Comics

AICN COMICS REVIEWS WORLD WAR HULK! BUFFY! BLACK SUMMER! AND MUCH MORE!

Published at: June 13, 2007, 1:05 a.m. CST by merrick


#7 6/6/07 #6
Logo by Sleazy G

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) WORLD WAR HULK #1 plus an 8 page preview THE OUTSIDERS #48 THE BOYS #7 COUNTDOWN #47 NEW WARRIORS #1 JSA CLASSIFIED #26 BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: SEASON EIGHT #4 DETECTIVE COMICS #833 Indie Jones presents BLACK SUMMER #0 Indie Jones presents VÖGELEIN: OLD GHOSTS GN Indie Jones presents… CHEAP SHOTS!

WORLD WAR HULK #1 Plus an 8 page preview.

Writer: Greg Pak Art: John Romita Jr. & Klaus Janson Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Ambush Bug
Click on thumbnail for larger image.

This is a story that many of us have been waiting for. It’s one of those stories that has a lot of people chomping at the bit in anticipation, hoping that it’s going to be cool and fearing that it simply will not live up to all of the hype.
A bit of back-story may be needed: About a year and a half ago, SHIELD sent the Hulk on a “secret” mission involving a sentient experimental satellite out of control. Nick Fury (actually a Nick Fury LMD) sent the Hulk out into space to simply do what he does best: SMASH it. And smash it he did. But as the Hulk re-boarded his spaceship on his way back to earth, he found a message put together by Iron Man, Dr. Strange, Reed Richards, and Black Bolt explaining that even though Banner has been considered a friend, they must do the greater good and take this chance to eliminate the Hulk from the equation. The Hulk was blasted into deep space to an unpopulated planet so that he could finally get what he said he wanted for all of these years: he could be left alone.
Of course, it didn’t work out that way. The Hulk landed on a populated planet where he began his new life as a slave and soon rose to be champion and king of this barbaric world. The Hulk was finally happy. He had a kingdom, a queen, and a chance to live a new life. But a contingency plan was built into the Hulk’s spaceship and its self-destruction resulted in an explosion which destroyed this new world and life the Hulk had chosen. Needless to say, the Hulk was not so happy. So he put together a ship and a crew of warbound barbarians and set course for Earth. With every mile passed on their way towards earth, the Hulk has grown angrier. And we all know that the madder the Hulk gets, the stronger he becomes.
In WORLD WAR HULK #1, after what seems like an eternity, the Hulk finally lands on Earth.
Does it live up to the hype?
Hellz yes.
Like many of you, I feared that the talky-talky, politically allegorical, air-tight decompressed mode of storytelling that has been the flavor of most of Marvel’s books was going to ruin what could have been one of the coolest slugfests in Marvel history. I’m happy to say after reading this book that this simply is not the case.
WORLD WAR HULK doesn’t miss a beat. Sure it is set in post-CIVIL WAR Marvel, but with the Hulk threatening the destruction of Manhattan, none of that matters. Heroes on both side of this war realize that this is the real deal. There are no pages dedicated to finger-wagging blame and discourse. In this book, a major threat occurs and the heroes just react like professionals. I ask you, when was the last time the heroes acted like that?
In WORLD WAR HULK, Marvel’s heroes act like the heroes we have missed for so long. Sure, people are not going to like Iron Man in this issue and what he does. I fear that, along with the Hulk, that character is past the point of redemption, no matter what type of heroic deed he does. But you may have a bit more respect for old Shellhead after this issue.
The slugfest is raw and brutal. The Hulk isn’t simply angry, he’s out for revenge. He’s coming down with the force of every Marvel fan that has been pissed at the way their favorite characters have been misrepresented over the years. While these whiny heroes have been bickering amongst themselves, his anger and power have been growing exponentially. The Hulk has never been a real hero. Sure, he’s happened into some heroic deeds over the years, but for the most part he is a troubled soul. Writer Greg Pak seems to understand this. With his “Planet Hulk” storyline, he gave the Hulk everything he ever wanted. Along the way, I have to admit I grew antsy for the Hulk to return home, but was satisfied with the new directions and new aspects of the Hulk’s personality highlighted in the arcs off world. With the Hulk’s return and the destruction he wreaks in this issue, I fear that he’s moved past the point of misunderstood soul and ventured more into the full blown villain territory.
Some die-hard fans may be taken aback by the ruthlessness of the Hulk. Sure he’s deserving of a little payback, but some may feel that this path of redemption may sully the character. I’m willing to sit back and see. I know that I loved this first issue. It’s got two great battles and a whole lot of heroism going on between the pages. It’s got some surprisingly detailed work by John Romita Jr. who occasionally gives me the feeling that he rushes through some of the scenes that don’t really interest him. In this book, though, every panel is rich and intricate. It’s also got some great “Holy shit, that’s cool!” moments. At least three come to mind immediately, and the one that takes place in the preview pages scattered around this review is only one of them.
In the end, I hope WORLD WAR HULK sparks a return to not only action packed storytelling, but to heroism in the Marvel Universe. As good as dialog can be, you can only see so many panels of heroes standing and sitting around and debating before you wonder why you are reading it. WORLD WAR HULK is strong storytelling AND big budget action. I’m happy to say that all of my reservations about the return of the Hulk were squelched with this issue.

THE OUTSIDERS #48

Writers: Winick/Rucka Pencillers: Clark/Randall Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Rock-Me Amodeo

Top line: I have been underwhelmed after many months of storylines that seemed to be “Hey, we have all these interpersonal problems” or “hey, I’m gay, isn’t that enough to carry half a story?” But I finally feel like I’m seeing issue after issue of balls-to-the-walls action. Maybe someone finally said “we have enough TPBs. Just for grins, let’s fill each issue with plot advancement and action.”
Works for me. I’m not even a Winick fan and I like it. (I am, however, a CHECKMATE fan, and that might help. But still.)
The art is consistently good, even though there are two pencillers. I kept thinking that maybe they separated the Checkmate scenes and the Outsiders scenes, but maybe that is for the best. Thibert inked the whole thing, and there are at least a few places where I would have guessed one guy and it was the other. Thibert’s a strong inker. It makes me want to see more Thibert on his own, with the cover being a bit of an exception. Thunder looks like she’s channeling Bride of Frankenstein, and based on Grace’s position, I can’t tell if she’s standing or lying down. But hey, he draws better than I do.
Inside: this story is moving fast. I LOVE these types of stories, where there is an actual mission. And the Checkmate folks walk the talk: “You’re duty’s to the mission, Jo.” Some talkbackers will know I personally dug that.
Also driving my interest is I STILL can’t figure out who the Black Queen used to be. I think I actually READ all the OMAC stuff, I saw this girl created, and I can’t remember any special significance to the Bat-family. So I’m piqued there.
The only thing bothering me is not really a complaint, just an observation – what’s up with Digger’s boy, Boomer? He’s an able combatant AND he’s a speedster – I mean, you would think that superspeed is like having pocket jacks in Texas Hold-em. Immediate advantage, I would think. Now, I’m not keeping real good track, but this is the second time he’s been captured, and I’m thinking his speed should be an advantage, but it’s not. Given the fact that he’s a really nice guy pretending to be a bad ass, he seems to be filling the Xander to everyone’s Buffy. I hate seeing him be everyone’s “buttmonkey,” so to speak. He’s got a lot of potential, and I hope Winick uses it.
Bottom line: a good arc.

THE BOYS #7

Writer: Garth Ennis Penciller: Darick Roberson Publisher: DC...errr, I mean, D.E.! Comics (sorry, had to) Reviewed by Humphrey Lee

Once upon a time, there was a guy who fucked everything...
Sorry, but I figured that was a better lead in than typing something generic like "The Boys are back in town!!" Plus, y'know, I swear a lot.
But yes, after they're much maligned hiatus due to some conflict over content with DC (which I'll mention later) THE BOYS have finally restarted with Dynamite Entertainment. And this issue started off much like you sadly kind of expect and hope it will: with a supersuited superhero type sitting across from a psychologist explaining how he's got uncontrollable sexual urges that have led him to put his, uh, "special equipment" in several unlikely or unwanted places. And while the "Tek Knight" as he's called is coming to grips with his problem, Ennis and Co. take their time to establish some more inside info on the world this takes place in and the Supes that it calls their saviors.
Even though its been months since we've last seen this group, I'm kind of glad this came back with a calm demeanor. Obviously this was written probably a good year ago, but I'm glad there were no changes to bring this back in with a BANG! to get the readers back into the fray. This issue does a lot towards cementing the relationship between Butcher and Wee Hughie, which I think is going to be central to the plot further on while Ennis' little skewering and probably even slaughtering of some sacred cows and typical superhero stereotypes becomes more peripheral. And just the little bit of exposure we seem to get for the rest of the crew, particularly The Female as I can't help but think there's something very insidious in her past that's going to make for a nice story point down the road. I can't help but even think that there might even be something that develops between herself and the Wee one.
That's what I really like about this book though; yeah, I'm speculating a lot on what might happen given the limited exposure we've really had to this group so far, but I want to know more about them. I know this book is supposed to "Out-Preacher PREACHER" (and god how worn out is that line by now) but I'm already seeing this book more as a HITMAN myself. There's all these characters, most of which each have their own little sordid past but seem to slowly be coming together to form a bond. Once this book has a chance to recover from the speed bump that was the company shift and these characters start to mesh more and we can come to know and become more invested in them, I can see this becoming more of a must read instead of something that's so far kind of relying on the more in-your-faceness of its subject matter.
I do love that subject matter though, I have to admit. It really does make for some hilarious bits, mainly because I'm a sick and vile human being, and this issue was particularly packed with them. From the Tek Knight and his penetration problem: the scene with his sidekick, Laddio, while he was doing his stretches and whatnot was absolutely priceless, and I have a feeling that might have been the start of DC's issue with this book because it's obviously one aimed at one of that company’s bigger franchises and his relationships with teenage boys. And I can see why they might have taken issue with it, sure, it is one of their biggest moneymakers, but I'm also of the school of "fuck 'em if they can't take a joke" and I'm sorry, jokes have been made about this situation for years. I really don't see the issue with this one, especially since they were making some pretty solid sales off of it.
I'm still hoping and waiting for the point where this book becomes more to me than a not-so-guilty pleasure, but I still think it's what my peeps down south would refer to as "a hoot". This issue is what I would like to see more of actually; have your in-jokes, be a little raunchy, take your shots at those sacred cows, but establish those relationships too. I like how brotherly Hughie and Butch are becoming and want more. I want those little insights as to why the Frenchman and the Female are the vicious little fucks they are, and I want to know why Mother's Milk can be so chill around it. The more this team comes together, the more invested I can become in this and then hopefully I can start touting it as the "Must Read" this creative team should be expected to be producing month in and out.

COUNTDOWN #47

Writer: Paul Dini/Sean McKeever Penciler: Tom Derenick Inker: Andrew Pepoy, Jack Purcell, John Stanisci Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Jinxo

On the surface COUNTDOWN seems pretty similar to its predecessor 52. I mean, in a lot of very important ways beyond the weekly release date they do seem similar. So I can’t help but wonder why doesn’t it seem as good? I mean, I don’t hate it even though some folks do. But it isn’t grabbing me as much. So…why? What the hell is different this time around? I think a whole lot of the problem has less to do with what is in the comic and more to do with what preceded it, to the hype and mystique built up for it.
Okay, let’s start with 52. 52 started up at the end of INFINITE CRISIS. INFINITE CRISIS wasn’t perfect but it did leave the DC universe in a really excellent shambles for 52 to pick up from. Then on top of that DC comics goes and says, okay, we’re skipping ahead a year in the main books. Things will change in such a way that you’ll say, “What the hell happened in that year?” And there is also a “big mystery”. What is it? Well, gotta read 52 to find all that out. Now whether or not they made good on explaining everything in the course of 52 is beside the point. It was a good gimmick to grab you and, even if things in the book were slow, keep ya reading. Then on top of that, DC also says, okay, for the whole year 52 chronicles we’re sidelining the big guns, they will not be around to help. This is all about the “lesser” characters, making them interesting and playing with them some. And, oh, yeah, we’re also taking up the challenge of doing a weekly book. So there is also the fun of, hmm, can they do it? That’s a lot of stuff to get you interested and to maintain your interest even if it might take some time for the story to really get rolling. Oh, one more thing. Given the time frame of 52 being different and separate from all the other DC universe books, something else that was cool was that 52 was very nicely self contained. At a time when Marvel’s CIVIL WAR was asking me to buy 500 tie in titles, 52 just asked you to buy 52. Didn’t need to buy anything else to follow along.
So what about COUNTDOWN? COUNTDOWN starts off after 52. No wait…it starts right after the last year of comics that all chronologically followed 52. So where 52 picked up the momentum of CRISIS and ran with it, Countdown takes the pieces of 52 and after a long pause in the action…runs with it? Because nothing builds tension and excitement like a good intermission. But it does pick up the plots! See, 52 brought back the multiverse! Only, well, almost nobody knows the multiverse is back. So…not exactly a lot that can go on there right away. Building slow on that. Because nothing is more exciting than slowwwww. You want proof, watch “Speed 2”! When I was awake in that movie it was slow and action packed!!!
Okay, 52 sort of dropped the ball on the multiverse thing and threw it in at the end almost as an afterthought. But that was because they were busy with other exciting plots of great importance. Like Black Adam. His was one of the better stories in 52 and became so important that DC Comics devoted 4 comics in one week to his story’s resolution. He went from bad to good to bad and then he killed, well, everyone he ran into. To stop him they had to zap him out of his Black Adam form and then reset his password to access the Shazam mojo. They left him angry and de-powered wandering the streets, the fate that meets all good/bad guys with lightning on their chests (I thing he then went and had lunch with Quicksilver). I was really anxious to see where the hell that was going. Along comes COUNTDOWN! Another plot for them to grab and run with! Yes! Or, you know, sidestep and utterly ignore. Yep, Black Adam is all powered up again somehow and, for some reason, not killing everyone, just killing everyone who wanders near him. Nice. The ONE big dangling plot thread they could work and they don’t. When asked about what the deal was with Black Adam having his powers back, the folks behind COUNTDOWN have said, “Oh, we’ll get to that. Tee hee.” Yeah, an explanation weeks down the road as back story? Whatever. I wanted to see that crap play out! I mean, come on! In COUNTDOWN his magic word is even back to Shazam! You can’t even throw me a bone and have it still be the obscure word Captain Marvel figured he would never guess? Ya can’t give us the fun of Black Adam powering up by embarrassedly shouting out, “Nummy Muffin Coco Butter!!!”
So COUNTDOWN starts with no momentum from its lead in series, and it mutes what momentum might have been there. There isn’t any missing year mystery. It happens alongside current continuity (this led to a moment this week where another DC event crossed into COUNTDOWN which made me say, “Oh wow. I’m not reading that. And I’m not gonna.”). So there is no extra mystery or excitement to help carry this book as it gets running. None. Nothing to help it. It doesn’t even have the buzz of, “Can they do it?” that 52 did. We know they can do it. They already did. For COUNTDOWN the question is “can they do it better?” Given the lack of momentum they are starting with they’re not making that task easier.
And I really think the lack of those lead-in ideas is more the problem with COUNTDOWN than anything else. The actual storytelling I think is otherwise comparable to 52. They could do with reading some weekly serialized Sunday comics strips to see how to really put a lot into a few panels and make it feel every week like something substantial happened. I am at least mildly interested in what is happening with The Flash’s rogues. I don’t mind a slow build there if they can keep something moving faster in the other plots. And I must say I was opposed to the idea of Mary Marvel being potentially tarnished. I’m a little tired of everyone really good having to be worked over or killed. But, that said, with her costume change highlighted on the cover of this issue, I’m afraid my dude side overruled my moral “outrage” quite quickly. I’m reading going,” “No, this is…no, they shouldn’t…” Then I turned the page, saw the reveal on the new dark look and went, “Okay. I’ll go there. Yeah baby! Shaaaazam!” I’m not proud but there it is.
To sum up, 52 came in with a million interesting concepts to tickle your ass with. COUNTDOWN comes in without any real intriguing concepts except “lets do it again only this time…wait for it… we’ll count BACKWARDS!!! And will countdown to…some sort of thing. Something will happen at the end. Yep.” Bottom line, COUNTDOWN needs to get things moving fast in every sense of that phrase.

NEW WARRIORS #1

Kevin Grevioux: Writer Paco Medina: Artist Marvel Comics: Publisher Vroom Socko: Old Warrior

Let me get one thing out of the way first: I am a huge New Warriors fan. The first writer I ever consciously followed from book to book was Fabian Nicieza, and it was because of what he did in the first fifty issues featuring this team. It pisses me off that people think of them as a joke, it really does. The opening to CIVIL WAR, the transformation of Speedball into Emo Stabby Boy... these characters took on the Sphinx, for God's sake!
So when I heard that there was going to be a fourth series for this team, I was on board. (Back Bin hunters, don't bother with the second run. Really, just don't.) I liked the concept behind the new team. I liked that some of them were going to be revamped established characters. I LOVED the identity of the original member who would be running the show (and there will be spoilers to come, so watch yourself.) And once I had the issue in hand, I found that the concept lived up to my expectations.
The execution though? Not so much.
Don't get me wrong, I'm interested in seeing where this is going, and I got a big kick out of Paco Medina's artwork. But writer Kevin "Underworld" Grevioux is going to have to work his ass off if he wants to keep me on board. The problem here is that the whole issue feels like a rehash of the first twenty minutes of “The Matrix”. And no, just because there's a preemptive reference to Morpheus doesn't make it self-aware, or deprecating, or metawhateverthefuck. It's just another way of saying that "No, this part ain't original and we know it."
Look, here's a blow by blow of the plot. Take notes. There's an action scene with a kickass female, followed by three investigators tracking down her activities. Then we cut to an ordinary person who's having dreams of being more than what she is. Her computer starts talking to her, she meets a stranger with a familiar name, and she's led to meet the mysterious leader of these New Warriors. That's “The Matrix” all right, and I fucking hated “The Matrix”. Someone literally had to pay me to see “The Matrix”. Joy of joys.
What else does this book have to offer, then? Well, as I said, Medina's artwork looks damn good. Then there's the matter of the leader of the NW, one Night Thrasher. Some speculation has it that this might actually be his brother Bandit in the armor, but I'm hoping it's the real deal. Honestly, go back and look at what Fabe did with this character, turning him from a carbon copy Batman into his own man, and tell me you don't want to see him back.
So yes, that last page is a good thing, and it's why I'm planning on sticking with this book. And there's style a'plenty in the artwork. But the plot had better find some originality, and soon. Do something crazy, do something innovative, but don't just tell some story we already know. I want to like this book. Let me.

JSA CLASSIFIED #26

Writer: Frank Tieri Artist: Matt Haley Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Rock-Me Amodeo

Note to D.C. – remember that big crossover thing between the two CLASSIFIED titles, JSA and JLA? With the Royal Flush Gang? You may have blocked it out, I know I sure tried, but here’s the deal: all is forgiven.
This was sort of a hat trick for me – I got to review three books I actually enjoyed this week. JSA CLASSIFIED has done a good job lately of one- and two-issue arcs. Since the Big Two are all about grand-scale, paradigm-shifting events lately, I appreciate the simplicity of a character-driven story. I enjoyed the Dr. Midnight arc that recently concluded, and I like this issue as well.
Wildcat is not the kind of character that can drive a book month after month, but he’s a great supporting character, as we have seen in BIRDS OF PREY and CATWOMAN. Frank Tieri proves that a capable writer can hold him in the spotlight for a time.
Matt Haley does an excellent job with some nice visuals. Between the black-and-white flashbacks and the parallel fight panels, the book felt almost like an art book rather than a comic book.
Concern: the mobster, though written in equal parts humor and fierceness, may be too dumb to enjoy. I can’t believe he could possibly think a loser like Sportsmaster is worth any sort of big investment, and I will be sorely disappointed if this doesn’t end as at least a double or triple cross.
But I will tune in for round two next issue. Ding!

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: SEASON EIGHT # 4

Writer: Joss Whedon Penciller: Georges Jeanty Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Reviewer: Sleazy G

Look, I’m a Buffy fan from way back. I didn’t see the movie in theaters—back then I was kinda broke and had to wait for a lotta stuff to go to video--but I rented the movie once it did, and I enjoyed it enough to watch it a few times (still love Paul Reubens’ death scene). There’s exactly one episode I didn’t see the season it ran, and it’s the one episode from Season 1 that the WB refused to air a second time. And yeah, for some reason, I’ve bought almost all of the related BUFFY and ANGEL comics, for better and worse. But I can honestly say this is the first time the BUFFY comics have been strong enough to really deserve an unqualified recommendation.
The previous series have had their ups and downs, with writing ranging from decent to mediocre and art doing the same. Oh, there were writers with a decent ear for the characters, capable of getting the voices reasonably close to what they should have been or coming up with an interesting turn for the characters here and there. For the most part, though, it felt like a hollow cartoon version of the series, lacking depth and weight. I know much of that was due to licensing issues or requests not to take the characters anywhere too extreme or irreversible, but in the end it felt…well, it felt like most of the TV and movie properties licensed to comics I’ve ever read. Which isn’t saying much, as any of you who’ve read licensed properties for long will know.
This new run on the book, though, has earned its name and fully deserves to be called Season Eight. It picks up a few months after the original series, moving the stars of the series along just far enough to keep you interested but without leaving you scratching your head. They’re all maturing, growing in different directions but without being pulled apart. It’s also packed with lots of stories spun straight from the TV show and has at least three past villains (one of whom I was sad to see go this issue) who have all cropped back up to make life miserable for Ms. Summers and the Scoobies. It’s what Buffy fans have been wanting to see all along, and so far it’s humming along quite nicely.
Let’s face it: nobody knows these characters better than Joss Whedon does, although some of the other top writers from the show are fantastic as well. When these characters talk, they sound like themselves and act like themselves in ways that only their creator or the other show writers could really understand. Joss’ love for these characters is so evident on these pages that you can feel how perfectly realized they are and how much he’s invested into them. This book has the spark that’s somewhat missing from his work on X-MEN—one which I’ve only ever noticed one other place: his recently started arc on RUNAWAYS. His talents seem best attuned to ensemble casts of youngsters, and it shows in these two books.
As to whether the book is new reader friendly—man, it’s hard to say. There’s a lot of new stuff here that has nothing to do with the show, so I think it’s probably no big deal to jump in—no more so than, say, with the X-Men or Avengers or the JLA or the Titans. Sure, you know there’s a lot you missed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start with the beginning of a new storyline and get your feet under you pretty quickly. SEASON EIGHT is definitely an easy spot to jump in and try things out, and the quality’s the best the BUFFY series has ever been. It looks great and reads great—hell, even the fill-in talent next month (Brian K. Vaughan) is pretty kickass. After years and years of waiting, Buffy fans finally have something to fall in love with on the stands. As somebody who was a little skeptical at first as to whether Whedon could pull off a monthly BUFFY without feeling like retread, I gotta say I’m really pleased so far.

DETECTIVE COMICS #833

Writer: Paul Dini Artist: Don Kramer Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Rock-Me Amodeo

If you like Batman, you should be picking up this book. Forget all the nonsense about Batman’s sons and Batman’s clones. Those sand castles will be washed away in the tides of continuity like…like…something else that gets easily washed away.
This title consistently rocks. Heck, the covers alone make me want to buy it.
But the story inside delivers, too. I don’t want to give too much away. You expect tension between Zatanna and Bats? You got it. You expect another top-notch mystery unfolding? (And hence the word “detective” in the title, imagine that…)? You got it.
What I didn’t expect was a completely plausible and touching bit of backstory between Bruce Wayne and Zatanna. And I did NOT expect the book to end the way it did. I was expecting the demise of a Marilyn Manson wannabe. And I got a lot more, beautifully illustrated and well told.

BLACK SUMMER #0

Writer: Warren Ellis Penciler: Juan Jose Ryp Publisher: Avatar Reviewed by Humphrey Lee

The last couple times Warren Ellis has taken a creator driven approach to the superhero genre some very fantastic things have happened; anyone who has read his STORMWATCH, AUTHORITY, and PLANETARY will attest to that. And if you know someone who doesn't, please provide me with their names and addresses so we can rectify these little oversights. But all threats of mass murder aside, BLACK SUMMER already seems to be just as ambitious, if not more so, than any of the works I just mentioned.
Now, ambition is one thing, but execution is another. I will give this a little slack, because it is a preview issue and its whole purpose is to hit you in the face with the story that is going to drive this series. The premise of BLACK SUMMER is this, for those who may not have caught wind of the hype: John Horus, former superhero and one of the most powerful men on the planet, has casually walked into the White House and executed the President of the United States. And this little ninety-nine cent pamphlet is primarily about him, covered in blood from head to toe, standing in front of the White House Press Corps and explaining the actions he perpetrated just minutes ago to a stunned and shocked American public.
This is where I had to say I give this issue a lot of slack, because this issue is very exposition laden, making only eight pages seem like a very engorging read. But it has to because not only is Horus selling the public on his very radical actions, but Ellis is selling us on the premise through it. It's a pitch with a little bit of history thrown in too because it's also trying to establish a past for the character of Horus, and where this crusade of his might and will lead to conflict with his super powered ex-teammates and colleagues. But I, for one, do actually kind of buy into Horus' extreme actions. It's honestly not that terribly original an idea; the problem is, though, how can you really capitalize on it? The vast majority of superpower and superhero based comics are owned by companies more focused on properties than ideas. You simply can't have a Superman story where he says "Y'know, fuck that (insert President) fellow and all the misery his actions have caused. I think I'll go stage a coup and cave his head in while I'm at it." And yes, I know there's argument about unnecessary brutality in this, but I'm a fan of it. I personally like the implications of a character for who all intents and purposes is godlike and how it can affect his demeanor and rationale in dealing with something like this. I know to some the violence will seem a little too lowbrow for such complicated subject matter, but I think that's the point Ellis is making here and to me it works.
And the art works for me for the most part, but it definitely isn't up near the level of talent that Ellis had with him on those almost seminal works I mentioned earlier. At times it can be downright impressive, like with that wraparound cover that binds this book. When Ryp can pull out and have these large shots they're really impressive. Tons of detail, lots of ambiance to it and the character of John Horus has a lot of draw to him. He definitely gives the character a lot of impression, and mostly in the more enlarged shots. But when taken down to the six and nine panel pages or just some of the close up shots some of pictures falter a bit. Some of the facial features are really exaggerated and really awkward looking. And some of the bodies on these characters tend to look disproportionate and elongated. I'm not trying to say these faults are overly detracting; far from it. It's very competent and sometimes pretty downright impressing, but it's not as masterful as you'd expect to come with a story with this much weight and hype behind it.
I was probably fully onboard with this title from the get-go, but I still appreciate the gesture that Avatar is making with this preview and I liked this enough that I'm getting the rest of the series for sure now. I think that Warren Ellis is an absolutely brilliant writer, particularly when he cuts loose like this, but at the same time some of these edgier works of his (and particularly most of the ones from this same publisher) have left me with a bit of a bland taste in my mouth so there was a little bit of doubt. This could end up being a very "important" work, but now the rub lies with this book avoiding becoming overly preachy with this subject matter. There's not a lot of hyperbole here; this is some very frank conceptual work and it’s going to rub some people the wrong way right off the bat but that's the nature of political discussion. Hopefully there's a proper balance in the future for this book that it is able to make some revelatory and insightful statements without them getting lost in the sea of violence that I'm sure is going to encompass a lot of the mini-series itself.

VÖGELEIN: OLD GHOSTS GN

Creator: Jane Irwin Publisher: Fiery Studios Reviewer: Dan Grendell

"The important part is, I got my happy ending."
I am a big fan of the original VÖGELEIN mini-series, so I was excited to hear that there was a follow-up graphic novel. Jane Irwin's story of a clockwork faerie who must be periodically wound by a human companion or she dies is a moving one, and her search for freedom and desire for self-knowledge touch chords in us all. This new story continues in those themes, as Vögelein (it's German, so pronounced PFEU-gul-ine) looks back on her past and deals with guilt from the loss of her first companion.
The biggest draw for me to VÖGELEIN is Irwin's art. She has an incredible ability to draw faces so that the expressions draw you in, making you feel as if what is happening is real. Every look is vivid and energetic, or sad and withdrawn, as the mood calls for, exactly as it should be, creating a basis of reality for the story that makes it so much more engaging than it would be if the facial expressions were less well done.
Irwin also does careful research into her subject. Not only into faeries, but Romany culture and the lifestyles of Irish musicians. Again, this gives the story a very true to life feel, despite the fact that the main character isn't human. This careful attention to detail is the mark of a creator who cares about their subject, and it is evident that Irwin does.
I would definitely recommend VÖGELEIN to anyone with an interest in fantasy or human interest stories, or just anyone looking for a good read. For a sample, go here.

BANANA MAN #7 Crack Comics

Another earth-shattering installment of Banana Man. This time our hero is joined by two more costumed types; Yo Yo Man and Gorilla Guy. Sure their names are hokey, but they make for some pretty hearty guffaws. This book never takes itself too seriously. It’s got self defacing humor such as a blurb on the cover remarking that this is the Appealing 7th Issue! Our villain Yo Yo Man starts a rumble with Banana Man simply because he is becoming “slightly more popular.” This is clever, yet low brow, humor for a low price of 50 cents. Don’t expect THE WATCHMEN, folks. It’s a guy who dresses as a banana who preaches the nutritional value of bananas and fights those who disagree with him. But this is inventive and fun stuff for those with a sense of humor…
and a taste for bananas. - Ambush Bug

CLIVE BARKER’S THE GREAT AND SECRET SHOW #12 IDW Publishing

This maxiseries must have been a daunting task to adapt. Clive Barker has been famous for the subtle nuances and intricate plots in his stories. TGASS was one of his most well received works. It’s filled with vivid imagery and complicated metaphysical details. A comic book adaptation of this book has been attempted in the past, but they have never been very successful. Writer Chris Ryall has done the near-impossible and made this story not only faithful to the source material, but adding to the story by giving shape and form to all of the weird and wild mythology that permeated the book. What always impressed me about Barker’stories was that they often had a tendency to “sandwich” the evil in the story. Sure there were good and bad guys, but Barker never stopped there. In Barker’s stories there were bad guys, then there were badder guys, and then there were usually even badder bad guy manipulating it all. Barker understood that no one was without sin, so characters that you think are evil turn out to be helpful or heroic and the heroes rarely come out untarnished in the end. Ryall’s adaptation communicates this tricky morality clearly in this story. Writer Ryall and artist Gabriel Rodriguez provide some jaw-dropping scenes as the story reaches its conclusion in issue #12. This is definitely a story that you must immerse yourself in due to the heavy terminology and giant cast of characters, but Ryall does a phenomenal job as ringleader; corralling all of these “out-there” aspects into one massive, cohesive tale. I gave this maxiseries the Comics Catch-up treatment at its halfway point, but haven’t revisited it since. The maxiseries wrapped up not long ago and it’s definitely worth a dive into the back issue bin to find the final issues of this series. At the very least, wait for the trade and enjoy the whole damn enchilada in one sitting. You’ll definitely be full after devouring this story which throws you into the narrative, jostles your expectations, and leaves you fully satisfied. – Ambush Bug

BUMP #1 Fangoria Comics

If you’re a regular reader of this site, you’ve probably picked up an issue or two of FANGORIA AKA the best damn horror magazine on the racks. I’ve been a FANGO junkie since its early issues. Hell, I remember grossing out my cousins with the covers alone and I’ll never forgive my religious aunt for tossing out a box full of early issues because she said they were “devilish.” I must admit, I haven’t read the mag in a while, but I do often flip through it on the magazine rack to catch up on what’s new in horror while other snoots are reading THE SMITHSONIAN or COSMO at the bookstore. Now FANGORIA has dug its claws into comic books. BUMP is the first issue I have read from this company, and after enjoying this one so much, I hope to have a chance to read more. This read was an unexpected treat. It starts out as a typical serial killer yarn, but soon ventures into more supernatural territory. Weird things are afoot as a car crash results in a group of people having to take shelter in an old house in the woods. This story delivers in the scares department, which isn’t that easy to accomplish in comic book form. But writer/artist Mark Kidwell supplies moody ambiance and some pretty imaginative and wicked modes of murder. I especially like the way the killer carves statues out of wood representing his victims. These spooky wooden mannequins are all the more creepy in that they have shelves built in for all of their naughty bits. What’s pretty cool about the story of BUMP and the other books FANGO is offering with its comic book line is that a lot of them are being made into film, so you don’t have to wait long before seeing these comics come to life on celluloid. I was impressed with this first issue. Fans of FANGO will not be disappointed and it’s a comic that is sure to piss off all those religious aunts out there too. – Ambush Bug

THE BLACK DIAMOND DETECTIVE AGENCY OGN First Second

The name Eddie Campbell is synonymous with the words quality comic books and Mr. Campbell continues his streak with this Original Graphic Novel from First Second. A large cast of characters all play a part in a mystery involving a train explosion and a missing safe filled with…well, we’re not sure. What impressed me the most about this story is that it is actually a mystery. Mystery is a word tossed around a lot in comics. There are books focusing on detectives and criminals and all who like to call themselves mystery and detective stories, but in those yarns, the crime and criminals are often clearly identified. The reader is made omniscient spectator. There’s no real mystery for the reader to solve. It’s more like a race to see if the detective himself can solve what was shown to the reader early on. No such case in this story. This is an actually mystery that keeps you guessing and only slowly reveals the truth behind the crimes committed. I had a lot of fun trying to piece together the mystery and figure it out before the detectives did. Campbell does a great job of juggling a large cast and peppering in factoids about Chicago at the turn of the century. Campbell has done his research. At times, this is a slice of life book set in 1899. Campbell makes sure to make even the slow moments in this story poignant and relevant to the plot. His gritty style of artwork has never been better, suggesting movement and emotion with very few lines and shades. My only complaint is a small one. As much as I enjoyed the story and art, I found myself distracted by Campbell’s lettering. I understand that Campbell is a “do-it-all” type of guy, but his lettering in this issue seemed rushed and too italicized. At times, I felt distracted from the story by this minute detail. Again, this is a minor complaint, but it was a detail that took me out of the story, if only briefly. That said, you won’t find a better mystery than this book. It’s definitely worth checking out this modern master's latest. - Ambush Bug

DAREDEVIL: BATTLIN’ JACK MURDOCK #1 Marvel Comics

In this age of defacing heroes and humanizing villains, where do the supporting characters fit in? I’m not sure if this miniseries will answer that question. My old writing teacher said that it doesn’t matter what type of story you are writing, the one rule is that this story must be interesting. And I’m not sure if this story qualifies. This book tries to pick up the pieces left by Joey Q’s failure (DD: FATHER) and flesh out the character of Daredevil’s father, Jack Murdock. Writer Zeb Wells tries to paint a sympathetic portrait of a down and out, punch drunk galoot who can’t seem to get a break. But in actuality, Murdock’s basically a loser whose shitty life decisions have landed him alone, an alcoholic, and working as a strongarm for a small time mob boss. This may have worked for Rocky Balboa, but at that character’s core, the story revealed that Rock was a good person. This story fails in that aspect. Jack Murdock is reactionary, not so smart, and aside from being a pretty good boxer, he doesn’t really seem to have much in the redeeming quality department. The story “reveals” some secrets such as the night Jack finds out he has a son, an early encounter with Turk (DD’s future informant), and the fact that Jack thinks of his son as weak due to his blindness. These tidbits prove to be somewhat enjoyable and I like the way Wells is structuring this tale by making each issue reflect a different round in Murdock’s final boxing match, but I found myself straining to care about a guy who destroys an elderly shopkeeper’s store with a baseball bat and trashes his own place and screams “WHY!!!!” like an infant while a newborn is laying on the floor in front of him. I’ve enjoyed Wells’ work in the past and the art from Carmine Di Giandomenico is downright gorgeous, so I’m going to give issue two a shot, but so far, the story has failed to grasp any sort of sympathy or interest in the main character. – Bug

INVINCIBLE #42 Image Comics

Okay, look, I know Kirkman and Image are very proud of this book. And they should be; it's a very entertaining book and proudly character-centric. Definitely the best pure superhero book I read each month (or whenever it happens to arrive). But look, this is issue forty-two. You've already had a "new reader friendly" special trying to hook newbies. There was even an INVINCIBLE Encyclopedia that just came out to detail the universe some more. I think this is really just pushing the luck now. From what I understand, the big pull of this book for new readers anyways are the trades. This is just excessive, especially since it's a lot of exposition for the readers that are up to date to trudge through. Sure, a couple plot threads are nudged along to satiate us long-termers, but two or three pages of relevance for two-thirds the normal cost isn't terribly exciting. It's time to just tell the story and let word of mouth and excellent trade packages do the work now guys. Oh, and getting the hard covers on track would be nice too. But stuff like this is more likely than not just gonna piss off the guys you've already won over. Just bring on the next issue already. - Humphrey

THE ATOM #12 DC Comics

I was surprised to find that, despite the fact that I love this series, I have never written one single review about it. This issue of THE ATOM continues to set the bar higher in comic book inventiveness in storytelling. Gail Simone’s run on this book has improved with Byrne’s departure. The best thing about this series is that you never know what you are going to get when you crack open its cover. Is it going to be a journey into quantum physics or a zombie ghost tale? Is a giant head going to attack or a man sliced in half? Things take a turn for the interesting in this issue as our hero Ryan Cho seems to be embarking on a quest to find Ray Palmer, the former Atom. Fun exudes as a pitiful cadre of former Atom villains show up at his apartment and things get extremely interesting when a major Atom baddie shows his hand in the end. This looks to be the beginning of a wild ride and if you aren’t a fan of this series, this is a good issue to pick up and see what all of the hubbub is about. But be prepared, this is a loony-@$$ comic. You can tell Simone is having a blast writing it and I’m having a blast of equal magnitude reading it. – Bug

AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE #3 Marvel Comics

With this issue, with its character twists, and its focus on both the flaws and the nobility of superheroes, with its use of past concepts to create a whole new idea (Clones + Iron Spidey = Sweetness!) and with its focus on just how hard it is to live up to ideals, and how important it is that you do, I realized just who Dan Slott reminds me of.
If Bendis is this comics generation’s Stan Lee, then Slott is their Mark Gruenwald. I can think of no higher compliment. - Vroom

RAISE THE DEAD #3 Dynamite Entertainment

Look out WALKING DEAD, there’s another ongoing zombie series out there and guess what? This one’s got zombies in it. For those of you who are bored by Kirkman’s AS THE ZOMBIEWORLD TURNS, I give you a worthy alternative. RAISE THE DEAD may not be as nuanced as WALKING DEAD, but it does not shy away when it comes to hardcore zombie action. This is simply a straight-up patchwork quilt of a zombie tale that borrows a lot from other zombie tales. Not sticking to one definite cause of the zombie plague, this story offers a few scenarios about how it all went down. Scientific, meteorological, biblical, and even demonic theories abound. Not only that, but fun little tidbits (like the plague starting in Pittsburgh) are added for a wink and a nod towards Romero and other zombie legends. Add a cast that experiences flash-backs a la LOST and you have a pretty interesting read. WALKING DEAD is still a quality read about the emotional toll a zombie apocalypse has on the human spirit, but this is a zombie book that doesn’t forget to put the bite into its story. – Bug

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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  • June 13, 2007, 1:10 a.m. CST

    First here, too!

    by Droogie Alex

    Ya

  • June 13, 2007, 1:48 a.m. CST

    Raise the Dead!

    by Zardoz

    Yeah, I'm digging that book, too! Cool art, an interesting story and an intriguing mystery and lots of zombies doing zombie things! Oh, and I liked #42 of Invincible. (which is the best superhero comic book around! Really!) I wasn't bored by the re-cap or the exposition and the new stuff was pretty big. (especially the last page) Buffy season 8 is really good, but the dialogue just isn't the same on the page as it is when delivered by the actors. (minor quibble) But it's a great story and it continues the series perfectly. Also recommended: Iredeemable Ant-Man. It's Kirkman's other great book. (and yeah, after the last disappointing TPB, I don't think I'll be buying Walking Dead anymore) Funny, dramatic, complicated characters, "real" situations and very cool art. It really flips your expectations about what a comic book "hero" should be. And the new Brave and The Bold series is pretty nice, also. Perez's art has never been better, the stories are fun and funny, and it has all your fav superheroes. Pick them all up, if you get a chance...

  • June 13, 2007, 2:27 a.m. CST

    turd

    by zaggnutt

    third?

  • June 13, 2007, 4:32 a.m. CST

    Jinxo....(Black Adam)

    by ThePerv

    For a comic book geek like yourself Im suprised you didnt catch the reference to Black Adam in getting his powers back. Juat look at the last lines he says to Mary Marvel: "Tell your brother that im "sorry"." Obviously Marvel decided to change the password to a word that Adam would never say in his life....fill in the blanks as to when he figured it out.

  • June 13, 2007, 4:34 a.m. CST

    ...

    by ThePerv

    ie. the word was "sorry".

  • June 13, 2007, 4:58 a.m. CST

    Ahhh...

    by Jinxo

    That is a good catch that I did miss. Doesn't make up for tossing aside that whole plot thread... or explain why Adam is only moderately killy instead of super killy... or explain how he got to reset the password back to Shazam... But "Sorry" was a good joke and I did miss it. And, seriously, Captain Marvel... sorry? You changed it to SORRY???? Dude, you gotta learn how to properly pick an unguessable password. Hitleriffic. There's a word he's not gonna guess. Or pooper. Anything but the one word he will figure you'd pick. Fool! Better unguessable words, anyone?

  • June 13, 2007, 5:50 a.m. CST

    The All New Atom

    by LeckoManiac

    Is my absolute favorite title on the stands right now. It is consistently fun, bizarre, and entertaining.

  • June 13, 2007, 6:19 a.m. CST

    other unguessable words

    by rock-me Amodeo

    lickproof and owl-flavored come to mind...

  • June 13, 2007, 6:25 a.m. CST

    Iron Man

    by Midnightxpress

    ...what exactly has IM done to no longer be considered a hero, save for arguing with Capt and Spidey...?

  • June 13, 2007, 6:42 a.m. CST

    That's my cue...

    by BizarroJerry

    You folks should be reading G.I. Joe: America's Elite. Yes, I'm gonna say it in every @$$hole talkback, so get used to it.

  • June 13, 2007, 6:55 a.m. CST

    No Dark Tower #4 Review?

    by Abin Sur

    Or did I miss it?

  • June 13, 2007, 6:58 a.m. CST

    Ahhhhh Buffy.

    by mrtwig48

    Now only if DC or somebody would make a Veronica Mars comic.

  • June 13, 2007, 7:12 a.m. CST

    Archie's a racist bastard....

    by Bootskin

    Notice he's gesturing toward his customer of color when he says "We'll serve anybody!" Death to Archie and his racist friends!

  • June 13, 2007, 7:56 a.m. CST

    Jinxo

    by RenoNevada2000

    Nice MST3K reference...

  • June 13, 2007, 8:06 a.m. CST

    Does anyone else not like John Romita Jr.?

    by rev_skarekroe

    It's not just me is it?

  • June 13, 2007, 8:40 a.m. CST

    Relieved by the WORLD WAR HULK review...

    by stones_throw

    I wasn't going to pick it up, but now I might reconsider. However, there's a few underlying issues that may spoil my enjoyment. The "Illuminati" shot Hulk into space then tried to blow him up? (I haven't been reading Planet Hulk.) That's just too much for this fan. Secondly, Marvel's last few events have shown how they don't really get comic books by acknowledging the unsaid conceits of the genre like lack of government interference, property damage and Hulk as a killer. It's worrying that they're taking steps towards Hulk as a full-blown villain despite over 400 issues where he's been the hero and protagonist.<p>Otherwise, despite being a Dan Slott fan I haven't been grabbed by THE INITIATIVE - it lacks a strong overall plotline and interesting characters. It's strange how before the cancellation of THE THING all Slott's Marvel work was pure gold, but since then SHE-HULK has faltered and I've been unimpressed by his new title. Still, after the FCBD issue I'm looking forward to the possibility of him working on Spider-Man.

  • June 13, 2007, 8:43 a.m. CST

    Yeah, DevilCat...

    by stones_throw

    I just try to pretend those "Tony" and "Reed"s don't exist.

  • June 13, 2007, 8:54 a.m. CST

    Other fucked up stuff Iron Man did:

    by SleazyG.

    Kill his best friend, Happy Hogan. Send The Hulk (who has never been directly tied to a single dead body) into space even though IM has killed a few hundred people at last count. Hunted and imprisoned his friends. Tony is now officially a complete douche, and despite the fact his being in charge of SHIELD is a decent concept I dropped his book because it, and the character, have been so tarnished at this point that they're beyond redemption for me.

  • June 13, 2007, 8:54 a.m. CST

    You're not alone, rev_skarekroe.

    by SleazyG.

    I've long thought he was overrated.

  • June 13, 2007, 8:56 a.m. CST

    Why would you call Bendis "this comic gen

    by Borgnine JR

    eration's Stan Lee"? Bendis isn't fit to sharpen Stan Lee's pencil. (Take that any way you want it.)

  • June 13, 2007, 9:20 a.m. CST

    Jinxo

    by Thalya

    If only Countdown had your review's energy and fun..

  • June 13, 2007, 9:24 a.m. CST

    This generation's stan lee?

    by tomorrowlight

    lets see how bendis himself would discuss this in the space of one of his comic books: "So, brian. The new stan huh?" "yeah" "Wow" "I know" "I mean, seriously, wow" "I know" "thats like, huge man" "Too huge man." "wow" repeat for the next 3 hrs...

  • June 13, 2007, 9:45 a.m. CST

    SleazyG, Tony Stark killed Happy Hogan??

    by MisterE

    When did this happen?

  • June 13, 2007, 9:51 a.m. CST

    Boys and Walking Dead

    by SavageDragoner

    The Boys is fantastic. Been there since issue 1 and have no complaints. I'm just amazed that Ennis constantly finds new depths of depravity to sink to. But what is with the constant Walking Dead hate? I just don't get it. The zombies aren't the plot, they're the backdrop. In an ongoing series like this you just can't have wall-to-wall action all the time, it just gets too shallow. After 40-some issue by now, don't you care at all about the characters? Can't you have an issue or two where you focus on them and what they do when they're not worried about getting eaten alive? The great thing about Walking Dead is that, because it never ends, we get a chance to really explore what would happen to the rest of the world, both socially and psychologically: i.e. the other town under the rule of a depot where zombies are used as sport and Rick lost the rest of his hand. That sort of stuff is fascinating to me, especially if they end up having to defend the prison not only from the zombies from but from their new 'neighbors' as well. All these other zombie comics that come out just look so tripey in comparison.

  • June 13, 2007, 9:51 a.m. CST

    Hey Rock-Me-Amodeo

    by TheContinentalOp

    I know who the Black Queen used to be. Remember after No Man's Land, when 'Tec was all awesome and monochromatic? Bruce Wayne had a bodyguard (for insurance purposes, I believe) who eventually discovered that he was Batman and helped him fight crime. Then she fell in love with him and went to jail as an accomplice during the Bruce Wayne: Murderer? storyline. After she got out, Bruce set her up with a job at Checkmate, and she quickly rose through the ranks to become the Black Queen. Then she became a cyborg. Long story.

  • June 13, 2007, 9:54 a.m. CST

    Great reviews all around, @$$holes!

    by Thalya

    Much great reading (that, and I'm happy much of what I read was worthy of review). I think I'm gonna have to pick up Banana Man and All-New Atom now, too..<BR><BR>So who else read 'Tec!? Was that not a good read? Was anyone else faked out into thinking it was Riddler at the very end for a moment?<BR><BR>Buffy was good, but I think NoD's monologue at the beginning was overly Whedon-speaky to make sense (not that it was really Joss' fault - he never wrote that character, he only did OMWF in S6). And also, Joss is writing issue #5 also as a one-shot, then BKV picks up the next arc.

  • June 13, 2007, 10:03 a.m. CST

    Black Queen

    by rock-me Amodeo

    I also got a heads up from someone who told me to pick up Rucka's run of Detective. I should have thought of that (but I didn't!), because Rucka is writing Checkmate; he obviously has a fondness for the character. Thanks!

  • June 13, 2007, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Technicality, ContinentalOp..

    by Thalya

    Sasha Bordeaux was a Knight when she became a cyborg OMAC. Then she was promoted to Black Queen.

  • June 13, 2007, 10:58 a.m. CST

    Savage Dragoner...

    by Ambush Bug

    Did you READ the RAISE THE DEAD review or is it just too hard for you to wrap your mind around the concept that MAYBE there is more than one good zombie comic out there? I gave props to WALKING DEAD in the review, but said that while one chooses to focus on the people, RAISE THE DEAD focuses on some zombie action. I don't see where that translates as "hate towards WALKING DEAD." You can like two differing things. It's allowed, you know. Get over the persecution complex, bunky, and expand those monochrome beliefs.

  • June 13, 2007, 11:39 a.m. CST

    Happy Hogan

    by Ye Not Guilty

    From Wikipedia: "At the end of Invincible Iron Man vol. 4 #14, Hogan apparently dies; the issue leaves it ambiguous whether Hogan died naturally or whether it was because Tony Stark digitally interfaced with and shut down Hogan's life support at Pepper's urging." Basically, Tony Stark is now becoming another Victor Von Doom or Magneto.

  • June 13, 2007, 12:12 p.m. CST

    Turtle.....SMASH!

    by GreatA'Tuin

    I would like to point out that I am an unabashed hypocrite. That just needs to be stated. <p> Bug...don't tease me. Seriously. I mean it. You could really break my heart if you're lying to me about HULK. I would rather you gave me the wettest, sloppiest, most mind-numbing blow job ever and then chopped my garbage off at the nuts than lie to me about this. I NEED this. I NEED for Hulk to come down from on high and proceed to kick the rancid hobo ass shit out of ALL the Illuminati, their sycopahnts, their non-combatant detractors, their combatant detractors (for not winning), midgets, orphans, the elderly, and of course the Dutch. I need him to shout and break the world. I need him to bite into Iron Man like a drunken frat fucker tears into a beer can. I need Black Bolts head shoved so far up his own ass that if he twitches then his little head-fork thing will stroke his prostate. I need him to use Reed as a condom while he and She-Hulk (with another part of Reed used as a strap-on) go double anal on Doc Strange. <p> (BTW There's another unguessable word for you Jinx...double anal) <p> I NEED this. Please don't tease me.

  • June 13, 2007, 12:14 p.m. CST

    Tegujai Batir...HUH?

    by Ambush Bug

    So you call one group ignorant for not liking your little sci fi movie and make a broad generalization based on one reviewer's preference and then end it by calling us racists? Man, the density of some people.<br> By the way, I liked the Matrix, you douchebag. Understand?

  • June 13, 2007, 12:20 p.m. CST

    I ain't teasin, Turtle

    by Ambush Bug

    I think you'll like what Hulk does with Tony and Black Bolt in this issue.<br><br> That said, your image of using Reed Richards as a condom is something that will take a long time to get out of my head.

  • June 13, 2007, 12:26 p.m. CST

    I was proud of that one.

    by GreatA'Tuin

    Dude, the BEST part was a naked She-Hulk using Reeds face as an "Intruder". <p> I am a sick and fucking twisted chelonian.

  • June 13, 2007, 12:38 p.m. CST

    i'm in awe...

    by blackthought

    of something.

  • June 13, 2007, 12:38 p.m. CST

    Mark Grunwald...

    by steverodgers

    penned my favorite captain america moment. Captain America’s body is breaking down because of the super soldier serum - so he has to wear armor. this armor lets him fly. he saves this little boy from harm. the boys says "will i be oaky?" steve says "it will be okay, i can fly now" then he jets off into the atmosphere. So wonderfully cheesy and awesome. bendis isnt fit to stroke stans Underwood.

  • June 13, 2007, 12:39 p.m. CST

    to Tegujai Batir - I like women...

    by rock-me Amodeo

    ...I don't UNDERSTAND them, but I do like them (one in particular). So that kinds blows your hypothesis out of the water. I also liked the Matrix, and I agree with Bug: go pour yourself a vinegar and water and relax a little.

  • June 13, 2007, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Niceiza's New Warriors did deserve respect

    by Tacom

    I agree the New Warriors were great in the early 90's when Fabian Niceiza wrote them and first Mark Bagley and then Darrick Robertson's drew it. They were as good as Wolfman/Perez' Teen Titans. The only thing they lacked was a strong, original supervillain like the Titans had with Deathstroke the Terminator. Sure the Sphinx was tough but he was Nova's enemy first. They never had a great arch-enemy like a great team should. What happened to them and Speedball in the CIVIL WAR was bullshit.

  • June 13, 2007, 1:06 p.m. CST

    Bring on Everville

    by HeWhoCannotBeNamed

    Not a chance I assume. And where's that third and final book of the art?

  • June 13, 2007, 1:08 p.m. CST

    Or how about Imaijica?

    by HeWhoCannotBeNamed

    I'd love to see that adapted. Properly.

  • June 13, 2007, 1:10 p.m. CST

    BizzaroJerry

    by HeWhoCannotBeNamed

    I read it and it's fucking tight. I like the Storm Shadow ongoing too. Who am I kidding, I read anything G.I. Joe related.

  • June 13, 2007, 1:11 p.m. CST

    BizarroJerry

    by HeWhoCannotBeNamed

    not BizzaroJerry. Sheesh.

  • June 13, 2007, 1:26 p.m. CST

    So I say again..

    by Thalya

    'Tec anyone? Come worship with me in the cult of Dini!

  • June 13, 2007, 1:33 p.m. CST

    Yeah, Thal, but....Hulk SMASH...

    by GreatA'Tuin

    Like, really SMASH. For reals and stuff.

  • June 13, 2007, 1:36 p.m. CST

    Dini...

    by blindambition238

    Why dont they just hire him to write the next Batman movies, hell direct too. His Batman is definatly the definitive version for me aas hes able to strike a balance between all of his heroic and dark qualities that make him famous, without leaning into asshole/ goddamn batman. Not to mention hes done the best job of making Batman believable as the world's greatest detective.

  • June 13, 2007, 2:06 p.m. CST

    So, I just read Civil War..and Iron Man is a bastard

    by Homer Sexual

    BFD, right? Well, I wanted some vacation reading and succumbed to curiosity. Must say that in and of itself, it was an interesting read. The problem is the terribly reprehensible behavior of the "heroes." I don't know how anyone can stand Iron Man at this point, he's such a total prick. Reed Richards? Well,I have actually never known how anyone could stand his ass, so when he acts like a stupid a-hole, no surprise. So many tarnished characters, I admit that I have dropped some comics I used to read since their protagonists were on Iron Man's side. The dumbest part of it was having Tigra, a cop in current continuity I think, be a "spy" in Cap's camp. What-ever. I see why many people like CW, though. If I hadn't been reading comics for years, I would have liked it a lot better.

  • June 13, 2007, 2:07 p.m. CST

    Tony Stark + Reed Richards = douschebags

    by mattb127

    What a couple of smug suckers. They need their smarty pants smashed. Big time. I don't care what their reasons are. They're a couple of dudes who'd stab their friends in the back for the big picture. Maybe that's noble, maybe it isn't. But it DEFINITELY deserves an ass-kicking of galactic proportions. I'll say one thing--Marvel had better not puss out and just have Hulk beat some dudes up. Hulk was at war on a planet where everyone died. It's not enough for him to beat some guys up. It would be completley out of character for him NOT to kill Richards, Stark, Strange, and Black Bolt. If he just beats them up, it's lame. They must die. DIE!!!!

  • June 13, 2007, 2:09 p.m. CST

    I like Walking Dead

    by samsquanch

    best zobie comic evar.

  • June 13, 2007, 2:22 p.m. CST

    FINALLY!

    by MonkeyAngst

    Finally, someone else gets that Dan Slott is the reincarnation of Mark Gruenwald! He's a guy who loves the obscure depths of the Marvel Universe -- its loser characters, its thrown-away concepts, the minutae of geekdom that speaks to my heart. Long live Gru!

  • June 13, 2007, 2:27 p.m. CST

    Moratorium On "Don't Like It Cuz You Don't Get It"

    by Buzz Maverik

    One of the most childish, geekiest responses you'll see here, along the lines of "Yer just jealous".<p>I mean, you don't like DORA THE EXPLORER do you? But I'm pretty sure you get it.

  • June 13, 2007, 2:58 p.m. CST

    Poor Hulk was miserable on that planet

    by Bong

    Ate his flesh...poor guy

  • June 13, 2007, 3:16 p.m. CST

    World War Hulk: I don't want to spoil it...

    by Ambush Bug

    But basically, the Illuminati are caught with their pants down and all of them are scrambling throughout the issue. The conversation between Dr. Strange and Iron Man is priceless. Both are like, "OK, we've been fighting and are on opposite sides here, but holy shit (buttholey shit! A new word!), we are super fucked now." It's a really good read and treats all of the characters the way we all would think they would react. She-Hulk's scene is pretty damn sweet too. As is Spidey's.

  • June 13, 2007, 3:28 p.m. CST

    buttholey shit...

    by Thalya

    ..that should've been Black Adam's secret word.

  • June 13, 2007, 3:38 p.m. CST

    Gumbel-scented

    by rock-me Amodeo

    ...another word Black Adam would not have guessed...

  • June 13, 2007, 3:56 p.m. CST

    More ideas..

    by Thalya

    KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNN!!!<BR><BR> Yo momma<BR><BR> niffler<BR><BR> Batman

  • June 13, 2007, 3:57 p.m. CST

    no wait..

    by Thalya

    on that last one it should be "na na na na na na na na na na na na na Batman!" That way ordinary speech won't do it.

  • June 13, 2007, 4:25 p.m. CST

    Buffy coming out in a trade?

    by Z 008

    I just started watching the show via DVD's and don't want to be spoiled. So will this be a trade or do I have to use pure willpower? Also WWH was great, "I wanna hear you SCREAM!!"

  • June 13, 2007, 4:37 p.m. CST

    Gru!

    by steverodgers

    was the best! Long live Flag Smasher, D-Man, and Dan Slott too.

  • June 13, 2007, 4:43 p.m. CST

    With a mighty yell...

    by Jinxo

    ... Black Adam's voice booms out his magic phrase, "Oprah give me the power!" and transforms! Then before he joins battle he spends several minutes trying to convince bystanders he is not actually powered by nor does he like Oprah. "But you just shouted out..." "Yeah, I know but that... it was just a goof." "But you got powered by it." "Right but... I'm being kind of magically punked." "Ashton Kutcher gave you your powers?" "No!" "Shouldn't you yell Punked then? Or Demi? Or..." "Screw this shit. Where's Mary Marvel? You want some power, because I am out."

  • June 13, 2007, 5:33 p.m. CST

    I'm gettin' World War Hulk now....

    by Psynapse

    and I had NO intention of doing so before that review. I have no higher compliment to give @$$holes.....

  • June 13, 2007, 5:44 p.m. CST

    I know!

    by GreatA'Tuin

    Turtlemittens! Adam would NEVER guess that.

  • June 13, 2007, 5:58 p.m. CST

    actually....

    by sonnyhooper

    ....it should probally be "nananananananana...dini" <p> or better yet "dinidinidinidinidinidini...batman" <p> yeah, i liked that issue so much it probally melted my brain, so what? :P

  • June 13, 2007, 6:03 p.m. CST

    Stark definitely killed Happy Hogan.

    by SleazyG.

    And to make matters worse, who convinced him to do it? SUSAN FUCKING STORM. WHO WASN'T EVEN ON TONY'S SIDE IN CIVIL WAR. Sue Fucking Storm, who would do anything to protect her family, tells a guy to Old Yeller his best friend. And not just "a guy", but the single guy most likely to be able to come up with a technological cure for Happy. Like, oh, say, something linked to the FUCKING EXTREMIS NANITES RUNNING AROUND IN HIS OWN FUCKING BODY.<p> And then people wonder why so many of us found CIVIL WAR to be crass, jaded, and completely fucking moronic. It's not just that everybody acts out of character; it's that there are so many opportunities for tension and character and plot development possible by staying IN character. What a completely fuckled shitfest that whole thing turned out to be.

  • June 13, 2007, 6:03 p.m. CST

    Stark definitely killed Happy Hogan.

    by SleazyG.

    And to make matters worse, who convinced him to do it? SUSAN FUCKING STORM. WHO WASN'T EVEN ON TONY'S SIDE IN CIVIL WAR. Sue Fucking Storm, who would do anything to protect her family, tells a guy to Old Yeller his best friend. And not just "a guy", but the single guy most likely to be able to come up with a technological cure for Happy. Like, oh, say, something linked to the FUCKING EXTREMIS NANITES RUNNING AROUND IN HIS OWN FUCKING BODY.<p> And then people wonder why so many of us found CIVIL WAR to be crass, jaded, and completely fucking moronic. It's not just that everybody acts out of character; it's that there are so many opportunities for tension and character and plot development possible by staying IN character. What a completely fuckled shitfest that whole thing turned out to be.

  • June 13, 2007, 7:31 p.m. CST

    HULK like to thanks academy for honor...

    by JasonEdwards80

    HULK thanks Puny Humans for Buying book. Help support HULK fight anger problems, support UNICEF... RWARGGGGHHH !!!

  • June 13, 2007, 7:39 p.m. CST

    Anyone read New Avengers #31?

    by waggy

    I didn't read the book, but I flipped to the last page to see what all marvel's hype was about. Oh. My. God. I don't want to spoil it (every other comic site on the net will do that tomorrow) but it may be the single greatest thing Bendis has done since he started at Marvel.

  • June 13, 2007, 8:31 p.m. CST

    sonnyhooper

    by Thalya

    Brilliant!<BR><BR>But my question is, did you also get faked out at the end, thinking it was Riddler? Wayda go Don Kramer for that wonderful artwork!

  • June 14, 2007, 6:22 a.m. CST

    Walking Dead and more...

    by stones_throw

    IMO, Kirkman made a HUGE mistake in having the characters find the prison after only twelve issues. I even read that before it became a success he planned on having them move in after the first arc. If you think of a memorable moment it's either in the first twelve issues or the last few when they're kidnapped by the Governor. TWD's handicap is how cushy the lives of most of the characters are compared to other examples of the genre - they've got electricity and can watch TV and so he's already having to contrive reasons to get the characters on the road again, like them leaving to find the National Guard store in the last issue. That prison needs to get exploded ASAP.<p>I dropped Detective with the last issue. Dini wrote some enjoyable comics but too many were sub-standard and the uber-crap fish-head killer issue was one too far. Although it seems every time I make up my mind to stop buying it he comes back with a winner, so I'm tempted to try the latest issue.

  • June 14, 2007, 6:23 a.m. CST

    Btw...

    by stones_throw

    ...is the chicken's resemblance to Harry Knowles on that Archie cover intentional or purely serendipitious?

  • June 14, 2007, 8:22 a.m. CST

    Augh...stones_throw

    by Thalya

    The fish-head killer issue was a fill-in writer! That wasn't Dini! That was Royal McGraw! Also, that two-parter Die Hard-like one was Stuart Moore, and McGraw also did the Doctor Phosphorous one-shot, so take it for what it is. Dini's stuff has been all gold, save maybe the Poison Ivy issue.

  • June 14, 2007, 9:52 a.m. CST

    Nah...

    by stones_throw

    I meant the one where Bruce Wayne's friend gets killed on the boat. That one sucked.

  • June 14, 2007, 10:24 a.m. CST

    *gasps*

    by Thalya

    Dude, Dini's gonna pull something off and then you're gonna look back on that issue, smack your forehead and go "gah! Why didn't I _see_ that? It was right in front of me!" And by 'that', I mean Riddler's gone bad again, and it all dates to that one issue where, oh, hey, incidentally he got conked on the head again, and he probably remembers Bats' secret ID too.

  • June 14, 2007, 10:48 a.m. CST

    That Archie cover

    by BizarroJerry

    At the very top, it almost looks like Archie's saying "cluck me". Those writers were secretly sneaking offensive and dirty humor in those comics, I swear...

  • June 14, 2007, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Tony Stark

    by Bluejack

    Just as Vader's redemption was total bullshit (he killed dozens of children in cold blood and he gets to be clean in the white and brown robes at the end of Jedi), any redemption of Tony Stark at this point will be bogus. As for Happy, Tony made a difficult decision ala "Million Dollar Baby." I think he would have tried harder as well, given how he uses technology to solve all of his problems. I used to love Ironman, and now he is a total douchebag. I feel crappy inside reading his book. Hopefully the return of Thor and Nick Fury will give us a new moral compass for the Marvel Universe. It's uncomfortable reading there at this point.

  • June 14, 2007, 10:53 a.m. CST

    speaking of secret dirty jokes...

    by BizarroJerry

    After mentioning that possible Archie joke, as resident "G.I. Joe comics guy", I was reminded of the cover seen here: http://tinyurl.com/22wsms You can quite clearly see on this cover that Scarlett is blowing Snake-Eyes...

  • June 14, 2007, 11:54 a.m. CST

    I AM A DICK **HUGE SPOILER WARNING**

    by Psynapse

    It's the Skrulls. They invaded earth secretly and have a shitload of sleeper agents seeded across the planet manipulating EVERYTHING including Civil War. The illimunati were captured by the skrulls at the end of the Kree-Skrull War and supplied them with genetic information (and possibly a sleeper agent WITHIN The Illuminati) and it's been..skrulls all along.

  • June 14, 2007, 12:07 p.m. CST

    I sense hints of Team America: World Police..

    by Thalya

    <>

  • June 14, 2007, 12:12 p.m. CST

    thalya.....

    by sonnyhooper

    .....my mind didn't go to the riddler for some reason. either because i keep k=thinking of him as "going strait".....or......it was because the whole time i was just saying to myself "please don't be fucking hush! please don't be fucking hush! please don't be fucking hush!" <p> either way the riddler didn't enter my mind, but now that you mentioned it he probally should have. also love how all of dinis issues are "stand alone" done in one issues but they all kind of tie together with returning characters.

  • June 14, 2007, 12:22 p.m. CST

    Bye-Bye Fantastic Four 2 Movie Review

    by The Partyslammer

    Looks like AICN took down all references to the early FF2 review after the writer got exposed, fired from his job as a projectionist due to pressure from Fox. Check this out: <p> LOS ANGELES, California (Hollywood Reporter) -- A projectionist at a Memphis, Tennessee, theater chain has lost his job after writing an unauthorized early review of "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" for the Web site Ain't It Cool News. <p> Jesse Morrison, the projectionist, claims that the film's distributor, 20th Century Fox, was behind the decision by Malco Theatres Inc. to suspend him for an undetermined period. The studio denied the charge. <p> While studios and filmmakers have endured early reviews of their movies, both negative and positive, on Web sites since the early days of the Internet, the incident might mark the first time someone working in the entertainment industry has lost a job for voicing an early opinion online. <p> On Saturday, http://www.AintItCool.com posted a negative review by Morrison (writing under his online moniker Memflix) under the headline "Memflix crushes all hope for 'Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.' " <p> A 29-year-old film, video and journalism major at the University of Memphis, Morrison worked for $7 an hour at the Ridgeway Four, next door to Malco's home office. He picked up further compensation by readying movie prints for exhibitor and press screenings, which allowed him during the past year to write reviews of such movies as "Disturbia," "Vacancy" and "Spider-Man 3" for Ain't It Cool. He also wrote reviews for Malco's movie blog and a circular distributed at the theater. <p> On Monday, two days after his "Silver Surfer" pan appeared, Morrison was called into a meeting with Malco senior VP Jimmy Tashie and, according to Morrison, was "suspended until further notice," with the suggestion that he would not be asked to return. <p> Morrison said Tashie pointed out that "20th Century Fox called them that morning and threatened to take away the press and trade screenings because of this whole thing. They were upset." <p> Asked if Fox had any role in the suspension, Tashie said: "Absolutely none." The executive said his company received a call from Fox that said "there's somebody there working for (Malco) who is writing reviews in advance. That's all they said. No one asked us to do anything. We have been in business 95 years, and this is the first time anything like this happened. And this boy knew what he was doing was the wrong thing. ... He was in a position of trust and he violated that trust." <p> Drew McWeeney, known as "Moriarty" on the Ain't It Cool site, picked up Morrison's cause. Amid two positive reviews for the new movie, he championed Morrison's right to free speech and wrote: "He's written many reviews for us before, but when he wrote one for 'Fantastic Four,' Fox went into hypersensitive overdrive. They tracked him down and had him fired, threatening to pull their business from the entire chain over that review." <p> Sources inside Fox denied the studio's involvement, saying that the disciplinary action was beyond their reach and was the theater chain's decision. Some entertainment companies, including film productions, do ask workers to sign confidentiality agreements, agreeing not to disclose information. Morrison said he had never been asked to sign such an agreement, though he would have if asked. <p> "If they had sat me down and told me that this has caused such a stink and that we would like you to sign some waiver, I probably would have signed it," Morrison said. "In my opinion, they used strong-arm tactics. I don't regret going on my Web site or Ain't It Cool at all. I just wish it hadn't come to this, but I don't really believe I did anything wrong." <p> Tashie said: "In the future, anybody in that position will sign something." A number of Ain't It Cool readers have rallied to Morrison's cause, some even offering him jobs like a cameraman gig in Mexico. Morrison said he is weighing his options. "I'm hoping to get a job as a professional movie reviewer, but I don't know what's going to happen with that. I guess you could say I'm at some kind of crossroads right now."

  • June 14, 2007, 12:37 p.m. CST

    sonny..

    by Thalya

    It was the cane that did it for me, so I was still wigged when I looked over at the right-hand page at that large panel and thought "wait, that's not quite Riddler.......................oh! oh oh oh!!!" That moment with Commissioner Gordon and then that shooting at the end echoed a certain Alan Moore story too.

  • June 14, 2007, 1:01 p.m. CST

    Psy...

    by Ambush Bug

    That's been my theory all along. Ever since that first issue of ILLUMINATI. Bendis has written himself an out with this whole CIVIL WAR business. Reed and Stark are Skrulls. Possibly Professor X too. Look at the last panel of ILUMINATI issue one. It is a close up of Prof X's eye that has an outline that resembles the outlined irises of teh Skrulls. The final scene in NEW AVENGERS seals it. Hell, at this point, even Hawkeye, Scarlett Witch, and even Captain America could be Skrulls too. Mark my words, this is how Bendis is going to try to fix it all. In some ways it's pleasing that MAYBE this means that a return to the heroic heroes of Marvel are coming. On the other hand, it's kind of shitty writing to retro in Skrulls to make up for all of your mistakes.

  • June 14, 2007, 1:16 p.m. CST

    Last chance, Batir...

    by Ambush Bug

    Stay on topic about comics or you will be banned once again. Try to do something different for a change and have a decent conversation about comics instead of ripping on folks. It's how the rest of the world makes friends. Firgured I'd spell it out for you since you obviously are inept at things like that.

  • June 14, 2007, 1:34 p.m. CST

    Bug....**More Spoilers***

    by Psynapse

    No Cap and Tony will turn out to be the real thing, just that they were manipulated by Skrulls placed 'near' them. For example, I bet it was a skrull disguised as Sue Storm that convinced Tony to ice Happy. That way Bendis gets to keep from being a liar and has his out.

  • June 14, 2007, 2:26 p.m. CST

    About that Atom character...

    by loodabagel

    Is he new reader friendly? Because my store just started getting it, and I don't want to wading neck deep in continuity.

  • June 14, 2007, 2:48 p.m. CST

    looda RE:The New Atom

    by Ambush Bug

    Yeah, he's pretty new reader friendly. This 12th issue especially is a good jumping on point. He's an all new character and there isn't much by way of continuity for the character yet. He's just an Asian-American physics teacher who took over for Ray Palmer (The last Atom) at Ivy Town University. I know very little about Ray Palmer save what happened to his wife in recent years and I'm able to follow it just fine.

  • June 14, 2007, 4:01 p.m. CST

    SPOILER--note to Psynapse--SPOILER

    by Homer Sexual

    So, I also had NO intent to buy WWH until here. Haven't read it yet. BUT my LCS told me yesterday that the original title of The Initiative was Skrullocaust. And that I would soon stop hating Iron Man. <p> Of course, I am torn by this info. It will excuse the behavior of the biggest dicks in CW, but not the rest. And it will render everything in Marvel for the last many moons moot. I will be glad not to hate Stark anymore, but this hackneyed out--SKRULLS?--is just so lame, also unimaginative, also the opposite of what Marvel purports to be doing with its "vision."

  • June 14, 2007, 4:18 p.m. CST

    Homer...SPOILER

    by Ambush Bug

    Yeah, using the Skrulls in this way is the comic book equivalent of the Bobby Ewing "It was all a dream" shower sequence from DALLAS (man, am I dating myself with that reference). As much as I hate the way marvel is going these days, this seems to be the only way to make things right. If the Skrull conspiracy is going to be the excuse for Marvel, this is Spidey's ticket out of his predicament as well. I don't think he's a Skrull, but I think he could use the old "That was a Skrull who unmased on national TV" excuse to clean up his own mess too. My Skrull list includes: Tony Stark, Reed Richards or Sue Storm, Prof. X, Yellowjacket, Tigra, and Bill Foster (Giant Man).

  • June 14, 2007, 4:23 p.m. CST

    More Spoilers

    by Ambush Bug

    I think that maybe some of the Skrulls have been in this form so long that they forgot that they were Skrulls in the first place. Grant Morrison used this idea in SKRULL KILL CREW a cult classic miniseries about a squad of Skrulls who Reed Richards tricked into being cows and then made them forget that they weren't cows. This would account for all of the stuff regarding Iron Man's inner thoughts and the like.

  • June 14, 2007, 6:01 p.m. CST

    Then Morrison essentially recycled that Skrull story...

    by Thalya

    ..for his White Martian JLA story..

  • June 14, 2007, 6:24 p.m. CST

    I gotta disagree Bug....SPOILERS

    by Psynapse

    **Tony Stark, Reed Richards or Sue Storm, Prof. X, Yellowjacket, Tigra, and Bill Foster **<p> They'll be the real deal except in certain instances (Happy for one) where a skrull was close to one of them and was able to manipulate them. The eschaton equation that Reed and Tony were working from (and was the impetus for the Civil War) will turn out to have been manipulated by the skrulls to trick earth's heroes into warring with each other. That way those readers that want to blame them for what they did get to and those that want them pardoned get to wage their own amnesty war on message boards across the 'net.<p> Both Marvel and DC are hype machines that will say damn near anything to cover up their fuck ups. They both like to pull retroactive 'gotchas' whenever they can.

  • June 14, 2007, 6:57 p.m. CST

    Or the Skrull thing could go a whole other way...

    by Jinxo

    The science Reed Richards uses to map out the future? Going by Asimov, it can predict any large societal moves. In this context that would and should include other alien societies. So assume wasn't replaced or influenced. It is possible this invasion is what he saw coming and that for whatever reason The Civil War was part of the solution to the problem. Talking about manipulation, I would say, for instance, Spidey was maneuvered to be where he is. Stark brings Spidey into the registration movement, then Reed gives him that little talk about his "uncle" being the influence on his current actions. Only we now know that "reason" was crap. What would be the point then? That story is part of what pushed all Spideys buttons (he has his own uncle issues) and spun him to the other side of the war. But that is just Reed. I think Reed has set things up so that Earth is actually in some way more prepared for the invasion than it seems. Not sure if Stark is in with Reed or is a skrull. They both work. If he's a skrull then Reed is manipulating things right under his nose while Iron Skrull THINKS he has Reed snowed. In that case the real Tony is off the hook. If Tony is in on it with Reed then they were both doing all this ugliness for a greater cause and, again, he's off the hook. If he and Reed could not be sure what heroes were really skrulls then they wouldn't know who to trust and so couldn't explain what they were doing. Instead they'd have to be sneaky and underhanded. Might well be the point of the Civil War was to churn up such havoc that it would interfere and confuse the Skrulls plans of invasion. What way should you (the Skrulls) influence events to go when they are already apparently out of control? And with people suspicious of each other and questioning who their friends are, there's a better chance to flush out skrulls pretending to be someone else.

  • June 14, 2007, 8:54 p.m. CST

    Waitasec...

    by Thalya

    How do we know you're not a Skrull Bendis in disguise, huh Jinxo?

  • June 14, 2007, 9:54 p.m. CST

    Well...

    by Jinxo

    ...I... I... HEY LOOK OVER THERE! (runs from the room)

  • June 14, 2007, 10:41 p.m. CST

    P.S.

    by Thalya

    Anyone going to Wizard World Philly this weekend? *raises hand* 'Cause I hate being all by myself at these things, or at least without peeps to say hi to. (although the solo treasure-hunting is nice and not having a date means I can bug Rags Morales about Calculator without feeling _overly_ embarrassed) If you're there and see a short blonde in (hmm...gonna be chilly tomorrow..) pink pants and a black Rainbow Brite or Wonder Woman tee, then, please, say hi! I'll bring my camera!

  • June 15, 2007, 5:27 a.m. CST

    What's stoopid...

    by stones_throw

    ...Marvel knew the continuity/ character problems they were causing with Civil War and all the other recent stuff. But they did it intentionally anyway and left themselves a way to undo it? Why not just tell good stories instead of fucking stuff up and immediately undoing it?

  • June 15, 2007, 8:40 a.m. CST

    Actually...

    by stones_throw

    What do the Skrulls actually gain from posing as Earth heroes long-term? According to every Marvel bod Civil War has resulted in the heroes being more efficient, better organised and with a reduction in super-crime. If the Skrulls' goal was to get Hulk to return and smash everyone up, surely the same thing could have been achieved just by invading? To me this seems no more complex than the Stan Lee stories where an impostor poses as a hero.

  • June 15, 2007, 9:43 a.m. CST

    stones throw...

    by Ambush Bug

    Bendis probably sees their goal as divide and conquer. I agree with your reasoning, but that's what happens when you retro something in to a story to fix shit, it doesn't hold up to much scrutiny. Bendis is claiming he's had this planned out a long time ago, but he's been known for tossing out something from out of left field and then saying he's known it all along. Kind of like the Ronin mess. I just wish for once, one of these writers would be honest and say, "I'm just making this shit up as I go along. If you know how it ends, let me know."

  • June 15, 2007, 10:47 a.m. CST

    What a skrull wants....

    by Psynapse

    They want Earth. The planet. They don't have one remember? (Skrull homeworld was munched up during Byrne's FF run) Also, apparently skrull scripture declares earth to BE theirs. That's why they've invaded yet again.

  • June 15, 2007, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Thor

    by Bluejack

    Anyone know the Thor storyline? The costume in the promo looks cool and he could arrive on the tale end of WWH to set things right. Also, I hate the Sentry. Hate him. Yup, I do.

  • June 15, 2007, 2:53 p.m. CST

    Why I hated NEW WARRIORS.

    by SleazyG.

    I mean, besides the cliched dialogue, that is. Who the hell is this chick the story is focused on? I've now read elsewhere online that it's Wind Walker, whoever that is, but would it have killed them to, y'know, TELL US WHO THE CHARACTERS ARE?<p> And that's by no means the worst of it. No, the worst of it is Beak. When Grant Morrison introduced Beak, he was the most pathetic X-Man ever, and I mean that in a good way. He was gangly, clumsy, socially inept, and couldn't use his powers for shit. He was a sad sack loser, and I loved him for it. He meant well, and his heart was always in the right place, and he was a great character.<p> And now? Now Beak is a buff, charming pretty boy who's playing the role of a top secret underground freedom fighter, to which I can only say a hearty FUUUUUCK YOU. What the fuck? Is there a reason he couldn't have, y'know, still been Beak but without his mutant powers? Why couldn't he still be a skinny, gangly, dorky loser with a good heart who looked out for others? He could still serve a purpose, be part of the underground, and prove himself a hero without looking like he just walked off of an episode of fucking "Laguna Beach". What a load of horseshit.

  • June 15, 2007, 4:09 p.m. CST

    I'm with Sleazy....( I want that on a T-shirt NOW)

    by Psynapse

    I own EVERY issue of the first run of New Warriors. Nicieza and Bagley OWNED it. This shit is..well, shit.

  • June 15, 2007, 4:35 p.m. CST

    Cool G.I. Joe cover for even former fans

    by BizarroJerry

    In my quest to continue pushing G.I. Joe, I thought I'd point out July will start their own "World War III" 12-part storyline, in America's Elite #25. That issue's cover features every single member of the G.I. Joe team ever: http://tinyurl.com/2gv82n

  • June 15, 2007, 10:34 p.m. CST

    The most important X-Man ever lost his powers?

    by loodabagel

    Man, that's a crock of shit. Also, thanks for the Atom tip. I believe I'll check it out. My bud wanted to get a comic yesterday, and the only thing I could reccomend to him was Fear Agent. Everything else was too continuity-heavy. Gad, what a sad, sad unfortuante turn for Beak.

  • June 15, 2007, 11:04 p.m. CST

    Ok, I'm being completely thrown for a loop..

    by Thalya

    And apparently the entire audience at WWPhilly today was too. They're cancelling Flash: The Fastest Man Alive with issue #13, Mark Waid's coming in to write a one-shot All Flash #1 and then some iteration of The Flash will start up again in September?!?! Whadafug!? Not to mention the DC stuff in Philly is on the lackluster side (Bob Wayne hosted the Countdown panel today and at the start even called up DiDio in Charlotte as they were winding down the DC Nation panel there). Uh.. yeahbuhwha?

  • June 16, 2007, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Bug, re Skrulls

    by stones_throw

    I get what their goal is, I just don't see what they gain from having long-term sleeper agents rather than just impersonating heroes short-term like in about a million Silver Age stories.

  • June 17, 2007, 10:11 p.m. CST

    Musings on New Warriors and The Atom...

    by loodabagel

    I flipped through it to see what all the fuss was about. The Sylvie character, if that's who you're talking about, never went to Xavier School. She appeared in a few issues of District X. Her power was the ability to look like a furry elf. Considering that a charcter as obscure as her managed to get her background mixed up... It perplexes me. It does. The Atom was indeed pretty good. One of the only fun superhero comics available right now. Sean McKeever's leaving SMLMJ, but he's being replaced by Terry Moore. How cool is that? One almost has to like Marvel for sticking with this comic for so long. Long Live Spider-Man Loves MAry Jane.

  • June 17, 2007, 10:12 p.m. CST

    Oh yeah...

    by loodabagel

    Anyone see Fantastic Four Meet the Silver Surfer this weekend?

  • June 17, 2007, 11:36 p.m. CST

    Yep: FFSS Is Now My Favorite Comic Book Movie.

    by Buzz Maverik

    And I didn't like the original FF movie one bit! First, it seems like everybody who needed acting lessons (and that's the entire original cast, except for Chiklis who is great)got acting lessons...with the exception of Julian McDoom who gave a poor performance in a poorly conceived version of Doom. Alba, Evans and Groinford (or whatever) were all much better. Better, more appropriate dialgoue helped.<p> The pace was picked up, everything tightened, no filler. The look, the designs and everything were much better (not Kirby, but clean, 1960s Worlds Fair which was fine). In my opinion, Tim Story completely redeemed himself with the visuals and action. For once, somebody who made a bad film learned something, got a second chance and made a good film.<p> The Surfer's story was well done, appropriate, Doom's theft of the power cosmic was well adapted from the comic. The humor was there. The fights and the love the characters have for each other. Harry was wrong. The chick playing Alicia played blind very well and her performance, one of the best in the last film, was consistent. <p>Galactus wasn't a cloud. We just didn't see Galactus. And I don't believe it was because they couldn't depict Galactus or were afraid of stretching credibility...it was simply that the appearance of Galactus would have reconfigured the story too much. Because putting in the Watcher and the ultimate nullifier would have been too much, we couldn't have the FF directly confront Galactus. It was better to have a the Surfer have a simple but effective confrontation with his master, to sort of symbolize that all you have to do to be free is to want to be free.<p>Lots of great comic book elements. The Torch's girlfriend Frankie, who will one day become the hearld of Galactus herself (Byrne called her Nova, but as a die hard THE MAN CALLED NOVA fan, I always called her Chick Nova) whom the Surfer would also have feelings for. Norrin Rad. Shall Ball. Etc.<p>One cool thing that I admired...you know how in the X-MEN movies, they cut down everybody's powers. Like, Storm, Rogue, Magneto couldn't fly? Here, they amped up Johnny Human Torch's power. We've got him flying from New York to Washington DC and beyond. I like that because it showed that somebody wasn't afraid to think big and open things up. Just like a comic, they were able to take us all over the world and into space in a single story.<p>Here's one thing I didn't like: when the Surfer tells Sue his back story, we see it on his stomach...What is he a TeleTubby? No, when the Surfer shows you his story, you look into his eyes.

  • June 17, 2007, 11:40 p.m. CST

    Norrin Radd Shall Ball?

    by Buzz Maverik

    I'm sure this was scrawled on his high school Peachy Folder up there in Zenn La. I meant: Norrin Radd. Shalla Ball.<p> Stupid lack of edit feature makes for unintentional laughs.

  • June 18, 2007, 8:42 a.m. CST

    New comics! Yay!

    by stones_throw

    Bought my first issue of the Atom, it was indeed very good. Same for WORLD WAR HULK, although I'm struggling to see how Hulk can be brought back to heroism after this. Also I think the fact that the Sentry could easily defeat him kind of undermines the concept of the mini. Marvel shouldn't have a Superman-type character.<p>Having said that, it was definitely Brubaker's month. I loved CRIMINAL, Cap and DAREDEVIL. Cap 26 even made me feel something for Tony Stark. No mean feat. And the new issue of Criminal already feels like a giant leap forward from the last arc. Less knowingly cliched and with a cool-as-fuck protagonist. Hey Bug, what you thinking of the current DD arc? I think it's a blast to have something resembling an archetypal Daredevil story. The last issue was one of Brubaker and Lark's best.

  • June 18, 2007, 10 a.m. CST

    Wow..

    by Thalya

    I just got a comic that blew me away (pun not intended) when I read it last night. Flash vol. 2, issues #175 and especially #176. Weather Wizard story arc. The Scott Kolins art is mind-blowingly good and the story revels in character work that I think even outdoes that Captain Cold oneshot a few issues later. Good stuff!

  • June 18, 2007, 10:18 a.m. CST

    DD

    by Ambush Bug

    I'm really liking Daredevil. It's strong storytelling and I've always had a fondness for the Gladiator (those saw blades are just too cool). I think a lot of people are so used to the high concept stuff in Daredevil, that they aren't sure how to take a straight-up super hero yarn. Bru is doing a great job and the last issue's cliffhanger was one of my favorites.

  • June 19, 2007, 9:23 a.m. CST

    Buzz is right! FF:SS is great!

    by stones_throw

    Doctor Doom - or more appropriately Lex Luthor - sucked but that and a few iffy lines aside, it was one hard-rockin FF flick! Not showing Galactus was appropriate for the story and it felt like an on-model portrayal of the FF the whole way thru. The bit with the FF under military arrest was straight from FF#2. I even liked the emotional plot with Sue wanting a normal life and the way it was resolved. A worthy adaptation that puts the franchise back on track.

  • June 19, 2007, 11:48 a.m. CST

    The latest Marvel Cover for bloggers to complain about.

    by Squashua

    http://tinyurl.com/2mdmon

  • June 19, 2007, 3:51 p.m. CST

    Wrong wrong wrong Squash...

    by stones_throw

    It's the difference between soft porn and a pin-up. When three women are tied up, with demeaned/submissive expressions and a tentacle sliming all over their giant cleavage, that's too far. But the real shame is it's a good book with strong female leads and to sell it Marvel asks for a tentacle rape cover (and if you don't think that's what they did you're being SO naive).

  • June 19, 2007, 4:02 p.m. CST

    Ya know what I love?

    by stones_throw

    How Bendis starts using Luke Cage and suddenly everyone on the Bendis Board has always had some deep affection for him. Now about half the guys there have Skrull-related usernames...

  • June 19, 2007, 6:25 p.m. CST

    I dunno, stones_throw...

    by SleazyG.

    ...how do you judge whether tentacle rape is worth than t-rex cunnilingus? The first may be more obviously offensive, but to say that the second contains some major risks is an understatement.

  • June 20, 2007, 1:07 a.m. CST

    Next column will be awsome...

    by loodabagel

    Loodabagel vs. Back in Black: Round 3. Be there or be square.

  • June 20, 2007, 3:53 a.m. CST

    It didn't exactly jump out as "cunnilingus" to me...

    by stones_throw

    I suppose I could be wrong though. The other cover was just very blatant. That one reminds me more of the One Million Years BC poster.

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