotten that out of the way, on with the review.

Back in November at the WizardWorld Convention in Dallas, DC V.P. Dan Didio shared a tidbit with the audience I was a part of about the way he and his executive editorial team work. And I thought it was an interesting insight. Dan said that every week when the new comics come out, he and Bob Wayne, or some other warm body, take an entire work day to rummage through copies of every comic book published that week from other publishers. They read through and discuss them. The goal, he said, is primarily to measure up the competition but also to spot up-and-coming writers and artists that they think might be a good fit with DC Comics. I don't know if this has been the practice in recent years at Marvel but I do kind of remember stories from back in the days of Stan Lee and Julius Schwartz that were similar. Anyway…the reason I even mention it is that I want to call attention to Brendan Deneen, the writer/creator of SCATTERBRAIN, by the big guns like Didio and Quesada. For a first time out of the block, it's a damn well-written comic book.

The setting is an extremely brutal and noir-ish crime-ridden town called Devil's Hopyard. The language is harsh enough to even make an AICN Talkbacker blush. SCATTERBRAIN is not really a super-hero comic, but the eponymous hero, Scatterbrain, is a supernaturally powered vigilante. Functioning much like a Dementor (from Harry Potter), when Scatterbrain touches a criminal he pulls out that individual's greatest fears and "makes them experience it a hundredfold."

In concept, the character shows himself to be inspired by characters like The Shadow, Batman, Ragman, and Tatterdemalion, but the setting and storytelling make him unique from that bunch (similar to how distinctive characters like The Spirit and The Question can be different from each other even though they are both hardboiled vigilantes dressed in light blue suits with fedoras).

What Deneen does so effectively in this comic is let the story unfold in a modern and very cinematic way. He begins the comic with Scatterbrain already well established in Devil's Hopyard and jumps quickly into the action to bring the reader up to speed on who the title character is and what he can do. Then he pulls back to focus on the character who is our narrative point of view, Detective Jack Anderfold. He's a classic alcoholic, life in the toilet, hard-nosed cop who doesn't have much tolerance for nuts like Scatterbrain. Problem is that both Anderfold and Scatterbrain seem to have the same target in their sights - The Shroud - a ruthless butcher of a gangster who rules the fear- and crime-ridden streets of Devil's Hopyard.

Deneen uses Scatterbrain's mere existence to drive and push the story along, but turns this comic into a character exploration drawing the reader along with Anderfold as he wanders through his misbegotten life of screwed up relationships. It's harsh stuff. It's depressing stuff. But I found it increasingly gripping as the story unfolded because I wanted to find out what happened next to this man.

On the art side, Szymon Kudranski brought an eerie, expressionistic look to the art - at times, very evocative of Dave McKean and Bill Sienkewicz. Kudranski brought a dark, shadowy, and moody feel to every page and paced the story very well. I never felt a sense of static storytelling at any point in this comic. Every panel and page had movement to the art. My only complaint, and it's a very minor complaint, is that there were moments where I could not distinguish between the faces of some of the male characters because of the expressionism and darkness. I might recommend bringing in just a bit more source lighting when focusing on characters interacting that are not necessarily too distinctive. And that's one thing about this comic; the characters are very "real" seeming - not two-dimensional. Also, on the art side, I have to compliment the letterer, Richard Emms, for fine work in balloon placement and special font usage. The main text font was different than the standard comic book font and I liked it a lot. I also want to give positive feedback on something as simple as the paper stock. Neither the cover nor the interior papers were the standard glossy that I'm accustomed to, but I liked the look and the feel of the comic in my hands. All in all, just a top-notch production effort from Markosia.

Considering that this is only the first issue, I was pleasantly shocked by how quickly paced the storytelling was and that last page where Anderfold comes face to face with Scatterbrain was a twist that completely got me. I can't wait for the second issue to find out what happens next and that is always my highest compliment for the first issue of a new series. If you are the type of reader who is always looking for hardcore, pulp adventure in his comics, then you can't go wrong with SCATTERBRAIN #1 and I recommend you go preorder it from your local comics shop right now. I have a feeling this could be one of those Indie sleeper hits. Loved it from cover to cover.

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.


DESOLATION JONES #5
Wildstorm DC

A lot of blanks are filled in on this issue. We get a lot of insight on just exactly what happened to our title character in the Desolation Tests that he endured to make him the man he is today, and it sure as hell ain't pretty. Forced to remain awake for an entire year while experimented on, injected with all sorts of chemicals and god knows what all the while, it's no wonder the character is as messed up as he is. Plus a lot of developments in the present tense as Jones starts to piece together all the details in his case to find his employer’s missing Hitler Porn, and the real case behind it all. It's all laid out very well, and is actually a nicely tied up little "mystery". This book is equal parts sad, tragic, funny and violent, and it all looks beautiful under the pencil of Mr. J.H. Williams III. I can't wait to see how this arc wraps up. - Humphrey

DAUGHTERS OF THE DRAGON #1
Marvel Comics

Superheroic bail bondswomen. Wow. My only other experience with this profession comes from multiple viewings of JACKIE BROWN, but the idea of mixing the world of bail bondsmen and superheroes is one of those ideas that make you hit your head and say “Why the hell didn’t I think of that?” This miniseries (written by the same writing team that brings us the truly great JONAH HEX series and the truly underrated HAWKMAN series) may be one of my most favorite concepts to come from Marvel in a while. Misty Knight and Colleen Wing were super cool back in the POWER MAN & IRON FIST days, but the coolness factor has been amped up to 11 with this issue. Sure, you could see this as Marvel’s version of BIRDS OF PREY, but it’s a version with an original concept and cool characters attached to it, so I don’t mind. The back-and-forthings between Wing and Knight are great. The battle with the Rhino is even better. And Khari Evans and Palmiotti’s art makes the two ladies look scrum-dilly-icious. This is yet another pleasant surprise from Marvel. Check it out. - Bug

JLA #124
DC Comics

Boy, is this story arc lame or what? I mean, I understand DC may be spreading themselves a bit thin with all of this INFINITE CRISIS stuff going on right now, but it seems that all of the talent is going towards smaller books and big titles that should always have a stellar line-up are getting the short end of the stick. In this issue, the Key is nuts and manipulating Manitou Raven’s wife (ugh, why’d they ever kill off Apache Chief in the first place?). Green Arrow is tussling with Batman because he is possessed by Envy of the Seven Deadly Sins. And Black Canary is just kind of there for no good reason. But wait, weren’t the Seven Deadly Sins taken care of by the Shadowpact in the DAY OF VENGEANCE SPECIAL? Or how’zabout when the Seven Deadly Sins were absorbed into the villain Sabbac and then into Katana’s sword over in the last OUTSIDERS arc? I’m no math wizard, but that’s about a dozen or so too many Seven Deadly Sins running around in this “more cohesive, more interconnected” DCU. Methinks this crossover business doth crumble under its own weight. - Bug

BAD PLANET #1
Image Comics

Picked this comic up solely because of the cover art. Check out the Badass Alien design on the cover. Just click it. I’ll be back here when you’re done absorbing all of that bad-assery.

Hmmm-hm-hmmm…

Laaa-la-laaaa…

*burp*

Ahh, you’re back? Good. Pretty cool, eh? Well, too bad, butt-steak, because that’s the only time you’re going to see Badass Alien in this issue. Set-up is the name of the game here. It ain’t a bad set-up, but couldn’t these guys at least put Badass Alien in the book for a panel or three? Horror-meister Steve Niles teams with actor Thomas (bad PUNISHER, good THURSDAY) Jane wrote it and unlike Niles’ collaboration with Rob Zombie on BIGFOOT, I’m having a harder time distinguishing who wrote what in this issue. All in all, this is a nice little book with some great art by Marvel MAX PUNISHER’s Lewis Larosa, but the old THIS COVER DOESN”T ACTUALLY OCCUR IN THIS ISSUE blurb should have been used here. I’ll pass final judgment on this one when Badass Alien actually shows up. Until then, I’m curious, yet cautious. - Bug

GREEN ARROW #58
DC Comics

Dammit, will the powers that be at DC stop beating the shit out of Connor Hawke? I swear to god, first the guy gets shuffled off to minor leagues just as he was kicking major glute as the all new, all different Green Arrow when Kevin Smith decided to bring back Ollie. And now, since the beginning of this series, he’s been used as a punching bag and bullseye for every villain with a grudge. In this issue, Connor and Speedy are blowed up real good by Merlyn and Dr. Light. Connor wakes up on a stretcher, pissed at DC editorial for once again shuffling him into the hapless victim category. This is a decent issue, but three issues of Green Arrow fighting ineffectively against Dr. Light is too long for my tastes. - Bug

CORRECTION NOTE AND APOLOGY SHOUT-OUT TO TODD NAUCK

In last week's column, I wrote up an angry rant about the production mess that was TEEN TITANS #31. In that rant, I incorrectly attributed the terribly illustrated CAPT. CARROT segment to Todd Nauck, who was the only penciller other than Tony Daniels listed in the credits. Turns out that was wrong and I wanted to do an up front and public apology to Todd who, it turns out, actually pencilled a number of pages of the TEEN TITANS story. Still no word on who the DC production team used to crank out those substandard CAPT. CARROT pages, but don't blame Todd.

Sorry for the mix-up Todd. Glad to hear it was not you who turned in that mess. - Prof. Challenger

Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 18, 2006, 8:20 p.m. CST

    Moist loins

    by Stallion_Cornell

    That would be a great name for a comic book. http://www.stallioncornell.com/board

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 8:20 p.m. CST

    First

    by TheJoker

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 8:21 p.m. CST

    Or so I thought...

    by TheJoker

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 8:21 p.m. CST

    First? Joker, you must be joking! BAHAHAHAHA

    by Stallion_Cornell

    I like the word loins, though.

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 8:23 p.m. CST

    Todd is no Rob Liefeld

    by Jake Timmons08

    That guy sucks ass. And Stallion Cornell owned your ass TheJoker.

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 8:39 p.m. CST

    I own several asses.

    by Stallion_Cornell

    I keep them in the pantry by the croutons.

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 9:16 p.m. CST

    bout timeThe Losers got some love

    by v1cious

    one of the best action titles out there right now. 31 came out today.

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 9:46 p.m. CST

    Oeming's THOR was a shitload of fun.

    by JonQuixote

    Maybe some of it not so intentional. Panel #1: It's Valkyrie coming to the rescue!! Panel #2: KZZZZAP Panel #3: Oh my God, they killed Valkyrie! You bastards. *** But intentional, unintentional, or both, it was a total blast. ARES looks cool.

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 10:02 p.m. CST

    Fuck Manga!!

    by Jaka

    I've been fighting that kiddie porn since Robotech in the mid 80s. The slow decline of American comics. Pisses me off.

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 11:22 p.m. CST

    i claim this land and TB

    by blackthought

    for the cogs! and sighs...no ic #4 or planetary #24 reviews? who do i have to kill to make review every single book that came out? who? and dave, no reviews? i miss your current comic biz hating and sometimes like.

  • Jan. 18, 2006, 11:40 p.m. CST

    Blackthought

    by Prof C

    Call Dan Didio and get him to start sending those puppies out to us for advance reviews and we'll all be happy to oblige. Otherwise, looke for IC#4 and PLANETARY #24 to pop up in some form or fashion next week. :)

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 12:30 a.m. CST

    If I'm not mistaken, Scott Shaw did the Captain Carrot story

    by God-Man

    Oh, and FUCK THE ZOO CREW.

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 1:33 a.m. CST

    Last week was bad.

    by God-Man

    This week kicked MAJOR ass! All Star Superman#2 and Infinite Crisis#4 came out yesterday. It's Un-fucking believable how good those books were.

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 2:12 a.m. CST

    Anyone reading "Marvel Zombies"?

    by Zardoz

    'cause I know people are buying it: I couldn't find issue #1 at any of my local comic stores; it was sold out! I finally got issues 1 and 2, and I freakin' love it! (I also got the back issues of Ultimate FF #'s 21-23 for the origin, and that was cool. too!) Whatever else Kirkman writes, he sure knows his zombies, and the Marvel superhero-zombies are, to me, simply fascinating. It's like your regular zombie story, but with soopers! And then, since it takes place in an alternate universe, Kirkman gets to F-around with all of the Marvel "conventions" and personas/stories that we're all familiar with already. If you haven't gotten a copy yet, try and find one, 'cause it's tasty!

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 5:27 a.m. CST

    Captain Carrot was crap!

    by Wormie

    Who the heck is Captain Carrot, and why did we get a lame funny animal story in a Teen Titans book?

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 7:10 a.m. CST

    Scott Shaw! did NOT do the Capt. Carrot art in TT #31

    by Prof C

    He did the art in TT#30. He drew the pages for TT#31 but DC somehow lost all of his work and had some unnamed artist do a quick fill-in crap job. And it is an insult to Scott Shaw! that ANYone out there cannot tell the difference in quality between the Capt. Carrot art in TT#30 and TT#31. That almost pisses me off as much as the ineptitude of the DC production team that let that comic go to press like that in the first place.

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 7:12 a.m. CST

    Why Capt. Carrot?

    by Prof C

    Because Geoff Johns is a fan and he has enough pull at DC to convince them to let him use the Zoo Crew in one of his comics.

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 8:02 a.m. CST

    I'm enjoying Marvel Zombies.

    by rev_skarekroe

    And speaking of Marvel books I'm enjoying, I really liked Ultimate Extinction #1. Exposition, new characters, and fight scenes all in the same book? How can that be!?!?

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 8:22 a.m. CST

    um

    by Shigeru

    Cube of Stars/Nebuloh man from JLA classified and Seven Soldiers in AS Supes #2?? Is Grant Morrison trying to eff with my head even more?

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 9:27 a.m. CST

    ...its ok shig...

    by blackthought

    morrison fucks with us all...are minds that is...i hope anyway that is all that he's eff'ing with.and hot damn...ic #4.

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Elks Run

    by The Heathen

    Couldn't have put it better myself Bug. I lent the "Bumper" edition collecting the first 3 issues to my local comic shop guy and within a week #4 was on the stands. It really is that good. What's even crazier is that something like this is actually possible. And the art while not flashy or streamlined fits with the story and it's murky nightmare of a situation. *** Now, I just have to go pick up AS Supes, IC, GL, WD and Desolation Jones! Sounds like I may have to re-read JLA Classifed 1-3 and I haven't jumped into Seven Soldiers (I want the entire 30 plus issues in a HC *fingers crossed*) but that already is messing with my mind. *** Prof, I'll get Dan D. on the phone!!! Which @$$hole wrote him before about Identity Crisis? Have them get Dan on the phone!! *** From last tb: Looks like Matt Murdoch is in prison. But who wrote the death of Foggy?

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Bendis wrote the death of Foggy Nelson.

    by SleazyG.

    Why not end an unforgivably lousy run with an unforgivably shitheaded maneuver?

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 11:52 a.m. CST

    Bryce Howard as

    by The Heathen

    Gwen Stacy. I'm down with that. A little bass ackwards though isn't it?

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 12:02 p.m. CST

    I just read a preview copy of Bendis's last DAREDEVIL...

    by Dave_F

    ...and y'know what? I didn't like it and I mostly feel soured on the run, but I'm not gonna give any definitive spoilers because the last issue of any run that long deserves some non-spoilage respect. I will, however, hint vaguely that there's more to Foggy's fate than some may be supposing. Since preview copies will be hitting shops today, I'm sure specific spoilers will be readily available elsewhere for any who really want to hear 'em.

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 12:22 p.m. CST

    Speaking of non spoilerage Dave! Last nights LOST was pretty coo

    by The Heathen

    your thoughts?

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 12:23 p.m. CST

    Crisis#4

    by like2achoas

    Read crisis #4 yesterday, damn, liked the batman/Nightwing father/son deal, and really digging alex luther manipulating the Supermen!Yet, other titles have suffered, Teen Titans for example hasn't been up to par with what it was but hopefully that will pick up with the crisis tie-in next issue.

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 12:28 p.m. CST

    Re: LOST

    by Dave_F

    Alls I know is that if I ever want to scare the crap out of someone, I want the same lighting as that crazy-ass Grizzly Adams dude. Geez! Good episode. Saw Jack hooking up with the girl a little early on, as she was *way* too hot to just be "generic daughter in distress," but that's not a real complaint. Mo' later...

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 12:36 p.m. CST

    Another vote for "Marvel Zombies!"

    by MisterE

    I don't buy Ultimate books and wouldn't have picked up "Marvel Zombies" if I had known that it spun from from an "Ultimate FF" storyline, but I'm glad that I picked it up by mistake. Kirkman isn't one of my fovorite writers, but this series is pretty damb fun!

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 1:36 p.m. CST

    "In your opinion", Sleazy.

    by Shigeru

    In your humble opinion. In my humble opinion, Bendis' DD has been a rollercoaster of good, not-so-good, and Fantastic. But I never thought it could be brushed aside easily with "unforgivably lousy".

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 1:45 p.m. CST

    MisterE...

    by rev_skarekroe

    Do pick up the UFF trade that starts the Marvel Zombies storyline. Zombieworld Magneto is awesome.

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 2:25 p.m. CST

    Marvel Zombies and Grizzly Adams

    by The Heathen

    Kirkman's lil mini is getting great feedback everywhere I see comic reviews. I may check it out. The only thing Ultimate U I have read has been Iron Man, the FF zombie arc and

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 2:44 p.m. CST

    Heathen

    by Shigeru

    You don't read The Ultimates? *bitch slap*! Sorry friend that was for your own good.

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 2:51 p.m. CST

    and...

    by blackthought

    what happened to michael?

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 4:09 p.m. CST

    ouches *rubs face* I know, I know

    by The Heathen

    Do they have the first series all together in a HC? But, I dunno, I've said before why I've had my reservations about the Whole of the Ultimate Universe. I guess I feel the way Buzz does. Put Bendis and Slott on two Spidey Titles, Millar on Avengers, Whedon and Brubaker or Peter David or Kirkman on some X-titles and just make the core universe a tighter one. Sure there's been clones saga's, a hundred alternate universe/time travel stories, clunky origins/re-origins, rapes, ressurections, etc. that we'd rather forget, but the fans will look past all of those if the current stories own our asses!!! As bad as Claremont is now, I know that I hear much more how good he was, you know? But, I'm getting really tired of shit like Iron Spidey, Austen and Milligan's X-Men runs, Bendis' slow pandering/pondering New Avengers and the horrible HoM. But yeah, I'll read The Ultimates and Hulk vs. Wolvie. : ) *** What did happen to Michael?

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 5:20 p.m. CST

    Yeah Sleazy!

    by El Vale

    I agree with Shigeru whole heartedly...bitch.

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 5:39 p.m. CST

    LITTLE CHEESE LIVES MOTHERF#!KERS!

    by superhero

    Captain Carrot and the Amazing Zoo Crew was the best comic EVER! PERIOD! Screw anyone who thinks different!

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 5:50 p.m. CST

    That's not Little Cheese you're looking at Superhero..

    by Psynapse

    it's yeh own head cheese gotten frisky fool. Now quit experimenting with the DT's and go back to being the unrepentant drunk we know and love.

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 6 p.m. CST

    For the man who has everything

    by El Vale

    http://tinyurl.com/bxjb2

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 6:49 p.m. CST

    Excepting eyesight and a girlfriend? Sure...

    by Psynapse

    Although those teaser pages do surely establish that ole hornhead wont be doing the droppped soap shuffle with bubba anytime soon.

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 7:01 p.m. CST

    Well, sure, "in my opinion".

    by SleazyG.

    But as we've explained a bajillion times, everything anyone ever says ever is "in their opinion", including discussions of history and physics, much less comic books. All we do here is offer our opinions because there's no mathematical formula that can be employed to determine the quality or lack thereof of a single issue of a comic book. That said, I fuckin' hated Bendis' run, and feel it got worse and worse with each passing month and year, with the last 18 months (as he *thought* he was building to a big ending) the worst by far. Vroom Socko can't stop licking "Decalogue"'s balls, for example, and I thought it was amateur hour at its worst. Once again, it was about everything *but* Daredevil, and it also introduced a pointless little Kuato ripoff that nuthin' to do with nuthin'. That's not even to mention the ludicrous problems with the timeframe in the arc about the old guy who gets outta jail (which spans at least 40 years, making me wonder why Matt's baton isn't a walker). Oh, and then there's the shitfest of a closing storyline where a once-again-neutered Matt stands around incompetently while all the women in his life are front and center, because we all know the title of this book is actually A BUNCH OF CHICKS MATT MURDOCK USED TO BALL BACK IN THE DAY. Oh, and then we get to end with Foggy Nelson getting capped, which is the equivalent of having Ernie kakked so Bert is left on his own. I'm smart enough not to have expected any better by now, but that doesn't mean it doesn't piss me off.

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 7:41 p.m. CST

    Calm down, Sleazy

    by El Vale

    Altho' to tell you the truth, i know the feeling. I too get pissed off at comic book stuff, like this one time some @$$hole was reviewing Decalogue and said something to the effect of "Decalogue is based on *something by some author with a weird name*, as if Bendis' writing wasn't pretentious enough already". I almost crapped my pants i was so pissed, i mean how close minded CAN you be you fat reviewing fuck? Goddamn @$$holes i fucking hate everyone ARGH! But then i took a shower and suddenly things didn't seem so bad. The end. PS: Bendis' DD run rules! In my opinion.

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 8:03 p.m. CST

    It was me, Vale...

    by Ambush Bug

    And I find it funny that everyone assumes if you read or review comics, you've got to be a lard @$$. Just because the head honcho at AICN is a bit portly doesn't mean the rest of the $$Holes here are. In fact, the Holes have to pass a strict athletic regimen in order to continuously review at AICN Comics. That's actually why Buzz had to take a short break (so he could work on those love handles). As far as my comments on Decalogue, that "something by some author with a weird name" was actually the Bible. And yes, I do find a lot of Bendis' stuff to be pretentious. Disregarding Marvel history and casting himself as characters in his own stories are great examples of such a trait. Now go take another shower!

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 8:26 p.m. CST

    No no

    by El Vale

    I'm pretty sure the inspiration for Decalogue came from some Russian sounding author i can't remember right now. One of Bendis' heroes. I just know it to be true! Or did i dream it? Anyway the point of my last post was to illustrate how angered i'd become while reading that review, which was, of course, a long time ago. So i took that shower and came to my senses a long time ago as well. Right now i do not need another shower because i'm fresh and clean, but thanks for the suggestion. About that "fat" comment...well, don't we all like our generalizations around here? Talkbackers are all virgin mouth-breathers with no social lives and reviewers are all fat asses, isn't that how it goes? I'm pretty sure it is, go ask Buzz.

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 9:16 p.m. CST

    You're talking about Kieslowski, Vale.

    by SleazyG.

    Here's a link to the info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092337/ The reason this is relevant, pretentious, annoying, and hackish is simple: no matter WHAT Bendis says, he doesn't want to write comics. Seriously. Every writer he emulates is a screenwriter, because he wishes he was writing movies. He rips off Mamet and Tarantino (quite poorly), he ripped off Kieslowski in an amateurish manner that is more insult than homage, and he refers constantly to Robert McKee's STORY (a highly overrated scriptwriting guide for movies). He only--ONLY--gets away with it because he expects comic book readers are too uninformed, too uncritical, or too willing to take whatever they're given, not give a shit and not call him on it. In particular, his claim to follow McKee's STORY chaps my ass. BMB can't even realize that if you're going to use a standard, linear, three-act structure to tell a story IT MUST APPLY TO EACH ISSUE OF THE COMIC. Can you imagine a TV show that entered the story in the middle and left it in the same place an hour later? NOBODY WOULD WATCH. Take any TV show you want: THE SHIELD, ER, 7TH HEAVEN, even YES, DEAR: even if the episode is part of an ongoing story, it also has a self-contained story with a beginning, middle and end that helps support the ongoing thread. THAT'S Screenwriting 101, and BMB just doesn't get it. Instead of just aping the dialogue of screenwriters he likes, or ripping off ideas he thinks are cool from European cinema, he needs to focus on the most basic, essential underpinnings of how to tell a freakin' story, and he needs to do it ASAP, because this massive flaw has screwed him on almost every single thing he's written. Ever.

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 9:51 p.m. CST

    The trailer for the Ultimate Avengers, aka The Ultimates DVD is

    by Heywood Jablowme

    Go check it out. It's the closest thing you'll ever see to an live Avengers movie. I just hope to see the sex-crazed Hulk make an appearance and catch Hank Pym go Sean Connery (or Ike Turner if you prefer) on his old lady. Somehow, I don't think those two key plot points are going to make it into the film. They shouldn't have made it into the book for that matter. Those little gripes aside, it's still a good read. So was Ultimate X-Men. Surprise.

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 10:04 p.m. CST

    That trailer...WHOA......

    by Psynapse

    Okay maybe I'm just a fanboy but parts of that trailer got me so exited I almost peed myself a little. There are scenes taken directly from the first arc of Ultimates for one thing and it the frame rates didn't appear to suck at all.

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 10:08 p.m. CST

    Well, we might not get a sex-crazed Hulk...

    by Dave_F

    ...but I'm sure I detected some BROKEBACK undertones when Cap thanks Thor for saving him.

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 10:09 p.m. CST

    How goes it in the kingdom of assumption Sleazy?

    by El Vale

    So Bendis is a bad, amateurish writer, right? For all the reasons you just named, he sucks, right? Then it stands to reason that if you happen to like Bendis' writing...then you're pretty much a moron, am i correct? I happen to like a writer who is technically and stylistically and thematically BAD. Because i like DD and Powers then i'm uninformed, too uncritical, or too willing to take whatever i'm given, don't give a shit and don't call him on it. Let's face it, i'm just a stupid idiot. So's Shigeru. Dave, i believe, really likes some Bendis comics...what a tard huh? You sit there and tell me all these reasons why Bendis undeniably and intrinsically sucks ass as a comic book writer just because you don't happen to like his writing style and HE's the one who's pretentious? Come on. Bendis doesn't want to write comics? I would take his word for it, not yours, i'm not buying that one. I read someone ask him in an interview why STORY was such a huge influence in his work and he said something like "Huge influence? Nah...i think STORY shows the 3 act structure works, that's all" and again i'll take his word for it. Basically i believe everything you just said is utter bullshit, even if some agree with you, but i'm just a gullible comic book fan with absolutely no standards, what the hell do i know?

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 10:21 p.m. CST

    Don't take it personally, Vale.

    by SleazyG.

    Look, there are things I enjoy even though they're crap. Laughed a lot at "Grandma's Boy", for example, and the truth is I should be ashamed to even admit I saw it. I have friends who hated "Batman Begins" for being, quote, "really stupid" and "complete crap". It happens--it's a difference of opinion. Lemme tellya somethin', though--that thing you're saying about Benids not considering STORY a huge influence? It's a fuckin' lie. I sat in on a "writing seminar" he gave in Summer '04, and he flat-out told everybody in the room to read it because it would lay out everything they needed to know to tell a solid story. The fact he's incapable of applying the very lessons he thinks he learned there to his own writing speaks to his flaws, not mine. All it would ever have taken was a coupla editors who said "umm...this is good stuff, but you need to work on concise, focused storytelling more." The guidance of a good editor would have made all the difference but because he Bendis he doesn't get edited--to the point where all sorts of horrible spelling and grammatical errors end up in his titles. In fact, the kinds of mistakes that bothered the Professor in last week's review of TEEN TITANS? Kinda standard issue in Bendis' books, cuz his editors DON'T EVEN EDIT HIS MISTAKES. Like I said, like whatever you want, and don't feel bad about it--but I'm not gonna feel bad about what I hate, either.

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 10:36 p.m. CST

    Oh, and about that writing seminar:

    by SleazyG.

    He only dropped a coupla other names--Mamet in particular as well as one other book which was meant to be more of a guide--forget the name of it, but it's one that's standard issue in any writing classes you might take in college, nothing to off-the-traveled-path. So when you only name three things, and two are "how to write" books, and the third is the guy everybody knows you rip off, those sure sound like they're a "big influence".

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 10:48 p.m. CST

    .....

    by blackthought

    this TB needs a hug.

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 11:30 p.m. CST

    Still not buying it, Sleazy

    by El Vale

    You're describing a WRITING SEMINAR, not a "Bendis spills his guts on his influences and process" or something. People ask him how they can learn how to write and Bendis says "STORY tells you everything you need to know about the basics of how to tell a good story". Sounds like standard issue giveaway advice to me. And no, i'm not gonna feel bad for liking Bendis either, because i don't consider Bendis crap. It's not like a guilty pleasure or anything like that, i like the way he writes. Sure he can suck on some stuff but so can anyone, and i don't agree that Bendis is a bad writer in any way. You don't like his stuff? That's perfectly cool, i don't like Geoff Johns' stuff either, but i'm not gonna claim he's a bad writer. Oh and Bendis not being edited is not his flaw, it's Marvel editorial's. The letterer could've caught the typos and misspellings, too.

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 11:34 p.m. CST

    Hugging? Sure!

    by El Vale

    Count me in

  • Jan. 19, 2006, 11:58 p.m. CST

    What the hell is so great about that Ultimate Avengers trailer??

    by superhero

    Seriously, Marvel was hyping the hell outta that project saying that the animation was going to be like seeing Byan Hitch's art come alive! What the...??? Talk about disappointing! It looks like evry other cartoon out there...! Big deal...I mean...I'll rent it but c'mon! The Marvel hype machine is at it again.

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 12:04 a.m. CST

    Oh yeah? Why don't you hug my...

    by SleazyG.

    ...ahhh, I just can't do it. I like Johns' writing better for a lot of reasons, one of which is that he can tell a subplot in one issue that's part of a bigger story, but that's just me. Lots of people like Bendis better, and that's okay--they bought HOUSE OF M, I'm buying INFINITE CRISIS, and we're all at least somewhat happy. I've also noticed that people who like Bendis are often people who followed him from his indie stuff, and I can understand backing a little guy made good. I can see why some people are Bendis boosters--I just can't see why he's been elevated onto the pedestal so many have placed him on. But hey, you keep havin' your fun, I'll keep havin' mine, and we can both keep talkin' about it right here. That's what it's all about for me.

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 12:56 a.m. CST

    well..

    by blackthought

    i like johns better than bendis but i do not share my likes/dislikes because complete sentances are too arduous to write and i'm eating ice cream...oh and hugging...oh and ic #4 was ever so good.

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 1:03 a.m. CST

    Sleazy... damn, son.

    by vroom socko

    I find it interesting that you claim Bendis can't do a story arc that features self-contained chapters with a beginning, middle and end in each issue. The facinating part is you say thins after slamming Decalogue, the one storyline where Bendis actually does just that! Hell, that's one of the reasons I love that arc! *** And with that, I'll be waiting out back of the @$$hole Clubhouse in the Thunderdome. Two @$$holes enter, one @$$hole leave.

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 1:20 a.m. CST

    Vroom just went up in my list of "people who rule"

    by El Vale

    And Sleazy...my sentiments exactly, let's just like what we like and try to be respectful of eachothers' tastes like we "always" do in the talkbacks. Altho' that's very hypocritical of me because i will outright tell you that Desperate Housewives sucks ass and people who like it are fucking stupid for liking it. So how does it work? Where does one draw the line? Near Desperate Housewives, i hope.

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 8:08 a.m. CST

    I step out for a bit and it gets all unruly in here!

    by Shigeru

    Sleazy: Up until that last post, I was with Vale in that I was getting a very strong "Bendis is quantifiably, irrefutably and objectively BAD" from you. I think that's what the hullaboo was about. I am fully aware of Mamet, McKee and Kieslowski, and Decalogue is my favorite arc of BMB's The Man Without Fear. BUT you nailed it with your last post... you like what you like, I like what I like. Personally I dig the crap out of DareDevil and Ult Spidey as well as Infinite Creezus. Does this mean I'm the chosen one or something? Nah I would have to like HoM too, which I didn't. *** Vale: I think we can all agree that Desperate Housewives is THE standard for objective badness.

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 8:10 a.m. CST

    The facinating part is you say thins after slamming Decalogue...

    by JonQuixote

    You're right - Decalogue is probably the best structured Bendis arc I've read. And I thought it was pretty solid. Its main problem? It's not really much of a Decalogue. Which is pretty indicative of Bendis as a whole, I think. Well-read enough to have interesting influences, not smart enough to really understand them. But removed from notions that a Decalogue should have a 10 part structure or actually have more than a rudimentary connection to Ten Commandments or the great big mystery as to how DD fixed Hell's Kitchen by becoming The Kingpin basically involved him beating up the Jester...it wasn't too shabby. And that goes to Sleazy's point as well - Bendis is much, much better when he's being structured. Heck, the best comic I've ever read by him was probably the Hawkeye issue of THE PULSE. 1 issue, 1 story = no room for boring or unimpressive self-indulgence.

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 8:13 a.m. CST

    In My Opinion...Hey-Zeus Mirimba!

    by Buzz Maverik

    In my fucking opinion, having to say "in my opinion" every time you open your fucking trap or type something is just another way of weakening your opinion. The thought police don't want anyone to have strong opinions so you have to qualify the shit out of every statement you make. JUST FUCKING SAY WHAT YOU'RE GOING TO FUCKING SAY! And if it hurts my feelings, which I don't have, I'll hurt yours right back. Good Gawd, what are we becoming? We know Bendis' influences. Well, one of Buzz' is Ira Levin (they're going: "Which comics did he write?"). He did a fine 1984 rip off called THIS PERFECT DAY. One of the first forms of control: no one can have a strong opinion. No one can state an opinon that might upset another "member". And Levin, who wrote the novel in 1969, is starting to be right. In my opinion: grow the fuck up and grow yourself a pair and tell me to fuck off and I'll laugh in your face and you'll laugh in mine and we'll be fucking alive arrggggh....BTW, just signed a contract to write a year of DAREDEVIL. I'm calling my arc DECK-A-LOG. It's about a bunch of supervillains who get the shit punched out of them by Daredevil.

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 8:14 a.m. CST

    And DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES isn't that bad.

    by JonQuixote

    At its worst, it's hot chicks in slapstick. And while the quality took a stunning dip following the first season finale, it's still got a lot going for it - the performances of Marcia Cross, Alfre Woodard, & Doug Savant is a big checkmark, supremely well-structured episodes is another, and if you don't cough up at least one big belly laugh per show, you're not paying attention (or have no soul). Also, last episode, Eva Longoria got naked.

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 8:19 a.m. CST

    Uh, Vroom, Sleaze, Thunderdome Is Closed For Cleaning And Repair

    by Buzz Maverik

    Remember how we said we needed to get Schleppy laid? Well, the other night, after what in retrospect was too much mescal, some of us went down to the zoo. You probably read about those missing bitch-monkeys, and...

  • so I can go OMG OMG DID U SEE WHEN ____ PUNCHED ____'s HEAD OFF?!?! (ps this actually happens)

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 8:34 a.m. CST

    The Buzzster

    by Shigeru

    I am grown the fuck up and I do have a pair, and for the record you can suck 'dese if you so please. I wasn't trying to be PC with my original "in your opinion" post at all. What I got from Sleazy (which I already explained) was that he wasn't communicating "Daredevil rocks" or "Daredevil sucked" but instead "Daredevil is objectively BAD and if you like it you are WRONG and that is the Truth with a capital T." I know now he doesn't feel that way & I have nothing against him. But I'm also not going to apologize for taking a little offense at that sentiment. That's my OPINION. Don't call me the thought police.

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 8:37 a.m. CST

    That Ultimates movie looks awful

    by rev_skarekroe

    I'm usually the kind of guy who takes a "wait and see" attitude towards stuff, but man. That looked and sounded like an '80s episode of G.I. Joe and Transformers, and unlike many of my Gen-X peers I'm well aware that those cartoons don't stand up well to the test of time. I liked the very last scene, though...

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 9:43 a.m. CST

    Buzz, you sleazy little crook.

    by cookylamoo

    Thanks for the confession. The California highway patrol has been trying to crack the great spinner rack ripoff for years. With a criminal mind like yours, it's no wonder you're working in Hollywood. I'm fowarding this column to the Punisher.

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 10:26 a.m. CST

    yep

    by blackthought

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 11:51 a.m. CST

    Vroom, you just made the same mistake Bendis did.

    by SleazyG.

    Great, he had one five-issue arc out of sixty that had a beginning, middle and end. And yeah, each one of those issues kinda had a nice self-contained little POV story. That still leaves the other 55, and my whole point is I don't give a shit about the arc: the rules have to apply to EACH SINGLE ISSUE IN THE ARC. Which, in his case, usually isn't true. Each issue needs to present some new info or a new conflict, then show the characters reaching some sort of conclusion or resolution of same, and then (maybe, not always) end on that last page or two with something that makes you go "oh, man...next month is too long!" Kinda the way every episode of LOST makes you go "oh shit!" even if it was a quiet ending. Bendis takes an eight issue arc, right? And the first four issues are Act I, and the next two and a half or three are Act II, and then he's got very little room left to wrap it all up in the one issue of Act III. Now, that right there shows that he's got pacing problems and doesn't really understand the three-act structure. But my real concern is that Act I, Act II and Act III need to appear in EVERY SINGLE ISSUE, not just the overarching storyline. It's just the way it is. His writing is lazy, flabby and drawn out, and he needs editors to seriously tighten things up. A lot. Oh, and BTW, that's not even counting the rather obvious holes Jon Quixote was kind enough to point out above in "Decalogue".

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 12:02 p.m. CST

    My problem with DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, JQ:

    by SleazyG.

    It keeps winning Golden Globes (heh heh) for "Best Comedy". Uh, really? I'm not buying it. I mean, it's just not that funny, and it treads far too often on drama grounds. But what really bugs me is that all these people keep claiming "it's a satire! it's darkly humorous!" when it's really not. I've seen a lot of satires over the year, and good ones all share one common element if nothing else: teeth. If it's got a sharp, biting wit, if it's very pointed and a little bit hostile, that's satire. If it's just taking all of the elements of a well known genre, throwing them in a blender, and smirking at it, well...that's not satire. That's a spoof. Put it this way: I forget the name of it, but a few years back, there was this great Canadian satire set in a newsroom much like that of CNN. The anchor was smug but dumb as a rock, and the daily goings on were handled in a direct, low-key, non-laff tracky manner. Shortly thereafter a similar show hits NBC starring Al Franken, and it just goes for the cheap shots and slapsticky humor. Still mildly amusing, and it had a decent looking cast--but it had no teeth. That Canadian show? Satire. The Franken thing? Just a standard-issue comedy. I don't buy DH as a satire, and it barely qualifies as comedy at all cuz it ain't funny, so I don't get the popularity and accolades. Then again, I watch it every week for the hotness and for the few performers on the show I really like (I'm there with ya on Doug Savant, and I also like the crazy teenaged boys, who do a solid job considering their ages). But it's a guilty pleasure--I can't really come up with a justification for watching it, and I can't claim it's "good".

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 12:03 p.m. CST

    Twiddle no more - Infinite Crisis #4 is freaking AWESOME!!!

    by The Heathen

    I'm sure the Cogs could tell from my montage! (SPOILERS) That was some graphic stuff with Superboy Prime. How many people did he kill? Heads, torsos, arms, etc. were flying left and right! I haven't read the Flash in his own series but have been able to keep up with what's gone on in his life and now I want to read all of Geoff Johns run. I thought for sure that Dan Didio was screwing with us about there being no Flashes - nope. Bravo for that one. I couldn't believe it. And then you have the destruction of Bludhaven, Dick and Bruce teaming up (with Bruce not being a dick), page 5 with the summary of when and where and WHY Alex Luthor and Superboy Prime did what they did, and the ending of course. All in all, this series is great. Issue #4 is the best issue of anytihng I've read in a good while and that's not my opinion, that FACT. (can anyone tell that I really liked it?)

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 12:04 p.m. CST

    Hey Buzz? (and everyone else)

    by Psynapse

    When I use the term 'In my opinion' or IMHO there is an unspoken 'fuck you and your little dog too if you don't like it' ALWAYS. I stand by my right to have my own opinion, support EVRYONE's right to have their own and fuck anybody who gets offended for having an opposing point of view. We are not supposed to all agree and honestly the actual truth of any situation is usually somewhere in between viewpoints, especially dealing with such subjective matter as fiction writing and comic illustration. That said, Bendis has only earned my middle finger while Johns has earned a full on hand-job if he wants it for his runs on Flash & JSA. And fuck you and your little dog too if'n ya don't like it.

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 12:31 p.m. CST

    I don't really think DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES is a satire.

    by JonQuixote

    I do find it funny, for the most part. And sure, there's plenty of soap/drama elements too, but so fucking what? Oooh, they're calling it a comedy but there's some drama in it too. So fuckin' what? There was drama in FRIENDS as well. Maybe it could be a Best Drama candidate come Emmy time, but it's just genre labelling and it could easily go either way. But really, who the fuck cares if some fans dopily call it a satire - are you reviewing the show or its fans?

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 1:02 p.m. CST

    Housewives that are Desperate.

    by Shigeru

    I think Sleazy's problem with it (as well as mine) is that it wins all these LABELED and CATEGORIZED awards for Comedy. The purpose of Comedy is to be FUNNY. There are multiple shows and actresses on TV that are FUNNIER. We don't need 4 out of 5 best comedy actress nominees every year to be from one mildly humourous soap opera.

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 1:07 p.m. CST

    Yeah fuck you Buzz

    by El Vale

    When i respond to a comment like Sleazy's with "In YOUR opinion, buddy", i'm not saying "oh, my friend, please be more PC, i can't take the disagreements". What i'm saying is "Yeah? Well that's your opinion, i don't fucking share it!" So don't call me thought police either. Anyway *hug*

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 1:17 p.m. CST

    I have never laughed during Desperate Housewives

    by El Vale

    It's just not funny; and you can see them trying to be cyinically funny, and of course, not pulling it off. I mean...what, is it funny when Lois Lane falls down or does some clumsy shit or has to run around a kindergarten covering her parts with crayons or something? Cause that shit seems to happen in every episode and that's not what i'd call "satire", it could be more precisely labeled as "dumb". And even if Eva Langoria's hot (and that she is), it's still Desperate Housewives, so you know you're never gonna see her nipples, why the fuck bother?

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 1:18 p.m. CST

    /end of twiddling!

    by Shigeru

    YES! IC #4 was a friggin masterpiece. Yeah I said it! I can't ask for much more from a Superhero Epic. SPOILERS duh. Suitably creepy and deranged Superboy Prime that gets more than he bargains for. Big props to Jiminez & co on the fight between the 2 Superboys...it was brutal and visceral and kinetic. Made me you really feel the mass chaos of what that would be like. Plus he kicked a dog! That just ain't right! Great little human moments too... ie: The interaction with Batman and Dick. And the supremely awesome "Grandpa?" line. Earth-2 Superman is going to turn out to be the wild card in this I'm betting. I'm waiting for Thalya's thoughts.

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 1:27 p.m. CST

    A comic tb talking about Desperate Houswives

    by The Heathen

    and it's not even the weekend yet! I truly couldn't have predicted this, especially with Infinite Crisis, Walking Dead (Kirkman bamboozled us), Green Lantern, Runaways, Girls, Desolation Jones (my shop didn't receive) and AS Superman all being out now and were talking about Desperate Housewives? Alrighty, I'm game. Eva's hot, I've always had a thing for Teri Hatcher and Marcia Cross and I agree that I'm frustrated "mainly" by it because it wins everything Comedy related when shows like Arrested get canned and Scrubs is still barely on the air, not to mention My Name Is Earl (hilarious last night) and The Office not being too shabby either.

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 1:37 p.m. CST

    He kicked the shit out of Krypto!

    by The Heathen

    Can't wait for Lady C. to chime in either. That alone will keep this tb going strong over the weekend! I think you're right about Earth-2 Superman Shigeru. As for the issue? "IC #4 was a friggin masterpiece. I can't ask for much more from a Superhero Epic." Couldn't have said it better myself. Next to Watchmen #4, this could be one of my favorite single issue comics ever.

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 1:54 p.m. CST

    BTW, I was dead wrong about DAREDEVIL.

    by SleazyG.

    I guess Foggy didn't die yesterday after all. I was basing my comments on the Marvel solicits for next month, which specifically stated Matt Murdock was in Riker's for flipping out after Foggy's murder. This led me to believe, understandably, that Foggy was about to get murdered. I was pretty annoyed by this and said some things which are now rendered partially irrelevant or inaccurate. Totally my bad. Of course, if he dies next month, I'll still be mightily annoyed, and it'll cause my previous love of Ed Brubaker to get tweaked down a notch. I mean, if you kill of long-term characters when you take over CAP, then DD, then do X-MEN...well, it starts to smell a little one-trick. I've loved everything I've read by the guy thus far, but that may be up for some revision over the next few months. Time will tell.

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 2:14 p.m. CST

    Crisis Recovery quotable! (SPOILERS)

    by The Heathen

    Q: And at the end, the Speed Force? A: As Jay says, is gone. Just as if someone whispered

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 2:18 p.m. CST

    What's Bru brewing?

    by The Heathen

    I was thinking the same thing Sleazy. I really like Brubakers work (liking Books of Doom especially) but taking out Red Skull, Banshee, and possibly Foggy isn't inspiring long term faith.

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 2:29 p.m. CST

    Hey, so rape is horrible in comics but decapitation and limb tea

    by superhero

    Don't gemme wrong...I thought IC #4 was a great read but it was pretty much crazy mindless violence for the most part. I guess we're luck Supey-Boy didn't rape anybody or else fans'd be REALLY pissed! It's OK that he just ripped people limb from limb, right? Like I said...great read...but what level of violence is OK in comics? Who is it OK to victimize? And why is no one pissed that any version of Superboy would be capable of this? I mean Napoleon Luthor showed his true colors. Wouldn't that mean that Superboy would be a pinnacle for truth, justice, etc. as well instead of a complete psychopath?

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 2:56 p.m. CST

    What happened in Walking Dead?

    by El Vale

    And Sleazy, i find it fascinating that you hate Bendis' DD so much, and yet you read (apparently) every single issue. Brubaker? Man i have faith in him, he made Catwoman my favorite fucking comic, how do you do that?! I think Bru on DD is genius, or at least it could be. I've always had this very specific idea about what Daredevil should be about and what Matt Murdock is all about...and i guess you could describe it like this: Count me out of Buzz' DD run. Brubaker seems to fit perfectly *** What else? Oh yeah, i'm reading all these comments about IC#4 and i guess it sounds cool enough, but man...a guy gets his head punched off? By a superhero? I guess it's ok to depict a little of the ultria violence in your funnybooks as long as it reads epic enough and it has cool, melodramatic lines like "you're ruining me!" in it. Vale criticizing IC, who did not see that coming? Seriously!

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 3:07 p.m. CST

    re: superhero

    by The Heathen

    if it's done right - abso-freakin-lutley!!! And this was done right. As I said before, the summary on page five fills you in with only one page. With decompression these days that would have been 1-2 issues, not one page. I'll take that. "great read but it was pretty much crazy mindless violence." I don't think it was mindless. It was very graphic, but this is an epic superhero tale. If there was a crazy super powered alien powerful enough to move planets then your damn right heads would be flying. All of the action was pushing the plot forward. Would you like for there to be a few more issues of no fighting? #3 identified Superboy Prime as a villain, #4 the heros fight him. Sounds like comic heaven to me. And don't even get me started on the Flashes and how brilliant and moving that whole scene was. "Grandpa?" Not mindless in the least. I would think the @$$holes column would be the last place that would complain about a great action scene, but then again most of the tb today has been about Desperate Houswives, so anything's possible right? : )

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 3:10 p.m. CST

    Technically,

    by Shigeru

    (SPOILERS) a GIRL got her head punched off. *** Superhero: there was a lot of action in IC#4 but I would hardly call it full of "crazy mindless violence". The bloody violent content that Superboy dishes out makes perfect contextual story sense. And it's not mindless at all. He's appalled that he is sinking to the level of this Earth. He couldn't wait to get out into that yellow sun but it turns out it affects him like a virus, reforming him before he knows it into one of the violent, twisted "heroes" him and Alex Luthor are so sick of. He hates it but can't turn back. But the point just might be, when you're THAT powerfull and go picking fights for no good reason, shit is GONNA happen.

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 3:12 p.m. CST

    yeah Heathen beat me to it

    by Shigeru

    dammit.

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 3:20 p.m. CST

    Vale re: Walking Dead & IC #4

    by The Heathen

    You know how you've seen all of the images of dudes in riot gear on the upcoming covers of Walking Dead? And you know how everyone thought it would be the government/zombie resistance? Well, it's not. The survivors have been locked up in that prison for a while now and guess what they found? Having said that, the issue was a departure from the more soap opera ones we've gotten recently. It actually had some zombies getting their heads cut off!!! Go violence! I still think the Army or something's coming though. *** Vale, about IC #4. I know out of all people you may not be digging DC's mega event, but I stand by what I've said. And Superboy Prime was not a hero, he (SPOILERS) started the Rann-Thanagar war by pushing two planets together killing billions, and kidnapped J'onn and others. Kid is off the deep end of bad, even if there is the possibility of Psycho Pirate controlling him - he needed to be stopped.

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 3:25 p.m. CST

    but yes, rape is bad

    by The Heathen

    whether it be Sue in Identity Crisis or Silent Bob's worthlessly delayed Spidey/Black Cat rape - rape is bad.

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 3:56 p.m. CST

    Heathen

    by El Vale

    Thanks for the updates man. And it's not that i don't like IC, i mean it's impossible for me to have an honest opinion on the quality of the book, because i'm not reading it, so i'm just responding to what i'm reading in the talkback, and it sure did sound like mindless ultra violence the way you guys were talking about. Still, all is clarified now, i'll give IC the benefit of the doubt. Still sounds like blasphemy to me when someone claims some particular issue of some particular mega event is as good as Alan Moore's superhero masterpiece, when it hasn't even stood the test of time. Well it's stood the test of 1 day's time, i guess that counts.

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 4:03 p.m. CST

    late to the party

    by Fantomex

    comics have been in a lull the past few weeks. anyway, find a copy of the Elk's Run bumper edition, you will not be sorry. Ended up dropping desloation jones. Ellis is boring (even on planetary, which I would have sworn couldn't happen)

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 4:21 p.m. CST

    oh, one day's time is a big test no doubt! : )

    by The Heathen

    I can understand the blasphemy from your POV, but that's just my opinion friend (Oh no! The Thought Police!!!) As for single issues of comics I've read there so far have been two that have moved me in a unique kind of way (IC #4 was one of them) and although I don't think IC #4 is as good as Watchmen #4 or definitely as good as the overall series, I do think it's a supremely strong single issue and I think Infinite Crisis is shaping up great and could be one of those stories that we look back on with time that still holds up

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 5:03 p.m. CST

    Wait, so Sue Dinby's rape was "done wrong" and Superboy ripp

    by superhero

    Look, I loved IC # 4 just as much as you guys did...it's no Watchmen, though...that's crazy talk. I have no problem with action scenes but overtly violent and graphic violence in a mainstream superhero book...I don't have a problem with it either but I can see that it might be misplaced in a book starring some of DC's greatest. What does surprize me is that the same people seem to just be drooling over "psycho-Superboy" that were crying their eyes out that Dr. Light brutally raped Sue Dinby. Superboy ripped people's limbs off! You're trying to tell me that you couldn't have portrayed Superboy accidentally killing people without the blood and gore? If you do try and tell me that you'd be wrong. I loved the themes in IC # 4 it's the actual presentation that I have very SMALL issues with. And Heathen I never criticised the Flash stuff. That was beautiful. But why are you guys so bloodthirsty when it comes to Superboy kicking the crap out of people (which is just as wrong as rape) but horrified when Sue gets raped? Is it just because there was more love for Sue than there was for the characters Superboy maimed? Would it have been different if Kid Flash had gotten his legs ripped off? It's just interesting to me is all. I'm not trying to start an argument I'm just trying to bring up an issue which I think is fascinating.

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 5:03 p.m. CST

    Bug is wrong again....

    by Blok Narpin

    ....The current arc in JLA is great!

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 5:39 p.m. CST

    What the FUCK is wrong with you people?!? Are you fucking retard

    by Psynapse

    Okay ENOUGH with this bullshit whining about rapes and violence. I am sick to fucking death of hearing you pansy asses. YES, and act of rape or violence is ALWAYS a bad thing. Depicting either of those acts for the sake of dramatic story development IS NOT. You people cry 'hack' way to0 fucking easily if you ask me. If you are offended so greatly by such depictions then STOP FUCKING READING THE BOOKS. One of the social purposes of fiction is to dissect real life events. Rapes, happen ALL the time as does violence. I don't like that fact either but I also don't go around whining about fictional depictions of them fer chrissake. Oh and by the way? When you do that whining bullshit you are NO different than the right wing moral majority asses who boycott movies like Brokeback Mountain because it 'encourages' or 'promotes' homosexuality. A depiction of an act is not an automatic endorsement of said act you dipshits. Was there ANYTHING in Identity Crisis that EVEN REMOTELY implied rape was an okay thing? Hell no, if anything it reinforced the horror inherent in the act. Same thing with IC# 4. Fuckin pussies......

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 5:52 p.m. CST

    Okay so I missed the last few lines of Superhero's post resu

    by Psynapse

    That said, HELL YES Superboy's violence is WAY more palatable than Sue's rape. Why? Because there is an enormous distinction between violence and sexual violence. Sexual violence (like sex itself) carries a connotation of intimacy that makes such acts even MORE disconcerting. I haven't even read IC# 4 yet but now I'm totally jazzed to. Besides, no matter how high SBPrime's body count is from his 'hands-on' approach in IC#4 it pales in comparison to the number of bodies he generated by starting the R/T war.

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 6:07 p.m. CST

    to quote myself

    by The Heathen

    "I don't think IC #4 is as good as Watchmen #4 or definitely as good as the overall series, I do think it's a supremely strong single issue" and to quote superhero: "you couldn't have portrayed Superboy accidentally killing people without the blood and gore?" sure you could have, but it was meant to be horrific and that's what it was. It was raw unharnessed power and it was scary. And again superhero: "IC #4 was a great read but it was pretty much crazy mindless violence for the most part." the little parts you left out were of course the Flash stuff and the Dick and Bruce interaction, I know you didn't criticize it, but you didn't mention it either. And rape is worse thant murder. Rape is in it's own category of wrongness. Sure there was more love for Sue and I'd be hard pressed to name all the people Superboy took out, as I've previously stated I think that it serves it's purpose. And I'm not trying to start an argument either supes, I can understand where you're coming from. A mainstream comic with gore? Will it shock the kids? Hell yes. Do kids even get what's going on? Probably not, but is it really that bad of a thing to scare some kids? I remember being scared of old Superman comics by Byrne after CoIE happened. But I survived and I look back at those issues and am still a little freaked out, but who cares? I gotta get going, but I'll try to post back tomorrow or Sunday. Keep it going @$$es and Cogs. : )

  • As for the depiction of either in a comic, for me it's always a matter of appropriateness to the genre in which it appears. Extremes of violence in SIN CITY or THE WALKING DEAD? Right on. Extremes of violence in the event comic DC is promoting as the key to their next several years of their line? A bit more iffy. I've got a girl coming into my comic shop - I figure she's about nine or ten - and I actually feel hesitant to sell it to her. Granted, her age group doesn't represent the majority of readers these days, but my ideal for the Marvel/DC characters (core ones, anyway) is that a smart ten-year-old should at least be able to read 'em without hitting too much real-world nastiness. YMMV, but that's the issue for me, not that I can't take violence or whatever. That said, the violence in INFINITE CREESUS #4 didn't bother me overmuch. Was a bit much, but I'm at least somewhat innured to the fact that DC's mostly targetting adults (who cares about the occasional kid, right?). Sexual violence pushes my buttons a lot more. What was extremely appropriate in FROM HELL felt way out of line in its presentation in IDENTITY CRISIS (another cornerstone to the modern DC, and featuring all the big name characters ta boot)). And it wasn't just the fact that IC touched on rape - it was also the lurid presentation, and the fact that it was ultimately just there as a red herring. That and the fact that its effects on Sue herself were presented as seemingly less important than the fact that it made the menfolk around her pissed - seemed a bit sick to me.

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 6:33 p.m. CST

    Don't Worry, El & Shigeru. Neither Of You Are Cool Enough T

    by Buzz Maverik

    I am both impressed and intimidated by your attempts at vulgarisms, tho'! However, as a sworn enemy of the thought police, I'll call ya whatever I want whenever I want. No, yer not the thought police but yer buying into policed thought. Be nice. Speak nice. No strong opinions. I kind of agree with Psynapse, who uses the IMHO ironically. Psy, most people seem to mean it though. If something somebody writes here bugs youse guys, why do they have to say it's their opinion? What else would it be? ...Now, the problem with STORY is not when writers use it. The problem is when non-writers, either in film or comics industries, get ahold of it. They think they have the secret, the blueprint, etc. It doesn't seem so bad in comics, but it used to be horrible in film. These low level producers (the only level of producers I know) who were Bryan Singer's less talented classmates at USC. I don't think they were using STORY but HOW TO WRITE A HIT FILM 101 from SC. I like hit films. I wanted to make hit films. But it puts the cart before the horse. They diagram hit films and lay them out, when most likely, the guys who made them just wached lots of movies and wrote and directed and edited them to be as good as they could. But the pseudo-suits and worse, the wannabe pseudo-suits think they have the DaVinci Code. Bendis was kind of cool at first because he has definite influences outside comics, which was fresh since some of these clowns only read comic books. I wish Bendis would expand his influences to include Marshall McCluhan, because maybe BMB and the Bendii would take the medium itself into consideration. Talking comics are a waste of medium. Write short stories or novels or plays or make independent film. But when you have an artist who theoretically should be able to draw anything for the same price without compromise, what a limited and sad product we're getting. Just ask the Wachowski Bros., the Burlymen guys, you know the bondage freak and his overweight brother. They make big @$$ films that can never, ever match their vision even when it comes out at its' best. But Geoff Darrow does a comic, it costs the same, no actors, no safety, no limitations of technology, etc.

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 7:18 p.m. CST

    My wrong...to me ripping someone's arm off was just as horri

    by superhero

    But then that's just me. And Psynapse...take a pill...I said the violence was fine with me I just didn't know if it was appropriate for the book it was in is all. And Heathen you can depict the horror of raw power without gore...it just takes some imagination that's all. Seeing heads and arms and blood spurting is a bit of a cheap way out (and any kid that didn't "get" what Superboy was doing would have to be "retarded" in Psynapse's words) in my opinion...oooopppss...don't wanna piss Buzz off now...:O)

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 8:02 p.m. CST

    Shigeru, we're wasting our time with Buzz

    by El Vale

    The man ain't reading our posts. We both said we weren't trying to get everyone to type IMO into their posts, we just said what Sleazy was claiming was not an absolute truth. We BOTH said it so if my highschool education serves me right, it was said twice (2 times) in this talkback. Made no difference to Buzz. "Be nice. Speak nice. No strong opinions" When have i been nice and spoken nice? Sure, we're among friends here most of the time, that makes this a friendly place, but other than that i'm not trying to get people to play nice and be PC. I remember, Buzz, when i said James Marsden was "too much of a homosexual to play Jesse Custer" you were one of the first to jump out and tell me to play nice for being such a homophobe. So i'm not sure i know how it works.

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 8:05 p.m. CST

    SuperHero you pussy

    by Psynapse

    LOL! Sorry that one was just too inviting not to take. Although I do have to come after you on 'appropriate for the book' line. This story is the sequel to COIE wherein untold numbers of UNIVERSES were destroyed. They don't have multiple universes to work with here though so the level of violence appears to be more extreme when in fact IC has yet to even come close to the body count that COIE had. Also, this is 2005 and superhero comics have matured a great deal in the last 20 years (yeah yeah I know some of you can tear the word 'mature' apart in relation to comic storylines, it doesn't make it any less valid a point). Lemme ask you a question Supes: Did the violence you saw in IC horrify you on at least some level? Good. That means it did it's job.

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 8:51 p.m. CST

    Shig & Vale? It's too late, Buzz has already worked his magi

    by Psynapse

    See I figgered something out about our resident double Y chromo @$$hole. It took me a few columns after I had a rather testy run-in with him but I saw and do see the pattern now and looking at older columns it's clear as glass. Y'see, Buzz likes to pull this neat little trick of verbal sleight of hand combined with good old fashioned 'reverse' psychology. Buzz ISN'T actually coming down on you for ANY of your opinions. His opening shot always comes across as hostile and belittling but the intended (and effective) end result is that the person he appears to slam then not only re-states their opinion but elaborates on it. Buzz believes (as do I) in the inherent value of a person's opinion whether he agrees with any portion of it or not. He just likes to poke you with a stick to make you add your own gravitas to it. I know, I know it's a weird way to communicate but then this IS an AICN talkback and what's weird elsewhere is the norm here. Or did you both forget about that weird little room we found when we first moved into the CogManse that had all of those stuffed animals in leather and bondage gear in it?

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 9:53 p.m. CST

    those were my stuffed animals!

    by blackthought

    i can't brood all the time.

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 10:09 p.m. CST

    Psynapse please actually try and read my posts.

    by superhero

    If you read my posts my concern (if it can even be called that) was towards the unnecessary GORE not the actual action or the violence. I'm not trying to tally the body count because it's not about that. So your saying that people won't get the fact that violence/death is horrible unless it's depicted in the most blatant and over the top manner possible? Don't know if I buy that. Um, and more violence and sex doesn't mean "maturity" Psyn no matter what you think. If anything there's an argument to made that it could make them more juvenile if anything. But I get that you're into the Taratino-ing of the DC universe. That's cool. But I just don't know if kids or, hell, even some teens should be exposed to that. But I guess comics aren't for kids anymore so I should just let that go. :O)

  • Jan. 20, 2006, 11:57 p.m. CST

    Um..okay...well shut mah mouf

    by Psynapse

    Actually Supes this is an area where I have to stop and retract my comments for the moment. Regarding said gore,I haven't read IC#4 yet so I really have no leg to stand on.Lemme have a look (later today actually) and then I'll decide whether to keep calling you a pussy or not. (*_^)

  • You know what else would've horrified me? 36 pages of Superboy torturing people. 36 pages of Krypto devouring human entrails. 36 pages of Supergirl getting raped by Darkseid. Still good? Still the book doing its job? Me, I basically like genres to be true to themselves. And the Marvel and DC superhero genres, they're a specific subset of the broad superhero genre that includes some very dark stuff (WATCHMEN, AUTHORITY, SLEEPER), but they're a subset that's not a particularly great *home* for that very dark stuff. It's not a fault of theirs, any more than CALVIN & HOBBES was at fault for not having swearing; graphic realism just doesn't fit the tonal range of superhero worlds originally created as home to all-ages storytelling. So when I see it overused, NO, in fact, I DON'T think that's the books doing their job. Quite the opposite in fact.

  • I didn't do anything so cool as swipe a spinner rack in my early funnybook readin' days, but a local convenience store called "The Viking" (tied to the mascot of the nearby high school) was indeed my Mecca. The place had just been built and smelled perpetually (and quite pleasantly) of sawdust. To this day, the smell of sawdust instantly deja vus me back to those good times. The food of choice was Charleston Chew candy bars - not quite sure why - and we'd take 'em home and freeze 'em in the refrigerator before eating 'em. The beverage was the local Slurpee knock-off, and I even got a Sub-Mariner cup once that was pretty bitchin'. The place had the earliest video games, cementing its coolness: PAC-MAN, GORF, TEMPEST, DEFENDER, etc. I don't think it had a spinner rack, though - just comics crammed into the same shelves as the magazines, most of 'em running 50 cents in those days. Damn cool place. I used to hike their with my friends all the time - sometimes with a cute local babersitter chick even hanging with us. I'd also occasionally make the trek by my lonesome, braving the high school hoods that'd be smoking out in front. I had to, y'see, 'cause how else was I going to find out if Captain America could defeat the Ameri-droid the Red Skull had built to murder him? Anyway, The Viking later became a meat shop, but I like to think there remained a faint odor of sawdust lurking just beneath the smell of frozen entrails...

  • Jan. 21, 2006, 6:20 a.m. CST

    My pick of the reviewed titles this week? DRAGON HEAD!

    by Dave_F

    Hoo doggy! I've been hearing some buzz on this manga, and I finally got around to reading it. I'll maybe stop a ways short of Superhero's comparison to FROM HELL, just because that book had so much more going on than just scaring the reader, but for straight horror DRAGON HEAD is a breath of fresh air. It's truly like no comic I've ever read because it's just so painfully claustrophobic. Every panel is drenched in black, with only three sources of light in the entire story: a flashlight, a cigarette lighter, and some alcohol the kids think to use as fuel for a fire. What Mochizuki does with those minimal light sources is magic, though. Lights bounce around eerily, reflecting off the twisted metal sides of the shattered subway cars, and it's all so chaotic that the reader, like the characters, strains to make out the horrific sights within: corpses, shattered glass, blood, and...is that movement behind that wreckage? Man, it is CREEPY, and I love that it's so hard to tell where it's going. Is it just a tale of survival? Is there a supernatural component? The few surviving kids notice that it's unusually, oppressively hot, and suddenly my mind is thinking "A gateway to Hell opened up, and what they're feeling is hellfire just below the surface!" But then my old '80s Cold War fears are coming back and I'm thinking, "A nuke's gone off outside the tunnel and the surrounding land is a nuclear firestorm." Again, it's that sense of reader involvment. The story is so moment-to-moment, so "show, don't tell," that you're invited to really put yourself in the kids' shoes, trying to keep it together as you speculate on your fate. Cool art, too. The settings, what you can see of 'em, are very detailed - you can see every little broken shard of glass - but the characters are drawn with an eerie subjectivity. These aren't glamorized teens by any means, with their haunted faces and scores of smalls nicks and cuts. The kid who starts to lose it is the best one. When we first see him, he's holding a flashlight toward "us", and for a page or two all you see is the glare it gives off. There are small glimpses of his arms and legs, but never his face, instantly giving him an aura of menace and alieness. And when he does show his face...yee!...eyes set wide apart, one slightly higher than the other -- it's not like he's deformed, but he just looks "off." It's disturbing on a subtle, instinctive level, and that's surely a nice change of pace for comic book horror. Superhero's right that ultimately not a lot *happens* in this first volume, but horror is a genre where the slow-burn can really work. Recommended.

  • Jan. 21, 2006, 9:52 a.m. CST

    You know what else would've horrified me? 36 pages of Superb

    by Psynapse

    Y'know Dave I'm normally in agreement with much of what you say. But when you cite extremist examples as a justification of your reaction to what was actually published you're just blowing smoke (or something) out of your ass. Again, I will read the book today and tehn decide if you are all just a bunch of pussies.

  • Jan. 21, 2006, 9:54 a.m. CST

    Infinte yes Identity No

    by Homer Sexual

    Well, I have read a number of good comics the past couple of weeks, but I am popping in to give my two cents about why Infinite Crisis is so much better than Identity Crisis. I think Sue's rape bugs so much because of the resolution to the story. Sue's rape+Jean killing for love=misogynism. It was the whole conclusion and explanation of Identity Crisis that I hate. Now, I am not so thrilled about the return of the multiverse, but whatever...crazy Superboy Prime's rampage was good, but nothing in Infinite Crisis so far has really, really turned my crank. Some of the set up is, while not heavy handed, maybe a bit obvious?

  • Jan. 21, 2006, 10:59 a.m. CST

    much better

    by blackthought

    when johns is driving the dc bus instead of meltzer, thus infinite crisis goodness and none of the unwholesome rape feel from identity. and since everyone is up and arms about violence one way or another...i must say that owly is way too damn violent. everytime i see an owl i freak out and fear that i'm going to be bludgeoned and beaked to death...thats almost up there with my worst fear of having liefeld do the art for something i write...but thankfully i don't write...shudders.

  • Jan. 21, 2006, 11:14 a.m. CST

    Marvel Zombies #2 Review

    by heystantheman!

    Hey why not? Marvel Zombies has become that rare animal in comics: a book that a look forward to with hunger. #1 was exciting and disturbing and gory and all the things I was hoping it would be but, being a Marvel, was afraid it wouldn't. It even made me go back and look for the Ultimate FF issues in which this whole storyline started. I love all the little clues that tell you this wasn't quite the Marvel Universe we know and love (Captain America being COLONEL America, etc) and while I'm not a Sean Phillips fan, his work is competent and servicable. It gets the job done, but I have to wonder what this book would have looked liked in the hands of an equivalent of a Bernie Wrightson (and I don't mean a BW hack like you know who...*cough* THE MAXX *cough*). Not that it's perfect. Like many writers today, Kirkman allows his characters to start talking the same. All of them. Iron Man sunds like Giant Man sounds like Spider-Man. They are all saying different things, but saying them the same way. I should be able to cover the art and read the tex, and know generally who is saying what by tone and point of view. I'm not familiar with Kirkman's other work, so I can't say if this is a new thing. And yeah ok, they're all zombies now, but if becoming a zombie diminishes your individuality, then what's the point of this book? Also, it was unclear why the Zombies deferred to Iron Man and treated him like a superior. They all still seemed to have their powers. I'm hoping this isn't a mistake and will be addressed in a future issue. The real problem here is that this issue essentially ends, after 22 or so pages, not too much further than where issue #1 ended. This as been called "decompression". I call it bad story telling. The 20 pages or so of character development could have been done equally well in 5. I love character. Caring for the characters and empathizing with them makes plot important. But there is such a thing in story as ECONOMY. Raiders of the Lost Ark, Chinatown, all the great stories of our time found a way to define and develop character effectively and economically. In the end, decompression cheats the reader, not out of pages, but out of story. And I feel like this is issue 1.25, not issue 2. I hope this is something that gets addressed in future issues too. One final note, the reproduction of Suydam's paintings on the covers of Marvel Zombies is atroscious and a shame. He is one of the greats and deserves better than a quick pass from a desktop scanner. Send the painting out to be photgraphed, you asses!

  • Jan. 21, 2006, 12:47 p.m. CST

    OMG

    by Thalya

    Just finished IT.

  • Jan. 21, 2006, 12:51 p.m. CST

    But before I get to those comments...

    by Thalya

    ..all I have to say is Fuck Gail Simone, fuck her up her stupid ass. BoP #90 is complete shit.

  • Jan. 21, 2006, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Whoa

    by Psynapse

    Aw'right T, I've known you long enough that you wouldn't say that about another writer without good reason. Spill baby, spill! And give spoilers!!!

  • Jan. 21, 2006, 12:57 p.m. CST

    Sue's rape+Jean killing for love=misogynism

    by Psynapse

    Wow. What's like living in a monochromatic, selective dimension like that?

  • Jan. 21, 2006, 2:08 p.m. CST

    Thalya

    by Prof C

    For those of us who did NOT read BoP. Fill us in on the crap that happened.

  • Jan. 21, 2006, 2:11 p.m. CST

    Remember what happened to Sue Dibny?

    by Dave_F

    That's what happens to the Calculator in BoP.

  • Jan. 21, 2006, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Oh, where to begin? <BoP #90 Spoilers>

    by Thalya

    Well, for one, I really thought Dinah was going to get capped (she was a JLIer, remember). For two, I really wish Joe Bennett was doing the pencilling: his stuff has always seemed the most distinctive and best representations of the characters (and frankly, he drew a smoking hot Noah Kuttler, but I digress). The current pencillers furthermore are drawing Batman here like he was in the 60s, and with everything else that&#39;s going on in this universe, is just creepy. But most importantly, it feels like Gail needs to strengthen some storytelling basics. As I&#39;m reading it, things aren&#39;t cohering issue to issue, page to page, panel to panel, or even panel narration to panel image. If you&#39;re going to have the stars of the show, the Birds, perform this massive operation arc to take down Gotham&#39;s mob: 1) what&#39;s with all the girly-girl filler? Get to the devil shit! 2) Why brush off Batman&#39;s points about loose ends with nary a panel to show how they did it (I&#39;m looking at you, Yasemin)? Whatever happened to EARNing things through story, not being flip by saying "Oh yeah, that important thing? We did that. Let&#39;s move on."? 3) What on earth is with the smiley-happiness at the end and the kissing Batman page? Why have Black Spider evidently fall to his death last issue thanks to Savant throwing him out a window (who was being handcuffed last issue), only to have Canary check on him this issue and find out he&#39;s ok, all the while Savant&#39;s suddenly very weak, nonhandcuffed, and being carried by Creote? And why even bother having Calculator as a main villain if you&#39;re not even going to show him for more than two or three pages each issue, and then the resolution he has? One of the things I always got pounded on in writing high school compositions was a lack of development. I&#39;d say something but I didn&#39;t provide any kind of backup. Gail set up the character as something in issue #87, but proceeded to completely forget about that for two issues before picking that limp thread back up and expecting us to have some kind of emotional payoff on the last page. Furthermore, the fight with Deathstroke (fast becoming the Wolverine of the DCU) was pointless filler that got about as much pagespace as Calc got over then entire arc. That&#39;s crapping on a &#39;new&#39; character that has way too much potential to be so ill-used. Also, WTF is the direction of this book? Is it a) a show down with a character who should arguably be Oracle&#39;s big nemesis, b) an arc about the Birds taking down the mob, c) all big because suddenly Deathstroke&#39;s shown up and Canary and he are going to have a rematch from Identity Crisis, d) a big square-off between Oracle and the Birds vs. Batman once and for all, or e) BoP go to the mall and totally forget about the welfare of one of their teammates? It&#39;s all not even half-assed-ly done. This is the first comic book that I&#39;ve ever dropped, and I&#39;m really regretting buying all of Gail&#39;s run at a convention this year. Look for a nice set on eBay sometime soon. So, to sum up: hate the art and Gail&#39;s writing has gotten extremely sloppy. It really seems like she&#39;s writing for the hippies who frequent DC&#39;s BoP message boards and no one else.</BoP #90 Spoilers> All that said, Gail needs to write a Lady Blackhawk series. I&#39;ll stick around for Secret Six, though even then I&#39;m wary.

  • Jan. 21, 2006, 2:58 p.m. CST

    Dave...

    by Thalya

    ..you&#39;re pushing my buttons. Only Noah gets to do that, mister.

  • Jan. 21, 2006, 5:07 p.m. CST

    wtf?

    by blackthought

    you tellin&#39; me she wrote the rape of noah? or did she also kill him too? sorries, didn&#39;t read the bop...too busy watching supes-prime rip limps.

  • Jan. 21, 2006, 6:12 p.m. CST

    Creezus!

    by El Vale

    Thalya that&#39;s the best post you&#39;ve written, i love angry rants and that was one of the angriest i&#39;ve read. Now, did you buy Absolute Watchmen? So sloppy writing there.

  • Jan. 21, 2006, 6:23 p.m. CST

    NO sloppy writing

    by El Vale

    The S is pretty distant from the N in my keyboard, so i can only assume i&#39;m stupid.

  • Jan. 21, 2006, 6:39 p.m. CST

    You know I haven&#39;t picked up IC #4 BUT....

    by thecomedian

    It sounds a lot to me like this issue&#39;d be more comparable to Kid Marvel/Miracle&#39;s rampage in Miracle/Marvelman than anything in Watchmen. It&#39;s funny how nobody barely acknowledges that THAT book has just as much of a hand of influence in the modern nihilistic over the top nu grim and gritty era as Watchmen & Dark Knight. I&#39;d even be bold enough to say it has more of an influence in the uglier sense of these kind of stories.

  • Jan. 21, 2006, 6:47 p.m. CST

    you guy&#39;s are brilliant

    by The Heathen

    : ) sucks that BoP #90 is in the mail heading my way. : ( But, I&#39;m still jazzed about the Secret Six. So, Thalya and Daves thoughts on IC #4? Anyone can say what they want, but it did get to the devil shit

  • Jan. 21, 2006, 7:05 p.m. CST

    guys..

    by Thalya

    1) No, Gail did something worse, in my opinion: she made him obsessive-compulsive where ignorance is concerned and taking meds, though having to drop them because Luthor and the Society were watching a bit too close. Then, when he couldn&#39;t reveal Oracle&#39;s identity, he starts seeing Oracle masks on every person&#39;s face that he sees, which causes him to lose his cool and calp a hand over his mouth. To top it off, Dr. Psycho notices and in a very Villains United line says "Maybe he&#39;s nuts. Let&#39;s KILL him!" [emphasis Gail&#39;s] I&#39;m sorry, but SCREW THAT! *** 2) Vale, you haven&#39;t seen me angry. That was restrained on my part. Unless direct honesty without having to temper things and "play nice" is construed as angry. And yes, I did get Absolute Watchmen. It may take me awhle to get to it though because I want to sits down with it in one weekend and work my way through it. Currently, I&#39;m in the middle of a Harry Potter marathon, so it could be another month at least.. And y&#39;know, I&#39;m convinced that however bloody long it takes me, I&#39;m writing the 12 scripts to the story I have in my head involving Noah, if only to show up the shoddy writing and repair the damage as only fanfic can.

  • Jan. 21, 2006, 7:05 p.m. CST

    Gore

    by The Heathen

    I actually think that it&#39;s necessary for IC #4. I don&#39;t quite feel like typing why, but fortunately Troy Brownfield did it for me, "The fight in #4 shows the fragility of his (Supereboy Primes) mental state, as well as, most likely, the utter unfamiliarity with his powers, or, after years of only interacting with an older version of him who was just as strong, had forgotten that he needs to pull his punches when fighting human beings, especially when punching them in the head." Well said. I also feel that even though Superboy may have been kinda nut&#39;s or even possibly mind controlled (doubt it) or whatever, that he was still shocked by the fact that he was ripping body parts off like sand statues, then again, he did kill billions of people by pushing planets into each other, lets compare that to stepping on ant hills. Yeah, ant hills.

  • Jan. 21, 2006, 7:08 p.m. CST

    as an aside

    by The Heathen

    The votes are in (and quite obvious for the most part) *** http://tinyurl.com/d2yo3 ***

  • Jan. 21, 2006, 7:25 p.m. CST

    oh my god

    by blackthought

  • Jan. 21, 2006, 8:32 p.m. CST

    Thank you Heathen...

    by Psynapse

    You illustrated my point (now re-stated, as I&#39;ve read IC#4 twice now) quite eloquently. That said, OMIGOD WAlly!! Linda!! Bart!! I now understand what Dan Didio meant when he said that Infinite Crisis would define what it means to be a hero in the DCU. The Flashes illustrated it perfectly. Moreover I now see the thematic distinction between HoM and IC. HoM&#39;s thematic exploration was that of the desire the characters in the story. Ic, on the other hand is an exploration what they ARE. SO much heroism and sacrifice by SO many. I haven&#39;t read muc of the new Firestorm at all but when Mick did and said what he did I got choked up. Oh and Buzz? Once it&#39;s collected I will be happy to buy and have shipped to you the trade of IC. If you have ANY love left in ya for ANY big name DC character you really oughta see this one. That and IC#4 may have just set the bar for what may be the bloodiest superfight ever. Oh wait, we still have 3 issues to go they may yet top this one.

  • Jan. 21, 2006, 8:56 p.m. CST

    your welcome

    by The Heathen

    and thank you as well Psynapse. Thalya should be posting her thoughts shortly. Can&#39;t wait. Infinite Crisis theme song: the Requiem For A Dream overture that was remixed for the Two Towers trailer is awesome (that was the most geekish, fanboyish thing I&#39;ve ever said). It was playing on one of my mixes while reading Psy&#39;s post and it was perfect, so IC is doing a hell of a job on me and that&#39;s all I really care about. This is what I wanted from comics when I got back into them a few years ago.

  • Jan. 21, 2006, 10:02 p.m. CST

    IC #4 <SPOILERS> (is this even necessary at this point?)

    by Thalya

    Ok, let&#39;s do this right for once, blow-by-blow, &#39;cause there&#39;s alot of little stuff that deserves to get brought up. The Brotherhood of Evil: I love how this series makes sure to go every which way in covering so many characters, and it&#39;s a nice followup from their images in the last pages of IC #3. Poor Bludhaven (not necessarily): it&#39;ll be interesting to see what happens given the emphasis placed on it now and OYL (and despite Devin Grayson&#39;s widely-disliked run, she&#39;s adding in some touches making Dick very Batman-esque about his adopted city). Anyone else think Alex Luthor looks like Heath Ledger and Superboy looks like Jake whatshislastname? Page 5 is just wonderful, isn&#39;t it? And great work by the colorists all around, the colors absolutely pop and set the mood just right (and if you look at the credits, dear lord that&#39;s alot of inkers, but it&#39;s not nearly as jarring as #2). And y&#39;know, page 6, panel 9 is why I love villains over heroes: they know how to kiss a girl right. And frankly, S-P&#39;s facial reaction right after is priceless - it makes me wonder if there&#39;s a little extra sibilance in his dialogue right there.. DC did say an openly-gay superhero would be getting his/her own title.. ..and then there&#39;s the main plot line of the story..so many quotables.. Anything out of Connor&#39;s mouth, basically. And the splash page.. I could stare at that for hours, it&#39;s so beautifully executed. Booster and Skeets are perfect together; long may they live (*crosses fingers*). Though that look on Mike&#39;s face in the last panel as it looks like he realizes he&#39;s not going to be able to get Ted back.. And the Superboy brawl is just great too; poor Krypto - hurting pup-pups is where he should know the line is drawn. Back to Bats and Nightwing: they&#39;re setting Dick up for a fall. All this love they&#39;re showering on him, and a guy who has roots in the Golden Age at that, things don&#39;t look so good.. And then the brawl takes a turn for the Bruckheimer. "You don&#39;t even have a cape!" (which, as Bart Allen might point out in the last issue of The Flash, could be quite a negative, given that he&#39;s seen The Incredibles) And wait, Stargirl isn&#39;t in the Titans, is she (&#39;nother great page, too)? Ah, but then dialogue explaining this is good. And then here&#39;s the real reason Gotham Central is closing up shop. I imagine lots of cameos in the new Spectre series. Could be interesting with Cris and the Wrath at odds. "Stop hitting me!" *SNARF* "I&#39;m not stupid!" TNKCHHH "...oh no! ..I didn&#39;t mean to do that." PANEL OF THE YEAR, let alone the series. AND THEN SAND AND TERRA TEAM UP! (if you couldn&#39;t tell, I find Sand Hawkins cute and immensely underused - and has Terra been resurrected for awhile now, or is this an aftereffect of the latest Titans arc?) And then Superboy just gets more and more deliciously psycho and removed from reality and it&#39;s scary and great.. And then the Flashes..Jay getting to use his helmet to protect Wally is a nice touch. ..Wally..Linda..the Speed Twins..Bart.. then the hand coming out of the Speed Force.. Classic (to be a nit-picker, Bart already used the Grandpa line in the Young Justice/JLA crossover: World Without Grownups when he saw an image of Barry at the Happy Harbor HQ, but..). And then..wonderment..and sadness (infinite).. and Superboy Prime can&#39;t help but be hysterical. And the Jay and Wildcat bit.. well, I&#39;m guessing the upcoming JSA: Classified arc might give a little preamble or followup to the moment. Though at the same time I can&#39;t believe they just did that. If anything, with three issues left, I have a feeling Johns might have a cherry left to top off his Flash run still. With Flashes and using the speed force to cross dimensional barriers and all, there could be something left to all this.. Or, it could be the setup for the next Crisis wherein they finally come back or someone is able to breach the dimensional barriers and discovers them again.. It really does feel like they&#39;re thinking twenty years down the line with all this, not specifically, but there&#39;s groundwork being set for logical consequences. And with the speed force gone, I wonder if/how this affects Boomerang Jr.. Moving on..wouldn&#39;t it be sweet for Psycho Pirate to get revenge on Luthor now that he&#39;s taken his girl? Brilliant how they&#39;ve incorporated the Marvel family into the tower too. ..Does this mean Professor Stein is going to be back as a part of Firestorm now? Brillaint perfect double-page panel of the hands coming out of the vortex. And just think, if that heads into Limbo, then the heroes there already have ready-made villains with the Injustice Society in Prometheus&#39; crooked house. And here&#39;s something I wonder about, when looking at who gets taken, Jay and Wildcat go, yet when you look at the upcoming covers for OYL JSA, they&#39;re both in amongst the members who got left behind. And Johns is a right bastard he is. A Stars and STRIPE issue of JSA just before Pat Dugan gets spirited away, but not Courtney. And clearly, with this last page, so many other shoes are going to start dropping, it&#39;s not even funny. I think Kal-L is going to find that bringing back Earth-2 won&#39;t have helped his Lois at all. Expect her to die next issue.</SPOILERS> Summary: best ish since #1. Things only escalate from here, and it really seems that they&#39;re laying groundwork out so that every gain from here on out in the years ahead will be something earned and characters will really grow like we may not have seen them grow before. The end.

  • Jan. 21, 2006, 10:32 p.m. CST

    Anyone here a fan of Gilliam&#39;s Brazil?

    by El Vale

    Just saw it for the first time.

  • Jan. 21, 2006, 10:50 p.m. CST

    That movie&#39;s a real head trip, Vale.

    by Thalya

    I still don&#39;t know what it&#39;s about, though.

  • Jan. 21, 2006, 11:10 p.m. CST

    all hail ic #4

    by blackthought

    and vale...i love brazil...not the national football team, but the movie...then again i love gilliam...now i must go pop in that dvd and watch the madness again.

  • Jan. 21, 2006, 11:16 p.m. CST

    But didn&#39;t you love it?

    by El Vale

    I&#39;m willing to call it one of the best movies ever made. I think i got some of it or at least got something out of it...in the end you realize how much of a pessimistic movie it really is. Or is it? The world Gilliam creates is one of polite opression and bureaucracy and confinement, then suddenly Sam falls asleep and he&#39;s flying through the clouds and he&#39;s free and has wings and everything&#39;s oh so marvelous. But as the plot thickens in the real world, so does his dreamworld (and dreamgirl) start to unravel and become claustrophobic. in the end, you see, there&#39;s no escaping the powers that be in a material sense and so Sam&#39;s only alternative is to "leave" and be happy that way, if it actually counts for something. So maybe i&#39;m reading it wrong, but i think the ultimate message is "Go crazy and you&#39;ll be ok". Not very comforting but there you go.

  • Jan. 21, 2006, 11:26 p.m. CST

    Craziness = goodness

    by Thalya

    Because such is the way of the world.

  • Jan. 21, 2006, 11:41 p.m. CST

    and speaking of crazy...

    by blackthought

    anyone read that x3 review? i dunno if it&#39;s real or not but i wouldn&#39;t venture to say it isn&#39;t...it seems spot on. and well my reaction...ugh...i wonder if they even read an x-men book beforehand? my next reaction...why can&#39;t i get a JSA movie? and for the love of god, if someone adapted infinite crisis...well good god...live action version of supes-prime punching heads off and the greatness of the flash...oh i&#39;m still salivating...excuse me.

  • Jan. 21, 2006, 11:44 p.m. CST

    Blackthought, Thalya and Vale

    by El Vale

    What happened to our social lives guys?

  • Jan. 21, 2006, 11:48 p.m. CST

    Social life?

    by Thalya

    No such thing, I swear! Honest!

  • Jan. 22, 2006, 1:16 a.m. CST

    Sue&#39;s rape +(especially!) Jean killing to get Ray back =miso

    by Homer Sexual

    All I can say about that is I believe it to be the truth.

  • Jan. 22, 2006, 12:36 p.m. CST

    WHERES THE ZONE?!

    by ZombieSolutions

    WHERES THE ZONE?!

  • Jan. 22, 2006, 1:23 p.m. CST

    vale...

    by blackthought

    i am a sick man ha...i am however must be on my way to watch new world...and if supes-prime gets out of line...well um...i guess i&#39;ll be seeing you all limbless.

  • Jan. 22, 2006, 3:24 p.m. CST

    "You&#39;re ruining me!!!"

    by The Heathen

    said X3

  • Jan. 22, 2006, 3:31 p.m. CST

    Well, did I type enough, Heathen?

    by Thalya

  • Jan. 22, 2006, 3:40 p.m. CST

    Dude, not cool

    by El Vale

    Thalya goes through the effort of writing all that stuff cause you guys requested it and then no one says a word? Not cool.

  • Jan. 22, 2006, 5:12 p.m. CST

    Links to pretty good stuff.

    by Gus Nukem

    *** comicdom.gr/pictopia_archive.php?id=330 (Photos from the most recent Alan Moore "sighting". Text in GREEK. Note: This may not be observed in these photos, but the reporter found Alan Moore&#39;s style impeccable. In his opinion, he was very suave. He held (I can&#39;t remember a better verb, apologies) a wooden, sepent shaped cane. CBR will have something similar, tomorrow. *** comicdom.gr/interviews.php?id=17&lang=en *** tinyurl.com/8hyrm ** More, here: ** cheston.com/pbf/archive.html *** PS I&#39;ll be avoiding this talkback for a couple of weeks, by which time I reckon I&#39;ll have read IC #4 and All-Star Superman #2.

  • Jan. 22, 2006, 6 p.m. CST

    good to know you are alive gus

    by blackthought

    and the new world...omg...absolutely loved every second framed by mallick...now i wonder does that go on the best of 05 or 06 list.

  • Jan. 23, 2006, 8:22 a.m. CST

    Lady C.

    by The Heathen

    No! Now type more!!! Just kidding, it was plenty long. Glad you enjoyed it, but how could you not? I bet Dave might have even shrugged twice about it. I like how you pointed out what will happen to Boomerang Jr. I didn&#39;t think about that. "Panel of the Year" huh? It was insane wasn&#39;t it? Can anyone explain in a little more detail what happened with Firestorm(s). That was the only thing that kinda confused me. I know that it&#39;s comparable to the heroism and sacrifice of the Flashes, but I just didn&#39;t get it. ??? *** Good to hear from you Gus!

  • Jan. 23, 2006, 8:26 a.m. CST

    AS Supes aint no slouch either!

    by The Heathen

    Wow, I&#39;m loving this too. It&#39;s the polar opposite of AS Bats - it&#39;s GOOD. I love how Morrison uses all of this hoky technology from alien worlds seem so freakin cool and fresh. And don&#39;t even get me started on the panel of Lois in the shower!!!!!! Thank you Quitely, thank you.

  • Jan. 23, 2006, 12:12 p.m. CST

    I knew I&#39;d forget something in there... (IC #4 Spoilers)

    by Thalya

    Anyone think Pantha getting it was a subtle commentary on how we apparently weren&#39;t getting another Yolanda Montez out of this Crisis?

  • Jan. 23, 2006, 1:29 p.m. CST

    Finally

    by The Heathen

    Ed Brubaker is taking over Uncanny X-Men after #474. If Bachalo&#39;s leaving too, then I may have to add this to my pull list. Also, the X-Men&#39;s (adjectiveless) team will consist of the following team members: Cable, Mystique, Rogue, Cannonball, Sabretooth, and Iceman. Hmm? At least two you can&#39;t rust and that&#39;s a pretty small team like Astonishing is. Wonder who will write it?

  • Jan. 23, 2006, 1:36 p.m. CST

    BoP 90

    by Homer Sexual

    I agree with the nit picks, but Dr. Psycho&#39;s line doesn&#39;t seem like THAT big a deal, and Calculator being all crazy and seeing Oracle&#39;s face everywhere seems true to the prior development. The kiss was cheesy, but overall I liked the issue.

  • Jan. 23, 2006, 1:45 p.m. CST

    But it was limp development..

    by Thalya

    They had better not get rid of him, is my big concern. And furthermore, Deathstroke was really an empty threat. Calculator keeps threatening to kill people and Gail keeps forgetting to have the characters act towards those originally-stated ends.

  • Jan. 23, 2006, 1:59 p.m. CST

    true

    by The Heathen

    what a waste of a character potential if they kill him.

  • Jan. 23, 2006, 2:14 p.m. CST

    And yet another thing I forgot...

    by Thalya

    Who would win in a fight? Quicksilver or Jay Garrick?

  • Jan. 23, 2006, 2:23 p.m. CST

    Who&#39;s Jay Garrick?

    by El Vale

  • Jan. 23, 2006, 2:26 p.m. CST

    Golden Age Flash, Vale

    by Thalya

  • Jan. 23, 2006, 2:32 p.m. CST

    Quicksilver&#39;s meaner

    by The Heathen

    but he lost his powers, then again, so did Jay. So Pietro would win, he&#39;s younger and angry. Anyone reading Son of M? Roy Allan Martinez&#39;s art is freaking awesome.

  • Jan. 23, 2006, 2:33 p.m. CST

    Jay all the way..

    by Thalya

    He&#39;s got heart and a helmet that can stop Superboy Prime-level heat vision.

  • Jan. 23, 2006, 2:42 p.m. CST

    Quicksilver&#39;s a whiny little bitch.

    by SleazyG.

    Jay Garrick would kick his ass, apologize for it being so one-sided, then go home and eat something old-school manly.

  • Jan. 23, 2006, 2:43 p.m. CST

    but he&#39;s old

    by The Heathen

    and Quicksilver was the cause of HoM - he&#39;s a rotten SOB. To be clear, I like Jay more, but he&#39;s not the son of Magnus.

  • Jan. 23, 2006, 2:44 p.m. CST

    that helmet IS bad ass though isn&#39;t it?

    by The Heathen

  • Jan. 23, 2006, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Deathstroke was far from an empty threat.

    by SleazyG.

    The guy&#39;s an ass-kicker personally responsible for the deaths of multiple members of the Teen Titans, among others. I mean, the dude kills KIDS, not just grown-ups. He&#39;s handed Dinah Lance her ass before, and nearly did again. He&#39;s always thought he had a sense of nobility, but to say it&#39;s deeply warped is an understatement. And let&#39;s face it, Calculator *has* followed through on his threats. He would never attempt to kill anyone directly--he&#39;s a paunchy, middle-aged dude who spends all his time in front of a computer. He&#39;s sent multiple villains to try and dig up info on Oracle, though, and it seems pretty clear it wouldn&#39;t bother him if her fellow Birds bought it in the process.

  • Jan. 23, 2006, 2:51 p.m. CST

    Sure, Quicksilver caused HOM...

    by SleazyG.

    ...cuz, as I said, he&#39;s a whiny, entitled little bitch. Always has been. "Waah, waah, waah...my life is so hard. Oh, boo hoo, I don&#39;t have a daddy. Oh, wait, I do have a daddy, but he abandoned me and he&#39;s a big meanie. Why doesn&#39;t anybody like me? I bet if I act like a complete shitheel to everybody they&#39;ll respect me. Waah, waah." Jay Garrick is a real man, and he could outthink and outfight Quicksilver without batting an eye. Remember: just because you take a severe and uncalled-for action that leads to tragic consequences doesn&#39;t mean you&#39;re a badass--in fact, it&#39;s often just the opposite. Quicksilver was a selfish coward, and that&#39;s what caused HOM--not him being a badass.

  • Jan. 23, 2006, 2:52 p.m. CST

    Slade is cool

    by The Heathen

    say what you will about Identity Crisis, but the scene where he took out the league was pretty slick.

  • Jan. 23, 2006, 3 p.m. CST

    Yes he was.

    by Thalya

    He gets sent in to off the Birds and suddenly he&#39;s saying he&#39;ll let them walk if they back off? His mission was coldhearted slaughter and he&#39;s clearly the superior fighter. What gives? And no, Calc is quite slim by all accounts. Gail made him talk big, but she apparently didn&#39;t have enough of an imagination to give him a decent follow-through, and with everything she was trying to juggle, she really didn&#39;t care so long as she could work in a good Dr. Psycho line.

  • Jan. 23, 2006, 3:49 p.m. CST

    Is that the Flash with the goofy helmet?

    by El Vale

    If it is then i&#39;d have to say Pietro all the way. Is that his name? That&#39;s his name in Ultimates. He&#39;s really cool in Ultimates. "Actually, if you slow down any sattelite pictures you&#39;ll find...". That Flash helmet is goofy as hell, it&#39;s like his concrete cereal bowl grew wings to escape the tragedy if its life.

  • I&#39;ve never looked up its origin, but I always took it to be a World War I helmet outfitted with some wings as a nod to Mercury/Hermes. And, dammit, that&#39;s cool - exactly the kind of Golden Age weirdness that guys like Morrison rightly revere. I mean, you&#39;ve got iconography tying the Greek god of lightning-fast travel with the iconography of the toughest American fighting men of Jay&#39;s generation - what ain&#39;t badass about that? I&#39;ll tell you what: nuthin&#39;. And the other thing that makes it cool? It&#39;s like nothing else out there. Ultimate Quicksilver? Just one more superhero sporting threads culled from the Winter Olympics. And regular Quicksilver ain&#39;t exactly worth writing home for either - fun jackass personality, yeah, but totally forgettable costume. Oh, fuck it, I&#39;ll lay down fiddy on Jay Garrick in a fight! I don&#39;t know how his crazy-ass hat stays on, but I do know he&#39;d lay that albino-haired Quicksilver out flat in two shakes of a lamb&#39;s tail - maybe less. And not to get too nerdy, but can&#39;t Jay bust out with some break-the-sound-barrier speed, maybe even lightspeed level runnin&#39;? Man, Quicksilver&#39;s like, "Er, I can run 200 mph, tops." I&#39;m sure he was a real terror to hotrodders like Rick Jones in the &#39;60s, but nowadays he&#39;d probably loose in a race to Evil Knievel&#39;s oldest rocket-cycles. Behold the "You gotta be kiddin&#39; me" look Quicksilver would get if he had to stupidity to get up in Jay&#39;s grill: http://tinyurl.com/c5cew Thas right.

  • Jan. 23, 2006, 6:13 p.m. CST

    Alex Ross and Dave Farabee have convinced me

    by El Vale

    That&#39;s the stupidest fucking helmet i&#39;ve ever seen, jesus fucking christ! You can&#39;t wear that helmet and consider yourself a badass, i&#39;m sorry.

  • Jan. 23, 2006, 6:17 p.m. CST

    He&#39;s badass because he isn&#39;t *trying* to be badass...

    by Dave_F

    C&#39;mon, anyone older than 16 should understand the concept. And more to the point: what&#39;s with Quicksilver&#39;s little hair points? Are they for the little Inhuman kids to play ring-toss on?

  • Jan. 23, 2006, 7:09 p.m. CST

    I wore a helmet like that for Halloween once...

    by superhero

    I was the Olymipian God Mercury and my wife was Artemis. Everyone who saw that helmet thought it was pretty badass...

  • Jan. 23, 2006, 8:15 p.m. CST

    jay garrick all the way...

    by blackthought

    speed force with a hella good name...i mean the flash! compared to nancy whiny boy with the name quicksilver...bah. speed force owns.

  • Jan. 23, 2006, 8:56 p.m. CST

    Alan Moore IS Nemo.

    by Gus Nukem

    *** http://tinyurl.com/76akx *** from this week&#39;s LitG

  • Jan. 23, 2006, 9:54 p.m. CST

    That Alex Ross picture...

    by SleazyG.

    ...is exactly why sometimes Ross&#39; photorealistic work completely detracts from the medium for me. You take the fantastic and make it look so real-world that it feels either mundane or ridiculous.

  • Jan. 23, 2006, 11:03 p.m. CST

    Normally I&#39;d agree with you, Sleazy...

    by Dave_F

    ...but sometimes Ross does right, and I think that image is one of &#39;em. Maybe it&#39;s because Jay&#39;s outfit has always been a bit more realistic with its sweatshirt-thingee, and so fits Ross&#39;s seams-and-all approach. Maybe it&#39;s that Ross gave him a just-right superhero build. Or maybe it&#39;s that Jay&#39;s got that cool, slightly cocky look to &#39;im. But for whatever reason, I think it&#39;s a good &#39;un. I don&#39;t look at that picture and think "ridiculous" at all, an effect I *do* get on a lot of Ross&#39;s Batman work and group shots. Sometimes the dude comes through, though.

  • Jan. 23, 2006, 11:36 p.m. CST

    well...

    by blackthought

    i think ross&#39; rendition of jay is pretty bad ass. jay just has that look of what...you got a problem with the helmet sonny? i could run circles around you that would make you so sick, it would be like reading a liefeld comic.

  • Jan. 24, 2006, 1:19 a.m. CST

    Dude, i don&#39;t care hoy badass you are

    by El Vale

    I don&#39;t need to kick your ass or even prove that i&#39;m capable of kicking your ass because you&#39;re wearing that stupid fucking helmet on your head and doing more harm to yourself by doing it than i could ever hope to by administering a fist salad to you. Werd.

  • Jan. 24, 2006, 1:20 a.m. CST

    hoW badass

    by El Vale

    Hoy=Today. Class dismiss.

  • Jan. 24, 2006, 7:30 a.m. CST

    Did it snow?

    by Gus Nukem

    Because it did here and schools were closed.

  • Jan. 24, 2006, 8:33 a.m. CST

    ....

    by blackthought

    well they never close my school for anything...probably becuase its college ha...oh i miss snow days.

  • Jan. 24, 2006, 9:36 a.m. CST

    "Quicksilver was a selfish coward, and that&#39;s what caused HO

    by The Heathen

    Whoa Sleazy, I never said Pietro was a badass, that&#39;s you getting all huffy buddy. I can&#39;t blame you though, anything to do with the HoM angers me as well and what I DID say was that Pietro was a rotten SOB. I thought we were talking post M-day and IC #4, so that would mean powerless guy&#39;s fighting and I think Quicksilver wouldn&#39;t think twice about kicking somebody in the nuts because he&#39;s a rotten SOB. Jay&#39;s a standup guy, a good man, a decent soul, but look at the world we live in - he could be kicked in the balls just as easy as anybody else. BUT, if they DID have their powers then I would go with the Flash bay-bee!!! He&#39;d woop Pietro with a speed tornado or something, all Quicksilver would do is yell to fast so nobody could hear him. And btw, how did Jay&#39;s hat stop Superboy&#39;s heat vision? *** Snow? It&#39;s 80 freakin degrees here in Florida and it&#39;s January!!! There&#39;s always hurricanes to look forward too though!

  • Jan. 24, 2006, 9:50 a.m. CST

    So Slade pussy-footed around in BoP?

    by The Heathen

    He sure didn&#39;t in IC #1 though huh? I haven&#39;t read BoP #90 yet, but I wanted to ask if there&#39; any possiblity for a reason for Slade not killing them? Maybe him and the Society have a motive? Besides Luthor (really Alex Luthor) he&#39;s the leader pretty much (or is Thalya

  • Jan. 24, 2006, 9:57 a.m. CST

    Possibly, Heathen...

    by Thalya

    But his reason would have been really veiled up til now. I think it&#39;s just a case of Gail pulling a bait and switch so she could force an ending. She has much &#39;splainin&#39; to do in VU:IC Special, she does.

  • Jan. 24, 2006, noon CST

    march 05, 2006

    by blackthought

    gail simone was tortured then murdered by an unknown assailant under the codename thalya...reasons are unknown at the moment.

  • Jan. 24, 2006, 12:02 p.m. CST

    I hate bait and switches

    by The Heathen

  • Jan. 24, 2006, 12:15 p.m. CST

    but I like the Steve Jobs news

    by The Heathen

    save Disney, Pixar

  • Jan. 24, 2006, 12:30 p.m. CST

    Hey I love Ult Quicksilver better than regular...

    by Shigeru

    I love that he&#39;s all like creepy, incestuous, in love with his sister, femmy dude. He was pretty cool in that Passion of the Thor issue too. BUT Vale, I&#39;m sorry man, Jay&#39;s helmet fucking rules. Why does it rule? Cause there is no possible way it can stay on his head if he walked fast, nonetheless ran 900mph.

  • Jan. 24, 2006, 12:46 p.m. CST

    Snow and Gus

    by Shigeru

    Yeah I got bitchslapped by Nature yesterday. Saturday it was like 63 out and then BAM 8 inches of the white stuff yesterday. So what&#39;s a poor cog smooch to do??? Call in sick and play Madden all day, that&#39;s what!

  • Jan. 24, 2006, 12:54 p.m. CST

    Meh!

    by Gus Nukem

    Any of you tried Battlefield 2? The best online game these days. My username is stavropoulos. And I kick mighty posteriors.

  • Jan. 24, 2006, 1:03 p.m. CST

    I was able to get a 360

    by The Heathen

    and yes I&#39;m enjoying my first person shooters Shigeru, except for Perfect Dark - that one sucks.

  • Jan. 24, 2006, 1:14 p.m. CST

    Ok so apparently i&#39;m outnumbered

    by El Vale

    Everyone loves the goofy helmet. You&#39;re all living a lie, you know!

  • Jan. 24, 2006, 1:14 p.m. CST

    sucker. :-P

    by Shigeru

    enjoy paying 500 bucks for improved smoke effects. "lucid dream" my bunghole.

  • Jan. 24, 2006, 1:36 p.m. CST

    Umm

    by The Heathen

    I couldn&#39;t think of a comeback Shig. It was more of a lucky coincidence that I was able to get one, but Call Of Duty 2 has the prettiest smoke you&#39;ll ever see, plus a have a Superman logo as my background, and a

  • Jan. 24, 2006, 1:46 p.m. CST

    the "lucid dream" quote

    by Shigeru

    that&#39;s from Mr Xbox president dude about playing the 360. Can&#39;t be bothered to look up his name.

  • Jan. 24, 2006, 1:49 p.m. CST

    News!

    by Gus Nukem

    X360 and the Golden Age Flash both SUCK.

  • Jan. 24, 2006, 1:59 p.m. CST

    I just looked at that Ross Flash pic and it&#39;s the blue pants

    by superhero

  • Jan. 24, 2006, 2:24 p.m. CST

    i&#39;m hungry

    by blackthought

  • Jan. 24, 2006, 2:35 p.m. CST

    Banana bread, dear?

    by Thalya

  • Jan. 24, 2006, 2:41 p.m. CST

    oh my...

    by blackthought

    now that is temptation.

  • Jan. 24, 2006, 2:59 p.m. CST

    ... and I have the evidence:

    by Gus Nukem

    *** http://tinyurl.com/bqbde ***

  • Jan. 24, 2006, 6:05 p.m. CST

    Jay Garrick v. Quicksilver=Nolan Ryan v. Robin Ventura

    by Heywood Jablowme

    And if any of you know anything about baseball, you know how that went down. If not, look it up. It was classic. And about the hat, everytime I see it I can&#39;t help but be reminded of Tommy Lee Jones in JFK all painted in gold, doing blow and getting freaky with Joe Pesci & Kevin Bacon all while wearing Jay Garrick&#39;s hat. But that&#39;s the way it is. The clothes sometimes make the man, and the hat comes with the Golden Age Flash. It would be like Superman without the cape.

  • Jan. 24, 2006, 6:19 p.m. CST

    Nice analogy, Heywood.

    by Dave_F

    And I&#39;ve seen JFK several times, been terrified by Tommy Lee&#39;s party several times...but I somehow don&#39;t recall the Mercury hat. S&#39;weird, I don&#39;t know if that means I should re-watch it or not. Damn entertaining flick, even if all the conspiracy stuff is hooey. My favorite bit-part (among many) is John Candy: "You want me to give you the big enchilada, daddio?" Hmm, with lines like that, maybe he should&#39;ve been at Tommy Lee&#39;s party..

  • Jan. 24, 2006, 6:23 p.m. CST

    i&#39;ll second the ditto on that analogy

    by blackthought

  • Jan. 24, 2006, 8:29 p.m. CST

    But...there was no ditto on that analogy

    by El Vale

    How can you second it?

  • Jan. 24, 2006, 10:13 p.m. CST

    ha...

    by blackthought

    oh you colombians!...er...wait, i&#39;m on too........mmmm........banana bread.

  • Jan. 24, 2006, 11:39 p.m. CST

    Goodbye Stanley

    by Gus Nukem

    http://tinyurl.com/8wzq7

  • Jan. 24, 2006, 11:42 p.m. CST

    Yarteries (a must read!)

    by Gus Nukem

    http://tinyurl.com/8hyrm *** More here: ** http://cheston.com/pbf/archive.html *** Updated every Wednesday or Thursday.

  • Jan. 24, 2006, 11:56 p.m. CST

    the most recent interview of Frank Miller and recent photos of A

    by Gus Nukem

    http://tinyurl.com/8kemr *** from the greek comics site Comicdom.gr *** Go here for interviews of other great comics creators: ** tinyurl.com/7hyu4 ** Be sure to follow the link to the english versions. **** tinyurl.com/7kn9x - Photos from the most recent Alan Moore signing and speech in London. Melinda Gebbie, Michael Moorcock, Jose Villarubia and Rich Johnston can also be seen. These photos, more or less, can also be accessed in this week&#39;s LitG. Lucky denizens of Luan Duhn! (a pseudo From Hell reference, I think I made this one up just now!) **** PS And now my previous posts&#39; links have been sorted and described and thus, can be presented to you, the gentle reader of this talkback. Enjoy.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 12:02 a.m. CST

    The new PBF is hilarious

    by El Vale

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 8:30 a.m. CST

    Heywood re: Nolan vs. Ventura

    by The Heathen

    As I recall Ventura rushed Nolan on the mound, Nolan then proceeded to get put into a headlock and hit several times on his noggin while everyone was like, "look at this old legend schooling this young bulky punk!" This might sound crazy Heywood, but I think that somehow makes the most sense out of any of the Jay vs. Pietro fights I&#39;ve heard. Btw, thanks for reminding me of the Nolan vs. Ventura thing - good times.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 8:32 a.m. CST

    "VENTURA then proceeded to get put into a headlock"

    by The Heathen

    my bad, that kinda reverses the whole thing doesn&#39;t it? It&#39; still early. *yawns*

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 8:52 a.m. CST

    yawns

    by blackthought

    early indeed.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 9:04 a.m. CST

    Nolan vs. Ventura

    by Shigeru

    Ha I remember watching that live. That was funny as shit.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 12:12 p.m. CST

    about Deathstroke and Gail Simone

    by The Heathen

    Simone may have neutered Slade in BoP, but Johns sure didn&#39;t in Infinite Crisis did he? Nightwing screwed him over (in his own title) and Deathstroke turned Dick&#39;s city into a radioactive death pit in IC #4 . But, Slade has been seen in books like Teen Titans and BoP being more of a recruiter or planning stuff from the sidelines. I still haven&#39;t read BoP #90 yet, but I&#39;m willing to trust what Thalya say&#39;s about it, anybody have anything else to talk about or am I just anxious?

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 12:16 p.m. CST

    I have something to talk about.

    by Shigeru

    In the last panel/page of Walking Dead 25, I wish instead of a shot of the 2 men saying that line, it was a shot of what they were looking at, with the last line omitted. That&#39;s how I would have done it. ...okay that&#39;s not really a great conversation starter but sue me.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 12:29 p.m. CST

    it&#39;s okay, I&#39;ll take it

    by The Heathen

    didn&#39;t think about that Shigeru, but I agree after thinking about it. I guess I was just glad to have some zombies getting wacked and the threat of having to go out of the gates for supplies never get&#39;s old. So, do you think the ______ (omitted spoiler) will see them?

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 12:34 p.m. CST

    Yeah most definitely (SPOILERS)

    by Shigeru

    I think the ____ will see them and immediately try to land. Whereupon it gets beset by zombies, and Rick and Glenn try to help but get surrounded and then the people holding the gate open try to help too and that&#39;s when things REALLY get screwed. Basically I think things are about to get screwed royally.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 12:54 p.m. CST

    screwed up = great reading for Walking Dead

    by The Heathen

    At least one of the people in the _______ will make it to tell of their crazy adventures outside the prison walls and the others will totally be zombie bait. And the _______ will surely be able to get repaired in the next few issues. The possiblities of cool shit are good.

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 1:28 p.m. CST

    new column is up

    by Shigeru

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 1:32 p.m. CST

    sweet

    by The Heathen

  • Jan. 25, 2006, 4:48 p.m. CST

    Yeah, the Ryan Express v. Ventura was just classic all around.

    by Heywood Jablowme

    That was Ryan&#39;s last year, too. Nice way to go out. It just goes to show that youth and strength ain&#39;t shit compared to experience and wisdom.

  • Jan. 28, 2006, 10:03 a.m. CST

    um

    by blackthought

  • Feb. 12, 2006, 1:16 a.m. CST

    what you were hoping you &#39;d never read again...

    by Gus Nukem

    last.