Comics

AICN COMICS REVIEWS RICHARD DONNER & GEOFF JOHNS' ACTION COMICS! DICK TRACY! 7 SOLDIERS FINALE! AND MUCH MORE!!!

Published at: Nov. 14, 2006, 10:24 p.m. CST by merrick


#31 10/25/06 #5

The Pull List Click title to go directly to the review) 7 SOLDIERS OF VICTORY #1 JUSTICE #8 NEW AVENGERS #24/CAPTAIN AMERICA #23 ACTION COMICS #844 Big Eyes For the Cape Guy presents ODE TO KIRIHITO Indie Jones presents E-MAN: RECHARGED #1 Indie Jones presents THE COMPLETE DICK TRACY VOL 1 Indie Jones presents… CHEAP SHOTS!

7 SOLDIERS OF VICTORY #1

Writer: Grant Morrison Artist: J.H.Williams Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Ambush Bug

Reading a Grant Morrison book is frustrating. Morrison is a visionary. He’s an idea man; someone whose mind seems to be on overdrive, constantly churning out one creative idea after another. The problem I have found in following many a Grant Morrison story throughout the years is that as a storyteller, Morrison needs some work. Oftentimes, the grand imaginings have that “Aww cool!” factor, but lack the grounding to actually make a cohesive story. Morrison rarely follows a conventional storytelling path. Sure, there are some of you out there who will smugly try to say I’m just an idiot for “not getting” Morrison’s stories. Some of you will say his work is “art” and look past the fact that things happen for no reason, or worse yet, the story proceeds without making a lick of sense whatsoever.
But I don’t care what you say, SEVEN SOLDIERS #1 is the comic book version of an interesting cell phone conversation with bad reception. There is some great stuff there--some great continuations from the year-long SEVEN SOLDIERS set of miniseries--but I found it sometimes painfully difficult to understand what the hell was going on throughout the entire read and by the time I finished the book, I was to the point where I no longer gave a shit. There were a lot of pretty pictures, a lot of cool characters, a whole lotta stuff goin’ on, but I didn’t understand any of it.
One of the biggest problems here is the fact that this story has been so disjointed in its many miniseries that a cohesive and straightforward final act was necessary in order to bring it all together. Each of the SEVEN SOLDIERS miniseries had moments of greatness highlighted by the truly creepy (KLARION), straight-up super heroism (ZATANNA, GUARDIAN, BULLETEER), swords n’ sorcery (SHINING KNIGHT), damn coolness (FRANKENSTIEN), and ballz out trippy-ness (MISTER MIRACLE). But the miniseries themselves were tied together by the thinnest of threads. Sometimes the faerie invasion was simply a sidebar to the actual story. Other times I sensed that what was going on had some kind of relevance, but since Morrison used so much in-speak, I found myself in need of a Morrison-to-English dictionary to follow all of the new names the writer was throwing at us. The Seven Soldiers mythology seems to be a grand one, each character having an entire universe of histories, languages, and meanings, but Morrison seems to be the only one in possession of the type of literary Rosetta Stone needed to translate this shit and he doesn’t seem to be in the mood to share it with the reader.
I don’t know what I was expecting with this final act. Maybe a panel or two featuring all of the Seven Soldiers coming together? Maybe someone explaining something that has been going on? A page of exposition explaining it all then some good ol’ comic book @$$-kickery? But none of that happens. I’m all for making the reader work for the story. I don’t need a writer to spoon feed me the plot and tie it up in a pretty little bow, but after reading and re-reading this one, I still can’t make heads or tails of it.
Try to follow me here. At the beginning of the book, we have some loon yodeling and saying something that might be relevant, but I don’t even know who the narrator is or how he functions in the story. We then cut to a few flashback splashes from the different miniseries. The narrative jumps from the story that ended in SHINING KNIGHT to MISTER MIRACLE back to SHINING KNIGHT and then back to our loon-bird narrator all in the span of the first 12 pages. Somewhere along the way the origin of Sheeda (the main baddie…I think) is explained. Then we get three pages of modern day newspaper pages of the Manhattan Guardian from the GUARDIAN series. The Bulleteer is driving a car. Zatanna is riding a flying horse. Klarion meets a faerie princess. We get one splash page that is the closest thing we get to having the Seven Soldiers sharing the same space explaining that “It’s all gone wrong!” Time’s wearing thin, space is bending, dogs and cats are doing Jaeger bombs in the corner, and a bear is moon walking down Main Street (ok, I made that last shit up, but at this point, does it really matter?). Splash of Frankenstein. Splash of Zatanna. Guardian kisses a girl. Sheeda seemingly beats Shining Knight. Mister Miracle confronts Darkseid…I mean, Dark Side and ***SPOILER*** gets his brains blown out. ***END SPOILER*** Flying horse saves Shining Knight. Spyder from the first SEVEN SOLDIERS issue pops out of nowhere to shoot an arrow into Sheeda. Bulleteer wrecks her car. Kooky narrator talks about a coat. Shining Knight gets her sword back. Narrator disappears into a swamp. Splash of Klarion laughing. I shit you not, a dog becomes an heir to a fortune. And finally, ***SPOILER***we end with Mister Miracle rising from the grave.***END SPOILER***
If any of you followed that last paragraph and were entertained (in a good way, mind you, not in a guy gets kicked in the nuts kind of way) then all the power to you. But that was some disjointed shit that read as if there were quite a few pages missing somewhere in between the ones I got. It’s possible that my distaste for this thing has a lot to do with the fact that this final issue is so lately distributed. It was supposed to wrap up a few months ago, but rumor has it that Morrison did a ton of rewrites for this final issue, delaying its release. In art, one of the hardest things to do is saying the words “I’m finished” and walk away from the piece with the feeling that it is at a point of completion. A good artist knows it in his gut when the artwork in question has reached the point where more work would ruin the piece. After reading this final mish-mosh of panels Morrison calls the SEVEN SOLDIERS finale, I find myself wishing Morrison would have either walked away from this thing a little earlier or stayed with it a bit longer to clarify some things like plot, character, and reasons why I should give a shit. Either way, this issue we got is not a good way to end a pretty phenomenal set of miniseries.
In the end, SEVEN SOLDIERS #1 is a mess of good looking artwork, but little else. I had high hopes for this SEVEN SOLDIERS thing. It was a massive project, tying seven miniseries together to tell a year-long tale. But like Morrison’s final issues of NEW X-MEN or the final issue of SEAGUY, Morrison throws narrative and reason out the window and ended up losing this reader. Morrison is one of those writers capable of greatness (WE3, ALL STAR SUPERMAN), but not this time…not this time at all.

JUSTICE # 8

Written by: Jim Kreuger and Alex Ross Illustrated by: Doug Braithwaite and Alex Ross Published by: DC Comics Reviewed by: superhero

The team finally pulls itself together in this issue after getting the beat down from Jim Kreuger and Alex Ross’ version of the Legion of Doom. There’s some really good, solid stuff in this issue, most of it dealing with interpersonal moments between the team. Sure, there weren’t any absolutely spectacular big screen moments in this comic, but this issue of JUSTICE ends up being quite entertaining because of the quiet yet dramatic moments between certain players of the team--one of these being the opening exchange between Batman and Superman and the other a small hiss fight between Elongated Man and Plastic Man. It was the latter confrontation that I thought really made this issue interesting, as it just seems to confirm, to a certain extent, my suspicions that this whole series is Ross’ reaction to IDENTITY CRISIS and the mess that followed it. Some of the stuff that Elongated Man brings up in that sequence really made me think a bit especially with what’s happened to the character in the mainstream DCU since the aforementioned mini-series. I’ve read that Alex Ross believes that Plastic Man was pretty much a template for all stretchy heroes that followed him, and while he’s probably right about that, in this issue of JUSTICE you can see Ross still has some love for Ralph Dibny and his place in the DC pantheon. Yeah, yeah, I get that Elongated Man was probably no one’s favorite character before IC (or even after it) but what comes across in these pages is a respect for the character’s place in DC Comics history which is something that was truly lacking in IDENTITY CRISIS even if he is a silly nose twitching detective type with a lame sense of humor.
In any case, this issue of JUSTICE continued to deliver the goods for me. Like I said, there’re no jaw dropping moments in here, but it is a straightforward superhero tale with some neat moments. The inevitable confrontation between the Flash and Captain Cold finally plays out and it’s a really fun bit. The best part of the whole issue, though, is seeing Ross and Braithwaite render some of the secondary players in the DCU. Seeing their interpretation of the Teen Titans, Doom Patrol, and the Metal Men just makes me completely giddy as those are characters that I’ve yet to see Ross illustrate to a great degree. Let me tell you--that, to me, it’s been worth the price of the comic alone. I, for one, would love to see Ross do a Teen Titans/Doom Patrol crossover. Something like that would be absolutely worth its weight in gold to me. While I appreciate all of the Justice League work that Ross has done the past several years I think it’s time for him to move into doing stories for some of the other characters in the DCU. Hell, you can’t tell me that it wouldn’t sell, right? C’mon! An Alex Ross Metal Men series? It’s money in the bank!
Either way JUSTICE looks like it’s on its way to revving the superhero action up to eleven and I’m hoping that all of this hullabaloo has been worth the wait. I don’t think that I’m going to be disappointed. Ross’ work has never let me down before and while I don’t expect JUSTICE to be the kick in the nuts that KINGDOM COME was I do think it’ll probably give me a final act that’s at least as satisfying.

NEW AVENGERS #24

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis Artist: Pascual Ferry

CAPTAIN AMERICA #23

Writer: Ed Brubaker Artist: Mike Perkins Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Ambush Bug I promise not to go off on a Bendis rant here because I actually thought NEW AVENGERS #24 was a pretty solid piece of writing. And I’m not going to jump onto a soapbox comparing the old writer of DAREDEVIL to the new one, even though I’m preferring Brubaker’s work on CAPTAIN AMERICA, especially issues like #23 which focus on Bucky/The Winter Soldier, to his work on Hornhead’s title. No. The reason why I chose to review these two books is because they focus on characters who view the events going on in Marvel’s big to-do event CIVIL WAR and focus on how much of a big fat mess it is.
NEW AVENGERS #24 focuses on the Sentry who, in the middle of the battle that ended with the death of Black Goliath, decides to get a little “me” time and think this whole Civil War thing over. Of course, Marvel’s version of Superman goes to the moon to do this, inadvertently raising the ire of those pesky Inhumans. This is a pretty busy issue with some great interactions between the Sentry and the inhabitants of the moon’s Blue Area. Seems since the last QUICKSILVER miniseries, the Inhumans aren’t too happy with the humans because the American government and SHIELD kept the Inhumans from punishing Quicksilver for stealing the Terrigen Mists (the precious gas that gives the Inhumans their amazing powers). They’ve waged war on Earth, but the funny thing is that the Earth’s heroes are so busy fighting each other that they are oblivious that such a powerful race of super-humans are plotting their revenge on earth’s only natural satellite. There are quite a few revelations in this issue, especially one shocker that Crystal and the Sentry have “history.” I like what Bendis did with this issue and some of the ones before it. Since there isn’t much of an Avengers team these days (not that they were much of a team to begin with), it’s nice to see each issue feature how each member is reacting to Civil War.
My problem with this issue of NA is what Marvel seems to be doing with the Sentry himself as a character. Who is the Sentry? From the get-go, the character has been messier than DC’s continuity mired Hawkman and Donna Troy characters. He started out as a hoax played on the comic book audience. Paul Jenkins tried to pass the Sentry off as actually existing as a comic book character from ancient comic book past, a forgotten creation by Stan Lee. In the end, the Sentry was revisioned and placed into Marvel continuity, although none of Marvel’s heroes remember any of their interactions. It’s an interesting character and a fun way to make connections such as the Crystal relationship introduced in this issue. The problem, though, is the problem I have with a lot of Marvel’s characters. Bendis is very good at pinpointing the weaknesses in heroes and exploiting it to the Nth degree. He did this with Daredevil’s nervous breakdown. And Marvel and Mark Millar are doing the same with Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, and Captain America in CIVIL WAR. The Sentry is a character so defined by his weaknesses that there really isn’t room for anything else. He’s not a hero as much as he is a blubbering, spineless mess cowering like a dog that shat in your shoe perfectly illustrated by this issue’s end when Iron Man arrives on the scene. It was a good story, but one that only confirmed the fact that the Sentry is a character so flawed that he loses any sympathetic appeal as a hero.
Tangent rant time. If there is one across-the-board criticism I have for most of Marvel books, it’s that their top tier writers really have no idea what being a hero is. Every one of Marvel’s icons are so caught up in their own personal struggles and walking around with their heads so firmly tucked so far into their duodenums these days that acts of true heroism are as foreign as hot chicks in a comic shop. I understand Marvel has a long history of flawed heroes, but in the past, heroics have occurred despite these flaws. Now the flaws are front and center while the acts of heroism are few and far between. At it’s core, this issue focuses on a guy who leaves the Earth in crisis (a crisis caused by a bunch of heroes too busy fighting amongst themselves to be bothered with actual heroics) to go off by himself and think about his own problems. Not very heroic in by book and there are too many comics like these today. End tangent rant time.
CAPTAIN AMERICA #23 focuses on the Winter Soldier again. I’d complain that Bru seems to like writing the former Bucky more than he likes writing the title character, but with stories with this level of excellence, I really don’t care. Bru paces this one pretty well with a nice fight in the beginning, resulting in a heart to heart between Bucky and the true Nick Fury. As in NEW AVENGERS, the events of CIVIL WAR are looked at by an outside party and in this case, a lot of great character moments for both Fury and Bucky come as a result. This is yet another stellarly written issue. As a single issue, this one has it all. Action, plot advancement, character, and yet another cliffhanger with the Red Skull plotting in the background. Bru is kicking so much @$$ in this series. He truly is the most rock solid writer Marvel has in its stable.
But on to the reason I chose to write a review about both of these books: both books focus on a character outside of CIVIL WAR looking in at the whole thing and seeing how pointless it all is. Both books show its main characters (the Sentry and the Winter Soldier) commenting on the futility of the battle these heroes are having and both issues provide sound arguments supporting this fact. I couldn’t agree with these arguments more. Both issues illustrate the same distaste I feel for once-loved characters like Captain America, Iron Man, and the rest of the heroes taking part in this CIVIL WAR event. It’s funny that two of Marvel’s top writers put out two titles in the same week and write them so well illustrating how much of a freaking mess CIVIL WAR is making of Marvel’s mainstream characters. These two books highlight the chinks in CIVIL WAR’s armor much better than any comic book reviewer can. These are comments about the miniseries from the inside. As a reader of Marvel books for years, I have never felt such dissatisfaction for the way the company’s main heroes are being handled. It’s sad, really. But at least there are books like NEW AVENGERS #24 and CAPTAIN AMERICA #23 that may not necessarily do anything to change things, but they do address and identify the problem with the heroes of the Marvel U.

ACTION COMICS #844

Writers: Geoff Johns & Richard Donner Artist: Adam Kubert Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Prof. Challenger

Geoff Johns (INFINITE CRISIS, FLASH) joins forces with Richard Donner (director of Superman: The Movie and Superman II) and artist extraordinaire Adam Kubert (X-MEN, ULTIMATE X-MEN) for "Last Son," the tale of a small child from the planet Krypton. Sent by his parents to Earth with powers beyond imagination, the child's future potential is limitless. Especially when Superman finds him! Don't miss this amazing comics event! - DC Comics website
I think this has been something of a polarizing comic book. Not to the degree of, say, CIVIL WAR, but the little bit that I’ve noticed in the online chatter, there seems to be equal consensus that it was either a slam-dunk or a complete snafu. And that’s with my admission that I don’t spend a whole lot of time just vegging out online, so I may have completely missed a segment of the Opinionati who might have skewed my informal polling results in one clear direction. But Champion Pollster John Zogby I am not.
If nothing else, this comic should be publicity dynamite for DC Comics in that it heralds the beginning of a new era in Superman comics with creative input directly from Richard Donner, who solidly defined Superman in the cinema (and, therefore, world opinion) forever. The effect of his input into the premiere Superman title, ACTION COMICS, looks to be a bold redefinition of the comic book version of the character. A redefinition that embraces aspects of all previous interpretations of the character. And I would suspect that it is this attempt, in appearance at least, at trying to be all things to all people that may be causing the polarization. Let me give you some spoilerized examples:
Well, first thing out of the chute, this issue begins with Superman at the Fortress of Solitude and this Fortress is explicitly the crystallized one from the Superman movies – even down to Superman using a crystal to talk to the disembodied head of Jor-El. Jor-El, for some reason, does not look like Marlon Brando, nor does he look like the emotionless bald Jor-El from Byrne’s Superman reboot, nor does he look like the Silver-Age/Superman The Animated Series Jor-El who basically looks just like Superman but with a headband. In our new continuity, Jor-El now looks like a bearded folksinger from the 70s. The impact of SUPERMAN RETURNS has hit Superman’s costume where he now has the “S” shield belt buckle, the angled belt loops, and bulkier boots. Thank Rao he doesn’t have the low-slung mini-trunks and maroon color. Jimmy looks like he’s been de-aged once again back into a dorky teenager. Clark looks identical now to the Brandon Routh SUPERMAN RETURNS version of Clark with the sloppy hair and rumpled clothes. Superman is shown dramatically struggling to prevent a UFO from crashing onto the streets of Metropolis (very similar to the plane rescue in SUPERMAN RETURNS). Lex Luthor is now in an under-the-sewers hideout, like in SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE. There’s a scene where Superman comes angrily pushing through a giant steel door and demanding information from Sarge Steel that is a direct homage to the same type of scene in SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE when Superman barges into Luthor’s lair. And finally, Pa Kent is still alive which is a holdover from Byrne’s reboot and LOIS & CLARK, plus now he’s thin with blond hair which is a tip-o-the-hat to John Schneider’s “Jonathan Kent” on SMALLVILLE.
As I said, a little bit of everything for everyone. The problem with going that route is that for everything that is added or changed, that means that something has had to be dropped or retconned. Coupling this issue with the Supergirl’s dream of Krypton in the latest LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES, the current interpretation of Krypton is one right out of Edgar Rice Burroughs with futuristic cities where people fly through the skies on dragon creatures and the “El” family symbol is the famous Superman “S” shield, which means that Superman’s insignia was no longer created by his adoptive mother, Martha. All those many stories involving the Eradicator and WORLD OF KRYPTON and other stories about how Kryptonians could not leave their planet or they die are gone from continuity. Clark is back to being a shuffle bum rather than the confident ex-football star. That sort of thing.
The point is that anytime the writers shift around the continuity in any meaningful way, there’s going to be a significant number of people made uncomfortable and you run the risk of losing their readership and money. So, the writers really have to make it something good to keep the long timers but also bring in new blood.
Personally, I can see where this issue was a smart way to kick off this new era of the Amalgam-Superman. If the assumption is made that the vast majority of people out there in the country and the world’s impression of Superman is primarily because of the movies, and most recently SUPERMAN RETURNS, then it makes sense to try and reorient the comic books just enough to be comfortably recognizable to potential new readers. I actually remember DC giving a half-hearted attempt at this right after the original SUPERMAN movie came out. I don’t know, but I’m guessing it was either Cary Bates or Elliot Maggin at the time, who tried to incorporate some crystallized Kryptonite (evocative of the crystals in the movie) and even gave Luthor a bumbling sidekick very similar to Ned Beatty’s “Otis” character from the movies. But those little additions disappeared almost instantly and the comics just slipped right back into status quo with no attempt whatsoever made to incorporate elements from the movie. Nowadays Warner's media machine is much more savvy about the marketing interrelationship between their licensing properties like Superman, and so DC is making a purposeful, and thought-out, attempt to reconcile the various Superman interpretations without performing a wholesale reboot of the entire franchise line in comics. The biggest mistake here was not timing it so that this issue could have hit the stands right after the SUPERMAN RETURNS movie hit the theaters.
I’m not sure I’m totally on board with it. At least not yet. I didn’t dislike this issue; in fact, I found it intellectually stimulating as my brain picked it apart noticing all the different franchise elements. I also found the storyline, which is about another Kryptonian starship crashing and Superman discovering a young Kryptonian boy in there, to be a good beginning to what could be an interesting development. It does seem odd though that concurrent storylines in BATMAN and ACTION, both coincidentally illustrated by one or the other of the Kubert brothers, would be dealing with the lead character and his “son.” In Batman’s case, his blood son, and in Superman’s case, a de facto son in that there’s no other Kryptonian man alive to fill that role for this boy. It’s funny, though, that this was the way DC chose to go in giving Superman a child. After the big “reveal” in SUPERMAN RETURNS, I really expected that DC was going to use the ONE YEAR LATER gimmick to allow Clark and Lois to have some non-super lovemaking and that way Lois could show up pregnant just as Clark regained his powers. Instead, it looks like DC may be setting up an adoptive son who could step promptly into the role of a new “Superboy” without the annoying “Superbaby” years. Or this could simply be a cool little story-arc that will culminate in the big ACTION #850 with the death of the new kid, or the revelation that it was all a trick and the secret villain revealed and defeated, culminating with the last page revelation by Lois that she’s pregnant – just like I said before. Either way, I think it’s a good story idea, and so far I think it was a more successful and better thought-out way of bringing a super-kid into the story than the idea they came up with in SUPERMAN RETURNS. Maybe this is simply a case of Donner and Johns showing Singer how it should have been done.
The introduction of so many different franchise elements did cause the comic to jump around a bit disjointedly, but it was so much better than so much on the stands nowadays that I can’t complain too much about that. Besides, I get the impression that a lot of these things were ideas or scenes thrown into the mix by Donner and Johns dutifully found a way to incorporate them into this first issue. And the truth is, Donner has one thing he can proudly state and that is that he has a good handle on who Superman is. As a result, if I were in Johns’ position, I’d likely say “Good idea, Dick” and try to find a way to work it in too. Yeah. The more I think about it, the more I’m looking forward to the next few issues to see how this story develops as these two guys get into a working groove.
Artistically, I thought Adam Kubert did a spectacular job. His work is a bit more angular and stylized than I normally like in a Superman artist, but it worked for me. The characters were very expressive and I even saw some genetic hints of Joe Kubert coming through. You know, an occasional line or stroke here and there, an eye, that sort of thing? I have one complaint though. I loved the cover, artistically. It’s a gray tone painting of a somber, sad Superman. A brilliant piece of art. Unfortunately, I just have to think that it was a terrible choice for a cover kicking off what is essentially a new age for Superman. It’s a depressing image with no color or joy. And that lack of joy is also one of the reasons why SUPERMAN RETURNS missed the mark with the public at large and brought in receipts barely over a third of what PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 2 brought in. Superman never smiled. He grimaced all the time. Even on all the toys and coloring books, there was Brandon Routh’s emotionless face plastered everywhere. Every newspaper ad focused on expressionless Superman flying. Even when the movie copycatted the final shot of Superman in orbit flying towards the audience, no smile. Whereas, in the original SUPERMAN movie, Christopher Reeve smiled . . . A LOT. And because of that, the audience was drawn to him. Try it out sometime in a room of strangers. If you stand around with a stoic grimace on your face, see how popular you are. However, if you make eye contact with people and smile, watch how much more friendly and apt to be drawn to you the others are. This cover really should’ve featured an iconic Superman image drawing in new readers and cover browsers, with “A Bold New Era” or something like that plastered on the cover along with a huge announcement of Richard Donner as co-writer. A real missed marketing hit in my opinion.
Also should’ve had a 52-style two-page origin and history recap establishing Superman clearly to new readers who may be wondering about when Lois and Clark got married, how come Pa Kent is still alive, that sort of thing, and once that's out of the way the writers are free to clearly move forward.
All in all, I'd classify it as a classy but mixed bag. So far, the positive outweighs the negative and the potential for greatness is here. Now it’s up to Donner and Johns to reach that potential over the next few months.

ODE TO KIRIHITO

Creator: Osamu Tezuka Publisher: Vertical Reviewer: Dan Grendell

"Have I become a beast to the very core?"
There's a reason Osamu Tezuka is known as the God of Manga. His earliest work in the Forties helped establish modern manga in its current form, and his incredible output until his death in 1989 influenced both Eastern and Western comics creators of several generations. It wasn't all ASTRO BOY and BLACK JACK, either- Tezuka hit some pretty serious subjects with his manga, like the life of the Buddha in BUDDHA, reincarnation and immortality in his life's work, PHOENIX, and many more, including ODE TO KIRIHITO.
Originally published in the early Seventies, KIRIHITO tackles the subject of humanity and what gives a person value. The story is a long one, over 800 pages, but Vertical has put together a very nice one-volume presentation and it all flows quite nicely. In short form, KIRIHITO is about Japanese doctor Kirihito Osanai, who is studying a mysterious illness known as Monmow Disease. Monmow warps bone structure and body makeup such that people end up with twisted limbs and dog faces, making them outcasts before they die. The cause is unknown, but Osanai suspects something in the water or soil, because it is confined to one remote village, but his boss insists it is a virus. When Osanai goes to the village to investigate, he is cut off by his boss as part of a political maneuver, and a long series of events begins to teach him who he really is and what truly matters.
Tezuka really knocks it out of the park here, with great storytelling and an involving story that can't help but draw you in. His somewhat cartoony style serves well in this story, giving the Monmow patients a distinctive look that leaves enough human connection that they both disgust and sadden you. I'm not always a fan of Tezuka's art, as characters often become caricatures in his hands, but that rarely happens here. Action is smooth and dynamic, and the story flows strongly, making the length of the manga less of an issue than you might think.
Until now, when people have heard how great Tezuka was and wanted to see for themselves, they were directed to ASTRO BOY. I'm glad to see these other classics being released, and definitely commend Vertical for putting this one out.

E-MAN: RECHARGED #1

Writer: Nick Cuti Artist: Joe Staton Publisher: Digital Webbing Reviewer: Prof. Challenger

Like a comfortable old pair of shoes, E-Man returns to the comics stands - albeit only for a one-shot. But beggars can't be choosers.
For those who are too young to remember E-Man (Alec Tronn), he's a millions-year-old sentient energy being who puts into practice Einstein's famous formula by taking physical form as a super-hero. Essentially, E-Man can make his body do anything he wants. He can conform his shape reminiscent of Plastic Man. He can fly. He can zip anywhere almost instantaneously through telephone and radio waves. He's about as close to all-powerful as a super-hero can get. And were he published by Marvel, we'd probably be getting ULTIMATE E-MAN: RECHARGED AND SADISTIC. If DC published him, we'd probably get THE MOROSE TRIALS OF THE ALL-NEW E-MAN. Thankfully, however, Digital Webbing's Matt Webb is the man who ushered creators Nick Cuti and Joe Staton back to the character.
The charm of E-Man has always been his childlike naiveté and the pun-ridden satirical stories. Well, that and his hot stripper girlfriend Nova Kane, who also happens to have incidentally gained powers identical to E-Man. All these classic elements are on display in this one-shot along with supporting cast members Teddy Q., the odd little Koala Bear, and Michael Mauser, P.I., the cigarette-smoking unfortunately named gumshoe.
Sometimes it is so hard for comic book creators to return to characters they've worked on previously and make it work. It just never matches the memory of those readers who recall the earlier work and it so often carries the stench of desperation - like the writer/artist feel like they've taken a step backwards in their career to return to the past. Thankfully there is none of that on display here. Cuti and Staton just slipped comfortably right back in as if they'd never left. I love that.
This story is somewhat a sequel to the very first E-Man story from 30 years ago, but it is written so that everything the reader needs to know to enjoy this comic is right there - a real treat to the modern reader. Nova's right there stripping away on the first page JUST LIKE SHE'S SUPPOSED TO!! E-Man's off on a mission to Mars. Their arch-villain, The Brain, is still around causing mischief and Nova's being tormented by an invisible stalker. By the end of the story, the story is complete along with a scene of actual pathos, and the characters are off to another adventure.
One of the most pleasant comic book reading experiences I've had in a while. I've read it three times already and smiled every time.
I particularly enjoyed the fact that Matt Webb sent out preview copies of the comic book so that he could include a good old-fashioned letters page. And featured on that letters page is the one and only Ron Fortier, who had his old GREEN HORNET comic series featured recently in BACK ISSUE magazine and is storming the pulp fronts currently with his CAPTAIN HAZZARD: PYTHON MEN OF THE LOST CITY book. There's a Behind-The-Scenes section that is interesting and an introduction by Michael Ambrose, editor of CHARLTON SPOTLIGHT. So, this one-shot is filled to the brim with comic and E-Man goodness.
Hats off to Joe Staton for reminding me what a great cartoonist he is. I first saw his work in ALL-STAR comics and the Plastic Man feature in ADVENTURE COMICS in the 70s, but most comic readers would know him from his work on the GREEN LANTERN CORPS in the late 80s. He's one of the few artists still working out there who can easily shift between full-blown cartoony, straight super-hero, and even a blend of the two - which is what is on display when he tackles his greatest creation, E-Man. My other hat's off to Joe also for the costume design on E-Man. Just absolutely one of the best uses of color and design with the orange, yellow, white, and black perfectly balanced.
It's time to bring back E-MAN on a regular basis. How about E-MAN QUARTERLY? I'd buy it. Right now, everyone go hunt this one-shot down at your local comic store or online.

THE COMPLETE DICK TRACY: VOLUME ONE

Writer/Artist: Chester Gould Publisher: IDW Publishing Reviewer: Prof. Challenger

Chester Gould—unaware that he was changing America’s popular culture forever—was simply doing his best to make Mom, Dad and the kids fight over who got to see the paper first . . . and to make sure that whoever did turned to Tracy first… - Max Allan Collins, from his introduction
IDW steps out on an impressive new venture this week. Beginning with Volume One covering every DICK TRACY strip published from 1931-1933, they plan to publish volumes in this series until every single Chester Gould DICK TRACY strip has been printed and preserved forever in this beautiful archival collection.
Words actually fail me in trying to sufficiently describe what an obvious labor of love this book is. It’s hefty $29.99 cover price is more than justified by the quality of the package and its historical significance. Wrapped in a gorgeous goldfoil dustcover, this hardback book features hundreds of pages of meticulously reproduced comic strips from 75 years ago. But, wait, there’s more. Which there should be since this is supposed to be complete. Former DICK TRACY writer (following Gould), mystery novelist and sometime comic book writer Max Allan Collins contributes a nice introductory piece to the book and features the first of a 1980 multi-part interview with Gould that originally ran in NEMO: THE CLASSIC COMICS LIBRARY #17. And yet, there’s still more! This collection begins by publishing the five daily PLAINCLOTHES TRACY strips that Gould drew up as a proposal that was eventually revised and shortened to DICK TRACY—with “Dick” being a slang term for a plainclothes detective. This book is a great example of getting the most “bang” for your “buck.”
About this time, some of the younger comic fans out there have got to be scratching their heads wondering what the big deal is about DICK TRACY. I have to confess that the years when I habitually devoured DICK TRACY comic strips were after Gould had retired. I got hooked when strip writer Max Collins and artist Dick Locher started The Return of Pruneface. I had occasionally read the series before then, but that was the story that hooked me and kept me coming back to the strip for years. But even though I was a latecomer to appreciating the strip, I understand the impact of DICK TRACY upon the comic strip and comic book world. DICK TRACY was the first of the great hardboiled detective/adventure strips. The strip was born into a world dealing with real-life gangsters like Al Capone and John Dillinger and great lawmen like Elliot Ness and his Untouchables. DICK TRACY was cut from the legendary Ness mold. Tracy’s square-jawed detective had big fists that he didn’t shy from using to beat the daylights out of the bad guys and he knew how to use a gun with deadly force. The DICK TRACY strips included in this volume do not contain the more colorful and larger-than-life villains like Flattop, Pruneface, and The Brow. What it does contain is some shockingly bold and gritty stories involving on panel suicides and lots of profanity – rarely obfuscated by dingbats but instead the first letter of the bad word is followed by a long dash. And it’s quite clear what’s being said by the characters. Or how about that Pat? He’s dumb enough to stick his eye up to a keyhole to peek in on the gangster “Big Boy” and finds himself plugged by two bullets: one in the head and one in the eye. He then spends the next few months wearing an eye patch.
As an historical archive, we should all be indebted to IDW for preserving the disturbing political incorrectness of the times in which the strips were originally published. They did not go the route of the NEW YORK TIMES a few years back who went and airbrushed President Franklin Roosevelt’s cigarette out of his photo when they ran it large on the front page. Nope. Everyone in DICK TRACY chain smokes. A running gag throughout the series is that “girls” can never be trusted with a secret because they always blab it to other “girls.” And most disturbing of all are the racial caricatures when black characters appear such as the shoeshine boy. It really is hard to believe how pervasive racism in this country was just the accepted norm only 75 years ago. But I also believe it’s wrong to try and whitewash history. Better to see such things in the proper context and appreciate the positive and simply regret that the people involved had not been as enlightened as they should have been.
The bottom line is that these strips are not DICK TRACY at its prime but it still stands up as a strong adventure strip. I know that every time I picked the book up to read a few strips, I found it hard to put down because I kept wanting to find out what happened next. The strip struggles most noticeably with dialogue that reads like it’s pulled directly from an Edward G. Robinson movie: “So you birds were coming to rescue your pal, Dan, eh? Well boys — There’s no jail delivery tonight.” Charming in its’ goofiness, but at the same time, Gould shows Tracy to be a tough, smart detective who uses his brains first and his fists second. There’s a running frustrated romance plot between Tracy and Tess that was surely included as a way of hooking the “girls” into reading the comic strip and the introduction of the brash little orphan, “Junior,” I’m sure was Gould’s way of giving the kids someone to identify with. These earliest DICK TRACY strips also already demonstrate what would become its most notable aspect— showcasing cutting edge technology and crime-fighting techniques. Gould’s cartooning style improves noticeably as the pages fly by and Tracy himself slowly evolves closer and closer to the iconic square-jawed, hook-nosed profile he is most recognized by.
The only problem I can find with this collection is that I ran the math and realized that for this series to complete its goal that means that, by necessity, there will be some 25 to 30 volumes before it ends. That’s a huge investment on the part of the collectors out there. I worry a bit about IDW’s ability to maintain the momentum and the sales. If nothing else, though, this first volume is a sheer must-have for all devotees of the great newspaper comic strips. Don’t buy that ABSOLUTE ULTIMATE OVERSIZED SUPER-COLLECTION OF INFINITE CRISIS OF MULTIPLE CIVIL WARS for $50 to slip into a mylar display box. Buy this truly historical one-of-a-kind collection. And READ it! It’s priceless.

TAG #2 BOOM! Studios

TAG continues to be an intimate allegory on relationships and proof positive that the zombie genre is one that you can set just about any type of story in. Writers Keith Giffen and Mike Leib follow a young couple whose break-up is interrupted when someone tags one of them making that person “it.” “It” meaning that they are the recipient of a zombie curse that will eventually cause that person to decompose and die if the game isn’t continued and another person isn’t tagged. It’s a sick version of the schoolyard game and a downright genius concept to hang a story on. The interaction between the couple as they try to figure out what’s going on is well done. My one criticism is that both of the two leads are pretty despicable people resulting in me finding it hard to root for anyone, but since the book’s focus is on the “death” of this couple’s relationship, I guess it is true that a break-up brings out the worst in everyone. This is one of the more mature and sophisticated stories BOOM! has to offer. Great stuff. - Ambush Bug

CORRECTIVE MEASURES #3 Ronin Studios

I was intrigued by Grant Chastain’s first issue of CORRECTIVE MEASURES because it was a nice concept. The book centers on a correctional facility for super-villains and the guards (one in particular) that are assigned to work there. Captain Brody has been assigned to this new super prison and although he’s starting to get acclimated to his new job, he’s realizing that the horrors of prison seem to ooze into one’s soul and how that is a hard thing to shed when you leave the office and head out into the real world. The story is at its best when focusing on Captain Brody’s interactions with his wife and child; how he worries about them finding out about the things he has to do in order to keep the inmates in line. This issue also ends with a resonant crash, one that is narrated with style and reverberated long after I closed the book. - Ambush Bug

PIRATE TALES #1 BOOM! Studios

Yo ho ho, matey, this here is a fine example of how cool BOOM! Studios can really be. PIRATE TALES #1 offers a little for the swabby in all of us. From start to finish, this book was a treasure to read. Keith Giffen and Chris Ward start out with a gruesome tale of survival with three men floating on a raft made out of dead pirates. Further highlights include a beautifully rendered and written tale of modern day pirates by John Rogers and Lee Carter and a heart wrenching and poetic tale of pirate love by Michael Alan Nelson and Chee. I hope to see more of these PIRATE TALES very soon. - Ambush Bug

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


PLANETARY #26 DC Wildstorm

IT'S OVER!!! Well, it's sorta over. At least it's an end to the overall plot that has run through the whole of the series, and that is what is to be done about The Four? Really, at this point I can't tell you anything you don't know about this series without spoiling a pretty solid ending. The writing and the art are same as they always were, and even though the ending was actually somewhat forced and out of left-field, I still think it succeeded very well in "putting a bow" on Ellis' amazing gift to the comics community that was this series. I guess now it's just the matter of what Ellis has called a "bookend" issue left and one of the all-time greatest comic books to see print is put to an end. Thank you Mr. Ellis and Mr. Cassaday. - Humphrey

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #5 DC Comics

Okay, I know this one didn’t come out this week, but it’s been drivin’ me nuts so I gotta ask: Page 12, Panel 3. What’s that Japanese word that means “fan service” again? I mean, I think Soranik Natu is by far the rookie GL with the most potential as a character, so I don’t mind her turning up regularly, but…sheesh. Unintentional? Mmmaybe. Wrong? Definitely. And lovely as her figure is, there are bound to be some GL purists who are going to argue that her endowments don’t yet deserve to be put on the same level as the huge globe…err…sentient planet that is Mogo. But back to serious business: two robot tiger-striped girls in bikinis take out a guy with two heads that both look like the Pillsbury Doughboy, and it turns out the Korugarans are still a buncha crimson-colored douche bags. If you think this was meant to be a critical review, you’re wrong, BTW…I still find it pretty entertaining. In fact, I think Gibbons’ writing reflects a genuine improvement over the RANN/THANAGAR WAR mini he wrote. This is shaping up to be a fun little title, all things considered. - Sleazy G

DEATHBLOW #1 DC WildStorm

So now I've tried four out of the five "revamped" series from the WildStorm line, and I'd say we're batting five-hundred as far as enjoyability goes, with this bad boy here falling in the "not" category alongside Gail's GEN13. I mean, it's not all bad. It's definitely as violent and gritty as I was expecting/hoping, and I love the D'Anda art on this, but it really has this unusual sense of humor to it that comes off as way too cheesy for it to be taken seriously. The whole sequence where our title character is rescued from several years of imprisonment and torture is more awkward than it is clever, and threw the whole book outta a rhythm that started off alright. But I'm willing to give this one more shot. Like I said, I like the art a lot, and I think this felt more like a "let's get the pilot over and get to the meat" kind of issue so maybe the ship will right itself. But if not, there's a lot of trouble ahead for this new relaunch of WildStorm books as one of the two I thought was worthy of buying (WildCATS) is now officially hounded by horrible delays, and two of the others I read felt very stifled and disjointed. We'll see I guess. - Humphrey

HEROES FOR HIRE #3 Marvel Comics

I’m liking what Palmiotti and Gray are doing with this title. Although some of the characters seem redundant (Black Cat and Tarantula stand about having basically nothing to do but look sultry) and there are one or two too many fanboy bad girl panels with the women sticking either their jubblies or their poop-makers out as if that were their sole super power. But it’s nice to see this group of mercenaries-with-heart kick @$$ and take roll call. What made me want to mention this issue in this here Cheap Shot section is the artistic leap from last issue to this issue. I found issue two to be sloppy, artistically, with uninspired paneling and a whole lot of heroes standing around with nothing to do. In this issue, the “camera” is shifted a bit and show some dramatic angles and perspectives. Hopefully Francis Portela and Billy Tucci can continue to hold it together and we won’t have another mess like last issue on our hands. The artists take center stage in this one in an especially bad@$$ scene with Shang Chi. - Bug

GEN 13 #1 DC Wildstorm

Another WildStorm relaunch title, GEN 13 is more of a reboot of the first issue of the original series. Some of the other WORLDSTORM releases pick up where previous series left off, but this one re-tells the origins of the original GEN 13 crew (not that I could tell you who any of the half-assed replacements from a few years back were). Gail Simone does a solid job with the story, but to be honest, it’s a bit too dark and vicious. As the only teen team in the WildStorm Universe, it would have been nice if this one had kept a bit of its old innocence and spunk instead of going all murderous mayhem right outta the gates—it feels more like DV8 than GEN 13 in some ways. I’ll give it a few more issues to see if it grows on me cuz I dig most of Simone’s stuff, but I’m treading lightly with this one. - Sleazy

NEXTWAVE #9 Marvel Comics

Well, there's really only one thing that needs to be said here:
FORBUSH MAN!
FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN! FORBUSH MAN!
...Sometimes, these reviews just write themselves. - Humphrey

THE ESCAPISTS #4 (of 6) Dark Horse Comics

This continues to be a crackerjack miniseries, and I just can’t get my head around why more readers aren’t getting into the comics spun out of Michael Chabon’s glorious “The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier and Clay”. Brian K. Vaughan is writing the hell outta this miniseries, folks, and it feels completely unlike any other title of his I’ve read. Telling a story of a couple of comic book creators trying to do justice to a legendary stable of characters while starting to fall for each other, each issue of this miniseries has touching moments, snarky humor, and action. It’s all very firmly grounded in modern-day real world Cleveland, and it’s still exciting and fun as all heck. Who knew Cleveland had it in ‘em? Not the people who made it the 7th most dangerous city in America this week, that’s for sure…guess they could use The Escapist now more than ever. Seriously, people: just but the danged thing already. Then go back and get the anthologies Dark Horse published. THE ESCAPIST has consistently been one of the best series of the last half-decade, and that fact that only a few thousand of you know it yet is a crime all its own. - Sleazy

THE TRIALS OF SHAZAM #3 DC Comics

This book is starting to become a bit of a pleasant surprise for me. After reading the first issue I wasn't really sure what to make of this title, but this one and the previous one have done a lot to polarize my opinion to the point where I would actually recommend trying this series. I like everything that's going on here. I like the promoting of Billy Batson to the Wizard's "Keeper of the Rock" position, and I like the idea of Freddy Freeman having to "earn his stripes" so to speak in order to be upgraded from Captain Marvel Jr. to the real deal. And I'm really digging this new "pseudo-painted" style of Porter's on the book. It's not terribly dynamic, but it has this sort of, I dunno, "aura" to it that really fits the magic theme the title has. Right now my only real complaints are that sometimes the dialogue and some situations in the book are too hip for it's own good, but it's doesn't really ruin the overall feel of the book. Now I just wonder if Winick is capable of keeping me interested with this storyline for another nine issues. - Humphrey

Readers Talkback

comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Nov. 1, 2006, 9:23 a.m. CST

    third!

    by loodabagel

    I am third-man!

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Nextwave #9 Roxxored

    by chrth

    I was going to do my own Herc-style review for it but time kept slipping away.

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 9:34 a.m. CST

    Geoff Johns sucks.

    by Darksider

    Infinite Crisis was a joke. "Everything revolves around Superman." What a piece of shit.

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 9:38 a.m. CST

    Uhm sweet.

    by Shigeru

    I got nothing but love for my @$$'s... but man I couldn't disagree more with both the Seven Soldiers and Action Comics reviews. I'll be back to explain why. Later.

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Haven't read any Seven Soldiers yet, but...

    by loodabagel

    I still think, even bad Grant Morrison comics are still pretty interesting. Here Comes Tommorow, anyone? The story made no sense whatsoever, but it had talking whales and mutant mutants.

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 10:16 a.m. CST

    Seven Soldiers

    by Uncle Festering

    I agree that Seven Soldiers became quite a mess. I think it could have been salvaged with this issue, but instead it felt like they had to rush the ending and it became a mess..... But ya know what....you guys didn't review it...but the biggest mess of last week's crop of comics was that Planetary ended with a WHIMPER. Talk about a let down.

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 10:21 a.m. CST

    I wonder if CM3 will get AIDS from that tattoo...

    by Squashua

    Hi Judd!

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 10:20 a.m. CST

    Action Comics

    by The Heathen

    "Jor-El now looks like a bearded folksinger from the 70s" <br> <br> That line was great Prof. I dunno, I think I feel the same way, but I'm a little more on the negative side of this mixed bag. I whole heartedly agree about the cover. It's night and day from the interior art. I also suppose I could grow to gel with Adam Kubert's new style, but a lot of it just felt too sketched I guess. The Jor-El looking like the folk singer bothered me. I didn't really mind Jonathan Kent looking like Bo Duke, but it still stuck out a little too much. I dug the fortress looking how it did (which they rebuilt at the end of the 'Up, Up, and Away' story after OYL). The belt and costume changes I'm not down with either. <br> <br> My main problem is the reveal of yet another Kryptonian. Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself and the kid will be an impostor or something else, BUT as it stands now it's been done too much, too recent. With the kid in Superman Returns being the only other 'oh crap' thing about the movie besides it's somber tone, the reintroduction of Supergirl that was supposed to make sense but it confuses the hell outta me - it feels like Kal-El is far from the last son of Krypton. How many times can we use that story gimmick? That's my main problem with this issue. I hope for the best and hopefully I'll be wrong by the end of this arc. I liked Luthors line too. I've said before that I hate Luthor when in hiding, but that's mainly for the movies. In this comic he should be hiding after the recent events of him unleashing Kryptonian war ships on Metropolis and he's interested in this new 'Superboy' because he wants Conner back. <br> <br> Mixed bag for sure. Maybe 40/60 split in my oh so humble opinion.

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 10:21 a.m. CST

    Hulk will fix Civil War mess...

    by ComputerGuy68

    Hulk Smash Civil War! Puny humans in spandex...

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 10:23 a.m. CST

    I too enjoy crappy Ultimate marvel...

    by loodabagel

    Because Ultimate Spider-Man is one fine comic book. Bah! Ultimate SPidey is great. Get outta here.

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 10:24 a.m. CST

    Squashua

    by The Heathen

    I did the whole comics thing for Halloween last night. We didn't have too many kids in our neighborhood, but the ones that got them dug it. I only gave out maybe 20 total along with candy too. Towards the end I gave some kids a stack. Some old Marvel Fanfares, Spidey 2099, Avengers and Preacher issues. <br> <br> Kidding about the Preacher issues. ; )

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 10:25 a.m. CST

    So is this kid the third Kryptonian the Auctioneer...

    by ComputerGuy68

    mentioned? I was hoping it was going to be Conner, oh well...

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 10:32 a.m. CST

    anybody read Ultimate Spider-Man 101?

    by Argentino

    SPOILER what's with that crappy ending? mary jane hulking out? END SPOILER the clone saga was going great 'til that part

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 10:47 a.m. CST

    The new Kryptonian

    by Wossy

    SPOILERS ON: Anyone think it's a coincidence that Mon-El just turned up in Legion of Super Heroes? I'm betting the kid gets tossed in the Phantom Zone at the end of this arc...

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 10:56 a.m. CST

    Nice reviews, Bug...

    by stones_throw

    I've often thought just the same about Grant Morrison, but felt guilty for not 'getting' it. Glad to know it's not just me :) <br> But if you want good ol' heroism in your Marvel comics, look no further than your second Civil War review. Brubaker's been putting Cap through a wringer of biblical proportions while emphasising his true heroism and values. The bit at the end of the 'Winter Soldier' arc where Cap picks up the Cosmic Cube was certainly one of the best smile-on-your-face moments of the last few years.

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 11:21 a.m. CST

    Just a Cheap Shot for Planetary?

    by dtpena

    well... at least it's a good one.. kudos for dick tracy, didn't know about that, but it's great news

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 11:30 a.m. CST

    Supergirl

    by The Heathen

    One of the funniest things I can remember reading was the intro to the second volume of Superman/Batman where they talk about Supergirl and how confusing her history was and how they wanted people to know how and where she came from, blah, blah. A year or two later and I'm more confused than ever.

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 11:44 a.m. CST

    It's not about being "too stupid" to get Morrison...

    by SleazyG.

    ...it's that while I love a lot of his concepts and he throws out more ideas in one issue than many writers do in a year, he often has difficulty wrapping up a story. The guy is really, really good, but he's not perfect, and there's nothing wrong with saying so. I didn't have a problem with the end of SEAGUY or WE3, but the final three issues of his X-MEN run kinda stunk, and I think a lot of 7 SOLDIERS went off the rails at some point. Its godawful scheduling plan didn't help, either: the idea of a story that takes a year to tell because you get a few miniseries that end, then a few more that start, then a final issue that refers back to stuff you haven't seen in 8 months was just a shitty, shitty concept. Taking an extra six months exacerbated the problem even further, draining the series of all its momentum. After that much time you're stuck with an audience that simultaneously has lost a lot of interest in the series and yet is expecting a really kick-ass ending. It's a lot to live up to, and if the guy fell short, so be it. A noble and gutsy experiment, but ultimately one that kinda fell flat.

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 11:49 a.m. CST

    Ya got me Heathen

    by rev_skarekroe

    I was like "Preacher"? WTF? Then I read the next line. Well played.

  • Nov. 1, 2006, noon CST

    just got the nextwave hardcover...

    by waggy

    told my friend it was my new favorite comic and they cancelled it 3 days later.

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 12:02 p.m. CST

    morrison

    by Nightwood

    Oddly, I consider some of his first work his most mature. "Animal Man" is still Morrison at his most intelligent and adult, but very accessible, tightly-plotted, and filled with very humane, touching emotion. In a way, ever since "Animal Man" I've just accepted that Morrison is excellent and more-or-less overlooked his often glaring weaknesses as a plotter of serialized narrative. DC: put out Absolute Animal Man.

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 12:46 p.m. CST

    Action Comics disappointed the hell outta me...

    by superhero

    But, then again, I was disappointed by SUPERMAN RETURNS as well. At least I have Busiek and Pacheco kicking ass on the other title...

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 1:17 p.m. CST

    The third Kryptonian...

    by RenoNevada2000

    The kid that showed up in ACTION COMICS can't be the third Kryptonian that the Auctioneer mentioned, as he hadn't landed yet on Earth. Or perhaps he had been on Earth at the time and was sent back up in the rocket to create a more spectacular arrival by person or persons unknown...

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 1:18 p.m. CST

    PLANETARY

    by RenoNevada2000

    So glad that PLANETARY is almost done, so they can release the last trade and I can finish reading the damn series.

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 1:28 p.m. CST

    i'm with you, reno

    by rev_skarekroe

    I'm a Planetary tradewaiter, too. I've decided to do that on any book that's likely to be chronically late (except Ultimates. I'm a sucker that way).

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 1:40 p.m. CST

    Busiek and Pacheco are kicking ass aren't they?

    by The Heathen

    I love those covers too. They remind me of the first few of Byrne's relaunch.

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Planetary trade-waiting...?

    by Shigeru

    Man and I thought waiting for the individual issues was bad! You've got like... 3 years between reads...?

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 1:53 p.m. CST

    Ambush Bug

    by 3 Bag Enema

    i'm sorry for you that you prefer more cliches in your comics. Try Morrison's work on JLA - he tended to stick to formula ultimately there, while still making with the widescreen weirdness and surrealist dialogue. Your review, though, reminded me of when I gave my girlfriend volume one of The Invisibles, and she said that, though she thought it was a weird read, she wanted to read the rest becuase she wants to find out what happenes to all the characters. I told her not to bother. The weirdness of the read is the point, not what happens to the characters. It's a fever dream; either dig your nails in and enjoy the ride or don't drink the kool-aid, and I'm sorry about the mixed metaphor. Morrison isn't about wrapping it all up in a tidy bow. You can tell he probably changes how the fucking thing's going to end 10 times while he's writing whatever he's writing. He doesn't need to pay more attention to making things more familiar. It's that he doesn't give a shit about doing that that makes him great. I guess you either like that sort of thing or you don't.

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 1:58 p.m. CST

    Morrison and Halloween

    by Squashua

    Morrison JLA; every third word out of Batman's mouth was, "Uuuuuuiiiiii!" <br><br> Heathen, good going. Excellent job. I wouldn't have faulted you for the Preacher books though; I wouldn't be the one getting strung up. :-)<br><br> I gave a ton of books to kids, 3 books each, but somehow a 20 issue run of "Scout" ended up in my piles. Had to put those aside. :-) Mostly !mpact books and some Atari Force.

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Couple things

    by El Vale

    Sometimes i just despise people. Planetary ended with a whimper, the Clone Saga sucks now because something happened to Mary Jane...Jesus, let us all stop complaining now cause we're all giving me a headache. Silly monkeys.

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 2:06 p.m. CST

    I agree with 3-Bag Enema (an odd sentence to be sure)

    by Shigeru

    The problem with the 6 or so month delay to Seven Soldiers #1, the penultimate chapter, coming out, was that it did nothing but ramp up *expectations*. And *expectations* is kind of a dirty word. <br>"I don’t know what I was expecting with this final act. Maybe a panel or two featuring all of the Seven Soldiers coming together? Maybe someone explaining something that has been going on? A page of exposition explaining it all then some good ol’ comic book @$$-kickery?" <br>You really expected all that in a Grant Morrison comic event as heady as SSoV has been? I'm sorry, but if we got what you had described, it would be expected, traditional, boring, and completely inconsistent with the rest of the series. You said that after reading and re-reading it you still couldn't make heads or tails of it, and that's your main complaint, or so it seems: that it was too indecipherable. And then you say not to say judge you for "just not getting it". Just because you gave up (and you have every right to!) and get nothing from the story, doesn't mean that there is nothing to get from the story. <br>Check it out: http://sevensoldiers.cjb.net/

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 2:15 p.m. CST

    To the "planetary went out with a whimper" folks:

    by Shigeru

    See above, re: expectations.

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 2:24 p.m. CST

    I'm psychic and can tell the future!

    by Shigeru

    Bug's response to me will be: "But Shigeru, what use is depth in a story if it is so deep as to be impenetrable." <br>I'll say: "Bug, that seems to me like a matter of opinion... there are already some fan sites analyzing Seven Soldiers deeper than I had ever thought, and I was pretty sure I got most of it. There's nothing wrong with labrythine stories... and I feel like Grant's just written one big experiment in them." <br> Namaste!

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 2:25 p.m. CST

    Yeah, the new Clone Saga jumped the shark BIG time...

    by superhero

    With that last issue...I've been diggin' on Ultimate Spidey but this...well...it's too silly. I thought Bendis was doing some inspired craziness at first but it turns out, well...he's no Grant Morrison...:O)

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 3:04 p.m. CST

    Odd..

    by nofate

    I thought there was already a story about a child from another planet put in custody of a couple under government supervision...what was it called?...oh yeah! Supreme Power. Oh DC, how out of ideas are you that you're now ripping off stories that ripp off your own characters.

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 3:06 p.m. CST

    THEY CANCELLED NEXTWAVE?!??!?!

    by chrth

    KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 3:34 p.m. CST

    nofate…

    by The Heathen

    by the end of the issue it didn't look like the kid was in the hands of the government my friend. <br> <br> I will miss chrth's Nextwave posts.

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 3:57 p.m. CST

    Nextwave == Agents of Atlas for Dummies

    by Squashua

    They'll bring Nextwave back for specials and the lot. Don't be so sad.

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 4:10 p.m. CST

    Uh, would I be mocked too much

    by BizarroJerry

    if I asked if anyone has a picture of the Green Lantern Corps page in question?

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 4:13 p.m. CST

    BizarroJerry

    by XAOS

    No, you would be mocked exactly the correct amount. Which is to say, a lot.

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 4:22 p.m. CST

    Morrison can't end jack

    by willydevon

    Lord, but there are a LOT of Grant Morrison apologists out there, most notably thexaxis.com. The only story Morrison EVER ended with a real conclusion was DC One Million. World War Three in JLA? Disaster. Planet X and Here Comes Tomorrow in New X-men? Possibly the worst X-stories of the past 7 years, and that includes Chuck Austen's run. There's a reason the same editorial team that "worked" on his issues immediately overturned every continuity change he made. It's no suprise the Seven Soldiers was a cluster-fuxx, and is there anyone who doesn't see the same coming for 52? Lord only knows what's coming for All-Star Superman...but it sure ain't an ending! Psynapse, I will say this for the new Supergirl: I love how this character was supposed to get the Supergirl concept back to its roots. LOVE IT! Yes, an angry, maladjusted skank is JUST what the public needed to embrace that Supergirl movie/cartoon. I also love how the next issue is her trying to join the Outsiders...hey, it's also been what, 7-8 issues since that same story? Good enough for didio!

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 5:53 p.m. CST

    7 soldiers and Planetary

    by Nightwood

    Just finally read 7 Soldiers. When the finale was delayed for so long I was skipping it out of spite, but after the review I had to see if it was really that incoherent. It is absolutely that incoherent. The last issue of 7 Soldiers made The Invisibles seem as clear as a menu. Just completely baffling; not even in a good 'mondo-weird' way, just bizarre and full of fuzzy, unrealized ideas. Planetary: it was a whimper, but that's not my problem with it. My problem is that how do you kill Reed Richards and the Invisible Woman by dropping them from a great height? Maybe the Inviso-girl didn't have force-fields, but the Richards analog can still stretch, so how can his body be so broken at the end? 7 Soldiers: D- Planetary: C+ (and not because of any letdown)

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 6:30 p.m. CST

    All you bitches

    by Shigeru

    are out of your tits. SSoV was deep, mysterious, amazing, funny, and it cooked me dinner and gave me a sensual foot massage.

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 6:55 p.m. CST

    Wow, E-Man!

    by theghoul

    Bring back the Entropy Twins! "Those 2 cute kids could mean the destruction of all life if I don't stop them" or somthing like that. Spiffy.

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 7:30 p.m. CST

    Solid stack of reviews.

    by dregmobile

    Seeing as they are of a more mainstream crop, and that I can actually relate. Very good point about Superman being expressionless in the new movie - I never really thought about that. <br> <br>I think I'll steer clear of 7 Soldiers based on what I've read here. <br> <br>Question: How many books is Morrison writing right now? Does anyone know what the record number of comic books written by the one guy is? I look on the shelves and it's Morrison, Morrison, Morrison. I don't have a problem with it, just amazes me the guy has the time to write them all ...

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 7:31 p.m. CST

    Oh - and great pic!

    by dregmobile

    Love it. Very embarrassing to look at.

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 7:43 p.m. CST

    I'll miss my Nextwave posts too

    by chrth

    Damn, now I won't have a reason to participate in this thread anymore. I wonder what Marvel's going to do with my subscription?

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 8:15 p.m. CST

    I hate all of you

    by El Vale

    Seriously, have you noticed how quick people are to claim something's jumped the shark? It's like one little twist that's not EXACTLY what you had hoped for? Jumped the shark. An ending that doesn't live up to your enormous expectations? Whimper. Well FUCK YOU ASSHOLE! You're a fucking pussy who's gotten too used to being pampered. I also despise the fact that you can't dislike a Morrison comic because that means you're stupid. Bleh, go eat some AIDS.

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 8:17 p.m. CST

    El Vale: No matter what you think, I love you

    by chrth

    <nt>

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 8:19 p.m. CST

    BTW, Squashua: your pimpin' of AoA is getting weak

    by chrth

    Just accept the fact that NextWave is Love.

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 8:47 p.m. CST

    Vale breathes

    by El Vale

    I'm ok now, thanks for the love chrth.

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 11:01 p.m. CST

    It's fine if you didn't like Seven Soldiers, but...

    by Prankster

    ...I can't believe people are saying that it's "incoherent". It's really not. It's just that Morrison super-compresses plot points, so you have to pay attention. The Terrible Time Tailor? The dog becoming the heir to the mafia? Where Spyder came from? It was all set up in the main series. For that matter, if you didn't know who the girl Guardian kisses was or why Bulleteer was driving to the hospital, you *really* weren't paying attention to the main series. You can argue this wasn't as successful as it could have been, but don't try to argue it didn't make sense because you couldn't be bothered to pay attention. Or if you do, don't bother complaining the next time you read a comic that insults your intelligence.

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 11:18 p.m. CST

    Sorry, Prankster...

    by SleazyG.

    ...but an issue of one of the seven different miniseries that came out 14 months ago and has a three-panel (or even full page) scene that ties in to the finale is, in fact, confusing and a failure. Look, comic book writers should know by now that when you're writing a monthly serial you have to refresh your audience's memory now and again. Not everyone has the time to go back and reread 29 issues (many of which were late) in order to get a hold of what's going on in the (delayed by six months) 30th issue. Whether something works as a whole body of work is a completely different subject. What Bug was doing was pointing out that as an individual issue--a single component of that whole--it was deeply flawed. If somebody were to tell you that episode 19 in season 3 of "24" was a weak episode, or difficult to follow, or not as clear as it could have been, would you assume the viewer was a moron and insult him? Or would you consider the possibility that it might not have been that show's best episode? Look, I've enjoyed a lot of Morrison's work over the last 20 years, but the guy's not perfect. He sometimes slips up, and he has easily identifiable quirks and weak points. This makes him no different from virtually every writer ever to have, y'know, written. It's not an assault on his body of work, nor is it indicative of a lack of mental acuity. It's just somebody's opinion based on what they've read.

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 11:40 p.m. CST

    Does Donner REALLY work on this??

    by Bob Cryptonight

    I love Donner...he's got great sensibilities as a director (though he's made some clunkers), but I find it hard to believe that he really is writing this series. I think this is just a way for DC to use his name while the other guy ghosts the scripts. Anyone know?

  • Nov. 1, 2006, 11:44 p.m. CST

    ACTION COMICS *Spoiler*

    by Bob Cryptonight

    Superman is really Clark Kent.

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 12:19 a.m. CST

    I didn't go back and read the other 29 issues.

    by Prankster

    And I had no trouble following it. I'm not an unapologetic Morrison fanboy, either. I think several of the books he's done fell flat, that "The Invisibles" took a while to get on track (I haven't finished it yet, so I can't say if it was successful as a whole) and even within Seven Soldiers there were several problematic bits (the big twist in Shining Knight #4 was poorly handled, Mr. Miracle was a bit of a mess). I'm not saying anything against people's personal reactions to SS#1. But Ambush's review here is sloppy and insulting. "Oh, a guy starts talking, then Bulleteer is in a car for some reason..." Look, I don't care how long it takes between issues, it's not unreasonable for the author of a story to assume that you've kept in mind the basics of what's going on. SS#1 is definitely a dense, confusing comic, no question, but Ambush seems to have ignored very simple plot elements in writing this review. Manhattan Guardian is going to hook up with his estranged wife. Bulleteer is driving her archnemesis to the hospital after beating her up. You don't need to "speak Morrison", as Ambush says, to follow this. If it truly escaped you, literally a five-second glance through the #4 issues of each mini would have caught things up. If I can focus long enough to put the pieces together, why can't a supposedly professional comic book reviewer do the same?

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 12:37 a.m. CST

    Plain and simple, Prankster...

    by Ambush Bug

    I bought a whole comic for 399 pennies. I read a whole comic. Morrison relies way too much on the fact that everyone have been on the edge of their seats to read this comic. I read all of the issues and like you, anticipated the final issue. But in the interim, six months passed and I've read hundreds of comics since then. There is no consideration of this in the final issue. No recap page. Nothing. Just a jumbled mess of loosely fitting puzzle pieces. And as a follow up to the miniseires, it did a shitty job becuase about every miniseries got about a one page shot to wrap up each series. It's not about remembering plot points, it's about how the entire thing was packaged and released. Hell, for a while I thought the book was released and I missed it and was surprised when I saw it on the New Books shelf of my comic store. I shouldn't have to do research on a comic to enjoy it. If I read it and like it, I say so. Read SEAGUY, was a bit tripped out on the last issue, but still liked it. This and the final NEW X-MEN arc is just totally self-indulgent and inconsiderate to the reader. NEW X-MEN in that Grant was the only one knowing what the hell was going on. 7Soldiers in that Grant and DC took no consideratin that the rest of comicdom moved the hell on with their lives as they wrote and rewrote one issue for six months. The book was incoherent in that it popped all the fuck over the place, identified none of the characters, and made no sense in the end. Remember Stan Lee's wisdom: Every comic may be someone's first comic. If this was someone's first comic, they not only would not understand it, but they would probably never return to the medium again. Because it relied too much on the fact that everyone read and memorized seven miniseries from over six months ago and never even gave an inkning of a recap or a page to ground the reader is the ultimate reason why this series ended with a flush and not a bang.

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 3:58 a.m. CST

    Nextwave artist = new artist on USM after #110

    by TallBoy66

    Just FYI for those who didn't know. God, I'm going to miss this series like a motherfucker. Nextwave, I mean. Still love USM's clone saga, even with the last issue twist. Its surely temporary. I mean, Jesus, will you see Mary Jane Watson Beast 20 issues down the line? "Hey, MJ, just got back from web-swinging." "NNNYAARRRGHHHHH!!" "Yesh, you're upity today, hon..." "RRROOARRRR!!" "YEah, yeah." Oh, and for 7SoV: Been reading it in trades over the past year and dug it alot. Before Vol. 4 comes out (end of Jan, I believe) I'm going to re-read the first 3 trades so I can get the whole picture. Yes, scheduling sucks, but one should not hold that against the final product. You have the ability to re-read things, you know.

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 7:13 a.m. CST

    Civil War Ending revealed in New Avengers?

    by Darth Monkey

    Did anyone catch what the Sentry said in the latest Civil War issue? The Sentry said he had the power to stop Civil War and also the power to go back and make them all forget it. It looks like Bendis made sure that if Marvel ever regretted Civil War, they would have an out to go back and fix it.

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 7:23 a.m. CST

    Hey, THERE'S an original idea...

    by Prof Challenger

    Sentry can fly around the world over and over until time starts going backwards and back up the Marvel U. to whenever he personally feels it was at its best and then step in to prevent whatever awful turn of event he doesn't like. Heck, maybe he could even keep Lois from being suffocated by the earthquake.

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 7:52 a.m. CST

    nextwave wasn't cancelled...

    by KoozyK

    it was always planned to be a 12 issue volume. warren doesn't like long commitments and stuart is a marvel exclusive who is being used on the best properties available to him. this was known since the announcement of the series if you read ellis' emails. also, speaking of emails, warren said he wouldn't object to doing other nextwave series' in the future, but they seem a bit far off if you ask me. his schedule is kinda packed what with writing newuniversal, his creator owned books, and drinking in the bar.

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 8:10 a.m. CST

    Nextwave actually was cancelled

    by chrth

    Warren said that originally it was planned to be 12 issues, but then they decided to keep going with a different team past 12, but then Warren changed his mind and wanted to keep writing it past 12, but they weren't going to be able to afford to keep the artist as well, and he didn't want to do it with a different artist, so they're going back to the original plan and cancelling after 12. Link: http://www.sequart.com/news/index.php?story=1533

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 9:05 a.m. CST

    7 Soldiers

    by Squashua

    I read it last night, the book having finally arrived at my shop and I must say that I understood the story, but what a clusterfvck. We deserved better, and the Mr. Miracle story served no purpose.

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 9:43 a.m. CST

    Ultimate Spider-Man...

    by loodabagel

    Allright, the reason you're all bitching is bacuse <b><i>#*spoiler*#</b></i> you wanted MJ to turn into a hot spider-babe, instead of the ugly wendigo she did turn into. My main problem was the new swearword Bendis invented for the Tinkerer "Geekasm!" A little trashy for my tastes, but don't you all want to see how this wraps up? Is Ultimate Spiderman not still pretty awsome?

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 10:22 a.m. CST

    E-Man

    by Mr Incredible

    I like blasts from the pasts. I wish they would reprint more of the old stuff. Marvel and DC are set to implode--again! By the way, no way in hell am I collecting Justice. Two years for a mini-series? It's Camelot 3000 all over again. I can wait until it's all in one overpriced book and hopefully DC won't skimp on the quality like they usually do.

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 10:41 a.m. CST

    Halloween comics

    by stones_throw

    Here in England we don't get many trick or treaters, but I did my bit for the cause today, as in English (yes I still go to school) we were assigned a five minute talk and I talked about comics and more specifically, Alan Moore. Everyone seemed to find it very interesting, and a number of people approached me afterwards for more information. Go me! Go comics!

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 11:44 a.m. CST

    Eat some AIDS???

    by superhero

    Jesus Vale...get a fucking grip will ya?

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 12:34 p.m. CST

    Guys who understood 7 Soldiers--

    by Nightwood

    Help me out. Who was the terrible time tailor knitting that suit for the whole issue? Cyrus Gold? What did Cyrus Gold and the "time-sewing machine" have to do with the Sheeda and their invasion of earth? Why did the actual 7 Soldiers have so little to do with the climax? And why if 7 is such a holy number, was it an 8th soldier, I, Spyder, who won the day? Why was this super-advanced Sheeda queen able to be killed by an arrow (I guess this was the special spear the unseen narrator rambles about?) I didn't follow Shining Knight or Klarion, and I dropped Mister Miracle after two issues. So I could just be uninformed.

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 12:53 p.m. CST

    You didn't read 2 1/2 of the miniseries?

    by Shigeru

    And are you wondering why you are confused? It wasn't I, Spyder's arrow that was The Spear (one of the seven secret treasures), it was Alix, aka Bulleteer. In a way. From SS#1: "the secret of that enchanted spear which can carry death across time and strike a target many millenia away..." Check it out: <br> http://www.barbelith.com/faq/index.php/Seven_Soldiers

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 12:59 p.m. CST

    OK

    by Nightwood

    Now how about my other questions? Seriously, thanks.

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 1:33 p.m. CST

    "Every comic may be someone's first comic."

    by Shigeru

    I cannot think of a less relevant sentence to apply to Seven Soldiers #1. <br>That's all well and good when it's Stan the Man talking about the monthly adventures of your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, but it's complete rubbish when applied to Seven Soldiers. Morrison and his collaborators never had any allusions to this series being straightforward, even "accessible". Nor was Seven Soldiers #1 meant to answer all the questions, I believe. <br> "Every comic may be someone's first"-- It's a great sentence in theory, but extremely limiting when applied directly to stories like this. Again, just because a story is labrythine and complex and confusing and hard to follow does not void it of all merit. It does not make it "a failure" (a shite word when we're dealing with artistic opinion, that's been said several times in this TB in reference to SSoV). There's about a million brilliant comics that would turn off interested first-timers. And I'm not even sure that SS#1 would turn someone away, if for no other reason than the gorgeous art. (but that's another conversation) <br> I too read (maybe) hundreds of comics between the first Seven Soldiers issue and this last one. I didn't go back and re-read any of them before reading #1, and I "got" it. I understood most of what was going on, I didn't get everything, but as a whole it made sense. You again mention wanting a recap page or something similar, but then again insist you not understanding everything that happened isn't really a factor. I don't care if the book was late. It came out the same day as the new Planetary...and that book comes out like 3 times a year if we're lucky. (and it's confusing as hell, too!) I couldn't care less whether a writer is being "considerate" to me as a reader.

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 1:37 p.m. CST

    superhero

    by El Vale

    I did. But thanks for all the support, broham. <br><br> Jar Jar, there's no need to be a dick, i fucking swear.

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 1:41 p.m. CST

    Jar Jar

    by Shigeru

    please refrain from even remotely agreeing with me... please...

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 1:50 p.m. CST

    Nightwood

    by Shigeru

    Check out that link... it should clear up some stuff. The Slaughter Swamp stuff certainly is important... but yeah it's kind of the most confusing as well. The Terrible Time Tailor was like the 8th Seven Unknown Men... (the dude's in suits that Zatanna encountered...very much pulling the strings) hell knowing Grant Morrison, it was *Grant Morrison* (see Animal Man too). I am drawing a blank on Cyrus Gold, but given the metatextual nature of the series, I was led to believe he was kind of sewing US up...the reader.

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 2:02 p.m. CST

    We only wanna hear from the smart ones too.

    by SleazyG.

    So can it.

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 2:09 p.m. CST

    I agree with the man called Shigeru

    by El Vale

    It's a shit argument, to say the least. Even when Stan Lee concocted it, i'd venture to say. You know, it sounds really pretty and wise, sure, but you have to take into account what kinds of comics Lee was reffering to if you're going to use it. There are tons of brilliant comics you and i love that would turn off a first time reader in a second for many reasons, does that mean they're failures? Spoon feeding is a term that shouldn't be used too often when talking about this kind of thing because it sounds so condescending, but i believe the medium really is a victim of it, and we're going to have to grow past it eventually. Every time a writer wastes a page on idiotic exposition you know that Stan Lee mandate is being enforced, and it's childish. I agree, just because you didn't understand it doesn't mean there's nothing to be understood, and i'd much rather read a story written by someone who trusts me more than he/she should than one written by a writer who doesn't trust me in the least, because at least then i don't feel i'm being talked down to...and a challenge is always fun.

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 2:16 p.m. CST

    It dawns on me

    by El Vale

    That i don't really like this Jar Jar guy. Boy, do i feel silly!

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 2:19 p.m. CST

    Thanks Vale

    by Shigeru

    "i'd much rather read a story written by someone who trusts me more than he/she should than one written by a writer who doesn't trust me in the least" Good stuff! <br> <br> And that "go eat some AIDS" had me rolling...

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 2:38 p.m. CST

    Why even bother?

    by kintar0

    If you have a history of being confused by Morrison's books, why keep reading/reviewing them? If you can't "get it," why keep trying? I may be in the minority of comic book fans, but I like to be challenged, I like new ideas and new methods of storytelling. If Morrison's prose is out of your league, which it obviously is, give it up. So your sub-GED level reading ability leaves you unsatisfied, so what? That's not Morrison's fault. Seven Soldiers #1 was brilliant, easily one of the best, if not THE best, comic of the last two weeks. J.H. Williams III deserves some kind of comic book achievement award. You can keep your convention and ordinary. Make mine Morrison.

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 2:55 p.m. CST

    Morrison

    by arrangedletters

    SS #1 was pathetic. The art was amazing though.

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 3:30 p.m. CST

    arrangedletters

    by Shigeru

    thanks for those insights!

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 3:50 p.m. CST

    Hey everybody! Guess what?

    by The Heathen

    Jar Jar is smart. He likes smart people. He lets us know that he's smart and he likes smart things because he tells us in every post just how smart he is smartly. <br> <br> Jesus, you're insufferable. I never thought I'd miss moviemack.

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 4:11 p.m. CST

    Moviemack was cool

    by El Vale

    Those were the days *sniffles*

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 5:05 p.m. CST

    Fuck, are you people thick.

    by SleazyG.

    It's hard to find the energy to engage a guy so stupid he can't even spell "owned" correctly. If you're busy brandishing your tiny li'l Steppin Fetchit e-penis, Jar Jar, you're supposed to say "PWNED!" Don't worry, though--they'll teach you all the secret passwords when you get to junior high. Now back to tossing Morrison's salad with you...

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 5:10 p.m. CST

    Thalya says

    by El Vale

    Do not feed the troll.

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 5:45 p.m. CST

    Every Comic Someone's First Not Spoon Feeding

    by Buzz Maverik

    Let's not be fanboys, okay. We don't have to be so literal. I got kicked out of REVENGE OF THE SITH when Obi Wan said, "Only a Sith thinks in absolutes..." and I shouted,"A sith or a fanboy!" All Stan Lee and Jim Shooter (who was really the first to put it that way) meant was that somehow, you clue in a first time reader. Usually, this is pretty poorly handled (ie I remember when Chris Claremont tried it midway through his X-MEN run: "Storm, the X-Men's leader, is a woman because she has breasts and a vagina. Wolverine's claws sprout through bionic openings in the back of his hands, which you'd be able to tell if you simply looked at the fucking pictures." I kind of like what some things like CIVIL WAR or the NEW AVENGERS have (at least the last time the checked) where there's a recap page at the front, although I've seen other writers not as deft as Bendis or Millar mangle that too, where the recap page is the only way you can tell what happened. Bringing people up to speed is just smart. It's respect for your readers...your customers. Stan Lee was a poor kid and a smart guy. He knew that if he hooked new readers it was more...what's the word I'm looking for? Ah, yes...money! I think Grant Morrison may be the best writer working in comics today, but I would say don't delude yourself into thinking he's above a little recap because really, you read enough comics, and research the past eras, you'll realize that only the times have changed but it's the same kind of guys writing and drawing the books. They only think they're better now.

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 5:57 p.m. CST

    Also, It Would Help If The Storytelling Was Clearer.

    by Buzz Maverik

    Like when I first started reading Spider-Man. Splash page has two guys in weird suits and a blonde chick throwing a chained Spider-Man off a bridge. I'd never bought a Spider-Man before. There weren't a lot of captions, and the dialogue didn't really overtly explain things, but I got the idea that the blonde babe was the clone of Spidey's ex and the guys in costumes didn't like Spider-Man too much. I also got the idea that Spidey was wanted in connection with the blonde's original death (what with all those cops trying to arrest him). Also, a stoned looking Peter Parker got bitched at by a hot redhead in a halter top, which let me know that he wasn't exactly Bruce Wayne. Or if you look at some early X-MEN. Story opens with the mutants visiting an island off the coast of Scotland and their hovercraft ripping itself to shreds. We learn that the guy behind the attack is their oldest, most dangerous foe and he's in cahoots with this alien who has been trying to kill the team since the reboot. Two little panels and we know that the alien, Erik the Red, has turned former X-Men against the team and unleashed Juggernaut, Black Tom and now, Magneto, on them. Two panels isn't that much of an imposition, and it's really just Magneto saying,"Erik has tried to kill you with blah-blah and blah-blah, but I'm the motherfucker who will get the job done." But it's done visually because, gasp, it is a visual medium.

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 6:01 p.m. CST

    I Got Called A Troll Recently At Another Site.

    by Buzz Maverik

    It was kind of funny because I was purposely being the anti-Buzz, kind of a nice guy, saying,"Well, here's my point. Let's not try to convince each other who's right or wrong." Every nerd whoever posted there showed up with a nice thing to say about me. But I stayed not-Buzz. It was like Bruce Banner, knowing he could Hulk out at any time but choosing not to.

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 6:52 p.m. CST

    Those first-page recaps did help ...

    by dregmobile

    when I got on board Marvel some months back. I just picked up my first Hulk comic ever with the 100th issue. What sold me was seeing Stark and Fantastic getting nervous about Hulk's whereabouts. Also some cool origin stuff in there which should be a fun read. I'll probably continue with it unless it's complete manure. <br> <br>I thought Mystery in Space 3 was good. Furthering of the plot, yet I'm still as confused as I was with the last issues. I expected the bringing of the narrative back to the first few pages of the first issue would be exciting, but not for me. Still, a fun series which I hope will kick ass soon. It's still early days I guess. <br> <br>I liked Justice League 3, but felt like reading about twenty seconds worth of events. At least someone made the big three stand up from their desk and photos ... now on to Detective, Uncanny and Mouse Guard ...

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 7:18 p.m. CST

    Moviemack!!!

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    God, I never thought I'd say that I miss that guy, too. This site's "trolls" are seriously wanting these days. Moviemack makes me weep in nostalgia...

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 7:19 p.m. CST

    And I see that...

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    Jar Jar 4 Prick is fagging it up again.

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 7:36 p.m. CST

    Awww, did I miss the comic book geek slapfight?

    by chrth

    Just my luck. <p> Guys, chill. Comics are for everyone. Once you start drawing lines in the sand, then there's less of a sandbox to play in. And less chance sand ends up in your underwear. And who wins in that situation? <p> That's right. No one.

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 7:50 p.m. CST

    "Every comic is someone's first" is a good policy...

    by Prankster

    And I agree with it wholeheartedly. But to argue that it has to be *universally* applied is way too limiting. The final issue of ANY series is a lousy place to jump on board, recap pageor no recap page. Furthermore, SS was very clearly intended to be dense, complex, and require work on the part of the viewer. The reason we've got hung up on this idea that every comic should be accessible is that we've taken the simplistic genre of superheroes and turned it into an insane tangle of hard-to-understand backstory and "inside" references. I frankly found "Infinite Crisis"--the whole thing--to be much, much harder to understand than Seven Soldiers #1, because I didn't know the history of the DC Universe in detail. At least with Seven Soldiers you get all the information you need within the miniseries itself. But more to the point, Seven Soldiers has far more ambitious aims than just another retcon of a superhero universe. If you're trying to bring new readers onboard, or craft a light, fun superhero story, then yes, accessibility is job one. But to try a narrative experiment like this, you have to be allowed ONE ISSUE that's just for the people who have followed it through to the end. Every medium has stories that challenge the reader or viewer to do some of the work beforehand. Imagine picking up "Ulysses" knowing nothing about what went into its creation. Imagine trying to follow Twin Peaks starting with the second season. Sometimes you want to remain accessible, and sometimes you have to build on what's come before. There's a trade-off on either side. Most comics that ignore the "everyone's first" policy do so out of short-sightedness, but that doesn't mean there aren't legitimate reasons why a comic might be "inside", as SS was meant to be. In fact, what really kills me about this criticism is that almost every other issue of Seven Soldiers WAS accessible to an intelligent first-time reader, abeit some more than others (I guess picking up Mr. Miracle or Shining Knight #4 would have been a bit hard to follow). So 29 issues follow your rule, 1 doesn't, and you lambaste it for that? That's really unfair, especially considering the belbouredly complex yet superficial superhero comics that regularly get thumbs-up around here. You guys are more Ultimate Spider-man than Invisibles guys, and that's cool, but don't move the goalposts round when it's a genre you like.

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 7:59 p.m. CST

    That's the spirit, Jar Jar 4 Prez!

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    But why you are calling me homophobic or a Republican, I'll never know. It's an insult to morons.

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 8:10 p.m. CST

    Prankster re: Every comic is someone's first

    by Prof Challenger

    Everything you said would have merit had not there been such a long span between this last issue and the previous one. There should never be an expectation that an individual has to go back and dig out 30 some odd back issues to remind himself of what's going on because of an excessively long break between issues. A recap of what occurred in each of the miniseries should've been required anyway just to link them all back together for the readers, but especially considering the time gap. I read it a couple of times (without going back and rereading any of the earlier stuff) and I've already forgotten who Cyrus Gold is, so the impact of all that was lost on me and I thought the bald guy was Grant Morrison himself breaking the 4-Color wall similar to some of what he pulled off so smartly in Animal Man. Also, don't have a clue who the dog gangster is. Other than those few things though, I caught the gist of what was going on and I especially thought the Kirby riff at the beginning was absolutely pure 100% brilliance. He out-Kirbyed Kirby.

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 9:53 p.m. CST

    Superhero comics are for children.

    by Bob Cryptonight

    Superhero comics are for children.

  • Nov. 2, 2006, 10:16 p.m. CST

    Hulk 100

    by dregmobile

    was pretty damn solid. Nice loose art, humour that I didn't expect ... sweet Hulk action ... and a very nice reference to Civil War that even the haters will approve. <br> <br>Didn't realise Dini was off the latest Detective. Hopefully his run has not ended (though I bet it probably has). I hope this artist doesn't return because while it was nice as something different, it just got weird in places, with some awful colour schemes. Almost-solid tale that left me wondering if Batman was really gay after that last page. Not that there's anything wrong with a gay Batman.

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 12:46 a.m. CST

    Sure, recap pages are nice

    by El Vale

    And no one said Morrison was above them...that wasn't the argument at all.

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 8:12 a.m. CST

    Prof

    by Shigeru

    SS#1 was so dense that I think even if it came out a month after the last issue of the minis (was it Mr Miracle?), it would still be a bit hard to follow. The dog was Millions, he was in the original Newsboy Army... you know the one with Kid Scarface and Lil' Hollywood? But yeah you didn't HAVE to go back and reread the 29 issues.

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 8:16 a.m. CST

    The final issue of Seven Soldiers is #1, right?

    by rev_skarekroe

    Tell me that's not going to be someone's first issue of the title.

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 8:21 a.m. CST

    To clear things up

    by Shigeru

    With my current sensibilities, if I had never read a comic before and I picked up SS #1, I would think: "I have ZERO idea what the heck just happened, but it was cool as shit!! It's got hot magical babes and flying horses and revolving castles and evil insect queens! I want to know what all this is about!" Kinda like watching a random 15 minutes of a David Lynch movie.

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 8:42 a.m. CST

    Vale..

    by Thalya

    It's the sweetest thing to know someone's thinking of you when you're not around. *mwah*

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 9:04 a.m. CST

    And dreg, RE: Dini

    by Thalya

    AFAIK, it's just a single-issue fill-in. If you want bad, look at the 4-issue Ostrander fill-in for Morrison on Batman. DC seriously has to get its act together. This many major books continually late or with fill-ins is ridiculous and is burning away a lot of goodwill earned for the creative venture they did with Crisis and OYL.

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 9:41 a.m. CST

    Goddamn it!

    by loodabagel

    I did. I missed the comic geek slapfest. Iknew I should have gotten on after school. Sigh. And to furthur my bitching, I still haven't gotten the new Spiderman Loves Mary Jane.

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 10:54 a.m. CST

    Ah great... Superman might as well die again.

    by nonsensical

    The idea that Richard Donner is writing this story for Superman is a novel idea, at least it would have been in the 1980's when the Superman movies were coming out, now not so much. Just about the worst thing I can think of for a comic book is when a movie based on the comic ends up changing the comic. Especially when the movie sucked. Sure this takes a little from everywhere, but to me it just comes off as stupid. The introduction of the kid made me roll my eyes and wish I was dead. I swear he's even drawn like the stuppid kid from the movie. Of course Superman is strong enough to survive this, and little things like the Branding of Superman by placing the "S" on his belt buckle and drawing him like he's Routhe are going to go away in a while. Reading it was sort of touching in that it still shows Superman as very protective of the ever growing influx of Kryptonians that grace his door, but some moments were very uncharacteristic of the Man of Steel. I think Donner knew Superman from the 1980's and his movies, but this is the 21st century and poor Superman just isn't understood anymore. Oh, and NO, that was not an invitation to making the man "EMO". That would be even more stupid that what they are doing now. Count me on the side of really not liking this story or the direction DC has gone with my favorite character in the last few years. Well, except for maybe Birthright. That story, I loved. It's what Superman Returns should have been.

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 11:24 a.m. CST

    Thalya

    by Shigeru

    What did you think of Action Comics?

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 11:27 a.m. CST

    "make Superman EMO"

    by stones_throw

    I thought that was what they did in the movie...that and have him lift heavy stuff occasionally. <br><br> Busiek and Pacheco got off to a great start with their first two issues, which seriously GOT the character, but the third one seriously sucked. It was all building up to "Subjekt 17", and all we got was a really generic issue-long fight scene, which was then all erased anyway with a blatant "deus ex machina". Bleh. What a waste of an issue.

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 12:33 p.m. CST

    Ostrander's fill in is bad?

    by The Heathen

    I haven't read his first issue yet, but I've liked his stuff in the past. And what did Thalya think of Action Comics? I read it again and it's easier to swallow the second time, even the art is kind of more charming in some ways. The Daily Planet is also exactly the same as the one in Superman Returns too. I missed that the first time.

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 1:36 p.m. CST

    ?

    by El Vale

    What is this Donner/Johns entity you speak of?

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 1:43 p.m. CST

    Alright but what about

    by El Vale

    Superman Confidential? People, this book's written by Darwin Friggin Cooke and drawn by Tim Friggin Sale...you can't go wrong there! I'm dling it as i type, ever so happy.

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 2:42 p.m. CST

    It's in the mail Vale…

    by The Heathen

    You gonna review it? <br> <br> I wasn't sure what people thought about Tim Sale around here or in general to be honest, but I love his work. I was going through comics on Halloween picking out ones NOT to give to the kids and I noticed some Tim Sale Deathblow issues and I couldn't bare to let those go because I'm a sucker… and a pack rat… and didn't think giving kids something called Deathblow would be a safe bet. ; ) <br> <br> But Superman Confidential is good da?

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Tim Sale is godly

    by Shigeru

    <dd> wha? <dd>

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 4:02 p.m. CST

    I'll review it

    by El Vale

    Good idea!

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 4:05 p.m. CST

    Deathblow?

    by SleazyG.

    One can only assume that's the name of Karrine "Superhead" Steffans' sister.

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 4:32 p.m. CST

    who's godly?

    by The Heathen

    boring Kate, Shig. That's who! ; )

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 5:20 p.m. CST

    Tim Sale is something or other...

    by loodabagel

    For some reason I have all 6 issues of Daredevil Yellow, certainly not the best Sale/Loeb comic around, but I certainly enjoyed most of the artwork, despite being a little different than I expected. On the subject of surprises, I was quite surprised by Stuart Immomen one time. He asked me for directions to the motorcycle shop and I said... Well, to be honest I was more surprised by his Superman comic he made with Kurt Busiek. Superman: Secret Identity-Not only a quality comic, but it also looked like nothing else I've ever seen Immomen draw.

  • Nov. 3, 2006, 9:37 p.m. CST

    Hmm.. Action, huh?..

    by Thalya

    Well here's a perspective that's not gonna happen much around here: I still haven't gotten to Superman 1, 2, or Returns, and have only been getting any kind of Superman comic for about a year. Didn't even watch S:TAS, I was more a Batman fan. So for one thing, I'm not getting all the little nuances you guys are: the best I can do is businessman Lex vs. mad scientist Lex.<BR><BR> So my thoughts? During some of the early pages I thought the art was a little too messy-stylized for a Superman comic, but that faded as the storytelling progressed. The story sucked me in though. It's got raw cinematic stylings going on and the plot is more hinged on character development than in possibly anything I've seen in DC since Identity Crisis. It's pulling me in better than most anything I've read because here it feels like something that's actually gotten to Superman in a novel way. When a character is all powerful, the only way you can crack a character like that is through emotion, particularly related to identity. Here's a storyline where Kal-El is presented with a person just like him and it asks him to look on his own past in a new light through his own eyes. Maybe it just gets to me because I've only caught on to what makes Superman "Superman" in the last year, about how one's abilities, if they're so far superior to most others, can serve mainly to isolate and alienate a person, and Superman's about what it takes to overcome that isolation. They're hitting that angle of him hard in this story. What do you do when you're presented with someone, for the first time in your life ('cause Kara sure ain't like Kal), who is just like you, who offers the potential for a connection unlike anything you've ever known?

  • Nov. 4, 2006, 10:14 a.m. CST

    Well said Lady C.

    by The Heathen

    I can see that from your point of view and I envy you in some ways for that feeling of what makes Superman "Superman", it's a cool one to discover. I hope this story really impresses me, right now I just don't know what to make of it. We'll wait and see I guess.

  • Nov. 4, 2006, 4:30 p.m. CST

    Well said

    by Shigeru

    I hope that check from Didio clears. I didn't know they were hiring PR people. ;) ;) ;)

  • Nov. 4, 2006, 5:18 p.m. CST

    7 Soldiers #1

    by Homer Sexual

    I am pretty much a big fan of Grant Morrison. But no one is perfect. After an outstanding 7SoV 0 and 7 excellent minis, I was so excited, then let down by an underwhelming conclusion. I don't think endings are his thing, because I loved his fresh take on New X-Men, but he ended that really poorly. Now here, I wouldn't make such a big deal out of the "now who died, exactly, and why?" But all through this loong "mini event," every single book has had "A soldier must die..will it be Zatanna/Mr. Miracle/etc etc. I don't even know who died, much less why. Did anyone even actually die? I don't need to be spoon-fed, but geez....still an outstanding bunch of comics I enjoy re-reading, but I guess I just had very high expectations for the finale...and ended up disappointed.

  • Nov. 4, 2006, 5:45 p.m. CST

    *repeats what she said above*

    by Thalya

    "This many major books continually late or with fill-ins is ridiculous and is burning away a lot of goodwill earned for the creative venture they did with Crisis and OYL." *** Oh, and Supergirl was never supposed to be a skank ho, Loeb's a hack, and I can't believe I kept pulling Supergirl til issue 5, if only to get a glimpse of Calculator.

  • Nov. 4, 2006, 6:03 p.m. CST

    Infinite Crisis HC

    by The Heathen

    I was in Barnes last night and saw that IC was out in a nice HC. I took a gander and I immediately went to the two things that urked people the most in the last issue (besides Supes flying through the red sun) being the spread page with the red color overlay over most of the pages and the spread of the heroes near the end that was drawn by Joe Bennett I think. <br> <br> DC has rectified those mistakes people! The colors are in place in great detail on the first spread and the last underwhelming spread is replaced thankfully AND it's drawn by George Perez it looks. People can give DC shit, but them doing this is classy. I got a kick out of it. <br> <br> Check better be on the way Dan! ; )

  • Nov. 4, 2006, 6:54 p.m. CST

    Do people place too much enfasis on endings?

    by El Vale

    It appears so. Over the last year i don't think i've seen a single person point out a good or great ending in this board. Everything from Bendis to Morrison to Infinite Crisis to Planetary to Preacher to even Watchmen has been reviled in that sense. I'm already bracing myself for Y: The last man's ending, and people's response to it. I bet the words whimper and anticlimactic will be used nonstop. I mean, are people really that prepared to hate something? Cause it sure looks that way to me.

  • Nov. 4, 2006, 11:14 p.m. CST

    Loodabagel Loves Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane

    by loodabagel

    <p>Mr. McKeever, you are one sly fox. The entire series has been building to this moment since issue 1. That last page of issue ten was perhaps the greatest cliffhanger I’ve seen this year. So what do you do next month? You tease me. You bait me. I don’t even get a flashback scene. I have to wait till I’m halfway through the comic to know when this is taking place, that it’s a few weeks in the future. And then you say some stuff that might have happened. Well, fox you may be, but you can’t fool me. MJ rushed all the way to Peter’s house so she could tell him that she was happy for him and Gwen? And now whenever they see each other, they both get a little awkward? Oh no. I know something more went down and I hate you for not telling me the truth, Mr. McKeever. But I still love you because this comic continues to be great. And despite its obvious lack of action, this is one of the tensest, most suspenseful comics I read on a monthly basis.</p> <p>It’s also nice to see how into the lives of some of our supporting characters. Liz and Flash seem to have made amends, Harry’s back to being Harry and that Gwen Stacy girl; wow. It’s so odd to see her taking Peter out of his shell. It seems everybody but little miss Mary Jane Watson is going well, and even she only got sad on the last page.</p> <p>It appears to me that we are now entering phase 3 of SMLMJ. Phase 1 was Mary Jane goes on a date with Spider-Man. Phase 2 was Mary Jane has feelings for Peter and this third part, well I’m not sure what it is yet, but I know it’s worth sticking around another year for. And as always, it’s always a good time to start reading it too. If I’m not preaching to the choir by now, I don’t know when I’ll be. Read this comic! I don’t want to tell you again. Grr.</p>

  • Nov. 5, 2006, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Ja Ja Fo Pres

    by The Heathen

    I find it asinine how someone can argue the merit of spelling one word wrong and not another. I would argue that 'emphasis' is a harder word to spell than 'owned' or 'PWNED' even, especially if it's on an internet TB with no edit features. I'd also like to point out that Vale's first speaking language is not English and that he learned it on his own and is better at spelling and writing in general than many a people that frequent this board. I need not say anything else about the subject because Vale can easily defend himself against someone with such little dignity, but I wanted you to know that I find you to be the lowliest of internet trolls and I miss ones that had some sort of class as little as it might have been. You, Jar Jar are completely and utterly an insufferable asshole.

  • Nov. 5, 2006, 1:56 p.m. CST

    People of Earth

    by El Vale

    Did you read Criminal #2? What a fantastic fucking comic. Highly recommended to the point where it'd be kinda silly if you didn't go out and buy it now.

  • Nov. 5, 2006, 2:07 p.m. CST

    Oh and before i forget

    by El Vale

    I'm gonna place some emphasis on Jar Jar here for a second so bear with me (see what i did there?): <br><br> Doesn't a troll notice when he's being a troll? I mean it's not like it's hard to tell whether your behavior is socially acceptable or not. It's not like there's any need to repeatedly point out that you're the only smart person around and such, aside from...all the sad reasons i can think of. Maybe it's like alcoholism or something, who knows?

  • Nov. 5, 2006, 3:45 p.m. CST

    Eat some AIDS

    by El Vale

    Took me like 2 seconds to think up and yet it seems to have split your life in two, judging by your response. Glad i could bring some joy into your life :D *Hug*

  • Nov. 5, 2006, 3:51 p.m. CST

    emoticons are for teenage girls

    by kintar0

    for real.

  • Nov. 5, 2006, 4:11 p.m. CST

    La Vale?

    by El Vale

    And no one will ever know.

  • Nov. 5, 2006, 7:49 p.m. CST

    Remember when people thought Vale was Dildoring?

    by loodabagel

    That was mysterious. Last time I checked there's only talkbacker with an evil alter ego and that's me, but it was still a fun possibilty.

  • Nov. 5, 2006, 7:55 p.m. CST

    El Vale can buy, own and sell any ass of yours...

    by loodabagel

    <P> This is how I really got aquainted with Mr. Vale and how you could hate the guy who wrote this is beyond me.</p> <p>Well shit, color me dissapointed guys. I mean you look at the cover for this one, you think there's no way in hell this isn't gonna be awesome, and here's why: 1) It's called Lady Death vs War Angel, duh. 2) They both look like what a Suicide Girl dreams she looked like. 3) They are fighting with swords. 4) There is a pool. 5) War Angel's got nipples on top of her bra, like that gay Batman we had for a while, except her gold plated nipples are shaped like little horns of death! Or maybe horns of War, i don't know. Plus, you should see her "thong". It's like Robin's stupid mask thing, you're like how is this small piece of cloth going to conceal the identity of her pussy? Don't expect any answers from this comic, tho'. Anyway, 7 covers later (and i'm not making a joke here), and right as i'm beginning to imagine maybe this isn't so much a comic as it is a celebration of tits, the actual story kicks in and my interest starts to wane, ever so slowly. The plot itself is quite simple, War Angel has this guy make her a sort of armored glove to cover up her skeletal hand (?) and then she flies over to the Blacklands where Lady Death is arm wrestling monsters for money (and does that make her a slut?), to do battle with her. So she grabs Lady Death, takes her up into the stratosphere or perhaps not that high and then drops her on a church. Then she gets up and they start kicking the crap out of eachoter in a cemetery. Admittedly that sounds awesome in its simplicity, but i don't think anyone told Brian Pulido how much fun this story could be so the guy didn't even try to run with it. I mean there are some fun touches here and there but i don't think he meant them. And okay, we all know that's the best part about these bad comics, when there's something hilarious in there and you're sure none of the people involved in the production realize it's funny. But the fun stuff in here isn't brilliant or laugh out loud funny, it's just mildly entertaining. Like there's this part where they're fighting in the church they just crashed into, and their tough talk is kinda funny. LD: "You have no purpose. you've been discarded--like trash" I like the little "--" in there, like she's trying to think of an example of something that is discarded. Then WA says: "FACE ME!" LD: "Have at it!" WA: "Who are you to speak? You've renounced your humanity to save your mother's soul...yet how are close are you to finding her? *Not a typo on my behalf* For all your bluster you are PATHETIC!" -- And then a dead lady falls out of her coffin and even she has huge boobs. Then at the end WA's gonna deliver one final and fatal blow, and she says "When you see God, my lord and master...i want you to tell him...*THWAK*". Pandora (?) punches her in the back of her neck and she dies. At first i thought maybe this was an homage to the famous "Captain America, i command you to *WANK*" line, but that would be kind of stupid. Anyway i'm sure LD would've liked to know all you needed to do was punch WA in the back of her head to kill her. She could've avoided falling into a church and almost getting choked to death. By the way, can Lady Death die? Maybe she gets choked to life. I'm sure that bitch from Evanescence would like that. Some final thoughts: I'm not so sure how it all works guys, i'm terribly sorry, i mean...what do you think makes a bad comic good? Is it a stupid concept and a creative team that realizes how stupid it is, and it plays that part up, or does it take someone who takes that stupid concept so seriously that it ends up being unintentionally hilarious? Can you guys give me some fine examples of bad comics that are pretty awesome and why they're awesome? That's your question for discussion, people. Have at it.</p>

  • Nov. 5, 2006, 11:14 p.m. CST

    Ah, A Lot Of Talkbackers Have Multiple Personalities.

    by Buzz Maverik

    My favorite conspiracies were the suggestions that Ambush Bug was both Brian Michael Bendis and SeeThruThis. Actually, since I have an ego the size of Harry, my real two favorites date back to before comics were reviewed on AICN because they concern me. Somebody kept saying I was James Cameron, which was cool. A weird one was when I didn't post for, like, a week, because I didn't wanna and Lane Staley of Alice and Chains died and half of some talkback was speculating that I was Lane Staley.

  • Nov. 6, 2006, 3:07 a.m. CST

    Vale is Bilboring

    by El Vale

    Man that was fucking weird and offensive on so many levels...glad it got cleared up. <br><br> Looda, you know i love you.

  • Nov. 6, 2006, 9:33 a.m. CST

    I love you too, sweet pretty thing...

    by loodabagel

    Let's make naked man babies together.

  • Nov. 6, 2006, 9:44 a.m. CST

    I am watching Heroes tonight...

    by loodabagel

    And now, thanks to Harry's creepy sleazeball message, all I'll be able to think about is Harry. This is weird. You should look at it. Oneof the sleazier things Ive read lately.

  • Nov. 6, 2006, 10:02 a.m. CST

    I read The Fountain graphic novel last night...

    by loodabagel

    Very artsy, very indy, very confusing.

  • Nov. 6, 2006, 10:53 a.m. CST

    If I hear

    by Shigeru

    "Save the cheerleader. Save the world" one more time, I'm gonna do my best Michael Douglas from Falling Down impersonation.

  • Nov. 6, 2006, 11:26 a.m. CST

    Just read that Heroes article...

    by Shigeru

    Harry Knowles has some serious issues. Talk about arrested development... he's a giggling, giant perverted 13 year-old in a 35 year old's body. Scary stuff.

  • Nov. 6, 2006, 1:42 p.m. CST

    Harry on Heroes

    by The Heathen

    I didn't even read it, nor will I. When I saw the headline about him saving the cheerleader I told myself that I didn't feel like being totally creeped out today. I mean, that's the girl from Remember The Titans. She was born in 1989 for chrissakes. I can only imagine the shit he says in that article. <br> <br> While the 'save the cheerleader, save the world' line is waaay over played, the show still kicks all kinds of ass. If anyone isn't watching based on the commercials then they're missing out. Hiro rules. Check these clips out, specially the second one. <br> <br> http://tinyurl.com/y8b23n <br> http://tinyurl.com/y8zd8x

  • Nov. 6, 2006, 1:44 p.m. CST

    The Fountain graphic novel…

    by The Heathen

    is love. I completely love that story. So beautiful and moving. I can't wait for the movie. Kent Williams is all kinds of awesome in the GN. <br> <br> Did you still enjoy it looda?

  • Nov. 6, 2006, 3:04 p.m. CST

    wowsers

    by Shigeru

    that dude flew! into the air! real fast like too! wowsie! (*loves being a bastard*)

  • Nov. 6, 2006, 3:40 p.m. CST

    bastard!

    by The Heathen

    that is all. ; )

  • Nov. 6, 2006, 6:04 p.m. CST

    Thanks for alerting me to that article

    by dregmobile

    It was so stupid it was funny. <br> <br>Mouse Guard 5. Tick. <br> <br>Uncanny X-Men 480. Tick. I do believe this long arc is getting going in an interesting direction ...

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 1:23 a.m. CST

    Oh looda

    by El Vale

    You make me laugh.

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 9:25 a.m. CST

    Is Looda Jar Jar?

    by loodabagel

    I sure hope not. That stinkin' Vog is trouble enough. Pure evil, stealing my posts.

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 11:59 a.m. CST

    The Fountain isn't 100%, but what is?

    by The Heathen

    The Fountain is something completely different and amazing though. I need to get my copy back from my friend who hasn't read it even though she's had it for months now.

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 2:12 p.m. CST

    AH SAID:

    by Shigeru

    PUNCH 'ER IN THE OVARY

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 5:05 p.m. CST

    yeah, stuff like that you almost need to re-read

    by The Heathen

    I'm planning on reviewing it in time for the movie when I get it back, which is tonight, thank the maker.

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 5:17 p.m. CST

    Allright, no more vog...

    by loodabagel

    That thing was getting annoying. From now on I'm only logging on as Loodabagel or El Vale. Wait, what?

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 5:46 p.m. CST

    Blackthout can be found on myspace?

    by loodabagel

    Alright. I was worrying about him.

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 6:55 p.m. CST

    blackthought is very much alive…

    by The Heathen

    despite rumored speculation. He was on a secret mission. How secret? Shhh.

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 7:01 p.m. CST

    Wow.

    by dregmobile

    I never would have guessed blackthought was a musician.

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 8:04 p.m. CST

    You wouldn't believe it..

    by Thalya

    He plays the mandolin at that.

  • Nov. 8, 2006, 1:28 a.m. CST

    finally...

    by blackthought

    yes...mandolin and acordion as well...also i play a mean trumpet.

  • Nov. 8, 2006, 8 a.m. CST

    Seriously?

    by Shigeru

    I play the violin (a mandolin with a bow), 2 saxophones, guitar and piano. I smell COG BAND. Or wait... COG BAND STARSHIP. BANJO MIDGET COG STARSHIP BAND!!!!!!!!

  • Nov. 8, 2006, 8:29 a.m. CST

    Speaking of evil alter egos..

    by SatanTheBunnyGod

    Are there CARROTS in Dimension X?

  • Nov. 8, 2006, 9:31 a.m. CST

    Cog band...

    by loodabagel

    I play not only the bass guitar, but the saxaphone as well. And I do a mean David Bowie voice.

  • Nov. 8, 2006, 5:40 p.m. CST

    Wow.

    by The Heathen

    Way to kill the TB looda. <br> <br> Just kidding. ; ) <--- Oh no! I'm a teenage girl now! Quick, hide me from Harry! <br> <br> Gears of War is calling my name. Must go home and play. Geeears… <br> <br> LAST?

  • Nov. 8, 2006, 6:39 p.m. CST

    Was my post edited?

    by The Heathen

    I think so. <br> <br> Huh?

  • Nov. 8, 2006, 6:41 p.m. CST

    Oh, and…

    by The Heathen

    last.

  • Nov. 8, 2006, 6:42 p.m. CST

    I feel the same way...

    by loodabagel

    I'm downright pissed that nobody posted. Those nights before the new Page always suck fat ones.

  • Nov. 9, 2006, 11:49 a.m. CST

    The younger, "Smallville-style" Kents...

    by geekrock82

    ... have actually been around since Mark Waid's SUPERMAN : BIRTHRIGHT, which is also official continuity (although it also features the younger, classic-style Jor-El, which is quite at odds with the one now seen in Action). I think it was also in that book that Jimmy got a bit of an age regression...

  • Nov. 10, 2006, 12:30 a.m. CST

    Last...

    by loodabagel

    Did you enter a time vortex Heathen?

  • Nov. 10, 2006, 10:49 a.m. CST

    ...

    by blackthought

    hmmm...

  • Nov. 13, 2006, 6:35 p.m. CST

    Young Avengers/Runaways 4

    by dregmobile

    that ended on a note that made me wonder why i had even bothered with it at all. then i looked at the cover and remembered that the whole CIVIL WAR thing is still going. in fact, issue 5 is about to hit this week, so maybe after i read that i'll be excited all over again and happy i read YOUNG AVENGERS/RUNAWAYS. <br> <br>i love how at the end they all stand around and say "we hung out" "cool" "yeah, seeya" "you go avenge, we'll runaway". lol. i can't be disappointed because it was the same level of quality throughout. i did hope issue 4 would kick a lot of ass. it kicked about 60% of what i expected. <br>TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED meanwhile is moving on nicely. and the dr. 13 story really should be the one titled 'The Weird' ...

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 5:29 p.m. CST

    I agree

    by dregmobile

    with everything you said, dreg. I also agree that we're LAST. <br> <br>There. Maybe that will get people posting ...

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 9:48 a.m. CST

    Isn't it lame though?

    by loodabagel

    They finally got all that stupid non-comic stuff out of the talkback, but the latest talkback is still MISSING. Young Avengers/Runaways really didn't live up to the potential. But it was nice to see MArvel Boy at the end. I wonde if he'll play a larger part in this whole Civil War hullabaloo now. Anyone else agree?

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 1:22 p.m. CST

    gay and lame

    by Shigeru

    this talkback is

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 5:12 p.m. CST

    Gay in the homosexual sense...

    by loodabagel

    Chase fusing with the Vision.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 6:01 p.m. CST

    i wonder if i stop posting ...

    by dregmobile

    will it still be gay and lame here ... ?

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 6:24 p.m. CST

    AFraid so...

    by loodabagel

    There's no denying how gay and lame this talkback has become. I want to see Happy Feet now.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 8:56 p.m. CST

    I've seen it twice already.

    by dregmobile

    Midnight screenings. <br> <br>Re: Marvel Boy: <br> <br> Bendis Says: "The fourth issue is the Illuminati dealing with an immediate threat on the planet, in the face of a young superhero with a lot of power who could go out of control. This is them being pre-emptive and trying to get to someone before it's too late, as they were with Scarlet Witch and some others."

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 11:31 p.m. CST

    CIvil War #5

    by dregmobile

    The Lame: I bought it. <br> <br> The Gay: I liked it.

  • Nov. 16, 2006, 11:49 a.m. CST

    ...

    by blackthought

    sad.

  • Nov. 16, 2006, 2:15 p.m. CST

    Superman Returns stank

    by kwisatzhaderach

    That's all I gotta say about that

  • Nov. 21, 2006, 10:10 a.m. CST

    So's your face...

    by loodabagel

    Uh, so's your face.

  • Dec. 1, 2006, 4:31 p.m. CST

    Loogiebagel Returns 2

    by Squashua

    The Donner Cut

  • Dec. 5, 2006, 9:39 a.m. CST

    Squasha Returns 3...

    by loodabagel

    The Bay cut.

  • Dec. 8, 2006, 1:07 p.m. CST

    http://www.comicspace.com/aicn_comics/

    by Squashua

    http://www.comicspace.com/aicn_comics/

  • Jan. 1, 2007, 5:19 p.m. CST

    testing<pa>testing<pa>testing

    by Neil McCauleys Crew

    testing<pa>testing<pa>testing

  • Feb. 5, 2007, 3:36 p.m. CST

    Well I'm Loodabagel...

    by loodabagel

    And I'm back from the dead. Chillin at the beach, down at Club Med.<br> Last!

  • Feb. 5, 2007, 7:03 p.m. CST

    I'm makin' other records 'cause the people

    by The_Jack_Sack

    they want more of this... Suckas they be sayin' they could take out Adam Horovitz...