Comics

AICN COMICS REVIEWS ALL STAR BATMAN & ROBIN! MOUSEGUARD! STORM SHADOW! EXILES! AND MUCH MORE!

Published at: May 23, 2007, 1:08 a.m. CST by Moriarty

#4 5/16/07 #6
Logo by Scott Childers

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) ALL STAR BATMAN & ROBIN THE BOY WONDER #5 FALLEN SON: THE DEATH OF CAPTAIN AMERICA - CHAPTER 3 COUNTDOWN #50 MIGHTY AVENGERS #3 STORM SHADOW #1 ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #109 AQUAMAN #52 EXILES #94 Indie Jones presents SUBCULTURE #1 Indie Jones presents WRATH OF THE TITANS #1 Indie Jones presents MOUSEGUARD: FALL 1152 HC Indie Jones presents… CHEAP SHOTS!

ALL STAR BATMAN & ROBIN THE BOY WONDER #5

Goddamn writer: Frank Miller Goddamn Artist: Jim Lee Goddamn Publisher: DC Comics Gol’durn Reviewer: Ambush Bug

If I had a job and at my job, I waltzed into my boss’ office, leapt upon his desk, dropped trou, took a massive shit right between his silver pen set and his rolodex on a regular basis, and said “Where’s my paycheck?”, in the very best possible scenario with the most lenient of bosses, he or she would probably say something to the tone of “Well, at least he’s consistent.”
But if I had a job and at my job, I waltzed into my boss’ office, leapt upon his desk, dropped trou, and took a massive shit right between his silver pen set and his rolodex on a regular basis, then all of a sudden, I stopped doing so on a regular basis, (let’s say, I take six months off) and then I finally walk in and start the dumpin’, and then said “Where’s my paycheck?”, well then that most lenient of lenient bosses might say “That better be one magnificent turd.”
Now, if I had a job and at my job, I waltzed into my boss’ office, leapt upon his desk, dropped trou, and took a massive shit right between his silver pen set and his rolodex on a regular basis, then all of a sudden, I stopped walking in and doing so on a regular basis, but then after a six month hiatus, I did deposit said turd in its regular place and it was of the exact same quality of past turds with no indication that the extended hiatus did anything to improve the quality of said turd, and then had the gall to ask “Where’s my paycheck?”, well then that, my friends, is a turd of a different color.
I read ALL STAR BATMAN & ROBIN THE BOY WONDER through issue #3 and then dropped it. That was quite a while ago and needless to say, I can’t empathize with those who spent the last few months wondering when the next issue of this series was to be released. But released it was last week, and as the reviewing duties of this issue was passed around @$$Hole HQ like the proverbial hot potato, no one really wanting to bite the bullet and cover it, I decided to run out and buy the goddamn issue in question and give it a go.
Now, the reason I dropped this title in the first place was the fact that I think the entire book was misrepresented. Upon its inception, the ALL STAR line said it was different than Marvel’s Ultimate line, but I couldn’t really see the difference. It had an all star line up like the Ultimate U and the draw to this title (and Grant Morrison’s vastly superior ALL STAR SUPERMAN book) supposedly was to tell stories continuity and crossover free. This book was for newbs who may be curious about Batman stories or fans who wanted to see them done right but were scared away from the lackluster regular series. Continuity and crossover free meant new readers to me. And what better new readers than kids, especially since this series came out around the time of the last Batman film? But after reading the first issue of this series, it was clear that this book was, in fact, not for kids. With Batman’s first famous line “I’m the Goddamn Batman”, a quote addressed to a little kid, mind you, it was clear to me that this was an adult title, even though there’s nary a Mature Audiences logo on the cover. Now, I am not some defender of moral decency and I’m not even a parent, but if I were, I might be pissed if my kid brought home a supposedly all ages book where the hero swears at kids.
But that wasn’t the real reason I dropped the title. In the end, the real reason was that I found this series to be ugly and after the way both the DCU and Marvel have dragged most of its heroes through the mud, I had to draw the line somewhere.
Good to see that things haven’t changed.
This issue wastes no time to be ugly. Not one page in and Wonder Woman is referring to urine and sperm while talking about Metropolis and men. She charges in and barks orders to Superman, Green Lantern, and Plastic Man, and basically acts like a total bitch who only shows her softer side when a male abuses her. That male? Of course, it’s Superman. Yes, Frank Miller’s Superman calls Earth “his world, full of his people.” Frank Miller’s Superman is a power-mad god who threatens to kill Wonder Woman and knocks her on her ass with his super sonic voice. Yes, even Superman is not above the ugliness of Frank Miller’s writing. And the writing is sloppy to boot. There really is no indication as to why Wonder Woman is so super pissed at Batman and wanting to kill him. She just hates men and the Batman most of all. She says something about him being the worst of all men, but gives no example as to why she feels this way. Motivation is passé, I guess, as long as it means stripping an iconic heroine of all dignity and virtue.
After this scene, we get a snippet of Bat-action. Miller’s Batman clearly loves what he does. His Batman breaks bones, hates cops, and leaves his criminal/victims to fend for themselves writhing in pain in the alleyways where their crimes are committed. Miller’s Batman is completely unhinged. He’s not the tragic hero from his titles or even from Miller’s forays into Gotham himself with YEAR ONE, DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, and its sequel. This Batman is all about the rush of being Batman. He gets off on the fear he exudes. I must admit, this is an interesting way to go about a take on Batman, but for a reader to identify with a hero he must have a few redeeming qualities. Even Marv from SIN CITY had redeeming qualities. Batman, not so much. Long ago I reviewed THE DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN. I described that miniseries as a bitter letter to the fans from an artist who grew to hate and wanted to destroy that which made him famous. Miller seems to be continuing that ugly crusade with this title. Even the victims themselves are ugly. The victim in this particular issue seems to take great joy in seeing her attackers’ bloody compound fractures and even joins in on the beating.
Cut to an overly buff Alfred; bare-chested, socking on a punching bag, and ruminating about the deaths of the Waynes and what’s become of their son. One of my biggest comic book pet peeves is the fact that everyone in comics has to have abs of steel and a chest carved from granite. Jim Lee, supposedly one of the greats, draws Alfred as if he were Bruce himself. In fact, if not for the fact that he drew a little moustache on him and indicated that Bruce was his master, I would have sworn it was actually Bruce Wayne and not Alfred boxing away.
Finally, we cut to the Batcave where the soon to be (at this rate, probably around 2009) Robin is left alone and tooling around in the Batcave. Way to go, Bats. Swear at a kid, take him for a murderous ride which crushes and kills cops in the process, then leave him in a dark cave and forget to lock the big honkin’ closet with all of those super sharp weapons while you are out feelin’ all alive in “the hunter’s night”, as you say. Remind me not to leave my nephew with Bruce for the weekend.
All in all, it appears the plot has snailed along and even though I missed an issue, I caught up with the storyline pretty quickly because there really isn’t much of one. From cover to cover, it’s simply an ugly book. I don’t know what type of person Frank Miller is. He seems to be comfortable with venturing into dark worlds and focusing on ugly characters. That’s all fine and dandy, but a comic book world seen through the scum-crusted lens of Frank Miller’s camera is not a comic book world I wish to see. In the end, this was the same ugly turd that took an extended amount of time to produce since the last issue. It doesn’t matter if not one @$$Hole wants to review the next issue of ALL STAR BATMAN & ROBIN THE BOY WONDER, whenever the hell that is due to plop on the stands, I won’t be reading or reviewing it when it does.

FALLEN SON: THE DEATH OF CAPTAIN AMERICA - CHAPTER 3

Writer: Jeph Loeb Artist: John Romita, Jr. Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Rock-Me Amodeo

Let’s get right to it: this may be one of the best things to come out of the CIVIL WAR. I don’t want to give away too much. All I will really say is that Tony Stark and Clint Barton are completely in character.
Tony Stark, under his iron jimmies, is still a wheeler-dealer trying to make something good out of a bad situation (without seeming like a complete dirt bag). Regardless of how we got here, registration is the law, and Tony is trying to do the best he can. And Clint Barton is just a little too smug for his own good – as usual – but that doesn’t mean he’s one the wrong side of the issue. He’s still a straight shooter (as one might expect from a bowman), but his mental machinations are-dare I say-nuanced.
There are a few nice nostalgic moments, and there should be. After all, these two guys have worked together off and on for the past 40 years or so. And it’s not lost on me that, before they worked together, they were adversaries, on opposite sides of the law – so who more ironic to be discussing the moral intricacies of a post-Civil War era?
As a bonus, more than a few clever points and observations were offered by our other two guest stars. Well thought-out and salient.
And I tell you, the artwork was great. One thing I thought was a nice touch was Clint’s smile. There’s a part where Clint is trying to be something he’s not, and then he smiles…and you can see he would never ever fit the part. Remember the Hawkeye from the classic run on THUNDERBOLTS? That’s this Hawkeye – and the smile says it all. You’ll know it when you see it. Makes me appreciate Romita’s skills once again (and to think, I used to hate his stuff...).
I apologize if this seems more like an advertisement than a review, but seeing as how I think most people will like it, and given that there have been so many CIVIL WAR books that promised so much and delivered so little, I want people to enjoy this the same way I did: a solid bit of storytelling, with an underlying wistfulness that things didn’t have to be the way they are.

COUNTDOWN #50

Writer: Paul Dini (head writer) Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray (rest of the body) Art: Jim Califiore & Mark McKenna Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Ambush Bug

OK, we’re two issues into DC’s new weekly maxiseries and I am not sure what to think about it. I think the main reason for my perplexed…er…ness is the fact that the layout has not been presented as clearly as 52. That maxiseries, although flawed, had a specific goal: mainly to fill in the missing year when Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman took a break. The cast of characters were presented pretty clearly from the beginning and the hint of a mystery was dropped. All of this happened pretty much in the first issue.
COUNTDOWN, however, has not done any of this. Basically, we’ve been re-introduced to three characters that the maxiseries seems to be intent on focusing so far, namely Mary Marvel, Jimmy Olsen, and the Red Hood. From the blurbs that have been peppered throughout DC titles in the past few months, other players like Ray Palmer (the former Atom), Kyle Rayner, Donna Troy, and maybe Darkseid will be highlighted. And this is fine. Each of these characters are due for some face time and I welcome it. But if you’re going to have a big story, it may be good to show who exactly is going to star in this operetta in the first few issues.
But even that I can forgive because it is only the first two issues I have read. What really bothered me after reading this book was that I am not sure what the reason for this book is other than to squeeze three more bucks from my wallet every week. I say this not only because of the extended scene of Batman fighting the Karate Kid (as depicted in the JLA/JSA crossover that is out now), but because of the scene swiped straight from this week’s FLASH where the Rogues get into a fight as they wait for Inertia to tell them what their next big scheme is AND the next issue blurb in the last issue of ATOM that says that “The Search For Ray Palmer” begins next month. I thought that was going on in COUNTDOWN?!? This made me wonder, what the hell is this book for? Are we in store for more throw-away scenes like the two we received in this issue which really added nothing to the story and wouldn’t really have made sense if not for the fact that I had been reading FLASH and the JLA/JSA crossover already? Is this COUNTDOWN book going to be the comic book equivalent of the deleted scenes special feature of a DVD, which in most cases prove to be pretty uninteresting and proof that the editor made the right decision to delete them? And this “Search For Ray Palmer” thing was one of the main reasons I want to read this book. But if this book is going to be nothing but supplementary material tying into other DC titles and not really having a persona of its own, then maybe I would rather just read the main titles and save a buck or three.
Even if this book is going to be somewhat of an advertisement as to what’s going on throughout the rest of the DCU, editorial should really get it together and bring back the editorial blurbs. If you want this baby to open new readers’ eyes to the rest of the DCU, howzabout a bit of a blurb in the bottom corner stating “Wanna find out what the Rogues do next? Check out this week’s FLASH, on sale now!” or something like that? Doesn’t happen though.
I guess before I go I have to say something about the “major death” that was hyped up as the match that lights the fire of this event. ***SPOILER***The handling of the death of the Joker’s Daughter was pretty damn lame in the last issue. When I first saw Duella Dent breaking up a Red Hood bust, I immediately thought, “Now there’s a pretty cool match. The girl who thinks she’s the Joker’s daughter shacking up with the sidekick that the Joker killed. Sounds like a match made in heaven.” But alas, Duella was snuffed out pretty quickly before any of that potential was reached and other than about ten panels in the most recent arc of TEEN TITANS, she hasn’t really had her time in the sun since probably the Silver Age of Comics. And now she never will. Because of this, the death that is supposed to have the DCU reeling landed with a plop and stunk. I’m not for killing off another character and maybe Duella will show up later some time (after all, it is comic book death we’re talking here), but I think the scene could have been reworked or a more established character could have been used in order to have more effect. Instead of starting the series off with a bang, Duella’s Death started this one off with a gnatfart.***END SPOILER***
Props should be spun for the art in this book. I’ve always been a fan of Jim Califiore and Mark McKenna. Here they prove to have a distinct look stylistically, yet still drawing in a straight forward manner. Although the characters are somewhat stiff in the Batman vs. Karate Kid fight scene, these guys did a great job of presenting all of the characters in interesting angles and poses, making them look different from one another, and simply focusing on telling the story rather than doing it flashy-stylee.
I understand that 52 was a malleable experiment for DC and that hopefully they learned from their mistakes. This time they seem to have less cooks in the kitchen with a capable writer leading the way in Dini. Like I said before, a book which has both Jimmy Olsen and Mary Marvel in the forefront sounds pretty damn exciting to me. As long as the main story isn’t strayed from too much with these weekly snippets from other DC books out in that particular week, I’ll be on board. And who knows, maybe this time, the people writing whatever it is we are counting down to know what they are doing and these events interspersed with this issue may have something to do with the grand scheme of things. I don’t know at this point. I’m trying to be optimistic here, but after the way 52 fizzled out with me with its hasty resolutions to some subplots and obvious favoritism towards some storylines over others, color me leery about COUNTDOWN. I’ll be proceeding with caution with this book.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #3

Writer: Brian Micael Bendis Artist: Frank Cho Publisher: Marvel Comics Review: Rock-Me Amodeo

First, I have to say one thing: preeeeetttttyyyyy! What else can you say about an issue where Frank Cho draws a naked woman (hard to think of her as Ultron, though. Maybe we could call her “the Silver Skank?” “My Ultrona?” I’m open to suggestions…), fighting the half-female Avengers? It’s, uhn…titillating, to say the least.
I’m enjoying the major direction of this arc. That said, I confess I’m of mixed feelings about this issue, for the same reasons that always leave my glass feeling half-empty: reservations about the handling of undertones and subplots.
For example: Carol Danvers is supposed to be leading the Avengers. But Wasp is on point because “Janet-tron” looks like her. Okay. Carol does take charge in the retreat and division of forces, excellent. But a few pages later, the Black Widow takes charge and does so effectively. This causes Carol to lament that someone else is in charge…which is appropriate. She considers it again toward the end of the book…which is appropriate.
But I HOPE that Carol’s on-again off-again leadership is overtly addressed and not overlooked. Remember, this is a woman trying to prove herself in her eyes, the Avenger’s eyes and OUR eyes. So far, her case as potentially “the best of the best” is not a strong one, which makes for a great story IF it’s addressed and resolved.
On the plus side, it’s nice to see Sentry being showcased somewhat, if only as a cosmic sledgehammer on Prozac. Ares is pretty good in his part as the “angry character who wants to rush in without a plan”, but so far, all he’s really doing is making me miss Hawkeye.
Henry Pym is played well to comic effect (though I couldn’t help but think that Tigra’s feline hearing should have alerted her to a possible threat - I know, I’m thinking like a fanboy and not a non-geek reader, but I can’t stop myself).
Even more nitpicky: if a person’s thought balloon is just “….” (page 8), which I guess means they’re not really thinking of anything, do they really NEED a thought balloon? Just wondering. Even “armpitted again!” would be…oops, wrong book.
And as I mentioned, Natasha is an effective leader, but of course, she’s not the one trying to prove her mettle. Also, on a side note, I think you’re only allowed to yell “Battle stations!” or some other generic rallying cry like, uhn, once per issue. It’s a rule somewhere. Even “Avengers Assemble” sounds Velveeta-flavored on its second utterance.
It may sound like I’m slamming the issue. I’m not. It’s one of the books to which I excitedly look forward, and I’ll get the next issue too. I wanna see what happens, and that says a lot of good things about Bendis, not just Cho. But there are a lot of logistical and emotional balls in the air here, because it’s the freakin’ Avengers - when they roll well, that’s how they roll. It’s why I buy the book. I just want to see all the moving pieces come together, and I’m a tad nervous as to whether they will. I think Bendis can do it, but we’ll see.

STORM SHADOW #1

Writer: Larry Hama Art: Mark Robinson Publisher: Devil’s Due Publishing Reviewer: Ambush Bug

Et tu, Hama?
Remember GI JOE? I loved GI JOE. I had almost every figure until they started getting all Day-Glo colored and shit. And the first series from Marvel came out right about the time that I became interested in comics. GI JOE and STAR WARS were probably more accurately the gateway drugs that lead me to my addiction to comics in the first place.
Now, I remember Storm Shadow and I remember Larry Hama. I believe Storm Shadow made his first appearance in the “Silent Issue” AKA GI JOE #21 AKA probably one of the coolest comics ever published. I also remember Larry Hama to be pretty bad@$$ when it came to writing intense, character-driven action. He was dedicated to GI JOE and made some pretty complex stories involving the toys I grew up playing with and taking the whole damn thing pretty seriously.
I know Devil’s Due has been publishing GI JOE for a while. I think I even reviewed a few of the very first issues and remember liking it quite a bit, especially an issue dedicated to that Hawaiian-shirt wearing douchebag, Chuckles. The problem I had with GI JOE was that it seemed as if Devil’s Due was trying to cash in waaaay too hard and too soon. Within a short time, there were spin-off titles, secondary titles, animated series titles, titles dedicated to origins, and villains, and vehicles, and whatever. That was the type of shit that drove me to stop buying the Marvel series in the first place and for Devil’s Due to follow suit so quickly was a turn off. So I haven’t really been following GI JOE in a few years.
After hearing a few requests from the TBs, I decided to keep my eyes peeled for any new GI JOE properties that I may be interested in reading. I’m always one to try to appease the readers, y’know. So this week, I saw STORM SHADOW on the racks, saw Larry Hama’s name on the cover, shrugged my shoulders, and said “What the hell?”
Now, I know times have changed and comic book storytelling has changed with it. These days, filling an issue with both action AND character drama is almost unheard of, but with Larry Hama at the helm, I didn’t think this would be a problem for such a wizened Real American Hero. I thought I was in for some “Issue #21-stylee wicked-@$$ ninja shit.” But unfortunately, I was wrong.
Despite the pretty kick-@$$ cover that just screams “Within this book resides some Issue #21-stylee wicked-@$$ ninja shit”, there’s really not much by way of “Issue #21-stylee wicked-@$$ ninja shit” going on in this issue. This is your typical Nu Marvel type issue where the character on the cover, the character who you bought the book to see, doesn’t really show up in costume or do much of anything.
Yes, Storm Shadow is in this issue, but he never is in his ninja outfit. He just walks around in all white street clothes (it’s what every fashionable ninja is wearing this summer). He does have a couple of confrontations with guys, but they end quickly and one of them occurs completely off-panel. Some drama unfolds involving a kidnapped kid, an albino woman, and something called Morning Light, but no one really knows what the hell that is. We get to see a lot of cool shots of Chicago, which I recognized since that’s the place I currently call home (which I did find pretty damn cool, mind you, but I doubt anyone else would who doesn’t live in Chicago). But I’m sad to report that “Issue #21-stylee wicked-@$$ ninja shit” does not occur in this issue.
Is it wrong to compare this comic to one of the coolest comics ever? Maybe. But it does star the same character from that issue. It is written by the same guy; the same guy that used to be able to pack an issue with action, character, and cool shit over and over again with room to spare. To see Hama go the decompressed route with this issue was pretty disappointing.
The artwork is pretty nice. It reminds me a bit of a tighter AEON FLUX-like animation cell style. The characters are outlined in grainy lines, yet slightly stylized to look not like manga, but more like American anime. The characters look pretty distinct and dynamic, all thanks to artist Mark Robinson’s skillful pen work. The action that does happen is pretty sweet (especially a scene where Stormy dodges some tasers) and Robinson could probably do some pretty cool stuff in the “Issue #21-stylee wicked-@$$ ninja shit” manner if such scenes were written. But alas, it looks as if we’re going to have to do another one of those wait-and-see’s with this series and since I only haphazardly picked this issue up, I doubt I’ll really be interested in doing that. The image of @$$-kickery on the cover of this one is misleading. Storm Shadow’s alter ego Thomas Arashikage shows up a plenty, but if you’re looking for “Issue #21-stylee wicked-@$$ ninja shit” like I was, you will probably be disappointed.

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #109

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis Penciler: Mark Bagley Inker: Drew Hennessy Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Jinxo

There has been a lot of dissatisfaction of late with the mainstream Marvel Universe Spider-Man titles. I’m one of the people who hasn’t been doing backflips, what with Spidey having to accommodate CIVIL WAR crap and the black suited “Dark Spider-Man” crap added to help promote the most apathetically received blockbuster ever.
But what specifically are the problems that are messing up Spider-Man’s game? I mean practically speaking, what’s going wrong plotwise? Reading this month’s issue of ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN kind of crystallized those problems for me. Because everything the mainstream SPIDER-MAN is messing up, ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN is doing right.
What does a solid Spider-Man story need? The plot itself should be big, epic if possible. Spider-Man is usually at his best as the hero in over his head, trying to not just survive but also trying to hold onto who he is, what he stands for. I mean, part of his origin is his selling out who he is and paying the price. Finally, there has to be some humor. Now, that humor can be Spider-Man just cracking jokes or being a nerd. But it doesn’t have to be that. It can also be the horrible humor of the universe itself seeming to play just giant, ironic, cruel jokes on Spider-Man.
So, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. Right off, JMS does love his epics. It seems whenever possible if he can he will try to imbue his stories with some sort of epic scale. A bunch of folks seem to enjoy the first stories of his run more than the later ones. So what changed? Well, all the way through there have been epic stories with Spider-Man in over his head. But his early stories have a great deal of humor that his later ones are desperately missing. I just think back to Spider-Man sitting at Doctor Strange’s house, waiting to disappear into another dimension. Then for a panel he disappears and you think, oh, well there he goes. Then the next panel there is an off screen “flush” and then Spidey is back. Back at the start JMS would be sure to get those moments IN and their humor and humanity would help keep Spider-Man as the regular likable nerd stuck in the epic drama. But more and more the main stream Spider-Man books have all just gotten darker and darker in tone where I think the feeling is, I guess maybe there is no room for levity. As to the other type of humor…they do have life just dumping on Spider-Man but not in a life playing a cruel joke on him way. Spider-Man is killed and reborn as more of a Spider-Man. Okay, getting killed sucks, getting giant stingers is intense and funky but I’m not seeing anything “fun” for him or us. He puts his faith in Iron Man, Tony Stark turns out to be a douche, Peter ends up on the run and Aunt May ends up getting her daily dose of iron in the form of a bullet. Again, it is life dumping on him but in a way that is just depressing. And as to Spidey hanging on to “who he is”? Well, he’s lost that battle already. Yes, he switched sides in the war to keep his integrity. But now he has turned into a man bent on murder. Even with good reason, that is a betrayal of who he is. I’m sure in the end he won’t end up killing Kingpin but that’s beside the point. He has already set out to do it and he did it without seeming to bat an eye. Part of the point of the current plot was him just jumping in with righteous fury and going for that kill. Spider-Man isn’t funny, he isn’t troubled by deciding to become a killer… he’s a bummer.
Peter David goes wrong a different way. His last arc had Spidey involved in a big time traveling, Uncle Ben killing mess. Now David actually DID try to get some humor and amusing irony in but he just put it in in a way that just didn’t work. Maybe it is that with the war and the black suit humor just doesn’t mesh in easily. I dunno. If that’s the case, if there is no room for fun in Spider-Man comics, then Marvel Comics has screwed the pooch big time.
So what about ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN? The current arc hits all the right notes being missed by that other Peter Parker. Similar to the plot in AMAZING, ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN is also out to kill The Kingpin. But that’s where any similarity ends. The plot leading up to this issue had Peter teaming up with a number of other heroes so that together they can work to take out Kingpin. Hitting that checklist. Epic? Yes. Not spider-gods or civil revolution level epic but so much larger than teenage Peter Parker that, yes, it’s got an epic sized quality to it. In over his head? Oh yeah, you bet. In fact Peter is in over his head even further than he even knows which leads into the humor part. The humor is definitely of the life screwing you over variety. Peter is just so so screwed in such amazingly horrible ways but in ways that, as a reader, are just so much fun. So Peter joins a hero group. The bad news: none of the heroes likes each other, trusts each or even knows each other very well. It’s not often you get a group that doesn’t even like each other so that’s a surprise. And as the story has gone on nearly everyone has been suspected of screwing over the rest of the group. And, oh yeah, one of their members, Moon Knight? They send him in undercover to work for Kingpin. Probably would have been a better idea if they DID know him so they would know he’s nutty as a fruitcake with split personalities. So asking him to adopt a new fake identity…probably not the best move. But an entertaining bad move.
But wait! There’s more. Like that isn’t enough of a cosmic wedgie this issue reveals Spider-Man is still even MORE screwed. You know what? Kingpin shooting your Aunt is just so straight forward horrible. What Ultimate Kingpin does to his Spider-Man is just so much more deliciously horrible. Kingpin pwns Spidey in a very tangible way. He’s in so deep he’s drowning and the fates are just lauuuuughing. And as a reader I feel bad for him but I’m grinning from ear to ear the whole time. With Mark Bagley leaving as artist on this book I will miss the current ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN era when it ends. By comparison the black suit and The Initiative “Spider-Man on the run” plots can’t end soon enough for me.

AQUAMAN: SWORD OF ATLANTIS #52

Writer: Tad Williams Art: Shawn McManus Publisher: DC Comics Rantin’ & reviewin’: - Ambush Bug

“Sword of Atlantis?” More like “Bored of Atlantis!”
Bwah!
Did you see what I did there?
I made a joke…with the name.
I…I did a funny thing there.
A-heh! A-ha! A-hurm…er…sooo…
I hate to get all “This book sux!” but man this book sucks harder than a suckerfish from Krypton fully bathed in yellow sunlight sucking on something that sucks even worse than the idea of a Kryptonian suckerfish.
God, will they just kill this Aquakid posing as Aquaman already? We know DC made the decision to youth-ify Arthur way back when the WB was considering an all-new, all-different, all-teenie-bopper-melodrama take on the character as a spin-off from SMALLVILLE, but that idea sunk like a rock hard turd with the WB ad wizards, yet the comic book guys can’t catch on. Even a writer of Kurt Busiek’s caliber couldn’t do anything with the concept. Yet DC is plodding along with this idea like the guy you know who obviously wears an awful toupee and thinks he’s fooling people into thinking that he actually looks cool. This book is that guy!
This book has too many characters played for comic effect or given absolutely nothing to do. There are too many plots and locations with little focus at all. It’s like a bucket full of minnows darting around with no purpose and bumping into each other. There is one tiny scene told in flashback that was effective in this issue. Aquagirl talks about a chilling tale of drowning water breathers followed by a tale of drowning air breathers. But this sidebar doesn’t involve the main character at all, although it would have been a far more interesting story than the one we got.
And although I’ve loved Sean McManus’ art in the past, it is completely unsuitable with this material. His flippant pencil work make all serious moments seem unintentionally goofy and his character designs are just painful. Hot chicks with dolphin, seal, and crab faces with long flowing hair wearing motorcycle helmets that would never fit over their snouts? Monsters that look more like bad guys from early Mickey Mouse cartoons? It’s that bad, folks.
I didn’t think it could get any worse than it was when Busiek was writing the title. I would sooner recommend squatting on a sea urchin before I can recommend reading this book.

EXILES #94

Writer: Chris Claremont Artist: Paul Pelletier Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Rock-Me Amodeo

EXILES is the book Claremont was born to write. This is not necessarily a bad or good thing, it just is.
In Claremont (BTW, did you catch his appearance on HEROES last Monday? He was the sword repairman…), we have the guy who steered Marvel’s most well-known franchise to its early successes. But we also have the guy who created some of the most convoluted storylines in all of comicdom. AND we have a guy who LOVES stories set in alternate universes.
Seems like a match made in comic book heaven. This should be a nice, old-school book.
Except that it’s not very well done. I really wanted to like it, but I kept getting taken out of the story.
For example, Morph talks about getting a breather to build some shield arrays. Out of which orifice, exactly? It’s just his body in the shape of…uhn, multiple spikey things (technically, I suppose any number could be an array…I guess…).
Longshot’s power is temporarily nullified because he didn’t see something coming. But his power is probability altering, and not affected by line-of-sight. Whoopsy.
Sabertooth (man, does he EVER shut up?) talks to himself WAY too much – expository stuff, info-dump stuff, and the always laughable “Losin’ my balance – Ouch!”
And deep things are thrown at us at the end that really had no resonance. I’m a heartless cad, I know. Overall, it’s not horrible, just clunky. But think twice before spending your dollar arrays on this.

SUBCULTURE # 1

Written by: Kevin Freeman Illustrated by: Stan Yan Published by: Ape Entertainment Reviewed by: superhero

Well, this could have been better. Well, it could have been worse but it definitely could have been better.
SUBCULTURE # 1 deals with the misadventures of the "geek crowd". Oh, we all know them. The comic collectors, the hard core videogamers, the tabletop RPGers. Hell, you, like me, may even be one of them. Heck, I've been known to toss a few dice at the table with my pen and paper role playing game crew. I've even been known to have a comic collection stashed somewhere as I'm sure that many of you out there reading this column have. So you'd figure that SUBCULTURE would be just the book for me, right? You'd figure that any comic that tries to tell the tale of a group of geeks like me would be right up my alley, right?
The problem is that SUBCULTURE doesn't really celebrate the geek culture so much as it seems to have an outright disdain for it. I get that this book is trying to poke fun at the stereotypes that make up fandom nerds but the problem here is that there seems to be an underlying disdain running through the pages of this book for the aforementioned demographic. Almost every character in this book is pathetic in one form or another. No one character seems to have any real qualities to care about. Heck, even the female lead in the book, the supposed "cool, hot chick" comes across as overly obnoxious and incredibly annoying. Meanwhile the main lead is so full of self loathing that it's hard to identify with him much less root for him in any way. Instead of having fun with his characters writer Freeman seems to just be pointing at them and addressing how truly pathetic they really are. Not to mention that most, if not all, of the characters in the book are completely one-dimensional. Almost every one of them consists of cheap stereotypes that all of us have seen hundreds of times before. And they weren't any funnier then.
SUBCULTURE seems to try to position itself as some sort of CLERKS for the comic/videogamer/RPG crowd, but it falls short. The difference between this and something from Kevin Smith's Jerseyworld is that Smith seems to have a genuine affection for his characters no matter how truly pathetic they really are. There's a quality in something like CLERKS or even the truly magnificent TEENAGERS FROM MARS that's lacking in SUBCULTURE. It's the fact that instead of truly fleshing out all of his characters, giving us people we can truly identify with and recognize, Freeman just pastes together loosely constructed caricatures and therefore there's no real depth to SUBCULTURE's characters or the story that they're engaged in.
This isn't to say that there isn't anything enjoyable in SUBCULTURE. Stan Yan's art is fun to look at with a professional cartoon-like style. Plus, despite my problems with the story's characters and all around feel there are a couple neat little gags here and there that made me smile. The problem is that those little gags weren't enough to engage my interest in SUBCULTURE's world of stereotypical geekdom.

RAY HARRYHAUSEN PRESENTS WRATH OF THE TITANS #1

Writers: Darren G. Davis and Scott Davis Art: Nadir Balan Publisher: Blue Water Productions Reviewer: Ambush Bug

Simply put: I found this comic to be Hamlin-tastic!
It’s a direct sequel to CLASH OF THE TITANS. And who the hell doesn’t love that movie? I believe it’s downright un-American not to love CLASH OF THE TITANS. In fact, I know for a fact that that if you don’t love CLASH OF THE TITANS, the terrorists win.
But back to the book. Chances are if you are a regular reader of this site, you’ve ooh-ed and aahh-ed at a few Harryhausen films. WRATH OF THE TITANS writers Darren G. Davis and Scott Davis do a great job of harnessing the fun and wonder that ran rampant through the movie and transferring it into this first issue. CLASH’s hero, Perseus, and Andromeda are about to have a child. Zeus, Big Poppa of the Gods, is ecstatic and wants the rest of the gods to shower his grandson with gifts. Of course, the sea-bitch Thetis is still pretty sore at Zeus for making her once beautiful son, Calibos, look like Dennis Rodman, so she comes up with a surefire plan for vengeance. Welcome and familiar faces like Bubo and Pegasus show up, as do Perseus’ magical weapons from the film. We even get an appearance from the Hydra (not the terrorist organization from Marvel Comics, but the million headed serpent from mythology) and we catch up with Perseus’ momma.
From panel one to the very end, I loved this comic. It embraces everything from the movie and expands on it by incorporating other characters from Greek mythology. The art is equally memorable with some seriously amazing monster designs. This first issue also has quite a few character sketches of monsters that will most definitely prove to be a challenge for Perseus in future issues.
Sure, it ain’t Shakespeare. But neither was the movie. The movie took classic mythology and made it into a story for all ages to enjoy. This is a worthy sequel of that film that we all hold near and dear. Plus this book has the official stamp of approval of Mr. Ray Harryhausen himself and provides pages from Harryhausen’s sketchbooks from some of his films. Highest recommendation for those who want to read comics that put the fun back in funny books.

MOUSE GUARD: FALL 1152 HC

Writer/Artist: David Petersen Publisher: Archaia Studios Press Reviewed by Humphrey Lee

So the "Indie darling" of 2006 has hit shelves in its first bound edition so I, being the inquisitive fellow with way to much disposable income on his hands that I am, decided it was worth a gander. Besides, it's already got the AICN stamp of approval on it inside the slipcover. Worst thing happens, that Farabee fellow will owe me a couple rounds of brews. Or a shot at his wife... (I'm kidding. I don't even know if the bastard's married or not).
The problem here though, is that I'm not sure how much I enjoyed this. And believe me, I did enjoy this, but the thing about "Indie Darlings" like MOUSE GUARD here is that sometimes I think you find yourself liking it more than you really do because you feel obligated to do so. Books like this almost never get any attention outside the mainstream so that it becomes something extra special to you when you become exposed to it. Since there's such a small group of you that have read and enjoy it so much, it's almost like this exclusive little club and you bump it up in your head to be more important than it really is. I think right now I can firmly say that I can easily see myself falling in love with the world that MOUSE GUARD has presented us with, but for now it's a really enjoyable yarn with lots of potential in its future.
Here's the main thing about this story: it goes by way too fast. And not one of those "it's so good the time just flies by as you read it" dealies. It's a really quick read. It's very art driven. Which is fine, the art is absolutely gorgeous and greatly unique all at the same time and that's a great place to start to draw in an audience. Off the top of my head I can think of maybe just a handful of artistic endeavors from the past year that I'd rank up with this one. The story is where I tend to pull back a bit. Oh, it's a fine little tale involving three mice of the fabled Mouse Guard that have come across a traitorous plot to ransack the home base of their troops. There's lots of comraderie, some surprisingly vicious sword-fighting amongst the mice themselves, and against some of nature's more vicious inhabitants (especially if you're a furry creature of all of three inches tall) and so on. But like I said earlier, this story goes by really fast: so fast that we don't really get to know a lot of the characters, or much of the obvious mythos and history Petersen has for this fledgling little world of his. There's hints and slight references to some past wars and events that have made the world of MOUSE GUARD what it is currently in this, but not enough to really satiate my palate and draw me fully in. I need some more to this besides the flashy battles and the really, really pretty artwork. The good news is, though, that by the end of this volume things look very much on the up and up as far as progression the way I want goes. There's going to be some carryover in the story from this volume into the next, plus it looks like a prime opportunity for Petersen to pull back and give us a little more in depth involvement into the lives of the furry protagonists he's introduced here in his first MOUSE GUARD outting.
I really hope this is the case, because there looks to be so many great stories to be told with this series. I'm remaining very positive that a year or two or three down there road that I'll have a nice little row of these hardcovers and will be looking for any opportunity and reason to break them all out and soak up this lively and rich world. As it is this initial hardcover is just a nice little appetizer: a great presentation to look at but not terribly filling.

SALVADOR #1 BOOM! Studios

Possibly the most beautiful comic I have read this year and most definitely the most visually pleasing book BOOM! has ever published. This silent first issue follows a trio of sinister looking fellows as they recover the body of a faceless silver being. Wrapping him in a pair of large feathers, the trio takes the body on a slow precession through an underground subway system, leading to a river, and emerging in a temple in the middle of a jungle. I’m not sure what exactly is going on, but I so know that I love what I am seeing. This is the first work I have seen from artist Steph Stamb, but I hope to see much more in the future. The imagery is lushly drawn and the splash pages are utterly engrossing. Written by The Polish Brothers (the creative cinematic force that brought you NORTHFORK and TWIN FALLS IDAHO) and Sebastian Jones. This book may be light on story so far, but the imagery makes up for it in spades. I can’t wait for further issues of this book so I can dive into those as well. - Ambush Bug

ZOD #8 Zod Magazine.com

Steingroot delivers another fun volume with his latest volume of ZOD. This comic sees the continuation of Steingroot's interpretation of the literary classic THE ODYSSEY but with cute little cartoon animals playing all the parts against a backdrop of space adventure and superheroics. When I reviewed previous volumes of this book last year I said that this comic was perfect for younger readers and for anyone with a younger reader trapped inside. That still holds true here as anyone looking for a unique yet simply fun read is sure to find it within the pages of ZOD. The creator of this book uses the best elements of childrens' books, kooky sci-fi, and old fashioned comic book hijinks to put together a package that is just out and out adorable. That's right, I said adorable. Publishers take note: ZOD has true potential to be a breakout hit with the little tykes so snag a deal with this indie creator now before someone else beats you to it. If ZOD gets the exposure it deserves you could be kicking yourself for not going after it when it was just the tiny little pamphlet that could. - superhero

BLACK GAS 2 #2 Avatar

Let me make this perfectly clear. This is not a story about Sleazy G’s flatulence after a long night of burritos and tequila. That, my friends, is a horror story of a different color. This is, however, an awesome zombie book. Sure, Ellis is kind of slumming it here. He has made it abundantly clear that he dislikes the zombie genre, but Ellis proves that even half-assed, he writes better than most writers do on their best day. It’s the tiny things that make this book worth reading, like the officer going on and on about how the military helicopter taking shots at them should realize that zombies can’t drive cars, then moments later a zombie in a car tries to run them down. It’s that kind of stuff that makes this series fun and has me wishing for a part 3 and 4 and 5 from Ellis, pulling the camera back a bit further from the island that spewed the zombie-making black gas skyward to the city on the shoreline mere miles from the island. I want to see the cloud move country-wide, across continents, eventually affecting the entire world. Certainly Ellis could handle a zombie tale on a world-wide scale better than anyone. But in the meantime, this issue is another strong one with one hell of a revoltin’ development for one star character occurring at the end. Although distribution is sporadic, this zombie comic is well worth the wait and definitely one of the best on the racks. - Ambush Bug

HERO SQUARED #6 BOOM! Studios

This book should be bought and cherished simply for the fact that I believe comic book history has been made with the use of the term TINKALATINKALATINKLATINKLA as a sound descriptor of talking a leak. Yep, that’s right. This issue tells the secret origin of Captain Valor…and it takes place in a public bathroom. More offbeat antics that have come to be expected from Keith Giffen and JM DeMatteis ensue in this issue. We also get to see how uber-cutie Stephie became the evil Caliginous. Both origins are fun, but what is best is the mirror image story telling that is going on between Milo and his alternate universe counterpart Captain Valor. Both run in to crisis and their lives continue to intertwine with fun twists on comic book conventions and morality. All of it marked with the banter that made Giffen and DeMatteis famous. - Ambush Bug

ALL STAR BATMAN & ROBIN THE BOY WONDER #5 DC Comics

Review delayed indefinitely due to circumstances beyond Professor Challenger's control. All solicitations have been cancelled. As soon as we have enough of the review in hand to set a probable publication date, we will solicit the review once again.
Thanks to all our wonderful fans for bending over and grabbing the ankles.
'Nuff said. - Prof.

CONAN #40 Dark Horse Comics

I guess with a title like “Two Wizards and a Funeral” I shouldn’t expect the most hardcore of CONAN tales and that’s exactly what I got with this issue. It was a fun story that didn’t take itself too seriously. I am going to wait and see how the “Rogues in the House” arc turns out, but so far, since Kurt Busiek left this title, Tim Truman’s Conan just isn’t cutting it for me. There are still scenes of badassedness and the art is still fantastic (this issue’s art is the same with some great gritty scenes from Paul Lee), but Busiek’s CONAN proved that even though the book focused on a barbarian known to act first and ask questions later, that didn’t mean that it couldn’t be told in a smart way. Much like the HBO series DEADWOOD, Busiek seemed to love the language this barbarian spoke and the tales of Robert E. Howard, paying attention to minute details to make Conan’s rise from thief to king make sense. That craftsmanship seems lacking with Truman’s take on the character. Maybe he’ll surprise me with “Rogues”. I hope he does, but so far, I am not really impressed. - Bug

THE FLASH: THE DULLEST MAN ALIVE DC Comics

I’ve been calling this book “The Dullest Man Alive” for so long that I actually forgot that when the last issue ended, I was mildly excited to see the next one. And here it is. This issue wasn’t too bad. If you don’t like FLASH, this is not going to change your stance. But if you do like him, the season of perpetual teeth-grinding may actually be over. Guggenheim picked up the writing chores in issue 9, and I was initially skeptical, if only for his usage of the New God Steppenwolf (still waiting to see appearances from Wolf’s lesser known siblings, Big Bad, Virginia, and Timber. Come to think of it, seeing Brin Londo would rock! Especially if he showed up in Chameleon Boy’s costume: that would make him a Wolf in Reep’s clothing. And how often can you roll out THAT joke? But I digress…) Happily, Guggenheim delivers in this issue. Anyway, the book seems to be taking a more meaningful and engaging direction Now if only they can find a steady artist. They’ve been going through them like Spinal Tap through drummers. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of Tony Daniel’s stuff, or any of the pencilers on parade, really. They just need to find one and stick with him. Maybe this book will gain a consistent feel – and audience – if that happens. - Rock-Me

ULTIMATES 2 #13 Ultimate Marvel Comics

Review delayed indefinitely due to circumstances beyond Professor Challenger's control. All solicitations have been cancelled. As soon as we have enough of the review in hand to set a probable publication date, we will solicit the review once again.
Thanks to all our wonderful fans for bending over and grabbing the ankles.
'Nuff said. - Prof.

THE GOON: SATAN’S SODOMY BABY #1 Dark Horse Comics

So after sitting back and reading this, and laughing my tuchis off, and I get to the end am I'm left wondering: Uh, what was so bad about all this? Oh sure, there were some jokes at the expense of the religious, and there's gay jokes and straight jokes, and well, jokes about pretty much everyone that a joke can be made about, oh and there's some baby Satan penis too, but it still seems a little tame considering the whole hulabaloo being made about this having to come in the Adult Previews and blah blah blah. Whatever, it was still highly entertaining, as entertaining as any issue of Powell's genius THE GOON is and succeeds admirably skewering, well, whoever it feels like skewering. Sometimes it seems like it's actually kind of pandering, or trying to be offensive for the sake of being offensive, but for $3.50 you'll be hard pressed to find anything else that has come out this month and delivered on the same level of pure, mindless entertainment. - Humphrey

Remember, if you have a comic 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.

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

Readers Talkback

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  • May 23, 2007, 1:10 a.m. CST

    1st

    by Cigsandcoffee1756

    yep

  • May 23, 2007, 1:22 a.m. CST

    3rd

    by WONKABAR

    ???

  • May 23, 2007, 1:42 a.m. CST

    Miller is Losing It

    by DOGSOUP

    He's a better Movie Guy than a Comic Guy these days. I bet those days are limited too....

  • May 23, 2007, 1:49 a.m. CST

    I think Miller hates superheroes...

    by mrsinister7381

    it seems like he hasn't had any love for the spandex since The Dark Knight Returns....well, Daredevil TMWF mini was good...maybe his last good hero story. Stick to Sin City and such Frank. Boo to DC for thinking that slapping Millers name on anything makes it gold. I think FM is fucking both sides, the suits and the fans. Give us a cool Ultimate ( i don't care what they say, its ultimatization) Batman. Have Dennis O'neil write it and JIM APARO pencil. fuck yeah

  • May 23, 2007, 2:08 a.m. CST

    mrsinister

    by Boondock Devil

    It would have to be a zombie Aparo wouldn't it? But you're right on about Miller. His stuff is just Epic Movie. A really bad parody.

  • May 23, 2007, 2:10 a.m. CST

    Wrath of the Titans... where did this come from?

    by Boondock Devil

    I HAVE to get this. I grew up watching Clash as a child and fell in love with greek mythology because of it. Plus it's got Mr. Harryhausen's stamp of approval, how can you go wrong? And just because it wasn't mentioned at all in any of the reviews... Jeff Parker still rules the world. Thank you.

  • May 23, 2007, 3:34 a.m. CST

    All Star B&R is All Star B S

    by Steve Rogers

    The plot -- oh wait, there IS NO PLOT. The timeline is completely fucking screwed within the narrative as well. How long ago was Bats meant to have "kidnapped" Dick? They make it play like the main action is all within one night but it's been long enough for Dick's face to get plastered on a milk carton in Metropolis! Obviously no one at DC has the fucking balls to edit Miller properly and stand up to him over his bastardization of not only Batman but the rest of their flagship characters. Miller is laughing out of his ass at us for buying this rampaging load of festering shit. Not even Jim Lee can save it. I am boycotting this title from here on in. Fucking DC - stand up to the man!

  • May 23, 2007, 4:47 a.m. CST

    Re:Exiles; Thank you!

    by DarkZero

    Why is my favorite comic geekfest suddenly sucking? After stumbling across Exiles, I've read every back issue, and even though it's very slow and episodic, it really made for a great story, actually made me give a damn about the characters, and is one of the few stories I've seen besides Runaways (be it in comic books, TV, or anything else serialized) that actually lived up to the idea of a revolving cast where characters can actually be killed. And now suddenly after 90+ issues over the course of years, the regular Marvel universe Psylocke has taken over as the main character and narrator, one of the lamest story arcs is one of the few that promises to become a continuing plotline, and all of the established characters are acting completely out of sorts, as if they didn't have dozens of issues of backstory? Exiles is, as practically anyone who explains the series to a new reader will tell you, a combination of Marvel "What If?" and the '90s TV show Sliders. When I read these issues of Exiles, I felt like I was watching the last few horrible seasons of that TV show, where the writing fell straight into the basement. Hopefully Claremont picks up the ball soon, because I was really hopeful that he'd make Exiles as great as it was twenty or thirty issues ago. It was already on a decline.

  • May 23, 2007, 5:13 a.m. CST

    Ambush Bug is knocking them out of the park today!

    by stones_throw

    Awesome AQUAMAN and ALL STAR reviews, man. Though maybe I preferred Prof Challenger's.

  • May 23, 2007, 5:31 a.m. CST

    All Star Robin!

    by Black Satin 2

    I have to think Miller is showing a world where the Heroes are not much 'heroic' at all, with Batman acting more like a juvenile bully than a caped crusader. Robin represents a return to values and hope and by him coming in perhaps he is going to make a statement on how valuable 'the Boy Wonder' truly is. Black Canary and Wonder Woman acted very slutty and bitchy respectedly. Batgirl is supposed to be coming next.

  • May 23, 2007, 5:35 a.m. CST

    The State of Spider-Man

    by Black Satin 2

    Is it me or does this guy ever need someone cosmic to come and mindwipe everything? These books are awful. He needs someone to make a deal with him. Take everyone's memory away. Even Mary Jane and Aunt May in exchanged for eating the planet. Hint Hint.Plus, I don't believe for a minute a group of superbeings created the Illunimiti or whatever it's called.Where were they during the Michael Saga in Avengers, the Dark Phoenix saga in X-Men or the Secret Wars? Vacationing?

  • May 23, 2007, 6:16 a.m. CST

    The Ten Commandments for Writing Marvel & DC Characters

    by stones_throw

    1- Thou shalt not kill 2- Thou shalt not ret-con the origin 3- Honor thy mother and father (respect what has gone before) 4- Change is good. Change that contradicts the premise/themes of the series or character is destruction. 5- Thou shalt not worship false idols (create 'ego' characters or cast characters as movie stars) 6- Thou shalt keep fresh 7- Thou shalt write a story FOR the character, not a story WITH the character 8- Love thy neighbour (continuity-wise) 9- Thou shalt be enjoyable for "the kids" 10- Thou shalt always be entertaining<p>Worked these out the other day. Thoughts?

  • May 23, 2007, 6:20 a.m. CST

    The reason people buy All Star Batman...

    by rbatty024

    is the same reason people slow down to watch a car wreck. That series is dreadful and I think it marks the end of Miller. I even liked The Dark Knight Strikes Again, but this new series is inexcusable. This guy should give up on comics and start ruining movies.

  • May 23, 2007, 6:33 a.m. CST

    Spider-Man

    by Jinxo

    With how just depressing and off track Spidey is, I just keep thinking, what if they had just went the entire opposite direction for him in the aftermath of the Civil War. I mean, I know Peter is supposed to be the guy that everything goes wrong for but... what if things in this one case went right for him. I don't know what plot contrivance they'd use to do it but wouldn't it be funny if after switching sides in the War and then the war ending, Peter somehow managed to find a loophole in the registration act that would allow him to opt out of registration. How I dunno. Something to do with his initial pro involvement and some obscure part of the registration bill (like maybe he'd be the only hero to actually READ the damn law). He takes advantage of some loophole in the law before they can close it. He'd be the only one to manage it. Again I don't know how they could do it without being too far fetched but it would be way more fun reading about Sidey being a pain in Iron Man's ass that he can do nothing about as opposed to the current circus of pain. Like Tony Stark would become Spider-Man's new J. Jonah Jameson. See how long it would take Pete to drive Tony Stark back to drinking. That'd I'd pay to read. The Spider-Man books would be THE book for readers who hate all the registration crap.

  • May 23, 2007, 6:38 a.m. CST

    Larry Hama!!

    by DigitalDong

    Man those old Joe's are classics. I wonder if there are plans to release the complete series on DVD liek they did with Spiderman, F4, Xmen, and others.

  • May 23, 2007, 6:40 a.m. CST

    Zah Zoo Zah!

    by Dr.Zeus

    You're dead on the money about All Star Batman, Ambush! In fact, i'd forgotten DC was even still doing the book....that's how memorable it was. But this is the day and age when any big name creator can do what they want, and the big two will publish it. Gone are the days of continuity and reliability on a monthly basis. Workhorses like Kirby, Romita, Swan, and Aparo, are almost a thing of the past. Anyway, thanks for the opportunity to contribute to the @$$holes, and keep up the excellent reviews.

  • May 23, 2007, 6:45 a.m. CST

    Conan

    by Dr.Zeus

    At least Dark Horse hasn't dropped the ball since acquiring the rights to publish Conan. So far, the entire run on the book has been well written and rendered by very capable and talented creators. .......ummm $hit! I hope I didn't just jinx it!

  • May 23, 2007, 6:45 a.m. CST

    That's genius, Jinxo!

    by stones_throw

    IRON MAN: PAR-KERRRR! You're a good for nuthin' menace to society!<p>SPIDEY: Eat web, Shell-Head!<p>IRON MAN: MMppff!! @$*#!!!

  • May 23, 2007, 6:50 a.m. CST

    Got nothin but steamin hot love for the goddamn Batman

    by ManFromRoomX

    I simply adore the Goddamn Batman. I havent laughed this much reading a comic in a looong time. I find Miller´s take on the caped cruisader to be completely belivable. Dunno if you lot have seen any documentaries about children who are sent to these sirkus/gymnastics/martial arts schools in China in order to become world class preformers. These children are exposed to enormous ammount of cruelty/hard labour/verbal abuse. The goddamn Batman´s handling of Robin, in that context, makes perfect sence to me. This is how the Jackie Chans and the Jet Lees of the world were created. The Superman/Wonder Woman scenes were hilarious:D I´m just thankfull that the @$$holes don´t have editorial positions at Marvel or DC. Throughout the years I´ve seen them piss all over comics that are usually at the top of my reading list. Btw, Miller´s Goddamn Batman is only surpassed by the divine Hairy Chested Love God Batman by Morrison. Can´t wait for Seagy 2!

  • May 23, 2007, 7:29 a.m. CST

    I still think All-Star Batman is a humor book.

    by rev_skarekroe

    That doesn't make it funny, but you know what I'm saying.

  • May 23, 2007, 7:38 a.m. CST

    I'm the goddamned Butler!

    by Vigothcarpathian

    The goddamned Batman is fantastic in my opinion - There is so much you can do with the character of Batman. We've seen him fight Jack the Ripper, detonate himself all over a communist Superman, and every incarnation of the character (for the most part) just seems to work. This is no exception - it's just plain fun to read about a Batman who is completely insane. Calling Frank Miller's writing "Ugly" is like calling Tim Burton's directing "Dark"....well, yeah.

  • May 23, 2007, 7:39 a.m. CST

    Yep, Miller does hate superhero comics...

    by BizarroJerry

    It's fairly obvious, I think. It started off quietly, with Year One. That was a different kind of comic, which took a standard story and changed it, matured it, etc. It was Miller's way of trying to change the comic world he didn't like, I think. But he seems to have moved from that into DKR, which was a satire and some social commentary. Now, at this point, he's turned to contemptuous parody. This All-Star Batman has almost become some unauthorized independent fan comic put out to mock the mainstream comics. Where All-Star Superman is a loving homage to the classic spirit of Superman comics, All-Star Batman is a mean-spirited mocking parody. Did DC have some specific "mission statement" for what these All-Star comics were supposed to be? Because these two series seem to be the complete opposite in tone. They should've called Miller's series something different and explain it to be a prequel to Dark Knight Returns, because most of the characterizations here are similar to that series.

  • May 23, 2007, 7:45 a.m. CST

    G.I. Joe...

    by BizarroJerry

    The Storm Shadow series so far is a little uneven, and a little strange, too, but I think don't think it's intended to be just like a regular G.I. Joe series. It's meant to be different, which is why they've shrunk down the Joe logo. As I've all ready babbled about here, the current regular Joe series, G.I. Joe: America's Elite, is working very well lately, and their World War storyline is on it's way. You @$$holes really need to review one of these issues. #21 to #23 are good places to start!

  • May 23, 2007, 8:34 a.m. CST

    BizarroJerry

    by HeWhoCannotBeNamed

    Damn I love G.I. Joe. I see the point in the review about all the cash-in spin-offs and such, but I loved it all so I guess I'm a sucker. America's Elite is indeed working very well. I miss Stefano Caselli's art, but I may be a small minority. Whatever, hope World War it tight.

  • May 23, 2007, 8:45 a.m. CST

    Dark Knight Begins...

    by badboymason

    @BizarroJerry - Completely agree and I think the All-Star brand needs either dropping or relaunching with a couple of new, regular titles and a much more coherent, unified style/tone to it.

  • May 23, 2007, 8:46 a.m. CST

    Goddamn DC.

    by 7pointedstar

    I dropped All Star Batman after the third issue also. It's just not my Batman. Maybe when DC gets another writer on board, it will get better. Maybe they can undo all of this bullshit and say, "Goddamn Batman? No, no...that was all a dream inside Dick Grayson's head. Surely we wouldn't actually allow one of our flagship characters to be portrayed that way without some sort of plan in effect."<br><br>Well, that probably won't happen. But I can dream.

  • May 23, 2007, 8:46 a.m. CST

    All Star BnR - Wonder Woman's attitude

    by Squashua

    "There really is no indication as to why Wonder Woman is so super pissed at Batman and wanting to kill him." <br><br> To bring your answer out of the @$$hole clubhouse, I believe the reason Wonder Woman hates Batman is that his actions are giving the idea of a "costumed adventurer" a bad name to the public. Unlike Superman and GL and probably Plas and herself, the actions of Batman are, for lack of a better term, batshit loco, and need to be reigned in.<br><br> Traditionally, Batman's crazy actions are warranted due to his geographic location and the situations he has to face. We haven't seen enough to the All Star world to make the greatest of judgements, but it looks like Batman has to be nuts to deal with the completely corrupt police department and city where he is a vigilante. <br><br> And Wonder Woman sees his actions as inappropriate for a costumed vigilante, giving them a bad name all-around.<br><br> I am not standing up for All Star BnR. I'm just explaining what I inferred from the issue.

  • May 23, 2007, 8:54 a.m. CST

    FYI - ComicSpace

    by Squashua

    ComicSpace is currently "down" as they are having database problems, so the "ASS Home" is a tad unavailable.

  • May 23, 2007, 9:05 a.m. CST

    I think the problem with ASB&R as parody...

    by rbatty024

    is that the only thing it's parodying are the superheroes. I'm not even positive it's parody, but that's the kindest view one can give the title. In DK2 (which I enjoyed despite the near universal hate) Miller took great care to show his knowledge of the DC world and to parody the Bush administration. In that case parody worked because he took the heroes seriously, but in ASB&R, where even the heroes are jokes, there's no grounding. Miller has abandoned all point of view and we're back to Adam West's Batman where nothing is taken seriously. The comic is funny in a Mystery Science Theater way, meaning I'm more often laughing at Miller's writing than with Miller's writing.

  • May 23, 2007, 9:20 a.m. CST

    more on Joe, spinoffs, etc

    by BizarroJerry

    The Joe spinoffs aren't too out of control. They're not producing multiple monthly spinoffs. It's more like, one reglar series issue and one other series issue each month. Those have been either great or mediocre. Hama also wrote the "G.I. Joe Declassified" mini, which shows the early recruitment of the original team. "Scarlett: Dec." and "Snake-Eyes: Dec." were pretty good. Though the current "Dreadnoks" mini is a confusing, silly, mess. Devil's Due does seem to be trying to make a little Joe universe of comics. But the regular series new team of Mark Powers and Mike Bear are making some of the best issues of the series since its recent revival. It's not some typical 80s nostalgia book like so many that didn't survive past a few issues (Thundercats, He-Man).

  • May 23, 2007, 9:52 a.m. CST

    Ace of Wands, I think you are missing the point

    by rock-me Amodeo

    It's not about sensibilities. It's not about censorship. It's about taking iconic characters and raping their personalities to the point that there is no sense in looking at them as the heroes they look like. Please get over yourself and off your little soapbox. We all read mature stuff. This isn't mature. It's sophomoric, and badly written at that. Why should we care about any of these characters when they sound nothing like the characters they resemble? That is the point, at least for me. This has nothing, NOTHING to do with "potty-mouth" language. Please. As if.

  • May 23, 2007, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Don't like it, don't read it

    by Urge to Kill

    Ace of Wands thats exactly what he said he was going to do at the end of his review.

  • May 23, 2007, 10:06 a.m. CST

    "..." as a Thought Balloon

    by Squashua

    I always read "..." alone as one of those "Grrr..." or "Hrmmm..." annoyed lines as spoken by Patty or Selma Bouvier on The Simpsons. Similar to how "daggers" used to work in comics-speak.

  • May 23, 2007, 10:07 a.m. CST

    Oh Ace...

    by Ambush Bug

    If Miller is trying to be humorous with ASB&R he's failing at the most important level...it's simply not funny. rbatty nailed it when he said that there is absolutely no grounding in the book itself. There is no straight man watching Batman and the rest of the cast doing all of this over the top shit and commenting on how ludicrous it all is. And about the censorship thing (which my critique is not about) it is about the fact that Batman is a character that is often geared towards kids. There is a cartoon on TV and he is a character known to decorate lunch boxes, has toys in his image, etc. Why do you think the movies were rated pg-13? With that established character, DC can do whatever they want. I wouldn't mind if Miller and Lee depicted an actual panel of the Batman raping my childhood, as long as it is appropriately labeled on the cover, I wouldn't take offense to it. In fact, a label indicating "WARNING: This comic may rape your childhood." would be pretty clever, but Miller takes himself way too seriously for somethinglike that. And there's no hypocricy here in my use of four letter words in the review. The name @$$hole suggests that there may be some foul language around here and I've yet to see the Harry & the @$$Holes Saturday morning cartoon or the action figure line geared towards the kiddies. This site is geared towards geeks, which, mind you, aren't the most mature of audiences, but they are able to take an f-bomb or two. Oblivious parents catering to kids who see the character from their favorite cartoon on the cover of ASB&R will buy it for them, not knowing that the stuff inside isn't really suited for them. Don't be so quick to throw around the word censorship just because you liked something that I didn't. In the end, it was my opinion. You have yours, which is great.

  • May 23, 2007, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Bizarro Jerry...

    by Ambush Bug

    I seem to remember a GI JOE SPECIAL MISSIONS book coming out about three months after the regular series started. I also know that I go to my local comic store to the GIJOE rack and I see an entire row of GI JOE comics. You even mentioned the Declassified book, the Dreaknoks book, some Snake-Eyes secret origiin stuff. I know there is even a book based on the crappy CGI cartoon show. I consciously went to the racks last week to see if there was a GI JOE book out there that I may be interested in. STORM SHADOW popped out for the reasons I stated in my review. I don't want to fault the whole line, but I think that from what I saw last tiome I checked with the series, the property was spreading itself out too thinly. Like IDW is doing with TRANSFORMERS, I feel that not enough care is being taken towards ONE good title. These guys are just buying the property rights and then putting out six miniseries with the logo on the cover to cash in. I'm not interested in that type of marketing campaign which is why I dropped all X-books.

  • May 23, 2007, 10:19 a.m. CST

    Frank Miller is like the Roger Waters of comic books

    by CarmillaVonDoom

    Can anyone point out issue numbers in the silver age where the Joker had a daughter?? Is this Bat-Mite territory we're talking about here?? Nice job again this week guys. :^)

  • May 23, 2007, 10:24 a.m. CST

    Ambush Baby,

    by Borgnine JR

    I like where you're going with the turd reference in the frnak Iller review but I think you pushed it a little too far. As F. Scott Fitzgerald said about indulging yourself with your own writing"Some time you have to kill your babies". Free of charge,thanks.

  • May 23, 2007, 10:40 a.m. CST

    Thanks for the tip, Borgnine...

    by Ambush Bug

    I do know that, with turd humor, it is not a good thing to push. It's much better to just relax and let it go...

  • May 23, 2007, 10:40 a.m. CST

    I'm so tired of people whining about All Star Batman

    by Kneel Before XOD

    Who in their right mind would think Frank Miller would be writing a book suitable for kids?!? Of course this book is going to be gritty and dark, it's Frank Miller! Please don't write Rock & Roll reviews if you only like Classical.

  • May 23, 2007, 10:41 a.m. CST

    Please keep Miller away from Babs

    by CarmillaVonDoom

    All-Star Batgirl can't come soon enough! J.G. Jones / Geoff Johns ! Yowza!

  • May 23, 2007, 10:53 a.m. CST

    A-Bug...

    by BizarroJerry

    I'm turning into the defender of G.I. Joe here, but Devil's Due isn't handling things quite like IDW or Dreamwave did with TF. They're not just cranking out multiple imprints a month. Before Storm Shadow they were basically putting out the regular series and one other comic per month. Those Special Missions comics are coming out at about a rate of only say, one every third month. And those include shorter back up stories, too. They're trying to expand the franchise I bit, but I don't think the exploitation factor is there. With I dunno, 200 characters out there, they can afford an extra special or one-shot now and then.

  • May 23, 2007, 11:02 a.m. CST

    I don't care if ASB&R is for kids...

    by MCVamp

    I do care if it stinks, which it does. It's not JUST that the characters are acting OUT OF CHARACTER. If you want to reinvent icons for your own continuity, fine. But make it interesting. This is not interesting. At least if he kept the characterizations within reasonable range of the classic versions or even his Dark Knight versions, sloppy writing doesn't look as bad. But ASB&R is bad characters and bad story and especially BAD DIALOGUE. That's the biggest crime. Miller always treads that fine line between parody-noir and fucking retarded. If you flip through this last issue, he's finally picked a side, and it's not parody-noir.

  • May 23, 2007, 11:07 a.m. CST

    Just to clarify...

    by MCVamp

    The old Miller...the hungry, out to prove something, not yet full of shit Miller...was once great. If nothing else, we'll always have DAREDEVIL: BORN AGAIN. Now he's like an over-the-hill boxer getting free passes to lure suckers in with his name while only fighting tomato cans in farcical contests. Well, inevitably, one of those "tomato cans" scores a KO and it all comes crashing down. If Miller keeps producing sub-standard work and the Spirit is a messy bomb, he could become a total joke. Come back Frank! This imposter you have signing off on your work SUCKS.

  • May 23, 2007, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Jeepers XOD, do I have to explain everything?

    by Ambush Bug

    I never said Miller should be writing for kids, nor did I expect it. All I said that if you are going to give a book to Miller to do what he wants with the character, then label it as such. If he's going to be bloodily bashing folks, kiling cops with the Batmobile, and swearing at kids, label it so that the appropriate audience will be able to view it and the younger set may not. It's about labeling the cover accurately, not stopping Miller from the complete rape of the character.

  • May 23, 2007, 11:31 a.m. CST

    AB - RE: Salvador

    by Thalya

    I think I had an epiphany while reading your review. Needless to say it sounds pretty interesting and worth picking up. Thanks for the heads up!

  • May 23, 2007, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Humphrey!

    by Thalya

    And here I thought it was just me who felt that way about Mouse Guard! Kudos!

  • May 23, 2007, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Isn't Frank Miller's name alone sufficient?

    by Kneel Before XOD

    Do we really have to label everything? When did it stop being a parent’s job to decide what’s appropriate for their kids, and it start being everyone else's? Or better yet, how about TALKING to your kids and explaining to them the difference between comic book violence and real life, so they may be better prepared to handle more mature themes? It should be up to the parent to decide what's appropriate for their kids and not the publisher, artist, writer, entertainer, etc. All I'm saying is Frank Miller has definitely been around long enough that we expect him to write for a more adult audience. And I think people are smart enough to figure that out for themselves without having to slap a warning on it, Tipper Gore.

  • May 23, 2007, 11:43 a.m. CST

    Oh and P.S.

    by Kneel Before XOD

    I'm 100% behind Frank Miller "raping" Batman. Retelling the same story over and over is getting to be a bit stale.

  • May 23, 2007, 12:03 p.m. CST

    It is the parents job to do this...& Salvador

    by Ambush Bug

    you are right. But while you and I might know what to expect from Miller, but not everyone is as experienced in comics as us. Bottom line: I am not faulting for Miller's writing being adfult-oriented. DC doesn't want to put a Mature Readers label on this book simply because it means doing so would mean lower sales.<br><br> Oh and Thalya. Salvador is a beautiful book. But don't expect muxh by way of story. This is a book you look at and go ooooo, not hmmmmm.

  • May 23, 2007, 12:16 p.m. CST

    I'm officially off the comics habit...

    by bottleimp

    ... ever since a couple months ago when I picked up the latest issues from the four series which I had been buying for a while. NOTHING HAPPENED IN ANY OF THEM. One of these, JSA, was so over-saturated with narrative thought-caption boxes that it felt more like I was reading an annotated treatise on the comic rather than the comic itself. When did comic book creators forget about making their work fun and exciting to read, rather than melodramatic, pretentious, ponderous crap? Enough with the maxi-series events, enough with the grim n' gritty BS (step away from the Batman, Frank Miller!), and let's make comic books fun again! The one comic that might eventually get me sucked back in is a prime example of what I'm talking about: INVINCIBLE.

  • May 23, 2007, 12:33 p.m. CST

    Rape Batman if you must...

    by MCVamp

    But don't rape him STUPID. Rape him WELL. I really think Miller feels like Batman is HIS character now, and HE should dictate how the character's portrayed, and I'm afraid the Spirit is next. Is this really the same guy who turned a guest-shot of Captain America in a Daredevil story into one of the best-ever portrayals of Cap? "I'm loyal to nothing, General...except the Dream." That was gold. Wonder Woman, Warrior/Diplomat, educated Princess of the Amazon and heiress of the power of the Gods saying "Out of the way, sperm bank!" is not.

  • May 23, 2007, 12:33 p.m. CST

    Not That Bad -- All Star B & R

    by bryanland

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but most titles out there ain't exactly War and Peace. I mean, is All Star B & R really THAT bad? Worse than Green Arrow on a rotten day? I beg to differ. Plus you got Jim Lee's tight pencilling to awe over.

  • May 23, 2007, 12:36 p.m. CST

    "ooooo" sounds delightful..

    by Thalya

    Words can be overrated.

  • May 23, 2007, 1:20 p.m. CST

    censorship

    by Ambush Bug

    Again with this... I don't think taking responsibility is censorship. I never said censor Miller and ASB&R. I said to make sure the little ones don't mistake this book for THE BATMAN STRIKES since both have Batman on the cover. It's good to be all huffy for a cause, Ace, but be sure the guy you are supposedly disagreeing with isn't on your side. Stop trying to make this out to be "the man" putting a gag on things. That's not what it is about. It's about DC & WB being purposefully irresponsible in order to sell the maximum amount of books. Other books have adopted a coding or rating system. And your argument about books is a little off base considering that comics, by and large, are still looked at by the mainstream population as a children's medium. Again, you and I know differently, we know that mature books are out there, but anyone outside of the comics community thinks grown guys punching other guys in tights is for kids. It is a maturing medium, mainly because children are either disinterested in comics due to high costs, video games, met with discord when they come into comic shops, and poor accessibility of story with so much continuity, but it is still one that started out addressing the kids market and will always be associated as such. That wasn't even the focus of my criticism. It's simply the fact that Miller writes an ugly Batman and GOtham. I'm not interested in reading it. Conclusion: I won't buy another issue.

  • May 23, 2007, 1:59 p.m. CST

    cap in born again

    by steverodgers

    Is perhaps the best portrayal of captain america ever – a man out of time; nuanced, tragic, patriotic and heroic. Just incredible. “he wears the flag” I miss the old frank miller. I miss cap too. Eph marvel.

  • May 23, 2007, 2:17 p.m. CST

    Ambush Bug: Just to be clear...

    by Kneel Before XOD

    I think that my biggest problem was that I found your review a bit too sensational. (In fact, I only mentioned the labeling issue because I found it absurd that anyone could mistake a Frank Miller book with one that is geared towards children.) I'm fine with the fact that you don't care for Frank Miller's writing, and I know not everyone does. But don't make this out to be a terrible book just because it may not be your cup of tea. I can think of dozens of books that deserve a review this bad, but I really think this one is misplaced. I understand that reviews are subjective and opinion, but at the same time it's your job to remain somewhat objective, and not condemn something simply because you personally have a problem with it (which definitely seems to be the case here). Is Miller's writing as terrible as you make it out to be? No. Are there some really great things about this book? Yes. I just find it sad that a lot of people may read this review, not read ASB&R because of it and miss out on something they may have really enjoyed.

  • May 23, 2007, 2:18 p.m. CST

    Classic Miller-Batman is great., his ALL STAR is crap.

    by JDanielP

    Somebody at DC Comics needs to give us a courtesy flush.

  • May 23, 2007, 2:23 p.m. CST

    KEEP Jim Lee (if you can) and get a new writer.

    by JDanielP

    See how easy it is to flush?

  • May 23, 2007, 2:25 p.m. CST

    Get your Punisher out of my Batman

    by Unnatural

    Frank, baby, if you want to write Punisher, go write Punisher. All-Star is simply Punisher without the guns. Miller has lost it.

  • May 23, 2007, 2:32 p.m. CST

    all-star goddam batman...

    by sonnyhooper

    ...would probally NOT be effected at all, in terms of sales, if it had a "mature reader" label on it. this things sells like gangbusters no matter what anyone seems to think of it. and i think the chances of this getting mistaken for "the batman strikes" is pretty slim. everyting from the trade dress to the cover art (either millers of lees) of ASB&R seem to say "mature themes", to me at least. i would think even the dullest of small children would be able to tell the diffrence. but again, thats probally just me. <p> i think the main problem with ASB&R is that everyone who dislikes it seems to focus on what it "is not", instead of what it actually "is". with that in mind, yes, it's not the same batman depicted in ASB&R as the one that the WB and DC use to sell action figures, lunchboxes, and tent-pole movie franchises, but then again thats the whole point. this is millers batman, plain and simple, and millers version of the character stopped resembling the "established version" all the way back in '86 when THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS dropped. the only diffrence between then and now is that now miller is a "big star writter" and dosen't have editors like denny o'neal looking over his shoulder anymore, saying "no, batman can't do that.". for better or for worse, "frank miller" has become a name bigger than the medium of comics can hold and any company that wants him to write someting for them better be ready to play by his rules. <p> but again, in no way do i mean to suggest everyone has to like it. to each their own. i'm just suggesting we stop trying to label millers batman as anyting other that what it is, and that is: "millers batman". personally i like it, i came to the realization that no where else am i going to read about a "batman" quite like the one miller writtes here, and there really isn't anyting inherently wrong with that. i like my batman to have diffrent "voices" and attitudes. so to me, millers "hyper-violent, borderline-line psyco, batman" is just as valid as morrisons "hairy-chested love god" batman, or denny o'neals "dark-knight-detective batman" who used is mind much more than his fists. in my opinion, ther is room under the moon (and on the comic rack) for ALL of those diffrent "batmen".

  • May 23, 2007, 2:44 p.m. CST

    Miller's ASBAR (pronounced ASS-BAR)

    by ed2ward

    ASBAR, it seems to me, is just the latest example of Miller allowing his particular and very specific fetishes and fears to become the only surviving elements of his writing. There is no narrative consistency in the piece - especially with regards to Superman's appearances (Superman is enraged by Dick Grayson's appearance on a Milk Carton even though it seems as though it's been less than an hour since his disappearance in the parallel narrative? And then he does a favor for the goddam Batman in the next issue? And now he's back to pissed off and organizing a team to take the goddam Batman down? Whatever....), but if you look past the lazy story-telling and lack of editing you will see a lot of the (unintentionally I'm sure) hilarious recurring motifs that have been present in Miller's books for a good long time now. Women fall exclusively into the categories of ball-busters or victims. Strong women are scaryscaryscary in Frank's world, and are portrayed as out-of-control threats except and unless they are tamed or defined by a more powerful male figure. Think of Elektra, Gail, Miho, and now Wonder Woman (in both DKSA and ASBAR). All of them are shown to be mysterious and threatening equivalents to forces of nature initially, and the only one who is not re-defined by being overcome by a male figure is Miho. I don't think that it's too off-base to say that it is not a coincidence that Miho never speaks and is never given an internal life. The only internal life that Miller seems to be able to concieve of for women is an internal life defined by men and focused on men. With the 'strong' women he writes that means that they either think non-stop about how horrible men are, or become obsessively smitten with someone who they can percieve as a strong, assertive, protector/lover (Matt Murdock, Dwight, and Kal-El). The only other role that women have in his books is that of victim or woman-in-peril, again, a role that is entirely centered around the men in the books. Examples for this are Karen Page, Goldie, Wendy, Nancy Callahan, and Vicky Vale. Whenever he writes a strong woman who is not 'tameable' by a man they are inevitably sociopaths (Ava Lord, arguably Miho and Elektra). I don't think that it is any sort of coincidence that the only adult female characters that he has created are, literally, whores or killers. The way that he writes Wonder Woman is basically as the queen of Old Town. This is especially loud and clear with Plastic Man's seeming request for a golden shower from her (calling her 'Princess Pea', claiming he is ready for his 'punishment' and requesting her to 'shower it on', turning into a FIRE HYDRANT for god's sake!) Then we have Miller's unending portrayal of city-scapes as places that exist as pure unending threat and menace. There is just crime and urine and violence and filth and corruption in any city written by Frank Miller. The environment itself in his stories is a menace to be tamed by the powerful men at the center of his stories. And Miller's stories seem to almost always center back on his idealized version of the powerful male figure. Basically the great warrior patriarch who revels in brutality and control. Any time that a male character is shown to be inclined towards anything aside from violence or asserting authority it is explicitly displayed as weakness. And Frank Miller is as obsessed with male strength as he is with women as whores, victims, or ball-busting killers. I really enjoy his work, but I decided a loooooooooong time ago to look at it as an expression of a very limited, stunted, and adolescent perception of the world that is based entirely on fear. Fear of women, fear of authority, fear of the unknown, fear of urban areas, and, most of all, fear of weakness. It's sad, but it's also really, really entertaining.

  • May 23, 2007, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Oh please, can we just cut the bullshit and say...

    by Thalya

    Joe Schmoe casual comic book reader doesn't know diddily about comic book culture or its writers and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund's resources are hardly infinite. <BR><BR>At some point, some blithering idiot of a parent is going to come along and purchase a book like this just because the kid asked for it. Then, when she (and you just know it's going to be a fluff-headed woman crying foul) finds out about the objectionable parts, she's going to cry "Adam West! The Batman Strikes! The Schumacher films!", while claiming ignorance of Batman Returns, Batman Begins, and Dark Knight Returns.<BR><BR>Just you wait. It'll happen. And there are enough judges in this country that might let a case like that go to trial instead of reading her the riot act for wasting public resources.

  • May 23, 2007, 3:02 p.m. CST

    ed2ward

    by Redmantle

    Interesting analysis. You're definitely right. Miller's batman is definitely not "my" Batman. My Batman exists somewhere between Morrison's JLA Batman, Frank Miller's DKR batman. Frank's wonder woman is so far off she shouldn't even be called wonder woman- wonder bitch is more like it, but to each his own. Hell, the thing is still selling, so that's what DC will listen to.

  • May 23, 2007, 3:05 p.m. CST

    Mighty Avengers

    by Redmantle

    Btw, love Mighty Avengers. Story and Art are both working. But does EVERY superhero in the Marvel U have to have a D cup? Wasp with a D cup? What about thin athletic types? Petite women? Mix it up a little is all I'm saying. Tigra was friggin hot though.

  • May 23, 2007, 3:12 p.m. CST

    you have a point Thalya...

    by sonnyhooper

    ...but then again, i don't see many little kids at my local comic book store, never mind parents flying solo with a laundry list of comics picking it up for the kids. again, that might just be my experience. <p> but my point is that, even if that were the case and some kid comes into a comic store with or without a parent and picks out a copy of ASB&R, at that point, the comic store owner HAS to act like he knows someting, and point the kid or parent in the direction of "the batman strikes!" and say "this is what you want, a nice all-ages batman book that comes out every month like clock work. have a nice day and enjoy." <p> i'm definatly not one of these people who want to lay all of the responisbility at the feet of the parent, but i also don't want to have to dive into traffic to save a kid whos parents aren't paying attention. i believe a balance can be struck where EVERYONE takes a little personal responsibility to stop stuff like what you suggest above from happening.

  • May 23, 2007, 3:14 p.m. CST

    How come the DC covers are bigger than the Marvel ones?

    by Ye Not Guilty

    I'm getting eyestrain looking at the postage-stamp sized Marvel covers. Will Marvel not allow AICN to post larger covers?

  • May 23, 2007, 3:17 p.m. CST

    I'm Against Labels, However...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...Miller is full of crap. He doesn't distinguish between censorship and editing. On a BATMAN comic, for example, he doesn't own Batman. Doesn't create it or publish it. He's an employee. DC editorial has the choice to run Miller's scripts the way he writes them, or run them with changes, or to not run them at all. Miller has the choice not to work for DC (he could always delude himself and work for a company DC owns and claim the deal was made after his deal like Alan Moore does)and to not take their money. With SIN CITY or creator owned, Miller has similar choices if someone else publishes it. And the retailer has the choice not to sell it. These are still editorial, publishing and retail decisions. It becomes censorship when a party outside the creative/editorial/business triangle imposes standards, either by banning the material or altering it. Bret Easton Ellis cried censorship when the original publisher decided not to print AMERICAN PSYCHO, which is a great book. But the fact is, they didn't have to publish it. They don't have to publish everything.<p>Hell, Miller is just whacko enough to think it's censorship if people don't buy it.<p>As far as parental control, Miller used to say that if the books weren't labeled, the parents wouldn't know the difference. To an extent, he's right. The problem is that geeks are starting to procreate. Before you procreate, especially if you're not scoring at all, you think, "Those damned parents! I'm gonna let my kids see/hear/read everything! Kids can take a lot more than..." Then, you have a kid and hopefully, if you're fair minded and liberal, you say,"All in time." I mean, my son has loved zombies since kindergarten and he even has the poster of 28 WEEKS LATER up on his wall, but I'd say he's a good 4 or 5 years away from being ready to see a zombie movie. I know because I know him and I know zombies.<p>Which is why you have to feel sorry for the children of geeks. I go see EPISODE 3 and know that my first grader isn't ready to see his hero Anakin (I know, I know, but he's a first grader) cut off a captives head and murder Jedi first graders, even off screen. I went to SPIDER-MAN 3 for the same reason, because I didn't want to see SPIDER-MAN 3. Aside from the fact that it sucked, it had other things my kids weren't ready for (not the least of which was white people dancing badly). But I saw FANTASTIC FOUR out of curiousity, and even though it was a lousy movie, I knew it'd be okay for my son. His review:"I don't even know why they have Mr. Stretch and the Mom. They should just have Flame On and the Rock."

  • May 23, 2007, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Redmantle

    by ed2ward

    Thanks for the comment! Gotta agree with you on Mighty Avengers as far as loving it AND wondering why all of the women in it need to be so *ahem* 'gifted'. At the same time, for some reason Mighty Avengers seems to be the current Bendis title that has the least pull on me. With all of his other books right now as soon as I put down the latest issue I know that the next issue will be at the top of my stack to read the INSTANT it comes out, and that feeling will hold until it comes out. Especially with Ultimate Spider-Man and New Avengers I CAN'T WAIT to read them as soon as I see them on the shelf. With Mighty Avengers... I pick it up and usually it will go near the bottom of whichever Marvel books I pick up that week. I know that I'll read it, but I don't feel any enthusiasm for it until I crack it open. Once I'm a couple of pages in I start to think 'Oh yeah. I really DO like this book.' and have fun with it until the end of the issue. Then I kind of wonder what's going to happen in the next one, but within a few minutes it's all vapor. By the time the next issue comes out I've lost all enthusiasm for it again, and it's back to the bottom of the stack.

  • May 23, 2007, 3:25 p.m. CST

    Best Parody Of Miller's Batman...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...was done by Alan Moore in SUPREME, with "Dark '80s Supreme" calling another Supreme "Good soldier." The other Supremes look at each other like, "What the fuck?"<p>Another Miller parody was in FAIRLY ODD PARENTS, similar to Moore's. Timmy Turner's favorite superhero is The Crimson Chin (voice of Jay Leno). When all the various incarnations of the Chin ban together to fight the Nega-Chin, the Chin tells someone,"You can't swear! Only Super-edgy 1980s Chin can swear and they cancelled him for it."

  • May 23, 2007, 3:26 p.m. CST

    All Star Batman and Robin...

    by davywankenobi

    is total shit. I'm glad I'm not the only one that thinks so. Jim Lee was at a con in KC a few weeks back and I wish I would have thought to ask him what he thought of it. Too bad I didn't feel like standing in a line two blocks long. :) Lee's art is great, All Star Superman is superb, but let me beat this dead horse and say that the book is shit!

  • May 23, 2007, 3:30 p.m. CST

    and of course...

    by sonnyhooper

    ...millers world view colors everyting he writes. it always has, and thats my point. miller hates the idea that batman and robin can be intrepreted as a "gay fantasy", and a batman that calls robin "old chum", and a robin who makes witty remarks (holy underpants, batman) just reinforces that idea in millers mind. so what does miller do? he writes a batman who calls robin a "retard" and a robin who plays with battle axes. is it extreme? hell, yes. should you really expect anything else from miller? hell no. <p> and for the record i kinda liked millers wonder woman. a man-hating, quick tempered, amazonia bitch on wheels seem like a much more intresting characterization than anything else they have come up with for wonder woman "personality". most writter make wonder woman a tree hugging, hippie-dippy, feminist without teeth, that preaces "peace" as a "diplomat" to mans world or, even more so, as noting but "superman with tits". at least millers version seems to have more going on that either of thoses "types" of wonder woman.

  • May 23, 2007, 3:32 p.m. CST

    Redmantle

    by rev_skarekroe

    Yes, Tigra looked hot in that. But I don't want to think too hard about that or I wind up like the guy mentioned in the last panel of "Satan's Sodomy Baby". Or worst still, a furry.

  • May 23, 2007, 4:12 p.m. CST

    Those of you sticking up for ASB&R...

    by Steve Rogers

    ...stop it. Seriously, it's awful. No really, it's AWFUL. Don't be fooled by Frank Miller's name over the title. Stop, look away from the comic, take a deep breath... now turn back. See? It's a piece of shit! Don't be afraid, DC comics can't come and get you, just call it like it is - IT'S A PIECE OF SHIT.

  • May 23, 2007, 4:32 p.m. CST

    ASBAR

    by Tito Trinidad

    Even if you, for some reason, enjoy the characterization of the heroes, there doesn't seem to be anything going on. And for some reason, Miller's "stylized" dialogue does not go well with Lee's art. I'ts like putting garlic salt in your oatmeal. I mean, I am not a fan of Lee's art generally but it really seems out of place here.

  • May 23, 2007, 4:34 p.m. CST

    Miller, Claremont, Bendis

    by Homer Sexual

    I am so dying to read ASSBR, because it seems like it's so bad it's good. I mean, I can't spend my money on something that's apparently an abomination, but I'm so curious about this one and it's over the top, giving you the finger style. Miller just seems to hate everything and everyone at this point. He's like John Carpenter...he's done really seminal work, a trailblazer. But now he's some sort of whacked out old guy. Claremont was never as good, and isn't so bad...but he's kind of boring. I agree that the current EXiles is "meh." But I think Bedard started the slide. The last good EXiles was...Chuck Austen! Yes, he's horrible, but he did some excellent EXiles stories, "King Hyperion" being a real favorite. Take him out of continuity and he actually did a decent job. Claremont has a real problem ending any story, so EXiles is a hard fit for him. <p> Bendis seems like he's the perfect Spider-Man writer. He's terrific with dialogue and completely disrespectful of past character history. Now, I hated Avengers Disassembled because of that, but Spidey is a different breed. I never like Spider-Man because he's the only Marvel character who's completely hidebound (like Superman at DC). Nothing has changed in the Spider-Man mythos since he married MJ. The only time I read any version of Spider-Man on a regular basis was in the mid-80's when he was dating Black Cat. He was fun and fresh then. Now, in 2007, he's in the exact spot he was in 20+ years ago after he got married. Same family, same villains, etc, etc. Talk about a rut! How can anyone read Spider-Man over time? Bendis completely overhauled the Avengers, for better or worse. Can't he at least freshen up Spider-Man? Killing off the dreadful Aunt May and either getting rid of MJ or doing something new with her (if that's even possible) would be a good start.

  • May 23, 2007, 5:09 p.m. CST

    I wonder why Miller is doing this.

    by superninja

    It seems sort of hateful like he is taking a piss on fans.

  • May 23, 2007, 5:31 p.m. CST

    homer....

    by sonnyhooper

    ...you got it kind of right. ASB&R is ALMOST one of thoses "so good it's bad" type of things, but leaving it at that isn't the whole truth. and calling it a "parody" really isn't hitting the mark either. it's really hard to put into words. it's almost like... getting drunk. you know drinking isn't good for you and it's all empty calories, and all you get afterwards is more dead brain cells, but man, oh, man is the buzz fun as hell while you are doing it. <p> also i don't think it's "miller pissing on fans" or "giving you the finger", it's just frank doing what he has always done. it's just that now he can be as "in your face" about it as possible because "sin city" and "300" made a ton of money as movies, so he not only has tons of "fuck you" money he now has "fuck everyone" type of money. of course his stuff comes across as "over the top" now they he has no filters on him. what do you expect?

  • May 23, 2007, 6:04 p.m. CST

    Ultimates 2 #13

    by ed2ward

    While the capsule review above was pretty amusing, I figured it couldn't hurt to have some sort of response to the actual comic book in the thread. For what it is - it's fan-freakin-tastic! Why the 'for what it is' caveat? Because I know that there are plenty of people who loathe the approach that Millar and Hitch have taken with this book, and the final issue is sure as hell not going to change their minds. It is a magnificent ending to their run though, and I believe that the hardcovers and and paperbacks of their work on this title will last a very, very, very long time. This series doesn't work very well as single issues, but it works spectacularly looking at each 'season' as a single unit. I think that, especially given the difficulties that the book has had making it's deadlines, this is a title that would have been better off if it had been released as two OGNs. They could have held off scheduling each of the books until they were completed and would probably have avoided most of the negative fanboy posturing they are getting by doing so. The books read better and there wouldn't be all of the ridiculous, silly, pointless griping about 'lateness'. And, in the end, I'm going to have these books on my shelf proudly, I'll be recommending them to a ton of people, and will probably be giving them as gifts. I think that with the Ultimates Millar and Hitch showed how to make the Avengers relevant, cool and interesting. Even though some of the pop-culture references have been a bit strained and some of the dialogue is a little bit too on the nose, what the series does is make these classic Marvel characters feel grounded and feel like something you could possibly see outside your own window. The way that they interact with the American Government, the way that they interact with the media, and the way that they interact with each-other all make the Ultimates seem plausible to me and also allows them to serve as a commentary on what our priorities are in the strange, cowed, media saturated culture we live in. One of my absolute favorite points of the series is that the only truly noble people in it are the people that don't belong int the Western World of the 21st Century - Thor and Captain America. Ultimate Thor is one of my absolute favorite characters being published by Marvel, and the only time that I have EVER given a crap for his regular Marvel U counterpart was when he was a frog. Aside from those two, every other character is weak, small, and petty yet they still try to do what they think is right (to one degree or another) and, even sometimes, succeed. The series in many, many ways reads as a simultaneous condemnation and celebration of the United States at the beginning of the 21st Century. The Ultimates themselves represent a larger-than-life version of what the creators see America as being at this point in time and they show all of the ways that is fun, exciting and cool as well as all of the ways that they see that as dangerous and destructive. Through it all they provide a thread of hope that these characters (and thereby the culture) will find a way to make themselves better and to work for the good of the world and humanity. The best part of it is that it does all of this while telling a fast-paced, adrenaline fueled action adventure story that feels bigger and more spectacular than most any other book on the stands. While reading it there are always multiple threads running that make the reader demand to know what happens next. Theres a lot of humor and a surprising amount of warmth considering how shallow several of the characters are. The 'hero' moments are fantastic and it's big and loud enough that it can accomodate that 8-page-single-panel-foldout.

  • May 23, 2007, 6:07 p.m. CST

    Is "bitch" the official characterization for Wonder

    by superninja

    Woman over at DC? You really have to wonder.

  • May 23, 2007, 6:12 p.m. CST

    Car Wreck Factor

    by krushjudgement

    It's totally true! Every bad thing I hear about FM's Batman, makes me want to read it more. Everyone at the comic shop says it blows. I asked them to put it in my hold. I couldn't resist. In other news: I'm all over Wrath of The Titans, looks sweet.

  • May 23, 2007, 6:19 p.m. CST

    Then I would say Miller needs to be edited

    by superninja

    because he might have Tourettes.

  • May 23, 2007, 6:21 p.m. CST

    sonnyhooper

    by ed2ward

    I think that it actually does fall into both the 'so bad it's good' and the parody classifications. I know that I've read a couple of interviews where Miller has talked about the influence that Harvey Kurtzman's 'SuperDuperMan' (from the classic era of Mad) had on DKSA, and I think that approach has maintained. I honestly think that he is looking at the DCU entirely through the slant of a parody cartoonist, but that he lacks the skills and innate humor to to be truly successful. Add to this the reliance on fetish and limited world-view evident in all of his work, and then dress it all up with Jim Lee's dead-serious illustrative style and you've got something that can't really be pinned down as anything except 'fascinating' and 'not-good'.

  • May 23, 2007, 6:45 p.m. CST

    ed2ward...

    by Ambush Bug

    Just to let you know. We reviewed ULTIMATES 2 last week. here's the url. http://www.aintitcool.com/node/32680

  • May 23, 2007, 6:55 p.m. CST

    Ambush Bug

    by ed2ward

    Sorry I forgot about that! I remember now! I just glanced over it and remembered disagreeing with it in a lot of ways, but appreciating how Sleazy G at least tried to look past the lateness and just at what he thought of the book itself.

  • May 23, 2007, 7:37 p.m. CST

    All Star Batman: WEAK, Death of Cap: RETREAD

    by Marvel1967

    All of Batman's dialog seemed as if Miller took it from some shitty, melodramatic Dirty Harry script Eastwood decided was too ridiculous to consider filming. We will never see Cap again. Oh, wait, what about when Marvel wants the cash from bringing him back? Ah yes, Cap will surely be back then. Same bullshit story line that's been done in comics for 30 years. Ultimates 13 was great.

  • May 23, 2007, 8:08 p.m. CST

    "so bad it's good" and "parody"....

    by sonnyhooper

    ....i agree ed. those are PARTS of whats going on with ASB&R. but the sum total is more than just those parts. i don't know, it's something i really can't articulate... but my point is that, it either grabs you or it dosen't. i just think it's one of those polarizing book that, in the end, comes down to personal prefrence. thats why i can't really bring myself to recomend it to anyone, nor do i think reviews that slam it should be taken as gospel either. ultimately everyone should probally try it for themselves andd see how it hits them.

  • May 23, 2007, 8:22 p.m. CST

    oh yeah, BTW...

    by sonnyhooper

    ....slamming miller with the lateness of ASB&R is....well, misplaced to say the least. this book didn't come out for over a year for one reason and one reason alone: jim lee never got around to drawing it.

  • May 23, 2007, 10:07 p.m. CST

    Ultimates 2 #13 - MASSIVE SPOILERS -

    by BillEmic

    ****SPOILERS for anyone who hasn't read Ultimates 2 #13****** Hey folks, I have a question. In their advance review of Ultimates 2 #13 last week, the AICN crew lamented the fact that the 1940's flashback with Cap at the end of the book added nothing - no resolution or even foreshadowing of events to come. A flat ending. BUT - and someone please tell me if I'm looking into this too much - I did notice that the woman Cap was with said, "WE'LL be waiting," when Cap said he promised to come back. "We'll"...meaing plural, more than just her...she could have meant that her and Bucky will be waiting, or her and the rest of the US will be waiting, but Bucky hadn't been mentioned in awhile. So I wondered: was that a hint that this woman was pregnant? Was this actually foreshadowing that there is a Captain America Jr. out there somewhere? Or am I just making a mountain out of a molehill?

  • May 23, 2007, 10:13 p.m. CST

    And I agree that Frank Miller's Batman is awful..

    by BillEmic

    ...but I still enjoy each and every issue. They're just so batshit crazy - no pun intended. Once I let myself go and look at the book as "crazy old Frank's take on Batman," I enjoy it for what it is...well, honestly I don't KNOW what it is. An ongoing Elseworlds book? Something Frank Miller scribbles while on the can? An utter debacle for DC Editorial? All of these things and more, I'm sure. Though I do resent the way DC All-Stars was marketed...if you wanted to get someone into Batman for the first time, this is the LAST book you'd want to give them.

  • May 23, 2007, 10:22 p.m. CST

    um...

    by blackthought

    lost...wow.

  • May 23, 2007, 10:42 p.m. CST

    ASB&R is what happens when Frank takes his material...

    by rbatty024

    too seriously. In DKR and DK2 there were moments that had me laughing out loud. It was dark humour to be sure, but it was still humour. Despite the grittiness there was still a sense of fun about it. If Frank Miller is parodying something then it's Frank Miller because the thing reads as if another writer decided to make fun of Miller's ultra serious tendencies.

  • May 24, 2007, 2:20 a.m. CST

    I figured out Bendis's plan....

    by Raja-Man

    He's creating Tony's Stark version of the Justice League. Think about it: Sentry = Superman (big surprise) Iron Man = Batman (rich, smart, no powers, technology expert) Ms. Marvel = Wonder Woman (powerhouse female, military expert) Ares = Hawkman/ Wonder Woman (shirtless tough guy with ancient weapons/godlike powers) Black Widow = Black Canary (tough martial artist) Wonder Man = Superman/Flash (incredibly strong, but a normal guy on the inside). That makes it interesting when you look at it from that angle. You also see the cracks in his armour of this team's line up. Ares's contant bickering and leering (he's checked out every woman on the team), Ms. Marvel's insecurities, Iron Man's over sonfidence, Sentry's instability.

  • May 24, 2007, 2:22 a.m. CST

    Fallen Son is for Civil War haters

    by Raja-Man

    and thank God for it. I had hoped Hawkeye would come and save the day, and he has. Brilliant book.

  • May 24, 2007, 2:31 a.m. CST

    Just read Fallen Son: Captain America...

    by BillEmic

    Best thing I've read from Jeph Loeb in a good while. Just a great book from cover to cover, with the most well-written dialogue I've heard uttered since this whole Civil War shitstorm began. Hats off to Loeb and Romita Jr. for restoring a bit of my faith in Marvel comics. But does anyone else think it should have been called Fallen Son: Hawkeye? Probably would have sold more copies too.

  • May 24, 2007, 10:36 a.m. CST

    What about World War Hulk?

    by indyjonez100

    No love?

  • May 24, 2007, 12:25 p.m. CST

    I remember when i got issue 21

    by FleshMachine

    the "silent issue"...still have it. neat how its become legendary. i dont quite get it....cool yeah...but enough to still be talking about it?? the new gi joe series lost me when it got all flag waving (not in the ususal way) and topical...equating cobra as terrorists to todays "terrorism" (and i use the term very loosly) is absurd. i dont want gi joe being like 24 ( a god awful show in my book)

  • May 24, 2007, 3:23 p.m. CST

    You know what would be cool?

    by Squashua

    If we could get "black-posting" talkback posts like the other AICN peepuls.

  • May 24, 2007, 3:23 p.m. CST

    Umm, make that "relatively" cool...

    by Squashua

    ...as in "as cool as you can get when posting about comic books in an online review talkback."

  • May 24, 2007, 3:31 p.m. CST

    No love for Aquaman?

    by Zebtron A. Rama

    I'm really digging the current run. The artwork alone almost makes it worth the price of admission. The story has a unique feel to it that's hard to describe. I was a bit hesitant (and confused) at first but I'm starting to like the cast of characters more and more. ...and Fallen Son:HawkEye was great.

  • May 24, 2007, 8:18 p.m. CST

    RE: BillEmic SPOILER Ultimates Cap Theory

    by Marvel1967

    I agree about the "we" comment. I wonder how that could pan out, if she was pregnant, as I believe Steve Rogers had not yet gone through the super soldier process.

  • May 24, 2007, 8:29 p.m. CST

    FleshM...

    by BizarroJerry

    I'm not sure where you're getting the idea the new series is full of "flag-waving". No more than the old days. In fact, the Joes spent most of the first revival series fighting corrupt Generals and politicians. And Cobra's probably being treated a little less campy, but they're not resembling al-Qaeda or anything. Now, you may be talking about the short-lived "G.I. Joe: Reloaded" series, but that only lasted about a dozen issues and was a "reboot" series that was separate from the regular continuity, kinda like Ultimates. I didn't care for that one.

  • May 24, 2007, 11:26 p.m. CST

    Where The Hell Are The Cogs?

    by Buzz Maverik

    If they got arrested again, I'm not bailing 'em out this time. Damn kids.

  • May 25, 2007, 3:59 a.m. CST

    I got ALL STAR SUPERMAN vol 1 yesterday...

    by stones_throw

    THAT is how you do a definitive version of the character while shaking it up and putting him in new situations. Had me smiling from page one (THAT page) and having Superman have to seriously face death was absolute genius. Looking forward to reading the rest of it.

  • May 25, 2007, 9:05 a.m. CST

    I wasn't "arrested", technically...

    by Shigeru

    I mean, they never got me to the station.

  • May 25, 2007, 9:08 a.m. CST

    But seriously

    by Shigeru

    I've been busy. Finding and re-assembling all the pieces of my shattered nutsack (due to the Lost finale) is taking longer than I thought.

  • May 25, 2007, 9:09 a.m. CST

    cuz my balls are big.

    by Shigeru

    <br>

  • May 25, 2007, 9:31 a.m. CST

    He lies

    by Psynapse

    I have the biggest balls.

  • May 25, 2007, 10:23 a.m. CST

    LOST Blows!

    by GreatA'Tuin

    See? Look what I did. Now I've started a Flame War. Didja really want me back, Buzz? Well...didja?

  • May 25, 2007, 10:59 a.m. CST

    bleargh

    by Psynapse

    Sinus bullshit and allergies mean you bitches better be glad I re-upped my valium prescription. Can I have a troll to chew on for a while?

  • May 25, 2007, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Wait, wait, wait......

    by Psynapse

    I got an uppity co-worker who is about to get my monitor for a hat (AFTER I rip her throat out and piss down the spurting stump) so y'all may be safe (FOR NOW).

  • May 25, 2007, 11:44 a.m. CST

    Sure I Wanted Ya Back, Great 'Un...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...Which one are you again?<p>I kid. I kid the Cogs because...I don't really know why I kid the Cogs, but, by Gawd, I do.<p>Where is El anyway? Did the Colombian secret police disappear him? Or did he sneak off to attend Alan Moore's wedding (which I think was to one of those blow up dolls, given that he worships a sweat sock:"Dearly Beloved, We are gathered here in the sight of Glycon, the rest of Al's laundry and some arts and crafts he's made...")?<p>And what have y'all done with Darth Kal-El?

  • May 25, 2007, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Actually, I've Never Seen LOST...

    by Buzz Maverik

    I was gonna watch it, then somebody said, "LOST blows" so I figured I didn't want to watch a show that blew, and I went a read a good book instead.

  • May 25, 2007, 12:06 p.m. CST

    oh dear lord, what did I just do?

    by Thalya

    eep..

  • May 25, 2007, 12:08 p.m. CST

    See? You see?

    by GreatA'Tuin

    I DO have power. It's just negligible and/or not real. Fuck you, all. Suck on my shit. THat is all. By the way, Buzz. I'm the one with the shotgun.

  • May 25, 2007, 12:09 p.m. CST

    Darth is…

    by The Heathen

    busy impregnating women to work on the future army of Cogs. So far, this Cogling is bad ass. <br> <br> LOST is amazing. Dammit!!! Turtle, how'd you wake up and get free from my steady injections of insulin??? <br> <br> Sadly, my balls are only the size of tennis balls, but I can live with that. The Cogs often have replaced Halo matches at the mansion with playing 'Goat King of the Hill'. We show off our sacks by standing on top of the cage. <br> <br> Vale is watching LOST.

  • May 25, 2007, 12:14 p.m. CST

    And come to think of it the cage is getting darn messy!

    by Thalya

    *hands cleaning supplies to H*<BR><BR>*goes back to hiding in her tissue nest* What did I do..? What did I DO?!

  • May 25, 2007, 12:43 p.m. CST

    Awwww man…

    by The Heathen

    But, T, Psy and Ron should clean that mess up, the big balled bastards!!!

  • May 25, 2007, 12:53 p.m. CST

    Hmmm

    by Tito Trinidad

    Out of all the myriad parts of genitals, balls are definately the funniest. If you sold stuffed, plush ball-toys to kids you would probably make a mint.

  • May 25, 2007, 12:53 p.m. CST

    So you're saying you don't fall in that category, H?

    by Thalya

    In other news:<BR><BR> Grant Morrison: Arm-Fall-Off Boy!<BR> Dave Bowers: Man! Arm-Fall-Off MAN!!! <BR><BR> Beast Boy: It's a good thing I had Mexican last night! <BR><BR> Batman: Of course not, muffin.<BR><BR><BR>Ack! I actually pointed Meltzer to it! *hides*

  • May 25, 2007, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Huhwha???

    by The Heathen

    Mine are only tennis ball sized balls. I cannot contend with their beefcake tomatoes or grapefruit sized balls I must confess and I can also offer no reason for why I compare their nuts to fruits and mine to neon forms of bouncy rubber that are hit back and forth between rackets. Hrmm… <br> <br> No what annoyed me comic-wise this past week (besides ASBAR): I hated how The Karate Kid was wearing a different costume in Countdown than he was in Justice League. That was bothersome. Tighten up DC editorial! Also, thought captions in Mighty Avengers are fucking annoyingly gratingly horrible.

  • May 25, 2007, 1:35 p.m. CST

    That wasn't insulin, you prick...

    by GreatA'Tuin

    And I swear to ME if you ever touch my balls again.....

  • May 25, 2007, 1:42 p.m. CST

    He's right....

    by Psynapse

    I stole the insulin and sold it on the street (hey! I NEEDED that weed!) and replaced it with methadone that I jacked off of these fools at some clinic. Remember, rehab is for quitters kids!

  • May 25, 2007, 1:52 p.m. CST

    Methadone?!?!!?

    by The Heathen

    No wonder I've been doing far to many shots than I require. Scuse me, gotta go check my blood sugar and do a shot and then smack Turtle in the sack as he sleeps and blame it on the Spectregans. Sorry, Rem.

  • May 25, 2007, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Know what annoys me? (helping Turtle with flame war)

    by Shigeru

    Fan fiction.

  • May 25, 2007, 1:57 p.m. CST

    Know what doesn't annoy me??

    by Shigeru

    Slapping Turtle's balls while he's asleep. <br><br> Heath did you realize you said "But, T, Psy and Ron should clean that mess up"? Have Psy and Ron mutated into 2 people? <br><br> And NO I ain't touching that friggin cage, ever since blackthought had one of his "dreams" in it.

  • May 25, 2007, 1:58 p.m. CST

    You know, gi-hugic balls only make for easier targets..

    by Thalya

    Read it before you judge, hater-dude!

  • May 25, 2007, 2 p.m. CST

    Take that!

    by Thalya

    http://tinyurl.com/2kyrpp <BR><BR>F'real an' shi'..

  • May 25, 2007, 2 p.m. CST

    SNAPPING TURTLE THUNDER BEAK ATTTTTAAAAAAAAAAACCK!

    by GreatA'Tuin

    Try it, Heef. I will snap that hand off at the wrist and use it to give myself a "stranger". I'll put up on screen in the Halo room too. I'll fucking do it.

  • May 25, 2007, 2:09 p.m. CST

    RonPsy has the ability to be in two forms at once.

    by The Heathen

    I think… <br> <br> Turtle, I'm the nut slapping champ bay-bee!!! It's on! When yo least expect it… SNAP!!! There goes lefty!

  • May 25, 2007, 2:15 p.m. CST

    True story:

    by Shigeru

    A couple friends of mine fear my mighty "Radar Punch". Why is it called the "Radar" punch? Cause my fist has radar and your nuts are a very loud *PING* *PING*. I'm trying to cut back on punching dudes in the balls.

  • May 25, 2007, 2:18 p.m. CST

    I said nothing about the quality of said writing

    by Shigeru

    I just meant the concept of fan fiction in general annoys me.

  • May 25, 2007, 2:19 p.m. CST

    I can''t believe I'm participating in this, but...

    by Homer Sexual

    I really do have large testes, and it blows. It's totally useless, and makes me get hurt all the time. And being a motorcycle rider compounds the problem. <p> I am currently buying JLA because of the crossover with JSA, which I am a sucker for such things. It's ok, but has done nothing to raise my opinion of Meltzer or create any interest in buying this book after the crossover ends. The best thing is that it's a pleasure to see LSH characters in this way. I quit the latest issue of the Legion because I felt Waid's take was too stodgy and boring.

  • May 25, 2007, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Nobody…

    by The Heathen

    Can backhand a nutsack like me! <br> <br> Huh? Wait a minute…

  • May 25, 2007, 2:20 p.m. CST

    *shoomp*

    by GreatA'Tuin

    It ain't just my big head I can hide in my shell, you ass slurry slurper.

  • May 25, 2007, 2:21 p.m. CST

    Meh, a story is a story..

    by Thalya

    It's slash-fic and purple prose characteristic of fanfic that's the problem.

  • May 25, 2007, 2:25 p.m. CST

    Heef = Slurpmeister

    by GreatA'Tuin

    You know? 'Cause of all the ass slurry slurping you do. We've been talking...all of us...and we think you need to stop. It can't be healthy. Please, Heef? We can get you the help you need. Let us try. Why won't you let us try? Do you love it too much...the ass slurry? Do you need it? Do you need the ass slurry? We just want to understand, Heef. WHY WON'T YOU LET US LOVE YOU!

  • May 25, 2007, 2:27 p.m. CST

    Yeah, OK

    by GreatA'Tuin

    I went off the deep end with that one. Methadone is a hell of a crutch, kids.

  • May 25, 2007, 2:28 p.m. CST

    art for the sake of art

    by Shigeru

    I see what you're saying. I'd just like my stories to be um published? yeah right.

  • May 25, 2007, 2:34 p.m. CST

    SLURRY ASS? SLURPY ASS?

    by Shigeru

    On sale at 7-11?????? <br><br>I propose we change our name to <br>THE ALL-WEEK ASS SLURRIES!!

  • May 25, 2007, 2:38 p.m. CST

    Hey…

    by The Heathen

    I never said anything about ass slurry's. Now that I think about it, that sort of thing may be reserved for the likes of Natalie and… damn, that's a tough one (that's what she said).

  • May 25, 2007, 2:39 p.m. CST

    Heh…

    by The Heathen

    Cog Slurries.

  • May 25, 2007, 2:43 p.m. CST

    Well, technically they are..

    by Thalya

    Although, drat, not this hour. I exceeded my hourly data transfer limit. Grrr.. Must find a better place to host images..

  • May 25, 2007, 2:47 p.m. CST

    technically

    by Shigeru

    <br>

  • May 25, 2007, 2:47 p.m. CST

    And your point is?

    by Thalya

    <>

  • May 25, 2007, 2:56 p.m. CST

    Ass Slurry

    by GreatA'Tuin

    And Heefs uncontrolable addiction to it. That's the point. (I really don't know where this is coming from. I love the Heef!)

  • May 25, 2007, 3:01 p.m. CST

    My point is my balls

    by Shigeru

    <>

  • May 25, 2007, 3:04 p.m. CST

    Actually....

    by Psynapse

    I can be in up to 3 forms at once but you REALLY don't wanna see #3 (trust me, he's a PRICK) <p> Amen on Waid's Legion Homer, Amen. (I droppped it too)

  • May 25, 2007, 3:14 p.m. CST

    Turtle loves the Heef..

    by Thalya

    Psy loves the Reef'?<BR><BR><BR>And yay! My site's back in business!

  • May 25, 2007, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Wait..

    by Thalya

    Psy can turn into a giant penis? What are you on, again?

  • May 25, 2007, 3:24 p.m. CST

    Today's drug of choice: Massive sinus pressure

    by Psynapse

    Y'know that 'Wha-BOOMP' feeling you get from freebasing coke? Kinda like that but without any of the fun and tweaking.

  • May 25, 2007, 3:27 p.m. CST

    This is what you call a…

    by The Heathen

    cogvasion, no? <br> <br> I think Psy turned into his 3rd form once and he chased me around screaming. I didn't even know he was a giant prick until afterwards. I mean, when something naked, pale and over 6 feet tall starts chasing you screaming, you fucking run right? <br> I luv the Turtle too!!! Sea Turtles mate!!!

  • May 25, 2007, 3:36 p.m. CST

    it's buzz's fault

    by Shigeru

    BUT WAS THE GIANT PENIS DANCING??!

  • May 25, 2007, 4:49 p.m. CST

    I call bullshit, Heathen...

    by SleazyG.

    ...everybody knows Psy is a giant prick.

  • May 25, 2007, 5:22 p.m. CST

    Yeah but I'm pretty...

    by Psynapse

    So there.

  • May 25, 2007, 5:24 p.m. CST

    Not too mention talented....

    by Psynapse

    Check it out: http://tinyurl.com/3dhzlq <p>Go on, I dare you.

  • May 25, 2007, 5:30 p.m. CST

    Harlan Ellison on Identity/Infinite Crisis & Civil War

    by Psynapse

    "Horses**t. A maximum amount of pointless s**t. Not to be too candid about it. But then I think a maximum amount of pointless s**t was Civil War. I think the maximum amount of s**t was all the pointless crap they made you read at DC after the, uh, the uh, Infinite Crisis, I mean, just a really bulls**t, forcing people to buy a lot of comics they wouldn’t otherwise read to tell a story that doesn’t even tie in very well. They should be ashamed of themselves!"<p> Y'hear that y'fucks?

  • May 25, 2007, 6:41 p.m. CST

    Shotgun! Heh, heh, that's cute...

    by Buzz Maverik

    Somebody tell this guy...<p>Aw, never mind. So, Gratin', do you shoot skeet/trap? What do you favor? Ithaca? Mossberg? If ya have a Purdy and ya let me go shootin' with it, I'll even call ya Turtle.<p>No, you don't have a Purdy. Anybody that had a Purdy wouldn't be online. They'd be out shooting their Purdy.

  • May 28, 2007, 12:14 a.m. CST

    oh..

    by blackthought

    hmm...

  • May 28, 2007, 3:41 a.m. CST

    Frank Miller Dead

    by The Partyslammer

    Well, creatively. Seriously, his ASBaR isn't quite the complete waste of paper some people are making it out to be. I find his takes on the whole Batman mythos at least fresh mostly because he appears to despise the genre. I agree with what someone earlier said about his writing and Lee's art not meshing well at all. The two things that I strongly do not like about the series is the lazy plotting (I mean, what has happened so far over 5 issues could be easily condensed to 5 pages) and of course the rediculous gaps between issues. It's almost staggering to imagine guys like Miller and Jim Lee put out comics of *far* better quality on a monthly basis at one time. Now these guys think they're U2 or something, where they only have to grudgingly buckle down to the creative process every few years or so. It just seems like after weeks or months of phone calls from DC editors wondering when the next issue will be done, Miller spends at the most a couple Sunday mornings fighting a hangover while throwing together the next issue overloaded with dialog he got from drunken conversations with pals Tarantino and Rodriguez.