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AICN COMICS REVIEWS THE PULSE! RETRO ROCKET! AMERICAN VIRGIN! CASTING COUCH: JSA! AND MUCH MORE!!!

#45 3/8/06 #4

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

GØDLAND Vol. 1 (TPB)
AMERICAN VIRGIN #1
THE PULSE #14
RETRO ROCKET #1
FIRESTORM #23
Big Eyes for the Cape Guy presents CROMARTIE HIGH SCHOOL Vols 1-5
Big Eyes for the Cape Guy presents CRYING FREEMAN Vol.1
Indie Jones presents ROGUE TROOPER Vol.3: EYE OF THE TRAITOR and Vol.4: TO THE ENDS OF NU EARTH
Indie Jones presents…
CHEAP SHOTS!
Casting Couch: JSA

GØDLAND Vol. 1 (TPB)

Writer: Joe Casey
Artist: Tom Scioli
Publisher: Image Comics
Reviewed by Dave Farabee

“I’m not sure if the Cosmos knows what it’s getting into, inviting us to their little tea party…but I say, ‘Bring it on!’”
-- Stan Lee-esque omniscient narrator from the opening page of GØDLAND #1
I can admit it: I’m a retard for taking so long to get onboard this series.

I mean, why’d I wait? I acquired my taste for Kirby in my teens, not, like most Gen X’ers, in my 20s or 30s (*sniff*, and some never figure him out at all). And, son, GØDLAND is the best post-modern Kirby there is! As our own Prof Challenger so aptly put it a few months back, GØDLAND is Kirby as a genre, translating his 60s/70s flair for cosmic doings and wild melodrama into a modern setting. It’s a good fit for a writer like Joe Casey, who may indulge in some illicit substances to get his Kirby on, but by God he makes it happen! Consider: he actually names the transformative cosmic word at the heart of the book’s cosmic philosophy after one of the most powerful psychedelics out there: Iboga. Subversive? Well, yeah, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t pass for the cosmic phraseology dotting the likes of Kirby’s ETERNALS or NEW GODS.

That said, the book plays much of its cosmic action with a straight face. This is the tale of the heroically named Adam Archer, lone surviving astronaut of a crash-landing on the Martian surface. Aside: the bold images of the dying Archer walking on Mars, courtesy longtime Kirby acolyte Tom Scioli, make for some of the best comic visuals I’ve encountered all year. Beautiful lensing of the reality of Mars’s bleak topography through Kirby-vision, all the more so as backed by colorist Bill Crabtree’s masterful flat coloring.

Archer stumbles into a mysterious temple, his old-school thought balloons laying on the purple prose like the second coming of the Silver Surfer (“The Universe…so cold…so massive…so humbling…”). There he encounters…The Cosmic Fetus collective! They’re a pack of little star-babies pulsing with energy and spinning the kind of riddles you only get in a good ninja or Jedi master. The freaky little guys save Archer. They grant him powers. Their word balloons are all differently-shaped geometric forms! And I actually want to call attention to the speech balloons. Like the lettering, the coloring, and every other visual in the book, they speak to a total immersion in Kirby’s sensibilities, his milieu – it’s the total package with GØDLAND.

On Archer’s return to Earth, he hooks up with the government, gets a big, teched-out skyscraper to study him (the Infinity Tower), and heeds the call of adventure when crises call. He’s backed by his three sisters – a dynamic I can’t recall ever seeing in comics – one of ‘em being a hipper-than-thou snark dispenser; another a dedicated tech-head who looks like a 30-year-old spinster; the last an astronaut herself, frustrated because Adam’s crash grounded the whole space program. My favorite’s the sarcastic sis. There’s something about seeing a Kirby-girl with piercings and a belly shirt that’s just so bizarre as to be innately cool. She’s full of it, though, as spinster-sis is well aware: “You’re so punk, Angie. The rest of us just aren’t worthy. Unfortunately, you’re about twenty-five years too late. Now you’re just a beer commercial.”

Archer’s first adventure pits him against what can only be described as a cosmic dog, crash-landed on Earth and possibly tied to the mystery of Archer’s origin. They fight, they make friends – you know the drill, but somehow Casey makes it all seem fresh. Maybe it’s the hipster dialogue, referencing everything from MY NAME IS EARL to MAXIM to THE WARRIORS – references sure to be dated in ten years, but that’s almost the charm, and certainly Kirby did the same. But it’s probably the bizarre villains like S&M fetishist Discordia, Friedrich Nicklehead with his Hef dinner jacket and one-liners (“Have you ever had one of those days when you feel like a million bucks…pre-inflation?”), and of course, the scene-stealing Basil Cronus. Cronus has the book’s best visual: a sideways-floating head in a jar, perched on a jumpsuited, humanoid body. He’s also got the most outrageous motivation: finding the ultimate, cosmic high. And he gets all the best lines…
“Wrong answer, sparkplug!”
“Peace is for hippies! Haven’t you heard? Violence is the new black!”
“You wouldn’t make sense even if I was stoned…!”
It’s characters like Basil that set GØDLAND apart from Kirby’s square-jawed doings and keep the book from being a direct pastiche or homage. Likewise the torture-fetish of Discordia (admittedly somewhat blunted by torture machines that look like pieces of Galactus’s armor). There’s even media commentary, as Discordia’s televised trial becomes an OJ-level event. And always there’s the existential backdrop of Archer trying to figure his cosmically-enhanced role in the evolution of mankind, asking the big questions, occasionally being rebuffed by a cosmic dog for his “boorish whining” (response: “Harsh.”). It’s all presented with the same heavy hand Kirby used in his celestial morality plays, so it’s hard to take it too seriously, but damned if it isn’t fun. Some of the most fun I’ve found in a comic all year, matter of fact. Casey writes the book “Marvel style”, scripting over completed art by Scioli based on his loose plots. Gives the book a spontaneity and sense of fun, evoking Stan Lee’s hipster smartassery without feeling like a dusty throwback.

But I’d be probably be recommending this book even if every bit of dialogue where edited out – such is the power of Scioli’s visuals and Bill Crabtree’s colors. Together, they evoke a world I not only believe in, but like a kid, wish I could visit. The character designs are nothing short of brilliant. The massive fortresses are just plain cool, steeped in Kirby iconography, but different – more modern. It’s actually a little mind-blowing to see ILM concepts like those holographic computer keyboards you see in movies like MINORITY REPORT as visualized with a Kirby makeover. Feels like a “What If?” scenario where “The King” is still alive and well, filtering new movies through his art the way he once filtered the likes of 2001 and PLANET OF THE APES.

I cannot recommend GØDLAND enough. It’s both sincere and kitschy in its loving evocation of the era of cosmic comics when action was explosive, metaphors were as big as a space ark blasting through the galaxy, and the only proper reaction to a concept like the Silver Surfer was, “Dude…AWESOME.”

Awesome indeed.

Read the first issue online in its entirety! Best cosmic dog since Lockjaw!

Read the eighth issue in its entirety! Behold Iboga! Squeegee your third eye!


AMERICAN VIRGIN #1

Writer: Steven T. Seagle
Penciler: Becky Cloonan
Publisher: Vertigo/DC Comics
Reviewed by Humphrey Lee

Everybody is looking for someone. Someone to love. Someone to marry and grow old with. Even someone to fornicate with in the bathroom of a Denny's after taking several hits of ecstasy and downing half a bottle of Jack Daniels...... okay, that's pretty much only me. But still. Everyone wants that special person in their life. And some people want being with that special someone to be extra special by staying chaste for them until their wedding day. Sick, I know, but it is sort of sweet in its own right.

Adam Chamberlin is that kind of person. Adam has a girlfriend named Cassandra, a girl he loves very much, and hopes to stay a virgin for until their wedding night. Because Adam believes that that is what God wants for him, and Adam believes wholly in God's word and lives his life accordingly. And he believes in it so much that he has become a spokesperson for a youth movement to preach the word of chastity. And he's the model spokesperson really. Young, very attractive, naturally charismatic, and surprisingly enough, very devout in his belief on chastity and marriage. He's not some fake out there to sap people out of money for their beliefs, he's just there to spread his message. His mother on the other hand, not so much...

What this issue does is it gives us a very detailed insight on Adam's life and the people in it. Which is only fair, it's the first issue and characters are important. The only downside to this is that a lot of the secondary characters seem to be pretty cliché. The "evil" parental figure trying to use Adam to make money and maybe even a political figure later in his life. Plus there's her sniveling sidekick. And some rather uncouth cousins that feel obligated to get Adam laid by hiring him a stripper/prostitute. But honestly, all this does is reflect better on Adam, who in himself is a rather unique commodity in comics...an honest to god believer. But that belief is shaken to the core as his girl Cassandra is horrifically murdered while on a Peace Corps mission in Africa. Now there's the Vertigo I know and love at work right there.....

Overall though, this was a really good starting issue. Adam himself is an interesting enough character to make up for the less than original side characters. But also, this is a first issue, and we really don't have much of a fleshing out of them, so who knows what we'll get as we get more insight into their personalities and motives. The book is ripe with satire and irony, but except for an instance on the last page it never really feels like it's overwhelming you with it. And the art is very solid as well. I loved Cloonan's work on DEMO, and was very excited to see that she was teaming up with Seagle on this book. And it works with the subject matter. I mean, there's the occasional unusual looking head shot or whatever, but for the most part the facial expressions and body language of her renderings do a lot to enhance the events going on. Just like in DEMO she brings a lot of personality to the characters (even those hurting in that department) and the book enjoys her presence.

AMERICAN VIRGIN has a lot of potential. The twist at the end of the book leaves a lot of room to develop Adam's character, and like I said before, there seems to be a lot of building to be done on the rather dysfunctional family around him. If Seagle can work his satirical magic, and avoid falling into predictablepitfalls, I can see this book becoming one of the more engaging reads on the stands. This first time was anything but gentle...and I think I liked it that way.


THE PULSE #14

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Michael Gaydos
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Reviewed by Dave Farabee

Anyone remember when THE PULSE was first announced? Lead Jessica Jones had gotten to a better place by the end of her MAX book, ALIAS, and was ready for a new, more mainstream friendly title. And it was originally billed as a book about her new life working for the Daily Bugle newspaper. I remember being intrigued by some of the themes writer Brian Bendis was planning, talking about the modern news business, the pressure that all print media outlets are under from electronic media, and the problem that people just don’t read any more.

Well, that approach didn’t last long. The Daily Bugle backdrop kinda/sorta remained for the series, but lost center stage within the first few issues. Afterwards – encounters with the Green Goblin and Hydra, awkwardly timed crossovers with the perpetually late SECRET WAR miniseries, a Hawkeye-centric crossover with the HOUSE OF M miniseries…and just every once in a while, some quality time between Jessica Jones and boyfriend Luke Cage. That last item is really the only quality that’s given the book any grounding and the only reason I’ve kept up with it. As muddled and directionless as THE PULSE has been (four artists in fourteen issues, by the by), Cage and Jones are a couple I simply enjoy seeing Bendis write. I’ll even go a step further: they’re the best-written couple in the current Marvel Universe.

Good thing they get the entire last issue pretty much to themselves.

The framing device for PULSE 14 is Jessica trying to make up her mind whether to marry Luke Cage. They’re a modern couple, neither of ‘em really the marrying type – but out of nowhere, Luke springs the question and Jessica’s gotta deal. And, honestly, it’s a pretty beautiful scene. It happens as a flashback kicked off when Jessica’s babbling away to her sleeping baby (her kid by Cage), a decent storytelling device for a giddy new mother. Jessica confides in the kid that she didn’t even think Cage knew what the word “marriage” meant, and suddenly we cut to the moment right after he popped the question. Artist Michael Gaydos takes some static for his photo-derived artwork, especially for action sequences, but those beat panels of Cage’s beaming smile as Jessica cocks her head, trying to figure him out…really, they just capture the moment wonderfully.

What follows is one of those Bendisisms that drives me to drink: the soliloquy where one character says a whole damn bunch of stuff over just a few utterly word-crammed panels. In this case, it’s Cage telling Jessica why he wants to marry her. It’s a double-page spread with two stacked panels running across both pages, and it’s got Cage going on for no less than 33 connected word balloons. On one hand, hitting a spread like this always feels like a brick wall after pages of sequential art. But credit where due: Bendis arranges those 33 word balloons with intricate precision to control timing. The approach allows for more control over timing than would straight text, and given that the characters are meant to mostly have fixed expressions, not requiring sequential visual updates…I can sorta roll with it.

I certainly like the words themselves. Cage makes a heartfelt case for giving their kid “legitimate” parentage given that he’s already gonna have to deal with being biracial and the son of two superheroes. And Luke admits that he doesn’t want to be a cliché – the guy who knocks up a girl and just takes care of her on the side. I have to say, I really, really like old school Luke Cage from the yellow shirt/chain-belt days, who combined blaxploitation flair with traditional heroism, but the more rounded tough guy Bendis has fleshed out is pretty great too. Unlike Brian Azzarello, Bendis has never lost sight of one of the most quintessential facets of Luke Cage: he’s always been and always will be a stand-up guy.

While Jessica mulls Cage’s question over, she flashes back to their first meeting. It happens during a bust-up of the Owl’s gang during a short-lived period when she tried being a superhero for the second time (first hinted at waaaaay back in ALIAS). This was a period when Jones was trying out the “dark hero” look when everyone else was doing them same (she cites even Spider-Man having a black costume), but it’s short-lived. Obviously her heart’s just not in it, but the reason she finally drops it, quite publicly, is actually a selfless one. See, one of the thugs she busts alongside Power Man and Iron Fist has his two kids with him, and the police are about to take them into protective custody at the station. It’s a neat tip to the surprisingly maternal nature Jessica will eventually exhibit when she volunteers her own home for the night over an unnerving stay at the police station. Of course, the cops are hardly about to hand the kids over to a costumed vigilante, but someone with a name, a record on file, and even some S.H.I.E.L.D. connections…well, that’d be another story.

So ends the career of “Knightress” (ouch), but Jones’ move definitely catches Luke Cage’s attention. The best scene in the issue starts with him visiting her apartment after she’s unmasked for the police:
Luke: Hi.
Jessica: Hi. Uh, what are you doing here?
Luke: I had guilt so I thought I’d come hang out a little.
Jessica: You had guilt about what?
Luke: I was going to go home and watch Kung Fu reruns while you took off your mask in front of the cops just so a couple a’ kids can get a good night’s sleep. I never seen anything like that…what you did. And I’ve seen some stuff.
Jessica: How’d you find me?
Luke: Jessica Jones. I’ll never forget the name now.
I can cite plenty of faults with Bendis’ work at Marvel, but the depiction of this relationship sure ain’t one of ‘em. Makes me wish maybe that Bendis had some book where all he did was write about superheroes in their downtime. PULSE could have been that book, but most of the time, it didn’t know what it was.

Still and all: it did manage to end the right way, so in the spirit of the moment – best wishes to the happy couple.


RETRO ROCKET #1

Writer: Tony Bedard
Artist: Jason Orfalas
Publisher: Image Comics
Reviewerbot: Ambush Bug

I have to admit that, at first, this was a hard issue for me to pick up and get into. I do it all of the time. I pick up a book. Glance at a few pages, then put it down and move onto something else. This doesn’t mean that the discarded book is good or bad. It just means that I am a fickle sumbitch and I have to be in the right mood for the right type of story to read it. So when I picked up RETRO ROCKET and began to read it for the third time, I decided to stick with it until the end.

And this was one of those times that I’m glad I did.

Initially, I thought I would have a hard time writing a review on this book. I’m not the biggest fan of the giant robot genre. Sure, I loved IRON GIANT, but who didn’t? But I was never a fan of VOLTRON or SHOGUN WARRIORS or GEOFORCE or even TRANSFORMERS and one look at the design of RETRO ROCKET and thoughts of those old battle robot properties immediately came to mind. But after the initial battle sequence that starts out this issue, writer Tony Bedard lets us peek under the hood of Retro Rocket and quickly clues us in that this is a story about a complex character that just so happens to be a robot. An obsolete robot. A robot out of touch with the world. A robot who still wants to do the job he was programmed for despite the fact that those around him think of him as scrap-heap material.

That’s right. Robot angst is what this issue is dripping with and Bedard introduces enough of it to push aside those initial prejudices I had towards the giant robot genre. Turns out that Retro Rocket was actually once a human. Now his brain is the only thing left that isn’t made of metal and circuitry. But Retro remembers what it is like to feel. He knows heartache and disappointment. He knows loneliness and shame. He is a conflicted character, trapped in a metal body with only vague memories of humanity. I found myself cheering on this underdog hero and in the end, when Retro is racing to grab his jetpack to join the battle, I held back a “Hell yeah, go Retro, go!” This is not a story about giant metal monsters crashing into each other and knocking over buildings. Well, it has that. But mainly, it is a story about an underdog with a heart of gold who is doing everything he can to be the best despite what others tell him. Think RUDY meets ULTRA MAN with a little bit of STARSHIP TROOPERS thrown in for good measure and I think you’ll get the feeling of this book. Add a spunky and leggy new mechanic assigned to polish Retro’s knobs and this book may turn out to be something kind of special.

Although I found the designs of the more modern robots to be a bit clichéd, I really like Retro Rocket’s design. He kind of looks like an old Cadillac with silver streaks lining his crimson armor plating. Jason Orfalas seems to be heavily influenced by Manga, but his style fits this genre, so that’s okay with me. I really like the way Orfalas makes Retro express himself through his large blue, circular eyes, which just amps the Manga feel of this book, but like I said, it didn’t bother me much. Retro Rocket has a distinct design that is immediately eye-catching.

I had initial reservations about this book, but after plowing through it, I found this to be an endearing introductory issue. One worth picking up. I like the way Retro looks and I ended up cheering for him in the final pages. RETRO ROCKET was a nice surprise. I’m interested in seeing what this little angst-ridden robot has in store for me.


FIRESTORM #23

Writer: Stuart Moore
Artist: Jamal Igle
Publisher: DC Comics
Reviewed by Dave Farabee

A solid little surprise, that’s what FIRESTORM #23 is.

Quick bit of background: I’d tried the first few issues of the relaunched FIRESTORM two years back and didn’t find anything worth sticking with. What little I’d read of the original Firestorm, Ronnie Raymond, I missed, as the new kid – college geek, Jason Rusch – regressed Firestorm’s concept back to the character being a newbie hero. Gah, not another Kyle Rayner! I missed Ronnie as the somewhat cocky hero who tended to get in over his head; I didn’t need DC’s answer to a nerdy Peter Parker type. And the new FIRESTORM suffered from Hulk syndrome: it didn’t know what to do with the character, especially the core concept of Firestorm as a hero created by the melding of two personalities. Unlike the original Firestorm, Rusch could merge with anyone – decent possibilities there, having random folks in his head while he did the hero thing – but later, Rusch was able to power up with no merge at all. But he could merge if he wanted to. Still later he forged a more serious bond with the other half of the original Firestorm, professor Martin Stein, now a cosmically-aware entity. And all the while, the series was saddled with IDENTITY CRISIS and INFINITE CRISIS crossovers…

Jesus jumped-up Christ, that ain’t how you establish an identity for a new book!

But the new issue was part of the post-CRISIS “One Year Later” relaunches - hypothetically a fresh start. And since I still liked the concept of Firestorm, still liked the costume that with each issue moved closer to the original look (the puffy pirate sleeves are back), I decided to give it a shot.

For a book whose previous relaunch always felt sluggish to me, I liked that this one kicked off with a bang – literally. Lexcorp is demo-ing a nuclear missile design for the military, a design reverse-engineered from Thanagarian technology (Hawkman’s peeps, ya know?). As Firestorm notes, “If you’re gonna build genocidal weaponry, you might as well go Thanagarian.” Of course, the missile’s supposed to be armed only with a fraction of its potential for the test in the desert, but when it hits its target – whoops! - a full-scale nuke goes off. With the worst nuclear disaster in American history looming, the Lexcorp exec coolly tells everyone to relax – see, she’s got a man on the inside.

That man man, of course, is Firestorm, and he truly is inside. Gets a badass splash page walking through the heart of the nuke like Keyser Soze slo-mo stalking out of his burning house in THE USUAL SUSPECTS. A pretty neat little action sequence follows, with Firestorm soaking up all the excess radiation and taking out the cluster-bombs meant as stage two in the test. The scene also introduces a mystery: just who’s in his head? Who’s he merging with “One Year Later”? It doesn’t seem to be Professor Stein, though the Professor’s clearly still a part of Jason Rusch’s life. Thankfully the mystery doesn’t drag on, and the answer’s pretty satisfying. Fellow hero, it turns out. Second or third-tier, but an interesting and appropriate choice, especially if you know a bit of the original Firestorm’s history.

Now. There are some weak points to the sequence as well, notably the “oops, we thought it was a low-yield missile!” shrug of the Lexcorp rep. And it’s pretty silly that after such a near-disaster, Firestorm seems so nonchalant about it all, flying off seemingly minutes later with a simple, “I gotta go. I’m sure you’ll figure this out.” Uh, did ya miss that the entire state of Nevada nearly got smoked, kid? And no serious concerns about the mysterious, cyborg-lookin’ corpse found near the missile’s impact site (at least he took a skin sample for Stein to check out)?

Definitely some groaner moments, but I really liked the larger-than-life nature of the opener - enough to be forgiving as long as the book does some serious follow-up work. Firestorm’s one of those heroes like Green Lantern – powerful enough that you gotta throw some heavy-duty shit at him to match his power level. I see a nuclear explosion as a good start.

The second half of the issue follows Jason and his new merge-pal, clearly having the same personality clash issues Ronnie and Stein used to. Solid soap operatics, with some notable allusions to the One Year Gap. I don’t know that I like these One Year Later books playing the gap’s mysteries so coyly, obviously a lure to read DC’s “52” mega-series. If you’re trying to relaunch a book with total approachability, isn’t it a better idea to have all the cards on the table? To let the series develop its own mysteries? Writer Stuart Moore does a good job of getting the reader up to speed, but there’s still a nagging feeling that he could easily fill in a bit more history but for 52 looming as DC’s Next Big Thing.

Moore doesn’t dwell on history too long, though, as the book’s second action sequence kicks in, a new threat is leveled, and we wrap on an explosive cliffhanger tied into a new aspect of the Firestorm merge. Careful, now! Good cliffhanger, but that mutability of concept is precisely the kind of thing that keeps the character from becoming iconic.

At least the look remains good and memorable. Hell, I think half the reason Firestorm’s maintained a DC presence is the swanky costume design, ably handled here by Jamal Igle. It’s slightly updated, with cool glowy piping here and there, but for the most part we’re getting the same look Al Milgrom first cooked up in ’78 (give the man his due). Igle’s a solid craftsman from the same realist school I associate with guys like Leonard Kirk (JSA) and Dale Eaglesham (VILLAINS UNITED). I usually like my artists a little more individualized, a little more demonstrative stylistically, but he’s solid as a rock. Good storytelling, distinct character design…action sequences might could use a bit more punch.

All in all, I liked the package enough to make plans to try the next few issues. The character still needs to be pinned down (I noticed his powers weren’t particularly well explained in the issue) and he could probably use a good villain as part of that very defining. ‘Course, I wasn’t expecting to have any interest in the book at all, so just the fact that I’m interested in what happens next suggests it might be on the right track.


CROMARTIE HIGH SCHOOL

Creator: Eiji Nonaka
Publisher: ADV
Reviewer: Dan Grendell

An Overview of Volumes 1-5

Good ol' Dave Farabee reviewed the first volume of this manga about six months ago and he pretty much hit the nail on the head there, but I felt it deserved another look with the recent release of volume five. The basic premise is this: smart guy Kamiyama agrees to go to any high school his dumb friend can get into to help inspire him, even Cromartie - the lowest of the low, where only dumb badasses go, because everyone else can qualify for better schools. Kamiyama ends up at Cromartie - but his friend fails to even make it in there, and he's alone with a school full of dumb thugs.

Meet some of his classmates:

Hayashida: An idiot with a trademark mohawk, he's dumber than the gorilla. He likes to change the subject.

Maeda: Badass with no nickname, which means he's a nobody. He is constantly kidnapped by other schools, and people hang out at his house without asking all the time. He looks just like his mother - and I mean JUST like her.

Mechazawa: A barrel-shaped robot who thinks he is human. Nobody can bring themselves to tell him otherwise. He is sometimes broken and rebuilt as a motorcycle.

Mechazawa Beta: Mechazawa's little brother, he's actually older than Mechazawa. Figure that one out.

Freddie: Nobody knows who this guy is. He's an older man who looks just like Freddie Mercury who just showed up to school one day. He never actually says anything. Freddie rides a horse to school, and is friends with the gorilla.

Gorilla: Yes, this is an actual gorilla. It just showed up in class one day. In volume five, more will arrive. The gorilla is better at arithmetic than Hayashida and smarter than most of the hoods in the school. He can actually use a stepladder, for example.

Hokuto: The son of a rich businessman, he came to Cromartie in an attempt to crush it under his bootheel and stayed as one of the gang. He's a pompous boob kept in his place by thugs. In later volumes, his Hokuto Corps rebels against him.

Hokuto's henchman: This guy keeps trying to tell people his name, and nobody cares enough to listen. He's got no presence at all. He acts like Hokuto was his master.

Takenouchi: The head of the 1st years at Cromartie, this guy is the biggest badass of them all but he gets motion sick. He's also quite intelligent.

Masked Takenouchi: One of the crooks who hijacked a plane the Cromartie guys were on. Takenouchi took his place in the hijack gang, and he took Takenouchi's place at Cromartie. Nobody noticed the difference. He wears a Mexican wrestling mask all the time, and lives at Takenouchi's house, even after Takenouchi returned to school.

The Four Great Ones: The biggest badasses of Cromartie's second years, there are actually five of them. They wear makeup like KISS and can't recognize each other without it.

Unlike most manga, CROMARTIE HIGH SCHOOL runs in a series of short, six-or-so page gag strips. There is continuity, but the manga isn't focused on it unless it is necessary to make one of the jokes work. And occasionally, something will just happen. And it will be fucking hilarious. I laugh more reading this book than any other, and it is a laugh of sheer joy. The absurdity of the goings-on at Cromartie are so wonderful that they make my head hurt. The comic timing is perfect, and that makes up for a bit of roughness to the art. Character designs are hilarious, and comic masterpieces all on their own. Masked Takenouchi, Freddie, the Four Great Ones, Akiro Nakao and his puppet Mick, and Mechazawa are just some of the characters that made me crack up before they even did anything.

I'm in love with this manga. If you like to laugh, and have any fondness at all for absurdity, you will be too. And let's face it - who couldn't use a good laugh?

CRYING FREEMAN Vol.1

Writer: Kazuo Koike
Artist: Ryoichi Ikegami
Publisher: Dark Horse
Reviewer: Dan Grendell

Even tough guys cry

The idea of freedom is a basic one to most of us, taken for granted by many. Even at its worst, though, the law doesn't really take away your freedom to do something - it imposes consequences for doing it, and some of those consequences may take away freedoms, like prison or death. So, if you really want to do something restricted, you can - you may just have to face the consequences. Not so Yo Himemura, protagonist of CRYING FREEMAN.

Himemura was once an up-and-coming artist, working with pottery, until he got hold of some negatives that the Chinese mafia known as the 108 Dragons wanted back. Instead, he sent them to the police. In retaliation, they kidnapped him, used acupuncture to place post-hypnotic suggestions to turn him into an assassin and trained him, then set him loose under their control, after convincing him that his life was theirs now. In the early stages, he had no choice - when they activated the hypnotic suggestion, he lost all free will, and so they gave him the ironic codename Freeman - because that's what he wanted to be. But after each murder, he would always cry a stream of tears for his lost innocence and foul deeds, so he became the Crying Freeman instead.

Eventually, Himemura became inured to the idea of an assassin's life, and now does it willingly, though he does not seem to enjoy it. He was seen, however, killing one of his most recent targets by the lovely and lonely Emu Hino, and she has decided that though he will most certainly kill her, he must make a woman of her first. After killing a powerful yakuza boss, Himemura sets his sights on Hino, and their meeting sets off a chain of events that complicates both of their lives as they try to find love while the yakuza and police hunt them both and the 108 Dragons take a dim view of their relationship...

This is a manga I'm glad to see being reprinted, as I missed it the first time around. I've heard a number of good things about it over the years, so I'm glad it's back in circulation. The idea of a brainwashed killer isn't a new one, but it's done so well here that it doesn't feel at all retread. The artwork certainly compliments the feel of the story well - Ikegami does great greasy mobster and wire-style kung-fu action - and the emptiness inside both Himemura and Hino comes through palpably in their eyes and faces. There is a nice blend of action, intrigue, and romance here, and though it comes across as fantastic, it never seems really unbelievable. There is also some explicit sex, so if you don't want to read that or are thinking about giving this to a child (what the hell are you thinking?) be aware of that. It features my favorite manga device, the inviso-dick, where censors made the penis invisible but by god she's sucking on something.

The latest in a line of Kazuo Koike-penned manga to be reprinted by Dark Horse, this is another winner, and Ryoichi Ikegami lives up to his reputation as a manga artist supreme. If you have an interest in crime or just like a good action story, CRYING FREEMAN is for you.


ROGUE TROOPER Vol 3: EYE OF THE TRAITOR
ROGUE TROOPER Vol 4: TO THE ENDS OF NU EARTH
Writer: Gerry Finley-Day
Art: Brett Ewins, Cam Kennedy, Boluda, Steve Dillon, Trevor Goring
Publisher:
2000AD
Reviewer: Ambush Bug

I recently had the privilege of having a bundle of 2000AD reprint trade paperbacks land on my doorstep. Fellow @$$hole Sleazy G tells me that this is the first time a lot of these stories have been collected and reprinted in America, giving a whole new audience a taste of 2000AD goodness. For years, I had heard about 2000AD and how innovative and entertaining the serialized magazine was. I knew that in its 25 years of existence the magazine has made a name for itself as one of the forerunners in science fiction comic books. I knew that some of today’s hottest creators got their start at this company and it continues to be a pool with a wealth of creativity. But until I cracked open my first trade ( FAMILY , which I reviewed in Indie Jones just three weeks ago), I had never read a 2000AD book in my life. You see, I have never been a big fan of science fiction stories. I always found them to be too invested in the technological aspects of the genre and that the over attention to those aspects often was a deterrence to the story itself. Too often, in films, TV shows, and books, the flow of the plot comes to a screeching halt as the tech head explains the hows and whys behind whatever futuristic gizmo is the center of attention. It’s this fetishistic attention towards science that turned me off. It’s like the story was secondary to how much the writer can prove he’s “light years” ahead of his time with all of the future stuff he’s come up with. Kind of like a bad horror movie which spends months and a lot of money making the monster or effects look cool, then churns out a half-assed script on the way to a shoot.

Turns out I was wrong. Turns out I was paying attention to the wrong sci fi. Turns out 2000AD pays attention to both the future stuff and the story. Turns out 2000AD is one of those late finds that I’m going to have a hell of a good time catching up with.

After digging the hell out of FAMILY, I chose to read through ROGUE TROOPER. I noticed the eye catching cover featuring a determined, blue, bare-chested soldier carrying what looked to be a frightened soldier in a gas mask through a jungle of spiked wire. Check out the cover. It’s definitely something you don’t see every day and this image alone was enough to make me choose this book as the next one to cover.

ROGUE TROOPER is the story of the last of the genetic infantrymen. This is the third trade paperback in this series and it picks up as Rogue has gone AWOL. But he’s not alone. With him, he’s carrying the bio-chip personalities of three dead soldiers. Helm’s chip is grafted to Rogue’s helmet. Bagman’s to his backpack. And Gunner’s chip is sealed to his rifle. These three chips provide most of the dialog throughout the trade. Each has its own personality. Each has gained the respect of Rogue. And each, from time to time, pisses him off. Rogue is a one man army with talking equipment searching for the traitorous general that betrayed him. Pretty damn cool, huh?

The cool thing about these ROGUE TROOPER trades is that they are split into five to eight page installments. They are easily digestible and a good way to kill an afternoon. I found myself diving into these stories and losing myself in this battle zone world.

Both trades have many great stories, but I liked EYE OF THE TRAITOR’s batch the best. “Bio-Wire” is the story that goes with that distinctive cover and ends on a truly horrifying note. “Major Magnum” introduces Rogue to a handgun with the memory chip of a dead commanding officer who still likes to boss around his troops. But by favorite of the bunch is entitled “Milli-Com Memories” where Rogue is wounded in battle and it’s up to Rogue’s helmet, backpack, and rifle to save the day without the battle-ready hands of their handler. As Helm, Bagman, and Gunner try their hardest to protect and revive Rogue, he slips in and out of consciousness and accidentally reveals secrets that his talking paraphernalia did not know. It was entertaining to see a helmet arguing with a backpack and a gun, telling them to shut up and listen as Rogue mutters away secrets from their past. I think I liked this story the most because I myself often talk in my sleep and fear that one day it’s going to get me into deep trouble if the wrong set of ears are listening. Whatever it was, stories like these take full advantage of the futuristic setting the stories are set in and run in imaginative directions. Never is the story bogged down with unnecessary details. Sometimes the futuristic ideas are backdrops for the stories, but the stories are themselves strong and take advantage of the sci fi setting to build a more interesting story.

ROGUE TROOPER is one of those properties thats only limit is the writer’s imagination. Writer and creator Gerry Finley-Day confidently melds military action with sci fi thrills. The art provided by the likes of Cam Kennedy, Steve Dillon, Trevor Goring, Brett Ewins, and Boluda capture the grit and grime of the war-zone and makes all of the future stuff look battle-worn. This black and white trade is something special and another indication that 2000AD has been producing some of the best comic book stories I had never heard of until now. It took me a while, but I’m glad I discovered these stories that may have been published over 20 years ago, but read as fresh as if they were produced today.

TRANSFORMERS: INFILTRATION #3
IDW Publishing

Okay, I’m ready to outright say it: this story is paced for the trade. Four issues in (there was a zero issue, remember), and we’re only now getting to the point of somewhat regularly showing the Transformers in their robot form. I’ve also decided I don’t like the coloring, a kind of blah airbrush look that either needs a broader color palette or more imagination and subjective choices. That said, I’m still enjoying the story and characters, especially the resistance our current lead, Ratchet, is hitting in helping out the humans. There’s a strong exchange with the most by-the-book Autobot, Prowl, and old-school fave Bumblebee finally appears, eavesdropping like Samwise at the beginning of FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING. Also notable: Triple-changer Blitzwing blowing shit up with the help of the lesser-seen Decepticon jet, Skywarp (nice to see writer Simon Furman employing both heroes and villains to their strengths – Skywarp’s perfect for hit-and-run nastiness with his teleportation abilities). Overall the series still rates, still has my eye – I just wish it moved at a faster clip or had a few less scenes spotlighting meat-people – I mean, humans. - Dave Farabee

THE LAST ISLAND
The New Radio

This was an awesome read. It’s the kind of comic that perfectly exemplifies what sequential art means, using only pictures to tell a surrealistic tale. Is it a political statement? A fable pitting civilization vs. nature? A moral lesson about no man being an island? That’s the cool thing with this story. The lack of words makes this comic universal and open to many interpretations. Creator Alex Cahill is responsible for the silent one-shot SOMETHING SO FAMILIAR that I reviewed a few months ago in this Indie Jones section, and his mastery over the progression of silent panels has grown in that short time. The story opens with a boy sitting on a lone island, enjoying his solitary existence, but that relaxing state is soon interrupted by another boy, mysterious parts of a machine, and a city that appears in the distance. This is a truly wonderful read. A fast read, but one that stuck with me long after I put it down. It’s available in April. You adventurous indie types shouldn’t miss this one and those of you who are sick of the over-speak littering mainstream comics should check it out too. - Ambush Bug

KEIF LLAMA: XENOTECH #5 (of 6)
MU Press

“Here comes a cynic,” remarks a sentient rock as alien liaison Keif Llama approaches on her mission to debunk local dieties for the Galactic Confederation. It’s typical of the issue, a wry look at religion from an intergalactic perspective, riffing somewhat on Douglas Adams’ infamous answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything (“42”). She finds some deities easy to explain away – one’s just a bird left by a tourist on a planet of immobile mold cultures who pick up its “caw caw” sound as inexplicable vibrations running through all of its citizenship (“Zazar is bigger than us.” “Zazar calls to us.” “We hear Zazar everywhere.”). Other gods are harder to explain, like the three-headed centipede-thingee on the planet called Laverne’s Garden (“I’m not converted,” Keif ultimately notes, “But I am impressed.”) Overall, it’s a lesser outing for the series that won me over so completely when I stumbled across it a few months ago, but even a lesser issue of KEIF LLAMA is good fun. Hell, no less than Neil Gaiman says so on the inside back cover. An ongoing recommendation, best ordered through creator Matt Howarth’s own site. - Dave Farabee

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.


SEVEN SOLDIERS: MISTER MIRACLE #4
DC Comics

As with much of Grant Morrison’s work, I put this comic down recognizing that it was some pretty entertaining, well-written, and innovative storytelling, but at the same time I damn near scratched a hole straight through my scalp, past skull, and deep into the lobe of my brain trying to figure it all out. “Wha-huh?” is the only word I can use to describe this trippy ending to Morrison’s retake on Kirby’s New Gods concepts. Morrison takes us back in time, stopping at various periods of Mister Miracle’s life, and ties it all up in a bow to ham-fistedly attach it to the final SEVEN SOLDIERS issue that brings all of these miniseries together. Morrison has the ability to entertain me while making me feel like an idiot. And I’m kind of okay with that…I think. *scratch-scratch* - Bug

FANTASTIC FOUR: FIRST FAMILY #1 (of 6)
Marvel Comics

Have you always felt that the Fantastic Four should be approached with a morose touch emphasizing their freakishness over a sense of adventure? Then I’ve got the book for you! Somehow written by the same Joe Casey who gave us the lovingly trippy Lee/Kirby pastiche, GODLAND, and drawn with stunning, if utterly inappropriate realism by Gary Erskine, FIRST FAMILY is essentially a retelling of the FF’s origin. It’s really the same pattern we saw in Casey’s other revisionist origin miniseries, X-MEN: CHILDREN OF THE ATOM and AVENGERS: EARTH’S MIGHTIEST HEROES – great art, story that’s about as fun as GOD LOVES, MAN KILLS. First issue takes place entirely at a government facility where the FF are isolated and interned following the crash, and if hearing the Human Torch’s ability to generate flame described as “ambient, spontaneous combustion combined with a self-generating plasma field” sounds like your bag…well…have at it! For me, going with a NASA metaphor to suit the issue’s realism, it’s less Apollo 11, more Apollo 1. - Dave

FABLES #47
DC Vertigo

If this issue shows anything, it's that Bill Willingham really does have an unfaltering direction for how this book develops. Last issue introduced us to Rodney and June, two animated Wooden Folk residing in the Fable's Homelands and who also happen to be in love. Rodney and June intend to become flesh so they can fully express that love, but they can't afford the attention brought to them over it so they secretly make their way to Father Geppetto's in order to do so. He agrees, but at a cost. Rodney and June become flesh, but they also become spies for the Adversary as they are sent to the mundy world to live alongside the exiled Fables and report on them. They've also apparently been at it for quite a few years, being observers to the same events of Fabletown as we have since the series' inception. And with that Willingham takes what looks on the outside to just be a "throwaway tale" and turns it into a very important plot point that can and will have huge ramifications on the series. Plus it looks pretty cool under Jim Fern's guest pencils. And it's funny to boot! Just another example of great writing and great planning from a great book. - Humphrey

SENSATIONAL SPIDER-MAN #24
Marvel Comics

Seriously, folks. Do we really need another ongoing Spider-Man book? I mean, we already have the ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN retelling and making it look new book, JMS’ convoluted AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, Peter David’s well-written but anything but FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN, and now Marvel is restarting SENSATIONAL SPIDER-MAN. Is this needed? Well, the answer is “Hellz yes, hombre!” because this is the only title out of the bunch that is actually worth talking about. I think a lot of people are going to overlook this book because it started at #23 last month and doesn’t have the biggest of big-name creative teams, but writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and artist Angel Medina have delivered another rock-solid issue as a gaggle of Spidey’s friends and foes are acting a more than a little crazy. It’s all tied together somehow and Spidey probably would have figured this out by now if he didn’t have to deal with a cannibalistic Vulture last issue and a blood-lusting Lizard and son in this one. Add a completely feral Black Cat and things just got interesting. Aguirre-Sacasa pays attention to a lot of Spidey history and adds some great interactions between Black Cat and Spidey. Angel Megina’s art hasn’t looked better and his action scenes rip and roar. Last issue ended with a race against time nail-biter. This issue ends with similar intensity. Two issues in and I have to say that this is proving to be the best mainstream Spider-Man comic on the stands. - Bug

BATMAN & THE MONSTER MEN #5 (of 6)
DC Comics

This ish: Matt Wagner draws one helluva bitchin’ Batmobile. Oh, there’s other good stuff too, but damn is that a cool Batmobile! - Dave

THE EXTERMINATORS #3
DC Vertigo

This book is definitely damned creepy. Last issue we had some happy-time moments like AJ, the bug-fighting partner of our main character Henry, dying from pretty much exploding from the inside due to shooting up with roach killer. This issue we have a really old naked woman being partially devoured by magots in some sort of insane asylum... Yea... But I have to say, I'm really enjoying this book. This issue introduced some really interesting twists. We've got Henry getting a new partner in the Buddha loving Stretch. We see Henry finally meeting up with the Latino woman with the roach problem he met in the first issue to help her with that problem...but that goes to hell. And we get a little bit deeper in just how bad the bug situation may be getting due to this DRAXX stuff. If there's anything I can say about this book, it’s that it is truly unique. I can honestly say I've never seen characters like this in a comic book, nor the subject matter around it. And that's a very good thing. I love the dark humor about this book, and I love the way Tony Moore illustrates it all. The only real problem I have is that the pacing is a little too slow. We're getting decent glimpses of the ongoing story each issue, but that's pretty much it, glimpses. But I'd just like a bit more than that. Just a little more direction as to the kind of scope this book is working on. Otherwise, this book is about as fun as you get when it comes to "mature reading" in comics. Highly recommended. - Humphrey

SEVEN SOLDIERS: FRANKENSTEIN #3
DC Comics

Wow.

Just…wow.

Forget Grant Morrison for a moment. Even though this is another well-done installment to the SEVEN SOLDIERS epic, I want to focus on the real treat of this issue. Doug MAhnke’s art. Fellow @$$hole Professor Challenger wrote an entire review a while back commending artist Doug Mahnke on the character design of Frankenstein. Well, after reading this issue, I have to add to the @$$-lathering of Mr. Mahnke for this issue’s design of the Bride, the four-armed (each brandishing a pistol) femme fatale created long ago to be the perfect mate for Frankenstein’s Monster. It is well known that the Bride rejected ol’ Frankie long ago, but Morrison reveals that she is now a government operative looking to recruit the newly resurfaced Frankenstein into the fold. If you thought Mahnke’s Frankenstein looked cool, check out the Bride. After this whole SEVEN SOLDIERS thing is over, I DEMAND to see an ongoing starring these two. Simply breathtaking artwork in this miniseries. - Bug


I know, I know. You can’t get much more fanboy-ish than doing a dream cast of your favorite comics, but since there’s been such a heightened activity of casting going on in the Talkbacks, I thought it was prime time to do another Casting Couch. Haters, take leave. You know you all do it. Admit it. It’s fun to talk about these types of what if? scenarios. And the Casting Couch is the place for fanboys to be just that.
Ambush Bug here and once again I’ve got the casting bug. This time, I’m making room on the couch for the greatest super-hero team ever. The Justice Society of America, otherwise known as…



A JSA movie would span decades, require a pretty huge cast, and in the end would be a massive project. The theme of this one would be the same as it is in the current JSA series: Tradition. Special effects to match the team’s various powers and abilities would require a pretty big budget, so big-time A-list actors requiring big paychecks would be out of the question. I mean, would you rather see some lesser name stars as these heroes or Ed Wood effects shots? Be sure to click on the pics for larger images.



This team would consist of old timers, heroes in their prime, and newbies representing the past, present, and future of heroism. The old timers, displaced at the end of World War II, find the world in need of a team of super heroes. The leader of the old schoolers is Alan Scott AKA Green Lantern. For this role, I’d cast wizened actor Jon Voight (ANACONDA, MIDNIGHT COWBOY). Even though these days he’s sealed his fate as a villain in the upcoming GHOST RIDER film, I always thought he played a good guy much more effectively. I believe he’d do the job as the original JSA’s most powerful member and ring bearer of the magical emerald flame.



When the Flash Jay Garrick comes up, everyone always screams for Paul Newman to play him in a film. But although he’s still a great actor, Newman is looking pretty elderly and I just don’t see the guy running anywhere. I’d go with someone a bit younger. Sam Shepard (THE RIGHT STUFF, upcoming DON’T COME KNOCKING) is still lithe and spry enough to pull off the role. Look at his pic and the Flash’s. Almost an exact match. I could believe this guy could still run. Newman—not so much.



Although the actor playing Dr. Fate would spend most of his time wearing a golden helmet, he’d have to have a voice that is both powerful and recognizable. Clancy Brown (CARNIVALE, HIGHLANDER) has both the size and the voice to achieve such a task. With or without the golden helmet of Nabu, Brown
Readers Talkback
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  • March 15, 2006, 4:42 p.m. CST

    Casting couch is cool

    by x-oManowar

    Any chance of casting one of the Valiant titles?

  • March 15, 2006, 5:25 p.m. CST

    Feeling the Pulse

    by Caped Revenger2

    THE PULSE was truly great

  • March 15, 2006, 5:29 p.m. CST

    Casting Couch

    by HavocZer0

    I dug the choices...but mannnn Anna Faris as Stargirl just doesn't work. I'd skew a little younger actually or go with a better actress like Claire Danes. Clancy Brown as Fate would be awesome though.

  • March 15, 2006, 6:02 p.m. CST

    Clancy Brown Rules. His Best Role:

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...the voice of Spongebob's boss, Mr. Eugene Crabs. From the jailhouse rapist of BAD BOYS, to the Frankenstein monster of THE BRIDE, to the reported dead Black Ops non-com of EXTREME PREDJUDICE, to Weaver's boyfriend on ER, to the voice of Lex Luthor, to a crustacean, you gotta love a talented character actor.

  • March 15, 2006, 6:04 p.m. CST

    Oh, Yeah, Brown Was Also...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...a Hong Kong Kavelier.

  • March 15, 2006, 6:20 p.m. CST

    JENNIFER ELLISON

    by kiddae

    WHAT

  • March 15, 2006, 7:22 p.m. CST

    power girl

    by cambrose

    Good Choices. But if you want to see how powergirl would look on screen, check out this awesome fan film I ran across on another board http://www.vmix.com/viewVideo.php?ID=8571

  • March 15, 2006, 7:42 p.m. CST

    Wasn't singling out that panel specifically...

    by Dave_F

    That was just a link to the art so folks could check it out. No, what I meant was that photorealism has no place on a larger-than-life concept like the Fantastic Four. It's antithetical to the concept Lee and Kirby developed, good only, perhaps, for a novelty pin-up...

  • March 15, 2006, 7:44 p.m. CST

    Dave, your BMB book...

    by sideshowbob

    You want a book by BMB that's nothing but superhero downtime? Have you tried New Avengers?

  • March 15, 2006, 7:44 p.m. CST

    Uh...

    by crazyeyezkillah

    god, I hope that's not what Power Girl should look like "on screen." Power Girl's supposed to be attractive. Sure, the costume is great, but the hound dog wearing it, not so much. She needs big boobs, not a pushup bra. She's very "Chasing Amy"esque, which isn't a good thing.

  • March 15, 2006, 7:46 p.m. CST

    The Day the Casting Couch Made Me SQUIRM!

    by superninja

    Wha? Sam Shepard is 63! Voight is pushing 68! Are they going to DIE in the sequels? Alan Scott and Jay Garrick both LOOK like they are in their early 40s. Any suggestions for younger actors? Say cut off 20 years or so? Rourke is too tall and lanky for Wildcat, who is sawed-off, as we say. Hugh Laurie as the quiet, sophisticated and attractive Dr. Mid-Nite? Share what you are smoking, my friend. Cole Hauser and Jerry O'Connell are okay. Connell might actually make a better Capt Marvel. Zahn would be better if he were 20 years older as Wildcat. Jason Patric would actually make a good Sand. Anna Faris is too old for Stargirl - a real teenager would be nice. However, Henricksen is PERFECT as the Spectre. And you forgot Mark Hammill as Johnny Sorrow.

  • March 15, 2006, 7:50 p.m. CST

    I saw the V movie...(no spoilers)...

    by sideshowbob

    I haven't posted this in any of the V threads here on AICN, but yes, I liked this movie quite a bit. It's really better than it has any right to be. If you go in expecting it to be as good as the book, you'll hate it. But if you hold it up to the other big-budget action movies of the last few years, it's very good. Great performances, nice visual style, wasn't dumbed down *too* much. It's just one big anti-authority middle finger. I can't wait for the rednecks of America to go see this film because of the heavy metal riffs, the big 'splosions, and the Matrix connection only to discover what it's *really* about--a kooky terrorist who hates his totalitarian government that rules through fear, and is simply mad for civil disobedience. *** Put it this way: the screening I went to was full of Joe Six-Packs, rednecks, and teenagers, and they actually *applauded* at the end. Crazy stuff.

  • March 15, 2006, 7:57 p.m. CST

    Power Girl

    by superninja

    You are not going to get the boobs + real talent. Everyone with a chest that size is in porn, trying to get out of porn, or in pro wrestling. All you need is the showing off of the boobs with a push up bra plus attitude.

  • March 15, 2006, 7:58 p.m. CST

    Sorry...gotta say NO on Anna Faris for Stargirl...

    by superhero

    NO WAY! She is TOO OLD and a spastic. No, no, no, no,no...Whatsherface...that girl that plays Veronica Mars...she'd make a good Stargirl. And even she's probably too old. Boo on Ana Faris! Boo I say! Boo!

  • March 15, 2006, 8:01 p.m. CST

    The girl playing PG is not a "hound dog".

    by superninja

    She looks like the girl who plays Starbuck on Battlestar Galactica. However, it would've been nice if the camera had been placed above crotch level.

  • March 15, 2006, 8:03 p.m. CST

    Now, Ana Faris IS a hound dog.

    by superninja

  • March 15, 2006, 8:06 p.m. CST

    Rogue Trooper was great

    by +

    Might treat myself to the reissue. Other fondly remembered 2000ad strips were Sam Slaine(?) Robo-Hunter, Flesh (cowboys rounding up dinosaurs to feed the future!), and from Warrior, Axel Pressbutton (feautring Zirk the tiny hippo-shaped space pervert). It's a pity the British Comics scene seems moribund of exciting talent since Deadline went under after that turd of a Tank Girl movie. Is there anything decent in 2000ad these days? *** On a more surreal note, it might interest some of you that it was because of signing up to AICN about five years ago, primarilly for the @$$hole column that I ended up dating two beautiful strippers last year. So thanks for that guys. NB - Don't date strippers, they're mental.

  • March 15, 2006, 8:21 p.m. CST

    Brokeback Crisis - SECRET FILES

    by Squashua

    OH MY GOD. Anyone read IC-Secret Files today? That was the GAYEST thing I've ever read. Someone needs to take all the pictures of Alexander Luthor looking "Eeeevil" standing behind Superboy Prime and create a big gay montage. Especially using the ones where either or both of them are weepy and the one where Alexander is in a fetal position and Superboy is flying away and the other one where ALEX TAKES HIS GOLD SUIT OFF. This was, by far, the gayest thing I have ever seen; and I saw Brokeback.

  • March 15, 2006, 9:02 p.m. CST

    i like some of the casting heathen, i and the others

    by blackthought

    were doing for JSA last week...i thought kristen bell would be perfect for stargirl(how could you not love her as veronica mars?)...and i really liked the hawkman idea= eric bana...though i say the mr. terrific casting looks real good...oz...good good show...maybe dominic west as dr.mid-nite or hourman...i love his work on the wire.

  • March 15, 2006, 9:10 p.m. CST

    Hellzyeah, Kristen Bell.

    by SleazyG.

    Adorable, spunky, cute, determined, haunted...put Veronica Mars in the Stargirl outfit. Please. Soon.

  • March 15, 2006, 9:12 p.m. CST

    Dearest Towelie:

    by SleazyG.

    Is this strip club where the girls like guys who post on AICN anywhere near Chicago, perchance? Cuz if so, and you got two...well, shit! Bug and I write here, so that oughta earn us at least three or four apiece, right? What's that? It's actually in mystical Shamballah? SUPER. Should've known. Anybody got Stephen Strange's number laying around? C'mon, hook a brutha up...

  • March 15, 2006, 11:06 p.m. CST

    Rogue Trooper & Shazam......

    by Bootskin

    Rogue Trooper is currently being made as a game for PS2 & Xbox. Looks like utter crap. On the plus side, if they ever make a JSA Movie, and anybody but Patrick Warbutrton is cast as Captain Marvel, there will be bloody fucking murders....

  • March 15, 2006, 11:06 p.m. CST

    hmm...

    by Bootskin

    Guess that wasn't much of a plus side, eh?

  • March 15, 2006, 11:11 p.m. CST

    That Power Girl movie...

    by Psynapse

    Was FUN. Pointing at any of it's flaws is actually quite crass. It's a fan made labor of love and relatively decently written at that. Rock on Blinky, Rock ON.

  • March 16, 2006, 12:03 a.m. CST

    brendon frasier (sp?)

    by blackthought

    of mummy "fame" has the chin and the cheesy grin to be captain marvel...waterburn is good too.

  • March 16, 2006, 12:18 a.m. CST

    Uh, First Family...?

    by stoptyler

    Actually drawn by Chris Weston.

  • March 16, 2006, 1:17 a.m. CST

    Thanks, Stoptyler...

    by Dave_F

    I'll have to run a correction on that next week. Seems I mistook inker for penciller in the credits on FIRST FAMILY, though in my defense, both penciller and inker are Brit artists who've drawn Warren Ellis material - that makes 'em practically the same dude! Seriously though, was my fuck-up. Apologies to the artists, their families, and the whole of Great Britain. ***** However...I still stand by my assessment that the art's inappropriate to an FF yarn. To the Vicecardinal: the link is actually to the first page of a multi-page preview - I figured folks who looked would end up seeing all *seven* of the pages previewed. But even based on that first page alone, I think it's clear that this guy ain't plugged into the FF milieu. The FF are all about giddy wonder, larger-than-life adventuring, BIG TIME HERO SHIT. And Weston's art is about textured realism. It's from the illustrator tradition where the FF has almost always been more defined by the cartoonist tradition. Weston doesn't make the fantastic look fantastic - he makes it look mundane, or worse yet...creepy. The preview stops short of showing Reed in his holding cell, but he's basically sitting catatonic on a stool with his arms spooled out all over the floor like roiling earthworms. I'm pretty sure it's the effect Casey wanted - very skillfully evokes an icky feeling that suits the downbeat story - but it's utterly wrongheaded for the Fantastic Four. The team's actually supported a wide variety of styles over the years, from Kirby to Buscema to Byrne to Art Adams to Walt Simonson to even Dean Haspiel's terrific turn on THE THING: NIGHT FALLS ON YANCY STREET (blink and ya missed it). Some pretty diverse styles in there, but not a one that didn't in some way embrace the larger-than-life Kirby ethos on which the book was founded. But Weston (and I'd add Jae Lee, from FF:1234 too) do quite the opposite: they make the team seem small, less than heroic...even ugly. You can argue that that's a valid interpretation, but don't expect to convince me. Stray too far from the defining core of a thing and you might as well be working on another concept altogether. I think it's telling that one of Weston's most high profile recent projects was MINISTRY OF SPACE, where he first caught my attention. There he was asked to exrapolate, with extreme realism, an alternate history space program where an imperialist Britain dominates the space race. Looked great. Utterly believable alt. concepts of NASA-style designs. Now tell me: in what world is "utter believability" even remotely suited to the Fantastic Four? The guys who fight Galactus and scream out "It's clobberin' time!" and mingle with space bulldogs like Lockjaw?

  • March 16, 2006, 8:44 a.m. CST

    The "Detective Comics" you reviewed last week.

    by rev_skarekroe

    Ok, I'm a little behind, but I just read it and something struck me. At one point, Batman mentions the Swamp Thing. Most people wouldn't notice, or they'd just think it was a nice reference to the old Alan Moore story where Swampy takes over Gotham, but here's the thing - that story was pre-Crisis. Further, sometime in the '90s it became verboten for Vertigo and DC characters to ever acknowledge that they existed in the same place, and that's why you get silly stuff like John Constantine talking to a weird red version of Phantom Stranger. So could it be a hint that after 1YL the two worlds are allowed to interact again? Or were the DC editors just sleeping on the job? I'd like to hope it's the former. "Days of Vengeance" SHOULD have had Constantine instead of Det. Chimp, and it SHOULD have involved Tim Hunter. It SHOULD have mentioned the Endless and Lucifer. It would be nice to see at least some lip service paid to these characters, some of whom were, at one time, integral parts of the DCU. Does anyone care but me?

  • March 16, 2006, 8:45 a.m. CST

    Dave

    by Shigeru

    Don't you think that after 40-odd years, countless issues and hundreds of creators, that the FF is open to some experimentation? That it has mutated and evolved and spun out of the strict control of Stan & Jack? I mean this isn't Holy Text, ya know? And it's not like some intensley personal, individual work that cannot and should not be monkeyed with (say for example, Rob Liefeld or Marc Silvestri taking over Optic Nerve...). It's a mini series. A different spin. If in 30 years everything related to the Fantastic Four is copying Stan & Jack, I have a word for that: BORING.

  • March 16, 2006, 8:48 a.m. CST

    Mickey Rourke is lanky?

    by Shigeru

    huh??

  • March 16, 2006, 8:49 a.m. CST

    I agree with all your casting choices, except for one.

    by Sod Off Baldric

    Personally, I'd go with Alan Tudyk (Wash from Firefly) as Sand. That's just me, though. Otherwise, I think you guys are pretty much spot on.

  • March 16, 2006, 9:26 a.m. CST

    moviemack

    by Shigeru

    you should try Runaways, it's great. or um I bet you would love Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane. ha.

  • March 16, 2006, 9:31 a.m. CST

    Shigeru

    by sideshowbob

    I think you can monkey around with the FF a little bit, but once you venture out of their over-the-top world there's not much you can do. When you bring it down to Earth, the concept is too silly to support itself. Of course WITHIN that crazy world, you can do pretty much anything. Ultimate FF is a good example of staying within the concept and doing things differently. Very enjoyable book, actually.

  • March 16, 2006, 9:33 a.m. CST

    Speaking of Millar & FF

    by sideshowbob

    I like Millar just fine, but am I the only who is *really* not looking forward to Civil War at all?

  • March 16, 2006, 9:50 a.m. CST

    oh my

    by blackthought

    tourney time

  • March 16, 2006, 10:02 a.m. CST

    CROMARTIE HIGH SCHOOL = Funniest book on the shelves.

    by Dave_F

    Of the books we covered this week, if I could recommend only one...it'd be CROMARTIE HIGH SCHOOL. Even over GODLAND, which I loved, but which requires something of a pre-existing appreciation for the Kirby ouevre. CROMARTIE's much more approachable. Trick is, it functions like a great collection of comic strips: anyone, and I mean frickin' ANYONE (even a manga playa-hata) can pick up a single volume and get a great collection of gags with no pressure to get the next volume to see how things turn out. Probably the most innately funny cast of characters to fill out a gag strip since pre-suckage BLOOM COUNTY.

  • March 16, 2006, 10:12 a.m. CST

    AMERICAN VIRGIN's got potential...

    by Dave_F

    Which sorta surprises me. Never been a big fan of Seagle as a writer, except when he picked up the baton from Wagner on SANDMAN MYSTERY THEATRE. Tried reading his Eisner-winning IT'S A BIRD and found it annoyingly navel-gazing, though not without its strong moments. VIRGIN, or at least the first issue, was probably the best thing I've seen from him since MYSTERY THEATRE. Bit heavy-handed with the kid's career-minded 'rents, but I can deal. And it's hard to tell exactly where the book will go from its creepy ending, but I'll be there to find out. Good review, Humph - I think you were pretty much dead-on. Only thing is, how could you not mention Frank Quitely's BIG LOLLING TONGUE cover?!

  • March 16, 2006, 10:31 a.m. CST

    I like my Vertigo and DC plates as separate courses...

    by Dave_F

    But that's just me, Rev. I think Vertigo's gone far enough astray from the DC Universe proper, including those outings with DC characters like Swamp Thing and the Doom Patrol, that I don't really want to see the two reconciled. Morrison's ANIMAL MAN and DOOM PATROL are great an' all, and even existed pre-Vertigo, but as long as DC's publishing the likes of Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman, I'd just as soon maintain a bare semblance of innocence and not have to wrap my mind around Supes existing in the same world that birthed HELLBLAZER's "Norfulthing" rape-dick-baboon monster. Hell, I'd almost prefer an overt split, like the difference between 616 Marvel and Ultimate Marvel. Let Vertigo play with the fringe properties, sure, but let it play in its own sandbox, and the DCU proper can go back to having its own, slightly less R-rated Swamp Thing. Tim Hunter? Good enough character. Loved Gaiman's first BOOKS OF MAGIC mini with its threadbare plot tour through DC's mystic back alleys. But if Tim Starts hangin' with the JSA, I'm gonna eventually end up seeing Batman versus the fucking Corinthian and shit. Do we wanna go down that path? ***** Sidebar: speaking of DC and contuity...where's Thalya these days?

  • March 16, 2006, 10:34 a.m. CST

    Oh yeah, forgot to say...

    by Dave_F

    I *did* like Batman mentioning Swamp Thing and Woodru in Robinson's DETECTIVE. For me, it's just the right amount of name-dropping to set Bats in the DC Universe and hint at some fun stories of the past...without pushing continuity immersion to the point that Bats says, "Gee, Ivy IS powerful these days. I'll call in my JLA pals. Have it mopped up in two minutes."

  • March 16, 2006, 10:45 a.m. CST

    What Sideshow said, Shig...

    by Dave_F

    I think there's some play in the FF concept. Simonson was practically doing pure comedy for a few of his stories, Byrne wrote the best FF tragedy when Sue's second pregnancy failed, and I actually liked quite a bit of what Ellis did with his sci-fi take in ULTIMATE FF. But re-envisioning the FF's origin as an ANDROMEDA STRAIN tragedy? At that point, you're pretty much *betraying* the concept. That ain't the FF, that's PLANETARY. And not to get too judgemental, but I mostly think that if a reader can't find satisfaction with the variety of FF choices offered up within the framework of the book's original concept - with Byrne of Simonson or even Waid - then it's not time for the FF to change...it's time for that reader to read something else. If I thought for a minute that Casey was trying to change up the concept to make the characters more appealing to the kiddies the FF *should* be friendly to, I'd be more lenient, but no...he's just trying to keep the thirtysomethings buzzing. Compare to the anime makeover for the TEEN TITANS 'toon, which begat a true phenomonen and actually introduced the characters to a new audience.

  • March 16, 2006, 11:16 a.m. CST

    yeah I see your point.

    by Shigeru

    I do see your point, sideshow and Dave, and I think it's a great testament to Stan & Jack & Steve's talent and stories that 40 years later tales that play in the same sandbox and (for all intents and purposes) go over the same material can be quite affecting. Run-on sentence. What they created can be probed and expanded upon and gone over and retain its magic. That's cool. What I'm saying is that if creators nowadays want to explore that world through a cracked fun-house mirror I say good for them. So far First Family is definitely not "keeping in the spirit" of the FANTASTIC FOUR but when it's used for an elseworlds mini or one-shot I don't think that's such a bad thing at all. Is the fact that First Family is in continuity (right? whatever the hell that means) bothering you? As far as "*betraying* the concept" goes... well that sounds pretty friggin silly from where I'm sitting. Yes, the style doesn't line up with the original concept and most of what's come after. But WHO CARES. Unless the zombie apocalypse FINALLY happens, the FF will be around long after we're all six feet down. Say it's not your cup o tea, don't say it's betraying concepts and raping childhoods. Am I getting through to anyone here?

  • March 16, 2006, 11:20 a.m. CST

    that's not to say

    by Shigeru

    I encourage experimentation for experimentation's sake, or when it's done poorly! I wouldn't endorse a run on Superman where Clark Kent gets a sex change, joins a NIN cover band and starts punching kittens.

  • March 16, 2006, 11:43 a.m. CST

    I've got bad news, rev_skarekroe:

    by SleazyG.

    At a Vertigo panel at the con a few weeks ago, this very question came up, and they stated quite emphatically that Vertigo is Vertigo and DCU is DCU. This bums me out, as my first experience with Swampy was in a Batman annual in the mid to late 80's. On the other hand I'm a huge Vertigo booster, and as much as I'd like to see some bleeding over, I can honestly say nobody under 14 should be reading HELLBLAZER and a lot of the other titles, so it's probably for the best.

  • March 16, 2006, 11:45 a.m. CST

    They're already reconciling, Dave...

    by SleazyG.

    ...but on a pick-and-choose basis. Not only were Swampy and Woodrue name-dropped in DETECTIVE, but Doom Patrol and Animal man have already been shifted back to the DCU. It seems like only the most extreme material--i.e. HELLBLAZER and PREACHER--or the ones most directly tied to their creators (like SANDMAN or THE INVISIBLES)are on permanent lockdown.

  • March 16, 2006, 12:03 p.m. CST

    JSA casting, etc.

    by The Heathen

    Eamonn Walker would be a great, Mr. Terrific. I just saw him in Lord of War. I agree with Clany Brown, Mickey Rourke and Hugh Laurie for sure, but I think blackthought, myself and others were dead on with Kristen Bell as Stargirl. blackthought I agree, Brendan Fraser would be a good Captain Marvel. He has the look of a boy in a man's body and we all know why that's important for this character. *** Dave, Lady C. has been out of communication for the past few days. In other news: Grant Morrison is missing, Gail Simone released a statement saying that Calculator will be the main focus in Birds of Prey

  • March 16, 2006, 12:07 p.m. CST

    That seems like a halfway decent solution, Sleazy...

    by Dave_F

    It's not like I want Swamp Thang kicked out of the DCU - I'd just rather his darker Vertigo stuff not be the topic of conversation next time he hangs out with Bats. I might prefer a cleaner break (does Animal Man remember meeting Grant, fer inst? 'Cause that...that's too meta for straight DCU), but since it was an awkward separation in the first place, I guess an awkward reconcilliation is workable. Think they'll still sneak Gaiman's Death in on occasion, like that 90s LEGION where Earth goes pop?

  • March 16, 2006, 12:46 p.m. CST

    I had no idea Death appeared in LEGION.

    by SleazyG.

    But let's not forget that Daniel, the replacement Dream, also popped in to JLA a few years back, not to mention kinda being in JSA (or was it CLASSIFIED?) recently. It seems they're willing to make little nods here and there every now and again, but not much more than that. I'm really torn on the issue, to be honest, because I think it'd be cool as hell to see Swampy in a Supes or Bats book again, but there's no way his heavier, more adult stuff should poke its head into the DCU.

  • March 16, 2006, 12:58 p.m. CST

    JSA Casting redux

    by AstroThunder

    Awww, heck, why not repost my JSA Casting spiel from the end o' February: a de-aged Paul Newman as The Flash and a de-aged Robert Redford as Green Lantern (Butch and Sundance, baby) ** Kurt Russell as Wildcat ** Dennis Haysbert as Mr. Terrific ** Kyle MacLachlan as Dr. Mid-Nite ** Kristen Bell as Stargirl ** Brad Renfro as Hourman ** Peter Sarsgaard (if he gets all clean shaven and blond) as Sand ** Eric Bana as Hawkman ** Rachel Weisz as Hawkgirl ** Brendan Fraser as Captain Marvel ** Dick Van Dyke as Rex Tyler ** Sean Bean as Degaton ** Clive Owen as Atom Smasher ** Amr Waked as Black Adam ** Alan Rickman as Mordru

  • March 16, 2006, 1:01 p.m. CST

    Mister Miracle

    by AstroThunder

    Really liked the final issue and that moment where Morrison break the fourth wall (again). Wondering how Seven Soldier #1 is going to tie everything together.

  • March 16, 2006, 1:11 p.m. CST

    I don't neccesarily want to see all these guys...

    by rev_skarekroe

    ...hanging out again. And of course, stuff like "Preacher" or "Invisibles" or "Y" exist in worlds of their own. I just want it reconfirmed that yes, John Constantine used to hang out with (and bang) superheroes, that the Swamp Thing lives in Louisiana, etc. It looks like there making a few nods to that, which is very good. I've never liked the idea that they're seperate becuase Vertigo is for adults only and DCU is for all ages, especially lately. Yeah, 10 year olds shouldn't be reading "Hellblazer". But maybe they shouldn't be reading "Identity Crisis" either, you know?

  • March 16, 2006, 1:13 p.m. CST

    Man, I made a lot of typos there.

    by rev_skarekroe

    What's up with that?

  • March 16, 2006, 1:34 p.m. CST

    Brad Renfro as Hourman...

    by superhero

    That's actually really funny since Renfro is a heroin addict and Hourman, at some point, was addicted to his strength pills...

  • March 16, 2006, 1:38 p.m. CST

    mmmm...

    by blackthought

    strenght pills

  • March 16, 2006, 1:47 p.m. CST

    superhero -- didn't realize that

    by AstroThunder

    Renfro an addict? Dood, then it's perfect. Add to my JSA cast list: Nathan Fillion as Starman and Jeffrey Combs as Johnny Sorrow

  • March 16, 2006, 1:55 p.m. CST

    jeez, Dave

    by The Heathen

    you had to have known that this would open up a can of worms! Mmmm

  • March 16, 2006, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Brad Renfro and Ethan Embry...

    by SleazyG.

    ...were both on an episode of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" this fall. They were both bloated beyond recognition and prematurely balding, and they've given better performances in the past. Clearly both have some serious issues they need to address, because they've let substance abuse pretty much end their careers.

  • March 16, 2006, 2:08 p.m. CST

    re. Casting Is A Good Way To Tell Who Reads WIZARD.

    by Buzz Maverik

    No comic geek alive admits to reading WIZARD, except me, obviously, but when we start talking casting, the influence of WIZARD becomes painfully clear. You always get people too old or too young, too unknown, too TV bound, etc. Aside from us geeks, you know who should have no influence over comic book movies? Avi Arad, the guy in charge of Marvel. "We needed something bigger than Dark Phoenix for X3-OVER-X-TENDED". Bigger than Dark Phoenix? Do ya need something bigger than Galactus for FF 2: 2 Times The Suckage?

  • March 16, 2006, 2:10 p.m. CST

    rest in peace

    by The Heathen

  • March 16, 2006, 2:29 p.m. CST

    that dude talked to a dolphin.

    by Shigeru

    no wonder he killed himself. sorry that was mean. in semi-related news, could We3 be far off?: http://tinyurl.com/s4vl4 *** http://tinyurl.com/lty2r

  • March 16, 2006, 2:34 p.m. CST

    I Liked FF 1-2-3-4 Well Enough...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...but have you guys ever noticed that when things start getting "interpreted", they get kind of what I like to call "stupid"? They may not seem stupid at first but then you think about this "dark and realistic look at crime and what fighting it does to a man..." is about a guy dressed like a radar-guided rodent that hangs upside down in a cave all day. The best "interpretation" often takes place away from the source material. For Superman, look at Alan Moore's work on SUPREME. For the FF, look at Ellis and Cassaday's Four in PLANETARY. But trying to do Superman like Supreme would be foolishly self-referential and any attempts to liken the FF to the Four in their own book would make no sense. Differing opinions. Here's mine: a "goofy" FF can contain realism but a "realistic" FF is goofy. If you have to have a gritty FF, that's probably a time to take a break from comics and indulge in more mature works. The fanboy life has probably been with us, one way or another, since the birth of pop culture. Vets from WW II were reading EC comics in the '50s, but there were still comics for kids. They were the same kind of guys we are, except they had their Great War to unify them and prosperity for easy taking. And no internet to make everything incestuous and limiting. Younger fans mock older fans "A 35 year old guy into comics wants them like when he was a kid" but as far as we're all viewed, a 20 year old guy into comics is just as ridiculous. Comic book series go on and on, often for no reason, but I don't want 'em to stop. There's the FF issues published when I first got into comics and I love them for what they meant to me but now I know they weren't great, except for some of the art by Rich Buckler and George Perez. Doesn't make them bad. Once Lee and Kirby found their footing and invented Marvel Comics, the first 100 issues or whatever were the first great era of the FF, which then stagnated until John Byrne and briefly Walt Simonson. Lee, Kirby, Byrne and Simonson were all about the Big Idea. I wouldn't quite place Grant Morrison and Jae Lee in their league as far as FF goes, but I think their mini was about the Big Idea too. It seems that the FF works best when it's about the Big Idea. The Big Idea seems hard to pull off. I don't think you can fake the Big Idea but I think that some talent is naturally inclined toward the Big Idea while others may be able to stumble into it. I'm glad the FF is around but I won't be back to it until someone seems to get the elusive Big Idea. I would also define the Big Idea as something the purveyor can't talk about or learn. I'm betting it'll come from someone who doesn't have a messageboard, though.

  • March 16, 2006, 3:08 p.m. CST

    just because

    by Shigeru

    I defended FF: First Family doesn't mean I'm pining for more "realistic" sooper 'ero comics. Just wanted to clear that up.

  • March 16, 2006, 4 p.m. CST

    Last big idea?

    by Psynapse

    Easy: Supercontextual existence from The Invisibles. The balance paradigm of negative versus positive experience from The Filth. The amazing LACK of differentiation between what is actual and fictional when it comes to 'descriptions' of 'reality' from Planetary. The fact that Cats REALLY. DO. NOT. like Mice from the Captain Carrot pages in Teen Titans 30 & 31 ( Okay this last one is my just reaching becaue I STILL have no idea why those pages were there in the first place. DOES ANYBODY KNOW?? Seriously folks, this is my ONLY issue with Infinite Crisis-everything else acutally makes perfect sense when you review what is occurring objectively, I just can't figure out what those damn pages were for.)

  • March 16, 2006, 4:19 p.m. CST

    Geez, Buzz, did Arad really say that?

    by rev_skarekroe

    I seriously DON'T read "Wizard" anymore, so I missed that quote. I am still a proud "Toyfare" reader, for what it's worth.

  • March 16, 2006, 5 p.m. CST

    Yeah, Rev, Dark Phoenix Isn't Big Enough For Avi But...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...a cure for mutants is. This is why is personally don't even joke with lines like "raped my childhood". Not because I feel my childhood is being raped (my childhood would swiftly aquire a shank or preferrably a pipe and deal with all problems as soon as it hit the Yard, bay-bee!). But because people who get paychecks for this shit and confuse that with actually knowing more than those of us who read it, can use it against us. Of course, as Butthead said, "Just because I do, doesn't mean you have to...although it would be cool if you did." Which sort of ties in with the whole FF thing. Just because they paid somone to redo the origin doesn't really mean it should have been redone or that it was any good. And the exchange between Psynapse and Moviemack has made me want to rephrase my whole Big Idea crap...the FF is about the Bigger Than Life Idea.

  • March 16, 2006, 5:37 p.m. CST

    "I meant, last Big Idea that made SENSE."

    by Psynapse

    Okay and with that line you just showed how TRULY narrow minded you really are. How about you provide at least one intelligent point countering a single idea listed rather than merely bleat blanket inanities? Or is the earth just flat where you live? AND DOES NO ONE KNOW WHY THOSE DAMN CAPTAIN CARROT PAGES WERE THERE??? Seriously, that question is way more pressing to me than anything Moviemack has to say.

  • March 16, 2006, 5:43 p.m. CST

    hey - great casting. nice work.

    by dregmobile

    no huge names. i like it. each name clicked. can't argue with you.

  • March 16, 2006, 6:11 p.m. CST

    Good line Buzz:

    by sideshowbob

    "a "goofy" FF can contain realism but a "realistic" FF is goofy." That's sorta what I was trying to say.

  • March 16, 2006, 6:26 p.m. CST

    BUT WHY WERE THE CAPTAIN CARROT PAGES THERE??

    by Psynapse

    SERIOUSLY. Does ANYONE have any idea at all? I can actually give a logical reason for every other event connected to IC, 'cept THAT one. Auugh this is gonna make me go all mental patient-ey and start scrawling on my bedroom walls......

  • March 16, 2006, 7:10 p.m. CST

    The FF and the Wisdom of David Mazzuchelli...

    by Dave_F

    Dunno if anyone picked up the new(ish) hardcover of BATMAN: YEAR ONE, but first off: it's great. Second, there's a fascinating afterward from David Mazzuchelli that's "written" in the form of a comic strip. He talks about the changing conception of superheroes, at one point noting: "Superheroes live best in their own world - a preadolescent world. While an interesting experiment, it's probably not a good idea to shoehorn too much 'reality' into the fantasy realm of the superhero." Of course, when I read that, I asked myself the same thing you're all probably thinking: is Mazzuchelli undercutting his *own* work on YEAR ONE? Well, kinda sorta. The next page (the last page) is titled "...OOPS." Here's the text of those panels, though it doesn't quite do 'em justice lacking his supporting visuals (I'll mention a few): "Ever since Stan Lee introduced anxiety into superheroes - [he exerpts a little bit of Peter Parker angsting over Uncle Ben's death] - no, earlier, since Harvey Kurtzman first trained a satiric eye on them in MAD [excerpt from the famed spoof SUPERDUPERMAN] - the question, 'What would superheroes be like in the real world?' has bedeviled succeeding generations of comics creators. [Re-creation of the 70s panel of Green Arrow finding out Speedy's a junkie] Frank wrote THE DARK KNIGHT in a fortissimo, operatic mode. But he recognized that my strengths as an artist were more attuned to the mundane. So with YEAR ONE, we sought to craft a credible Batman, grounded in a world we recognize. But did we go too far? Once a depiction veers toward realism, each new detail releases a torrent of questions that exposes the absurdity at the heart of the genre. The more 'realistic' superheroes become, the less believable they are. It's a delicate balance. But this much I know: superheroes are real when they're drawn in ink." Pretty worthy sentiments, I'd say. And ViceCard, when it comes to getting the visuals right for a concept like the FF, it's not about a world of strict rules - look at my body of reviews and I think you'll see I'm open-minded to just about any kind of art you care to throw my way - it's about making the strongest artistic choices to suit the concept. FF, even more than most superhero books, has never been too concerned with reality. And even so, there are experiments that work: MARVELS was photorealistic, but Ross's art was suffused with light in revealing them. It felt like home movies of the Kennedys, and even the appearance of Galactus was more awe-inspiring than overtly horrific. Weston's brand of realism, by contrast, is very sober, very grave. As an experiment, is it particularly harmful? Maybe not, but I have to wonder why it exists. An Elseworld or What If? story usual has a pretty clearcut concept our theme to explore. With FIRST FAMILY, the brilliant concept seems to be "The FF, only gloomier." Is that a point worth pursuing? I'm sure the virtuous, unbiased approach would be to read the whole thing and then make up my mind, but screw that. I read Casey's CHILDREN OF THE ATOM, I read Casey's EARTH'S MIGHTIEST HEROES. They respectively amounted to the X-Men origin, only gloomier, and the Avengers origin, only gloomier. Nothing new to the table beyond cynicism and retroactively incorporating character flaws added later (eg. Pym the wifebeater). And it's bad enough that cynicism is so pervasive in regular Marvel/DC books, but the day it fucking co-opts the *origins* of Stan and Jack's creations is a sad day indeed.

  • March 16, 2006, 8:31 p.m. CST

    dave angry...

    by blackthought

    dave smash...now off to v i go.

  • March 16, 2006, 8:53 p.m. CST

    I say a mix of Bug and AstroThunder..

    by Thalya

    Don't know about GL, neither seems to quite fit. Sam Sheppard as Jay Garrick works. Mickey Rourke is Ted Grant. Clancy Brown is inspired for Dr. Fate, he even looks a bit like Hector Hall, especially in that one recent Lost episode. Dennis Haysbert as Michael Holt. Kyle MacLachlan's got the right attitude as Pieter Cross. Cole Hauser as Rick Tyler (Rex was his dad! And yeah, I could see Dick Van Dyke as him) is passable. But I gotta go with Peter Saarsgard all the way as Sandy Hawkins (and where'd you get that bit about him, AB? Wes Dodds died in the first issue of this volume of JSA, not at the end of WWII. As it is, Sand got turned into a giant Sand Monster for decades while Wes tried in vain to find a cure, hence his current geomorph abilities and his rather young looks for a very old character.) Eric Bana IS Carter Hall. Lilly already half-channels Kendra on Lost and she might just look the part with shorter hair. The rest of Bug's list looks pretty spot on too, but Kristen Bell is way more Courtney Whitmore than Anna Faris'll ever be. She'd have much better chemistry with Jerry O'Connell as Al Rothstein. And Brendan Fraser has the perfect touch of innocence for Captain Marvel. *** Oh, and, hi guys.

  • March 17, 2006, 1:53 a.m. CST

    v for vendetta

    by blackthought

    er...sighs...er...um...well...it was um...mmmm...muffins.

  • March 17, 2006, 9:25 a.m. CST

    Hey yourself, Lady C. - and muffins!?

    by The Heathen

    I know I mentioned before that I think Dennis Quaid would/should/still could have been Hal Jordan, but perhaps he could also be Alan Scott? I still thnk he would have been the best Hal ever though. I'm pretty adament about Brendan Fraser and Kristin Bell too. Those two could actually happen if there were ever a JSA movie, but the chances of that are nil. *** Muffins? Blueberry

  • March 17, 2006, 9:43 a.m. CST

    Just read Quints Superman Returns article

    by The Heathen

  • March 17, 2006, 10:42 a.m. CST

    yeah, you know what...

    by Shigeru

    I totally see where you are coming from Dave, but just cause Weston draws characters in proper proportion and has more detail than most artists means that he shouldn't be allowed to draw anything with fantastic ideas? FUCK THAT. That is messed up. I'm perfectly aware of Mazzuchelli's afterward in Year One and I agree with him for the most part. But you know what? I'm not going to draw a line at how many shadows or how much shading or crosshatching or photo-referencing is allowed in a book that stars people with superpowers. The Filth had wilder ideas than a fucking girl who can turn invisible and Weston knocked that out of the park. I really don't think this has to do with angst fueled, grim n gritty and "realism-infused" comics.

  • March 17, 2006, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Word, Shigeru. Word.

    by The Heathen

  • March 17, 2006, 11:16 a.m. CST

    Walking Dead #26

    by The Heathen

    Man, I'm glad this book is back on track with these last two issues. There's zombies!!! There's stuff interesting IN and OUT of the prison, and could anyone believe what Carol said to Lori?! Big Love, meets Walking Dead. Hmm? You read it yet Shig? What did you think, Bug?

  • March 17, 2006, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Gentlemen, it is F4, not FF.

    by Gus Nukem

  • March 17, 2006, 11:19 a.m. CST

    Cave Explorer

    by Gus Nukem

    ** http://tinyurl.com/e9upa ** from the PBF - http://cheston.com/pbf/archive.html - updated every Wednesday

  • March 17, 2006, 11:49 a.m. CST

    i thought it was FF?

    by The Heathen

    a buh?

  • March 17, 2006, 12:02 p.m. CST

    F4 Sounds Too 90s.

    by Buzz Maverik

    The 60s were cooler than the 90s. Since the guy who invented all of it called it FF, I think I'll stick with that...Gotta agree with Dave on the "only gloomier" stuff. "Only gloomier" isn't all that cutting edge after 20 years. I read CHILDREN O' THE ATOM. I'd say it was the X-Men's origin only crappier. The Filth guy's drawing the FF? Good artist. Should be doing something compatatible with his style. Shouldn't any writer or artist (not gonna say creator because what are they creating?) be allowed to work on any comic? Nope. There just aren't all that many comics published. Tito here wants to gloom up space spawned superheroes? Let him go create his own.

  • March 17, 2006, 12:11 p.m. CST

    Thinkin' About "Dark Phoenix Not Big Enough" For X3...

    by Buzz Maverik

    I still haven't seen X2 although I may catch it in the middle of the night of FX some time since it'll probably be on ALL THE DAMN TIME! But Arad's comment seems extra stupid to me because X-MEN and apparently X3 are so much smaller than they could be. Smaller concepts, safter bets every single time which is my main problem with the first film and with Singer. I'm hoping with SUPERMAN, Singer just copies his idol Donner and Richard Lester. That mutant cure is really big, alright.

  • March 17, 2006, 12:23 p.m. CST

    are the mutants sick or something?

    by blackthought

    do they have AIDS? X-3: The Last Rent...V...was good for a movie...if however sighs...damn...it...my bracket is severly busted already.

  • March 17, 2006, 12:38 p.m. CST

    re: Gus - 198, Exterminators

    by The Heathen

    I'm liking the 198 as well. David Hine seems to be putting out good work. Have you read his other Decimation mini, Son of M? I couldn't recommend it more. The writing, pencils, and colors are all top notch. As for the 198, the first issue really surprised me with how graphic it was (the volcano scene) but it also reinforced just what was at stake with mutants and their powers in general. I haven't read issue 3 yet, but I picked it up yesterday. Same for Exterminators #3. Those first two issues were just so bat shit over the top crazy fun and different you know? Noticed the AICN Comics quote on the cover too! Go @$$holes!

  • March 17, 2006, 12:54 p.m. CST

    X-Men 2 should have been the scale of the first movie

    by The Heathen

    But, it wasn't. X-Men was acceptable because it wasn't an utter disaster. Singer salvaged it, albeit not to the best of his abilites. He did much better with X-Men 2, and from what it sounds like from Quints article, Superman Returns up his scale even more. X-Men 3? I've said it before, but it's the same damn story as the other two: First one) A device that makes all humans mutants (which I don't think Magneto would have done). Second movie) Kill all the mutants/kill all the humans. Third movie) find a cure for all mutants with the Dark Phoenix as a sub plot? Fugin' kidding me? Fuck Arad, fuck him up his stupid ass!!! Also, does anyone realize how stupid it is that we haven't seen Sentinels or any other villians (and Sabretooth and probably Juggernaut don't really count)?

  • March 17, 2006, 12:58 p.m. CST

    Buzz, Walking Dead

    by Shigeru

    Buzz I hear ya, and you know I love ya but as for your opinion on Weston on FF: wah wah wah. (the sound of whining) It's times like these where I get a little sick of the Silver Age worship around here. No hard feeling tho. *** ANYWAYS: Walking Dead. Holy crap it was pretty good. Seems like the old Walking Dead would have taken a whole issue just to get in the damn car. But hooray for stuff happening! I still get a teensy bit annoyed at Kirkman's sometimes-giant dialogue but its not so bad. This series is picking up and I can't wait to see how he fucks with the survivors even more. I also really liked the page with Dale & Scarface talking to the twins.

  • March 17, 2006, 1:02 p.m. CST

    I meant "no hard feelingS"...

    by Shigeru

    tho I don't know Buzz well enough to encourage hard feeling between the two of us too.

  • March 17, 2006, 1:05 p.m. CST

    My pick of this week's books.

    by Shigeru

    RUNAWAYS. Hot dang that book is good. Look at that first page and tell me that's not one of the best art teams in comics.

  • March 17, 2006, 1:35 p.m. CST

    it's on top of my stack when I get home, Shig.

    by The Heathen

    Other comics I've read recently: STAR WARS-KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC. I really liked this first issue. Even the campy humor, it was fun. Plus, I was addicted to the game that, yes, had such more of an intriguing story than Episodes 1 & 2 especially and 3 as well. YOUNG AVENGERS #10. When this DOES come out, it's great. This issue in particular introduced a possible new YA with some wicked powers. Don't know how I feel about a 'season 2' with it relaunching later though. DAREDEVIL (Bendis' last & Bru's first issues). I liked them both. I wish the dream during the trial was real, but I also think the current set-up is interesting too and I liked Brubaker's take, but do we even know that Foggy's dead? I guess he is after I've read some of the solicits, but I dunno? CAPTAIN AMERICA #14-#15. This series is the best series out there that I always forget about( due to my own stupidity), but is really pretty outstanding all the time. GIRLS #11. This shit just get's weirder and really, really gory at some points. It's also funny too.

  • March 17, 2006, 2:26 p.m. CST

    As Long As We Continue To Worship The Bronze Age...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...we can stow the Silver any time.

  • March 17, 2006, 2:37 p.m. CST

    In The Ideal, Maverikian World, Marvel Comics Would Be

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...period pieces. The FF would be Mercury Program/Kennedy era, with Reed and Sue as JFK and Jackie, Doom as Lyndon Johnson, Johnny Storm equalling Pete Conrad and Ben Grimm equalling Gus Grissom. The Hulk would be set in the early 50s, during the quest for the bomb known as the Super, with Banner as sort of an Edward Teller type with an Oppenheimer conscience. Iron Man would be a little later in the 1950s but would hearken back to a young, pre-total madness, Howard Hughes. He'd be somewhere between Howard Hughes and the Rat Pack. Spider-Man would be late 60s. The early 70s would belong to Luke Cage, Shang Chi and Johnny Blaze. Dr. Strange would prowl the 1920s and 1930s. Finally, to sum up the full arrival of the teen age, rock 'n' roll stoner, pre-slacker, pre-skater, pre-STAR WARS geek of the late 70s, the Human Rocket himself, the Man Called Nova (a non-icon, it's true, but a personal favorite).

  • March 17, 2006, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Oh Yeah, A Guy Named Matt Murdock...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...who have a space-age bachelor pad from about 1958 to 1962 and would fight crime in devil suit.

  • March 17, 2006, 2:42 p.m. CST

    Bronze, Silver...

    by Shigeru

    let's just call it the Nostalgia Age and be done with it, hm? Or the "It Was Better Back In MY Day Age"

  • March 17, 2006, 2:44 p.m. CST

    Buzz

    by Shigeru

    Those comics sound pretty rad. Does Marvel take submissions?

  • March 17, 2006, 3:11 p.m. CST

    Where do X-Men fall in your timeline, Buzz?

    by The Heathen

    And that idea does sound pretty awesome. And I can't say, "it was better back in my day age" because it was filled with Liefeld and his coke snorting clones and minions!!! But, I do have a soft spot for Jim Lee and a lot of those X-Men and Wolverine stories. I like Albert too, Bug! I guess that's just the love of comic books, no?

  • March 17, 2006, 3:17 p.m. CST

    casting couch

    by sinewave

    switch cole hauser and jerry o'connell. i suggested hauser for atom smasher on another board. think about it, al rothstein (atom smasher) is a burly guy with curly red hair, so hauser would make more sense. i'm sure we could find a better actor for hourman than o'connell, though. that dude sucks.

  • March 17, 2006, 3:24 p.m. CST

    This was my first issue of Avengers

    by The Heathen

    http://tinyurl.com/emet9 *** Here was the second one *** http://tinyurl.com/kj43a *** Here was my first issue of X-Factor *** http://tinyurl.com/ewxrf *** and here's one of my first issues of Wolverine *** http://tinyurl.com/zzzhh *** - Yep, I couldn't go anywhere without a foil, a hologram, or a cut out cover - but I have a soft spot for every one of those issues, no matter how bad they may be. That was the early 90's. TMNT, pizza, Guns 'N Roses, T2, New Kids on the Block, Family Matters and Hammer Pants - CAN'T TOUCH THIS!!!

  • March 17, 2006, 3:30 p.m. CST

    Well, this is ironic

    by The Heathen

    Jerry O'connell is the voice of

  • March 17, 2006, 4:33 p.m. CST

    Joey Q. on Wolverine (or anyone else) not smoking

    by The Heathen

    <"Look, I do realize some people miss Wolvie and his stogie, but in time, no one will ever know it

  • March 17, 2006, 4:35 p.m. CST

    he has a healing factor

    by The Heathen

  • March 17, 2006, 4:37 p.m. CST

    Joey Q. on remastering Essentials (for Buzz and Dave)

    by The Heathen

    "I

  • March 17, 2006, 4:50 p.m. CST

    Damn Heathen...

    by superhero

    Those comics are worth less NOW than wehn they actually came out! So much for the "collectability" of all those special foil-holo-cut out covers, huh? God I hated that era of comics!

  • March 17, 2006, 5:10 p.m. CST

    OK screw THAT...

    by superhero

    "it might give those old issues a new vibrancy that of course the old fanman will hate but a new kid may be blown away by." Y&#39;know what? Screw that. I just went to the MOCA here in LA last weekend for the Masters of Comic Art show that they had running and there were actualy pages of original Kirby art on the wall and they were fucking BREATHTAKING! Seriously...originals of FF stuff and Captain America...amazing stuff and let me tell you they DO NOT need to be painted over with some lame assed computer coloring treatment that will suck all of the life and vibrancy out of them. The whole reason that Kirby&#39;s art struck a cord and was (and is) so amazing is because of its organic quality. It breathes with an energy all its own and by going over them with some lame assed computer coloring technology that, in the end, doesn&#39;t really add much to the final image but make it look more "glitzy" and less compelling would ruin it. I mean seriously, does anyone out there think that the covers to the whole Ultimate line of books is that visually striking? I don&#39;t. As a matter of fact I actually find them lacking a quality that I want in a comic book cover. The covers of the Ultimate Books look more like souless pre-packaged licensing art than anything that I want to see on a comic book cover or inside an actual comic book for that matter! Jesus christ! They want to digitally paint over Kirby&#39;s work? UGH! That&#39;s just a terrible idea! Man, it just goes to show you that the inmates truly are in charge of the asylum over at Marvel. Oh, and MY Wolverine smokes thank you very much even if I do find smoking disgusting. Just like I&#39;d find cutting someone open in real life with retractable claws abhorrent. But, see, Wolverine is a FICTIONAL character. He can cut people open and enjoy a cigar at the same time if he wants because, well, he&#39;s NOT REAL!

  • March 17, 2006, 5:14 p.m. CST

    I Don&#39;t Care About My Day. I Care About The Next Thing

    by Buzz Maverik

    The problem in comics is that the Next Thing is a looong fucking time coming. Comics really have very few innovators. They come along less than once a generation, it seems. We don&#39;t want to admit that comics is a pop medium and is highly derivative. I completely agree with Moore when he shakes his head about no one getting past WATCHMEN in nearly 20 years. They can imitate some of the attitude, but where&#39;s the next level. The next level isn&#39;t going to come from the grim, I know that much. I don&#39;t care for his superhero work, but you have to admire a guy like Bendis who does what he does his own way, because that&#39;s where the Next Level comes from. I don&#39;t think he&#39;s actually done that, btw, or that was BMB&#39;s intent but at least it&#39;s Something Else. The worst thing is two-fold: these "interpreters" are working on established characters for paychecks. Now, I like paychecks. I&#39;m both a capitalist and a ho&#39;. But don&#39;t give me that big @$$ innovator bullshit when you&#39;re working for a corporation on a concept created by somebody older than your great-grandfather. You want to be innovative, innovate your own shit. The second part, is the lack of self respect in the fan community. Like I said, just because somebody gets a paycheck, they don&#39;t really know more or understand more than somebody like Dave, for instance, or you or you or you. You give me a new style artist, I&#39;d pay him for work on new kinds of comics for new kinds of fans but tha&#39;s jes me, yuh see wha&#39; I&#39;m sayin&#39;? You give me somebody with Bigger Than Life Ideas, that&#39;s who I&#39;d pay for FANTASTIC FOUR. I feel that the @$$holes are often misinterpreted as "in my day" guys. I&#39;ve seen too many comics where I can tell that the *gag* creator, is mired in their own day which was often art school in the &#39;80s. I&#39;ve always felt like most of us are saying "Get over then. Get over now and get onto tommorow." But you know, good storytelling, good dialogue, structure, pace and an understanding of the medium don&#39;t belong to anyone&#39;s "day" and the lack of these things in comics are just generally lack of talent or care, and WE DON&#39;T OWE THOSE GUYS A LIVING!

  • March 17, 2006, 5:25 p.m. CST

    Remastering Marvel.

    by Buzz Maverik

    Remastering. Joe, you make comic books. Sorry. Remastering is for the music industry, which you&#39;re not it. Just like "director&#39;s cuts" are for the film industry, which you are also not in. We always sit around saying:"Comics are mature, adult, sophisticated artforms. They are literature..." But we have no respect for the classics. It&#39;s okay that Quesada is a huckster. That&#39;s what built the comic industry. Stan was a huckster. Bob Kane put out more bullshit than he did Batman comics, etc. But today, we also have to put up with pretension and pseudo-sophistication. I&#39;ve often wished the Essentials were in color but I love being able to get 500 pages of comics that cheaply. Also, I find the color in a lot of comics to be dingey and washed out. It looks really weird in trades of old comics. I bought a CAPTAIN AMERICA & THE FALCON: SECRET EMPIRE tpb a few months back. It looked...goofy. Buscema&#39;s art was worse than everybody always said. I&#39;d wondered if it was just maturity and discernment so I dug out the one issue of the arc that&#39;d I&#39;d got as a back issue and compared. The original colors weren&#39;t exactly more realistic but they didn&#39;t look as, I dunno, childish. Finally, like I&#39;ve been saying lately, somebody like Quesada can talk about "the old fanman" (most of whom are younger than him) but outside geek circles, the teen fan is as silly as the middle aged fan. Only the now, non-existent fan-kid doesn&#39;t come off as a complete loser.

  • March 17, 2006, 5:27 p.m. CST

    thank you, superhero

    by The Heathen

    I totally agree, 100% about Kirby, Wolverine and the Ultimate covers. You know what I never imagined from Wolverine? Him screaming, "stop raping me!" but I never thought that he wouldn&#39;t smoke, never!

  • March 17, 2006, 5:31 p.m. CST

    Forgot About X-MEN. Their Timelines:

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...I&#39;d place the original team as forming in about &#39;65 as teenagers, and running through &#39;71 or &#39;72, where they&#39;d be roughly college age or post collegiate. Children of the Atom equal Children of the Sixties, especially when you can see, historically, that they Baby Boomers were almost mutants to the so-called Greatest Generation. The original team would be peers of Spider-Man. The second team (Wolverine, Storm, Nightcrawler, Colossus, etc) would appear in the mid-to-late seventies through about &#39;84. We&#39;re talking Carter Administration through...okay, they could go to the end of the Regan Era.

  • March 17, 2006, 5:40 p.m. CST

    Quesada Telling Us What To Think?

    by Buzz Maverik

    He doesn&#39;t like smoking, so a fictional character doesn&#39;t smoke. Hmm. I don&#39;t like people getting stabbed or slashed, but I suspect that Wolverine isn&#39;t going to be de-clawed anytime soon, nor should he be. Quesada knows how the "old fanman" will react and how the "kid" will react? (BTW, as a geek, I feel duty bound to point out that Letterman smoked cigars on air until not that long ago).

  • March 17, 2006, 6:23 p.m. CST

    Thank you Buzz!

    by Psynapse

    Upon reading that article and JoeyQ&#39;s comments about smoking. I realized how much I want to knock him on his ass. Real people smoke all the time and just because we do does NOT put us anywhere NEAR the class of someone with a higher body count than the number of cigarettes that I&#39;ve burned. FUCK YOU JOE, FUCK YOU UP YOUR STOOPID ASS. Oh and ANYONE bitching about secondhand smoke? FUCK OFF untill you ditch your car for walking shoes ya fucking hypocrites. Goddamn it, now I need a smoke....

  • March 17, 2006, 6:42 p.m. CST

    That&#39;s Right, Kids, Stay In School & Don&#39;t Smoke.

    by Buzz Maverik

    I make a v-cut into the cap of my Havana, strike a wooden match, holding it just past the tip of the cigar and breath in, pulling the flame toward the stogie. I roll the cigar, roasting the tip until it is evenly lit, while never touching it directly to the flame...what? You had me pegged for a non-smoker?

  • March 17, 2006, 7:26 p.m. CST

    i&#39;m buzzzzzzzed

    by blackthought

  • March 17, 2006, 7:38 p.m. CST

    "old-school fave Bumblebee finally appears"

    by Daredevil

    Um...who was he the favorite of?! I thought he was the character they WANTED us to like a lot, but instead everyone thought he sucked and got way too much screen time. Also, on the JSA casting, a lot of those were dead on perfect, but a few were lousy. Anna Farris is about 10 years too old to play Stargirl. Same with Hugh Laurie and Mid-Nite (unless he&#39;s playing the original.) I&#39;m sure Steve Zahn could play serious, but I&#39;ve never seen it...I&#39;d go with someone else. Jason Patric would be passable as Hawkman, but I&#39;d try for someone better first. How about Ben Browder of Farscape and SG-1?

  • March 17, 2006, 8:23 p.m. CST

    superninja thinks Rourke is too tall for Wildcat?

    by Daredevil

    Um, Wildcat is 6&#39;5". Mickey Rourke is only 5&#39;11". They&#39;d have to do a little trick photography to make him the right size (but they&#39;re going to be doing that with Atom-Smasher anyway). But Rourke&#39;s look and build is about perfect. Lanky, indeed. Might wanna look that word up. But what&#39;s even crazier was that you said an older Steve Zahn would make a good Wildcat? OK, if he bulked up A LOT, got a foot taller. Also, you complain that some of the actors are too old? Green Lantern, Flash, Wildcat are supposed look like their about 60. VERY FIT 60, but 60 nonetheless. By the way, Alan Scott USED to look a lot younger, but now he&#39;s looking a little closer to his age (which would be more like 85 if any of them aged normally.) You are right that some should be younger. Mid-Nite should be 30 or so (not in his 40s like Laurie but otherwise he&#39;d be a good choice), and Stargirl should be 16 (not 29 like Faris). I don&#39;t believe they left out Cap (I also don&#39;t believe that I didn&#39;t notice) but since he&#39;s getting his own movie, and JSA&#39;s got Power Girl to "almost" fill his role (what can I say, I love Marvel...even Superman can&#39;t fill his bright yellow boots), I can live without him. I&#39;ve heard The Rock is being cast, which I can see. He can play a bit childish and naive when he needs to. Fraser would be better, O&#39;Connell would be adequate. I still think 10 years ago Patrick Warburton would have been THE perfect Captain Marvel.

  • March 17, 2006, 10:44 p.m. CST

    Halo - Marvel - Moebius - Bisley

    by Gus Nukem

    ** http://tinyurl.com/qmzsq ** http://tinyurl.com/oa54d ** This, I didn&#39;t, couldn&#39;t foresee.

  • March 18, 2006, 11:53 a.m. CST

    "Only the now, non-existent fan-kid"

    by rev_skarekroe

    The fan-kid exists, Buzz. But he&#39;s reading manga, and doesn&#39;t give a rat&#39;s ass about Batman, Spider-Man, etc. (except as movie characters).

  • March 18, 2006, 12:37 p.m. CST

    Marvel Timeline

    by MR INBETWEEN

    That&#39;s a pretty cool idea, Buzz. I don&#39;t know if I&#39;d have liked it as much before I&#39;d read The New Frontier. But I do. It makes more sense than John Byrne&#39;s 7 yr thing (where everything in Marvel comics has taken place over the last 7 yrs)I recall getting into an epic snit with Byrne on some Marvel message board about this approach. Despite being a Marvel Zombie I preferred DC&#39;s quality of allowing time to pass, characters to age, die and stay dead, and for generations to replace the ones before. I recall an example Byrne gave of Nixon appearing in some FF or other and his assertion that it really wasn&#39;t Nixon anymore, it was Ford, or Carter or Reagan...depending on how much time had passed. My problem with that is that I could pick up the comic and still see Nixon.

  • March 18, 2006, 12:47 p.m. CST

    Vertigo/DC minglings

    by MR INBETWEEN

    I was unaware there was a policy of segregation there. I also recall some other post crisis minglings that may have slipped past, such as Zatanna going to an impromptu b-day party for John Constantine. Zatanna is pretty firmly DCU isn&#39;t she? Incidentally Swamp Thing was at the same party and grew a pot sprout into a skunky bush and everybody smoked out. Not something you&#39;d see in your usual DCU title. Does anybody else remember an elseworlds or dream sequence or some other may-never-have-really-happened moment where Constantine was in a cape and tights as Hellblazer Man or something? My opinion is that a good editor will allow DCU and Vertigo to share the same setting, yet rarely allow respective characters to share the same book. Those rare exceptions are awesome though. Martian Manhunter in that issue of Sandman is a great example.

  • March 18, 2006, 12:58 p.m. CST

    Buzz, i know i like to give you shit

    by El Vale

    But this week you&#39;ve been pretty much spot-on with every single post. And everyone had you pegged for a smoker cause you&#39;ve said over and over again that you&#39;d like to write movies and get paid in cigars and tequila.

  • March 18, 2006, 4:48 p.m. CST

    Wolverine smoking

    by MR INBETWEEN

    And I hope Wolverine smokes forever! As others have pointed out, his healing factor means it&#39;s not unhealthy for him to smoke, and he likes it. It&#39;s never portrayed in a glamorous light, in fact don&#39;t most of the X-Folks bitch about it? I know Kitty did. I&#39;d like to see him refrain from smoking around those few people he truly cares about. But if he&#39;s willing to gut you with a claw or toss you into a bank of computers in a danger room exercise, why would he care about you breathing 2nd hand smoke? Sure he&#39;s come a long way, but come on, he&#39;s still Wolverine. Smoke em if ya got em Logan.

  • March 20, 2006, 1:05 a.m. CST

    MONDAY!!!

    by blackthought

    TIME FOR COGS TO RESSURECT THIS TALKBACK LIKE HOW WE DO

  • March 20, 2006, 2:36 a.m. CST

    Well, I&#39;m not a Cog, but...

    by Dave_F

    But what the hell, I&#39;ll kick in. Sorry &#39;bout slipping out of the discussion over the weekend, y&#39;all. Had to work and help a friend move, so debating the conceptual fidelity of FIRST FAMILY hadda take a backseat. If anyone&#39;s still around for catch-up, though, I&#39;m gonna quick race through some responses... **** 1) Thalya, you&#39;re alive! We&#39;ll tell the police to stop dragging the bay. And I could maaaaybe just about see Frazer as Captain Marvel. Always thought he was a bit too doofy for Superman, a role folks perpetually ask to see him in - maybe it&#39;s the stoner voice? - but I could see him bringing the proper camp to Captain Marvel. Of course, my ideal Captain Marvel is one wholly removed from the DCU and adventuring in his own wonky world alongside Tawky Tawny and against a cartoony-looking Mr. Mind, so I wouldn&#39;t want him in a JSA flick anyway. So there! ***** 2) ViceCardinal, I figured it&#39;d be implicit that when I said "strongest artistic choice for the concept," I was meaning the original FF concept. I&#39;ll give Weston this: he seems quite good at making the Fantastic Four seem un-Fantastic. Since that appears to be Casey&#39;s goal, I give him a thumbs up for suiting the material. It&#39;s just the *value* of the material I question... **** Shigeru wrote: "...but just cause Weston draws characters in proper proportion and has more detail than most artists means that he shouldn&#39;t be allowed to draw anything with fantastic ideas?" No, just not the FANTASTIC FOUR. I already expressed admiration for his work on a project with fantastic ideas - MINISTRY OF SPACE. And I wouldn&#39;t really forbid *anyone* a shot at a Marvel project, but a retelling of the origin of the foremost high-adventure team of the Marvel U. is a crap fit. I&#39;d say the same for plenty of artists I like but who wouldn&#39;t make great FF artists: Ralph Steadman, Al Hirschfeld, and children&#39;s book illustrator Lane Smith for starters. And Hirschfeld&#39;s on the list for his style, NOT just because he&#39;s dead. But, y&#39;know, I can see those guys cooking up some interesting stuff on the Marvel equivalent of DC&#39;s BIZARRO COMICS or somesuch. Origin retellings, though? Not so much. **** Heathen, thanks for the kudos for the cover quote (I think it was from Bug). We land &#39;em sometimes, and even land some trade quotes. Always nice to be recognized, and ya just have to hope that people don&#39;t react with a, "Harry Knowles liked it? Ugh, fugghedaboutit!" Glad you liked STAR WARS: KODT too. I&#39;m still making up my mind on it, but it did spur me to buy the first video game a few weeks back. Ass-kicking goodness. Try as I might to not give Lucasarts my money, I remain, in many ways, George Lucas&#39;s bitch. Stupid CLONE WARS cartoons... **** On remastering Kirby...I&#39;m of two minds. First, as Scott McCloud so aptly noted in UNDERSTANDING COMICS, primitive coloring in the 60s still looked great over Kirby because he was such a master of form. Unless his old art has somehow changed, there&#39;s no reason to imagine computer-style shading will look better than the flat coloring of old (which still looks great, &#39;long as it ain&#39;t on some shit glossy paper). Still...I&#39;ve seen Alex Ross paint over Kirby&#39;s art once or twice, and it surprisingly worked. I&#39;ve also seen how Tom Scioli&#39;s art on GODLAND handles computer coloring over Kirby-esque artwork while still maintaining mostly flat colors, and it&#39;s pretty gorgeous. Ultimately, I&#39;d be willing to give it a shot. Even so, props to Superhero for his righteous rant. His general wisdom is mighty. **** For TalkBacker Daredevil, regarding my citing Bumblebee as an old-school fave...y&#39;know what? You&#39;re right. I kind of got to liking him eventually, in an underdog sort of way, but mostly he was just the Transformer Hasbro decided the audience NEEDED to love. Good call. I still think he&#39;s being well-handled in the new book, though. Hey, at least he&#39;s not the lead. **** Mr. Inbetween asks, "Does anybody else remember an elseworlds or dream sequence or some other may-never-have-really-happened moment where Constantine was in a cape and tights as Hellblazer Man or something?" Yes, but where the hell was it? I&#39;m thinking maybe Morrison&#39;s ANIMAL MAN, maybe during the peyote sequence or Morrison&#39;s last issue, but it could&#39;ve been Morrison&#39;s DOOM PATROL too. I&#39;m thinking Grant&#39;s involved, anyway, though it just might have been in an early SANDMAN jaunt. And, hey, what was Martian Manhunter&#39;s appearance in SANDMAN? I&#39;m not immediately recalling it, though I remember him appearing in ANIMAL MAN and scaring the crap out of some bully that was fucking with Buddy&#39;s kid. **** Lastly, as for Wolverine...I demand that he smoke a fatty to counterbalance Joey Q

  • March 20, 2006, 10 a.m. CST

    Martian Manhunter in Sandman

    by Shigeru

    It was one of the earliest issues... Morpheus & John Constantine visit him for some reason, right? I think J&#39;onn was in his bathrobe too! It&#39;s in the Preludes & Nocturnes trade (which everyone should own)

  • March 20, 2006, 10:22 a.m. CST

    Dave to the rescue! - &#39;V&#39;, comics, JLU, Halo HC

    by The Heathen

    Had a decent weekend, how&#39;s about everyone else? Saw &#39;V for Vendetta&#39; last night and I thought it did a pretty decent job, maybe even a really decent job of translating the material of Moore&#39;s. I also think that Moore, despite his genius, is a little too crazy/moody for his own good for thinking that the script for &#39;V&#39; was rubbish as he stated in a NY Times article *** http://tinyurl.com/geojf *** (which apparently you must pay more than a comic for to read! Look for the link @ Newsarama.) The movie is really close to the ten issues of &#39;V&#39; and it just makes me wonder if Moore is the type of insane that we don&#39;t think he is. Not just the bearded sorcerer, but the &#39;A Beautiful Mind&#39; type of crazy? No? The movie is something I think the country needs at the moment too. My wife thought that it was written recently until I told her otherwise, which made her appreciate it even more because now it wasn&#39;t written because things are so shitty. My brother thought it was a little slow, my wife and I&#39;s gay friend thought it was &#39;okay&#39; and I probably enjoyed it the most out of the group, but I don&#39;t think it&#39;s quite the &#39;movie of the year&#39; that I&#39;ve read in a few articles on this very sight, but still very good. *** Dave, KOTOR is the best Star Wars game ever. I lost about 70 hrs to it when I got it. Haven&#39;t had the time for the second one though. But, you&#39;re in for a treat with that one - the story is, just, wow - it&#39;s good! Yeah, I thought it was Bug on Exterminators, way to go! Speaking of

  • March 20, 2006, 12:13 p.m. CST

    Talkback resurrection

    by MR INBETWEEN

    Whew! I thought I&#39;d killed another one. Re: Martian Manhunter in Sandman: One thing I especially liked was seeing Dream through the eyes of a Martian. And I may not be spelling it correctly from memory, but I beleive J&#39;onn called him L&#39;Zoril...martian for Dream. Thanks for confirming what was seeming more and more like a peyote vision to ME, Dave F.

  • March 20, 2006, 12:31 p.m. CST

    Generation M

    by The Heathen

    Label me impressed by this mini as well. It had a slow burn of a mystery, but was always engaging. I think it&#39;s what The Pulse COULD have been if it were only more consistent. Jenkins is hit or miss with me usually, I can&#39;t really get into his Sentry mini, but Gen M had a nice build up with action along the way and a genuine surprise of an ending as far as cameos. It&#39;s also pretty touching too. I think it would have been better if HoM perhaps happened, but there was no book titled HoM - there was just this flash of light and then you have these good decimation titles like Son of M, Generation M and The 198 to fill in the blanks of what happened, but not showing it, giving HoM a "Clone Wars" feeling before the prequels were released of course.

  • March 20, 2006, 12:44 p.m. CST

    V.

    by Shigeru

    V was pretty dang good. I&#39;m ashamed to say I haven&#39;t read it but it&#39;s on the list. I enjoyed the depth but I also think it probably could have gone deeper in questioning V&#39;s actions and motivations. And though I loved Natalie&#39;s rebirth coming out of the cell, I could have done without the baptism in the rain scene...a bit obvious. But all the performances were stellar, especially Hugo, Natalie and the Detective bloke. After a minute or 2 of getting used to, the mask worked surprisingly well on screen. *** ON MR MOORE: He went on a publicity spree in order to tell the world he didn&#39;t want any publicity. If he really didn&#39;t care that much he should just do what he claims to: not pay any attention. Can&#39;t wait for the next Moore work to get adapted so he can remind us all again that he had nothing to do with it...

  • March 20, 2006, 1:09 p.m. CST

    re: V.

    by The Heathen

    Good point about Moore, Shig. Can you believe he actually wanted his name taken off all of his DC work? Watchmen, Killing Joke, everything! Hugo, was damn good in the movie. I think he&#39;s officially my pick for the Joker. The craziest thing I&#39;ve heard about &#39;V&#39; is Roger Ebert comparing his Guy Fawkes mask to that of Thomas the Train, being that it doesn&#39;t move, and if a character is talking - you should see his mouth moving. I shit you not, check it out *** http://tinyurl.com/r2jrd *** http://tinyurl.com/bysy *** Didn&#39;t seem to bother him with Darth Vader, did it? I love Ebert, but sometimes he just say&#39;s some crazy shit.

  • March 20, 2006, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Heathen

    by El Vale

    I don&#39;t think Moore is crazy for questioning the V script. As of yet i haven&#39;t seen the movie so i&#39;m, perhaps, not the most appropriate person to discuss it thoroughly but i have read the book and more importantly (in order to make my point) i&#39;ve read the things Moore has to say about the script and consequently the film, and it&#39;s not demented in the least. Moore claims (and actually makes a pretty strong case) that the film dismantles the whole point of his book (From Hell much?), that being Anarchism vs Fascism. Or anarchy as a direct response to fascism. As Moore explains it, the film ultimately recasts it as a current American neo-conservatism vs. current American liberalism situation, and the fact that the two are not polar opposites defeats the whole purpose of the story. "There wasn&#39;t a mention of anarchy as far as I could see. The fascism had been completely defanged. I mean, I think that any references to racial purity had been excised, whereas actually, fascists are quite big on racial purity." Yes indeed, the man does worship a snake, but a smarter individual you&#39;d be pressed to find, and his reservations with the film adaptation seem grounded and sincere to me. If you call dismantling the main theme of the original in order to twist it around so it will eventually serve your own purpose and your own ideas instead of those of the author a faithful adaptation then you&#39;re completely high. All that said, i&#39;m willing to put those ideas to the side and i plan on enjoying the movie as long as it proves to be a good piece of cinema, and of course a good time at the movies. So Moore feels strongly about his work...makes sense to me, it&#39;s probably paternal in nature. You wouldn&#39;t want anyone harming your children. And about his DC work, it&#39;s complicated and may indeed be nothing but a tantrum, but again, as Moore explains it, it makes total sense: He doesn&#39;t want his name taken off Watchmen because god he hates DC and that stupid Paul Levitz guy he&#39;s a meaney...it&#39;s because it was taken from him, he was tricked and they took it from him and he feels a complete disconnection with the work that he doesn&#39;t own. I tell ya, there isn&#39;t a more profitable job in comics right now than having worked with Alan Moore in the past.

  • March 20, 2006, 2:34 p.m. CST

    Mr Moore

    by Shigeru

    First off, like I said I haven&#39;t read the graphic novel so I can&#39;t really comment on the comparisons/adaptation... But on the subject of Alan Moore&#39;s multitudinous (yes that&#39;s a word I think?) interviews, speeches, public statements, ect. about how he wants *nothing* to do with this film or any film ever that will ever be made...well I kind of want to give him a little bitch slap. Just a little one, cause he&#39;s so damn talented. The dude is on record saying that Film isn&#39;t even in his top 5 mediums. Not that I have no sympathy for his plight. I do feel a little bad for him, all his creations are getting the hollywood make over and that must sting, especially if you don&#39;t even like or watch movies (though even that&#39;s kind of ironic considering how self-depreciating the old man is all the time). I can even maybe understand pulling all your DC books after Joel Silver lied and said you read the script and liked it. It&#39;s just getting a little old that every time I turn around Alan Moore is there shouting "I don&#39;t care, leave me alone!" when he is the one that called the press conference.

  • March 20, 2006, 2:54 p.m. CST

    Well Shig, i dunno

    by El Vale

    I mean is he going out there looking for publicity or are people so interested in his strange position that they themselves ask for interviews?

  • March 20, 2006, 3:07 p.m. CST

    As Always, I Agree With Shigeru, El & Dave...

    by Buzz Maverik

    a) Shigeru is completely right about Moore&#39;s publicity spree to not do publicity. I am a little cynical. To a far greater degree than myself, Moore is a fan of Aleistir Crowley and probably has intimate knowledge of THE BOOK OF LIES ("Everything you read here is a lie...")...2) Like El, I haven&#39;t seen the movie yet, but I&#39;ll tell ya...while I dig his goofy action flicks, c&#39;mon, it&#39;s Joel Silver. Mr. Mainstream Big Budget Hollywood. He&#39;s insane and evil and cool but he&#39;s by no means anti-establishment. This is a rich, Hollywood producer. His idea of anarchy is decriminalization of cocaine and prostitution (as it is for all good hearted people, but that&#39;s just the beginning). "Look, kids, buy this $29.99 anarchy t-shirt...Hang a poster of Che Guevarra on your dorm room wall. It was mass produced through slave labor in third world countries by the kind of people Che was trying to liberate..." It&#39;s a studio film with millions of dollars behind it. Now, I love those. I&#39;ve seen all four of Joel&#39;s LETHAL WEAPON films and maybe even wrote the screenplay that was condensed into the first five minutes of LETHAL WEAPON 4 (although I liked their villain&#39;s name --The Human Tank -- better than the one I invented and they had the Mel Gibson character dispose of his in a cooler way than my Mel Gibson character did). But this is politics for people that never read a newspaper, ya know? And D)...I was thinking about the whole FIRST FAMILY art thing. I&#39;m doing a little research for my upcoming review of ESSENTIAL NOVA VOL. 1, and there&#39;s a shift in the tone of the art that I feel killed the book. This was very much in what you&#39;d call "my day", although every day I&#39;m alive is "my day", there&#39;s no reason to stop, ya know? The first dozen issues were drawn by one Buscema brother on another. Very mainstream Marvel at the time. Nothing flashy but it served the story, characters and tone perfectly. For some reason, Sal left the book and Marvel hired long time DC artist/editor Carmine Infantino, a guy who helped create the Silver Age. Lots of Flash, maybe Green Lantern, a little of everything. An exceptionally fine artist, far more edgier and interesting than any Buscema. A lot ahead of his time, and his time was a good 15-20 years earlier than when Nova was published. If Marvel had given him IRON MAN or CAPTAIN AMERICA, no problem. NOVA was supposed to be a throwback to the first 20 issues of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, a simpler, kid friendlier book (yeah, they had that problem even then; I think they always have. Comics have never been for kids and the same kind of guys -- guys like us-- have always read them, the only difference being that a lot of those guys saw combat in Europe, the Pacific and Korea). The tone was all wrong. Infantino didn&#39;t work at all. Nova looked screwier and starker, instead of no-irony-at-all-gee-whiz-superhero. Interpretation? Nah. The guy&#39;s style was just wrong for the concept. Of course, we&#39;re not talking icons...

  • March 20, 2006, 3:09 p.m. CST

    Vale

    by The Heathen

    I don&#39; think he&#39;s crazy for questioning the script, but having seen the movie and reading &#39;V&#39; I really don&#39;t think the disimilarities are that much of a departure, in fact, they&#39;re pretty damn spot on. It&#39;s definitely not rubbish. Moore said he wouldn&#39;t have anything to do with it, but I suppose he did indeed read the script, but has he seen the movie? It&#39;s like, Shigeru said, "He went on a publicity spree in order to tell the world he didn&#39;t want any publicity." As for the current American neo-conservatism vs. current American liberalism situation taking the place of anarchy and facism? Well - I disagree. It&#39;s in the movie just as it&#39;s in the book. I think it&#39;s only more apparent because of the state of affairs currently. You couldn&#39;t poop down a volcano now w/out drawing comparisons to the conservative american government. In no way am I saying that Moore isn&#39;t a genius beyond our years, but don&#39;t you think he&#39;d have enough business sense at, what, 30? years of age to know what he&#39;s signing? I&#39;m in my early 20&#39;s and have been duped with apartment leases and the likes, but I&#39;d sure as hell have a lawyer look over any contract I&#39;m signing for DC or Marvel or any publisher. I feel that his tantrum is thus even more of one, because, well, he made his bed, now sleep in it Mr. Moore. He also stayed with Wildstorm after DC bought the company and then left after basically the same thing happened again. Fool me once

  • March 20, 2006, 3:11 p.m. CST

    V was passable at best...

    by superhero

    Sorry, but I was dissapointed. Most of it has to do with the fact that when these guys adapt books they completely abandon the visual palette of the original work and make everything look way too bright and pretty. Just like in Hellboy. Part of what makes the comic work so compelling is the visual component which the artists present on the page. The original V for Vendetta was bleak and dark and creepy. Yes, I particularly loved (sarcasm) how the Shadow Gallery was so BRIGHTLY LIT. What Hollywood directors do with these works now is make the design and photography so crisp and clean and bright that all sense of mystery and pathos is completely lost. Seriously, what the hell ever happened to noir photography??? I personally wanted to get a copy of the movie, take it home and watch it in Black and White to see if I could try and capture that feel from it because I wasn&#39;t getting it from what I was seeing on the screen. In this movie what we&#39;re treated to is V by way of of the WB with super-outrageous fight scenes and cheesy assed lovesick dialogue included. Yes, there are some compelling ideas in the movie but their power is completely lost because of the cleanliness of the movie&#39;s presentation. It&#39;s way too pretty and plays way too much with certain character&#39;s motivations...the primary messing with being Ivey. Instead of being a prostitute at the end of her rope she&#39;s an intern at the local media station. Instead of V being sneaky and creepy he&#39;s presented as Batman in a Guy Fawkes mask. In short the whole movie is reduced to being much like a typical little superhero movie when the original was far more than your average comic book. All of the subtlety and the intelligence of the original is gone and what you get is obvious Hollywood filmaking with some interesting bits about terrorism and totalitarianism stuck in there to make it seem like it was something more than two-dimensional which it wasn&#39;t. I can see why Moore wanted his name taken off of the thing and I respect him all the more for it. They took his characters and made them cut outs instead of people with complex motives who don&#39;t always do the right thing or aren&#39;t always justified in their berhavior. In the movie they&#39;re just characters in a story moving through the paces. That being said, it&#39;s not a bad movie but it just doesn&#39;t live up to its source material at all. Maybe I&#39;m being too harsh but I just think that if these filmmakers "love" a project so much they should strive to keep the intelligence and depth of the works intact instead of just trying to convert it to pablum for the masses. I wanted my V for Vendetta to be a compelling, intelligent film with weight. Instead I got a nice little action film that lacks the emotional and intellectial punch that the Graphic Novel delivered.

  • March 20, 2006, 3:15 p.m. CST

    @$$holes & Cogs - the long posters!!!

    by The Heathen

  • March 20, 2006, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Right. Anarchy By Millionaires.

    by Buzz Maverik

    "Stickin&#39; it to the man, kids. That&#39;s why our agent at CAA/William Morris/InterTalent/ICM got us the four million for the script and our buddy got a million or more to direct. This one&#39;s for the people! That&#39;s why we got the beautiful, Academy Award nominated actress from the PREQUELS to shave her head! You must fight on...so that you can own the Director&#39;s Cut and the Special Edition of the DVD or PSP or PCP or the new thing! Be sure to buy the novelization and head down to McDonalds for the V Happy Meal Toy -- this week it&#39;s the spinning dagger; for the girls, a bald Barbie! And Joel wants to thank you for helping him buy another Frank Lloyd Wright house! Remember, support anarchy by seeing this movie thirty-tree times at your local mondo-plex!"

  • March 20, 2006, 3:29 p.m. CST

    "As Always, I Agree With Shigeru, El & Dave..."

    by Shigeru

    this cracked me up!

  • March 20, 2006, 3:34 p.m. CST

    Thomas the Tank Engine

    by Shigeru

    The best part is where they loaded poor Tom with explosives and sent him to his doom! Lips NOT moving: "Oh no, kids!" ...BOOOOOM! *** The end of V does not really promote or depict anarchy but it leaves it open to interpretation and the possibility. Which, as Buzz put it in the post above, is probably the best we can hope for in a movie made by DC. How cool was it to see that VERTIGO logo up there tho?

  • March 20, 2006, 3:35 p.m. CST

    the best we can hope for in a movie made by WARNER BRO

    by Shigeru

    not DC. oops

  • March 20, 2006, 4:03 p.m. CST

    I want a Frank Lloyd Wright house

    by The Heathen

  • March 20, 2006, 4:25 p.m. CST

    Heath

    by El Vale

    Well i do see your point here and yes i will see the movie and probably enjoy it but let me clarify that in no way are the V argument and the DC argument one in the same. One is a factor that affects the other, yes. David Lloyd makes the same argument you make by saying it&#39;s a shame Moore feels the way he does because they signed off the movie rights to these properties as concentual adults 20 years ago. If Moore is highly critical of the movies being made off his work it&#39;s, perhaps, because he&#39;s had such a bad time with them. I mean if you were to judge Moore&#39;s work baseed on the movie adaptations, you&#39;d think he&#39;s the lamest writer ever and why the hell is he such a big deal? I mean if i were Moore i&#39;d go out of my way to tell people "yes these movies suck, no i don&#39;t want to be associated with them. The only thing the LXG movie has in common with my book is the name. In case the V movie is lame, yes indeed the script is rubbish and i will not see it." This creates a very visible distance between the original work and the movies and so it&#39;s nearly impossible to judge one based on the other. Wll ok that&#39;s not true, you can judge the movie based on the book, but you can&#39;t judge the book based on the movie. I hope it works. As for his tantrum over the DC work, he signed a contract with people he trusted and thought were his friends, and he was made to believe as soon as the work went off print the rights would be returned to him. At the time no comic had remained in print for more than a few months so he thought it appropriate. And then it never happened. What does Moore&#39;s tantrum consist of? It&#39;s this simple: Ok, you fooled me, you got me. Now the work is yours, take my name off it. You think that&#39;s immature? The only reason DC won&#39;t take his name off the books is they&#39;ll sell less, so basically they&#39;re using his name to sell something that isn&#39;t his. As for the Wildsorm deal, he signed a contract with Jim Lee and DC acquired Wildstorm shortly afterwards. So you see, there was a contract involved. Moore was obviously not happy with the deal but there was not much he could do and he was told DC would not interfere in the least. They did. That&#39;s the reason the contract is not being renewed. And let me sign off with this quote from Rich Johnston&#39;s V for Vendetta drinking game: Every time they portray anarchy as everyone dressing up in the same outfit, slide under your chair.

  • March 20, 2006, 4:36 p.m. CST

    Hmm so they&#39;re cancelling Solo...

    by El Vale

    Makes sense, i mean it IS DC&#39;s best book after all. Not to sound like a broken record or anything but this is what your beloved EVENTS do to us poor Solo loving bastards.

  • March 20, 2006, 4:51 p.m. CST

    and even the LXG name isn&#39;t proper!

    by The Heathen

    It&#39;s like X-Men being X2 and X3! In no way do I blame him for saying if he thinks the movies are shit if he&#39;s seen them. Hell, LXG was dreadful, but I&#39;d like him to quit saying he wants to be left alone by saying it at press conferences and during interviews. For the contract? In business we can&#39;t be so trusting. Hell, I&#39;ve had family screw me over for business. In no way do you trust anyone unless it say&#39;s so legally in a contract. For anarchy, I think besides people dressing as V or tagging a wall (har,har), they did show a cop being beaten after he killed an innocent and the march at the end was a bunch of people walking against a military that was ready to shoot them if told to do so

  • March 20, 2006, 4:56 p.m. CST

    How you can tell the "V" movie isn&#39;t about anarchism:

    by SleazyG.

    Near the end of the movie? That climactic scene where thousands dress up like V and storm the streets? A stirring visual metaphor for a populace rising up and taking the reins of their country back from the corrupt elite who are running things. It is also, however, the direct fucking opposite of anarchy. A herdlike mob mentality where everybody looks and acts the same? Uhhh, that&#39;s actually EXACTLY WHAT FASCISM IS. It seemed nice enough on its face, but it&#39;s the antithesis of what Moore was writing about.

  • March 20, 2006, 5 p.m. CST

    I like events

    by The Heathen

    Infinite Crisis being a case in point, but FUCK!!! Solo WAS the overall best thing DC was putting out. I really enjoyed it while it lasted. How many issues do we have left, Vale? And, I don&#39;t think you give a crap about Halo, but Moebius drawing some of it is pretty rad. I said rad, wow. What do you think of that? blackthought?

  • March 20, 2006, 5:04 p.m. CST

    V for Vale

    by El Vale

    Yeah Heath, that&#39;s what Moore says. He admits to being naive as hell. And Sleazy: Werd.

  • March 20, 2006, 5:04 p.m. CST

    Moore&#39;s right...where&#39;s the racism?

    by SleazyG.

    There&#39;s no question that the racist side of fascism was wholly ignored. The filmmakers instead made the struggle about the rights of homosexuals. While it&#39;s true that the gay population is always crushed beneath the heels of jackbooted fascist thugs, it&#39;s also pretty clear this is a bit of the filmmakers inserting their own message. Which is okay and all, don&#39;t get me wrong--but if racism wasn&#39;t a bigger component of the fascist element running the UK in this movie, why didn&#39;t we see so much as a single black guy among the higher ups? It was all white males running the show, and yet not a single minority or woman was shown as a victim...unless they were also gay. Doesn&#39;t make a lot of sense, really, since that&#39;s not how fascists go about their work. Note this is not me being anti-gay by any means, as they are certainly persecuted under fascist regimes and it&#39;s well worth mentioning considering the efforts to quietly install a theocracy here in the U.S. It&#39;s just that they really missed the boat here: fascists hate the darkies, they&#39;ve got no time for chicks who think they&#39;re smart enough to run things, and the nancyboys can get right in the cells with the rest of them. By focusing only on the gay issues, they missed a major opportunity to show fascists for what they really are: xenophobic hatemongers who could be rehabilitated by society with a quick bullet between the eyes. By having the fascists persecute minorities and women as well as homosexuals, they could have made a much stronger point about just how outdated and narrowminded the fascist ideology is. Paralleling gender issues with other civil rights issues is a good way to make people better understand the importance of accepting those different from yourself. They kinda blew it on that one.

  • March 20, 2006, 5:08 p.m. CST

    Solo

    by El Vale

    From Lying in the gutters: George Pratt&#39;s declaration that the DC series "Solo" has been cancelled before his issue sees print has been widely reported. What hasn&#39;t been is some of the other artists whose work will be entering the infamous DC Bottom Drawer, never to be seen again... Berni Wrightson, Brian Stelfreeze, Jill Thompson, Scott Hampton, Sergio Aragones, Brendan McCarthy, Kevin Nowlan, Jose Luis Garcia Lopez... Cancelled Solo Cavalcade anyone?

  • March 20, 2006, 5:17 p.m. CST

    i&#39;m with sleazy and superhero on the v sentiments

    by blackthought

  • March 20, 2006, 5:37 p.m. CST

    I&#39;m tired of the fascist

    by The Heathen

    I want to go kill some in Call of Duty 2. I&#39;ve said my part for &#39;V&#39; - I like it. I don&#39;t want to dissect the tiny bits and pieces of fascism, racism and anarchy. I think the basic ideals came across fine for V For Vendetta. *** I thought Scott Hampton&#39;s SOLO came out, I tihnk I have it, but haven&#39;t read it yet. Yep, I got it, here it is *** http://tinyurl.com/fg3cm ***

  • March 20, 2006, 5:39 p.m. CST

    i figured so, blackthought

    by The Heathen

  • March 20, 2006, 6:06 p.m. CST

    You Deserve A Frank Lloyd Wright House, Heathen!

    by Buzz Maverik

  • March 20, 2006, 6:11 p.m. CST

    Alan Moore press conferences...

    by superhero

    How can any of you have a problem with Alan Moore dissing the film via press conferences and interviews? Seriously, I see absolutely nothing wrong with it. He hated the script, knew they were going to make a half-assed movie out of his original work and decided to do something about it. Nothing wrong with that as far as I can tell. I totally respect him for it. I mean if he wants to go out and point to the movie and say, "I didn&#39;t write that SHITE" (which is how he would say it because he&#39;s British) and then wants to hold up the Graphic Novel and say "THIS is the shite that I wrote" what is wrong with that? NOTHING. He wants to be dissassoiciated from the MOVIE not the Graphic Novel, right? So I see nothing wrong with him letting people know he&#39;s not happy with the movie if he thinks it&#39;s crap. I actually see it as extremely admirable. Not to mention the fact that he gives his money to the artists instead of just giving it back to the company that cheated him. And YES he was cheated. Look, I don&#39;t know the minute details of whatever deal he signed (none of us do) but the truth is that these corparations exist to screw the artist over. You see it over and over and over again. And whether or not Moore (or Kirby or Ditko) consulted a lawyer isn&#39;t necessarily the point. The point is whoever made them promises (which you know they did) LIED and they are scumbags. They took advantage of their position and took the artist for everything he was worth and then made damn sure that their lawyers went and helped get the laws changed to protect their interestes. That&#39;s how the media conglomorates work and if you don&#39;t see that as a travesty then I don&#39;t know what to tell you. Now you can say that said artist is a dipshit for letting themselves be taken advantage of and that&#39;s fine BUT the laws are not made for the creators they are made for the people who publish and distribute works of art so that the individual is pretty much screwed from the outset especially if they are young and relatively unproven commodoties like Moore was when he wrote V and WATCHMEN. He wasn&#39;t the all knowing Godfather of comic books that he is now. So if you think that a deal that was signed over twenty years ago should be still valid when the face of media has changed so much and so many unexpected things have happened, well, I&#39;d just have to say that you&#39;re probably the REASON that DC and Marvel are still top dogs in the comic business and putting out shit like Infinite Civil War and whatever other crappy book they foist on an unsuspecting public. You reward the companies and NOT the creators. You choose to go with characters and not ideas. Nothing new is rewarded or encouraged because fans (just like Stan Lee) tow the company line. Wow...that was a crazy rant, wasn&#39;t it? Oh...and Buzz is my hero AGAIN for all that crazy Anarchy studio talk.

  • March 20, 2006, 6:26 p.m. CST

    Moore Should Do What I Did! Tell The Producer&#39;s Mom!

    by Buzz Maverik

    There&#39;s an action movie that pretty much ended the career of an action star. After beating my head on the stone wall called the film industry for 8 years, a friend tells me that they know a nice lady who&#39;s son is a producer. Didja see BOWFINGER? Bottom feeder type but higher than I ever got before. The guy calls and says he hates my script and my writing but can I spare a week to pitch rewrites on his upcoming blockbuster? Old joke but true: it was DIE HARD...IN A BUILDING. Uh-kaaay. Can I make in CLIFFHANGER...ON A BUILDING (basically DIE HARD ON A MOUNTAIN NOW ON BUILDING)? That completely sucks worse than the worst suckage the guy has ever heard in his life but I should tell him about it, except what I&#39;m telling him blows so I should give him good ideas like MONEY TRAIN, which was number one at the box office that week. I&#39;d seen and hated MONEY TRAIN so I took the $20 petty cash the guy gave me and went to see BEING JOHN MALKOVITCH. While the guy keeps telling me how everything I&#39;m telling him is stupid, he pumps me for action beats for a movie he&#39;s associated with. He turned out that they sucked, but I should write one of them out anyway, which he faxed to someone. Finally, I get sick of him and tell him I want money, a development deal, my parking pass validated, anything and I tell him to save the Don Simpson impression for someone it&#39;s going to work on. We part ways. A year later I go see the movie. My page and a half was in there. Did he call me back? One phone call to Mommy and I had a $1500 check and a note telling me I&#39;d never work in this town again. I wrote the guy back asking him if he&#39;d ever worked in that town. Turned out, we were both right. So Al should tell Joel Silver&#39;s Mom!

  • March 20, 2006, 6:32 p.m. CST

    Moore wants his name removed from the book, actually.

    by SleazyG.

    Just read it in an interview last week. When they wouldn&#39;t do as he asked in re: the film, he told them to take his name off the book. This stance was somewhat validated by the fact there&#39;s apparently a major typo somewhere on the cover, which lent credence to his feeling the reprint is a shoddy rush job, intended to cash in rather than taking the material seriously.

  • March 20, 2006, 6:34 p.m. CST

    superhero channeling Vale?

    by El Vale

    That was great. More from Moore: Absolutely, and A Small Killing and a painfully small number of other books. These are the books I&#39;m completely happy about. These are the ones I can look at with pride and not with a pang of, yeah, but I don&#39;t own it. By asking DC to take my name off V for Vendetta and stop giving me the money for V for Vendetta, all I&#39;m asking for is for them to treat me in the same way they

  • March 20, 2006, 6:40 p.m. CST

    Sweet! A Frank Lloyd Wright house!

    by The Heathen

  • March 20, 2006, 6:41 p.m. CST

    Hey, we&#39;re both Colombian Vale what can I say?

    by superhero

    And that was great Alan Moore interview...:O)

  • March 20, 2006, 7:55 p.m. CST

    Have a pleasant...

    by Gus Nukem

  • March 20, 2006, 8:30 p.m. CST

    superhero...

    by blackthought

    you&#39;re colombian too? that puts me you and vale and throw the last man with ecaudor and this talkback gets more and more south american...TONY NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!...heathen...i take it you saw? oh jeez...how dare they take away the soul patch???!!??!!??!?! and about v...its not a bad movie or anything but as an adaptation of what i wanted from the source material i found it wanting in some key area&#39;s for me anyway...but strictly as a movie it was better than most of the tripe that has made its way to teh cinema in the beginning of this sad year. and god...tony!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • March 20, 2006, 9:57 p.m. CST

    Get out, you&#39;re colombian too?

    by El Vale

    What is it with this board? I mean we got a guy from Ecuador, girls, gay people, moviemack and 3 colombians? WTF?

  • March 20, 2006, 10:34 p.m. CST

    Don&#39;t forget Gus the Greek..

    by Thalya

    Or, in other words: where the hell are the stereotypical fanboys? You know, the fat blokes with goatees, glasses, and backpacks who reek of incense to cover up the ganj&#39; smell and love hawaiian t-shirts. Are they becoming an endangered species? Does the government need to step in to help promote breeding?

  • March 20, 2006, 10:39 p.m. CST

    Oh and Gus, our resident pseudo Cog

    by El Vale

  • March 21, 2006, 12:38 a.m. CST

    Well...I&#39;m half Colombian...on my mother&#39;s side...

    by superhero

    But that counts for a lot doesn&#39;t it? And I did live in Cali for a year so that&#39;s good too, huh?

  • March 21, 2006, 8:04 a.m. CST

    superhero

    by blackthought

    that counts plenty.

  • March 21, 2006, 9:23 a.m. CST

    One last thought on V

    by Shigeru

    First of all: Anarchy. Kind of dumb and self-contradicting in that there are groups of Anarchists... BUT ignoring that: I&#39;m not sure what you guys are thinking of, but Anarchy most certainly does not mean mass chaos, everyone running about wildly breaking shit, swearing, and lighting things on fire. From wikipedia (I know, I know, sue me): "In place of what are regarded as authoritarian political structures and coercive economic institutions, anarchists advocate social relations based upon voluntary association of autonomous individuals, mutual aid, and self-governance." Everyone dressing up like V, paying no mind to the armed troops and watching parliament go boom was quite clearly explained by Evey while it was all happening. When detective dude asked who V was, she said it was her father, her mother, herself, him, everybody. That&#39;s what everybody dressing up in the V masks was about. All those people had a little bit of V (an idea, not a man) inside them, and they expressed it. And what did they do once the shit blew up? TOOK OFF THE MASKS. Asserting that this idea of "V" helped them realize that they all had their own individual identity and they didn&#39;t need authority in their lives any more. Sounds like anarchy to me, folks.

  • March 21, 2006, 9:51 a.m. CST

    Marvel/DC jointly Trademark "Super-hero"

    by Saxster

    Check out this insanity: http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/03/20/1349236

  • March 21, 2006, 9:53 a.m. CST

    3 Colombians, 1 Ecuadorian, 1 Greek, 1 Girl...

    by Shigeru

    Heath and I are representing White Males 20-35 woohoo!

  • March 21, 2006, 10:47 a.m. CST

    On the note of anarchy...

    by AstroThunder

    I remember a friend of mine decided to check out some anarchist meeting here in Sandy Eggo at Balboa Park. He thought he&#39;d see some sort of motley group of rabid bastards, each one a libertine with a mouth frothering with radical sound bites about toppling the powers that be and letting freedom in the truest sense of the word run wild and rampant through the streets. Instead, he saw a bunch of young punks in tattered jeans and patches on jackets and wallet chains who got together to basically have a picnic and play soccer. Much more staid yet more amusing than he&#39;d have imagined. By the way, you ever notice how anarchists tend to draw the anarchy symbol the same as everyone else?

  • March 21, 2006, 11:53 a.m. CST

    Alan Moore doesn&#39;t worship a snake.

    by SleazyG.

    He worships a sock puppet he made himself and named after an ancient snake deity, which is very very different for a lot of reasons. Still kinda cool and hilarious, and very meta, but different from just worshipping a snake.

  • March 21, 2006, 12:28 p.m. CST

    Hell&#39;s yeah, Shigeru!!!

    by The Heathen

    I thought that was a subject line for a joke at first. Ha! Go white males 20-35! I agree with your last post about V. Maybe it&#39;s just us whiteys, huh? : ) *** blackthought! TONYYY!!! Bullshit! I thought that he was just really messed up last episode. There wasn&#39;t even a silent countdown for Soul Patch! George Mason had one, so did Edgar and others, what about Tony? Nooo! At least Jack gave Desmond the shaft with the memory card. That guy has no luck with Jacks does he? And Audrey betta wacth out, but Tony? DAMMIT!!! *** AstroThunder, everyone who says there an &#39;anarchist&#39; draws that symbol. They also wear camo and are 12-16 years old! But, yeah I get what you mean. Jeez, I didn&#39;t think the absolute definition of anarchy was going to be the main topic of discussion, but it sure beats talking about Bendis or Liefeld.

  • March 21, 2006, 1:06 p.m. CST

    Shig

    by El Vale

    Anarchy is described in V for Vendetta (the GN) as the absence of leaders instead of the absense of order. Moore also describes it as an evolution, moving beyond the need for politics, beyond the need to control masses of people. But, like everyone&#39;s said by now, i don&#39;t think dressing up in an outfit and marching along everyone else counts for that. Like the nazis, who all had a little bit of Hitler in them and they expressed it.

  • March 21, 2006, 1:19 p.m. CST

    About that Ganja smell....

    by Psynapse

    Red Crystal incense (hand rolled-no wooden sticks) or Air-Wick Neutra-air will dissipate it faster than 180 proof whiskey in a Bush twin&#39;s hand.

  • March 21, 2006, 1:25 p.m. CST

    Nazis?

    by Shigeru

    I don&#39;t think that&#39;s a fair comparison man. V was an anarchist... I guess one could say that these people can&#39;t be anarchists if V is their "leader" since anarchists can&#39;t have leaders. But like I said before, V was an idea, not a man. So maybe V the idea is the idea of anarchy. So V IS anarchy. So *symbolically* all the people in V masks throwing off the government (boom) are just professing their anarchistic selves, ESPECIALLY cause they use that idea to take off their masks and be individuals at the same time. But that begs the question, CAN anarchists even be unified? I suppose if no one is in control then yes. With the end scene, all people are seeing is "everybody is dressed the same, therefore conformity, therefore facism!" when if you dig deeper and don&#39;t take things so literally that&#39;s not it at all. *sigh* I really gotta read the GN. Anyways, does he really have a sock puppet? Does it live in his beard?

  • March 21, 2006, 1:43 p.m. CST

    So, organized anarchy is a rebellion?

    by The Heathen

    Like the Rebellion in Star Wars, they had leaders, Admirals and such, but if they didn&#39;t then it would just be chaos and nothing would really get accomplished. Sure, people like Luke would fight the Empire, but without more cohesive plans, without Han and Leia and a squadron of X-Wings, not even a Jedi master can make a real difference. I think we are being too literal here as well, V in the form of the crowd was a symbol and the people who revealed themselves underneath their masks promoted that. But, without any order, at least a little, your&#39;e going to have an ant hill that some kid just pissed in. What is the sock puppets name? It&#39;s pretty crazy that we all are so heavily debating something from a guy who has a sock puppet. "Mr. Silver, if you call me again my sock puppet will send you to the farthest reaches of the outer realm." *Sock puppet pops out of beard* "That&#39;s right!"

  • March 21, 2006, 1:44 p.m. CST

    A quote from Moore regarding his sock-puppet worship:

    by SleazyG.

    "With magic, I worship a second-century Roman snake god who, on the best evidence that I can dredge up from that period, was some kind of elaborate glove-puppet that was being controlled by a second-century snake-oil salesman, basically a complete fraud, huckster, and showman. I don&#39;t want anybody else to start worshipping this god. I find something a bit unnatural in the idea of being bound together in spiritual ideas with people. I&#39;m sure that, in our natural state, we all believe something entirely different. I don&#39;t necessarily want anybody to believe the same things I believe, which is one of the reasons why I&#39;ve adopted such a patently mad sort of deity. The idea of the deity is all I&#39;m interested in, so that&#39;s fine for my purposes. It would be a bit creepy if everybody else suddenly started worshipping this second-century glove-puppet. Magic to me is more like anarchy." Taken from an interview in The Onion five years ago, so he may no longer be down with this particular approach: http://tinyurl.com/f4zal More can be found at the wiki entry for Uncle Al, including info on his worship of Glycon under the "Occult" section: http://tinyurl.com/hd6vy

  • March 21, 2006, 1:46 p.m. CST

    The sock-puppet deity&#39;s name is Glycon.

    by SleazyG.

    The links in my previous entry directly above should point you in the right direction for more info--it&#39;s actually kinda interesting.

  • March 21, 2006, 1:52 p.m. CST

    Saxster, if that&#39;s true then boo to the big two!

    by The Heathen

    It puts a big stop to my plans of putting out a book called, "The Superest Super Hero&#39;s of Super Hero Town

  • March 21, 2006, 2:13 p.m. CST

    Glycon

    by The Heathen

    Five bucks says that Moore was the kid in school who made and wore a paper hat just to be different so nobody else would do it and look like him and then got pissed when somebody did, then he huffed and puffed and continued to repeat the process until he was a 50 year old man who worships a fuckin snake puppet god. You win Mr. Moore! I think we should stop talking about Moore, the more I learn the less I give a shit about anything he does. Which is a shame, because the guy sure can write. Now I&#39;m off to go worship the spirit of Remmigans, a deceased english bulldog with stinky powers that ONLY I worship and nobody else, cause if anybody else did they would be crazy

  • March 21, 2006, 2:16 p.m. CST

    breathe heathen

    by blackthought

  • March 21, 2006, 2:34 p.m. CST

    See, that&#39;s the thing

    by El Vale

    In the GN V expresses, and i think i&#39;m quoting "Anarchy isn&#39;t the absence of order, it&#39;s the absence of leaders". Indeed, at the end of the book (SPOILER) the whole of England is engulfed in chaos, and i believe V talks about this as well, saying it&#39;s necessary, of course it&#39;s going to be this way, the whole system came crashing down, the shit is inevitably going to hit the fan...and what do you do after that? That&#39;s your problem. Anarchy is what V proposes, but that&#39;s entirely up to you. Personally i believe making the jump from our current state to Anarchy is damn near unimaginable, cause we can&#39;t even process the idea of not having any leaders. Like Heathen said, we think it&#39;d just be caos and nothing would get accomplished. I think what Moore&#39;s saying is: Not necessarily, but it is a hard step to take.

  • March 21, 2006, 2:38 p.m. CST

    Jesus Heath

    by El Vale

    I believe you&#39;re taking it entirely out of context. It&#39;s like Moore was personally insulting you with his shenanigans...what&#39;s up with that?

  • March 21, 2006, 3:09 p.m. CST

    *breathing*

    by The Heathen

    My bad, I guess I did get a little too personal with that last post. I didn&#39;t realize just how it sounded until I read it again, but I did laugh at it, it was funny. *pats back* Like it was something I didn&#39;t write, weird. I guess I was just thinking of those people who will do anything neccesary just to be different. Those type bug me, so yeah I guess it was a little personal. I have a friend I&#39;ve known since birth who in the course of 5 years went from gold chains and baggy pants to chewin&#39; tobacca and Wranglers. At one point in his life he hated both of those styles, but he wanted to be different so now he does this, or this, or that. I&#39;m a skinny white guy who likes comics. Love the capes, love me some more thoughtful books like V, I just love the whole medium. I won&#39;t come in here next week and say I like this, but nobody else does and they shouldn&#39;t, because it&#39;s mine and I liked it first. I&#39;m going to stop now, yes stopping would be good. I guess Tony got me all flustered

  • March 21, 2006, 3:15 p.m. CST

    "Not necessarily, but it is a hard step to take."

    by Shigeru

    Yeah I&#39;m feeling ya. It would be a really really hard step to take. Frankly I don&#39;t have the faith in mankind to believe it would ever work (re: communism too). Someone should do a humor strip about the adventures of Moore and his puppet-god snake thingy that lives in his beard! They could call it "Al & Glycon". It would be pure comedy gold I tell ya!

  • March 21, 2006, 3:18 p.m. CST

    Shigeru, about Runaways again

    by The Heathen

    there was some Cogularites in that issue I say! And that opening splash page was indeed pretty.

  • March 21, 2006, 3:22 p.m. CST

    cogular-ities

    by The Heathen

    not Cogularites, boy what a day. I&#39;d read Al & Glycon!

  • March 21, 2006, 3:27 p.m. CST

    good thing you explained "cogularities"

    by Shigeru

    cause I had no clue what that meant at first! But yeah definite cog action. Does that mean that blackthought is gonna be evaporated when we try to summon Jack Kirby?

  • March 21, 2006, 3:30 p.m. CST

    Alan Moore

    by Shigeru

    started "The Moon and Serpent Grand Egyptian Theatre of Marvels" where he is known as "the Exquisite Basilisk". Wowie.

  • March 21, 2006, 3:48 p.m. CST

    Somebody will be evaporated

    by The Heathen

    but who? I dunno? blackthought won&#39;t evaporate until we try to summon Liefeld. I was readin it and thought, hey they only have one girl in their group, hmm, and then they all get together and try to raise someone from the dead, which we Cogs would never do

  • March 21, 2006, 3:49 p.m. CST

    Hey I worship Moore&#39;s writing...

    by Psynapse

    But the man himself? Uh-huh. The &#39;BIG SCAM&#39; that DC supposedly pulled on him was no scam at all. The legality of his deal was for all rights on Watchmen and V (and anything else he wrote for them) to revert back to him ONCE DC NO LONGER PUBLISHED them. When he realized they had no intention of ever NOT keeping them in circulation (as they both make good money for them whenever a print is run) he felt he had been scammed and started screaming &#39;rip-off&#39;. PLEASE. Naivete that severe deserves what it gets. Furthermore Mr. Moore&#39;s memory is decidedly subjective (Personally I think he&#39;s smoked a little too much weed and that&#39;s something coming from me TRUST on this). In interviews on their early days at Marvel UK Moore says his departure began with the firing of a particular editor whom he like. Alan Davis (his frequent collaborator of the time) outright refuted Moore&#39;s take as the editor in question actually resigned and would have been quite offended at people being told she was fired. All I&#39;m saying is: His writing? Divinely inspired. His behavior? Not so much.

  • March 21, 2006, 3:59 p.m. CST

    Oh it is ON bitch!

    by El Vale

    Psy, Moore himself admits to being naive as all hell, that&#39;s his whole fucking point! "You got the best of me, now don&#39;t give me any money for it and don&#39;t use my name". I don&#39;t understand how this is wrongful behavior. He was ASSURED the rights to his work would revert back to him and his artists and he made the stupid stupid STUPID decision of actually trusting human beings he thought of as friends. What a fucking jerk that guy is!

  • March 21, 2006, 4:08 p.m. CST

    Awwwww

    by The Heathen

    Hey Psy, when are you and Thalya gonna tell us what you thought of IC #5? Vale, can you talk about anything from Black Hole without spoiling the 2nd half? Not that I&#39;m tired of more talk on Moore.

  • March 21, 2006, 4:12 p.m. CST

    Oh and The Cogs are WAY cooler than Pride 2.0

    by Psynapse

    I mean c&#39;mon, they still believed he was a hero even after all of the evidence was disclosed that his parents were murderers and the dipshit tried a resurrection spell without knowing the full incantata fer memnon&#39;s sake! Besides, we wouldn&#39;t get someone lame like Geoffrey Wilder, we&#39;d get someone like Buzz&#39;s dad from an alternate dimension with Drano and rocket fuel for blood.

  • March 21, 2006, 4:15 p.m. CST

    Heath

    by El Vale

    I think maybe you&#39;re reading a bit of pretensiousness into Moore&#39;s behavior? The guy IS eccentric and he IS weird but i don&#39;t think he does so in order to be cool, or at least that&#39;s not the impression i get from reading and listening to the man. So he has an accute sense of self importance...what&#39;s wrong with loving yourself? I mean i can&#39;t even begin to describe how much i love myself and how utterly grand i am, so maybe i can identify with Moore a little better, but i just don&#39;t think there&#39;s anything wrong with self esteem. The guy is fucking crazy, but it&#39;s a cool kind of crazy, like the way he firmly believes his town is the center of the cosmos. All i can say to that is...well, why not? I mean most importantly i think it&#39;s the center of HIS cosmos and that&#39;s all that matters. And i believe that&#39;s his point regarding his Snake God...what&#39;s important is that he believes it and you don&#39;t have to share his views on spirituality and he doesn&#39;t need validation through familiarity. But is it pretentious? Not by my standards. I think i&#39;m done defending Alan Moore for now, thanks.

  • March 21, 2006, 4:17 p.m. CST

    Heathen

    by El Vale

    Black Hole is fantastic! It was completely different from anything i might have expected and i think you&#39;ll be pleasently surprised. It sticks with you. where are you at right now?

  • March 21, 2006, 4:21 p.m. CST

    Hey! I never slammed him

    by Psynapse

    Just pointed out the immaturity he displays. What? You think it wasn&#39;t common (and I mean COMMON) knowledge even at that time how badly Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko got screwed by BOTH major publishers? He ALLOWED that language in those contracts and wants to complain &#39;no fair&#39; when it IS WHAT HE AGREED TO?? Fuck that, that level of denial of personal responsibility is just fucking SAD to me. Again, LOVE the STORIES he writes. Anything else he spews? Meh.

  • March 21, 2006, 4:28 p.m. CST

    Well Psy

    by El Vale

    I think you&#39;re missing out on a lot, i&#39;ve read some very enlightening Moore interviews and i&#39;ll continue to do so as long as he keeps giving them. You make it sound like all he does is complain and bitch about everything...but he&#39;ll only do so in the event of someone outright ASKING HIM what he thinks about said issues. Here&#39;s some recommended reading you won&#39;t do: http://tinyurl.com/fklft

  • March 21, 2006, 4:29 p.m. CST

    Stephen Colbert on X-Men 3, you&#39;ll like it, black

    by The Heathen

    it&#39;s about 2 minutes into it *** http://tinyurl.com/pf8h3 ***

  • March 21, 2006, 4:31 p.m. CST

    Sorry, Moore Is Still Naive As Hell...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...or faking it very well. The man is over 50 years old and highly intelligent, all you have to do is read his writing except for VIOLATOR to know that. He&#39;s not Emily Fucking Dickinson or Tobey Fucking Maguire in WONDER BOYS. DC, Time Warner, AOL are corporations which exist to make money. Guys like Moore can and have and will earn money by working for them. He&#39;s not doing Shakesphere in the fucking park or painting abstracts in his boss&#39; attic. He&#39;s writing comic books and taking the money he&#39;s getting for writing comic books. When he wrote V, they had all the legal crap and rights, etc but no one had a clue it would be a fucking movie so he signed and took the money. Should he have refused? Would he have refused? I&#39;ve said it before and I&#39;ve said it again, I&#39;ll bet there&#39;s one book that Al and I have both read, that I recommend everyone alive reads, and it begins, "Everything you read here is a lie..." A smart guy like Moore has to know that DC Comics doesn&#39;t exist to make him happy. They exist to make money. Money is what helps Al buy all those 200 year old Bibles he collects. Young Moore may get some slack, but old Moore doesn&#39;t deserve shit. No, your Ego-ship, we&#39;re not going to take your name off books you&#39;ve written that you&#39;ve sold to us just because that&#39;s what you want? Are you stupid? Do you think we&#39;re stupid? Anyone who reads V is going to know who wrote it. It&#39;s not fucking X-MEN for Chrissake! And it&#39;s not...let&#39;s say, CATCHER IN THE FUCKING RYE (here, the truly insane will say, "No, Buzz, it&#39;s far greater than CATCHER IN THE RYE").

  • March 21, 2006, 4:35 p.m. CST

    El, The Main Difference Between You & Moore...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...his that he is old and you are young. With you, it is self-esteem and idealism. In a guy Moore&#39;s age, it&#39;s bullshit and if it&#39;s not, worshipping a muppet is the most normal thing about him.

  • March 21, 2006, 4:47 p.m. CST

    What Buzz said.......

    by Psynapse

    ......( I acutally have a LONG post on IC#5 and the DC&#39;verse but I&#39;m saving it for the new column heathen)

  • March 21, 2006, 5:06 p.m. CST

    M For Maverik....

    by Buzz Maverik

    BUZZ:"Hi, gang, Buzz Maverik here with a very special V FOR VENDETTA edition of the Buzz Maverik show. My guests today are V producer Joel Slimeball Silver, executive producers slash screenwriters Andy and Larry Wachowski--" LARRY:"It&#39;s Laurencia." BUZZ:"Well, Laurencia, I&#39;m gonna call you fuckin&#39; Larry. Also, because he never goes anywhere without here, Larry&#39;s mistress, dominatrix Ilsa Strix..." ILSA: "You&#39;re a Dominant, aren&#39;t you?" BUZZ:"None of your goddam business, Isla. Also, V creator, Alan Moore." AL:"Sod off, you punter. Never heard of this V. Di&#39;n&#39;t wri&#39; i&#39;, go&#39; i&#39;?" BUZZ:"Sure you didn&#39;t, Al. Also with us, Marvel Comics editor in chief Joe Quesada." JOE:"Why am I here? Do you have to smoke those cigars? They&#39;re disgusting." BUZZ:"You want one?" ISLA:"I&#39;ll take one." BUZZ:"Blaze up, sister. Anybody else?" JOEL:"They Cuban?" BUZZ:"You gotta ask?" JOHN:"Over here, Buzz." BUZZ:"That&#39;s John Milius, the writer/director whom at least a third of my AICN persona is based on. John almost worked with Andy and Laurencia on a CONAN sequel and he&#39;s here to shoot anybody who gets too creepy." JAMES:"What about me?" BUZZ:"What about you? That&#39;s V director James McTiegue. John, could you fire a warning shot in James&#39; direction?" BLAM! BUZZ:"That was cutting it pretty short, John. Cool. Okay, we&#39;re here to talk about the controversy surrounding V FOR VENDETTA and creator rights and really good tequilias. Al, would you tell us your feelings on the matter?" AL:"Yeah, I just want to say Bahphomet-Glyercin-Barbazel-Ia-Ia-Cthulhu-fhatagen. Bloody fookin&#39; gits." BUZZ:"That&#39;s all we have time for today. Tune in next time when my guests are Rob Liefield, Osama Bin Laden and Winona Ryder. Our sponsors are Purdy Shotguns, Cohiba Cigars, Herradura Tequilia and the Marvel Essential Line."

  • March 21, 2006, 5:22 p.m. CST

    Buzz, my boss would like a word with you...

    by Psynapse

    I actually just got reprimanded for laughing too loud and was informed the new keyboard (Coffee snarf) would be coming out of my next paycheck.

  • March 21, 2006, 5:36 p.m. CST

    Psy, Your Boss Can Join A Class Action Suit Against Me

    by Buzz Maverik

    It was started a few years ago by the boss of this CBR poster who somehow wiped out a flat screen when I suggested that real victims of John Byrne&#39;s "Hispanic women who dye their hair blonde look like hookers tirade" were the working girls, themselves. I was going to defend myself but everyone says that would be a bad idea for some reason. Usually, I have my brother, Scam Maverik, the only attorney in the family, represent me in these things but he had to leave the country at the last minute, so I&#39;m trying to get Professor Challenger to take the case. So far, he&#39;s citing something called ...eth-ics?...

  • March 21, 2006, 5:52 p.m. CST

    fucking great discussion as usual

    by Darth Kal-El

    sorry i cant contribute more but its crazy busy here at work.im glad i got mentioned in the "3 colombians,1 girl, a greek and ecuadorian"thing. and great post buzz

  • March 21, 2006, 5:55 p.m. CST

    Actually I made him read the post as well..

    by Psynapse

    and when he busted out laughing I promptly said, "So, you&#39;re picking up that keyboard now huh? Yeah, that&#39;s what I thought." and then I whispered "Bitch." under my breath as he walked away &#39;cuz I&#39;m diesel like that.....

  • March 21, 2006, 5:57 p.m. CST

    "&#39;cuz I&#39;m diesel like that....."

    by Darth Kal-El

    now it was my turn to snarf!

  • March 21, 2006, 8:38 p.m. CST

    who mentioned liefeld???

    by blackthought

  • March 22, 2006, 9:55 a.m. CST

    I needed to read these this morning

    by The Heathen

    Buzz, that post may be even better than your norse speak Thor posts

  • March 22, 2006, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Vale, about Black Hole (SPOILERS)

    by The Heathen

    I&#39;m 3/4 through it. I&#39;ll finish it tonight. I just got past the part where Rob was beaten with a pipe and Keith slept with the Lizard Queen. (Man, if you haven&#39;t read this book that last sentence is funny.) What I love about it is the art. I haven&#39;t read nor seen anything else by Charles Burns that I&#39;m aware of, but I love the way the art feels like it was created during that time, I guess in the early seventies? Is this his style all the time? or just for this book? If it&#39;s the latter then I have even more respect for him. What&#39;s weird about Black Hole is that the &#39;bug&#39; disease or whatever is not taken too seriously. The only way to get it is to have sex w/ someone else who has the bug, and it&#39;s easy to tell if someone does: they have extra mouths and tails and orifices and shit. But then I thought that Burns was trying perhaps to use the bug as a metaphor for teenage romance and lust. He does an absolute great job at nailing how a crazy teen in love sounds, specifically with Chris and Rob. It&#39;s eerie, because I remember saying some stupid shit like that about 7 years ago to my wife, but at the time we both meant what we said and running off spending 24/7 together was perfect. Reality wasn&#39;t a problem. If she had the bug, I&#39;d still make love to her. And I guess that&#39;s what I&#39;m getting with this book so far. For all I know, I&#39;m way off and the ending may be something different, but my 3/4 review of Black Hole is just that. What do you think?

  • March 22, 2006, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Heathen

    by El Vale

    Man that&#39;s some good shit innit? The part with (SPOILERS) Rob getting piped to death is one of the more powerful moments of the book...i was really getting into Chris and Rob&#39;s romance, it just seemed sweet, the way everything was fucked up but it would be ok as long as they were together...and then out of nowhere he gets killed. That scene with Chris smiling becuase she thinks Rob&#39;s coming is just plain heart breaking. I also love the way the "Bug"...well, the way everyone just goes with it. No one goes to a doctor, everyone just runs away...all tha taps into my final thoughts on the book but i can&#39;t share them with you until you finish reading it, so lemme know and we&#39;ll continue our discussion.

  • March 22, 2006, 3:58 p.m. CST

    ive heard u guys mention it

    by Darth Kal-El

    but i really dont know what your talking about altho it sounds cool as hell!give me more details!