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AICN COMICS REVIEWS YEAR FIVE!!!!!

#1 5/3/06 #5

AICN COMICS PRESENTS FYL…
FIVE YEARS LATER!

Five years.

Five years of snark and wit and parody and shrewd criticism and debate and flame wars and Cogs and trolls. Five years of reviews and Cheap Shots and Casting Couches and Tales from the Crevices and the @$$ie Awards and Roundtables and Big Eyes for the Cape Guys and Indie Jones and Moobie Reviews and @$$holes Abroad reports and Shoot the Messenger reports and utter, unabashed, wanton jack-@$$ery.

Five years ago, the legend known as The Comedian sent AICN a review of an X-Force comic. Soon after, he gathered a ragtag group of loudmouth comic book geeks and gave us a name (The Talkback League of @$$holes) and a purpose. Our motto was to not hold back and let the world know what we really thought of these little four-color addictions we all have itching at our wallets and minds. Little did any of us know that we’d be around five years later, still kicking it straight from the heart, off the cuff, and into your collective faces.

I’m Ambush Bug. We’re the @$$holes of AICN Comics. We’ve had a lot of fun at AICN over the years. Thanks goes out to all of you in the TBs for keeping us on our toes and keeping our talkbacks long and girthy. We’ve got a lot of cool things coming up for you guys this year. So let’s get right into it with this week’s pull.


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

ESSENTIAL CLASSIC X-MEN VOL. 2
INFINITE CRISIS #7
ANNIHILATION: SILVER SURFER #2
OUTSIDERS #36
CIVIL WAR #1
NEW AVENGERS ANNUAL #1
Big Eyes for the Cape Guy presents EAGLE: THE MAKING OF AN ASIAN-AMERICAN PRESIDENT
Indie Jones presents WORMWOOD: GENTLEMAN CORPSE - THE TASTER #0
Indie Jones presents THIEVES & KINGS Vol. 1
Indie Jones presents SENTINELS VOLUMES 1-3
Indie Jones presents…
CHEAP SHOTS!

ESSENTIAL CLASSIC X-MEN VOL. 2

Written by Roy Thomas, Arnold Drake, Gary Friedrich
Art by Jim Steranko, Barry Windsor-Smith, Ross Andru, Werner Roth, Don Heck, John Buscema, George Tuska
Published by Marvel
Reviewed by Buzz Maverik

Steranko!

Ster-ank-o!

Steranko!


Are you one of those people who can get away with shouting out your own name during sex? Many of us suffering from narcissism and egomania are inclined to do that, but unless we're alone at the time, we get called on it. Then, there are those who are cool enough that their partners may feel so lucky that they don't complain. Of course, these cool individuals may not be so self-absorbed that they must scream out their names at critical moments.

I'll bet you that artist Jim Steranko could get away with: "Yeah, go, Steranko, go!" and the chick wouldn't even mind.

Steranko is one of the rare geniuses in graphic storytelling. He came along at the right time and not only drew with a powerful flair and perspective that was incredibly different from the majority of the comic book art produced up to that point, but he kept ripping through the envelope. His page layouts, perspectives, use of shadings, mood, and general freaky design helped mutate Marvel art, just as Kirby creating the whole Universe helped mutate comic book art as a concept. Steranko mutated the mutant.

If you haven't already, I suggest that you skate down to your local comic shop and pick up such trades as MARVEL VISIONARIES: JIM STERANKO and NICK FURY, AGENT OF SHIELD and NICK FURY: SCORPIO. All are exceptional and you may see something that inspired some of your favorite artists.

Unbelievably, Steranko, never the most prolific artist in the Bullpen or Industry, only did the pencils on X-MEN # 50 and #51, as well as the cover to X-MEN # 49. These stories are collected, in color, in the MARVEL VISIONARIES trade. You're probably saying to yourself, "Why is Buzz Maverik pretty much devoting the entire review of a trade containing 29 issues to an artist who only drew two issues and three covers?"

Simply, I believe that without Steranko's work, the X-MEN would have continued to exist and would have come back in some form, but may have never been the characters and stories that we know. They would have been one of those sets of characters that everyone relaunches like DOOM PATROL or METAL MEN at DC, or THE DEFENDERS at Marvel, but no one can sustain.

Unbelievably, X-MEN was the poorest seller Marvel had in the 60s. It had a stunningly original concept for comics at the time, and in many ways was one of Stan and Jack's most inspired conceptions. But without Stan and Jack, even Roy Thomas (a man we owe for keeping the Marvel characters alive after the true creators grew too busy) couldn't muster much interest in writing the book. Thomas wrote great stories for THE AVENGERS and THE INCREDIBLE HULK, but he passed the writing chores of X-MEN to Arnold Drake, co-creator of THE GUARDIANS O' THE GALAXY for Marvel and writer of some DEAD MAN and DOOM PATROL stuff for DC.

X-MEN art between Kirby and Steranko was serviceable at best. Most of it was done by Werner Roth (AKA Jay Gavin) and is not presented well in black and white. I've seen some of Mr. Roth's work in color and it is the fun, representational style of the era, like that of George Tuska and Don Heck, both of whom also contributed to X-MEN. This kind of artwork was okay in THE AVENGERS, where Thomas' writing was stronger and fans of the individual characters' books followed. X-MEN was an entity unto itself and the art work needed a special hook. Probably the best art of this era was by Ross Andru, who would shine more effectively on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN some years later. Not surprisingly, Mr. Andru does best with the Beast, giving hints of the dizzying perspectives and positioning that he would use on Spidey half a decade later.

The reason I say that Steranko saved the X-Men as characters is that things grew enormously more interesting after his issues. Barry Windsor-Smith, new to Marvel at the time, contributed an amazing Kirby pastiche. The problem was that you can tell it was conceived as a FANTASTIC FOUR story. We've got Scott subbing for Reed; Jean for Sue; and the Beast and Iceman taking the roles of the Thing and the Torch (and I'll bet Hank McCoy got tired of being called the anti-Johnny Storm!). They fight Blastaar, the Living Bomb, whom they inadvertently free from the Negative Zone (yeah, those X-MEN were always messing with the Negative Zone. Every other comic it was Negative Zone this, Negative Zo--,oh yeah, they probably had no idea the Negative Zone existed in their Universe).

The important thing is that one shit-hot artist lead to another on X-MEN. Two Sterankos got them a Windsor-Smith, which might have helped get Neal Adams. Mr. Adams' X-MEN work is not collected here, but has been reissued in numerous trades, most notably X-MEN VISIONARIES: NEAL ADAMS. After the Lee-Kirby originals, the Steranko and the Adams issues were the ones that were remembered and figured most prominently in the early days of THE ALL NEW, ALL DIFFERENT X-MEN. Co-creator Dave Cockrum had a style of design with some similarities to Steranko and he used odd elements introduced by Steranko, such as Eric the Red as a major villain. Simply, I think Steranko's X-MEN work made others want to work on X-MEN, to bring them back, and we're lucky as fans they fell into the hands of the right talent.

My big question is: will there be enough issues for an ESSENTIAL CLASSIC X-MEN VOL. 3? From what I can see, only if they collect the rest of the original series (which would include Adams' work in black and white) and cobble together all of the X-Men's various guest appearances (the team in CAPTAIN AMERICA & THE FALCON # 172-175; Professor X in DEFENDERS # 15-16; etc) and limited series (such as the Beast stories in AMAZING ADVENTURES) after the cancellation and up to GIANT SIZE X-MEN # 1.


INFINITE CRISIS #7

Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Phil Jimenez, George Perez, Ivan Reis, Joe Bennett, Andy Lanning, Jerry Ordway, Sean Parsons, Art Thibert
Publisher: DC Comics
Reviewer: Prof. Challenger

What was the point of all this crap anyway?

After all that, Batman takes off on a year-long vacation with Dick and Tim, Superman takes a year off to recharge his internal solar battery and regain his powers sapped away by Krypton's red sun, and Wonder Woman flies away to rediscover her "inner Diana." Talk about your anti-climax.

When this series started, that first issue wasn't perfect but it did a good job of setting up the potential for a worthy successor to the original CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS. But with each successive issue, the pieces just kept falling apart and by this last issue it was a total mess. SECRET WARS II level mess. Not only are plot points just mysteriously dropped, but the storytelling became so convoluted that it was near impossible to find consistency and coherency from page to page much less issue to issue. The stench of "too many cooks" just makes this comic reek. I'll point out some details here in a minute. Right now I need to rant just a bit about the lack of any level of thought given to the ramifications of some of the events in this series.

You know, the original reason for the CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS was to "simplify" the DC Universe because the vast multiverse was believed to be impenetrable to new readers. Fine. Like it or not, the state of the DC line right after COIE and MAN OF STEEL was just that - a less complicated world for the most part. Part of the reason for the lessened complications was simply that the characters themselves did not remember the multi-verse. I mean, truly, imagine if you suddenly found yourself in a world where everyone remembered you and your history but it was entirely different than your personal memories and you also knew that literally billions of your fellow alternate-Earth humans were now either dead or worse, never existed. It would drive even the strongest person insane. Yet, now, at the close of INFINITE CRISIS, we have all the pre-CRISIS characters now remembering their pre-CRISIS lives. Yeh. That's less complicated. Now we have Power Girl remembering that she's really the Earth-2 Supergirl and survived the destruction of Krypton and Earth and the pointless death of Kal-L, pummeled to death by a raving teenaged serial killer, and now she's paradoxically coexisting here on the current Earth with Supergirl and the rest of the world remembers an entirely different history about her. Head hurt yet? Mine does. Or how about the last JSA comic related to this where the ghost of the golden age Batman shows up which makes no sense given that even though some characters may "remember" their Earth-2 lives, the creation of the single universe means that the people they "remember" never existed so how is there a Batman ghost? And think once again of the implications here. If there are ghosts of lost characters like the golden age Batman, then does that mean there are ghosts of the golden age Capt. Marvel? How about the golden age Plastic Man? Aquaman? How about the billions and billions of non-super-powered souls roaming around the spirit world confused?

I'm also still confused about which Luthor is which and what happened to the Earth-2 that got recreated and how all the characters who got shuffled over there got shuffled back. As I said, confusing storytelling.

Again, I ask exactly what was the point to INFINITE CRISIS? Was it just to kill tons of worthless characters nobody really gave a crap about before? Was it to make the character of Superboy (whether Connor or Prime) unviable as a character as way of flipping the bird to the family of Jerry Siegel who just won the latest round in their attempt to negate the Transfer of Copyright for Superboy and his derivatives? Was it originally to restore at least a twin-Earth concept to the DC Universe and split the line back out into an Earth-1/Earth-2 continuity? I suspect it was a bit of all of that. But on the topic of the multiverse, it seems pretty obvious that for some reason orders from the top caused a mid-series shift to retain the single universe concept. This was stupid considering that the core comic-buying audience has demonstrated through the success of Marvel's ULTIMATE Line, simultaneously published alongside their mainline comics, that they are perfectly capable and able to support a multiversal publishing concept. But just as DC chickened out in 1986 by reversing their wheels and quashing the plan to restart everything from scratch post-CRISIS, DC pulled the same stunt here once again by chickening out on returning to a viable and limited form of a working multiverse.

But the conceptual problems are not where the idiocy ends. There is a scene in this comic book that is vomit-inducingly so wrong headed I'm just dumbfounded. I'm talking, of course, about the scene where Batman, in a fit of anger, puts a handgun between Alex Luthor's eyes. And it takes neck-snapper Wonder Woman stepping forward to tell Batman that it's not worth it to convince him not to pull the trigger? That is so egregiously wrong! Batman simply does not wield a gun. Even Bob Kane and Bill Finger figured that out and removed the gun from their Batman character very quickly. Just as we don't need a dumbass story preaching about natural law and how it justifies the last moral survivor of a planet executing three criminals to explain why Superman doesn't kill, we sure as hell don't need this story and Wonder Woman telling Batman "It's not worth it" to explain why Batman doesn't put a bullet into Luthor's brain. Batman and guns were settled when he confronted Joe Chill and turned him over to the police rather than exact personal justice.

Even pushed to his limits, Batman does not use a handgun. Period.

But beyond the existential problems and bringing the examination down to the four corners of the page, as a comic itself, the issue bombs. The artwork is all over the place. Over the course of the series, a noticeably silent in the press, Phil Jimenez saw his presence in this comic shrink and shrink. Was he pushed out? Was he too slow? Was he doing his work and having page after page yanked and redrawn by others as the "too many editorial cooks" kept intervening with "better" ideas than Johns and Jimenez had in their original vision for this miniseries? Who knows? DC Corporate does a good job of keeping the talent's mouths closed or at least in lockstep with the press release. Instead we get a disjointed round-robin art job by eight, count 'em, eight different artists! And the range on the art goes from slick and top notch to barely a notch above amateurish. The two-page spread of the villains tearing up Metropolis by Jimenez is nice (at least the characters in the foreground) but the final two-page spread by, I guess, Joe Bennett, is utter crap for a number of reasons beyond just badly drawn figures and faces, but also little things like showing: Hourman flying, when he doesn't fly; or J'onn J'onzz looking like a reject from the CONEHEADS movie; or Capt. Marvel with a pig nose and long hair.

And the writing's not much better sometimes. Get this: Green Lantern tells us all that "The Society has broken open every metahuman prison on the planet. They're declaring war on us. They say if Superman's city falls … the others will follow." Which leads to the two-page spread of gazillions of villains tearing up Metropolis while Aquaman flexes his neck muscles. And they didn't even bother to ink half the spread. Instead they did a color hold on the pencils and just doused it all in red. Time saver, sure, but looks like crap. But we're ready to see the hero vs. villain battle to end all battles, right? Nope. We get a nice shot of the two Supermen defeating Doomsday, but the action shifts into space before the villains are defeated. The defeat of the villains happens ENTIRELY off-camera. We only know it happens because at the end there's a newspaper with the headline: "HEROES SAVE EARTH."

All this crap with Superboy Prime just gets progressively more insane and insipid. At one point, the two Supermen fly Superboy right through the heart of Krypton's red sun. That makes a LOT of sense. The red sun removes Superman's powers, but somehow they all survive a trip through a red sun and crash land on to that weird planet-sized Green Lantern. This turns out to just be one more opportunity to show Superboy Prime spewing blood all over creation as he raves like a super-lunatic. This time the blood is that of the Earth-2 Superman. That's right, the guy strong enough to change and shatter reality just by punching his fists and who just survived flying through a sun! His face gets pulped by this skinny little creep. It's a death with less honor than Capt. Kirk getting killed by a "bridge" falling on him. Gee isn't it ironic? Superman killed by Superboy! The fans will love it!

By the end, there's a little literary callback to the original CRISIS with a scene where the adult Bart Allen passes on the tattered remains of Barry Allen's Flash costume to Jay Garrick, telling him that "You're the fastest man alive again." Basically a copycat of the scene where Wally accepted the mantle of Flash in the original CRISIS. The only scene I really liked in the whole comic was when the real Luthor introduces Joker to Alex Luthor and we watch Joker rather nastily and graphically kill Alex for not including Joker in his little Society game. Not that the scene is very positive, but I've come to so utterly loathe the Alex Luthor character over the course of this series that I was glad to see the Joker take him out. But I absolutely hated hated hated the last page with Superboy having gone from a frightened teenager unable to control his powers to a slobberingly evil villain who stands around supposedly depowered and carves a bloody "S" into his own chest with his own fingernails declaring that he'll get out one day. While slobber drips from his drooling mouth.

I ask once again, what was the point of this incomprehensible crap? If it was to entertain, it failed. If it was to tell a good adventure story, it failed. If it was to advance the characters, it failed. If it was to fix continuity, it failed. If it was to restore heroism as an ideal among the heroes, it failed. If it was to give the golden age Superman one last great adventure, it failed. If it was to further confuse continuity, further darken the heroes, set up plots and not follow through, glorify violence, kill arbitrarily, showcase inconsistent artwork, and generally demonstrate disrespect for 65 years of continuity, then I guess it succeeded at that.

What a waste of potential.


ANNIHILATION: SILVER SURFER #2 (of 4)

Writer: Keith Giffen
Artist: Renato Arlim
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Reviewed by Dave Farabee

I may be genetically predisposed to hate all crossovers and mega-events at the moment, but…

This book is kinda rockin’.

In fact, I’m liking nearly all of Marvel’s ANNIHILATION prelude minis at the moment. RONAN THE ACCUSER is the weak link and I could live without the kid sidekick in SUPER-SKRULL, but I’m definitely digging the cosmic carnage. Shock value deaths that might bother me in an earthbound adventure somehow seem less egregious on a cosmic scale. The entire planet Xandar, and all its Nova Corps, destroyed? Kind of a bummer, but how many episodes of classic STAR TREK opened with starbases, planets, or whole star systems getting snuffed just so’s we’d know how dangerous the newest Romulan ship or the Doomsday Machine or that giant space amoeba were?

So I guess it’s in my blood to roll with the galactic genocide we’re seeing in ANNIHLATION, all the more so if it kicks Norrin Radd – aka the Silver Surfer – out of his perpetual emo funk and enrages him back into the pantheon of cosmic badassery. And so far, I gotta say that writer Keith Giffen is doing a bang-up job. In the first issue, Surfer tangled with agents of the series’ Big Bad, Annihilus, and lost a fellow herald of Galactus in the process. That was Air Walker, I character I never knew beyond his entry in the MARVEL UNIVERSE encyclopedia, but who went out memorably and with style.

Issue 2 opens with more herald skullduggery, this time involving Terrax the Tamer (always dug his visual design), then moves on to the Surfer surveying the remnants of the Skrull Empire decimated by the Annihilation Wave. He finds a lone survivor, a humanoid alien who was a slave to the Skrulls. Giffen gives us the full weight of the carnage, as the alien asks Surfer to take him to the surface of the planet so he can see the destruction for himself. Overcome, he’s ready to stay behind and die himself, even when the Surfer’s offered to take him along.
“Going to adopt me?” the alien asks. “That it, Surfer? You showed up like a biped on a mission. I’d get on with it if I were you. One more dead in all this…who’s to know?”
“I’ll know,” the Surfer tells him.
See, and that right there is how you write Norrin Radd, the man who defied Galactus. And lest you think the book’s veering into the ol’ Silver Surfer sentiment, rest assured that Annihilus’s hounds come looking for Surfer not a few moments later. I’m not wild about how artist Renato Arlem depicts the heavy-duty throwdown that Giffen wrote – he’s got a bit too much of Bendis collaborators like Alex Maleev and Michael Gaydos in him for that level of cosmic hoo-ha – but I like most everything else about his work. Draws a completely alien and menacing Annihilus, very creepy insectoid ships, a nicely restrained Thanos, and as per his Maleev/Gaydos heritage, he does handle the subtlety of the talky scenes quite well. I especially liked that he draws a distinctly furrowed brow on the Silver Surfer in close-ups. I can’t recall other artists drawing lines creasing the Surfer’s gleaming forehead in stories past, but it surely seems fitting given that he’s always been a philosopher in a warrior’s body. A good thinker’s gotta have a troubled brow.

As Surfer and the alien encounter several other heralds of Galactus and a plan begins to take shape, there are also several fine scenes with Thanos. Thanos is pleasantly laying low in this story, paying respect to Annihilus’s obvious surge in power, but he’s definitely starting to bristle as of this issue. I liked the menace lurking behind the pair’s conversation and the sense that Thanos, as ever, is scheming to turn the situation to his advantage. Giffen’s great with this kind of stuff, and my mind drifted back to a terrific confrontation he once wrote during the LEGION’s “Five Years Later” run in the 90s: Cosmic Boy facing off with Mordru in a war of words over the course of a formal dinner. Giffen seems to’ve found just the right balance between cosmic philosophizing and cosmic action.

Only negatives to the ish…color’s a little gloomy, Firelord’s redesign is pretty “eh”, and the one-page aside with Galactus was so brief as to suggest one of those “reminds me of the time…” non-sequiturs on FAMILY GUY. This is a character who’s literally too big for cameos. You include him, he’s gotta have three pages. Minimum!

But I’m a pretty happy camper for the most part. I was a bit down on Giffen as purveyor of cosmic fare after his DRAX miniseries played out on a decidedly small scale, but he’s definitely gettin’ his cosmic on at the moment. I’m even liking the hero/villain profiles in the back of the book, meant to be files from the Nova Corps’ Worldmind. Check out this aside from their profile on the Big G:
“Galactus is at his weakest between feedings. The Worldmind has suggested the possibility of luring Galactus to a world and destroying it before he has a chance to feed, leaving him with little energy to fight off a full assault.”
Not a bad plan. Too bad the Nova Corps got flattened, eh?


OUTSIDERS #36

Writer: Judd Winick
Pencils: Matthew Clark
Inks: Art Thibert
Publisher: DC Comics
Reviewer: Ambush Bug

Judd Winick is one of those writers I just want to shake the shit out of. I’ve read good Judd Winick books. I’ve read bad Judd Winick books. I understand that the guy has proven to be tougher than we all originally thought. I was one of those who scoffed at his stuff knowing that he was a former REAL WORLD-er. But the guy stuck through all of that. He made the mildly entertaining BARRY WEEN and the powerfully gripping/over-the-top schmaltzy (depending on who you talk to) PEDRO AND ME. Then the guy plopped into the big time when he took over the writing chores on GREEN LANTERN. Since then, Winick has become one of the premiere writers at DC, handling such big guns as BATMAN, SHAZAM, and GREEN ARROW. All the while, the guy seems to be one of those who loves to fight for this cause or that cause. Sometimes these causes seep into his stories. Other times, his books focus on pure, high-octane action. The strongest of Winick’s offerings have always been his action-oriented issues. These issues focus on movement and rhythm, slugfests and battle royales, tension and turmoil. It’s the kind of stuff that makes comic book reading exciting and fun. I’ve liked a lot of Winick’s stuff, but I have found that the guy often sabotages his own work by falling into the same old and tired potholes. And when I see someone continuously making the same mistakes over and over, I’m first in the bunch to roll his eyes and let loose an exasperated, Charlie Brown-like…

AAAARRRRRRGGHHH!!!!

So I’m reading this latest issue of OUTSIDERS and I’m thinking it’s not bad. I kind of like the roster. Even though Nightwing is supposed to be busy being poorly written by Bruce Jones and kicking it with Jason Todd in New York in his own series, Nightwing somehow finds the time to lead a ragtag group of adventurers on a secret mission in Africa...

AAAARRRRRRGGHHH!!!!

Continuity aside, I like the idea of Nightwing taking over for Batman to lead the Outsiders. It’s a much better place for him than the already tread path of New York City or the Robin-lead Titans. On top of that, former Outsiders Katana and Metamorpho have been added to the mix, along with Black Lightning’s daughter Thunder. This harkens back to an age when I first started reading DC comics with the original Outsiders lineup. Sure, new additions Faith, the super strong bar bouncer and the new Captain Boomerang (the original’s son) may not be the most obvious of choices to round out the team, but I’ll take them over former snooze-inducing Outsiders Jade, Indigo, and Shift any old day.

So after the first few issues of this OYL business, we find our team of Outsiders in Africa. Thunder has been undercover and sleeping with a murderous dictator…

AAAARRRRRRGGHHH!!!!

We get a load of exposition regarding this military group’s heinous crimes against the people. It’s as if Winick saw HOTEL RAWANDA on HBO one Sunday afternoon and said, “Gol-durnnit, I got myself a new idea fer one-a them thar funny book stories.” (for some reason, in my world, Judd Winick sounds just like Jethro from the BEVERLY HILLBILLIES)...

AAAARRRRRRGGHHH!!!!

Once the Outsiders’ cover is blown, Nightwing and the team do battle with a bunch of non-powered African soldiers. Seems the group doesn’t hesitate to kill as trucks are thrown around, soldiers are sliced and diced, and the army is generally blowed-up real good…

AAAARRRRRRGGHHH!!!!

But after all of the human carnage, lapses in morality, news-clipping, and continuity flubs, we get this issue: issue #36, which is a pretty kick-@$$ issue if you ignore all that came before it.

Basically, out of nowhere, a speedster appears and kicks the seeping snot out of the Outsiders. Now that we’ve all read INFINITE CRISIS, we know that the speed force no longer exists and there’re only a scant few speedsters left in the DCU. What ensues is a slugfest of the highest order, highlighting Winick’s strength in telling a compelling action story. The team is taken down with precision and the counter-strikes by the still-standing Outsiders are intelligently and deftly executed. This is action that not only pushes the story forward, but tells the readers about the characters as well. Captain Boomerang Jr. is especially made out to be pretty formidable, as is Black Lightning’s daughter Thunder. The action they partake in within this issue makes me want to see more of this duo (which is exactly what a comic book should do).

The big reveal at the end made me scratch my head quite a bit. I’m not sure how this event can take place simultaneously with what’s going on in the current issues of JSA…

AAAARRRRRRGGHHH!!!!

But the big reveal in this issue, the events coming out of INFINITE CRISIS, and the fact that no one really knows who the new Flash is going to be in the new series, proposes quite a few interesting questions.

All in all, this was a pretty great slugfest issue, drawn nicely by Matthew Clark and inked by Art Thibert. This issue had a gritty look to it. The lines aren’t as defined which fits with the mood of the story. Clark and Thibert make some really great panels together, allowing each member of the team to shine. The art team’s depiction of Metamorpho is especially good and Thunder has never looked better in her Black Lightning spin-off costume.

Again, if Winick would just put the headlines away and focus on where his strength seems to lie, he wouldn’t leave such a bad taste in so many readers’ mouths. No one likes to be preached to and any Winick book tackling social issues is proof positive that real world, straight from the headlines, non-veiled problems shouldn’t be dealt with directly in the fantastic world of comics. A great and poignant story can be told. Issues could be addressed. But Winick does so too literally and sometimes a little finesse can go a long way towards adding to the effectiveness of the point one is trying to make. But as long as Winick continues to square-peg-round-hole social issues and straight from the headlines events into his stories, people are going to be turned off before they even get a chance to see that this writer does have strengths and a possible bright future in comics.


CIVIL WAR #1

Writer: Mark Millar
Penciler: Steve McNiven
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Reviewed by Humphrey Lee

So, another giant crossover "event" is upon us and that leaves me feeling the same way I always do whenever these things happen....wondering if we're really just that one step closer to the constant barrage of these things like in the mid-90's that made me quit comics for a rather long while.

But I have to give credit to those behind these HOUSE OF M's, and INFINITE CRISES, and now CIVIL WAR. Both of the Big Two are at least putting very solid creative talent behind these events, making me feel a little less apprehensive when they come out. How they end up working out is a different story, but they do always manage to sucker me in with a little hope when they're announced. And, to Marvel's credit, they haven't made me feel like I need to buy a dozen extra titles or so in order to follow along this CIVIL WAR of their's, unlike DC's INFINITE CRISIS. That's not really an endorsement of Marvel's handling of their events though, because as we saw with HOUSE OF M, while they may be somewhat more linear and easier to follow, they've also seemed very hastily thrown together as a means of "keeping up with the Jonzes" so to speak.

But enough rambling on about the current state of the comics world, how was the book?

I'd say overall, it was a solid book, but had its fair share of problems.

Now, to get started, I'll say that I honestly think the overall plot of this story is a solid one. We've seen the idea of superhero registration before as it's made for some classic X-MEN yarns. Expanding it out to the whole of the Marvel Universe seems like a completely logical step, and I'm somewhat surprised we've never really seen it before (though wasn't there something like this in an old Alpha Flight series? Oh well, who cares, they're dead). It genuinely is a "unique" story in that it really is one that seems like it could only be told in a Universe like Marvel, given their roster of characters, and the old stories that piece it together. So, the big picture is very promising, but it's when we get to the way events unfold that I have some issues.

The first thing is that I think there's just too many individuals involved in this tale being seen doing stuff out of character. The registration act is kicked off by an event involving the New Warriors, now the centerpiece of a reality TV show where they take down bad guys ala a super powered version of COPS, as they royally screw up a gig and cause the deaths of a large sum of civilians, mostly school children. Right off the bat, while I know the New Warriors aren't exactly a group that makes books fly off the shelves, to deny that they have a rather lengthy run in the MU and depict them as immaturely and incompetently as they are when taking down a group of C-list super villains is somewhat uncalled for. The scenario itself involving such a horrible incident is definitely a powerful way of kicking this event off. But I don't see the need to pretty much ignore a good decade or so of character development to start it off. I don't care how goofy the names or costumes are, if there's such a large amount of history there, don't just ignore it. At least show some respect to your characters.

Okay, with that out of the way I can say that I do think Millar does take good advantage of the following pages to bring up some good debate amongst the costume individuals that are going to be directly affected by this. There's a bit of a nice job bringing out the tensions between the fellow superheroes as some of them want to wash their hands of each other, some are genuinely scared by the implications of this new registration law, and some are simply angry that things have gotten to this point in their little community. I'm not really sure I needed Millar to create what is basically a comic version of Cindy Sheehan and spend a couple pages with a "media mom" that apparently is the single focal point of the people marching on Washington to get this law moving, but it also seems to be a plot component that is necessary to drive this law home since it is the whole purpose of this story. And I'm not exactly sure I also buy a group of civilians turning and attacking Johnny Storm the way they did, the man is a popular celebrity and has helped saved their world many, many times. But then again I've seen real citizens simply bat their eyes at the civilian casualties abroad caused by our little war overseas, and yet get irate over gas prices going up a quarter. Who the hell knows how people would react if this situation actually occurred in "real life?”

The conflict between Captain America and SHIELD is interesting enough, and it makes total sense that Captain America would be opposed to this the way he is. Plus it also results in one of the most badass action sequences I've seen in a comic since I read that latest issue of NEXTWAVE. Plus I think it goes a long way towards making this Angelina Jolie look-alike Director of SHIELD a bigger character in the Marvel Universe, so at least she finally has a point. She's been so disposable I can't even remember her name and I'll be glad when she's finally gone. But while, again, this scenario between Cap and SHIELD makes sense, I still really can't see how and why Iron Man and Cap are just going to turn on each other over this. After all they've been through, and the camaraderie that has grown between them after all these years, just like that Tony is going to turn government stooge and be the guy to bring "outlaw" Captain America in? They're really going to have to work hard to make me believe this. Not saying that there isn't some good justification that can be pounded out here, but right now, I don't think we've got enough to go on.

So, okay, I'm conflicted about the execution of this book. It happens. Not every book is perfect, and these events rarely ever go smoothly. You want to know what I'm not conflicted on at all? It's my being able to say that Steve McNiven is easily one of the top five pencilers in the business right now. Seriously, if you want to see what the standard of comic book art should be, you come see this guy. It's just all there. Proportion, detail, diversity in facial features and body types, great dynamic between the panels, highly kinetic action sequences, lush backgrounds and detail in them. Honestly, if you can find fault in his art, I'd really like to hear it. Because this is the kind of stuff that should be earning such high profile jobs. This book is worth the four bucks alone because of his pencils.

So, there it goes. The first shot is fired and while it wasn't a bulls eye it at least hit the target. I think this could still be pulled together into a very tight tale that earns it all the hype verbal kiss-@$$ing it's going to get all over the place, but it's got a lot of work to do. "Oh cool" moments do not a classic make. It's tight and meaningful storytelling that do. Let's get more of that and we might finally have an event to come out of this age of overhype and hubabalo that really earns it.


THE NEW AVENGERS ANNUAL #1

Brian Michael Bendis: Writer
Olivier Coipel: Artist
Marvel Comics: Publisher
Vroom Socko: Best Man

(Note: Yes, this book came out several weeks ago. But my shop only just got it in, and I feel like talking about it. You got a problem with that?)

I have to admit I was a bit leery of picking this up, yet I really couldn’t help myself. On the one hand, it’s a part of Jessica Jones’ story, and with ALIAS easily being the highlight of Bendis’ career I just couldn’t pass it up. On the other hand, it’s widely known that I think of DISASSEMBLED as Bendis’ low point, and that I’m not a fan of what he’s done to the Avengers. I think his Iron Man is a one-dimensional control freak. I think that Spider-Man, who could work as an Avenger, has been terribly mishandled. (I can relate to a Peter Parker who’s constantly juggling a difficult yet loving marriage, a low paying yet satisfying job, and a superhero persona who defends a city where half the people hate his guts. Peter the corporate yes-man who lives in a Manhattan penthouse that’s beyond even J. Jonah Jameson’s dreams? Not so much.) And as for Spider-Woman, the Sentry, and Wolverine… It’s not so much that I don’t like them as Avengers so much as I want to see the characters die in a public, humiliating fashion, (preferably involving super strong, horny monkeys,) and then have their skulls turned into end lamps, their tattered costumes made into the lampshades.

So yeah, I was expecting to read this story to enjoy the ALIAS stuff, while grimacing horridly over these “New” Avengers. What a kick in the gonads it was to find that the exact opposite happened.

Not since Kurt Busiek left the title have I had this much fun reading an AVENGERS book. The bulk of this story is a battle between the team and the Super-Adaptoid. (No, not that Adaptoid. She used to be the Black Widow. No, not THAT Widow. The other one. Where was I?) This version forgoes the green amalgamated look, instead resembling some sort of cross between a lion and DC character Metamorpho. The best news, however, is that she’s not here to crash the wedding. Nobody crashes the wedding. I know that it’s a Marvel tradition, but having the actual nuptials go off without a hitch was a refreshing change of pace.

What I loved about this fight is how pretty much each character has a moment to shine. Spidey proves that he can be smarter than Tony Stark at times. What little panel time Wolverine has helps to show just how good a team player he’s become over the years. Iron Man has what is simply the best visual moment in the book. Spider-Woman has her recent past bite her on the ass big time. And while I really, really don’t like the character, even I have to admit that the way Bendis used the Sentry here was beyond cool.

But it was the wedding that I bought this book for, and it’s in this scene that the book falls flat for me. There’s a fake-out here that I really thought was going to pay off amazingly, and instead there’s some of the sappiest dialogue I’ve seen in my life. I realize that it’s her wedding, but Jessica Jones and saccharine simply don’t mix. It simply doesn’t work. Add in the fact that there’s yet ANOTHER “to be continued in…” blurb at the end frustrates me.

I think I’m done buying comics featuring Jessica Jones. Not because I all of a sudden hate her, or that this one weak installment has damaged her somehow. It’s just that her story is now over, and there’s no point on going on any further. If I may compare Jessica to a movie, her story is like… let’s say American Graffiti. If ALIAS was the movie proper, then THE PULSE was (at least after Gaydos returned,) the scene in the airport parking lot and that last glimpse of the white T-Bird. This issue, then, would be the card saying that John Milner was killed two years later by a drunk driver. As far as I’m concerned, this is where the ride ends. To read on (and to drive this metaphor completely into the pavement,) would be like trying to watch More American Graffiti, where you’re watching people you once knew uncomfortably, all the while wondering just how the leader of the Pharaohs and Toad ended up in the same unit in Nam.

But as for the AVENGERS… I’m still not fond of this lineup, and there’s still some stuff in the regular title that irks me. But if Bendis ever decides to write about the Avengers I do care about; Hawkeye, Yellowjacket, Wonder Man, and guys like that, then based on how he handles the team dynamic here I’ll be on that book in an instant.


EAGLE: THE MAKING OF AN ASIAN-AMERICAN PRESIDENT

Creator: Kaiji Kawaguchi
Publisher: Viz
Reviewer: Dan Grendell

How far is too far to see a dream realized?

An overview of the complete series

This is perhaps one of the best looks at politics, in any format, that I've ever come across. The backstabbing, double dealing, dealmaking, bribery and smooth talking - and that's just from the politician we’re intended to like!- is truly revolting, but at the same time incredibly engaging. Comparisons to the WEST WING television show are perhaps inevitable, and EAGLE stands right there alongside it in quality, even surpassing it in some ways. Places the WEST WING feared to go, EAGLE heads directly into, and emerges a better story for it.

The plot focuses around Takashi Jo, a young Japanese reporter whose mother dies somewhat mysteriously. Soon after, he is called to America by Senator Kenneth Yamaoka, a Japanese-American Democratic Senator who is making a play for the Presidency and wishes Takashi to witness the entire process. Takashi is confused as to why he would be chosen until Yamaoka reveals that he is Takashi's father, from a dalliance during the Vietnam War, but that such a secret could destroy his chances at winning. Yamaoka's current family, a billionaire banker's daughter and two children, have no idea who Takashi is, though his wife suspects...

The manga follows Yamaoka's travails along the campaign trail through Takashi's eyes as well as his developing familial relations with his father and new siblings, including the romance that develops between him and his unknowing half-sister (don't worry, she was adopted, though I'm sure that still makes everyone go yuck). As he sees what his father is willing to do to become President, Takashi begins to wonder about the man, and the difference between the beliefs he espouses that Takashi agrees so strongly with and his actions that bother the reporter so much. Can a non-white man actually become President in America? Is what is required actually something Takashi wants to condone? He holds the ace, he knows all the secrets - what will he do?

The art in EAGLE is wonderful, easily conveying all of the complex emotions and ideas required in a very realistic and believable manner. A major reason the story is so compelling is that the art draws you in and makes you feel as if these people could truly exist. Especially well done are moments when the politicians make speeches or otherwise incite emotions - you can really feel that stirring coming from them, that aura of command. Superb.

EAGLE is one of those manga that ties romance and drama and mystery and action into one compelling story that will hold your rapt attention for hours on end. If it doesn't make you think when you finish, you probably didn't think much when you started.


WORMWOOD: GENTLEMAN CORPSE - THE TASTER #0

Writer & artist: Ben Templesmith
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Reviewer: Ambush Bug

Horror comics. Love ‘em. I’ve always loved ‘em. My first comics weren’t really superhero comics. They were HOUSE OF MYSTERY, TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED, and the like. There’s something about those old stories that stood out to me and engrained themselves into my mind. The way the artwork crept between and around the panels. The spooky subject matter. The gruesome images. Love ‘em. Love ‘em. Love ‘em.

Today’s horror comics? Not bad, really. But I find more often than not, despite a good, scary premise, today’s horror comics don’t really understand how to take advantage of the medium enough to have the same scary effect those old books had. Y’see, there are a lot of zombie/alien/monster/scary books out there that don’t really understand that horror relies on the senses to be effective. The best horror relies on sight and sounds in order to creep out the viewer. Since you can’t really do audible sound in comics (word balloons and other text doesn’t count, it’s about feeling not explanation), you have to rely on what you see, or rather, what you don’t see to send that cold shiver down the reader’s spine. Horror is about the unknown. Something unexpected happens. Something creeps from the darkness, and before you know it, its bony fingers are wrapped around your throat. Horror makes you feel alone, in the dark, with no one to help you. So when you’re talking about horror in comics, bright panels and crisp lines don’t really do the trick. It’s what you don’t see or what you think you see that frightens you. Think of the best horror movies. Were they brightly lit or bathed in darkness? There are some that understand this. Bill Sienkiewicz, Ashley Wood, Eric Powell, Kyle Hotz, even Charlie Adlard in WALKING DEAD. Ben Templesmith is another.

Most famous for his work with Steve Niles on 30 DAYS OF NIGHT, Ben Templesmith is the type of artist that you either love or hate. His multimedia style combines drawing, painting, and computer manipulation. In the past, Templesmith has taken some flack because his panels were a bit too murky and sometimes, I must admit, it was hard to understand what was going on in the panel because it was filled with so much darkness and obscurity. But to me, that added to the palpable feeling of dread and horror that were often the subjects of Templesmith’s books. I can understand the disdain some may have for the work. Comics fans especially do not like to not understand something. A panel with nothing but some smears and a flash of glowing pointy teeth is not the easiest to understand when layered with murks and shades, but like I said before, I feel that good horror is about the unknown, so Templesmith’s style never really bothered me.

Those critics who think that Templesmith’s panels are too obscure and murky may want to check out his new offering WORMWOOD: GENTLEMAN CORPSE. Templesmith’s style has cleaned up a bit since 30 DAYS. There is a stronger line and the characters can be distinguished from the backgrounds more. Templesmith still has a firm grasp on making the panels look creepy, but this issue marks the artist coming into his own and honing his particular style. The tone of this story is kind of light, but the shaded and stylistic content within the panels makes the mood all the creepier as you scan the page.

And what about the story? Well, this is my first experience with Wormwood, but it looks as if he is actually some kind of sentient Mr. Mind-like worm who crawls into a corpse and reanimates and lives through it. Or at least, that’s what it appears. This one shot doesn’t really go into the origins of Wormwood, it just throws him into a weird little adventure. At Wormwood’s side is Mr. Pendulum, a robot who plays straight-man to the wisecracking worm/zombie star of the book. In this issue, we also have Medusa, an undead stripper whose snake-like tattoos can come to life and attack at will. All of these characters are creative and cool. In this issue, our gruesome trio faces Triffid-like aliens who plant themselves into the bodies of the patrons of a strip joint and sprout out of their mouths when they hatch. This makes for a great visual, one that I’m not doing justice describing it here in this review.

This issue is in the same vein as Eric Powell’s THE GOON and Steve Niles’ CAL MCDONALD mysteries. If you’re a fan of those books, you’ll probably dig this one. It’s some pretty top notch horror compared to the rest of the stuff out there. These characters have loads of potential and this comic leads into a full miniseries to be released soon. Based on this one shot, I definitely going to be picking that miniseries up when it comes out.


THIEVES & KINGS Vol. 1

Writer/Artist: Mark Oakley
Published by: I Box Publishing
Reviewed by Dave Farabee

For reasons vague and shadowy, I’ve managed to review comics for five years at Ain’t-It-Cool-News without once providing a full review of one of my all-time favorites: Mark Oakley’s THIEVES & KINGS. Truth is, I’ve often entertained grand plans of reviewing the entire series. Why, I’d cover all five trades in a single all-encompassing mega-review! It would shake the heavens and THIEVES & KINGS would be topping Diamond’s sales charts the following week! But it turns out, that thought was a touch over-ambitious for me. At the same time, this is series best enjoyed from the beginning. Reviewing a single issue always felt a bit too much like reviewing a random chapter from LORD OF THE RINGS. What to do, what to do?

All’s I know is that it’s been five years, dammit, and if I pass up the chance to talk up the best fantasy comic on the market one more time, I don’t know why the hell I’m reviewing in the first place. So let’s do this thing, but let’s keep it a bit modest. Just the first trade for now. It’s good enough to stand on its own...

At its heart, THIEVES & KINGS is a what I’d call a swashbuckler with insight. With a teen rogue named Rubel as its lead, an imp named Varkias at his side, its fairy tale setting plays host to rich characterization, the derring-do of Zorro, the visual humor of Chaplin, and a sharp point of view on both people and politics. Self-published since its debut in ’94, it delves into those Big Things that have long enamored fantasy writers – the world-building, the threatened kingdoms, the hairsbreadth escapes. At the same time, what makes it unique, what makes it so wonderfully readable, is that it’s more concerned with the small things even when Big Things are afoot.

Visually, THIEVES & KINGS doesn’t particularly look like any other book on the shelf. That’s a plus.

Its fully painted covers look like this.
Its interiors sometimes go the straight up sequential route (note the Miyazaki/anime flavor)…
…but at other times switch over to illustrated text, ala Sim’s CEREBUS.
And let’s not forget those pages where the art can really breathe! Like this one, or this creepy little number, or hey, howsabout this cool-lookin’ pirate ship!
The net effect is that reading THIEVES & KINGS is an experience. What it lacks in slickness, it more than makes up for with its unified, single-creator vision of a land as imaginative as Oz, Narnia, or Middle Earth. It’s a fairly progressive setting for a swords ‘n’ sorcery yarn, with Renaissance-era flourishes, the occasional gunpowder weapon, and guards whose uniforms wouldn’t look out of place in the 17th century France of THE THREE MUSKETEERS. I get annoyed when I’m aware of the world-building going on in a fantasy story, but with THIEVES & KINGS, the workings of the world unfold naturally and only when relevant to the characters.

Rubel himself is a free-spirited, 14-year-old thief just come back to his homeland of Oceansend after four years at sea. You hear “thief” and you think “pickpocket”, or at best “the class that’s good at backstabbing in RPGs”, but in THIEVES & KINGS, the word’s ultimately invoked as an almost transcendent description of one who lives outside of society’s laws, beholden only to his own heart. And Rubel’s heart is about to be put to the test, as he returns home to find his only relative – his grandfather- dead, his childhood friends married off or moved away, and a witch-like woman called the Shadow Lady taking a keen interest in his misfortunes. From a flashback, we know he forged an unlikely friendship with the princess of the land before going to sea, but there are whispers that madness has overtaken her…

If the story sounds like somewhat familiar fairy tale fare, don’t be fooled: the execution is where the book shines. One of my favorite sequences, for example, is a straight dialogue scene that has nothing to do with standard fantasy tropes. In it, Rubel’s trying to convince his literal-minded imp, Varkias, that the stories he’s going to tell the princess are actually their own kind of treasure. Take a look (you don’t need to read the text part):

I love that Varkias sounds like everyone’s best friend - when they were ten - and that the dialogue in THIEVES & KINGS, like Simonson’s THOR run, eschews the tired traditions of Ye Olde English in favor of colloquial wit. I also love that the fantasy names aren’t cribbed from the Robert E. Howard tradition or laden with ridiculous apostrophes. Instead, we get familiar names, but laced with some character: Islen Porter, Dyme Dun Tate, and Captain McGovern. The strangest name is Quinton Zempfester, and when he gets his due in the second volume, you’ll see how well he earns it. There are moments of realism, as when a ship’s contract becomes a major issue over whether Rubel can return home, and moments of pure fantasy as when Oakley, like fantasy’s Grant Morrison, casually drops ideas like a device for talking to birds, or Varkias’s transformation into iron (“He had never heard of an imp turning into metal before,” the text tells us of Rubel, “But it seemed like the sort of thing an imp might well do.”)

And yes, there’s action, big time, crazy-imaginative action! Rooftop chases, swords blocked with feather pillows, Varkias swatting a musketeer’s face with a rose, and one very nasty dagger through the ball-and-socket joint of a shoulder. Despite Oakley’s lighter tone and clear love of high adventure and humor, there’s always a sense of danger – that the story might go from “Jack and the Beanstalk” to a true Grimm’s fairy tale if the characters don’t watch themselves. Thematically, the trade, and really the entire series, pits youthful idealism against the harsh realities of the adult world, the push/pull growing increasingly complex as the series goes on.

I cannot recommend it enough.

There are times when the text pieces, written with a straightforwardness that makes the series very all-ages, offer up truly sly and heartfelt observations about the workings of the world. There are times when the dialogue is as funny as anything I’ve ever read in a comic. And the characters are second to none. Rubel, Varkias, Quinton, Heath, and The Shadow Lady are all eminently approachable, the approachability belying a well-roundedness that becomes deeply satisfying as the series progresses.

Need a bit more convincing? Oakley’s website has more information on the world he’s created and buying the book if your shop doesn’t have it. More importantly, there’s an entire issue available for free. No Rubel in this one, but it’s got his imp, Varkias, and another one of the series’ leads, the plucky, would-be sorceress Heath.


SENTINELS VOLUMES 1-3

Written by: Rich Bernatovech
Illustrated by: Luciano Vecchio
Published by: Drumfish Productions
Reviewed by: superhero

Several weeks ago (probably more than a month ago) Erik Larsen discussed why crossover events in mainstream comic books had become irrelevant in his online weekly column at comicbookresources.com. He touched on the fact that it’s crossover events themselves and the very nature of corporate backed comic books which have ended up making the characters whose tales they told completely irrelevant. He inferred that it’s the very nature of the Marvel and DC comics beast that has made the stories about mainstream comic heroes lack relevance or meaning. The problem is that as soon as a life changing event occurs in a mainstream book it will more than likely be invalidated by another writer within the span of several months to several years. Meaning that nothing in today’s mainstream books really sticks or has any meaning because it’s all at the whim of either the comic character’s corporate sponsor or the rotating turnstile of writers who impose their own ideals on long established characters. So, quite honestly, why should readers give a flying fig if Spider-Man’s got a new costume or if there’s some crazy Infinite Civil War that’s going to invade the mainstream comic universe? In a couple of years it’ll all be rendered meaningless by another House of Crisis or by whatever writer decides that Spider-Man will become the next Dark Phoenix. So why should fans care in the first place?

It’s a discussion I’ve had several times with the guy who runs my comic shop. Every time he sees me getting steamed about some ridiculous concept or another, like Spider- Armor, he just tells me to relax because in a little while another writer will come in and write something else and it won’t matter anyway. In other words: you shouldn’t care in the first place because in the end it just doesn’
Readers Talkback
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  • May 10, 2006, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Huh?

    by creepyCritic

  • May 10, 2006, 12:08 p.m. CST

    sweet

    by blackthought

  • May 10, 2006, 12:23 p.m. CST

    Jennie Breeden is the clerk at my local comic shop.

    by rev_skarekroe

    And yet I've never read The Devil's Panties. Also, old school writers used to have talking heads and action at the same time in every single issue.

  • May 10, 2006, 12:24 p.m. CST

    Pity Prof. Challenged Reviewed IC 7...

    by DukeOfSpiders

    ...instead of Dave or "Bug." We might've gotten a review by someone who actually comprehends what he reads.

  • May 10, 2006, 12:26 p.m. CST

    IC: Worse than Infinite Constipation

    by dino_hardbody

    I gotta say: It blew. Dear G-d it blew. I was so looking forward to a thrilling conclusion. I really wanted them to pull through. I really, really did. But WTF?! They the Big 3 just take a vacation? That's it? S-boy is imprisoned. Yeah, that'll last like what, 3 weeks? Do we really want to see that pig-head little snot have another go at making a big bang? What a huge fucking waste of money. Ya' know, its this kind of shite that makes long time reader just pick up and leave. Whats the point of dropping $20 (min) every week if the big mother-fucking conclusion of a 2 1/2 year story is a nice long vacation for the 3 Big Pussys and a rehash of Joker's electric buzzer scene from Batman. Ooooohhhh, the excitement! assholes. Fuck you DC. Fuck you, you fucking clownshoes. Fuck you long and hard.

  • May 10, 2006, 12:27 p.m. CST

    "how did the plastique go off in DKR4?"

    by Bootskin

    With a rifle. :)

  • May 10, 2006, 12:29 p.m. CST

    IC: Worse than Infinite Constipation, part 2.

    by dino_hardbody

    Oh, I forgot! The art. Christ, what a mess. FUCK YOU DC!!

  • May 10, 2006, 12:32 p.m. CST

    Yeah, that Batman threatening someone with a gun...

    by superhero

    Was absolute Bullshit. BULLSHIT I SAY! It made the whole book reek of Batshit and ended up ruining the climax for me. It's been established that Batman hates guns and considers them a coward's weapon because HIS PARENTS WERE KILLED WITH A GUN! He's practically compulsive in his disgust for guns and would only use them in the most dire of circumstances and probably not even then. Screw that. UGH. It made me sick.

  • May 10, 2006, 12:39 p.m. CST

    A question for my fellow talkbackers

    by chrth

    I just read the first TPB of Whedon's Astonishing X-men. Does it get better or worse?

  • May 10, 2006, 12:43 p.m. CST

    Answer

    by dino_hardbody

    Worse. Dangous (Or Danger or whatever) was overall pretty lousy. Weak story. Just try and borrow it from a buddy. Astonishing rocked. Really loved it. Haven't read the new stuff yet. Waiting for TPB.

  • May 10, 2006, 12:57 p.m. CST

    "Batman does not use a handgun. Period."

    by PVIII

    I believe he also used a handgun/ rifle in "The Cult."

  • May 10, 2006, 1:13 p.m. CST

    So does Punisher Team up with Diver Dan?

    by cookylamoo

  • May 10, 2006, 1:15 p.m. CST

    re: Astonishing for, chrth

    by The Heathen

    Depends on who you talk to and it depends on how you felt about it. I think the consensus is that the second arc is good, but not as good as the first. The third is only two issues in, but I'm liking it (and the book in general) a lot so far.

  • May 10, 2006, 1:16 p.m. CST

    mouse guard preview

    by Acne Scarface

    that link features an index of tiny unclikable pages. happened in the original review, too. just sayin'.

  • May 10, 2006, 1:19 p.m. CST

    I have to disagree about Jessica Jones

    by dwam0

    Vroom, I have to disagree with you about Jessica. I thinks she still hasn't found her place in life and I would love to see her trying to be a wife and mother while figuring out what she wants to do with the rest of her life. She could fit in with the New Avengers as a sounding board when they are trying to figure someting out. Or she could take up with the gang at XFactor and continue being a detective. And I may be in the minority, but I don't think she's come to grips with her fear of the Purple Man and she would HAVE to know that he wasn't a threat to her or her child.

  • May 10, 2006, 1:22 p.m. CST

    "Dave Cockrum...some similarities to Steranko..."

    by duanejones

    why, yes -- i believe they both used pencils...this is a joke, right? on a less snarky note, it's messers. adams and (windsor-)smith who make this last period of _x-men v. 1.0_ soar, much as i loves me some jimmy. on a much less snarky note, i heard d.c. wasn't in good health lately. hope he's doing better -- but for him, messers. claremont and byrne, and their collective work on _x-men 2.0_ from the legendary giant size #1 onwards, i very much doubt there'd be much of a marvel comics nowadays, much (MUCH!) less a, ahem, "marvel entertainment"...

  • May 10, 2006, 1:25 p.m. CST

    Prof....

    by Psynapse

    Your review loses ALL credibility when you can't even keep the facts straight in the damn review. SuperBOY killed SuperMAN. Not only that but your declaration of utter failure is just sad. I agree with EVERY point regarding the production but you missed the point ENTIRELY. IC was to address DC's ENTIRE publishing history with these characters and it did that as well as it could given said publishing history. Could it have been better? You betcha. Was it the utter failure you declare it? HELL NO.

  • May 10, 2006, 1:26 p.m. CST

    Acne, you may want to try...

    by Dave_F

    ...not using a Speak & Spell as your internet browser. Kiddin', man! However, I just tested the MOUSE GUARD link on my work computer and the images pull up just fine for me. Maybe you need to adjust your browser settings?

  • May 10, 2006, 1:28 p.m. CST

    welcome back to the world of reviewing dave...

    by blackthought

    i liked that black coat art...my b/w art never turns out looking like that...you know, good.

  • May 10, 2006, 1:50 p.m. CST

    Dave? On the tb?

    by The Heathen

    It's Dave!!!!! I read 100% a few weeks ago and I think I want to marry it and forgo a life of polygamy. *** Psy, agree 100% (hee, hee) with what you said addressing, Prof's review. I couldn't think of how to say it, but not even knowing what Lex is really Lex at the end of this story (where one is clearly standing next to the Joker who is killing the other) is just too uninformed and not worthy of writing the final review of this particular series. That said, I do agree with Prof and Psy about the production of this series. It had a steady decline from the beginning. JSA was a mindfuck though. I think everybody can agree on that. *** I look forward to 5 more @$$holes!!! Way to go!

  • May 10, 2006, 2 p.m. CST

    Infinite Crisis DID fail...

    by superhero

    It was just a mess. A slobbering ranting mess of a comic with small neat scenes intermingled here and there. As a whole it just dropped the ball. This mini-series insures that I will never, ever give a crap about crossover books again (which I didn't until this one for some reason). Screw 'em. I gave DC my faith and they stepped on it. Screw event books and screw DC and Marvel. It's almost ruined my taste for the mainstrem books altogether. And One Year Later hasn't really restored my faith either. Talk about another lame assed mess. JSA is more boring than it's ever been and the Batman books, which were interesting to start with, are just tired and strangely uncompelling. Don't even get me started on Teen Titans. The only thing that keeps me buying these books is my pathetic addiction to superhero comics. I am truly a sad individual. I suck. It's true.

  • May 10, 2006, 2:03 p.m. CST

    HELL YEAH!! HERE'S TO 5 MORE YEARS!!!!

    by Psynapse

    WORD (bitches). Much love to ALL of the @$$holes (and my COGS yo!).

  • May 10, 2006, 2:13 p.m. CST

    I will say it DID fail....

    by Psynapse

    to sell me on 52. Fuck that noise.

  • May 10, 2006, 2:21 p.m. CST

    Anyone know any good comic book podcasts?

    by Ray Garraty #47

    Would any of you know of a good comic book podcast I could subscribe to? I'm more interested in the creative process but any discussions of certain titles or interviews with artists/writers would fit as well. Thanks

  • May 10, 2006, 2:34 p.m. CST

    Podcasts

    by superhero

    Wordballoon.com is good for interviews and comicgeekspeak.com is good for just random thoughts from comic fans. As far as the creative process goes I'm not sure but there is a Podcast called PhotoshopTV that's good for Photoshop artists.

  • May 10, 2006, 2:34 p.m. CST

    Podcasts

    by superhero

    Wordballoon.com is good for interviews and comicgeekspeak.com is good for just random thoughts from comic fans. As far as the creative process goes I'm not sure but there is a Podcast called PhotoshopTV that's good for Photoshop artists.

  • May 10, 2006, 2:41 p.m. CST

    where is the @$$hole podcast?

    by blackthought

  • May 10, 2006, 2:44 p.m. CST

    eagle sounds interesting

    by fried samurai

    I'm gonna pick up Vol 1 based on that review alone.It doesnt seem like the type of manga I would normally buy but I'll give it a shot.

  • May 10, 2006, 3 p.m. CST

    I agree that IC was a mess

    by ChorleyFM

    I said it on this board before, and so far almost all of the OYL books have been poor as well (only Blue Beetle, and Superman & Batman have been worthwhile). I still think that it should have been a 12 issue maxi-series that was more tightly written (having an editor do their job) than a 7 issue mini plus all the other spinoffs and lead ins.

  • May 10, 2006, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Thanks for not doing a round-table thing for IC #7, btw

    by rev_skarekroe

    Those are annoying.

  • May 10, 2006, 3:27 p.m. CST

    Yeah but NOTHING....

    by Psynapse

    is as annoying as Dan Didio getting high on his own farts and calling it editorial process. STILL pissed baout the cover stock switcheroo pulled with IC#6 that that pompous blowhard hasn't had the balls to address.

  • May 10, 2006, 3:38 p.m. CST

    ID Crisis totally fell apart.

    by superninja

    At least that's what I hear, because I stopped reading it midway through. Just couldn't care anymore. It seemed to take characters that had made irritating choices and had them come out even more annoying, if that were possible. I had hoped it would end on a redemptive note, but instead, it opted for a pointless note. Happy Anniversary, @$$holes! Please keep up the great work. This is the best written and most worthwhile column on AICN.

  • May 10, 2006, 3:40 p.m. CST

    gee, thanks a lot, george! thanks a lot!

    by Acne Scarface

    looks like dial-up & the cursor not changing conspired to make me quite the imbecile. now back to my speak & spell. "spell jackass" "a-c-n-e..."

  • May 10, 2006, 3:43 p.m. CST

    Batman and guns.

    by superninja

    The issue is not really that he thought of using a gun, but that his motivation for using it was utterly unjustified. It was cheap. I would not be against Batman forced to confront such a choice if it carried a great deal of weight within the context of the story. Added to this is Diana's turnabout as if she has learned her lesson when it is questionable if what she did was even wrong to begin with. In fact, that was never even satisfactorily explored. I am most disappointed in Johns.

  • May 10, 2006, 3:51 p.m. CST

    superninja

    by The Heathen

    I thought you DIDN'T finish it?

  • May 10, 2006, 3:53 p.m. CST

    I can read the internet. Those pages are online.

    by superninja

  • May 10, 2006, 3:54 p.m. CST

    Kinda havta wonder..

    by Thalya

    There was clamoring through the IC thing about DC putting together a how-it-came-together for IC. Anyone think that's morphed into a morbid curiosity about where-the-hell-did-they-go-wrong? And I really have to wonder about 52 now. Should we make HotPocket bets about how many weeks before it gets off-schedule?

  • May 10, 2006, 4 p.m. CST

    oh boy

    by blackthought

  • May 10, 2006, 4:12 p.m. CST

    Damn me to hell...

    by superhero

    I picked up 52. I couldn't help it I tell ya! The curiosity got the better of me! I am such a loser! I spit on myself! I shall now go hang my head in shame...

  • May 10, 2006, 4:14 p.m. CST

    It doesn't mean that...

    by superhero

    I will buy issue number 2. Besides, I can always sell 52 issue one on E-Bay for an overly inflated price...Yeah, yeah...that's ho I'll justify it to myself...I suck. I truly do.

  • May 10, 2006, 4:19 p.m. CST

    I read 5 issues of IC

    by El Vale

    It failed to grab me. Miserably. On every account. Still, the Ic apologists would love to say that was my fault.

  • May 10, 2006, 4:20 p.m. CST

    *pats superhero and Vale on the head*

    by Thalya

    Poor dears. Should I bake cookies? You need some sweet to go with your bitterness.

  • May 10, 2006, 4:22 p.m. CST

    And also

    by El Vale

    Happy anniversary @$$holes! That was nice, mentioning us Cogs even tho' we haven't been around that long.

  • May 10, 2006, 4:23 p.m. CST

    Mentors are good.

    by Thalya

    Should I bake a birthday cake while I'm at it?

  • May 10, 2006, 4:45 p.m. CST

    superninja, reading is still reading

    by The Heathen

    whether it be a page of paper or a web page or even something written in stone. It still counts. I just thought you were like, "quit half way, bah with it!" which is fine, but then you finished it? Just not through the printed comic itself? I just didn't get what you were trying to get across. *** Thalya, please bake anything. It's been a while since we've had some banana bread or pumpkin spice breda in the Cog mansion. Cogs are coming up on our close of Year One or OYL, but Vale will argue me to death if we call it that. *** Well, it looks like people just hate everything at the moment in comics. There's bad stuff everywhere, especially the big two, but both of those places have great books as well. I'll be diverting my energy towards those. Runaways, Batman, Astonishing X-Men, Green Lantern, Captain America, Secret Six, Daredevil, Birds of Prey, Son of M, Superman, etc. etc.

  • May 10, 2006, 4:50 p.m. CST

    Will do, Heath..

    by Thalya

    I think one of everything should suffice. Heath Bar Crunch pie, pour vous? Though hopefully no one goes into a diabetic coma because of this, especially our resident diabetic.. ;)

  • May 10, 2006, 5:02 p.m. CST

    Y'know what?

    by Psynapse

    I'm done with cross-overs for good. I was the biggest booster for IC but the production and editorial mis-fires throughout left more of a bad taste in my mouth than anything. PS-Astonishing X-Men 14 was THE SHIT. Why? Because AT LAST we know for sure that Cyclops CHOSE not to be able to control his power. Go Joss go.

  • May 10, 2006, 5:03 p.m. CST

    I have not come to bury the @ssholes but to praise them

    by Drcool975

    This Prof. Challenger dude is right on the money regarding IC. This is the first review of Infinite Crisis that encapsulates the entire range of emotion I felt while reading this series. Touted as a calculated, well-thought out, massive undertaking it turned out to be an immense, lazy-assed, half-hearted failure on every level. I hated House of M but at least the story was comprehensible and had the same fucking artist and writer for consistency

  • May 10, 2006, 5:15 p.m. CST

    Heathen, gotcha.

    by superninja

    I didn't read the whole issue, just the gun scene in question people were talking about above. Someone scanned in the pages on the DC WW board. Guess I cared enough to want to know how it ended, huh?

  • May 10, 2006, 5:20 p.m. CST

    it's cool, superninja

    by The Heathen

    Thalya, bring it on!!! I'll make sure to have my insulin at the ready. *** Psy, I'm with you on Astonishing. That rocked about Cyclops. Wish that book came out more often.

  • May 10, 2006, 5:53 p.m. CST

    who scanned me?\

    by blackthought

  • May 10, 2006, 5:54 p.m. CST

    I liked it!

    by Lukecash

    Okay, here's the skinny- I liked IC for a LOT of reasons. One of which it was a great way to cap off the series...and a great way to finish two years of rather solid and daring storytelling for DC. Was it a 100% sucessful? No. I think it was too insular and depended too much on current DC knowledge to make it worth while. In the end, they serviced the fans of DC well. I thought the story did what it set out to do: Get Batman, Superman and Diana to being the Big 3...without all the late 80's, 90's trappings. Had you noticed the begining of the Series-that Batman was too much the paranoid arsehole, Superman was too much of the "Nice guy" and Wonder Woman was too much of the Perfect Warrior Princess. At the end...in case you missed it Prof C. That Batman is still the Dark Knight, but not a complete loner. Superman is still a good guy-but a lot tougher, and Wonder Woman realizes she has to balance out her warrior side. The Batman with the gun: The scene was important for a few reason. Batman had just saw a man he considers a sun blasted. Batman also saw Tim loose his best friend AND Superman loosing his Superboy. Bruce, in his mind, was failing again...and being pushed to the absolute limit. Wonder Woman-after almost destroying her relationship with the public, the superhero community and her closes friends-realizes the cost of taking a life. And being a friend-and symbolicly renounces deadly force to save Bruce from doing it again. As far as the Artwork went it was GREAT. The splash page I particularly love...why? Because artisticaly the background did not overpower the foreground. Over all, I think it was a great read...not perfect, but something DC can be rightfully proud of.

  • May 10, 2006, 6:01 p.m. CST

    who scanned me?

    by blackthought

    i might be the only one but cyclops is my favorite x-man. he reminds me of job sometimes...they sure like to beat him down...the 8,000 deaths of jean grey, his son aquiring some uber-virus thus sent to the future thus cable, fucking him up rather poorly in the x-"films" (there's a third one coming right? i betcha they kill him right away...i have this "feeling") and more...probably the worst of it though is that his brother has blonde hair...i apologize to all blondes, but there's just so much a man is able to endure...poor scott.

  • May 10, 2006, 6:15 p.m. CST

    I give 52 until issue about 22 before it falls apart

    by AstroThunder

    They have how many issues supposedly complete now? 14-16? I think around the midpoint is where stuff starts to get wonky, ships late, or looks horrendously half assed or uninked. Wish I could have faith in the DC boys, but after the IC debacle, this magic eight ball doesn't think it's going to work.

  • May 10, 2006, 6:24 p.m. CST

    Yo Superhero!

    by Psynapse

    A quick visit to the Sentinels website along with your review has me sold. THIS is the superhero book I'm gonna get behind along with Shadowpact (Bill goddamn Willingham DRAWING a series again!! HELL YEAH!!) Because Elementals FUCKING RULED, especially when Bill was holding the pencil.

  • May 10, 2006, 7:11 p.m. CST

    Re: Batman using gun in DK#4

    by Prof Challenger

    (1) Out of Continuity Story (2) Out of Character

  • May 10, 2006, 7:15 p.m. CST

    happy 5th anniversay guys!

    by Darth Kal-El

    and thanks for the shout out!

  • May 10, 2006, 7:17 p.m. CST

    Battle of Intelligence with DukeofSpiders

    by Prof Challenger

    Look dude, anytime you want to match your sixth grade education up against my doctorate, bring it on. I'll stack my doctoral thesis examining the impact of Darwinian philosophy upon Western social, political, and legal culture against your essay about what you did last summer. But I doubt you even comprehend this post so whatever...

  • May 10, 2006, 7:17 p.m. CST

    Dino Hardbody

    by Prof Challenger

    Right on the money there, Dino.

  • May 10, 2006, 7:19 p.m. CST

    Re: Batman using a gun in "The Cult"

    by Prof Challenger

    Never read it. Probably never will. If he did? An out of character moment.

  • May 10, 2006, 7:23 p.m. CST

    Psynapse re: SuperMAN killing SuperBOY

    by Prof Challenger

    Hey dumbass, YOU lose all credibility in your post when you demonstrate that "you don't read too good." I wrote: "Gee isn't it ironic? SuperMAN killed BY SuperBOY!" (emphasis added). If you're going to criticize, at least take the time to actually read what I wrote or you come off like an idiot at best and a dumbass at worst.

  • May 10, 2006, 7:26 p.m. CST

    Superninja's comment about Batman and Guns

    by Prof Challenger

    Exactly the reason why it was so wrong. Good phrasing of the point.

  • May 10, 2006, 7:27 p.m. CST

    DrCool975

    by Prof Challenger

    Thanks for your thoughtful comments. I really appreciated that.

  • May 10, 2006, 7:31 p.m. CST

    challenger goes on a rampage!

    by Darth Kal-El

    get an extra serving of bran in your cereal old dtimer?

  • May 10, 2006, 7:36 p.m. CST

    Darth Kal-El

    by Prof Challenger

    Yeah. Open wide Darth.

  • May 10, 2006, 8:03 p.m. CST

    "Why i oughta poop in your mouth..."

    by Darth Kal-El

    "...you young whipper snapper!" old people have no respect

  • May 10, 2006, 8:19 p.m. CST

    "people just hate everything at the moment in comics"

    by chrth

    Fuck that. We all love NextWave. Those that don't love NextWave haven't read it yet. Those who have read it and say they don't love it are just lying to themselves. NextWave is the greatest thing to happen to comics since the Death of Gwen Stacy.

  • May 10, 2006, 8:57 p.m. CST

    Batman's use of a gun in DKR and THE CULT

    by superhero

    OK, just got home and broke out my copies of both the Dark Knight Returns and The Cult. Batman does indeed use a rifle in DKR but not to assault someone. He uses it instead to fire a grappling line. I think there's a difference between using a rifle as a tool and using one to kill someone. Maybe it's just me. Batman does, however, use a machine gun to kill a member of the mutant gang later on. BUT it's because he has just stormed their apartment and said gang member is holding a gun to the head of the kidnap victim (who is a child) he is trying to rescue and a few seconds away from blowing their head off. Later in the book Batman uses a pistol secured from the police commissioner to help him escape capture. He does this by using it to set off some plastique and hiding his getaway. He does not use it to assault someone and he only uses it because he is on the verge of passing out. See my comment earlier about dire circumstances. In The Cult Batman does use a machine gun but he is BEING MIND CONTROLLED! He does use a rifle and an automatic weapon later in the book but they both fire TRANQUILIZER DARTS! He uses a machine gun full of tranquilizer darts because there are too many crazies to take out with just gas. In the final climax he seems ready to kill the archvillain with a revolver but instead takes him on barehanded. And I quote from the actual sequence in the book: "It would be so easy. One pull of the trigger is all it would take. It would quiet the fear. But it would be TOO EASY" (Caps mine. Bold in the book). Then he proceeds to kick the bad guy's ass with his bare hands. So I believe that anyone who uses these examples to say that Batman has used a gun is talking out of their Bat-ass. In both books Batman is either under duress, being controlled, or uses a gun for something other than what it was intended for (to kill people). In any case any example in either of these books is a far cry from Batman assaulting a defensless, beaten foe and waving a gun in his face threatening to kill them. That is not Batman no matter how desperate he is. He would beat them to death before he'd wave a gun in their face. He's hands on like that. You may not call me a full blown comic-nerd. Thank you.

  • May 10, 2006, 9 p.m. CST

    Oh, and Psynapse I think you'll really enjoy SENTINELS

    by superhero

    It's a great little fun series '80's style book. I really, really enjoy it.

  • May 10, 2006, 9:25 p.m. CST

    Oh, I get it. Prof Challenger...

    by omarthesnake

    ...is the only one who gets to dictate what's in or out of character for Batman. Only him. The writers have no say in the matter. Now it all makes sense. Oh, if only those writers would bow to the will of the mighty Professor Challenger the world would be a perfect place. Spiteful sour-minded shite, so determined to hate everything that doesn't fit into your own narrow vision of exactly what every story and character should be and do.

  • May 10, 2006, 9:34 p.m. CST

    Why I love the COGS!

    by Prof Challenger

    They bring the funny. Now bring on the monkeys!!!!

  • May 10, 2006, 9:52 p.m. CST

    Batman and the Gun

    by jocutus

    I didn't hate the scene, I didn't love it. I can understand they were trying to push Batman to the breaking point and then have him stop and be true to himself. It's supposed to mark the point where he and Diana commit to being their old selves again, to be Heroes instead of avengers or warriors. Unfortunately, no one is going to believe Batman is going to pick up the gun in the first place, even after it looked like Dick got blowed-up real good. The whole book felt so rushed that there wasn't enough emotional build-up to that moment. It was just one more explosioin. Oh well.

  • May 10, 2006, 9:54 p.m. CST

    Oh, and my point was:

    by jocutus

    Batman still did not use the gun, so in the end was that in character or out of character?

  • May 10, 2006, 10:01 p.m. CST

    superhero....

    by theoneofblood

    Batman didn't KILL the mutant in DKR, if you look at the artwork, only his limbs are shot. Batman never killed anyone in that comic. Hell, he couldn't even kill the Joker.

  • May 10, 2006, 10:16 p.m. CST

    Jocutus

    by Prof Challenger

    In character for Batman not to use the gun. True. Out of character for the gun to be in his hand and in Luthor's face in the first place. And just plain stupid that neck-snapper Wonder Woman's "It's not worth it" statement is what convinces Batman to stay true to himself. You're right. Everything was rushed and as a result, the potential emotional impact of every scene was dimished. In other words, more lost potential.

  • May 10, 2006, 10:25 p.m. CST

    Finally!

    by BayouWilly

    People see Prof. Challenger for the doddering drooler that he is. You have a doctorate? Hey, so do I! I also have a nine-inch cock and a bisexual Asian nympho girlfriend. And if you do indeed have a doctorate? Guess what? Nobody gives a fuck. You're reviewing comics on Ain't It Cool for Christ's sake. There's a limit as to how much you can look down your nose at someone. I genuinely enjoy 99% of the @$$holes and posters on this site (with the exception of moviemack who must be the Saddam Hussein of Earth-2 or something) but everytime I read one of the reviews by the "doctor" where he doesn't know who the hero is, what he's been up to since 1987, who the artist is and what these kids today with the iPods are about, well, it makes me want to jam needles in my eyes and set myself on fire. There, I said it. Oh, and 100 Bullets next week is going to kick ass. Trust me.

  • May 10, 2006, 10:35 p.m. CST

    ...lost...

    by blackthought

  • May 10, 2006, 11 p.m. CST

    Infinite Stupidity

    by mattb127

    The whole thing was crap. Crap. At least with something like Zero Hour or Millenium, you knew it was going to be crap when it started. Shockingly stupid, for all the reasons the reviewer described and more. Does anyone really think 52 will be any different?

  • May 10, 2006, 11:19 p.m. CST

    Hey Prof...

    by Psynapse

    or how about some butt wrench who read the post while trying to take calls at work and managed to scramble it completely and act like an ass on it? I could be all gooshy and apologetic but I consider you enough of a comrade to merely give you the finger and say "My bad, now get the fuck over it." with a smile. PS-The New Teen Titans dos NOT suck. Kid Devil and Ravager are cool as hell ( Good Christ, Daniels is drawing Rose hot enough for a gay man to take notice!).

  • May 10, 2006, 11:23 p.m. CST

    Identity Crisis

    by hank henshaw

    I continue to think that Identity Crisis was when the DC Universe took a turn for the worse. Infinite Crisis is only the culmination of a wrong decision. Sad thing is that DC probably thinks it worked because sales have been good. Pure shock value. So cheap. I'm almost as pissed at DC now as I was with Marvel in the mid-90s with the "Clone Saga" and the "noseless Wolverine" era.

  • May 11, 2006, 12:02 a.m. CST

    So I take it Batman didn't really go on a vacation.

    by superninja

    Oh well. That would've actually been interesting. Retracing your steps to becoming an obsessive compulsive over achiever and bringing along your two emotionally abused wards is not exactly my idea of good times.

  • May 11, 2006, 2:05 a.m. CST

    Happy 5, A$$holes.

    by dregmobile

    Now to get reading IC 7 and CW 1 ... Sentinels sounds great. Damn that I didn't add SS: Annihilation to my order ...

  • May 11, 2006, 7:23 a.m. CST

    Psynapse

    by Prof Challenger

    Cheers, pal! All's good! :)

  • May 11, 2006, 8:39 a.m. CST

    awwwwww

    by blackthought

  • May 11, 2006, 8:52 a.m. CST

    Batman shot the Monk with a gun in Detective Comics 32

    by rev_skarekroe

    They were silver bullets, and The Monk was a vampire, but there you go. Also, he shot the plastique with a handgun in DKR, but since plastic explosives aren't humans, I don't think that counts.

  • May 11, 2006, 9:38 a.m. CST

    It's all over but the crying. Seriously.

    by Devil'sOwn

    IC was just too big a mess for DC's editorial departmnet to contain. Despite the feeling that it was going in too many directions at once, I stuck with it. It's certainly made me leery of any future big crossover events. This habit's just gotten too damned expensive to throw away cash on "events" that promise exciting changes, but only result in confusion. I can't blame some readers for being pissed. The recommendation of Sentinels is especially relevant at this time, as I'm sure a lot of us longtime fans are looking for something with a less convoluted continuity.

  • May 11, 2006, 9:44 a.m. CST

    Best Winick

    by jinX

    Blood and Water miniseries about vampires. And even that had a kinda weak ending.

  • May 11, 2006, 10:25 a.m. CST

    The sad sad truth is we are all comic nerds

    by Borgnine JR

    who WILL buy the Next Big Thing. At least the first couple issues. So this crap will continue to be extruded from DC's spandex butt hole. We have met the enemy and he is we.

  • May 11, 2006, 11:48 a.m. CST

    52ish

    by The Heathen

    I'll be reading it for experiment's sake alone. People, you do realize that Morrison, Johns, Giffen, Waid and Rucka are writing this? It's worth checking out for the first two alone, hell just Morrison is enough to take a peak at this book. Scheduling? I think it will be fine for the most part, because there's a revolving door of artists who aren't detailed laden like Jimenez, Quitely, Cassaday, etc. Shit, Bennett is drawing some of it and we've seen his mighty spread page in IC #7 right? I don't think that will be too much of a concern. There's always more artists to hire. The book itself I consider more of a long run of a story and not a 'big event series.' Partly because I think that that ended with Infinite Crisis and this is just filling in the gaps. Nothing huge has to happen in it, but I'm sure plenty of things will. I'm looking forward to it. *** Lost

  • May 11, 2006, 12:38 p.m. CST

    *sigh*

    by Shigeru

    I think I'm IC'ed out. Though overall I enjoyed it, I'm really really glad it's over. And Heathen's right, Morrison's name alone will get me to try 52. The man can do no wrong. *** HAPPY 5 YEARS @$$HOLES!

  • May 11, 2006, 1:12 p.m. CST

    How does 52 work?

    by El Vale

    Someone please explain.

  • May 11, 2006, 1:19 p.m. CST

    52 for da vale

    by Shigeru

    One issue a week for a year. Takes place in real time. Takes place between the end of IC #7 and all the one year later crap. Showcases lesser known/used characters. As I understand it, the creative teams aren't rotating so much as all doing several pages per issue. Oh and you'll probably not like it. That good?

  • May 11, 2006, 1:23 p.m. CST

    Aaarrgh, indeed.

    by Devil'sOwn

    Infinite just seemed to loose it's way. Aside from the obvious draws of seeing just about every DC hero and villain in action, it seems like Johns was trying to live up to the hype. If I were to hazard a guess, what's really gonna bug people is several years from now, people will be hard-pressed to explain exactly what this "Crisis" was about.

  • May 11, 2006, 1:29 p.m. CST

    Da Shig

    by El Vale

    Thanks man. Does that mean there's several writers and artists for every issue? Man that does not sound like a good idea. Another thing, how much does it cost?

  • May 11, 2006, 1:41 p.m. CST

    no prob Vale

    by Shigeru

    Yeah it could be jumbled... I think it's split up though... like 6 pages of a Booster Gold story, 4 pages of a Ralph Dibney Story, 5 pages of a Black Adam Story, ect ect, with dif teams on each. And it's $2.50. I would have liked $2.00 or $2.25 personally.

  • May 11, 2006, 1:54 p.m. CST

    I'm Crisised out too

    by The Heathen

    On the one hand I would have like 2-3 more issues (more time and production quality as well), but on the other I am just pooped out with all of it - and I liked the overall story and accomplishments involved. I still have Civil War to be hit with. The problem with that is that it will probably garner more attention being a "Marvel comics event told in seven parts' that's aimed at fanboys AND the average Joes. That and I really don't want to keep referring to HoM and Infinite Crisis and how they are all so horrible, blah, blah, blah for the next half year, you know? Hopefully after Marvels event, we can chill for at least 5 years or so *wink* *wink* with the main two and mega events. Just get Morrison, Whedon, Vaughan, Johns, Kirkman, Slott, Brubaker, Simone, Ellis and Hine on some good books and smooth things out. The audience that reads these books will thank you.

  • May 11, 2006, 2:12 p.m. CST

    52 artists..

    by Thalya

    As far as I know, it's one artist per book (with a range of artists over the entire run, especially with multiple books per month), but the look is being held together because Keith Giffen is doing all the layouts and breakdowns and J.G. Jones is doing all the covers. Also, there are back-up stories each week with a 10-part History of the DCU starting in week 2, and then character profiles each week after, starting with WW (Wonder Woman, not Weather Wizard or Woozy Winks in case you were.. wondering.. And speaking of WWs and wondering...)

  • May 11, 2006, 4:08 p.m. CST

    Yo @$$holes!!

    by Psynapse

    Whose mortal enemy do I have to assassinate to get one of y'all to review IDW's adaptation of The Great and Secret Show? People looking for something outside of the cape scene would likely find it right groovy at that. I'd even be willing to snail mail copies of 1 and 2 if need be....(PS-I'm also proficient in demolitions if that's more to your liking)

  • May 11, 2006, 4:12 p.m. CST

    Or intimidation if need be....

    by Psynapse

    I've been told I'm a right scary bastard when I want to be.....

  • May 11, 2006, 4:21 p.m. CST

    *peep*

    by Thalya

    Psy, you got that link I posted last TB, right?

  • May 11, 2006, 4:26 p.m. CST

    "What was the point of all this crap anyway?"

    by nofate

    And with that sentence alone you've now compressed the general feeling towards this colossal FUCK UP! REACH FOR YOUR ANKLES DC, HERE COMES SLOTT'S THING! Congrats on the five years @ssholes. Keep up the one-sided, Marvel hatin' rants.

  • May 11, 2006, 4:38 p.m. CST

    I'm in the minority, but...

    by Homer Sexual

    I thought IC was good, as I said last week. Not super great, but almost no "big event" ever is. They're like big budget movies, trying to be all things to all readers and not fully pleasing anyone. But I thought it was entertaining, and it didn't end with DC regressing to its dorky squareness of years gone by. And I enjoyed the first issue of 52 as well. I can see why the Batman with a gun thing pissed people off, though. And, DukeofSpiders, I'm with you! I've generally not cared for ProfC's reviews. Plus he's very defensive. Perhaps because I've always preferred Marvel, I cut DC more slack. But I found IC sooo much better than any Marvel event I can think of. And far superior to Identity Crisis, which I did not like despite none of the production glitches that seem to irk many of my fellow TB gente. Most of my favorite comics are Marvels, but not "big" books. Big Marvel books tend to be ponderous and annoying. Big DC, more "fun" and at least entertaining. I've already re-read IC, and I'll probably re-read it again. Which is more than I can say for a certain event from last summer.

  • May 11, 2006, 4:40 p.m. CST

    Hey Nofate?

    by Psynapse

    Shut the fuck up you ass-spelunker. The @$$es are many things, one-sided is NOT one of them. ***Oh and T? I saw it but I haven't had a chance to read thru yet, can you e-mail it to me please?** Oh and Nofate? My inbred Uncle from Kentucky says your mom is one helluva ride. 'Course he was tipped off by all of the homeless people in your town.....

  • May 11, 2006, 5:47 p.m. CST

    I'm An @$$hole & I'm A Proud Marvel Zombie.

    by Buzz Maverik

    Well, actually, not a Zombie. I was a Zombie when I was a kid and I thought Marvel could do no wrong no matter what wrong they were doing. Then, puberty sat in with the zits and the hair and those dreams I kept having about my friend Eriglione's Mom. Anyway, once our balls drop, we understand that the same writers and artists have/are/will work for both major publishers. The difference between the big superhero houses is all in our self-images, but many who are more enlightened than I was always enjoyed both companies, as well as others. Now, the problem may be how the companies are run. But those guys come and go and frankly it's about time the two major Editors In Chief joined the unemployment lines and took their cronies with them and made way for the NEW thing, whatever it may be because the thing that they've been telling us in the new thing hasn't been new for going on a decade now. Simply, Marvel vs. DC is for kids, the uncool kids, the uncool among the uncool. Does that mean we like everything or hate everything? Fuck no, because that is the worst in fanboy thinking. It has to be all love or all hate, no shades of gray, no degrees. Here's the @$$hole creed: we're not out to tell you what you already think. You got WIZARD for that and they do it far better than we could, although no one but me ever admits to reading WIZARD. We're also not here to be balanced. Balanced is a lie anyway. It's crap. If you breathe, you're biased. Take Professor Challenger. He says what he thinks and he doesn't weaken it to allow for your feelings because you can take it and you're strong enough in your own mind not to need his allowances. We don't qualify things (IMHO etc) for your comfort. Be uncomfortable, it's good for you! I agree with Borgnine Jr. (great name,btw) that as fanboys, most of us will be there for the Next Big Thing. But what we've been saying for the last five years, is just because they're selling, doesn't mean you have to buy, doesn't mean you have to like it, doesn't mean your opinion isn't as valid as their's. For example, for a long time Marvel (oh there goes the bias again) ignored their shared Universe, pretending that each comic was a movie. We knew they were comics, but we played along. Now, they're into the crossovers, like DC. They both have to do these massive events, but they don't even do that good a job on all the regular books. As far as I'm concerned, none of these events are happening (which they're not because they're fiction). So I guess I'm not a Marvel Zombie. I've graduated to Marvel Vampire!

  • May 11, 2006, 5:49 p.m. CST

    *rim shot* Psy's here all night ladies and gents

    by The Heathen

    Homer, I'm with you in the minority crowd or so it seems. Despite the production mishaps I really enjoyed, IC. Prof's review was a bit

  • May 11, 2006, 5:52 p.m. CST

    "I've graduated to Marvel Vampire!"

    by The Heathen

    go Buzz!!!

  • May 11, 2006, 6:26 p.m. CST

    WOW!

    by nofate

    Normally I wouldn't bother with a response to someone insulting me, espacially in regards to my opinon on a pretty fucking atrocious comic book, but to drag my moms into it, and so close to mother's day no less! I DEMAND SATISFACTION! So here it goes...(deep breath) Psynapse, your mom starred in the movie "Two Fisted Ass Pounding", why? she told me while washing my jizz rags that she wanted to recreate the feeling of your gigantic hollow head coming out of her cooch. She happened to mention that she's pretty fed up finding the Marvel Swimsuit specials under your bed with the pages stuck together "these are just comic book characters right" yes I said. Then, to my surprise for someone with such fucked up teeth, she administered what will go down as the best BJ for an overweight, mid 50s piece of decomposing flesh. As i made my way to your room (i.e. basement) I couldn't help but notice a picture with your camp counselor teabagging you. Now why would you leave such damaging evidence of your obvious homosexuality lying around? A cry for help perhaps? OK, pay attention I'll only say this once, YOU'RE A WORTHLESS PIECE OF CAMEL SHIT!

  • May 11, 2006, 6:37 p.m. CST

    now youve done it nofate....

    by Darth Kal-El

  • May 11, 2006, 7:27 p.m. CST

    Can I just say ...

    by dregmobile

    that the top four panels on page 21 of Amazing Spider-Man 531 is the reason for me why Marvel is on-track right now, making far more interesting comics than DC. I don't read too many titles, so I'm out of my depth saying that, and I haven't read IC 7 or CW 1 yet (gathering dust on my coffee table ... waiting for my saturday morning coffee before embarking on those pages), but I scan a lot of stuff and this is just my feeling. I have loved DC comics since a kid and never really took close notice of Marvel heroes until these films have come out, and even then not until Civil War. The storytelling is so clearer, and the story itself far more interesting. Marvel is trying something, dare I say, original, wheras DC has essentially brought out a sequel to COIE. I have a feeling 52 and OYL must have sounded great in meetings at the DC offices, but on paper ... it reeks of blandness. I decided not to even bother with 52 ages ago, I don't care who's writing it. I'm really, really looking forward to this Civil War shit ...

  • May 11, 2006, 8:33 p.m. CST

    heathen my man

    by blackthought

    ya can count me in the corner that rather liked IC and me loves how the joker came to play...now let's see...i personally like whatever is good and thats about that...marvel books: runaways, astonishing, brubaker's daredevil and capt. america, all of slott's stuff...his situation reminds me of the fox network...if it's good, let's cancel it!...ala arrested development (i might never get over that)...ares is rather fun especially foreman's art...let's see i might try son of m due to heathen's constant recommendation and well, he is my boy and fellow cog...i guess for marvel the "big" name books elude me...me loves me DC with JSA,Villains United, Gotham Central (oh i'll miss you) John's Flash run, Batman, Plastic Man(Kyle Baker's run will be missed)and so much more and also DC has Vertigo and life would suck without Fables, Ex Machina and all the rest...so me liked IC plently...it also thought me that if i should ever run into superboy-prime, make sure i have head insurance. now let's see...civil war i'll wait and see like everything else...1st issue was ok...capt's part being the highlight while the rest was just "meh" to me...and i don't see how its original...i mean this whole mutant registration idea has been used by marvel more times than nofate's mom has (no disrepect nofate...just psy is my boy...cogs united and all...its on the statue near the cogmansion...speaking of united...villains united...oh damn did i love that villains special)...where was i...oh yeah...my ok reaction to civil war number 1...yeah...mutant registration...what's new?? oh mutants are choosing sides...oh...there could be some potential there...until um...gabriel summers just blows up the world making it a mute point...whats up with this omni-mutant stuff? and um...buzz sweet post man...if you ever write something that gets made into something...i'll do the animatic for shots of jameson or something of that nature...and did any of you see that 7-minute preview of x-men 3: oh god, what the fuck happened? /at least its better than the fantastic 4...oh jeez...kerplow...now i watch michael scott run his office...

  • May 11, 2006, 9:27 p.m. CST

    Hehe Nofate's post is pretty funny

    by El Vale

    Considering Psynapse is gay, i mean. Also, Blackthought: Ex Machina isn't a Vertigo book. And your "." key's gonna wear out eventually.

  • May 11, 2006, 10:13 p.m. CST

    Y'know I'd be offended at that......

    by Psynapse

    If it weren't painfully obvious that it's coming from a myopic (apparently you can't read the word 'gay' in a self-referential use in a previous post of mine), homphobic (For the record it was my sunday school teacher not my camp counselor-never went to camp), infantile (Ooh I rag your mom so you rag harder on mine-Original much? I Don't think so junior), whiningingly pedantic (IC SUX! IC SUX!-If you can't change the record at least fucking learn to remix please), febrile weak ego (The whole "See?!? Other people hated it as much as I did! You that liked it are stupid and should feel that way!" riff is well, just....just sad, man). I've said it before, I'll say it again-WHAT-EVV-ERR....(junior)

  • May 11, 2006, 10:15 p.m. CST

    whoops...

    by blackthought

    my bad my fellow colombian...i always end up lumping dc's wildstorm and vertigo together...either way they are hella good...and my keys will never run out...and yeah i thought so too with nofate's comments...anyway when does x-3 open over there? and how far into lost are you at now?

  • May 11, 2006, 10:41 p.m. CST

    Answers for the man with the Blackness of Thought

    by El Vale

    X3 opens this month, maybe the same day it opens up there, big fucking movies always do. And Lost, well here goes: Michael sits at the computer, someone starts talking to him..."Dad?". And then this week we got a fucking recap episode. You have no idea how pissed i was. A RECAP EPISODE! FUCK YOU if you haven't been watching you fucking asshole, don't take away my new episodes because you can't program your fucking DVR you fucking prick! Ok so that's off my chest now, thanks.

  • May 12, 2006, 12:49 a.m. CST

    How the fuck is Civil War original dregmobile????

    by superhero

    It was better when it was called KINGDOM COME. And that superhero registration act? It was just as lame when it was called the Mutant Registration Act but actually original when it was called the Keene Act in the WATCHMEN. It was also tired when Bendis ripped it off in POWERS. Please, I get that you don't read a lot of comic books but don't start talking about stuff you don't know about and act like you know something. While Infinite Crisis ended up being shit it's not like Marvel's exactly trailblazing new heights either.

  • May 12, 2006, 12:52 a.m. CST

    LOST: Spoilers

    by superhero

    Anyone notice how they've killed off the two actresses who got pulled over for drunken driving? Oh yes they did.

  • May 12, 2006, 1:03 a.m. CST

    Oh I almost forgot!

    by Psynapse

    I'd gleefully take being a worthless piece of camel shit any day over the pus-filled, rat urine soaked, aborted fetal matter that is your gene pool you reverse flow douchebag. (*_^)

  • May 12, 2006, 3:12 a.m. CST

    Good work guys

    by JonQuixote

    I wanted to participate here for old times sake, but I've been travelling and couldn't quite swing it. But good work, I'm sorry I couldn't contribute but haven't forgotten...once an @$$Hole, always an @$$Hole. Or maybe it's an @$$Hole can't change his spot? What happens in the @$$Hole stays in the @$$Hole? Something like that.

  • May 12, 2006, 8:33 a.m. CST

    JQ!!

    by Psynapse

    Holy Moly, right ON. (*_^)

  • May 12, 2006, 11:14 a.m. CST

    did the internet crack??

    by blackthought

    i mean i just saw a post from jonquixote...i feel lost now.

  • May 12, 2006, noon CST

    Re: Infinite Crisis

    by johncage

    I agree whole-heartedly with dino_hardbody and others; Infinite Crisis started out extremely strong, the cumination of several years worth of reading with top notch talent at the helm, but ended rushed with only a handful of the points started in the books given any closure and hurried with little time allotted to finishing the few elements if did bother wrapping. And even with multiple artists and several corners cut along the way -- that opening spread in issue seven is just unimpressively ugly -- it still managed to ship late. I was really excited about the Infinite Crisis and hooked through the fourth issue, but somewhere around issue five it started to go off track and by the sixth issue I had a feeling there wouldn't be enough time to wrap things up and so the final attack by the Society is seen fleetingly and finished off-panel, the villains that massacred the Freedom Fighters are nowhere to be seen and for that matter the final fates of surviving FF members are left unrevealed (Psycho-Pirate aside, the one death that came as a brutal shock), and Superboy-Prime, a character who had somewhat understandable reasons for his turn to villainy, is turned into a one-note drooling mass murderer. I reread the first Crisis tpb before the first issue of IC came out and although is might not be as flashy or occasionally as exciting as this book, is ultimately packed a more satisying punch with deaths that really tugged at the heart-strings -- Dove's death hit harder than Superboy's -- and felt like a complete story with a reason for being told. Having read the complete Infinite Crisis, that is issues one through seven, I'm afraid I can't say the same thing. I honestly enjoyed the first few issues to death, but the last few issues left me cold and the finale was poor at best.

  • May 12, 2006, 12:50 p.m. CST

    The only thing I liked...

    by Kid Z

    ... Was Joker burning, frying, that blowing the head off that 4th-rate, Earth-3, little Junior Luthor $#!

  • May 12, 2006, 1:46 p.m. CST

    X-Men 3, 7 minute clip thing

    by The Heathen

    I think the movie looks better than what I thought originally, but that's just looks (and there's way too much wire work here, and it's done poorly. Good wire work? M:I:III bridge explosion that's currently Harry's animation.) still not down with the story that seems to be a retread of the first two. I liked Marsden as Scott, I really wish that his character got more respect in these movies. Maybe he won't be zapped into nothingness until fifteen minutes in? Nah, it'll be quicker than that. The thing about these clips that really urked me was the music. I hope that it was temporary because absolutely none of it blended well. Wrong on all the notes. Colossus still looks bad when cg, danger room scene has a bizzare feeling, sentinel head 'cameo' is crap, Juggs isn't as bad as when first viewed. I liked Kitty's scene where she dragged him into the floor and the scene where Wolverine is thrown through the roof by Juggernaut too. At this point all I'm hoping for is a lot more action and a movie that isn't completely embarassing. Maybe it will pull an X-Men on us and be 'decent', but I've already said that I think the stakes our too high for a third movie to just be decent. Cool/lame? That 'review' that's up for it is either the best plant ever or it's a friend of Ratner's or something

  • May 12, 2006, 2:04 p.m. CST

    The Internet- Home of Uninformed Opinions

    by vagrant's choice

    Superninja, How would you know if Batman was

  • May 12, 2006, 2:35 p.m. CST

    IC #7 smelled worse

    by Firedrake

    than the stool of the record holder for speed eating chili. It had but a few moments that weren't utter drek, like Joker's bit at the end. Superboy killing GL's in SPACE with his uber halitosis? Wonder Woman's sword breaking by getting tossed to the ground? Batman threatening to kill with a gun? Just bullshit. Glad it's over.

  • May 12, 2006, 6:01 p.m. CST

    I Suppose Superninja Would Know Because Batman...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...being a fictional character and all, exists in these unreal situations created by comic book pros. I've got an uninformed opinion because I definitely don't read this shit, but I can't imagine why this character would even need a gun. From all the funny books I've read, I got the idea that this character could pretty much do you in a billion different ways worse and more efficiently than just shooting you if that's what he chose to do. One line of Frank Miller's in DKR that I loved was when Bats broke the shotgun used by the "Sons O' Batman" and said, "This loud clumsy stupid thing is the weapon of the enemy. Our weapons are quiet and precise. In time, I will teach them to you." Although I have to disagree with Batman about shotguns. I find a good shotgun to be a sublime work of art.

  • May 12, 2006, 9:43 p.m. CST

    that pos. x3 review turned out to be a fake apparently.

    by blackthought

    so yes, something fishy was acertained by you heathen...and yeah, absolutely agree on the whole cyke x-men movie interpretation if you can even call it that...it's more like x-men: wolverine begins, x-2: wolverine continues and now x-3: wolverine still standing but this time with storm twirling by his side or something...so when does the 4th wolverine movie come out? were the x-men a team in the books? i don't remember...all i see is wolverine on the screen...oh wait...there's that russian dude kuhlossus or something...ugh...whats wrong with his skin??? yeah, that cg does suck...i should know, i've done my fair share of crappy cg.

  • May 12, 2006, 10:25 p.m. CST

    I don't know about guns, but...

    by loodabagel

    I can't help but think back to ancient Batman where he snaps people's necks with his bare hands.

  • May 13, 2006, 1:19 a.m. CST

    Jeez, Buzz...

    by vroom socko

    I'm with you on Batman, but for some reason the DKR quote that came to mind for me was this one: "There are seven working defenses from this position. Three of them disarm with minimal contact. Three of them kill. The other... hurts." It's much more than the fact that Batman hates guns; it's the fact that Batman would never need a gun. *** And on DKR... Holy shit, is that book really 20 years old now? I may have to lie down.

  • May 13, 2006, 2:34 a.m. CST

    lol, vroom socko...

    by theoneofblood

    I've always preferred the lines which immediately follow that. ROOKIE COP: "You're under arrest mister. You've CRIPPLED that man." BATMAN: "He's young. He'll probably walk again. But he'll stay SCARED -- won't you punk?" PUNK: "Jesus sweet JESUS!"

  • May 13, 2006, 5:08 a.m. CST

    mack is back

    by Darth Kal-El

    im drunk so thats all u get

  • May 13, 2006, 5:11 a.m. CST

    "duckbutt-tasting "

    by Darth Kal-El

    probably the best of macks cobbled together insults...does he really mean a ducks butt?i dont care it made me laugh

  • May 13, 2006, 9:17 a.m. CST

    Personally I think it's funny....

    by Psynapse

    That excepting the Cogs and @$$es, every post here that is denigrating IC in some fashion requires declaring anyone who liked it at all a 'dumbass' or 'moron' or whatever. Umm, Moviemack and the rest? If your opinion requires insulting others to stand on it's own, it lacks all credibility other than being an outcry of a weak ego.

  • May 13, 2006, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Ok, The Batman Using A Gun Topic Is Now...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...officially one of the ways You Know Yer A Geek. I filed the paperwork and it got approved.

  • May 13, 2006, 11:21 a.m. CST

    "If your opinion requires insulting others to stand

    by The Heathen

  • May 13, 2006, 12:40 p.m. CST

    More on the IC #7 review

    by The Heathen

    the more I really think somebody else should have reviewed it. Not somebody who liked it, hell have Dave_F review it, but Prof just didn't understand it enough and then he got angry and grumpy. And nobody wants a grumpy @$$hole I say. I have many misgivings about IC (mainly artists and production quality and length) but I overall enjoyed it. I think that Superboy Prime was/is a great villian now. He snapped after years of isolation looking at other hero's. All it takes is ONE mistake (like knocking a head off or pushing a planet aside) and you can lose everything that you've built so hard to maintain. He had a Luthor in his ear too, constantly 'guiding' SB Prime. What about when he was trapped in the speed force? He was there for a number of years. Years can change a person, especially if you're locked up for that time. So that is my reason for liking him as a villian and liking the last page of IC. The planet size GL is actually a planet too, btw. His name is Mogo. Some writer by the name of Alan Moore created him, maybe you've heard of him? He's pretty good. I do think that Prof made some valid points though, but I also know that he can get rel cranky, real fast. Justice #4 anyone?

  • May 13, 2006, 2:02 p.m. CST

    You know what i think is funny?

    by El Vale

    People promised IC would bring an end to all the darkness and shit...but it still ended with a once noble and innocent character carving a bloody S into his own chest. But nevermind that, i have a rant coming, i can feel it...check out my next post.

  • May 13, 2006, 3:03 p.m. CST

    Yo Vale.....

    by Psynapse

    It also ended with the big 3 reunited at last as the best buds they have always really been and committed once more to being the best in all situations that they possibly can be. Oh and as for the Batman/Gun thing? GET OVER IT EVERYONE. Because ANYONE can be pushed by horrific stress into acting in ways they never could have imagined themselves to. Unless you've experienced actual murder firsthand you really don't know what you're talking about here. On Saturday April 24th 2004 at somewhere between 4:40 and 4:48 PM my best friend's father was shot point blank execution style to the back of the head as he was robbed at the gas station he owned. At 1:30 the following morning I was holding a dead (The ICU nurse explained to us at that moment that pieces of his brain kept clogging the tubes) but still breathing (go modern medicine-this is purely sarcastic) man's hand while hugging his daughter and wondering everything I ever knew. TRUST ME ON THIS, hit with the murders of not only Sue Dibny, Tim's father, Stephanie (Spoiler), but also All of the people capped by OMACS (built by his creation), Freedom fighters, and Superboy Batman damn well WOULD pick up a gun. Murder is hard enough to think about if you care at all about the world around you. Actually living with it? Another thing ENTIRELY. Yeah I'm a fuckin' Geek, what's it to you asshole?

  • May 13, 2006, 3:05 p.m. CST

    P.S...

    by Psynapse

    See my opinion requires my own experience and not a goddamn thing else. (*_^)

  • May 13, 2006, 3:23 p.m. CST

    and um...last jl/jlu episode ever tonight

    by blackthought

  • May 13, 2006, 5:05 p.m. CST

    a cog filled board

    by Darth Kal-El

    this fine saturday.and i wouldnt have it any other way. have a great weekend everybody!

  • May 13, 2006, 6:46 p.m. CST

    100 Bullets game is back on track

    by Chicken2nite

    to being released at least, most likely for the xbox 360 and ps3, not sure about others. Just felt like putting it out there

  • May 14, 2006, 7:47 a.m. CST

    Who Watches the @$$HOLES?

    by Prof Challenger

    I can't believe nobody's commented on the BEST AICN COMICS LOGO EVER!!! How about a round of applause for the new 5-Year logo?

  • May 14, 2006, 12:56 p.m. CST

    You know

    by The Heathen

    that IS the best AICN Comics logo ever!!! Here! Here! It's staying around right? Ooh, and speaking of Batman and guns

  • May 14, 2006, 1:02 p.m. CST

    The final JLU

    by The Heathen

    was the absolute best thing ever. Man, it kicked so much ass. Luthor: "Here, take my extra

  • May 14, 2006, 1:53 p.m. CST

    TOTAL GEEKGASM!!!

    by Thalya

    Superman! Superman! Superman!!!!! Why isn't anyone talking about this?! #652!!! If this keeps up then I'm definitely keeping Supes/Action on my pull list. And here I thought my geekgasm of the day was when I went into the comic shop and saw two guys playing Heroclix with gigantic Spectre vs Galactus!

  • May 14, 2006, 3:51 p.m. CST

    JLU was a total GEEKGASM.

    by The Heathen

    Haven't read Supes #652 yet.

  • May 14, 2006, 5:36 p.m. CST

    Hmmm...

    by Thalya

    I wonder... The 52 site.. How are the headlines are gonna change when it hits 5pm Week 1 Day 6? Or for that matter, if there'll be reports of Booster's Clinton-esque behavior from earlier today (Day 5)?

  • May 14, 2006, 7:22 p.m. CST

    I have to admit...the 52 website is cool.

    by Dave_F

    I didn't much go for the first issue, which felt more like a denouement for INFINITE CRISIS than its own thing (I think it needed a true cliffhanger), but the cross-media promotion of the story through the website actually piques my interest. Definitely a clever use of the internet, and if DC can manage to get links to it posted on "civilian" sites or talked up in news coverage, it could go beyond fan Easter egg to become a surprisingly effective recruitment site. Very clever, and definitely the kind of "insider" hook that Stan Lee would've come up with had his comic career kicked off in modern times.

  • May 14, 2006, 8:32 p.m. CST

    recovering

    by blackthought

  • May 14, 2006, 8:44 p.m. CST

    That new logo is THE SHIT...

    by Psynapse

    Mad props F'real (an' shit)

  • May 14, 2006, 10:44 p.m. CST

    My hero.

    by dregmobile

    "While Infinite Crisis ended up being shit it's not like Marvel's exactly trailblazing new heights either." I think you're wrong. I'm looking at this from a marketing/sales angle as well. I did dare to use the word original, and I still stand by it - even if it is only original in the sense that they are incorporating this (highly unoriginal idea) into their main comic run. It's like if DC incorporated Kingdom Come into their major mythos instead of flashing forward to the future and making it a one-off. That's what's so great about what Marvel is doing. All DC could do was a sequel with major overloaded sci-fi themes. Civil War has done the opposite, and are making far more interesting comics right now (from a non-hardcore fanboy's perspective anyway).

  • May 15, 2006, 12:04 a.m. CST

    er.

    by blackthought

  • May 15, 2006, 9:37 a.m. CST

    ah.

    by The Heathen

  • May 15, 2006, 10:16 a.m. CST

    uh.

    by blackthought

  • May 15, 2006, 10:58 a.m. CST

    um.

    by The Heathen

  • May 15, 2006, 12:24 p.m. CST

    oh.

    by The Heathen

    Mondays

  • May 15, 2006, 1:21 p.m. CST

    yep...

    by blackthought

    and it's my bday to boot.

  • May 15, 2006, 1:21 p.m. CST

    Happy birthday blackthought!

    by Thalya

  • May 15, 2006, 2:25 p.m. CST

    Happy birthday my fellow Cog

    by The Heathen

    Here's hoping that 24 is extra kick ass tonight in your honor.

  • May 15, 2006, 2:33 p.m. CST

    happy b day blackthought!!

    by Darth Kal-El

    thalya are u going to bake a pumpkin spice cake?

  • May 15, 2006, 2:49 p.m. CST

    thanks...still...bdays on mondays suck...but then...

    by blackthought

    again 24...goodness...darth who's getting baked? where was i going with this post?

  • May 15, 2006, 2:50 p.m. CST

    Nah...

    by Thalya

    Banana cake for blackthought. Pumpkin spice was the @$$holes' birthday cake..

  • May 15, 2006, 4:55 p.m. CST

    Actually, For The @$$hole Birthday...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...we celebrated with Gramma Maverik's Notorious Amsterdam Brownies. The only problem is that when you eat 'em, you get hungrier and like, you could scarf a whole pan of brownies or somethin'...

  • May 15, 2006, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Halfway through Batman: Year One

    by dregmobile

    The art is great. Did they ever do Batman: Year Two? (seriously ... I have no idea)

  • May 15, 2006, 8:20 p.m. CST

    Happy Birthday Blackthought

    by Psynapse

    Only 6 more until the apocalypse. (*_^)

  • May 16, 2006, 1:04 a.m. CST

    dregmobile: RE Year Two

    by vroom socko

    Yes, they did do one. Todd McFarlaine was the artist. Avoid it, for the love of god.

  • May 16, 2006, 7:46 a.m. CST

    Hmmm....

    by Thalya

    Tuesday...

  • May 16, 2006, 8:57 a.m. CST

    Do I have to start kicking butts?

    by Thalya

    'Cause I will, just like the Twit Olympics from Monty Python.

  • May 16, 2006, 11:12 a.m. CST

    dregmobile: RE Year Two

    by The Heathen

    http://tinyurl.com/evfmk ** And I think Frank Miller said that All Star Batman is his "unofficial" year 1.5 or 3 or something, I dunno? Has there not been an issue of that in 5 months? Wow. It's like extended torture. I almost forgot about that book

  • May 16, 2006, 12:51 p.m. CST

    *sigh*

    by Thalya

    I'm gonna have to start kicking butts. *hangs head*

  • May 16, 2006, 12:58 p.m. CST

    IC in the end left me cold...Happy BD Blackthought

    by ComputerGuy68

    Soryy for being a day late ;)*** After reading COIE, Id Crisis, Day of V, OMAC Proj, Villains United, R-T War, Return of DT, IC was a letdown. Not sorry I read it, it's just after all that, in the end I said "Is that it?". I hope Marvel does a better job with CW.

  • May 16, 2006, 12:59 p.m. CST

    Hi Thalya :)

    by ComputerGuy68

  • May 16, 2006, 1:26 p.m. CST

    2 weeks. 2 weeks!!! Whattsamatta wit youse guys, eh?

    by Thalya

    OI!!! One last time: http://www.geocities.com/one_thalya/Fanfic/index.html , the first script is up. *walks out in a huff*

  • May 16, 2006, 1:47 p.m. CST

    thanks for the bday shout outs

    by blackthought

    and it is tuesday...oh my god...24!!!!!!...aaron can't be stopped!!! and the preview for the final two hours has me salivating like joey q when he hears the word crossover or when there's a team out there without wolverine knowing he can "fix" that since wolverine has many clones or something...ah tuesday boredum.

  • May 16, 2006, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Boredom, huh? I have a cure for boredom...

    by Thalya

    *kick!* :)

  • May 16, 2006, 2:25 p.m. CST

    Not only will I read it my lovely Lady C., but

    by The Heathen

    I'm printing it right now. All 22 pages of it. You will have my opinions/thoughts by Friday at the latest. *** Aaron is the man!!! If they kill him I will be really angry and complain a lot while typing really hard and shaking my fist!

  • May 16, 2006, 2:29 p.m. CST

    Twilight of the Superheroes (a cure for boredom?)

    by The Heathen

    A treatment by Alan Moore for the DC universe that never saw print. Anybody wanna talk about this and Moore

  • May 16, 2006, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Got a link to it Heathen? Thalya I'll check out..

    by ComputerGuy68

    your site.

  • May 16, 2006, 3:51 p.m. CST

    Nevermind, found some, looks like Marvel...

    by ComputerGuy68

    did too. House of M sprung to mind after reading the outline of Twilight.

  • May 16, 2006, 4:48 p.m. CST

    TWILIGHT O' THE SUPERHEROES + Year 2

    by Buzz Maverik

    I've read the TWILIGHT OF THE SUPERHEROES tx many times. Extremely interesting. It is often said to be the inspiration for KINGDOM COME and probably is, along with Gruenwald's SQUADRON SUPREME at Marvel. TOTSH was certainly more violent and darker than KC (Wonder Woman killing Donna Troi, etc). Just as a piece of writing, it is fascinating to see the format, how these things work, how St. Alan did things (if that's actually his writing)...Now, BATMAN YEAR 2. You wanna talk about Batman and guns, read YEAR 2. All I can think of now re. YEAR 2 is, wouldn't it be kind of embarrassing to be the YEAR 2 guys? I mean, yer Frank "Freakin'" Miller and David "Damnstraight" Mazzuchelli and you do YEAR 1, yer first. No one had broken into the run of a comic to deconstruct the origin before. Retelling origins was usually a flashback thing. Yer cool if you do YEAR 1, yer Mr. Who Gives A Shit if you do year 2. Who wants to follow, ya know? Like every other punk poser in the early 80s, I completely misconstrued the Clash's DEATH OR GLORY, but I kinda have to go with my misinterpretation. If you can't be great, fuck it.

  • May 16, 2006, 7:28 p.m. CST

    Interesting...

    by dregmobile

    Thanks, guys. Yeah, I noticed at the end of the book a listing and saw Year 2, but from a comlpetely different team. I will stay away indeed. And am glad I have not bought any All Star issues yet. Best to wait for the paperabck whenever it hits. Cannot wait for this terrorist batman story from Miller ... (now to hit my Batman stack)

  • May 16, 2006, 11:27 p.m. CST

    Batman: Year One was of course amazing.

    by dregmobile

    The art incredibly fluid, the realities of Batman's universe always clear. I am amazed no one has successfully returned to this style with Bats (correct me if someone has). I have nothing new to add about IC 7 having read it. That review above was perfect. My feeling is that it was only half bad. The fact they made it half bad however really ticks me off because they are my fave characters. IC was horrible. I think I value CW 1 more than any IC issue. Captain America's scene in CW 1 was spine-tingling. It really has set the stage so expertly. It was cinematic. Taking the fighter - fucking awesome stuff. I could go on ... but this thread is just about dead ... what day of the week do the a$$hole reviews come in ... ?

  • May 16, 2006, 11:56 p.m. CST

    usually wednesdays

    by blackthought

  • May 17, 2006, 9:31 a.m. CST

    Dead? NEVER!!!

    by The Heathen

  • May 17, 2006, 11:20 a.m. CST

    yep

    by The Heathen

    dead.

  • May 17, 2006, 12:58 p.m. CST

    new lost indeed

    by blackthought

  • May 17, 2006, 1:27 p.m. CST

    indeed?

    by The Heathen

    indeed, indeed.

  • May 17, 2006, 5:47 p.m. CST

    fug it

    by The Heathen

    I won't let the All Week Cog Smooches run end! No, not like this! *** The Superman Returns poster is pretty cool. I'm not thrilled by the plain type choice (felt the same for Batman Begins) but besides that, cool. I was trying to see my spot in Florida too! *** The new Superman returns trailer tb is why AICN has a bad rep in a lot of places. It's one big homophobic rant over there. I guess it goes in cycles? Costume, sexuality, script, repeat. The description of the trailer sounds great though. The slow motion shot of a bullet hitting Supes point blank and him not flinching? Yes sir. *** Did All Star Batman come out? Is it still on my pull list? I'm morbidly curious about it

  • May 17, 2006, 7:52 p.m. CST

    All Star Batman

    by dregmobile

    Looks like a good laugh more than anything else. Sometimes if the art is great, that's all I need. Interesting how LOST always becomes a hot topic toward the depths of these threads ... never watched the show myself ...

  • May 17, 2006, 8:09 p.m. CST

    im with heath

    by Darth Kal-El

    were not called 'all week' for nothing!i posted the new poster on myspace as well as some other pics. heathen when u get a chance click on my friends list-theres a girl there named rena. tell me if what shes wearing doesnt look like some wonder woman action going on? i did a double take when i saw the pic!new lost tonight so hopefully we got some answers coming.

  • May 17, 2006, 8:11 p.m. CST

    the OT Star Wars TB

    by Darth Kal-El

    is hilarious! geekiness at its fullest!

  • May 17, 2006, 9:15 p.m. CST

    hugo reyes double pistols...

    by blackthought

    that is what i envision for the finale next week...good set-up...never leave sayid behind dammit. 24 oh...good god...if aaron bites the bullet...well i shall maybe break the internet in half...you know marvel style...i.e...meaning nothing happens. just some randomness with jonah hex...i was wondering if clint eastwood had a clone...cuz i'd like to see a jonah hex flick...and i read the first solicitation for grant morrison/andy kubert's soon to commence batman run and well...BATMAN and 50 NINJA MAN-BATS...oh thank goodness for grant...i now want a ninja man-bat as a lackie or maybe cogmansion/cogtower night watchmen or something...and i hear this davinco code movie is quite the dud apparenlty.

  • May 17, 2006, 10:23 p.m. CST

    Oh my... hilarity abounds..

    by Thalya

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1kqqMXWEFs

  • May 17, 2006, 11:30 p.m. CST

    Well i'm back

    by El Vale

    Rejoice. Sorry i haven't been around much but trust me...the All Week Cogs aren't dying. I've read some great stuff the last couple days. I read Supreme Power which was really good. Great story, great writing and decent art. I'm convinced Gary Frank is the worst inked penciller in the industry. The first Gary Frank comic i ever bought was a B&W copy of Midnight Nation #1 which was actually pencils plus lettering and his art blew me away. John Sibal's inks rob the art of all its fluidity, all its smoothness...i hate him; have you seen the difference between the Supreme Powers covers and the interior art? They should either find a better inker for Frank's work or color over his pencils. The result would be amazing, i guarantee it.*** I was also able to download We3 (FINALLY!!!) and i was completely blown away. The story's very good, very touching and very simple. I would even dare call it minimalistic writing. There's so much going on here in terms of character work and so much of it is nearly invisible...i love Morrison and it still suprised and impressed me. But let's face facts here folks, the real star of the show is Frank Quitely. The only word i can think of to describe t would be "breathtaking". There were moments where i literally would stop and stare at it in complete awe. We3 really is masterful and i must own it. The real thing. Oh and i dled All Star Superman too, gonna go read it now YAAAY.