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#36 11/29/06 #5



Writer: Warren Ellis Artist: J.H. Williams Publisher: DC/Wildstorm Reviewer: Baytor

Whenever I read a really good Warren Ellis book, I'm always left with a sense of profound sadness. Sure, the good guys "win" in the end, but you're never quite sure if the cathartic bits of violence are worth the emotion pain of the journey.
Take the third chapter of "Made In England", which is mostly a conversation during a dinner between our hero and a porn actress. In fiction, there's usually only two ways porn is portrayed. Either it's the fulfillment of the typical male fantasies, in which a bunch of over-sexed starlets have good, clean orgasmic fun for our entertainment, or it's a feminist nightmare where porn is just a couple of short steps away from rape. Ellis takes a more unsettling route, by not backing down from showing us the sort of scumbags that make porn, but introducing us to a woman whose sexual appetites have led her make the informed decision that porn is the best outlet for her unusual desires.
Do I pity her? No, because she, like many porn actresses, made her decision and is more or less happy about it, but it feels a bit hollow.
Such is the tone of DESOLATION JONES, which follows the morose exploits of resident Ellis hard man Michael Jones. He's a sickly weed of a man who isn't at all physically intimidating but more than makes up for it by being more psychotic. To him, it's not about being stronger or smarter than the other guy, but about being more willing to cause permanent damage, which he is more than willing to do in beautifully rendered images from Williams.
But it wouldn't be an Ellis hero without the softer side, which is on display in numerous scenes throughout the book, including the above-mentioned encounter with a porn actress--although the book leaves us wondering if he can truly feel their pain or if he's just going through the motions.
The plot is a fairly complicated bit of business with Jones being hired to find stolen Hitler porn. It quickly turns out to be far more involved than originally thought, but thankfully Jones has gone to the Sin City School of Detectives and simply tortures & kills his way to the truth. It all takes place among the backdrop of L.A., which is an open prison for former intelligence people. Many of them have been augmented in some pseudo-scientific way or other, such as the woman who attempted to transform herself into a super-seductress, but ended up releasing some scent that utterly creeps everyone else out. Except for Jones, who is used to being seriously creeped out.
This is one of the strongest efforts from Ellis, even if there's a certain familiarity among the personality types on display. It's a book that left me in a minor funk after closing it, made all the worse by the knowledge that Williams left this assignment to go work on Batman of all characters (shakes fist impotently at the skies). Jones wins in the end. All the bad people are suitably punished, but we all pay a terrible price in those final pages that will have you writing vicious hate mail to Ellis for being such a heartless bastard.
And I love it, even the parts that brought me close to tears.


Writers: Ed Brubaker & Matt Fraction Artists: David Aja, Travel Foreman, & Derek Fridolfs Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Humphrey Lee

Okay, I honestly don't know what it is. I don't know if it's the green and yellow PJs, or the goddamn footie slippers, or just simply the name of the character himself... but I love fucking love! IRON FIST!! I can't explain it, I honestly can't, but I've even shelled out a good three hundred bills or so just to have all fifteen issues of the Byrne/Claremont stuff that came from back in the day. So honestly, if anyone is going to be this books harshest critic, it's this guy right here.
So, that said, I really, really liked this book.
Yeah, that was really harsh...
But honestly, I think I really enjoyed this first issue so much because it set a great tone. I love the aura of "mythos" instantly created around the idea of the Iron Fist. Deciding to run this book as sort of an anthology and fleshing out the periods where these Champions of K'un-Lun showed themselves to the world in times of need is a stroke of genius. It does a lot towards taking a character that for all intents and purposes is just a C-lister in the grand scheme of the Marvel Universe and turning him into something somewhat more important in its own realm. And this first issue was also a nice introduction into the mindset of Danny Rand for those not overly familiar with the character, as well as giving a nice little crash course on his origin too.
All that said though, this book does have one little flaw, and that is that not a terrible lot of stuff goes on. We get a couple flashbacks to old Iron Fists, and we see the current man in the pajamas fighting a whole fucking slew of Hydra agents. Plus, we get some insight on just where Danny Rand stands these days in running the multi-million dollar company that his father left him and stuff like that. Brubaker and Fraction do some good work at giving us some glimpses as to what to expect from this book, but right now that's all we have. That said, the action in this book is tremendous and gives this issue some great energy. Everything is very kinetic with some great internal monologuing that gives the book and character of IRON FIST a lot of determination and realism to go with the overlaying themes of mysticism. But speaking of the action...
Simply put, Dave Aja draws the #$%@ outta this book. I love every last bit of the pretty pretty pictures in this book. I really like the "dark and gritty" overtones to it and all the uses of shadow from Hollingsworth's coloring, and I really, really like the forms of Aja's characters. I love the layouts and the panelwork and how they transition the action going on and the diversity in the facial features and expressions, even though some of them tend to get slightly obscured by the dark inks. And Travel Foreman's contribution to the first couple pages is welcome too. I'm not really sure why his art is present (I assume it's to take over a few pages to help out Aja keep a monthly schedule) but it's some really welcome "big fight" stuff. All around good stuff.
So the art is very pleasant, the writing is solid, and we've got some direction here. All in all a pretty good and somewhat impressive start. Fans of IRON FIST (all four of us) should be very pleased, and I can definitely say this is a good starting point for those not familiar with the character. I'm really interested in where we're going to go with all these former Iron Fists plus where we stand with the current one as far as what role he's playing these days. Is he going to become more of a philanthropist, and what kind of obstacles is he going to be facing from a more superpowered front these days? But it looks to be an exciting ride, and quite frankly, I'm just glad to get more about one of my favorite lower tier characters. Here's to hoping...


Writers: Kurt Busiek, Mike Mignola, William Hope Hodgson, Arvid Nelson, Leah Moore, John Reppion, Scott Allie, Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dyer Artists: Keith Giffen, Al Milgrom, Mike Mignola, Gary Gianni, Juan Ferreyra, Timothy Green II, Paul Lee, Brian Horton, Jill Thompson Publisher: Dark Horse Reviewer: Dan Grendell

This final volume is my love letter to monster comics, some of the most purely graphic-in all meanings of the word-comics ever drawn.
Each year for the last few years, Dark Horse has put out a beautiful little hardcover collection of stories about a horror theme from a variety of comics stars and newcomers. Every year I look forward to it, because I know that no matter the theme, no matter who is in it, editor Scott Allie always delivers one thing: quality. I was disappointed to learn that this fourth volume will be the last, but it holds up just as well as the previous three (The DARK HORSE BOOK OF HAUNTINGS, WITCHCRAFT, and THE DEAD) and I can't say I'm surprised. I've come to expect it. As usual in these volumes, there's a new HELLBOY story and a prose offering.
This time around we have "I Witnessed the End of the World!", an excellent commentary on humanity by Kurt Busiek with Keith Giffen on pencils and Al Milgrom on inks. This was probably my favorite story of the anthology, both because of the power it had and because I liked its message. Next up was "The Hydra and the Lion," the new HELLBOY story both written and drawn by Mike Mignola, a rarity nowadays. I'm a big HELLBOY fan, but this particular story wasn't so much to my liking; it just felt rushed.
Early 20th century horror writer William Hope Hodgson comes next with the maritime prose story "A Tropical Horror," with spot illustrations by Gary Gianni. A great monster tale, and Gianni's drawings really lend to the feel of the story. Arvid Nelson adds to the REX MUNDI mystery after that with "To Weave a Lover", ably drawn by Juan Ferreyra. A bit of a Frankensteinian tale, it wrapped a little to conveniently for me.
One that didn't was "The Horror Beneath", by Leah Moore and John Reppion. Timothy Green II draws this, my second-favorite story of the book, about a couple people visiting an ill-fated archaeological dig. I love endings like that. Moore and Reppion are new to comics, but they already show a lot of promise. Let's hope people can see past who Leah's father is and recognize her skill for what it is.
As they have before, this anthology has a new DEVIL'S FOOTPRINTS story, this one titled "Hidden." Written by the editor, Scott Allie, with art by Paul Lee and Brian Horton, it tells the story of what happens when hypocritical priests mess with people with the support of their gods. Here's a hint- it isn't pretty. The anthology wraps up with what, surprisingly, is NOT a humor story by Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer: "A Dog and His Boy." With beautiful art by Jill Thompson, this story just makes you want to cry. And sometimes, that's what monsters are for.
You can read a preview of this book here. Overall, I'd recommend this and any other DARK HORSE BOOK OF... to anyone who is looking for some horror that isn't just blood and guts. This is class between two covers.


Writer: Mike Carey Penciler: Jim Fern Publisher: Vertigo/DC Comics Reviewed by Humphrey Lee

Mike Carey. Vertigo. Ongoing. If anyone has read LUCIFER, then they should know why those words alone pack a formidable punch. And honestly, if it weren't for a little book called FABLES I would say something like "nobody does fantasy as good as Mike Carey", but come on, if all you can bring to bear against the man is one of the best titles on the market, then that's still saying a lot.
CROSSING MIDNIGHT is a bit of an oddity though. It's got an obvious foot in Japanese folklore of a sort (I say not knowing anything about Japanese folklore) but actually has a start with the dropping of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki in World War II. Basically the main setup is that in an attempt to appease his mother, Yasuo Hara makes a half-hearted offering to some spirits for the well-being of his and his wife's unborn child (which later turns out to be children since they unknowingly had twins). But even though Yasuo doesn't believe in the spirits in the shrine he makes up an offering to, doesn't mean they don't exist, and later on they come to collect. And that's where things get ugly.
Even though it has a little bit of, I guess you could say "pilotitus", I still really dug this debut issue and see a lot of potential in this series as a whole. The premise is definitely different, but it unfolds well enough and I can see this book going to some really unique places, much like the aforementioned, criminally underread LUCIFER. As the children who this story revolves around (Kai and his sister Toshi) are shown getting older, some interesting events occur, like Toshi surviving a fall that should have been gruesomely fatal without even getting a scratch, and also a brief stint in an almost "fairyland" of sorts. These are the kinds of elements I'm looking forward to, even though this issue kinda forces them along. I want to feel like I'm going on an adventure with these two characters, and it looks like we're gonna get one, it just needs to be parsed better. But overall I like the idea of where this is going, and can see this ramping up into a full blown epic much like LUCIFER did.
And much like the story, the art in CROSSING MIDNIGHT also seems to be filled with a lot of potential, but seems to kinda steamroll itself along with this issue. At times the art is damn near perfect, with good figures set against impressive looking and lush backgrounds, the full nine yards. But sporadically throughout the book there'll be too many instances of some kind of odd facial expressions (like weird wide-eyed looks) or just too many empty backgrounds in the panels. Again, if this aspect of the book can get more consistent, then it'll do so much more for the overall package.
So in the end I liked this book quite a bit, but I really wasn't as blown away as I was expecting. The elements are all there, a unique premise and setting, some characters you can see yourself becoming invested in given the right motivation, and solid to occasionally really great pencils. This one just kinda came up, I dunno, lacking. Definitely sticking with "pilotitus" on this one. I really do figure things will come together much more tightly as this title progresses and it's just a matter of time before I'm hailing this as "one of the best books on the market!" But for right now, I'm sticking with "cautious optimism" and a "check it in trade when it comes out." Besides, if it does indeed turn out to be that good, you'll be glad you have it for display on your bookshelf.


Writer: Stuart Moore Artist: C.P. Smith Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Ambush Bug

Not all Christmas tales have to be sweet and heartwarming. This one certainly isn’t.
Christmas is one of those universal hooks that many an interesting story can hang itself upon. There’s been a ton of PUNISHER CHRISTMAS SPECIALS published and I think I’ve read every last one of them. There’s something about throwing a human vengeance machine into the middle of the holiday season that makes those who take life too seriously wince and call foul and makes me become filled with anticipation of the potential of such a weird juxtaposition of story elements. Some of these PUNISHER X-MAS stories have been trite. Some poignant. Some forgettable. Some scar-inducing. This story, though, is one of those hard boiled slices of perfection that rarely comes along.
Garth Ennis is currently kicking @$$ with his PUNISHER MAX series, but if Ennis ever decides to leave, with this X-MAS Special in mind, I believe Stuart Moore would be a great replacement. There are moments in this One Shot where Moore nails the character of the Punisher right on the head, even more so than Ennis does himself. Ennis does a great job of fleshing out some characters to be punished and putting Frank Castle into exciting and intriguing scenarios, but Ennis keeps the spotlight on Frank’s inner workings to a minimum. This story by Moore cracks the Punisher open and allows the reader to follow him as he reminisces about past Christmases, plans his attack on those who he deems punishable, and follows through with those plans in a truly brutal manner. There’s a moment of sincerity in this issue where Frank can’t bring himself to mention the name of his dead son. It’s one of those tiny moments in a story that makes it all worthwhile. The fact that this issue involves the death of a young boy caught in a shootout strikes a little too close to home for Frank, even though he can’t even bring himself to admit it. The story is told through Frank’s word captions, yet Moore successfully illustrates the denial and suppression of feelings Frank does so well in order to do what he does.
This issue was a memorable one, made more so by the pencils and inks of C.P. Smith, whose work reminds me of Alex Maleev’s work but the characters are less static. It’s definitely photorealistic, but the subjects don’t seem like posed photo tracings. The panels are more fluid, less staged, and make for a much more exciting read. There are a great deal of really nice close-ups throughout this one, offering a closer look at a story that shows the Punisher in a more intimate light.
But don’t get me wrong, this is about as hardcore and brutal a Punisher story as you can get, involving deaths of innocents, guilt-induced suicides, and the Punisher being about as cold hearted as they come in the end. Moore and Smith did a heck of a job making this one of the darker and definitely most entertaining Punisher X-Mas Specials I’ve ever read. It’s definitely not one I’d want to read to the little kiddies by the ol’ yule log, but it’s some dark holiday easy reading nonetheless.


Writer: Jeph Loeb Artists: Darwyn Cooke (pencils)/J. Bone (inks) Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Prof. Challenger

DC Comics and Will Eisner's THE SPIRIT should be a marriage made in heaven. The Spirit and Darwyn Cook should be a marriage made in heaven. Teaming up Batman and The Spirit should be a marriage made in heaven.
That's good, because it means I'm not crazy when I say this was perhaps the most fun I had sitting back and reading a single comic book this entire year.
THE SPIRIT is one of those characters that I know more about by reading and hearing about him than actual exposure to the original comic strips and comic books. In fact, I think the only SPIRIT stories I've ever read in their entirety are those included in THE SMITHSONIAN BOOK OF COMICS. Beyond that, I've seen plenty of pages and especially the trademark splash pages where Eisner would dramatically incorporate the title "The Spirit" into the landscape of the panel. So, what I brought into this comic by way of preconceptions was simply a general knowledge of the character and an appreciation for Eisner's ability to work cartoonish distortion with cinematic lighting, texturing, and layout to set a dramatic tone while telling hard-boiled detective stories set in an absurdist world.
What Loeb and Cooke do so well with this comparison/contrast comic with Batman is emphasize the differences between the two characters and just have fun with the many comparison points. Batman's seriousness and intensity is perfectly balanced with The Spirit's sense of amusement and light touch. Both characters have a unique working relationship with their respective police commissioners and this is the impetus for the story as they head to Hawaii for a "Law Enforcement Convention." Sure, the characters' respective cities are characters in and of themselves, but even though they are utilized in this comic, the creators smartly moved the action outside of Central City and Gotham City so that when the two lead characters are brought face-to-face it is on neutral ground.
What I never realized was that The Spirit had such an insane rogues gallery. Just watching the familiar Arkham Asylum residents hobnobbing with these other nutjobs made for a lot of the fun. I also appreciated that they set this story up as a flashback to a non-specific time many years ago when this occurred. Same little writer's trick that Roger Stern did with that very good Steve Rude illustrated Superman/Hulk team-up years ago. It allows the writer to work with the iconic form of the characters rather than whatever their current form happens to be driven by the waves of editorial attempts to make their characters "relevant" to modern readers. We don't know when this tale occurs exactly, but it does appear to be Holy Frickin' Dick Grayson as a 13 year-old Robin--but Catwoman is wearing her more recent leather and goggles costume. So who knows?
I loved the wonky dialogue, especially from the denizens of The Spirit's world where they seem slightly…askew…sort of like the tilted cameras whenever the villains were onscreen in the old BATMAN TV-series. Commissioner Gordon was a hoot throughout this story. This is a character who rarely gets to have fun in a Batman story, but here he and Commissioner Dolan are part of the action and get a little "action" in more ways than one. Darwyn Cooke's artwork, as expected, was perfectly suited for this project. Setting aside the big Kirby and Timm influence so beautifully on display in his NEW FRONTIER project, Cooke settles quite comfortably into a seamless blend of his animation style rendering with the expressive characters, narrative style and moody shadows and texturing associated with Eisner.
Maybe if I had more firsthand experience with Eisner's SPIRIT I could pick apart flaws and such. As it is, I'm just evaluating this comic on its own merits and with that grading rubric, it gets top scores from me all around. All I ask is for someone to 'splain to me howcum this comic cost $4.99 yet the paper stock was just standard newsstand issue? For $4.99 I'd expect at least a cardstock cover. C'MON!!!!!
Based on this comic, I can not wait for the new SPIRIT series later this month!!!


Writers: Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn Artists: Rick Remender and Hilary Barta Publisher: Image Comics Reviewer: Dan Grendell

"We enabled Santa's awful drinking for years. But NOT ANYMORE!"
I'm not really one for Christmas stories, usually, but I picked this one up on the strength of Brian Posehn's name. I've been laughing at Posehn since he worked on HBO's MR. SHOW, and his stand-up is awesome as anyone who listens to his CDs or watches the COMEDIANS OF COMEDY can tell you. I'm familiar with Rick Remender but more as a writer than an artist. His writing work on FEAR AGENT and NIGHT MARY particularly impressed me, so I was curious to see what his art style was like. I knew he'd teamed with Hilary Barta before on art on Dark Horse's MAN WITH THE SCREAMING BRAIN, but I missed that, so that didn't help much. And Gerry Duggan was a total mystery.
Turns out that Posehn is still damn funny in comic book form, and so is Duggan. LAST CHRISTMAS is full of twisted, hilarious stuff that made me shake my head while laughing like a hyena, which is exactly what it seemed to promise. There's also some goony comedy that didn't quite do it for me, but to each his own. What was more impressive was that there was an actual story, not just a bunch of jokes strung together, a mistake new comedy comic book writers often make. Characters have personalities, motivations, and make you care whether or not they succeed, even if they are caricatures for gags. That takes some talent.
Remender and Barta really sell the comedy, with a lot of uniquely visual jokes. Remender's style here is lanky and just a tiny bit cartoonish, which fits this story perfectly. That slight cartoonishness helps you buy into the ridiculousness all the more, but doesn't pull you out of the drama when it happens. Favorite panels included ones with Santa half-stuffed into a dead reindeer in the snow (a-la “Empire Strikes Back”) to help revive him, a wall painting of Dr. Phil with a huge rack to keep zombies away (wouldn't that scare you away?), and a horrific picture of an ancient elf woman with withered dugs that's supposed to 'stimulate' an older elf. Draw that with life models, Alex Ross.
Lest you get lost and have no idea what I'm talking about, here's a quick summary of the plot: There's been a nuclear holocaust, and mutants and zombies run amok. Some of these mutants attack the North Pole and kill Mrs. Claus, and Santa loses his will to live. Unfortunately, he can't actually die as long as one person believes in him, so his suicides keep failing. So he goes hunting for the last kid on earth who believes in him to murder him, and hilarity ensues. Yeah, you read that right. HILARITY ENSUES. Don't believe me? Buy it and read it yourself, then.
And when you stop laughing and admit you were wrong, I'll be gracious.


Writer & Artist: Howard Chaykin Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Ambush Bug

A strong word.
Not one to be thrown around lightly in this day and age.
For those of you who don’t know what it means, I took the time to look it up for you.
“Misogyny is hatred or strong prejudice against women. The word comes from the Greek words μίσος (misos, "hatred") + γυνη (gunê, "woman"). Compared with anti-woman sexism or misandry (hatred or fear of, or strong prejudice against men), misogyny is usually regarded as directed against women by some men, though women can also hold misogynistic views. In feminist theory, misogyny is recognized as a political ideology - similar to racism or anti-Semitism - that justifies and maintains the subordination of women by men.”
It’s one of those words that sparks a lot of debate when brought up in comics and it should. Considering the fact that this is a medium that is bought mainly by men, the way women are depicted in a story is often quite telling whether the author is man or woman. But it’s no the case all of the time. In an industry where the majority of the consumers are males, often times sexually repressed males (honestly, aren’t we all?), the treatment of women in these stories is something that deserves some attention.
A lot of things come to mind when I think of the name Guy Gardner. Arrogant. Blowhard. Braggart. Obnoxious. When cast with other characters such as in JLI or GREEN LANTERN CORPS or NOT READY FOR JUSTICE LEAGUE, those words often fit the character of Guy Garner. He’s the perfect foil to make the squeaky cleaner hero look all the more squeaky. But there have also been a handful of stories fleshing out Guy as a misguided but noble hero. He’s one of those guys who isn’t afraid of getting his hands dirty. He’s a good egg, but just not someone who needs to follow every rule to get the job done. The word misogynist does not come to mind when I think of the character of Guy Gardner.
Now, I’m not out to call Howard Chaykin a misogynist or anything like that. I want to make that clear from the start. I would like to say that there were a few instances while reading GUY GARDNER: COLLATERAL DAMAGE #1 that the word misogyny came to mind. I do think that this is an interesting route to take with a character like Guy. The objectification of women is something that one would think would fit nicely in a story starring the brash macho emerald ring-bearer of the DCU and to a point it does. Seeing Guy attempt to settle a war between the Rannians and the Thanagarians by suggesting a sexual ménage a trois between two sultry delegates was actually a pretty funny scenario to see unfold. It was one of those moments that fit the character and was done in an honestly entertaining manner.
But the thing that made me feel uncomfortable reading this book was the fact that every woman in this issue is objectified not only by Guy, but by most of the other characters as well. Granted, the other characters are bad guys, but it made my skin crawl a little seeing one woman being held captive by her hair then killed and fed to other prisoners (off panel, mind you), then two pages later another female is threatened with battlefield rape and bitten in the neck. The women in this book are either to be ogled or tortured or assaulted or raped or all four. And there comes a point where I felt the need to shout “enough is enough.”
I’m all for violence in comics. But I want my violence doled out without discretion. And don’t call me a feminist or anything like that. I know that if you look hard enough, you can label anything as misogynistic and write out some justification. But the fact of the matter is, this story made me feel kind of dirty reading it and this wasn’t a good sense of unease. The fact that no woman was left unscathed if not physically by lecherous aliens, then by Guy’s sexual advances, left me with the uncontrollable need to wash my hands after reading this one. There are moments of cool. The intro captions to each of the cast members and the inclusion of G’nort in the cast make for nice moments of heroism and humor, although I was a bit confused as to who was exactly telling this story until almost the end of the issue. And I really like the Guy Gardner character. But of the two Guy Gardner characters I listed above (the blowhard and the hero), Chaykin seems to be writing about the blowhard, which in my opinion is the less interesting of the two renditions of the character. Chaykin does a good job of writing Guy in this grimy light, but he makes it awfully hard to root for a hero that seems to be a mere baby step away from treating the damsels in distress the same way the bad guys do.


Writer: Ashly Raiti Artist: Irene Flores Publisher: Tokyopop Reviewer: Dan Grendell

"Remember, you promised me you wouldn't do anything stupid. I'm gonna hold you to that."
Now, this is a fun manga. The characters are enjoyable, even the bad guys (err.... girls), the plot is well constructed, and it moves right along. There's just enough mystery to keep you wondering, but enough is revealed to satisfy. That's good writing. It's a bit sexy, but doesn't go over the top with it, and you expect sexy in a book about a succubus. I'll be a little curious to see how Raiti handles the teenage succubus Maeve actually landing her target- it'll be tricky to pull off, given the tendency and expectation in manga for drawn-out love scenes, and I'll be disappointed if a series about a succubus ends with the main character acting against that demon type's nature. Thus far, that tightrope has been walked very well.
In volume one, Maeve arrived on Earth to seduce and kill her first target, a boy named Aiden, and fell in love with him. That's against demon law, and her mentor tried to protect her, but a succubus out to advance her career is trying to catch Maeve screwing up to use her to beef up her resume, so things got a little hairy. In this volume, Maeve finally admits that she can't kill Aiden, and is going to have to find another target- but first, something must be done about Sylne, the scheming succubus. And Aiden is getting pressure from his parents to stay away from Maeve- can they keep the two apart? And how does Junael, Sylne's unwilling imp slave, fit into all this?
Irene Flores returns on art with another spectacular job. The succubi have such pouty lips, big eyes, and innocent faces that you can't help but believe that people are willing to throw themselves at them. Aiden is consistently well-drawn as the emo thinker, and Flores shines at showing emotions on the faces of her characters. She uses other techniques quite well throughout the manga adeptly for a change of pace, from constant perspective changes to silhouetting, and her panel layouts are refreshing and constantly different. Flores is also obviously having quite a bit of fun with Maeve's costumes and hair, changing them often from one cute version to another. Not only does this help show time passage, it just looks cool.
MARK OF THE SUCCUBUS was one of my favorite finds of Tokyopop's new wave of OEL manga, and I'm glad to see that the second volume is even better than the first.


Writer: Chris Ryall Artist: Ashley Wood Publisher: IDW Publishing Reviewer: Ambush Bug

You got zombies in my robot story!
You got robots in my zombie story!
It’s two great tastes that taste great together!
I know, I’ve been pretty generous in praise towards the zombie comics. Hell, some may think that if it has the word “ZOMBIE” or “DEAD” in the title, I’ll automatically love it. And to some degree, that’s true. I simply love zombie comics, zombie movies, and zombie stuff. So there it is, plain as day, for all to see, right off the bat, no beating around the bush.
That said, ZOMBIES VS ROBOTS #1 is one of the best of the best out of all of the zombie comics out there today. It has the right mix of art, pacing, quirkiness, and storyline to make it a winner. But as I picked this book up and leafed through the beginning pages, I didn’t feel that way at first.
You see, when I see something on the shelves that I have never read before, expectations arise, and the writer in me takes the title and the cover image and goes to town, imagining my own scenario. In the short walk from my comic store to my place, the entire story plays out in my head. Everyone does it to some extent. It may involve intricate plots or it may just revolve around whether or not you think it’s going to suck. But assumptions and judgments are made, whether that’s a good or a bad thing.
When I heard about ZOMBIES VS ROBOTS and saw the cover, I quickly imagined a silent story, told only through panel progression. I mean, it’s a book starring zombies, robots, and humankind’s last living baby. How much conversation could there be? How much was needed? Let’s just see some zombies and robots ripping into each other with mankind at stake. I imagined a special story, told solely through the use of sequential art, and not reliant on many discourse-laden word balloons and captions.
So when I picked up the book and started reading through it and saw caption boxes and word balloons, I was immediately annoyed. So annoyed that a scathing review began to formulate in my head focusing on the missed potential of this book.
Then I put the book down and took a wizz.
Then I read the book from the beginning again and all the way through.
Boy, was I wrong.
Sure, a wordless sequence of grisly carnage involving metal gears and chunks of flesh flying through the air would’ve been fun, but had that occurred, I would have missed out on all of the extremely nice bits of detail this story has going for it. The history of the robots unfolds in an intelligent and fascinating manner. The cause of the zombie plague is made reference to, but left vague. And the best set of details of all involves the classification of the robots themselves. There are Warbots, Guardbots, Scibots, Docbots, Workbots…all types of bots in this one. All with a purpose and all with a certain personality trait that makes them unique. Not unique in the sense that each robot has its own personality, but unique in the sense that each type of robot functions in a specific way and its interactions with the world depend on what type of robot it is. A lot of thought seems to be put into these different personalities, which have everything to do with the job the robots are designed for. This could have been a book solely about these robots and I wouldn’t have minded.
And then the zombies showed up. And the shit really started to fly. And the good gets great really quick.
I could rant and rave about panel placement or the way the story unfolds or a cliffhanger to beat all cliffhangers. All of this goes on masterfully and Chris Ryall deserves to be officially labeled as “A Writer to Watch” after this and his stellar work on IDW’s adaptation of Clive Barker’s THE GREAT AND SECRET SHOW. The thing about this book, though, is that it is a kick@$$ idea to have zombies fighting robots. The fact that there’s the last living human baby in the middle of them makes it all the cooler.
Ashley Wood’s art may turn off some of you who love their comics with nice and neat line-work. If you like clean pictures and focused imagery, well…look elsewhere. Wood’s art is just that…art. It’s blurry and abstract at times. You sometimes have to scan the panel to know what’s going on, but in doing so, you become much more involved in the story that’s unfolding. Although conceptual, Wood has a good handling of the progression of panels. You can easily follow what’s going on and the flow of the story isn’t broken one bit due to the less than structured lines. Wood’s panels are reeled-in abstractions that never lose focus on the plot. Really nice stuff.
This book is just damn cool. It’s the SNAKES ON A PLANE of comics. It’s one of those concepts that drips with awesome and makes you smile before you even crack open the book. To top it all off, Ryall and Wood bring their writing and artistic best to this book. ZOMBIES VS ROBOTS is one of the best zombie comics out there.
Scratch that…
It’s one of the best comics out there, period.

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.

Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 6, 2006, 1:08 a.m. CST

    Immortal Iron Fist was boring

    by ZeroCorpse

    No fun whatsoever. I was not impressed. I found a lot more enjoyment in this month's Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man (Deb Whitman!!!) than I did in the "Danny Rand hits random Hydra dudes" book. I miss the days when Iron Fist was a FUN character, and not some rehashed Shang Chi.

  • Dec. 6, 2006, 1:43 a.m. CST


    by Droogie Alex

    Deal With it!

  • Dec. 6, 2006, 2:48 a.m. CST


    by dregmobile

    From Droogie to Dreg. And I disagree about Bat/Spirit. I found it a subtance lighter than air. Still looking forward to the Spirit's new series, though ...

  • Dec. 6, 2006, 4:33 a.m. CST

    Damn you MCMLXXVI

    by dregmobile

    Damn you to hell.

  • Dec. 6, 2006, 5:59 a.m. CST

    Iron Fist

    by Black Satin 2

    Iron Fist is a character who works away from the Marvel infrastructure. Sure, it's set in the Marvel Universe, but back in the 70s Marvel's book like Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Ghost Rider, et al worked because these guys weren't a part of the Avengers, Fantastic Four, X-Men. Nowadays, Marvel is sick with having individuals team-up with other people and they lose their individuality. I remember a great Iron Fist story where he dealt with the Wrecking Crew to save Misty Knight with only Captain America and the Avenger's Danger room as assistance. Or whatever they called their workout center. Now, everything is Bendis-tized and it's not worth reading anymore.

  • Dec. 6, 2006, 7:53 a.m. CST


    by knightrider


  • Dec. 6, 2006, 9:11 a.m. CST

    Zombies Vs. Robots

    by Shigeru

    Good stuff. Go Chris Ryall! <br>Ash Wood rocks, too... tho I'm kind of surprised there were no scantily clad women in the book.

  • Dec. 6, 2006, 9:25 a.m. CST

    go chris ryall indeed!

    by blackthought

    you think he'd accept a cog membership since he was our first interview? and i agree with shig on wood's rocks...i'm jealous...then again i'm jealous of many...j.h. williams III among the tops.

  • Dec. 6, 2006, 9:29 a.m. CST


    by loodabagel

    Ya know, I really can't think of anything at the moment. Check back in a bit.

  • Dec. 6, 2006, 9:47 a.m. CST

    Iron Fist has an origin?

    by loodabagel

    That's something to talk about. I always assumed he just existed, ya know?

  • Dec. 6, 2006, 9:50 a.m. CST

    Aaron Stack as customer service rep! The Captain on

    by chrth

    another planet the other side of the Universe! Some weird shit with Monica! Elsa Bloodstone disappoints her dad! All because of Forbush Man! FORBUSH MAN!<p> NextWave #10 is on shelves NOW. Kill anyone in your way! Even cats!

  • Dec. 6, 2006, 10:04 a.m. CST

    Warren Ellis...

    by loodabagel

    How many comics does that guy write per month?

  • Dec. 6, 2006, 10:07 a.m. CST

    zombies vs robots

    by DocPazuzu

    Why hasn't anyone thought of this before? Genius.

  • Dec. 6, 2006, 10:19 a.m. CST

    Pirates vs. Ninjas....

    by loodabagel

    vs. Zombies vs. Robots. Geekasm!

  • Dec. 6, 2006, 10:57 a.m. CST

    Ambush Bug, what did you expect?

    by Mr Incredible

    Chaykin has some serious mental issues concerning women; you can tell that from his earlier stuff like American Flagg until now. The guy is a freak and it taints his writing and artwork, no matter what character he's using.

  • Dec. 6, 2006, 11:06 a.m. CST

    Morrison's BATMAN anyone?

    by George Newman

    What happened with that? It was supposed to be "Joker" but instead we got a fill-in team "Grotesque" story. *fart sound*

  • Dec. 6, 2006, 12:37 p.m. CST

    Monkey Ninja Pirate Robot

    by Squashua

    Is a game. The expansion includes Zombies, Cowboys and Cyborgs. <br><br>

  • Dec. 6, 2006, 12:46 p.m. CST

    Off-topic heads-up...

    by Kid Z

    ... A quote from Heath Ledger at where he says it's a different kind of role for him because he'll be "wearing a mask"... WT-MF'ing-F?!!? Harry goddammit... get off your ass and look into this shit!

  • Dec. 6, 2006, 1:02 p.m. CST

    Dark Horse

    by Mister Inbetween

    I was lucky enough to tour the Dark Horse offices and warehouse yesterday. It was pretty frickin cool. I got to don the Right Hand of Doom and brandish Hellboy's fat revolver that both sit on Mike Richardson's desk. MR has a giant wall of original art that'd make any fanboy knock up their Calvins. I got to see a never-before-seen clip from an upcoming Dark Horse Entertainment monster movie (which I'm not sure I'm supposed to mention...and which looked pretty funny incidentally...) Saw lots of secret things actually, which I stared at intently, memorizing and savoring them, which seemed to make our guide sweat a little. Little did he know I'm about as treacherous as Charlie Bucket, leaving the everlasting gobstopper on Wonka's desk at the end of the day. But will I inherit the company in exchange for my trustworthiness? We'll see. I just wanted to brag. It was quite a treat for me to see the guts of one of my favorite comic book houses...oh, and I got a free key chain!

  • Dec. 6, 2006, 1:32 p.m. CST

    About those Heath Leger comments...

    by Ambush Bug

    I'll bet they were referring to him having to the Joker's Red Hood days, where the Joker wore a red cylindrical mask over his head before he became Joker-ized. If ths is the case, Leger really did drop a bombshell in that the Killing Joke origin may in fact be in the new Batman.

  • Dec. 6, 2006, 1:43 p.m. CST

    IMMORTAL IRON FIST #1 rocked!

    by SpyGuy

    Anyone who says otherwise has a double-Y chromosome.

  • Dec. 6, 2006, 2:08 p.m. CST

    Is IDW REALLY indie?

    by vivavitalogy


  • Dec. 6, 2006, 2:21 p.m. CST


    by dregmobile

    Could just be speaking figuratively. He could be referring to just putting on makeup as 'putting on a mask'.

  • Dec. 6, 2006, 2:33 p.m. CST

    Well vivavitalogy...

    by Ambush Bug

    since IDW makes up roughly 1% of the comic book market these days, I think it qualifies. IDW is one of the bigger comics distributors, but it still is a relatively new company and puts out a few books a month. It's not copied and stapled at Kinko's or put together in someone's basement, but I think compared to Marvel and DC, or even Image and Dark Horse, I'd still consider it indie.

  • Dec. 6, 2006, 2:42 p.m. CST

    IDW IS indie

    by Shigeru

    It's true. <br><br> Whatever happened to the question of the week?

  • Dec. 6, 2006, 3:37 p.m. CST

    Not interested in this week's reviews, sorry.

    by nofate

    But I have a suggestion for the @$$holes, how 'bout caressing Harry's or Mori's scrotum just a bit more tenderly this week and do a story on what, if anything, is Wizard Magazine's contribution to the comic book industry now a days. You've probably heard by now that Pat McCullum, former Wizard EIC and VP, got canned last week in what they hope is a total overhaul of the rag. I mean with your, albeit sporadic, shoot the messenger feature, newsarama, CBR and the like, is there a place for a print edition of comic news? I haven't picked up an issue of Wizard since I canceled my subscription over 2 years ago. Their features were getting more and more idiotic and then they stopped doing reviews. Their logic on that? according to an answer to a letter from a reader questioning that very topic, "Gareb felt the magazine should help promote what's good about comics, not help diminish it" which is trade talk for "Marvel and DC threaten to pull advertising if we critisized their product". So how 'bout it? I'm sure I'm not alone here and I'd love to hear your take on that. Did Wizard help or hurt comics back when it was relevant? Even better, do you have any behind the scenes dirt? An exclusive contract that fell through after it was reported too soon perhaps? anything? Bueller? Bueller?

  • Dec. 6, 2006, 3:44 p.m. CST


    by El Vale


  • Dec. 6, 2006, 4:02 p.m. CST

    Got Zombies / Robots today...

    by Squashua

    ...and it's good!

  • Dec. 6, 2006, 4:06 p.m. CST

    SpyGuy, Double Y Chromosomes...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...mean that you're extra aggressive. A MANly man. Studies have shown that the prison population is made up of approx. 70% double Ys. However, it can be channeled. Tests on highly successful men in business, the military, sports, comic book reviewing, etc. show great occurances of Double Y. I think you're thinking of chromosomal problems that result in Down's syndrome. Probably, a Double Y would like Iron Fist. Iron Fist would probably be Double Y. Batman. The Punisher. Maybe Daredevil. Wolverine's a mutant so regular genetics wouldn't apply to him. And don't get me started on supervillains. All of 'em. Lex Luthor. Stilt Man. Dr. Doom. Hank Scorpio...

  • Dec. 6, 2006, 4:29 p.m. CST


    by Mister Inbetween

    Maybe he meant XXY, like Jamie Lee Curtis, or Regis Philbin.

  • Dec. 6, 2006, 4:53 p.m. CST


    by blackthought


  • Dec. 6, 2006, 5:26 p.m. CST

    Does Davey Aja look better than he did on Daredevil?

    by loodabagel

    For whatever reason, I imagine Iron Fist has lots of snowy, mountainous scenery, so it wouldn't be as dark as Daredevil was. Still, I'm not the David Aja epert here, so I think I'll give this the benefit of the doubt and check it out if I can. In other news, I would enjoy a classed-up Wizard magazine. The Comics Journal is nice and all, but when you live somewhere that only gets Marvel and Dc and the magazine basically only writes about companies so small they don't even exist... and plus, they're like 10 bucks an issue. I could buy that Desolation Jones trade for that! Which I am seriously considering. It looks to be an exceptionally cool comic book.

  • Dec. 6, 2006, 6:27 p.m. CST

    Get Storm outta Wakanda and marry her off to Kurt !!!!

    by Monkey_King

    get her away from that lame T'Challa and marry her off to her "real" man, Nightcrawler. Claremont and Davis are probably embarassed by Hudlin's stupid Black Panther engagement storyline as much as I am. Damn you, Brian Bendis!!!!!

  • Dec. 6, 2006, 7:14 p.m. CST

    Zombies Vs. Robots

    by Capt. Spaulding

    Maybe I'm just kinda burned out on zombies, I thought it was okay, a neat idea, but it didn't really grab me. What about the other IDW Zombie series (Zombies Feast?) anyone have anythoughts on it?

  • Dec. 6, 2006, 8:58 p.m. CST

    CBG is a LOT more fun to read than Wizard imo

    by CarmillaVonDoom

    Always was, still is. Can't wait to read Last X-Mas and Zombies/Robots. Thanks for the heads-up guys! ;^)

  • Dec. 6, 2006, 9:37 p.m. CST

    sucks not to have cheap shots

    by Homer Sexual

    But I do agree that Iron Fist is a great character, and that Immortal Iron Fist is worthy. Why so many zombies these days? Just zombies, zombies, zombies. And they work better in film than comics, IMO. (not that they always work in movies either).

  • Dec. 6, 2006, 10:26 p.m. CST

    Nextwave turns in one of its best, and not even a CS?

    by TallBoy66

    seriously, if any book put out last week deserves at least a mention, its Nextwave's latest bit of genius with #10. If anything, just for Stuart Immoeen's amazing different art style throughout. And there's only 2 issues left! Not even a mention? For shame. who's pickin these reviews anyway?

  • Dec. 7, 2006, 3:34 a.m. CST

    Robots Vs Zombies.

    by Kamikaze Skeleton

    IT is a foolish book. The natural enemy of the robot is the monkey. M O N K E Y.

  • Dec. 7, 2006, 8:12 a.m. CST

    Buzz Maverik: Sorry, I meant XYY Syndrome...

    by SpyGuy

    ...which, according to Wikipedia, results in learning difficulties up to 50%, delayed speech and language skills. Interestingly, it also states that the "aggressive" characteristics you mentioned are essentially a pop culture myth and not supported by medical studies. <p>You know, Kyle, I guess we both learned something today.</p>

  • Dec. 7, 2006, 9:19 a.m. CST

    Pirates Vs. Ninjas coming soon

    by holidill

    Antarctic Press is going to do a Pirates vs. Ninjas Comic very soon.

  • Dec. 7, 2006, 9:34 a.m. CST

    Will somebody give some examples of the Howard...

    by loodabagel

    Chaykin's sexism? I'm really curious.

  • Dec. 7, 2006, 9:39 a.m. CST

    Wizard Magazine

    by Shigeru

    It desperately needs an overhaul. It's kind of sad to say, but yes, comic book websites have killed this magazine. And instead of countering the websites by providing exclusive and interesting content (exclusive interviews with creators, in-depth articles about the industry, opinionated reviews, exclusive creator-content), they continue with more and more movie coverage! Honestly, when you can get split-second comic movie news on no less than half a dozen websites, why would you wait and then pay more $$ just to read the same thing in a magazine? And their pieces have just gotten fluffier and fluffier... 'Kevin Spacey's Superman Returns Journal'!, 'Who's Who of Civil War'! When I was younger I used to love to read Wizard and thought it was often hilarious. Now it seems it needs to be A) completely overhauled, or B) put to sleep.

  • Dec. 7, 2006, 11:31 a.m. CST

    should wizard die?

    by blackthought


  • Dec. 7, 2006, 12:28 p.m. CST

    Unfortunately, Wizard Has More Influence Than We Admit.

    by Buzz Maverik

    No one wants to admit to reading it but thousands of geeks think WATCHMEN has to be an HBO mini-series or Patrick Warburton should play Superman (despite now being about 20 years too old and 50 pounds too heavy).

  • Dec. 7, 2006, 12:30 p.m. CST

    Gareb doesn't do shit at WIZARD any more.

    by SleazyG.

    He's too busy with the International Fighting League, which of course all of you are huge fans of, right? I mean, why else would they have had that big ring taking up so much real estate at Wizard World this summer? You know the IFL should be taken seriously because they had two hot chicks in tight li'l outfits by the ring, and they let the dorks who showed up in Thor and Hulk costumes duke it out in the ring for fun. Go IFL--the only and best mixed martial arts league in teh geekw0rld! Now where did I leave my copy of Toyfare again?

  • Dec. 7, 2006, 12:35 p.m. CST

    I'm Starting A Fighting League For Geeks!

    by Buzz Maverik

    At this computer, we have Nando "Gandalf Kid" Puckett. In this corner, we have Ryan "SaveTheCheerleader" Wapnierski. The topic: "Is LOST about purgatory and whose Mom is a bigger slut." In the other ring, where things have gotten physical Danny "BoredwithBenisBoard" Rodriguez will have a slap fight with "Dr. Hoo" Tommy Morgan. To spice things up, we'll remind them that one of them disagreed with the other on a message board once two and half years ago.

  • Dec. 7, 2006, 12:36 p.m. CST

    However, the @FL (@$$hole Fighting League)...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...finds itself unable to get any hot chicks to parade around because every time we hire some wannabee model/actress/whatever, all of you run up and give her copies of THE WATCHMEN and SANDMAN and tell her she HAS to read them. Thanks, guys!

  • Dec. 7, 2006, 12:40 p.m. CST

    And We'll Have Gang Fights!

    by Buzz Maverik

    I'm in negotiations to set up a cage match with Cogs vs. the Trolls. The problem is that the Trolls have turned out to be one guy with 12 different User IDs. I'm still hoping the Cogs will be willing to kick the shit out of one guy, but, dammit, they're all into fair play and not wanting to seriously injure anybody!

  • Dec. 7, 2006, 3:08 p.m. CST

    I know for a fact Turtle can start some shit.

    by Shigeru

    Scratch that... he could *finish* some shit. He's got knives and stuff. <br> Plus, in case you forgot, I have ninja status, and no problem using it on the troll-like. <br><br> Someone want to explain to me what the IFL is about? Are we serious here?

  • Dec. 7, 2006, 5:34 p.m. CST

    We'll Have Special Martial Arts Matches...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...because lots of geeks belts. I figure we can either have a bunch of geeks up against somebody like a construction worker or prison guard, or we can have two groups of geeks fight each other. I'm seeing the practicioners of Shang Chi style in an aerial battle against Richard Dragon style warriors. Indian burns and pinching allowed.

  • Dec. 7, 2006, 5:38 p.m. CST

    I Think The First Match Went Well...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...although I billed it wrong. I said it was a guy dressed like Hurley from LOST vs. a Simpsons Comic Store Guy-guy. Turns out that they weren't dressed up, at all and that was just how they looked. My bad. I thought they were going to kill each other, but then they found out they both hate CIVIL WAR so now they're BFF.

  • Dec. 7, 2006, 5:44 p.m. CST

    Actually, Psynapse...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...when I wrote the stupid joke about the Cogs being too fair and upright to gang up on a troll, I almost said "...except for Psynapse" because I thought you'd get a kick out of that, but I don't pander to my audience. I-do-not-pander. And I don't hurl racial slurs at hecklers. I hurl feces, but that's a different matter. What is it with geek collectives, though? Does every clique have a guy who collects knives? The @$$holes have Vroom Socko who has knives and swords (and I own more guns than that scene in the MATRIX)and you've got the guy with the hard to type out user I.D. (I don't know why I can't bring myself to call him Turtle; it's either because I don't feel I have the right or because I'm a shit and I know he likes his nickname). Maybe we're all one person, or a few select people. Maybe...maybe I'd better change the bong water.

  • Dec. 7, 2006, 5:56 p.m. CST

    Invincible hand book

    by Kamikaze Skeleton came out yestrday, and Im loving it. Plus there are revelations of plot yet to happen in some of the character bios. Which ? I will not say. And Invincible 37 was great, as always. My favorite bit was Invincible punching a normal (but evil) guy in the jaw. his mouth ended up like a foot to the lef tof his face. Great stuff.

  • Dec. 7, 2006, 8:36 p.m. CST

    Fight! Fight! Fight!

    by loodabagel

    Do you know how much shit I take? I mean, usaually, it's a fuckin' lot, but sometimes you just need to vent, ya know? I once had to fight thses asshole frat boys. My buddy grabbed the fire extinguisher and I used the skateboard. Reaaranged the fucker's face, I did. Even cracked the board. The thing was on the way out anyway, but that's still pretty fuckin' intense. And what's up with that stupid Miami Vice ad? I thought I was looking at Blade 3. Now I'm going to kick Miami Vice's ass. Do I have a knife collecting friend? Hmm... Well, regardless, I shall still battlefield corpse-rape Jareb Shamus.

  • Dec. 7, 2006, 8:40 p.m. CST

    I am also pissed at goddamn foot ball movies...

    by loodabagel

    They're taking up valuable fucking space in my movie theater! The other week, my buddy was being a dip because I didn't buy a ticket to Casino Royale, and I said "Hey, do you want to give money to a company that doesn't let you watch The Prestige, The Fountain, Tenacious D, Borat, A Scanner Darkly, Clerks 2, Thank You For Smoking or Art School Confidential?" Well, he is now in complete agreeance with me. Fuck Carmike.

  • Dec. 7, 2006, 10:57 p.m. CST

    Art School Confidential

    by dregmobile

    They showed previews for that here, then pulled its release. Bastards. Not even available on DVD here yet. <br> <br>Anyone caught the new Detective Comics with Joker and Robin? How fucking awesome was it? Possibly the best of Dini's run so far. Felt like Speed, but as a short film, maybe. <br> <br>The latest Mystery in Space was maybe the best so far, too. Finally got some great action from Comet, and plenty of the dog which is always good. The Weird story is also moving forward nicely. <br> <br>The latest Hulk? Snore. I'm just making sure I have the issues that lead into World War Hulk so I know wtf is going on when it hits. <br> <br>But bagel, you got to see Casino Royale ... where do you live? The deep South?

  • Dec. 7, 2006, 11:25 p.m. CST

    Planet Hulk

    by Kamikaze Skeleton

    Am I the only one enjoying Planet hulk. It seems its all bitch bitch bitch " whens the hulk coming back to set civil war straight" -- heres a fact: no character is going to set civil war straight, not even the hulk. He'd get a personaility lombotomy like everyone else. And planet hulk? its great. Using the character in a new way, creating new characters, and new settings. The use of the sulver surfer was great. Its all in all t a tight book, thats good issue to issue, and good from story arch to story arch. the arts not to shabby either. So give planet hulk some love.

  • Dec. 8, 2006, 9:28 a.m. CST

    Dregs, you misunderstand...

    by loodabagel

    I saw the movie. I just didn't buy a ticket.

  • Dec. 8, 2006, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Be my Friend!!!!

    by Squashua

    So lonely!

  • Dec. 8, 2006, 10:51 a.m. CST

    Buzz cracks me up...

    by Shigeru

    The dude with the hard to spell username(Turtle), the bitter one with creative insults(Psy), the one who goes against every grain (Vale), the one with diabetes (Heathen), the token girl(Vale again, lolz). <br><br> I am trying to think of what cog/clique/gang mold I fit in and I'm kind of bummed I don't have one. Dude who likes Japan too much?

  • Dec. 8, 2006, 10:58 a.m. CST


    by Shigeru

    i am signing up right now...

  • Dec. 8, 2006, 11:10 a.m. CST


    by Buzz Maverik

    ...for you, I'm tempted to say, "Cool leader type" but that would cause uproar among the other Cogs. It's like how you can apply Bart Simpson's role assignments to his friends, when they raided Shelbyville to get back the Springfield lemon tree, to the first X-MEN movie, with Cyclops as Bart: "I'm the cool leader. Wolverine's the tough guy. Jean's the smart guy. And Storm's the quiet, religious guy who goes nuts." Since you know I love and respect the Cogs (like, can I apply for Cog status when the @$$holes fire my @$$?), I think I can now tell you how I originally referred to you (keeping in mind that at when we first started reviewing, I couldn't remember all the @$$holes names and convinced them to bring Sleazy on board so there'd be someone I already knew): Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky and Mike. I think Psynapse is the only one of you almost old enough to know that reference. There's a great Cog-Gestalt you guys have there. We sorta had it once, but not so much after coporate downsizing and restructuring. And El is the dude who goes against the grain! El goes against the grain so much that on this board he thinks he's going against the grain by loving Bendis, when in fact this board goes against the grain by not loving Bendis (although not hating him as some people think). I didn't know ya liked Japan too much. Speaking of Japan, I was gonna ask Psynapse what that Japanese word was for Godzilla & Gamera movies again. I love those things but I can't remember what the Japanese call 'em.

  • Dec. 8, 2006, 11:09 a.m. CST

    comicspace broke

    by Shigeru


  • Dec. 8, 2006, 11:12 a.m. CST

    I've Already Signed Up For Ideaspace.

    by Buzz Maverik

    It's out there. Where all the ideas live. Alan Moore knows about it.

  • Dec. 8, 2006, 11:30 a.m. CST

    Are you thinking of "Kaiju"?

    by Shigeru

    Of course Buzz Maverick is an honorary Cog already, and there is a special room in the orbiting Mansion reserved for you. Filled with cubans (cigars, not the people, though I'm sure they're quite nice) and tequila, natch.<br> "Cool leader type" - I'm honored... and it's true, I pretty much rule and am awesome, so I'll take it. BRING ME NACHOS, SLAVES!

  • Dec. 8, 2006, 12:50 p.m. CST

    Stepped on/eaten by Gojira

    by Shigeru

    is definitely on my "Top 5 Ways to Bite It" list. Followed by "Death by Shuriken as a result of some epic ninja beef."

  • Dec. 8, 2006, 2:34 p.m. CST

    Mysterious Beast Cinema! I Love It!

    by Buzz Maverik

    It's freakin' Lovecraftian ("freakin' being somehow more appropriate that "fuckin'" here!. I remember the writers of an old Dark Horse Godzilla series likening Godzilla to Lovecrafts Elder Gods. Also fits in with the fun Warren Ellis series TOKYO STORM WARNING where the beasts would materialize for an unknown reason, to be battled by giant, robotic armor which also materialized. They probably gave us a reason but as a reviewer, I was never a big follow up guy, even if I liked the book. Just give me the first issue, it's probably not going to get any better or worse than that. Comic book hijinks follow.

  • Dec. 8, 2006, 5:38 p.m. CST

    So The Kaiju & Robo Suits...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...were brought out of Idea Space. A theme forms.

  • Dec. 8, 2006, 5:39 p.m. CST

    I Tell Ya, Instead of Emmerich's Stupid GODZILLA,...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...shoulda been Tim Burton's GODZILLA.

  • Dec. 8, 2006, 5:40 p.m. CST

    With A Real Script, Of Course...

    by Buzz Maverik

    Tim Burton without a real script is some mighty pretty art direction.

  • Dec. 8, 2006, 5:56 p.m. CST

    Planet Hulk ...

    by dregmobile

    Isn't bad (if it was, I wouldn't buy), but the events in the last couple of issue whiz past very quick. I have to stop myself to stare at the big images with little dialogue and admire the art, because otherwise I would finish the book in seconds.

  • Dec. 8, 2006, 6:25 p.m. CST

    Oh god, Tim Burton Godzilla...

    by loodabagel

    Can you imagine all of the stripes? ANd on that Warren Ellis Tokyo Storm Warning-Was this actually part of the Stormwatch series? For whatever reason, there's a collection of that at the public library and there's a story where they go to Tokyo and fight a giant lizard. And there's this crazy guy without any eyes aming the monsters... But more importantly, why the hell is there a Stormwatch collection at the public library? They've only got about 15 comics, and they went straight to the frickin' stormwatch collection. I mean, they didn't bother to get The Dark Knight Returns or Watchmen or Maus or anything, they went straight to the damn Stormwatch collection. I wanted to ask them why the hell they decided to get that comic, but I guess some mysterious hidden figure picks out all of the stuff and there's no way you can influence his selection. Which is downright lame, considering they used to have a cool movie collection, but lately it's just been cheesy ass movies from the forties and boring PBS specials. Like that 28 part Ken Burns thing on the history of cheese.

  • Dec. 9, 2006, 9:43 a.m. CST


    by blackthought


  • Dec. 9, 2006, 6:06 p.m. CST

    Little early this week, Blackthought

    by Squashua


  • Dec. 9, 2006, 10:44 p.m. CST

    *pop* Finally I can come in here..

    by Thalya

    Just finished my last two weeks worth of comics. So..<BR><BR> 1) Buzz, a CAGE match you say? Mmmm..cage..<BR><BR> 2) Shig, aren't I the token girl, or have I been downgraded? Life's hit me hard for the last month and a half at least, what with work, apt hunting, falling in love, and all that shit, hence the quietness (not to mention there hasn't been too much that leaps out as squeal-worthy lately). Which reminds me..<BR><BR> 3) Ok, so the eternal question is what do you guys get your gfs to read to get them into comics? How about a bigger quandary? What do I as a geekgirl have to give my bf in order to get _him_ into comics?

  • Dec. 9, 2006, 10:45 p.m. CST

    My gf

    by dregmobile

    won't touch any regular hero comics. She can't get past the big asses and tits and hates the treatment of women in mainstream comics. They have to have animals in them (like Mouse Hunt and Blacksad). Which is why Phase 2 will consist of some Fables trades ...

  • Dec. 10, 2006, 11:11 a.m. CST

    black hole

    by blackthought


  • Dec. 10, 2006, 8:34 p.m. CST

    All of my emoboy stuff...

    by loodabagel

    At least I call it that sometimes. Most notably Dan Clowes, but I've been trying to push some Inhumans, 100% and The Oiginals on 'em.

  • Dec. 11, 2006, 9:44 a.m. CST


    by Shigeru

    I couldn't pass up an opportunity to insult Vale. Though it seems he's MIA in TB land... not that I can really blame him, quality comics are seemingly getting harder to come by these days... <br><br> A REAL LIFE BF?? Not like imaginary or anything? And he doesn't like comics? DUMP HIM PLZ. Seriously kick his ass to the curb. Okay maybe not. But what kind of movies is he into? It's usually a fairly good gauge as to which comics one would enjoy.

  • Dec. 11, 2006, 11:06 a.m. CST

    Never Try To Get Yer Love Interest Interested In Comics

    by Buzz Maverik

    It's a good way to end up single. There's nothing wrong with having separate interests. It's good to be different from the person you're dating. It expands your world and theirs. Plus, if you're a guy and you don't mention comics, you can actually get a girl. No, dudes, yer girls really don't like comics. They say they do because they like you. I know these things because I'm older than you and when I was single, like Bill Muarry in STRIPES, chicks dug me because I rarely wore underwear and when I did it was usually something pretty provacative. I don't know why they dug me, with the ugliness and all, but bay-bee, they dug me. Maybe it was because I was never myself, I was who I wanted to be. Have a little separation in what you do, though. It'll make you interesting.

  • Dec. 11, 2006, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Don't Say, "Ya Gotta Read WATCHMEN, Ya Gotta...

    by Buzz Maverik SANDMAN." Wouldn't you run away if someone told ya you had to read this or that? I would. Well, the thing to do would be to stick around until you found someone else, then run away. I sort of knew this instinctively, but my wife confirmed it when I once told her,"Yer gonna luuuuv WHAT ABOUT BOB?" She did love it, but she hated being told she would. You'll probably be able to get them to go to a geek movie with you, just like you watch chick flicks with them but that's it. This is the same for anything dudes are into. I have a friend who TIVOs every single football game televised and wants his wife to watch with him. She will kill him one day.

  • Dec. 11, 2006, 12:59 p.m. CST

    My wife

    by Shigeru

    got interested in comics because she saw me reading them. I didn't push. And whenever we are in the LCS together (rare) she always picks out some wacky indie trade I've never heard of. <br> She also hates chick flicks and luuuuuvs WHAT ABOUT BOB? (the best part of that flick are the noises Dreyfuss makes when the car splashes him with mud). I luuuuv her.

  • Dec. 11, 2006, 1:40 p.m. CST


    by blackthought


  • Dec. 11, 2006, 3:39 p.m. CST

    why I gotta be...

    by The Heathen

    the diabetic Cog? <br> <br> *kicks sand* <br> <br> Hi everyone. Great bunch of reviews @$$es. Bug, check out Wolvie #41 for more greatness from Stuart Moore and C.P. Smith. One of the best single issues of Wolverine ever. Haven't read Iron Fist yet. Am interested in it though. I'm also ordering Zombies vs. Robots. Go Ryall!!! <br> <br> Punisher: War Journal was lame. <br> <br> Tivo's ALL football games? Good grief. She WILL kill him, Buzz. My wife read Y: The Last Man by herself. She picks up some obscure stuff sometimes too. She hasn't read anything comic related in a long time though. She wants to catch up on Y soon. Women or anyone hate to be forced or told that they will like something. My wife wouldn't read Harry Potter for months because I told her she would like it. <br> <br> Enough rambling. Mondays...

  • Dec. 11, 2006, 7:54 p.m. CST

    Is Ghost World siultaneously...

    by loodabagel

    A chick flick and a geek movie?

  • Dec. 12, 2006, 8:57 a.m. CST

    Good question Looda...

    by Thalya

    And Shig, yeah, with guy parts and everything. I owe my dearest Cogs big for getting me on MySpace. And no, he's not into comics right now, but he has potential. He's into Lovecraft, Battlestar Galactica.. He's got potential. He's also a direct parallel of Psy-fi interest-wise at some junctures so I'm thinking Sandman and Promethea and (because he liked Constantine) Hellblazer. Just wait til I get him hooked on Buffy though.. *evil grin*

  • Dec. 12, 2006, 10:43 a.m. CST


    by The Heathen

    is the absolute hardest thing to get someone into. If they're not already into it then they probably never will be. Shame it is. Good luck Thalya!

  • Dec. 12, 2006, 11:02 a.m. CST


    by Shigeru

    you met him on myspace? so is INTERNET BOYFRIEND? <br> it's easier to make a man shove a cactus up his peep than start him watching Buffy. or maybe that's just me...

  • Dec. 12, 2006, 11:02 a.m. CST

    I Don't Think Of You As The Diabetic Cog, Heathen.

    by Buzz Maverik

    I think of you as the Cog who can't metabolize sugar. I kid. Actually, the first thing I think of when I think of you is the time you thought I was insulting your name when it was really just a typo. I typed H-E-A-T-H-E...R, which I felt bad about even though we were arguing about something because I don't work that way. I chalk it up to AICN talkback's stupid lack of an edit feature.

  • Dec. 12, 2006, 1:21 p.m. CST

    someone's gonna get slugged if he's not careful..

    by Thalya

    Just call me Ms. Van Pelt. And frankly internet dating works better because you can screen out the bad before things have a chance to get physical, if only because, after, it's all downhill.<BR><BR>But what about Angel? Does Angel work the same way or does it get a better pass because it's slightly more guy-oriented?

  • Dec. 12, 2006, 3:38 p.m. CST

    Angel's worse,

    by Shigeru

    because it stars 'hunky' guys, rather than hot babes. <br><br> If that's the best reason you can come up with for why internet dating works better... Well reguardless I'm not judging or looking down on it at all. Congrats and stuff!

  • Dec. 12, 2006, 4:40 p.m. CST

    Maybe it's just a girl thing..

    by Thalya

    ..but I don't want the physical until I'm comfortable with all of the remaining bs, otherwise the physical just sucks. Why go down a path if I'm gonna be unhappy? <BR><BR> *weak shrug* I swear, it's a topsy-turvy world being a girl geek..<BR><BR> Oh, and Psy, by "interest-wise" I meant like the occult, etc..<BR><BR> And thanks fellas.. *head goes thunk* Perhaps I should go undercover as a zombie though, life being as it is right now. I could do swell reviews like that, and have the best vocabulary for a zombie ever! er.. brains?

  • Dec. 12, 2006, 4:47 p.m. CST


    by Thalya

    Thanks Psy-fi.. *chomps on head* Spicy brains..<BR><BR>

  • Dec. 12, 2006, 8:39 p.m. CST

    Am I the only one ...

    by dregmobile

    ... who cringes going through the Marvel Solicitations after reading 'True Believer'? I feel like a member of Buck Rogers' team moments before lift-off into outer space. What's with this 'True Believer' stuff? I'm missing something, I know, but it's really annoying. <br> <br> And what a facinating read those Marvel Solicitations were for March. A highly entertaining reading of CLASSFIED INFORMATION! over and over ...

  • Dec. 13, 2006, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Buffy the Vampie Slayer...

    by loodabagel

    I have never watched the show. My male friend wants me to watch both it and Angel, but I have absolutely no interest in the characters right now. It's just not going to happen. Likewise I can't get him to read Spider-Man loves Mary Jane. For each his own, right? The first time he saw me reading it, he was like "What the Fuck? Mate, that's weird." So I said "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" "BUt that's..." "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" End argument.

  • Dec. 13, 2006, 9:33 a.m. CST

    I've figured it out!

    by Shigeru

    The internet boyfriend = EL VALE. It makes so much sense!

  • Dec. 13, 2006, 10:09 a.m. CST


    by Thalya

    First of all, Vale doesn't wear glasses. That's a prerequisite as far as I'm concerned. Second: MySpace -> Friends List -> Gentleman_Sinner. If you really want to know.. *sighs* I just hope I didn't jinx things by talking about it..

  • Dec. 13, 2006, 10:51 a.m. CST

    I remember when Buzz called me Heather...

    by The Heathen

    good times! I think we were all arguing about people who read comics and how attractive they are or can be. Was that it? Oh and fake girlfriends! That was a pretty long argument too. I'd rather be thought of as Diabetic Sugar Free Lad than Heather any day though. <br> <br> I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the last couple of seasons of Angel rocked, but I still think it's the hardest thing to get someone into. Shame. <br> <br> As for internet dating? Can't say anything bad about it I guess, but I know that seeing someone in person can't be beat. I mean, what if the person smells funny, has bad breath or you just don't gel with them? That'd be my main concern if I was still dating. When are you going to meet this guy Lady C.? And how did he come across your MySpace? Did he read some reviews? ; ) <br> <br> Read Secret Six #5. Great story, fugly art.

  • Dec. 13, 2006, 11:14 a.m. CST


    by blackthought

    el vale...internet bf.

  • Dec. 13, 2006, 11:25 a.m. CST

    True Believer...

    by stones_throw of Stan Lee's catchphrases from 60s letters pages. Since then it's become a phrase meaning 'Marvel fan/zombie' (and gets routinely rolled out because everyone at Marvel seems obsessed with being Stan Lee).

  • Dec. 13, 2006, 1:47 p.m. CST


    by Thalya

    So has anyone ever gotten anyone else into Buffy, and if so, how? <BR><BR> I dunno, H. Maybe sometime in January or February if things get that far, since he is all the way out in Michigan. He found me because he was lurking in some MySpace group or another and I had posted something, he saw my profile, and we hit it off. Though apparently he is eager to read anything I've written..<BR><BR> Also, I was just about to give up on the Secret Six mini, but then Dr. Psycho squared off with Mad Hatter and it was spectacular (til Cheshire walked in)! Why they hired Brad Walker to do the art, I have no idea, but.. If only Eaglesham could've been there, but he's rightly on JSA. And who's read JSA, huh, huh?!

  • Dec. 13, 2006, 3:45 p.m. CST

    Justice Society…

    by The Heathen

    ooh, I haven't read it yet, but I hear it's the tits with a tremendous last page and the best work from Eaglesham to date. Hopefully I can get to my shop ASAP to get that and WD #33 that Shig was lucky enough to get early. But about Secret Six, yeah, the last issue was great. I was almost done with it around the 2 and 3rd issue, but this one kept me, even with Brad Walker. <br> <br> My wife happened to like Buffy already, so I dodged that bullet. Umm, I can't think of anyone I've convinced into liking the Buffyverse. You're more likely to get someone into Hot Pockets. ; ) <br> <br> It's cool that you hit it off with this Gentleman Sinner. Hope you two have a great time!

  • Dec. 13, 2006, 4:57 p.m. CST

    Holy nuts!

    by loodabagel

    Yup, I know I'm basically depriving myself of a college education, but I think I shall never watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In more of a "Holy nuts!" realted topic, a friend of mine wants to read comics! He listens to a music like Tool, Modest Mouse and some lame ass emo bands. He likes to smoke a lot of weed and he and Johnny have formed about 8 different bands together. Currently, he is getting back off the streets of World of Warcraft addiction and I think he would enjoy Nextwave, The Originals, and 100%.

  • Dec. 13, 2006, 7:01 p.m. CST

    Thanks Stones Throw

    by dregmobile

    And I'm with you bagel. Buffy looks like homogenised nonsense, I'll never watch it ...

  • Dec. 14, 2006, 10:58 a.m. CST

    Buffy is many things…

    by The Heathen

    homogenized nonsense is not one of them.

  • Dec. 15, 2006, 9:59 a.m. CST


    by loodabagel

    But simply looking like it creates an automatic non-audience for it. LAST.