Comics

AICN COMICS Q& @ with WARREN ELLIS about BLACK SUMMER! REVIEWS! Joss Whedon's RUNAWAYS! And a slew of Indie Jones!!!!

Published at: April 11, 2007, 12:57 p.m. CST


#55 4/4/07 #5

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) Q & @ with Warren Ellis on Avatar Press’ BLACK SUMMER OMEGA FLIGHT #1 RUNAWAYS #25 AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE #1 THE MIGHTY ANT-MAN #7 FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN #19 Indie Jones presents BIZARRE NEW WORLD #1-3 Indie Jones presents FALLING SKY OGN Indie Jones presents FALL OF CTHULHU #0-1 Indie Jones presents… Tales From the Crevice: It Came From the Nineties – SANDMAN MYSTERY THEATER

INTERVIEW WITH WARREN ELLIS

Warren Ellis has made quite a name for himself in comics. He’s embraced almost every genre harvesting new ideas and utilizing fresh storytelling techniques for both mainstream and independent comic book companies. One such independent company, Avatar Press is teaming up with Ellis along with artist Juan Jose Ryp to bring us BLACK SUMMER. Mr. Ellis was kind enough to answer some questions about this upcoming project.
First and foremost, why Avatar for BLACK SUMMER? Why didn't you go with a company more acclimated to producing superhero-centric stories like either of the big two or even Image?

Because this emerged from a bet that Avatar publisher William Christensen sent me. We do this every now and then -- it's how BLACKGAS and WOLFSKIN happened. It keeps my brain turning over, and, frankly, I'm 39 now and my brain needs all the help it can get. The bet revolved around superhero fiction and the "event programming" kind of book -- we'd been talking about 24 and that kind of intense, involved, twisty storytelling. Originally, we'd been talking about eight-page weekly episodes. And this conversation's been going on for 18 months or more. Eventually, I wrote the first episode, what is now the Zero chapter, and said something along the lines of "gotcha, fucker. Send me the whores and goats now." And then he got me. I sent in the second part and he said, this seems awfully crushed, we should do it as a seven-issue series...
Bastard.

Is BLACK SUMMER going to run in the vein of THE AUTHORITY when it comes to its "change the world" philosophy? Meaning, is this going to be a world forced to change directly by one person or persons pushing it to happen, or is this going to follow a world that comes to rely on its heroes to the point where they basically govern the planet?

It's not a long-form project. It's a self-contained miniseries, a serialized graphic novel, exploring one idea from several angles: where do you draw the line? If you're committed/mental enough to become a masked street vigilante in the first place, where do you draw the line in your pursuit of justice?

So according to the solicit for BLACK SUMMER there are apparently some political overtones that shape the events in the book. Are we looking at some parallels to what is going on in the current political climate in our own reality or are maybe we even looking at some future-casting, a look at what could be happening if things keep unfolding they way they are now?

I think it's just an apposite time for people to consider applying justice to authority. The minute the words "illegal war" come out of anyone's mouth, you're into the question of authority's culpability for death in any designated war zone. And it's hardly the first time it's happened, of course. It just happens to be the political ambience at a time when I was looking at superhero fiction again and considering what questions were left to be asked of the genre.

With THE AUTHORITY, and even STORMWATCH to an extent, whenever it came down to "right or wrong" scenarios those books played it very Black and White. These guys were the bastards, the good guys came in and cleaned up the mess (leaving behind a little debris of their own in the wake). Is there a kind of similar philosophy that's going to be running in BLACK SUMMER or are there going to be a lot of shades of grey in the big picture?

Oh, a lot. And I'd even question the black and white of STORMWATCH and particularly THE AUTHORITY to an extent. From a certain perspective, The Authority were absolutely the bad guys -- it just happened that, as in JUDGE DREDD, the other side were even worse.
But yeah: BLACK SUMMER is a situation where a member of a "superhero team" has taken the rule of law into his own hands, and the remaining members of the team -- many of whom don't even talk to each other any more -- have their own reaction to what that man did on a unilateral basis.

Are we going to be seeing much "traditional superheroing" going on--i.e. your usual assortment of costumed powers taking down evil doppelgangers of themselves? Or is that just the framework you're using to do a more in-depth examination of the questions the series raises?

None of that, no. As I say, it's a graphic novel, a single story told in serial. One of the Seven Guns has done something frightening, and it's about society's reaction to that, the rest of the team's reaction to that, and the hard decisions about what needs to be done next. Which is made harder by the fact that the rest of the team are tarred by the same brush as John Horus, the man who killed the President...

Are you anticipating a shitstorm in the mainstream media, considering the content of the story? Is it something you intend to actively court the way Marvel's done recently, or would you just as soon avoid it entirely?

I don't have time for all that. I don't expect any MSM reaction in any case. It's a big operatic superhero comic, it doesn't have the intent of, say, the "Death of The President" fictional-documentary of recent months. The act itself doesn't go unquestioned; it's not a didactic thing that makes an unchallenged case for the execution of a sitting President, and no names of living persons are used.

Recently there has been a whole lot of tearing down, disassembling, and deconstructing of heroes. Why do you think it is such a popular thing to do these days in comics?

Recently? It's been an ongoing process for twenty-five years or more, going right back to MARVELMAN and MOON KNIGHT. Hell, one reason why I wrote THE AUTHORITY the way I did was that we'd had twenty years of de-mystification of the superhuman and I figured we were due a little bit of super-mystification. It's just another palette, these days, and part of my thinking on BLACK SUMMER was that I hadn't really done a lot of that and wanted to give it a go. It comes down to asking questions of the genre, as opposed to obeying and enjoying the genre or, as in PLANETARY, scraping away the weeds and dog shit around the roots of the genre to get a good look at where it all came from. There's no big socio-cultural axe to grind, I'm just looking for a good story...

Can we expect more Avatar projects like BLACK SUMMER, WOLFSKIN, and BLACK GAS in the near future?

I have a ton of new projects coming through Avatar. William and I have been talking a lot about changing people's expectations of Avatar as a publisher. This summer I'm doing a historical graphic novella, CRECY, and a new long-form sf serial, DOKTOR SLEEPLESS, through Avatar, and there's more to come.

Are you done with the BLACK GAS and WOLFSKIN properties, or do you find yourself coming up with new ideas to continue them at some point?

I'm done for the moment. Maybe in a few years I'd take another crack at WOLFSKIN. I will, however, be writing another three-issue STRANGE KISS book sometime this year.

Is there a genre of comics that you won't go near?

Musical comedy.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to talk with you. BLACK SUMMER is solicited for June 2007.


OMEGA FLIGHT #1

Writer: Michael Avon Oeming Artist: Scott Kolins Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Ambush Bug

OK, let’s get this out right off the bat.
Is it scrawled somewhere in the Marvel offices that every first issue of a new series has to have the hero/heroes of the moment fight the Wrecking Crew? Don’t get me wrong. I like the Wrecking Crew. I think they have some cool powers and a nice little history in the Marvel U. I especially like their role as hell-raisers in MARVEL SUPER HEROES SECRET WAR and the main dudes who put a hurtin’ on Jarvis when the Masters of Evil were actually evil and laying siege to the Avengers Mansion (you newbs just don’t know what kind of coolness you missed back in the day). But to see this group of brawlers take on everyone from the Runaways to She-Hulk to Captain Ultra, and now Alpha…I mean…Omega Flight, it kind of dilutes the threat factor, knowwhatumsayin’? Marvel has a rich history with many, many characters (heroes and villains). I think Marvel needs to dig a bit deeper into the villain pool next time they think about a first issue foe.
Now that that’s out of the way, I am here to decree Alpha Flight the JLI of the Marvel Universe. Not only have they suffered from bad to horrid relaunches throughout the last years, but Brian Michael Bendis (who admitted he knew nothing about the characters) writes the team who once was close to Marvel’s number one book into a one panel death scene in one of the worst issues of NEW AVENGERS ever. In this issue, the sole survivor of that onslaught looks to be pushing up daisies as well. I understand and commend the writer (Michael Avon Oeming) for giving this character an entire issue as a spotlight (it’s much more of a sendoff than BMB gave the entire team when the Collective walked through them like tissue paper in NA), but can’t we have a few members of Alpha Flight in this new incarnation? After reading this issue, I was left, once again, pissed and screaming “the fuck?” Like DC, Marvel seems to be putting forth the bold message that characters that once embodied a feeling of fun have no place in modern comics. Alpha Flight was always that quirky team of misfits with weird looking costumes and powers. They were fun to look at and read. Now…they’re just dead and we have another series whose sole purpose is to make up for a mistake offhandedly made by Bendis.
Apparently there hasn’t been enough death and sandcastle stomping in the Marvel Universe these days, so Marvel decided to resurrect Alpha Flight. This time they decided to call it Omega Flight because it’s no longer cool to be the first line of defense. Now they’re the last line. They’re in the back with all the cool kidz now.
Uhm…yay?
I’ve loved pretty much every incarnation of ALPHA FLIGHT since Byrne decided to take a chance with the quirky band of heroes in the late eighties. I read the conspiracy-laced relaunch from the nineties and thought it was cancelled too soon. I even chuckled a bit when the team was resurrected as comic fodder for a twelve or so issue series a few years ago. But I don’t know if I can get behind this series, not even on a nostalgic level.
I mean, so far, there aren’t even any Canadian members on the team. SHIELD decrees that USAgent and Julia Carpenter/Arachne /Spider-Woman have to be members. We know from the CIVIL WAR fill-ins that the Collective (the guy who killed the last Alpha Flight) has been recruited as a way to redeem himself. Beta Ray Bill is included seemingly for shits, giggles, and whythefucks?!?! And it looks as if, due to the way things turn out for the one lone Alpha Flight member still breathing (for now), the original Shaman’s daughter Talisman will probably join out of a sense of obligation and guilt over how this issue ends.
So we have an Alpha Flight with one Canadian, an alien, a lame-ass who is able to access any mutant power lost during the lamer-assed HOUSE OF M debacle, an ex-junkie heroine, and the Guy Gardner of the Marvel Universe. Normally, I’d jump at this offbeat team-up if not for the ramshackle way this issue was put together. Other than Talisman, none of the other team members on the cover actually show up. It’s just the last surviving Alphan trying to get the band back together then tussling disastrously with the Wrecking Crew. Since this is supposed to be a five issue miniseries, wouldn’t one think that the writer would get the team together quickly? 20% of the story is over already and not one member of the team has showed up. Despite some decent lines by Oeming, I think he could have picked up the pace with this first issue a wee bit. I know originally, when Oeming first signed on, this book was supposed to be an ongoing and not a mini. But that’s no excuse for this type of slackass storytelling where the writer is too busy trying to be clever by setting up the person you think is supposed to be the hero as the fall guy and the real hero/heroes doesn’t/don’t even show up until issue two…maybe.
It’s no shocker who is on the team either, so why shroud it in mystery in the story when the members are plastered on the front cover?
There is a clever sequence as some school children talk about clones and bring up inconsistencies prevalent throughout Alpha Flight’s rich past. And this is the best art I’ve seen from Scott Kolins since he left the FLASH, but I just can’t recommend this book because of the sloppy and meandering pacing, the uninspired choice of villainy, the stupid marketing (mainly the inconsistency between cover and content), and the taste of turds in my mouth from Bendis’ mistreatment of the characters in NA and this “piss-on-the-grave” move by not even having any Canadians in a book that once took pride in being offbeat representatives of our Northern neighbors.

RUNAWAYS # 25

Writer: Joss Whedon Penciler: Michael Ryan Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewed by Humphrey Lee

So after taking time to give the team that created this little book of teenaged, superpowered misfits a little bit of a sendoff with last issue, I figure it's up to me to go ahead and take a gander at the new boys at the helm--that being mastermind of the Buffyverse Joss Whedon and penciling veteran Michael Ryan.
Now, first things first, I'm already caught a little off guard because this book started in no way what I expected it to; with mixed feelings. When we last saw our ragtag band, they had just one upped the godlike beings that were the cause of the Pride (the evil organization that was headed by the RUNAWAYS parents), the Gibborim, and had returned home to find themselves staring face to face with junior fascist Iron Man. And from there I was expecting a full blown "Registered Runaways" and blah blah storyline, which I was almost okay with and even kind of prepared for since Marvel decided to go ahead and throw together a completely disposable RUNAWAYS VS. YOUNG AVENGERS mini for CIVIL WAR.
But alas it was not to be and instead of being treated to that we're thrown into a scenario I'd have never imagined this book doing...having dinner with The Kingpin? And honestly, is he even the Kingpin right now? I don't even know what is going on with the guy. First he's in jail with Matt Murdock, and then he's getting acquitted by MM as well, and then he's putting out hits on Spider-Man, and now he's offering our protagonists protection while they're in the Big Apple in exchange for one little favor involving a little bit of theft. Oh well. I don't know and I'm sure Marvel Editorial doesn't either, no need to dwell, he's there for a reason and gets to the point rather quickly.
Honestly, there isn't much going on in this particular issue beyond that encounter with the portly crime lord. This issue is more to set the stage for the arc as a whole, it looks. The emphasis here is more on giving a little bit of a glimpse of a new foil for the Runaways, and for Whedon to flex his characterization muscles and show us he understands the characters. This is key given the whole drive of this book is the characters and their particular quirks and the changes they go through. Little side encounters between the team show that Whedon still knows his awkward teenagers, and understands the complex relationships Brian K. Vaughan instilled amongst his creations before he let them run free. There's a nice little jolt of action towards the end of the book when the crew are attempting to honor their end of the bargain with the Kingpin that shows that next issue should be chock full of adrenaline as one very angry and heavily armed man in black is now involved in the whole debacle.
The art chores are also in good hands, as Michael Ryan brings some really detailed stuff to the world of the Runaways. As much as I still didn't want to see BKV leave this title, I knew at least that Whedon had the same kind of touch and therefore could work well on this. But on art I wasn't so sure. Alphona's art was a very integral part of how this title worked as well, and his unique blend of realism and cartoonism was going to be sorely missed. And it still is, but Ryan brings the house when it comes to loading every single panel (or damn near) with so much detail that it really does bring a new life to the pages. Every page has so much eye candy going for it, but also never loses the heart of the book with the extra emphasis he puts on his facial ticks. Ryan's art is also another successful "casting call" when it came to this new direction.
So overall this was a pretty solid read. We know our creative crew can handle these characters, so that's a big plus, and there's some pushing and nudging towards a greater story, so we've got something to look forward to. I was hoping for more of a "jump right in and go for it" approach (which to be honest this does have to an extent) but I can handle a slow burn for an issue and the interpersonal stuff was handled really well so the story paced itself well. This actually does make a good jumping on point if you're one of the many fans who probably had no idea this book existed until Joss "Goth Overlord" Whedon's name became attached to it, but there will be some details that will probably go over your head at first so it would be nice if you went out and at least tried some of those nifty digests that cover the span of the book thus far to see what you missed. But this was a nice start to what I hope turns out to be another great chapter in the saga of the RUNAWAYS. Go Joss go. I know you can do it.

AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE #1

Writer: Dan Slott Artist: Stefano Caselli Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Ambush Bug

I find it funny that so many people rip on the old New Universe, yet so many of today’s writers lift “hot ‘n fresh” ideas from that failed line of Marvel books from the eighties. During the final months of that comic book line, THE DRAFT was released. Since sales were so low, the heroes of the cancelled books were all glommed together into one story. The premise was this: After a devastating event which destroyed the city of Pittsburgh, the military initiated a draft which required all superhumans to register and receive army training. It was a boot camp/FULL METAL JACKET-type book that focused on the training of these various heroes, putting them through a rigorous training process in order to prepare and keep tabs on them to be used whenever the need arose.
Sound familiar?
Well, it should because toss in the above synopsis and a heaping dose of YOUNG AVENGERS and you’ve got AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE #1.
Writer Dan Slott does a decent job of working with the mess Marvel has become over the last few months. He’s trying his damndest to make pro-registration characters seem sympathetic even though there is a strong stench of Nazi-style politics going on at the book’s core. Young women and men are enlisted without much choice to undergo a rigorous training regimen. If they pass, they become full-blooded, board certified and registered American heroes assigned to serve on one of the fifty superteams sanctioned in every US state. If they don’t pass, they are “grounded.” Although we aren’t given the full details on what “grounded” means, we are given a clue as one hero’s superpowers are literally stripped from her body at the end of this issue. Never the subtle storyteller, Slott even gives the doctor in charge of the “grounding” a thick German accent and the name Dr. Von Blitzschlag.
The young heroes introduced are interesting enough, but their resemblance to the Young Avengers and the Runaways are a bit too distracting. There’s a goth kid. An all-American descendant of Dr. Erskine (the guy who created the Super Soldier serum). A chick who can fly on clouds (whose resemblance to the old Defenders member Cloud may seem uncanny to us old-schoolers). A chick with a gun for an arm (with SHE-HULK’s Southpaw and this issue’s introduction of Gauntlet, who I’ll get to later, I think Slott has filed his quota on characters with weapons for appendages). A chick who consumed a lizard formula from Dr. Curt Connors. And a dude who seems to be able to make balls appear over his hands (he’s popular in certain clubs, I’m imagine). These characters are your typical BREAKFAST CLUB grouping. Nothing we haven’t seen before. Not badly conceived, just blandly familiar.
And because Marvel is sorely lacking in the “angry black man” department, the aforementioned Gauntlet is introduced. He’s a hard-nosed, no nonsense African American military hero with a mechanical thingee replacing his hand. His job is to whup these new recruits into shape. Which leads me to ask the question, “Why are all African American Marvel heroes so angry?” We’ve got Luke Cage, Ultimate Samuel L. Jackson, Black Panther, War Machine, Falcon, Supreme Power’s Nighthawk, and a guy who is actually named Rage, fer chrissakes. I know plenty of African American guys and not all of them are angry. Some of them are damn funny or quite sensitive. But in the Marvel Universe, the rule not only is that if you have super powers, you MUST register. Nope, the carvings on the wall also states that if you’re black, you’ve got to be super-pissed.
Like I said, the story itself, although plodding through familiar territory, isn’t bad. Slott amps up the unpredictability factor in a Danger Room style sequence towards the end. If you’re looking for Slott’s trademark funny, you aren’t gonna find it here (although Slapstick does show up for a panel or two). Slott has a big cast to play around with and enough respect for Marvel history to make me come back for a second helping. The art is an added bonus. Stefano Caselli gives the book an animated cell quality with crisp, dark lines which really give the characters depth in the panel. Here’s hoping that, with this series, Slott can squeeze a diamond out of the coal mine Marvel has thrown its universe into. So far, he’s going by the books, but Slott is a good enough writer (as seen in his excellent SHE-HULK and THING series) to make AVENGERS: THE INTIATIVE into something interesting.

THE MIGHTY ANT-MAN #7

Writer: Robert Kirkman Penciler: Cory Walker Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewed by Humphrey Lee

So this is what it comes to: a shameless tie-in to Marvel's MIGHTY AVENGERS mixed in with Kirkman's unsympathetic take on an old superhero archetype, the shrinking man. And honestly, I can't really blame them at this point. The sales on this are pretty dismal, showing once again that in the comic book industry it doesn't really matter what's in the pages, but who's on them (or is it whom? Me sucky at English). But the book really is hitting a stride and becoming a very entertaining read each month. This isn't exactly a "high art" book or anything. This isn't my making a case for something like a FABLES that is criminally underbought and is one of the best books the market has to offer from an entertainment AND quality standpoint; I'm just here to say that ANT-MAN is a very fun book, and it really would be a crime if its shelf life was to be cut off prematurely.
The first several issues did have some trouble spots admittedly. The way the narrative jumped around from flashbacks set primarily in two different periods, plus how they unfolded in "current time", was a bit jarring but now that all that stuff is out of the way this book is hitting a really nice stride. And this issue in particular strides to one main point (or three depending how you look at it): Ms. Marvel TNA. That's right, the World's Most Unlikeable Superhero has set his perverted sights on Marvel's quickest up-and-coming fanboy sex symbol, and hilarity ensues.
What is great about it all is that Kirkman, much like his much maligned creation, just doesn't care when it comes to the levels of depravity he's willing to write here. This issue literally is 22 pages of Eric hiding around Ms. Marvel at her "home" and on the job trying to take in as much of her lovely female form as he possibly can. There's even a two-page, sixteen panel grid dedicated to Eric just looking at her lovelies while she's in the shower. His perversion knows no bounds and the fact that Kirkman revels in it just makes it comedy gold. The same goes for ANT-MAN's impromptu "team up" with THE MIGHTY AVENGERS and how through the entire time we find Eric trying to figure out how he can capitalize on the situation he's in with Avengers all around him and how he can turn it into the beginnings of a fortune. And he does it all in a way where you obviously can't help be a little disgusted by his actions, but at the same time your amusement at them makes you kind of cheer for him a little inside (think anytime you take a friend out drinking and he makes a total drunken jackass out of himself with the ladies).
Honestly, from a pure entertainment standpoint, this was probably my top book that I read this past week. I haven't had so many chuckles and yeah, even total Laugh Out Loud moments from a comic since I was getting monthly fixes of NEXTWAVE (another prime example or what I was trying to make a point of earlier). As much as I try to be a big proponent of "comics as art" even I just want to sit back and let the brain take a time out while at the same time treating it to something that will tickle it the right way, and THE IRREDEEMABLE ANT-MAN is doing wonders for me in that regard. I hope at the very least Marvel does go out of its way to see this in trade so you all can see what you've missed. In this past year alone I've lost NEXTWAVE, I've lost, gained back, and apparently lost again MANHUNTER, and things aren't looking on the up and up for CHECKMATE. Please, don't make me lose ANT-MAN too.

FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN #19

Writer: Peter David Penciler: Todd Nauck Inker: Robert Campanella Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Jinxo

Not to state the obvious but when I’m reading a comic, at the base what I really want is a writer whose has a story he really wants to tell. That’s it. Just someone who’s got a hell of a yarn for the reader. Even if maybe I don’t love the story, even if I have issues with it, if I can tell the writer is busting ass to tell me a good story, I’m usually in.
That’s one of the problems I’m having with the Spider-Man books lately. Not saying there aren’t writers on the books with stories to tell, but the stories seem to be having to take second or even third place to marketing concerns. Ya just can’t tell a Spider-Man story straight up. First the writer has to figure out how to tell their story while fitting it into the whole new Marvel world order. Pain in the ass. I almost wish Spidey had stayed pro-registration just so we wouldn’t have to deal with this fugitive hero stuff.
Now I’m a realist. I mean, comics have done big company-wide events before that have to be accommodated (although I don’t think ever this big and intrusive). But in this case it’s worse because the Spidey books aren’t just having to work in the CIVIL WAR/Initiative stuff. There’s a giant blockbuster of a movie coming they have to work to cross-promote. So while Spider-Man is hiding from the law he is also being put into his black suit to tie-in with Spider-Man 3. Okay, if that can be done smoothly, well then… okay, it’s not being done smoothly. Does anyone out there see the black suit coming back as anything but a cynical promotional maneuver? Expected and understandable but still. And it isn’t done smoothly. He was running around for a whole bunch of issues in the black suit with no in-book explanation of why he was back in black. Then AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, the last to put him back in the suit after the others have had him in it for multiple issues, FINALLY explains why he’s in the black suit again. And even with that I’m still not positive I buy it. He’s pissed and going hardcore! Okay… is that enough reason to put back on a suit that resembles a crazy freak villain and that scares the living hell out of your wife? You know, the wife ruining her own career and going into hiding with your on-the-lam ass? I just don’t quite buy it.
But back to FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN in particular. Peter David has his ducks in a row. He’s got the Initiative worked in. Spidey is in black. But David is taking it a step further. He seems to be fully embracing the movie push. He doesn’t just have the black suit to tie-in with the movie. He actually goes the extra step to mirror elements of the movie itself. The trailers are selling that Sandman might have a connection to the death of Peter’s Uncle Ben. So FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN says, okay, we’ll also have a plot where Sandman is tied to the death of Uncle Ben…sorta kinda maybe. Seems Sandman’s dad is being falsely accused of killing a version of Uncle Ben from another reality and Sandman needs Spider-Man’s help to clear his dad’s name. Okay, a little far to go to get the tie-in but if it’s good, hey, I’m in.
But as it the story comes to a close, I gotta say, I ‘m kinda cold on it. It feels more like an attempt to try and make a marketing move into some sort of a decent story rather than a writer who really truly has a good story to tell.
The weird thing is there is all sorts of stuff in the story that has potential but it just doesn’t jell. Spider-Man and Sandman, arch foes, working together for a common cause? Good idea. Almost always fun to see people who annoy each other forced to find common ground. Nice to see a villain showing some humanity. They bring in some time travely stuff. That can be fun. Other dimensional nonsense. Nice. Only…I think all of that together starts to be just too much stuff. I only have so much disbelief I can suspend!
But maybe the biggest problem for me is Uncle Ben. Okay, it is not THE Uncle Ben. He’s Uncle Ben from two universes over. Whatever. At some level he still is Uncle Ben. If you are going to kill Uncle Ben again, even a double, it would seem to me a prime opportunity. Forget the pain and angst Spider-Man is feeling from the CIVIL WAR junk. Ya got Uncle Ben in his life. Even if he is the worst jerkiest Uncle Ben ever to exist, there is hay to be made of re-killing any version of the man whose death helped make Spider-Man who he is today. There is soooo much to be done with that. But in this story, hell, he might have as well have been anybody. Spider-Man is so removed from Ben’s death physically and emotionally that the death is kind of wasted.
So way too much going on, a waste of a perfectly good uncle snuffing…what else could go wrong? Hey! I know what lets do! Lets end on a deus ex machina! Lets end with a random, crazy, and yet…ugh…poetic, accident that wraps everything up. It’s like a Rod Serling twist if Rod was tired and didn’t quite care. And I’m not sure Peter 100% did care. I wanted to. I really did. But…I can’t care about something this blah. I don’t care about The Initiative. I don’t care about marketing a movie. I care about reading stories someone really wants to tell.
Like Peter David, hated this story.

BIZARRE NEW WORLD Issues # 1-3

Written by: Skipper Martin Pencilled by: Christopher Provencher Published by: Ape Entertainment Reviewer: superhero

So is it too early in the year to proclaim that this book is the best new comic of 2007? Because it is. Pay attention kiddies because BIZZARE NEW WORLD is the best new comic I've read so far in 2007.
Yes, it's true. You may not believe me. You may say, "Superhero, an indie book the best new comic of 2007? Surely you jest!" To which I would say, "First of all, don't call me Shirley. Second of all, don't be such a jackass…read the book because it is awesome."
It's so great when a book just gets thing right, y'know? When a book is just so perfectly neat-o that you just read it and think…man, this is good times. It's rare when it happens. In today's world of early internet newsbreaks and company-wide crossover events it's really a welcome surprise when a book this fun comes along. BIZARRE NEW WORLD is a true jewel in the ugly morass that so many comics have become.
Now, I don't want to overhype this baby for you. There's no Galactuses coming down to eat the innocents of Earth. No nubile demon slaying females fighting the forces of darkness. No ultimate steroid-heads coming to kick terrorism ass. Nope. What makes BIZARRE NEW WORLD work is that it's simple and straightforward. It doesn't need flash. It doesn't need glitz and glamour. Y'know why? Because it's good.
What's so good about it? It takes a simple concept and pushes forward with it. And, in my opinion, that's where some of the best stories come from…simple ideas made good. What's the concept you ask? Well…what would happen if you woke up the next morning and found out you could fly?
That's it. It's that simple. What if regular Joe Schmoe woke up the next morning and could take to the air like Superman? See? I'm sure the concept alone already has you thinking.
But the authors of BIZARRE NEW WORLD don't make the obvious choices like some other creators might. It keeps the tale of an average guy who can fly and keeps its reality, for lack of a better term, firmly planted on the ground. For all the fantastic aspects the idea of human flight offers this book sticks to the human aspect of the story and keeps its protagonist identifiable. BIZARRE NEW WORLD's central character is someone who many readers will absolutely recognize as your average, everyday American. And when I say average, everyday American I'm not talking about Peter Parker or Jesse Custer comic book normal. I mean he's got a gut, a humdrum job, and looks like, well, any guy you'd see on the street. Which is what makes the book so endearing. It's not Mr. Perfect Abs who gets flying powers…it's a character that looks and acts just like someone you'd see in your everyday life. Hell, it's someone who probably looks a lot like what a lot of comic book fans see in the mirror.
Which brings me to the artwork. Penciller Christopher Provencher provides an almost Dale Keown-ish type of smoothness to the art chores, but he's able to succeed with his artwork where Keown always seem to have trouble. Keown could draw overly muscled Hulkster figures with great skill but his normal folk always seemed to me to be a bit stiff in places. Provencher doesn't have that problem at all. He's able to illustrate the mundane and average details of everyday life with a cartoonish style that makes his world look more interesting than it has a right to. Many comic artists have a hard time drawing the objects that surround us every day, much less make the setting of everyday life come across as engaging. Provencher is able to draw the world around us and keep the whole thing interesting and entertaining. It's a skill that's hard to pull off in comic books but Provencher does a great job in helping suck the reader into the tale of an ordinary guy who can fly.
Special attention should be paid to the colorist of this book. While Provencher's pencils are certainly a high point of the book the colorist of BIZARRE NEW WORLD is the ingredient that takes the whole package to a level of true professionalism. The coloring here is subtle but not flat. Colorist Wes Dzioba doesn't overdo the coloring and is also able to make the pages seem vibrant and alive. There's a warmth to the palette of this comic that is lacking from so much computer colored work these days and I have to say that without Dzioba's work here the book would certainly be missing something special. The coloring in this comic brings so much to the feel of the book that I couldn't help but be impressed by it.
In the end the authors of BIZARRE NEW WORLD offer up a story that is fun, endearing, humorous and intriguing. In many ways the tone of this book reminds me of stuff like the recent ESCAPISTS mini-series or something like SPIDER-MAN LOVES MARY JANE. It's a story that's based somewhat in the "real" world but has its own fantastic elements that don't take away from the humanity of the central character. BIZARRE NEW WORLD is a terrific first production from Martin and his cohorts and they should be proud of their work. If you're a comic fan, pick it up. If you're a retailer, order it. BIZARRE NEW WORLD deserves attention as it's the kind of comic book that comes along once in a blue moon and is an honest pleasure to read from start to finish.

FALLING SKY OGN

Words and Art by Benjamin Dickson Publisher: Scar Comics and Falling Sky Reviewer: Ambush Bug

Although I gave this book a sparkling review last summer, it is officially available for purchase now. This “end of the world” story has a concept that has been done before in such big budget extravaganzas as ARMAGEDDON and DEEP IMPACT, but never has an “asteroid headed towards earth” story moved me in the way this story did.
Benjamin Dickson not only creates a dire scenario, but some fully realized characters to take part in it. The story begins with a bank heist resulting in the kidnapping of company director Charles Pearson. The robbers think they can get a sweet ransom by kidnapping the millionaire, but find out that Pearson has spent his entire fortune recently on a secret. What transpires is more of a conspiracy story than an action adventure, but there are plenty of moments to get your adrenaline pumping too. FALLING SKY is a multi-textured social commentary on class, culture, media, and science in the modern world. It realistically looks at how the world would react if an asteroid were, in fact, heading for earth and destruction of civilization was evident. This story is very much like the best of zombie fiction in that it depicts humanity with all of its ugliness and beauty when it’s forced to come face to face with its own destruction.
The look for this book is amazing as well. Dickson admits that he had to be convinced by a fellow artist to actually attempt to provide his own art to the words he’d written. Utilizing photo-referencing techniques at first, Dickson seems to blot out everything but the form of the person. He then chooses to fill the forms with the most simplistic of lines, only suggesting emotion, action, and context. Not only is this an innovative mode of artistry providing a unique look to the book, but it forces the reader to search a little deeper into the panel in order to fully come to grips with the action that is taking place in the scene and the emotions the characters are experiencing. Once read, you really feel as if you’ve experienced the horrific events in this book firsthand. The art and the depth of story have everything to do with that.
Those of you mainstreamers who normally skim the Indie Jones section but never seek out these books should take heed with this one. I love my mainstream books too, but none of them have placed me into the story and gripped me until the last page and beyond like FALLING SKY did--not only the first time I read it, but the second and third time as well.

FALL OF CTHULHU #0-1

Writer: Michael Alan Nelson Artist: Jean Dzialowski Publisher: BOOM! Studios Reviewer: Ambush Bug

Although I can appreciate the appeal for those who are interested in Lovecraft, I’ve never really been that big of a fan. I do find what I’ve seen from Lovecraft’s attempts to define the unknown to be pretty interesting though. BOOM!’s earlier CTHULHU TALES, for instance, was about as good as you’re going to find if you’re looking for a spooky anthology. I had a chance to read the first two issues (issues #0 and 1) of BOOM!’s follow-up offering of CTHULHU madness and I found it to be a mixed bag. Upon reading the #0 issue, I was a bit befuddled at all of the terminology. It is an issue that lays a lot of groundwork and supplies a lot of back-story (which has become the function of these #0/origin issues). I could see that this would be a must have for Lovecraft aficionados, but it left this newb scratching his noggin. I was ready to write off this series until I got my hands on issue #1. This issue is told from a layman’s perspective, introducing new characters, who, like myself, know next to nothing about the Cthulhu mythos. This issue proved to be the antithesis of the origin issue which alienated me so much as it drew me into the story and had me intrigued with these characters and their fates. By introducing these characters who know just as much about this mythos as I did, the creators behind this book did a great job of introducing the story, the problem, and some of the terminology to new readers. So if you’re keeping score, issue #0 is strictly for the hardcore Lovecraft fans and issue #1 is for those of us who are interested, but not familiar. Going back to issue #0 after reading #1, though, helped me piece things together, and I enjoyed it a bit more after a second go around. All in all, this is a promising new series from BOOM! If you’re a fan of Lovecraft, then this is required reading and it’s pretty friendly to those, like me, who are curious too.
Now, Squashua is a fan of Cthulhu and has been known to make sacrifices to the tentacled one out behind the ol’ @$$Hole Clubhouse. Let’s see what he thought of issue #1.

FALL OF CTHULHU #1 Reviewer: Squashua

FALL is the first recent legitimate contender for an ongoing series featuring the H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos. I was very excited for this book when I read that it was coming out. As a book of the Mythos, it ends up being a good entry that hits all the right notes; eccentric uncle, a stash of strange artifacts, obscure research into occult connections through news clippings and websites, and a mysteriously creepy boarding house. Heck, I'll even go so far as to give the writer serious props for slipping an interpretation of the Dreamlands into this book and not letting any "bad lorem-ipsum" drop into the articles. The art is sufficiently dark, and it defines a clean distinction between the world of dream and the world of "reality", but in the end, this issue just didn't do it for me.
The characters are a little too self-aware, maybe even a bit too modern, and definitely too...made for television. And the world is a bit too obviously creepy. This reads as if someone made a series about Cthulhu intended for prime time, but it went straight to UPN or Spike TV. With the ham-handed approach it takes with referring to "The Call", I wouldn't quite give it "Battlestar Galactica" on Sci-Fi Channel renown, but I'm willing to let it take in “Dead Zone” numbers, if you know what I mean.
If you're new to the Mythos, pick up this book because it will give you a proper introduction. Serious fans of the genre will probably buy a copy no matter what, but please page through it first because at $4 a pop, you might not get anything you haven't seen before. I am going to pick up the next issue just to see where this leads, and because I fall under that "serious fan of the genre" veil, but if it continues to disappoint, I won't be around for a third issue.

GARAGE BAND OGN First Second Books

This is the second offering from First Second Books that I have read and the second to have knocked my socks off with its innovative storytelling techniques and artistry. Italian artist extraordinaire, Gipi uses his subtle and simplistic linear style to illustrate a biting look at mistakes, motivations, and the monumental dreams of youth. Centering around a group of young musicians, this story uses simplistic lines,dirty shades of watercolor, and intimate and often painful story moments to make a truly original and memorable read. There is a feeling of real literary quality that exudes from this book. I feel as if I am experiencing a work of art rather than reading a funny book. The lessons learned by the characters of this book are hard, but necessary. This book not only shows a love of art and storytelling, but each chapter ends with silent panels of the band playing, exhibiting a true respect and love for music and the musicians whose troubled lives often make the most bittersweet of sounds. This is a book that should be absorbed rather than read. It is a full throttle experience of a book. I can’t recommend this one more. - Ambush Bug

MADMAN ATOMIC COMICS #1 Dark Horse Comics

Never before have I entered the world of Mike Allred's MADMAN and I figured this was as good an opportunity as ever to see what the deal was. And this is about as good as it gets in that regard. Right off the bat this book smacks you in the face and grabs you by the cajones with Allred's trademark visuals, but the primary function of this book is to be that recap someone like myself so desperately needed to set myself up to get fully behind this book. It looks like it's all here: origin story, quick detailing of the supporting cast, some synopsysing of the kinds of adventures our title character has gone on whilst getting you into the mindset of the book with its uber-quirky and sometimes downright insane sense of humor. And now I'm ready for more. Oh so much more. This is definitely a great three dollar investment, because now I'm ready to see what the world of MADMAN has in store for me, and the same could go for you if you just give this a shot. Now all I have to do is find me the extra scratch to get order one of those MADMAN GARGANTUAs that are apparently thick enough to flatten an infant. Now that's a hell of a deal right there. - Humphrey Lee

RAISE THE DEAD #1 Dynamite Entertainment

Although this is your typical by the numbers “survivors trapped in a building while the zombies are outside and trying to get in” type story, it is slickly put together artistically and I like the way the story itself started out right in the middle of the action and kept the pace going until the last panel. Utilizing LOST-style flashback sequences, the narrative jumps around showing how each character got to the point where the story began, revealing tidbits about each character in the process. There is an especially effective scene that showed a pair of children forced to shoot their mother which had been turned into a zombie. Although you can’t throw a rock in a comic shop without hitting a zombie book these days, this is a good looking offering with a story that shows some kind of finesse and style. I’ll be sticking around for issue two to see where this old-school story takes me. - Ambush Bug

GUIDE DOG DETECTIVE #1-2 (plus mini-comics #1-2) Panda Sushi Comics

GUIDE DOG DETECTIVE is one of those tiny little labor of love comics printed in black and white, copied, and stapled by a self publisher who obviously works hard to bring the best possible product despite a low budget. You’ll recognize quite a few detective and cop films, TV shows, and books homaged and referenced in this series which follows a canine detective through the seedy (and possibly flea-ridden) underbelly of the streets of crime. What I found most endearing about these books was the fact that the characters take themselves so seriously. This is a detective story played straight. There are real crimes. There is real drama. Real consequences. And the characters depict these scenes with a straight face and that edge that only the best noir mysteries have. It just so happens that the cast is made up of dogs, cats, ferrets, deer, and other creatures. I had a lot of fun reading both full length issues and the mini-comics which have an endearing quality all their own since they fit into the palm of one’s hand and read very quickly. Contact Jess Bradley to get a copy of your own. - Ambush Bug

BLOOD PSI #1 (One Shot) Moonface Press

This is another strong one-shot comic from Moonface Press, a company that is dedicated to bring “one & done” comics into the spotlight. This is an entertaining read along the same lines as BUFFY and BLADE in that it takes an in depth look at vampire culture, establishing the age-old rules of the vampire in a fresh and energetic manner. Artist Ken Burns has a Jim Califiore feel to his work in that shape and form are hinted at with dark shadows and shapes rather than straightforward line work. The artist has a good sense of perspective and camera angle. The story itself takes quite a few unexpected turns which I found to be refreshing. The surefire sell for this book, though, is the fact that the main character is wearing a shirt sporting the name of the best damn rock and roll band in this and any age, the Supersuckers! Any comic book cover giving homage to my favorite band is ok in my book. - Ambush Bug

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


Vroom Socko’s It Came From the 90’s

It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to delve into the world of the previous decade. Real life has unfortunately kept me from rereading any comics from that underrated decade. Thankfully, I had a spare day recently to go through a few volumes of the amazing world of the Sandman.
No, not that Sandman, the other Sandman. As in SANDMAN MYSTERY THEATER.
Set in the New York of seventy years ago, this book features the kind of realistic superhero I can get behind, mainly because of how much effort is made in establishing the world these characters inhabit. Pre-WWII New York is as much a character as Wesley Dodds or Dian Belmont. There’s an atmosphere to the setting, one that gives the book room to breathe. In fact, if you squint at this book you can see a pretty damn close precursor to BATMAN BEGINS. Only with a better romance plotline, of course.
It’s the three dimensional level to the romance between Dian and our hero that gives this book its backbone. There’s nothing forced or artificial about the way these two characters interact. Everything they say and do, Dodds running around in a fedora and gas mask notwithstanding, has an air of honesty to it. The whole relationship helps to make this book one of the most adult comics I’ve read. Not adult in the same way as HOUSEWIVES AT PLAY mind you, although there is plenty of sex to be had. No, adult in that the book doesn’t hit the reader over the head with some half assed analogy and cheap plot twists. No, this book treats the reader with respect by assuming that you have a brain. In the third collected volume for example, titled THE VAMP, a killer of high society gentlemen drains their victims of blood. No explicit reason is given, a la the shrink in the ending of Psycho, but if you’re paying attention you can understand the rationale for yourself. No other superhero book I’ve read rewards a close reading of the story as much as this one.
Then there’s the whole bit about the fellow in the gas mask playing at vigilante. There’s something about the look of the Sandman that manages to be both iconic and mundane at the same time. But I think that’s part of the charm. Taken on one level, it’s just a guy in ordinary clothes wearing a gas mask. But taken separately, this costume gives a great deal of insight into both the motives of the character and the story. The gas mask, for example, reminds one of the First World War, and the figures of the Lost Generation that came out of it. And Dodds is nothing if not lost in himself. As for the fedora and trenchcoat…well, if I have to be the one to explain to the readers of THIS site about stuff like the works of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Film Noir, then Harry’s not doing his job right.
There are currently four TPB volumes collecting SANDMAN MYSTERY THEATER available, with Vertigo releasing a fifth in the coming weeks. By any gauge they are quality books, well worth reading. That they also happen to be a product of the 90’s just goes to show that the decade that nearly broke comics wasn’t as bad as some would have you believe.

QUESTION FOR DISCUSSION What do you think is the most adult, mature superhero book currently on the market?


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


Readers Talkback

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  • April 11, 2007, 1 p.m. CST

    first

    by RobMota

    Uncertified Evil Genius

  • April 11, 2007, 1:07 p.m. CST

    Iron Man

    by Kamikaze Skeleton

    Is the biggest asshole ever.

  • April 11, 2007, 1:13 p.m. CST

    Where's Baytor?

    by El Vale

    He's sorely missed.

  • April 11, 2007, 1:13 p.m. CST

    You're a little too harsh on Omega Flight

    by Meglos

    I've read bits of an inteview with Scott Kolins (on Newsarama) that the first issue had already been completed before they'd been informed they were being downgraded to a mini. It was kinda outta their hands...

  • April 11, 2007, 1:23 p.m. CST

    Poor Alpha Flight

    by Silver_Joo

    I really like the sound of Guide Dog Detective! That's a real comic book! Mm, did anyone else find this instalment of @ssholes slightly depressing as they waded through ropey Marvel titles? I was hoping Marvel'd bring Alpha Flight back to life and give it to Dan Slott, but it looks like they've put him into their New Avengers-brainwashing program. Oh well.

  • April 11, 2007, 1:24 p.m. CST

    Bravo!

    by RenoNevada2000

    That Iron Man graphic is hi-sterical!

  • April 11, 2007, 1:25 p.m. CST

    Sandman Mystery Theatre was the shit, yo!

    by superhero

    I LOVED Sandman Mystery Theatre! My first Vertigo book EVER! Or was that Shade: The Changing Man? Either way SMT sucked me in where Gaiman's Sandman never could. Start the flame war now talkbackers! Woooo!

  • April 11, 2007, 1:44 p.m. CST

    Maine Avengers.

    by CatVutt

    Give Dan Slott "The Mighty Maine Avengers" title to launch, with a bunch of halfwit heroes spending most of their time doing guest appearances at Sea Dogs games, roughing up guys with illegal lobster traps, and trying to get transferred to a real state, and I'll give Marvel another shot. Otherwise, I'm done.

  • April 11, 2007, 1:52 p.m. CST

    The reason the Wrecking Crew and Hydra are used so much

    by stones_throw

    Marvel hates villains. Think about it. When was the last time there was a traditional hero v villain battle in a major Marvel comic? 25 issues of Cap and he still hasn't even seen the Red Skull. Iron Man hasn't fought one of his villains for years. In Marvel comics these days it's much more likely to be heroes fighting henchmen, shadowy manipulators or, uh, other heroes.

  • April 11, 2007, 1:59 p.m. CST

    Oh, and Marvel LOVES to use the Kingpin...

    by stones_throw

    He's everywhere, even where he shouldn't be (like RUNAWAYS) because he's cool since he doesn't wear a costume. Brubaker almost gave him a well deserved break in DAREDEVIL, but trust Marvel to fuck that up.

  • April 11, 2007, 2 p.m. CST

    did anyone else read that one as "Falling Sky, OMG!!!"?

    by Flansy

    More exciting title, if you ask me.

  • April 11, 2007, 2:14 p.m. CST

    OGN=Original Graphic Novel. Where are TPB, SC and HC?

    by Squashua

    For a long time I had no idea what OGN meant. I'm almost tempted to just leave it off.

  • April 11, 2007, 2:49 p.m. CST

    G.I. Joe

    by BizarroJerry

    Too much Marvel crap around here. If you're one of those children of the 80s, you should be reading G.I. Joe from Devil's Due. The latest arc starting in "America's Elite #21" looks to be starting one of the best Joe tales since the comic's return in 2001, and has leather-clad Baroness kicking all kinds of ass. Issue #25 will be starting their own version of a World War III storyline, lasting for 12 issues. Knowing is half the battle, baby.

  • April 11, 2007, 3:09 p.m. CST

    Humphrey! Fear not!

    by Thalya

    Manhunter is still ongoing! They made a switcheroo decision because the trades were selling well. I have a feeling it hasn't been in the solicitations of late because they're still getting it back on schedule, but there will be a Manhunter #31 and then plenty more.

  • April 11, 2007, 3:26 p.m. CST

    Face it, cooky.

    by Thalya

    People ingrained in an egalitarian society don't know how to process nobility.

  • April 11, 2007, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Ditto on Sandman Mystery Theater...

    by grendelson138

    Lucky enough to have started with issue 1. Not a bang, pow, blamo read. Just consistant, adult-oriented, character-centric comic writing at its best. Actually lucky enough to have a few of my issues signed by Matt Wagner himself. I'm glad to hear the trades are doing so well lately.

  • April 11, 2007, 3:32 p.m. CST

    love the Iron Man thing

    by Homer Sexual

    Haven't even read the reviews yet, but LOVE! the Iron Man logo. Outstanding.

  • April 11, 2007, 3:39 p.m. CST

    And no love for 'Tec?

    by Thalya

    Clownshoes.

  • April 11, 2007, 4:03 p.m. CST

    Question for Psynapse

    by Homer Sexual

    As the site's most outspoken homo, I am curious if you have any opinion about the Grifter/Midnighter teamup book being written by Chuck Dixon, who admits that he has a problem with homosexuality. To me, I just can't support this book for that reason, and I wonder why he took on this project, since Midnighter is so very very gay.

  • April 11, 2007, 4:11 p.m. CST

    Runaways SMT

    by Homer Sexual

    I was so relieved to read Runaways 25 last week. I have been totally underwhelmed by Whedon's X-Men (hate me now) but his Runaways was terrific (well, except for stupid, overused Kingpin)and totally true to the characters. In fact, he started bringing up the issues about Xavin right away, very interestingly. <p> I too have every issue of Sandman Mystery Theater. Some outstanding storylines. The Vamp is a great one, as is Phantom of the Fair. And the Anaconda. The last few issues did drop off a bit, but was an overlooked gem. I remember going to an unfamiliar shop which had dropped the book because they said they sold only 2 copies per month. Back in the 90's, well written comics seemed to languish, while overhyped crap dominated the marketplace. I'm sure glad it's not like that anymore...... <p> Wait! Checkmate and Manhunter in peril? Avengers Initiative and other Civil War garbage selling well?...never mind.

  • April 11, 2007, 4:38 p.m. CST

    I'd be nervous backing an Iron Man movie

    by Nonuthin

    Marvel doesn't have a lot of time to redeem this character before the full push of a tent pole motion picture is released. I am surprised that they were able to play with the character as much as they have with so much riding on this being a beloved favorite of the fanboys. Gonna be a hard sell to convincingly make Iron Man and Tony Stark likeable again.

  • April 11, 2007, 4:39 p.m. CST

    So Jinxo...WHY do you like Peter David again?

    by willydevon

    Can we admit he's severly past his prime at this point? Sure, he's better than JMS, but how hard is that right now? In his day, few were better at mixing pathos, humor and continuity. But in recent years he's relied WAY to much on his own previous works...it made Supergirl impenetrable (only when he gutted his own continuity and started fresh in the last few issues did sales pick up)...remember his comeback arc in Hulk a few years ago, which itself heavily relied on a throwaway storyline of the Hulk vs. Nightmare? WHY do we need to have the Goblin from Spiderman 2099 in this book? (Why did we need the Maestro in Captain Marvel?) There are a lot of excuses so far why Friendly has stumbled...hobbled by crossovers right out of the gate, forced to incorporate elements from movies, Civil War, etc. But still, this book is lacking something...maybe PAD's heart isn't in it, maybe Alex Alonso is just a piss poor editor, maybe something else. But I don't think anyone can hold this book up as a winner.

  • April 11, 2007, 4:41 p.m. CST

    DAMN YOU AL-QUESADA!!!

    by Err

    Damn you Al-Quesada!!!

  • April 11, 2007, 5:07 p.m. CST

    Third issue of GARGOYLES and still no coverage?

    by ballyhoo

    One of the best cartoons from Disney is finally getting brand new canon stories for the first time in over a decade. This is big news for fans, and I find it hard to believe that there aren't any Garg fans among this crew.

  • April 11, 2007, 5:31 p.m. CST

    this is us posting about Ellis posting about us.

    by SleazyG.

    http://www.warrenellis.com/?p=4124<p> If you guys aren't subscribed to any of his mailing lists or feeds, and don't go to any of his sites, you're missing out on TONS of great stuff. Funny, sick, informative--sometimes all three at once and then some. Worth checking out.

  • April 11, 2007, 5:34 p.m. CST

    I'm too old for GARGOYLES.

    by SleazyG.

    That's not me putting down the property, mind you; I just mean that I (and a few of the others) are old enough that we didn't watch "Gargoyles" as kids. Or, y'know, teenagers. Or, ummm, in college. Or, uhhh, post-college. Cuz we're old. Any of the youngsters in our group are interested, though, I'd love to hear what they have to say. I imagine it'll all go right past me, though, kinda like when I try to explain half the shit I watched as a kid to anybody under 25.

  • April 11, 2007, 5:37 p.m. CST

    Eric Johnson of Smallville is the new Flash Gordon!!

    by jojo-pimp

    read it on Kryptonsite.com, its no longer the dude that harry had reported a month or so ago for the new Sci Fi channel series.

  • April 11, 2007, 5:45 p.m. CST

    SleazyG, it's actually aged pretty well.

    by ballyhoo

    Although its target demo was the young teen, it had a lot of heavy things going on. It simply was a really smart show. If you ever get the urge to try it out, there are one and a half seasons out on DVD.

  • April 11, 2007, 6:06 p.m. CST

    Yeah, 'tec with

    by halcyonseven

    Dini was pretty much fantastic. Oh wait... it wasn't Marvel so it didn't get reviewed. Hey guys, don't forget to ignore All Star Superman next week. It's DC so try and pass it by. 52 as well. I just don't want you picking up the wrong comic and lookin' silly to your peeps.

  • April 11, 2007, 6:20 p.m. CST

    Speaking of the Iron Man movie...

    by jsm1978

    Look what I just found on ign http://media.movies.ign.com/media/034/034317/img_4460704.html

  • April 11, 2007, 6:22 p.m. CST

    oops...

    by jsm1978

    Forgot the tiny url thing... so just in case that first one gets deleted, here's the link to that Iron Man picture again... http://tinyurl.com/38eoy2

  • April 11, 2007, 7:04 p.m. CST

    Peter David

    by Jinxo

    I guess I base my liking Peter David on a lot of the older stuff he's done in comics and other mediums. Just because he's not hitting them out of the park right now, for me, doesn't change the fact that overall I like him. And just for full disclosure, on the JMS front, I am biased. Heck, the name Jinxo comes from a B5 episode. Now I'm not a mindless fanboy who thinks he can do no wrong. Gwen and Norman Osborn was for me a mistake (although not in the way it was for most folks). But the truth is JMS and Babylon 5 had such an impact on my life that I can't deny it. Not in a flakey, "Ohhh watching B5 changed my life," way but a real, literal way. Because of B5 I was able to move from the midwest to the coast and my life got turned on it's ear. So any crap given me on any reviews of JMS comics, hey, I'll take it.

  • April 11, 2007, 7:37 p.m. CST

    Hey, I *LIKE* Gargoyles

    by Squashua

    It was really good and maintained an excellent continuity; the characters grew. Remember the final arc where they travelled all over the dimensions and got to see some of the Wild Pack mature; one guy became a legit super-hero, etc. <br><br> Unfortunately, I don't like Gargoyles enough to shell out any $ for an issue to review.

  • April 11, 2007, 8:09 p.m. CST

    Guide Dog Detective

    by dregmobile

    I am chasing that up. If I liked Peanut Butter and Jeremy's BEST BOOK EVER, I gotta like this.

  • April 11, 2007, 8:35 p.m. CST

    Yo Homer: An answer

    by Psynapse

    I haven't even 'free read' (my term for my practice of using my LCS as my own personal library) the book for those very same reasons. I consider it the apex of hypocrisy for someone to write about something they personally disdain in such a manner. Because when did you EVER read a fair dissertation on equality from a bigot? Dixon's a complete scumbag for taking money to represent and speak for a queer in ANY sense. Furthermore I consider the fact that he did take this project as a complete slap in the face to queers everywhere. Watch your ass Chuck, you're EXACTLY the type of shithead ACTUP goes after.

  • April 11, 2007, 8:38 p.m. CST

    Gargoyles DID kick ass

    by Psynapse

    'Nuff said bitches.

  • April 11, 2007, 8:41 p.m. CST

    Good one!

    by Jaka

    WE and SMT in one post. Good stuff.

  • April 11, 2007, 8:46 p.m. CST

    Random:

    by Jaka

    Matt Wagner deserves more credit for the many years of great work he's done in comic books.

  • April 11, 2007, 8:47 p.m. CST

    Where's Baytor?!? and gripes about reviewing Marvel

    by Ambush Bug

    Baytor is taking a small break while he works out some computer and real life issues. But hopefully he'll be back soon.<br><br> And quitcher griping about the overabundance of Marvel reviews. Some weeks we cover all DC. It just so happens that the team focused on Marvel this week. Fear not, I plan on hitting a few DC books for the next column.

  • April 11, 2007, 8:50 p.m. CST

    Dixon: Devil's advocate

    by SleazyG.

    Just a possibility: maybe so many people cried foul after some of what he said that he decided he *should* write this series. Maybe he decided to challenge his own preconceptions by trying to do something he had previously objected to. Maybe it's part of a growing and learning process, in which case we should give him the benefit of the doubt. I don't know if this is the case, but why doesn't one of you industrious types pop over to his blog and see what he has to say? We might be surprised.<p> Or not.<p> My only assumption at this point is that, just like in Spike Lee's "Do The Right Thing", Midnighter is the Jigaboo and Apollo is the Wannabe.<p> Too soon?

  • April 11, 2007, 9:11 p.m. CST

    Ant-Man: funny concept, irredeemable writing

    by Burgundy82

    I think comparing Ant-Man to Nextwave is quite a stretch.. In fact, I bought it because a Nextwave replacement is exactly what I was looking for. I like the Bad Santa-turned-superhero premise, but the execution's been bungled a bit, and the writing is nowhere near Nextwave's consistent hilarity. The twelve-panel Danvers oogling in this ish was the only decent gag.

  • April 11, 2007, 10:46 p.m. CST

    sandman mystery theatre

    by blackthought

    is definitely a book worth digging through a crevice for. it is most definitely a solid work of sequential storytelling i tell ya. kudos on giving it some pub vroom.

  • April 11, 2007, 11:28 p.m. CST

    if you think Peter David's past his prime

    by oisin5199

    you haven't been reading X-Factor. The recent issue where Madrox decides NOT to reabsorb one of his dupes was fucking genius! Most issues have been consistently tight with great characterizations, emotional moments, and unique and interesting ways to address Madrox's ability. For my money (or drive space), it's the best X-book out there, even more than Astonishing. Also, I still like Fallen Angel a lot, and his work on Spike ain't bad either.

  • April 11, 2007, 11:34 p.m. CST

    SMT and Runaways

    by oisin5199

    SMT: I just started reading the series and I'm hooked. I've just started looking into DC's Golden Age and some of the early JSA stuff (and was always a fan of the other Sandman), so I gave this a try to stay in chronology. It's pretty great stuff and pretty fucking disturbing at that. I just finished the Vamp arc. Damn! <p> I read in a recent interview that Joss and co. are taking into account current Daredevil continuity, so Fisk's continued presence in NYC is explained somehow. And I certainly think the Runaways flirting with the dark side is WAY more interesting than the whole registration thing. As a huge Joss fan, especially of AXM and Buffy, I have to say I wasn't as impressed with this as I thought I'd be. I'm sure it'll pick up, but it didn't grab me right away as I thought it would. I've been following Runaways for a while and Vaughan's absence was somewhat notable. <p> My other question is - what the hell happened to the Young Avengers? Did Civil War kill their title?

  • April 12, 2007, 3:41 a.m. CST

    Since when is Ultimate Sam Jackson Fury angry?

    by raw_bean

    He always seems suave, debonair and cocky to me. Plus cool as all hell, obviously.

  • April 12, 2007, 8:03 a.m. CST

    You guys should review an issue of Wizard

    by rev_skarekroe

    Seriously. I picked up a copy for the first time in a few years last month, and it wasn't too too bad. They've actually gone back to throwing a little objective criticism in with all the re-written press releases masquerading as articles.

  • April 12, 2007, 8:13 a.m. CST

    RIP Kurt Vonnegut

    by Thalya

    <>

  • April 12, 2007, 8:22 a.m. CST

    CatVutt

    by Shigeru

    Maine's awesome, go fuck yourself.

  • April 12, 2007, 8:23 a.m. CST

    Ellis interview

    by Shigeru

    Pretty great, but um... <br>"With THE AUTHORITY, and even STORMWATCH to an extent, whenever it came down to "right or wrong" scenarios those books played it very Black and White." <br><br> uh what? were we reading the same book?

  • April 12, 2007, 9:05 a.m. CST

    Nice try Sleazy.....

    by Psynapse

    It's a pretty piece of sophistry you've created there, too bad that's all it is. If he wanted to 'challenge' his notions writing that comic is a shit poor and downright insulting way to do it. And it's that very word that makes your statement sophistry. There's no 'challenge' to anything by him writing a goddamn comic book. A 'challenge' to his attitudes would be volunteering at an AIDS clinic or some other worthwhile effort. Accepting money to do what you've always done isn't a fucking 'challenge' at all. (No anger directed at you Sleazy, but the more we discuss this the more incensed I get as I think about it.) Hey Chuck? It might be wise for you to avoid the state of Florida for a few years. (unless you like protestors at your appearances that is.)

  • April 12, 2007, 10:10 a.m. CST

    So guys...

    by Thalya

    What have you read lately that you've loved? What's striking your wonder?

  • April 12, 2007, 11:53 a.m. CST

    Ellis Interview, part Deux

    by Shigeru

    You should have asked him who William Leather shot on the Nautilus. I've come to the sad conclusion that I might never know :(

  • April 12, 2007, 11:55 a.m. CST

    Truthfully? BTVS bay-bee!

    by Psynapse

    It's like coming home, partying with your best friends, and getting in trouble without getting caught all rolled up in one. I mean, I literally said out loud "Squeal!" when I saw the last page of issue #2.

  • April 12, 2007, 11:56 a.m. CST

    That would be Nemo himself Shig....

    by Psynapse

    Re-read the issue, you'll see.

  • April 12, 2007, 12:21 p.m. CST

    which issue, Psy?

    by Shigeru

    seriously?

  • April 12, 2007, 12:21 p.m. CST

    Then again....

    by Psynapse

    Now why the fuck did I imprint Nemo when reading that initially? God my thought processes can be so pedestrian sometimes...

  • April 12, 2007, 12:22 p.m. CST

    I was (apparently) talking out my ass on that one Shig

    by Psynapse

    Cuz, yeah, THAT'S a first...

  • April 12, 2007, 12:34 p.m. CST

    ha

    by Shigeru

    Yeah I was like a-buhwhat? It was someone very close to Eli. I dunno, I need to re-read the whole damn thing.

  • April 12, 2007, 1 p.m. CST

    Gotta disagree, Psynapse.

    by SleazyG.

    Look, saying you don't want your kids reading about gay characters isn't the same thing as saying "I hate people with AIDS." I may not agree with the first, but I can understand a parent saying "this is a sensitive subject no matter what you think about it, and I want to be the first to address it." Don't get me wrong, homophobia pisses me off, but as with all things in life there are shades of gray and varying degrees.<p> Vounteering to work at a clinic or hospital or delivering meals or whatever is hardly the only way for the guy to redeem himself, y'know. It might be a good way to expose himself to different opinions and see what the people are really like, but think about it: how accepting do you think they'd be? "Hey, I said some ignorant, offensive things about The Gays on line. Can I work at your resale shop?" He'd get a hostile (or at least aggressive) response from everybody and walk away convinced he was right all along. No, a more intelligent, nuanced approach is likely to get better results.<p> Also, don't underestimate the "writing" thing. Look, for some people out there it wouldn't matter a lick. And maybe it won't for Dixon, either. But what I was getting at was this: when you find yourself in a position where you have to write characters you don't agree with, a good writer has no choice but to humanize them. You have to do the research, become more familiar with their background and traits, and then treat them in a respectful manner, whether you like 'em or not. And that process of getting inside the head of someone different from yourself and seeing that they're still people, just with a different perspective, can make you see real people differently. You go through the same process of treating them with more respect and trying to understand where they're coming from, and you start to change.<p> Or you write a mincing, fey, stereotypical queen and end up with even more people hating you than you had previously, which could certainly happen here. I'm just saying I'm willing to wait until the product hits the stands to see what Dixon does. Or maybe take a look at his blog when I have the time and see what he says about it there.

  • April 12, 2007, 1:10 p.m. CST

    Iron Man: Most interesting Character in US comics today

    by Gatack

    Yeah he's the only reason I'm reading more Marvel books than I ever have. Give Stark some love! http://tinyurl.com/2jfv4d Oh and Matt Wagner deserves TONS of props for his Grendel and Mage works. Hunter Rose needs a movie ASAP!

  • April 12, 2007, 1:36 p.m. CST

    Sleazy: are YOU gay?

    by Psynapse

    Because if not, everything you've posted is outside a window looking in.<p> Your POV does have many valid points except that NONE of it allows for the EFFECT of the writers actions on the very same people his opinions are about. Furthermore you COMPLETELY overlook just how insulting it is to hear ANYONE say that they want their kids shielded from knowing about a lifestyle YOU DIDN'T CHOOSE IN THE FIRST PLACE. That alone is a COLOSSAL insult to gay people who have endured a hellish struggle JUST TO ACCEPT YOURSELF.<p> Now you know me, I am quite secure in being gay because after 39 years I've accepted it fully. It wasn't always so though and fucktards like Dixon shooting off their mouths didn't make that any easier. Moreover they very well could impede the efforts of self-acceptance of a person who previously looked up to someone like Dixon.<p> Like I said, pretty piece of sophistry but that's all it is.

  • April 12, 2007, 2:07 p.m. CST

    you know what I heard?

    by Shigeru

    Chuck Dixon and Judd Winnick are fucking!

  • April 12, 2007, 2:17 p.m. CST

    Psynapse, I understand you take the subject personally.

    by SleazyG.

    And I understand why, and am not in any way trying to discount the importance of your experiences and perspective. That's not what I'm saying at all. My points are very simple, basic ones:<p> First, that human sexuality is a very difficult and personal matter, and I can understand why parents might want to be the first to address some of its complexities.<p> Second, when people screw up in word or deed they should be given the opportunity to redeem themselves in a public manner.<p> Dixon said some insensitive things, and they bothered a lot of us. I think he did a very poor job of expressing his parental concerns, but understand them even if I don't like or agree with them. Why? Because that's the only way to make any progress: to try and understand where he's coming from, just as he needs to understand where you and the many who have shared your experiences are coming from. Once you understand where the other person is coming from it's easier to get them to relate to you as well.<p> And for my money, a miniseries is a pretty public place for him to use as a proving ground--one that's going to be seen by a lot more people than if he volunteers somewhere, in fact.<p> Again, I'm not defending anything he said or did--I'm just saying that I'm not going to completely dismiss what he does next before we've even seen what it is. Instead I'll withhold judgement until I see if he's working to change his ways or not. If he doesn't, then he officially goes on the "Go Fuck Yourself" pile along with John Byrne. But if it looks like he's really making the effort, then disrespecting that effort will do more harm than good.

  • April 12, 2007, 2:48 p.m. CST

    What did I like reading recently? BIZZARE NEW WORLD

    by Squashua

    Seriously. I also got hit up with the same issues Superhero did, and we had it out over rock-paper-DDR in the rec-room of the @$$quarters to decide who would review.<br><br> Superhero picked paper this time, even after I trounced him with my slick dancing moves. He always picks rock. Damn him. And buy Bizzare New World.

  • April 12, 2007, 3 p.m. CST

    Now now

    by El Vale

    Let us all stop this no good bickering and love eachother. <br><br> In the butt.

  • April 12, 2007, 3:17 p.m. CST

    I can see your point Sleazy

    by Psynapse

    But I'd also bet my last bud of weed that you'd feel VERY differently if you were gay. Me? I hate that 'gay pride' shit. It's like saying "I'm proud of who/what I fuck!" which has NEVER made sense to me. Being 'proud' of your sexuality has struck me as being just as retarded as being 'ashamed'. Then again, I notice that Dixon has NO issue with any charcter being portrayed as heterosexual does he? Do you not see the bias inherent in that?

  • April 12, 2007, 3:26 p.m. CST

    You sure about that Vale?

    by Psynapse

    I'm not tiny dude, God made me with Porn Star Cock. (Ron Jeremy does NOT intimidate me in the slightest)

  • April 12, 2007, 3:28 p.m. CST

    I Think The Iron Man Movie Is Going To Be Cool.

    by Buzz Maverik

    Saw the gray armor. That looked great. Downey is good casting. I like Paltrow well enough but...Pepper Potts? Personally, I'd have given Tony two or three girlfriends throughout the course of the movie, like James Bond used to score.<p>Marvel probably won't bother to change the comics. In fact, I hope they don't because in the unlikely event that the Iron Man flick is a blockbuster, people are going to look at the comics and say, "What the fuck is this shit?" Maybe that'll topple the whole Quesada/Alonso/Millar/Bendis regime. That's what happened with the first X-MEN movie, which is how Quesada got his job. The movie was a giant hit, of course, but the sales of the comics didn't increase. It's really stupid marketing, from comic book guys who want to be movie guys but don't understand either medium. If it was me, I'd want Spidey and Iron Man in the comics as recognizable to the movie audience as possible, which means no fucking them up a year before their movies come out.

  • April 12, 2007, 3:33 p.m. CST

    Dixon Probably Doesn't Even Know Midnighter Is Gay.

    by Buzz Maverik

    "He's what?"<p>"C'mon, Chuck. Him and Apollo in THE AUTHORITY. They've adopted a kid and everything."<p>"Yer shittin' me? I thought, yay, here I am, a schlubby, past my prime American writer finally taking over one of these edgy comics by those British shitbirds, and yer tellin' me Midnighter is a nancy-boy?"<p>"He's not a nancy boy, Chuck. He's analogous to Batman and Apollo would be Superman--"<p>"La, la, la, la, la, Chuck's editor is talking but Chuck can't hear him because no way are any versions of Superman and Batman going to be screwing each other. Not in my lifetime."

  • April 12, 2007, 3:37 p.m. CST

    What? Did my ginormous penis scare you off?

    by Psynapse

    You wouldn't be the first........

  • April 12, 2007, 3:42 p.m. CST

    Bah Buzz..

    by Thalya

    The way Marvel's going, they're going to have World War Hulk where Hulk comes back, everything looks like an alternate reality from Banner's perspective ("Jen! Cap's dead?! You've turned into a government lackey?! They're the bad guys!" - you don't have to read the books to see this coming) and kills literally everyone, starting with (or dramatically ending with) Tony Stark before jumping dimensions because he was apparently in 616.5, not 616, and therefore everything's rebooted, just in time for the Iron Man movie. That, and/or the Annihilation wave hits Earth with just enough time for Hulk to jump ship and everyone's dead regardless.

  • April 12, 2007, 3:50 p.m. CST

    Comic Book Writers Think They Can Serve Humanity...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...with their writing.<p>Remember, right after 9/11, how all of the Marvel books were about fighting Al Queadaa terrorists and if we bitched about it, we were reminded how CAPTAIN AMERICA comics were started for propoganda in the '40s?<p>Does anybody recall any of those writers, artists or editors enlisting in the military to actually take part in the war on terror? I think they felt it was their duty to use their God given enormous talents to inspire their readers to join up. I mean, Jack Kirby and Stan Lee and a lot of their peers were all in the military during WW II, but the new breed knew their talent could do more good on the home front. Plus there was less likelihood of getting shot.<p>Maybe Dixon is like that, too. He could actually, phsyically help people, but would that really matter as much as a comic book?<p>Things to ponder. Things-to-ponder-indeed.

  • April 12, 2007, 3:51 p.m. CST

    That Gives Me A Headache, Thalya.

    by Buzz Maverik

    They oughta just have the Unholy Three attack Stark Industries and Iron Man nearly dies stopping them.

  • April 12, 2007, 3:58 p.m. CST

    Thalya

    by rev_skarekroe

    I like that idea.

  • April 12, 2007, 3:59 p.m. CST

    Or how about this?

    by Psynapse

    They make a movie about a good guy fighting bad guys. Oh wait, that's utterly passe now isn't it? I can be so 80's sometimes.....

  • April 12, 2007, 5:51 p.m. CST

    wow, I started a whole "thing" here.

    by Homer Sexual

    Which is pretty cool, since I was relieved that I wasn't alone in my discomfort with Dixon writing Midnighter. It's like having Mel Gibson write for Sabra, or, better example, Kitty Pryde. I do find it offensive. Interesting debate between Psynapse and Sleazy. Like Psy, I really hate having to feel "pride" or shame over who I get off with. But we gotta live in the world, you know. And Sleazy..."saying you don't want your kids reading about gay characters isn't the same thing as saying "I hate people with AIDS." I have to disagree. I think it's like saying not wanting your kids to hear about the holocaust isn't the same thing as saying I hate Jews. I have to say I think it is the same thing. Caveat:Ok, not saying he hates people with AIDS. He hates gay people, many of whom do not have AIDS. And I'm sure he doesn't hate straight people with AIDS. Gay people? Those, he hates.

  • April 12, 2007, 6:04 p.m. CST

    Hating gay people is totally gay

    by El Vale

    Werd.

  • April 12, 2007, 6:31 p.m. CST

    Shigeru.

    by CatVutt

    Lighten up. I've lived in Maine, and yeah, it's a nice little place. It's called sarcasm. Get over it.

  • April 12, 2007, 6:55 p.m. CST

    Yo Homer!

    by Psynapse

    *Mwah* baby!

  • April 13, 2007, 9:42 a.m. CST

    Does Gail Simone 'get' Wonder woman or what? (she DOES)

    by Psynapse

    Direct quote: "Look. It’s simple, and it’s never outdated.The book is about the best goddamned warrior planet Earth has ever known, and she happens to carry a mystical arsenal around just for the hell of it. If a writer can’t make that interesting and fun, they really shouldn’t be writing superheroes." Amen, Gail. AMEN.

  • April 13, 2007, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Likes and dislikes…

    by The Heathen

    Loved the new Buffy and Runaways. Go Joss go indeed. Although, I don't know if 'Goth Overlord' was ever his title? I must have missed that when I was putting on my black nail polish or something. Buffy was pitch perfect and awesome, so I'll talk about Runaways. I like it, I'm a bit offset without Alphona's art, but somehow Whedon seems to pay his respect to BKV's characters while using his own style. That said,I think there is nobody else besides BKV or Whedon that could write this book. I thought we'd at least find out how the kids got away from Iron zeitgeist Man, but was kinda glad one of my favorite books at Marvel avoiding The CW's Initiative or whatever the hell it's called. <br> <br> Also liked the new All Star Supes, but c'mon, who doesn't? <br> <br> JLA was aiight. I like issues like this sometimes where it's establishing a new HQ and line-up, so sue me. I was confused by the WatchTower though - was that one of the, er, 'danger rooms' projections or did Black Lightning step through a portal to the real and improved WatchTower? I'm confused. Thalya? <br> <br> New Avengers was… kinda lame. It's been the same for the past few issues now, but the third time is indeed the charm of playing this cat and mouse game with the NA running from the MA and going to Japan and back to the US and then back to Japan while eating dinner, having Wolverine say he wants dinner, thhen Spidey says something dumb and not funny and there is two Ronins (although one is dead… I think) and the time frame is all out of place and media res and way beforia res because Bendis apparently saw Pulp Fiction or Memento and decided to use that device I suppose. Hope that changes with the next issue, but I have a feeling it won't. Shame, because I liked the first two issues after The CW. <br> <br> Fuck, Chuck Dixon. <br> <br> : )

  • April 13, 2007, 10:20 a.m. CST

    so Gail IS the new Wonder Woman writer?

    by The Heathen

    Right? Please say it's so. That Jodi Picult (?) or whoever must feel great. Seriously though, Gail should rock on Wonder Woman, that is if she has the gig. *fingers crossed*

  • April 13, 2007, 10:43 a.m. CST

    She sure is Heath

    by Psynapse

    http://tinyurl.com/2pmh3f

  • April 13, 2007, 11:04 a.m. CST

    Awesome.

    by The Heathen

    Why didn't she drop Gen 13 or Welcome To Tranquility before BoP? I'm glad McKeever is taking over, he's good, but Gen 13 and WtT are so under my radar I didn't even know she was writing the first one.

  • April 13, 2007, 11:24 a.m. CST

    CatVutt

    by Shigeru

    I was being sarcastic too (sort of). I like being offensive. <br>No hard feelings.

  • April 13, 2007, 11:30 a.m. CST

    Maine the state IS beautiful...

    by Psynapse

    The people that live in it? Not so much. (And hey my stepdad and his ENTIRE family is from there so I know of what I speak, bitches)

  • April 13, 2007, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Homer

    by Shigeru

    "..."saying you don't want your kids reading about gay characters isn't the same thing as saying "I hate people with AIDS." I have to disagree. I think it's like saying not wanting your kids to hear about the holocaust isn't the same thing as saying I hate Jews. I have to say I think it is the same thing." <br><br>Wait...what? <br>First of all, I have no clue what Fucky Chuck said about gay people/AIDS people/Jew people/whoever. So maybe I'm taking this out of context. <br> But me, personally, I would prefer to have my children learn about sexuality through me. Wait. Creezus that sounds fucking horrible. How about... no matter if it's straight sex or gay sex kids should be educated about it by their parents. Is that what Chuck said? Somebody want to elaborate?

  • April 13, 2007, 11:34 a.m. CST

    are you calling people from Maine physically ugly?

    by Shigeru

    or just like, internally ugly? <br> Cause I imagine it's a lot like FL in both conceits.

  • April 13, 2007, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Simone on Wonder Woman

    by Tito Trinidad

    THANK YOU!! Man, that quote says it all. Wonder Woman is a warrior. An ASS KICKER! She's part of the holy Trinity of superheroes for god's sake. She's a damn Icon. She was decapitating Greek demigods and monsters before Phil Jimenez made it the thing to do.<p> It kills me when there are all these people saying that Wondy is hard to write or she wouldn't be a good subject for a movie. In the right hands ANY character can work. Hopefully, there will be no more scenes of here trying to work a goddamn cuisinart or manual transimission or any other dumb bullshit like that. I mean aren't there some girls who got into comics just to to see someone who is like them whup some ass?

  • April 13, 2007, 11:48 a.m. CST

    Florida beats Maine on 2 Counts.....

    by Psynapse

    1. No snow and B) Better weed. Anything else, yeah, they're about even Shig.<p. And regarding Chuck Dixon: http://tinyurl.com/2com7h DIRECT QUOTE: I don't want to expect to be able to shield my kids from the subject of homosexuality as the media seems intent on bringing into my home and nothing short of cutting the electricity and boarding the windows will stop it. But I DON'T want my kids reading about it in comics." <P> And now this shithead is writing the Midnighter/Grifter series. Still wonder why we're offended? Every human alive is a hypocrite in some form or another (including moi) but this is a bit much to swallow. (Pun intended)

  • April 13, 2007, 11:50 a.m. CST

    Regarding Chuck Dixon

    by Psynapse

    http://tinyurl.com/2com7h<p>DIRECT QUOTE: "I don't want to expect to be able to shield my kids from the subject of homosexuality as the media seems intent on bringing into my home and nothing short of cutting the electricity and boarding the windows will stop it. But I DON'T want my kids reading about it in comics." <p> And now this shithead is writing the Midnighter/Grifter series. Still wonder why we're offended?

  • April 13, 2007, 11:58 a.m. CST

    Fucky Chuck

    by Shigeru

    Yup, he's a dipshit! Clears that up, lol. Thanks Psy.

  • April 13, 2007, 12:09 p.m. CST

    re: weed

    by Shigeru

    On one hand, Florida's proximity to the islands puts it at an advantage when it comes to weed. But Maine is really close to Vermont, and those fuckers have that down to an exact science. <br><br> I'd also rather deal with snow than have my balls explode because its so damn hot 2/3 of the year.

  • April 13, 2007, 12:11 p.m. CST

    Oh and one more thing on Dixon....

    by Psynapse

    Read far enough into that link and you'll see that Dixon has deleted his original posts where he made those statements. So....not only a complete hypocrite but a COWARD as well. ( I would at least have a margin of respect for the guy if he had the balls to stand behind statements as forceful as those but to go all chickenshit? FUCK YOU, YOU PORTLY PUSILLANIMOUS PIG.)

  • April 13, 2007, 12:13 p.m. CST

    Fuck that! Snow is EVILLLLL

    by Psynapse

    Then again, I'm a florida native. (and it's good for you to sweat, it gets toxins out!)

  • April 13, 2007, 12:16 p.m. CST

    lol toxins

    by Shigeru

    I shouldn't talk actually... cause I lived in FL for 14 years and ME for only 5. And yes, snow + roads = evil. But laying in the snow, looking at the stars and kissing a pretty girl = awesome. Or kissing a pretty dude. ;) <br><br> Did I just out myself as an emo?

  • April 13, 2007, 12:42 p.m. CST

    Yes you did

    by Psynapse

    And you better watch your ass now because every time a redneck masturbates God kills an Emo kid.

  • April 13, 2007, 1:03 p.m. CST

    But wait..

    by Thalya

    I thought Emo kids killed themselves? There is no God! :P

  • April 13, 2007, 1:16 p.m. CST

    Did somebody say Goth Overlord?

    by The Heathen

    Emo kids? Just where is Turtle when he's needed? Emo has totally taken over for anyone who wants to have some sort of, you know, feelings or emotions. "Superman is sooo fucking emo because he cried! Whaaa!" or "That song had the word love in it. That's so fucking emo!" and so on and so on. Am I emotional? Of course I am!!!!!!! *sniff* Do I wear nothing but black and listen to My Chemical Romance? Fuck no, fuckyouverymuch. <br> <br> T, what about my WatchTower confusion? Straighten me out miss!

  • April 13, 2007, 1:18 p.m. CST

    This was an awesome week in comics

    by El Vale

    All Star Supes, Fell, Fables, Thunderbolts...thank god for that. Heaven knows i needed it.

  • April 13, 2007, 1:25 p.m. CST

    H..

    by Thalya

    2 HQ. One public, one space satellite w/danger room. Slideways portals instead of transporters.

  • April 13, 2007, 1:28 p.m. CST

    Emo is as Emo does Heath.....

    by Psynapse

    Just sayin'.....(ROFLMGAO)

  • April 13, 2007, 1:33 p.m. CST

    Oh and T?

    by Psynapse

    God (like the rest of us) is thoroughly fed up with Emo kids becuase they're not killing themselves fast enough. so now, every time a redneck pulls one off the world gets just a smidgen better.

  • April 13, 2007, 1:38 p.m. CST

    If I come from a…

    by The Heathen

    Southern family, maybe hill billyish, but not red neckish, do I still kill an emo kid when I rub one out? If so, I have to leave now… I've got work to do. Clear out the Hot Topics and Spencers stores!!! <br> <br> Thanks, T. That's what I thought, but wasn't sure. Cool. That's having your cake and eating it too. The league seems as if it should be bigger for that much space though.

  • April 13, 2007, 1:52 p.m. CST

    Sorry Heath

    by Psynapse

    As you know, there is a world of difference between 'southern' and 'redneck'. If 'southern' qualified I'd be whacking (I made a funny! I made a funny!) one nearly every day.

  • April 13, 2007, 2:06 p.m. CST

    Damn!

    by The Heathen

    One can wish (as I was) though can't they? <br> <br> After thinking about it, my favorite thing in comics in it's recently (besides ELKS RUN being released as a TPB in it's entirety) is this one small panel in the latest All Star Superman. It's right after Superman reassures Lois that things will be okay and then he flies straight up, up and away. This is a really small panel mind you, but the detail of Lois holding her skirt down from the wind Superman created and the color that Jamie Grant uses for his blurred costume was just perfect. All that in about three inches of space. Quitely and Grant are my heroes. It's amazing, check it out.

  • April 13, 2007, 2:08 p.m. CST

    I balked that earlier post, but…

    by The Heathen

    just ignore the "favorite thing in comics in it's recently" derrrrr… You know what I meant… maybe? : )

  • April 13, 2007, 2:12 p.m. CST

    Well we know you like looking up Lois's skirt

    by Psynapse

    among other things......

  • April 13, 2007, 2:13 p.m. CST

    Fuck! We're not even in the Top 10!

    by Psynapse

    Get to posting fuckers!

  • April 13, 2007, 3:23 p.m. CST

    Quitely

    by Shigeru

    draws a mighty damn hot Lois. And yes Heath I noticed that panel too! Though I was particularly fond of the one of Supes holding the kid and saying, in profile "Don't worry Ma'am, I have him." or something to that extent. <br>Heroic.

  • April 13, 2007, 3:31 p.m. CST

    Heroic.

    by The Heathen

    Yeah, when he was taking the wave of fire and he calmly said to the kid to run to his Mom as fast as he could when he told him too, all while he's shielding the youngster from the flames. That's a glorious comic if there ever was one.

  • April 13, 2007, 3:32 p.m. CST

    glorious is a good word for it.

    by Shigeru

    "best-comic-ever" might be another. <br>seriously that book brings a tear to my eye.

  • April 13, 2007, 3:38 p.m. CST

    I prolly should've mentioned this before

    by El Vale

    But i haven't read All Star Supes just yet, though it certainly feels like i have now. Anyway stop it.

  • April 13, 2007, 4:04 p.m. CST

    Sorry, Vale!

    by The Heathen

    Agreed, Shig. Not a thing wrong with that book.

  • April 13, 2007, 4:28 p.m. CST

    Heath!

    by El Vale

    You need to get off your ass and then...get on your ass again, i guess, and watch those two Lost episodes. NOW, bitch!

  • April 13, 2007, 8:03 p.m. CST

    I second that

    by Psynapse

    Depending on how it works for you personally, either your head or penis WILL explode.

  • April 13, 2007, 10:33 p.m. CST

    Let's ask about the Little Mermaid...

    by Homer Sexual

    Is Ariel the Little Mermaid teaching kids about vaginal sex? I would say not. Does a gay character being in a comic teach kids about uses of the penis? I think not. So there, and enough of that. <p> This latest Jonah Hex was the first weak issue by my much-adored Palmiotti/Grey. <p> Add me to the list of people thrilled that Simone will take over Wonder Woman. She'll do for many of us what All-Star has done for Superman, make it all fresh and interesting. Too bad she gave of BoP to do it, but Welcome To Tranquility is excellent. <p> And Friday the 13th? Love it! Anyone who ever liked this kind of thing, I highly recommend it.

  • April 13, 2007, 11:17 p.m. CST

    I learned everything i know about vaginal sex

    by El Vale

    From the Little Mermaid. She was fishy, alright.

  • April 14, 2007, 3:45 p.m. CST

    Well Ursula the Sea Witch WAS based on Divine....

    by Psynapse

    True story: Divine was supposed to be the voice of Ursula but passed away (rather suddenly due to sleep apnea at the age of 42) during production so Disney got Pat Carroll.

  • April 14, 2007, 9:18 p.m. CST

    All Star

    by Tito Trinidad

    Perfect superhero comic. I just wish they would introduce an annoying reporter asking supes if he knows what myspace is so either Lois Lane or Bizarro could knock them the FUCK OUT(used with permission from Fridays).

  • April 15, 2007, 12:17 p.m. CST

    Both heads exploded…

    by The Heathen

    Awesome.

  • April 15, 2007, 10:20 p.m. CST

    posting...

    by blackthought

    posted.

  • April 16, 2007, 7:07 a.m. CST

    Iron Man a douchebag? Dan Slott has the answer!

    by stones_throw

    Check out this SHE-HULK #21 solicit:<p> THE MOST IMPORTANT MARVEL COMIC YOU WILL READ ALL YEAR! "ANOTHER ME, ANOTHER U" Ever notice how in some Marvel comics, characters who are SUPPOSED to be dead show up with NO explanation whatsoever? Or in the wrong costume? Or acting in a way they NEVER have before? Well guess what, True Believer, there was a reason. And that reason is going to have She-Hulk and her friends working on some of their STRANGEST cases yet! Don't miss it-- 'cause this is the issue that fixes 90% of Marvel's continuity problems-- from NOW ON!<p>So while AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE may be neutered Marvel editorial retreat Slott, future issues of SHE-HULK look like being a ton of anarchic fun.

  • April 16, 2007, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Yeah because

    by Psynapse

    Marvel's "answers" over the last few years have made SO MUCH SENSE!

  • April 16, 2007, 12:16 p.m. CST

    I think that's already been mentioned..

    by Thalya

    There's a character called Storyteller that's capable of rewriting continuity at whim. Meh. No Grant Morrison, let me tell you..

  • April 16, 2007, 1:02 p.m. CST

    THIS...IS...

    by El Vale

    LESBOS!!!

  • April 16, 2007, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Actually it's "LEE-BO"

    by Psynapse

    *snicker*

  • April 16, 2007, 1:10 p.m. CST

    *licks Vale*

    by Thalya

    <>

  • April 16, 2007, 1:15 p.m. CST

    *goes cross-eyed and falls backward*

    by Thalya

    Dude, Lave... I hink I jst gt hi on yu, yu kno men?

  • April 16, 2007, 2:26 p.m. CST

    ahh…

    by The Heathen

    Mondays…

  • April 16, 2007, 2:38 p.m. CST

    *sighs*

    by Thalya

    If no one else is gonna act up, then gosh darnit, I will! <BR><BR> *throws a banana cream pie at H*

  • April 16, 2007, 3:39 p.m. CST

    FUCkinfuckersfuckityfuckinfuckfacedFUCKERS!!!

    by Psynapse

    Cockcuntwhorebastardshitheadmotherfuckerassholeslutfaggotpiss-stainBarbaaaaraStreeeiisaaand!! How's that for acting up?

  • April 16, 2007, 4:19 p.m. CST

    Awwww man…

    by The Heathen

    Hmm… is that cream pie? Good batch, T! <br> <br> If you want acting up, try this: I just read an article saying that Edward Norton is cast as Bruce Banner in the next Hulk movie… you know, the one that is kind of a sequel maybe a restart that isn't clear at all and directed by the French dude he did those movies with Turksih where he drove cars that defied the laws of gravity? I for one think if this project had the right people in line and story, etc. that Ed Norton would be an awesome choice, but it doesn't as far as I know, because I don't know anything about it. Wha? It confuses me and I'm able to keep up (for the most part) with comics continuity. I also think Ang Lee's Hulk is beat up on unfairly. I like it. Blow me and have some of my own cream pie. Ohh, snap son!!!

  • April 16, 2007, 5:17 p.m. CST

    I really like Ang Lee's Hulk

    by El Vale

    It's beautiful. Not perfect, by any means, but very ambitious. Too bad being ambitious is a sin. <br><br> Anyway that's pretty weird that you'd mention it, Heaf, cause i was thinking the same thing earlier today.

  • April 16, 2007, 6:27 p.m. CST

    There's A Good Movie Trapped In Ang Lee's HULK..

    by Buzz Maverik

    Much like Bruce Banner trapped inside the mess known as the Incredible Hulk. Basically, everything created for the movie and everything not based on the original Lee/Kirby/Ditko stories sucks. Hulk in the desert, escaping from the army, which I think was what Michael France's original screenplay was about, was good. Adding in the Peter David/Bill Mantlo stuff about the abusive, scientist father and all that shit wrecked the film. The murky, what the fuck was going on Pseudo Absorbing Man...what did they let Nick Nolte make up the last battle or something? Also, Bana acted like he was slumming in the role, which he was but he's supposed to be good enough not to show it. Kinda like how George Clooney let us all know he was too cool to play Batman. That's why I love the DVD. I just go to the Hulk escaping from gamma base in the desert and stop when he meets up with Jennifer Connelly and wimps back to Banner. They screwed up making Nolte the villain. If you're going to have the Absorbing Man, have the Absorbing Man...or better yet, make it another gamma menace like the Leader or the Abomination. The origin was okay, but too small, too TV bound. Like Ellis said in the first PLANETARY:"...he became something that could survive the Bomb." Even though we're not in the nuke testing era, we needed a nuclear blast to create the Hulk. Something big. And why couldn't the Hulk talk? Just because he didn't on the TV show...which was mostly a good TV show...doesn't mean he couldn't in a movie. He didn't make those colossal jumps on TV, either. Like Bana, I think Ang Lee was slumming and couldn't pull it off. Comic movies are hard. You can't have someone who is either too good for the material like Lee, or doesn't respect the material like Joel Schumacher...but you can't have somebody like Mark Steven Johnson or Kevin Smith who is too much of a fanboy to make a comic book movie (Johnson succeeded with GHOST RIDER; my theory is that people still love what are now called "grindhouse" movies, as long as they don't know it's a grindhouse movie, which is why GHOST RIDER was a hit and GRINDHOUSE is a flop). Yeah, I actually used to believe I'd direct the X-MEN movie.

  • April 16, 2007, 6:43 p.m. CST

    I pretty much disagree with all of that

    by El Vale

    Except the stuff in the desert, which was of course fantastic.

  • April 16, 2007, 10:39 p.m. CST

    i dunno...

    by blackthought

    i'd rather have a doctor strange movie personally.

  • April 16, 2007, 11:02 p.m. CST

    Doctor Strange movie?

    by El Vale

    What the fuck for?

  • April 17, 2007, 9:28 a.m. CST

    Dr. Strange? Been there done that

    by Psynapse

    See?: http://tinyurl.com/3bay8b Then again there is this: http://tinyurl.com/3dkkqq<p> Though I side with Blackthought on this one, a Dr. Strange movie done right would be one badass psychedelic ride (though if they leave out the mindless ones I'd havta crucify 'em).

  • April 17, 2007, 1:40 p.m. CST

    So What'd You Like About HULK, El?

    by Buzz Maverik

    Ambitious doesn't work with a filmmaker as experienced as Ang Lee. New guys get points for ambitious. An old pro better be able to deliver the goods. Lee can be as ambitious as he wants, but if the result looks terrible and is a mess then he wasn't able to carry out his ambitions. I'm sure Lee enjoyed his paycheck, but there had to be other projects he was better suited for. I wish more of these guys would say, "Y' know, this really isn't the material for me." I'm sure he was sold on the ALTERED STATES angle and convinced that he was doing what Ken Russell did, only with superheroes. But Chayefsky wasn't writing about a Hulk, and the closest they got was when William Hurt de-evolved into the ape man. The problem is that we don't fear genetic engineering like we did the Bomb. These guys, including Millar in THE ULTIMATES and even the SPIDER-MAN movie guys, are trying to replace the radiation maguffin bullshit with genetic tampering. Won't work. They should have tried to find a visual component for a biological weapon, but then we'd have the problem that our hero was making biological weapons.

  • April 17, 2007, 3:48 p.m. CST

    Hulk should had a 'splosion

    by Psynapse

    It was fucking clown shoes without it.

  • April 17, 2007, 5:04 p.m. CST

    As a great man once said...

    by Thalya

    "Don't make me Ang Lee. You wouldn't like me when I'm Ang Lee."

  • April 17, 2007, 6:21 p.m. CST

    Oddly, DR. STRANGE Directed by Ang Lee...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...would have been awesome. I'm sure he'll never touch another superhero flick, just like George Clooney, a lousy Batman, would have been a perfect Iron Man but is smart enough to never go near a nippled suit again.

  • April 17, 2007, 8:17 p.m. CST

    Let us hope....

    by Psynapse

    That NO ONE goes near a nippled super suit ever ever (EVER I TELL YOU!!!) again. Let's face it, nippling the batsuits has to be one of THE most egregious fashion crimes EVER.

  • April 17, 2007, 9:47 p.m. CST

    All my clothes are nippled

    by El Vale

    Nipples are awesome.