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AICN COMICS Q&@ w James Patrick! SINESTRO CORPS! MUSCLES&FIGHTS! DEAD@17 DVD! TALES FROM THE CREVICE! & MORE!


#10 6/27/07 #6
Logo by The Heathen

Hey folks, Ambush Bug here for AICN Comics. There are a few things worth mentioning before we dive into this week’s column.
First, we have a pair of contests going on at the moment. One is a drawing contest for Fox Atomic’s THE HILLS HAVE EYES: THE BEGINNING. Scan and send your “demented crayon drawings as if done by a psycho-child” in to me to qualify for a free copy of that book.
We also still have our HARBINGER: THE BEGINNING contest, where you have to write up a pitch for a reboot of a Valiant character. Send me a short paragraph mapping out how you would bring back your favorite Valiant character.
Submissions for both contests should be sent here and don’t forget to include your full name and address.
I also came across something pretty cool that I felt was worth sharing with the AICN audience. Comflix Studios is just about to launch its website which provides a new way to read comics online by adding effects, voice-overs, and musical scores. Comflix is having a soft launch and wanted AICN readers to be among the first to give the site a test drive. The official launch of the site is July 20th, but you guys can try it right now by following these easy directions:
got to www.comflix.net
The username is: comflix
the password is: superhero
****all lowercase case sensitive
And as a thank you for checking the site out, you will have an opportunity win an all expense paid trip to Los Angeles and hang out and have lunch with actor Doug Jones (FF: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER, HELLBOY). So check out the website and enjoy some comics, folks.
And now, on with the reviews.


The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) Q & @ with James Patrick DEATH AND THE MAN WHO WOULD NOT DIE #1 WONDER WOMAN #10 LEGION OF MONSTERS: SATANA #1 BLUE BEETLE #16 GREEN LANTERN: SINESTRO CORPS SPECIAL #1 THUNDERBOLTS #115 Indie Jones presents MUSCLES & FIGHTS OGN Indie Jones presents LOST KISSES #4, WORMS #1 & XO #2 Indie Jones presents DEAD@17 DVD preview Indie Jones presents… CHEAP SHOTS! TALES FROM THE CREVICE: HARLAN ELLISON

@$$Hole Humphrey Lee interviews writer James Patrick!

Plus a 7-page preview!

One James Patrick is the writer of the comic book DEATH COMES TO DILLINGER, the critically acclaimed CRACKURZ, LIONXOR, as well as providing backups for HERO HAPPY HOUR. He's also written ANGEL for IDW and is set to write an unannounced ongoing series. Currently though, the sequel to DILLINGER - DEATH AND THE MAN WHO WOULD NOT DIE - has come to print. In order to tell us about these comics, Mr. Patrick was kind enough to do a little Q & A about the titles.
Humphrey Lee (HL): So, to start, why don't you give us a quick rundown of what's going on in this Old Western front you guys have created?

James Patrick (JP): Basically, the first book DEATH COMES TO DILLINGER is about the figure of Death in the old west setting. And it's not subtle. He's a skull and bones with a hat and six shooters and riding around from town to town. He has a satchel full of stop watches with his "victim's" names engraved in them. When the time on a watch is about to expire, Death rides into that person's town before they die. And people don't fuck with him. Firstly, it's kind of the way things are out there. It's how things are done. Secondly, he's a son of a bitch with the pistols, which is why he has the job. In DILLINGER, the father of a sick child stands up to him, and it ain't pretty. In this new sequel, DEATH AND THE MAN WHO WOULD NOT DIE, someone steals their own watch from Death and, well, it ain't pretty either. Because the person who steals it isn't a nice guy. 'Cause, you know, if it was the pope he'd probably just give the watch back and the story would be done is five pages. Instead, a bastard son of a bitch mother fucker gets his hands on it and Death is on his trail.

HL: Well that sounds like a Western should. Evil bastards all about and death coming for their worthless hides. And with more swearing. That's aces. So, since that "sounds like a Western should", that brings me to the next part: Is there any sort of traditional Western story that you took any prompting from? Is Death in here sort of your more "spectral" version of Clint Eastwood from HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER or insert random classic of his?

JP: Yeah. Busted. Though you don't have to look too hard to notice it's more Eastwood than Wayne. More THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY than anything else. It's quiet. It's deadly. There's not a lot of snappy dialogue or monologues or anything like that. Especially in the first one. We took this deadly tale and we dipped it in a creepy mood and we served it on a stick. IT really is A FEW DOLLARS MORE meets OUTER LIMITS. As for a traditional story? Oddly, it resembles HIGH NOON more than anything in its structure, but it has the feel of all those other things I mentioned. Honestly, I'm not really a Western writer. I'm better at crime, more noir-like earthy things, but this book got a head of steam and so I didn't stop with it. I still find it strange that my first real non-humor or widely-released book ended up being a horror western. Though the truth is I'm not about writing genres. It's more about what fits the story I guess, and that's this story.

HL: I was going to say, the captions and overall bits of dialogue were very terse; a little on the hard boiled side. It works though because it also has that grit that comes with that Western flavor. So since you consider your forte more on the noir side, how did these "Death" books come to be?

JP: I was going to pitch WESTERN TALES OF TERROR, Josh Fialkov's (ELK’S RUN) anthology, and things just got out of hand. What was a small story really just grew into what it became. For Josh's book, I just had this idea of a skull-faced rider -- because it was, uh, cool. And then one day that bolt of lightning just hits you. In this case, the bolt was the pocket watches and how he rides from town to town and his arrival means somebody will die.
Immediately, it goes from image to concept, and then that concept just seems to have a lot of tension in it. I mean, you see this guy ride into town, you start wondering, is he here for me? Is he here for my neighbor's sick kid? If you're fucking around with some guy's wife, you wonder if that guy is going to come and find you and put a bullet in you. And then it starts to expand and work in that capacity, and ideas build around it. Like, I could see Death sitting in a saloon drinking his whiskey while fate takes its course and everyone waits for whoever to die. And that image was always the strongest to me. That and him riding into town. But I'll get to that in a second. But I just fell in love with him sitting in that saloon. It seemed much more dangerous than him taking a life himself or waiting outside someone's door. And like I said, him riding into town was the other thing. I didn't want it to be subtle. I wanted him to ride in and there he is all skull and bones and on his white horse and this means someone will die and that's how it is. There's just no apologizing for this thing being what is, skull face and all. It's not a trick of the eye, or the sun, or people's mind's interpretation. It is what it is in this world. It's Death riding into town and someone dying. Blah, blah blah -- my point is, these things start to flesh out this concept that was once just an image and that's how it came to be.

HL: I can see that. I don't really consider myself much of a writer (cue snarky comment from the audience) but I know what it's like to have a small idea and before you know it you've got a full fledged story on your hands you didn't think could possibly exist before. Do you see this concept extending itself past this current mini-series anytime soon, or do you think you'll try something more in your "roots" before you send Death after some more men of ill repute?

JP: Both actually. There's a third death book in my head. It's hard to say when it will get off the ground though and we're basically just focused on finishing this one. But yeah, there's a third, and when and if it comes out it comes out. There are a number of factors that could make the casualness of that approach to the third book change. Either way, I push on with my other stuff. And yes, my next (creator-owned) books are more in line with my roots, or at least my strengths. They're more modern, have a little more "flavor" in the dialogue ( I can use fuck more. Yay!) It was nice to get back to that stuff after the quiet and more visual narrative of Death. And some humor stuff, too. I actually got my initial, though small, recognition with a little book called CRACKURZ, and I've been punching some of that stuff up for a trade. It's just nice to go from the saturated mood of something like DEATH COMES TO DILLINGER to kind of a default area in my writing for a little while. I love dialogue, and yet in DILLINGER the antagonist doesn't talk, and in its sequel, one of the protagonists doesn't talk.

HL: So, overall, given that it's a bit of a departure from your normal style, how proud are you of how these Death stories have turned out? Is it somewhat odd that you've got a book that normally you wouldn't consider, and yet you're already churning up another book for the series in your brain-space?

JP: I'm proud. I mean, I look at the first book and I can see it's not my best work, and yet it still connected with a lot of people, and there are parts of it that I feel completely worked, so that makes me happy. I wasn't familiar with the genre, it wasn't in my comfort zone, and sometimes I really felt like I was just trying to not fuck it up. Not fuck up this thing that had gotten started and I realized was going to be done because when you're starting out you take what's given to you. So when I look at all that, yeah, I'm proud. Now watch the stuff I think I'm better at come out and everyone thinks it completely blows. Ha.
As for turning out another book for the series, I've just honestly become more comfortable with what I'm doing in the genre. Everything I just commented on was about the first book, DILLINGER -- but the new book – MAN WHO WOULD NOT DIE -- doesn't feel like that at all. It comes out of me a little easier and I like it a little more. I think I've learned to incorporate some of the things I'm good at INTO the genre, as well as just settling in overall. And when it comes to that next book it's simply about having more stories to tell and maybe finishing the story that's started.

HL: Well, that wraps up the Q&A part of this, and I'd like to thank James for taking the time to answer those little queries for us. As for the book itself the review is coming up next so just sit tight to see if it indeed panned out like our guest hopes it did...


DEATH AND THE MAN WHO WOULD NOT DIE #1

Writer: James Patrick Penciler: Se7enhedd Publisher: Silent Devil Reviewed by Humphrey Lee

Well as that little interview kindly let us in on, this book is exactly about what the title implies: Death is out on the western plains, looking for a man named Josiah Clark who has somehow stolen the "Death Watch" that has his name on it, thereby rendering him pretty much unkillable. This was actually my first exposure to this DILLINGER series of books. I always meant to check out the original DEATH COMES TO DILLINGER series but never did, so I hoped this would be a good place to start and it worked out pretty well. I'm actually kind of embarrassed to admit, but upon my first read through I didn't really understand the significance of the pocket watches, but when it finally dawned on me the second time through I really liked the implication of it. It's a solid, if not a bit poetic, device to drive a plot that is honestly somewhat standard but aggressive enough with its presentation that it hooks you anyway.
So while this first issue of this series more or less runs right through assuming the reader will pull in the base premise (which they will, I just happen to be a special kind of moron) it spends a lot of time setting up the presence of this mini's antagonist and just how big of a bastard he is. The true brilliance behind this is not so much showing him actually committing certain heinous acts, but more by implying his bastardry via some sequences showing how brutally anyone associated with him in the slightest was punished just for that reason. There's also some very clever play with the narrative that culminates into a little twist at the end that I also didn't see coming (this time cause it was well written, not for my lack of intelligence...I hope).
And speaking of the narrative, the tone in THE MAN WHO WOULD NOT DIE is very appropriate. Very gritty and aggressive, you can almost hear the captions and dialogue being spoken to you through clenched teeth. It plays along very nice with the pacing of the story as it unfolds and puts you at home with the setting given you're familiar with these types of stories to begin with.
The art is also very appropriate as well. It plays a lot with shades and jagged lines; it actually reminds me a bit of Daniel Zezelj’s style, who coincidentally enough has been most recently making his rounds doing LOVELESS stories for DC/Vertigo. I really like the design for Death himself though. He's very much properly imposing up on his white stallion, which was also a nice touch going against the conventional as anyone and their mother would immediately assume he would be mounted upon a "Steed as black as the pit that spawned him" or some such cliché. The prairie shots are handled well too, being appropriately littered with what you'd expect them to be; rattlesnakes and cacti and whatnot. But put a check mark next to art for handling its fair share of setting the mood and helping to drive the story.
I'm really glad this book finally made it my way. It's just a very solidly crafted, very entertaining book. It knows what its appeal is, that being seeing despicable people dying the way they deserve to, and it knows how to make a story out of it. If there's any complaint I have about this particular issue, is that there is one gun fight towards the end that seems a little superfluous, like it's there more because this issue is a little action light, but you can write that off because, well, people should be expected to die at any moment in a book like this. But I'm hooked in, I want to see how the main plot twist of this series plays out, how Death gets his man and how that man meets his end and all that comes with it, and I'd be remiss if I didn't recommend that you give it a look over yourself.

WONDER WOMAN #10

Writer: Jodi Picoult Artist: Paco Diaz Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Rock-Me Amodeo

Wonder Woman continues her sideways slide into banality courtesy of Jodi Picoult. While I have no doubt that Jodi has serious writing chops (ironically, I recently read a huge article about her in Writer’s Digest a few months ago) it does not show here. The wonder of Wonder Woman here is “I wonder who I am,” woman or goddess or what?
This would be nice if it were not for the fact this concept has already BEEN explored from time to time by Wonder Woman (and more notably, THOR!) for the last 50 or 60 years. And I certainly don’t see it as being the centerpiece of AMAZONS ATTACK. I mean, it’s like heading off to a jazz recital worried about the color of your socks. It’s just not a central issue. Yet WW explores it anyway. For instance, wondering about her motivations for doing the right thing – is it because SHE wants to or because HER MOTHER wanted her to? I think these kinds of questions have been pretty well answered for everyone - except maybe the people who only read a few issues before they started writing it.
I’m also thinking that as the Amazons are slaughtering helpless humans by the truckload, MAYBE Diana would be grappling with issues like “Even if my mom is crazy, how can my sisters betray our noble ideas with such brutality? All this death and carnage! Oh, the humanity – even if I’m not sure I’m one of them.” Screw her heritage. This is good vs. evil, not Amazon vs. human! I’m thinking that the Diana that I know would be outraged over ALL the slaughter, not just over one guy who was stung by the terror-inducing Stygian Hornets (ahem, Stygian KILLER Hornets, lest they be confused with the Stygian baseball team of the same name).
Also, just because Nemesis is the nearest boy toy does not make him the next Steve Trevor. I can see why one might appreciate him. But I haven’t followed why she’s flirting with him. And the flirting with Tom as she saves him, one panel after she and her mom are trading blows – best case, it simply dilutes any tension that could have been had from the conflict between mother and daughter. At worst, it takes you out of the story.
You know, I thought this arc was going to explore the Diana Prince side of things. But it’s just as well that we are into the action, as exploring Diana Prince meant exploring the world of a secret agent who didn’t know what a credit card was, or a gas pump, or was unable to work the intricacies of a turnstile (in her defense, these things were not on the secret agent entrance exam.) Thing is, this ain’t a “Year One” book, but over and over she grapples with issues that are more appropriate for a teenaged Wonder Woman. And this is not a girl, but a full grown woman who recently served with grace and distinction as an ambassador from Themyscira, complete with her own embassy.
Before I finish, I should mention that Paco Diaz’s artwork is good but a little inconsistent. Some odd poses and anatomy that sometimes feels like professional artwork, and sometimes feels a little rushed. But it IS pretty, and he’s getting better with age.
As for the ending, we’re left with the old “I know you’ve been trying to kill me for the last few pages, but now I’m going to put the gun/knife/Britney Spears record INTO YOUR HANDS and now let’s see if you can really go through with it.” This will no doubt lead to as scene in the next issue, roughly “Oh, the spell is broken and I love you” and someone breaks the gun/knife/Spice Girls records for good measure. OR whatever. It’s all just so…comic-booky. Like someone’s idea of what a comic-book must be like. At this point, I’m wishing Diana would give ME the Max Lord treatment.

LEGION OF MONSTERS: SATANA #1

Writer: Robin Furth Artist: Kalman Andrasofszky Back-up story writer & artist: Jonathan Hickman Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Ambush Bug

I’ve always been a fan of the more monstrous aspects of the Marvel Universe. The characters highlighted in these LEGION OF MONSTERS one-shots plus characters like GHOST RIDER, MOON KNIGHT, and even SPIDER-WOMAN have proved that horror has a place in mainstream comics and it’s good that, like the giant monsters and western tales from previous years, this corner of the Marvel U is getting the spotlight. The first two installments of this series of one-shots featuring the monstrous characters of the Marvel Universe (MAN-THING and WEREWOLF BY NIGHT) were less than amazing. In fact, they were craptastic. This offering, though, makes up for the sheer stinkyness of its predecessors.
The main story, focusing on Satana the Devil’s Daughter, does a pretty nifty job of fleshing out this oft one-note character. Satana is trapped by a wanna-be enchantress and ends up getting a little payback. It’s a tight little story, somewhat trivial, but in the end, it made me want to see more stories with this character. The art does its job of making Satana look hot and sultry. I especially like Satana’s furry little booties. This isn’t going to be one of those books that make you see the world in a new light or inspire any intellectual debate, but it was a spooky yarn that I kind of liked…
Or maybe I just like Goth girls.
The back-up story is the true standout of the book. It’s a retelling of the origin of the Living Mummy that sprinkles factoids throughout the narrative. This short feature is a true artistic standout. Writer/artist Jonathan Hickman has a great visual sense making the panels unique and gorgeous. I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing any of Hickman’s other work, but he’s definitely an artist that will go into my mental rolodex as someone to watch.
Although not great, this LEGION OF MONSTERS issue is by far the best yet. It features characters and writers/artists that I wouldn’t mind seeing more of. If you have a few extra bucks and a hankering for some mainstream superhero horror, this is the issue to pick up.

BLUE BEETLE #16

Writer: John Rogers Artist: Rafael Albuquerque Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Rock-Me Amodeo

Does anyone remember a boy named Will Peyton? He was transformed into the yellow and purple incarnation of Starman, a good kid given enormous power, and I bought every issue. I loved the “Gee, whiz!” factor he brought to each story, sometimes alone, sometimes teamed with various heroes, never considering himself to be in their class - though he was. And then he died.
It was a nice book, enjoyable and poignant. It was a lot of good things. But I’ll tell you one thing it wasn’t very much. It wasn’t funny. Humorous, occasionally, but not funny.
And Blue Beetle? He’s an immensely powerful boy who has all the makings of a true hero. The stories are enjoyable and poignant. And man, can it be funny! Whatever the danger in each issue, Blue Beetle manages to bring a smile to my face at least once, and many issues, I get an outright belly laugh.
Just for the record, the last issue didn’t count. Guest writer, guest artist. This issue, we have John Rogers back, who had Guy Gardner spouting off-the-hook one liners in issue 14 that STILL make me laugh. Rogers brings the funny this issue, as well. But Jaime is more than funny – he’s a nice Latino kid who never wanted to be a superhero, but is having a little fun and making the best of it. And he’s doing what a superhero is supposed to do: making noble choices. Getting his butt kicked. Getting back up.
As we face off against Eclipso this issue, we have a guest shot from Traci 13, the daughter of Doctor 13. She’s a saucy vixen who trades barbs and quips with Jaime (BB) Reyes in a way that you just KNOW they will hook up – but off panel, like they used to do in the old days.
I hope she stays as a part of the supporting cast, though also I’m quite fond of Brenda and Paco (especially after this issue), both of whom are appealing as individuals and in tandem. Not seen in this issue is the rest of Jaime’s family, featuring a mom and dad who are loving AND sane (surprise!) They don’t feel “missing” but they definitely add to the book whenever they’re there.
And none of these characters would be nearly as enjoyable without Albuquerque’s pencils, a nice mix of indie form and mainstream function. Although he’s relatively recent as full time artist, it’s hard to imagine these characters in any other form.
So many icons have come out with these “Year One” books, trying to recapture what is going on in each issue of Blue Beetle: Wonderment. Optimism. Discovery. And, however naïve, heroic selflessness. Maybe someday he’ll get jaded – I sure hope not. But for now…do you like stories where the hero is learning what it means to be a hero? Where his friends are…I dunno, friendly? Maybe some Silver-agey, old-school team-ups? This is the world you enter. I’ll pay three bucks for the monthly trip, easy.

GREEN LANTERN: SINESTRO CORPS SPECIAL #1

Writer: Geoff Johns Artist: Ethan Van Sciver Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Prof. Challenger

In blackest day/In brightest night/Beware your fears made into light/Let those who try to stop what’s right/Burn like my power/Sinestro’s might! So, here’s the deal. Because I was completely taken aback by the excellence of this comic, I arrived at @$$hole headquarter and promptly challenged new guy Roack Me Amodeo to a staring contest to steal his claim on the chance to do a write-up on this comic book - all the while Sleazy grumped along mumbling something about how much he hates Hal Jordan and Kyle was screwed over--grumble grumble grumble. Annnyhoo, since the new-guy didn’t realize that I have bionic x-ray eyes, I won that contest handily. Eat THAT, new guy!
There is just some inexplicable something about Green Lantern - from Alan Scott to Hal Jordan to Guy Gardner to John Stewart to Kyle Rayner. I just love the whole Green Lantern thing. But the stories have so rarely lived up to their potential--until the last couple of years. What Geoff Johns has done over the last two years on GREEN LANTERN has culminated in one of the truly great single issue super-hero comics I’ve ever read. It is such a tough thing - much tougher than many fans realize - to take the history and convoluted continuity of a character like Green Lantern and craft stories that resonate with both the past and the present. This single comic allows me to mentally set aside my distaste over INFINITE CRISIS and replace it with heightened expectation over where Johns is taking the Green Lantern mythology now that he’s elevated the Star Sapphire and Sinestro to archetypal and universal conflicts: Green Lantern=Will Power vs. Sinestro=Fear vs. Sapphire=Love. The scope of Johns’ vision of Green Lantern is one that could sustain its own universe of continuity set entirely apart from the DC Universe proper (Hollywood take note).
When I saw the first page, I worried that Johns was going too creepy and weird on us with focusing on Sinestro’s lantern image burned onto his back. But I shouldn’t have worried. He and artist Ethan Van Sciver promptly got Sinestro into his nifty all new black and yellow duds. Whoever it was who claimed that yellow was not a “tough” looking color for super-heroes/villains never saw the Sinestro Corps. Yellow as a symbol of fear and coupled with the black and creative Corps logo and alien design work by Van Sciver? The yellow of the Sinestro Corps is intimidating as hell!
For those who don’t know (live in a van down by the river or something), the formerly lame mustachioed former Green Lantern, Sinestro of Korugar, through a complicated backstory has formed his own version of the Green Lantern Corps. However, rather than searching out the universe for quality individuals capable of overcoming their fears, the yellow rings of the Sinestro Corps search for individuals capable of instilling great fear. Where the Green Lantern Corps functions as an organized police force, replete with carved out space sectors for their “officers” to patrol, the Sinestro Corps functions as a universal organized crime force. Its members include genocidal mass murderers, liars, cheats, and more. The power rings of the Sinestro Corps are powered by the Parallax entity that once upon a time took control of Hal Jordan and committed multiple murders through Hal.
Now, what was so phenomenally enjoyable about this specific comic book were the abundance of “Wow!” moments. The story peaked and dipped throughout with those moments interspersed between character bits. This one single comic also followed through on a wide range of dangling plotlines from a number of series. Furthermore, the back up Tales of the Sinestro Corps feature provided a clear rationalization for Sinestro’s actions. All truly great literary villains never see themselves as “evil” but rather misunderstood or their ego is such that they do not believe others to be able to comprehend how right they are. Sinestro was once heralded as the greatest of the Green Lanterns. All that he has done and plans to do with his own Sinestro Corps is to prove to the universe once and for all that he truly is and always will be the greatest Green Lantern. Can we say crazy?
Going back through the comic, there’s much I appreciated. I appreciated the attempt by Johns to make sure that all the essential info was there so that even a new reader unfamiliar with the minutiae of Green Lantern lore could follow. The use of the JLA scene was helpful just to establish the greater landscape of the Green Lantern insofar as his role in the DC Universe before quickly shifting gears into outer space to focus on the Sinestro Corps formation. It also gave Johns another opportunity (assuming again new readers who are not regular GREEN LANTERN readers) to play up the fact that the Sinestro Corps actually sought out Batman because of his ability to instill great fear. Batman, however, had the strength of character to reject the temptation even after the ring gave him a taste of the God-like power available to him.
In space, Johns shifts to introduce the reader to the Green Lantern who replaced Hal Jordan back during the Parallax incident, Kyle Rayner. Most DC readers will at least know that Kyle is going by the name of Ion now and that, while he wields the power of the Green Lanterns, he does not wear a ring. What we find out in this comic is that “Ion” is not really Kyle but actually the “Will Power” entity that provides the power for all the Green Lantern Corps (like “Parallax” is the “Fear” entity for the Sinestro Corps rings). The Ion entity has taken up residence within Kyle, and the scene where Sinestro reaches in and yanks the thing out of Kyle is chilling and sets up nicely the level of threat that Sinestro and his Corps can be to the Green Lanterns and to the universe at large.
Basically, the Green Lantern Corps gets its collective heads handed to them by the Sinestro Corps because of one basic difference between their power rings. The Green Lantern rings have a stop-gap that prevents them from using lethal force. The Sinestro Corps rings have no such limitation and the minds controlling them have been driven mad by the level of power they wield. It is truly shocking to see the Green Lanterns scrambling to react. Very reminiscent of the 9/11 scenario where the air traffic controllers and the military were almost slack-jawed in their inability to even comprehend what their own eyes were telling them was happening. And that’s where the emphasis on the Green Lanterns stops. With a successful assault on Oa, many many dead Green Lanterns, and the Corps scrambling to figure out what to do next. Instead, the action rightly focuses back on Sinestro and his Corps.
Further “Wow!” moments occur near the end when Johns provides a big reveal and a massive cliffhanger. Swirling around out there in post-INFINITE CRISIS DC continuity are a couple of real nutjobs. Hank Henshaw, the Cyborg-Superman (who once destroyed Hal’s hometown of Coast City, which was the catalyst for Hal becoming Parallax originally) and the idiotically evil Superboy of Earth-Prime - oops, I’m sorry. My lawyer tells me that I can’t say that. I mean the “Young Superman” of Earth-Prime. Whatever. Anyway, most DC readers know that after the latest CRISIS that Superb--Young Superman was placed in the custody of the Green Lantern Corps who caged him up in a power ring box in orbit around a red sun. You know? Red sun takes away Superman’s powers. Yellow sun gives him his powers. That’s right. A “yellow” sun gives him his powers. So what do you think the “yellow” rings of the Sinestro Corps do to that red sun?
This comic book is called SINESTRO CORPS but much of the emotional impact of the story comes from Kyle. Kyle, when he was originally brought in as the new Green Lantern, brought an energy and emotion that had been missing from the GREEN LANTERN comics for years. So, it makes sense to use him as the emotional barometer for the readers. Sinestro just emotionally assaults him relentlessly in an attempt to break Kyle’s spirit and give the Parallax entity an opportunity to seduce Kyle in a way that it was not even able to do with Hal. Hal’s seduction by Parallax was unwilling and unknowing. What Sinestro wants to do with Kyle is drag him to a point of fear and despair so that he volitionally embraces the Parallax. It’s almost Christological in a sense because Kyle/Ion has been set up for the last year or so as a messiah-type and then through a form of the “passion”, Kyle is faced with a final and devastating choice to make. Does he make the right choice? Pick up the comic and find out. It’s worth it.
Finally, no review would be worthy without a mention of the visuals. Ethan Van Sciver is simply the finest Green Lantern artist ever. His work on GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH set a bar that he’s already crossed with this issue. The double-page spreads are amazing. The scenes on Qward with Sinestro rallying his Sinestro Corps rightly evoke the creepiness of Hitler and his Nazi armies. There is such power and excitement to his work that so amply serves the cosmic scope of a book like this. I’m also struck by the alien designs for both the Green Lantern Corps and the Sinestro Corps. Van Sciver somehow makes all his aliens look plausible yet keeps a more pleasant appearance reserved for the Green Lantern designs but veers off into disturbing and ugly for his Sinestro Corps. Excellent work. As well, Dave Gibbons suitably does a bang up job on the Tales of the Sinestro Corps backup feature with a more Silver Age look at Hal and Sinestro but flavored with a nice revelation about “The Guardian of Fear.”
So let’s take all this in. To take down the Green Lanterns and take over the universe, we’ve got Sinestro leading a team of hundreds, maybe thousands, of evil characters wielding power rings. We’ve got Parallax. We’ve got Cyborg Superman. We’ve got the Manhunters. We’ve got Superb--Young Superman. That’s an essentially undefeatable group. I can’t imagine how they could be any more formidable. But wait, on the next to the last page, Johns reveals that “with the rebirth of the multiverse comes the return of something else.” And on the last page we finally understand who’s behind this whole scheme, who actually is “The Guardian of Fear” and, you will not believe it, but it’s…
Just buy the dang thing already!

THUNDERBOLTS #115

Writer: Warren Ellis Artist: Mike Deodato Publisher: Marvel Reviewer: Rock-Me Amodeo

There’s something that I love about this book. And there are a few things that don’t love. So I guess I’m officially in “like” with it. I may even pony up for a ring and make a heart-shaped “you complete me” to it at some point in the future, but not quite yet.
As we finish the sixth issue of this arc, let me list a few of its overall strengths. Survey sez: Deodato’s art at the number 1 position. Deodato ( I would say Mr. but Deodato is actually his FIRST name) has not so much adjusted his art over the years as he has refined it. It also helps that he’s not drawing himself into exhaustion. I think he’s down to one or two books a month, and that’s great. His Venom was a little over the top, but you can do that with a shape-changer (please, no Skrull jokes). And his women! Wow.
And this issue specifically was also top-notch. Every panel was well done and fully realized, or if it wasn’t, it was clearly for effect. For example - was it just me, or did Deodato take a Miller-esque turn when he was drawing Bullseye doing what Bullseye does? You know, with the silhouettes and the negative empty spaces. It was as if Bullseye thought he was the star of the show, just like in the old days. And then suddenly, it turned out he wasn’t the star, and the pain began. Deodato reasserted his own style and reality reared its brutal head. Brilliant.
Story-wise, Ellis gets points for style, and for the plotline overall. I just didn’t see half of the stuff coming before it got there. Songbird just outright LYING to Bullseye. Venom’s uhn…zealousness. Moonstone taken out (last issue) in such brutal fashion. And of course, Bullseye’s “reward” which has been long overdue. Most of the Thunderbolts really deserved an ass-kicking, so it was nice to see them get their just desserts. This issue completely delivered in that regard.
Except that this name of this comic book is “Thunderbolts.” And we were rooting for them to lose. And that’s part of the problem, one of several.
First, I have never bought into Norman Osborn being a poor man’s Lex Luthor with an obsession with spiders. I think some of the previous issues’ dialogue was supposed to be kinda quirky and slightly funny, but it came off kinda crazy and slightly lame. Sorry Warren, please don’t kill me. Moonstone has taken a downright EVIL turn, and after all the progress she make with our good buddy Clint (who is not dead and is NOT a Skrull, dammit) I think she deserved a little better – but I confess she WAS written consistently. Penance was completely useless and underutilized – if he’s going to be one, he shouldn’t be the other. Speaking of useless, Swordsman’s contribution was pulling his head from a TV and asking for exposition – ahem, I mean a status report. What else can he do? Nothing, there’s not enough time– there’s too many characters that serve overlapping or no purpose.
Of all the regular characters, Melissa (Songbird) and Chen (Radioactive Man) are the most empathetic, and their friendship borne of necessity is heartwarming to watch. But we barely got to see that go anywhere. This issue at least showed their mutual trust.
Again, there wasn’t enough time to show much else because we had to deal with three other characters whom we now know much better than most of our regular cast. Only we may never see them again, so what does it matter?
I used to read this comic because it explored what it meant to be a “good guy,” how a villain could become a hero, and it was about so much more than simply fighting bad guys. This arc shows the same thing in the opposite way – that certain bad guys will NEVER be heroes, even if they are fighting the “bad guys.” It’s very clever, and an interesting take on the theme. And earnestly, I can’t think of any series that has covered this story in any way.
But I felt a little icky when I finished it, and I’m hoping that the next arc will not leave me feeling that way. But the courtship continues. I might not like it as much as others, but its still one of the first books I want to read when it comes out.

MUSCLES & FIGHTS OGN

Writers: Various Artists: Various Publisher: Bud Burgy/Cream City Comics Reviewer: Ambush Bug

In this age of decompressed storytelling and the deconstruction of just about every aspect of the superhero genre, it’s nice to know that there are some artists and writers able to boil the appeal of superhero comics down to the basics, namely MUSCLES & FIGHTS. This black and white original graphic novel is a wonderful showcase of some of the Midwest’s top artistic and creative talent. This anthology focuses on action from cover to cover. Some of the stories are told with a tongue firmly planted in cheek while others seem to take the concept of muscular people wearing spandex and punching and kicking each other in tender areas to an absurd level of seriousness. Whichever route these talented artists chose to go, the end result is an entertaining and surprisingly intellectual look at the superhero genre itself.
Edited and compiled by Bud Burgy and Amado Rodriguez (who also contribute their own chapters of art and story to the book), this is a book comprised of mini-installments that comment on or embrace (and sometimes both) the industry of super-heroing. Like I said before, these are smart stories. Some go for the lowest common denominator when it comes to delivering the laughs, but others take the intellectual high-ground, maneuvering this concept of comic book fights down pathways that are wholly original.
The book is made of up 12 chapters (labeled Rounds in this book), with a few mini-rounds tossed in between. These mini-rounds are one to two panel one-liners that make for a nice little breather in between the meatier entries. This book has many stories of note that stand out, but I’ll only name a few here and leave you, kind reader, the task of seeking this book out to experience the rest.
The very first story, “Super Market Vigilante” by Danno, is a kooky yarn about a guy who misreads a job application and thinks that it involves flexing his muscles and…you guessed it, fighting a lot. It was goofy fun seeing him track down the Fishstick Bandit.
“Dynamite Pilot” by Spanky Cermak is another great read that reminded me of a Moebius or Geoff Darrow book in its finely detailed artwork and fantastical situations and scenery which surround the action of a young man who has a most dangerous job.
Mary Margaret Marvel, the World’s Mightiest Catholic Schoolgirl , is the star of Leith St. John’s “Into the Fire”, the tale of a boobalicious chickadee in a schoolgirl outfit who has a tendency for high moral values and over the top violence. There’s an especially tasty jaw-ripping scene in that one that is truly inspired.
Amado Rodriguez (the co-compiler of the book) supplies some vividly stylistic and eye-appealing panels as a Goth chick prepares for battle set to the lyrics to “Bela Lagosi’s Dead”. The scene quickly shifts to an all-out battle royale to the death where Rodriguez’s (AKA Arex) talent of rendering skewed camera angles and slightly abstract figures is highlighted. Arex fully understands how to make a panel visually pleasing and original.
Bob Lipski provides a fun version of the old workout cartoon found in the back of old comic books where the skinny kid gets sand kicked in his face on the beat in “Uptown Girl”. Alberto Rios AKA Ponbiki displays some of his vivid designwork in the surreal robot battle-tale, “Ocho”. Bud Burgy’s entry, “Meatfist & Gronk in A 12-Ft World of Hurt” reminded me of the work of Crumb by way of a Tex Avery cartoon, displaying all of the best aspects of each. And Eric Lappegard made me laugh over and over again in his story of two verbally violent shellfish entitled “Mussels & Fights.”
Perhaps my favorite entry in this book is an outrageous story of how one simple act of rudeness can cause a catastrophic chain reaction. This story by Earl Luckes impossibly melds vile humor with a pretty moral message seamlessly and what started out to be a simple disgusting tale of an alcoholic hero ends with an absurdly poignant tale that stuck with me after I put the book down.
One of the most interesting snippets from the book is the preface itself, which describes how this book came to be. The books title comes from a fanboy who approached co-editor Bud Burgy at a Con. Burgy and Rodriguez turned a simple comment like “I like it when there’s muscles…and they fight.” into a read that I enjoyed through and through. Anthologies like this are great. You can digest little chunks of them at a time with ease. This meal of a book left me fully satisfied and I think Burgy & Rodriguez have stumbled onto not only a concept that is rich enough for another installment, but a great way to showcase some extremely talented artists and writers. Check out MUSCLES & FIGHTS. It’s got a hot pink cover, so you won’t miss it on the stands.

LOST KISSES #4, WORMS #1 & XO #2

Writer: Brian John Mitchell Artist: Brian John Mitchell (Lost Kisses), Kimberlee Traub (Worms), and Melissa Spence Gardner (XO) Publisher: Silber Media Reviewer: Squashua

With digital editions of his comics available for free on his website, writer (and sometimes artist) Brian John Mitchell is obviously more intent on telling his stories than making a profit. A few of them arrived in the mail a couple days ago, and they’re presented in an unexpected medium; black-and-white, laser-printed, two-inch square pamphlets with a two-staple binding. It makes an impression.
LOST KISSES #4 is my favorite of the bunch. Drawn by Brian himself, it depicts an inner monologue from a man who relates his inability to cope with the guilt from dealing with the recent cancer death of an ex-girlfriend. It’s an extremely poignant piece, even if it is told from the perspective of a very poorly drawn stick figure. As someone who has physically dealt with cancer, I can agree with Brian’s argument that running for the cure is the most ridiculous thing ever. XO #2 is the continuing story (and I don’t really mean continuing; you don’t actually have to have read the first one) of an extremely troubled and seemingly gentle man who deals with a dangerous confrontation in an ultra-violent manner. I was both entertained and disturbed at this vicious story, the artistry of which kept making me feel like I was sneaking a peek into the notebook of a demented high school kid. WORMS #1 was not for me. Or maybe I’m not for WORMS, which is a psychedelic telling of a government project, worms, a girl and her parents, guns, agents and a storm. I just couldn’t follow it or get into it at all, but at least I did give it a shot.
The stories are available at the related websites, and are at least worth a couple minutes to take a peek. I definitely recommend checking out LOST KISSES, and if you like it a lot, you can support his work by ordering a copy.

DEAD@17 Short Film DVD Preview

A film by Mark Steensland EXIT SEVEN Productions Reviewer: Ambush Bug

Shifting the focus from comics to films based on comics, I got to take a gander at Exit Seven Productions and Mark Steensland’s adaptation of the comic book DEAD@17 by Josh Howard. This is a 10 minute short that looks to be the first of many installments adapting the DEAD@17 comic book series about a pair of schoolgirls who do battle with the forces of evil. It’s chicks in schoolgirl outfits vs. zombies and y’all know that I’s loves me some zombies.
This is a low budget flick, but fun nonetheless. It’s got elements from some of my favorite horror films like Romero’s zombie flicks and EVIL DEAD, plus lest us not forget chicks in schoolgirl outfits with axes. And the best part is that it stays very faithful to the original comic book right down to setting up the scenes to be exact duplicates to the comic book panels. In a day and age when big budget execs who have never even picked up a comic decide how a comic book movie should be made, it’s refreshing to see a comic book film that pays attention to the source material. The makers of this one have definitely read the source material.
And don’t forget the cute chicks in schoolgirl outfits lopping off zombie appengades with axes.
There are quite a few scares and some nice gore in this 10 minute short that serves as the first chapter of this series. There are also some pretty tense and foreboding scenes building up to the horror. The biggest compliment I can give this short film is that when it was over, I found myself looking forward to future installments. When this short film is available, be sure to seek it out. Keep checking here for when this short film is available for all to see

BENEATH THE VALLEY OF THE RAGE #1 Fangoria Comics

C’mon, folks, with a name like that, how can this not be a cool comic? This one’s got freak-shows, mad scientists, murderous KGB operatives, mutants, the cure for cancer, and a virus that makes you shit out your intestines. It’s the comic book prequel to the upcoming movie THE RAGE starring Andrew (WISHMASTER, LOST) Divoff. Thrills and weirdness are fired at you at a rapid pace in this book. I found it to be a fun ride from the first to last page. It’s a tale that definitely keeps you guessing and pulls the rug of expectations right out from under you on a page by page basis. I can’t wait to see issue two of this miniseries to see what the hell is going to be thrown at me next. – Ambush Bug

STREETS OF GLORY Preview Avatar Press

Okay, first thing: Two bucks for only eight pages of story in a preview is not exactly the way to instill any good will in me to begin with. And it really doesn't help that those eight pages were pretty bad. I love Garth Ennis, I really do, but this basically amounted to some cheap foreboding and then a cut and flashback to a sequence of events that end in a pretty sloppily depicted gunfight involving our "hero" who couldn't look more like the Saint of Killers if they just copied and pasted it. I know Ennis gets a lot of slack for writing a lot of stories that basically have the same "over the top" factor as each other, but typically he instills in each of them enough of their own identity, and a cast of characters that you fall in love with to differentiate them enough for your enjoyment (like THE BOYS). STREETS OF GLORY already looks to be a really bad case of the "phone-ins" before its even started. – Humphrey Lee

WARHAMMER: FORGE OF WAR #1 BOOM! Studios

Writers Ian Edginton and Dan Abnett do a great job of showing how similar and different a whole bushel of warring armies are in this miniseries spawned from the popular role playing game. There’s not much by way of character in this one, it’s the armies themselves that sort of advance as one, which is an interesting way to tell a story. The art is gritty and illustrates some pretty gruesome battle scenes. I don’t know much about the world of WARHAMMER, but this issue not only provided an easily approachable story, but a glossary of the characters. RPG aficionados will definitely enjoy this and it entertained this newb as well. - Ambush Bug

SHE-HULK #19 Marvel Comics

Those of you who were worried, relax. Dan Slott (and Ty Templeton) are back on form, and Burchett’s pencils have not been inked to cartoony excess. This issue explores some pretty adult subject matter and continues to refine this multifaceted character, as the plot moves along toward who-knows-what kind of resolution. I don’t see where it’s heading, so I’ll keep reading it. In the meantime, the comic book room is full of sly winks to the reader and asides that had me chuckling (or was I tittering? I forget. Chortling?) Anyway, it was a good read, and it will be interesting to see what happens next. That is a high form of praise, by the way. - Rock-Me

THE BRAVE & THE BOLD #4 DC Comics

I know, I know, this review is late, but the best damn comic book on the racks needs to be mentioned, especially when the interaction between Supergirl and Lobo provides some of the most classic panels of the year. The exchange about Supergirl’s x-ray vision v. her microscopic vision had me rolling. Writer Mark Waid is going above and beyond providing some great twists and lines, while George Perez is drawing better than ever. I can’t recommend this book more. - Bug

THE IMMORTAL IRON FIST #6 Marvel Comics

This was the final chapter of the first arc in what so far I think has been a great revitalization of one of Marvel's best B-level characters (or is he C-list? I really don't know who's on what list at all). Though, while on the overall this first story arc has been pretty top notch, I'll admit this particular issue was a little anti-climatic. We all know a certain someone had to die, so when the Grim Reaper finally came a calling for them here, it didn't have the emotional impact it really should have. The problem was that we really needed another arc or two with the character to become attached to him, because he did have a lot of potential being used as a father figure/mentor in the life of Danny Rand which would have made it all the more important when he kung fu kicked that proverbial bucket. As it is most of the excitement from this issue came from a grand appearance from all of the old Heroes for Hire gang and a promising lead in to the next arc which is apparently going to be the mother of all martial arts tournament showdowns (because, honestly, you could not not have a kung fu tournament in this book). It should be quite the ride as they say; I highly suggest you get caught up here and check it out. - Humphrey

THE WALKING DEAD #38 Image Comics

Man, whotta letdown. For about 25 issues or so, Lori has been carrying a big secret (that the child she is carrying is not Rick’s, but actually his friend Shane’s) and in this issue all of the wait pays off in a reveal that takes juuust about three pages to come to a resolution. If Kirkman is going to hype up the drama in this soap opera of a comic, he should maybe spend a little time to make all of the waiting pay off. The big reveal landed with an ineffective thud, leaving me wondering why there was so many issues building up the angst and guilt if this is how Kirkman was going to reveal it. Missed opportunity, this one was.
Oh yeah, and a zombie or two show up for about three panels…
*sigh*
You can’t see it, but I’m shaking my head right now… - Bug

IT CAME FROM THE 90’s


By Vroom Socko

Anthologies are a tricky beast. Even if the bulk of the book is quality, there’s always going to be something in there that’s a stinker. Funny thing though, back in the 90’s there were two separate anthology titles that managed to feature little to no crap stories whatsoever. They did this by virtue of both an astonishingly talented roster of creators and the most sublime of themes…
The first of these centers around the work of one particularly mad and unique individual, the sort of creator that goes out of his way to mess with your head, to piss you off, to make you think, to tickle your funnybone. Oftentimes he does this in the same story. Once I saw him do it in the same sentence. If you know his name, you have an opinion on him, for good or ill. If you don’t know his name, it’s right there in the title of the comic: HARLAN ELLISON’S DREAM CORRIDOR.
(And if that name, implausible as it seems, still doesn’t ring any bells, then for the love of GOD, click on this link, and hear some of his stories from the man himself, including the Borges-esque Prince Myshkin, and Hold The Relish, comments on the nature of Hollywood, and even footage of Harlan chasing down and groping AICN’s own Moriarty.)
If you know of Harlan Ellison, then you have a strong opinion about Harlan Ellison. Whatever you think of him is your business, but I adore his work, essays and fiction both. The reason is simple: passion. Everything he does is loaded to the gills with it, from the simplest feat of fantasy to the slightest gag to the most harrowing tales to movie and tv reviews (You think us @$$holes have been hard on “event” comics and the darkening themes in Marvel and DC? Find a copy of HARLAN ELLISON’S WATCHING and see what HE said about Howard Chaykin, Jim Shooter, and John Byrne. And this was back before Byrne Bashing became an internet sport.).
That passion bleeds from THE DREAM CORRIDOR, where Harlan has managed to assemble an amazing roster of creators to retell and interpret a wide variety of his stories. There’s great, great stories like Knox, The End of the Time of Leinard, On The Slab, and S.R.O. Then there’s the creators on this book, which include Peter David, Neil Adams, Gene Colan, Mark Waid, Len Wein, Tony Isabella, Rags Morales, Steve Niles, Richard Corben, Phil Foglio, Max Allen Collins, and Mike Deodato Jr. Plus there’s the original paintings with stories written around them by Harlan, similar to the work he did in MIND FIELDS and the tales he wrote for Jac
Readers Talkback
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  • July 5, 2007, 9:33 a.m. CST

    first?

    by tonamania

    hmm...

  • July 5, 2007, 9:38 a.m. CST

    second!!

    by RockLobster800

    perhaps

  • July 5, 2007, 9:39 a.m. CST

    mmyes...

    by RockLobster800

    damn you tonamania-I could have had three firsts in one week!

  • July 5, 2007, 9:42 a.m. CST

    Check the URL before clicking folks!

    by GilesT

    Very nearly went to a site called MarksTeensLand.com at work, cause of zombie film Dead@17.<br> <br>Would've been fun trying to explain that to the boss...

  • July 5, 2007, 9:45 a.m. CST

    RockLobster800

    by tonamania

    sorry dude, I was desperate. Still, waiting to find out news on the latest World War Hulk and jump on a talkback when AICN "breaks" the news that Zemeckis is going to ruin Christmas with a Jim Carrey, Scrooge remake, a la Polar Express.

  • July 5, 2007, 9:45 a.m. CST

    ...and yes.

    by GilesT

    ...I know Steensland is the guys surname. Still woulda got flagged though!

  • July 5, 2007, 9:50 a.m. CST

    there must be one guy in L.A....

    by RockLobster800

    who deals with the Christmas Carol remakes...like every few months someone comes in from tv or hollywood going "hey, heres an idea..." and the executives just go "yeah, you better go to see the Christmas Carol guy-he deals with all that shit...."

  • July 5, 2007, 10:04 a.m. CST

    Harlan Ellison is a master storyteller...

    by mbeemer

    ...and a mensch. If you get the chance to see him live, TAKE IT. I'm eager to get the "Dreams with Sharp Teeth" DVD whenever it comes out.

  • July 5, 2007, 10:37 a.m. CST

    Carla Gugino's Pooper

    by Meglos

    Is the most amazing thing ever invented.

  • July 5, 2007, 11:14 a.m. CST

    That's my cue...

    by BizarroJerry

    Hey @$$holes, check out G.I. JOE! Today, G.I. Joe: America's Elite #25 is out in stores. Comics' real World War III begins in this issue. Check it out! You know you wanna.

  • July 5, 2007, 11:33 a.m. CST

    DEAD@17 Short Film DVD Preview

    by brassai2003

    Damn You Ambush Bug! PLANT!!!! This movie sucked!!!! Actually, I haven't seen it, but I thought the @$$holes could use a little taste of what goes on on the rest of this site!

  • July 5, 2007, 11:45 a.m. CST

    What, you couldn't review World War Hulk?

    by V'Shael

    WWH : Frontline and WWH:Xmen both hit the stands, and were at least as comment worthy as some of THAT stuff.

  • July 5, 2007, 11:57 a.m. CST

    Nice article

    by Lour Reed luvs Frank Zappa

    Well done, interesting read

  • July 5, 2007, 12:15 p.m. CST

    The Brave & The Bold....

    by sonnyhooper

    ......is like comic book heaven. best book being written at DC right now, hands down. it's like 7 kinds of awesome and all it gets for love is a "cheap shot"? shame shame. seriously though if every book at DC was this quality "one year later" would have been a much bigger deal to a lot of people. how come mark waid seems to be the only guy over at DC that can bring the "silver age" fun while at the same time making the comic seem "modern" and "cutting edge"? <p> granted waid dosen't bring his A game on every title he writes but when he does, no one can touch him in terms of comic book "scrumtrulestance".

  • July 5, 2007, 12:54 p.m. CST

    I dunno about "cutting edge"...

    by Thalya

    I think Brave & the Bold has a really enjoyable "classic comic" feel to it that Waid executes flawlessly, but in instances like this issue, it felt a touch tired and cliche (that x-ray vs microscopic vision line for example). There were some nice touches of zaniness (Lobo just came up with his bike out of the blue? Wha?!), but for my money (and yes, I'm still buying both) Blue Beetle's got that classic hero-starting-out vibe while still being incredibly fresh (and gah, I can't even believe I'm using this word) zeitgeisty. I always save Beeb for last because I know it'll always be a fun and solid story to end my stack and which always has a few great surprises. Go John Rogers!<BR><BR>And Rock-Me, dude, not even the tiniest of hints in your review on Jaime's power fantasy?! Gah! That was the best part! Everyone MUST read that issue for that part alone. You'll bow down and worship me for that, yes you will.

  • July 5, 2007, 1:10 p.m. CST

    comflix

    by waggy

    gave it a look, and thought it was pretty cool. Mark Grimm has a Sin City vibe but sticks closer to classic noir, which isn't a bad thing. i just can't wrap my head around calling things like this the next stage in comics. a comic is one thing and this is something different. i fully get that one day most people will read their comics off a computer (or worse, cell phone) screen, but in my opinion when you start adding animation and audio, it becomes a different medium ("web cartoon" seems most appropriate). just my $.02.

  • July 5, 2007, 1:14 p.m. CST

    Some of us worship you already.....

    by Psynapse

    Can I suck up or what?

  • July 5, 2007, 1:27 p.m. CST

    Can anyone recommend any good indie comics?

    by Jakes Nel

    I like Optic Nerve and Stray Bullets, but I don't have much to compare it to...

  • July 5, 2007, 1:27 p.m. CST

    er....What?

    by Thalya

    Real sucking up would involve reading my two fanfic issues (located here: http://tinyurl.com/3x83p3) before I release the one-page illustrated teaser/preview for Issue 3 tomorrow. <BR><BR>How 'bout 'dem apples? -_<

  • July 5, 2007, 1:28 p.m. CST

    ack, darn carrots!

    by Thalya

    I meant: -_^

  • July 5, 2007, 1:45 p.m. CST

    Cooky.....

    by Psynapse

    Because the EIC's ego is so overblown it sucks the 'cool' from almost everything he touches.

  • July 5, 2007, 2:15 p.m. CST

    you are right, Thayla, but...

    by rock-me Amodeo

    ...I didn't want to spoil it. There is that fine line between reviewer and spoiler. If something is a horrible surprise, I don't mind revealing it. But if it is a nice surprise, I try to remember to be oblique. And yeah, it was the funniest turn on a classic device that i can remember!

  • July 5, 2007, 2:18 p.m. CST

    well by "cutting edge", i meant..

    by sonnyhooper

    ...the book has a little bit of angst and/or "dick jokes". because everyone knows that modern comics MUST have angst and/or "dick jokes" to be considered "modern" at all. B&B had the "dick joke" down pat. sure it was a lame "dick joke", but still my point is that mark waid is at least TRYING! lol.

  • July 5, 2007, 2:32 p.m. CST

    Good point rock-me..

    by Thalya

    It's definitely not something I'd want to spoil either, but maybe just the tiniest mention of "there's something here in this very issue you all have really gotta see!" and leave it at that? Not that it necessarily matters at this point because I know I'm sure as hell going to make it my pet book to promote each month, but..

  • July 5, 2007, 2:39 p.m. CST

    Yeah 'cuz that worked SO well for Manhunter...

    by Psynapse

    *OW!* didja HAVE to slap my teeth out!?!

  • July 5, 2007, 2:46 p.m. CST

    BACK. FROM. THE. DEAD. TWICE.

    by Thalya

    Superman can't say that. Buffy can. Therefore Manhunter wins.<BR><BR>Now read, bloody, read, dammit! Before I start up my drill so I can do some _real_ dentistry.

  • July 5, 2007, 2:54 p.m. CST

    wtf Bug

    by Shigeru

    You complain and complain that Walking Dead has devolved into pap soapoera-ness, with entire issues devoted to "talky-talk", and not enough zombie ackshun (sometimes rightfully so)... yet you wish Kirkman had spent *more* time on the dumb, soap-opera-y Lori/Shane/Rick thing? I don't get it.

  • July 5, 2007, 3:05 p.m. CST

    That's messed up

    by Psynapse

    'Cuz it made TOTAL sense (okay so maybe I'm totally messed up). I can't access your fanfic from work (websense that IT has set up tags it as 'dating/social') and I'm smack dab in the middle of cleaning & painting my (NEW!!) apartment to move in babe. But soon, I swear.....

  • July 5, 2007, 3:11 p.m. CST

    Walking Dead is BOOOOO-RING

    by Psynapse

    Well it is......

  • July 5, 2007, 3:27 p.m. CST

    Was not impressed at all with that Comflix site.

    by raw_bean

    The comic properties were all fairly derivative ideas, terribly written and only marginally less terribly acted. They looked pretty cool initially (reminded me of the Sin City DVD menu), but I actually found the style of them grated on me very quickly. All in all, I'd much rather either watch a proper flick or read a proper comic. Maybe if they up their game in the writing stakes, they might be worth it.

  • July 5, 2007, 3:30 p.m. CST

    Shigeru/Walking Dead

    by Ambush Bug

    What was was saying that IF Kirkman chooses to focus on some big plot point which has been dangling for over a year (maybe two)and even hang a cliffhanger onto it in the previous issue, THEN the resolution of that plot point should be given a bit more than a shrug and a few panels. I didn't say that I liked it, but at least Kirkman could follow through with all of the suspense he built up to the big reveal. I don't want this book to be a zombie attack in every panel, but I surely don't want the zombies to be as "in the background" as they are now. They are killed and taken care of almost as an afterthought in this book. I'm asking for a happy medium, not the definite either/or black/white attitude that this comic needs more zombie action therefore that HAS to mean that the talkity-talk has to disappear. That type of argument is reserved for most people who are just trying to win an argument (i.e. a good portion of the online fanboy circuit). A happy medium where I get enough to care about the characters and still whet my gorehound appetite would be nice. If Kirkman didn't have it in him, then I wouldn't be so hard on the book, but the book had that balance up until they got to the prison. Since then, the drama has been upped while the zombie stuff has taken a back seat or been kicked off the bus all together. I know Kirkman's point (he drove it home with no subtlety at all about ten issues ago when Rick repeated over and over for numerous splash pages that "We are the Walking Dead.") but still if you've got something as cool as zombies to play with, use them every now and then and remind the reader why the characters are so fucked up in the first place.

  • July 5, 2007, 4:20 p.m. CST

    Sweetness on the new digs, Psy-fi!

    by Thalya

    I'll only kick you once every Wednesday then! *_-

  • July 5, 2007, 6:24 p.m. CST

    have to agree with raw bean

    by tonyd1411

    Comflix is pretty boring, watching the comics made me dizzy and gave me a headache. I would rather read a comic myself instead of listen to that narrator.

  • July 5, 2007, 6:37 p.m. CST

    Seriously, how is it not a movie series yet?

    by Drath

    Green Lantern actually has the chance to be bigger than a single guy-in-suit concept. You've got characters as memorable and lovable as the Star Wars cast (classic). I'm really amazed that WB is so slow to do anything with this.

  • July 5, 2007, 6:58 p.m. CST

    In my defense, Challenger...

    by rock-me Amodeo

    ...pepper-spraying me in the hallway as I was trying to make it to the meeting was hardly sporting. Just wait until you need advice on RAM or motherboard on the central computer, and then you'll pay. Oh yes. You'll ALL pay...

  • July 5, 2007, 7:38 p.m. CST

    3 comments

    by Homer Sexual

    1. "how come mark waid seems to be the only guy over at DC that can bring the "silver age" fun while at the same time making the comic seem "modern" and "cutting edge"? "...wow...just wow!..different strokes for different folks, I guess. <p> Sleazy isn't the only one who hates Hal Jordan. He's deathly dull. No Sinestro Corps for me. <p> She-Hulk good? I flipped through it but it didn't look good. The review sounds good, though. So,maybe...I want to buy Shulkie again,but I had to quit after so many months of lameness.

  • July 5, 2007, 7:48 p.m. CST

    Thunderbolts = Freedom Force = non-working concept

    by Johnny Ahab

    Glad to hear I'm not the only one who felt icky about the latest 'bolts issue. Bullseye & Venom are way too over the top evil - I mean, Christ, Bullseye paralyzes a non-registered hero last issue and Venom rips another one's arm off -- and this is okay in the twisted, contrived "doesn't work" Civil War logic (which I'm frankly sick of). I like the 3 newish heroes in Phoenix, especially the woman - but don't like the Thunderbolts themselves. I was at first thrilled to see Moonstone back - she was my favorite character from the original Busiek/Bagley run, and constantly surprised me - but she's gotta be given more room. DUMP Norman Osborn. He seems so out of place here. Please get back to the concept of villians trying to go straight - not what basically feels like Freedom Force: bad guys who get to wail on good guys like they're still bad guys.

  • July 5, 2007, 8:48 p.m. CST

    i so wanted to see...

    by blackthought

    what a sinestro corps batman would of been like.

  • July 5, 2007, 10:20 p.m. CST

    so homer...

    by sonnyhooper

    ...i take it you aren't enjoying BRAVE AND THE BOLD as much as i am? i dunno man, between waids B&B and grant morrisons runs on BATMAN and ALL-STAR SUPERMAN i think DC should RUN, not walk towards a more "silver age" approach to it's comics. especially when you compair and contrast it with the dark and depressing direction marvel is going with all of it's "civil war" nonsense. i say embrace the fun. "grim and gritty" is SO last century.

  • July 5, 2007, 11:06 p.m. CST

    Sonny, Morrison's Batman is "Silver Age" fun?

    by jocutus

    The cover to Issue 664 had Batman beating an unconscious police officer into a bloody pulp while three other officer are aiming their weapons on him. Does it get more "grim 'n gritty" than that? Maybe a dead Boy Wonder would top it off? Dini's 'TEC is the fun Bat Book right now. But I'm enjoying both recently so . . . why am I arguing again?

  • July 5, 2007, 11:51 p.m. CST

    Batman: don't you mean Magpie?

    by Thalya

    <>

  • July 6, 2007, 4:33 a.m. CST

    Homer, I'd pick up SHE-HULK if I were you.

    by vroom socko

    I swear to you, the last page will have you laughing your ass off. It's the most brilliant idea Slott's come up with for a single gag. Just brilliant.

  • July 6, 2007, 6:03 a.m. CST

    T-Bolts is good..just hope that can really do something

    by redfist

    I like the story...Vemon and Bullseye are over the top, but that is just fine by me. I love that Bullseye is so shithouse crazy that they have to lock him up and take away toilet privlages to keep him in line. There are some that are worth of being heroes..and some that never will be. It is nice to see if they can find it. Plus the norman osborne slipping out of his head is great to watch... and he looks like tommy lee jones!!!!

  • July 6, 2007, 6:53 a.m. CST

    My best book of last week…

    by stones_throw

    My LCS was sold out of Sinestro Corps but they don’t get much better than SPIDER-MAN AND THE FANTASTIC FOUR! It’s rare among today’s Marvel comics in that it is completely gimmick-free – it’s nothing more than one hell of a cool superhero team up. It reminds me a lot of Bronze Age Marvel Team-Up or Two-In-One issues – a cool threat is posed and the heroes work professionally to stop it. No time is wasted with Spidey or the FF not being heroes because it just isn’t necessary to the story. Jeff Parker isn’t afraid of showing readers the whole beautiful scope of the Marvel Universe, including potentially ridiculous concepts like the High Evolutionary or the Impossible Man. He gets any unfamiliar readers up to speed with just one or two lines and the story is all the better for it. Even better, each issue so far has been crammed with more action and one-liners than you could, er, shoot webbing at! Jeff Parker really is one of the best there is for back-to-basics, unpretentious superhero excitement. In fact, I’d call him a more action-oriented, in-joke free Slott. If I couldn’t call him Jeff Parker that is.

  • July 6, 2007, 7:03 a.m. CST

    Also, I think Brubaker's used up the good grace...

    by stones_throw

    ...from the excellence of Cap #25. It may be too early to judge, but the book's feeling rudderless without Steve Rogers. The only thing I'm interested in is the Red Skull's plot, as otherwise it's just cutting between Bucky moping and Sharon moping. I really could care less about whether Bucky's going to kill Tony Stark. And Brubaker intends to stretch this arc out for 9 issues? He better have some good stuff planned, because I'm used to huge action in my Captain America, not a whole issue of Bucky stealing Cap's shield.

  • July 6, 2007, 8:36 a.m. CST

    a song for you...

    by longevitymonk

    (sings to the tune of the Transformers theme...) "Mi-chael Bay! Jacks off in your eyes!"

  • July 6, 2007, 8:48 a.m. CST

    jocutus, about morrisons batman run..

    by sonnyhooper

    ....while i agree that it's not as full on silver age fun as grants "all star superman", it does have some "silver age" elements thrown in for good measure. for example, take the issue where batman is fighting ninja man-bats in a pop art gallery or the very recent re-introduction of the "black casebook". if "ninja man-bats" aren't enough to make you smile than consider the fact future solicits of morrisons batman seem to suggest that he is going to revive the "batmen of the world" concept which very much has it's roots in the silver age. morrison is definatly doing some throwback type stuff with that book, but he obviously has to do it within the confines of who and what the batman has become in modern continuity. sure the shadow of millers DKR still looms large, and will probally NEVER be fully lifted from the character, but at least morrison is making a effort to bring SOME fun back to the character imo.

  • July 6, 2007, 8:52 a.m. CST

    and i also agree about dini's 'tec run...

    by sonnyhooper

    ....it's more fun than a barrel full of ninja man-bats. so i guess i'm not arguing either. just saying is all....

  • July 6, 2007, 9:32 a.m. CST

    Speaking of Batman,I wonder when Marvel will realize...

    by rock-me Amodeo

    that the Black Panther is not Batman. Does anyone get that feeling? I mean, he *always* has a contingency plan, never gets flustered, and put the Silver Surfer in a head lock. What gives? It's really annoying. Prediction: they will end World War Hulk by having Black Panther solve it somehow. He'll talk the Hulk down, or negotiate a treaty, or pull something out of his utility belt (or whatever.) Deus Ex Panther.

  • July 6, 2007, 10:49 a.m. CST

    well, to be fair...

    by sonnyhooper

    ....i don't think that we have seen the last of damien. so morrison still has a chance of writting himself out of that corner. and besides if i have to choose between damien and jason "i'm bad and madder/badder than before" todd, i'll take damien every day of the week and twice on sundays. i also don't think that a more "silver-agey" batman has to be about the one (three?) things you suggest. i think it really just has to be about making batman less of a dick than he has been. besides anyone who claims he wants to make batman more like the (to quote morrison): "neal adams hairy-chested-love-god" is all right in my book.

  • July 6, 2007, 11:31 a.m. CST

    I didn't read Sinestro Cops.

    by rev_skarekroe

    I was waiting to check out some reviews. So Sinestro tried to recruit Batman, huh? Well, tell me this - did he hire Scarecrow instead? If not, why?

  • July 6, 2007, 11:45 a.m. CST

    Why I loved the latest THUNDERBOLTS:

    by SleazyG.

    Bullseye finally gets his. Even his own teammates screw him over cuz he's such a bastard, and then a forgotten third-stringer goes to town and devastates him, and it's about damned time. I'm glad it wasn't one of Marvel's heavy hitters, too--it was nice to have one of the "little guys" brutally humiliate Bullseye. This issue was the best I've felt about a full-on beatdown of a villain in a really, really, really long time. I just kept going "man, it's about time...I hope he doesn't get out of it like he always does, cuz it always pisses me off."<p> And then he didn't.<p> I honestly can't remember the last time my heart was so warmed by such brutality. It made me truly happy.

  • July 6, 2007, 1:41 p.m. CST

    "millions of retards"

    by rock-me Amodeo

    How fortunate that we have someone who represents them so well and so frequently.

  • July 6, 2007, 2:07 p.m. CST

    So I got the 'Trials of Shazam' 1st trade...

    by Psynapse

    And within the first few pages I see yet another MASSIVE continuity fuck-up. There is a panel showing Dr. Fate fighting some random demon right? Too bad the events that PRECEDE the mini include Dr. Fate being VERY VERY dead.<p> Which made me realize the question I have for Dan Didio and DC comics as a company: Why should I invest ANY of my money in your story when you can't even keep the story straight?

  • July 6, 2007, 2:20 p.m. CST

    somehow I knew...

    by rock-me Amodeo

    ...that you would assume I was talking about Sleazy. I wasn't. <br> <br> Gotcha. <br> <br> Wow, THAT was incredibly easy...

  • July 6, 2007, 2:44 p.m. CST

    I should have knpwn...

    by rock-me Amodeo

    ...it ypu wpuld have a snappy cpmeback. I can see I'm putmatched. I'll give up npw.

  • July 6, 2007, 3:01 p.m. CST

    What, doubled up laughing at your sad ass Batir?

    by Psynapse

    'Cuz he sure ain't the only one...

  • July 6, 2007, 5:47 p.m. CST

    Psy-fi! Use your magic bone on 'im!!!

    by Thalya

    <>

  • July 6, 2007, 5:55 p.m. CST

    Bug, re: WD

    by Shigeru

    Okay. *shrug* I still think it was a bit weird, but whatev. <br>I also would argue that maybe the way Rick reacted to it was totally in character. The dude has been through complete hell in the past however many months... and if you already knew your wife cheated on you... and you had to kill ZOMBIES every day... and had your hand chopped off... ect ect, I imagine it would be a lot easier to bury your head in the sand and bottle it all up nice and neat. <br>I liked the issue primarily because it got characters moving around again (the people in the RV on the scouting mission--you just knew something bad was/is gonna happen). That and I get a bad feeling about Lori's birth. Shit's gonna come out all zombie-fied and chewing on her tang. Okay, that was gross.

  • July 6, 2007, 5:56 p.m. CST

    No, I mean completely and utterly disinterested.

    by SleazyG.

    Oh Batir, we hardly cared to know ye. Adios, jackass.

  • July 6, 2007, 5:57 p.m. CST

    So...

    by rev_skarekroe

    Who wants to cyber?

  • July 6, 2007, 6:26 p.m. CST

    Fun is good. Gritty is neutral. Throwback is bad.

    by Homer Sexual

    I am not trying to bash or bait. I honestly would like to ask why someone enjoys the character of Hal Jordan. I find him very dull, very 1950's era. I don't enjoy watching Leave it to Beaver nor do I like reading about Hal Jordan. I hate the idea of bringing back outdated characters who have/had very viable modern replacements. I prefer both Wally West and Bart Allen to Barry Allen. Same with Jordan. Big-shot flyboy, square-jawed alpha stud. yada yada yada. Not my thing at all. <p> Now, All Star Superman, OTOH, is the bomb. I would say it's a perfect example of a light, yet entertaining, respecting the past but not trying to BE the past, really super book, entertaining to all. <p> I haven't read Brave and Bold because the Legion was so throwback, so 1960s-era, so old-school-square-DC, that I just don't want to read other stuff by Waid, because it seems to me that's where his heart is. I don't see anything modern about him. <p> Grim and gritty is a neutral quality. I certainly don't like the current Marvel goings on, but that's because it's depressing and out of character. I have enjoyed many gritty books, such as Daredevil as written by Miller and Nocenti in the past, or JMS' work on Squadron Supreme currently.

  • July 6, 2007, 7:04 p.m. CST

    I like "Leave It To Beaver"...

    by SleazyG.

    ...but I still don't like Hal Jordan anywhere near as much as Kyle. Hal may not be as dull as John Stewart, but he's more aggressively obnoxious (as are the fans who forced his comeback).

  • July 6, 2007, 9:31 p.m. CST

    re: why hal jordan and barry allen...

    by sonnyhooper

    ....well, to be honest, i think part of the reason people still like these characters is BECAUSE they are so "leave it to beaver"; BECAUSE they are square-jawed, alpha male, old school type heros. it's a kind of backlash from years of having "flawed" hero that were either more whiney than peter parker or more pissed off than frank castle. wouldn't it stand to reason that after years of having heros that were neurotic or psychotic, the demand for a "diffrent" type of hero would swing back the other way? <p> and don't get me wrong, i don't say any of this to bait or bash either. i'm just trying to anwser your question as best i can. personally i like kyle, wally and bart just fine. i think there is a place under the sun for ALL of them along with guys like hal and barry. it's just a question of personal taste with some people wanting there heros to be "old school", alpha males and some wanting them to be "modern", "relatable" and/or "flawed". i just happen to think there is room enough for BOTH types of characters and everything in between. it dosen't have to be a question of one over another imo.

  • July 6, 2007, 10:13 p.m. CST

    re: "whats a Neal Adams, hairy chested love god?"

    by sonnyhooper

    to be honest, i feel kinda silly explaning this to a guy who calls himself "i am batman" but neal adams is a artist who, along with denny o'neil, helped bring the batman titles away from the "campy" feel that the books had in the late 1960's. by refrencing adams, morrison was basically just trying to envoke, what many consider, the "best" era of batman storys ever told. i would think "hairy-chested-love-god" kind of speaks for itself. <p> anyway, the whole "batman WAS/is a dick" theroy came about because he became SUCH a dark, obsessed, loner, that he basically let his paranoia get the better of him and stopped trusting EVERYONE. from superman to robin to nightwing to alfred and on down, and for a guy thats supposed to be as smart as bruce, thats a pretty fucking stupid thing to do. <p> sure, it was retro-actively explained that batman only started acting like a dick after the mind-wipe that happend in "identity crisis", but that was basically just DC having to go back and "fix" the fact that batman really was acting like a dick since....well 1986 or so. <p> don't get me wrong, i've been reading batman and detective comics for over 30 years now. needless to say i'm a HUGE batman fan. but that dosen't mean i can't or won't admit that the character has been acting like a dick for far too long now. sure it was fun for a while to see batman beat his chest and scream "gotham is my city. everyone stay out" like a child everytime some other hero showed up in town. but now that shits kinda old and it's WAY past time bats started acting like an adult again imo.

  • July 7, 2007, 1:59 a.m. CST

    Hmm...

    by loodabagel

    Well, I'm just gonna come out and say that I think All-Star Superman is the best Superman comic ever. Also, the issue of Batman where Bane showed up? Bane may be a shitty character, but I think that was Morrison's best so far. Also, thought you should know, next issue (666) will be a stand alone issue about the Batman of the future, Damien Wayne. Cool enough, but it has art by J. H. F'ing Williams. That shit's dope, y'all.

  • July 7, 2007, 2:01 a.m. CST

    After all this Sinestro and Blue Beetle love...

    by loodabagel

    I really think I might pick them up. Congratualtions Thayla.

  • July 7, 2007, 2:14 a.m. CST

    Ellison

    by Jinxo

    I loved listening to his commentary tracks on the 80s Twilight Zone. As I'm listening I'm loving the guy and at the same time understanding why he rubbed some folks on the show the wrong way. The love was because it's so clear he was working hard to make the show the best it could be. And people were annoyed because he was working hard to make it the best show it could be. And he was just so bluntly honest. The man bad mouths Danny Kaye. Sweet, beloved Danny Kaye! But he spells out some jerky behavior on Danny Kaye's part that I utterly believe and that makes you go, yeah, that aint cool.

  • July 7, 2007, 9:56 a.m. CST

    I am Batman...

    by stones_throw

    ...you're calling ALL-STAR SUPERMAN "dumb superhero fun"? I would actually say it's closer to, uh, pure genius.<p>And I'm digging Morrison's Batman too. A refreshing and original take on the character that shows him for once as a more rounded person not afraid to have some fun. This interview makes me want to hug Mr Morrison:<p>http://tinyurl.com/z9m6s

  • July 7, 2007, 11:46 a.m. CST

    Black Panther IS "Mr. Contingency"

    by nigel Cox-Hagan

    I'm lukewarm on the current Black Panther storyline(s), but the characterisation is totally consistent with T'Challa's original Lee/Kirby incarnation. In his first appearance, The Black Panther lures the FF to Wakanda and attacks them, just to make sure he could defeat IF they became a threat. He even beats the Thing in hand to hand combat. Not exactly like taking on the Silver Surfer, but it established that the Panther could beat a much more powerful foe, and was willing to resort to ruthless tactics to do so. T'Challa also assumed the identity of a school teacher when he came to America and teamed up Daredevil, so that he could operate in secret. Strategy and subterfuge are established hallmarks of his character. BP is actually more consistent with how he was originally conceived than any other Silver Age Marvel hero. Its all there in his original appearance: the guile,the trappings and protocols of royalty, the advanced technology, the confidence and irresitstable attractiveness (at least Sue Storm thinks so, somewhat daring for the '60s). While Batman is the world's greatest detective and always had a bat-trick up his sleeve to escape traps, he wasn't the master manipulator and plotter that BP was for most of his history. Those qualities emerged in the '70s with Denny O'Neil (who introduced Batman's undercover identity Matches Malone), evolved with Batman and The Outsiders (his own covert operatives) and were permanently ingrained by The Dark Knight (where we meet a thoroughly ruthless Batman who has a contingency plan to take out Superman). Granted, those traits have evolved steadily for the Batman, while BP's characterization was inconsistent until Christopher Priest re-ignited the secretive, tactical elements of the Panther's personality. Still this is T'Challa as he was originally intended to be, years before Batman shifted gears.

  • July 7, 2007, 7:07 p.m. CST

    Black panther and hulkie

    by theonecalledshoe

    BP will probably have some potion made and turn the hulk back to banner and then knock him out.

  • July 7, 2007, 8:22 p.m. CST

    ...

    by blackthought

    ...

  • July 12, 2007, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Satana-Thanks Bug

    by princess Zombielicious

    I was looking to spend some extra comic book money on something new. Satana seems appealing. I want to check it out sometime. Goth chicks with booties are hot.

  • July 12, 2007, 4:07 p.m. CST

    Good. A Chance To Chime In On Hal Jordan.

    by Buzz Maverik

    Going back to Hal Jordan, Barry Allen and even Oliver Queen is a cop out. It's the easy shake up. It's lazy. All it says is that modern writers aren't up to the task of making us care about Kyle Raynor, Wally West and Connor Hawke. Get the built in care and easy attention, y' know?<p>That said, at this time in our history, a retro-conned Hal Jordan would be extremely interesting. There's a war going on, folks, whether anybody except Bush & Cheney and male country singers want it or not. Hal Jordan could be a stealth pilot, bomber or fighter, although I prefer bomber. He's flown one mission too many, all that jazz. Weird stuff in the sky during a war. A dying alien with a power ring would be a great way out...

  • July 12, 2007, 5:56 p.m. CST

    Jeez, Buzz...

    by stones_throw

    ...and I was just about to ask how to pronounce "Sinestro". Way to make me feel silly!

  • July 13, 2007, 1:59 p.m. CST

    You know what would be cool?

    by rev_skarekroe

    A new comics talkback for the week, seeing as how it's almost over. Yeah, that'd be great.

  • July 13, 2007, 2:01 p.m. CST

    Also...

    by rev_skarekroe

    Buzz Maverick is now hired to write Ultimate Green Lantern. Go.

  • July 13, 2007, 3:20 p.m. CST

    Buzz's idea could make me like Hal Jordan

    by Homer Sexual

    If he were an Ultimate, or All-Star, I could like him. Or, I could find him interesting. A gung-ho, pro-war Bushie Hal Jordan would represent a viewpoint that is not really seen in many mainstream comics. Even Tony Stark, while a total jackboot fascist, doesn't have a clear political view. But I think DC would be scared to make him that divisive. Is Green Arrow still all lefty? I don't know because I'm totally bored of him as well and haven't read that book in years.

  • July 13, 2007, 3:55 p.m. CST

    Say what you like...

    by stones_throw

    ...but a square-jawed, cocky, old-fashioned hero does have some appeal today, if only because it's so different than what most writers are doing with the icons. I agree that Kyle Rayner definitely has more story potential but I reckon that's the reason for Hal's popularity. Well, that and a really cool costume.<p>...So is it "SinESTro" or "Si-KNEEstro"?

  • July 13, 2007, 11:26 p.m. CST

    Actually, If I WERE To Write Hal Jordan...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...he would reflect my view that the American military should be an apolitical enity, which is how it was established. Simply, our military has traditionally known and accepted that it does not make policy. You can be sent in one day, get chewed up and ordered to abandon what you've taken by the next day. And you do it. Now, our propaganda machine says, "They're buddies have died for this so let 'em finish the job" which is sort of the first step to a military dictatorship. The will of the American people should make the policy. Actually, I believe that our professional warriors know and understand their duty, but it's our leaders that are fogging the issue.<p>I'd make Hal a great pilot, of course. But he's had to fly too much. He needs to go home. He needs to get perspective. He's on the verge of burnt out. He thinks he can become someone else, but if he thought the pressure was on as a pilot, he hasn't seen anything yet.

  • July 13, 2007, 11:43 p.m. CST

    Stupid Lack Of Edit Feature

    by Buzz Maverik

    Too tired to have proper grammar or spelling.

  • July 15, 2007, 11:18 p.m. CST

    This TB is dead, y'all...

    by loodabagel

    I was hoping for a reiview of Thor or Detective Comics or Madman or something. Sites with no reviews are boring. Anyway, I got issue 3 of this new Madman comic and it got me thinking. I wondered what Mike Allred looks like. Because Paul Pope looks like a Paul Pope drawing, Frank Quitely looks like a Frank Quitely drawing and Marc Silvestri even looks like a Mark Sivestri drawing, albiet a lot less scratchy. I wondered if Allred looked like a Mike Allred drawing too. You know, perfect skin, full lips, sexy mod wardrobe. I hope so. The world could use more mods and people who look like the characters they draw. Also, the art in that issue was dope. I got lost on the last two pages of other styles. He name drops more artists than pictures in the book. Maybe I can find a helpful guide on the interent. Later, y'all.

  • July 16, 2007, 2:07 a.m. CST

    Also worth noting...

    by loodabagel

    Picked up my first manga this week. MPD Phsycho Vol. 1. It was alright. I just didn't go crazy for it like I hoped I would.

  • July 16, 2007, 3:19 p.m. CST

    Homer's mini-review of Thor

    by Homer Sexual

    I have read Thor off and on for 30 years. When I was a kid, I loved the color and huge, exotic Asgardian cast and setting. But the never-ending stories and overuse of Donald Blake/Jane Foster led to me quitting the book. Then Simonson came on in the 80s and rejuvenated Thor. <p> Simonson had no interest in Thor's alter-ego, he loved Asgard and huge casts, and made Thor great for some time. The Surtur Saga still stands as one of Marvel's all-time great stories. Still, Simonson eventually seemed to run out of ideas and Sal Buscema's pedestrian art didn't help. Dropped Thor again. <p> Jurgens' take on Thor made me pick the book up again a few years back. He took on the concept of Thor as a God, and a religion. His Thor was really perfect. I thought it was accessible, enjoyable to various audiences, thought-provoking while being extremely entertaining. But I guess it wasn't very popular because Michael Avon Oeming killed off everyone in Asgard and ended the book in a train-wreck-interesting storyline. <p> Now Thor is back, and his latest creative team is pretty A-List: JMS and Coipel. JMS is one of my favorite writers, he has big ideas and can write large casts well. Coipel gave Legion a fresh look. <p> So why was I underwhelmed by the first issue of Thor? I think Coipel's art is a little too "modern" for Thor. His characters lack the sense of awe/majesty a book like this needs. JMS books are pretty decompressed, and that certainly holds true in this issue. Thor is looking to be a paced-for-trades book, and I think that I will probably not pick up more individual issues. My recommendation: wait for the trade.

  • July 16, 2007, 11:37 p.m. CST

    Thanks Homer!

    by loodabagel

    I saw the issue, flipped through it, and it seemed to be an origin-retelling type story. I was hoping it would hit with a bang, but I think I'll try, if not to read it, than to keep up to date on events. I might pick up some issues later on, but for now, I'll remain an observer. I've got high hopes for Thor.

  • July 17, 2007, 7:17 a.m. CST

    Where the fuck are the @$$holes?

    by BangoSkank

    Goddamn Skrulls got to 'em, I fucking knew it.

  • July 17, 2007, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Need my wednesday morning tip-offs guys!

    by CarmillaVonDoom

    Where ya'll at? ;^)

  • July 17, 2007, 10:55 p.m. CST

    America!

    by loodabagel

    Fuck Yeah! Well, shit. Guess I'll have to do last week's column all by myself, except of course, for Homer Sexual's quality Thor review. First off-Madman Atomic COmics #3. Awsome art. Decent story. Worth checking out for those interested in spotting their favorite artists. Mine is Frank Quitely and he didn't show up until almost the last panel. Next is The Exterminators #21. I haven't read any of the Exterminators in the past, and this wasn't much of a starting point. So sorry guys, but I won't be sticking around. What else did I get? Runaways #27, I guess. Whedon's story continues to intrigue, but nothing really makes sense. All-Star Superman #8: Still the best Superman comic ever made, even if this issue wasn't as good as the last one. Every other comic sucks, I guess, or I'd remember reading it.

  • July 20, 2007, 3:27 a.m. CST

    BangoSkank!!!

    by DuncanHines

    In that newest Ultimate Power, Ultimate Dr Doom is back. In the Supreme Universe. (remember at the end of Millar's run, when he voluntarily went to the Marvel Zombie-verse...?) I guess he' dimension hopping... I hope this is the beginning of the establishment of Dr Doom as THE fucking villain in the Ultimate Universe. (Also, remember when it was stated in Millar's UFF run that Doom is the most powerful being in the Ultimate World. It was awesome. Give it another shot... What's funny is that that most recent issue of Ultimate Power was the litmus issuee. I told myself that if that issue didn't impress me, I was going to drop that book. Then it surprised and impressed me. God damn it.