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#38 2/8/06 #4

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

DC SHOWCASE PRESENTS HOUSE OF MYSTERY VOL. 1
SENSATIONAL SPIDER MAN #23
DMZ #4
Big Eyes for the Cape Guy presents SAIYUKI
Indie Jones presents…
CHEAP SHOTS!

DC SHOWCASE PRESENTS HOUSE OF MYSTERY VOL. 1

Written by Joe Orlando, Sergio Aragones, Len Wein, Marv Wolfman, Gerry Conway, Robert Kanigher
Art by Neal Adams, Bernie Wrightson, Sergio Aragones, Alex Toth, Jack Kirby, Tony DeZuniga, Wally Wood, Carmine Infantino
Published by DC Comics
Reviewed by Buzz Maverik



"Did you ever kill anyone?" my cousin asked me. We were both 8 years old.

"Yeah," I said, figuring that I probably would some day. They'd be enemy agents. I'd be given medals and fast cars for doing it. Chicks, too, although I had only the vaguest idea why.

"You want to see what's going to happen to you?" he asked.

I nodded. He produced a beat up horror comic. It might have been one of the day or a back issue someone had given him. If you or I saw it today, we would recognize it as a knock off of the EC classic horror titles from the early 1950s. Timely/Marvel did only a few, preferring their monsters to be the big atomic bug/alien/Japanese monster types. Charlton, Gold Key and especially DC, on the other hand, always kept the EC tradition alive, in somewhat tamer versions.

The story my cousin showed me was an inferior morality play about some frat boy types who trick a pledge into diving into an empty swimming pool. The pledge dies, the frat boys go scott free, and a pair of men in black suits show up to escort them to Hell.

Scared the living shit out of me at the time. It didn't occur to me until long into a sleepless night that lots of people kill people and don't get taken to Hell by pale skinned guys in fedoras...I mean, look at the Manson bunch. Tex and Squeeky and Lenny and Squiggy were still breathing air. I figured the pasty guys would come for me because I had a sick enough sense of humor to find the swimming pool gag funny and since I planned to grow up and kill legions of super-villain henchmen. I wondered why they'd never taken Pa Maverik. In WW II, the big 'un, he got medals for killing enough Japanese marines to cast the extras in all the Godzilla movies Toho Studios ever made. Probably the pale guys were scared of Pa Maverik. I know I sure as hell was!

I don't know if that story was in THE HOUSE OF MYSTERY or not. In DC's latest SHOWCASE, their answer to Marvel's ESSENTIALS, you'll find tons of similar stories. Since HOM (not the Bendis thing), was an anthology book, we get a load of stories here, mostly shorts.

Superheroes, of course, have not always been the dominant genre in comic books. But comic books have always been a genre driven medium. Horror certainly was big and clearly attracted some of the best talents in the business. Here, we've got early collaborations by SWAMP THING co-creators Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson (as well as some of Mr. Wrightson's brilliant cover work). Neal Adams did many striking covers as well. Art guys, please explain to everyone the genius of Alex Toth's lines and shades. It seems so simple but why can't I do that? And why can't legions of talented, professional artists approach Toth's high level?

Anthology books are great. Collected en masse, they are almost psychedelic. All those different styles, some detailed, some sketchy, crazy lettering, skewed perspectives.

I'm a Marvel Zombie. I love DC, have preferred DC many times, but while I can tell you in detail about years of Marvel history that I've never personally set eyes on, I don't know much about DC. I first encountered THE HOUSE O' MYSTERY through the works of Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman, where Cain and Abel would appear in SWAMP THING or SANDMAN.

My biggest surprise? The dark humored shorts by Sergio Aragones, best known for his Marginal Thinking gags in MAD MAGAZINE and his GROO THE WANDERER. Aragones was always my second favorite MAD creator, my favorite being their other Latin American genius, SPY VS SPY creator Antonio Prohias (remember, I aspired to being an enemy agent killer). Aragones’ strips in THE HOUSE OF MYSTERY will remind you of the best of Charles Addams. Uncle Fester is even seen in the background of some of the panels. Yeah, as a second grader, I thought getting someone to dive into an empty swimming pool was funny as hell. Remember that Addams cartoon where we see all the warning signs like "Shallow, No Diving" and "Stop" on the wall of Pugsley's room?

I'm grateful to DC for the SHOWCASES. If a Marvel Zombie like me needs the ESSENTIALS to really know Marvel, imagine how much DC catching up I have to do!


SENSATIONAL SPIDER-MAN #23

Writer: Roberto Aguirre-Acasa
Pencils: Angel Medina
Inks: Scott Hanna
Publisher: Marvel
Reviewer: Ambush Bug



Are you like me? Are you burned out on all of the awful Spider-Man stories that have been floating around for…I dunno…like…forever and a Tuesday? Are you sick of seeing the essence of Spider-Man being deconstructed? Or having him “changed” in some earth-shattering way that will eventually be ignored by the next big creative team to tackle the property? Are you sick of Spider-Man being teh suck?!?!?

Well, me the hell too!

Growing up, Spider-Man was the hero I loved the most. I couldn’t get enough of him, because dammit, he was me. Of course, I didn’t have a supermodel for a wife or super-powers and the Green Goblin never really tried to blow me up (although my best friend did hit me with a bottle rocket and it exploded in my face one time and burned off my eyebrows), but boiled down to basics he was just like me. A guy who tries to do the right thing, but doesn’t seem to get a break. A guy who worries and feels responsible. A guy who cares a bit too much and feels as if he has to do what he can because he can. Spider-Man is everyone’s conscience. He’s that sense of responsibility. He’s the hero in all of us who realizes that as you grow, you not only grow on the outside, but you have to grow on the inside as well to be a good person. He’s a hero. He was my hero.

I don’t know if it is over-exposure or misunderstanding or Marvel concentrating on other properties and forgetting that Spider-Man is the most recognizable hero they have, but mainstream Spidey comics have sucked for so long, I don’t remember the last time I enjoyed them.

Hot on the heels of the dag-nasty THE OTHER: EVOLVE OR DIE crossover, a new creative team takes over one of Spider-Man’s ongoing titles and the result is a breath of fresh air. It’s been a while, but in one issue writer Roberto Aguirre-Acasa has leapt back to the serialized, interconnected universe that Spider-Man used to bound around in in all of my favorite old Spidey comics. Aguirre-Acasa (who for the sake of the rest of this review will be referred to as A-A because…well…I’m lazy) brings back old characters like Curt Connors and John Jameson. He relies on the readers’ past knowledge of how all of these characters used to interact to expand on that story and build a new one. It’s the spandexed soap opera that was the Spidey titles for so long before it all went pear-shaped somewhere in the nineties. And it’s refreshing to see A-A returning to such a nice old standard.

In this issue, we get Spidey acting wonky. MJ acting wonky. The Vulture acting wonky. John Jameson acting wonky. And a whole messload of animals at the zoo acting wonky. That’s a whole lot of wonkiness going on and you don’t have to be Madame Web to know that all of this is interconnected somehow. A-A really interweaves these characters together nicely and writes each with a distinct voice. The big action scene of the book with the Vulture is especially nice and it ends with a truly startling revelation. A-A also does a great job of building suspense for the cliff hanger with Curt Connors. It’s a sequence that I have read a million times, but A-A really does a great job with dialog to intensify the dire magnitude of this scene.

Angel Medina has one of those herky-jerky art styles that have always been hit and miss for my tastes. He definitely has talent and his depictions of Spider-Man are tip top, but I find his pencils a bit distracting when he’s just drawing regular people. His style is very kinetic with lots of lines and detailing, but sometimes, this characteristic of his style clutters the page and makes things confusing. I like the art and think that Medina is dead on with the action scenes, but I wish he would tone it down for the more quiet scenes of the book. It would make for a much more effective read.

I’m recommending this book because it reads like an old Spider-Man comic. There’s no mention of spinnerettes. No wrist spikes from THE OTHER crossover. No weird Spider-God totem shit. Just baddies in costumes making Spidey’s life miserable. It’s Spidey, the way he used to be, and that’s pretty okay to me.


DMZ #4

Writer: Brian Wood
Penciler: Riccardo Burchielli
Publisher: Vertigo/DC Comics
Reviewed by Humphrey Lee



It seems that we here at AICN have been throwing a lot of praise towards Mr. Wood here in the recent months. Some of my fellow reviewers gave his work on LOCAL some high praise a couple weeks ago, I know one of the guys gave the first issue of this series a nice nod, and I personally recommended DEMO as one of the best purchases of 2005 a few weeks ago as well. Well, now I'm here to add even more praise onto the Woodpile (get it? WOOD-pile! ahahahahaha..... eh, yea, I suck). But anyway, I'm here to say that DMZ is one of the best books on the market, and this issue is a great showcase for the kind of innovative storytelling that Brian Wood is bringing to the medium of comic books.

If you don't know by now, the premise of DMZ is actually a rather simplistic one. Manhattan Isle is the center point of civil war and has become the so-called Demilitarized Zone the title implies. One Matthew Roth is a young journalist that has been abandoned in the DMZ and has taken on the job of trying to report on whatever he can, the state of the borough, the destruction that has be wrought, and most importantly, the state of the people living in the DMZ.

This issue, titled "Ghosts", is a self-contained story that finds Matthew in what's left of Central Park in the middle of winter time. Apparently there's an urban myth of a group of Special Forces soldiers, called "The Ghosts", who were tasked to go into the DMZ for whatever reason and instead decided to go AWOL and have taken to the underground. But instead what Matthew finds is something totally different but just as intriguing as the idea of the rogue SF group.

Instead of "Ghosts" Matthew actually finds himself in the middle of Central Park Zoo, which has undergone some rather unique changes. The group inhabiting it has turned it into a habitat for welfare and survival in the midst of the desolation that has become Manhattan. And I'm sure you can probably surmise what this group turns out to be, but trust me, the writing is still good enough to not make you notice as Wood takes us on a journey through the Zoo and gives us more glimpses into the state of Manhattan. Things have gotten so bad that Central Park is now pretty much "deforested". The people in the surrounding areas have now gotten to the point to where they are willing to kill just to have wood to burn during the harsher parts of winter. The Zoo itself though has become a marvel. Bamboo is allowed to grow wild as it not only serves as a means of warmth, but of construction material and even nourishment. The structure of the Zoo itself has gone underground like its inhabitants as it literally has been covered to the top with dirt. All these concepts are very interesting, and give us an uneasy feeling of hope given the usually glib circumstances that surround the backdrop of the book.

I really can't think of any higher compliment to give this book than to say that really, it reminds me of another highly classic Vertigo series, TRANSMETROPOLITAN. Seeing Matty down on the street and doing his best to give the people a voice as the war rages is very Spider Jerusalem-like. And while this book may not have the eccentricity of TRANSMET, it does have its own energy and sense of style and humor that give it a lot of the same atmosphere. Also, the writing is just as brimming with ideas for its own near future environment as TRANSMET was for the far future. Just like Darick Robertson too, Riccardo Burchielli brings very detailed and realistic pencils to the pages of DMZ giving the book that extra nudge to truly feel "alive". And it packs that extra emotional punch whenever we revisit the horrors that the war has brought. It's great visual storytelling is what it is. Burchielli was a really great find for this title.

There you go. DMZ = innovative thinking, insight into the real world surrounding us, a slight bit of quirkiness, and tons of emotional resonance. If that doesn't seem like your cup of tea, then I honestly don't know why you even read comics. If those are the things that you want from your comics, well then I guess you just found your salvation.


SAIYUKI

CREATOR: Kazuya Minekura
Publisher: Tokyopop
Reviewer: Dan Grendell



An Overview of 9 Volumes

I have a fondness for classic Asian literature. Something about the way the stories were told then and the usual oddness of the subject matter appeals to me. So, when I discovered that SAIYUKI is based loosed loosely on Xi You Ji (Journey to the West), a 16th-century book considered one of the Four Classical Novels of Chinese literature, my interest was piqued. When I learned that it featured Son Goku, the uninhibited fighting Monkey God of Chinese myth, I knew I was in for a wild ride. And wild it is.

The story starts in Shangri-La, where humans and the supernatural youkai once lived in harmony. Several years ago, though, the youkai all went insane and started murdering and eating people. Seems a forbidden mixing of youkai magic and human science far to the West, in India, created a Minus Wave that turned all the youkai into mindless monsters. This use of science and magic is all part of a process to revive the Ox King Gyumaoh, a horrible youkai sealed in his castle by the war god Nataku hundreds of years ago. To stop his revival and restore the youkai to normal, Heaven chooses four heroes. Genjyo Sanzo, one of the five holiest Buddhist priests in the world, is also a smoking, drinking, gambling, surly egomaniac and the leader of the group, quick with his gun and his fan. Son Goku, the childlike Monkey King, is a youkai with incredible power that is constantly hungry and always arguing with Sha Gojyu, a horndog half-youkai who smokes like a chimney and fights with a staff and sickle connected by a chain. The final member of the group is Cho Hakkai, a pleasant and polite youkai who fights with chi manipulation and brings along Jeep, a tiny dragon that can turn into a, well, jeep. They use it to get around. Because of their connections to humanity, the youkai in the group have been unaffected by the Minus Wave.

They are opposed by some powerful people, though, who have their own reasons for wanting the Minus Wave to continue. Kougaiji, Gyumaoh's half-youkai son, is a powerful magician and charismatic leader. His half-sister, Lirin, is a pint-sized bundle of energy with skill and power that belies her juvenile attitude. Yaone, the alchemist and assassin, owes Kougaiji her life but has a strange attraction to Hakkai, and Dokugakuji, Kougaiji's youkai swordsman, has sworn himself to his master's service, but has an old connection to Gojyu. Behind it all, with her own plans, is Lirin's mother, the skanky Gyokumen, who uses Kougaiji and his crew as pawns.

Here's a quick overview of the highlights of each volume.

Volume One: The gang are gathered together, set off, and are attacked by youkai. They manage to kill them, even a powerful and gross spider-woman. They later stay at a temple and are attacked again, and Sanzo shows just what a bad Buddhist he is and corrupts an acolyte.

Volume Two: A grieving woman needs our heroes' help, and Yaone tries to assassinate them, leading to their first meeting with Gyumaoh. Also, a priest from Sanzo's past returns with a problem.

Volume Three: Goku goes out of control after his Power Limiter is destroyed and Kanzeon Bosatsu is required to resolve the situation, Lirin's attack on the boys is interrupted by an assault by a shikigami, and Gojyu and Dokugakuji meet face to face.

Volume Four: The fortune-teller Chin Yisou attacks and Hakkai's past is revealed.

Volume Five: We flashback to the first meeting of the four heroes, and they defeat a desert youkai while in search of a Sutra.

Volume Six: Trapped in the desert and faced with an attack by Kougaiji, Goku cuts loose again and nearly kills everyone, and Gyokumen betrays a wounded Kougaiji and brainwashes him.

Volume Seven: A manipulated youkai child ambushes the group, and Gojyo leaves to find the priest that used the boy.

Volume Eight: Without Gojyo, the boys find themselves unable to continue, so they look for him to kick his ass for leaving. A horrible defeat at the hands of the puppetmaster priest tests their wills.

Volume Nine: A night of mahjongg gives a new viewpoint on things, and teamwork is suggested- and used to kill the priest. The journey continues.

This series is a lot of fun, and while the action and story are very cool, the real star is the dialogue. The characters all speak like people. There is a lot of swearing, because people swear casually all the time. There's slang, contractions, and that sort of thing, for the same reason, but it never feels overdone. It doesn't feel tacked on. It just feels natural, like "of course that's how they would talk". And that's how dialogue should be. Not everyone talks like that- a few characters are more highfalutin' - but that's dead on, too. Some people are. Minekura's dialogue goes a long way towards making the characters feel real, and that's a huge part of an entertaining story.

The art is cool, too, with a slightly unreal quality to it that is especially evident in the fight scenes. Characters are all lankier and more stretched than realistic, and tend to move like they have ball bearings for joints. In combat, this makes for epic martial arts movements with mighty swings and crazy jumps, but it can also sometimes be hard to follow what is happening. The costume design for the characters is quite interesting, a mix of Asian and western fantasy elements that succeeds more often than it fails and gives a cool look. I wish we could see more different kinds of youkai, instead of the common mooks that show up so often, but the freaky ones we do see are definitely sweet.

I somehow doubt that SAIYUKI has much more than basic elements in common with the original Chinese story, but the adaptation is a cool one, full of action and attitude that will make it one of the new classics.


JEREMIAH HARM #1
BOOM! Studios

This is the type of comic that Keith Giffen and Alan Grant do best. Tough as hell intergalactic badass anti-hero juggernauting his way through the universe against even more despicable aliens. Sure, one may think this is another LOBO or TRENCHER knock-off, but Giffen and Grant have a little thing called story going for them too with this one. Sure, a character with a cigar lighter built into his thumb sounds kind of cool, but the real coolness comes in the form of the three baddies who escape an intergalactic prison. In the same prison? You guessed it. Old Jeremiah Harm. And he’s the only one who can stop these guys because he’s stopped them before. Add on some pretty astounding and gritty artwork from newcomer Rael Lyra and you have yet another quality surprise from BOOM! Studios. - Ambush Bug




7 DAYS TO FAME #2
After Hours Press

The first issue of this series entertained me enough to get me to give the second issue a shot and I’m glad I stuck with this one. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this story, but as it unfolds I appreciate that aspect of it all. This book centers on a television series which focuses on highlighting the life of one person, then on the seventh day, the guest kills him or herself on the air. Issue two deals with the fallout of the big suicide in issue one and of course, things are quickly spinning out of control for the show’s host and producer. This is a book which goes for the jugular and isn’t afraid to tackle topics mainstream books are afraid to touch. This book is a true surprise. - Ambush Bug




TURA AND EVA #1
Fecus Publications

This was a fun romp from talented creator Jim Sumii. Tura and Eva may look like Betty and Veronica clones, but they sure don’t act like them. Full of angst, spite, and general pissed-offedness, this pair of heroines comment about the comics industry, break the fourth wall and bitch a their creator for not producing more stories about them and get into one crazy adventure after the next. This oversized first issue collects five mini-adventures that read like smart-assed Sunday comics gone wrong. It’s very self aware, often hilarious, and worth picking up. - Ambush Bug




OZF5: GALE FORCE #1
Alias Enterprises

Reinterpretations are a tricky thing. One may say that you aren’t really creating something if all you are doing is reimagining an already pretty imaginative story, but if the reimagining is pretty imaginative, then I say, give it a pass. OZF5 is such a story. Issue one throws the reader smack dab in the middle of an all out battle as three warriors (Scarecrow: a nimble martial artist made of straw, the Tin Woodsman: a human locomotive with an axe, and the face-painted, kilt-wearing, Braveheart-like Lion) battle it out against the Wicked Witch’s futuristic dark forces. Pretty soon a moon-suited Dorothy and her snarling canine show up to add to the carnage. Writer Ramon Madrigal and artist Ryan Ottley do a great job of making these classic characters fit into this comic booky, future-drenched scenario. I have to give props to whoever came up with the concept of a boneless martial artist made of straw. Seeing the Scarecrow kick @$$ kung-fu style is truly inspired. - Ambush Bug

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


GREEN ARROW #59
DC Comics

Completely ridiculous throughout. Ollie is forced to have an “arrow-to-arrow” match-up with Merlyn as the city he has sworn to protect gets blowed up real good. Mia (aka AIDSy the sidekick aka victim #1) is buried under rubble. Black Lightning completely disrespects and discredits fire fighters who themselves should be looked at as heroes, but instead are reduced to thumb-up-their-@$$ers while BL sifts through wreckage. And this issue tops things off with a bare-chested, concussed, and completely out-of-character Connor Hawke (aka victim #2) bursting from an ambulance and running down the street shouting “Hold on, everyone! I’m coming!” in one of the most unintentionally funny scenes in the book. This book has basically been reduced to a five part battle between Ollie and Black Lightning/Ollie and Dr. Light/Ollie and Merlyn. What could have been an intense thrill a minute nail-biter has been drawn out to an exasperating snooze. - Bug

GHOST RIDER #6
Marvel

Garth, Garth, Garth. It just hasn't been a good month for you, has it? The first issue of FURY: PEACEMAKER was pretty typical fanfare, and now this...well this is just bad. Everything in this issue is just so off kilter. There's random double and triple crosses in the story that make it confusing. There's tons of exposition that just renders any energy this book might have inert. And the art is still way too busy to make out what the hell is going on at times. It may look beautiful on covers or when there's a splash page, but for the most part it's just a muddled mess. I don't even think I could recommend this in trade it got so lackluster after the halfway point. Pity, it started out so well too. - Humphrey

FRANKLIN RICHARDS - SON OF A GENIUS: EVERYONE LOVES FRANKLIN ONE SHOT #1
Marvel

Another hilarious issue of the ornery adventures of that little shit Franklin Richards and his robotic nanny H.E.R.B.I.E. This issue collects more of the Franklin short tales that have been popping up with more frequency throughout the Marvel titles. This is the first take on the Franklin character that hasn’t annoyed the hell out of me, so creators Chris Eliopoulos and Mark Sumerak must be doing something right. - Bug

HELLBLAZER #217
DC Vertigo

Last month I said Denise Mina seemed to have a solid grasp on the world of John Constantine. That continues to be the case in this issue, as he leaves a pub on a road trip to Scotland and we get a flashback to the isle of Iona, where Christianity first hit the British Isles (and burial site of King MacBeth, among scores of other kings). Mina’s done her homework, as we see an appearance by St. Columba—but see him involved in some unsavory actions that apparently have reverbrations in the modern age. Where Mina is a tad off this issue, though, is in portraying the character of John Constantine. I don’t know if it’s the bad influence of the recent movie or if she’s missed a crucial aspect of Constantine, but it’s a glaring enough slip-up to make longtime fans nervous. I own hundreds of appearances by this character, and I feel fairly comfortable saying John isn’t the type to whip out a blessed (or cursed) knife and take out four guys in a parking lot. Demons or no, it’s very much out of character for John, and makes me a little less sure of the direction the title is going than I was a week ago. I’ll still be on board, but with a bit more trepidation.--Sleazy G

NIGHTWING #117
DC Comics

This issue marks Devin Grayson’s big finish to her run on the title. Devin tries to scrunch too much into this issue to wrap her extended stint of destroying every aspect of Nightwing’s life up into a little bow. Nightwing basically hops from one place to another throughout this issue, having forced and terse conversations that quickly wrap up with an unfulfilling final scene with Barbara Gordon. The final issue of her run seems forced and completely rushed. Had Devin spent more time expanding on the “big rebuild” of Nightwing’s life rather than focusing on fucking it up so successfully during stint of her run on the title, this may have been a more successful story, but one issue of “climbing from the ashes triumphantly” after almost 20 of Dick wallowing in them doesn’t make for a very interesting story and shows what the writer found to be the most interesting and, coincidentally, the less challenging story to tell. - Bug

INCREDIBLE HULK #92
Marvel

Well, PLANET HULK is upon us and what do I think? Eh, not a bad start. The writing is very solid and in the realm of "above average" and the art is actually rather impressive and dynamic. But this is the beginning of a fourteen part storyline so we don't get much into the overall scope of it so much as we just get to "Hulk lands on an alien planet and is enslaved." It's not a terribly original plot point at all, but the book really is fun. The action is a great rush, and there are some very clever jokes and puns based on the Hulk's typical assortment of sayings and doings. I really hope that the story develops into something more unique and polished than what we're presented with here, but again, this issue was really very energetic and promising. I'm not sure how this can all be stretched into something that's planned to last for more than a year, but if we can keep up this kind of excitement, it should all go by very quickly. - Humphrey

SUPREME POWER: NIGHTHAWK #6
Marvel MAX

Daniel Way’s gruesome and gritty miniseries focusing on the Batman analog Nighthawk comes to a close. Although it ended abruptly, this series definitely never ceased to be entertaining. In this issue, Nighthawk has a final confrontation with Whiteface. It’s gory. It’s tough. And it’s definitely worthy of the MAX imprint. It’s proof positive that Marvel can tell stories for mature audiences. It just sucks that the regular SUPREME POWER series is going to the Marvel Knights line because a tale like this couldn’t be told there. - Bug

JSA #82
DC Comics

I have to admit, one of the more interesting side affects of INFINITE CRISIS for me is getting to see some of the DC bigwigs step out from behind their desks and try to prove they have the chops to write a story. I don’t know that I’ve ever read anything written by Paul Levitz before. So how does he do? Not bad. Sure, it’s a bit odd to read a Gentleman Ghost who talks more like a pirate than a Lord, but there’s a real charm to much of the book. The issue focuses on Power Girl and the difficult choice she was asked to make a few issues back in IC. She goes to the real Red Tornado, Ma Hunkel, for advice. We get some wonderful flashbacks drawn by up-and-comers George Perez and Bob Wiacek, set on an alternate Earth, with lots of Sprang-y influences. There’s also a moment where Ma breaks the “code” Power Girl can’t figure out that made me smile and feel really old. Lots of great little touches, lots of emotion, lots of action—and just a hint of the corniness that made reading comics so much fun when I was a kid. Overall, a pretty solid opener from Levitz before he kicks off the One Year Later tales of the JSA next month.--Sleazy G

ARES #2
Marvel

Still digging this series. As Ares cuts a bloody path to Olympus to retrieve his kidnapped son, he runs into Achilles and an army of warriors from the East. It’s cool to see Ares use all forms of weaponry from all times and places to beat the living shit out of all who oppose him. This issue also sports a nice little guest appearance by the Avenger Hercules. After Oeming’s disastrous run on THOR, I wasn’t expecting much from this series, but color me impressed. - Bug

SABLE & FORTUNE #2
Marvel

Marvel gives two new kids, writer Brendan Cahill and artist John M. Burns, a chance to show their stuff with a couple of underused Marvel characters. The first couple of issues are a bit of a pastiche of various influences, and a little on the familiar side. They’re also entertaining and fun, though—enough so to keep me around for the rest of the mini, at least. Sadly, Marvel doesn’t support up-and-comers the way they do their pet writers. Some people get two years to finish a miniseries, and others have six-issue miniseries get no promotional campaign at all and end up cut back to four issues within a coupla weeks of the first issue hitting the stands. I’ll keep picking it up because I think these guys have potential and could use the support. Hopefully they won’t get their legs cut out from under them on their next outing.-- Sleazy G

LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #200
DC Comics

This is one of those titles that I always kick myself for continuing to buy. The problem with an ongoing book which features definitive stories from different creative teams is that, for the most part, you get a lot of shitty reads in between the few moments of goodness. This issue was one of those moments of goodness, though. Eddie Campbell and Darren White write a pretty straightforward, old school Batman vs. Joker story where the Batman must save the Joker’s life in order to find out where he has planted a bomb. There are twists and turns and even some detective work in this one. It’s not too angsty and stays away form the cliché of having Batman decide whether or not he wants the Joker to live or die because of all of the evil shit he’s done. Campbell and White seem to understand the character of the Joker in that he isn’t really as crazy as he seems and that at his core, he is a performer vying for the Batman’s attention. And I have to give the writers props for coming up with a cool way for the Joker to fake his own death in the end. Plus, Bart Sears tones down his art a little for this one. The balloon people from his CAPTAIN AMERICA/FALCON stint are gone in favor of a more realistic approach and more attention to panel to panel cohesiveness. All in all, this is a LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT issue that is better than most. - Bug



OOP$!



Ambush Bug here. Last week, I accidentally ran the wrong cover for THE LIGHT BRIGADE TRADE PAPERBACK cover in my review. So here’s the correct cover to this excellent read. Be sure to seek it out, you will not be disappointed.
Readers Talkback
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  • Feb. 16, 2006, 11:23 a.m. CST

    Fizrst

    by mostdwnloadedman

    First bitchs but on the comix page..damn

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 11:29 a.m. CST

    this column makes me angry

    by HypeEndsHere

    because it's formatted by a dyslexic. it's got 17 writers all showcasing their... uh...style (which is frequently difficult to cut through to get to the info). and it's got five sub-categories in which books are reviewed that have no relation to the column. Big Eyes for the Cape Guy? Where's Superman? i don't know. i guess i just don't get it. to end on a positive note: I like the idea of AICN-Comics.

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 11:44 a.m. CST

    too much Nightwing hateration.

    by iamnicksaicnsn

    it was great i tells ya!

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 11:50 a.m. CST

    Devin Grayson Dilema

    by MWulf

    Bug right. it wrapped up too quickly. However, Im willing to cut her some slack as I read in an interview that the whole Infinate Crisis & One Year Later thing was forced on her twords the middle of her run. Supposedly some big shit is planned for Nightwing and she had to clean up her mess... in one issue's time no less. But that's the only slack Im willing to cut. The arcs after Blockbuster was shot fizzled, and if it were pointed out more clearly earlier (as opposed to the last issue) that Nightwing was trying to kill himself, I might have found it all more compelling.

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 11:50 a.m. CST

    Or, Bug's Right.

    by MWulf

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 12:02 p.m. CST

    "After Oeming

    by hulkdog

    Sir, that is a MINORITY opinion.

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 12:22 p.m. CST

    DMZ meh

    by Fantomex

    The first issue seemed kind of silly. I have the 2nd but haven't read it yet.

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 12:35 p.m. CST

    Hey hulkdog

    by TheManWho

    You got something against minorities? Bigot.

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 12:36 p.m. CST

    Hey hulkdog

    by TheManWho

    You got something against minorities? Bigot.

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 12:58 p.m. CST

    OZF5

    by RenoNevada2000

    The OZ characters as badass commandos? I liked that idea a decade back when it was called OZ SQUAD...

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 12:59 p.m. CST

    AIDSy the Sidekick

    by Squashua

    Thank you AB. Judd Winnick is a poor, poor, poor man's Brian Michael Bendis, which isn't saying much.

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 1:13 p.m. CST

    Someone needs to stage an intervention for Garth Ennis.

    by MattCG

    "Ghost Rider" was everything that made me hate his first run on "The Punisher", the redneck obsession, the freaky fucking sidekicks, the whole self-plagiarism thing etc. While I love his new MAX "PUNISHER" series, the guy needs to realize that that kind of shit is as played out as John Woo and his fucking white dove fetish. I loved "Preacher", it's my all time favorite book, but that shit only worked (most of the time) in the confines of "Preacher". Also, stop fucking with Spider-Man. I could give a flying shit about all this "House of M" fallout crap. I want the Spidey I know and love back, the funny one, the guy who is in love with MJ and does what he has to because it's right. And if JMS ever comes within fifty miles of him again, I'm gonna drive a stake into the heart of every "Babylon 5" fan by ripping his fucking heart out and selling it on eBay.

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 1:20 p.m. CST

    ...for the cape guy

    by TheMostHorrible

    I took it to mean manga comics for the guy who reads the standard superhero, cape and cowl comics. Big eyes for the cape guy. I don't think they're trying to convince Superman himself to read manga titles.

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 1:22 p.m. CST

    ....

    by blackthought

    superman can't read left to right, that's why he doesn't read manga...it's got to be unflipped for him.

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 1:40 p.m. CST

    HypeEndsHere

    by The Funketeer

    This column has always sucked. Reading it is like looking at a train wreck. You just can't turn away from it. The sole purpose for this column seems to be in letting these guys try to create an online persona and become to the comics world, what Harry has become to the film world. In other words, they want to hobnob with comics creators at conventions but don't want to actually have to work for it. It's all very self referential and less than clever knicknames and titles with the stupid $ formatting. On top of that, the reviews are of books I bought and read last week. If you want good comics discourse, go to www.thefourthrail.com The guy that runs the site is taking a break from new posts right now, but when he comes back, I'll visit every Monday when he reviews comics before they come out.

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 1:41 p.m. CST

    Judd Winnick

    by The Funketeer

    Anyone who doesn't like Judd Winnick, needs to read some Barry Ween. Funny funny stuff. I'll admit that he's not suited for superheroes though, and I wish that DC would stop putting him on their bigger titles. His Exiles for Marvel was pretty good though.

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 2:14 p.m. CST

    Funketeer

    by El Vale

    AICN Comics: Much better than Fourthrail. no boring format for EVERY GODDAMN COMIC BOOK here. always thought of this one as "By fans, for the fans". If you like the other one better go tell Don he rules and stop bitching at this column's "poor quality". Please?

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Yer Right About Us Not Wanting To Work For It, Funkie!

    by Buzz Maverik

    Work sucks. Working sucks! Has anything good ever come from working? Hell no! Now, yer wrong about wanting to hang around with creators at conventions. First of all, damned few of these guys have ever created anything. Secondly, what's the big whoop about hanging out with 'em? They write and draw comic books. That's a fine job but wouldn't we rather just read their comics? It's not like we're hanging out with Superman or Zatanna or somebody interesting or somebody who looks good in fishnet stockings. I'm actually sort of worried about what sort of work you'd have to do to hobnob with these alleged creators. As liberal as I like to think I am, I ain't going near no hobs or nobs, if you get my drift.

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 2:24 p.m. CST

    Actually, We Like The Fourth Rail.

    by Buzz Maverik

    Randy is a buddy of ours (don't know Don)and has told me he likes the column. Of course, that may have been to get me to leave, but still...

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 3:01 p.m. CST

    whoops...

    by blackthought

    i meant right to left...and i'm with vale on this column...there's no where else where i can get ungodly obscure marvel knowledge...unless fourthrail has a maverick.

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 3:06 p.m. CST

    I like the column. If you don't...

    by Heywood Jablowme

    Don't click it. Funny, it kind of works the same as my TV. I don't like The View or Friends, so I don't turn on that channel when they're on. I do read the column, and like most, I've got a gripe. I'm going to bitch about the fact that you guys didn't throw anything down about Cap #14 or Ultimate Extinction #2 for that matter. Where's the decent books? I would have rather read about either of those books than the rant about how Spidey was better back in the good ol' days. Note to Grandpa Simpson, err, Ambush Bug: Spidey's regular books are dead. There, it's been said. Now go back to talking about walking to school in 10 feet of snow, Matlock, "those punk kids in your yard" and meeting Adlai Stevenson back in '43. We got a decent Spidey book this week? Excuse me if I don't go out and buy 30 issues and distribute them while exhalting its praises through the majesty of song. Listen to DevilCat, these guys will fall in line and you'll have yet another Spidey book to grumble about. I'm out.

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 3:29 p.m. CST

    Anyone bashing this column or any of the reviewers..

    by Psynapse

    Can bite my shiny metal ass or suck my (rather large and movie star quality or so Ive been told several times) dick. Just like my rant on IC haters, don't like it, DON'T FUCKING READ IT. Douchebags.....(Yes the piss with my vinegar WAS extra pottent this morning)

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 3:30 p.m. CST

    Before I Walked To School In 10 Feet Of Snow...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...I would get up a 2 am and deliver papers via my homemade skateboard from my family's delapidated little hovel in Beverly Hills. Times were so rough we had to fire the one of the maids. Well, actually, we fired her because I got her pregnant, but the scars of hardship remain.

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 3:32 p.m. CST

    I Sort Of Like The Talkbackers Who Hate The Column...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...but then, I have what my court-ordered shrink calls Oppositional Defiance Disorder. I told him he was a dipshit...

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 3:34 p.m. CST

    Yes yes I know....

    by Psynapse

    There are only 2 T's in potent. Damnable lack of an edit feature....

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 3:37 p.m. CST

    Heywood, Grandpa Bug here...

    by Ambush Bug

    That's why I covered Spidey this week. It has sucked for so long and when a Spidey comes out that isn't half bad, I think it's worthy of a review. And don't worry about ULT EXTINCTION and CAP. We can't cover every comic, no matter how hard we try. If we miss Cap this month, I'm sure we'll cover it next month. No biggie. You can still talk about the books me missed and the ones we covered here in the TBs.

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 3:37 p.m. CST

    Word, Funketeer

    by filker-tom

    I discovered Winick through Barry Ween, and I am patiently waiting for more. (The graphic novel Pedro and Me was also great.) His regular comics work is so-so to very good, although his cleverness with turns of phrase always shines through... but Ween is his magnum opus.

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 3:40 p.m. CST

    ATTN Sleazy G: Read The Great Darkness Saga NOW!!!!

    by TallScott

    Sleazy G, Im sure if you were being sacastic or not when you said that have never read anything written by Paul Levitz. Im not sure if you know this or not but Paul Levitz wrote what is considered one of the best sagas ever in comics ( And not just me is saying that ) when he wrote The Legion of Superheros: The Great Darkness Saga way back in the 80's. In Fact Levitz's whole run on LOSH was one of the most solid runs in comics up there with Byrnes Fantastic Four and Miller's Daredevil. ( yeah I said it! )The Trade is in most bookstores. As a comics fan I HIGHLY Advise you to check it out.

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 3:40 p.m. CST

    Sensational Spider-Man

    by jmrn66

    I wasn't going to pick the book up, but I have been hearing some good things. This review was one of many positive ones I have read. If it is half as good as Peter David's first post-Other issue it will be well worth it.

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 4:32 p.m. CST

    Great Darkness Saga: I 2nd that

    by Psynapse

    WORD. Please tell me you've read it Buzz.

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 5:06 p.m. CST

    My frustrations with this column

    by Eaglebucks

    I can't help but voice some frustration with AICN's Comic Book column. I was excited when I first came across it, but my main problem is that it reviews OLD COMICS. Case in point is this week, where the column is posted at 11 AM, February 16, and reviews comics that were released on February 8. Those comics are off the new release shelf, and with the back issues. I'm not trying to attack the writing style or the reviewers' opinions (if I was, I would just go to another site). I like reading AICN, but by the time the comic review is out, a whole new week's worth of comics have been released. I'm just trying to say that it would become something I check regularly (like newsarama.com) if it wasn't "last week in comic book history." The site is called Aint It Cool NEWS.

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 5:43 p.m. CST

    Hey Eagle?

    by Psynapse

    Way to show what you just don't know bro. Unlike the other columns you may read where the reviewers are getting comped copies to shill for the publishers these reviews are based on books that the reviewers actually buy with their own money. By the fans for the fans. So sorry they don't bust their asses to meet your preferred deadline. Tell you what, how 'bout you don't come back then 'kay?

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 5:48 p.m. CST

    OMG, I missed Nightwing

    by Homer Sexual

    Stupid comic store has it way up above my line of vision (and I'm 6'2") I didn't even know it was out, and I love that mini. Anyway, I gots to say that I just read a couple of the comics I did buy yesterday and both were by BMB. One was so boring and terrible (that would be New Avengers) and the other was, well, kick-ass. Full of story, character, action, it was great (that would be Spider-Woman: Origin) and I can't give BMB's co writer Brian Reed too much credit for that, because his first Ms. Marvel story was muy meh.

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 5:53 p.m. CST

    Oeming's disastrous run on Thor

    by Homer Sexual

    I don't think that's a minority opinion.

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 6:17 p.m. CST

    I love how

    by El Vale

    Comics that came out a week ago are OLD. One fucking week. Old. Buzz, i guess you should just stop reviewing those Essentials and stuff, i mean if week old comics are OLD, then decade old comics are ancient or something. No relevance there. Just stop. I hate that.

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 6:23 p.m. CST

    Does this issue of Franklin Richards

    by CitC

    actually collect previously released stories? There were supposed to be stories in Xmen 180 and the FF special, but they weren't there.

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 6:24 p.m. CST

    Oh and the reason there's no Cap review

    by El Vale

    I bet it has something to do with Dave, cause he mentioned on last week's tb that he was reviewing that one and this week's column is sans Dave, as you can see. I know it's asking a lot considering the @$$holes have day jobs and families and lives and all that but if every one of you reviewed 2 comics per week (however old they may be) the column would be a great read every single time.

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 6:39 p.m. CST

    Heywood

    by Prof C

    I wrote up a positive review of ULTIMATE EXTINCTION #1. It was a couple weeks late, but it was there AND other than guilty pleasure ULTIMATES I usually loathe anything "Ultimate" related. I was GONNA review CAP 14. But then I didn't. Y'all prolly wouldn't've liked it much anyway since I had only read issues 1 and 14, so it would have been one of those reviews in a contextual vacuum (which can be cool sometimes...anway...) Maybe when the trade comes out of the whole thing.

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 9:16 p.m. CST

    Mack's Barry Ween Rant

    by nyjet

    I laughed so hard I almost lost control of my bodily functions. Does DC continue to give J.W. work just to get people talking, good or (mostly) bad?

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 9:18 p.m. CST

    Oeming's Run on Thor...

    by Grimjack99

    ...was infinitely better than the shite that preceded it. It was the best that book had been since Walt Simonson wrote it.

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 9:42 p.m. CST

    It's cool Prof.

    by Heywood Jablowme

    You know, I could care less about some of the reviews (sorry guys, but it's not often). I just like the banter that flows in the wake of it. I kinda wonder what the vibe is on some of the books that are floating around out there.

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 10:11 p.m. CST

    I dunno Grimjack99...

    by Ambush Bug

    I really liked (I think it was Busiek's) run on THOR before Oeming jumped on board. I thought it was a pretty great story. One of those "final" Thor stories in which Odin dies and Thor is forced to take over as ruler of Asgard. I found the death of Odin silent issue to be especially effective and the fallout where Thor becomes corrupted and makes many mistakes said a lot about his character. The whole point of Thor's banishment to Midgard had to do with his father teaching him humility and molding him to take over if he would ever die. That run cast Thor as a flawed hero who tried to do what he thought was best, but finally realizing that he couldn't do it. Sure, the story soon spun out of control and was bogged down when Thor went nuts, lost his arm, and became so unworthy he was unable to lift his own hammer. In the end, the story fizzled, but it started out pretty powerfully and maintained at that level for quite a while. Oeming's run was a mess. Basically, it was one issue after the next where he brought another Thor secondary cast member to the forefront and quickly killed them. Oh, here's Sif. Look at her. Now she's dead. There's Fandrall. Look at him. Dead. Hogun. Dead. Balder. Dead. Volstagg. Dead. It was an undramatic slaughter just to clean house so that someone could come along and relaunch the whole thing sometime in the future (which at the time was rumored to be Neil Gaiman). The story was so bad that no one has touched a present day Thor since. Every year since, Joey Q says that he has big plans for Thor, but I'll believe it when I see it.

  • Feb. 16, 2006, 11:29 p.m. CST

    well...

    by blackthought

    who should be writing thor and doing the art? who could bring him back to whatever glories he used to have...gaiman is a nice rumour though.

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 8:34 a.m. CST

    Winnick: Only 2 good things: Ween and Juniper Lee

    by Squashua

    Yes, he does that excellent "Juniper Lee" cartoon on Cartoon Network. The mainstream Superhero stuff he does is TERRIBLE, but somehow I like his Ween and Lee stuff. I still can't forgive him for mishandling many recent characters and poor writing on said books; like he's churning them out as though he's taking a crap.

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 10:44 a.m. CST

    El Vale.

    by Bahimiron

    I'll take that bet. I have a life and a girlfriend and a job. And the comics I get are not comped. But this weekend? I'll post two comic reviews here. Of comics that came out THIS WEEK. Frankly, I don't mind that the reviewers don't review recent comics. I guess it gives the chance to really think on it. (Though I'm not sure Prof Challenger CAN think.) What annoys me is that they do so few. They've got a week. They can do more than three big brand comics. It kills me that when I want to read a good overview of the comics that came out in any given week? I'm reading IGN. Not because it's recent, but because there's a lot of them. And I say this despite the fact that I fucking LOATHE the site editor, Hilary. That dude says 'ish' way too much. Issue isn't that hard to spell, fucknut! I've seen the guy use the word three times in the same sentence. It's just obnoxious. Anyway. Back to the point. There's no reason we can't see more reviews. And to those who say 'THEY HAVE LIVES!'? I'm pretty sure that this is a fairly popular website for which any of the slobbering goons who visit it on a daily basis would pay to write for, much less be paid. The fact that the @$$holes get to write for it? Makes it a job. They should do a better one. On another note, what's with '@$$hole' anyway? On other areas of the site Harry tosses around f-bombs and worse like they were the excess popcorn that goes spraying when he digs into a double-extra-large bag o' grease at the local Megaplex. Why the self-censorship? Is it cos you guys are reflecting the very essence of comic book cursing through your use of punctuation to replace letters? Cos if so, that's just poetic. Really. Honestly. Poetry. Yeah.

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 11:36 a.m. CST

    If I wrote THOR:

    by Shigeru

    He would fight Giants. And Dragons. And Trolls. A LOT.

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 11:45 a.m. CST

    My comic book shop was two weeks behind everyone anyway

    by RealDoubleJ

    So I've never had to lambast people for being quicker on the review. Most people read a review to validate their opinions, to find someone else who also agrees with them, so that they can trust the reviewer to steer them towards other projects they'd similarly like and away from things they wouldn't prefer. AICN is fucked up though. With a TB, you can vent your opinion back to the reviewer & as a case it turns into a heated debate/name-calling if someone disagrees. And you can come back week after week and log in your disagreement. So some people must come to this article anticipating that they are going to have to defend their comic loyalty. Whereas with IGN you can read their summaries & then make forum posts to hails of 'newb, you know nothing'. So why do people want the @$$holes to review Ultimate Extinction? Even when they know this site has a tendency to be a bit behind? Well I guess they're just looking for that good time feel of someone else going "yeah, that comic made me goosebump till I felt like I was 5 watching Donner's Superman" or are just itching to point out what the reviewer missed. That's my rather long opinion on somethin non-comicsy on a comicsy TB. My local comic shop has been mysteriously closed since Xmas with the post piling high in front the door, leaving me on postal delivery (far too expensive) or waiting until Family socials so i can run in & haunt the back issues at 'Nostalgia & Comics'. Last comic read: Green Lantern #8, god i feel sad.

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 11:51 a.m. CST

    Yeah, I Liked GREAT DARKNESS.

    by Buzz Maverik

    Gave it a positive review here. I'm sort of DClexic. I try. DC sort of became Marvel (I won't say it's the new Marvel because I hate it when they say something is the new something. "70 is the new 20". What the hell does that mean?). Most of the time, I like DC stuff better but since I didn't read it from age 10-14, it doesn't stay with me for some reason. I can sort of relate the the ULTIMATE fans who complain that regular Marvel has too much continuity, except that something as excellent as THE GREAT DARKNESS SAGA or, say, 7 SOLDIERS makes me want to search out early versions and stories.

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 12:24 p.m. CST

    What Is An @$$hole? by Rico Buzzregarde Maverik

    by Buzz Maverik

    What is an @$$hole? And what does being an @$$hole mean to me? An @$$hole, aside from being an orifice used for pooping and sex, is an honest comic book fan who says what he or she thinks. @$$holes don't want to be comic pros or sell out...unless the money is good. @$$holes don't want to be friends with comic book pros, unless somebody who was already their friend became a comic pro. @$$holes know that comic pros are just people like every one of us and that we don't owe them a living but that they owe us good writing and art for that gob of cash we fork over at the comic shoppe each Wednesday...unless we shoplift them like the li'l @$$holes did back in the Bronze (stick around, I'm going to do a review about shoplifting an overpriced trade as soon as I can get liquored up and go steal it). Why @$$hole and not asshole? Originally, our founder, Vroom Socko, dubbed us the Screaming Retinas. We were a Cog-like cabal, a group within a group, if Gary Busey Ugly and Keanu Reeves were investigating comic book fans robbing banks ("We're the ex-Secretaries of State") they would have raided our clubhouse (I like to think that we were like the Surf Punks with the Anthony Keidis lookalike leader than the Zen Surf Bank Robbers with Patrick Swayze's mullet leading us). Kevin Smith talked about Talkback Assholes and I talked back as Talkback Asshole Number One. Our other found, Ali Kneievel the Comedian, did a column with a single review, the X-STATIX or something. We engraged the establishment, a review site called, uh, what were they, the Tightasses or the Wanna Work In Comics Guys? I forget because I drink more tequila than the nation of Mexico. Patron and Herradura mostly because I have good taste and a lot of money. Anyway, the Tightasses couldn't swear in reviews or give bad reviews even if they didn't like the comic. Some of us pretended to be Tightasses. Some of the Tightasses let us know that they really wanted to be one of us. The head Tightass wrote a full column about how we were yeast infections to the industry, which was my proudest moment there and their alcolytes called me and "Yukon" Jon Quixote bullies. In my own down to Earth way, I responded in a talkback comparing us to Wolverine and Nightcrawler (me being Wolverine of course, although JQ is Canadian...like nationality had anything to do with it. I'm a Southern California Jew. Who the fuck am I going to be? A blonde Kitty Pryde. I don't think so). We made the Tightasses leave AICN. We buy our comics on Wednesday or Thursday just like you. We read 'em, write 'em up but we aren't going to do what WIZARD does and read 'em for you. We aren't going to tell you what you thought of them or what you should think of 'em? Who are we to do that? We are gloriously, breathtakingly unprofessional. We're a bunch of ugly guys from England who can't get laid, saying, "Le's form a bloo'y band" and punk is born. The @$$hole creed is that we're not allowed to lie about our feeling about the comic. I don't know the newer guys too well, but I think they're living up to the creed. The original @$$holes, I would bet your right nut that I could tell if any of them were lying in their reviews. Why'd we call ourselves @$$hole instead of asshole? @$$hole is funnier. Sometimes, not swearing is funnier. I'm not the embittered, frustrated failed comic pro you think I am. No, I'm an embittered, frustrated failed filmmaker, so my analogies are more from film. Alex Cox, director of REPO MAN, SID & NANCY, WALKER, STRAIGHT TO HELL, etc. talked about editing REPO MAN for TV and taking out all of Otto's "Fuck yous!" The non-vulgarisms that he replaced them with made him laugh so hard he vowed that he'd never use profanity in a movie again (although I like to think he immediately broke that vow in true @$$hole fashion. I love Terry Gilliam's films but I wish Cox would have got his FEAR & LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS off the ground). An @$$hole is you and me and any of us, although as elitist, hyprocritical fucks we only let the @$$holes with peculiar birthmarks write for the column (sorry, your's isn't peculiar enough. We're talking damned-peculiar, like the one on my scrotum that keeps me out of the South). Actually, we all attended Yale and had to lay nude in coffins, cradling a human skull and reciting the Declaration of Independence backwards. @$$holes don't take comics too seriously except when they do. @$$hole reviews tend to be more about what the comic makes us think, feel and how we react. Harry Knowles is actually one of my favorite film critics. I like when Harry talks about who he went to the movie with, the argument they had walking out of the theater, etc. Anybody, everybody else, can tell us the plot of the movie and say that it's good or bad because they won't look liberal and intellectual if they like or dislike it. Harry connects it to pop culture, which is a connection to his world. Lester Bangs liked to shoot pompous rock stars full of holes. He wasn't dedicated to keeping them in that penthouse. He was the proto-@$$hole. Like in ALMOST FAMOUS, where his character said, "Don't make friends with rock stars" which Bangs always said until he came running up to other critics in clubs saying, "Let me introduce you to my new best friend" who was inevitibly some rock star. I'm glad this clears this up for you. That is what an @$$hole means to me. Rico Buzzregarde Maverik, Grade 7, Ms. Taylor's class (she's hot!).

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 12:30 p.m. CST

    Bug, I think it was Jurgen's Thor run

    by superninja

    you're speaking of. His was prior to Oeming's run. I really enjoyed it as well. Some very fine character moments. Wasn't much of a Thor fan until Simonson's run, but the Jurgens really fleshed out the Asgardians. The Loki series that came out recently (can't remember the writer, probably Dave does) was also pretty decent.

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 12:34 p.m. CST

    And I Don't Review Old Comics....

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...I just wait for the trade. Thirty-five fucking years. Like, when they first came up, you'd have said, "I'm waiting for the trade." And yer bud would say, "What's a trade? You wanna trade? I'll trade you a bag and a sixer for all those CONAN and RED SONJAs."

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 12:36 p.m. CST

    I heart Mr. Maverik

    by Shigeru

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 12:38 p.m. CST

    Shit, it was Jurgens...

    by Ambush Bug

    it was the last time I liked something Jurgens did. My mistake. Busiek, I think, did the first few issues of the Thor series with JRJR, then Jurgens took over. Thanks for the clarification, supes. Oh and I second what Buzz said about being an @$$hole. His post brought a tear to my eye.

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 12:40 p.m. CST

    Rucka, Winnick and Bendis can't write superheroes.

    by superninja

    An occassional good story here and there, some great ideas, but overall, they write an array of annoying neurotic people dressed up in costumes. Which is sort of grating after awhile when you're dealing with established characters. At least to me. Obviously this concept can be used well, but I think it also abused by the celebrity writer. I would take a Priest, Simone or Johns over them anyday.

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 12:40 p.m. CST

    Thor Is My Least Favorite Marvel Character.

    by Buzz Maverik

    I like Kirby's take on the Asgardian gods because it is so beautiful and insane, but since I'm only there for the art, it's gotta be in color. Simonson was so good and unique that he made me like the book although I kept saying, "But it's THOR!" Maybe somebody else has been as good but it would take universal recommendations to get me to read it because I HATE THOR. The great thing about THOR was that as a middle school Marvel Zombie, I could always trade my Thors to this other other geek I knew who somehow could get back issues of Spidey, Cap and the Avengers (back issues being the equivalent of human organs in the Bronze). Yeah, I hated THOR but I bought it anyway...Marvel Zombie. Well, a lot of the time, I didn't actually buy it. What we'd do is wait until some high school chicks came in for soda and cigarettes, then when the loser clerk was trying to flirt, we'd pack the comics into our socks and down our Lightning Bolts.

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 12:43 p.m. CST

    Buzz's Irrational Hatred of Thor

    by superninja

    What is it? The long blonde hair? I just think you are jealous, m'man.

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 12:50 p.m. CST

    that's why I have respect for the @$$holes(Buzz's post)

    by RealDoubleJ

    Thank you for being people. Rather than faceless prose. This might sound insane, but why not do an @$$hole internet radio show? If someone recorded a phone conference on you guys doing a roundtable on a big event comic, that has potential to reek of awesomeness. You can ignore the idiot suggestion but admitting @$$hole fan opens cheeks and is ready to recieve.

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Could Be, Supes, Because...

    by Buzz Maverik

    I used to hate KA-ZAR too. Called it KA-MART. Bought every issue that came out. Liked the stories and art. Doug Moench writing, Larry Hama and especially Val Mayerik on art. There was a run about an alien invasion of the Savage Land while Ka-Zar and Zabu battle as sound creature (resembling the flying reptile that Mobius' Arzach rides) created by the alien's collaborator, Klaw, over London. But I didn't like Ka-Zar so I'd trade 'em to this other kid for stuff I liked. The guy was hilarious. It's like, "Okay, Buzz, if you give all those CONANs with the cool John Buscema art, I'll give you all these CONANs with the suckass Barry Smith art." I kind of wish I had those KA-ZARS back because they were excellent. One time, I was watching an early THAT 70s SHOWS and I noticed a stack of KA-ZARs sitting in the middle of the Stoner's Circle! I recognized the alien invasion issue. They had my KA-ZARS. They even had the add for getting an education through the mail on the back! Since Joe Quesada is an avid reader of this column and talkbacks as Q-Joey, I know he'll rush publication of ESSENTIAL KA-ZAR VOL. 1. I hate THOR!

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 12:58 p.m. CST

    So what do you have against flowing

    by superninja

    long blonde hair on beefcake, Buzz?

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 1:03 p.m. CST

    The whole point of a review is...

    by The Funketeer

    to help someone decide whether or not they want to spend their money on a particular product. Reviewing comics that came out last week, when many, if not most, of us have already been to the store to make our purchases is kind of pointless.

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 1:07 p.m. CST

    Could Be That Fabio Beat Me Out...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...as the cover model for all those romance novels. He writes 'em to so he's not just a head o' hair. PIRATE. ROGUE. HEAD O' HAIR, I think they're called. I guess it is the blond thing, because I always dug CONAN. And blonde is great on women. As is brunette and red. Green. Purple. Blue....

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 1:09 p.m. CST

    Dude, Reading Comics Is Kind Of Pointless.

    by Buzz Maverik

    That's why I like to do it. You want a point, collect some stamps or worship Satan or some hobby like that.

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 1:15 p.m. CST

    But If You Must Have A Point...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...think of this column as a second look, a way to reconsider things you might have missed. I mean, I'm no longer the rabid Gail Simone fan I once was, but I wouldn't have touched DEADPOOL until I read Dave's review. Found the old issue, discovered a new talent and a book I followed until AGENT X melted down. Other than that, why does anybody need reviews anyway. Needing reviews just proves that we are ALL too old for this shit. When I was 11, I didn't need some critic telling me that a comic book with Doc Ock throwing Spider-Man out of a heliocopter on the cover was cool. Or that Thor, carrying a nagging Jane Foster down to South America, Corta Guevarra or some such nation, and stopping an attack by Firelord for no apparent reason was lame. As old farts, even those of you in your 20s, we have to intellecutalize the visceral. Best critics: Beavis & Butthead. "That's cool." "That sucks!" Trust your inner-14 year old.

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 1:25 p.m. CST

    I always like to think of it as a place

    by superninja

    to bounce ideas around and chat with people who have similar passion for comics. The reviews here are always have a freshness and honesty to them missing elsewhere. Besides, what kind of ADD do you have that you can't wait next week to pick up something reviewed here?

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 1:29 p.m. CST

    Why reading a review from last week isn't pointless:

    by SleazyG.

    Did you guys know that many comic shops keep books for days, sometimes even *weeks* after their release date? It's true, hand to god. All you have to do is--check out how cool this is--walk back to the store any old day you want, maybe even a week or two later, and go "hey, man--I heard good things about that book SUPERMARKET by That guy Wood. Do you have one I could take a look at?" The dude at the counter will be like "thank god--somebody who's actually heard of this thing is gonna buy that indie book we thought we overordered!" and you'll be all "hey, maybe I'll get it next month too" and they'll like make sure they get a copy and then you'll have discovered something new you weren't reading before and the store will make money instead of losing it and the comics world will be a way better place than it was a couple of weeks before when you bought another fuckin' Claremont X-MEN issue, cuz god knows nobody owns enough of those yet.

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 1:30 p.m. CST

    The problem with Thor...

    by Psynapse

    Is that it only works if you're queer for Norse Mythology.

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 1:33 p.m. CST

    Psynapse

    by superninja

    As someone who spent most of the childhood "queer" for mythology of all types, Marvel's Thor would get an "F" in Norse Mythology.

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 1:35 p.m. CST

    This column helps me make purchasing decisions

    by superninja

    on things that I am sitting on the fence about buying. Since I really have cut back on the number of titles I read, I rarely go out of my way for things unless they are well-reviewed here. So, thanks guys.

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 1:58 p.m. CST

    MY PROBLEM WITH THIS COLUMN..

    by Psynapse

    Is all of the douchebags expressing 'their' problem with it. I say again, THEN DON'T READ IT. Ole Weedy McPsy loves his Cogs & @$$es (a queer who likes asses, wow what a shocker) and will lay the bitch slap to end all bitch slaps on any and all naysayers. The format of the columns is what it is, has been what it is since it's inception. Not your cup of tea? Fine, have a swig of this premium Florida brewed piss of mine, motherfucker. (and yeah Superninja I hear ya, right down to the fact that any depiction of ANY Norse God without a full beard is actually downright sacreligious,)

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 2:21 p.m. CST

    Harry Knowles is my least favorite reviewer

    by El Vale

    I mean, i understand what he's doing and why he's doing it, i just can't stand it! Because every review, and for that matter, every film, is about hiking through the jungles of Central America, or his mom melting or something. Naturally, what he's trying to get across is this sense of subjectivity to film, the way movies are only worth discussing min terms of what they make him feel and how he can relate to them. And that's cool, i get it, it's just i couldn't give a bigger shit, you know? I don't care how his mom died, i don't care if his weiner got stuck in his zipper and i can't stand his masturbatory approach to writing. I didn't even bother reading his Elizabethtown review because i didn't feel like reading the phrase "This movie is about..." 6 times per paragraph. My favorite film reviewer? Vern. No one turns a phrase like Vern. Cause, in a way, reading reviews IS pointless, and both Harry and Vern have found a way to make film reviwing something else. Harry talks about the entire experience and how it permeated histake on the movie, and Vern just makes you laugh and doesn't even try to come off as a film connoisceur, just a guy who likes movies. So yeah, in my book Vern succeeds where Harry doesn't and um...i dunno...Harry's fat.

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 2:32 p.m. CST

    I've never bought monthly comics in my life

    by El Vale

    No comics shot where i live oh me oh my blah blah blah. And yet here i am, every week, reading reviews for comics i don't plan on buying anytime soon. I just like these guys and i like to know what's going on and i like calling them names because they hate Bendis and the talkbacks are almost always great...it's just a nice place for comics discussion and if you don't like it you can fuck your dad in the ass for all i care.***I also love discussing "the problems i have" with IC even tho' i haven't read a single issue of it. If it pisses off at least one person (namely Psy) then my work is done.

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Reiterating

    by Shigeru

    My comic shop has a stack right next to the new releases that says "LAST WEEK'S BOOKS". Not to mention the fact that not everyone here goes to the shop every single Wednesday on the dot. Reviews are kind of pointless, if not fun, but discussion is good. I come here for discussion. This column wouldn't be 1/4 as good or fun if the reviewers weren't right here in the TBs hashing it all out with us. Reviews are fun to read and gain more exposure to things that you may not have heard of, but if you go to review sites and make a list of what to buy according to what got what score, I feel bad for you.

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 3:17 p.m. CST

    No shit, right?

    by Psynapse

    Tell me what I should buy! Save me from personal discernment! Fucking zombies......PS-Vale you better watch your ass, my hit squad is onto you. >:) By the way: Do any of the Cogs or @$$es play City of Heroes or City of Villains? And if so, on what server and who are your toons? I am Psynapse (go figure)& Shocking Shriek on Victory in CoH and Death Genie also on Victory in CoV. (Victory happens to be the 'queer friendly' server apparently-though I didn't know that when I picked it) PPS-MasterMinds are THE SHIT to play, you get to be your own Mob. >:)

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 3:46 p.m. CST

    Hey Psynapse, here is the problem I have with reviews..

    by nemler

    The way I see it...a writer/publisher can't win anymore. If they write a story that is similar to a past story, then they get bashed for being a thougtless jerk who can't be original. If they write something new and original, then they get bashed for changing the character from what he/she is supposed to be or has been for "all these years". So which is it? Do you want brand new stories and directions for your tales? Or do you want the path that has already been tread? I personally just read each issue...some I like, some I don't...but on a whole, everything comes around and in the long run Spider-Man will be Spider-Man, whether he went thru some Clone story or some Spider God story or whatever the case may be.

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 3:58 p.m. CST

    burrrrrrrrrr.........

    by blackthought

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 4:05 p.m. CST

    Can't win? More like doesn't deserve to..

    by Psynapse

    Since we're obviously talking Marvel here, lemme give you perfect example of how they alienate readers by being complete dumbasses**http://tinyurl.com/3cee4** It's a 35 part breakdown of how the Clone Saga occurred complete with ENORMOUS amounts of the goings on at Marvel at the time. Read it if ya dare (or have the stamnina lol)**Hey Nemler: The answer is BOTH. We want the same cool/joking/angsty Spidey we've always known AND we want to see new and different and special takes on him AT THE SAME TIME. Sound hard to do? Too damn bad because that is the comic fanbase and always has been.

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 4:23 p.m. CST

    Go Buzz! And why I liked Thor (the comic)

    by Homer Sexual

    Add me to those tossing some kudos to Buzz for his background. I can't remember how I found this site, I think it was connected to Harry reviewing Blair Witch 2. Saw comic reviews and was immediately hooked. I'm a big middle aged geek who runs to the store every week, and I really enjoyed that background info. Now regarding Thor: I loved Thor by Simonson, and I loved Thor by Jurgens. I like the Asgard stories but they grow old quickly. OTOH, the impact of Thor existing and how he interacts with earthlings can be very good when handled well (like Jurgens did during that whole Thor Lord of Asgard, Thorist religion period--I started because I saw a "Thor Girl" cover and wondered what was up with that, found it interesting. Oeming's run was also interesting in a train wreck sort of way. I have never actually liked the character (except in Ultimates) but I often enjoy the stories. I have read a couple Hercules minis that I also enjoyed for similar reasons, though Hercules is a very different personality than Thor.

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 4:25 p.m. CST

    Comic Making Is Hard.

    by Buzz Maverik

    If you do it right. You've got to have the illusion of change without really changing...that is if you're doing a mainstream superhero book. That is, you can play with the toys anyway you want but you can't break them so the next player can't do anything with them. Since Bend-o is such a hot button, let's use the older Frank Miller example. "Frank was a bold, innovative, in yer face, never been seen before..." except that nothing he did with Daredevil conflicted with anything that had been done before and it didn't wreck it for whomever came along next. That was deft. That was a unique talent. Although, I still don't know how they got Matt back to being a wealthy lawyer after BORN AGAIN. I was sure he was going to be a Hells Kitchen fry cook, which would have been really cool. Peter Parker should be able to come face to face with his dead girlfriend, have her lure him into a bus driven by the Jackal and carrying the Tarantula, face off against himself, lose the girl again, doubt his own identity...then next issue ditch Mary Jane at J. Jonah Jameson's party to stop the Shocker from blacking out Big Apple City. I haven't read the JMS stuff, but Gwen pooching the Goblin probably doesn't wreck anything and falls into this criteria. To each his own of course, but buying each issue regardless of how you feel about it seems like giving a comic book company money simply because they publish comics, even if you don't like them. It's like watching every show because it's on NBC or something. I'm not a big fan of reviews myself but I am a huge fan of critical thinking and sorry, comic companies, but if you're living off the adult dollar, you've got to deal with critical thinking skills. For the record, I loved the hell out of "Spider-Man vs. Spider-Clone."

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 4:29 p.m. CST

    Hey, Bug, want a great Spider-Man story??

    by Blok Narpin

    Read The Other: Evolve or Die. I know, some people were put off by the fact that they had to buy all three Spidey titles to get the whole story, but if you can get by that it was one heck of a great story and one of the best comic-reads I've read all year (next to Infinite Crisis!!)

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 4:37 p.m. CST

    Homer

    by superninja

    I look at Ultimate Thor as a funny gag that has gone on too long. (Actually, I think that describes Ultimate Avengers for me as well.) Thor is best as a supporting character in a book like the Avengers where his status as an Asgardian is unique. Hercules for the same reason. I always liked the alternate competitiveness and brotherhood between them. The Avengers arc where they journey to Olympus to rescue Hercules from Zeus and end up under his judgement is one of my favorites. If I recall, Thor's appearance here was unusual in that he was somewhat vulnerable from a curse put on him by Hela that made his bones brittle so he had to wear armor.

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 4:41 p.m. CST

    Buzz, I criticise a lot and realize that I could

    by superninja

    never accomplish 1/10th of what these guys have, but it comes down to a basic respect for the character and some have it and some don't. You know, alternately you don't want someone like Phil Jimenez on Wonder Woman who is so reverent of the character he writes her like she's Pollyanna, you know?

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 5:06 p.m. CST

    Hey Homer!

    by Psynapse

    Wait a minute! Gay, middle-aged and a comic geek to boot?? If you're cute I may just have to start stalking you.....

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 5:20 p.m. CST

    Hey Psy!

    by El Vale

    Are you really gay? Cause i thought i heard you mention you had a wife and kids a while back...is my mind playing tricks on me?

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 5:23 p.m. CST

    Ahh, the talkback

    by The Heathen

    looks like this is going to be the main dish this week, huh? Not as fun as say "did Luke Cage slip it in the backdoor" or "is Ellis really late or just has bad luck", because this topic is a lot more "simple." Those who don't get it aren't even worth the time to put my fingers to the keys man, so I'll leave it at that. *** Buzz, great post about the origins and reasons of being an @$$hole, also I'd like to point out how with each post you make about the prequels that it's almost impossible not to agree with your logic and how Lucas messed that up. It kinda really sucks, but I agree with almost everything you said. Does anyone feel that Episode III, despite it actually being liked by the majority of fans and critics, is now overshadowed by the "whole" of the prequel trilogy? *** This week I've read Alan Moore's DC stories every night. Love em. Especially digging the small stories like Green Arrow's Night Olympics and the story of GL, Mogo. *** Dave, Bug, Sleazy, or any other of the @$$es or Cogs check out Son of M? Let me know if you have, I'm digging it a lot. Issue 3 was particularly good. I can't believe I like it: I don't give a shit about Quicksilver and was highly disappointed with HoM, but this mini is good. That's all for now. Have fun in Vegas, Kal-El!!!

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 5:30 p.m. CST

    Read this!

    by El Vale

    Great article: http://tinyurl.com/d5sct

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 5:32 p.m. CST

    great link, Vale

    by The Heathen

    it's dissapointing like Ratner on X3 or, well, I'll just leave it at that

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 5:44 p.m. CST

    GayGayGay

    by Psynapse

    You must have better drugs than I do Vale, 'cuz I've never said ANYTHING about a wife or kid lol. I'm the 'always been' kind of gay. When it comes to poonanny, I'm like 7-Up and caffeine, "Never had it, never will." It's funny because as an adult I can't stand 90% of my fellow homos but as a teen I was so militant about my right to be such that I used to pick fights with SkinHeads to prove the point(no lie!). Actually I can't take full credit on that. I had 2 friends (Joe & Al) who were also openly out and we decided that if you thought being gay automatically equated with being a pansy we were gonna correct you preacher-style (but it being the 80's we called it 'punisher-style' 'cause that was back when the Punisher was still cool).

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 6:42 p.m. CST

    Like Kurt Cobain, I Used To Wish I Was Gay...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...just because everybody I knew who hated gays were such jerks. Like, if I was like the people they hated, I'd be less like them, ya know?

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 7:07 p.m. CST

    No shit Buzz...

    by Psynapse

    These two skinhead brothers that we fought with most often later were arrested and tried for the stabbing murder of a homeless man outside of the Tampa Theatre. (Which, made me feel even better about that time I actually smashed one of them over the head with a beer bottle at a kegger.) Tanpa Bay in the 80's was weird in that Wavers, Punks, & Skins all partied together a lot. BTW- I do NOT recommend beer bottles as a bludgeon unless absolutely necessary. As I painfully found out that night they don't always break so neatly as the movies when you club someone with them.

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 7:11 p.m. CST

    Heathen, what do you mean by overshadowed?

    by superninja

    Episode III is great - for a videogame. (Actually, that's not fair as the Star Wars video games are better than any of the prequels.) Regardless, it's certainly the best out of the three turds Lucas laid on us, but cheering for mediocrity is part of the problem here. I think everyone was relieved more than anything.

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 7:48 p.m. CST

    I don't know whether I should be worried or not...

    by Thalya

    "JH: Now that Oracle

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 7:56 p.m. CST

    Superninja Psynapse

    by Homer Sexual

    I agree with what you said about Thor and Herc, and also loved the "Assault on Olympus" Avengers story. It had Monica Rambeau Captain Marvel, and an all around great set of Avengers. It also portrayed the Gods as powerful,petty, etc. Great stuff. I find it interesting that the art (can't remember who) was solid, workmanlike to the point of being "square," but the excellent story more than compensated. (She-Hulk's costume was super dorkish, for example, but her character was written well). The New Avengers are much hipper and the art is way better, but the stories can't compare. Psynapse, I think Im cute but women seem more attracted to me than guys,though I can't return the favor. Ok, a$$holes, put away your Homicil. No more from me.

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 8:10 p.m. CST

    I meant Nighthawk

    by Homer Sexual

    In my first post this week, that is. I love that Nighthawk mini and somehow missed the last issue. Nightwing is cool too, though. Can I write a review, huh? Can I? I'm very opinionated and accustomed/happy to being supported and hated on simultaneously.

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 8:25 p.m. CST

    shh...thayla...

    by blackthought

    uh-oh...too late...here comes gail.............

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 9:19 p.m. CST

    Thanks for the support, dear..

    by Thalya

    And hey, I did point out that I liked alot of the technical stuff Gail did with him (good internal narration, etc..), right? Maybe a touch too formal, though, and her characterization of him gives up way too easily. Oh bugger, someone kick me in the butt so I can get through my third fanfic issue quick so I can lay down my take.

  • Feb. 17, 2006, 11:18 p.m. CST

    Buzz, sounds like how I became a Democrat

    by MrBoinfoint

    Once I realized every Republican I knew was a bigoted sexist racist asshole. Okay, that's not true, I know two who are pretty cool, if I get them high enough. Man, are they for huge jail terms for crack dealers though...

  • Feb. 18, 2006, 9:03 a.m. CST

    Thalya, RE: Manhunter...

    by ComputerGuy68

    I've read #1 to 15 so far, I thought it was a pretty good read. I would check it out.

  • Feb. 18, 2006, 10:34 a.m. CST

    Want a good Spider-Man story?

    by sideshowbob

    Rent the DVDs. Seriously, one of the strangest things that has come out of comics the last few years is how unembarrased Marvel and DC seem to be that the Spider-Man, X-Men, and Batman (soon Superman) movies are significantly better than the book they publish.

  • Feb. 19, 2006, 5:13 p.m. CST

    must...

    by blackthought

    keep...talkback...alive......ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh....galactus in F4 sequel? i wasn't aware their was a first one...i did see a movie with the name F4 on it but it was crap that i just didn't count...um and thank god it is no longer -37 degrees, that was not a good day.

  • Feb. 19, 2006, 8:29 p.m. CST

    Keanu as Silver Surfer?

    by Thalya

    Whoa..

  • Feb. 20, 2006, 11:44 a.m. CST

    I just watched Bill adn Ted last night

    by The Heathen

    EXCELLENT!!!

  • Feb. 20, 2006, 11:53 a.m. CST

    by The Heathen

  • Feb. 20, 2006, 11:57 a.m. CST

    Bahimiron

    by The Heathen

    "But this weekend? I'll post two comic reviews here. Of comics that came out THIS WEEK." *** LIAR.

  • Feb. 20, 2006, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Lady C.

    by The Heathen

    I read the article you did and I was curious about Manhunter as well. The premise sounds pretty cool, but I don't ever even remember seeing this book on the shelves, in fact the only person I've ever heard say that they've read it was ComputerGuy68 a few posts back. *** So Dick proposed to Babs in Nightwing. I read the issue this weekend, and I found it to be all over the place as well. I was confused if this was after Bruce and Dicks heart to heart in IC #4, because it was the same 'ol bastard Batman in this Nightwing issue. If it was after then it completley undermines the IC conversation to me. That's what annoyed me the most. And I'm wondering how Ms. Simone will handle this in 'Birds? Didn't she say there would be a few new members? That's the last place I would expect Dick to stay, especially if he's in the "super secrety" Outsiders and may or may not be the same Nightwing that will be in the Nightwing book. Arggh! I just got a DCU brain freeze!

  • Feb. 20, 2006, 2 p.m. CST

    must

    by The Heathen

    keep

  • Feb. 20, 2006, 3:20 p.m. CST

    i think it died

    by The Heathen

    is President's Day that popular? Especially, currently?

  • Feb. 20, 2006, 3:22 p.m. CST

    I am recovering from a 72 hour binge...

    by Psynapse

    Playing City of Villains. I went from level 32 on Friday to level 35 today SOLO. Yes, that's right I said SOLO (If you haven't played either CoH or CoV you'll be lost as to why this is such an accomplishement) bitches. Life is so sweet when you've got your own mob of zombies to sic on whomever you please. Zombies RULE! W00t! Yay me, whoo-hoo! (Okay that last one made me a little dizzy better cut back on the Gin and smokes-I think I'm gonna go lay down now.....

  • Feb. 20, 2006, 3:45 p.m. CST

    rest easy Psy

    by The Heathen

  • Feb. 20, 2006, 3:57 p.m. CST

    rest in peace?

    by blackthought

  • Feb. 20, 2006, 4:01 p.m. CST

    That's what my enemies do!

    by Psynapse

    Bwahahahahahahahaha!! On a less jubilant note, my best friend's grandfather lost his battle with cancer last night meaning I'll have another henchman by Saturday. (What? too tasteless?)

  • Feb. 20, 2006, 4:41 p.m. CST

    lol

    by Gus Nukem

    a good one

  • Feb. 20, 2006, 4:48 p.m. CST

    I'm here!

    by El Vale

    Been feeling kinda down lately, for some reason. Nontheless, this TB hasn't died yet, i promise!

  • Feb. 20, 2006, 5:09 p.m. CST

    yeah, right

    by Gus Nukem

  • Feb. 20, 2006, 5:30 p.m. CST

    NO. MORE. TALKBACK POSTS!

    by Gus Nukem

  • Feb. 20, 2006, 5:32 p.m. CST

    Hey Gus aren't you greek?

    by Psynapse

    We could be 'friends'.....(okay I'm sleep deprived and making lame attempts at dirty jokes-somebody tranq me please)

  • Feb. 20, 2006, 5:50 p.m. CST

    Why isn't fatigue illegal?

    by Psynapse

    I mean, seriously, here I am at work on only 4-1/2 hours of sleep (Go go gadget video game powers!) and I am WAY more fucked up mentally than I've ever been on any combination of weed, booze, Ecstasy, Acid, Coke, Meth or Roofies I've ever done (Okay, okay so I left out the mushrooms, hash & peyote). What gives?

  • Feb. 20, 2006, 6:04 p.m. CST

    Well, if Vale promises

    by The Heathen

    i emailed the Cogs some wedding pics, which your more likely to read first than this post, which would render what your presently reading worthless so I'll just stop now

  • Feb. 20, 2006, 6:26 p.m. CST

    Actually, Superninja, I Sorta Felt Episode 2 To Be...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...the best of the prequels. Sorta like how EMPIRE (what was that, like 5?) was the best OT. Not that Episode 2 wasn't a complete mess of shit, because it was. Attacking clones and Crouching Tiger/Hidden Yoda worked well though. I think we all learned that in addition to all the things George can't write, romance must be added to list. The non AICN Fetts and the clone facility worked. The whole Anakin is bad because he cares about his mother...well, Lucas' kids are adopted. He has issues with them missing their biological mothers. Like, loving a parent makes you a human being, George. We should have never even seen Anakin's Mom. Shouldn't have been an issue. Our first view of Anakin should have been as a Jedi apprentice trying to get the attention of the babe his master was guarding. He gets a humorous dressing down, senses the coming of the mystery droid army but mustn't say a word because his master is pissed, and boom! droid destroyers blast him across the room. He comes to, finds his master lightsabred in half...somehow we get the idea that Anakin wonders if he did that, but the Tatooine palace is over-oozed by Hutts, he learns the Queen has been carried off into space, Owen Lars helps him steal a fighter and...can we quit talking about STAR WARS?

  • Feb. 20, 2006, 6:40 p.m. CST

    It's your damn fault Buzz

    by El Vale

    Buzz scary

  • Feb. 20, 2006, 7:35 p.m. CST

    vale...

    by blackthought

    agreed

  • Feb. 20, 2006, 9:56 p.m. CST

    I agree about Clones

    by sideshowbob

    I was just thinking the other day how it could almost be considered an underrated movie, especially on DVD where the chapters are arranged so you can skip the romantic garbage with a click of the button. ** And also, the part in the beginning where Obi Wan jumps out of the window and grabs on to that little flying droid is probably the only moment in the whole prequel trilogy that felt like Star Wars to me.

  • Feb. 21, 2006, 10:59 a.m. CST

    cogs...assemble....?

    by Shigeru

    sorry bitches, I've been awol for a bit... went to the aquarium yesterday, it was pretty rad. Um yeah, comics... and stuff... (i feel like blackthought)

  • Feb. 21, 2006, 11:30 a.m. CST

    we can quit talking about Star Wars, but first

    by The Heathen

  • Feb. 21, 2006, 11:42 a.m. CST

    that was 'worst' btw

    by The Heathen

    and how did the Cogs like my wedding cake toppers?! Han in carbonite being rescued by Leia!!! It was the one thing I had to have.

  • Feb. 21, 2006, 12:52 p.m. CST

    I thought Phantom menace was the worst

    by El Vale

    Clones was saved by a handful of good moments here and there (And Natalie Portman's black, tight dress...oh my), but it was still not a good Star Wars movie. But Phantom menace was just AWFUL! I can't believe i liked it when it first came out. I think we all wanted to.

  • Feb. 21, 2006, 1:15 p.m. CST

    In other news

    by El Vale

    I read all of Planetary (well, up till Torture of William Leather) in the past few nights and i have to say: Wow. I mean i expected it to be good by Warren Ellis standards, but i didn't think it'd be THIS good! There are moments of pure unadulterated greatness in there, no doubt about it. Anyone wanna discuss with me? (And isn't that sad?)

  • Feb. 21, 2006, 3:18 p.m. CST

    Han rescued by Leia... is that a metaphor Heathen?

    by Shigeru

    Vale: the planetary love fest was last week man... go here for all your planetary needs, tho: http://tinyurl.com/rzjww (Caution: spoilers!)

  • Feb. 21, 2006, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Buzz, the SW talk will continue despite protests.

    by superninja

    I think EP1 was saved by Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan. Qui-Gon's philosophy was sort of retarded, but Neeson had a great presence and good chemistry with McGregor. Darth Maul was one-note but managed to exhude a kind of menace which lacked in the other 2 films and more importantly - IN ANAKIN!!! EP2 had some good moments, but overall I thought it was the worst because it was so disjointed. The script for EP3 was more coherent as things came to a conclusion, but, meh on that as well. None of the clone stuff worked for me.**** As for Lucas' parent/kid issues, you are right about Anakin's mother and the fact that we never should've seen Anakin as a kid, period. In a way for Lucas to say that the film is for kids and then make the KID in the film turn into the most wicked person in the series for the most ridiculous of reasons is REAL twisted.****I also agree with you on the missing element of romance. The Anakin/Amidala stuff wasn't romantic, it was just puerile. Amidala by far comes across as the most moronic character in the films, with Anakin pulling in for a near tie. It is in no way believeable he is Darth Vader from the OT.

  • Feb. 21, 2006, 5:29 p.m. CST

    ah...

    by blackthought

    AICN STAR WARS...i seem to be trapped in that column and can't get out.

  • Feb. 21, 2006, 5:36 p.m. CST

    As I Hypocrit, I Talk STAR WARS...

    by Buzz Maverik

    See, Superninja, Qui Gon's philosophy was very much mindfulness meditation. Live in the moment. Experience the great NOW. It makes sense. The problem with any philosophy in STAR WARS is that there are a whole continent full of nerds of all ages who believe it, while it's a complete mess. And George sort of believes it. Neeson was great as was McGregor. The problem was, even though he was probably the best character in the trilogy, Qui Gon was as unnecessary as Anakin's Mom. I would have reduced him to an older, American drill sergeant Jedi giving his precocious pre-Padawan R. Lee Emery hell for flirting with the girl the have to protect. He would have sensed Anakin wanting to lighsabre him and that would have blinded him to the coming of the mystery droid army. Anakin should have been exposed to Darth Maul and come to sense and kindred soul and a warrior he could truly admire and learn from. Rescued by his new master, Obi Wan, Anakin would have found himself with a more workman like Jedi and would have the experience that many students have: they are more talented than their teacher but they lack their teacher's experience and knowledge. At the end of Episode 1, Anakin should have had to kill Darth Maul to save Obi Wan, to kill a warrior he truly respects to save one that he only has affection for. In a sense, it should have mirrored Charlie Sheen's dilemma in PLATOON, with two sergeants battling for possession of his soul. Anakin should have been hell on wheels. Darth Tyrannus? Not a problem for young Vader at any turn. Anakin and Amidala's relationship should have been pure passion, something Lucas probably hasn't even seen in the movies. Two powerful young people with the uncontrollable hots for each other, to hell with the Galaxy. And the more I think about it, instead of Obi Wan, Owen Lars should have been Anakin's sidekick, sort of like if Sam the Hobbit had been Boromir's best friend. Do you guys want to see how the rise of Darth Vader should have gone down? Find a theater showing the Russian language dark fantasy film NIGHT WATCH. The writer and writer/director had a true understanding of duality of man, the fluidity of our capacity for good and evil, with good guys that aren't that good and bad guys that aren't that bad, subtle motivations and a child's betrayal by a father figure leading to a choice for darkness. I saw it this weekend and I hate to be a fucking snob, but I couldn't help thinking if it was made in Hollywood, it'd be a stupid MATRIX/STAR WARS/UNDERWORLD mishmash but in Russia they were able to do something mysterious, gruesome, humorous and complex. NIGHT WATCH is the real fall of Anakin Skywalker. I understand that there are already sequels and I can only hope they give us the real rise and redemption of Darth Vader.

  • Feb. 21, 2006, 5:51 p.m. CST

    You'd Better Believe Buzz Scary, El...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...witness the loss of my ability to type. Fortunately, you guys all know what I mean so I don't have to be coherent.

  • Feb. 21, 2006, 9:27 p.m. CST

    vale...

    by blackthought

    it still cracks me up that everyone calls you "the", one day they'll get it right.

  • Feb. 21, 2006, 10:43 p.m. CST

    the reason Buzz calls me "El"

    by El Vale

    Its not that he's not getting it right. Thing is once or twice i told someone not to call me "EL Vale" and they should just call me "Vale"...so Buzz thought it'd be funny to call me EL. Cause, you know, Buzz is crazy like that and on and on.

  • Feb. 21, 2006, 11:35 p.m. CST

    well..

    by blackthought

    i actually knew that buddy, cuz i do remember that...it just still brings a smile to me, that's all...thus the post. so new column tomorrow? 50/50 chance? and for some reason i can't get that wedding cake out of my mind.

  • Feb. 22, 2006, 2:37 a.m. CST

    I hope we get the Best of 2005 column soon

    by El Vale

    It's almost March now.

  • Feb. 22, 2006, 8:50 a.m. CST

    i'd see Night Watch

    by The Heathen

    if it was in more than 3 theatres. : ( And Buzz, you're logic of what should have been, never ceases to make me realize how much of an opportunity was wasted. Here's hoping Speilberg had the final word on Indy 4.

  • Feb. 22, 2006, 11:35 a.m. CST

    I Call El "El" Because I Think He's Cool. And Thanks...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ..Heathen, or should I say, The. Hey, if Spielberg has the final word or Indy 4, maybe he'll pay me a million bucks, buy me a Purdy shotgun and an H2 packed with Cuban cigars and hire me. Not that I have any ideas for Indy for but I'm sure I could bullshit it no problem-o.

  • March 2, 2006, 9:37 a.m. CST

    er....

    by blackthought