Comics

AICN COMICS REVIEWS SHAZAM! IMPALER! CTHULHU TALES! AND MUCH MORE!!!

Published at: Feb. 14, 2007, 1:56 a.m. CST by Moriarty

#47 2/7/07 #5

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) SHAZAM! THE MONSTER SOCIETY OF EVIL #1 IMPALER #1-3 ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #105 FELL #7 ACTION COMICS ANNUAL #10 Big Eyes for the Cape Guy presents IC IN A SUNFLOWER Indie Jones presents CHRONICLES OF WORMWOOD #1 Indie Jones presents HEARTBREAK TPB Indie Jones presents FIREBLAST: ADVENTURES IN THE 30TH CENTURY #0 Indie Jones presents CTHULHU TALES: THE RISING Indie Jones presents MAINTENANCE #2 CHEAP SHOTS!

SHAZAM! THE MONSTER SOCIETY OF EVIL #1 (of 4)

Writer/Artist: Jeff Smith Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Prof. Challenger

Magic within magic could create a terrible paradox!- Shazam
You should know that I love Capt. Marvel comics and have always wondered why the character cannot seem to be successful in a post-50s comic book world. It's weird. Capt. Marvel once outsold Superman, at some points selling over a million copies a month ON THE FREAKIN' NEWSSTANDS! So, what's going on? When DC first brought him back in the early '70s, the comic was basically a carbon copy of what it had been before but the audience had apparently disappeared. So, they tried updating the look of the characters with some gorgeous Don Newton art. But that series in ADVENTURE COMICS never translated to a new SHAZAM! series. SHAZAM! A NEW BEGINNING gave the world a 4-issue mini-series that tried to update Capt. Marvel for the '80s. That didn't catch on and was ignored as a source of continuity. Jerry Ordway produced nearly 50 issues of THE POWER OF SHAZAM!, which did a good job of bring Cap and the entire Marvel Family into line with the current post-CRISIS continuity. But still, nobody seemed to be able to justify why Cap is not just redundant in a comic world where Superman reigns supreme. So we have to stomach the nauseating and just wrong TRIALS OF SHAZAM! going on right now. And it's in that environment that DC finally hits the stands with BONE creator Jeff Smith's long-anticipated SHAZAM! project.
Artistically, the comic is a slam-dunk. Smith's cartoony art is absolutely perfect for Captain Marvel's world. And Smith absolutely nails one aspect of the Cap/Billy relationship that every modern creator from the '70s through today (including Jerry Ordway in POS, J.M. DeMatteis in JUSTICE LEAGUE, and Alex Ross in KINGDOM COME) - Cap and Billy were not the same person. In other words, look at those original CAPTAIN MARVEL COMICS if you don't believe me, when Billy became Cap his thought balloons were not filled with self-referential thoughts as if his mind was still Billy. In fact, he thought and talked about Billy as a separate person. Mary didn't call Cap "Billy." It's an interesting interpretation to put the mind of a child in the body of an adult, but that's really not what Captain Marvel was about. It really was more of a body-switch between Billy and Cap. Smith returns the concept to that original interpretation even going so far as to include a scene at the Rock of Eternity where both Cap and Billy are co-existing and interacting together. I liked that a lot.
I really wanted to just gush about how wonderful this comic was - but I can't. There are some real problems with it. The first thing is that Billy Batson looks like he's five years-old or has a serious physical development problem. I would guess that Billy's supposed to be somewhere between 10 and 12 years old but he looks like he's kindergarten age at best. That's just a disconcerting visual, especially when Shazam informs him that he has a "baby sister" and I'm wondering if she's even out of diapers yet.
I also thought it was a huge mistake to spend so much time retelling his origin story. The entire origin sequence, including introductions of Mary and Junior, could've been done in a two-page spread on pages 2 and 3 allowing the MONSTER SOCIETY OF EVIL story to really get going. As it is though, out of 48 pages of story and art, the reader gets a measly 4 pages at the end of the first issue that really advance the MONSTER SOCIETY storyline that the mini-series is supposed to be about. Now, considering the fact that the original MONSTER SOCIETY OF EVIL ran monthly for a good two years, at this rate, Smith is not going to even get through the first part of the story before the mini-series is complete.
I own the original MONSTER SOCIETY OF EVIL in a huge hard-bound collection published years ago and it's a classic piece of long-term storytelling that offered a monthly encounter between Cap and one of his greatest villains. Each month a new villain (Sivana, Ibac, Capt. Nazi, etc.), but they were all involved in a grand overarching plot put in place by the mysterious "Mr. Mind." The revelation of what "Mr. Mind" really was and his ultimate defeat became the stuff of legend and fans demanded his return.
Taking MONSTER SOCIETY OF EVIL and attempting to retell it for modern audiences is clearly a bold undertaking, but expectations were high coming into this project considering how long Smith has been working on it, plus his track record with grand adventure storytelling in BONE. I'm therefore a bit perplexed why he would turn this into an origin story for Cap and the Marvel Family because it seems like if the title of the mini-series is MONSTER SOCIETY OF EVIL that this should be the focus. Instead, rather than seeing an established and confident Marvel Family facing down Mr. Mind's Monster Society, we're going to be subject to an odd mixture of a story of power and family discovery while trying to juggle a parade of villain introductions as well. If he wanted to do an origin story, maybe DC could've published that as a separate volume. Yeah, I think that was a huge mistake that drags the story momentum down and I think will be a turn-off, ultimately, to new readers. The two-page recap would've told them everything they needed to know.
I'm sure I'll be picking up the next issue because even with my complaints about the emphasis on Cap's origin, it's still a good comic book and a pleasantly fresh and joyful adventure of a Captain Marvel who actually looks and feels like the "real" Captain Marvel. That's something I can support and hope to see more of.

IMPALER #1-3

Writer: William Harms Artists: Nick Postic & Nick Marinkovich Publisher: Image Comics Reviewer: Ambush Bug

The vampire is a strange subject in the horror genre. It is a monster that has taken many forms throughout the years. From the whiny fops from the Anne Rice novels to the romantic leads of such films as LOVE AT FIRST BITE and Francis Ford Coppola’s DRACULA. My favorite version of the vampire? Aside from Nicholas Cage’s genius rendition of a vampire in VAMPIRE’S KISS, I would have to say the original NOSFERATU. This creature of the night wasn’t wooing ladies or kvetching about eternal life. This was a monster who traveled in shadows and crept into your nightmares. This was a creature to be feared.
This is the type of vampire that shows up in the pages of IMPALER. It’s a step away from the romanticized version of the monster. These vampires travel in packs like wolves and descend from shadows, engulfing their prey and animalistically tearing it apart like a pack of rabid hyenas. These characters hiss instead of toss out discourse about “The children of the night.” In fact, they have very few lines at all. Like a plague of locusts, the vampires descend on New York City and engulf it entirely in a matter of hours.
And that’s what this story is all about. IMPALER is a slow-cooking story with many explosions to make the time both worthwhile and interesting. The first two issues of the story are a police procedural as a select few cops begin to investigate a growing amount of attacks throughout New York. By issue three, these attacks have intensified and by the end of the issue all hell breaks loose. It took a while to get there, but the story is masterfully plotted to crescendo in each issue, teasing and tempting the reader to come back for more. And with the state New York is in by the end of issue three, it looks as if the forces of good have their work cut out for them.
This is a great read. One that’s bound to get better as the Impaler himself shows up in issue three. He seems to be the only one who knows how to deal with these creatures as they tear through everything the cops have to throw against them. These first three issues seem to be the prelude to a much bigger story. I have to admit, I am hooked. I hope to find out more about the Impaler in future issues. His design is really nice and his actions are truly bad@$$
One of the biggest draws of this book is the drawings themselves. The art team of Postic and Marinkovich do a great job of setting the mood for horror and their designs for the vampires are both unique and memorable. These vamps are more like walking shadows with teeth. Powerful blacks seep into every panel suggesting danger and fearful unknowns. Action is conveyed nicely and the splash pages featuring the carnage as the vamps decimate New York are both loosely drawn to convey fluidity of movement and highly detailed to make the action seem all the more intense.
All in all, the first three issues of IMPALER make for a fun read. If you like your horror intense and original, try IMPALER on for size. The way the vampires are portrayed alone makes this book worth a look and now that the damage is done to New York, it’s going to be fun watching the Impaler clean house.

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #105

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis Penciler: Mark Bagley Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewed by Humphrey Lee

So the Ultimate version of "The Clone Saga" has finally wrapped up in this special epilogue issue and honestly, the only real...feeling it left me with was "Haven't I read this before?"
And no, I'm not making some asinine joke about yet something else being ultimatized in a run that has seen a little too much of it (though I'm sure I'll stoop that low later in this review, I am an @$$hole after all) but I mean more this issue itself. It seems to me that there's a bit of a pattern emerging in this run of Bendis' on this book, and in my probably unpopular opinion, I think it might be time for a change, or at least a little bit of an overhaul. But I've been on this title for a quite a long, long while, and it seems that a lot of these stories are starting to run together, and not in a "everything is connected" LOST kind of way.
So yeah, that brings me back to patterns. What I'm getting at, is that I've seen this before. And before anyone jumps on me, I will say that this issue did succeed in what it set out to be; a touching revelation about Peter and his relationship with those around him. Bendis again shows that he does personal issues as good as anyone in the business, but the key word in that sentence there is "again". Anytime we have one of these six or seven part harrowing sagas, we get this issue right after it's over. We got it when Gwen died, we got it when Harry went apeshit and almost killed MJ, and a couple other times I'm too lazy to research right now (sorry, I've got seven other books to cover). Simply put, this felt like it was the four or fifth time I've read this issue.
And what doesn't help is that now this series is going back to another old standby, Ultimatizing Bendis' flavor of the month, which in this case happens to be Ronin. Yes, you heard me, fucking Ronin.
Look, I'm not here to backhand this title, for the most part it has been almost always B grade or better quality. But the thing is, there's too many other GREAT titles out there for me to be wasting my time on something that has basically decided it's okay to relish in the same old same old over and over again. It's played out, and I hate to see someone of Bendis' ability having to fall back on the tried and true. I've read ALIAS, I've reveled in TORSO, and I still think POWERS is one of the top twenty or so books on the market. I've seen what comes from that beautiful bald head of his when he's really trying... and I really don't see that same effort being played out on this book anymore and now I think it's time for me to step away.
Mark Bagley though? Still not a wasted panel. Sure, he doesn't put out Bryan Hitch-like spreads with so much detail you swear you could the pimpless on the ass of some cannon fodder Hulk or whoever is putting their fist through. And yes, his forms and facial features tend to have a little too much likeness to them. But none of that matters. What matters is that he has as wide a variation of facial features to tell any sort of story or situation you can think of, and there is no such thing as empty space on one of his pages. What matters is that he's still one of the top storytellers in the game, and that's much more important than your "so detailed it takes four months to do an issue" art chores that are becoming the norm it seems.
I'm not dropping this title lightly. It has brought me a lot of joy. Obviously there's the stand-alone type issues like where Pete tells MJ he's Spidey, or the one where May goes to the therapist and so on, but this book hasn't really instilled anything in me for a while running now, and I think it's time to go while the getting's good...
And come on. Ultimate fucking Ronin? What the fuck is that? I need that like I need the image of my sixty-two year old mother blowing my dad instilled in my head all day........... oh, fuck......

FELL #7

Writer: Warren Ellis Artist: Ben Templesmith Publisher: Image Comics Reviewer: Baytor

I’m not sure why I haven't read an issue of Fell until this one. Warren Ellis is one of my favorite writers, I've got the trade paperback on my Amazon.com wish-list, and I've even started reading an issue or two but got distracted. If there's any bright spot to this situation, it's that I'm coming to the seventh issue almost ice cold; the only thing I know about the book is that it's about a cop. And from a reviewing stand-point, this is very good for a book that prides itself for each issue being 100% self-contained.
The good news is the book lives up to that boast. Fell #7 is as easy to follow as the random episode of Law & Order or CSI. There's one or two lines of dialogue that sound as though they reference a past issue (or not), but those lines only add color to the characters and don't erect a barricade to the casual or new reader.
The really good news is this book is really good. I admit, I'm not completely sold on the artwork of Ben Templesmith, whose work is rougher around the edges than I prefer, but he manages to capture the emotion of Ellis' script quite well, so I'm left with no real complaint on the art front. Quite a feat considering this is almost entirely a talking heads comic, and could be dead boring in the hands of even the most competent of artists.
But the real draw here is the story by Warren Ellis. He's obviously a fan of television shows where a near-genius police officer takes great delight watching a crook squirm as he unravels the crime. Imagine popping in during the last 10 minutes of CSI or L&O: Criminal Intent to catch the final interrogation and you get the basics of this story, and for the first 12 pages it unfolds in a thoroughly entertaining (albeit very familiar) manner; then Ellis hands us the twist in the final few pages. Given the familiarity of the set-up, I found myself experiencing the same confusion as Richard Fell did, because this is not how these stories are supposed to end.
So my first foray into the world of FELL was quite enjoyable and there's no question about return visits. If this issue is any indication, Ellis has managed to craft a truly rare beast in comics: a police drama that's actually entertaining and compelling without resorting to action movie clichés. Now, if I could only figure out why it took me so long to finally read an issue.

ACTION COMICS ANNUAL #10

Writers: Geoff Johns and Richard Donner Artists: Art Adams, Eric Wight, Joe Kubert, Rags, Gary Frank, Phil Jimenez, and Tony Daniel Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Prof. Challenger

"You will not deny me my revenge, Jor-El. You will use your science to save the planet Krypton and one day we will return, and when we do, I will be Krypton's ruler. And then I will make you the slave to me that you are to the Council. You will kneel before me. Both you and one day, your son!"- General Zod
Packed in a groovy retro-checkerboard design, ACTION COMICS 48 PG. GIANT ANNUAL hits the stands. Boasting the writing talents of the highly regarded Geoff Johns and Richard Donner and an all-star team of artists continuing the current trend towards crafting a slick new modern vision of Superman that fully and purposefully reincorporates those key elements of the classic Silver Age Superman with the post-MAN OF STEEL version and a good dash of the cinematic version. But the real question is: Was the comic worth the money? Well, let's take a walk through the jam-packed multiple stories, sneak peaks, and special features and see how it looks.
The cover boasts a solid Silver Age-feel with the classic DC ANNUAL design with the main story featured in a large center image flanked by six smaller boxes on the sides spotlighting some of the other features to be found within the book. The cover art is a beautiful mix of Adam Kubert and his dad, the great Joe Kubert.
The Many Deaths of Superman Illustrated by Art Adams, the first bookend is a four-pager. It's not a complete story but more of a vignette focusing on Lex Luthor's inner monologue running through all the things that the uninformed reader needs to know can kill Superman. All this happens while he's machete-whacking his way through (presumably) the mountain jungles overlooking Addis Ababa, Ethiopia tracking down a fist-sized chunk of green Kryptonite.
It's a nice little bit that gives us some insight into the mind of Lex Luthor and features such beautiful Art Adams art that it drives home the fact that it's a crime against humanity that Adams is not currently drawing a series for DC.
Who is Clark Kent's Big Brother?Illustrated by Eric Wight. Now, the whole time I read this story I was convinced that Wight was the guy who illustrates ROCKETO. But a quick Google search told me I was wrong about that. Instead, he's the guy who does MY DEAD GIRLFRIEND, but primarily he's an animator - which explains why his work looks so much like my current sweet comic art love, Darwyn Cooke. One thing animators bring to comics is a really clear idea of how to economically tell a story with sequential images. I loved the heavy brush look to his inking and texturing. He's a real find and should be a keeper for DC.
Storywise, this is a retelling of the classic Silver Age story of Superboy and Mon-El. The only real difference in this retelling is that Clark doesn't put on tights and go around publicly as Superboy. But now he's got pretty much everything else from the Silver Age, including the underground tunnel into his Smallville home and he flies around doing super-hero stuff wearing a big "S" on his chest by way of his Smallville High shirt. They really ought to bite the bullet and just retrofit Superboy in tights back into continuity because they've already done everything but the tights.
When I say this is a simple retelling of the Mon-El origin, I mean it. They could've basically just reprinted the original story and whited out the costume on Superboy to replace it with regular clothes. So, if you already know the story there's nothing new to see other than Wight's artwork. If you've never known Mon-El's origin, then it's a fine and complete 14-page story. Pick up the ongoing SUPERGIRL AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES if you want to see what happened next in the life of Mon-El.
Mystery Under the Blue Sun The Bizarro World is back. Illustrated by Joe Kubert, this little two-pager is a huge disappointment simply because there's no clue as to what in the world is going on. We've got some Thanagarians in a ship discovering the classic cube-shaped Bizarro World orbiting a blue sun and then they get smeared by three Bizarros who fly through the ship saying "Hello." And that's it. Nothing else. Not even a "To be continued!" blurb. Wha huh? Grrr.
Secrets of the Fortress of Solitude Dead sexy gorgeous two-page spread by Phil Jimenez illustrating the Fortress of Solitude, which is now a perfect amalgamation of the movie Fortress with the Silver Age Fortress - even going so far as to include the old giant gold "Key" as one of the interior displays. This is one of those types of things that used to appear in those huge Treasury Editions. I kind of wish it was featured that size so that the details could be seen better.
Special Advertising Section Yep. That annoying little Wii-playing a-hole is back again taking up space in the middle of my DC comics-readin' time. Listen dude, I don't own a Wii. I don't want to own a Wii. And I sure don't give a crap about your virtual console and Wii remote. You wanna play Wii with an @$$hole ? Fine, here's Squashua's number: 8980 7585 1015 3348. Now get the hell out of my comics and stop interrupting the story flow. Half the time I don't even realize I'm reading an ad and just think the Mad Cow is kicking in because I don't remember this character's name.
Hate that kid!
The Criminals of Krypton With art by Rags Morales and Mark Farmer, this 12-page story is the real keeper of the entire comic. Johns and Donner take us back to the days before Krypton exploded to allow us a glimpse into Zod, Ursa, and Non that reveals a ton of backstory in a small amount of pages. In the movies, Zod and Ursa are really just one-note megalomaniacs and Non is their "pet," of a sort. But here, we do gain some understanding of their motivations so that they do not remain two-dimensional villains. Non especially benefits from this story. I'm not going to detail the story because it deserves to be read rather than spoiled. Non's story is a heartbreaker and you will be surprised by his relationship with Jor-El. This story has really ramped up my anticipation of the next few issues of ACTION COMICS where Superman faces down these three Kryptonian criminals. Will there be a glimmer of recognition when Non meets the son of Jor-El?
Superman's Top 10 Most Wanted!Special feature that, like the first story in this comic, reads like a good old-fashioned catch-the-new-readers-up-to-speed type of thing. It's cool though. Nice Tony Daniel art, especially his Bizarro portrait, and really good text pieces on each villain.
Mystery Under the Blue Sun They're back, folks! Green Kryptonite! Red Kryptonite! Blue Kryptonite! Gold Kryptonite! and Lex is using all four to upgrade Metallo (apparently against his will) to finally fulfill his obsessive desire to kill Superman. This three-pager illustrated by Gary Frank and Jonathan Sibal bookends the 2007 ACTION COMICS ANNUAL.
Is this worth $3.99?
Definitely.

IC IN A SUNFLOWER

Creator: Mitsukazu Mihara Publisher: Tokyopop Reviewer: Dan Grendell

"A master plying a mystic hook, he only fishes for miracles..."
Mitsukazu Mihara is a fairly well-known name in manga. She is credited with having helped shape the GothLoli look, and her manga DOLL and THE EMBALMER are quite popular. This particular book is a collection of some of her short manga work, and there are some really intriguing and thought-provoking ideas here, as well as some beautiful artwork.
The opening story, "Keep Those Condoms Away from Our Kids", won Mihara an award in 1994. It deals with a near-future where an anti-AIDS vaccine has killed sex drive, and to revitalize sagging birth rates and respark desire teenagers are taught how to have sex using pornography in school. This includes a live test that must be passed.
The next tale, 'The Iron Maiden", is one of repressed emotion and abuse that is truly touching and scary. After that comes "The Sunflower Quality of an Integrated Circuit", about a robot maid who serves both a loving master and a cheating, hateful mistress. "The Other Side of the Rose Wire", next, follows a teenage delinquent who falls for a girl caring for her old father.
In what was my favorite story, "Fish Out of Water", a mermaid captured and kept in a bathtub refuses to speak to her captors. But all is not as it seems... After that is the creepy and touching "Mister Mineral", about mental instability, and the final story, "Alive", a great piece on just what it means to be alive.
The artwork throughout the collection is top-notch. Mihara is rightly famous for her art style, and these are great examples of why. Several of the earlier stories are not as refined artistically as, say, DOLL, but the talent is clearly there and the effect is striking.
Even if you have no interest in the more Gothic side of manga, I'd suggest picking up IC IN A SUNFLOWER. The stories are noteworthy additions to any reader's shelf.

CHRONICLES OF WORMWOOD #1

Writer: Garth Ennis Artist: Jacen Burrows Publisher: Avatar Reviewer: Baytor

I've been waiting a while for Ennis to really connect with a new series. THE PUNISHER is always worth a look as Ennis has a good handle on that sort of character and knows how to take it to new and interesting places, but it's never been a place where Ennis can truly stretch his legs, either being too silly in its Marvel Knights incarnation and now too serious at MAX. THE BOYS (currently awaiting another publisher to pick it up) had some moments of mad glee, but Ennis always seems to keep super-heroes at arm's length and it rarely displays the heart that Ennis' best work is known for. And then there's the various one-shots and miniseries, which are often quiet good, but don't spend enough time with the characters to evoke the same sort of feelings he so expertly mined on PREACHER and HITMAN all those years ago.
The thing that made those two series so great was they dared to go anywhere and everywhere. Farce stood side-by-side with serious melodrama and heart was never in short supply.
And while it's too early to predict where CHRONICLES OF WORMWOOD will fall among Ennis' work, I like that I see the same sort of spirit in the first issue. Plotwise, there's not too much going on here, as Ennis presents a brief character study of the man who turned his back on his destiny as the Anti-Christ. He's got a beautiful loving girlfriend of several years who he loves deeply, a pet rabbit that talks and terrorizes people on the Internet, a good friend in the Second Coming of Jesus, a repulsive rival in the cable television business (where Wormwood has made a profitable niche for himself with intelligent and demented programming, such as Secret Santa, a show about a hitman who performs hits wearing a Santa suit), and is carrying on a torrid affair with a woman (Joan Of Arc) he despises.
It's CITIZEN KANE with dick jokes, following a man through the different aspects of his life, fully aware of his contradictions. And for the most part it's rather good, although the television interview sequence halfway through the book overstays its welcome and ends with a rather weak joke. The farcical content is rather high, but Ennis manages to ground most of the major characters, so they don't feel like they're in service of one of his sick jokes.
The big question mark about this book is whether or not Ennis has a plot as interesting as the characters he's presented, and the final page would seem to suggest Ennis has something more in store for his characters than conversing in bars and purchasing carrots. Until then, I can't say if this will be as much fun as HITMAN or as engrossing as PREACHER, but this is the best debut issue I've seen from him in a long time.

HEARTBREAK TPB

By Jonathan Rivera and Nick Destefano Publisher: 1130 Studios Re-reviewed by Ambush Bug

Bug note: I reviewed this material a while back, but it recently has been repackaged in trade paperback form. Since I dug the original material so much and since this is Valentine’s Day, I found it fitting to repost this review and had no reservations reminding you about this really great read. The contents have been cleaned up a bit in this new version and a few bonus goodies have been added, but my opinion that this is a book that will strike a chord in anyone who ever picked up a comic still stand. Do yourself a favor and check it out.
Alright guys, let's face it. If you're on this site and reading this column, chances are you were at some point, and maybe still are, a geek. It's not a put down. Not a snipe. Just a simple, ugly fact. I know that throughout my high school and college years, if I were a hit with the ladies, I wouldn't have spent so much time reading comics. Or maybe if I wouldn't have spent so much time reading comics during that time, I would have got a little more than I did. Who knows? My point is that with all of the "strengths" the geek culture has going for it – large egos, overactive imaginations, a great memory of unimportant factuals – livin’ large with the ladies ain't one that we're known for.
It's a hard fact to swallow. I know and I'm sure the TBs will be filled with those in denial, stating, "I don't know about your geek @$$, but I get laid all of the time." To that, I say, "No. No, you don't. No one really does. Only in the movies do guys go out on a consistent basis and get laid and pick up girls as many times as I piss on a three day drinking binge." And I'm not saying this from the standpoint of a guy who never gets some. Oh, the Bug gets some. I do and that patting sound is me stretching my arm back to congratulate myself. But the thing is, I'm willing to admit that at my core, there's a geek. That person that is not so confident. That person who makes himself look like a complete jack@$$. That person who over thinks their actions before they do them and is haunted by said actions long after they do or don't happen. I know I'm not the only one.
If you're honest with yourself and strong enough to admit it, HEARTBREAK is the comic made for all of us. The endearing thing about this comic is that these romantic misadventures are looked back upon with a heavy dose of insight, a wizened viewpoint brought on only by years and years of taking chances, making mistakes, and learning from them. Creators Jonathan Rivera and Nick Destefano are able to look back at the times when they have struck out with the ladies, not in anger or melancholy, but with the humble attitude that without these experiences, they would not be the people that they are today.
The thing is, if you're a geek – and we've already established that in some way or another, we all are – your experiences with the opposite sex may not be frequent, but they are memorable. Memorable because as geeks, we think way too much. Memorable because they don't happen that often and when they do, they stick with us. Memorable because, for a moment or two, that gripe you had with the way Wolverine was portrayed in issue #33 or that flame war you had in the Talkbacks ceases to matter and life suddenly becomes more real than usual. And that’s what HEARTBREAK is all about.
On a girl by girl basis, HEARTBREAK tells the story of two guys who have tried over and over to find that one girl for them. Each issue is split in two, with each story narrated by Rivera or Destefano. Although the art is often simplistic, both Destefano and Rivera show promise in their use of framing sequences, telling stories graphically, and their use of simple lines to convey facial features and emotion. In issue #1, like a geeked-out Rod Serling, Jonathan Rivera (circa now) takes us on a trip down memory lane, stopping at each time he comes into contact with a potential girlfriend and telling us how each connection went horribly, horribly wrong. In a later story, Nick Destefano tells us how he goes through an elaborate plan in order to get a girl who is out of his league in high school. Destefano and Rivera are two types of geeks. Rivera is the outcast rebel-type, who shuns mainstream trends and operates on the outside of the cool crowds at school (but secretly wants to be a part of it). Destefano is more of the shy nebbish-type. Both are lovable losers and you see yourselves rooting for these guys to be successful in their pursuit of love and cringe when you see the situation take a turn for the worse.
So check out HEARTBREAK. You can order copies of the first three issues right here. These books speak to the geek in all of us, even if you're not willing to admit it. I had a lot of fun reading about these guys’ experiences and comparing them to my own. I'll bet you will to. These stories are empowering in a way. These guys have made mistakes, but they seem to be coming to terms with them in these stories. This series is a brutally honest read, but the ups and downs with the opposite sex in these tales are inspiring in that these guys are learning from their mistakes and not giving up despite them. So take this Bug's advice. Order a copy of HEARTBREAK. Read it and maybe you’ll learn from the experiences of these lovable losers. Then put the comic down, turn off the computer, go outside, and take some chances of your own.

FIREBLAST: ADVENTURES IN THE 30TH CENTURY #0

Writer: Ace Masters Artist: Nichx Publisher: Masterpiece Comics Reviewer: Dan Grendell

"No, I'm not okay. Having three attempts on my life doesn't make for an okay day."
This is what looks to be a cool new book from a new company. A sci-fi book with an interesting premise, it involves Mack Fire, a private detective about to open his own agency. Everything looks good until someone tries to blow him up. When that doesn't work, a shooting and another bombing attempt follow, and Mack is off on his first case - trying to find out who wants him dead! The answer is surprising and a nice twist on this sort of story, and sets up some nice possibilities for the future.
Masters does a good job with characterization, producing interesting people to read about. Mack is a bit of a coward, with a smart mouth. His computer assistant Perfecta, who appears via hologram, is calm and logical but still comes off as fairly human, a neat trick. We don't see much of Mack's girlfriend or landlord, but from what we do see, they look like trouble. Other characters introduced similarly have their own strong vibe.
Part of the credit for that belongs to artist Nichx. Each character is distinct, and their mannerisms and body language are portrayed quite well. Nichx could use a bit more work on backgrounds and detail, and perspective - there were a number of panels that were a bit off in those regards. The biggest issue I had with the art, though, was that there was no sense of animation in the panels, no sense that the characters were actually moving. Each just looked like a series of cut scenes. Overall, though, the art was decent.
It's always good to see a new sci-fi comic that doesn't focus on giant robots or aliens. I'm curious to see where this one goes.

CTHULHU TALES: THE RISING

Writers: James Anthony Kuhoric(I Hear the Call), Henry Alonso Myers (Are you There, Cthulhu?), Christopher E. Long (Seed of Cthulhu), Hans Rodionoff (The Pull of Insanity), Michael Alan Nelson (For You), Kevin Church (The Art of Noises) Artists: Jean Dzialowski (I Hear the Call), Chris Lie (Are you There, Cthulhu?), Andy Bennett (Seed of Cthulhu), Tim Hamilton (The Pull of Insanity), Andrew Ritchie (For You), Joe Abraham (The Art of Noises) Publisher: BOOM! Studios Reviewer: Squashua

Hey kids. As the relative noob @$$hole, they'll forgive me (or sic Sleazy and his nine-headed “stick of pleasure” on me) for revealing to you, our fair reader, one of our little behind-the-scenes trade secrets. Every week, on the afternoon of New Comics Day (also known as Wednesday to the philistines or Thursday if Monday was a postal holiday), we @$$holes conduct a ritual known as “The Dibbing”. During this time, one @$$ (lately myself, being the most enthusiastic or least jaded depending on your point-of-view), sends an e-mail to all of the other @$$es proclaiming the “Time of Dibbage” has come upon us. Then it's a free-for-all with every @$$ for themselves trying to be the first to “call” issues for review so that we have a variety of reviews without duplicates. Usually no one gets stuck reviewing, say, POWERPUFF GIRLS #16.
Not that there's anything wrong with that, just sayin'.
This week, like the sexy Italian guy who shows up at the college party and leaves with two hot girls after banging a third in the hall bathroom, Professor Challenger and Humphrey Lee woke up real fucking early and took all the good shit. And that was fine with me. I was all, “Ha ha, you fuckers. I don't care about your SOOPERMAN-ANA-UAL and NEW AVENGERS featuring Grecian cunt-punting; I got what I wanted this week; CTHULHU TALES: THE RISING came in! And I dib that, you cocksuckers. So what do you think about them apples?”
And Challenger's like, “Squash, man. I can't believe you shelled out seven bucks.”
And Humphrey follows up by letting me know WELCOME TO TRANQUILITY came out this week and I forgot to pick up a copy with my stash.
Fuck.
You see, I have a reserved stash of books at the local shop, and for that I get a % discount; I think it's 20%, but it could be less. Returning customer perks and all. Unlike some reviewers who get comp'd, we @$$holes have to pay for our own books. I never really look at the price of the comics; I get my weekly pile and jet back to work before the lunch break is over. But seven bucks? That's a lot. Was it worth it? Well, I bought three 48-pagers this week, so let's break it down, shall we?
ACTION COMICS ANNUAL Price $4.00 Pages: 48, ads inclusive. Pages of actual content: 39 (or 40 if you count the table of contents page). Cost: 10 cents/page. Quality: Read the review; I don't feel like my $ was wasted.
MONSTER SOCIETY OF EVIL PRICE: $6.00 Pages: 48, prestige format, thick cover, zero advertisements. Pages of actual content: 48 (or 50 if you count the cover interiors and their coded messages) Cost: Less than 13 cents/page Quality: Read the review; worth every penny.
CTHULHU TALES : THE RISING PRICE: $7.00 Pages: 48 Pages of actual content: 46 (there's one ad at the end) Cost: A little more than 15 cents/page Quality: Keep reading, true believer.
CTHULHU TALES definitely cost more per page than the other books. Considering that DC funded the other projects and BOOM! is its own entity, I can understand them trying to recoup the cost of production with a higher price point. But, was it worth it? Well, TALES is an anthology of Lovecraftian stories and I'm more of a Cthulhu buff than any one of you would ever suspect. I know my Yig from my Iod, my Voola Ritual from my “Voorish Rituals”. I own an original print of Machinations of the Mi-Go and a hardcover edition of The King in Yellow. To me, both the Silver Surfer and the Black Racer are simply additional Masks of Nyarlathotep. I walk among you and was more disappointed than enthused with the stories presented in this volume.
The lead tale, I Hear the Call is fine; involving a man who thinks he can beat the system getting in over his head, with a focus on Cthulhu's influence preying on the insane. The art towards the end forces the reader to take a good look to distinguish between fetal positions or death, but determined observers will eventually figure it out (the latter).
The second story, Are you there, Cthulhu? It's me, Margaret., while having dark overtones with cutting oneself to rid of evil, just ended up being way too silly for me, confirming my suspicions set in motion from the more cartoon-y art style that doesn't quite fit with the rest of the book.
Seed of Cthulhu sees our first, and expected in this context from my point-of-view, overextension of Cthulhu as the focal point of the Mythos. As a standalone tale, it does the job quite well, bringing us into an appropriately Lovecraftian science expedition attacked by a loonie, but there are many routes that could have been taken with this, and the classic “alien from outer-space” path just seems like the easy way out. At least Shoggoths were left alone, but there is so much more to the Mythos than just the Big C., and for that I'm disappointed. The art is fine for such a short story and fits the genre, but appears much too rough for a longer run.
The Pull of Insanity, while an entertaining tale and an appropriate use of a classic Whisperer in the Darkness-styled antagonist, and drawn with a well-detailed art style, is a silly, fourth-wall-breaking story that just doesn't do it for me. Though I must admit I felt kinship reading a particular scene. Yes, many of my books are “tainted”, but I don't note it in the eBay sale profiles.
The only problem I have with For you is if you can't use the jewelry and the guy is as ugly as he's drawn, and he's never there anyway, why stick around? Obviously, our protagonist is infatuated with him enough to hire a detective to ensure his legitimacy, so she's a bit of a psycho herself. I applaud the writer for generating his own appropriately named mythos entity, especially since Mother Hydra or Father Dagon would have been so simple to use here. The art is dark and subtly graphic; keep an eye on the people in the background of the restaurant. This story is good, but overall, it was nothing new to me.
The final tale, The Art of Noises is the only one that I really flat-out appreciated. Like Seed, it unnecessarily emphasizes the importance of Cthulhu over other concepts, but the idea the plot sets forth is the only one in this book that truly feels Lovecraftian in scope (with I Hear the Call coming in close second). It's the story of a man slowly driven insane from his proximity to an event that creates an overwhelmingly depressive passion to seek out the truth. And he explains this to the reader, a patron of the same drinking establishment. There is generated a sense of history, and you can almost feel the torture in our protagonist's life as he rants. Noises is the stand-out tale that I would recommend anyone to read.
CTHULHU TALES: THE RISING is hit-and-miss, with a little more emphasis on miss for me. Coupled with the extra hit to the wallet, as a fan of the genre, it truly depresses me that I cannot recommend the purchase of this book. If you're a novice with money burning a hole in your wallet, it might be a good pick-up, but for the more established of you out there, including the die-hard collectors, you might save your change for the upcoming FALL OF CTHULHU series. It appears like it might be more of what, at least I, am looking for.

MAINTENANCE #2

Jim Massey: Writer
Robbi Rodriguez: Artist
Oni Press: Publisher
Vroom Socko: Sweeping Up

There’s one element of the evil scientist lab, be it run by A.I.M., SPECTRE, or Bunsen Honeydew, that is rarely seen in fiction. That is the role of the poor schmuck who has to plunge the toilets. That’s the role that Doug and Manny play at TerroMax, Inc. Of course, working at the preeminent research facility for evil has its own unique risks.
This book is silly. Profoundly silly. Carrot Top looks like Al Gore in comparison with this comic, that’s how silly it is. There’s a surreal gag early on about George Washington Carver that I don’t dare repeat, and wouldn’t even know how to explain in any case. Much of the humor comes from your typical blue collar workplace situations, to be sure, but the true heights of hilarity come from watching these two nitwits interacting with the experiments being conducted at their facility. This issue, for example, features our two protagonists attempting to repair a malfunctioning time machine, with predictable results.
The one thing I’ve loved about this series to date is that each crisis has featured some sort of analogue to characters from the Hanna-Barbera oeuvre. In the first issue, it was Jabberjaw. Here, it’s Captain Caveman. And just wait until you see how he manages to fly.
Creators Massey and Rodriguez have an exceptional piece of levity going here, one that is a welcome addition to the Oni stable. If you’re not cackling like Dr. Evil on nitrous oxide by the time you’re five pages in to this issue, then I don’t think I want to know you.

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.


THE OTHER SIDE #5 DC Vertigo

The fifth and final issue of what I felt was going to be one of the best mini's (let alone series in general) that I read all year, and I can officially stand by my earlier remarks. This was another great war story, in a long line of them, whether it be in the medium of comics, movies, television or what have you. I loved the dichotomy presented between that of Vietnamese footsoldier Vo Binh Dai and Private Everette and why they fight (one for honor, one because Uncle Sam said so). And I was especially glad at how this series focused less on the "atrocities of war" and more on the "why we're here and what did it all resolve" focus of such seemingly pointless combat. The fear and doubt written into the characters’ inner dialogues, the steely resolve when it mattered most, and the fantastic gallows humor; just stellar writing all around. And then there's the real treat of Cameron Stewart's pencils. I don't think any art presentation has impressed me more this entire year with the big exception of Nico Henrichon's mind-boggling job on PRIDE OF BAGHDAD. The panelwork, the storytelling, the character designs and the detail in all of it; the man put on a clinic and it really deserves to be recognized, as does this series as a whole. I said before that this series should be considered for a lot of award nominations; now I really think it should be considered for a lot of award wins. Keep an eye out for the upcoming trade. - Humphrey

ASTRO CITY: THE DARK AGE: BOOK TWO #2 DC Wildstorm

This takes the award for most complicated title. One of my favorite things about DARK AGE is the striking cover design. I'm not sure if Alex Ross was involved with the design and faux-neon color scheme but whoever it was deserves some attention for creating a trade dress that literally pops off the stands. This book finally delivers the Apollo Eleven for longtime ASTRO CITY readers plus a bit more of Simon Magus. I can't help but love this book. Every issue gives off the same vibe I used to get in Junior High when I would buy a Marvel comic that was filled with characters I wanted to know more about. Oh yeah. It also finally reveals the real killer of Charles and Royal Williams' parents. So, if you were thinking about skipping this one, you may want to rethink that plan. - Prof.

BULLET POINTS #4 Marvel Comics

Four issues in and J. Michael Straczynski's BULLET POINTS has officially turned into what I was afraid it would: Just a glorified What If throwing a bunch of rearranged identities and overextended exposition to go with it. I was hoping for something a little more heartfelt and epic, something that tapped into the fundamental core and the heart of the Marvel universe and showed how and why it ticked, sort of like, I dunno, a MARVELS... but now I've got, uh, Reed Richards: Agent of SHIELD and Bruce Banner as Spider-Man, I guess. The potential was there, but now it's fleeting. All that remains is some really really stellar Tommy Lee Edwards art and apparently Galactus devouring a planet that doesn't have the weapons to deal with him since it lost its most brilliant mind to superspying instead of inventing devices capable of taking the World Eater down. It was worth a shot, but the results don't do justice to the potential. - Humphrey

JONAH HEX #16 DC Comics

Ever wonder what Jonah Hex would've been like if he'd been a girl? Yeh. Me either. Apparently Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti have wondered about that though. Makes me a bit worried about those two guys. However, Part 1 of "The Ballad of Tallulah Black" kicks off with some sweet full-color Phil Noto art and introduces a female version of Hex himself. This series has been the most consistently excellent series published on schedule by DC for over a year now and this is one of the best yet. The hallmark of the first year was that it was a series of self-contained single issue stories. But with the recent 3-part origin of Jonah Hex storyline, they're embarking on multi-part stories and this issue upped the game dramatically. Tallulah Black is more than just the coolest name in comics but also the most disturbing personal story. Plus there's always something appealing about a females with eyepatches. Can't explain it. - Prof.

THE PIRATES OF CONEY ISLAND #4 Image Comics

This book really, really divides my opinion. On one hand, it's such a great romp that I have a hard time saying anything negative about it. Right off the bat, this issue has a goddamn "How to" on a proper bitch slap? How cool is that? And the rest of the issue is dedicated to a pretty brutal, and right hilarious inter-gender beat down between our titled group of misfits and a bunch of ruthless girlies called The Cherries. But at the same time, not a whole damn lot has gone on in four issues so far. Yeah, I've gotten a solid bit of laughs out of this, but not on as entirely consistent a basis as, say, a NEXTWAVE gives me. It's fun, but I think maybe it just goes by way too fast for $3 a pop. So, I really do endorse this title, but the monthly joy is so fleeting that I think it may have been best to wait for a collected edition, which you all really should do if you didn't in the first place. - Humphrey

MYSTERY IN SPACE #6 (of 8) DC Comics

What?!??!! No Shane Davis???!!!?! CRAP!!! I don't want to diss Ron Lim, but..CRAP!!!! Remember when Lim had the sad job of stepping in on INFINITY GAUNTLET to take the place of George Perez? Thankless job. He's a good sport too. It helps that he knows how to draw comics pretty good. No clue why Davis is suddenly gone but he established a pretty well defined visual look for this series and Lim does a good job working within that visual parameter. Writer Jim Starlin clearly trusts Lim to effectively bring his stories to life and he does do a good job. This month Comet is hunted by some giant bugs who work as bounty hunters. Starlin and Lim provided me with my laugh-out-loud moment. Think windshields. Think bugs. Now think spaceships. The Weird backup continues to rock along with the best ink work of Al Milgrom's career. This continues to be a great series and I hope it continues beyond the mini-series. - Prof.

WELCOME TO TRANQUILITY #3 DC Wildstorm

Just three issues in and this title has jumped to my top ten list. I adore this title, it reminds me a great deal of Alan Moore's TOP TEN series, and that's about as high a praise as I can instill on any comic. The key to the book thus far, and this issue in particular, is how deftly Gail Simone makes us care about so many characters that we've been given little exposure to in the limited life of this book. This issue alone introduces us to a young super-goth-ette by the name of Ajita, and takes us through a very harrowing and heartfelt and even humorous look into her life and the life of the community of Tranquility as a whole. And while she's at it, Gail does a fantastic job of also pushing the mysterious circumstances around the death of Mr. Articulate from the first issue which has been one of the main driving plots of this book, all the while giving us minor insights into the deceased and making us feel remorse at his death, even after the fact, as we see the kind of man he was. I love the setting, and I love the way Gail takes old archetypes and superhero lore and gives them a modern feel with a nice splatter of pop culture humor and cynicism. It's just a brilliant book and I give it high marks all around. Do yourself a favor and pick up the first three issues on your next go around to your LCS. Trust the fuckhead. - Humphrey

THE INCREDIBLE HULK #103 Marvel Comics

The third and final installment of PLANET HULK comes to a close, and all I can say is: Thank @#$%ing God. Honestly, I think the story started off all right. It felt suitably "epic" and yeah, Hulk smashed pretty good, and things were okay for an arc. But then the next one started, and along came some new characters and species that I really didn't care about because they screamed "fodder". But sure, Hulk was still smashing, occasionally humorously, so I was still kind of in it... and then came arc three, and now I'm tired and bored and really don't give a damn about smashing, I just want a nap after reading this. Sure, Hulk taking over a planet is something that shouldn't be done in just an arc, it is a pretty big endeavor, but more than a year for any story arc is pushing it, let alone where really all that was done was stuff was, well, smashed. There were some good thrills in this, but it's beyond time for it to be done, and we really need to work on getting the Green Goliath back home so he can finally smash some familiar faces. - Humphrey

SCALPED #2 DC Vertigo

Just a follow up to my review of the first issue, I'm glad to say that a lot of skeptical issues I had with the first installment have thankfully been alleiviated a bit. I thought the first issue was a little on the gratuitous side, but it looks like it's streamlined itself a little bit better. Sure, it's still sexy, bloody, and has a filthy mouth, but it doesn't feel as forced and isn't anything extra than I'd expect out of a crime-fiction comic (especially a Vertigo one). And this issue did a good job of getting us into the heads of the characters a little more. Our lead Bad Horse is less badassey and more scared for his life, we're starting to see the more devious side of Chief Red Crow instead of a man who looked to just rule through brutality, and now we've got more direction in the subplot involving Bad Horse and Red Crow's daughter, and how it fills in the past of our lead a bit more too. I still think the pencils are a little muddled, and perhaps a little rushed (or it could be something to do with the inking) but they're still pretty good on the whole. This book isn't quite firing on all cylinders yet, but it's starting to show why it was worth that Vertigo stamp of approval on it. Here's to hoping... - Humphrey

Check out the @$$oles’ ComicSpace AICN Comics page here for more an archive of previous columns and more @$$y goodness.

Readers Talkback

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  • Feb. 14, 2007, 2:07 a.m. CST

    SHAZAM

    by robotdevil

    I'll be picking that one up. PS First...?

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 3:05 a.m. CST

    @ssholes

    by humboldt99

    Great opening picture, I've always thought MJ was pretty high on herself...Of course if I was a 2D dude I would actually drop a blonde of a bridge to get that.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 3:33 a.m. CST

    Regarding USM.. *SPOILER*

    by Steve Rogers

    Why do the reveal about the identity to the person they did when this was a big deal in the 616 that took 40 years to get to? Has removed one of the big differences between the Ultimate and 616 universes and has let yet-a-fucking-nother person in the Ultimate U in on Peter's secret!! JEEZUS!! Keep the fucking mask on his head Bendis and stop giving away the damn secret identity to every character in the book.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 7:56 a.m. CST

    With you on the vampires, Bug.

    by rev_skarekroe

    I'm sick of vampires that are just attractive goths that know Kung-Fu and shoot guns a lot. Nosferatu was a freaking force of nature. They thought the plague had come back when he showed up in town.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 8:48 a.m. CST

    NEXTWAVE #12!

    by chrth

    It's out today. FLY! FLY!

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 8:49 a.m. CST

    I know they're called the @ssholes and all...

    by theageofknights.com

    But do they purposely seek out issues that got great reviews (Shazam and USM) and give them shitty reviews? I didn't see anything in the issue that led me to believe Ultimate Ronin was coming, it must have been in a preview or something.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 9:03 a.m. CST

    Age of Knights - Read the past Paragraph of that Review

    by Squashua

    "I'm sure I'll be picking up the next issue because even with my complaints about the emphasis on Cap's origin, it's still a good comic book and a pleasantly fresh and joyful adventure of a Captain Marvel who actually looks and feels like the "real" Captain Marvel. That's something I can support and hope to see more of."

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 9:07 a.m. CST

    Astro City!! Welcome back!!

    by CarmillaVonDoom

    :^)

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 9:14 a.m. CST

    Shazam

    by BigBadJon

    I've got to say... I couldn't disagree with Prof. Challenger's assessment of Shazam: Monster Society of Evil more strongly. I you want to be an @$$hole and review the book while complaining about the differences between this story and the original that's pretty sad, when on it's own merits this book is nothing short of magnificent. The art is spectacular, and it conveys emotion in ways that I've never seen any artist other than Jeff Smith be capable of. Jeff Smith draws as a cartoonist, which inherently shows old people as looking really old, and young people looking really young. But from reading the story I'd have guessed that Billy Batson was supposed to be between 8 and 10 years old, and that's about how old he looks. And as far as retelling an origin story for the character? I think it's absolutely essential. I don't read a lot of in continuity DC books, but I love the prestige format or Elseworlds books that they produce. That being said, because I'm not that familiar with the character's history, it's invaluable to me to have that somewhat in depth explanation of the character's motivation. And I'll bet you anything that most of the people who are picking up this book are doing so more because of Jeff Smith than because of Capt. Marvel, and as a result aren't as familiar with the character as you are. So for the majority of readers to pick up the story and be dumped into the middle of a massive already existing continuity would have been confusing. If this is a re-telling of an old story (which I didn't know until you said it) why does it need to be a verbatim retelling rather than a reimagining? Didn't we learn our lesson there with Van Sant's remake of Psycho? Just go along for the ride, man. Enjoy watching a master at his craft.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 9:17 a.m. CST

    USM

    by biscuit turner

    I agree that USM has become pretty pedestrian. But I still read it, because right now the rest of the Spidey titles (except for Friendly Neighborhood, when Peter David isn't shackled to terrible crossovers) are truly AWFUL. It's so painful to watch Marvel fail again and again to get their core character right.<br><br>It's irritating to see the Ultimate Universe reduced to trying to come up with new twists to stories told years ago. Especially while genuinely creative books like Nextwave (or books that actually bring something new to old characters, like Agents of Atlas) fail.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Squash

    by Shigeru

    Did you like the last Cthulhu Tales that BOOM put out? Just wondering, cause I thought it was great.... seeing if our tastes line up on it so I can judge whether to pick up the new one.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 9:27 a.m. CST

    buzz, re: last TB

    by Shigeru

    we're on the same page... let's kiss and make up.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Captain Marvel is the greatest superhero ever

    by Doctor_Sin

    I'll be picking this up, too. Although, I could do without yet *another* recap/retelling of his origin.<p>I miss the old Whiz comics and the early DC run. Mr. Mind and Talky Tawny all the way!<p>"Power of Shazam" was, imo, the best handling of the material. I don't get why it never took off properly.<p>p.s. - Any Cthulhu comic cannot go wrong either.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 9:35 a.m. CST

    Cthulhu Tales: I liked most of the prior one

    by Squashua

    The "King in Yellow" story, while slightly goofy, I thought was much more tastefully done in that book than the "Are You There God?" in this issue.<br><br>I'll try to find my earlier Cheap Shot for the original book.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 9:41 a.m. CST

    Ulitmate Spider-Man...

    by loodabagel

    Now see, I've always liked the "epilogue issues." I thought this one had a great ending. That last page really summed up the whole story emotionally in a nice style.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 9:41 a.m. CST

    Prof Challenger's CT Review

    by Squashua

    http://tinyurl.com/2l4eq5 <br><br> I think my Cheap Shot appeared in one of the following two weeks.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 9:46 a.m. CST

    Not a lot of people are old enough to remember Cap

    by TheRevengeOfBayouWilly

    I'm not 57 or rich, therefore I don't have the original Monster Society Of Evil, so if Jeff Smith wants to drag ass and tell a story his way on a 30-year old book of a character not a whole lot of people care about... let him.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 10:03 a.m. CST

    ...whoa...

    by blackthought

    i'm struggling to come to terms with this column being posted so early...thanks for throwing off my internal a$$hole clock.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 10:14 a.m. CST

    Yes, I *do* read the other @$$holes' reviews.

    by Squashua

    And I will be hunting down Maintenance #1-2 today. My FLCS is a little sparse on ordering the indies though, but I'll see what they can do.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 10:28 a.m. CST

    Couldn't find my old CT Cheap Shot

    by Squashua

    I don't think I did one; I could be wrong though. Overall, I liked the first book. This one was disappointing.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 10:34 a.m. CST

    I'm 36 and have always loved Shazam comics

    by Doctor_Sin

    I gave up on Superman around the whole "Infinite Crisis" crap because DC pretty much jumped the shark. Besides, he was too god-like. Godmodding in comics is a turn off for me. "Shazam!" seemed to always keep it real and fun.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 10:54 a.m. CST

    Good to see Jonah Hex...

    by rbatty024

    is going to do more storytelling with multiple issues. I was a fan of the origin tale. More Apaches!

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 10:54 a.m. CST

    re: Last TB

    by Thalya

    (for those who are on MySpace that is) Allez ici rire de mes qualifications de dessin pathétiques: http://tinyurl.com/3dbmg7 Donnez-moi une note aussi, s'il vous plait. ;) <BR><BR> P.S. Great reviews as always, @$$holes!

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 12:07 p.m. CST

    I've read Nextwave #12 ...

    by chrth

    So I'm typing this through the tears in my eyes.<p> "Anything we want" ... indeed. If y'all hear about a couple kidnappings, don't let the police know.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 1 p.m. CST

    That was good stuff

    by Squashua

    Excellent surprise villain. 52 and JSA ("Quiet, Starman!" "52!") weren't bad either.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 2:01 p.m. CST

    Ultimate Spiderman

    by El Vale

    I was doing my cyber trade waiting thing with this Clone Saga business and i realized there's no 104th issue to be found on my hard drive. Now i gotta wait till someone realizes they forgot to scan the damn thing so i can finish reading the story. <br><br> Ahhhh to download comics. By the way, how is everyone?

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Wait

    by El Vale

    I think Psy's trying to tell us something.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 2:09 p.m. CST

    Yeah, he's trying to tell us ...

    by chrth

    "We're not in the Top Talkbacks"

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 2:15 p.m. CST

    We're getting there...

    by Thalya

    45 at this post..

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 2:31 p.m. CST

    Not anymore

    by chrth

    Mods have gotten quick on killing dupes like that. I hope Psynapse didn't get deleted.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 2:31 p.m. CST

    Aaaand, he gets his @$$ baleeted for spamming a forum

    by Squashua

    Not my decision; happened in-between page refreshes.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 2:36 p.m. CST

    Psynapse!

    by Thalya

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 2:42 p.m. CST

    So Marvel wanted to switch my Nextwave subscription

    by chrth

    to New Avengers. I said, GIVE ME MY DAMN MONEY BACK YOU NEXTWAVE-MURDERING WHORES!<p> I wish Amazon would get their butts in gear and start stocking the Nextwave TPB (released today). I want to order that and Neverwhere (also released today) and get the Free Super Saver Shipping.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Ok, BN is disagreeing with Marvel

    by chrth

    BN is saying 2/28 for the TPB. DAMMIT, WE DON'T HAVE TIME!

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 3:02 p.m. CST

    Anyone familiar with DeepDiscount?

    by TheRevengeOfBayouWilly

    They have some unbeatable deals on dvds, and hopefully they'll start giving Amazon a run for their money in regards to the books they've started carrying. I know their 100 Bullets trades are hella-cheap.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 3:04 p.m. CST

    Hold up…

    by The Heathen

    Psy got banned? What did he say? What the frak is going on? Who deleted him? If the likes of moviemack and Jar Jar go on and on for weeks then I call bullshit AICN. <br> <br> chrth, it would have been awesome to have a recording of that subscription conversation you had. ; )

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 3:12 p.m. CST

    JEFF SMITH PSYNAPSE WANTS TO HAVE YOUR BABIES!

    by Squashua

    He posted something like said subject like about a ho-jillion times. Then, suddenly all of the posts were gone as quickly as they had arrived.<br><br> Say "hi" to Jar Jar for us. <br><br> BTW, which one of you bastards changed Vog from Dimension X's password?

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 3:14 p.m. CST

    TPBs

    by biscuit turner

    chrth: <br> Bookstores like Amazon & BN generally get Marvel/DC trades 2 weeks after they hit the direct market. I saw the Nextwave TPB at the LCS today, so 2/28 sounds right for bookstores.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 3:29 p.m. CST

    Suck it Squash....

    by Psynapse

    Still here.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 3:31 p.m. CST

    After all....

    by Psynapse

    AICN doesn't ban for just being a doofus. (and a sycophantic one I'll give you that). PS- Joo knowz ah WUVS you Squashie!

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 3:34 p.m. CST

    So I'll just have to do it the old fashioned way....

    by Psynapse

    by submitting actual posts.........

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 3:36 p.m. CST

    Wow, AICN actually lets you change…

    by The Heathen

    your password? Crazy. Squash, it could have been the original Vog, none other than loodabagel.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 3:44 p.m. CST

    Happy Valentine's Day!

    by Squashua

    I wuv you too, Psy, but this one prefers the more hardcore affections received in last week's TB... if ya know what I mean.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 3:44 p.m. CST

    PSY-FI!!!

    by Thalya

    *runs in, clobbers, huggles!*

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 3:45 p.m. CST

    Shazam!

    by Prof Challenger

    It's funny. If one of us publishes a review that does a 100% rip on something, then the accusation is that we went too far and we never like anything from "X" publisher or by "X" writer etc. etc. If one of us gushes orgasmically about something, then we are in the hip pocket of "X" publisher or expert oral gratifiers of "X" writer. But, if we publish a review of something that has apparently (I wouldn't know -- the only reviews I read are those here on AICN) been gushed over by other review sites and we don't gush likewise but instead give an honest balanced review emphasizing what was liked and pointing out those things not liked, then the accusation is one of some sort of contrarian agenda or a reactive post that demonstrates the poster never really read the review in full. Just as a heavily hyped and long-delayed movie may bring with it heightened expectations, the viewer's reactions may be one of disappointment if the execution does not live up to the expectations. That's how it was with this first issue. Which, let me point out, was heavily praised by me for (1) amazing art, (2) most accurate portrayal of the Cap/Billy relationship in 50+ years, and (3) pure unadulterated joy. However, I felt that to be fully honest I had to address those areas that left me with an odd, unsatisfied feeling. And that really had more to do with the overall story structure. Just as with any remake/reboot/sequel, one brings to the table their experience with the previous version. In my case, I thought it only fair to set that bias out for the reader and to give a brief background for those who may not even realize that this MSOE mini-series is based on an older story. In the modern context, a slavishly faithful remake (along the lines of the Van Sant PSYCHO) would get WB/DC shut down because of the rampant and overt cultural and racial bigotry present in those stories. But, that was not the focus of the original story. The original story was a grand adventure with Capt. Marvel facing a worldwide attack by the most powerful of villains who were being controlled and manipulated by a hidden alien presence known only as "Mr. Mind." The shocking reveal of who Mr. Mind was and his ultimate defeat was a real "shocker." So, I definitely was NOT desiring a shot-by-shot remake. But I was disappointed to, once again, be subject to 40 some odd pages out of a 48 page book devoted to retelling Cap's origin once again. I almost think his origin may have been retold more often than Superman's. It's getting ridiculous. Check out Dini and Ross's tabloid-sized SHAZAM: THE POWER OF HOPE comic to see how 2 pages is enough to set up for the reader exactly who Cap, Billy, and the Wizard are so that the story can get moving. The bottom line is that the comic was very good, amazing in some parts, and because it was so good, it should be strong enough to have some of it's structural and narrative choices challenged and questioned. I don't stick around for a comic that sux. This is a comic I'm sticking around for and those of y'all who missed that point in the review, maybe you'll catch it in this post. Now, I gotta get back out in this Central Texas 32 degree weather and sweat out some more global "warming." Power to the COGS.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 3:46 p.m. CST

    Squashua..

    by Thalya

    *spank* Hush now!

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 3:46 p.m. CST

    Besides....

    by Psynapse

    If I could have Jeff Smith's baby I'd be the first dude in history to do so and I'd either be rich as hell or I'd end up dissected on an operating table in some secret government facility. Hmm.....

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 3:52 p.m. CST

    Prof Challenger: That wasn't very funny (j/k)

    by chrth

    BTW, if you do a < p > (remove spaces) it'll do a linebreak in your posts.<p> See? :)

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 3:52 p.m. CST

    Main thing about the Action Comics annual..

    by nofate

    that concern me was the fact that it had art by Gary Frank. Isn't he exclusive to Marvel? Plus he's suppossed to do art in the upcoming World War Hulk (lame title for another epic btw). Marvel cannot afford to lose this cat. They need to get him back on Squadron Supreme shit as of yesterday. His art is so detailed, it reminds me of Dillion's just with more varied expresions. Oh and by the way, why didn't Ambush critiqued the last issue of the Ultimate clone saga? I smell copt out.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 3:53 p.m. CST

    Page break, Prof.

    by Squashua

    Page break. < br > <br><br> And now I shall hush as the mistress commands.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 3:53 p.m. CST

    The Heathen: I was, uh, *politer* on the phone

    by chrth

    Huh, politer doesn't look right. *More polite*. I just posted what I was thinking =)

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 3:57 p.m. CST

    biscuit turner: thanks for the head's up

    by chrth

    <nt>

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 4:02 p.m. CST

    Nofate - read the start of my Cthulhu review

    by Squashua

    and you'll get an answer. Essentially, Humphrey and Challenger trumped the rest of the @$$holes this week by getting their dibs in early, which gave most of the rest of us a week off.<br><br> I can't believe I ended up being the the only one to review New Avengers.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 4:11 p.m. CST

    Magical Comedy Girl Thalya!!!

    by Psynapse

    MUCHO huggles right back atcha babe. (*_^)

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 4:36 p.m. CST

    SHAZAM!! THANK YOU JEFF SMITH

    by Psynapse

    So there...

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 4:36 p.m. CST

    AHA!

    by nofate

    Could that mean then that Ambush is so tired of raggin on the Bendii that he's not even making an effort, especially on such an easy target? One can only hope. <br> And on that note, where's your New Avengers review then Squashua? Didn't that come out last week?

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 5:03 p.m. CST

    Hell yes, Prof!

    by The Heathen

    "Power to the COGS." <br> <br> Psy! I feared the worst, but am glad to know I shouldn't have. I thought everything was going to hell for about an hour today. Now I have to vanish into the ether...

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 5:08 p.m. CST

    Careful with that ether...

    by Psynapse

    That shit packs one helluva punch....

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 5:17 p.m. CST

    "Power to the COGS."

    by Psynapse

    Amen. (motherfucker)

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 5:38 p.m. CST

    Oh nofat, sounds like we've become a bit obsessive...

    by Ambush Bug

    I'm glad you love readin' my comments and all, peaches, but c'mon, attempting to call me out because a Bendis book is released and I don't cover it? How lame is that? For your info, I don't buy any Ultimate books for the same reason everyone is finally cluing into, they are all stale rehashes of stories I enjoyed a long time ago, polished off and hipped up for the kiddies to think it's noo and kuel. And since you can't wait till you hear what I thought of last week's NA, I'll give you this little tidbit. I kind of liked it. Suprised? Of course, because your feeble mind can't take the fact that I can like one book from a writer and not like another. It's gotta be all or nothing, right? Surely one Bendis story HAS to be as good as every other, right? No shades of grey at all. Stop being trollish and trying to call me out by name as if you matter, nosheep.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 6:05 p.m. CST

    Ummm..

    by nofate

    Actually, I asked for Squashua's NA review but whatever.<br> <br> Dude come on lighten up a bit, we're talking comics here. I for one would be glad anyone is reading something I wrote, even if they tore it apart later. Keep shoveling.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 6:05 p.m. CST

    I don't see how The Ultimates is a rehash...

    by TheRevengeOfBayouWilly

    Not trying to start anything, I'm just saying...<p>And the problem with Bendis is he overdoes it on the dialogue sometimes. You gotta write comics differently than you would write a play or movie, kids. I swear, one panel in that Ultimate story he did with Wolverine and Spidey went "They're in the diaper truck?" "They're in the diaper truck." "That diaper truck over there?" "That diaper truck over there." "The diaper truck?" "Diaper truck." Motherfucker, we get it! I can't wait for him to write a movie, have it bomb, and for all this to be over.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 6:08 p.m. CST

    Hey, line break works!

    by nofate

    Thank Squashua. You're the @$$hole that keeps on giving.<br> <br> Wait, that sounds nasty ;^)

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 6:16 p.m. CST

    It sounds nasty...

    by Prof Challenger

    because it is. Plus, Squashua's by far the nastiest of the @$$holes.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 6:19 p.m. CST

    I knew we were a pair!

    by Psynapse

    I'm the nastiest Cog......(by a wide margin, I make the rest look like fuckin' nuns at times).

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 6:37 p.m. CST

    It's true…

    by The Heathen

    Psy is the nastiest and just yesterday the Cogs told everyone I liked little boys, but I corrected them and said 'pale' little boys. Hey, Psy what was that joke with the pedophile and the kid walking through the woods? ; )

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 7:08 p.m. CST

    So much agression

    by El Vale

    Can't we all just get along? No? Then fuck you, i fucking hate you anyway.

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 7:10 p.m. CST

    The joke, Heathen:

    by SleazyG.

    "What the hell are you cryin' about? I'm the one who has to walk home alone!"

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 9:31 p.m. CST

    Poor Squashua..

    by Thalya

    It's because of his namesake, the squash in his diet and all that fiber just roughs him right up and he really has no choice but to fight back you see... <BR><BR>wait, you say that ether packs a punch, Psy? Well we can't have that..<BR><BR> *shuffles off* I'd better just check.. <BR><BR>*sniffs* mmm...eth-THUNK

  • Feb. 14, 2007, 10:26 p.m. CST

    My New Avengers review is in this week's column...

    by Squashua

    ...y'all just didn't look hard enough.<br><br> And I do like fuckin' nuns; I make a habit out of it when I get the opportunity.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 5:01 a.m. CST

    Where do they get these bozo reviewers?

    by mrfan

    Can someone please explain?<p> Anyone?

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 7:42 a.m. CST

    mrfan

    by rev_skarekroe

    The original reviewers came from Talkbackers just like you. Or maybe not JUST like you. These guys actually had something to say. I'm not sure where the newer reviewers came from. Friends and acquaintances maybe?

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 8:14 a.m. CST

    Shazam (Prof. Challenger)

    by BigBadJon

    Right on man. Your follow up there definitely clarified your stance a little bit, and makes me respect your opinion a lot more. I still think the retelling of the origin was an important aspect, but will conceded that it may have been advantageous if it could have been told more succinctly so that the overarching storyline could have been advanced more.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 8:58 a.m. CST

    I was Culled from the ranks of the Talkbackers

    by Squashua

    Emphasis on rank. I have been a talkbacker for quite some time; I just didn't post very often, but when I did, I generally made intelligent, articulate posts such as this one.<br><br> I still have no idea why Ambush Bug recruited me.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 9:57 a.m. CST

    I knew it!

    by loodabagel

    <p>For as I long as I can remember it seems Buzz Maverick and Ambush Bug were vying for dominance as "Supreme Overlord for Life of the @$$holes." With my newfound knowledge of Bug recruiting minor league stars like Squashua, it seems he'll have more on his side when things go down in the @$$hole CIVIL WAR! With a total of 3, count 'em 3!, variant covers by Michael Turner, not including the sceth version by both him and series regular Gary Frank! And don't forget the limited edition foil variant! Prof. Challenger's shield is carved out of pure gold foil! It's only 28$ at your local comic book shop!</p> You know this is all Wizard's fault. The only reason they invented that atrocity that we call CGC was so they could create more variant covers. Marvel must have been in on this from the beginning.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 9:58 a.m. CST

    That said...

    by loodabagel

    Whose side are you on, Squash?

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 10:11 a.m. CST

    not just with any stick...with bamboo! yea!

    by loodabagel

    _________IJESUSI_________ <br> _________IJESUSI_________ <br> _________IJESUSI_________ <br> _________IJESUSI_________ <br> __IIIIIIJESUSIIIJESUSIIIIIII__<br> __IIIIIIIIIJESUSIIIJESUSIIII__ <br> _________IJESUSI_________ <br> _________IJESUSI_________ <br> _________IJESUSI_________ <br> _________IJESUSI_________ <br> _________IJESUSI_________ <br> _________IJESUSI_________ <br> _________IJESUSI_________ <br> _________IJESUSI_________ <br>

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 10:19 a.m. CST

    now I have a Batman Year 100 review...

    by loodabagel

    Well there's a new comic out there and it is called Batman Year 100. I don't think it's one of the best comics I've ever read, but it was certainly was one of the coolest.<br> Someone once described Batman to me as "black leather and nihilsm" and nowhere is that more apparent than in this comic. The Batman in year 100 is different than what I've seen in the past. He's not the complete and total deuchebag of the past few years, nor is he the clinically insane playboy we've seen in stuff like Batman Year 1 or Batman Begins. He doesn't have the occasional goofiness of film's Michael Keaton or the constant goofiness of TV's Adam West (I mean, thank fucking God. If I wanted to put up with that shit, I'd read Batman in the 50's or something.) But what Batman does have here is charm. I don't know how he does it. He rarely talks, but he still came off as a charming guy.<br> And if the charm wasn't enough, Batman is also terrifying. It's deathly apparent to the reader that Batman is an old man, but he looks scarier than he did in Arkham Asylum. Vampire fangs? Holy crap. This guy is dedicated. He's even got a motorcycle that folds up and hangs upside down like a bat.<br> Another difference here is that Batman seems more like a ninja than in the past. Sure, the guy's always been a master combatant, but this is the only time I think I've seen him meditate. <br> Well, that's Batman anyway. What really makes this comic hum is the man making it. Does it get any cooler than Batman riding a motorcycle that looks like a demon? Only if he's being drawn by Paul Pope. Now if you don't know anything about Paul Pope, I can tell you this-The man is cool. He draws and writes about cool people doing cool things, and I think he wears scarves too. The guys got wicked style that basically reflects mirror-image style in his comics. Does Robin have an earring? Of course! He's drawn by Paul Pope! Of course, he also has a hipster haircut and repairs motorcycles. And it's not only Robin. Everyone in this comic has funky fresh hipster style. <br> Batman: Year 100-Reccomended. Not highly. But still. I think this is some of the best art I've ever seen from Paul Pope, so I'd definitely give it two big thumbs up. And if you're one those guys who likes to complain about everything ripping Dark Knight Returns, than you need to lighten up buddy. This is definitly not DKR just because it's set in the future. I mean, I could start saying that DKR was just a rip-off of Days of Future Past and that that was really just a rip off of Metropolis, but I won't because that's stupid. You see, dystopias have been around for a long ass time, and just because one of them is in a comic book doesn't automatically make it a rip-off of DKR. So lighten up guys. This is Paul Pope. It's new. It's different. It's in your yard, killing your cat, eating your baby and fuckin your momma. (A little neckface joke for those of you who are down with Neckface. I'm not, but I gotta give him points for trying.)<br> I'm outta here.<br> I'll think up a catchprhase one of these days.<br> Or maybe not. I don't want to sound like fucking Peter Travers.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 10:21 a.m. CST

    5 in a row?

    by loodabagel

    Oh no you didn't!

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 10:21 a.m. CST

    The Big Reveal

    by Squashua

    My name is John Byrne, and I’ve been Squashua since I was sixteen years old. Any questions?

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 10:23 a.m. CST

    We are...

    by loodabagel

    Cooler than Grindhouse.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 10:25 a.m. CST

    We are..

    by loodabagel

    cooler than Avatar

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 10:26 a.m. CST

    We are...

    by loodabagel

    Cooler than Milli Vanilli

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 10:28 a.m. CST

    We are...

    by loodabagel

    BS 2000!

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 10:43 a.m. CST

    Dude. They're gonna "Psynapse" you.

    by Squashua

    To quote the great Dave Coulier, "Cut it out."

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 11:09 a.m. CST

    It all makes sense now!

    by loodabagel

    The guy who constantly hassles Teen Titans for bad artwork is really John Byrne! It's the perfect coverup, nobody would suspect it. Although, all of those posts about mixed-race artists inability to draw were a tad supicious now that I think about it.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 11:19 a.m. CST

    heh…

    by The Heathen

    Milli Vanilli. <BR> <BR> "Blame it on the rain! Yeah! Yeah!" <br> <br> That's some funny shit, looda. Btw, no way you're 17 and no about Milli Vanilli. Shit, I forgot about them completely until you said their name. That brought back great thoughts of TMNT, Burton's Batman, Ghostbusters cartoon, Kelly Kapowski, Pizza Hut and giant shirt pens that cold also fold out and stand on your dresser.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 11:21 a.m. CST

    Time Distortion

    by Squashua

    Heathen, I've been Squashua for much longer than I've been an @$$hole named Squashua.<br><br> Gotta read between the lines.<br><br> I'm the goddamn Batman.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 11:30 a.m. CST

    gotta read who posts the posts first Squash…

    by The Heathen

    that was herr looda. ; ) <br><br> I remember you posting before you were an 'official' @$$hole, Squash. It was like two weeks of normal posts as a talkbacker and then your reviews started coming in. Wait. Why are we talking about when and why you became an @$$hole again?

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 11:45 a.m. CST

    Two Weeks?

    by Squashua

    What, you think I'm taking an extended stay on Mars? I've been a talkbacker for years.<br><br> The question was instantiated by a comment from The good Reverend Scarecrow. <br><br> And you're the one who made the seventeen comment, though it was in regards to Looda, which makes no sense since he doesn't mention it previously (maybe in an earlier talkback).

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 12:12 p.m. CST

    Slap bracelets!

    by Thalya

    Don't forget about slap bracelets, H! Or Koosh balls!

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 12:19 p.m. CST

    Or come to think of it..

    by Thalya

    Lookit that Captain N ad up top there..

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 12:59 p.m. CST

    Oh, excuse me…

    by The Heathen

    how dare I not know of any and all things involving Squashua? ; ) Chillax my friend. All was said with good favored intentions. I meant as far as posting on the comics column, I didn't notice many post from you and then there were some and then you became an @$$hole. Simple as that. I may be wrong but I don't think so considering I belong to a group called The All Week COG SMOOCHES who… talkback… all week… every week… for over a year and a half now. The looda comment was intended for… looda. It would make sense… if you were looda, er, hopefully. For instance, it'd be like if I asked my friend Chase about the dip in the pool with the 40 different chemicals in it, that probably wouldn't make sense to you, but between me and him it would. My other post was regarding your 'Time Distortion' post. I have no idea what the hell that meant. Sorry. <br> <br> T!!! Slap bracelets and Koosh balls were totally rad! There's nothing like the smell of a fresh Koosh and I mean that. We actually had the slap bracelets banned at my school because kids kept slapping each other in class. Ah, good times.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 1:06 p.m. CST

    Well, yah.

    by Squashua

    I would pop-in, read the reviews, and then MAYBE post once if something interested me. Emphasis on MAYBE. I'd e-mail feedback directly more than post back then b/c I (still) find the talkback thing a less than appealing form of communication. And I really don't get it's complete disconnection from the forums.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 1:22 p.m. CST

    Ah, the late 80s/early 90s...

    by Thalya

    Is it just me or did '88-'92 just completely have its own particular subculture? The music, fashions and everything, smooshed in between the 80s-proper and the arrival of grunge/rap. And H, both of them were banned at my school too!<BR><BR><BR>And by the by, on a comics-related note, who's read Detective Comics #828 and why isn't anyone reviewing it? That one book made my week (I understand Nextwave #12 also came out, but still..).

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 1:25 p.m. CST

    Gotcha.

    by The Heathen

    Yeah, when AICN announced 'The Zone' I was confused? What's the point of having both? I don't mind discussion in the tb's when trolls aren't involved. I've had many a great ones in the wee small hours of the morning. This one time I worked an all nighter and Darth Kal-El and Dave_F were randomly here too keeping me company thank the maker. That said, the last AICN update has made it hardre for conversation. Every time you post and it throws you back to the article and not the meat of the tb really detracts and frustrates people, well, at least me.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Sensational Spider Man is not that bad now

    by holidill

    Sensational Spider Man is actually pretty good now also, with Spider man taking on his older foes that have not been seen for a while like Will o the Wisp, plus the return of the Puma who is hanging with Black Cat, I have actually enjoyed this series so far.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 1:49 p.m. CST

    Man this is some weird talkbacking

    by El Vale

    There is so much passive agression between Heath and Squash, it's a little bit awkward to witness (but ceases not to be entertaining). Know who i like? That Baytor guy. He always reviews stuff i'm interested in, which is saying something cause look at some of the stuff these people are reviewing: Shazam? Gimme a break. Fell #7 was great. It was so frustrating it made me angry and i felt like punching someone, but all in a good way. That Warren Ellis sure is kicking ass lately. Anyone reading that new Desolation Jones storyline? Highly recommended.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 2:13 p.m. CST

    Vale

    by Squashua

    What, you want for us to dance and sing for you? <br><br> All we're doing is keeping this talkback near the top on the right. I mean, I suspect that's the plan, right looda?

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 2:19 p.m. CST

    You know those grindhouse trailers?

    by The Heathen

    Well here's mine! Rustee Blades in LUMBERJACKED! Destroy it if you must, but it's fun. Enjoy! <br> <br> A higher res version than on YouTube is found here: http://tinyurl.com/22cbsh <br> <br> YouTube: http://tinyurl.com/ypld66 <br> <br> Squash… I luv you. ; ) ~ <3

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 3:07 p.m. CST

    More about me, Me, ME!

    by Squashua

    I'm flattered, but you'll be disappointed to find out that I'm not a pale little boy, Heathen.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 3:11 p.m. CST

    No Worries, Shig.

    by Buzz Maverik

    I honestly thought we were just talking in the last talkback.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 3:17 p.m. CST

    Actually, The @$$holes Didn't Come From The Talkbacks..

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...at all. Please watch the screen get all wavey as we have our flashback, which I remember like it was just yesterday. There I was at Langely. The MK-SEARCH funding had just come in and I was placed in charge of a non-existent black bag op called Operation Virgin. The idea was that we could brainwash geeks into being government stooges (somebody has to fill out all that paperwork and lose their pensions when we get caught, right?). I assembled my team carefully from the worst of the misfits, losers and dregs the Company had to offer. We faked our own deaths (except for that one guy: it turned out that word "fake" was smudged on his copy of the memo -- oops!), we dug up some blackmail info that could ruin Harry if it ever got out (it turns out that he hates movies)and muscled our way onto the site. You now have the urge to fill out these requistion requests....

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 3:20 p.m. CST

    Squash

    by El Vale

    Is that too much to ask? <br><br> Also, i'm having a hard time finding that part where i told you to stop doing anything.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 3:28 p.m. CST

    He certainly isn't little..

    by Thalya

    That much I know. But I was etherized all night. Please tell me you didn't just let me lie there..

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 3:33 p.m. CST

    abuh?

    by The Heathen

    Vale told who what? <br> <br> It's okay Squash, for you, I could make the exception. If anyone really wants to know what my taste is (besides the pale little boys types) then check out Rustee Blades. My better half appears in that. I'll give you a hint, it's not Rustee or any of the wood-zombie-demon things.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 3:53 p.m. CST

    It's CAPTAIN MARVEL - not Shazam!

    by Pi-Rate

    This whole origin retelling thing sucked ass bigtime. Cap didn't need another "reboot". He was just fine. Ordway did a nice job mixing the old lore with some new twists. This piece of crap comic isn't worth lining the bottom of my bird's cage with. Why can't anybody get this character RIGHT? Ordway had it down, but for some reason, the book never took off. If he'd just had a really good Sivana story, maybe... But I can't bear to look at this shit comic they're doing now. At this rate, they should just sell the character to Marvel outright.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 4:16 p.m. CST

    I miss the monkee....

    by GreatATuin

    Where the hell is the @$$hole moobie monkee anyway? I miss that little turd burgler. <p> Oh, and Psy-Fi is def. the nastiest Cog. I keep telling him that every time I have to erase the Cog Mansion security tapes. Seriously, Psi, what the hell? Naked mole rats and cranberry sauce? FUCK!

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 4:18 p.m. CST

    Fuck

    by GreatATuin

    Edit feature in the bitch...blah blah blah....

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 4:42 p.m. CST

    Got all that rust knocked right off the blade...

    by Squashua

    ... when I flipped the nice lady over and continued on my merry way after nailing her so hard she passed out. At least, I thought that's what did it. Damn those painkillers.<br><br>In other news, by request:<br>*tappity-tappity-tap-tap-tappity-tappity-tap-tap-tappity-tappity-tap-tap-tappity-tappity-tap-tap-tappity-tappity-tap-tap-tappity-tappity-tap-tap-tappity-tappity-tap-tap-tappity-tappity-tap-tap-tappity-tappity-tap-tap-tap*<br><br> I come home in the morning light,<br> My mother says "When you gonna live your life right?"<br> Oh,mother,dear,<br> We're not the fortunate ones,<br> And girls,<br> They wanna have fu-un.<br> Oh,girls,<br> Just wanna have fun.<br> <br><br> The phone rings in the middle of the night,<br> My father yells "What you gonna do with your life?"<br> Oh,daddy,dear,<br> You know you're still number one,<br> But girls,<br> They wanna have fu-un,<br> Oh,girls,just wanna have<br> That's all they really want.....<br> Some fun....<br> <br><br> When the working day is done,<br> Oh,girls,<br> They wanna have fu-un,<br> Oh,girls,<br> Just wanna have fun....<br> <br><br> Girls,<br> They want,<br> Wanna have fun.<br> Girls,<br> Wanna have<br> <br><br> Some boys take a beautiful girl,<br> And hide her away from the rest of the world.<br> I wanna be the one to walk in the sun.<br> Oh,girls,<br> They wanna have fu-un.<br> Oh,girls,<br> Just wanna have<br> That's all they really want.....<br> Some fun....<br> <br><br> When the working day is done,<br> Oh,girls,<br> They wanna have fu-un.<br> Oh,girls,<br> Just wanna have fun...<br> <br><br> Girls,<br> They want,<br> Wanna have fun.<br> Girls,<br> Wanna have.<br> <br><br> They just wanna,<br> They just wanna.....<br> They just wanna,<br> (Oh....)<br> They just wanna.....<br> (Girls just wanna have fun...)<br> Oh...<br> <br><br> Girls just wanna have fu-un...<br> They just wanna,<br> They just wanna....<br> They just wanna,<br> They just wanna....<br> (Oh...)<br> They just wanna...<br> (They just wanna have fun...)<br> Girls just wanna have fu-un...<br> <br><br> When the workin',<br> When the working day is done.<br> Oh,when the working day is done,<br> Oh,girls...<br> Girls,<br> Just wanna have fu-un...<br> <br><br> They just wanna,<br> They just wanna....<br> They just wanna,<br> They just wanna have fun...<br> <br><br> Girls just wanna have fu-un..<br> They just wanna,<br> They just wanna....<br> They just wanna,<br> They just wanna....<br> (Have fun..)<br> <br><br> They just wanna,<br> (Girls wanna have fun)<br> They just wanna....<br> Oh,girls...<br> (Wanna have fun....)<br> Girls just wanna have fu-un.<br> <br><br> When the workin',<br> When the working day is done.<br> Oh,when the working day is done,<br> Oh,girls,<br> Girls just wanna have fu-un.<br> <br><br> They just wanna,<br> They just wanna....<br> (Oh,girls...)<br> They just wanna,<br> (Have fun....)<br> Oh,girls..<br> Girls just wanna have fu-un<br> <br><br> They just wanna,<br> They just wanna...<br> When the working day is done...<br>

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 6:23 p.m. CST

    I miss Schleppy too, Turtle.

    by The Heathen

    dirty little mother fucker.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 7:06 p.m. CST

    Heath

    by El Vale

    Did you read that post i left for you a while back Re: Punisher The End and The Cell?

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 7:26 p.m. CST

    Anyone wanna take bets...

    by Prof Challenger

    on how long before the mods take Squashua's song lyrics down? :)

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 7:30 p.m. CST

    Buzz has it wrong...

    by Prof Challenger

    The truth of the @$$holes is much more sinister than that and I'll only reveal this much: Buzz is in actuality Joey DaQ, Bug is Dan Didio, and Squashua is Robert Kirkman trying like hell to get a new job.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 7:34 p.m. CST

    Did I forget to mention that the all-elusive DaveF...

    by Prof Challenger

    is really the bastard lovechild of Stan Lee and John Byrne? 'Tis true.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 8:02 p.m. CST

    That's why Byrne called Dave an asshole!

    by The Heathen

    Vale, yep I read it. Haven't got around to looking for them yet though. I actually have only read one issue in the past week (Superman Confidential #3). I've heard nothing, and I mean nothing, but outstanding things about Punisher: The End. I hear it's the best Punisher story ever. I think there's a HC that it's in, but I'm not sure. I haven't heard much of anything about The Cell. You said it was better than Punisher: X-Mas and I thought that one was pretty awesome. I love the team of Stuart Moore and C.P. Smith. I wish they were on War Journal (I hated the first issue so much that I didn't even want to look at any more). <br> <br> Word to the wise. In DC's May solicits there's a HC that includes Darwyn Cooke's Batman: Ego (which I just bought a few weeks ago!!!) along with Cooke's Selina's Big Score story and a bunch of other artist and stories taken from SOLO, etc. about Batman. Sounds nifty.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 8:22 p.m. CST

    The Cell

    by El Vale

    I think an @$$hole of sorts reviewed it in the column and he too thought it was fantastic, if i remember correctly. I tells ya, i've been eating up that MAX Punisher all week, i fucking love it, but i think only Vaughan and i read the damn thing. Oh well, to be hip is to be kinda lonely. <br><br> And about that HC...i wouldn't call it nifty, i'd call it awesomelicious.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 8:41 p.m. CST

    Well of course I like to have fun, Squashua..

    by Thalya

    ..but if it wasn't you, then who the hell transformed The Cage into a bondage dungeon and left me strapped to the rack?! Get me off! (er..)<BR><BR><BR><BR><BR><BR>And hey, the Riddler's apparently down with this (judging by 'Tec #822) so what's the problem? 'Tec #828 rules!, and the only way you're gonna get me to shut up about it is..well.. use your imagination. ;D

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 9:13 p.m. CST

    Please shut up?

    by El Vale

    That was kinda lame but my brain is tired.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 9:19 p.m. CST

    Poor Vale..

    by Thalya

    I'd pat you on the head but I'm afraid I'm a bit restricted at the moment.

  • Feb. 15, 2007, 9:52 p.m. CST

    Like my friends are fond of saying

    by El Vale

    Clapping and whistling, Lady C.

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 1:57 a.m. CST

    where...where am i?

    by Darth Kal-El

    <<<<<looks around at birthing pod iside resurrection ship>>>>i...remember...you...missed...so mush...>>>>>al from quantum leap pulls plug<<<<<<

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 9:08 a.m. CST

    It's morning and girls still wanna have fun.

    by Squashua

    "...I'm a bit restricted at the moment." <br><br> Then how are you typing, Strong Bad?

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 9:54 a.m. CST

    Strong Bad? Huh?..

    by Thalya

    I'm talking to you with my voice from inside The Cage, duh..

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Now do ya feel good?

    by loodabagel

    Allright<br> Really good?<br> Outta sight.<br> What don't you feel<br> Uptight<br> You wanna fight?<br> Not tonight<br> You funky chicken<br> We're dope-ified<br> You happy now?<br> We're satisfied<br> Now whatcha doin?<br> The Side to Side<br> And what's the dance?<br> The side to side!

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Oh my god! I have never seen anything like this...

    by loodabagel

    <p>In the history of proffesionl wrestling! Darth Kal-El is back from the dead! (Darth drops down from the rafters and hits Buzz Maverick with a baseball bat. Ambush Bug jumps into the ring to tag team Darth. What happens next? Tune into Wednesday morning Smackdown to find out!)</p> Welcome back, Darth.

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 10:04 a.m. CST

    Also worth noting...

    by loodabagel

    I don't really listen to Milli Vanilli. Shit, all you do is say a name and evveryone thinks you're in league with the Ruskies...

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 10:08 a.m. CST

    Ghost Rider...

    by loodabagel

    All I've been thinkabout is how much this movie will suck. This morning though, I thought-"Hey, it's a movie about a demon motorcyclist. IT's based ona '70s comic about a demon motorcyclist. Is there really a "Ghost Rider" legacy to be tarnished? I don't think so. Ghost Rider has always been a knid of ridiculous character. As far as I know, there aren't any "great" Ghost Rider stories. I'm coming into this with an open mind. Ghost Rider is silly.

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 10:46 a.m. CST

    Flagrant System Error!

    by Squashua

    Thalya; needs you some education, re: Strong Bad? Put aside 24 consecutive hours of your time, snag Flash-enabled browser, turn your speakers up and go to homestarrunner.com ; or more specifically to the Strong Bad Emails section. <br>http://tinyurl.com/5bjh<br> Start from the bottom, up.

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 10:49 a.m. CST

    Teal Screen of Near Death

    by Squashua

    My bad. Thalya, start here:<br> http://tinyurl.com/daix

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 11:31 a.m. CST

    Critical...Computer Over

    by GreatATuin

    ameedeedleymeedeeleymeeeeeeeeeeeee......And the TROGDOR COMES IN THE NIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGGGGGHHHTTTTTT!

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 12:34 p.m. CST

    Ridiculous To Some, Trippy To Others...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...trippy and ridiculous. Embrace the ridiculous. Everybody grab hold of something anchored down and smoke 'em if you got 'em: most comic books are ridiculous. 99.9% of comic books are ridiculous. The stuff that is supposed to be the most serious is often the most ridiculous. We're grown men and women (okay, two women) who read comic books. How can we bitch about the ridiculous? It's fantasy, okay? A motorcyclist from hell with a flaming skull fits right in. Next, please!

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 1:16 p.m. CST

    Homestarrunner

    by Shigeru

    I feel kind of guilty about that website. I used to be ALL ABOUT IT. In college me and my friends bought the T-Shirts and couldn't wait until the next SB email. Now I haven't looked at it in probably 2-3 years. I feel like it's passed me by and I can never catch up. Oh well... trogdor still rules, though. (And it's in Guitar Hero 2!!)

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 1:21 p.m. CST

    Heathen's tastes (Rustee Blades Trailer)

    by Shigeru

    The Heathen's tastes involves daisy dukes and a water hose. I've met said tastes in person. Aren't you jealous?

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 1:27 p.m. CST

    Japanese cartoons are weird man

    by El Vale

    RE: Ridiculous...there's ridiculous (a plague kills every living mamal with a Y chromosome on the planet) and then there's ridiculous (some idiot biker with a flaming skull for a head goes around...doing stuff). SO yeah, you make a distinction and then it's easier to talk about stuff.

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 4:36 p.m. CST

    we killed the TB

    by Shigeru

    crap

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 5:04 p.m. CST

    Wanna hear about my Hentai experience?

    by Squashua

    I got one. It's mildly disturbing.

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 5:10 p.m. CST

    No, you've got it all wrong...

    by loodabagel

    <p>There's ridiculous and then there's silly. I don't know where the line should be drawn, (maybe between Spider-Man and Spider Ham?) but Ghost Rider is certainly on the silly side of the line. Plus, there's always the merits of class. Y The Last Man is something you sit down and read. Ghost Rider is something you cruise through while slurping Mountain Dews and blasting your favorite Motorhead tape. Maybe you've got headphones on. Maybe you're wearing a cheap leather jacket with a pin on it. I don't know. That's the reason people won't be able to handle the movie, is because they won't allow people to bring 6 packs of Mountain Dew and recliners into the theater.</p> <p>Ya know, I haven't been to Homestarrunner in a long ass time. The Halloween specials were always my favorites. I think I quit because my enemies started watching all the cartoons. I let them ruin it for me. Sigh...

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 5:12 p.m. CST

    Hentai!

    by loodabagel

    Tell me more, oh great Squashua!

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 5:13 p.m. CST

    Hey, we're falling behind guys!

    by loodabagel

    I thought we were trying desparately to be the most popular?

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 5:17 p.m. CST

    Here's My Distinction, El...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...while I love Y THE LAST MAN (there was so much love for that first issue of Y in the @$$hole clubhouse we had one of our rare dibsagreements; I wanted to rave about it but Jon Quixote had a more interesting take -- his Y reviews were some of our best here), nothing screams comic book more than a phrase like "idiot biker with a flaming skull". That's the pure spirit of demented imagination at work. That's the punk ethic. Just saying "stunt rider from hell" brings a smile to my face. If comics aren't fun, why are they comics. They should be something else. Like seminars. Or workshops. Those are no fun whatsoever.

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 5:17 p.m. CST

    You know I didn't change Vog's password...

    by loodabagel

    Otherwise, I could look like I wasn't having a conversation with myself.

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 5:59 p.m. CST

    Now if Ghost Rider also knew Kung Fu...

    by loodabagel

    Damn. What we've got there is possibly the greatest exploitation comic bool ever.

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 6:02 p.m. CST

    Also...

    by loodabagel

    I have returned to Homestarrunner.com and might I say that I think Teen Girl Squad is possibly the funniest thing ever put to pixels?

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 9:20 p.m. CST

    Hentai?

    by Thalya

    Does it involve tentacles?

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 11:33 p.m. CST

    But Buzz!

    by El Vale

    Saying all comic books should be "fun" and demented and yes, silly (thanks looda) is like crippling the entire medium. Why do they have to be just one thing? That's like saying all movies should be...i dunno, action movies or something. Obviously you want entertainment out of your entertainment, but haven't you ever seen a really good movie that wasn't really all that fun, but you still walked out thinking "man, that was good"? I have. <br><br> There's nothing wrong with a comic taking itself seriously because, if it's good, it can engage you in more ways than just one. Emotionally, intelectually etc. I know it sounds incredibly pretentious but why do you have a problem with people trying to make a case for comics as art?

  • Feb. 17, 2007, 9:02 a.m. CST

    Serious arty comics are awesome.

    by Shigeru

    Ghost Rider comics are also awesome! <br>See what I did there? Pay attention, Israelis and Palestinians! <br><br> Remember when Art Adams drew the FF and for some reason it was Wolverine, Spider-Man, Gray Intelligent Hulk, and Ghost Rider? And they fought the Mole Man? Man those are some of my fav comics from my kiddie-hood.

  • Feb. 17, 2007, 12:39 p.m. CST

    weak week

    by Homer Sexual

    Bunch of total yawn reviews. Of course, I could try to write something interesting instead of criticizing.

  • Feb. 17, 2007, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Ghost Rider… was actually sold out last night.

    by The Heathen

    Crazy huh? I guess people didn't want to see Bridge to Ripoffanarnia or whatever it's called. Anyway, I wanted to ask if any of the Cogs, or esteemed @$$es or fellow tb'ers knew of any definitive Ghost Rider story or any that are at least really good? Buzz? Bug? Sleazy? Vroom? Prof? Anyone? Help a Cog out.

  • Feb. 17, 2007, 1:30 p.m. CST

    Heath

    by El Vale

    There's this FF story Art Adams drew where the team consisted of Wolverine, Spider-Man, Gray Intelligent Hulk, and Ghost Rider. That may be the definitive Ghost Rider story.

  • Feb. 17, 2007, 1:36 p.m. CST

    Woohoo!!!

    by Thalya

    In other news, who's reading Green Lantern Corps?!?! Champagne's knocking my socks off! The JLI inside joke on page six was easily the best moment in my read list this week, though JSA came close.

  • Feb. 17, 2007, 4:03 p.m. CST

    Classic Ghost Rider stories?

    by Prof Challenger

    If I think back on Ghost Rider comics I've read, these are the stories that pop immediately to mind, but I can't really tell you which issue numbers they are. There was an issue or two that I read off the 7-11 stand when I was in Jr. High where the Johnny and the Devil had a facedown with the devil all red, horny, and hoofy. But this guy pops up who looks just like Jesus and tells the Devil that he has no claim on Johnny's soul anymore and the Devil runs away screaming. Then I fondly remember the last 5 or 6 issues of the original series that featured some groovy art by Pat Broderick and Danny Bulandi. Then I fondly remember the reboot with the guy who's not Johnny Blaze (Danny Ketch?) that was kind of cool for the first few issues. Beyond that, though, the truth is that other than just an absurdly cool visual of a flaming skull riding a motorcycle, I don't think Ghost Rider's really ever had what anyone would call really "good" stories. Just a few kind of cool stories. Somebody should write that perfect Ghost Rider story and make a name for him or her self. The movie buys sure didn't do it. It's goofy cheezy fun but written for 12 year olds (who will probably LOVE it!). Anyone reading this that can still remember the old USA Network's "Up All Night" show back in the late 80s and early 90s? This GR movie reminded me of a lot of the movies I caught on USA back then...just with better special effects.

  • Feb. 17, 2007, 6:15 p.m. CST

    ALL Comics Shouldn't Be Anything, But...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...to use the Ghost Rider vs. Y analogy, Ghost Rider has a better visual component. Initially, Y was weak visually. I don't know if it picked up after I moved on. The visual component is too often forgotten in modern comics. Too many things are comics simply because the writer, who seems to be the only one who gets to create anything mainstream any more, can get a comic published, whereas they maybe couldn't sell a novel, screenplay or film. For me, Y would have worked better on TV. Technology is now able to move gonzo comics like Ghost Rider onto film, but for awhile, nothing could do a real Hell's Angel with a flaming skull better than Ghost Rider... About comics, though, at their purest they should carry out the verse that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle used to front the first Professor Challenger adventure THE LOST WORLD: "I have wrought my simple plan/ If I give one hour of joy/ To the boy who's half a man/Or the man who's half a boy"...In my experience, comics have been more limited by "serious" works than by anything fun. We get a WATCHMEN and for the next two decades, hacks who don't have a WATCHMEN in them are trying to do WATCHMEN...My favorite Ghost Rider story is not a great story but it's beautiful cheese. Johnny Blaze returns to LA after some pointless fill in issues, to find that his possible love interest, stunt woman Katie Milner, is possessed by demons. Guest star Daimon Hellstrom, the Sunuvsatan, shows up for the exorcism. They duke it out with some demons and Ghost Rider is transported into a trippy Satan-world where he and his late Satan-bait foster dad Crash and his lost love Roxanne must race Satan's minions. Johnny ends up hallucinating that he's being attacked by the various Marvel heroes he's met, so if you liked Spider-Man or the Thing or the Champions and saw them on the cover, you might buy the issue. Anyway, of course, Johnny beats Satan and saves Katie's soul and turns out that Katie was really Roxanne all the time, which I don't know about you, but that kind of thing happens to me all the time.

  • Feb. 17, 2007, 8:28 p.m. CST

    Good things about the Ghost Rider movie

    by Prof Challenger

    The real plusses about the Ghost Rider movie? There are two of them:<p>(1) Nic Cage looks like he's having a blast mugging for the camera as Johnny, and (2) Sam Elliot.

  • Feb. 17, 2007, 8:55 p.m. CST

    Wait Prof..

    by Thalya

    Are you saying Ghost Rider could never crossover with Hulk now, because Sam Elliot's also Thunderbolt Ross.. It's one thing if it's a Stan Lee cameo, but.. :)

  • Feb. 17, 2007, 9:18 p.m. CST

    No way..

    by Prof Challenger

    Sam Elliot changes his look up enough that he could play both parts. OR maybe the Rosses are descendants of the Slades. What? I guess you'll have to go see the moobie to know what I'm talkin' bout. :)

  • Feb. 18, 2007, 2:32 a.m. CST

    sam elliot owns

    by Darth Kal-El

    in tomstone.but GR was a good time. i especially dug the blackheart effects towards the end and the whole texas ranger rider on a horse thing was tits too. on a related subject did anyone else think eva mendez was filmed in 3D?or maybe just good ol double d

  • Feb. 18, 2007, 2:36 a.m. CST

    and looda

    by Darth Kal-El

    thanks for welcoming me back! ive sincerly missed it here but things have been super crazy lately.im trying to be on the tb more often and i appreciate u noticing my return.im in touch with my cogs but have really been too slammed with work and life to come on the board much. but yeah im back...

  • Feb. 18, 2007, 9:11 a.m. CST

    ...

    by blackthought

    after reading all this TBm, I feel 5 percent more retarded...thank u.

  • Feb. 18, 2007, 1:54 p.m. CST

    The reason i compared Ghost Rider to Y

    by El Vale

    My friend and occasional comic book reader once told me he'd read all of Y so far and "even though it was probably the stupidest fucking premise i ever heard, it was REALLY good". <br><br> I agree with you, there was a lot of garbage out there after Watchmen came out, but i don't know if it really did hurt the medium. I mean we still have Watchmen and From Hell and Sandman etc and all the garbage is pretty much forgotten, unlike the preconception that comic books equal superheroes..and all the baggage that accompanies an assumption like that. Thankfully, the trade market is slowly changing that.

  • Feb. 18, 2007, 2:23 p.m. CST

    Vern on Ghost Rider

    by El Vale

    "What I'm saying is you have to have the courage of your convictions. There are nerds all around the world, apparently, who like this comic strip, they take the burning skeleton stunt jumper guy with a spikey jacket seriously, and if they're gonna be filling your bank account you shouldn't make fun of them. And at the same time there are people like me who are going to the movie exactly because it looks so stupid, and we would rather see you take it seriously too because then it would be alot funnier than this bullshit. Treat it seriously and everybody wins. If you think the premise is too stupid to do with a straight face then for God's sake don't make the fucking movie, you assholes" <br><br> My man crush on Vern does not wane.

  • Feb. 18, 2007, 4:53 p.m. CST

    Ghost Rider was a complete piece of crap, but

    by dregmobile

    SPOILERS! <br> <br> is worth seeing for the special effects and seeing a great looking GR on screen. Best line was something like, 'They can take my soul, but not my spirit'. That brought the house down. And shouldn't GR have boiled and evaporated all the water in the lake to kill the 'Water' villain? That scene made no sense whatsoever - like a lot of scenes in that film, I guess.

  • Feb. 18, 2007, 7:19 p.m. CST

    It may have been crap...

    by Prof Challenger

    but it brought in $44.5 million this weekend. And Melbourne, Australia looks juuuuuuuuuusssst like Texas. :)

  • Feb. 18, 2007, 7:31 p.m. CST

    well i rather have ghost rider...

    by blackthought

    making stupid money than norbit and night at the museum.

  • Feb. 18, 2007, 7:40 p.m. CST

    It was pre-300 money

    by Thalya

    Just the same way people whetted for Episode 1 went to see The Matrix and The Mummy and thereby ruined their appetite for the main course. Of course 300 will be much much better, but still..

  • Feb. 18, 2007, 7:52 p.m. CST

    300

    by dregmobile

    I actually think 300 won't open so big. I think it's gonna alienate women, and that's a large slice of cinema audiences (DEVIL WEARS PRADA, TITANIC). <br> <br> Wide shot of truck leaving city in background, cut to closer shot of city - and it's a completely different city!!! Melbourne's skyline is tiny, and then you have some American city for the close-ups. At least in MATRIX: RELOADED they CGI'd the entire city, using elements of the Sydney cityscape and others. Anyway, the important thing was GR himself and he looked great. <br> <br> Has anyone read PEANUT BUTTER AND JEREMY'S BEST BOOK EVER? I just started it and it's great. Cute and witty with great simplistic expressions in the characters.

  • Feb. 18, 2007, 8:26 p.m. CST

    The GR visuals..

    by Prof Challenger

    are worth the price of admission to see it on the big screen. Definitely.

  • Feb. 18, 2007, 9:11 p.m. CST

    No fucking way

    by El Vale

    Hey Hollywood, keep regurgitating these asinine and poorly thought out shit fests and i'll be there on opening weekend as long as they got purdy images to look at! For bloody ONCE let us send these moronic studio heads the proper message.

  • Feb. 18, 2007, 10:31 p.m. CST

    Same thing happened with F4

    by dregmobile

    Except it was bad and there was NOTHING nice to look at. Yep ... even Jessica Alba looked horrible in that film. And here comes the sequel!

  • Feb. 18, 2007, 11:10 p.m. CST

    The only Ghost Rider review anybody needs...

    by loodabagel

    myspace.com/loodalou

  • Feb. 18, 2007, 11:26 p.m. CST

    Sorry looda

    by El Vale

    YOu're a tad late for that party. The only Ghost Rider review anybody needs, Vern wrote about 2 days ago.

  • Feb. 19, 2007, 12:20 a.m. CST

    Hey guys, help me out

    by El Vale

    Should i read the 7 Soldiers minis in any particular order?

  • Feb. 19, 2007, 12:02 p.m. CST

    read them all disjointed

    by Shigeru

    1 here, 1 there.

  • Feb. 19, 2007, 12:05 p.m. CST

    I can't believe all you people...

    by Shigeru

    went and saw GR this weekend, knew it was gonna be crap, and admit that it was crap! But guess what? It made $51M!? That means THEY WON. Way to be a cog. No, not a Cog. But a cog. Yarg!

  • Feb. 19, 2007, 12:06 p.m. CST

    Sorry for my bitchiness.

    by Shigeru

    Oh wait...here it comes...there's more!! <br> 'Tec #8whatever: COMPLETE SUCKFEST. Yeah you heard me, Thalya.

  • Feb. 19, 2007, 12:06 p.m. CST

    I think regular Rogue Monday...

    by Thalya

    ..snorted cherry pie filling and became super-duper Rogue Presidents' Day Monday! <BR><BR>Turtle! Break out the ninja T-Rexes! We're gonna need backup!

  • Feb. 19, 2007, 12:10 p.m. CST

    Gah!!! Don't you be dissin ma Riddla, Shig!

    by Thalya

    And it's 'Tec #828 for that matter. That's the best issue of anything I've read this year. Suck on that!<BR><BR>And wait, you read cape books?<BR><BR><BR>And P.S. I saw neither Ghost Rider nor Superman Returns nor X-3. I can see the writing on the wall miiiiiiillleesss away.

  • Feb. 19, 2007, 12:20 p.m. CST

    You're out of your...er, mind

    by Shigeru

    Best issue of anything this year ('07)?? Creezus. I have no problem with one-shot issues, but boring ones about museum art fraud and dudes with pinapples (sorry, blowfish LOL) on their heads almost killing Batman aren't my cup o' tea. Especially when said ish is filled with half-pages of EXPOSITION TIME! dialogue. And the "look, over there! the lady who was helping him all along!"... total Scooby-Doo stuff. If you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go scrub my brain with a brillo pad in an attempt to get the image of Riddler taking off his tie, wrapping it around an arrow and then lighting it on fire out of my mind. <br><br>I picked it up on your recommendation, and cause I've like a couple of the previous Dini 'Tec issues. I don't buy a lot of cape stuff... in fact, what I picked up from the shop on Saturday was as follows: Y The Last Man #54, Ultimate Spidey #105, The Other Side #5, Scalped #2, Astonishing X-Men #20 (HOLY SHIT SO GOOD), The 60cent issue of Godland, and the first SCOTT PILGRIM trade.

  • Feb. 19, 2007, 12:25 p.m. CST

    oh and Detective Comics #828

    by Shigeru

    obviously

  • Feb. 19, 2007, 12:42 p.m. CST

    Riddler taking off his tie was the best part!

    by Thalya

    *whistles**catcalls*<BR><BR> Besides, the point of it was, while it was a regular done-in-one, Riddler's getting advanced and it's only a matter of time now before he goes bad again and remembers that Bruce Wayne is Batman. The undercurrent was more the point than the actual story, and most everything that occurs in the story thematically supports it.<BR><BR>And dude, we had Batman fighting sharks! How could you NOT like it?!

  • Feb. 19, 2007, 12:43 p.m. CST

    I don't count!

    by loodabagel

    Didn't buy a ticket.

  • Feb. 19, 2007, 12:43 p.m. CST

    I don't count!

    by loodabagel

    Didn't buy a ticket.

  • Feb. 19, 2007, 1:20 p.m. CST

    AXM was awesome

    by El Vale

    I'm really fucking enjoying this storyline. Best moment? "I worry about the others", and they're all having tea courtesy of Emma Frost...that fucking panel brought the biggest smile to my face. <br><br> Y #54...i gotta get me some of that.

  • Feb. 19, 2007, 1:25 p.m. CST

    Fuck YOU Peter Parker

    by Psynapse

    That whining pansy-ass gets bitchin' superpowers from a spider bite. Me? I get 4 days wanting to die, $125.00 in medical bills (antibiotic shots to the ass BUUUURN), 2 days missed from work and a hole the size of a dime on my left arm between my elbow and shoulder. (oh yeah, and I haven't had more than 2 hours of continuous sleep since last wednesday because every time I roll over on to my left side it feels like I'm being cattle branded). So yeah, FUCK YOU May Parker's ultimate emo-nephew...

  • Feb. 19, 2007, 2:10 p.m. CST

    That SUCKS, Psy!

    by Shigeru

    Rachel was bitten by a Spider on the foot in college and she didn't get super-powers, either! She just got really freaking sick, a swollen foot, and a trip to the hospital. Brown recluse?

  • Feb. 19, 2007, 2:28 p.m. CST

    SO um

    by El Vale

    Is today like a holiday of sorts?

  • Feb. 19, 2007, 2:30 p.m. CST

    You're exactly right!

    by Thalya

    President's Day in th U.S., Vale. Some businesses (not mine) have off.

  • Feb. 19, 2007, 2:51 p.m. CST

    Oh...figures

    by El Vale

    Thanks dahlin'.

  • Feb. 19, 2007, 3:32 p.m. CST

    yeah i don't get it off too

    by Shigeru

    we didn't get mlk day off either. apparently we're commie racists.

  • Feb. 19, 2007, 4:58 p.m. CST

    Brown Recluse? dunno yet....

    by Psynapse

    Still waiting for the pathology to come back. I just know that A) it sucked MAJOR (and still does, I feel like I could sleep for a week), cost me more money than I had to spare (thank god for friend's parents with money to lend) and just well....sucked.

  • Feb. 19, 2007, 6:49 p.m. CST

    psy that sucks man

    by Darth Kal-El

    fucking fake advertiesment marvel with their spider bites=super powers/hot redhead chicks.sorry to hear about it ron!i didnt get presdicents day off or MLK either but i called off on MLK.fucking racist commies aint making me go to work

  • Feb. 19, 2007, 6:54 p.m. CST

    I'm not sure the hot red-headed chicks..

    by Thalya

    ..would be a selling point for dear Psy-fi. Hot James Franco types maybe? *hugz to Psy-fi on the non-hurty side* Poor dude, you don't get many breaks.. You are kinda like Peter Parker though. Just one thing: NEVER EVER EVER reveal your secret ID, 'k?

  • Feb. 19, 2007, 7:05 p.m. CST

    Secret ID?

    by El Vale

    You mean Amazing Cranky-Sick-Man?

  • Feb. 19, 2007, 7:38 p.m. CST

    And Vale...

    by loodabagel

    You were right. Vern's reviews really are the only ones that matter. Too bad I'm not him.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 12:43 p.m. CST

    GR Didn't Make Money BCuz It Was Good Or People R Dumb

    by Buzz Maverik

    It made money because there is something in that image of the flaming skull. It is tremendously iconic and powerful and I think it says something about the collective unconscious. There's also something in the modern psyche about putting it on a motorcycle. Every bad ass and wannabee badass and former bad ass responds to that image. I remember seeing this guy who looked like a former biker stop his family in front of my LCS. A Ghost Rider Dynamic Forces statue (or statuette, except the only "ettes" this guy would buy would be cigarettes) was in the window. The guy went in and paid whatever the hell stupid sum of money they charge for that crap. You could tell he had no interest in comics or fantasy or even...literacy but that image got him. Why wasn't the book a best seller? Because it was always a mess, created by an alcoholic writer and dropped into the hands of others who tried to superheroize it. Anybody skateboard? Look at the Powell Peralta McGill logo (which includes a snake along with the flaming skull). All the intellectual writing in the world isn't going drive the point home like the power of Jungian symbolism (which is why Spider-Man should have never revealed his secret identity, but that's another matter).

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 12:47 p.m. CST

    DC just solicited Countdown..

    by Thalya

    Or Newsarama reported on it rather, that it'll be in this month's Previews.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 1:54 p.m. CST

    Ghost Rider moobie, 'Tec #828, AXM #20, etc.

    by The Heathen

    First off, I hated the Fantastic Four movie and I thought that Ghost Rider made it look like Spider-Man 2 or Batman Begins as far as superhero movies are concerned. I went Sunday night with my wife and friend because we thought it would be a 'fun' kind of bad like a Bruce Campbell movie on Sci-Fi or something, but instead it was just bad, horrible, awful, the worst movie I've seen in ages. Christina looked at me at one point and said, "It's like they're using special effects to show us that the can." I love my wife for reasons like that. The effects were horrible!!! From the lamest villain ever who can anorex-ize(?) people to the wind villain (LOL) to GR's plastic looking skull. Oh man it was so bad. My friend even hated it and he likes a lot of bullshit like this. The only reason we didn't leave was because of Sam Elliot and even he was the only one half-acting. When it comes down to it though, no sweat off my back. I've only read two GR comics ever so if Johnny Blaze doesn't eat Jelly Beans out of martini glasses or listen to classical music while watching a monkey doing karate then it didn't bother me and if he does do that stuff why would I read that shit anyways? It was almost bad enough to be good, but not quite. I'm sorry for those who've read Preacher. Mark Steven Johnson is bound to fuck it up. Everything he does is worse than the last thing. Simon Birch > Daredevil > Ghost Rider. <br> <br> 'Tec #828 was good, but c'mon T, in no way was it the best issue this year nor the best issue of Dini's run either. The best this year has been All Star Supes #6 and AXM #20. <br> <br> AXM is the best. I love that panel too Vale! The pacing and the way they cut between the three groups was masterful. I loved Wolverine and Hisako's conversation after they've landed and he's regenerating. I wish Whedon and Cassaday would do another 25 issues after this run. <br> <br> That's it for me. Hope everyone had a good weekend. Sorry about the spidey bite Psy. One got Christina when she was little and she's still afraid of spiders.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 1:56 p.m. CST

    All that, Buzz...

    by El Vale

    And the trailer made it look really cool. At least i thought it was cool.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 2:03 p.m. CST

    re: DC just solicited Countdown..

    by The Heathen

    So it's 52 in reverse order? Err… doesn't sound too enticing. Dini being the head writer does, but the reverse order thing is balls. I've liked 52, but I couldn't wait until it was over so I could not have to remind myself where who was when you know? <br> <br> Can anyone tell me what happened in Civil War #6? I never read it and I guess I want to know considering #7 is finally coming out. DID anything happen? I haven't heard anything besides it's crap.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 2:34 p.m. CST

    You're right, Vale…

    by The Heathen

    Vern never disappoints. Awesome review.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 2:38 p.m. CST

    Somehow..

    by Thalya

    I get the feeling that Countdown might be what I was wanting 52 to be, namely absolute wild and craziness throughout the DCU, characters from different ends juxtaposed for no apparent reason, but done in new and inventive ways to place the emphasis on character and the wonder that they all exist in the same universe.. (and with no LULLS!!!)<BR><BR>Drat.<BR><BR><BR>I have faith in Dini, but DC's wearing on me, and it doesn't help that they tend to get only 2 story arcs a year for each book because of all the decompression going on.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Oh Thalyaaaa...

    by Psynapse

    Some fool named "Messi" dissed the Calculator in the Heroes TB. Get 'em girl!

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 2:49 p.m. CST

    If I could fix ONE THING about Newsarama...

    by Squashua

    ...and that's saying something from someone posting from AiCN, is that they need a damn RSS feed for their primary website. Not just for the BLOG, which has a RSS feed, but for the main site.<br><br> Or maybe it has one and I just don't know about it.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 2:53 p.m. CST

    Oh and Vale?

    by Psynapse

    It's "Amazing-LY cranky sick man" thank you very much. (*_^)

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 2:54 p.m. CST

    *snarls* *Hulks out* Where?!

    by Thalya

    Hulk smash! Faster pussycat! Kill! Kill!

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 2:59 p.m. CST

    It is done...

    by Thalya

    *chomps and swallows*

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 3:29 p.m. CST

    This is brilliant...

    by Thalya

    http://www.wizarduniverse.com/magazine/wizard/003562848.cfm <BR><BR>Dini is the perfect man for the job. I just hope he can keep doing 'Tec..

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 3:56 p.m. CST

    Hey Psy

    by El Vale

    How does one avoid a spider bite?

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 5:55 p.m. CST

    I Guess Sayin' "Oh, Thalyaaa.."Is Cool Enough...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...but I always used to hope that some other gang of comic book critics would show up here someday and say, "Oh, @$$holes, come out to pla-ay! Oh, @$$holes, come out to pla-aaay!" while some clicking bottles together over their computer. Then, the @$$holes would start smashing up crates and working loose pipes and Bug would say to me, "You covered?" and I'd pop a switchblade and slide it into my back belt loop and we'd go meet the rival critics on the beach.

  • Feb. 20, 2007, 5:57 p.m. CST

    I Got Bit By A Spider Once & All I Got...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...was, like, this dome of pus in my ear. No super powers or anything.

  • Feb. 21, 2007, 8:17 a.m. CST

    Countdown

    by Shigeru

    should be renamed, "we're taking even MORE of your filthy money, suckers." spare me.

  • Feb. 21, 2007, 8:30 a.m. CST

    Civil War #6 for Heath

    by Shigeru

    Um uh Punisher broke into the Baxter Building and stole plans for the gulag thingy. Couple of villains showed up and tried to join Cap's side but Punny pops some caps in their asses, causing Cap (LOTS OF CAPS) to punch his face. Hulking has been impersonating Hank Pym and breaks out the heros in the super-prison. Iron Man & co. are waiting for Cap & co. at the gulag thingy... all hell's about to break loose. <br><br> there you have it. thank God the last issue is out today...can we move on plz...

  • Feb. 21, 2007, 8:37 a.m. CST

    *roll**roll**roll**crash!* STRIKE!!!

    by Thalya

    er, sorry Shig..

  • Feb. 21, 2007, 8:39 a.m. CST

    her bloody mind

    by Shigeru

    it's lost

  • Feb. 21, 2007, 9:13 a.m. CST

    Dude..

    by Thalya

    I stopped watching Lost.

  • Feb. 21, 2007, 11:59 a.m. CST

    Shig…

    by The Heathen

    you make it sound worth reading almost. I may go by Books-A-Million and read the last one. Look at that, new column is up. <br> <br> Last.

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